Monthly Archives: January 2012

I have several Commander decks that are in several states of completion at all times. I think, right now I have two complete decks. I also have two or three decks that are missing maybe ten cards that are likely spread out into other decks at this time. Then I have a few decks that are missing thirty to forty cards, and obviously haven’t been played in a while. One of those was my Sharuum the Hegemon deck. I knew that my friends didn’t really like playing against it, so it fell to the wayside and hasn’t really been looked at since… until now.

I decided recently that I wanted to rebuild my Sharuum deck, but I wanted to take it more into the realm of creatures rather than combo, as combo is what really makes my opponents hate the deck (never mind that they have plenty of combos in their own decks, but that’s another topic.) I sorted the cards and empty sleeves out and started tinkering with it. I went through every rare binder and box I have looking for white, black, blue, and colorless cards to fill out the deck, and when I was done I had roughly one hundred twenty cards piled in front of me, so I started thinning it out. Somewhere along the way I realized that my artifact count was getting pretty low, and at that time I decided to find a new commander. Digging through my stack of cards for another legendary creature to use, I came upon Dakkon Blackblade, and right there the decision was made to create my first Voltron deck! Here is the list for the deck:

Commander: Dakkon Blackblade

Ancient Den
Arcane Sanctum
Azorius Chancery
Bojuka Bog
Cabal Coffers
Celestial Colonnade
Command Tower
Creeping Tar Pit
Dimir Aqueduct
Drowned Catacomb
Glacial Fortress
Halimar Depths
Inkmoth Nexus
Isolated Chapel
Marsh Flats
Mishra’s Factory
Orzhov Basilica
Seachrome Coast
Seat of the Synod
Tectonic Edge
Vault of Whispers
40 lands

1 Mikaeus, the Lunarch
1 Lighthouse Chronologist
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Dimir Doppelganger
1 Geist of Saint Traft
1 Royal Assassin
1 Evil Twin
1 Hero of Bladehold
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Archon of Justice
1 Bloodgift Demon
1 Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
1 Geist-Honored Monk
1 Massacre Wurm
1 Steel Hellkite
1 Sun Titan
1 Wrexial, the Risen Deep
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Angel of Despair
1 It That Betrays
23 creatures

1 Everflowing Chalice
1 Brainstorm
1 Path to Exile
1 Sol Ring
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Dimir Signet
1 Drain Power
1 Nim Deathmantle
1 Orzhov Signet
1 Liliana of the Veil
1 Mimic Vat
1 Mortify
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Spell Crumple
1 Sword of Body and Mind
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of War and Peace
1 Undermine
1 Ajani Goldmane
1 Day of Judgment
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
1 Grimoire of the Dead
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Lashwrithe
1 Return to Dust
1 Rite of Replication
1 Syphon Mind
1 Batterskull
1 Beacon of Unrest
1 Covenant of Minds
1 Liliana Vess
1 Tezzeret the Seeker
1 Venser, the Sojourner
1 Army of the Damned
1 Eldrazi Conscription
1 Time Stretch
37 other spells

As you can see I have more creatures than a typical Voltron deck might have, but first and foremost I wanted a creature deck. The Voltron aspect of it is an alternate win-condition and/or a distraction for my opponents. When this was a Sharuum deck, one of the big problems it had was the mana base. Originally I had only 6 or so basic lands in the deck, and it was problematic, particularly when my opponent got a Helldozer on the board along with plenty of black mana, and I had to “draw, go” for the rest of the game until he killed me. Thanks to the Commander products, Ruination is also more prevalent, so I added in some more basics to help fight that. It’s still less than half basics, but it is a lot better than it was.

Since this is a Voltron deck, of course I need a good package of artifact tutors to bring up my various pieces of equipment. Between Stoneforge, Liliana, and Tezzeret, it is likely that I will be able to find at least one of my pieces of equipment regularly. I am running the three new swords, Lashwrithe, Nim Deathmantle, and Batterskull as my equipment package. Lashwrithe will likely get replaced by a Lightning Greaves. Looking at the list, I can’t believe that I didn’t have one in there already. During the various games, I wouldn’t say that I ever had more than 4 swamps on the table at any one time so Lashwrithe wasn’t great. For that reason I should also probably pull Cabal Coffers or add in an Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth… in which case I would be keeping the Lashwrithe.

I played several games with the deck against various opponents including Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund, Olivia VoldarenSol’kanar the Swamp King, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, and The Mimeoplasm, and overall the deck performed pretty well. It has some troubles against the more controlling decks helmed by Olivia and Elesh Norn particularly because they are both so aggressive against opponents’ creatures.

I had one horrible three player game where Sol’kanar kept me off of my plains with various pieces of spot removal. Meanwhile Olivia hit the board with plenty of mana available and I was unable to do much of anything. I had several “draw, go” turns before finally drawing my Sword of War and Peace,. I cast it, cast Lashwrithe and then equipped the sword to it. The next turn I cast It That Betrays and attached both pieces of equipment to it. Sadly, Olivia was able to destroy the sword and steal It That Betrays, but before getting to attack with it, Sol’kanar killed Olivia and I got my Eldrazi back. Soon after that it died at that hands of Sol’kanar as well. Sadly he was then able to get a Sphinx of Magosi on the board and had TONS of mana. It turns out that drawing 3-6 cards per turn, growing your sphinx the whole time is rather difficult to fight. I thought I had him a couple of times, but drawing that many cards he always had an answer.

Dakkon Blackblade played well most of the time and the deck is fast for having a six mana commander. I do try to keep the mana curve in mind when building decks, and this one was no different. I find the deck to be versatile in its ability to deal with different kinds of threats, and if you hit the equipment early enough, then it is hard to lose.

This deck does have weaknesses however. Only five of the twenty three creatures in the deck have flying (seven if you count the copies) and that has been a problem. I don’t really know why I do that in my decks, but this isn’t the only deck I have that has this problem. The deck is great against a single opponent, but once you get to three opponents, it struggles a bit more. I’m thinking that dropping a creature or two for another spot removal and another mass removal spell might be in order. I also think that the deck needs the Frost Titan, and maybe a couple of bounce spells.

I’ve started thinking about the future as well and with some of the spoilers coming out for Dark Ascension, I’m actually considering going a completely different direction… Esper Token Control! Sorin, Lord of Innistrad, Beguiler of Wills, and Vault of the Archangel would all make great additions to a token deck, and I would stack the deck with tons of control cards so that my opponents just can’t get their token-hating cards to hit home.

This is a new deck for me, and I have found that I’m having a really good time playing it… unless my opponent locks me out of plains for the game! I think that it has promise to be a great deck, and I’m looking forward to tuning it to perform better.

In my next post I plan on talking about another deck that I really love, Animar, Soul of Elements paired up with Slivers!

I know it has been some time since my first post, and I apologize for that. I’m having a hard time sticking to a set writing schedule, but I’m trying! Whether you like my articles and writing or not, please leave a comment. I appreciate any and all constructive criticism, and I’m open to ideas for topics, critiques, deck ideas, etc…