Commander Deck Tech - Uncomonnly Good Partners
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This is a Commander deck motivated by two aspects: budget and archetype. I'm building a Voltron Style build (suit up your commander for maximum damage) and I wanted to make this uncommonly good... as in using ONLY UNCOMMONS. So, I decided I wanted to build a partner deck that would allow me to win with a supped up Kobold. The trick to it all is making sure this is still a “good deck”, and it turns out you don't have to run ANY rares to have a solid Commander deck. This deck comes in under $50, and actually is pretty close to $40, so that's pretty much an extreme budget deck, right?
The partnered commanders obviously all work incredibly well together. Using Arden, Intrepid Archaeologist to suit up Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh is the de facto plan. Drop a bunch of equipment, suit up Rograkh, and then swing for the win. The goal is to protect Rograkh as much as possible with a variety of equipment, enchantments, and spells.
This deck isn't about using sneaky combinations or grinding value out. This is a straight-forward deck. Simply out attack your opponents! With access to white, this deck is able to have answers to literally everything.
Additionally, it wouldn't be a very good deck without a few sneaky includes, so how about using Vorrac Battlehorns to make Rograkh unblockable? Menace and no more than one blocker means… unblockable!
Giving Rograkh deathtouch is amazing. Since he has first strike and trample you can assign only one point of damage to each creature (lethal), and then proceed to trample the remaining damage to your opponent's face. Don't forget this little rule while you're swinging in with a fully equipped future Kobold king.
Using Inquisitor's Flail correctly is also very important. This helps you double up on your double strike too. People think that Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh is only dealing them 8 or 10 points of damage with the Flail, but when you suddenly cast Double Cleave or Raking Claws you scored yourself a kill for the future king.
Slab Hammer helps you pick up your steps for the day. Wait, I meant helps you pick up your Steppes and reuse them to get a victory on the day. Being able to cycle away a now unnecessary land is helpful, but being able to replay Sejiri Steppe to gain a free protection spell every turn is not to be underestimated.
Draw - How the Deck Keeps the Cards Flowing:
Mask of Memory is a solid option for drawing extra cards. This is a Boros build, and so we need to dig into other options for card draw. Namely, we will be looking at most of these looting/impulsive-draw style spells.
Rogue's Gloves may seem like a questionable include, but you can easily dump your hand out while killing off one or two opponents. Then you might be staring down a prepared opponent whose 6 mana drops might very well blow you out of the game. If you have a hand of even a few cards, then you can often manage to outlast their removal and punch through for an epic victory.
Cathartic Reunion,Tormenting Voice, and Wild Guess help to ditch the extra lands or redundant equipment we come across and dig further into the deck for the pieces we need to assemble a legendary Kobold champion. While we want to develop our mana as a resource, we can often pitch a land or two in order to dig into our decks for the necessary spells or equipment we need to suit up Rograkh for a swift victory.
Ramp - How the Deck Keeps up on Mana Development:
This deck's mana curve is so low you don't need to ramp. This deck can easily march to victory off of 5 lands. I'm not exaggerating. Being able to cast 2 spells in a turn cycle off 4 or 5 lands is easy. The mana curve tops out at 4. Your average opponent won't even be playing anything until turn 4 or 5, and you should already have half your hand emptied and maybe even a dead opponent by then.
Answers - The Cards that Deal with Particular Situations:
Having access to white is wonderful. I know people often malign white for not being able to draw cards or ramp, but I feel it at least has all the best answers. If there's a permanent that's bothering you, then white can fix it. It has answers to everything. That's awesome. This deck makes use of several of those cards and leans into white's ability to protect its own as well.
You'll want to keep mana open for your protection spells. On turns 4, 5, 6, and 7 you should expect sweepers of some sort. The biggest weakness this deck has is losing to mass bounce effects. They are especially painful as you are basically a tempo or burn style deck. You don't want to have to rebuild and be on the defensive. Defense is a losing battle with this deck, so just opt not to play that way. Seriously, if you're not attacking for commander damage, then you are actively losing. Be aggressive and go for it!
Strength of Isolation is a sneaky little include. It buffs Rograkh while also giving us the option to toss it onto him through any of the various discard outlets the deck utilizes. Having protection from black is also nice, as that color has plenty of targeted removal that can be annoying to deal with.
As an all commons and uncommons deck most of this deck involves utilizing some underutilized cards. So, it's no surprise to notice how I've brought Golem-Skin Gauntlets and Inquisitor's Flail to the pain party.
There were about 36 different equipment that I considered running once I had narrowed my sights down to using only uncommons and commons. That's not exactly a small list.
I opted to lean into a commander-centric build, and to be able to protect him while pushing through additional damage. This deck is fairly tightly built.
The biggest exclusions are really just all the amazing rares that would bring this deck out of uncommonly good grounds and place it firmly into mythically good deck status. Mostly because it would be good too often to be considered rarely good.
Now, as I said earlier, this is an uncommonly good deck. Should you decide you want to be good or even just plain better, then go right ahead and start swapping out equipment. I would probably start with Hammer of Nazahn. You can choose your equipment of choice, but I would go for the ones that synergize with the rest of the deck the best, and also help you have the most fun you can. The upgrading of this deck is fairly straightforward. Start off by slotting more powerful equipment, and then prioritize replacing spot removal with one-sided board removal (Winds of Rath or Slash the Ranks are both amazing choices for this deck). Just be aware that you can't brag about winning with a pile of uncommons once you start upgrading to rares.
Early on you want to drop some equipment and get ready to attack with Rograkh. Being able to play equipment early is also key to finding some success with this deck. Prioritize the people that will give you the most problems: controlling decks with lots of sweeping effects. You should be able to dodge most people's spot removal between the spells and equipment. Once suited up, Rogakh should be fine, except for pesky Wrath effects. Thankfully, most of those sweeper effects won't happen until the mid-game, and you should be able to suit up and dish out a decent chunk of your 21 points early on. I would kill the player with islands first. Don't feel bad about killing the person with Cyclonic Rift before they can cast it. You're doing the table a service.
When people start dropping big creatures that matter you need to start killing those players. Let them believe their spot removal will save them. Let them scoff at your “indestructibility” and then prepare to one shot them by taking advantage of your protection spells. People will often accept up to 15 points of commander damage, so be sure to utilize those instants that grant double strike to snipe people out of the game.
Honestly, the late game is dicey for this deck. You really need to be able to close the game out before it goes too long. Thankfully, you can still do that, provided your equipment is still on the board. Barring massive artifact removal, you should be able to easily recast you commanders and then suit up for the hasty kill. Once Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh is equipped with all those potent pieces of equipment, send him out like Voltron to crush any person you choose!
When I first saw these commanders I actually thought they'd be hilariously fun together. When I saw they were both uncommons I knew I had to make some sort of uncommonly good deck for them to exist in. I love the idea that you can build budget Commander decks, but I also love being able to build up from that budget starting point. Collecting, building, and tinkering is such an integral part of Magic, and I hope you find this deck to be a great starting point for you. Utilizing plenty of budget cards to get a build going is an awesome place to start. If you think you enjoy playing this deck at its lower power level, then you may enjoy it even more when it's supped up. I personally plan to keep it as an uncommonly good deck, and will be happy to remind everyone at the table that I'm not even playing a rare land (which I admit is very odd for me). Until next time, may your decks be rich in fun, and your life full of magic!
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