Incite Merciless Retribution

It’s good to be critical, especially when evaluating things in Magic. This could be judging the strength of your decks or knowing when a card is too janky to be of use to you. When it comes to the Wade Into Battle deck (Red/White) for the 2015 Commander set, I can safely say that this is the worst one of them all. To reiterate, the deck is absolutely dreadful to use right out of the box. There is little synergy and it takes WAY too long to build up to be an effective player on the board. My biggest disappointment lies with the featured commander, Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the challenges of trying to make a commander work while also having a deck that supports the commander’s flavor and strategy. I built, painstakingly, a red/white deck worthy of praise. And praise the deck got but not because it was vicious or devastating as I was hoping it would be. In 3 games, I managed to summon, at most, two five cost creatures and attack with them twice before being wiped away from the game with a sympathetic pat on the back from my fellow players. The deck was there. The game was there. The commander was not. Kalemne costs 4 to put onto the field and then it’s up to me to spam cards that cost 5 mana in order to gain experience counters. By that point the game, counter spells and board wipes are many. By the time I had 2 or 3 experience counters, I was out of the game. I hated it. I hated every part of it. I had to make it right.

Aside from the deck being awful, the cards included with the deck are EXCELLENT on their own. Of course, Kalemne had not left a good feeling in my heart. As much as I admire her as a commander, I don’t think she is viable. Especially when compared to the other featured commanders of this year’s 2015 set. She demands big creatures but only to make herself larger instead of making all of your creatures larger. This feat can be easily accomplished with some aura enchantments for half the cost. She just isn’t a good commander. However, there was an alternate commander to be seen in the fray of battle. I’m talking about Anya, Merciless Angel.


Anya is just awesome. Especially after seeing no victory with Kalemne; Anya provokes fear in my opponents and puts me at ease just sitting in my command zone. If you want to bring her online early, she’s a nice 4/4 with flying that deals commander damage for only 5 mana. If you want to rain hellfire on your opponents first, then Anya can come in later as a bigger monsters with indestructible. Holy crap, yes! The best part is you can build a deck around her with many red cards dealing direct damage to opponents at the same time or keep it as a red/white beater deck and have fun. That’s exactly what I did and today, I am going to show you why my friends have a new deck to hate.

Prepare the Weenies!

I have been collecting Magic cards for a long time and believe me when I say that I have more red/white cards than I know what to do with. Many of these are my beloved weenie cards. One cost drops that make my opponents sweat early game, especially if they’re a turn-one play. The only thing worse than playing a Sol Ring on turn 1 in EDH might just be Serra Ascendant. In one game, I had a turn 1 6/6 Flying Lifelink creature and it was all downhill from there. It’s not even fair how quickly this game went by.

Of course, there is also a Figure of Destiny and Soldier of the Pantheon as great early lifegain as well as contingency for later game. Never underestimate the powerful nature of a one drop creature. It could cost your opponents a lot of life.

soldier-of-the-pantheon-mtg-card   serra-ascendant-mtg-card   figure-of-destiny-mtg-card

Calling All Angels

Hell yeah, I’m going to make a Train reference in the post. It has to be done! Understandably so as this deck boasts many angels in it’s ranks. My first version of this deck was…less than great. Now, the idea is that it’s seeking glory. It’s seeking retribution for past mistakes…of losing. Joining Anya in the air are incredible angels such as Angel of Serenity and Gisela, Blade of Goldnight. Again, this deck is all about reacting and then striking when my opponent is most vulnerable and both of these angels help me get there by removing things from the battlefield and allowing me to do more damage while taking less. It’s a swell trade-off.

That’s not all folks. Hold on to your respective genitalia because it just gets better, for me. Angelic Skirmisher is my personal trainer making my creatures a little harder to deal with each combat. Dawnbreak Reclaimer and Emeria Shepherd help bring things back from the beyond and deal 1 figurative point of headache damage to each of my opponents. Last but not least, Victory’s Herald and Resolute Archangel keep my opponents from landing a fatal blow to me. It’s like having a fairy bottle in my inventory. If you don’t understand that reference, then you have never struggled to save Hyrule.

angel-of-serenity-mtg-card   Gisela-blade-of-goldnight-mtg-card   resolute-archangel-mtg-card

Scaled for War

In my opinion, if you’re going to have angels in a red/white deck, you’d better have some dragons. These two are truly the titans of their respective colors. Plus, dragons almost always also have flying so why not. I decided since my angels are a little slower but with bigger rewards that I would have quick and savage dragons to compensate. Creatures with flying and haste are your best friends, especially in Commander. That’s why I am rocking Tyrant’s Familiar first and foremost. It’s pricey but a potential 7/7 flying haste creature that will also do 7 damage to another creature, what’s not to love?

Naturally, there are some cheaper options for a similar result. Thundermaw Hellkite is a cheaper 5/5 Haste Flyer that will devistate your opponents. My favorite part is yelling “Make a hole!” as it enters the battlefield because it’s going to cause your opponents’ creatures with flying to tap making a perfect opportunity for an aerial assault. Stormbreath Dragon is a great card, any time. Early game, it’s a 4/4 Flying Haste with Protection from White. Later on, it gets bigger and punishes your foes for their card advantage. Take that for proper planning. This is war!

stormbreath-dragon-mtg-card   thundermaw-hellkite-mtg-card   Tyrants-familiar-mtg-card

A Little Something for Everyone

I can’t stress this enough when I say that this deck is versitile. It has everything. The main point behind it is to get out mean, hard-to-play-against creatures while dropping support enchantments that just make the situation worse for everyone but me. Everything else is a little icing on the cake. It has creature removal, protection spells, and life gain for days. Ideally, you want to beat the snot out of your opponents to bring Anya out. After that, it’s a slaughter as the full weight of karmic justice rises to your aid. So just sit back, relax, and know that there is something in the deck that’s going to help keep you in the game longer.

Darien-king-of-kjeldor-mtg-card   master-warcraft-mtg-card   rune-tail-kitsune-ascendant-mtg-card

Here is the decklist so you can have a go at what I got. This is, by far, my most utility heavy deck. It’s versatile, reactive, and places the battle in your hands. You sway the fights, you shift the focus, and you call the shots. All the control of white with all the malice and rage of red.

That’s all I have today. Thank you for reading! I hope this look into my bruised ego was helpful in any deck building ideas that you may have gotten from it. I’m considering the riddle of the red/white 2015 Commander deck complete. Now, I must move on to my other favorite color combination of blue/green. Ezuri, Claw of Progress just may prove to be one of my favorite commanders in the new set. At least I know it will work better than Kalemne. She was the chosen one…

Author: Jace Reed

Jace is just a regular ol' Magic player (Since Onslaught) who enjoys the EDH format very much. Oh, and did I mention. Jace has a podcast with his buddy Steve where they talk anime, games, and anything that crosses their minds. Jace has his sights set on being the first Cowboy Space President of the Moon.

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