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Let’s Play All The Awesome New Elementals!

So you want to play Omnath, Locus of the Roil and Yarok, the Desecrated in the same Commander deck, and you want an Elemental theme as well? Bennie Smith sees a job for Morophon, the Boundless!

Commander players love tribal decks, and Core Set 2020 gives Elemental fans quite a boost with tons of payoff cards for Elementals. In particular, Omnath, Locus of the Roil looks like a great commander to build a deck around!

But that’s not the only new legendary Elemental that looks spicy…

Unfortunately, while Omnath zigs from green and blue towards red, Yarok zags into black. What really hurts is so many of the Elemental payoff cards would love to have extra triggers from Yarok, particularly the brand-new, exciting Cavalier cycle.

If we play Yarok we miss out on all the red-based cool Elemental payoff cards. But playing Omnath we’re missing out on what’s arguably one of the most powerful Elementals ever printed in Yarok. Choosing between the two is really tough.

Why not both?

Not only do we get to play with Yarok and Omnath, we can play all five of the new Cavaliers! Plus, we can dip into some of the nonred tribal support cards that we might otherwise miss out on if we went with Omnath or Yarok as our commander.

When I take a look at the Elemental support cards, a large amount of them are red. I think when choosing the manabase for our five-color deck, I’ll make sure nearly all of the land cards produce red in addition to other colors. I’ll also be careful not to include too many nonred cards that are too heavy in other colors.

Let’s get brewing!

Tribal Boost

Path of Ancestry is a great card even outside of tribal decks, but it does so much work in a five-color deck with a Changeling as your commander, fixing mana and getting a scry trigger whenever you cast a creature spell. Mana Echoes seems like a great card to include in a Morophon deck since Morophon will often pay for colored part of your casting cost, and then Mana Echoes will generate colorless mana to pay for the other part of your Elemental’s casting cost, potentially letting you cast giant Elementals without much mana at all. The extra colorless mana can also be quite helpful in actually casting Morophon to begin with – seven mana isn’t cheap!

Kindred Charge can be incredibly explosive with so many creatures with enters-the-battlefield effects, so I’m very excited to have it in our deck. Kindred Dominance is expensive but positively backbreaking in a tribal deck, so it’s definitely worth finding room for it here.

Elemental Synergies

So many great Elemental support cards here, particularly the brand-new uncommon Risen Reef. All of the cards that make small Elemental tokens just go nuts when we have a Risen Reef on the table. I love that Thunderkin Awakener can bring back key Elemental cards from the graveyard, particularly when we have ways to boost its toughness.

Speaking of bringing cards back, I love that we can cast Horde of Notions for free with Morophon on the battlefield, and then spend that five mana we saved to cast an Elemental spell from our graveyard.

I love having Omnath, Locus of Rage in the deck to punish our opponents who want to ruin the Elemental party with mass removal. The landfall trigger can combine with Risen Reef to spit out several lands and Elemental tokens if you hit a land pocket on the top of your library.

Other Elementals

Forgotten Ancient is a great card for any Commander deck, so the fact that it’s an Elemental is just gravy! I was also excited to see that Hound of Griselbrand is an Elemental—the undying and double-strike abilities combined with tribal pump like Door of Destinies can make this a very formidable battlefield presence.

As happy as I am to have Yarok in the deck, I’m doubly excited to include Muldrotha, the Gravetide as yet another way to bring back Elemental and other permanent cards from the graveyard.

How exciting will it be to cast Maelstrom Wanderer for just five mana once Morophon is on the battlefield? Cascade, cascade, and all my creatures have haste—yes, please!

Card Draw/Selection

Kindred Discovery is simply one of the best tribal support cards ever printed, and while the double blue mana means it might be a little awkward to cast this on time, it’s certainly worth waiting for if need be. Mulldrifter is a great card drawing engine when you have ways to bring it back from the graveyard and since it’s an Elemental, I expect great things from it here.

I’m looking forward to casting Seasons Past with Morophon and maybe Mana Echoes on the battlefield so I can bring a bunch of Elementals back to my hand and immediately cast them all.

Interaction

A fair number of Elemental cards we’ve listed so far interact with our opponents in various ways, and we can include a few more here like Wispmare and Crib Swap.

I like having Chain Reaction and Blasphemous Act in the same deck as Spitemare, since it’s possible to deal a ton of damage right to a player’s face that way.

Mana Ramp

Morophon isn’t cheap, so we’ll want to have a bunch of mana ramp in the deck. Thankfully Elemental tribal offers us a fair number of Elementals like Smokebraider and Animar, Soul of the Elementals that can give us a big mana boost. I also like Urza’s Incubator as a great way to power out Morophon.

I’m glad to have Chromatic Lantern and Cryptolith Rite to help us cover any non-red spells that might otherwise be a little too clunky, especially in the early game.

Sweet deck! Let’s see how close we are to 100 cards.

Coverted Mana Cost

Number of Cards

0-1

10 (including lands that don’t produce mana)

2

15

3

14

4

12

5

10

6

7

7+ and X

4 plus commander

73 total cards plus 38 mana-producing lands equals eleven cards too many, so we need to make some cuts! Let’s see what we can trim, starting with the top of our curve.

Kindred Dominance is a little heavy on the black mana for a non-Elemental spell and I think we’ve got enough other ways to sweep the battlefield that I’m okay with cutting it.

Bane of Progress; Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar; and Fertilid are all a little bit too heavy on the green mana, and while I think we’ll be okay casting them most of the time, I think they bring enough extra to the deck to warrant the occasional awkward mana issues. I’m also not entirely keen on blowing up some of our tribal-boosting artifacts and enchantments with Bane of Progress.

Of the generic tribal boosting cards, I think Vanquisher’s Banner doesn’t have enough bang for the five-mana slot to warrant keeping it. Scampering Scorcher is another card I don’t think is powerful enough at four mana to warrant its slot. Chain Reaction is something I’m not entirely happy about giving up, but to keep room for all the Elemental and tribal cards, some tough cuts have to be made.

Shared Animosity is a great tribal card, but I think it works best in a deck with a lot of small-powered creatures. There are plenty of larger Elementals in this deck, so the power boost isn’t really all that necessary. Also, it bothers me a bit that Shared Animosity isn’t going to help out Thunderkin Awakener, as opposed to Stoneforge Masterwork.

Soulbright Flamekin can potentially turn a bunch of random mana into a whole bunch of red mana, but I think the way I’m wanting to configure the manabase we’ll be fine on red already. Tragic Slip is a fine removal spell but probably not quite so needed in this deck with lots of other ways to interact.

The last cut is Embodiment of Spring, which I feel could end up being an awkward early draw due to needing two different nonred mana, and you’d ideally want this sort of card early.

Okay, so here’s how the deck ended up:

Morophon, the Boundless
Bennie Smith
0th Place at Test deck on 07-22-2019
Commander


What do you think? Are there any cards I’ve overlooked? If you see any new cards from Core Set 2020 that should find a home here, let me know!

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