When Commander 2014 came out I was pretty stoked about Feldon of the Third Path. For me, this was a really cool mono-red commander that was quite different from other options we had at the time: Krenko, Mob Boss; Godo, Bandit Warlord; Heartless Hidetsugu; Purphoros, God of the Forge. My Golgari soul that dreams about graveyard recursion was instantly drawn to Feldon’s activated ability—while it wasn’t exactly graveyard recursion, it pretty much played the same. It was like a temporary Zombify for just three mana you could use once a turn at instant speed, attached to your commander!
When looking for interesting synergies with Feldon’s ability outside of just copying value creatures in the graveyard, I noted two things. First, the copy is an artifact in addition to its other types, and second, the copy token sacrifices rather than exiles at the beginning of the next end step, which means it will tip off any dies triggers. My first few versions of the deck ended up mono-red Goblin Reanimator due to the fact that Goblins do a lot of interesting things, from Goblin Welder to Siege-Gang Commander, to Goblin Sharpshooter, to Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer, with Moggcatcher to tie it all together.
Those early versions were very much the epitome of the style of Commander decks that I most enjoy building, weird Rube Goldberg machines of wacky synergies that slowly, ever so slowly, grind value and eventually eke out wins on rare occasions.
One awesome memory I have is from SCG Con Winter several years ago, when a freak blizzard blew in and stranded a bunch of folks in their hotels for Sunday and Monday. One of those people was Mike Turian from Wizards of the Coast (WotC), and he came down to the lobby to play some Commander and asked to borrow a deck from me, and I gave him Feldon to play. It was a true pleasure watching a Magic master play the deck cold and yet doing all kinds of sweet plays that I would have missed.
Over time I’ve made changes to the deck, pulling away from the heavy Goblin theme and just trying to focus more on the synergies. A few years back I did a pretty cool Commander compare and contrast between my version of Feldon of the Third Path and the version that The Professor from Tolarian Community College has built, so check that out if you want to see what the deck looked like in 2019. I still love the deck after playing it going on eight years now, and I thought it would be fun to pop the hood and share how the deck looks now going into the new year.
Red has a lot of cards that require discarding as part of the cost or activation, and with Feldon’s ability to copy creatures in your graveyard, that discard can turn into real upside. Even though it’s been a while since Amonkhet, I only just recently added in Hazoret’s Monument, which seems perfect in this role while shaving off a generic mana from creature spells. I could see casting this before I cast Feldon just to prime the pump.
Jaya Ballard, Task Mage is an old favorite, and let me tell you, few things feel better than activating her first Spellshaper ability to destroy a Rhystic Study, Leyline of Anticipation, or Tatyova, Benthic Druid. That awesome Matt Cavotta art is icing on the cake.
I’ve kept a lot of these favorites intact over the years, and I simply love copying a big creature with Feldon, attacking with it, and then using Goblin Welder on it to bring back an artifact from the graveyard to the battlefield. You can even use Liquimetal Torque, a recent upgrade from Liquimetal Coating, to turn an opponent’s nonland threat into an artifact and force them to sacrifice it in exchange for their Wayfarer’s Bauble, a mighty fine trade indeed!
Another fun play is when an opponent tries to destroy a creature you control – say Feldon of the Third Path – you can turn Feldon into an artifact with Liquimetal Torque, and then sacrifice another artifact to Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer to make Feldon indestructible until the end of the turn.
And obviously Liquimetal Torque does gross things alongside the mighty, mighty Hellkite Tyrant.
I added Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge mainly for its early defense capability, but if I activate Feldon on my own turn, I’ll get at least one more artifact on the battlefield that might be enough to let the Dragon attack.
When I first got my hands on Dockside Extortionist, I tossed it in my Feldon deck, where it would typically net me a few Treasures here and there, depending on whether or not my opponents had spit out a bunch of artifacts onto the battlefield.
Then one day an opponent killed Dockside and then copied it with Body Double, getting a ton of Treasures from all my artifacts. Then he copied Body Double with Rite of Replication kicked and with his limitless mana annihilated the table. It so traumatized me that I immediately removed Dockside from the deck. But it’s a new year, and it seems a shame to leave such a potent card on the sidelines, so fingers crossed it does big work for me and not my opponents.
Fires of Invention is another recent upgrade to the deck suggested by a friend. I don’t like that it makes a few of my interaction Instants much less good, but the huge mana savings is worth the awkwardness. I can cast two spells for free on my own turn and have plenty of mana left over for Feldon activations!
Enters the Battlefield
Shrieking Mogg has been a favorite card of mine since I first activated Moggcatcher at the beginning of an opponent’s attack step to search it out way back before EDH was a twinkle in Sheldon Menery’s eye. When I first assembled Feldon’s Goblin-esque beginnings, Shrieking Mogg found a slot and has stayed ever since. There have been games I’ve won that couldn’t have been possible any other way except for this little Mogg you can copy from the graveyard with Feldon.
Early in the pandemic I got to play several games against Commander Advisory Group member Kristen Emily, and she positively destroyed me multiple times with Dire Fleet Daredevil, so I immediately added it to Feldon. While I haven’t yet had it do anything amazing, I still have high hopes.
Vengeful Ancestor from Forgotten Realms Commander is a new addition that I’m pretty excited about. Being able to goad the biggest threat on the table multiple times is a great way to disrupt the balance of power in your favor, and even if it gets destroyed you can always copy it with Feldon and attack with it the same turn to get double goad! Is that even legal?
Sacrifice/Dies for Value
Goblin Chirurgeon is another Goblin holdout from the very beginning of my Feldon decks. It’s great at keeping Feldon alive through the super-popular Blasphemous Act or getting sniped by a Ravenous Chupacabra. Hope of Ghirapur attacking and sacrificing each turn with Feldon is brutal and reserved for putting the kibosh on broken spellslinger decks that would otherwise just run right over Feldon.
I was excited when Modern Horizons 2 came out and I could add Tormod’s Cryptkeeper to deal with graveyard abuse, and what better way to keep graveyards in check than abusing my own graveyard?
Triplicate Titan is the one creature that’ll be tough to cast, so it’s most often going to be discarded to the graveyard to get copied by Feldon, smacking someone for nice points of damage and leaving behind a trio of Golem tokens, each with their own ability keyword. This is a great card for those Goblin Welder shenanigans I touched on earlier!
Dualcaster Mage has been in the deck since the beginning; for a mono-red Commander deck, it’s most helpful to copy a powerful instant or sorcery spell that the other colors get to cast. More recently I added Delina, Wild Mage and Mirage Phalanx to take advantage of their ability to copy things since so many of our creatures are great to copy. Being able to give both of them haste with Feldon’s copy ability is incredibly useful for doing crazy plays out of nowhere.
Most of the removal cards have been in the deck for quite some time, though I recently added Flametongue Kavu. When I first started playing Commander, creatures were generally so big and burly that being able to do four points of damage wasn’t going to do much, but with the push in recent years for cheaper commanders and more efficient creatures in the format, I feel like FTK is back on the value train menu!
I used to love playing cards like Wild Ricochet and Word of Seizing in my red decks back in the early days of Commander, but holding up four or five mana for a reactive spell isn’t tenable these days unless you’re able to generate a ton of mana or untap your lands. That’s why I’m glad Wizards has brought us Tibalt’s Trickery and Chef’s Kiss as ways to interact more cheaply in a fun and chaotic – and red! – way.
Few things feel worse than casting Feldon on your own turn and then having to wait a full turn before you can use him, and just hoping and praying he survives that long. So having ways to flash him in during an opponent’s end step with Winding Canyons, or to give him haste with Swiftfoot Boots or Urabrask the Hidden, helps get at least one use of your commander before opponents try to shut you down.
It’s easy for me to get carried away with filling all my card slots with synergy spells, but I do try to find room for card draw to keep the cards flowing in the face of mass removal spells and other resets. I just recently added Humble Defector as a nice early card draw play with some political implications, and once it dies you can use Feldon to copy it on your turn to draw two more cards. Ruin Grinder is another awesome new addition. You can mountaincycle it into the graveyard early to ensure land drops, and then having it in the graveyard to copy with Feldon when you want to refuel your hand.
Okay, here’s the full decklist:
- 1 Myr Retriever
- 1 Solemn Simulacrum
- 1 Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer
- 1 Goblin Welder
- 1 Duplicant
- 1 Goblin Chirurgeon
- 1 Hammer Mage
- 1 Flametongue Kavu
- 1 Shrieking Mogg
- 1 Jaya Ballard, Task Mage
- 1 Stingscourger
- 1 Wurmcoil Engine
- 1 Steel Hellkite
- 1 Urabrask the Hidden
- 1 Balefire Dragon
- 1 Thundermaw Hellkite
- 1 Hellkite Tyrant
- 1 Dualcaster Mage
- 1 Humble Defector
- 1 Magus of the Wheel
- 1 Skyline Despot
- 1 Treasure Keeper
- 1 Hope of Ghirapur
- 1 Glorybringer
- 1 Neheb, the Eternal
- 1 Rekindling Phoenix
- 1 Dire Fleet Daredevil
- 1 Goblin Chainwhirler
- 1 Meteor Golem
- 1 Goblin Trashmaster
- 1 Goblin Engineer
- 1 Dockside Extortionist
- 1 Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge
- 1 Brash Taunter
- 1 Terror of the Peaks
- 1 Alena, Kessig Trapper
- 1 Triplicate Titan
- 1 Ruin Grinder
- 1 Tormod's Cryptkeeper
- 1 Delina, Wild Mage
- 1 Vengeful Ancestor
- 1 Mirage Phalanx
Here is how the deck graphs out thanks to our friends at Archidekt:
I thought it might be fun to show off some of the ways I’ve added a little bling and swagger to the deck!
I was especially excited to add the old-school frame for Feldon of the Third Path since he’s an old-school character out of Magic’s past.
So, what do you think of my Feldon of the Third Path deck? Is there anything you think I should try out?
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! 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 decks over on Archidekt if you want to dig into how I put together my own decks and brews. I’ll be keeping my Grothama list there on Archidekt as I make changes when new sets come out, along with a change log, so if you’re a fan of the big green Wurm bookmark it!
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!