There comes a time when you stumble upon a card and you realize that it is now your life’s goal to make a deck around that card. I kind of slacked when it came to Khaladesh spoilers, so when I found Sram I was blown away. I’ve created numerous mono-white decks and they have always felt like they were lacking something: card draw.
White has to jump through some hoops in order to draw cards, so Sram was a welcomed sight. It takes the things that white is known for, which are artifacts and enchantments, adds vehicles to the mix and boom! Your things now are cantrips!
The interesting thing about this deck is it does not play like a mono-white deck. This amalgamation ramps like a green deck and draws cards like a blue deck. I tend to put a lot of thought into my decks when I am building them to make them have as much synergy as I can. This approach makes my decks go through a lot of changes before I get to their final versions.
I made sure to keep the mana curve in the deck within reason so I can draw cards, play cards, and repeat. And this approach called for efficient mana rocks, land fetching, and mana doublers. And since this is not the first version of this deck, I have gone through a lot of different cards to make sure the flow of the deck was where I wanted it to be.
So what exactly does the deck do other than ramp and draw cards? It can be a Voltron style deck, a Swarm deck, or a Psuedo-Control deck. That is the beauty of it; it can be whatever you want it to be… like Ditto from Pokemon.
I have listed out the deck by the category of the card. Keep in mind that some cards technically be in multiple categories, but for the purpose of this article, I stuck with their main category. You could make a game out of the list: Find the synergy!
Sram, Senior Edificer
Masterwork of Ingenuity
Sword of the Animist
Sword of Feast and Famine
Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of War and Peace
Yosei, the Morning Star
Sensei’s Divining Top
Miren, the Moaning Well
Emeria, the Sky Ruin
21x Snow-Covered Plains
Now that you’ve seen the list, let’s delve into the methodology of how I approach deck building. This article is meant to give some insight into certain card choices which is something that is brought up a lot: “Boggsimus, why do you have this card in your deck?”
Okay, the deck is all about drawing cards. Turning equipment and vehicles into cantrips with Sram is HUGE. Now, back that up with Skullclamp fueling my hand when things die, and Puresteel Paladin giving me double cantrips on my equipment AND making all my equip costs free creates a huge advantage. Now, there are other sources of draw in the deck, but these three cards are card advantage MVPs!
The interesting this I discovered over the years of playing is that synergy attracts a lot of attention. Normally, if you drop an equipment, people are like “okay”. However, when Sram allows me to draw a card off that equipment, suddenly people are playing closer attention. Now pair that amount of card draw with fast mana ramping and now people are directing their resources toward me. And this amount of attention requires some protection. This protection comes in the form of damage prevention and redirection.
Knight-Captain of Eos can be searched up with Recruiter of the Guard and recurred with Reveillark in addition to the other recursion in the deck. This means that I have a good chance of finding him and recurring him, which means I have constant protection. And Knight-Captain is a good political card: “If you swing at me, I will fog with Knight-Captain. If you swing at the other player, I will not fog.”
Protector of the Crown is one of my favorite cards in Magic. Why? It fulfills two of my favorite things: Protection and Card Advantage. Before Conspiracy: Take the Crown graced me with Protector’s presence, I would often run Palisade Giant, which has the same total mana cost and damage prevention effect but lacks the Monarch ability, which allows some card advantage.
Since we were on the topic of Protector of the Crown, I figured I would show the little insurance policy that I set up for myself with Darksteel Plate and Nim Deathmantle. This two combined with the Protector ensures that I will most likely not taking damage. In the case that someone gets sneaky and tries to exile the Protector, I will most likely sacrifice him to High Market or Miren, the Moaning Well. There is enough sources of recursion in the deck to make sure that if for some reason he does hit the graveyard, I will most likely get him back.
Being a deck that is based around creatures means I have to have quite a bit of recursion at my disposal. And aside from the quintessential Reveillark and Karmic Guide, I figured why not have some more interesting avenues of recursion? Having Emeria, the Sky Ruin allows me to incrementally recur my dead creatures. The interesting thing about Emeria, the Sky Ruin is although it has a legendary name it is not a Legendary Land. This means I can Thespian’s Stage the Emeria, the Sky Ruin to recur two creatures on my upkeep!
Now we get to some incredible synergy: Emeria Shepherd and Burnished Hart. These two together equals instant speed recursion and land ramp. Since the Burnished Hart fetches up two lands, I can choose to bring it back with the Emeria Shepherd’s trigger in addition to something else. And because this deck paints a huge target on itself, having a quick way to recur thing efficiently is a huge advantage; I am using up all of my opponent’s removal while maintaining board presence. Seems really good!
There are times when you just have to seal the deal and end the game. I like killing people when they least expect it. Grafted Exoskeleton transforms even the smallest creature into a threat. This deck has enough buff effects with its other equipments that most of the time if Grafted Exoskeleton goes onto something it can swing for lethal. Pair it with Leonin Shikari and now every creature on your field is suddenly a huge threat. Sigarda’s Aid allows me to sneak in the Grafted Exoskeleton when they least expect it and knock them out of the game!
There are times when you have an opponent that is just too threatening to allow them to do things. Why not just shut them out of the game so you can continue on your path of destruction? Yosei, the Morning Star’s death trigger allows me to shut someone down for a turn. Pair it with a sacrificial outlet like High Market and a recursion engine like Nim Deathmantle and now that player is sitting there until you have the mercy to kill them off. Yes, it’s mean, but sometimes you got to be a villain.
Well, it seems like we’ve reached the end… for now. Don’t worry, I have more Commander decks and access to lists of decks that I’ve had over the years! So be prepared to take a journey through the land of Boggsimus Builds!