TWR: Such Uncommon People Emerge Radically Friends

In case you don’t catch the meaning of this post title, this is a new deck I brewed up using Atraxa, Praetor’s Voice along with a pile of new and old Planeswalkers. That means, we’re talking Superfriends!

Such
Uncommon
People
Emerge
Radically

F
R
I
E
N
D
S

Hopefully that clears things up. I don’t know if that’s clever or not, but I like naming my decks random things if something catchy comes to mind, and there you have it. But enough about the naming convention, let’s look at our queen of the deck, Atraxa herself:

I’ve owned a copy of Atraxa for nearly a year. I purchased her and a copy of Doubling Season at GP Vegas last summer, and this summer’s convention is fast approaching as well. Originally I wanted her to build a superfriends deck, but then I started thinking I’d like to have access to red and wanted to make her into an infect deck instead. I still like the idea of infect for Atraxa, and I wrote about it before, but I never did get around to actually building the deck. As such, she sat and collected dust while I worked on other things. With the release of War of the Spark and the plethora of new Planeswalker additions I just knew I had to go back to my original idea for the commander. The reason infect or superfriends builds are so popular with Atraxa at the helm is because she has that one line of text that reads “At the beginning of  your end step, proliferate.” This means that at the end of your turn, anything with a counter on it, will get an additional counter. So if players have infect counters, or Planeswalkers are on the board, or if anything has a +1/+1 on it, they’re getting one more. Combo this with things like Doubling Season and the Chain Veil, and you can do some fun stuff. First though, let’s look at other ways we can proliferate without relying on our commander completely.

Proliferate Effects:

I’ve added in a handful of creatures that help with our proliferate theme, mainly by proliferating after a certain requirement is met, be it lands entering the battlefield or spells being cast. We have one draw spell that also proliferates, and an enchantment that doubles up with Flux Channeler. Deepglow Skate can be the finishing touch if you already have a bunch of Planeswalkers on the board. Next up I want to talk about the Planeswalkers themselves, but I have a couple of notes: First, I actually threw this deck together strictly with cards that I opened up with my War of the Spark box, along with cards I already owned. Having a Doubling Season and The Chain Veil made this an easier deck to slap together. The mana base is currently shit, and there are some more powerful walkers that I could include in the deck, however some of them have hefty price tags and those have gone up after the release of this set. So this was sort of a budget build for me, but also would still be kind of expensive for one to purchase as singles all at once. So these selections I’m going to show you were either lucky pulls for me, or cards I already owned, so I didn’t have to make a big investment to slam the deck together. As such, it is a little all over the place, but I intend to smooth it out over time.

Planeswalkers:

As you can see, the majority of the Planeswalkers I’m using are from War of the Spark, with the exception of a handful of ones that I already owned and had primarily used in other decks. However, I wanted this to be playable now, and tune it as I go. As it stands it did well in the games I’ve played with it, but that hasn’t been too many. I have some powerful Planeswalkers here that will do some cool things, but I don’t have ones like Jace the Mind Sculptor which has a $150 price tag — but it will win you games. The main idea here is to just throw down some Planeswalkers that will create some tokens and get some proliferation going on so that your walkers are getting closer to their ultimates, you’ll get more tokens, and if you can get some counters down you’ll also get more of those. I managed to have a pretty good game with some of the less powerful ones, so if they don’t get answered immediately you can run away with a game. However, in multiplayer I imagine this doesn’t go as well, but I also know ways that we can shore things up. Perhaps I don’t have enough of a removal package or am not playing enough counters. Maybe I need to shift in other directions as far as my Planeswalker choices go. That’s the beauty of this game, being able to throw something together, find out what works and what doesn’t and then make adjustments accordingly. Not to mention, with each new set we get new walkers and new synergies and soon decks take on a life of their own. But I digress. I’m not going to share any more of the cards here today as I think you get the gist of where this is going. However, I wouldn’t recommend building this sort of deck unless you have at least a few of the better walkers along with Doubling Season and The Chain Veil. Oath of Teferi is helpful too. That’s all for today. You can check the full decklist here.

The War Report: Atraxa Brew

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.

Infect:

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.

Proliferate:

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.

Counter Shenanigans:

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.