The Temus/Ketria Arcane Maelstrom deck received a very interesting Commander option in the form of a flying snake leviathan. This 5 cost 3/5 has two triggered abilities that scale in power and effectiveness depending on the number of opponents you have. We’ll address the combat damage effect first which is the more politically confusing for a game. Would you like to draw cards? Would your opponent like to draw cards? Well take some Commander damage and we can both Ancestral Recall, power depending. When you have opponents asking to be hit that’s a pretty interesting Commander to me. The ability to create snake tokens for any additional cards drawn from your opponents besides the first is what we’re going to abuse here though. A swarm of snakes and a deck full of draw power, let’s see just how we’re going to unleash them.
Cavern of Souls
Geier Reach Sanitarium
Minamo, School at Water’s Edge
Snow-Covered Forest x3
Snow-Covered Island x3
Sensei’s Divining Top
Sword of Feast and Famine
Teferi’s Puzzle Box
Oracle of Mul Daya
Purphoros, God of the Forge
Shaman of the Great Hunt
Magus of the Jar
The Locust God
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
Phyrexian Altar: Turn all the snakes into mana and keep all the card draw going. The power scales to the amount of snakes you can build which typically coincides with how many opponents you have. Xyris makes a great multiplayer Commander for sure.
Kindred Discovery: Snakes, all the snakes, so many snakes that you could deck yourself. The Commander is a snake, your tokens are a snake, even a couple of other creatures are snakes. It does depend though, it could be insect, it could be squirrel, name whatever suits your hand and board best.
Purphoros, God of the Forge: Whether a win condition by dropping in all these snakes or some +1/+0 power boosts this indestructible enchantment god fits right into this deck.
Narset, Parter of Veils + Teferi’s Puzzle Box: This combo doesn’t exactly win you friends. The first thing you do during your draw step is draw a card. Then Teferi’s Puzzle Box Triggers and you put your hand away then draw that many cards, except you don’t. While this is a bit of a nonbo with Xyris it’s effective at destroying your opponents hands.
Kindred Discovery + The Locust God + Phyrexian Altar: A familiar combo to those with Locust God decks. Kindred Discovery quickly draws your deck with Locust God if you name insects. Sacrificing Locust God when you have enough is key as well. Thanks to Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre though you can sacrifice a few insects to draw and discard to reshuffle your graveyard for reuse.
Things like Wheel of Fortune are so impactful their effect is named after them. We’re looking to make our opponents draw cards too and we have quite a few options.
Echo of Eons: A powerful resource in this category from the Modern Horizon set. Time Reversal was deemed strong enough to exile itself, not even mentioning Timetwister but Day’s Undoing would end your turn. Echo of Eons can be cast and remains in your graveyard afterwards to flashback for access to at least two full draw effects. It’s incredibly powerful and disrupting while getting you a new hand of resources.
Time Spiral: When you case a 6 mana spell it tends to use up a good portion of your mana making you unable to use all the new cards you may have drawn From a small list of spells that untap your land Time Spiral is essentially deemed a “free” spell because it can untap 6 lands, what is normally equivalent to the cost. It could be less if you were supplementing mana with artifacts or creature and don’t actually have the lands to untap but with a doubling mana effect such as High Tide or Mana Reflection it provides plenty more than that. In this deck it does nicely if it can untap Gaea’s Cradle for all those nice new snakes that get made.
Winds of Change: The lowest costed option we have in the deck to force opponents to draw so we can have snakes. The low cost and high return synergy with Xyris is directly affected by your opponents but a new hand can just be a Skullclamp away.
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Xyris is an exceptionally fun Commander in my opinion. If you like The Locust God or play decks like Nekusar, the Mindrazer I would consider giving this green option a try. I think this will make a nice fit as a multiplayer Commander with interaction, politics, and impact. I’ll definitely be giving it a try anyhow. There are a lot of options so it should keep games and deckbuilding interesting for quite awhile.
I’ll have to say this for every blue/red/green deck but I may be bias or just swept up with the excitement. I’d like hear your opinions, comparisons, and suggestions for the deck. When your maybe pile of cards is as big as the deck that’s pretty fun to balance in my eyes. Let me know in the comments what you think of Xyris, the Writing Storm.