Fat Stacks — Five Magic Dads

Feature Article from Cassidy Silver
Cassidy Silver
6/21/2016 11:00:00 AM
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Hello! Since Father's Day was this past weekend, I thought we could take a look at some of the MTG universe's father figures. We have five dads that we can take a look at from all five-colors of the color pie. Each of them has a famous child that was printed as a card, so not only are they relevant as parents, they are relevant in their children as well.

 Konda, Lord of Eiganjo
Store QTY Price  
GameTown Warehouse 1 $1.49
Comic Lair 1 $1.57
Mom's Basement Games 2 $1.58
Cavern of Commerce 1 $1.63
Diamonds Mined 1 $1.69
The Magic Nerds 1 $1.70
Mindspirals 1 $1.79
Serenity Games 1 $1.79
The Game Cave 4 $1.80
The Gypsies Den 2 $1.82
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Konda, Lord of Eiganjo Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Let's start with the top of the color wheel with white: Takeshi Konda, Lord of Eiganjo. Konda was the father of another white legend – Michiko Konda, Truth Seeker. In the Kamigawa story line, papa Konda entered the spirit world, and stole the heart of the O-Kagachi, the greatest kami of the plane. (O-Kagachi is the multi-headed dragon depicted in Final Judgment.) Konda did this in a desire to protect his realm, though it ended up causing the great Kami War that rages throughout the Kamigawa cycle. Michiko would team up with the 'heart' of O-Kagachi in female form, and both daughters would in turn be the downfall of their progenitors.

When it comes to in-game power, Konda is one of the go-to white legends when it comes to making a one-man army. The indestructibility granted when he stole the heart of O-Kagachi makes him very difficult to deal with, so he wins most combats and dodges most removal. His big downfall is his huge casting cost, and his relatively small size. For 5WW, you would expect more than a 3/3 with vigilance, even if he does have the bushido 5 ability that helps make him scary in combat.

My favorite way to play Konda is Voltron, or otherwise load up the deck with a bunch of equipment to help bridge the damage gap. Equipment is a very popular subtype, so you can easily find all sorts of gear to suit him up with. Here is a quick Konda deck I put together that has a lot of the more high-end cards in it.

Konda Voltron by WriterofWrong
Main Deck
1 Akroma, Angel of Wrath
1 Auriok Steelshaper
1 Auriok Survivors
1 Auriok Windwalker
1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
1 Emeria Shepherd
1 Kemba, Kha Regent
1 Knight of the White Orchid
1 Monastery Mentor
1 Pilgrim's Eye
1 Plague Myr
1 Puresteel Paladin
1 Relic Seeker
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Steelshaper Apprentice
1 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Stonehewer Giant
1 Sun Titan
1 Taj-Nar Swordsmith
Creatures [19]
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
1 Elspeth, Sun's Champion
1 Nahiri, the Lithomancer
Planeswalkers [3]
1 Argentum Armor
1 Batterskull
1 Burnished Hart
1 Captain's Claws
1 Champion's Helm
1 Chariot of Victory
1 Darksteel Plate
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Expedition Map
1 Fellwar Stone
1 Grappling Hook
1 Helm of Kaldra
1 Land Tax
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Loxodon Warhammer
1 Martial Coup
1 Masterwork of Ingenuity
1 Open the Armory
1 Paradise Mantle
1 Pariah's Shield
1 Path to Exile
1 Shield of Kaldra
1 Skullclamp
1 Steelshaper's Gift
1 Strata Scythe
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Kaldra
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
1 Sword of the Animist
1 Sword of Vengeance
1 Sword of War and Peace
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Thran Dynamo
1 Tithe
1 True Conviction
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Wrath of God
Spells [39]
1 Dust Bowl
1 Eiganjo Castle
1 Flagstones of Trokair
1 Kjeldoran Outpost
1 Kor Haven
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
26 Plains (283)
1 Springjack Pasture
1 Tectonic Edge
1 Urza's Mine
1 Urza's Power Plant
1 Urza's Tower
1 Wasteland
Lands [38]
Deck Total [99]

1 Konda, Lord of Eiganjo
Sideboard [1]

Click for full deck stats & notes!

The deck is a mix between ramp and equipment plus creatures that either make tokens, interact with equipment, or both. Ramping is not super easy to do with white, though we can pull it off with mana rocks like Fellwar Stone / Thran Dynamo, as well as hard land ramp like Burnished Hart / Solemn Simulacrum. We also have the white cards that look to balance land count, like Tithe, Land Tax, and Knight of the White Orchid. These won't help ramp ahead of the rest of the table, but staying at parity is important. Finally, I included a Plague Myr and a Paradise Mantle to help the mana a bit more. The Plague Myr is awesome because of the way infect scales really well in Commander, especially with all the weapons in the deck. Paradise Mantle will interact with a lot of the equipment tech in here, and will give the token creatures an extra avenue of utility.

The best part of any equipment-based deck is definitely the amazing white creatures that interact with them. Puresteel Paladin is overall one of my favorite cards in the game, and it can get pretty stupid in a deck with Argentum Armor or Batterskull. The Paladin interacts beautifully with the Paradise Mantle I just mentioned, turning it into a veritable Cryptolith Rites; Auriok Steelshaper will get a similar effect from the Mantle. We also have fan favorites like Stoneforge Mystic, Stonehewer Giant, and Steelshaper Apprentice in here, as well as Steelshaper's Gift and Open the Armory.

I mentioned that most of the equipment is interchangeable, but one card sticks out in my mind as essential in this deck – Sword of the Animus. I play with this card a lot, and it always does a lot of work. This is definitely what I would search for when I play Stoneforge Mystic, Enlightened Tutor, Open the Armory, etc., because the lands are just so important to this deck. Skullclamp is also extremely relevant to the decks gameplan, especially since we are planning on running a lot of x/1 tokens.

 Barrin, Master Wizard
Store QTY Price  
Traveling Merchant 1 $2.75
topdeck hero 1 $2.99
Wizards Video Games 2 $3.15
SimplyCards 1 $3.25
Vans Cards 3 $3.35
chestnut mound coll 2 $3.37
NEPA Gaming 1 $3.39
Armada Games 4 $3.49
Mom's Basement Games 2 $3.50
Game Nut 1 $3.52
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Barrin, Master Wizard Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Let's move onto the next shade of dadness – the blue Barrin, Master Wizard. Barrin has a rich storyline within the early years of the game, when one overarching story covered years of releases. He was the husband to Rayne, Academy Chancellor, and was the father of Hanna, Ship's Navigator. As the headmaster of the Tolarian Academy, Barrin was heavily involved in the Phyrexian war between Yawgmoth and Urza. It was Barrin's spell Obliterate, cast from the grief of losing both his wife and his daughter, that would cause the time-destabilization that was characteristic of the Time Spiral cycle.

In game terms, Barrin is a bit of an odd duck. At 1UU for a 1/1, we don't have the same combat potential we see with Konda, but he at least does have a few tricks up his sleeve. Being able to bounce a creature for two colorless is awesome, but the cost of a permanent feels a bit steep... at first. The trick with Barrin is to steal the opponents' permanents, and then sacrifice those to bounce their other cards, or even to bounce our own creatures to get more value / protect them from removal.

Pretty much any Control Magic type card will do, but my favorite for this deck is Gilded Drake. It forms a value-engine with Barrin: we play Gilded Drake and steal a creature, then we sacrifice that creature, bouncing the Drake back to our hand. Sower of Temptation will work similarly, albeit for double the mana. We can also have a lot of fun with Helm of Possession, which can add some extra sacrificing to the chain of control, as well as elongate temporary control spells like Ray of Command.

Another way to get a lot of value from Barrin is to play with cards that want to be sacrificed. Reality Acid is a trippy example, but we also have Spine of Ish Sah, Mycosynth Wellspring, and Launch. Launch is a personal favorite for this deck, as it simply goes back to our hand when we sacrifice it. Spine of Ish Sah does the same thing, but that is way more mana to cast, so serves a different function.

Barrin Control by WriterofWrong
Main Deck
1 Azami, Lady of Scrolls
1 Beguiler of Wills
1 Callous Oppressor
1 Consecrated Sphinx
1 Empress Galina
1 Gilded Drake
1 Glen Elendra Archmage
1 Keiga, the Tide Star
1 Launch
1 Memnarch
1 Mulldrifter
1 Nevermaker
1 Overtaker
1 Patron Wizard
1 River Kelpie
1 Roil Elemental
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Sower of Temptation
1 Spellstutter Sprite
1 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
1 Thalakos Deceiver
1 Tidespout Tyrant
1 Vendilion Clique
1 Voidmage Prodigy
Creatures [25]
1 Teferi, Temporal Archmage
Planeswalkers [1]
1 Aethersnatch
1 Altar of Dementia
1 Ashnod's Altar
1 Blatant Thievery
1 Blue Sun's Zenith
1 Brainstorm
1 Claws of Gix
1 Counterspell
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Cryptic Command
1 Crystal Shard
1 Curse of the Swine
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Desertion
1 Dismiss into Dream
1 Dominate
1 Domineering Will
1 Force of Will
1 Gather Specimens
1 Helm of Possession
1 High Tide
1 Ichor Wellspring
1 Launch
1 Mycosynth Wellspring
1 Mystic Confluence
1 Perilous Research
1 Phyrexian Altar
1 Ray of Command
1 Read the Runes
1 Reality Acid
1 Skullclamp
1 Spelljack
1 Spine of Ish Sah
1 Sword of the Meek
1 Vedalken Shackles
Spells [35]
1 Halimar Depths
1 High Market
32 Island (286)
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 Tolaria West
1 Wasteland
Lands [39]
Deck Total [100]

1 Barrin, Master Wizard
Sideboard [1]

Click for full deck stats & notes!

The win condition for this deck can really be anything, from a few big fatties like Stormtide Leviathan to a super-charged Blue Sun's Zenith. I went the latter route, and added a lot of Wizards to help with control. We love to bounce creatures like Snapcaster Mage or Vendilion Clique, so they go well in the deck anyways. Voidmage Prodigy and Patron Wizard will hold down the fort when it comes to the control strategy. The Wizard tribal aspect is great because they generate a lot of blue devotion, which makes the combination of Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and Minamo, School at Water's Edge strong enough to generate player-killing Blue Sun's Zeniths.

 Toshiro Umezawa
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Armada Games 1 $1.49
OmahaMTG321 2 $1.50
North Valley Games 1 $1.66
OmnomaxTradersLLC 1 $1.73
RotMagic 1 $1.74
Vintage Nerd 1 $1.74
Green Tower Games 1 $1.75
The Gamer's Haven 1 $1.77
Showtime Cards 1 $1.85
Tier Zero Gaming 2 $1.87
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Toshiro Umezawa Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

Next up is Toshiro Umezawa. Admittedly, this character is technically a bit of a cheat in the theme of my article, because he was not a direct father to any of the characters from the MTG universe. He actually has a pretty weird chronology, starting first with his descendant – Tetsuo Umezawa, printed back in Legends. It was very difficult to find a black legend that was not a fatherless undead Zombie, Demon, etc. I was tempted to use Karlov of the Ghost Council, but there is not much information on him available, and he is the grandfather of Teysa, Orzhov Scion anyways. Since Toshiro is technically a grandpa to Tetsuo, I went with the character that fit the mono-colored motif.

Toshiro's story is somewhat complicated, as he was born in Kamigawa and was extremely relevant to the Kami War saga. Even though he is a black card, he is not really evil, and is instead more or less the Kamigawan Han Solo. He saves Michiko, outwits Myojins, etc. However, his roguish antics catch up with him, when he is blinded and banished to Dominaria by the Myojin of Night's Reach. His progeny would grow up on Dominaria, and around 400 years later, Tetsuo Umezawa would defend his realm by defeating Nicol Bolas.

Toshiro Umezawa is a really cool legend to build a Commander deck with, as he is somewhat of a black Snapcaster. Really, all we really need to do is keep killing the opposing creatures, and make sure to have plenty of instants in the deck.

I prefer to play Toshiro as a Voltron deck similar to Konda, only with less emphasis on equipment. We have much better tutor cards in black, such as Demonic Tutor or Vampiric Tutor, so we have way more options for win conditions. Personally, I love casting Hatred on a commander for the win, and since it is an instant, we can do this twice in a game. If nothing else, all the removal will clear the board of blockers, and we can win via traditional combat.

Toshiro Umezawa Aggro by WriterofWrong
Main Deck
1 Bloodgift Demon
1 Grave Titan
1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 Massacre Wurm
1 Mirri the Cursed
1 Phyrexian Crusader
1 Reaper from the Abyss
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Spirit of the Night
Creatures [10]
1 Betrayal of Flesh
1 Burnished Hart
1 Cabal Ritual
1 Chill to the Bone
1 Dark Ritual
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Diabolic Edict
1 Entomb
1 Exsanguinate
1 Eyeblight's Ending
1 Geth's Verdict
1 Go for the Throat
1 Hatred
1 Hero's Demise
1 Hero's Downfall
1 Imp's Mischief
1 In Garruk's Wake
1 Lashwrithe
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Malicious Affliction
1 Murder
1 Murderous Cut
1 Night's Whisper
1 Nightmare Lash
1 Overwhelming Forces
1 Plague Wind
1 Read the Bones
1 Rend Flesh
1 Sanguimancy
1 Sign in Blood
1 Silence the Believers
1 Skeletal Scrying
1 Smother
1 Spoils of Evil
1 Sudden Spoiling
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
1 Sword of the Animist
1 Sword of War and Peace
1 Tainted Strike
1 Tendrils of Corruption
1 Tragic Slip
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Victim of Night
1 Warping Wail
1 Withering Boon
1 Wretched Confluence
1 Yawgmoth's Will
Spells [51]
1 Arcane Lighthouse
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Cabal Coffers
1 Lake of the Dead
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 Phyrexian Tower
30 Swamp (289)
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Volrath's Stronghold
Lands [38]
Deck Total [99]

1 Toshiro Umezawa
Sideboard [1]

Click for full deck stats & notes!

Next up, we have the red father in the form of Kiran Nalaar, from the card Pia and Kiran Nalaar. Kiran's daughter is probably the most notable of the descendants on the list, as she is the ever-present Planeswalker Chandra Nalaar.

 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
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Marinello Magic 1 $0.10
randommtgcard 1 $0.49
Red Zone Games 1 $0.50
Snapcasters Gaming 4 $0.62
Medieval Comics 3 $0.64
Mindsight Gaming 1 $0.69
New England Comics 1 $0.75
CriticalHitLLC 1 $0.75
The Next Level Games 1 $0.80
The End Zone 2 $0.81
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Pia and Kiran Nalaar Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

To switch things up a bit, I turned this Pia and Kiran Nalaar deck into a combo deck, centered around the Ashnod's Altar + Nim Deathmantle + Pia and Kiran Nalaar loop. This will gain infinite mana, which can be used for many wonderful things. It will also win the game with something like Vicious Shadows, Warstorm Surge, or Purphoros, God of the Forge. Wurmcoil Engine, Beetleback Chief, and Myr Battlesphere also combo with the Altar / Mantle loop if Pia and Kiran Nalaar are otherwise indisposed. Wurmcoil Engine is a bit tougher to get working, but is also a superior creature without the combo. Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker / Splinter Twin + Zealous Conscripts are also in here to boost the combo win, as well as Heat Shimmer + Dualcaster Mage. Blightsteel Colossus ends up being a combo with a lot of the cards in this deck, like Chandra's Ignition or Warstorm Surge.

P&K Nalaar Combo by WriterofWrong
Main Deck
1 Beetleback Chief
1 Blightsteel Colossus
1 Cathodion
1 Dualcaster Mage
1 Goblin Welder
1 Godo, Bandit Warlord
1 Hellkite Tyrant
1 Junk Diver
1 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
1 Kuldotha Forgemaster
1 Myr Battlesphere
1 Pilgrim's Eye
1 Siege-Gang Commander
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Zealous Conscripts
Creatures [16]
1 Chandra, Flamecaller
1 Daretti, Scrap Savant
Planeswalkers [2]
1 Ashnod's Altar
1 Basilisk Collar
1 Burnished Hart
1 Chandra's Ignition
1 Chaos Warp
1 Clock of Omens
1 Commander's Sphere
1 Darksteel Forge
1 Everflowing Chalice
1 Expedition Map
1 Faithless Looting
1 Fellwar Stone
1 Fire Diamond
1 Gamble
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Heat Shimmer
1 Hedron Archive
1 Insurrection
1 Krark-Clan Ironworks
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mind Stone
1 Mindslaver
1 Mycosynth Lattice
1 Nim Deathmantle
1 Phyrexian Altar
1 Purphoros, God of the Forge
1 Scroll Rack
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Sneak Attack
1 Sol Ring
1 Splinter Twin
1 Staff of Nin
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Thran Dynamo
1 Tormenting Voice
1 Trading Post
1 Trash for Treasure
1 Unwinding Clock
1 Vicious Shadows
1 Warstorm Surge
1 Wild Guess
1 Worn Powerstone
Spells [44]
34 Mountain (292)
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
1 Wasteland
Lands [37]
Deck Total [99]

1 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
Sideboard [1]

Click for full deck stats & notes!

We have arrived at the last leg of this journey around the color pie, green. The green father was one of the easiest to find, as he has numerous children printed as cards, and some of them have his name on them. Of course, we are talking about Seshiro the Anointed. In the story, he was somewhat of a diplomat, making contact with the Human monks before the other Snake people. His children are Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro, and Sosuke, Son of Seshiro.

 Seshiro the Anointed
Store QTY Price  
Mushroom Factory 1 $4.73
Hightide bazar 1 $5.00
JulieDaes 1 $5.19
Cardfather Games 1 $5.37
Combo Games 1 $5.37
The Gamer's Haven 1 $5.40
Big Bang Deals 1 $5.41
Panther Den 1 $5.41
Tacoma Games 1 $5.49
Immortals Inc 2 $5.58
Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card Seshiro the Anointed Magic MTG Card
Magic MTG Card

The ideal Seshiro deck is filled with Snakes. They don't have to be good, because this is a fun deck. I actually built a Snake deck rather recently when Kaseto, Orochi Archmage came out in Commander 2015, and this deck is largely the same, with the blue cards replaced with green staples. There haven't been any Snakes added to the game since Kaseto came out.

Seshiro Snakes by WriterofWrong
Main Deck
1 Alpha Status
1 Ambush Viper
1 Blight Mamba
1 Chameleon Colossus
1 Death-Hood Cobra
1 Hooded Hydra
1 Kashi-Tribe Elite
1 Kashi-Tribe Reaver
1 Kashi-Tribe Warriors
1 Krosan Constrictor
1 Lotus Cobra
1 Marsh Boa
1 Marsh Viper
1 Matsu-Tribe Birdstalker
1 Matsu-Tribe Decoy
1 Matsu-Tribe Sniper
1 Mire Boa
1 Nemesis of Mortals
1 Nessian Asp
1 Ohran Viper
1 Orochi Eggwatcher
1 Orochi Leafcaller
1 Orochi Ranger
1 Orochi Sustainer
1 Patagia Viper
1 Patron of the Orochi
1 River Boa
1 Sabertooth Cobra
1 Sachi, Daughter of Seshiro
1 Sakiko, Mother of Summer
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Sakura-Tribe Scout
1 Sakura-Tribe Springcaller
1 Sasaya, Orochi Ascendant
1 Shisato, Whispering Hunter
1 Shizuko, Caller of Autumn
1 Skullwinder
1 Sosuke, Son of Seshiro
1 Wasteland Viper
Creatures [39]
1 Alpha Status
1 Beast Within
1 Birthing Pod
1 Coat of Arms
1 Cobra Trap
1 Evolutionary Leap
1 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Hibernation's End
1 Natural Order
1 Orochi Hatchery
1 Overrun
1 Rampant Growth
1 Serpent Generator
1 Snake Basket
1 Snake Umbra
1 Sosuke's Summons
1 Stoneforge Masterwork
1 Survival of the Fittest
1 Swiftfoot Boots
1 Sylvan Library
1 Triumph of the Hordes
1 Verdant Confluence
1 Worldly Tutor
Spells [23]
1 Blighted Woodland
30 Forest (295)
1 Gaea's Cradle
1 Homeward Path
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Wasteland
1 Yavimaya Hollow
Lands [38]
Deck Total [100]

1 Seshiro the Anointed
Sideboard [1]

Click for full deck stats & notes!

Hope everyone enjoyed this look at some of Magic's most important dads. Thanks for reading, and happy belated Father's Day!

- Cassidy Silver

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