"Wars are won with strength, valor
, and numbers—especially numbers."
=== I N T R O D U C T I O N ===
With the release
of Dominaria, Commander deck brewing enthusiasts like me got a bunch of new legendary creatures to play with. Among them is a complete cycle of dual color uncommons, which tempted me to brew Pauper EDH decks for some (if not most) of the uncommon legendary creatures from Dominaria over the course of the weeks and months to follow.
What's neat about uncommon legendaries is that they're legal commanders in both Pauper EDH and Commander, so each of my brews will come with a 10 card maybeboard, consisting of uncommons, rares and mythics. The cards suggested there will increase the deck's power to a great degree if swapped with the commons listed beside them, and may be used as a sideboard for "regular" Commander games. As a self-imposed budget limit, the maybeboard won't cost more than the actual deck.
The third Dominarian legend on my to-do list was Shanna, Sisay's Legacy
Be sure to check out my other Budget/Pauper EDH decks:
- Slimefoot, the Stowaway
- Tatyova, Benthic Druid
=== E V A L U A T I O N ===
Shanna was made for Selesnya token decks - the more creatures one has, the bigger she gets. Thus, her deck should definitely have a voltron subtheme, with some cards for evasion and protection. While her ability lets her shrug off cards like Oblivion Ring
or Dark Impostor
, she is neither hexproof nor indestructible, so some additional defensive spells are needed in the 99.
=== S T R A T E G Y ===
a) Get Shanna on the board a.s.a.p.
b) Play creatures, create tokens, populate - the more, the merrier.
c) Give Shanna evasion and start swinging.
1. Commander damage. Shanna can get huge in no time, so 2 - 3 swings should suffice to take out an opponent.
2. Beatdown. You'll have an army - use it.
- Darksteel Pendant
, Seer's Lantern
Card draw effects are scarce in G/W pauper. Filtering your draws each turn is the next best thing.
- Icatian Crier
Turns any excess land you draw late game into a Raise the Alarm
. Not strictly, but mostly better than Cenn's Enlistment
, in my opinion.
- Pale Recluse
I have an irrational love for this card. Very flexible and useful in any stage of the game.
Tips & tactics:
Play aggressively, but be careful not to overcommit to the board. Shanna has a lot of support cards in the 99, so she should be attacking alone most of the time. Hold your other creatures back to use for blocking on your opponents' turns.
=== C O N C L U S I O N ===
Shanna's deck is cheap, fun and easy to pilot, so it is perfect for people who want to try out the Commander format for the first time without spending a small fortune on a deck. As always, it can easily be upgraded to fit your more competitive needs; have a look at the maybeboard to get some ideas.
If you like, please leave a comment to share your thoughts on my approach. Thanks for reading!
=== O N _ P A U P E R _ E D H ===
What distinguishes Pauper EDH from "regular" Commander? The rules are mostly the same, with three exceptions:
1. ANY uncommon creature can be your commander; it doesn't have to be legendary.
2. Each card in the 99 must have been printed at common rarity in a Magic set or product (paper OR Magic Online) to be legal in this format variant. Please note that the ban list for the Magic Online format Pauper doesn't apply to Pauper EDH, because in a 100 card singleton format these cards have much less of an impact.
3. Due to the lesser power of commons, players start with a life total of 30, and a player that's been dealt 16 or more combat damage by the same commander over the course of the game loses the game.
What's great about Pauper EDH is that the decks are really cheap to come by. An average Pauper EDH deck is worth something between 20 and 30 €. Some may be a bit more expensive, but most of them can be assembled for FAR less money, because many players already own most of the cards they'll need - draft chaff lying around in some box on a shelf, collecting dust.
Another advantage of Pauper EDH is its diversity. Due to the sheer amount of uncommon creatures (3,135 at the time according to Gatherer) there are far more possible deck strategies compared to Commander.
And last but not least: While the players who spend more money on cards than the rest of their playgroup also tend to win more Commander games, the odds
of winning a Pauper EDH game are more even. Here, the power of an individual card (which, in most cases, is proportional to its price) counts to a lesser extend than your overall deck brewing prowess and your playing skills.