Kalamax, The Stormsire

Published April 4th, 2020

If you’ve come to read a Temur Elemental player talk about a Temur Elemental Dinosaur spellslinger deck well congratulations you’re in the right place. Kalamax, the Stormsire is a solid 4/4 for four mana with some interesting upsides to try and break. As long as it’s tapped when you cast your first instant each turn it’ll copy it. Anytime you copy an instant spell Kalamax gets a +1/+1 counter.

A straightforward synergistic ability with an interesting call to build around instants and copy effects. With an odd combination of being both a spellslinger and a beatdown strategy this was a different Temur build than the other Commanders. I doubt I’ll see a spell heavy control version of Animar, Soul of Elements or a Riku of the Two Reflections punching in for Commander damage anytime soon. Well let’s get this Elemental Dinosaur deck going.

//Commander (1)

Kalamax, The Stormsire

//Lands (36)

Arid Mesa
Bloodstained Mire
Breeding Pool
Cascade Bluffs
Cavern of Souls
Command Tower
Fire-Lit Thicket
Flooded Grove
Flooded Strand
Forest x3
Hinterland Harbor
Holdout Settlement
Island x3
Minamo, School at Water’s Edge
Misty Rainforest
Mountain
Mystic Sanctuary
Polluted Delta
Reflecting Pool
Rootbound Crag
Scalding Tarn
Steam Vents
Stomping Ground
Strip Mine
Sulfur Falls
Survivors’ Encampment
Taiga
Tropical Island
Verdant Catacombs
Volcanic Island
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills

//Artifacts (11)

Mana Crypt
Mana Vault
Sensei’s Divining Top
Sol Ring
Arcane Signet
Lightning Greaves
Smuggler’s Copter
Cultivator’s Caravan
Primal Amulet
Gilded Lotus
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship

//Enchantments (4)

Earthcraft
Search for Azcanta
Sylvan Library
Squirrel Nest

//Instants (22)

Brainstorm
Crop Rotation
Mystical Tutor
Opt
Cyclonic Rift
Growth Spiral
Impulse
Mana Drain
Narset’s Reversal
Pull from Tomorrow
Remand
Harrow
Intuition
Cryptic Command
Fact or Fiction
Fury Storm
Force of Will
Gush
Mystic Confluence
Return of the Wildspeaker
Nexus of Fate
Dig Through Time

//Sorceries (8)

Merchant Scroll
Cultivate
Kodama’s Reach
Temporal Manipulation
Echo of Eons
Flood of Tears
Seasons Past
Temporal Mastery

//Planeswalkers (8)

Chandra, Acolyte of Flame
Narset, Parter of Veils
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Ral, Storm Conduit
Tezzeret the Seeker
Rowan Kenrith
Will Kenrith

//Creatures (10)

Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy // Jace, Telepath Unbound
Snapcaster Mage
Eternal Witness
Nissa, Vastwood Seer // Nissa, Sage Animist
Risen Reef
Wayward Swordtooth
God-Eternal Kefnet
Solemn Simulacrum
Consecrated Sphinx
Torrential Gearhulk

Synergies

Skysovereign, Consul Flagship: This spot is really also for Smuggler’s Copter and Cultivator’s Caravan as we want Kalamax tapped for his copy ability and crewing a vehicle is a great way to do that without needing to attack.

Holdout Settlement / Survivors’ Encampment: Extremely rarely do these lands come to mind when deckbuilding. The only other time I recall is Emmara, Soul of the Accord but it just so happens to be a couple of easy to slot in lands that will tap Kalamax as we need.

Primal Amulet: While acting as a discount for instants and sorceries when it becomes Primal Wellspring it can copy your spells, triggering Kalamax and possibly giving you a third copy for your first instant each turn.

Card Name: Skysovereign, Consul Flagship. Mana Cost: {5}. Card Oracle Text: FlyingWhenever Skysovereign, Consul Flagship enters the battlefield or attacks, it deals 3 damage to target creature or planeswalker an opponent controls.Crew 3 (Tap any number of creatures you control with total power 3 or more: This Vehicle becomes an artifact creature until end of turn.). Power/Toughness: 6/5
Card Name: Holdout Settlement. Mana Cost: . Card Oracle Text: {T}: Add {C}. ({C} represents colorless mana.){T}, Tap an untapped creature you control: Add one mana of any color.
Primal Amulet // Primal Wellspring

Combos

Card Name: Earthcraft. Mana Cost: {1}{G}. Card Oracle Text: Tap an untapped creature you control: Untap target basic land.
Card Name: Squirrel Nest. Mana Cost: {1}{G}{G}. Card Oracle Text: Enchant landEnchanted land has

Earthcraft + Squirrel’s Nest: For Kalamax I’ve included Earthcraft to tap him down and since we’re running that then may as well run Squirrel’s Nest. Since this is a spell heavy deck it’s light on creatures so Squirrel’s Nest is good for creating blockers as well. Always remember to attach it to a basic land though.

Ral, Storm Conduit + Fury Storm: From Standard to Oathbreaker the combos with Ral are simple but effective. Copy a spell using a copy spell, copy the original spell with the copy, use the new copy to copy the copy. Pretty simple right? Ral triggers to deal damage to your opponents or planeswalkers and this also triggers Kalamax to pile on the +1/+1 counters.

Card Name: Ral, Storm Conduit. Mana Cost: {2}{U}{R}. Card Oracle Text: Whenever you cast or copy an instant or sorcery spell, Ral, Storm Conduit deals 1 damage to target opponent or planeswalker.+2: Scry 1.−2: When you cast your next instant or sorcery spell this turn, copy that spell. You may choose new targets for the copy.
Card Name: Fury Storm. Mana Cost: {2}{R}{R}. Card Oracle Text: When you cast this spell, copy it for each time you've cast your commander from the command zone this game. You may choose new targets for the copies.Copy target instant or sorcery spell. You may choose new targets for the copy.

Season’s Past + Mystical Tutor + Temporal Manipulation: Season’s Past is a ridiculously high value Regrowth spell that puts itself back into the deck. With any end game strategy on board you can continuously chain it every turn with a tutor and extra turn spell.

Card Name: Seasons Past. Mana Cost: {4}{G}{G}. Card Oracle Text: Return any number of cards with different converted mana costs from your graveyard to your hand. Put Seasons Past on the bottom of its owner's library.
Card Name: Mystical Tutor. Mana Cost: {U}. Card Oracle Text: Search your library for an instant or sorcery card and reveal that card. Shuffle your library, then put the card on top of it.
Card Name: Temporal Manipulation. Mana Cost: {3}{U}{U}. Card Oracle Text: Take an extra turn after this one.

There are plenty more interactions and combos, definitely the way I built this deck as a Temur combo player who likes a win condition. Kalamax is a great enabler but cards individual powerful cards tend to interact without any additional effort. See if you can find all the other interactions and combos that are woven throughout the deck.

Instants

So when we have a big tapped Commander that will double an instant spell each turn and grow, now what do we do with this enabler? We’re going to the most to the least obvious here so have a look.

Card Name: Nexus of Fate. Mana Cost: {5}{U}{U}. Card Oracle Text: Take an extra turn after this one.If Nexus of Fate would be put into a graveyard from anywhere, reveal Nexus of Fate and shuffle it into its owner's library instead.

Nexus of Fate: What’s better than taking one extra turn? Two extra turns of course! Since its release this extra turn spell has made such a ridiculous impact. I can’t tell if it’s better or worse that it shuffles back into the deck sometimes but it’s really a card you may as well run in decks like these.

Card Name: Return of the Wildspeaker. Mana Cost: {4}{G}. Card Oracle Text: Choose one —• Draw cards equal to the greatest power among non-Human creatures you control.• Non-Human creatures you control get +3/+3 until end of turn.

Return of the Wildspeaker: This is at least a 10 card draw spell when used in conjunction with Kalamax as he grows from the copy and then doubles it. It can also be a doubled +3/+3 boost to any non-human creatures you control which is everything but few utility creatures.

Card Name: Remand. Mana Cost: {1}{U}. Card Oracle Text: Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, put it into its owner's hand instead of into that player's graveyard.Draw a card.

Remand: A simple counterspell that can be used as a repeated draw spell if you have nothing else to do on your opponent’s turn. If they cast a spell cast Remand, trigger Kalamax to copy it, have it target the original Remand, have Remand back in hand and draw a card. Now of course you can also just use it as a normal counter because admittedly this is a pretty odd way to use it.

Summary

There you have it, our Arcane Maelstrom Temur Commander Kalamax, the Stormsire and it looks like all sorts of fun. Is this Commander broken? No, not in any way by itself or even with it’s combos. It’s a narrow focused synergy with requirements and limitations that makes up for it with combat power. Is it fun? Damn right it is.

This decklist variation is my take on Kalamax but it’s not my only take on him.It could have been lighter on spells and heavier on combat like a Surrak Dragonclaw deck, it could have been mostly creatures or elementals like Animar, Soul of Elements, it could have gone all in with the copying like Riku of Two Reflections. It’s none of those though as I wanted to build around and showcase a different strategy.

He joins my category of interesting Commanders to build around in several ways. He’ll keep both deckbuilding and gameplay fun and I hope you’ll enjoy him as much as I will because you can bet on me adding another Temur Elemental to my collection. Surprised myself that I didn’t even put Maelstrom Wanderer in here.

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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.

1 Comment


Thanks for the article! I like using vehicles w him as well

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