Over the weekend I did a little shopping at the convention and picked up a copy of Atraxa, one of the commanders from the 2016 sets. Funny enough, when I got into commander was right around the same time that the 2016 sets were out, and I could have purchased this set, or Breya which is also super popular and as a result the commander deck is overpriced. Instead, I picked up Saskia because she sounded fun and kick myself every time I think about it. Turns out that the decklist is full of good cards but many of them I already own, so I decided to just get a single of the legend herself. Still pretty pricey, but getting my hands on her and Doubling Season made my day. The only conundrum at that point was deciding what to do with her. I’ve been scratching my head ever since, up until last night when I finally sat down to brew a deck centered around this lovely devil:
Atraxa is likely the #1 commander used in Superfriends decks. This style of deck revolves around abusing her proliferate ability to stack counters on your deck full of Planeswalkers in order to use their ultimate abilities as soon as possible and do some broken things. This often involves the use of Doubling Season along with cards like Oath of Teferi and The Chain Veil. However, a while back I made the snap decision to sell off most of the Planeswalkers I owned and gave up on getting a Doubling Season as it was priced around $75 at the time. It’s been reprinted in Battlebond though, so I managed to get my copy for $36. This brought me back around to the though of doing Superfriends, though using Atraxa means missing out on any Red Planeswalkers which is why my original Superfriends brew used Ramos, Dragon Engine instead so I could go 5-color, and later I was trying to do the same sort of thing with Jodah. Jodah ended up being a 5-color good stuff with big beaters that I could cheat into play, but still has a handful of Planeswalkers along with Oath of Teferi and The Chain Veil in the deck. I’m kind of over the idea of a Superfriends deck at this point too, so I’ve decided to go another route with Atraxa.
One of the first EDH decks I built was centered around Temmet who was new at the time, and I eventually turned it into an infect deck. It worked, but still was not very competitive. Atraxa and infect go hand in hand, as her proliferate ability will allow you to ping someone for 1 poison counter (let’s say with Blighted Agent, who is unblockable) and then proliferate your way to 10 counters, killing off an opponent. Most of these creatures have infect innately, but for those in the deck that don’t, I’ve included Grafted Exoskeleton and Phyresis to seal the deal. Conversely, if someone plays a powerful creature I can steal it and give it Infect with Corrupted Conscience. Lovely.
Proliferation isn’t just the duty of our commander though, I’ve included a handful of cards that also help with that detail. The artifacts here will allow you to do it on command, Inexorable Tide is basically a win-con in a card, Tezzeret’s Gamble will draw you some cards too, and Thrummingbird depends on doing combat damage to proliferate, but in a multiplayer game someone is bound to not have fliers.
There’s a lot to take in with this last gallery, but generally speaking, we’re going to not only be aiming to put poison counters on our enemies so that we can proliferate them to death, but we’re also going to want to be adding +1/+1 counters to all of our creatures so that we can smash face. Bonus from cards like Abzan Falconer and Herald of Secret Streams who give evasion to creatures with counters on them. Each of these cards will help us to have the biggest creatures on the field and will also allow us to get poison counters spread around the table quickly.
That’s really all there is to it. I think this deck is going to be fun as hell for me to play but not so fun for those I’m playing against. It’s not going to hold up against a deck that wins on turn 3, but it should be able to hold its own against decks that are a little slower to get out their combo pieces. You can view the full decklist here.