Commander Deck Of The Week: Jared Carthalion, True Heir

Let the monarch games begin! Bennie Smith’s Commander Deck of the Week plays political games and wins card-drawing prizes with Jared Carthalion, True Heir.

Jared Carthalion, True Heir
Jared Carthalion, True Heir, illustrated by Lius Lasahido

For this week’s deck, I wanted to highlight one of my favorite sort of commander designs: those that set up a quest for you to go on in order to unlock their full power, such as Jared Carthalion, True Heir!

Jared Carthalion, True Heir

When Jared enters the battlefield, he brings the monarch to your commander table, but with a twist: you have to give the monarch to an opponent. And to make it stick, Jared says that you cannot become the monarch this turn, so even if you have a creature that can deal damage to the new monarch, you can’t snatch it back until your next turn.

And you’re going to want the monarchy back, because if you’re the monarch, any damage dealt to Jared is prevented, and instead you add that many +1/+1 counters to it. Thus, the quest: once the monarch is in play, you’ll want to get it back and then keep it as long as you can, hopefully loading Jared up with +1/+1 counters to make him a huge threat… oh, and drawing an extra card by royal decree.

“I’m here for what’s mine.”

Dang straight, Jared! By blood right, a sweet magical sword, and that magnificent mane of hair, the monarch should be on our side of the table.

Let’s take a stroll through my deck and see how we can successfully execute Jared’s quest!

Monarch Cards

Palace Jailer Emberwilde Captain Weathered Sentinels Orthion, Hero of Lavabrink Entourage of Trest Protector of the Crown Regal Behemoth Archon of Coronation Skyline Despot Dawnglade Regent

While you can grab the monarch through combat so long as it’s not the same turn as Jared entered the battlefield, the easiest way to get it back is by casting a card that makes you the monarch, and I’ve got a ton of them here. Most of them offer some really cool benefits. Palace Jailer can temporarily exile a problematic creature until an opponent becomes the monarch, Regal Behemoth gives you extra mana from lands while you’re the monarch, and Skyline Despot gives you a 5/5 red Dragon with flying each upkeep you’re the monarch.

Weathered Sentinels doesn’t make you the monarch, but it’s a pretty bonkers creature if your opponents are pulling out the stops to take the monarch from you through combat.

I recently added Orthion, Hero of Lavabrink from March of the Machine, since it can copy one of these creatures if the monarch has been stolen by the riffraff before your turn.

Ephemerate Justiciar's Portal Eerie Interlude Teleportation Circle

I’m including some other ways to leverage these monarch creatures with blink effects. In a pinch, you can use these to blink Jared from direct removal, but that starts the quest all over again.  Though sometimes it can be useful to take the monarch away from an opponent who’s become the Big Bad at the table and give it to one of your temporary allies.  I mean, what’s a monarchy without court politics?

Damage Redirection

Gideon's Sacrifice Shaman en-Kor Stormwild Capridor Martyrdom Brash Taunter

Once we’ve reclaimed the monarch for Jared, I want to use various tricks to redirect damage to Jared for all those sweet, sweet +1/+1 counters.  Shaman en-Kor is an on-battlefield way to do it, so not exactly tricky, but it’s an awesome way to protect your creatures from damage and redirect back to Jared. Gideon’s Sacrifice is the true trick, redirecting all damage dealt to you and creatures you control back to Jared – let me tell you, it feels pretty good to shut down a Craterhoof Behemoth turn with this one-mana instant. Martyrdom is an oldie but a goodie from Alliances, so it costs a bit more but does basically the same thing.

Brash Taunter and Stormwild Capridor are also sweet targets for damage redirection in case Jared’s not available.

Damage-Based Removal

Dromoka's Command Justice Strike Deafening Clarion Star of Extinction Blasphemous Act Subterranean Tremors Starstorm

Here’s where completing the quest truly pays off, with damage-based removal spells.  Star of Extinction can be bonkers when you’re the monarch, taking out a problematic land – say, a Maze of Ith – and dealing twenty damage to all creatures and planeswalkers, and then adding twenty +1/+1 counters to Jared. If you’ve got some way to redirect damage away from your creatures, like that Gideon’s Sacrifice, Jared can become massively huge!

I love the lifelink that Deafening Clarion provides, sweeping away a bunch of smaller creatures while pumping Jared three counters and letting him gain you life on the attack.

I’ve mostly leaned into red-based damage spells for Jared shenanigans, but I did slip Dromoka’s Command into the mix due to its flexible nature and instant speed. Fighting some huge creature after blocks are declared can mean that Jared becomes much bigger than the defending opponent thought.  

Punching Through

Rancor Doomskar Warrior Guardian Scalelord Boon-Bringer Valkyrie Conclave Sledge-Captain

While Jared is an impressive monarch, he does lack inherent evasion to punch through blockers and dish out damage. Rancor is an obvious inclusion, but I’ve also been excited to add a bunch of creatures that use the backup mechanic. Doomskar Warrior has quickly become a big favorite value engine and can lend its abilities (including trample) to Jared for an attack. Conclave Sledge-Captain provides trample too, but also doubles counters when the creature deals combat damage to a player. That could make Jared truly bonkers in size.

Then there are Guardian Scalelord and Boon-Bringer Valkyrie, which can lend Jared flying for the turn in addition to the other benefits. All of these creatures also do fun things with some of the blinking effects we have.

Card Draw

Skullclamp Radha, Heart of Keld Greater Good Toski, Bearer of Secrets

Between the monarch cards and ways to blink them, the deck should have a steady supply of fresh cards to keep the gas pedal pushed, but I’ve included a few other ways to get some card advantage.  Toski, Bearer of Secrets is always a good addition to creature-heavy decks, but it’s even better here, where I’m interested in getting back the monarch and that can often be done through combat.  Radha, Heart of Keld provides nice virtual card advantage by letting you occasionally play lands from the top of the deck, and Radha also makes an excellent attacker.

Other Removal

Nature's Claim Swords to Plowshares Cankerbloom Atraxa's Fall Hull Breach Questing Beast Crush Contraband

Beyond the damage-based removal spells, I’ve included these gems to round out the removal suite. Questing Beast munches on planeswalkers when it can, and it also shuts down Fog effects that might otherwise prevent an enormous Jared from smashing life totals.


Tamiyo's Safekeeping Soul-Guide Lantern Giver of Runes Mother of Runes Gaea's Gift Selfless Spirit Boros Charm Deflecting Swat Flawless Maneuver Luminous Broodmoth Sigarda, Host of Herons

For any quest worth the effort, there will be villains who will try to thwart you, so I’ve included a bunch of ways to interact with their heinous schemes. In particular, I’ve included numerous ways to protect Jared from untimely removal spells, since if he goes back to the command zone, you’ll have to restart the quest from the beginning.

Deflecting Swat and Flawless Maneuver are the best, since they’ll cost no mana to protect Jared and they’ll be a surprise, while Giver of Runes and Mother of Runes will be on-battlefield nuisances to deal with. Luminous Broodmoth provides a nice buffer for the non-flying creatures against creature sweepers, and is particularly nice for those with enters-the-battlefield triggers. Sigarda, Host of Herons is here mostly as a way to protect Jared from effects that cause me to sacrifice creatures.

Mana Ramp

Sol Ring Nature's Lore Three Visits Sakura-Tribe Elder Kodama's Reach Cultivate Llanowar Visionary

Lastly, I’ve got some of the usual mana ramp suspect for green, with a focus on the two-mana spells; Jared requires one mana of all three colors to cast, and they will help increase the odds of casting Jared on-curve.  Llanowar Visionary is just a little extra card draw attached to a mana creature, and it’s a pretty nice target for blinking if you just want another card.

One last thing I’d like to mention: all things being equal, give your opponent to the right the monarch with Jared. That way, unless your other opponents attack and steal it, no one will benefit from the monarch until the end step right before your turn.

The Deck

Okay, here is the full decklist:

Jared Carthalion, True Heir
Bennie Smith
Test deck on 05-26-2023
Magic Card Back

Here are the deck stats from our friends at Archidekt:

What must-have cards might I have missed including here?  Are there any other new cards from March of the Machine or March of the Machine: The Aftermath that I may have overlooked?

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!