In continuation of our pair of white Magic: The Gathering deck techs for today (having kicked it off with Oketra the True), I now present the second Commander deck tech. We are preparing for the arrival of Theros, Beyond Death through these techs, and as such we are giving special focus to the Gods in Magic.
White is generally seen as a good, light, and/or wholesome color, one of the angels, righteousness, and lawfully good order. However, as you'll soon find out, white is also a color of totalitarianism, control, and blind obedience. Just as Oketra the True as a character can represent the good of white in Magic: The Gathering, her Eternalized counterpoint God-Eternal Oketra represents the very worst in the color. As such, we will be leading this Commander deck off with her.
This deck will encompass what a lot of Commander players would deem the harshest archetype of the format: "Stax". Named after Smokestack, a card which used attrition to weaken and ultimately control the opponent, Stax is a format which uses abilities and spells that equate to, even if an opponent asked nicely, you saying "no!" and shutting the door on them almost completely.
Our combo wincon – Even though the deck focuses pretty firmly on Stax effects, we need first to determine out win condition. This will be a combo comprised of Cloudsone Curio and any two zero-mana creatures. While God-Eternal Oketra and the Curio are in play, cast one of the zero-mana creatures, make a Zombie Warrior with Oketra. Then play a second zero-mana creature, bouncing the first with the Curio, via the second Zombie entering play. Rinse and repeat to the effect of having an endless supply of Zombie tokens. It's a strong combo – but then, Cloudstone Curio is just a really strong card.
Taxation and control – We really don't want our opponents to have much of any resources. At all. It's kind of tough to stomach, seeing opponents have anything to do. So, cards like Smothering Tithe, Deafening Silence, Rule of Law, or Imposing Sovereign, all can do the trick in stifling opponents utterly.
Land Destruction – There is a very dedicated suite of single-target land destruction cards in this deck. Between cards like Strip Mine (the original land hate!), Wasteland, and Dust Bowl, it will be quite difficult for opponents to even guarantee that they can drop lands onto the battlefield. Additionally, as the ultimate precaution, Armageddon, the grand-daddy of all mass land destruction, is in the deck to ensure that you are controlling the game in a state that's in your favor.
Approach of the Second Sun – If the Cloudstone Curio combo does not allow you to get out a win from this deck, Approach of the Second Sun should do the trick. This is a tricky card to set up properly in a monowhite deck, but it could win you the game right away if you manage to cast it twice.
As with the other Oketra deck, I find it proper to mention that I have no real experience with white. It's not my strongest color to discuss. Having said that, I maybe have a bit more experience with Stax decks than a "go wide" strategy that the other deck thrives on.
What do you think? Which of these Oketra decks is stronger? Is this one more viable than the other in your playgroups? Let us know!