Few formats so deftly blend flavor and function as Commander, where you literally recruit a historical figure to lead your army. But what's the connection between these legendary cards and their actual legends? It is possible to build decks in such a way that we can see these stories play out in the course of a game? Or, if we prefer to take a more active hand, meddle with the fate of our heroes and villains?

Angel versus angels? Why? This isn't Innistrad.

Today, we'll delve into the ancient lore of Magic: The Gathering and fuse it with our deck building. The resulting Frankenstein's monster will be a pair of fully playable Commander decks, complete with themes and synergies, that also recount a story from Magic's fabled past. All card and deck building choices will serve to tell the tale, allowing you to regale your playgroup (while you simultaneously crush them).

So join me, brave brewer, on this quest to recreate the past. And win while doing so.

Try not to get gore all over the pages. Stuff stains.

Today's tale acts as both a prequel and sequel to our last adventure. We begin long before the construction of the Tolarian Academy. We conclude with the first voyage of Skyship Weatherlight, off to save the day. Once more, we follow a tortured Urza, Lord High Artificer in flight from pursuing Phyrexians. With his grip on sanity rapidly failing, it takes friendship from Xantcha, Sleeper Agent to remind him of his own humanity. A world away, a floating utopia lies unaware of the danger heading its way. And the cold effect said danger will have on Radiant, Archangel. It's a tale of misfits and fallen masters, noble intent gone awry, and forging your own path no matter how terrible your past.

Xantcha, Sleeper Agent

Radiant, Archangel

One woman, born of darkness, will spend her life running toward the light. Another, born of light, will battle darkness without realizing it's already within.

Before we journey out into the wilderness, a few ground rules are in order.

1. Every Card Must Be Functional

Our mission is to design playable Commander decks that not only detail one of Magic's story arcs, but also seek to actually win the game. As such, while it pains me to leave certain cards on the cutting room floor, it's a necessary evil. Creatures like Yotian Soldier and Dragon Engine make frequent appearances in "The Brother's War." But sadly, their stats provide little in the way of impact. So all cards chosen must serve a functional role in addition to a flavorful one.

Yotian Soldier

Sorry, old buddies.

2. No Flavor Fails

Certain cards may be powerful, but their connection to Magic's lore may disqualify them. For example, take the notorious Cyclonic Rift. It's a staple of many decks running blue, and no doubt powerful, but also intrinsically linked to the Izzet Guild. It's their spell, with their logo literally stamped right onto it. As such, we won't run it without a connection to Ravnica. Similarly, a card like Shadowspear is intrinsically linked to Theros, so it's out of bounds. Our deck's card selections won't be as fully optimized as those free to include any card they wish. Depending on how much "narrative vs. competitive" matters to you personally, I leave it up to you to tinker with the builds as you see fit, leaning them in the direction of your choice. Creativity is a key to Commander, after all.

Shadowspear

Heliod's gonna be pissed.

3. It's Not Block Constructed Either

Today's tale may not involve Amonkhet, but I see no reason something like Scavenger Grounds is out of bounds. Such an environment could feasibly appear in many worlds, and the graveyard hate it provides is an important tool for a Commander deck to have in its pocket. Thus, we're allowing ourselves some wiggle-room in regards to picking cards that could feasibly fit into the narrative. Smothering Tithe feels Orzhov in spirit, but could just as easily be present in any oppressive society. The card could be printed in any set, not just a Ravnican one, and thus applies to a variety of situations.

Scavenger Grounds

Death and taxes. Now why does that sound familiar?

Okay, boring stuff over! Let's begin.

"Planeswalker," by Lynn Abbey, is the second entry in the Artifacts Cycle, which sets the foundation for Urza, Lord High Artificer and much of the lore to follow. The story picks up years after "The Brothers War," where the battle between Urza and a Phyrexian-allied Mishra, Artificer Prodigy grew so destructive that Urza had little choice but to detonate the Golgothian Sylex, an ancient Thran artifact that's basically a Blow-up-Everything button. The resulting event, seen on Urza's Ruinous Blast, wipes out entire regions of the plane. It literally brings about the Ice Age in Dominaria.

But the calamity also triggered Urza's spark, making him an honest-to-goodness planeswalker. The Mightstone and Weakstone, powerful artifacts Urza and Mishra fought over, are now fused into Urza's eyes like a gaudy pair of sunglasses from Spencer's Gifts. He's spent the last few years wandering the multiverse, racked with grief, not fully understanding the power he now wields. A near-deity, he questions how much of a 'mortal' he still is. Remember, this was before the events of Time Spiral, where "old-walkers" were essentially demigods with the ability to create their own artificial planes. Think of Karn, Karn, Scion of Urza creating Argentum (which would later be known as Mirrodin) after the fall of Yawgmoth, Thran Physician, centuries later.

Mightstone

Weakstone

Okay, they're not the most mind-blowing effects in card form. Also, Mishra had weird taste in pets.

Upon returning to Dominaria, Urza visits Caves of Koilos, where he and his brother Mishra found the Mightstone and Weakstone as teenagers. Remembering the corrupting effect Phyrexian influence had on his brother, and knowing full-well the threat they pose to the entire multiverse, Urza swears to annihilate the dreaded realm for good.

So naturally, his future BFF turns out to be Phyrexian, herself.

Xantcha, Sleeper Agent

Like Kerrick from our previous entry, Xantcha, Sleeper Agent is an artificial human—a "Newt"—created on Phyrexia to act as Sleeper Agent. At this point, the Phyrexian are sowing Dominaria with spies, the start of their plan for eventual invasion. Unlike Kerrick and company, all too happy to serve their Yawgy overlord, Xantcha resists. In fact, her self-awareness is so unique among Phyrexians that bigshot demon Claws of Gix recognizes her potential and grants her even more individuality. This winds up biting Gix right in his shiny metal ass, as Xantcha grows to hate Phyrexia and begins actively sabotaging her missions as a sleeper agent. She yearns for a true freedom, to fully develop herself as a person. Phyrexia is none too happy with this, and promptly puts her head on the chopping block.

Gix isn't the nicest fellow. Shocker, I know.

Luckily, Urza arrives to nuke some Phyrexians just before the axe falls. Thinking she's human, he rescues her, but Xantcha makes no attempt to hide her true identity. Rather, she pleads with Urza to accompany him, first making a pit stop to Phyrexia's 4th Sphere to grab her heart, which Phyrexians keep outside of the body. For some reason. Urza agrees, and what follows is a series of chases across the multiverse. During their escapes, Xantcha learns more about herself and humanity, and in doing so, actually helps Urza retain his own humanity in the face of his growing power. That's the irony: Urza, a human, has to relearn his humanity from a being that's not human, but wishes to be.

This goes on for a while until Urza's is severely wounded by Phyrexian Negator and just barely manages to planeswalk himself and Xantcha to Serra's Sanctum.

An artificial plane created by the white-aligned Planeswalker Serra the Benevolent, the Realm is as close to utopia as one could imagine. The people live in peace, protected by a legion of warrior angels overseen by Radiant, Archangel, Serra's lead general. Upon realizing that Serra herself created the plane, Urza wonders if Phyrexia was built under similar circumstances, meaning its founders were exiled from an origin-plane. Once healed up, they depart to find this location, failing to realize their stay in Serra's Realm has led the enemy right to it. The Phyrexians promptly begin to make a summer home out of it.

Sanctum Custodian

Years pass, and while Urza's quest remains stagnant, Xantcha has grown as a person, even finding romance in a slave named Ratepe, whose resemblance to Mishra helps Urza retain his grip on reality. Ultimately, the lovers sacrifice themselves to save Urza from Gix. Though gone, Urza keeps Xantcha's heart as a reminder that one's humanity is a choice, no matter the circumstance. He begins to formulate a new plan, one that involves stopping Phyrexia before it was ever built. Enter Tolarian Academy.

Now we jump back to the latter half of "Timestreams", by J. Robert King. Picking up after the attack on the Tolarian Academy by K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth and his cobbled-together army, we find a newly-built Skyship Weatherlight on its maiden voyage. The destination? Serra's Realm, which is sadly not doing so hot these days. It's been a few centuries since Urza's last visit, and the Phyrexians have been laying siege to the plane ever since (Thus the angel vs angel art you see on Burst of Energy). It's gotten so bad that Serra herself had to abandon the Realm, as the increasing Phyrexian contamination was actively hurting her. Radiant, Archangel is now in charge. She's genuinely trying her best to beat back the invaders, but sadly for her, Phyrexian agents are already hidden among her advisers. Imagine an entire advisory board made up of Grima Wormtongue. Ick.

Radiant's Judgment

They've convinced the angel that the innocent people of Serra's Realm are disguised sleeper agents, beginning a witch hunt where many innocents perish. In reality, the Phyrexians are stealing the Realm's ample white mana. Once the plane is emptied, it'll fall apart. Radiant is made constantly paranoid by her council's influence, so even when Urza arrives to help, he's met with disdain. Radiant blames Urza for the corruption and for leading the Phyrexians to the Realm in the first place, and labels him an enemy, despite his insistence they begin evacuating citizens via the Weatherlight.

In the end, Radiant and Urza do battle as the plane begins to collapse around them. The Weatherlight and crew—Jhoira of the Ghitu, Barrin, Master Wizard, Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir and Karn, Silver Golem—are able to fend off angels and evacuate many innocent citizens. Radiant proves quite powerful, literally tearing the powerstone eyes from Urza's skull and seemingly killing him.

Still hoping to save Serra's Realm, Radiant attempts to recharge the plane by joining the Mightstone and Weakstone back together. What follows is a blast wave that gives her about 0.25 seconds to realize how much of a mistake that was. However, in that fraction of a second, Radiant also comes to the tragic realization that she'd been deceived this whole time, helping an enemy she tried so hard to fend back. In her heart, Radiant truly meant well, but her hubris let darkness creep in and overtake her good judgment.

Her final words, "I am the mad one," are a bitter reminder of the humanity she lost, and how it cost her Serra's Realm.

Though Urza's body is restored by the merging of the powerstones, the blast doesn't save the realm, which collapses soon after. Urza, the Weatherlight crew, and the rescued citizenry escape back to Dominaria with heavy hearts.

Two women who sacrificed everything to protect what they valued most. One overcame the darkness of her youth. The other was overtaken by it, despite being born into light.

Choose Your Player

Xantcha, Sleeper Agent

Radiant, Archangel

Xantcha, Sleep Agent vs Radiant, Archangel

Quite the ironic duel we find ourselves in, as we've a black-red character escaping the darker aspects of her color affiliation in an attempt to do good versus a mono-white character coerced into embracing the darker aspects of her color. Quite the pathos-laden battle!

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Xantcha's Phyrexian Flight by Matt Lotti: Intrepid Tautog

'Xantcha's Phyrexian Flight' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Matt Lotti: Intrepid Tautog

Event:

Rank:

Commander

Market Price: $432.33

Cards

Rocky Tar Pit

Market Price: $0.73

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/171246_200w.jpg

Rocky Tar Pit enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}, Sacrifice Rocky Tar Pit: Search your library for a Swamp or Mountain card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

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Blazing Specter

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $1.00

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/7438_200w.jpg

Flying, haste
Whenever Blazing Specter deals combat damage to a player, that player discards a card.

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Bane of the Living

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196456_200w.jpg

Morph {X}{B}{B} (You may cast this card face down as a 2/2 creature for {3}. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)
When Bane of the Living is turned face up, all creatures get -X/-X until end of turn.

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Infernal Darkness

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.94

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/4742_200w.jpg

Cumulative upkeep—Pay {B} and 1 life. (At the beginning of your upkeep, put an age counter on this permanent, then sacrifice it unless you pay its upkeep cost for each age counter on it.)
If a land is tapped for mana, it produces {B} instead of any other type.

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Entropic Specter

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/4319_200w.jpg

Flying
As Entropic Specter enters the battlefield, choose an opponent.
Entropic Specter's power and toughness are each equal to the number of cards in the chosen player's hand.
Whenever Entropic Specter deals damage to a player, that player discards a card.

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Ruby Medallion

Market Price: $26.93

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166927_200w.jpg

Red spells you cast cost {1} less to cast.

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Contamination

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $43.65

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At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Contamination unless you sacrifice a creature.
If a land is tapped for mana, it produces {B} instead of any other type and amount.

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Terminate

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $0.75

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243919_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature. It can't be regenerated.

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Molten Slagheap

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/234173_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{1}, {T}: Put a storage counter on Molten Slagheap.
{1}, Remove X storage counters from Molten Slagheap: Add X mana in any combination of {B} and/or {R}.

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Last One Standing

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $3.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/167656_200w.jpg

Choose a creature at random, then destroy the rest.

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Lavaclaw Reaches

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $1.94

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/179516_200w.jpg

Lavaclaw Reaches enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {B} or {R}.
{1}{B}{R}: Until end of turn, Lavaclaw Reaches becomes a 2/2 black and red Elemental creature with "{X}: This creature gets +X/+0 until end of turn." It's still a land.

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Graven Cairns

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $7.86

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218591_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{B/R}, {T}: Add {B}{B}, {B}{R}, or {R}{R}.

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Order of Yawgmoth

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/36872_200w.jpg

Fear (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.)
Whenever Order of Yawgmoth deals damage to a player, that player discards a card.

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Fellwar Stone

Market Price: $2.43

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{T}: Add one mana of any color that a land an opponent controls could produce.

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Sulfurous Springs

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $19.41

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/15345_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}: Add {B} or {R}. Sulfurous Springs deals 1 damage to you.

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Wound Reflection

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $7.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218938_200w.jpg

At the beginning of each end step, each opponent loses life equal to the life they lost this turn. (Damage causes loss of life.)

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Phyrexian Totem

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/36886_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {B}.
{2}{B}: Phyrexian Totem becomes a 5/5 black Phyrexian Horror artifact creature with trample until end of turn.
Whenever Phyrexian Totem is dealt damage, if it's a creature, sacrifice that many permanents.

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Lay Bare the Heart

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/129780_200w.jpg

Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a nonlegendary, nonland card from it. That player discards that card.

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Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.05

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({T}: Add {R}.)

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Underworld Connections

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254422_200w.jpg

Enchant land
Enchanted land has "{T}, Pay 1 life: Draw a card."

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Vow of Malice

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.35

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166854_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2, has intimidate, and can't attack you or planeswalkers you control. (A creature with intimidate can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a color with it.)

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Charcoal Diamond

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254387_200w.jpg

Charcoal Diamond enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {B}.

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Worn Powerstone

Market Price: $1.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/171171_200w.jpg

Worn Powerstone enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {C}{C}.

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Crown of Doom

Market Price: $4.84

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/94175_200w.jpg

Whenever a creature attacks you or a planeswalker you control, it gets +2/+0 until end of turn.
{2}: Target player other than Crown of Doom's owner gains control of it. Activate only during your turn.

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Field of Ruin

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248181_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{2}, {T}, Sacrifice Field of Ruin: Destroy target nonbasic land an opponent controls. Each player searches their library for a basic land card, puts it onto the battlefield, then shuffles.

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Phyrexian Tower

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $18.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216140_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}, Sacrifice a creature: Add {B}{B}.

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Assault Suit

Market Price: $0.55

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/131965_200w.jpg

Equipped creature gets +2/+2, has haste, can't attack you or planeswalkers you control, and can't be sacrificed.
At the beginning of each opponent's upkeep, you may have that player gain control of equipped creature until end of turn. If you do, untap it.
Equip {3}

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Xantcha, Sleeper Agent

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $14.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/170804_200w.jpg

Xantcha, Sleeper Agent enters the battlefield under the control of an opponent of your choice.
Xantcha attacks each combat if able and can't attack its owner or planeswalkers its owner controls.
{3}: Xantcha's controller loses 2 life and you draw a card. Any player may activate this ability.

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Magnetic Web

Market Price: $0.47

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5619_200w.jpg

If a creature with a magnet counter on it attacks, all creatures with magnet counters on them attack if able.
Whenever a creature with a magnet counter on it attacks, all creatures with magnet counters on them block that creature this turn if able.
{1}, {T}: Put a magnet counter on target creature.

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Commander's Sphere

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254191_200w.jpg

{T}: Add one mana of any color in your commander's color identity.
Sacrifice Commander's Sphere: Draw a card.

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Bloodthirsty Blade

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236429_200w.jpg

Equipped creature gets +2/+0 and is goaded. (It attacks each combat if able and attacks a player other than you if able.)
{1}: Attach Bloodthirsty Blade to target creature an opponent controls. Activate only as a sorcery.

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Ashen Powder

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.93

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/2477_200w.jpg

Put target creature card from an opponent's graveyard onto the battlefield under your control.

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Echo Chamber

Market Price: $0.46

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5530_200w.jpg

{4}, {T}: An opponent chooses target creature they control. Create a token that's a copy of that creature. That token gains haste until end of turn. Exile the token at the beginning of the next end step. Activate only as a sorcery.

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Temple of Malice

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $0.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254440_200w.jpg

Temple of Malice enters the battlefield tapped.
When Temple of Malice enters the battlefield, scry 1.
{T}: Add {B} or {R}.

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Bloodstained Mire

Market Price: $35.00

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/92830_200w.jpg

{T}, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Bloodstained Mire: Search your library for a Swamp or Mountain card, put it onto the battlefield, then shuffle.

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Backlash

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $1.00

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/7429_200w.jpg

Tap target untapped creature. That creature deals damage equal to its power to its controller.

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Scheming Symmetry

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $4.79

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192521_200w.jpg

Choose two target players. Each of them searches their library for a card, then shuffles and puts that card on top.

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Ash Barrens

Market Price: $0.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/219248_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
Basic landcycling {1} ({1}, Discard this card: Search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.)

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Molten Primordial

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.79

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/67451_200w.jpg

Haste
When Molten Primordial enters the battlefield, for each opponent, gain control of up to one target creature that player controls until end of turn. Untap those creatures. They gain haste until end of turn.

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Disrupt Decorum

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $2.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243892_200w.jpg

Goad all creatures you don't control. (Until your next turn, those creatures attack each combat if able and attack a player other than you if able.)

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Spoils of Evil

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $8.52

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/4895_200w.jpg

For each artifact or creature card in target opponent's graveyard, add {C} and you gain 1 life.

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Forgotten Cave

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236153_200w.jpg

Forgotten Cave enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {R}.
Cycling {R} ({R}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Arcane Signet

Market Price: $1.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254178_200w.jpg

{T}: Add one mana of any color in your commander's color identity.

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Jet Medallion

Market Price: $35.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/94132_200w.jpg

Black spells you cast cost {1} less to cast.

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Shattering Pulse

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/4398_200w.jpg

Buyback {3} (You may pay an additional {3} as you cast this spell. If you do, put this card into your hand as it resolves.)
Destroy target artifact.

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Polluted Mire

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.29

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132119_200w.jpg

Polluted Mire enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {B}.
Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Rise of the Dark Realms

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $12.85

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216135_200w.jpg

Put all creature cards from all graveyards onto the battlefield under your control.

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Grave Upheaval

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $0.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/123978_200w.jpg

Put target creature card from a graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. It gains haste.
Basic landcycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Search your library for a basic land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.)

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Smoldering Marsh

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $0.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254629_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B} or {R}.)
Smoldering Marsh enters the battlefield tapped unless you control two or more basic lands.

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Curse of Disturbance

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $4.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236441_200w.jpg

Enchant player
Whenever enchanted player is attacked, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token. Each opponent attacking that player does the same.

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Chaos Warp

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $2.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243908_200w.jpg

The owner of target permanent shuffles it into their library, then reveals the top card of their library. If it's a permanent card, they put it onto the battlefield.

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Wasteland

Market Price: $28.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118403_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}, Sacrifice Wasteland: Destroy target nonbasic land.

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Stolen Strategy

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $14.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/167771_200w.jpg

At the beginning of your upkeep, exile the top card of each opponent's library. Until end of turn, you may cast spells from among those exiled cards, and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to cast those spells.

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Parasitic Impetus

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236442_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature gets +2/+2 and is goaded. (It attacks each combat if able and attacks a player other than you if able.)
Whenever enchanted creature attacks, its controller loses 2 life and you gain 2 life.

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Curse of Opulence

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $13.85

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/139808_200w.jpg

Enchant player
Whenever enchanted player is attacked, create a Gold token. Each opponent attacking that player does the same. (A Gold token is an artifact with "Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color.")

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/139808/magic-commander-2017-curse-of-opulence

Mana Leech

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/6939_200w.jpg

You may choose not to untap Mana Leech during your untap step.
{T}: Tap target land. It doesn't untap during its controller's untap step for as long as Mana Leech remains tapped.

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Sepulchral Primordial

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.71

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222393_200w.jpg

Intimidate (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a color with it.)
When Sepulchral Primordial enters the battlefield, for each opponent, you may put up to one target creature card from that player's graveyard onto the battlefield under your control.

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Sower of Discord

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $5.79

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/171078_200w.jpg

Flying
As Sower of Discord enters the battlefield, choose two players.
Whenever damage is dealt to one of the chosen players, the other chosen player also loses that much life.

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Talisman of Indulgence

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $4.94

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243930_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}: Add {B} or {R}. Talisman of Indulgence deals 1 damage to you.

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Sanctum of Eternity

Market Price: $0.94

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196429_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{2}, {T}: Return target commander you own from the battlefield to your hand. Activate only during your turn.

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Coffin Queen

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $13.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5498_200w.jpg

You may choose not to untap Coffin Queen during your untap step.
{2}{B}, {T}: Put target creature card from a graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. When Coffin Queen becomes untapped or you lose control of Coffin Queen, exile that creature.

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Phyrexian Purge

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $5.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5171_200w.jpg

This spell costs 3 life more to cast for each target.
Destroy any number of target creatures.

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Trench Wurm

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/7712_200w.jpg

{2}{R}, {T}: Destroy target nonbasic land.

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Helm of Possession

Market Price: $6.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5585_200w.jpg

You may choose not to untap Helm of Possession during your untap step.
{2}, {T}, Sacrifice a creature: Gain control of target creature for as long as you control Helm of Possession and Helm of Possession remains tapped.

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Citadel of Pain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $2.85

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/7284_200w.jpg

At the beginning of each player's end step, Citadel of Pain deals X damage to that player, where X is the number of untapped lands they control.

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Necromantic Selection

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243975_200w.jpg

Destroy all creatures, then return a creature card put into a graveyard this way to the battlefield under your control. It's a black Zombie in addition to its other colors and types. Exile Necromantic Selection.

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Ill-Gotten Gains

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.36

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/83226_200w.jpg

Exile Ill-Gotten Gains. Each player discards their hand, then returns up to three cards from their graveyard to their hand.

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Sleeper Agent

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.63

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/15320_200w.jpg

When Sleeper Agent enters the battlefield, target opponent gains control of it.
At the beginning of your upkeep, Sleeper Agent deals 2 damage to you.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/15320/magic-10th-edition-sleeper-agent

Bullwhip

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5314_200w.jpg

{2}, {T}: Bullwhip deals 1 damage to target creature. That creature attacks this turn if able.

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Blast Zone

Market Price: $2.77

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188636_200w.jpg

Blast Zone enters the battlefield with a charge counter on it.
{T}: Add {C}.
{X}{X}, {T}: Put X charge counters on Blast Zone.
{3}, {T}, Sacrifice Blast Zone: Destroy each nonland permanent with mana value equal to the number of charge counters on Blast Zone.

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Guiltfeeder

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/124528_200w.jpg

Fear (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.)
Whenever Guiltfeeder attacks and isn't blocked, defending player loses 1 life for each card in their graveyard.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/124528/magic-commander-2016-guiltfeeder

Shadowblood Ridge

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254437_200w.jpg

{1}, {T}: Add {B}{R}.

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Witch Engine

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/7113_200w.jpg

Swampwalk (This creature can't be blocked as long as defending player controls a Swamp.)
{T}: Add {B}{B}{B}{B}. Target opponent gains control of Witch Engine. (Activate only as a instant.)

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Canyon Slough

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $3.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/129681_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B} or {R}.)
Canyon Slough enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Beacon of Unrest

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218597_200w.jpg

Put target artifact or creature card from a graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. Shuffle Beacon of Unrest into its owner's library.

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Dark Tutelage

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.72

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/35568_200w.jpg

At the beginning of your upkeep, reveal the top card of your library and put that card into your hand. You lose life equal to its mana value.

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Barren Moor

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236446_200w.jpg

Barren Moor enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {B}.
Cycling {B} ({B}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Dust Bowl

Market Price: $16.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/6515_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{3}, {T}, Sacrifice a land: Destroy target nonbasic land.

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Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196608_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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Diabolic Servitude

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132014_200w.jpg

When Diabolic Servitude enters the battlefield, return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield.
When the creature put onto the battlefield with Diabolic Servitude dies, exile it and return Diabolic Servitude to its owner's hand.
When Diabolic Servitude leaves the battlefield, exile the creature put onto the battlefield with Diabolic Servitude.

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Damnation

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $25.55

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233863_200w.jpg

Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.

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Bone Dancer

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $6.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5995_200w.jpg

Whenever Bone Dancer attacks and isn't blocked, you may put the top creature card of defending player's graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. If you do, Bone Dancer assigns no combat damage this turn.

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Rack and Ruin

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/6369_200w.jpg

Destroy two target artifacts.

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Command Tower

Market Price: $0.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254244_200w.jpg

{T}: Add one mana of any color in your commander's color identity.

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Tainted Peak

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $0.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254455_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}: Add {B} or {R}. Activate only if you control a Swamp.

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Cut // Ribbons

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $0.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/129813_200w.jpg

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/129813/magic-amonkhet-cut-ribbons

Xantcha, Sleeper Agent

Xantcha's role as a sleeper agent and desire to escape Phyrexia are perfectly captured in her card, which does its best work while hiding among another player's ranks. It also perfectly captures Phyrexia's current modus operandi: infiltrate, mislead, sow discord. And so our deck will happily play up those themes. We're all about saboteur effects and coercing opponents to attack each other. Or outright corrupting their creatures to our side of the fence. It's not about brute strength, per se. It's about using their brute strength to our advantage, pointing it elsewhere. Essentially, we're the puppet master, and our poor old opponents are the marionettes.

Spies Among Us

Entropic Specter

Our army is less about swinging for tons of damage and more about disruption. In that vein, we run a large suite of creatures with saboteur abilities. Entropic Specter, Blazing Specter, Bone Dancer and Guiltfeeder all benefit from getting in for damage. Guiltfeeder is especially interesting, as it's an evasive threat that could potentially act as a win condition against graveyard-centric decks. On that note, our deck is also happy to make use of full graveyards via Coffin Queen and Sepulchral Primordial.

Sower of Discord

Trench Wurm

Naturally, we run Sleeper Agent to complement Xantcha herself. Don't be surprised if all the little bites of damage add up to lethal proportions as the game goes on, as we'll be directing plenty of opposing creatures to attack other players and keep the blood flowing. Sower of Discord, Molten Primordial and the underrated Witch Engine are happy to assist with spreading opposing damage. Bane of the Living can act as a surprise-Wrath effect if things get a little too dangerous for us, and Trench Wurm and Mana Leech are also included to keep troublesome lands like Cabal Coffers and Maze of Ith in check.

You're not bound to be very popular with all the combat chaos and disruption, so let's explore some ways to point opposing heat away from us.

Whispers and Rumors

Parasitic Impetus

As we're generally making life difficult for our opponents, we'll need to ensure we can protect ourselves. And in true Phyrexian fashion, our self-defense works to hurt everyone else. Vow of Malice, Parasitic Impetus, Disrupt Decorum, Curse of Disturbance, Curse of Opulence, Bloodthirsty Blade, Assault Suit and Crown of Doom all motivate our opponents to go after each other's throats. You know, rather than our own.

Magnetic Web

Wound Reflection

Because we're controlling combat by pointing it in other directions, our deck also brings in ways to pour salt in the wound. Citadel of Pain, Wound Reflection, Magnetic Web, and Bullwhip further encourage attacking en masse. And with all this attacking going on, creatures are bound to be dying left and right, so our forces are more than happy to pillage graveyards via Rise of the Dark Realms, Beacon of Unrest, Spoils of Evil, Ashen Powder, Grave Upheaval, Diabolic Servitude and Necromantic Selection. "Plan A" may not involve killing opponents with large creatures, but if in the course of our dastardly plans, we just so happen to resurrect an Eldrazi or some such behemoth, we'll go stomping on skulls in a pinch.

Lay Bare the Heart

Finally, while Lay Bare the Heart won't win any awards, it perfectly captures Xantcha's uniquely Phyrexian anatomy, and can help remove a key combo piece from taking the game.

Diabolical Resources

Ill-Gotten Gains

Stolen Strategy

Keeping up such a bloody campaign requires resources. Spies don't work for free, you know. If we plan to stay alive, we'll need card advantage to ensure we've a full hand of tools to work with. Ill-Gotten Gains, Underworld Connections, Diabolic Servitude, Scheming Symmetry and Stolen Strategy all provide perfectly thematic and effective card advantage. Removal is in ample supply, as well. We're mostly interested in controlling opposing creatures, but Terminate, Damnation, Last One Standing, Cut // Ribbons and Phyrexian Purge are here in case any prove too dangerous to keep around. We also want to ensure opposing artifacts don't give our opponents too much of an edge, so red provides us Rack and Ruin, Chaos Warp and Shattering Pulse.

Infernal Darkness

Finally, to truly capture the spreading Phyrexian influence, while also making life difficult for everyone, we run Infernal Darkness and Contamination. These can stifle opposing progress, delaying combos or scary board states. Time is our friend. The longer it takes everyone else to set up a solid board, the better the odds of us having enough resources to take it over consistently.

Grounds for Takeover

Phyrexian Totem

Jet Medallion

Talisman of Indulgence

Rock-wise, we include the usual suspects: Arcane Signet, Fellwar Stone, Ruby Medallion, Jet Medallion, Talisman of Indulgence and Commander's Sphere. Naturally, just as in the first entry, we pay homage to Phyrexian Negator via Phyrexian Totem. We also have some surprising sources of explosive ramp in the form of Curse of Opulence, Spoils of Evil and Witch Engine. Any of which can turn a humble Cut // Ribbons into a legit finisher.

On that note, feel free to pour excess mana into Molten Slagheap before the start of your turn. Sanctum of Eternity is also very important to this deck, as because Xantcha, Sleeper Agent will be working on the other side of the table, we'll need a way to rescue her (while happily dodging commander tax) if our opponent's decide to get tricky with sacrifice outlets or some such nonsense. Remember, we're supposed to be the nefarious ones, here.

With all this subterfuge, what force could possibly stand against us? Surely, we can manipulate any threat that sets its sights on us. Could righteous might overcome our machinations? Hmm...

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Radiant's Iron Rule by Matt Lotti: Intrepid Tautog

'Radiant's Iron Rule' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Matt Lotti: Intrepid Tautog

Event:

Rank:

Commander

Market Price: $328.50

Cards

Legion Angel

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.47

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221850_200w.jpg

Flying
When Legion Angel enters the battlefield, you may reveal a card you own named Legion Angel from outside the game and put it into your hand.

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Mind's Eye

Market Price: $7.60

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/167963_200w.jpg

Whenever an opponent draws a card, you may pay {1}. If you do, draw a card.

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Radiant's Judgment

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.29

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/6372_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature with power 4 or greater.
Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Angel's Trumpet

Market Price: $1.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/6280_200w.jpg

All creatures have vigilance.
At the beginning of each player's end step, tap all untapped creatures that player controls that didn't attack this turn. Angel's Trumpet deals damage to the player equal to the number of creatures tapped this way.

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Sephara, Sky's Blade

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $2.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192689_200w.jpg

You may pay {W} and tap four untapped creatures you control with flying rather than pay this spell's mana cost.
Flying, lifelink
Other creatures you control with flying have indestructible. (Damage and effects that say "destroy" don't destroy them.)

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Commander's Sphere

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254191_200w.jpg

{T}: Add one mana of any color in your commander's color identity.
Sacrifice Commander's Sphere: Draw a card.

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Planar Collapse

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.73

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/6364_200w.jpg

At the beginning of your upkeep, if there are four or more creatures on the battlefield, sacrifice Planar Collapse and destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.

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Crackdown

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $11.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/6486_200w.jpg

Nonwhite creatures with power 3 or greater don't untap during their controllers' untap steps.

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Intrepid Hero

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/59920_200w.jpg

{T}: Destroy target creature with power 4 or greater.

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Serra Aviary

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $3.37

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/4552_200w.jpg

Creatures with flying get +1/+1.

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Serra Ascendant

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $24.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145317_200w.jpg

Lifelink (Damage dealt by this creature also causes you to gain that much life.)
As long as you have 30 or more life, Serra Ascendant gets +5/+5 and has flying.

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Flawless Maneuver

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $11.88

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212150_200w.jpg

If you control a commander, you may cast this spell without paying its mana cost.
Creatures you control gain indestructible until end of turn.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/212150/magic-commander-2020-flawless-maneuver

Pariah

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.90

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/121885_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
All damage that would be dealt to you is dealt to enchanted creature instead.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/121885/magic-conspiracy-take-the-crown-pariah

Boreas Charger

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254015_200w.jpg

Flying
When Boreas Charger leaves the battlefield, choose an opponent who controls more lands than you. Search your library for a number of Plains cards equal to the difference, reveal those cards, put one of them onto the battlefield tapped and the rest into your hand, then shuffle.

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Gift of Estates

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/94224_200w.jpg

If an opponent controls more lands than you, search your library for up to three Plains cards, reveal them, put them into your hand, then shuffle.

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Rule of Law

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192550_200w.jpg

Each player can't cast more than one spell each turn.

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Pearl Medallion

Market Price: $14.63

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/94425_200w.jpg

White spells you cast cost {1} less to cast.

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Devout Invocation

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.63

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/69138_200w.jpg

Tap any number of untapped creatures you control. Create a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying for each creature tapped this way.

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Inheritance

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/4168_200w.jpg

Whenever a creature dies, you may pay {3}. If you do, draw a card.

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Tithe

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $28.39

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5947_200w.jpg

Search your library for a Plains card. If target opponent controls more lands than you, you may search your library for an additional Plains card. Reveal those cards, put them into your hand, then shuffle.

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Endless Atlas

Market Price: $2.86

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218814_200w.jpg

{2}, {T}: Draw a card. Activate only if you control three or more lands with the same name.

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Forbidding Watchtower

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.70

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/15130_200w.jpg

Forbidding Watchtower enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {W}.
{1}{W}: Forbidding Watchtower becomes a 1/5 white Soldier creature until end of turn. It's still a land.

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Swiftfoot Boots

Market Price: $1.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254399_200w.jpg

Equipped creature has hexproof and haste.
Equip {1}

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Illumination

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5105_200w.jpg

Counter target artifact or enchantment spell. Its controller gains life equal to its mana value.

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Lightning Greaves

Market Price: $6.89

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243990_200w.jpg

Equipped creature has haste and shroud. (It can't be the target of spells or abilities.)
Equip {0}

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Serra Avatar

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.53

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/171204_200w.jpg

Serra Avatar's power and toughness are each equal to your life total.
When Serra Avatar is put into a graveyard from anywhere, shuffle it into its owner's library.

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Archangel of Tithes

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $11.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/100217_200w.jpg

Flying
As long as Archangel of Tithes is untapped, creatures can't attack you or planeswalkers you control unless their controller pays {1} for each of those creatures.
As long as Archangel of Tithes is attacking, creatures can't block unless their controller pays {1} for each of those creatures.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/100217/magic-magic-origins-archangel-of-tithes

Angelic Skirmisher

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.51

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/67372_200w.jpg

Flying
At the beginning of each combat, choose first strike, vigilance, or lifelink. Creatures you control gain that ability until end of turn.

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Smothering Tithe

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $33.61

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/183033_200w.jpg

Whenever an opponent draws a card, that player may pay {2}. If the player doesn't, you create a Treasure token. (It's an artifact with "{T}, Sacrifice this artifact: Add one mana of any color.")

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Path of Ancestry

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254248_200w.jpg

Path of Ancestry enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add one mana of any color in your commander's color identity. When that mana is spent to cast a creature spell that shares a creature type with your commander, scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)

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Faith's Fetters

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226975_200w.jpg

Enchant permanent
When Faith's Fetters enters the battlefield, you gain 4 life.
Enchanted permanent can't attack or block, and its activated abilities can't be activated unless they're mana abilities.

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Mind Stone

Market Price: $0.68

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243923_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{1}, {T}, Sacrifice Mind Stone: Draw a card.

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Sustaining Spirit

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $3.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/4260_200w.jpg

Cumulative upkeep {1}{W} (At the beginning of your upkeep, put an age counter on this permanent, then sacrifice it unless you pay its upkeep cost for each age counter on it.)
Damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead.

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Marble Diamond

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254194_200w.jpg

Marble Diamond enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {W}.

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Radiant, Archangel

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $25.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/6370_200w.jpg

Flying, vigilance
Radiant, Archangel gets +1/+1 for each other creature with flying on the battlefield.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/6370/magic-urzas-legacy-radiant-archangel

Entreat the Angels

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.29

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/171173_200w.jpg

Create X 4/4 white Angel creature tokens with flying.
Miracle {X}{W}{W} (You may cast this card for its miracle cost when you draw it if it's the first card you drew this turn.)

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Aura of Silence

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $4.84

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/107894_200w.jpg

Artifact and enchantment spells your opponents cast cost {2} more to cast.
Sacrifice Aura of Silence: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

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Karoo

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.85

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/94474_200w.jpg

Karoo enters the battlefield tapped.
When Karoo enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless you return an untapped Plains you control to its owner's hand.
{T}: Add {C}{W}.

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Drifting Meadow

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212384_200w.jpg

Drifting Meadow enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {W}.
Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Wasteland

Market Price: $28.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118403_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}, Sacrifice Wasteland: Destroy target nonbasic land.

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Soul Sculptor

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/7049_200w.jpg

{1}{W}, {T}: Target creature becomes an enchantment and loses all abilities until a player casts a creature spell.

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Weathered Wayfarer

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $10.87

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/12883_200w.jpg

{W}, {T}: Search your library for a land card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle. Activate only if an opponent controls more lands than you.

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Rogue's Passage

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248656_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{4}, {T}: Target creature can't be blocked this turn.

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Detection Tower

Market Price: $1.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/169324_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{1}, {T}: Until end of turn, your opponents and creatures your opponents control with hexproof can be the targets of spells and abilities you control as though they didn't have hexproof.

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Karmic Justice

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $11.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/107803_200w.jpg

Whenever a spell or ability an opponent controls destroys a noncreature permanent you control, you may destroy target permanent that opponent controls.

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Arcane Lighthouse

Market Price: $5.55

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166723_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{1}, {T}: Until end of turn, creatures your opponents control lose hexproof and shroud and can't have hexproof or shroud.

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Worship

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.78

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/12892_200w.jpg

If you control a creature, damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead.

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Shackles

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/7650_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step.
{W}: Return Shackles to its owner's hand.

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Hand of Justice

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $3.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/3664_200w.jpg

{T}, Tap three untapped white creatures you control: Destroy target creature.

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Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/242996_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Decree of Justice

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212357_200w.jpg

Create X 4/4 white Angel creature tokens with flying.
Cycling {2}{W} ({2}{W}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
When you cycle Decree of Justice, you may pay {X}. If you do, create X 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens.

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Angel of Finality

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243812_200w.jpg

Flying
When Angel of Finality enters the battlefield, exile target player's graveyard.

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Reprobation

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/191699_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
Enchanted creature loses all abilities and is a Coward creature with base power and toughness 0/1. (It keeps all supertypes but loses all other types and creature types.)

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False Prophet

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.83

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/47438_200w.jpg

When False Prophet dies, exile all creatures.

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Homeward Path

Market Price: $12.97

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/124536_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}: Each player gains control of all creatures they own.

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Thunder Totem

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14401_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {W}.
{1}{W}{W}: Thunder Totem becomes a 2/2 white Spirit artifact creature with flying and first strike until end of turn.

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Serra the Benevolent

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $8.80

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/185803_200w.jpg

+2: Creatures you control with flying get +1/+1 until end of turn.
−3: Create a 4/4 white Angel creature token with flying and vigilance.
−6: You get an emblem with "If you control a creature, damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead."

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Catastrophe

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $5.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/6812_200w.jpg

Destroy all lands or all creatures. Creatures destroyed this way can't be regenerated.

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Sacred Mesa

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/94243_200w.jpg

At the beginning of your upkeep, sacrifice Sacred Mesa unless you sacrifice a Pegasus.
{1}{W}: Create a 1/1 white Pegasus creature token with flying.

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Herald of War

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.36

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248594_200w.jpg

Flying
Whenever Herald of War attacks, put a +1/+1 counter on it.
Angel spells and Human spells you cast cost {1} less to cast for each +1/+1 counter on Herald of War.

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Return to Dust

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248595_200w.jpg

Exile target artifact or enchantment. If you cast this spell during your main phase, you may exile up to one other target artifact or enchantment.

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Secluded Steppe

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236160_200w.jpg

Secluded Steppe enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {W}.
Cycling {W} ({W}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Fellwar Stone

Market Price: $2.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243988_200w.jpg

{T}: Add one mana of any color that a land an opponent controls could produce.

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Mandate of Peace

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196613_200w.jpg

Cast this spell only during combat.
Your opponents can't cast spells this turn.
End the combat phase. (Remove all attackers and blockers from combat. Exile all spells and abilities from the stack, including this spell.)

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Storm Herd

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/231279_200w.jpg

Create X 1/1 white Pegasus creature tokens with flying, where X is your life total.

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Worn Powerstone

Market Price: $1.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/171171_200w.jpg

Worn Powerstone enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {C}{C}.

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Path to Exile

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $4.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218377_200w.jpg

Exile target creature. Its controller may search their library for a basic land card, put that card onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.

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Windbrisk Heights

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212480_200w.jpg

Hideaway (This land enters the battlefield tapped. When it does, look at the top four cards of your library, exile one face down, then put the rest on the bottom of your library.)
{T}: Add {W}.
{W}, {T}: You may play the exiled card without paying its mana cost if you attacked with three or more creatures this turn.

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Pegasus Refuge

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.29

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5661_200w.jpg

{2}, Discard a card: Create a 1/1 white Pegasus creature token with flying.

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Oblivion Stone

Market Price: $2.72

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218880_200w.jpg

{4}, {T}: Put a fate counter on target permanent.
{5}, {T}, Sacrifice Oblivion Stone: Destroy each nonland permanent without a fate counter on it, then remove all fate counters from all permanents.

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Battle Screech

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/191775_200w.jpg

Create two 1/1 white Bird creature tokens with flying.
Flashback—Tap three untapped white creatures you control. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Mystifying Maze

Market Price: $1.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/140115_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{4}, {T}: Exile target attacking creature an opponent controls. At the beginning of the next end step, return it to the battlefield tapped under its owner's control.

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Isolated Watchtower

Market Price: $1.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/171047_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{2}, {T}: Scry 1, then you may reveal the top card of your library. If a basic land card is revealed this way, put it onto the battlefield tapped. Activate only if an opponent controls at least two more lands than you.

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Faith's Reward

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $2.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/121817_200w.jpg

Return to the battlefield all permanent cards in your graveyard that were put there from the battlefield this turn.

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Mistveil Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.63

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180847_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)
Mistveil Plains enters the battlefield tapped.
{W}, {T}: Put target card from your graveyard on the bottom of your library. Activate only if you control two or more white permanents.

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Mother of Runes

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $6.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132098_200w.jpg

{T}: Target creature you control gains protection from the color of your choice until end of turn.

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Stonecloaker

Color Identity:W

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Flash
Flying
When Stonecloaker enters the battlefield, return a creature you control to its owner's hand.
When Stonecloaker enters the battlefield, exile target card from a graveyard.

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Radiant, Archangel

Radiant's tragic dichotomy of using the holy forces of Serra's Realm to protect it while also being manipulated into harsh dictatorship provides two angles of attack. On one hand, we've plenty of angelic troops and other evasive threats to rule the skies. On the other, Radiant's iron rule speaks to one of white's darker attributes: using law as a weapon. So we pack plenty of tools that make life more oppressive for our opponents. While we fly over. It's for their own good!

The Heavenly Host

Serra Ascendant

Legion Angel

Subtly is not our strong suit. We are all about assembling a holy airforce and flying in, swords drawn. Angelic Skirmisher, Herald of War, Sephara, Sky's Blade, Serra Ascendant, and Legion Angel are all at their best when doling out fiery justice.

Legion Angel strikes me as especially interesting and potentially underrated. While a 4-power flyer in Commander is nothing spectacular, one that can eternally replace itself or grow an army all on its own isn't something to scoff at. Keep 20 copies sitting alongside your deck at all times. Only takes one to get the party started.

(Technically, fetching cards from outside the game isn't allowed in Commander, but if your group is okay with you invoking Rule 0 that's no problem. Otherwise, I'd replace Legion Angel with Archangel of Strife.)

Archangel of Tithes

Soul Sculptor

At the same time, we seek to lock up our opposition from mounting any response. Archangel of Tithes plays both attacker and force of taxation, while Angel of Finality clears up opposing graveyards. Other troops like Mother of Runes, Soul Sculptor, Hand of Justice, Intrepid Hero, Sustaining Spirit and Stonecloaker provide defensive capabilities that also hamper opposing removal and/or threats. And much like the tragic realm itself, False Prophet seems all too fitting an end to a board full of threats. That it exiles makes it much better than it first appears.

Angelic Armory

Entreat the Angels

Angels come in more than just creature-based packages. Token production features a host of excellent Angel-generators, many of which become win conditions given enough time, development, or mana investment. Serra the Benevolent is about as natural a fit as it gets for this deck, not only creating 4/4 flyers and pumping the team, but providing an additional "Worship" (of which we also run) for added protection alongside Sustaining Spirit. Decree of Justice, Devout Invocation and Entreat the Angels grow more powerful the more resources we can pour into them, so such defensive capabilities are of vital importance. Keep a tight hold on that Flawless Maneuver to ensure an opposing Wrath doesn't ruin your army's day.

Storm Herd

Serra Aviary

Also taking to the skies, and thus helping the likes of Sephara, Sky's Blade and Serra Aviary, are Battle Screech, Sacred Mesa and Pegasus Refuge, all of which provide multiple evasive bodies. Though life gain isn't a theme specific to the deck, we've enough outlets to often make Storm Herd into an incredibly flashy and lethal number of My Little Ponies, or if we've a Rogue's Passage on board, sneak a gigantic Serra Avatar through.

Iron Rule

Crackdown

Aerial assaults only compose half of the Radiant equation. Let's not forget, she became quite the tyrannical figure when given false counsel. Mono-white's a challenging build in Commander, but not because it lacks controlling, taxing, or even downright punishing resources. Karmic Justice, Aura of Silence, Crackdown, Rule of Law, Pariah, Mandate of Peace and Angel's Trumpet all reshape the rules of the game against our opponents. Angel's Trumpet is surprisingly effective in this build, as most of our creatures already have evasion (or tap abilities that let them get out of combat). Meanwhile, while enemy creatures gain vigilance, even the small and/or utility ones become obligated to attack. Chances are, opponents will sooner take damage rather than lose valuable creatures, so this innocuous artifact may cause quite the bloodletting over time.

Radiant's Judgment

Planar Collapse

Catastrophe

We've also no shortage of removal, packing the on-theme Radiant's Judgment, Shackles, Reprobation and Faith's Fetters alongside staples like Return to Dust and Path to Exile. Our mass removal also connects to the lore via Planar Collapse and Catastrophe, both of which literally happen in the story! Poor Serra's Realm may be doomed, but in this case, it works in our favor.

Endless Atlas

The challenge: mono-white notoriously lacks ramp and card advantage. More on ramp in a second, but to help shore-up our card draw, we run the much-needed Mind's Eye, Endless Atlas, and the clunky-but-effective Inheritance. Gotta draw those cards however we can.

Holy Grounds

Weathered Wayfarer

Gift of Estates

White's ramp is restrictive, but there are some tasty options available. I've always been a big fan of Weathered Wayfarer, whom you'll note can grab any land, not just basics. Boreas Charger, Tithe and Gift of Estates are nothing special as far as land-searching goes, but they'll get the job done. And let's face it, no one's laughing at Smothering Tithe, which even fits the deck thematically. Better pay your taxes.

Otherwise, we run the typical suite of on-color rocks (Pearl Medallion, Commander's Sphere, Fellwar Stone, etc.) and some nifty utility lands like Arcane Lighthouse, Mystifying Maze, Detection Tower, Mistveil Plains and Windbrisk Heights, which will usually be easy for our deck to activate. I've already mentioned how well Rogue's Passage pairs with Serra Avatar, but it can be similarly dangerous in conjunction with Radiant, Archangel herself, as she'll often be quite large by the time the late game rolls around. Just be sure to suit her up with Lightning Greaves or a pair of Swiftfoot Boots, first! Sneaky Angels are still prone to removal.

* * *

Now that I've presented the story as it was written, I'm eager to see how you'll shape it. Can Radiant uncover the treachery before it's too late? Will Xantcha ever get a chance at a normal life? That, my friends, is all up to you. To say Magic: The Gathering has a rich history is an understatement. It's an entire treasure trove of stories. And it's the reason I love the lore of our game so much.

Now that we've expanded the previous story on both sides, we find ourselves with four fully functional and lore-accurate Commander decks that tell different sides of the same story. This allows you and your playgroup to recreate these epic scenes on a grand scale!

And it's just the beginning. There's an entire arcane library of stories out there to choose from.

Thanks for reading, and if you've any ideas for story arcs you'd like to see covered in the future, let me know!