Team Eldrazi!

Sorry Allies, Bennie Smith is playing for the enemy! Bennie is loaded with new Standard brews and they all have one thing in common: they have creepy aliens that want to ingest and process victories!

The Battle for Zendikar is over before it’s begun, and the Eldrazi have won… my heart. Yes folks, after perusing the full spoiler I can say with
confidence that I’ll be casting colorless spells for the foreseeable future of Standard, and most of them not Hangarback Walker will be inscrutable alien

A lot of my excitement centers on this magnificent monster right here:

The HoKster

The more I’ve thought about this card, the more eager I’ve gotten to play it in the new Standard. I so look forward to casting Herald of Kozilek that I’ve
given it a nickname I hope will catch on with its other converts: “The HoKster.” Pronounced “HOKE-ster.”

This little guy is so chock full of power that I’m shocked – though glad – it’s not a rare. For three mana you get a rock solid 2/4 body. That two power
ensures that you won’t have to worry about Abzan Charm spoiling your fun, and the four toughness gives it a ton of resilience. It comes down fast and
easily blocks – and sometimes kills – just about any creatures your opponents will play in the early game.

Before you pass the turn though, you might want to go ahead and cast Ghostfire Blade for free.

Zero mana? Oh yeah!

So the turn you cast the HoKster you’re already getting good value, but where it really shines is once you untap with it. Say you cast Herald of Kozilek on
turn 3, untap and play a fourth land on turn 4. Here’s an example of what you could cast next:

Kozilek's Channeler

Okay, not too shabby-a 4/4 on turn 4 that can tap next turn for even more mana at your disposal. But that’s not really giving the HoKster its proper due
respect. How about this turn 4?

Hedron Archive Hedron Archive Titan's Presence

Now this is a crazy turn! And you know that Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger you revealed to Titan’s Presence to exile whatever threat your opponent had
played? Assuming you play another land on Turn 5 and the HoKster sticks around, you’re casting that Eldrazi Titan way ahead of schedule!

Okay, so here’s another option… Turn 4 play a second Herald of Kozilek and keep up mana for one of these two spells:

Ulamog's Nullifier Brutal Expulsion

Another option… Turn 4 play Transgress the Mind for a single black mana to exile your opponent’s big play next turn, then play Mind Raker and force them to
discard another card.

Going slightly off the Eldrazi path, how about: turn 1 Hardened Scales, turn 2 Hangarback Walker with two +1/+1 counters, turn 3 HoKster, turn 4 cast
Endless One with five +1/+1 counters and have a mana left over to activate Hangarback Walker.

Okay, so enough gushing about the HoKster, let’s get down to deck brewing!

Many of you already know how much I love Villainous Wealth, and may have read some of my musings on Villainous Wealth in our new Eldrazi Standard. The
basic gist is that many of the Eldrazi spells feed off cards your opponent has in exile, and Villainous Wealth puts cards your opponent has in exile-either
lands, or cards you can’t cast or choose not to cast. Now that the full spoiler has been released, here’s how my Villainous Wealth deck looks:

The basic idea here is that Fathom Feeder (with deathtouch) or Hangarback Walker come down on turn 2 and hopefully hold down the fort. I like that you can
follow-up Hangarback Walker with a turn 3 Catacomb Sifter, have three bodies that can block, and still have the mana from Scion available to pump
Hangarback Walker (and get a scry trigger to boot).

Speaking of scry triggers, we are certainly going to be missing the free scry triggers now that Theros Temples are rotating out, so I think
Catacomb Sifter’s ability will be quite helpful to ensuring that our villainous schemes unfold on time. Following up a Catacomb Sifter with From Beyond
should provide a steady stream of chump blocking and card scrying until you find a card you want to sacrifice the Scion to so you can cast something big.

I actually really like the idea of jamming multiple copies of From Beyond in a deck, especially if I can get it into play early on. I was around when
Bitterblossom was a thing, and I can testify an early permanent that cranks out 1/1 threats each turn can take over a game in a hurry. So how can we
accelerate to four mana now that we’ve lost Elvish Mystic and Sylvan Caryatid?

Rattleclaw Mystic is the premier mana accelerator left in the format, but we don’t necessarily need to rely on it exclusively. Since we’d theoretically be
in Temur colors with Rattleclaw Mystic what about Embodiment of Spring? On turns 1 and 2 it provides an excellent blocking body, and then at the end of the
second turn cash it in for an extra mana in play, untap and you’ve got enough mana for From Beyond on turn 3. Another option I like is turn 1 Blisterpod,
which provides an early blocker and then an Eldrazi Scion you can either use to block again or cash in for an extra mana.

Hangarback Walker and Deathmist Raptor also play great defense while also providing resilience to removal, but how about Vile Aggregate? For three mana all
on his own he’s a 1/5, which can block Siege Rhino and survive, but if Hangarback Walker spits out a bunch of Thopters or From Beyond’s Scion tokens get
out of hand, Vile Aggregate can actually provide a very potent threat. Our morph creatures are colorless, so they pump Vile Aggregate’s power too!

Might we finally get to see some action from Sarkhan Unbroken? Coming down on turn 4 and making a 4/4 flying Dragon token is big game, and then afterwards
he can provide a steady stream of card drawing and extra mana. I like Drowner of Hope as our From Beyond target when we’re ready to shift from defense to
offense, tapping down potential blockers and rumbling in with Vile Aggregate and the rest of our team.

While I was brewing my Villainous Wealth deck it occurred to me that maybe I should just get rid of Villainous Wealth and just focus on Eldrazi and Ugin,
the Spirit Dragon as my payoff cards? That would let me cut green from the deck altogether.

I would want to be a little aggressive in turning my early ingest creatures sideways to stock my opponent’s exile zone with cards for my Eldrazi Processors
and Oblivion Sower. Vile Aggregate and Herald of Kozilek can play early defense. I like Shrine of the Forsaken Gods in this deck because even if my
opponent has fetchlands in exile that I couldn’t necessarily use when I snatch them with Oblivion Sower, they could still count towards the number of lands
I need to turn on the Shrine double mana. For instance, with a Shrine and five other lands in play, you cast Oblivion Sower. If you hit two lands with
Sower’s ability but one is a fetchland you can’t use, it still effectively nets you an extra mana by turning on the Shrine and giving you eight mana next
turn to cast Ugin, the Spirit Dragon.

Instead of going large, we also have the ability to go fast and low with our Eldrazi friends.

I like Sludge Crawler as an early ingest creature you can play on turn 1, attack with it and threaten to pump and eat your opponent’s 1/1 creature if they
block so they let it through, you hit for one and ingest a card, then play something for two mana. A Ghostfire Blade (maybe played for free with a Herald
of Kozilek in play) can turn any creature on the board into a real threat… though don’t forget it can also make any creature on the board a target for
Abzan Charm’s exile ability. I like that you can really put a lot of significant cards onto the board early in a game, and then be able to sit back on
Brutal Expulsion or Ulamog’s Nullifier to stop your opponent’s attempt at turning the game around. I’m not even entirely sure we want Blight Herder in here
at five mana, maybe we want to stop the curve at four, but I like that it can provide a nice boost to Vile Aggregate.

Speaking of playing Ghostfire Blade for free off Herald of Kozilek, maybe we want to infuse the U/R Thopter strategy with Eldrazi goodness?

While the devoid Eldrazi cards don’t play with the artifact themes, they all benefit from all the other artifact stuff since they get boosts from caring
about colorless spells. I’m playing a whopping 27 lands because I want to be able to cash in Foundry of the Consuls for Thopters and I want to be able to
activate Tomb of the Spirit Dragon every turn. Between life from the Tombs and Orbs of Warding, I’m hoping to keep my life totals high enough to take over
the game with Thopter Spy Network and unblockable Vile Aggregates.

Shifting gears away from the HoKster, the other Eldrazi I think offers up some awesome power is Smothering Abomination. Maybe something like this?

As much as I loved Courser of Kruphix, I’m super-stoked that this new Courser-less world makes Bloodsoaked Champion finally a card worth playing. Add to
the mix Hangarback Walker and Deathmist Raptor and you’ve got a ton of great cards worth sacrificing for value, and with the scry available from Catacomb
Sifter and Shadows of the Past you should always be drawing into gas. Brood Butcher might not be good enough for the new Standard, but it plays great with
the synergies so maybe it makes the cut.

One thing that’s really nice about Smothering Abomination is that it makes an opponent’s Tragic Arrogance super-awkward. So much so that I want to figure
out a deck playing Smothering Abomination and Tragic Arrogance together. Why hello Mardu, sorry I’ve been neglecting you…

Believe it or not, I still have other ideas to share for our new Standard, but to ensure my editor’s sanity, I’ll just do one more. This one comes from the
notion that Oblivion Sower could help fuel landfall triggers. It feels a little weird playing a deck with Scythe Leopard and Pearl Lake Ancient, but maybe
Oblivion Sower can pull it all together.

The nice thing about Oblivion Sower is that we can use any and all lands our opponent may have exiled to fuel Treasure Cruises or Dig through Time for
landfall triggers even if we don’t have any lands we can get with their fetchlands.

We can use Crumble to Dust as a way to stunt our opponent’s development while beating down with our early creatures, and it’ll help juice up the landfall
triggers when we cast Oblivion Sower. For even more mileage I’m running Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy to be able to cast it again from the graveyard. Even though I
don’t have a ton of spells to flash back, there are going to be times when I want to draw another land to play and trigger landfall, and Jace can help with

Atarka’s Command is a known powerhouse card, and I’m excited to see what we can do with the mode where I can put a land into play at instant speed. This
can make the spell ability on Looming Spires into a genuine combat trick! With enough mana we could use Blighted Woodland to get three landfall triggers!

Pearl Lake Ancient may be too cute, but its ability to return lands to my hand could set up a big landfall turn, and I can flash it in at instant speed.

If you keep hearing that Battle for Zendikar is a ho-hum set, don’t believe the hype! It’s an Eldrazi world we’re living in now, so what cards
have captured your interest? Do you have any ideas to improve the deck brews I’ve presented here? I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially which idea you
think has the best potential in our new Standard!

New to Commander?

If you’re just curious about the format, building your first deck, or trying to take your Commander deck up a notch, here are some handy links:

Commander write-ups I’ve done
(and links to decklists):

Zurgo Bellstriker (Bellstriking Like a Boss)

Dragonlord Ojutai (Troll Shroud)

Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund (Dragons, Megamorphs, and Dragons)

Dromoka, the Eternal (One Flying Bolster Basket)

Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest (Tempests and Teapots)

Tasigur, the Golden Fang (Hatching Evil Sultai Plots)

Scion of the Ur-Dragon (Dragon Triggers for Everyone)

• Nahiri, The Lithomancer (Lithomancing for Fun and Profit)

Titania, Protector of Argoth (Titania’s Land and Elemental Exchange)

Reaper King (All About VILLAINOUS WEALTH)

Feldon of the Third Path (She Will Come Back to Me)

Sidisi, Brood Tyrant (Calling Up Ghouls with Sidisi)

Zurgo Helmsmasher (Two Times the Smashing)

Anafenza, the Foremost (Anafenza and Your Restless Dead)

Narset, Enlightened Master (The New Voltron Overlord)

Surrak Dragonclaw (The Art of Punching Bears)

Avacyn, Guardian Angel; Ob Nixilis, Unshackled; Sliver Hivelord (Commander Catchup, Part 3)

Keranos, God of Storms; Marchesa, the Black Rose; Muzzio, Visonary Architect (Commander Catchup, Part 2)

Athreos, God of Passage; Kruphix, God of Horizons; Iroas, God of Victory (Commander Catchup, Journey into Nyx Edition)

Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient (Ghost in the Machines)

Jalira, Master Polymorphist (JaliraPOW!)

Mishra, Artificer Prodigy (Possibility Storm Shenanigans)

Yisan, the Wanderer Bard (All-in Yisan)

Selvala, Explorer Returned (Everyone Draws Lots!)

Grenzo, Dungeon Warden (Cleaning Out the Cellar)

Karona, False God (God Pack)

Child of Alara (Land Ho!)

Doran, the Siege Tower (All My Faves in One Deck!)

Karador, Ghost Chieftain (my Magic Online deck)

Karador, Ghost Chieftain (Shadowborn Apostles & Demons)

King Macar, the Gold-Cursed (GREED!)

Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind ( Chuck’s somewhat vicious deck)

Roon of the Hidden Realm (Mean Roon)

Skeleton Ship (Fun with -1/-1 counters)

Vorel of the Hull Clade (Never Trust the Simic)

Anax and Cymede (Heroic Co-Commanders)

Aurelia, the Warleader ( plus Hellkite Tyrant shenanigans)

Borborygmos Enraged (69 land deck)

Bruna, Light of Alabaster (Aura-centric Voltron)

Damia, Sage of Stone ( Ice Cauldron shenanigans)

Emmara Tandris (No Damage Tokens)

Gahiji, Honored One (Enchantment Ga-hijinks)

Geist of Saint Traft (Voltron-ish)

Ghave, Guru of Spores ( Melira Combo)

Glissa Sunseeker (death to artifacts!)

Glissa, the Traitor ( undying artifacts!)

Grimgrin, Corpse-Born (Necrotic Ooze Combo)

Jeleva, Nephalia’s Scourge ( Suspension of Disbelief)

Johan (Cat Breath of the Infinite)

Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer (replacing Brion Stoutarm in Mo’ Myrs)

Karona, False God (Vows of the False God)

Lord of Tresserhorn (ZOMBIES!)

Marath, Will of the Wild ( Wild About +1/+1 Counters)

Melira, Sylvok Outcast ( combo killa)

Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker ( Outside My Comfort Zone with Milling

Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis (evil and Spike-ish)

Nicol Bolas (Kicking it Old School)

Nylea, God of the Hunt ( Devoted to Green)

Oloro, Ageless Ascetic (Life Gain)

Oona, Queen of the Fae (by reader request)

Phage the Untouchable ( actually casting Phage from Command Zone!)

Phelddagrif (Mean Hippo)

Polukranos, World Eater (Monstrous!)

Reaper King (Taking Advantage of the new Legend Rules)

Riku of Two Reflections (

steal all permanents with
Deadeye Navigator + Zealous Conscripts


Roon of the Hidden Realm ( Strolling Through Value Town)

Ruhan of the Fomori (lots of equipment and infinite attack steps)

Savra, Queen of the Golgari ( Demons)

Shattergang Brothers (Breaking Boards)

Sigarda, Host of Herons ( Equipment-centric Voltron)

Skullbriar, the Walking Grave ( how big can it get?)

Sliver Overlord (Featuring the new M14 Slivers!)

Thelon of Havenwood ( Campfire Spores)

Varolz, the Scar-Striped (scavenging goodness)

Vorosh, the Hunter ( proliferaTION)

Xenagos, God of Revels (Huge Beatings)

Yeva, Nature’s Herald (living at instant speed)