Dominaria United is just around the corner, and as part of the set, we are getting some reimagined Commanders from Legends. Three of these reimagined Legends have already been spoiled, and one, in particular, got me very excited. This Commander can be abused if we get the right set-up, and I think it will likely be a very popular deck once the set is released.
Don’t forget; you can see the full decklist over on Moxfield.
This article will go through the key synergies in the deck and how we win. We are in colours that do have tutors, but I have not included them in the list. If you have tutors, use them; if not, this deck will function without them.
With all that said, let’s get into it.
Tor Wauki the Younger is a 3/3 Legendary Human archer with Reach and Lifelink for 3, a black and a red.
If another source we control deals noncombat damage to a permanent or player, it deals additional damage. Whenever we cast an instant or sorcery card, our Commander deals 2 damage to any target.
Slinging spells is an archetype not usually found in Rakdos colours, making this particularly exciting as a commander. We can burn players out, and if played correctly, we can use our Commander to wipe our opponent’s creatures out and control the board.
Because our Commander costs 5, and we want to cast as many spells in one turn as possible, Ramping out early is essential. We cannot keep a greedy opening hand if we don’t have the ramp to get us where we need to be. There are plenty of ways to draw the cards we need, so play it sensible, and if you need to, Mulligan away the hand to get the mana this deck needs.
There’s a storm on the Horizon.
I know, I know, decks with red in having storm in are getting a little cliche, but that’s usually in Izzit colours, not Rakdos. We are using storm a little; differently. We are casting spell after spell to cause damage and gain life. Perhaps it should be named something else – Rakdos Pingers? Spell-slinging Aristocrats? The point is that this is different from your average storm deck.
First things first, every storm needs fueling, and this is no different. Storm-Kiln Artist will generate a treasure every time we cast an instant or sorcery card, so we can keep going with our spells. Pyromancers Goggles is a 5-drop mana rock, and I know what your thinking; that sounds terrible but hear me out. When we use that red mana to cast an instant or sorcery, we copy it, adding more and more to the damage we are generating and the treasure we can get with Storm Kiln Artist.
Speaking of copying, we also have Primal Amulet, an artifact for 4 generic mana, which reduces our casting cost of instant and sorceries by 1.
Whenever we cast an instant or sorcery, we put a charge counter on it, and once there are 4, it transforms into a land Primal Wellspring. Primal Wellspring lets us do the same as Pyromancers Goggles, but it’s on a land, making it much harder to interact with.
This is going to hurt.
Tor Wauki wants us to capitalise on damage spells and pingers, so we have the best pingers in the deck. Kessig Flamebreather, Guttersnip and Electrostatic Field will help spread the damage around to each opponent, which is excellent because our Commander only targets a single target at any time.
Chandra’s Incinerator is excellent in this deck. We can cheat this 6/6 trampler out for single red mana pretty consistently. It also gives us additional reach with our pingers, taking down creatures and pesky planeswalkers. It also pairs very nicely with Repercussion and enchantment for 1 and 2 red that deals damage to a player whenever a creature they control is dealt damage. This could bite us later because it’s a global effect, but the politics you can play with this are incredible. Just play with caution.
Fire Covenant lets us sink some of our life gain into a onesided board wipe and also prevents any damage negating effects which may come up. Insult//Injury doubles our output, which, when we have these explosive turns, will amp up the damage significantly, and if that’s not enough, it has removal built into it too.
Professor Onyx is a legendary planeswalker for 4 and 2 black, which has a magecraft static ability. Whenever we cast or copy an instant or sorcery, our opponents lose 2 life, and we gain 2 life.
Her loyalty abilities give us removal and card advantage, but it’s the magecraft ability we care about.
The Storm Rages on
This deck is low to the ground mana value-wise, with the average mana value being 1.76. We will be casting many spells, but we also need to fuel our hand, so we have 18 card draw effects included. That might seem a lot, but we need to have a full grip as often as possible.
We have a lot of 1 mana cantrip cards in this deck that we are casting for the draw effect and the trigger effect off Tor Wauki.
Ancestral Rage, Crimson Wisps, Warlords Fury, and Renegade Tactics don’t do much on their own, but with Tor Wauki out, they essentially deal 2 damage, gain 2 life and draw a card for a single mana.
Whichever way you look at that, it’s excellent value.
Sign in Blood, Read the Bones, Stinging Study and Ambitions Cost are usually spells that damage us, but not in this deck. With Tor Wauki‘s lifelink ability, we can either negate or reduce the damage from these spells.
Greed lets us take the life we will gain and turn it into repeatable card draw, and Well of Lost Dreams will let us pay and turn all the life we gain into cards without having to spend any mana.
Possibly the best card from Commander Legends, Jeska’s Will got a reprint in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate, which is excellent value. Grab this card before it shoots up in price again.
If casting all of these spells wasn’t enough, then we have Arcane Bombardment and Mizzix’s Mastery, so we can cast them all again and turn Tor Wauki from Archer to Rambo with a Machine gun. What we can do with this, well, is pretty disgusting.
Destroying the board.
We don’t run a single board wipe in this deck. Not one, which is unusual, right? What if I told you, you didn’t need them because we can wipe the board with Tor Wauki?
We have ways to give our Commander Deathtouch until the end of turn with cards such as Alchemist Gift, Coat with Venom, Bladebrand and Virulent Swipe. These are great because they also trigger Tor Wauki; however, because his trigger is on the cast, he won’t have Deathtouch initially.
We can also permanently give Tor Wauki or Chandra’s Incinerator Deathtouch with Basilisk Collar and Aspect of Gorgon.
Once they have Deathtouch, we can destroy any creature our opponents have, which sounds good, but we can make this better.
Toralf, God of Fury, is a 5/4 Legendary God with Trample. Whenever one of our opponent’s creatures or planeswalkers is dealt excess noncombat damage, Toralf deals the excess to any other target. Toralf is another excellent target for Deathtouch because it only takes 1 damage to kill a creature; he can potentially take an entire board out in one glorious thunderous swoop.
Ways to win.
Generally speaking, we will win by controlling the board by giving our pingers the bad touch and storming off. But there is another way, a more glorious way and fits in perfectly with the release of Dominaria United. All will be Compleat, and Tor Wauki is no different.
For the glory of Phyrexia, we can include Grafted Exoskeleton, Glistening Oil, Phyresis and Tainted Strike to any of our pingers.
By giving our pingers infect, we only have to deal 10 damage to our opponents; that is only 5 spells. It’s more than viable in this deck. We need to keep this plan close to our chest. Any sniff of this and our opponents will react but set this up correctly first, then let the glory of Phyrexia wash over our opponents.