Command the Allies

The release of Battle for Zendikar I went all out.

It was the first Prerelease I ran or even attended. We ran out of Prerelease packs on the first day. On the release we ran out of boosters and fat packs straight away, we discovered the joys of Magic for a store. 

That aside I discovered the joys of playing in a Prerelease, and non-stop drafting in the following weeks. I also ran a limited league which required a fat pack, it was then I fell in love with the tribe Allies (at this point I had not properly considered my true loves – the Eldrazi and Phyrexians, that wasn’t until I met Reality Smasher and Modern.)

For the league I built myself an Ally deck which was awesome when it worked, lots of synergy and triggers, I would say slightly slow seeing as all the best allies were 5cmc. After the league was done I made my pool into a standard deck. I would add the deck list but first off I don’t remember it and secondly it was casual awfulness, 100% susceptible to any interaction on my opponents part.

Got this little guy on the back of a Rally the Ancestors proof by Nils Hamm at GP Manchester
Ally artist proof by Baga from GP Manchester, also got a Sylvan Advocate print.

After my favourite card Rally the Ancestors rotated and I had discovered the Eldrazi, the Ally deck became a commander deck. Once again an awful pile of cards. Never playing commander I put a total of 10% effort into it… That 10% was going though the folders at Patriot Games Leeds to find foil Allies. I did end up with a fully foil, fully awful commander deck. The one win-con of the deck being, hopefully one of my opponents will mill enough cards into my graveyard and I can cast Rally the Ancestors choosing to trigger Hagra Diabolist enough so that I could kill all opponents and pull an “oops I win” out of no where. Failing that it was likely I died immediately to any normal deck.

However, recently I have landed myself a house mate, he and his friends are all avid commander players so I have had to up my game. Now I will say my deck still isn’t “top tier” and a lot could be done to it… Like adding about 20 more kill spells and board wipes… BUT!!! I started this deck and I should finish it! Before I build myself a colourless commander deck…. ANYWAY!

Take a look…

Commander (1)
General Tazri

Creatures (34)
Ondu Champion
Hada Freeblade
Drana, Liberator of Malakir
Sea Gate Loremaster
Tajuru Warcaller
Talus Paladin
Kalastria Healer
Resolute Blademaster
Turntimber Ranger
Bala Ged Thief
Kor Bladewhirl
Ondu Cleric
Tuktuk Scrapper
Hero of Goma Fada
Veteran Warleader
Chasm Guide
Lantern Scout
Firemantle Mage
Makindi Patrol
Vizier of the Menagerie
Angelic Captain
Harabaz Druid
Hagra Diabolist
Beastcaller Savant
Agadeem Occultist
Zulaport Cutthroat
Kazandu Blademaster
Jwari Shapeshifter
Akoum Battlesinger
Murasa Pyromancer
Kabira Evangel
Kazuul Warlord
Metallic Mimic
Solemn Simulacrum

Spells (29)
Captain’s Claws
Obelisk of Urd
Sol Ring
Urza’s Incubator
Blade of Selves
Panharmonicon
Sword of the Animist
Door of Destinies
Cyclonic Rift
Swords to Plowshares
Path to Exile
Boros Charm
Explosive Vegetation
Crush of Tentacles
Rally the Ancestors
Kodama’s Reach
March from the Tomb
Rite of Replication
Marshal’s Anthem
Retreat to Emeria
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
Sphinx’s Revelation
Beast Within
Anguished unmaking
Skull Clamp
Cultivate
Heroic Intervention
Phyrexian Arena
Defense of the heart
Lands (37)
Ally Encampment
Terramorphic Expanse
Command Tower
Scalding Tarn
Stomping Ground
Cinder Glade
Sunken Hollow
Breeding Pool
Evolving Wilds
Prairie Stream
Forest
Island
Plains
Mountain
Swamp
Canopy Vista
Vesuva
Jungle Shrine
Cavern of Souls
Hissing Quagmire
Polluted Delta
Bloodstained Mire
Wooded Foothills
Windswept Heath
Flooded Strand
Cascading Cataracts
Exotic Orchard 
 Ancient Ziggurat
Grand Coliseum 
Bojuka Bog

Every version of this deck Hagra Diabolist has carried me through it would seem, this is 100% the best creature in the deck. If you happen to get the combo with Rally the Ancestors and bring back lots of Allies from the graveyard, not only do you get lot of triggers, each trigger will deal damage equal to the number of Allies you are bringing back/control on the board as they all enter at the same time, once I found this out it made the combo 100 times better. Technically not an easy combo to pull off if the games don’t go long, you don’t get milled or your graveyard gets exiled, Rally the Ancestors is still my favourite combo/instant card specially when paired with Hagra Diabolist or Chasm Guide.

The addition of Panharmonicon is also insane, getting it down and hopefully keeping it leads to outrageous board states, though there are lot of powerful artifacts, I think this is the best artifact for this deck seeing as the focus if Rally triggers.

For removal spells I think my favourite is Cyclonic Rift, though not all that permanent seeing as things go back to hand, playing it late game for its overload cost and swinging in for likely lethal damage feels a little like cheating. During one game I had the weakest board state, everyone else’s creatures were just a little bigger or better in some way. Despite having a large number of creatures on my side any opponent could pick favourable blocks for themselves. Casting Cyclonic Rift for the overload cost emptied a very cluttered battlefield of all my opponents non-land permanents allowing me to attack in safely. Then in subsequent turns forcing surviving opponents to discard to hand size.

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is also in this deck. Has it ever been mentioned that Gideon is amazing? Also he makes Allies for Rally triggers, so 10/10 Gideon.

Now commander may make me and everyone I know want to rub poison ivy into our eyes, especially if Bez is at the table or I declare that the commander damage rule is ridiculous… But one time I won and it was great! Each time I have played the deck has been entirely different depending on which combination of Allies I draw. It keeps everyone guessing, including me.

Let me know what you think I should do with my deck! (Other than burn it and never mention this “commander game” again).

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