Hello folks! I was looking for my next Impossible Commander project. This is a series I write where I take a really difficult legendary creature and use it
as an anchor for my next Commander deck. I was looking for inspiration, so I hit up SCG’s spoiler search for all legendary creatures from Kamigawa block.
Many of the absolute worst and jankiest legendary creatures of all time lurk in that block. It seemed like a good place for inspiration.
And then I saw her. Fumiko the Lowblood. And suddenly a bunch of ideas began to assault my skull. Fumiko, yes. Yes. But she’s not really an impossible
commander, she’s just a rarely used Commander, and I don’t have a series for that one.
But I don’t care! She was calling to me. Let me explain why:
A long time ago, I wrote a series for another site where I created 100 real life combo decks in twenty weeks. My favorite combo deck from that list of 100
was from my 9th article in the series this one:
The basic idea of the deck is, when someone plays a creature, it takes two damage from Aether Flash and then dies to Death Pits of Rath. Then the deck adds
in a variety of ways to deal damage to things, as well as non-creature creatures to win the game with.
Well, you know what? It’s been a while since I unveiled my super secret sexy Caltrops tech, so let’s use it again in a different context!
- 1 Fumiko the Lowblood
- 1 Godo, Bandit Warlord
- 1 Ben-Ben, Akki Hermit
- 1 Akki Coalflinger
- 1 Anger
- 1 Goblin Welder
- 1 Scarecrow
- 1 Snow Fortress
- 1 Marton Stromgald
- 1 Watchdog
- 1 Rimescale Dragon
- 1 Stuffy Doll
- 1 Bloodmark Mentor
- 1 Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs
- 1 Wurmcoil Engine
- 1 Darksteel Sentinel
- 1 Hero of Oxid Ridge
- 1 Urabrask the Hidden
- 1 Instigator Gang
- 1 Slumbering Dragon
- 1 Wrecking Ogre
- 1 Pyrewild Shaman
- 1 Purphoros, God of the Forge
- 1 Prophetic Flamespeaker
- 1 Scourge of the Throne
- 1 Soul of New Phyrexia
- 1 Feldon of the Third Path
- 1 Warmonger Hellkite
- 1 Flamerush Rider
- 1 In the Web of War
- 1 Sol Ring
- 1 Fissure
- 1 Rolling Thunder
- 1 Al-abara's Carpet
- 1 False Orders
- 1 Tenza, Godo's Maul
- 1 Oathkeeper, Takeno's Daisho
- 1 Starstorm
- 1 Goblin Charbelcher
- 1 Thunderstaff
- 1 Savage Beating
- 1 Leonin Bladetrap
- 1 Farsight Mask
- 1 Grand Melee
- 1 Baton of Morale
- 1 Caltrops
- 1 Pyrohemia
- 1 Akroma's Memorial
- 1 Dolmen Gate
- 1 Quietus Spike
- 1 Chaos Warp
- 1 Circle of Flame
- 1 Staff of Nin
- 1 Magmaquake
- 1 Hammer of Purphoros
- 1 Curse of Chaos
- 1 Scrap Mastery
Yay Fumiko! In fact, this deck has so much flavor that my initial pass had fourteen too many cards, and my final cuts included Ice Floe, Glacial Crevasses,
Stalking Yeti, Signal Pest, Fireball, Basilisk Collar, Renegade Warlord, Hellkite Tyrant, Angel’s Trumpet, Ogre Battledriver, and Lightning Greaves.
So let’s unpack this sexy looking deck!
Fumiko forces everyone else to bring the heat with all of their creatures. So they very first thing I wanted to do was to have some built-in protection to
keep us safe from attackers that come our way as a punishment for running Fumiko.
There are multiple outlets for doing this. Maze of Ith is an emergency stopgap measure for a card that we otherwise couldn’t handle, like Akroma, Angel of
Vengeance or a hasted creature that arrived to the battlefield that we didn’t plan around. I also have blockers that are artifacts that will keep a
protection-from-red creature from being overly zealous, so Snow Fortress, Stuffy Doll, or Darksteel Sentinel can block all day long.
Now, the next thing I want to do is to actively punish people for attacking. This is where a card like Circle of Flame and Caltrops slides in as a way to
begin to control the board. Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs will probably send most attackers elsewhere. Note that Fumiko does not require you to send your
team into the gap every turn. If you don’t like the odds or you want to keep them back, you certainly can.
And this helps. Imagine a typical boardstate where every player at the four-person table controls three or four creatures. Now, you drop Fumiko, and then
don’t attack and pass the turn. The next player is forced to attack somewhere. Some stuff might die. Now, who does the second player attack? You? Nah, you
have prepared for some attacks. The player that hasn’t untapped and attacked yet? They likely still have some creatures left. Seeking the path of least
resistance, they are likely to attack the open player. And then the third player will probably bring heat against the first two with newly shorn defenses.
That’s the value of Fumiko. As opponent’s attack, you create opponents. Now perhaps you want to attack an open opponent who has a dangerous board position.
Our good Lowblooded leader is great at creating openings as people swing at each other.
This is why I tossed in some haste enabling cards, like Anger, Urabrask, and In the Web of War. You can toss down stuff and swing immediately and deal
damage even faster to your collective foes. And with stuff like Urabrask and Rimescale Dragon tapping things down that are newly played (or had vigilance)
while Fumiko forces others to tap or attack, you have a good chance of continuing to smash in.
So we are attacking enough that I want to pump my attackers on a regular basis. That gives us space for cards with battle cry triggers, stuff like
Instigator Gang and even Contested War Zone. By giving the deck some aggressive fire-power, we can enhance our own creatures enough to bring a foe or two
down quickly. That’s where a card like Marton Stromgald can really shine.
Another way to keep up the assault is to keep your creatures from dying when they swing for game. Why not run Dolmen Gate? You don’t have to worry about
bad blocks getting you down. You aren’t suicidally attacking anymore with it in play. The Gate is great, and it’s a card a lot of people have forgotten
about, so remind them by beating with it!
Take a card like Ben-Ben, Akki Hermit. It’s not normally a card you expect to see in Commander. But isn’t this a perfect home for it? I love it here! To
me, one of the most important things about the format is the ability to pull up these cards like Ben-Ben that work better than your normal EDH stuff, (like
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker) and smash people with it.
One of the things we have going for us is that creatures attacking into you are often a bit damaged from Caltrops or a Desert or something. And you can add
damage with Snow Fortress and some other cards here and there. So, if a creature is attacking and has taken some damage but has not been killed yet, then
this is a good place to unleash first strike (or double strike) creatures. A 6/6 ground trampler will look askance when there are a few Circle of Flame
effects and first strike creatures untapped.
So a card like Bloodmark Mentor is downright awesome here. Shoot, on attacking we can use Akki Coalflinger (actually, it’ll just give attacking creatures
first strike, so you can first strike Jane’s horde when she attacks Jill. You can play some nice politics there if you are so inclined…) See also: Akroma’s
Memorial. Shoot, feel free to run Rage Reflection or Berserkers’ Onslaught if you want to push this concept.
Meanwhile, an effect that comes out of nowhere also mines this vein. Take Leonin Bladetrap as an example. If your opponent swung and took a bit of damage,
flashing and sacrificing this can turn a small loss into a downright deluge of death. So we have a few cards in here that will deal damage instantly after
someone taps to attack and takes some damage. A card like Pyrohemia can be activated a few times to clear out a bunch of stuff. And if we have out
indestructible creatures, bigger stuff at the table (via Marton Stromgald perhaps) or Akroma’s Memorial will result in game-swinging fun. Meanwhile, you
can Starstorm or Magmaquake some stuff as well.
Now we are playing with the combat phase already with the deck. I figured a few other cards that did similar things would be quite valuable here. Grand
Melee can really play havoc, and everything has to attack or block. It’s one of my favorite cards in this genre of red enchantments. You could also look to
Total War or Repercussion or lots of other places. But I like to steer clear as much as possible since I expect to use more powerful effects in multiple
There are a lot of great adjuncts to this deck. Take planeswalkers. The best one for the deck? By far it has to be Chandra, Pyromaster. The first ability
to shoot a creature, player, and keep the creature from blocking perfectly suits what we are doing. Swing first, and ask questions later. Then, if you
want, you can use her to “draw” a card as well. And if you get to ultimate level, she’ll certainly break a game open.
Koth of the Hammer tends to be the best planeswalker for a generic mono-red deck, so I tossed him in as well. I’m not running a lot of generic cards from
EDH land that you might normally expect to see, such as Ruination, Kiki-Jiki, or Dualcaster Mage. It’s only here if it makes sense for this deck.
Other useful adjuncts are cards that deal damage while doing something else. Staff of Nin draws you cards, and it can shoot something as well. It certainly
fits, right? In fact I like shooting stuff so much that I want to toss in Goblin Charbelcher. This seems like a Charbelcher style of deck. Meanwhile I
enjoy the red-zone card “drawing” from Prophetic Flamespeaker and the unusual Farsight Mask as other card drawing opportunities.
This deck wants Oathkeeper for its leader. When wielded by Fumiko, any time she dies to targeted or mass removal, she comes right on back for another go.
This is a faster way to protect her than your normal command zone replay. I suspect that opponents might want to protest her presence after seeing the fun
deck she inspired, so they might be inclined to kill her. A lot. Oathkeeper her up!
Meanwhile, there’s no reason not to run Tenza as a cheap and powerful equipment. In other equipment news, Quietus Spike can be used to drop a life total
very quickly when attacking an open foe, and having a deathtouch defender when someone attacks via Fumiko love also is a rattle to send them to attack
another front. In fact, this deck seems like a great place to build a lot of different artifacts. You could add in deathtouch stuff, first and double
strike stuff, pro red stuff like Sword of Fire and Ice or Sword of War and Peace, haste enablers, attack or damage triggers like Mask of Memory and so
forth. You could easily have a variety of equipment that suits the deck. I decided to toss in Godo, Bandit Warlord to fetch up an Oathkeeper or Tenza or
Spike. Those are all good enough on their own to warrant his inclusion.
A few artifact creatures entered the picture. Scarecrone fits the theme, and Soul of New Phyrexia gives us a great option when attacking, blocking, or
using an effect like Pyrohemia or Magmaquake. Wurmcoil Engine is great here since when it dies, it’ll dole you a pair of bodies for continuing the
pressure. Remember that I intentionally included artifact creature on defense to keep things real as well.
As I kept adding in artifacts here and there, I noticed that my number was climbing quite high (final tally – 22 artifact and artifact creatures in the
deck). I liked the idea of pushing pro-artifact cards since a lot of my engines were artifacts. It’d be great to recur a sprung Bladetrap or a Charbelcher
someone offed. It seemed like a good time to add in Goblin Welder, Daretti, and Scrap Mastery to the deck as ways to bring back dead artifacts as the game
I hope that you enjoyed our little Fumiko Fun! What are your thoughts? Is there something that you would add to the deck? A card or three that you would
put into your own style?