Deckbuilding – Magic, the Beveraging

Top of the mornin’ to you, Commander players! It’s an unprecedented time in human history, and it’s likely that the usual St. Patrick’s Day festivities won’t be happening in your area. Many bars and gathering places are closed today, and people in my area are urged to celebrate at home. But the spirit of fun can still be observed, and I want to share a deck with you that I’ve been working on for St. Patrick’s. I hope you enjoy the concept, and maybe it’ll be something you’ll build yourself.

Plenty of Magic players are under the legal drinking age in their areas, and I am not encouraging drinking. But if you’re going to enjoy an adult beverage, and want to pair it with a delicious Magic deck, this might be the one.

The Commander is a classic Irish creature, O’Kagachi. The O’Kagachis were a proud, fierce family, who spent their time making terrible cultural mishmashes and distilling spirits. The spirits are the focus of this deck, the same as they’re sometimes the focus of St. Paddy’s Day. Many people lift a glass of spirits to their friends, family, and the spirits of their ancestors. What could better than a deck that passes out spirits to one and all?

Some decks have a ‘Hidden Commander,’ which is usually another creature that the deck finds easily and leverages as much or more than whatever’s in the Command Zone. Recently I played against a mono-black Golos deck that had Cabal Coffers as a ‘Hidden Commander.’ This deck does something similar to that, with a land as the Hidden Commander. Forbidden Orchard is what this deck wants to do as early as possible every game. First of all, you get to fix your mana in a five colour deck. But more importantly, you get to start handing out the spirits. I made a fun token you can use. Or brew up some of your own!

If you want this deck to involve the consumption of adult beverages, you can place the condition on the table that whenever a spirit creature dies, that player has to drink. Please be responsible!

The deck runs several other ways to give spirit tokens, including Afterlife, Benevolent Offering and March of Souls. Bonus points for St. Paddy’s being in March! But the main source of spirits is the Forbidden Orchard. I included a large number of ways to find it, including Expedition Map, Golos, Tireless Pilgrim, Tempt with Discovery, and others. Hour of Promise even doubles as a Happy Hour reference!

Since the deck wants to promote the consumption of beverages, it has a number of thematic ways to kill said spirits. Cards like Clear Shot, Grapeshot, Flameshot, Grapeshot Catapult, Stinging Shot and Liquid Fire should not only kill some spirits, but may also define what kind of beverages are consumed as a result. Watch out for Dual Shot, opponents!

The deck also has a second mechanism of inciting beverage consumption: taking combat damage from any its themed creatures. Hit by the Nip Gwyllion? Take a nip! Hit by the Giant Slug? Take a giant slug! Same for Gluttonous Slug!

From there, the decks runs dozens of fun theme cards like Hexdrinker and Thirsting Shade as additional threats, Tavern Swindler as a fun diversion, and Vein Drinker as a sneaky way to kill spirits.

Speaking of killing spirits, Clash of Realities creates a fun sub-game where players can take matters into their own hands. Watch out it doesn’t kill your Commander!

Pharika’s Libation, Quench, and Thirst are on-theme answers, among others. When you cast Muddle the Mixture, insist someone have a Mojito. Your draw spells are Thirst for Knowledge and Thirst for Meaning, and should have an accompanying sip for yourself. When you ramp with Journey for the Elixir, go get another one. Play Downdraft? Everybody down your draft! Want to make everyone slow down a little? Spirit of the Labyrinth! Activating Wine of Blood and Iron? You know what to do!

Even the mana rocks are Chalices and Vessels. And one pair of goggles, if you know what I mean.

Finally, if you’re in a pub, make sure you don’t complain too loudly about the Dingus Staff. Someone might get offended, and you might wait longer for your beverages. Otherwise, it might be your wincon, with all the downed spirits!

I hope all of you have a safe, happy and healthy St. Patrick’s Day! Especially if you choose to have a beverage or two. Even though this year might be the year of staying home and celebrating small, it is my wish that it is still a little Magical. Have one for me! Thanks for reading!

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