Commander Legends is on its way, and with it a whole bunch of new toys for our favourite casual format. From new commanders to busted combos, the yearly draft matters speciality set is already causing quite a bit of buzz in the Magic the Gathering community. Not only that, but all these new Legendries have inspired me to dive back into commander in a big way. So today I want to show off a brew I have been working on, which uses two of the new partners from the set to wreck anyone foolish enough to stand up to them. I am of course talking about the dynamic duo, Rograkh & Kediss.
These two new mono red commanders are a match made in heaven, provided you put them in the right build that is. First up we have Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh, the long overdue Kobold legendary we have all been waiting for*. For the low, low cost of zero mana, you get a First Striking, Menacing and Trampling warrior. Pretty good, right. Well I know that is only a 0/1, but a free commander with all those keywords is just screaming to lead a Voltron build.
Throw on a few pieces of equipment or a couple of auras to buff up Rograkh’s power, and soon all those people who thought a 0/1 commander was a bit of a joke will soon have the smile wiped from their faces. And considering First Strike, Menace and Trample allow him to almost guarantee getting in for some damage, it isn’t hard to imagine winning rather quickly via commander damage. But what’s better than taking out one person with commander damage? Why, taking someone out with commander damage and hitting everyone else for a bunch of course.
That’s were Kediss, Emberclaw Familiar comes in. This little elemental lizard may not be the most terrifying creatures ever printed, but it has an ability that is simple just too good to not partner up with Rograkh. Been able to deal damage to ever opponent is so powerful, that it can just end games out of nowhere. Given the right combination buffs and keywords, you can pretty much one shot someone out of the game, and that is what we are going to aim to do with this build.
The only question is how we are going to buff Rograkh? No, its not going to be with Aura’s like some kind of Bogles deck. its going to be with Equipment.
The reasoning as to why is simple. Equipment’s stay on the board even if our wielder is removed from the battlefield, meaning they can just be re-equipped after we get back our commander. Aura’s are all well and good, but the advantage of such a low cost commander is that we can recast him multiple times and power throw our opponents removal. So we are going to tool up Rograkh like Schwarzenegger in Commando and let him lose on the enemy, hopefully with Kediss on the board to dish out the damage to everyone and finish up the game in short order.
We are going to focus on equipment that buff the power and also adds some addition keywords we may be missing. Bonesplitter, Darksteel Axe and Blackblade Reforged all do the former quite well, while Bladed Pinions, Cobbled Wings, Crystal Slipper and Captain’s Hook help with the latter. We can also use our equipment to ramp up our mana to be able to pay for commander tax, with cards like Prying Blade, Sword of the Animist and Explorer’s Scope, or protect our payload with Swiftfoot Boots or Lightning Greaves.
We can even get some card advantage out of this strategy, with Mask of Memory and Rogue’s Gloves. Or even just power up to ludicrous levels with Golem-Skin Gauntlets and Colossus Hammer. There is just so many possibilities with this kind of playstyle that you could spend hours having fun trying out all the different equipment’s from Mirrodin to now and still not get bored. I won’t go over all my picks here, but I personally like to throw in the Sword of Kaldra, Shield of Kaldra and the Helm of Kaldra as i loved them since i started playing Magic. I encourage you to try out your own equipment package and see what works best in your play group.
We do run some non-equipment artifacts in the deck of course, mostly to help with mana ramp and card draw. Sol Ring, Mind Stone, Commander’s Sphere and Hedron Archive all give us extra mana to help get out and equip our threats, but we also have some sneaky tools to help get the job done. Key to the City allows us to get through damage without been blocked, while Expedition Map can go and fetch up a Rogue’s Passage to achieve the same goal.
We also do make some room for a few aura’s, mainly Cartouche of Zeal, Dragon Mantle, Volcanic Strength and Claws of Valakut to add to the damage output. I also like to run Tectonic Reformation to help keep our hand full of gas and not useless lands in the late game. Speaking of card draw, Faithless Looting, Cathartic Reunion, Thrill of Possibility and Tormenting Voice are all auto includes in my humble opinion. While we are on the subject of non-creature spells, lets add in some removal of our own with Galvanic Blast, Lightning Bolt and Abrade. And of course, Red Elemental Blast, because countering a Hurkyl’s Recall or Cyclonic Rift with a mono red deck will never not be funny.
Lastly, we have some creatures to help out our battle plan or stand in as threats should out opponents decide to cast a Pacifism. Fervent Champion, Fireblade Charger and Goblin Gaveleer are all great one drops to include in an equipment-based deck. Armory Automaton, Brass Squire, Kazuul’s Toll Collector and Vulshok Battlemaster also are great addition to our strategy, and since equipment cards are also historic spells the inclusion of a Jhoira’s Familiar is a wise decision. Tooling up Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin also works as a secondary win con, or failing that a heavily armed Spikeshot Goblin can be a series threat. Finally, Goblin Cratermaker makes for some additional removal should we require it.
For the mana base, we are going nice and simple. Twenty-Six Mountains along with some utility lands should do the trick. Forgotten Cave for additional card draw when required, Ghost Quarter to take out any bothersome enemy lands. The above-mentioned Rogue’s Passage, Scavenger Grounds to handle graveyards in a pinch and Teetering Peaks from some extra hitting power.
And that will about do it for Rograkh & Kediss Voltron. With so many amazing new card from Commander Legends, over the next couple of weeks I’m sure we will see many new and exciting brews for EDH. But what do you think about todays deck? Is this what you want to play, or have you a different brew you want to try out? Please let me know in the comments below, and while you’re there you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.
We also have a Patreon so if you want to support future content for the site consider becoming one of our Patrons. Just a $1 a month would do so much to help us create more of the content you enjoy. If you have any ideas for new and exciting decks you want me to look at you can contact me directly @TenguPlaysGames over on Twitter. But until next time remember no matter the game you play or where you play it, Good Luck and Have Fun.
* Well I was excited to see him.