The Two Command Men: Terror To The Tenth Power

The Odd Couple of Magic’s for-fun formats return with a Commander deck, a clever new Cube from the community, and plenty of incentive to bust each other’s chops! What do you think of this week’s featured builds? What tweaks would you make if they were yours?


Danny West: You’re under arrest, Parnell.

Justin Parnell: Are you going to read me my rights?

West: You don’t have any. Eat detainment, you criminal.

Lavinia of the Tenth
Sheldon Menery
0th Place at Test deck on 06-09-2013

Parnell: How white and blue of you.

West: What are we doing? Just saying what the deck’s colors are?

Parnell: Ha! This deck isn’t even made by a Pro Tour winner. And I don’t care if Sheldon has been in the finals of more PTs than all players combined.

West: He gets to win one as soon as he rules himself the tournament winner. Check the comp rules. Judges can do that any time they want. They arrest the player who was supposed to win. That’s where this deck idea came from.

Parnell: The only thing that’s being arrested right now is my approval of this deck.

West: Why? Because it has Vanish into Memory? The worst community-created card? Way to insult the whole Magic community, Justin. That’s low even for you.

Parnell: I’ve never seen this anything like this before! White and blue blinky creatures! As a Commander deck? Stop the show! We’ve got a winner!

West: I saved you the trouble of talking about Crystal Shard later during the Cube section. Thought we’d mix it up.

Parnell: Well I do see we’re trying to handicap ourselves with some real winners. Look at this bad boy:

West: Shrieking Drake too. Visions was a great time to be a player. I pulled a Pillar Tombs of Aku in a pack once.

Parnell: Aku Djinn? That thing?

West: The same. I’m hard at work on combining Aku with his Pillar Tombs. It’s going to be my best Commander deck yet. I’m going to put the result on Premium and make it the only article that day.

Parnell: Well, Magic players do love value. Seriously, though, can we ban Deadeye Navigator yet? You know why they called that card Deadeye Navigator?

West: Why?

Parnell: You can’t look anyone in the eyes while you’re casting it.

West: Personally, I think it’s well-designed. Nothing says 4UU like a 5/5 tricorne hat hitting people with an oar.

Parnell: I thought you were going to give me the ol’ “You have to have ten mana and a creature on the battlefield before this is any good!” runaround.

West: I’m not a barbarian. The card’s rubbish and should be illegal to own, let alone play. Though this deck is hardly abusing it. Using and abusing are different. Captain Planet taught me there’s a difference. Or was it looting and polluting? Eh, who cares.


Parnell: What you’re trying to say is that it doesn’t have Palinchron, so it’s okay.That’s like saying “I barely even use Seedborn Muse once it resolves.”

West: It has Knight-Captain of Eos and like two Soldiers. Look out, everyone! Degenerate combo over here!

Parnell: Knight-Captain comes with two Soldiers by itself.

West: Nobody’s going ham with this list is all I’m saying. Lavinia isn’t even a good police officer. She can only detain stuff that costs four or less. This is Commander. That’s like a mover that can only lift objects less than five pounds.

Parnell: No, you’re right. Not having Soldier tribal with a five-mana bulk rare and Lavinia totally means this isn’t doing anything annoying.

West: Oh no, you’re right! The table should be petrified at the very notion of Liberate!And heaven help you if Sheldon resolves Galepowder Mage! Run and hide, children!

West: I think this deck was legal in Pauper for most of last year.

Parnell: I’ll give you this: It’s got Gideon, the People’s Champ of Justice. It doesn’t make a bit of sense, but I like the cut of that card’s jib.

West: It has too much text, so as usual, I’m not reading it. He probably turns into a person for a minute ’cause he’s always doing that. Every Gideon has reservations for fifteen lines of text that say, “It’s a monster now.”

Parnell: Gideon is exactly what this deck needs: more flavor and less beating everyone over the head with obnoxious value.

West: This deck doesn’t need anything except Ephara, God of the Police.

Parnell: As a Golgari mage, I love value as much as the next guy, but you’re just going to draw attention to yourself in every game.

West: Can I play one Commander game without everyone recommending drawing less attention? How about we all just sit at a table and not talk? Heaven forbid we draw attention to ourselves. You know what? I want attention. I want to draw the ire. I’m ready for everyone at the table to hate me because I’m tired of hearing about how great it is for nobody to notice you.

Parnell: I can picture it now. It’s turn 12, and you’ve spent the last four turns picking your cards up and letting them drop back onto the battlefield as you greedily snatch cards off the top of your deck like Gollum searching for a Sol Ring.

West: What are you trying to say here?

Parnell: Everyone is going to be focused on you playing fancy-pants solitaire, and as they start making any alliance to get rid of the guy with the triggers (that’s you), you’ll be saying, “But I’m not actually doing anything!”And you won’t be. But you’ll have flashed red at the bulls too many times, and now the green ramp player is sitting back slowing casting their Skyshroud Claims and Cultivates, preparing to take over the table with a massive Genesis Wave once everyone has spent all of their resources stopping you from doing things, which was nothing, which was something. Way! To! Go!

Parnell: Where am I? I think I blacked out.

West: I’ll be honest, I didn’t read any of that.


This week’s Cube comes courtesy of Cubetutor.com user Gnarly Nyarly.

West: I see you’ve found the only 360 on CubeTutor.

Parnell: Yeah, it took me all of last week to find it. That’s why I wasn’t returning any phone calls.

West: I’m sure your grandma was worried. So this is a modal Cube, huh? Someone define modal. Because maybe it means something different than I thought.

Parnell: I think it just sounded better than The Decision Cube.

West: What about the Loyal Pegasus Cube? It’s a Cube where you have a bunch of cards that do literally nothing.

Parnell: Every card in this Cube requires you to make a choice in some way, Danny.

West: “Should I play a Cube with Loyal Pegasus….or not and go get some food.”Oh, I see what you mean.

Parnell: I really need to stop picking Cubes where the easy target is a white one-drop.

West: There are other easy targets. How about the choices that come with Bloodline Keeper? There’s only one: win.

Parnell: But look at all of these sweet cards! All the Commands. Morph. Exploit. Bestow. Kicker. Not Crystal Shard.

West: It also has a Kamahl fetish, which makes me uncomfortable.

Parnell: I love this Cube so much.

West: Detain yourself.

Parnell: Dude, Obelisk of Alara. When is the last time you controlled a game with that monstrosity?

West: A Prerelease. Checkmate.

Parnell: You even get to play the “Does my opponent have Avalanche Riders?” game with the bouncelands! All answers to that question are always wrong. From experience.

West: Well, from my experience, half the Cubes you drag in here have weird ratios, incomplete cycles, and so on. This Cube is nice and even, which I respect and condone. I also love the card Beast Attack. Game isn’t hard to design, Renton. Just cool it already.

Parnell: Exactly five Planeswalkers, none of which are oppressive. Other than Koth. But you just ignore that, since there is no Sulfuric Vortex.

West: Brief moment of gloating: I once won against a turn 4 Koth who made an emblem. I mulled to four. Full disclosure: my opponent may have made errors.

Parnell: Did they decide to quit Magic as a hobby during your upkeep?

West: No, but I can’t imagine he played much longer after that. Won with two old Ob Nixilis off Genesis Wave. State-based effects and landfall triggers. That’s style.

Parnell: I don’t even…that never happened. Let’s get back on track. With Nevermaker! See? Back on track.

West: I also have a great story about winning with Nevermaker! See, now you know I’m lying about this one.

Parnell: To be fair, your opponents feel roughly the same way when you win with Nevermaker as they do when you win with Koth.

West: My opponents always feel sad when they lose to me. The methodology is mostly irrelevant.

Parnell: I call it the DAMS system of acceptance.

West: What does that stand for?

Parnell: Denial. Anger. Match Slip.

West: Always takes a little longer with me. I usually hear an outraged friend across the room a minute or two later: “Wait, The Command Men guy?”

Parnell: Usually followed by pointing and laughter, no doubt.


West: Back to this Cube. My favorite card is Kruin Outlaw. Maybe ever. That’s the extent of my remaining analysis. In high school, they called me the Terror of Kruin Pass. I was a hell of a linebacker.

Parnell: I supposed that’s better than Order of the Golden Cricket.

West: Says you. I’ll take any nickname I can get. What did people call you in high school?

Parnell: Experiment One. It was a dark time.

West: I’ll see if my therapist can fit you in this week.

Parnell: [violent sobbing]

Danny West hates being loyal to Justin Parnell but is terrified of having to attack or block life alone.