Commander Deck Of The Week: Dargo, the Shipwrecker!

Looking for your next Commander brew? Join Bennie Smith as he walks you through his Commander deck of the week!

Dargo, the Shipwrecker, illustrated by Zoltan Boros

Welcome to Deck of the Week, where I’ll pop the hood on one of my paper decks and show you all the gory details.  Most of the time I prefer to play casual decks that are optimized for fun, not speed or efficiency. But thanks to the world of virtual Commander play via SpellTable, I get to play with people with all sorts of decks, and if the pod I find myself in prefers a higher level of play I want to ensure that I have a couple of decks available that would be able to at least make an okay showing.  This week I am sharing one of them with you, a Jund deck helmed by two partners: Dargo, the Shipwrecker and Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper!

Dargo, the Shipwrecker Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper

Let’s be clear: Dargo is the star of the show, providing a combo engine that most of the deck revolves around. Let’s take a look at his ability:

As an additional cost to cast this spell, you may sacrifice any number of artifacts and/or creatures. This spell costs {2} less to cast for each permanent sacrificed this way and {2} less to cast for each other artifact or creature you’ve sacrificed this turn.

Basically, if you’ve sacrificed three artifacts or creatures the turn you first cast Dargo, he only costs one red mana to cast.  There are a ton of ways to sacrifice artifacts and creatures for profit in Magic, but if you don’t happen to have one handy, Dargo can do it himself as you cast him.  Where things get silly is if you have a way to sacrifice Dargo himself.  Once he’s back in the command zone, he remembers all the sacrifices made this turn, including his own sacrifice, so sacrificing himself pays for his commander tax that turn. So, if you’re ready to go off on your big turn, you can sacrifice Dargo over and over and not ever have to pay that colorless mana cost (for instance, Phyrexian Altar sacrificing Dargo for the red mana to cast him again).

I have to admit to falling in love with the idea of building this deck thanks to cEDH fan The Hermit Druid on Twitter.  His love of Dargo and his hilarious Dargo memes always made me chuckle:

But then one day I saw him post a card alongside Dargo that I had just literally run across the very same day in a stack of old cards, Metamorphosis:

Dargo, the Shipwrecker Metamorphosis

I’d thought Metamorphosis looked like a cool card but what deck should I put it in?  The Hermit Druid provided me the answer, and I quickly built a Gruul Dargo partnered with Kodama of the East Tree that popped off and did some things before everyone else killed me on Chase’s stream a few months back.

Then came Streets of New Capenna and I ended up owning the fancy-pants version of Ob Nixilis, the Adversary and ob-viously needed to put it in a deck.

Dargo immediately sprang to mind since the idea of paying for Ob Nixilis’s casualty ability by sacrificing a cheap Dargo so that the copy gets a whopping nine loyalty and can immediately draw seven sounded perfect, but I needed to switch from Gruul to Jund.  Hit the beach Kodama of the East Tree, Dargo now sails with Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper!  I mean c’mon, that’s a much better Pirate name, right?

Okay, let’s break down all the parts of this silly deck:

Mana Production – Treasures

Dockside Extortionist Storm-Kiln Artist Prized Statue Prosperous Innkeeper Pitiless Plunderer

Treasures happen to be jet fuel in a Dargo deck, since they effectively provide three mana when you sacrifice them: one mana for the sacrifice, and two mana off Dargo. Dockside Extortionist and Pitiless Plunderer are the rock stars in the Treasure arena, but we’ve got a few other ways to eek out some more Treasures too. 

Mana Production – Other

Sol Ring Lotus Petal Runaway Steam-Kin Metamorphosis Burnt Offering Ashnod's Altar Phyrexian Altar Jeweled Lotus Wild Cantor Mana Vault

Lotus Petal is the original Treasure, so I’ll include that here.  Having black in the deck’s color identity lets me play Burnt Offering, which is basically another copy of Metamorphosis. My one lone copy of Jeweled Lotus has been sitting in a box for a while, but this seems like the perfect card for a Dargo deck. Phyrexian Altar is useful for generating colored mana to keep Dargo coming back from the command zone, but Ashnod’s Altar can do good work too.  I also like Runaway Steam-Kin since each time you cast Dargo or a red spell, you get to put a +1/+1 counter on it, and once you have three counters you can remove them to add three red mana to your mana pool to keep the engine going.

Mana Discount

Hazoret's Monument Goblin Anarchomancer Birgi, God of Storytelling

Having a big, explosive turn is what Dargo is looking to do, so I’ve added a few ways to discount my spells. Hazoret’s Monument also provides some rummaging ability to discard cards that aren’t useful in the hopes of finding combo pieces. I also like that Goblin Anarchomancer can discount my green spells too. Birgi, God of Storytelling doesn’t technically discount your spells, but it does provide a red mana each time you cast a spell, which is another way you can keep Dargo sacrifice shenanigans going.

Mana and/or Card Draw

Jeska's Will Seize the Spotlight

Pivoting to card draw spells, there are a couple of cards that provide mana and cards, and the first one is the powerful Jeska’s Will! Cast early, Jeska’s Will can get you a huge infusion of red mana which is exactly the color you need to get Dargo going. I’m a bit excited about Seize the Spotlight too—assuming each player has at least a creature available, you can either take their best creature that you can either attack with or sacrifice, or your opponent gives you a fresh card and a red-hot Treasure.

Card Draw – Artifacts

Ichor Wellspring Terrarion Skullclamp Chromatic Star Prophetic Prism Golden Egg

Artifacts that draw cards are awesome since they also potentially provide mana for casting Dargo if you sacrifice them. Equipping Skullclamp to a creature that you’re going to sacrifice is a great way to draw extra cards, and in a pinch, you can sacrifice Skullclamp to cast (or recast) Dargo.

Card Draw – Other

Wheel of Fortune Imposing Grandeur Greater Good Body Count Grim Haruspex Ob Nixilis, the Adversary Manamorphose Underworld Breach Flamekin Herald Myth Unbound Sylvan Library

Dargo plays a bit like a storm deck, so you want to draw cards to keep the engine going on your big turn. Greater Good is one of my all-time favorite cards, and if you get it down early enough, sacrificing Dargo to draw seven and discard three is going to dig to your finisher cards in a hurry. Wheel of Fortune is an oldie and a goodie, but I also like Imposing Grandeur which scales with the mana value of each player’s commander. Since Dargo has a mana value of seven, it’s like another Wheel of Fortune.

Access to black spells has me on the fence regarding Underworld Breach or Yawgmoth’s Will, but I think being able to replay spells from the graveyard several times in a single turn has me leaning towards Underworld Breach.  Maybe I should run both?


Demonic Tutor Razaketh, the Foulblooded Birthing Pod

I very rarely play tutor cards in my typical Commander decks, but this high-level, high-power deck is the perfect place for them. Birthing Pod in particular is pretty gross since it can sacrifice Dargo to search up a Razaketh, the Foulblooded and put it on the battlefield. We can then recast Dargo and sacrifice it to Razaketh to search up whatever cards you need to close out the game.


Terror of the Peaks Jeska, Thrice Reborn Aeve, Progenitor Ooze Sarkhan's Unsealing Rhonas's Monument Fury Storm Genesis Storm

Terror of the Peaks, Jeska, Thrice Reborn and Sarkhan’s Unsealing seem to be the usual way a Dargo deck closes out a game, but I’ve added some other spicy cards too.  Since I’ve got ways to give my creatures haste, I like the idea of potentially getting a ton of storm copies of Aeve, Progenitor Ooze for huge style points. There’s also Rhonas’s Monument triggers to just grow a random creature on the battlefield to potentially lethal trampling damage—get in there, Gorilla Shaman!

I have a Prossh, Skyraider of Kher deck with Food Chain, so I’m well aware that sometimes you can sacrifice your commander over and over but get prevented from winning somehow, so I’ve got Genesis Storm and Fury Storm in the deck to potentially do something crazy on a subsequent turn.


Hull Breach Gorilla Shaman Halana, Kessig Ranger Sakura-Tribe Elder Tormod's Crypt Krosan Grip Veil of Summer Anger Nature's Lore Three Visits Blasphemous Act Rhythm of the Wild Nature's Claim Cindervines Soul-Guide Lantern

I should probably devote more of these slots to make the deck more consistent in its combo engines, but I also want to interact with my opponents, so I’ve squeezed in some utility spells.

Here’s the total decklist:

Magic Card Back

Here are the deck stats from our friends at Archidekt:

What would you put in a high-level Jund Dargo Commander deck that I’ve missed here?  What’s your favorite higher level Commander deck?

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. 

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


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