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.
Cavern of Souls
Minamo, School at Water’s Edge
Pull from Tomorrow
Fact or Fiction
Force of Will
Return of the Wildspeaker
Nexus of Fate
Dig Through Time
Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy // Jace, Telepath Unbound
Nissa, Vastwood Seer // Nissa, Sage Animist
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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