Do you ever get a little bored with building Commander decks? Do you find that you tend rely on the same archetypes or cards deck after deck? Do you want
to push your deckbuilding skills?
Why not try to build a deck around a randomly selected legendary creature? Just head over to Gatherer and hit random card until a legendary creature pops
Alright, can I get a little Random Commander music from the back?
“So….heya, what’s up Gatherer? Heya, what you doing there? Do you want to give me a great commander randomly? I hope so baby, I hope baby, yeah!”
Well, my first legendary card is Krark’s Thumb, but that’s not a creature, just a part of one. Sorry.
Man that is taking a while, I must have hit 50 cards by now… I even got my first repeat of a card – Faith Healer, it showed up twice.
Ah, there we are. Whew!
Now, that’s a really bland flip. At least she’s better than…uh…a vanilla legendary critter? But how do you build around a French vanilla creature
Should I rock flavor and have a cat deck? Stuff like Pride of Lions and Elite Cat Warrior could jump in. Or we could rock a warrior deck I suppose. Maybe I
could turn to a lot of red zone action. Perhaps Mirri is rallying other green legendary creature or planeswalkers for the cause. Do you think Mirri is
readying all of the creatures of the forest for a large face-smashing excursion?
It’s a Mirri-cle!
- 1 Mirri, Cat Warrior
- 1 Llanowar Elves
- 1 Gaea's Liege
- 1 Pride of Lions
- 1 Elite Cat Warrior
- 1 Wood Elves
- 1 Forgotten Ancient
- 1 Uktabi Wildcats
- 1 Scarwood Bandits
- 1 Zodiac Tiger
- 1 Hunting Cheetah
- 1 Panther Warriors
- 1 Unseen Walker
- 1 King Cheetah
- 1 Yavimaya Dryad
- 1 Jedit Ojanen of Efrava
- 1 Nacatl War-Pride
- 1 Seedguide Ash
- 1 Bramblewood Paragon
- 1 Chameleon Colossus
- 1 Roughshod Mentor
- 1 Bellowing Tanglewurm
- 1 Elvish Mystic
- 1 Nylea's Emissary
- 1 Reclamation Sage
- 1 Kalonian Twingrove
- 1 Paragon of Eternal Wilds
- 1 Sensei's Divining Top
- 1 Rancor
- 1 Mirri's Guile
- 1 Sol Ring
- 1 Lightning Greaves
- 1 Mystic Compass
- 1 Manriki-Gusari
- 1 Mwonvuli Acid-Moss
- 1 Stonewood Invocation
- 1 Harmonize
- 1 Keen Sense
- 1 Colfenor's Urn
- 1 Lace with Moonglove
- 1 Primal Command
- 1 Rootgrapple
- 1 Cream of the Crop
- 1 Hunting Triad
- 1 Obsidian Battle-Axe
- 1 Lush Growth
- 1 Vines of Vastwood
- 1 Basilisk Collar
- 1 Snake Umbra
- 1 Slice in Twain
- 1 Asceticism
- 1 Strata Scythe
- 1 Fresh Meat
- 1 Ranger's Path
- 1 Staff of Nin
- 1 Hunter's Prowess
- 1 Song of the Dryads
- 1 Return to the Earth
That’s a quick first run through of a solid Mirri deck. Now, my last Random Commander was Verdeloth the Ancient. These two lovebirds share a lot in common:
1). They are both rocking that mono-green style.
2). They were both originally printed in the pre-Modern days and have been reprinted since.
3). They were both have the ability to pump, or are, multiple creature types.
Take a look at Verdy – it’s both a treefolk (which is a supported tribe) and pumps saprolings (ditto). Meanwhile, Mirri is both a warrior (supported tribe)
and a cat (a fun tribe!). So I decided to build around both types a bit, and I included stuff that reflects Mirri’s warrior side and cards that reflect her
kitty cat side.
For cats, I knew that I wanted a goodly number of cats that don’t suck. So I won’t be adding in Mtenda Lion or anything. Hunting Cheetah was the first
addition, since I love it from Portal: Three Kingdoms. It gets lands, and it’s a cat – you can’t mess with that! While we’re on a Cheetah kick, King
Cheetah can flash out as a surprise blocker and looks like some fun.
Next up were some of the big hitters of Catlandia. Jedit Ojanen is a big cat guy, a bit of a hunky beefcake for Mirri; he has a big forestwalking body and
can churn out more cats from the aether. Nacatl War-Pride gives Mirri some more beating, and it can spawn a bunch of cat warrior tokens as well.
Meanwhile, we have Pride of Lions to be blocked and still roar some damage over their defender. You know what? With that many forestwalking cats, we should
probably push that theme. So let’s embrace more forestwalking – Elite Cat Warrior and Zodiac Tiger. Shoot, you could even run Lynx if you wanted. And then
we can run a few cards to ensure our foes have Forests.
Actually, let’s do that now while I’m thinking about it. Green is a pretty commonly played color at the Commander table; people love their mana. So you
have a high chance of running into a Forest on the defending side already. Let’s add a few more ways to wood this thing up. Gaea’s Liege is the first one
to come to my mind; that’s about as old-school as it’s going to get.
We could also just tap Mystic Compass whenever we need. Plus the Compass can be tapped politically (Heya Dave, I’ll give you to the blue mana you need this
turn!) in order to make friends. Oh, and don’t forget that you can shut off a useful ability with the Compass, like Maze of Ith, before you attack. Or you
can use it on someone’s upkeep to cut a color – maybe they have just one land that taps for blue mana, so you turn it into a Mountain. Sorry about that!
Mystic Compass plays a valuable role as a way to make Forests for Mirri and company while also having value elsewhere.
Anyway, what else…. Song of the Dryads. It’s removal that gives someone a Forest. That seems like a nasty adjunct to turn their Avacyn into a tree, and
then swing Mirri right through it. How about Yavimaya Dryad? Sure, you’ll normally want to ramp that Forest right onto your side of the battlefield, but
it’s flexible enough to give it to Jane in order to create a path to your foes that Mirri and company can slip right through. Oh, and Lush Growth turns the
enchanted land into a Forest, among other things. (You could run Thelonite Monk as well.)
Might as well add some more forestwalking fun, right? Scarwood Bandits has always been my favorite card, of all-time. Toss it in! Unseen Wallker?
Okay! We are bringing out the goods today!
I wish we had a piece of equipment that gave forestwalking…
Branch of the Dryad
Artifact – Equipment
Equipped creature gets +1/+1 and forestwalk
I’d throw that in all day long.
Because of this emphasis on forestwalking, the deck could use a few ways to amp up Mirri’s game. Now I don’t want to turn this into Mirri’s New Voltron
Deck ™, but we could really benefit from a few pumps. Take a look at Hunter’s Prowess from Born of the Gods. Mirri is pumped, and then she’ll dole out five
damage and you’ll draw five cards. Seems pretty good, yeah! And you can prowess something else in the deck if you prefer. (You can draw a card, pump Mirri,
and give her some protection all with one aura: Snake Umbra).
We can protect Mirri with a simple Vines of Vastwood or Stonewood Invocation, or get in another hit with her as needed. Might as well toss in Rancor here,
right? Keen Sense is a card with Mirri on the card art, so let’s grab it too. Oh, yeah, and Obsidian Battle-Axe. With it out, playing Mirri gets a free
equip that pumps her up and gives her haste too, so you get in a free smash with it. Oh, and since this is a mono-colored deck, no sense not to run Strata
Scythe to give you a big piece of equipment and carve a serious chunk out of an opponent’s life total.
You know what else would be good? Basilisk Collar! Because she has vigilance, you can swing with her and keep her up. Even if your foe has a Forest and you
get in that free hit, you will deal two damage (and gain two life). Now you have your untapped first strike + deathtouch commander just sitting there and
begging someone to attack you. That is a potent little combo right there. Let’s add a surprise to that – Lace with Moonglove. That instant replaces itself
and gives Mirri the surprise deathtouch to turn a winning block or attack into a losing proposition for your foes. (You could also run Gorgon Flail or
I added a few warriors to the deck, folks like Kalonian Twingrove and such. I wanted to push making Mirri a bit bigger, so I added in Nylea’s Emissary, who
is both a cat and can be bestowed onto Mirri if you like. Fun additions like these always give us some added in-flavor tools for the deck. Bramblewood
Paragon is another example – we can give +1/+1 counters to warriors (which is a surprising number of cats as well – Jedit, Jedit’s tokens, Nacatl
War-Pride, Elite Cat Warrior, Panther Warriors). I wish we had more warrior enablers in green. I considered Sosuke, Son of Seshiro. But as I felt it might
have been out of flavor, I left him out. So let’s add in a quick lord to compensate (Paragon of Eternal Wilds).
Actually, let’s toss in Forgotten Ancient. You can load up a passel of counters on Mirri without risking card advantage or spread them out among the group.
And the Bramblewood Paragon will give trample to all of those that are en-tokened.
I wrap up that creature base with a few obvious additions with support folks: from 2014’s Reclamation Sage all the way back to 1993’s Llanowar Elves, we
have the era of Magic covered for you).
This deck needed some card drawing and manipulation. Mirri’s Guile has to be in this deck. There’s no other choice! I felt we could use a little
more deck manipulation, so I tossed in the criminally underplayed Cream of the Crop. If you have never seen Cream of the Crop, let me introduce you to your
new best friend. Now, it doesn’t give you card advantage, which is sad. But what it does do is give you the ability to delve deeply into your deck, and it
plays nicely with Mirri’s Guile, since you can push the bad stuff to the bottom of your library and see new cards with the Guile. Might as well add in
Sensei’s Divining Top to give us another tool in this oeuvre. I want pure card drawing too – Staff of Nin; Harmonize; Garruk, Primal Hunter.
Next up is that obligatory removal. I like Slice in Twain over other options here because it replaces itself. Normally, I’d go for something else, but this
deck is light on card drawing. Return to the Earth can kill a flyer, an enchantment, or an artifact, and you can always find amazingly nasty things to
destroy that qualify as one (sometimes more than one). That’s right Ornithopter, you are going down!
There are two spells that I want to tease out. The first is Primal Command. You can use it to tutor out Mirri if someone tucks her away, or to grab the
best creature in your deck. It can be a tool to fight against graveyard abuse or a way to keep you going with the good stuff, and you can bounce something
to the top of a library, and that gives you some powerful tempo. I almost always use two of those three, and all are really nice. Plus I can gain the seven
life if I’m in serious need of a life boost.
Now, any such creature deck may run up against the unholy of unholies – mass removal. And that’s sad. So check out the other spell I wanted to discuss:
Fresh Meat. It’s a great way to make an instant army post-Wrath of God from your newly dead team. Oh, and Colfenor’s Urn is a fun way to bring back some of
your bigger creatures to the battlefield for another romp in the woods. In addition to Vines of Vastwood and Stonewood Invocation, in order to protect
against targeted removal, we have Asceticism and Lighting Greaves, and we can regenerate dying stuff with Yavimaya Hollow as well. Shields up!
After that, I tossed in a pair of cycling lands, Myriad Landscape to fetch out two Forests, a Rogue’s Passage to give me a way to make my best Mirri
unblockable (in case the Forest stuff doesn’t work out), and then called this a deck!
(Now, if you want to confuse Mirri, Cat Warrior, play Raised by Wolves on her…. Or perhaps Aspect of Wolf?)
It’s going to be a cat-tastrophe at the kitchen table this week! There are a variety fun cats for you to roll into like Phantom Tiger, Penumbra Bobcat,
Jungle Lion, or Stalking Tiger. You’ll find warriors, fun cards, and a strong element of green’s Awesome Cards if you begin to dig a little!