Wallet Warriors: Baron Von Count
Welcome back Wallet Warriors! Magic: The Gathering is a tremendously deep game. There are tons of different ways to play the game that appeal to different types of people. Some people love to just play gigantic creatures and turn em sideways. Others get their kicks from trying to combine seemingly random pieces into a cohesive machine to defeat their opponents.
I have found that when I am the most pleased playing this lovely game is when I feel like a supervillain rubbing my hands together and, when the mood should strike me, throwing in a maniacal laugh. The traditional playstyle that incites this feeling is Control however it is definitely not the only way to get there.
Baron Von Count absolutely personifies that hand rubbing supervillain feeling in a very unique way. This was one of the toughest decks I’ve put together. Not only for this series but in my entire time building commander decks! I’m pretty proud to say that you can pick this one up for about 90 bucks right now.
Before I get too deep into the strategy, take a look over the list.
If you want to check out the list separated by the groups I talk about click here:
The Master Plan
What we’re trying to do may seem obvious at a glance. Plan A is definitely to land The Count as early as possible and count down the clock before anyone has a chance to react. However, as super villains, we have a bit more subtlety than that.
Plan B is to make allies (briefly) since we have the ultimate bargaining chip, the words “Destroy Target Player”. We have a suite of control spells which help us hold our enemies at bay and can double as political tools. We also have an artifact sub-theme as we want plenty of cards that replace themselves to help us count down the clock while keeping our hand full.
Looking at the Numbers
Something I think a lot of Baron brewers will initially get wrong is trying to shove in as many cards that will trigger the Count as possible. There are a few relatively powerful cards that happen to have some or all of the numerals we’re looking for but beyond the first few its slim pickins. What we’ve got here is a cohesive deck that is still able to count down the clock at a good speed.
Let’s take a look at the numbers and the amount of instances a specific numeral shows up:
5 - 33 Instances
4 - 30 Instances
3 - 35 Instances
2 - 44 Instances
1 - 46 Instances
Since we’re not going as hard into the numerals as some others might, we’ll have to be a bit more selective about our sequencing in game. What we can also see is that there are fewer 5s, 4s and 3s than 2s and 1s in the deck. This means we may want to hold onto the cards with higher numerals until we can safely drop our commander.
Running the Clock Down
Now in theory ticking the clock of doom down shouldn’t be that difficult. After all we’ve got access to plenty of the key numerals. However when you think about playing in a typical four player game you need to cast, at the very least, 15 spells with Baron Von Count in play. This is no small task so we’ve got a suite of control spells to help keep us alive while we enact our master plan.
With our numeral restriction we have to make do with a few unorthodox cards. Even still we’ve been able to fit in six board wipes and eleven pieces of single target removal. Aligned Hedron Network is a budget board wipe that I have been a fan of since its release but has never been quite good enough to make the cut. We have it here because it hits our two top numerals and goes way over The Count. The rest are fairly self-explanatory.
Card Draw Makes the Clock Tick
The biggest difficulty this deck faces is that it needs to cast so many spells to accomplish the goal of ticking down the clock. To stop ourselves from just emptying our hand and competely running out of gas, we want to trigger the clock with cards that will replace themselves.
Since black and red are not stellar for card draw we incorporated an artifact sub-theme with some artifacts that draw us cards. Metalspinner’s Puzzleknot, Prophetic Prism, and Terrarion are examples of these. Since we’re running a good amount of artifacts anyway, we might as well toss in some payoffs.
These three cards all work decently well for our clock and either let us cast more things or give us a benefit for casting those things.
Apart from those we have some solid black card draw in Arguel’s Blood Fast, Greed (specifically the 4th edition one to get that 4 in the flavor text), and Promise of Power.
Protecting the Boss
There are a lot of commanders that I like to dream of having access to another color outside their color identity. I have always wished Noyan Dar, Roilshaper had green or Omnath, Locus of Rage had black.
But if Baron Von Count had access to blue for some countermagic? That would multiply the power of this deck by such a huge amount. It pains me that there are so few options for protecting the most important little three drop.
What we have are a couple pieces of equipment to give him hexproof in Mask of Avacyn and Swiftfoot Boots. Then we have two instants which can make him indestructible. Without Weakness and Renegade’s Getaway. These barely playable draft commons are unfortunately at the top of the list in terms of budget pieces of protection.
We need as much protection as we can get for the Count. With a slightly higher budget we can dip into some very powerful equipment.
Planeswalkers are incredibly good at counting down the clock because all of their loyalty ability numbers count as being in their text box. The first ones I would pick up are Chandra, Torch of Defiance and Koth of the Hammer.
Paradox Engine is a powerhouse in any deck that has enough artifacts that produce mana. For our purposes it’s a great way to keep a train of spells going so we can tick down multiple numbers in a turn. If it is added, make sure to up the artifact ramp to accommodate it.
Finally, just a couple of solid cards that fit two of our themes while counting down the clock. O-Stone is a great board wipe option (that the Count can dodge given enough time) and Erebos would join the gang of great repeatable card draw enchantments.
That will do it for this installment of Wallet Warriors. I gotta tell ya this was a surprisingly real deck to put together. I have been extremely happy that Unstable has come and it’s basically everything we wanted it to be, a wacky set that is actually fun to play with rather than purely for the chuckles.
This deck is definitely gimmicky, don’t get me wrong, but you can steal some games if you sequence your spells correctly, make some temporary allies and try not to laugh too maniacally as you’re playing.
See you next time! Cheers!
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