Gavi, Nest Warden

Published April 5th, 2020

Gavi, Nest Warden the 2/5 for five mana Jeskai Cycle Commander that spits out Dinosaur Cat tokens. The design for this card is solid with its defensive body, mechanic synergy, and token generation. This deck could easily cause trouble for many decks who can’t deal with the value and control. We’re focusing heavily into the cycle strategy but it gets supported by another ability that we’re going to abuse as much as possible. Take a look and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

//Commander (1)

Gavi, Nest Warden

//Lands (38)

Ancient Tomb
Arid Mesa
Ash Barrens
Blasted Landscape
Bloodstained Mire
Cascade Bluffs
Command Tower
Desert of the Fervent
Desert of the Mindful
Desert of the True
Drifting Meadow
Flooded Strand
Forgotten Cave
Hall of Heliod’s Generosity
Hallowed Fountain
Homeward Path
Irrigated Farmland
Island x2
Lonely Sandbar
Misty Rainforest
Mountain
Path of Ancestry
Plains x2
Plateau
Polluted Delta
Prismatic Vista
Remote Isle
Rugged Prairie
Scalding Tarn
Secluded Steppe
Smoldering Crater
Steam Vents
Tundra
Volcanic Island
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills

//Artifacts (10)

Mana Crypt
Skullclamp
Sol Ring
Arcane Signet
Azorius Signet
Boros Signet
Fluctuator
Izzet Signet
Chromatic Lantern
Raugrin Crystal

//Enchantments (10)

Land Tax
Improbable Alliance
Lightning Rift
Tectonic Reformation
Astral Drift
Astral Slide
Cast Out
Smothering Tithe
New Perspectives
Decree of Silence

//Instants (12)

Brainstorm
Enlightened Tutor
Mystical Tutor
Swords to Plowshares
Boros Charm
Censor
Cyclonic Rift
Mana Drain
Starstorm
Complicate
Forsake the Worldly
Hieroglyphic Illumination

//Sorceries (8)

Gamble
Ponder
Preordain
Sweltering Suns
Time Wipe
Akroma’s Vengeance
Echo of Eons
Decree of Annihilation

//Creatures (21)

Containment Priest
Dockside Extortionist
Snapcaster Mage
Auramancer
Eldrazi Displacer
Fiend Hunter
Irencrag Pyromancer
Nimble Obstructionist
Spellseeker
Trophy Mage
Academy Rector
Archaeomancer
Curator of Mysteries
Purphoros, God of the Forge
Solemn Simulacrum
Thassa, Deep-Dwelling
Perplexing Chimera
Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
Sun Titan
Agent of Treachery
Eternal Dragon

Synergies

New Perspectives: What can be counted as both a draw spell and a reward for having a full hand by giving all your cycle cards a 0 cost to cycle. A good alternative in case Gavi isn’t on board and it’s always welcome to play and draw three cards.

Tectonic Reformation: A Modern Horizons card that fits in quite well here. It can cycle itself if need be or turn your lands into that cycle/draw you need to dig for answers or trigger other cards. If you have New Perspectives active you can just keep cycling all your land and dig for more fuel.

Astral Slide / Astral Drift: It would be a shame not to add these into a cycling deck so here they are. These two create some high value blinking for enter the battlefield effects on creatures which bring this deck into said blink/cycle strategy.

Card Name: New Perspectives. Mana Cost: {5}{U}. Card Oracle Text: When New Perspectives enters the battlefield, draw three cards.As long as you have seven or more cards in hand, you may pay {0} rather than pay cycling costs.
Card Name: Tectonic Reformation. Mana Cost: {1}{R}. Card Oracle Text: Each land card in your hand has cycling {R}.Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
Card Name: Astral Slide. Mana Cost: {2}{W}. Card Oracle Text: Whenever a player cycles a card, you may exile target creature. If you do, return that card to the battlefield under its owner's control at the beginning of the next end step.

Cycling

Decree of Annihilation: There is a reason why some cycling costs are so high, one of them being the power of the cards trigger when cycled. Decree of Annihilation destroys all land when cycled, pretty strong and needs to dealt with by something that counters triggers and not spells. Gavi makes that cost 0, which means the same turn Gavi comes out you could Armageddon for fun. Just keep those Dinosaur Cats coming.

Decree of Silence: Now this card is just ridiculous with Hall of Heliod’s Generosity. Cycle it, put it back on top of your deck, draw it again. Recurring counterspell each turn for 0 with Gavi.

Cycling Lands: We’re running everything possible to synergize there. From the originals to the deserts we have cycling lands to help thin out the deck and make full use of Gavi.

Card Name: Decree of Annihilation. Mana Cost: {8}{R}{R}. Card Oracle Text: Exile all artifacts, creatures, and lands from the battlefield, all cards from all graveyards, and all cards from all hands.Cycling {5}{R}{R} ({5}{R}{R}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)When you cycle Decree of Annihilation, destroy all lands.
Card Name: Decree of Silence. Mana Cost: {6}{U}{U}. Card Oracle Text: Whenever an opponent casts a spell, counter that spell and put a depletion counter on Decree of Silence. If there are three or more depletion counters on Decree of Silence, sacrifice it.Cycling {4}{U}{U} ({4}{U}{U}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)When you cycle Decree of Silence, you may counter target spell.
Card Name: Hall of Heliod's Generosity. Mana Cost: . Card Oracle Text: {T}: Add {C}.{1}{W}, {T}: Put target enchantment card from your graveyard on top of your library.

Creatures

We’re playing Astral Slide style so we want some good targets to blink. Just like Gavi it’s another way to reward you with more value for cycling cards. Let’s see what fun things we can play with.

Agent of Treachery: Starting off strong with the enter the battlefield effects. Permanently steal a target permanent and if you’ve stolen enough things start drawing cards too. A creature who can really cripple an opponent’s strategy and mana base.

Perplexing Chimera: The most confusing creature to have out on the battlefield. Maybe you’ll let your opponent’s spell resolve, maybe you’ll take it and change the targets. Blinking this back to your side of the field just lets you keep taking your opponents spells which can get quite frustrating for them.

Thassa, Deep-Dwelling: Not a blink target but a back up if you haven’t landed an Astral Slide or Astral Drift. It’s another enchantment that can be searched for or recurred by several effects in the deck and it doesn’t rely on cycling to function. The tapping effect is not exactly irrelevant either both offensively to get in with your Dinosaur Cats or defensively to stop attackers.

Card Name: Agent of Treachery. Mana Cost: {5}{U}{U}. Card Oracle Text: When Agent of Treachery enters the battlefield, gain control of target permanent.At the beginning of your end step, if you control three or more permanents you don't own, draw three cards.. Power/Toughness: 2/3
Card Name: Perplexing Chimera. Mana Cost: {4}{U}. Card Oracle Text: Whenever an opponent casts a spell, you may exchange control of Perplexing Chimera and that spell. If you do, you may choose new targets for the spell. (If the spell becomes a permanent, you control that permanent.). Power/Toughness: 3/3
Card Name: Thassa, Deep-Dwelling. Mana Cost: {3}{U}. Card Oracle Text: IndestructibleAs long as your devotion to blue is less than five, Thassa isn't a creature.At the beginning of your end step, exile up to one other target creature you control, then return that card to the battlefield under your control.{3}{U}: Tap another target creature.. Power/Toughness: 6/5

Summary

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The more you look into Gavi the more synergies and supports you can find to run in it. Cycling has existed for a large part of Magic’s history including several sets and appearing in auxiliary sets. With some of the toys from Amonkhet block and Modern Horizon we have cards with a more up to date power level fit naturally into the deck.

This deck involves a lot of draw while being a midrange control board. If you’re into that or just want to spit out Dinosaur Cat tokens this might be a Commander for you. I just like the fact there is a definite place to play the Astral Drift promo now.

Article by Cascade.Cascade

The editor-in-chief and creator of Command Beacon. They started playing Magic during the Scars of Mirrodin block and hasn’t been able to stop since.

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