Open the Door, Get on the Floor, Everybody walk the Dinosaur

Just over a week ago I was at my local LGS a Patriot Games Sheffield for some FNM Standard. Although I was not as successful as I have been in weeks past (only managing a 1-2), I did find myself in prizes. Having acquired a nice handful of prize tickets from previous events, I decided to crack some packs and claimed some Ixalan boosters as my spoils of war. With my fellow gamers crowding round me like a pack of hyena’s (or raptor’s if you prefer) eager for me to trade away my hard-earned value, I began to crack open my prize pool. Truth be told I opened really well, the highlight of which was when I opened a Gishath, Sun’s Avatar in my final pack. Since I had recently finished work on my Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice commander deck the previous week, I found myself in need of a new project. I took this as a sign that I must bow to our reptilian overlords and crush all beneath their scaled claws. Below you will find the fruit of my labours, which is not only a ton of fun to play, but also pretty powerful. So what are we waiting for, lets charge into some multiple player madness.

Commander
Gishath, Sun’s Avatar

Creatures (32)
Priest of the Wakening Sun
Kinjalli’s Caller
Drover of the Mighty
Otepec Huntmaster
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Raptor Hatchling
Sky Terror
Mirror Entity
Kinjalli’s Sunwing
Ravenous Daggertooth
Ranging Raptors
Territorial Hammerskull
Thrash of Raptors
Fungusaur
Grazing Whiptail
Bonded Horncrest
Steadfast Armasaur
Imperial Aerosaur
Ripjaw Raptor
Raging Swordtooth
Charging Monstrosaur
Shining Aerosaur
Regisaur Alpha
Snapping Sailback
Burning Sun’s Avatar
Bellowing Aegisaur
Carnage Tyrant
Sun-Crowned Hunters
Verdant Sun’s Avatar
Thundering Spineback
Goring Ceratops
Wakening Sun’s Avatar

Artifacts (12)
Sol Ring
Selesnya Signet
Boros Signet
Gruul Signet
Pillar of Origins
Manalith
Commander’s Sphere
Darksteel Ingot
Urza’s Incubator
Herald’s Horn
Door of Destinies
Vanquisher’s Banner

Enchantments (2)
Shapers’ Sanctuary
Sunbird’s Invocation

Planeswalkers (2)
Domri Rade
Huatli, Warrior Poet

Sorceries (11)
Commune with Dinosaurs
Rampant Growth
Gleeful Sabotage
Lead the Stampede
Savage Stomp
Cultivate
Kodama’s Reach
Explosive Vegetation
Decimate
Harmonize
See the Unwritten

Instant (4)
Swords to Plowshares
Dinosaur Stampede
Beast Within
Settle the Wreckage

Lands (36)
Arid Mesa
Wooded Foothills
Windswept Heath
Temple Garden
Sacred Foundry
Stomping Ground
Cinder Glade
Canopy Vista
Temple of Plenty
Temple of Triumph
Temple of Abandon
Clifftop Retreat
Sunpetal Grove
Rootbound Crag
Mosswort Bridge
Unclaimed Territory
Reflecting Pool
City of Brass
Jungle Shrine
Command Tower
6 Forest
4 Plains
4 Mountain
Temple of the False God
Blighted Woodland

The deck is a ‘Timmy’ players dream come true, with lots of big beefy creatures ready to stomp face. We win by attacking with giant Dinosaurs. There is no turn 3 combo, no fancy tricks, its just plain simple stompy fun. The deck itself is split into a few different components to help us maximise our effectiveness.

Ramp

It’s no secret that a lot of our creatures are on the heavy side of the mana curve. Our commander especially costs us a whopping eight mana, not to mention all the inevitable commander tax that I am sure I will have to pay. To help in this regard our deck has a health ramp package. Along with the obligatory Sol Ring and Commander’s Sphere, we also include all three Signets and a few extra mana rocks. Urza’s Incubator and Herald’s Horn are also key includes to help reduce costs, while spells like Rampant Growth and Cultivate shift our basics onto the battlefield where they will be more useful. Finally, creatures like Kinjalli’s Caller, Drover of the Mighty, Otepec Huntmaster and Sakura-Tribe Elder will add to our ramp potential while providing us with a board presence in the early game.

Card Draw

Card advantage is key in Magic, especially in multi-player games such as commander. While naya doesn’t have the strongest card draw available, we do have some key pieces to assist us in this matter. Harmonize provide straight card draw, while cards like Commune with Dinosaurs and Lead the Stampede help us find the creatures we need. Vanquisher’s Banner and Shapers’ Sanctuary give us cards of playing our Dinosaurs or having them removed respectively. Last but by no means least, Sunbird’s Invocation and See the Unwritten allow us to ‘cheat’ out our dinosaurs for some hilarious late game plays.

Removal

Sometimes we need to destroy our opponent’s permanents, its really that simple. Swords to Plowshares and Beast Within provide targeted removal, while Savage Stomp is great once we have a large Dinosaur on the board. Since we really want to keep our creatures on the board we don’t want to wrath the board, so Settle the Wreckage and Decimate provide the isolated mass removal that we require. Finally, we include Gleeful Sabotage to take out any annoying Artifacts or Enchantments.

Threats

Finally, what would a Dinosaur commander deck be without the said Dinosaurs. In truth, I had quite a lot of choice when it came to building the deck, and so I was focused to cut quite a few Dinosaurs from the completed product. What was left where some of the best hits from Ixalan. Regisaur Alpha, Burning Sun’s Avatar, Verdant Sun’s Avatar, Wakening Sun’s Avatar, Goring Ceratops and Carnage Tyrant where all auto includes, with uncommon powerhouses like Charging Monstrosaur and Thundering Spineback also making the cut. For Planeswalkers we included Huatli, Warrior Poet and Domri Rade as they were the best fit to our supersized monster plan. Finally, Door of Destinies gives us an anthem effect that just keeps on getting better, and Dinosaur Stampede for a great alpha strike combat trick.

And there you have it, my latest commander deck. I hope to play some more commander than I usually do over the next few months, so I will get to tweak and prefect the deck as I go. While the deck currently only has a limited selection of terrifying lizards from which to draw upon, Rivals of Ixalan is sure to bring even more Dinosaurs to the party, so the deck can only get strong. But what do you think? Have you been inspired to create a new deck based on one of the four tribes of Ixalan? More importantly, have you enjoyed todays article? Well if you have and want to keep up-to-date on everything we do then please like and subscribe, as it will help us grow the site. But no matter what format you play remember, Good Luck and Have Fun.

In response...