The Great M15 Commander Deck Update!

Like the newest Core Set? Enjoy a Commander game now and again? You could not ask for more inspiration for new Commander tweaks and tricks! Checkout Sheldon’s huge Commander update for M15!

Magic 2015 is one of the densest sets for Commander in quite a while. That means that the post-release deck update project for all my decks takes on epic
proportions. Most of the time, I use the new set as an opportunity to make other changes to the decks as well. I haven’t done much of that this time
because I haven’t had the opportunity to play much over the past several weeks (and playing is when I really decide to cut or swap out a card) due to the
combination of school and my wife having surgery (she’s recovering quite well, thanks). You won’t see too many non-M15 updates here, but there are a few
sprinkled in (since I didn’t do a full change article with Conspiracy cards). I’ll remind you that when I do a new set update, I try to use a
card-regardless of how good it is-in only one deck. Even with a large number of decks, I like new and different play experiences, so I try to make sparing
use of any one card, even favorites. I’ll confess to having a weakness for a few cards-Greater Good being among them-but as we move forward and there are
simply more and more great cards to play, I want to play them all.

This update was fueled by Rush. I saw the documentary “Beyond the Lightest Stage” a few nights back, and I’ve been listening to their back catalogue ever
since. The disagreement of Brian David-Marshall notwithstanding, they are awesome sauce.

Here’s the deck-by-deck breakdown:


In: Soul of Innistrad, Victimize, Strip Mine

Out: Tooth and Nail (to Karador), Azusa, Lost But Seeking, Wasteland

Soul of Innistrad proves some redundancy for what the commander does, so it’s a natural fit here. The deck is full of mid-range utility creatures without
having too many actual graveyard shenanigans, so I don’t worry too much about my graveyard getting eaten (which is why I’m comfortable playing Agent of
Erebos. You’ll notice I’m taking some of the super-expensive lands (especially the foil versions) out of decks, which is why Strip Mine is in for
Wasteland. I originally started playing Wasteland over Strip Mine as a signal to other players that only problematic non-basics would be getting stripped,
but I think that message has been delivered clearly enough that the more wallet-friendly card can go into the deck. Azusa was leftover from when the Adun
deck was a landfall deck. One of my favorite cards of all time, Victimize, coming out in foil in Conspiracy gave me the opportunity to put it into some
decks that didn’t have it.


In: Jalira, Master Polymorphist, Mercurial Pretender, Invasive Species, Realm Seekers

Out: Future Sight (to Merieke), Mistcutter Hydra, Champion of Lambholt, Bane of Progress

There’s one problem with having Animar as a commander: every new set there are many cards which you want to put into it. I have one over-arching philosophy
about the deck: make it kind of ridiculous when Animar is on the battlefield, and have it still be playable when it’s not. The deck is full enough of
utility creatures that once they’ve don’t their jobs, I want to trade out for better ones, so Jalira got me pretty excited. There’s no Clone in this deck
(although there’s Phyrexian Metamorph), and plenty of stuff to copy, so Mercurial Pretender is also saucy. Mistcutter Hydra had been kind of meh in play,
so it could go. Invasive Species plays with the bounce theme, and with Prophet of Kruphix around, I can hold it back to save something. Future Sight was
always difficult to cast and probably belongs in Intet. I haven’t moved it over there yet, but likely will at some point. Champion of Lambholt was a
reasonable cut due to the presence of the Archetypes. I blew out myself so many times with Bane of Progress (off of Lurking Predators), that I figured it
needed to hit the sidelines for a while.


In: Hushwing Gryff

Out: Lashknife Barrier

Aurelia is the white deck that I don’t hurt myself with by playing Torpor Bird. Lashknife Barrier will eventually get ported over to Ruhan, which is going
to get a makeover (I’ll explain more in Ruhan’s entry).


No changes. I don’t really play with the deck that much and nothing from the set really jumped out at me.


In: Academy Rector (from Phelddagrif)

Out: Trading Post (to somewhere?)

Academy Rector wasn’t really doing any heavy lifting in Phelddagrif. I thought bringing to the enchantment deck might serve a reasonable purpose. Without
artifacts to sacrifice, I thought that Trading Post would be better served elsewhere; we’ll find out where sometime down the road.


In: Aetherspouts, Jace, the Living Guildpact, Polymorphists’s Jest

Out: Vorinclex, Jin-Gitaxias, Worldly Tutor

I’ll be honest: I’ve kind of lost configuration control of this deck. I swapped in and out some cards to play it as kind of a mean deck (kind of obvious
with Jin and Vorinclex) which I could also play as a Riku deck, then decided I hated playing it. They’ll come out for cooler cards and I’ll get moving on
posting the latest version-once I go over it card by card.


I figured out I also hated this deck because of its sameness-durdle, durdle, durdle, sacrifice Lord of Extinction. I’ve already cannibalized some cards out
of it. Not to worry, I will still have a Golgari deck, as I have some fun ideas on Glissa, the Traitor: a graveyard tomfoolery deck which can survival
multiple Bojuka Bog.


In: Tooth and Nail (from Adun), Victimize

Out: Fracturing Gust, Shadowborn Demon

I’m very careful about upsetting the careful balance of this deck. When I took Tooth and Nail out of Adun because there were rarely two creatures which I
was actually about putting into play at once, I thought of Karador. I really had to search to find room for it in Karador, and I’m a little nervous about
taking out Fracturing Gust. I still have pinpoint enchantment and artifact removal, but that won’t solve Privileged Position. We’ll see how it works out,
but I have the feeling that the card will make a comeback in the deck at some point. Needing something to take out for that Victimize, Shadowborn Demon was
the easiest pick since it’s going into the Kaalia deck I mention below.


In: Siege Dragon, Might Makes Right

Out: Anger, Dragon Roost

Anger isn’t a dragon, and I found Dragon Roost mana-intensive. They were easy swap outs for two very cool cards. Basilisk Collar on Siege Dragon will be
awesome. Because my creatures are generally bigger than everything else, Might Makes Right makes sense here, although I gave some consideration to putting
it into Thraximundar.


In: Ob Nixilis Unshackled, Phytotitan

Out: Rescue from the Underworld, Avalanche Riders

My signature deck gets two of the cards I’m most excited about from this set. Ob Nixilis is going to make a great number of people rethink approaching the
format. Phytotitan is getting sacrificed to Greater Good and then triggering Flayer of the Hatebound, thank you very much.


In: Resolute Archangel

Out: Djinn of Infinite Deceits (to Merieke)

Lavinia is very much where I want her to be. The underlying engine is in decent shape, meaning new cards coming in have to stack up well and/or do things
that the deck doesn’t already do. There isn’t that much life gain and Djinn of Infinite Deceits is kind of a Merieke card, making a good swap.


In: Waste Not, Turn to Frog, Hypnotic Specter

Out: Echo Mage, Interdict, Ninja of the Deep Hours

With a small-and probably growing-discard theme, Waste Not belongs in Lazav. I’m not quite emotionally ready for Myojin of Night’s Reach just yet, but a
classic like Hypnotic Specter in for the needs-to-be-elsewhere Ninja of the Deep Hours makes sense. Turn to Frog comes in out of sheer awesomeness,
replacing the not-foily Interdict.


In: Necromancer’s Stockpile, Ghost Quarter, Drakestown Forgotten

Out: Khabal Ghoul, Dust Bowl, Red Elemental Blast

Khabal Ghoul just kept being underwhelming, much to my sadness. Necromancer’s Stockpile is just what the deck needed. I’ll still play REB in a few decks
(and it will continue to surprise people), but Drakestown forgotten represents what this deck is all about that I needed to find room for it.


In: Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient

Out: Fault Line

Kurkesh is another card in M15 about which I’m thoroughly jazzed. Melek is the deck that will make best use of it. Fault Line goes because I hate trying to
recast Melek.


In: Djinn of Infinite Deceits (from Lavinia), Future Sight (from Animar)

Out: Uyo, Silent Prophet (to somewhere?), Detention Sphere

Merieke gets nothing from M15, but swaps out of other decks give her some tricksy weapons.


In: In Garruk’s Wake, Endless Obedience

Out: Profane Command (saving for rebuilt Glissa), Reanimate (probably ditto)

Better Plague Wind goes into the deck that’s most likely to be able to cast it. I gave some thought to putting it into Lazav as well. I want to see how
Endless Obedience goes, since it can theoretically cost nothing-the life component being an important part.


In: Nissa’s Expedition, Reclamation Sage

Out: Nihil Spellbomb (to Glissa, the Traitor), Indrik Stomphowler

Everything in the deck has a CMC of five or less, which means loads of low casting cost creatures. Reclamation Sage is just a cheaper Stomphowler. This
deck, which is my budget deck, is happy for Pernicious Deed to have come out in Conspiracy, making it a reasonably inexpensive card.


In: Perilous Vault

Out: Path of Bravery

Path of Bravery belongs in a swarmier deck. Perilous Vault is another way of creating some kind of equilibrium, which will then swing back to my advantage
once Obzedat comes back into play. Really have to see if I can make room for Sudden Disappearance.


This deck is dead, and I promise to rebuild it as Kaalia and her Demons before the Chromatic Project is completed.


In: Spirit Bonds, Chasm Skulker

Out: Gift of the Gargantuan (thought about Worship), Academy Rector (to Heliod)

I think the low cost of Spirit Bonds might make it work. Because I have a commander that I can bounce, I can create tokens pretty regularly. With all the
maro-sorcerers, the deck’s primary motivation is to draw cards, making Chasm Skulker a perfect fit. Plus, squids. More like Calamari Skulker.


In: Genesis Hydra

Out: Primordial Sage

Genesis Hydra certainly got some thought in Animar. In the end, I felt Prime Speaker was lonely for a new card and drew enough on its own to not need
Primordial Sage.


No changes.


No changes. Another deck that might want some reworking. When I’ve played it, because there’s not much other strategy, it normally comes down to “get
beaten up a while, play Repay in Kind.”


In: Soul of Theros, First Response, Battlefield Forge

Out: Orim’s Thunder, Angel Song, Plains

It’s a Rith deck, so it likes to create swarms of creatures. Soul of Theroes makes them even better. When I saw First Response, I thought immediately about
this deck because it has Darien, King of Kjeldor in it. It already had the other two painlands, so I had to also put in Battlefield Forge. I’m honestly
also considering putting in that one Mana Crypt I have left for a little more damage to myself.


In: Circle of Flame, Kor Chant

Out: Sleep, Bident of Thassa

Ruhan will undergo a significant renovation in the near future. I’ll be taking out the Sunforger package (or most of it) to go into Kaalia’s Demons. Things
like Angel’s Trumpet and Avatar of Slaughter will make a comeback. I’m going to go all in on the “you must attack” and “attacking hurts you” theme. Kor’s
Chant will definitely stay; Bident of Thassa will probably come back.


In: Hornet Queen foil!

Out: Hornet Queen not foil

Hey, you have to take your victories where you find them, especially since there are no good new beasts in M15. I keep threatening to take out the
werewolves since they’re commonly underperformers, but something makes me stick with the theme.


In: Military Intelligence

Out: Ordeal of Thassa

With all the merfolk in this deck, I frequently attack with two or more creatures. From what I understand, drawing cards is good.


In: Amphin Pathmage, Eternal Thirst

Out: Abhorrent Overlord, Oversold Cemetery (to Glissa, the Traitor)

Thraximundar’s lack of evasion often makes him incapable of damaging people. I need to seriously consider adding Rogue’s Passage to compliment Amphin
Pathmage. I don’t actually think Eternal Thirst is all that great, but I want to play around with it anyway. I spent a great deal of time thinking about
putting Ob Nixilis, Unshackled in here because of both the sacrifice thing and having Sneak Attack to completely blow out someone. This will require some
additional thought.


In: Avacyn, Guardian Angel, Soul of New Phyrexia

Out: Masked Admirers, Decree of Justice

The two new cards continue in some fashion the indestructible angels theme. Masked Admirers came out because it’s not an angel. While Decree of Justice
makes angels if you hardcast it, who hardcasts it? Soldiers are not particularly angelic.

There are a few cards which I mentioned last which I haven’t yet found room for. The paragons fall into that category, as do Hoarding Dragon, Grindclock,
and Devouring Light. All in all, 35 new cards made it into decks, a heavy 13% of the set, the best of any of the most recent Core Sets. I’m excited about
playing with these updated decks. Hopefully I’ll have the time during summer break to go into Commander overload and run through all of them at least once
or twice. I’ll also be spending that time working on the updates I promised, plus finishing out the Cromatic Project, which has only three decks left: mono
green, colorless, and five color.

As usual, I’ll leave you with the most recent version of a deck (with the latest updates included!)

Merieke Ri Berit
Sheldon Menery
Test deck on 07-24-2014
Magic Card Back