The War Report: What to Do with Arcane Wizardry?

EDIT (9/25): I decided what to do with this deck, and you can read about that here

The only new Commander 2017 product I was really into was the Edgar Markov led Vampire deck. I’ve spoken about this a time or two already, so I don’t think I need to repeat myself. This wasn’t to say that I didn’t see value in the other decks, it just so happened that I already had a Vampire deck in the works, and being able to play a 3 color commander opens up more opportunities (like the White Vampires coming in Ixalan… a couple of those are sweet auto includes!).

I had passing interest in the Cat deck, mainly because it had a few cards that would benefit my Sram-led, Voltron-themed deck. I also had passing interest in the Wizard deck because it has some interesting cards along with a Grixis color scheme which I have yet to build a deck out of. Wizards seem pretty cool too, though finding a killer win condition was a little more difficult. I had no real interest in the Dragon deck, outside of Ramos who would be a cool 5-color commander that doesn’t require tribal synergy.

Having a lady that supports your bad habits is fantastic. She called me when I was at work the other day and said that she had found the precons at Target (they must have finally put them up on display!) and was asking which ones I wanted. Turns out they didn’t have the Vampire deck (but I already have that one) but they had all of the others. I was torn between the Cat and Wizard options, but I eventually picked Wizards and when I came home there it was.

At this point I’ve opened the deck and sleeved it up. I haven’t altered it in any way. Honestly I think I’ll probably play it as-is to see what the power level is like, but I don’t think it will stay that way for long. I don’t really care for the intended commander of the deck, Inalla.

Eminence is a powerful tool, but I just think the hasty tokens aren’t that great in conjunction with Wizards who are less likely to attack, and more likely want to just tap for an activated ability. Having haste enables that, but it just seems like it would have been more appropriate in like the Cat or Dragon decks. There is the added bonus of being able to tap 5 wizards to ping an opponent for 7 damage, but it seems like you’d just be leaving yourself open to die, unless of course that 7 damage would count towards commander damage which I’m unsure of.

It does turn out that there are several other legendary creatures packed in that I find much more appealing as a commander, and they still fit the Grixis color scheme. I just don’t know which one to roll with:

Kess and Mairsil are both new cards, and Marchesa is a reprint, but a popular commander choice. Kess has the graveyard focus and is screaming to be made into a spellslinging recursion deck. Mairsil wants things to go into the graveyard as well, but he then exiles cards and steals their active abilities. That seems cool enough, but then how many of those abilities are going to translate into a win condition? Lastly, Marchesa has Dethrone and gives this ability to all other creatures I control. Definitely don’t have to stick with a Wizard theme in that case, but I don’t know what sort of theme to go with. Big beaters? Fliers? Trickery? The same can be said of all three of these. I enjoy their abilities more than Inalla’s, but I don’t know what to do with them.

I’ve been scouring EDHREC for the last few days since I ended up with this precon and don’t know which route I want to go. Originally I thought Mairsil was the go-to option, but now I’m seeing the pros and cons of each and am torn with which direction to go. I suppose I will try the precon out since tomorrow is our weekly gathering, and that might give me some more insight into which route suits me.

I’ll be back to report on this once I have made a decision.