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Commander Top 10: Osgir, The Reconstructor

Bennie Smith’s mind is already abuzz with Commander ideas for Strixhaven. Today he builds around artifact maven Osgir, the Reconstructor.

Osgir, the Reconstructor, illustrated by Victor Adame Minguez
Osgir, the Reconstructor, illustrated by Victor Adame Minguez

Strixhaven previews have started off with a bang, and by the looks of things we’re likely to have yet another set chock-full of awesome new legends to build Commander decks around!  From what I’ve seen so far, I love that a lot of them are narrow and niche rather than just generically powerful, which makes for much more interesting deckbuilding and gameplay.  I think a lot of them will also have a fair number of great supporting cards from Strixhaven itself, so before I start brewing with them, I want to see more of the cards in the set. 

Lucky for us, we’ve also got Commander 2021 precon decks coming out at the same time as Strixhaven, and we’ve already gotten to see the face-card legends for all five decks.

While each of these legends is tied thematically to one of the Strixhaven schools of magic, they all seem a little bit more open-ended and ready for brewing right now, which makes sense: the Commander precon decks will have new cards and likely some cards from Strixhaven, but most of them will be reprints and you still want a cohesive deck right out of the box for a great play experience.

There was one of these five that really jumped out to me as really cool, our new Lorehold legend that’s very different from the gaggle of Boros commanders we’ve had previously—Osgir, the Reconstructor!

This color combination has certainly cared about artifacts before, with a variety of cards that can get back artifacts from the graveyard, and we’ve even copied cards in graveyards with Feldon of the Third Path.  But I really love that Osgir can copy and duplicate the artifact in one activation, for the mana cost of the target artifact in the graveyard and exiling it.  Osgir even has a built-in and cheap activated ability that can sacrifice artifacts you may want to duplicate twice.  When I first saw this card, it inspired my very mediocre meme-making skills and I promptly Tweeted this out:

The timing of the ability is very interesting and locks all your shenanigans during your own turn—no instant-speed surprise artifacts popping out of your graveyard during someone’s combat or end step. I actually think this makes the card much more interesting since you’ve got to be strategic in your decision making—do you want to use your mana to cast a spell, or hold it up to react on your opponents’ turns?  Or do you want to go ahead and dig into your graveyard for value?

Osgir’s vigilance adds another layer to the onion, letting you attack first and then later in your main phase tap to activate its ability. But if you attack someone you give them a chance to respond with instant-speed removal or a surprise combat trick that might kill Osgir and leave you unable to grind out that sweet, sweet value.

Even the creature type is interesting. It would have been easy to make Osgir a Dwarf Artificer—in the artwork he looks like a Dwarf; Dwarves like artifacts and have been Artificers in past sets. But a Giant?  Giants don’t historically interact with artifacts in a positive way.

However, there have been some really cool Giant cards and Giant-tribal stuff lately that you could build in the color combination and sprinkle in some value artifacts too.

I didn’t go this particular route because I more just wanted to lean hard on the artifact value grind, but it’s definitely another cool option with Osgir.

Let’s get brewing!

1. Anointed Procession

I know this enchantment is mostly thought of as support for token creatures, but it’s going to do incredible work in our Osgir deck—instead of getting two tokens per activation you’ll get four!  I know the card is expensive, but if you have one in your collection or can trade for one, you definitely want to slot one in this Commander deck.

There are some other cards we’ll want in here to generate card advantage either in raw cards drawn or powerful effects:

War Room Skullclamp Tome of Legends Trading Post Lithoform Engine Coveted Jewel

I personally can’t wait to have two copies of Skullclamp, Tome of Legends, or the amazing Trading Post!  Lithoform Engine is legendary so you won’t be able to keep two copies of it on the battlefield, but its ability to copy activated abilities or even copy permanent spells will generate crazy value.

Coveted Jewel is an awesome card, for six mana you get to draw three cards and can tap it to get three mana of any one color.  The downside is if an opponent can attack you unblocked, they get to steal it, draw three cards, and then tap it for three mana. So… if that happens, sacrifice it to Osgir’s ability, and then on your turn for six mana you can exile it from your library to get two copies of it, draw six cards, and get your six mana back.  Sounds like the crown jewel in one heckuva turn!

2. Ichor Wellspring

I also wanted a fair number of cheap artifacts that let you draw cards that you can sacrifice for value or to Osgir’s ability, and then cheaply copy and duplicate them. Ichor Wellspring is far and away the best little value grinder you could ask for. When it enters the battlefield, draw a card. Sacrifice it to Osgir, draw a card. For two mana exile it from the graveyard to make two of them, draw two more cards, and then they’re ready to sacrifice for even more cards.

I’ve got a handful of other ones that can grind value for not a lot of mana:

Mishra's Bauble Urza's Bauble Alchemist's Vial Filigree Familiar Skyscanner

3. Ashnod’s Transmogrant

I also wanted a fair number of cheap artifacts with utility value and there are a bunch of those to choose from too! One that really stood out to me was Ashnod’s Transmogrant.  At its most basic you can tap it to give a creature a +1/+1 counter, maybe taking Osgir from a 4/4 to a 5/5, but there’s added utility in turning that creature into an artifact creature.  There are some cards we can add to the deck that care about artifact creatures, or we can turn an opponent’s creature into an artifact that we can subsequently destroy with artifact removal.

Darksteel Citadel Great Furnace Ancient Den Soul-Guide Lantern Dispeller's Capsule Mycosynth Wellspring Myr Sire

Great Furnace and Ancient Den are interesting in that we can sacrifice them to Osgir and then bring them back for zero mana with Osgir’s ability to get a little mana ramp. They’re vulnerable to mass artifact removal but I think they’re worth the risk. We can also run Darksteel Citadel without that vulnerability to mass removal.

I always seem to draw Soul-Guide Lantern early on when nobody has anything in their graveyards to worry about, I eventually sacrifice it to draw a card, and then someone goes nuts with their graveyard. I love that Osgir lets you cover both bases quite nicely.

4. Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer

Remember what I said about Ashnod’s Transmogrant above? Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer is a great way to protect any important artifacts from destroy effects, including potentially your commander that’s been transmogrified!  Since Osgir is making two artifact copies each activation – or a whopping four of them with Anointed Procession – there should usually be plenty of fodder around for sacrificing.

Crashing Drawbridge Metallurgeon Pilgrim's Eye Crystalline Giant Zirda, the Dawnwaker Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge

Had you forgotten Metallurgeon was a card?  I sure had, but what a great little workhorse for this deck in protecting your artifacts from destruction until you’re good and ready for sacrificing them yourself, for the low, low cost of just one white mana. It even does a pretty good Drudge Skeletons impression since it can regenerate itself! 

Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge is a great early blocker that can eventually unlock to attack in an artifact-heavy deck, but its ability to generate Treasure tokens has seemed pretty sketchy at best.  However, I think having Osgir’s tap ability usable at sorcery speed means opportunities for artifact creatures to be sacrificed during your own turn and generate a few more Treasures than usual.

5. Transmogrifying Wand

There are a few artifacts with charge counters that don’t do anything once you run out of charge counters, and a lot of times I end up cutting them from my decks because I don’t have much use for them once they’re used up.  Osgir seems like the perfect deck for these since you can sacrifice them to Osgir, and then exile them to make two more copies you can use up, and then sacrifice those!  Transmogrifying Wand is the pinnacle of this sort of card, and I’m thrilled to windmill-slam this card into the deck.

Mazemind Tome Idol of Endurance Stuffy Doll

Idol of Endurance is another such card, though the extra copy you’ll get from Osgir won’t have any creatures to exile, so it’ll just be a random artifact you can sacrifice to some other effect. I’m also looking forward to sacrificing Mazemind Tome to some other effect before it exiles itself so I can copy it with Osgir and get more activations!

Stuffy Doll is another sort of card that you’d like to reset later in the game, especially if the opponent you called the first time has been eliminated.  Make two copies and double up on another opponent or pick two different opponents.

6. Goblin Welder

I wanted some other sacrifice outlets for artifacts for value, and Goblin Welder adds a powerful element to the deck. The current wording makes it clear that you sacrifice the targeted artifact for the effect, so you could sacrifice a token copy of Ichor Wellspring to bring back a Lithoform Engine hanging out in your graveyard that someone may have destroyed or countered.  Also keep in mind you can target artifacts your opponents control; make them sacrifice their Skullclamp in exchange for the Wayfarer’s Bauble in their graveyard. Or, if you’ve got Ashnod’s Transmogrant or Liquimetal Coating, you can make them sacrifice their best creature for that Bauble.

I’ve made room for a fair number of other cards that care about artifacts:

Inventors' Fair Welding Jar Manifold Key Akiri, Line-Slinger Reckless Fireweaver Myr Retriever Liquimetal Coating Scrap Trawler Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle

Since the tokens that Osgir makes are copies of the exiled card, they retain the mana cost of the original copied card and so play nicely with Scrap Trawler’s triggered ability.

7. Darksteel Juggernaut

While I’d be happy spending hours grinding value with Osgir, for our opponents’ sanity we should at least pay some attention to our end-game, and one of the best of the bunch is Darksteel Juggernaut. We’re going to have a lot of artifacts on the battlefield so it’ll be a huge threat a lot of the time, and there will be times when we might want to sacrifice it (say, in response to an exile effect) and then later use Osgir’s tap ability to make two copies of it and resume the beatdown, only twice as nice.

Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer God-Eternal Oketra Scuttling Doom Engine Wurmcoil Engine

Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer’s metalcraft ability is incredibly easy to turn on, and all the small creatures we’ve got in the deck can suddenly become quite the force when attacking en masse. I also love what Wurmcoil Engine – already a stellar card – can do in this deck at the hands of Osgir.  Scuttling Doom Engine can send huge chunks of damage at opponents’ life totals between sacrificing it and copying it with Osgir.

8. Scourglass

This color combination offers a lot of great removal options, but I’m particularly excited to be playing Scourglass!  It requires some setup before you can activate it, but since you sacrifice it to get its effect you can copy it later with Osgir to run it back during your next upkeep and still have a backup copy.  For opponents who accumulate a huge battlefield presence, this is a great way to stop the madness without wrecking your own setup too much.  This is another great card to combine with ways to make Osgir into an artifact.

Here are some other removal spells I made room for in the deck:

Swords to Plowshares Shattering Pulse Generous Gift Crush Contraband Wrath of God Blasphemous Act

9. Gerrard, Weatherlight Hero

We’ll want some ways to interact with our opponents’ plans, and in particular we’ll want to protect against something like Cleansing Nova or Austere Command that threatens to sweep all our artifacts to the graveyard. If Gerrard, Weatherlight Hero dies that same turn, we can get all those artifacts – and any creatures too – back to the battlefield.

Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion Boros Charm Mirage Mirror Bladegriff Prototype

Boros Charm is another way to protect your battlefield at instant speed. Mirage Mirror is an incredible way to copy something powerful your opponent has on the battlefield, or something of your own, and since it’s an artifact, if it somehow ends up in your graveyard Osgir can make two copies of it for you.  Bladegriff Prototype doesn’t always make the cut in my artifact decks, but I think the possibility of getting two of them from the graveyard makes it worth the slot.

10. Worn Powerstone

Last but not least we need slots for mana ramp, and while it’ll be fun to sacrifice and copy our Sol Ring as per my meme above, I really love the idea of doing that with Worn Powerstone since ramping from two mana to four mana is quite sweet.

I also like that we can make use of Mana Vault for a burst of mana, sacrifice it to Osgir rather than take the damage during your upkeep, and then tap one mana to make two more of them.

Myriad Landscape Lotus Petal Wayfarer's Bauble Sol Ring Mana Vault Arcane Signet Boros Signet Solemn Simulacrum

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

Osgir, the Reconstructor
Bennie Smith
Test deck on 04-02-2021
Commander

Here’s how the deck looks graphically, thanks to our friends at Archidekt:

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

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.

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

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