The War Report: Jodah and Friends

I had a 5-color deck led by Reaper King. It had an initial build price that was fairly budget, because I used mostly scarecrows and most of them aren’t worth much (aren’t very good cards either). Later I changed this to be less of a tribal deck, using tricks like Arcane Adaption and Conspiracy to make any creature I played a scarecrow, still abusing Reaper King’s ability to destroy permanents when scarecrows enter the battlefield. I’d say it’s a deck that could be revisited if scarecrows got some better additions, but I don’t see this being a tribe with much of a following so that’s unlikely. My last additions focused on abusing blink effects and I added a full set of shocks and some fetches to the deck. It finally felt somewhat competitive at that point, but after pulling a Jodah from a Dominaria pack, I decided I’d rather go another route. I had a superfriends style deck brewed using Ramos, Dragon Engine as the commander, and decided that Jodah would actually be a better superfriends leader, despite both being 5-color. At the end of the day, I decided that I only wanted one 5-color deck, and thought I’d use Jodah to finally make a superfriends deck.

It turns out that of all the planeswalkers I owned, not very many of them would really make use of Jodah’s ability. Jodah himself doesn’t take more than 3 colors to cast, but his ability makes it so that as long as you can pay WUBRG, you can cast any spell for only 5 mana. This is a similar way that Reaper King could cheat as well, because he had hybrid mana costs and could get on the battlefield for as little as 5 mana. Jodah has him beat because he only costs 4 mana, and he still provides support for 5 colors. So one reason I got away from the superfriends idea was because most of them wouldn’t benefit by being cheated out for 5 mana, and Doubling Season is an essential card for the build. Doubling Season is currently $75 on Card Kingdom, and it’s no Mana Crypt so I can’t justify spending that kind of money on it. With that said, I decided that I still wanted to include a few planeswalkers, but I wouldn’t completely focus on that strategy. There are simply too many big bad ass creatures that can be cheated into play with Jodah on the board that I decided to include a ton. Sorceries often come with a hefty mana cost as well, so I’ve included quite a few high cost spells too. Let’s look at our cheating targets:

These are the cards you’re going to want to cheat into play earlier than you should be able to. Many of them are game finishers in their own right. You’ll be able to do some crazy stuff with some of these cards. The Praetors will make things miserable for your opponents. As will the big fuck you Eldrazi I’ve included. Bringer of the Black Dawn let’s you tutor out other big baddies. Nicol Bolas will help you empty other players hands. You can bring back every single legendary in your graveyard with Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth, and that includes Planeswalkers! Grab an extra turn with Karn’s Temporal Sundering, or create a shitload of 1/1’s with flying with Storm Herd. There’s some fun stuff here that you usually wouldn’t be able to cast by turn 4-5, and you should be able to do this every game. (EDIT @12pm – Realized that I hadn’t included Omniscience, which was meant to be included in the build. Why worry about having to cheat things in when you can just cast everything in your hand for free? I removed Dig Through Time from the list).

Because I wanted to do a superfriends deck and very few of my EDH decks have more than one or two planeswalkers in them, I picked out some of the most brutal ones for this deck. I stuck with planeswalkers that have emblems for the most part, because these emblems provide control in ways that only the most powerful of spells do, and emblems can’t be removed. From screwing up opponent’s untap steps, to countering their first spell per turn, these emblems are ruthless. Vraska also has a neat ability to create 3 1/1’s that cause opponents to lose the game if they get through. Planeswalkers have a big target on them though, so in order to help them get to their ultimate abilities, I’ve included Oath of Teferi and The Chain Veil. Both will allow you to use loyalty abilities twice per turn, though the oath does so for free. If you can get one or both of these on the board with a planeswalker out it should mean you can ultimate fairly quickly. Also for redundancy, I’ve included Fist of Suns, which is the same cheat ability from Jodah in artifact form. This should help you out if Jodah gets removed often and the commander tax gets out of hand.

Most of the utility cards are tutors, including those awesome land tutors that will allow you to fetch shocks. I have the cheap fetches included as well, but those will one day be upgraded to the non-tapped versions. Some forms of protection for Jodah are Swiftfoot Boots, Lightning Greaves and Diplomatic Immunity. I’ve included some of the best mana rocks, and ways to fix mana like Mirari’s Wake (and Zendikar Resurgent that’s in the gallery up top). Lastly, Stranglehold will keep your enemies from tutoring their own stuff, and keeps them from taking extra turns, which can keep you from losing the game.

So far I think it’s looking pretty good, but 5-color decks are tricky to balance. I’m sure I’ll make another pass at this after some playtesting. You can see the full deck list here.