I’ve written about Saskia the Unyielding before, and the time has come for an update to her deck. I originally purchased the 2016 Commander Precon that she was the face card for and utilized that deck a few times before ripping it apart to use the cards included elsewhere. Since then, I read an article that took her in a direction that I hadn’t thought of and was intrigued by, so I took that author’s idea and made it my own. That deck has honestly never seen much play. Saskia has a powerful ability, and for whatever reason it didn’t seem like I could make it work for me. Most games I was either hated off the board or ended up nearly killing two opponents before they decide to team up and remove the common threat. I also owned an Atraxa that I had planned on making into an Infect commander but after War of the Spark’s release I could only see making her into a Superfriends deck instead. I still wanted to be able to use some of the infect cards I had lying around (you might remember a build I made for Temmet a couple of years back), and then I thought about Saskia again. A commander that I think has a lot of potential but I hadn’t really given her a fair shake. So here we are, building her into an infect commander!
Saskia is a 3/4 for 4 CMC with Vigilance and Haste. Her having haste right out the gate also made me want to give our creatures some hasty options, so cards like Rhythm of the Wild and Anger are also included in the deck but not pictured below. What’s most important about her though, is her ability to allow your creatures to damage two opponents at once as long as she is on the battlefield. If said creatures have infect though, you’ll be really close to eliminating multiple opponents quite quickly. It’s not likely that she’ll ever be racing turn 3 and 4 decks, but for those in more of the midrange I’d say you could do some damage. Seeing as how this is an infect deck, of course we’re going to play with a bunch of creatures with the keyword. Let’s take a closer look.
It seems that the majority of the good infect cards are Black and Green, while we do have a few decent artifacts as well. There are definitely more creatures than this in the game with infect, but I tried to look at those that brought the most to the table and had lower casting costs. In the case of some of the more vanilla creatures, they are just there to try and sneak in some early damage, and I’ve included ways to give them evasion if they don’t already have it baked in. As it stands, you only need to get in ten points of infect damage to eliminate a player from the game, and if Saskia is out and you can do it to two people at once, it will be a fun day.
Evasion is helpful in trying to get to that ten points of infect damage. Iroas gives our creatures menace (can’t be blocked unless by two creatures at once) but also prevents damage to them, so keep in mind infect gives -1/-1 counters when damage is placed so you can whittle down opponent’s defenses turn by turn. Mirri will also help our creatures get in more often, and keeps big hordes from attacking us. There are also a couple of Proliferate options presented just so that we can keep the pressure on those that already have counters. Grafted Exoskeleton can equip to the few creatures we have without infect to give them the keyword, or a well timed Tainted Strike will also do the trick. Beyond Trailblazer’s Boots, Rogue’s Passage is another inclusion for ways to get around blockers so we can infect our opponents.
Four and Five color decks tend to be mana hungry, but also need to get to all four of their colors rather quickly. As such, I’ve included a very good ramp package that is a mixture of mana dorks (creatures that tap for mana), rocks (artifacts that tap for mana) and ramp spells (spells that pull lands from your library). Chromatic Lantern will help make all of our lands tap for any color, and the two enchantments Land Tax and Smothering Tithe can help us catch up if we’re behind or make for some explosive turns. Ramping quickly will help us to get more threats on the board, and from there we should be able to get early infect damage stacking. Then, we’ll use a finisher and get our well deserved victory!
I’ve included three finishers in case just smashing face and/or proliferation aren’t enough to get the job done. Beastmaster Ascension is a great cheap option if you have a bunch of creatures on the board, as it will instantly buff them +5/+5 and well, that’s probably game over. The same can be said of God-Eternal Rhonas, in that he doubles creature’s power the turn you play him, but if he dies he bounces to your library and can be used again later. Lastly, Triumph of the Hordes will not only pump all of your creatures and give them trample, but those that don’t have infect will get it, and yeah, you should be winning the game at that point.
Hoping to have this one finished up soon. Planning on a progress report style post soon, where I go over the status of decks I’m working on, how older ones are performing and being updated, and all that jazz. Until then!