Commander Challenge 11/09/19

Hello Commander enthusiasts! It’s time for another recap of another Commander Challenge! If you follow the blog regularly, you’ve noticed a lull this past week in my posts. For some, that’s a welcome chance to catch up, and for me it was because I was spending all my energy on a new day job. It seems like a really good fit, and a good work/life balance situation, so I should be able to keep up writing regularly. And going to Commander Challenge.

Normally I would have done a post this past Wednesday about what I was playing and why, but this week I wasn’t sure until the very last moment. It was a sort or ‘All or Nothing’ dilemma, as my choices boiled down to Changeling Tribal or Colourless Eldrazi. One is definitely more ‘friendly’ than the other, but I don’t mind playing Archenemy sometimes.

The reactions I got from bringing up Eldrazi were enough to make me go for Changelings. I don’t like to repeat myself too often in Challenge, and I have played this deck once this year already, but it’s a lot of fun and not very oppressive. Eldrazi is a good ‘Game 2’ deck because it’s fast, and votes aren’t on the line. But people really hate annihilator.

If you checked out my Changeling deck via the link above, or saw it in action, you’ll see I play The Ur-Dragon as my Commander. Why? Well, it changes the base math for a lot of your lynchpin creatures. My deck runs a low curve, and wants to get into play and interacting early. The Ur-Dragon makes Taurean Mauler and Mirror Entity into 2 drops, for example.

I looked into the main other Changeling tribal Commander options, and The Ur-Dragon’s mana discount plus gigantic finisher came out on top. I don’t think ETB- or cast-dependant cards like Reaper King or The First Sliver are as strong as they might look.

While I run the King in my deck, I find the cost to get him into play plus a Changeling to nuke a permanent is often 2 turns to kill one thing. And the King is a huge target himself. Plus, there aren’t as many Changelings or token makers as it might seem. Getting a steady stream of ETB triggers out of Changelings isn’t as easy as other tribes like Elves, Slivers, or even Allies.

The Sliver Commanders are fine with Changelings, but considering what Slivers are available, it seems like the Changelings might find themselves in the minority pretty quick.

General Tazri is a strong choice for combo-based Changeling builds, though tutoring for stuff is not for me. Tazri would be good for any strategy based around Mirror Entity or something, or a Changeling/Ally toolbox.

Najeela, the Blade Blossom was a consideration, and there’s a lot of cards out there that create tokens for doing various tribal stuff. That would be an interesting build, and something I might think about in future. But I have a lot of token decks and concepts, and wanted this to be about the Changelings.

While Admiral Beckett Brass was never a consideration for Commander because she’s not 5 colours, I tried her out in the 99 with other, similar cards that rewarded a go-wide Changeling strategy. Najeela plus cards like Conspiracy and Arcane Adaptation could make for a lot of Pirates or Soldiers or whatever, but I found getting more than 2 Changelings into play at any given time wasn’t reliable enough to play these cards. Like I said above, it’s tough to put a lot of Changelings into play unless you’re somehow comboing off. If you’re looking for Brass, Catapult Master, and even Cryptbreaker, they were cut for that reason.

Finally, I’d like to talk briefly about Morophon. I opened one in a MoHo booster, and was extremely excited about it.

But unfortunately, I’m a lot less excited now. Morophon has really underperformed for me and I’m looking to cut it from the Changeling deck, sadly. Why? 7CMC is a lot, and that’s pretty late to come down and make an impact. Many Changelings require double of a colour in their CMC, so it doesn’t make everything free, and like I keep saying, there aren’t that many to just drop down for the win. You also get a tribal anthem of your choice, which isn’t bad, but also isn’t great. In my 99, it’s pretty clunky outside of making the Ur-Dragon come down cheap and easy, which makes Morophon a huge target. It rarely lives through that turn. I don’t think Morophon is a worthwhile Changeling Commander at all, and a lot of tribes can do better with something a lot more focused and powerful. I’m going to save Morophon for building an obscure tribe like Horse or Turtle someday, where it’ll actually be good. Right now, it’s too many square pegs and I think I’d rather have Universal Automaton going forward.

Game 1

Game one (in order of play) featured Krenko, Mob Boss, myself, Meren of Clan Nel Toth, and Grismold the Dreadsower. Krenko is a common choice, and I’m sure is quite appealing to a lot of players based on relative cost and power. Mono-red decks often shine as budget options in many formats, and commander is no different.

While I haven’t seen a lot of Meren decks in a while, I’m well aware of the power there. Meren is strong and resilient, and one of many reasons to always pack some graveyard hate.

Grismold is a Commander I played myself a few Challenges ago. I did a wacky tribal Vampire thing with plant-based-alternative jokes and such. I’m excited to see him played a different way. I thought Grismold had a lot of potential, and this deck was not to disappoint.

Krenko’s start was so hot that it was a bit of a shock to Krenko. Turn one Mountain, into Sol Ring, into Skullclamp. Wow. Game on. I had mulliganed once, and settled on a 2-lander with both Risen Reef and Atzocan Seer in my hand. I don’t like 2 land hands, but I like starting at 6 cards less (especially when casting my Commander isn’t a priority) and I trust my deckbuilding skills to give me lands in a reasonable distribution. Plus 2 mana enablers. I thought I would be good. Not so. I did not draw a third land. I played the Opulent Palace I had and passed. Meren also played land. Grismold, looking to match Krenko’s start, played land, Chrome Mox, and Blood Artist. Game on indeed.

On turn 2, Krenko played Goblin Rabblemaster and attacked Grismold with the token. He clamped the token after combat.

I played my other land, and my Ghostly Changeling. I did not draw land. Meren and Grismold both played land. We were at Krenko’s mercy going into turn 3. Krenko played Goblin Chainwhirler, killing the Blood Artist, and attacked Grismold again.

I continued to draw no land, and passed with seven cards in hand. Meren simply played land. Grismold also stumbled on a land drop, but luckily had played Myriad Landscape on the previous turn, and cracked it.

On turn 4, Krenko played Thran Dynamo, followed by Goblin Ringleader, a recent reprint. Krenko’s hot streak ebbed a bit, and there were no Goblins in his top 4. He still had plenty of attacks to spread around, and brought me to 36, Meren to 33, and Grismold to 36 as well.

Again, no land for me, and this time I had to discard. Meren played the Commander. Grismold played Creakwood Liege.

On turn 5, Krenko played Hammer of Purphoros, and then followed with the Commander. He made 5 Goblin tokens, and spread some more attacks around. He clamped a token for more cards.

I did not draw land and discarded. Meren cast Jerrad’s Orders, putting caustic Caterpillar in hand, and Massacre Girl into the graveyard. That was a clear message for Krenko. Meren cast the Caterpillar. At end of turn, Meren’s ability returned Massacre Girl to hand.

Grismold played Explosive Vegetation, looking to ramp quietly before the storm. On turn 6, the storm came. Literally. Krenko cast Comet Storm for 4, taking out Meren’s Commander, the Caterpillar, the Creakwood Liege and dealing 4 to the Meren player directly. Without blockers, Meren was helpless to avoid an alpha strike from Krenko and died with the answer in hand.

I was still mana-less, and discarded Chameleon Colossus with the concern that I’d never be able to cast it. Grismold had enough mana now for a massive play, and dropped Massacre Wurm, much worse for Krenko than Massacre Girl would have been. When the dust settled, Krenko’s board was nearly clear, and he was down 30 life points to a total of 8.

Krenko wasn’t done, and cast Banefire on turn 7 to get rid of the Wurm. His Commander was able to make some more tokens, 2 of which he clamped. He was still able to attack Grismold for 3. My turn 7 was landless. Discard, pass. Ouch. Grismold’s deck turned out to be full of really fantastic answers to Krenko, and the next one to come down was Plague Engineer, naming Goblins. That wasn’t good for me, either. Plague Engineer is the real deal. Grismold followed with his Commander, and we commenced making Plants.

Without a Goblin anthem, Krenko’s main ability was turned by Plague Engineer into a straight payoff for Commander Grismold. Krenko weighed options on turn 8, then played Battle Squadron, attacking Grismold in the air.

After combat, Krenko used Relentless Assault to get another Combat step, attacking again. Grismold was at 16, but finishing him off was going to be a difficult slog for Krenko, or even me. I drew some hope with City of Brass, and played Risen Reef. I didn’t reveal a land, to nobody’s surprise, but at least I was suddenly in the game.

Grismold was rolling now, and cast Rishkar’s Expertise, drawing 5.

He then dropped Night of Souls’ Betrayal for free, killing my poor creatures.

He attacked into Krenko, and while Commander Krenko traded with the Plague Engineer, Krenko stood at 2 life. Commander Grismold was a healthy 8/8 after the end-of-turn Plants appeared and immediately died. Krenko was out of options, and couldn’t do much with turn 9. I drew another land and played Atzocan Seer.

Grismold played a finisher in Poison-Tip Archer. He attacked me for 8, and after the end-of-turn Plants, Krenko was dead, and I was at 21.

Before that same end-step, I had sacced my Atzocan Seer to get my Chameleon Colossus back from the graveyard to try and save myself from Commander damage at least. I played it turn 10 and passed.

Grismold poured it on, using Hunted Troll to give me Faeries that died immediately and ate my life points. He reanimated the Massacre Wurm, and after the end-of-turn Plants, left me one turn to try something.

My turn 11 was spent passing with Patron of the Nezumi in hand, hoping for some incredible mistake out of Grismold as my only option.

It was not to be. Grismold finished me off easily, and we were off to game 2!

Game 2

Game 2 included Rashmi, Eternities Crafter (who brought a super cute dog who relaxed under the table while we played), me, Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Jalira, Master Polymorphist, and… another Grismold deck! This Grismold was Troll tribal, which is pretty cool, but also Bridge (Tribal? Geographical? Architectural?). All the basics had Bridges on them, and pretty much all the removal was themed with falling (off a bridge). Amazing, and effective. This is the kind of deck that really shows off the format. Kudos to the builder, who always brings great thematic decks like this.

Rashmi led things off turn 1 with a land, and the game was in motion. I played land, as did Tasigur. Jalira also played a Witching Well, a card I’ve seen a lot since its printing not so long ago.

Grismold played Odious Trow turn 1, diving right into the theme with both feet.

Rashmi played the excellent Blast Zone on turn 2. I got my hands on one of those recently. I hope to see that in a few precons going forward, and get some copies out there so it can be the widely-played staple it deserves to be.

I played Venomous Changeling on my turn 2, which turned into quite the roadblock later on.

Tasigur played a land and passed. Part of what makes Tasigur so strong as a Commander is the colours he enables. Sultai is an awesome combination, and most consider gree, blue and black to be the best colours in Commander.

Jalira also played land and passed. I haven’t seen much Jalira. Polymorph is an interesting ability to staple to a creature. It could be the sort of deck that makes tokens easily and runs a few gigantic payoffs in the deck to find, kind of like a Legacy Oath of Druids deck.

Grismold played land and passed. Turn 3, Rashmi played Vivien, Champion of the Wilds. This card totally snuck under the radar. Green has a handful of flash options, but this comes with other abilities, survives boardwipes, and is really undercosted for what it does. Very strong card, and did a ton of work for Rashmi.

On my turn, I played Amoeboid Changeling, which often gives me some surprising strategic options.

Tasigur played the extremely powerful Rhystic Study. Jalira cracked the Myriad Landscape they played the previous turn. Grismold played the Commander, and attacked Tasigur with the Trow. We started making Plants. Rashmi passed turn 4 without anything more than a Vivien activation. I played Knight Exemplar, making my Changelings indestructible.

Tasigur followed with Azusa, Lost but Seeking, and added extra lands. Azusa with Rhystic Study is a powerful engine, but can make you a huge target.

Jalira copied Rhystic Study with Mirrormade, another card I’ve recently acquired. It’s a total staple, and something you can easily throw into any blue deck.

Grismold kept up the pressure at Tasigur, attacking him again. He then played Horned Troll. At end of turn Rashmi flashed in Solemn Simulacrum and grabbed an Island.

On turn 5, Rashmi attacked the Solemn at Jalira, but it was chumped by a Plant. Grismold started to grow. On my turn I played Lord of the Unreal, adding hexproof to my indestructible Changelings.

Tasigur played Wilderness Reclamation, then untapped lands at the end of turn. Jalira tried Propaganda, but Tasigur replied with Sinister Sabotage. Jalira was not to be denied, and countered the counter with Mesmeric Glare.

Grismold doubled down on theme, casting Trollhide on the Commander. He attacked Vivien with plants, prompting some trades, and Tasigur with the Commander. Afterwards, Grismold was a solid 6/6, and Tasigur had 9 Commander Damage on him.

Rashmi flashed in the Commander on Grismold’s endstep. Rashmi added a Reliquary Tower, but passed with mana up again. I played Timber Protector, combining with Amoeboid Changeling and Knight Exemplar to make me very strong against any boardwipes.

Tasigur cast Grisly Salvage on my endstep and grabbed Kruphix, God of Horizons.

On his turn, he cast the god, then Bring to Light for 3, adding Ochran Assassin, hoping deathtouch might keep the Trolls away.

Tasigur cast Thought Erasure, naming Rashmi, who first cast Reclamation Sage in response, destroying Tasigur’s Rhystic Study, then Beast Within, getting the copy Mirrormade by Jalira. Tasigur was left with few choices in Rashmi’s hand, choosing Future Sight.

Jalira cast Time of Ice, one of the few Sagas I’ve seen played in Commander. Hopefully they do better in Theros. Ochran Assassin was tapped down.

Jalira also cast Callous Dismissal, bouncing Rashmi and making a Zombie Army token. At end of turn, Jalira discard Blightsteel Colossus to hand size. Sneaky.

Grismold didn’t deviate from the ‘kill Tasigur’ strategy, and attacked with the 9/9 Troll. A few Plant chumps kept some heat off, but grew the Troll too. Tasigur was at 15 Commander Damage. Turn 7 saw Rashmi cast Ponder and activate Vivien, who was still around and alternating + and – activations for value. I played Avian Changeling, now a substantial flying threat either on attack or defense. That was not lost on the table, and someone (I think it was Tasigur, but I didn’t write it down) cast No Escape on it.

On his turn, Tasigur cast Duress on me, trying to make me discard anything but a creature. Unfortunately, all I had was 3 creatures. Tasigur then cast Oko, Thief of Crowns, and Elked Grismold. While that might work in Standard, Griselk was still the Commander, and still loaded up with +1/+1 counters and Trollhide. The Elking did take care of Griselk’s trample, though. Tasigur played Kruphix, now a creature.

Jalira untapped turn 7, and after drawing, tapped down Kruphix with Time of Ice. Jalira played the Commander, Sage of Epityr and Tempest Djinn, coming in as a 9/4.

Grismold had the answer to finish off Tasigur, playing Trollbred Warrior, making his Elkommander trample once again. Tasigur had no answer and was dead.

Neither Rashmi or I did much on turn 8, allowing Jalira to make the saucy move of casting an overloaded Blustersquall during the draw step, tapping down all of our creatures and then bouncing them with Time of Ice.

Jalira used the Commander’s ability to turn the Zombie Army token into Keiga, the Tide Star.

Jalira attacked me with the Tempest Djinn for 10, bringing me to 30. Grismold played another Troll, the Sporeback, a grafter, and used the first graft on the Commander. Rashmi flashed the Solemn back in on endstep, then added Wall of Blossoms on turn 9. I followed with some of my previously bounced boardstate, as did Jalira and Grismold. Jalira made the coolest play of the bunch with a white-bordered, 8th Edition Storm Crow.

Time was called, giving us a final round of turns. Everyone but me spread attacks around. It was Rashmi’s Swan Song countering Jalira’s Cyclonic Rift that created enough of an opening for Rashmi to cast Elder Deep-Fiend, tap down Jalira’s creatures, and knock Jalira out. I played a few more Changelings, and Grismold cast Battle at the Bridge on the Deep Fiend to end the game with three of us still standing.

On to game 3!

Game 3

Game 3 was another 5 person pod, which can make for a complicated game. This one had me going first, followed by Alela, Artful Provocateur, Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice, Geist of Saint Traft, and Sydri, Galvanic Genius.

Alela is incredibly popular, as one of the newest kids on the block, and I’m excited to see her in action.

Trostani is a solid choice that often flies under the radar before popping up with a devastating late game.

Geist lends well to Voltron. Will this deck pile cool Equipment and Auras on the Geist?

Sydri promises Artifacts. Artifact strategies are strong, in a large part because the CMCs are colourless. Sydri is a 3 colour Commander, but might not need much mana fixing at all.

I led with a Sliver Hive. I don’t usually tell my opponents what I’m playing, and a Sliver Hive on turn 1 from the Ur-Dragon player is a fun head-scratcher for them. All the others played lands, and so did I with my turn 2. Alela played the first Arcane Signet I’ve seen in play so far. I guess I hope it’s the first of many.

Trostani added Selesnya Signet, and Geist hinted at a Voltron strategy to come with Sword of the Animist.

On my turn 3, I played Dragon’s Hoard, a really strong card for me. A mana rock that draws cards easily is big game. I love drawing this thing.

Alela played Ghostly Prison, and both Trostani and Geist played their Commanders. Sydri played the classic Copy Artifact, making a Sword of the Animist of her own.

On my turn 4, I played Herald’s Horn and Hungry Lynx. The Horn is another big performer for me in my tribal decks. I named Dragons.

The Lynx is a bit silly, but can grow an army in a hurry. Note that Changelings are both Cats and Rats for the triggers. I gave the Rat token to Sydri.

Alela played the Commander. Trostani played Field of Souls. Geist attacked me with the Commander. Sydri played the Commander as well. 4 of 5 were in play.

On my turn 5, I played Heirloom Blade and attached it to the Lynx. I kept sending Rats to Sydri, figuring she’d have the least ways to leverage them compared to the others.

Alela played Metallic Mimic, choosing Faeries, and making a Faerie token too. Alela added Selfless Spirit and commenced attacking at Sydri.

Trostani played Primeval Bounty, looking to add some value to every play.

Geist played Shielded by Faith on the Geist, and attacked Sydri. I breathed a sigh of relief, glad to not be the only target.

Sydri played Arcum Dagsson, an extremely strong Commander in his own right. Alela was not warm to the play.

Turn 6 saw me play Myr Reservoir and Descendant’s Path. I’m not 100% behind the Reservoir, as I’m not sure I have many worthwhile activations, and my Commander reduces colourless CMCs pretty effectively….

Alela did not waste time on turn 6, and cast Mortify, killing Arcum Dagsson. Alela continued to attack at Sydri.

Trostani tried Green Sun’s Zenith for 5, but was stopped by a Dovin’s Veto from Geist.

Tutors are good choice for a counterspell, for sure.

Geist played Trailblazer’s Boots, a pretty scary card for all of us.

Geist equipped them on the Commander, added Hyena Umbra for good measure, and attacked Sydri, who was now down to 27. The angel token came my way, bringing me down to 31.

On my turn 7, I whiffed on both the Descendant’s Path and Herald’s Horn. I only had land to play, so I played it. Alela played Fellwar Stone and Etchings of the Chosen, choosing Faeries. This time, the attack went at Geist.

Trostani played Acidic Slime and destroyed Alela’s Ghostly Prison.

Geist sent the Commander and the Angel both at Trostani, making sure we all got a taste of Commander Damage. Sydri followed with Mystic Forge, prompting some widened eyes from the table.

On my turn 8, I had the mana to summon my Commander. The way things were going, I might need to kill or be killed. Out came the big Dragon. Alela used her turn to attack Sydri again, bring her to 7 Commander Damage. Trostani played Thragtusk and gained a pile of life, soaring back over 40.

Geist attacked Alela with the Commander and sent the Angel Trostani’s way. Sydri played Caltrops, which Alela immediately countered with Dovin’s Veto. Good move.

On turn 9, I had a clear lane to attack Geist with my Commander, or so I thought. Geist cast Cyclonic Rift on overload, and reset the board. I was able to replay my Dragon’s Hoard before passing.

Alela rebuilt with mana rocks, then added Propaganda.

Trostani replayed the Commander. Geist used the turn to attack me with the Commander and Trostani with the Angel. I was at 26 and feeling the pinch. Sydri tried to replay Mystic Forge, but it was counted by Geist’s Void Shatter. For the second time in the afternoon, a player discarded Blightsteel Colossus to hand size, and Sydri ended her turn.

Turn 10 I was able to build further, replaying Herald’s Horn on Dragons again, and adding Lord of the Unreal and Game-Trail Changeling.

Alela replayed the Commander and the Etchings, and added another mana rock. Trostani played Dawn of Hope, then replayed Acidic Slime, destroying the Trailblazer’s Boots.

Geist responded with True Conviction, both thematic and very powerful. The Commander chewed up Sydri down to 16 and the Angel smashed me to 17. Geist gained the difference, now up to 53.

Sydri had no play other than land, and turn 11 dawned on me playing Atla Palani, Nest Tender. I’m not sure this is the right home for this card, but you never know. I need more play tests.

I also played Timber Protector. Alela replayed Metallic Mimic and Selfless Spirit, and then played Dovin, Grand Arbiter.

With the first ability active, Alela was able to start piling on loyalty by attacking Geist. Trostani replayed Thragtusk and gained life. Geist had had enough of our buildup, and cast Supreme Verdict, destroying most of the creatures. Alela used Selfless Spirit to preserve her board, and I had a single indestructible Changeling survive, but Geist was free to attack and did, bringing Trostani down a bit, and me to 8. Geist played Argentum Armor and passed. Yikes.

Sydri discarded, holding up mana. I played Moonglove Changeling, Heirloom Blade and passed. Alela drew cards with Winged Words, played Act of Authority, nuking True Conviction, and added Rhystic Study to the board before attacking Geist for 16 and adding more loyalty to Dovin.

Trostani replayed Primeval Bounty, then added Twilight Drover, making a token.

Geist equipped the Argentum Armor, and used it to pick off the Rhystic Study. He attacked Dovin, but was blocked by a token chump. Sydri played the Commander. On my turn 13, I played Cloudshredder Sliver and Crookclaw Elder, giving my some air power.

Alela used Act of Authority to blow up the Argentum Armor, then ultimated Dovin. Alela played more rocks and Kumena’s Awakening to grow the fae army. Alela attacked Geist for 23, dropping him to 19.

Trostani played a flurry of cards: Honor of the Pure, Primal Rage, and Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves. As the flurry flurried, time was called, and we had 5 turns left to complete the game. Geist tried to make sure he’d finish in the land of the living by playing Worship.

Sydri was unable to muster more than an Etherium Sculptor. While I’d been durdling most of the game, it was time to strike. I first played Mirror Entity, which was countered by Alela. I played Graveshifter to bring it back, and when I activated it for 5, Alela also cast Swords to Plowshares on my Cloudshredder Sliver. I now couldn’t kill any one player, and was forced to pass.

Alela had enough left, however, casting Despark on Worship, and attacking with enough tokens to kill both Geist and Sydri.

Trostani wasn’t able to finish anyone off either, and we were off to game 4!

Game 4

Game 4 was a rematch between the first Grismold of the day and me, alongside not one but two Lords Windgrace!

Windgrace has an extremely strong suite of cards based around playing lands. Lands are really tough to interact with, and the Windgrace decks can turn from snowball to avalanche in a hurry. I’m going to refer to them as Windgrace 1 and Windgrace 2.

On turn 1, we all played lands, and Windgrace 1 played Faithless Looting, discarding, guess what, a couple of lands. Turn 2 was notable for having everyone but me play a bounce land. Grismold had to discard because of it. Windgrace 1 cast Gamble, and discarded Zendikar’s Roil, which I’m sure wasn’t the Gamble target.

Windgrace 2 played Explore to make their bounce land the second drop of the turn.

On turn 3, Grismold played Commander’s Sphere. I played Soulcatcher’s Aerie, prompting some eyebrows raised from the Windgraces.

Windgrace 1 played a really cool altered Sol Ring, explaining that it was the Gamble target. I snagged a pic.

Windgrace 2 played Rekindling Phoenix, a recent Standard standout.

Grismold played Virulent Plague on turn 4, which wasn’t so good for the Phoenix’s token. I played Skeletal Changeling. Windgrace 1 followed with Hour of Promise, fetching Maze of Ith and Thespian’s Stage.

Windgrace 2 attacked Grismold with the Phoenix, then played the Commander. On turn 5 Grismold played his Commander also. At end of turn, we briefly had Plants before all died to the Virulent Plague. Grismold grew quickly. On my turn, I copied the Maze of Ith with Vesuva, then played Goblin Trashmaster. I had a sneaky little engine in mind.

Windgrace 1 played the Commander, followed by Evolution Sage. This was not an interaction I’d thought about, and it was so strong. If I ever see this again, it’s kill one or the other ASAP.

A Windgrace minus played two lands from the yard, and put the counters back on Windgrace. Yikes. Windgrace 2 played Wayward Swordtooth, and sent the Phoenix at Grismold again. A Windgrace activation provided enough permanents for the City’s Blessing.

On turn 6 Grismold played Primal Vigor, then attacked Windgrace 2 with a 7/7 Commander. The Wayward Swordtooth went down as a blocker, and Windgrace 2 then had Revolt to be able to Fatal Push the troll away.

On Grismold’s endstep, I sacrificed my Skeletal Changeling via my Trashmaster to destroy Grismold’s Commander’s Sphere. Grismold sacced the Sphere to draw, but my Changeling still hit the graveyard, putting a counter on my Soulcatcher’s Aerie. On my turn, I cast Gisa and Geralf, milled 4, and cast Shapesharer from the yard.

Windgrace 1 flashed back Faithless Looting and played Crucible of Worlds.

Windgrace 2 went for Crash of Rhino Beetles, then sent the Phoenix back at Grismold, who had been knocked steadily down to 28. Windgrace 2 cracked a Myriad Landscape, giving him enough lands to make the Beetles 15/15.

On turn 7, Grismold played Deathreap Ritual, then cast Animate Dead on a Massacre Wurm in his yard. The only thing it killed was the Evolution Sage, but it was worth it.

On his endstep, I sacced my Shapesharer to destroy the Crucible of Worlds and put another counter on my Aerie. On my turn recast the Sharer and played Dromoka, the Eternal from hand, my only actual Dragon.

Windgrace 1 played Green Sun’s Zenith for 7, which resulted in Angry Omnath.

Windgrace 1 played Tempt with Discovery, and while it’s generally a terrible idea to give the lands player more lands, we all had something to grab. I’m not exactly sure what Windgrace 1 grabbed besides Kessig Wolf Run, but I assume terrible things. I got Swarmyard. Grismold smartly grabbed Glacial Chasm. Windgrace 2 got the terror of Standard Field of the Dead.

Windgrace 2 finished off turn 7 with The Mending of Dominaria, using it to replay the Swordtooth. Windgrace 2’s assault on Grismold was stopped cold by the Glacial Chasm, and he passed. On turn 8, Grismold played nasty wincon Revel in Riches.

Grismold added Phyrexian Altar and immediately sacced the Massacre Wurm.

On Grismold’s endstep, I sacced my Shapesharer to kill the Altar and bump up my Aerie by another counter. On my turn I played what has become a serious card in my deck, Greatbow Doyen.

I attacked Windgrace 1 despite the Maze of Ith to get a bolstre trigger from Dromoka, then cast Amoeboid Changeling and Skeletal Changeling from the yard.

Windgrace 1 had had a Blast Zone in play for a couple of turns, and blew up all the 3 drops, mainly Virulent Plague. Windgrace also had a Wasteland in the yard, and used a Commander activation to get it back and kill Grismold’s Glacial Chasm.

Windgrace 1 attacked me with 3 tokens, getting an Elemental through but losing two tokens to my 7/7 Changelings, and taking 14 damage courtesy of the Doyen. Windgrace 1 did use the Elemental death triggers to kill my Gisa and Geralf, stopping my little loop. Windgrace 2 played Cavalier of Thorns, adding yet more land to play, then attacked Grismold for lethal with the Rhino Beetles.

With Grismold dead, I started turn 10, playing Amorphous Axe, and equipping Dromoka. I attacked Windgrace 2 and bolstered, but Windgrace 2 cast the aptly named Windgrace’s Judgement, blowing up Angry Omnath and Soulcatcher’s Aerie. My attack was simply not enough, though I got in for 20.

Windgrace 1’s snowball had avalanched, and there were 10 Elementals waiting to turn Windgrace 2 and I into Mulch, which Windgrace 1 cast as well. Kessig Wolf Run made sure that blocking was useless, and the day was done.

While I didn’t have any kills, and I didn’t have a ton of sleep, somehow I picked up a lot of votes and finished third on the day! Pretty great! My prize was a Thrones of Eldraine Collector Booster, which contained a borderless Hushbringer, a non-foil Syr Gwyn and a foil Sorcerous Spyglass.

The big winner on the day played Ramos, Dragon Engine ‘Lucky Charms,’ with cards like Abzan Charm. I’ve played both Ramos and Charms, but not together. Sounds like a great match.

I apologize for the delay in getting this post out. It’s been a busy couple of weeks with the new job and such, but by the time the next Commander Challenge rolls around in December, I should be good and ready! In the meantime I have some stuff planned, including more Phyrexian Dad. Thanks for reading!

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