Deckbuilding – Donatello Does Machines

Hey Commander fans! How well do you know you ninja turtles? Mikey likes to party, eat pizza and get extreme, Raph is sarcastic and has those little Sai swords that don’t seem too practical in combat, and Leo leads and has the coolest weapons. Oh yes, and Don, who does all the pizza eating, trash talk, combat, and extreme stuff, plus designs, builds and maintains a batman level of technology out of what must have been garbage. I had this pointed out to me while watching a speedrun of the NES TMNT game. Indeed, Don is the turtle behind the turtles. Perhaps we should call him The Don.

One of the hallmarks of the TMNT franchise is merchandising, by which I mean vehicles! Turtles and vehicles go together like slow-footed early humans and the invention of the wheel: faster. That’s how we want to go in this deck. Faster. Not fast, faster. Archelos, Lagoon Mystic is our Donatello, and the vehicles are vehicles. There’s even a ninja surprise! Here’s the deck.

Commander (1)
Archelos, Lagoon Mystic

Master Splinter’s Sewerside Dojo (12)
Clever Impersonator
Faerie Artisans
Fallen Shinobi
Glissa, the Traitor
Ingenious Infiltrator
Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
Mistblade Shinobi
Ninja of the Deep Hours
Sakashima’s Student
Silent-Blade Oni
Walker of Secret Ways
Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow

The Vehicles (available at all credible major retailers) (12)
Aethersphere Harvester
Cultivator’s Caravan
Fleetwheel Cruiser
Mobile Garrison
Myr Battlesphere
Ovalchase Dragster
Renegade Freighter
Silent Submersible
Sky Skiff
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
Smuggler’s Copter
Untethered Express

The Machines (That Donatello Does) (23)
Arcane Signet
Burnished Hart
Commander’s Sphere
Darksteel Plate
Guardian Idol
Honor-Worn Shaku
Icy Manipulator
Inspiring Statuary
Mirage Mirror
Mystic Forge
Phyrexian Metamorph
Power Matrix
Ratchet Bomb
Shimmer Myr
Sol Ring
Solemn Simulacrum
Unwinding Clock
Voltaic Key
Wayfarer’s Bauble

Probably All Memes (16)
Aid from the Cowl
Beast Within
Curse of the Swine
Efficient Construction
Fade Away
Gutter Grime
Krosan Grip
Leadership Vacuum
Myth Unbound
Obscuring Haze
Once and Future
Quest for Renewal
Return of the Wildspeaker
Scavenging Ooze
Thopter Spy Network
Wrong Turn
Lands (36)
Academy Ruins
Aether Hub
Alchemist’s Refuge
Buried Ruin
Command Tower
Crawling Barrens
Creeping Tar Pit
Cryptic Caves
Emergence Zone
Evolving Wilds
Exotic Orchard
Faerie Conclave
Grim Backwoods
Hinterland Harbor
Hissing Quagmire
Holdout Settlement
Llanowar Wastes
Lumbering Falls
Opulent Palace
Rejuvenating Springs
Reliquary Tower
Scavenger Grounds
Spawning Pool
Spire of Industry
Survivors’ Encampment
Terramorphic Expanse
Treetop Village
Underground River
Undergrowth Stadium
Woodland Cemetery
Yavimaya Coast

Up until now, Boros, the Commander-dominating combination of red and white, has had a monopoly on vehicles. Depala, Pilot Exemplar is almost single-handedly responsible, because the vehicles we have need a lot of help. While I don’t know that this deck will be competitive, we are at least using a few strategic aspects of vehicles in between meme cards.

Vehicles allow us to tap our Commander, which is the biggest payoff to this deck. They are immune to Meekstone despite mostly qualifying on power. They can be tapped for mana with Inspiring Statuary. They probably won’t Fade Away. They don’t brake for a Portcullis. And unlike most of the corresponding toys, these turtle vehicles are cheap! Which makes them excellent candidates to be bounced back to hand with our ninjas and replayed right away. Zoom.

All in all, this deck should be plenty of laughs, and may even steal a game or two. And don’t be surprised at how effective ‘ETB tapped’ effects can be at stopping combo and alpha strike decks. Something to file away in all future deckbuilding for sure. Thanks for reading. Your life matters. Black Lives Matter!

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