Magic Commander Deck Of The Week: Vihaan, Goldwaker

What made Bennie Smith change his mind about building a Treasure deck for Commander? The star of his MTG Deck of the Week, Vihaan, Goldwaker!

Vihaan, Goldwaker, illustrated by Magali Villeneuve

Ever since I read Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings way, way back in middle school, I’ve been a fan of Dwarves. The creature type was quite neglected in Magic for many years, until Kaladesh came along and we started seeing cool and powerful Dwarf cards. When I saw Vihaan, Goldwaker from Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander, I took notice!

Vihaan, Goldwaker

First off, a round of applause for the amazing art by Magali Villeneuve! Vihaan is so smartly dressed and cool-looking, I felt that I just had to build around him no matter what his text box says.

I have to admit, Wizards of the Coast (WotC) has been pushing Treasures so hard in recent years that I have resisted building any sort of Treasure deck, but Vihaan’s abilities sold me to break the embargo. See, most of the Treasure decks seem to use the Treasure-making cards to pop off, casting huge spells and churning through their deck, which isn’t all that interesting to me. Vihaan, however, turns those Treasures into an army of 3/3 Construct Assassins with vigilance and haste, ready to rampage on people’s life totals during combat, which sounds super-fun to me! So, while I use the Treasures on occasion for mana, I’m much more interested in accumulating them and waking them up with Vihaan.

Notable Absences

Before I present my decklist, I wanted to make note of two cards that are not in the list:

Dockside Extortionist Smothering Tithe

Both are obviously powerful cards that make Treasure and fit within the Mardu color scheme. However, the deck I’m building is for more of a grindy, casual game than an explosive, high-power game, so Dockside Extortionist is out. As for Smothering Tithe, I strongly dislike the play patterns the deck forces onto games; I hate playing against it, and as a general rule, I don’t run cards I hate playing against. That said, if you like both cards and have them, by all means, put them in your Vihaan deck!

Okay, let’s dig into the decklist.

Making Treasures

Greedy Freebooter Diamond Pick-Axe Great Train Heist Treasure Map Guild Artisan Collector's Vault Mari, the Killing Quill Breeches, Eager Pillager Descent into Avernus Olivia, Opulent Outlaw Gemcutter Buccaneer Pitiless Plunderer Grim Hireling Rain of Riches Life Insurance Revel in Riches Orochi Soul-Reaver Brass's Bounty Hit the Mother Lode

Even without the two cards I mentioned earlier, there are still a lot of awesome Treasure-making cards available in Mardu. Descent into Avernus is incredibly exciting, since it speeds up the clock of the game with everyone getting Treasures and taking damage. As someone who wants to eventually attack with a ton of 3/3 Treasure tokens, both sides of the card are perfect!

I love that so many creatures that do Treasure stuff are also outlaws, including Pitiless Plunderer, Grim Hireling, and Breeches, Eager Pillager. Mari, the Killing Quill disrupts people with plans to recur creatures from their graveyard and gives several classes of outlaws deathtouch plus the ability to remove hit counters from exiled creatures to draw cards and create Treasures. Olivia, Opulent Outlaw, the face commander from the Most Wanted precon Commander deck, is fantastic in the 99 of this build—Vihaan hits on Turn 3, and Olivia on Turn 4 can attack right away.  The lifelink on Olivia is also valuable, as the deck has a lot of ways to deal damage to me for profit with the idea that I’ll be dishing out a lot more damage, but if the race is on, every bit of extra lifegain is great.

Big splashy spells like Brass’s Bounty and Hit the Mother Lode are sweet because they can make a ton of Treasures, and since Vihaan turns them into creatures with haste, you can swing in right away for a surprise assault.

Other Treasures

Mimic Dire Mimic Glittering Stockpile

As a longtime Dungeons & Dragons fan, I love Mimic and Dire Mimic, so I was thrilled to put them right in this deck where they can be woken up with Vihaan or activated on their own. Glittering Stockpile is a sweet mana rock that also counts as a Treasure, one you can sacrifice for mana if necessary.

Outlaws Matter

Rakish Crew Discreet Retreat Dead Before Sunrise Hellspur Posse Boss Back in Town

Limiting myself to outlaw creatures lets me make use of some of the sweet outlaw synergies from the new set. Rakish Crew is an awesome card that can quasi-combo with the Treasures that are outlaws with Vihaan, and the art is a great callback to the movie The Usual Suspects. Discreet Retreat is a wild design, mana ramp for black limited to outlaw spells or abilities, and when you cast your first outlaw spell each turn, you get to draw a card!

Mardu has no end to removal options, but I still think Dead Before Sunrise is a wild instant-speed spell that works really great with Vihaan’s awakened Treasure tokens – they become 4/3 Assassins with vigilance, and after they’re declared as attackers, you can tap them to mow down all the possible blockers. I think Hellspur Posse Boss is good enough to run on its own, but giving all outlaws haste will be great in a deck full of outlaws. Back in Town is exactly the sort of spell you can cash in your Treasures for in order to rebuild your battlefield after a sweeper has killed your band of ruffians.

Other Outlaws

Termination Facilitator Claim Jumper Big Game Hunter Misfortune Teller Forge, Neverwinter Charlatan Archpriest of Shadows

When I went looking for other creatures to put in the deck, I made sure they were all outlaws that could make great use of Vihaan’s ability to give them vigilance and haste. Termination Facilitator’s tap ability makes excellent use of both of those extra abilities, and Misfortune Teller gets two triggers in one turn if you go ahead and attack right away. Archpriest of Shadows gets to backup its ability onto another creature and attack, hopefully nabbing two creatures from your graveyard and returning them to the battlefield.

Last, having a Treasure deck means I finally have a spot to play Forge, Neverwinter Charlatan from the Secret Lair that came out in tandem with the Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves movie. I have avoided ways to force my opponents to sacrifice creatures to generate a Treasure token with Forge, but I think Forge’s ability to get really high power due to all the Treasures is more than worth it.


Hopeful Initiate Swords to Plowshares Vandalblast Shoot the Sheriff Terminate Go for the Throat Allay Rip Apart Crackling Doom Slash the Ranks Blasphemous Act

Mardu has a wealth of removal options, and I’m running a lot of the ones you would expect, and then a few spicy tech choices. Slash the Ranks is a perfect way to declutter a battlefield, clearing the way for waking up your Treasures for a massive attack. Imagine if I have Revel in Riches when I cast Slash the Ranks, and make a bunch of Treasures that I’ll be able to attack with immediately thanks to Vihaan?  Boom!

A pleasant surprise from my searching: Hopeful Initiate is a Warlock and thus an outlaw! 3/3 Assassin Treasures are exactly the right size to train Initiate twice to unlock its ability to destroy an artifact or enchantment.

Card Draw

Skullclamp Deadly Dispute Night's Whisper Black Market Connections Seize the Spotlight Painful Truths Read the Bones Queen Marchesa

With Treasures providing extra mana, I want to ensure I have plenty of cards to take advantage of that and run cards like Night’s Whisper, Painful Truths, and Read the Bones. I can even use Skullclamp to equip Treasures after combat, sacrifice it for a mana to draw two cards, and then use that mana to equip another Treasure, rinse and repeat until I’ve got a full hand of gas.

Queen Marchesa is an outlaw, and introducing the monarch to the game is a great way to play into the aggressive approach Vihaan is looking for. So how did Vihaan convince a queen to join his 99?  I mean, who’s going to say no to such a well-dressed outlaw as Vihaan?


Reprieve Wedding Ring Akroma's Will

Reprieve is a fun surprise for a deck that doesn’t have blue and is easy to have available to stop a battlefield sweeper thanks to the Treasures. Akroma’s Will is an excellent finisher for our gameplan to swarm with a bunch of attacking Treasures.

I’ve been looking for a place to put Wedding Ring since I opened it from Doctor Who Commander, and this seemed like a perfect place for it, joining up with someone who is hopefully drawing extra cards or, in a pinch, gaining extra life. Plus, Vihaan is already dressed for a surprise wedding, so why not?

Mana Ramp

Sol Ring Arcane Signet Liquimetal Torque Fellwar Stone Bounty Board

Treasures provide a bunch of temporary mana, but I still wanted to run a few permanent-based ramp sources as well. Liquimetal Torque can make a problematic creature into an artifact I can kill with something like Vandalblast. And Bounty Board just seems like a great way to attach some value to our kill spells – even to reward other players for killing something if I’m lacking in a way to do it.

The Deck

Okay, here’s the full decklist!

Vihaan, Goldwaker
Bennie Smith
Test deck on 05-10-2024

Here are the deck stats from our friends at Archidekt:

So, what other cool Treasure cards might I have missed including here?  Are there any other outlaw synergies you think would be awesome?

Talk to Me

Do me a solid and follow me on Twitter!  I run polls and start conversations 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. 


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