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Welcome back to another installation of Big Daddy Brews. This week’s focus is not on a particular Commander but instead a particular card. This week we are building around Standard’s short-lived former all-star Seasons Past. Seasons Past far exceeded my expectations in Standard, and the same holds true in Commander. I’m going to place the list below and then begin the breakdown.


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The List:

Commander: Sidisi, Brood Tyrant

1 Veteran Explorer
1 Viscera Seer
1 Baleful Strix
1 Coiling Oracle
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Eternal Witness
1 Farhaven Elf
1 Loaming Shaman
1 Ramunap Excavator
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Wood Elves
1 Yavimaya Elder
1 Archaeomancer
1 Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
1 Meren of Clan Nel Toth
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Venser, Shaper Savant
1 Vindictive Lich
1 Acidic Slime
1 Body Double
1 Genesis
1 Golgari Grave-Troll
1 Lord of Extinction
1 Mulldrifter
1 Phyrexian Delver
1 Shriekmaw
1 Sidisi, Undead Vizier
1 Deadeye Navigator
1 Duplicant
1 Greenwarden of Murasa
1 Massacre Wurm
1 Prime Speaker Zegana
1 Overseer of the Damned
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Sheoldred, Whispering One
1 Razaketh, the Foulblooded
1 Reanimate
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Diabolic Intent
1 Life from the Loam
1 Regrowth
1 Beast Within
1 Cultivate
1 Kodama’s Reach
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Damnation
1 Dark Petition
1 Seasons Past
1 Skullclamp
1 Sol Ring
1 Mesmeric Orb
1 Chromatic Lantern
1 Birthing Pod
1 Tortured Existence
1 Animate Dead
1 Evolutionary Leap
1 Survival of the Fittest
1 Sylvan Library
1 Attrition
1 Alchemist’s Refuge
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Breeding Pool
1 Command Tower
1 Dakmor Salvage
1 Drowned Catacomb
1 Drownyard Temple
1 Dryad Arbor
6 Forest
1 High Market
1 Hinterland Harbor
5 Island
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Sunken Hollow
6 Swamp
1 Temple of Deceit
1 Temple of Malady
1 Temple of Mystery
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Volrath’s Stronghold
1 Watery Grave
1 Woodland Cemetary


Breakdown:

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This is the deck’s namesake engine. Once there are a decent number of cards in the graveyard the idea is to cast one of the deck’s many tutors to find Seasons Past. Once Seasons Past is in hand, it can be cast returning the tutor spell used to find it along with a number of other cards with varying CMCs. The deck can then recast all of its recently returned cards, saving the tutor spell for last. Once all of the cards that Seasons Past returned from the graveyard have been cast, use the tutor spell to find Seasons Past and perform the loop again. This loop should bury the opponents in card advantage.


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Seasons Past requires cards to be in the graveyard to be effective. The larger the number of cards, the better selection Seasons Past provides. There is a suite of cards to enable filling the deck’s own graveyard alongside its Commander. Mesmeric Orb is a symmetrical mill effect that can get quite out of hand if left unchecked. I have won games on the back of Mesmeric Orb simply milling all of my opponents’ answers artifact destruction and using Seasons Past to loop Damnation. Loaming Shaman is a part of the deck to help ensure that deck never loses the game due to decking itself.


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There is an enters-the-battlefield-matters sub-theme to the deck. Focusing on enters the battlefield creatures encourages a higher creature count to help consistently get a 2/2 zombie when triggering Sidisi. It also works well alongside Seasons Past since the creatures (and their enters the battlefield trigger) can be returned from the graveyard to hand to be used multiple times. This sub-theme could be pushed further if desired and a more Birthing Pod-centric list would still work well alongside Seasons Past.


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With so many self-milling effects the deck is at risk of milling its Seasons Past before finding the opportunity to cast it. These cards are here to help generate general value and offer recursion, but to also ensure that the deck always has access to Seasons Past, even if the card somehow ends up in the graveyard.


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To further add to the abuse of the deck’s graveyard, it has a reasonable amount of reanimation effects. Leveraging both virtual and real card advantage over the opponents in an extended war of attrition is the axis the deck is best equipped to fight. Continually reanimating threats helps the deck establish inevitability.


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This two creature combo will often lead to a victory. It doesn’t take very long for Lord of Extinction to become a 40 power creature or larger. It takes 12 very color intensive mana to pull the combo off in a single turn. This often means that the deck will be casting one of these two cards first, waiting a turn, and then casting the second creature to try and enable the combo win. This is the deck’s only haymaker and dedicated win condition. More games than not victory comes from slowly beating your opponents with creatures while you hide behind a fistful of cards thanks to Seasons Past. The deck does, however, see more of its own cards than the average Commander deck thanks to its self-mill effects.


And it’s over! I think that Seasons Past is quite the card and after today, hopefully, you do too. The card is really flexible. Commander’s 100 card singleton nature means that most people are already playing a high curve with multiple cards at each spot. If you truly want the card to shine, it does mean playing a decent number of tutors, and I know that not every Commander enthusiast enjoys that. Holler at me in the comments below, if you’d like! I’ll write to you all again in a couple of weeks for the next Big Daddy Brews!


-Brandon “Big Daddy B” Dauer
Twitter: @BrandonDauer
Instagram: midwest.brandon


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