Commands Rock

PrimalCommand.jpgLiliana.jpgProfaneCommand.jpg
Recently, I’ve been playing my B/G Rock variant, Commands Rock, on Magic Online (as I describe in this post). I named it after the fact that I’m running both the oft-used Profane Command and the under-used Primal Command.
Which is AMAZING.
Just saying. More in the extended.


Commands Rock

18 Creatures:
Llanowar Elves
Gemhide Sliver
Masked Admirers
Shriekmaw
Cloudthresher
Tombstalker
19 Spells:
Distress
Eyeblight’s Ending
Garruk Wildspeaker
Liliana Vess
Primal Command
Profane Command
23 Land:
Gilt-Leaf Palace
Llanowar Wastes
Treetop Village
Pendelhaven
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Swamp
Forest
15 Sideboard:
Augur of Skulls
Cloudthresher
Darkheart Sliver
Riftsweeper
Seedborn Muse
Viridian Shaman

This is a modification of the initial deck design I described this post. It’s a classic B/G frame of board and hand disruption, with a couple potentially budget choices as well as the goodness that is Primal Command. Some comments on my choices:
Liliana – My favorite planeswalker. Liliana tutors for (to quote from a City Champs opponent) “amazing topdeck!” It’s about 50% whether I end up immediately tutoring for a solution or instead go ahead and start shredding their hand. As she creeps up to eight tokens, people start to panic and concentrate on offing her. Better her than me, really.
Garruk – Good stuff. Another big target, and great for finishing people off.
Profane Command – Obviously good. Kill creatures, kill opponents, recur your Shriekmaws and other good things, and very occasionally make things unblockable.
Primal Command – Awesome. I added another one, up to three. Gaining seven life is a solid beating (as it were) against aggro builds, and bouncing a non-creature permanent is solid, especially against storage lands and Dragonstorm builds. Tutoring up creatures – also good.
Gemhide Sliver – A budget Bird, but I actually prefer it, because it can beat down, it’s a Pendelhaven target, and it synergizes with the Darkhearts in the sideboard. Similarly…
Distress – A budget Thoughtseize…but actually, I often don’t want a turn-one discard play, and in this context, Distress is better, because of the lack of life loss.
On to the sideboard…
Riftsweeper – Against Dragonstorm and blue control. Kill suspended Lotus, Bolt, and Visions — and beat someone to death with the resulting Bear.
Augur of Skulls – Against the same things, really. Augurs add bonus disruption to your disruption. They’re utter lightning rods against Dragonstorm, and a solid beating against blue-based control. Just don’t accidentally click through your own upkeep. Darn it.
Darkheart Sliver – Against aggro. They synergize with your Gemhides to give you a wall of blocking, life-gaining Slivers. Neat. Again, don’t accidentally click through when you should be saccing them in response to something.
Cloudthresher – An extra one in the side, for when you need to kill some faeries, or flash in to eat an unsuspecting attacker.
Seedborn Muse – My secret, unused tech. Meant to come in against, say, Pickles decks.
Matchups
These days on MTGO, you’re likely to run into a wall of Dragonstorm. Now, I’d have imagined that the wall of anti-Dragonstorm hate would have put a stop (or a stomping) to this already, but apparently not. So, with that in mind…
Dragonstorm – The new storm. The game-one strategy here is to hope you pull into your disruption early. Distress, Liliana (tutor for Primal Command), cause a discard with Liliana, bounce their storage land with Primal Command and gain seven life, and then try to beat them to death with a Masked Admirers or something like that. For the rest of the match, side in your Augurs, Sweepers, and Shamans to break their game plan as much as possible. I’m currently X-1 against Dragonstorm decks (one guy just had a crazy draw in the second game after taking me out in game one). Note that you’re maybe even odds on game one, depending on their draw. It’s okay — you’ll win almost all of your sideboarded games. I ended one game against Dragonstorm at thirty life.
Small-guy aggro – I’ve come up against various small-critter aggro decks, and they’re a pretty solid matchup. Shriekmaw them out, Primal Command your life back up and tutor into more Shriekmaw or a Thresher, Garruk for the win. Straightforward.
Mono-black disruption/aggro – I’ve only hit one of these, and it was an interesting matchup. In the first game, I ended up getting cut down to almost no cards in hand and lands in play. Shucks, and all that. In game two, I sided my Augurs and Darkhearts in to draw down my curve and then disrupted him into submission (and in the next game, too). In general, a big chunk of the sideboard pulls your mana curve down, while providing handy plan disruption, be it life gain against aggro or the more specific joy of knocking down a suspended bloom.
Mono-blue control – I’m 1-1 here — not nearly as common a matchup as Dragonstorm or the others. If you can stick the early disruption, you’re golden. If not, well…I lost my third game of the match I lost waiting to topdeck a Profane Command for the win. So sad. Especially against mono-blue control, you need to be careful about your mulligans (that is, I should have mulliganed about two more times than I did).
I’m really enjoying the Commands Rock build. It seems decent, and it’s a lot of fun to play.