Hunting beasts and monsters on Ikoria takes a lot of experience and the beast hunter Kelsien, the Plague will take it by force. Kelsien is debatably the favorite of the Mardu Ruthless Regiment deck. He represents the colours very well and becomes an increasingly large threat when not dealt with. Many 1 toughness utility creatures and mana dorks will fall to him and we’re going to make sure he can destroy even larger creatures than that.
Kelsien, the Plague
Cavern of Souls
Path of Ancestry
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Vault of the Archangel
Sword of Feast and Famine
Sword of Fire and Ice
Whip of Erebos
Mother of Runes
Murderous Rider // Swift End
Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder
Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas
Odric, Lunarch Marshal
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
Yawgmoth, Thran Physician
Sidisi, Undead Vizier
Aurelia, the Warleader
Harvester of Souls
Basilisk Collar: First and foremost is Basilisk Collar to grant Kelsien deathtouch and the lifelink is just extra. This low cost equipment is incredibly effective no matter what it’s attached to.
Gift of Doom: A Commander set morph card with some high powered keywords. If you have the creature to spare this is a great trick to attach onto any of your creatures not just Kelsien. Indestructible and deathtouch are strong abilities and cause all sorts of trouble for your opponents.
Death Pits of Rath: Maybe you aren’t able to get deathtouch onto Kelsien, fear not because there is an answer. Death Pits of Rath can fell even the largest creature with a simple tap from Kelsien.
Acorn Catapult: Alright this one is going to get funny looks but it’s more impressive than you think. In Glissa, the Traitor there were many times when the opponents will not have creature to die and trigger, the case is the same here. In Glissa you could hit the opponent and give them a squirrel then kill the squirrel with Acorn Catapult and give them another squirrel. Kelsien brings the same issue and Acorn Catapult brings the answer. Whether you’re shooting your opponents or their creatures and planeswalkers Kelsien will be able to rack up experience counters by squirrel hunting.
Generous Gift: Again if your opponent doesn’t have a creature we’ll be happy to give them one. This colour shifted Beast Within if effective permanent removal while allowing Kelsien to go elephant hunting.
Thornbite Staff: Now that’s if there were no creatures to take down, now what if there were? Well Thornbite Staff will help untap Kelsien untap and take down more creatures every time a creature dies. With deathtouch or Death Pits of Rath that’s just taking down every opposing creature you’d like and can target on the field.
Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder: Since Kelsien starts with vigilance and haste we may as well add on double strike and lifelink to make him even deadlier.
Odric, Lunarch Marshal: Those are some lovely abilities now why don’t you share with your board. Odric is well known for sharing keywords with your team and with Kelsien’s natural vigilance and haste it makes anything you play a big threat for combat.
Kalemna, Disciple of Iroas: They gain experience in different ways but both Kalemna and Kelsien get +1/+1 for each experience counter and it’s hard to tell which one is deadlier.
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell: Sometimes Kelsiens love taps don’t have enough to them especially when lacking deathtouch. Well Torbran is happy to help turn those 1 damage pings into full 3 damage bolts.
Inferno Titan: There’s a lot of legendary creatures in this section but Inferno Titan may be one of the best hunting assistants. If it gains deathtouch it’s an absolutely terrifying creature and even without it this giant has been able to clear boards all by itself.
Kelsien is dangerous to a huge variety of decks and it looks like it’ll be an absolute thrill to play him as a Commander. It’s hard to describe him further than by saying he’s a solid choice. His cost, ability, and growth as a threat throughout a game take down a lot of strategies. We’ve put a lot of utility options into his hunting kit and worse case is just try to land a nice Ruinous Ultimatum. An embodiment of a Mardu strategy to aggro, damage, and destroy and then there’s the rest of the deck to go along with it. If you have any opinions on him feel free to share! Is he the best of the Commander 2020 Mardu options? Is there anything you would add or remove? Just don’t say Acorn Catapult, I know already.
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