Wort And Zada: Partners For Life

Wort, the Raidmother has a new best friend in Battle for Zendikar’s Zada, Hedron Grinder! See Abe flesh out one of the most original Goblin Commander decks we’ve ever seen before Grand Prix Atlanta’s Commander Celebration!

We’ve seen a lot of Zada decks recently in Commander, (Such as Bennie’s fun list) and most have used mono-red designs around Zada, but
that gives you a bit of an uneven feel for a few reasons. Most of the red spells that are useful pump just the front, and then give either first strike or
haste. Screaming Fury and Rise to the Challenge might be solid when spread out over an army, but that’s about it. Sure, add in a few card drawing tricks
like Accelerate and Crimson Wisps, but that’s about it. Red doesn’t have a lot of flexibility with these cards.

But green adds another color with some really strong options. Plus there is a really good commander out there for a Zada deck. A fellow Goblin in action.

Wort seems to play into much of the same space that Zada uses. Did you play a sorcery or instant? Then just fork it by tapping these two bums and play an
additional copy. Now copies of a spell that target Zada won’t make another set. So if you have both out and you cast Giant Growth on Zada, then yes, your
whole team gets +3/+3 and you can tap two green creatures of yours to conspire another Giant Growth. Since you did not “cast” the second spell (the wording
on Zada), it would not make a second batch of Giant Growths for your whole team, but you’d still get another Giant Growth for free on your best creature,
and that works.

Considering that any Zada deck is naturally going to have a lot of spells in it, Wort seems like a great pal and teammate. Let’s take a look under the

And there’s your deck!

Note that I’ve run Wort, the Raidmother as a commander before, and you can get some pushback. She can get a little “Kill on Sight” at some tables. But
other than Tooth and Nail, this deck doesn’t have a lot of egregious and typical big spells for ramp. There are only a small number of X spells and such.

Ramp decks often go big, using mana ramp spells like Cultivate or Kodama’s Reach to drop a really nasty beater or two, followed by some
battlefield-smashing spells. But Zada/Wort have an odd dichotomy. They want a lot of spells to duplicate, but need creatures to benefit from that
duplication. In order to make this deck work, I’m going wide and adding in some spells and creatures that make tokens so I can get multiple bodies out
there. It’s not a dedicated token deck, there’s no space for junk like Doubling Season and similar effects such as populate, but I wanted a handful of
cards that’ll give us multiple options at the battlefield.

Knowing that we’d have a lot of instants and sorceries, the first place I looked were cards that were good to go in this condition. Take Young Pyromancer,
that’s just perfect here. It makes the token creatures we need as we cast our spells. So finding a few cards that do something similar and have similar
triggers for our deck helps.

How about Goblinslide? It makes a token creature as well (albeit requiring a mana to trigger), it triggers off more stuff, and it gives us some added
bodies. Guttersnipe has long been an ally of Young Pyromancer in Commander, so it’s an obvious inclusion. With a lot of cards that target my stuff, it does
seem like Wild Defiance has a place in this deck as well, right?

Both Wort and Zada want us to have enough creatures to make things work. So we begin with Goblin token makers. Goblinslide works, so what else? It seems
like Krenko is an ideal general for the Goblin army, tapping to increase our Goblin count considerably. In this deck, Krenko is strong, and don’t forget
that if you have a naked board and cast Wort, you now have three Goblins. That’s easily enough to drop and tap Krenko to begin to get crazy.

But other that Krenko, what do we really have? How about Siege-Gang Commander and Beetleback Chief? They work similarly, bringing some fun bodies to the
party. Goblin Rabblemaster and Goblin Assault make a Goblin token regularly, so we have some Goblins on the front end, and then some slowly over time, and
that gives us flexible token generation.

I also really like Moggcatcher here. You can fetch out Zada to make sure that she is rocking the battlefield. You can fetch her, and then cast something to
help her out (and thus the team) in one blow, and surprise the whole table. Moggcatcher can fetch up lots of great creatures as well, like a Siege-Gang of

And this allows me to run my favorite Goblin combo. You fetch up (or play) Goblin Assassin. You flip coins, and then make sure that if you are forced to
sacrifice a creature that you keep the Assassin out (and Moggcatcher too if you used it). Then you fetch up Goblin Marshal. You make three Goblins, and
then get three sacrifices. If you got at least one flip wrong, then take out your Marshal, which makes two more flips. Sac a few tokens to make up the
rest. The result is that you have forced the table to flip six times, and five at once. This should help to open up the paths of attack or to keep someone
from getting a little overly crazy.

Another Moggcatcher trick involves Vexing Shusher. Now the Shusher is a great player for this deck. It has two colors, so it can tap to conspire for any
potential instant/sorceries from your deck. It’s also a Goblin, so it plays into our tribe a bit. And don’t forget that you can drop a mana to make one of
your instant/sorceries un-counterable. If you play a spell and someone goes to counter it, then simply fetch it up with your Moggcatcher and spend a mana
to make your card un-counterable. Get away from me, blue mage!

I also like to grab a Boartusk Liege with the ‘catcher. The whole team will get pumped, and your double color folks get doubly pumped. Again, it’s a strong
instant fetch for your deck. Moggcatcher is a seriously fun and potent card, don’t underestimate it.

We have a few cards to get Zada out (Primal Command, Tooth and Nail, Moggcatcher), but she’s not your commander. You aren’t guaranteed to grab her and you
can’t ensure that you can keep her. So what happens when you don’t have Zada? We’re going to have some stuff that targets just one creature. But a mere
Giant Growth is usually pretty not-good in Commander. So what can we go?

What about heroic? This is a whole class of creature that’ll give you a special bonus if you target it. That seems like a good addition to me. Now most of
these creatures were Limited-only tricks or the occasional 60 card Standard card. But in a 100-card casual format like Commander, a simple Satyr Hoplite,
Pheres-Band Thunderhoof, or Arena Athlete? Those aren’t going to work. But there are a few creatures that impress.

Akroan Conscriptor certainly fits. The ability to cast Giant Growth on it and get Threaten from it makes a lot of sense to me. Knowing what your deck can
do makes it even worse. Does someone attack into your Conscriptor with their team, knowing that you can simply tap some mana, drop a card that targets, and
then steal one creature to block another? It’s a strong card for this deck. Meanwhile Labyrinth Champion can be used to shoot someone or something for two
damage, thus converting our spells into fun tricks.

The only other heroic creature I chose to run is Anthousa, Setessan Hero. A Giant Growth on her turns some lands to creatures for the turn, and then you
can use her in tandem with Zada rather than as a replacement if you prefer, and use those tokens as fodder for the Giant Growth in your hand.
Remember those lands can attack right now as long as they’ve been in play since the beginning of the turn.

I wanted to toss in a few ways to make token creatures that use both colors, so stuff like Dragon Broodmother and Xengaos, Pre-God make the cut.

Alright, it’s time to look at some of the good stuff – instants and sorceries.

The first place we’ll obviously want to dig is at spells that target our creatures. As I mentioned before, adding in green gives us a lot more options for
self-targeting, and I tried to really push that.

We have a few unusual cards in here, and I want to dig into them.

Let’s start with Commando Raid. Outside of Limited, I’ve never played with it. But take a look at it and see if you can see how valuable it can be in a
deck like this. Did your targeted creature just smash a player’s face? Then it deals another smash of damage to any creature that player controls. That
seems useful, right?

And if we can Zada that to rock our whole force with Commando Raids in order to smash someone’s team to little pieces, this Limited-only trick suddenly
becomes a reliable route of mass removal. Commando Raid looks downright intriguing.

Now I know that removal or death can sometimes come our way. It’s very unfortunate. So why not play Mortal’s Resolve? As a combat trick, you can use it to
pump and indestructible a creature in the same card. With Zada it has obvious implications as well. Being able to eschew normal destruction for a turn is a
great way to get involved in the red zone for future damage doling. You can use this to “counter” some removal spells as well. (If you like this trick, you
can add in Withstand Death.)

How about regeneration instead? Have you forgotten about Heal the Scars? Probably, it was a pretty junky card way back in Lorwyn. I don’t ever
remember playing it, not even in Limited. Well that changes now. Regenerate target creature? Gain some life? That seems like a fun trick as well, and
again, if you target a certain Grinder of Hedrons, things are about to get real.

Maybe you just want some hexproof instead? How about Vines of Vastwood? And if you kick the Vines, you get +4/+4 too. That’s a pretty saucy combination.
You can just imagine a hexproof 4/+4 team coming down the street, looking for an opponent to pummel. Hexproof, indestructible, regenerate, there are a lot
of fun options out here. (I also like Veilstone Amulet in a similar way. Cast a spell, give your stuff hexproof. It seems like a useful ability, right?)

We have a pair of Hunter cards that work well here – Hunter’s Insight and Hunter’s Prowess. Despite the expensive and sorcery speed of the Prowess giving
your stuff +3/+3, trample, potential card drawing for face-smashing is a really useful way to push the table around and refuel your hand. The Insight of
the Hunter is a bit better since it’s an instant, and you can still use it to draw a ton of cards from the damage you are about to deal. Both work fine on
their own and even better if they hit Zada first.

But you know what? A simple conspire of Hunter’s Prowess and giving you one copy of it is good enough.

Buyback seems like an ideal choice for this deck. I tossed in Elvish Fury, Wurmcalling, Growth Spasm, and Fanning the Flames. Each of these works to get
triggers multiple times from cards like Young Pyromancer and friends. Since it targets your stuff, Elvish Fury can rock multiple heroic or Zada triggers as
well. Wurmcalling and Growth Spasm both make creatures and both are useful mana sinks. Don’t forget how nasty it could be to conspire a big ol’ Wurmcalling
as well! You could also toss in buyback stuff like Seething Anger or Haze of Rage.

Flashback works too, right? I’m not sure just how broken it is, but the interaction between Zada and Seize the Day seems extremely good. And you can drop
Reckless Charge for more hasted-beats. We have some useful redundancies.

The last section of instants and sorceries are mostly those cards that have the potential to go big, so we can fork them with Wort. We have a handful of X
spells like Comet Strom and Clan Defiance, but very little in that genre. I’d rather run something like Urza’s Rage that can work in the early or lategame,
rather than the next iteration of Fireball.

Take a look at how crazy Strength of the Tajuru is here! It’s a mana sink, so that works. It pumps a creature targeted permanently, rather than
temporarily. You can throw it on Zada to get all kinds of sick. And if Her Highness, The Hedron’s Worst Nightmare Lady Zada is not available, you can just
multikicker it instead to get a few targets (and a few heroics perhaps). And Wort can conspire that thing all day long.

My decklist originally ran cards like Eternal Witness and Acidic Slime, but that doesn’t work. It’d rather cast Regrowth. So I yanked a lot of these
traditional creatures for other cards. In went removal and recursion and other cards like that. I love Decimate here, with the potential for conspire even
higher for it due to its two-color nature.

I liked the conspire/Zada theme a lot in here. So I did something fun. I added in some more Forks! How about one more buyback spell for the road with
Reiterate? I like it. And Chandra, the Firebrand does her best to double that spell as well. You can activate your Mirari and even a card like Pyromancer’s
Goggles will fork an instant or sorcery (so long as it’s red).

And what’s great is that you are usually forking cards like Commando Raid, Become Immense, and Peregrination, rather than the usual suspects. Even Tooth
and Nail looks worse than it plays – you get Zada and something else (Moggcatcher would be my choice). Does that sound that bad? There’s no Kiki-Jiki,
Mirror Breaker or anything abusive, right? Right!

I tossed in a few fun cards for lands (Urza’s Factory is the best for a mana sink and a creature maker, but a few others are really nice here as well). We
fleshed out the deck with a few surprises and then this deck looks pretty intriguing.

So what did you think of the deck? What would you add in? Are there any ideas in here that spark your own deckbuilding? Are you ready to get your Zada on?