Monday, September 1, 2014

Commander Month: Athreos, God of Passage

Welcome to Commander Month, a month dedicated to the greatest format that one can play as a magic player. Today, I will be covering The great god Athreos, who helps the dead of Theros pass to the realm of Erebos, unless of course you know the price to pay. There are some restrictions that we have decided to put upon ourselves when building these decks to help limit the price of these decks and make it easier for any regular FNM player to build. The big rule is that every single card in this deck has to be legal in the Return to Ravnica, M14, Theros, and M15 Standard environment. Now, with great glory, may I present to you a deck devoted to the God of Passage.

Athreos, God of Passage

General

x1 Athreos, God of Passage

Legendary Creatures (6)

x1 Avacyn, Guardian Angel
x1 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
x1 Erebos, God of the Dead
x1 King Macar, the Gold Cursed
x1 Ob Nixilis, Unshackled
x1 Obzedat, Ghost Coucil

Creatures (28)

x1 Angel of Serenity
x1 Angelic Skirmisher
x1 Archangel of Thune
x1 Ashen Rider
x1 Banisher Priest
x1 Black Cat
x1 Blood Baron of Vizkopa
x1 Blood Scriviner
x1 Cartel Aristocrats
x1 Champion of Stray Souls
x1 Crypt Ghast
x1 Frontline Medic
x1 High Priest of Penance
x1 Indulgent Tormentor
x1 Liliana's Reaver
x1 Luminate Primordial
x1 Nyx-Fleece Ram
x1 Ogre Slumlord
x1 Pack Rat
x1 Pain Seer
x1 Palisade Giant
x1 Resolute Angel
x1 Sepulchral Primordial
x1 Shadowborn Demon
x1 Soul of Innistrad
x1 Soul of Theros
x1 Underworld Coinsmith
x1 Xathrid Necromancer

Instants (5)

x1 Deicide
x1 Doom Blade
x1 Hero's Downfall
x1 Orzhov Charm
x1 Ultimate Price

Sorceries (5)

x1 Diabolic Tutor
x1 Gild
x1 Immortal Servitude
x1 Read the Bones
x1 Revoke Existence

Enchantments (6)

x1 Banishing Light
x1 Dark Prophecy
x1 Dictate of Erebos
x1 First Response
x1 Spirit Bonds
x1 Underworld Connection

Artifacts (7)

x1 Chromatic Lantern
x1 Darksteel Ingot
x1 Elixir of Immortality
x1 Orzhov Keyrune
x1 Ring of Three Wishes
x1 Springleaf Drum
x1 Whip of Erebos

Planeswalkers (4)

x1 Ajani Steadfast
x1 Ajani, Caller of the Pride
x1 Elspeth, Sun's Champion
x1 Liliana Vess

Lands (38)

x1 Cave of Koilos
x1 Evolving Wild
x1 Godless Shrine
x1 Mana Confluence
x1 Mutavault
x1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
x1 Orzhov Guildgate
x1 Rogue's Passage
x1 Temple of Silence
x1 Thespian Stage
x1 Transguild Promenade
x1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
x13 Plains
x13 Swamps 


How This is Just Not a B/W Deck.


When I went into this project, I had two options to make this deck: I could just jam all the best Black and White cards from Standard into the deck or I could try to take advantage of the amazing ability that Athreos has at his disposal. With his ability to recur creatures (at the help of a nice political move on an opponent or due to a low life opponent), enter the battlefield (ETB) effects can lead to good value letting you grind the game out of your opponents. This decklist has many examples of 187* creature, such as Ashen Rider, Shadowborn Demon, and High Priest of Penance, that will grind out your opponent and help you win in the almighty card advantage.

I am counting triggers for this area as well





















If Athreos had a god, it would be Card Advantage

Card Advantage does have many mediums to show itself, when you think of Black and card advantage you may only think of all the wonderful kill spells that are at black disposal. Though one lesser known source of card advantage in Black is to draw cards with some payment of life and this deck loves using it to its fullest extent, from creatures like Bad Bob (Pain Seer) to utility enchantments like Underworld Connections or Dark Prophecy. While you may have to pay life to reap the benefits of this card draw, it is easy to cancel that out with plenty of creature with lifelink, most notably Archangel of Thune.


Everything Else

This deck is not just 187 creatures and wonderful card advantage (that would be the dream): sometimes you just need filler and value cards. Some cards such as Elspeth, Sun's Champion are just the best cards this deck had available to it. Then there is Soul of Theros which lets you topple over a defeat after playing Elspeth, recurring some Xathrid Necromancers, or having a mighty cat army from Brimaz, King of Oreskos.


The Passage of Time

It is time for this article to end, so see you next week for a continuation of Commander Month. Thank you, and don't forget to brew.


NOTE: I switch between ETB (enter the battlefield) and 187, which do mean the same thing, though ETB is better used when referring to an effect and 187 is best for creatures (Examples: "That creature has an ETB effect," and "It is best to have some 187 creatures in your deck."

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