Commander Deck Of The Week: Ashaya, Soul Of The Wild

Turn your creatures into Forests! Bennie Smith taps into his high-power Commander side with Ashaya, Soul of the Wild.

Ashaya, Soul of the Wild
Ashaya, Soul of the Wild, illustrated by Chase Stone

My preferred style of Commander play tends to be very casual, where the game goes long enough to breathe and everyone has a chance for their deck to “do the thing”, with lots of back-and-forth and interaction. I’ve got a ton of decks built for this very style of play, but as I’ve built more and more decks, I’ve tried to diversify my decks so that, if I find myself playing in a pod where people want to play a different kind of game, I’ll have a deck available to match.

Early this year, I shared the decklist for my Prossh, Skyraider of Kher deck, which includes Food Chain and is built to play at higher-power tables, but has enough spice and my own signature cards that I can still have a chance to do something wild with it before somebody combo kills the table.

This week, I wanted to share another deck that’s designed to better hang with a high-powered Commander pod, a mono-green monster built around Ashaya, Soul of the Wild!

Ashaya, Soul of the Wild


I first wrote about Ashaya back in 2020, and in the course of doing the article, I quickly knew I wanted to build the deck myself.

When I first built the deck and played it, it overperformed my expectations to the point that it felt oppressive in the Commander pod I was playing, and I felt the need to hold back while playing it to help ensure I didn’t just combo-kill everyone way too early.  Afterward, I started to make some cuts to bring down the power level, but then realized that I would need to remove a fair number of the cards and synergies that were just flat-out cool with Ashaya. So, it occurred to me: I’ve got a ton of decks that play normal, fair Commander; why not just embrace the power of Ashaya and only play it against other high-power decks?  As with Prossh, there are still some wacky signature cards in the list, but I’ve left in the bonkers stuff that can potentially win the game out of nowhere.

This list has been adjusted over the years, so let’s take a look at where it stands now that I’m prepared for high-powered games!

Untap Forests / Lands / Creatures

Magus of the Candelabra Arbor Elf Voyaging Satyr Thousand-Year Elixir Ley Weaver Saryth, the Viper's Fang

Untapping lands, especially Forests, and occasionally creatures is how this deck pops off, with Ley Weaver being the easiest path there. With Ley Weaver and Ashaya on the battlefield, both of them are Forest lands in addition to their other types and thus have the intrinsic mana ability of “Tap: add G.”  Tap Ashaya for a green mana, and then tap Ley Weaver to target itself and Ashaya, and do it again and again until you’ve got all the green mana you could possibly want. Magus of the Candelabra can do something similar if combined with a creature Forest that can tap for three or more mana, such as Circle of Dreams Druid.

Saryth, the Viper’s Fang offers hexproof protection for your other untapped creatures, and if they tap to attack, they lose hexproof and gain deathtouch. What’s interesting is that Ashaya makes all your creatures able to tap for a green mana, so if you block a big creature, you can then tap it for a green mana and Saryth will give it deathtouch.

Forest / Land Synergies

Quirion Ranger Scryb Ranger Sylvan Advocate Darksteel Garrison Titania, Protector of Argoth Timber Protector Nissa, Ascended Animist

These cards are the ones I love the best, particularly Quirion Ranger and Scryb Ranger, which synergize with Ashaya to protect one Forest creature per turn from removal or combat. I think it’s cool that Sylvan Advocate will often be a cheap Anthem effect with Ashaya on the battlefield.

Darksteel Garrison is a spicy inclusion here!  With Ashaya on the battlefield, fortify the Garrison to a Forest creature that can tap to untap itself, such as Arbor Elf, and now you can use the Garrison’s triggered ability to give any number of creatures any amount of +1/+1 boosts, even an opponent’s creatures.


Lotus Cobra Scute Swarm Tireless Tracker Tireless Provisioner Rampaging Baloths

Landfall cards obviously love Ashaya, so I’ve included the best ones here. Notably, this is the only deck where I’m running Scute Swarm, a card whose math can quickly get out of hand.

Mana Sinks

Staff of Domination Leyline of Abundance Karn, Silver Golem Craterhoof Behemoth Finale of Devastation

Since the deck can “oops, infinite mana”, I’ve got some ways to sink all that mana for a game-ending big turn. Karn is more of a finesse card, there to pick off Treasure tokens, Mana Crypt, Chrome Mox, and artifact lands.  Occasionally it can animate some enemy artifacts in response to a creature sweeper such as Wrath of God. Mostly, it’s here to animate my own artifacts for shenanigans I’ll mention next.


Nature's Claim Cankerbloom Manglehorn Beast Within Oblivion Stone Perilous Vault Boompile Glissa Sunseeker

Perilous Vault activates to exile all nonland permanents, while Boompile activates to destroy all nonland permanents half the time.  With Ashaya on the battlefield and turning all your creatures into Forest lands in addition to being creatures, it quite nicely breaks symmetry, wrecking your opponents’ battlefields while leaving your army free to attack.  And if you’ve got Karn on the battlefield, you can animate Boompile or the Vault so that it’s a land creature artifact and won’t affect itself, so you can activate it over and over again!  And in the case of Boompile, there are ways to untap lands so that you can activate it multiple times in a turn to ensure you win a coin flip.

By the way, don’t leave home without Manglehorn, which does a nice job of slowing down people from going off with Treasure tokens, making them enter the battlefield tapped and forcing them to wait until their next turn to use the mana.

Card Draw / Selection

War Room Bonders' Enclave Sylvan Library Survival of the Fittest Augur of Autumn Eternal Witness Beast Whisperer Timeless Witness Harmonize Rishkar's Expertise Last March of the Ents

The deck has explosive mana, so it definitely needs ways to keep your hand refueled. Sylvan Library, Beast Whisperer, and Harmonize can supply small bursts of fresh cards, while Rishkar’s Expertise and Last March of the Ents will (hopefully) draw a ton of extra cards and play out cards for free. In a high-powered deck, Eternal Witness and Timeless Witness will usually have some juicy targets to get back from the library!  I just recently added Last March of the Ents, and while goldfishing I cast Last March on Turn 4, drew a bunch of cards thanks to Ashaya, and put a bunch of creatures on the battlefield, including a Witness to get back Last March to do it all again; now that’s what I’d call a big turn!


Emergence Zone Sylvan Safekeeper Allosaurus Shepherd Soul-Guide Lantern Tamiyo's Safekeeping Veil of Summer Shadowspear Scavenging Ooze Destiny Spinner Skyshroud Blessing Heroic Intervention Yedora, Grave Gardener Surrak and Goreclaw

At the higher-powered tables, blue decks with counterspells aren’t uncommon, so I’m running Allosaurus Shepherd, Destiny Spinner, and even Veil of SummerSkyshroud Blessing is a blast from the past and is the kind of card you almost never see in Commander outside of Ashaya decks, where it will often be a blowout.

Yedora, Grave Gardener is spicy tech here. When another creature of yours dies, it comes back to the battlefield face down as a Forest which you can use for mana, and then, if you’ve got Quirion Ranger or Scryb Ranger on the battlefield, you can even return one of those cards to your hand to cast again as a creature.

Surrak and Goreclaw are here in case you hit it with Last March of the Ents, and they’ll enable the fresh new creatures to all join in for the attack right away!

Mana Ramp

Castle Garenbrig Wild Growth Fyndhorn Elves Elvish Mystic Llanowar Elves Sakura-Tribe Elder Wall of Roots Priest of Titania Circle of Dreams Druid Llanowar Tribe Karametra's Acolyte Defiler of Vigor

I’m running a ton of mana creatures to help accelerate Ashaya onto the battlefield, and then cards like Priest of Titania and Karametra’s Acolyte for a rush of mana.  Defiler of Vigor turns cards like Llanowar Elves into zero-mana (two life) 1/1s that add +1/+1 counters to all your creatures.

Other Utility Lands

Guildless Commons Thespian's Stage Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth

Guildless Commons does some tricks, like bouncing a face down creature that counts as a Forest from Yedora, or returning a Forest creature to my hand after attacking to replay it again. And I just can’t wait to copy a Forest creature with Thespian’s Stage!

The Deck

Okay, here is the full decklist:

Here are the deck stats from our friends at Archidekt:

What must-have cards might I have missed including here?  Do you have any high-powered Commander decks?

Talk to Me

Do me a solid and follow me on Twitter!  I run polls and get conversations started about Commander all the time, so get in on the fun!  You can also find my LinkTree on my profile page there with links to all my content.

I’d also love it if you followed my Twitch channel TheCompleteCommander, where I do Commander, Brawl and sometimes other Magic-related streams when I can.  If you can’t join me live, the videos are available on demand for a few weeks on Twitch, but I also upload them to my YouTube channel.  You can also find the lists for my paper decks over on Archidekt if you want to dig into how I put together my own decks and brews. 

And lastly, I just want to say: let us love each other and stay healthy and happy. 

Visit my Decklist Database to see my decklists and the articles where they appeared!