Magic: The Gathering – Anhelo, The Painter Is Amazing In Commander
Hello and welcome once again, players, collectors, and other assorted fans of Magic: The Gathering, Wizards of the Coast's premier trading card game! Magic has taken quite a turn to deviate from the more typical themes of high fantasy in order to skew towards slightly more modern themes such as the cyberpunk world of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty and the 1920's-styled gangster-noir world of their latest set, Streets of New Capenna. We have not been this enthralled by the refreshing nature of the new settings since Mirrodin, when we began the more consistent trend of visiting planes of existence that weren't Dominaria (and for reference, we understand that Homelands exists – we will for the sake of argument refuse to acknowledge that the set existed… ick). Because the change in format is so exciting, we will be doing a very pre-emptive deck tech surrounding a recently revealed legendary creature from the Maestro's Massacre preconstructed deck, to be released with the set at large. This is a deck tech for Anhelo, the Painter!
When EDHREC writer Dean Gootee and I saw this card revealed by Wizards of the Coast, we immediately devised a deck list for this commander. For those who have not yet seen the rules text for Anhelo, you can find it on DailyMTG, the official news hub for Magic: The Gathering, or you can look to the very end of this article. We will operate under the assumption that you have, going forward in this deck tech.
Anhelo's playstyle absolutely lends itself to being a spellslinger deck. With the ability to copy the first instant or sorcery spell you cast – for a price, of course – this deck wants to lead every turn with a disgustingly strong spell of one of those types, and then follow up with smaller value spells in order to overwhelm the opposition with all manner of strong effects. Oh, and that price? You'll need to sacrifice a creature with power 2 or greater to copy the spell. It's part of the reminders on Casualty – and we don't want to miss the fine print. Fortunately, there are plenty of token generators in this deck – we will get to them later on.
You can find the deck list that we will be using in this tech by clicking here to access the list on Moxfield. In the meantime, here are a few major players that can be found in our list!
Twinning Staff And Its Copy Effect
The first card we had in mind when we saw Anhelo was Twinning Staff, an artifact from the Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths release's Commander decks, specifically Arcane Maelstrom. There are likely a bunch of good spells to include in this deck that can be found in Arcane Maelstrom, and if you wish to work from scratch, it would be a pretty good jumping-off point. With Twinning Staff, Anhelo's casualty effect would be doubled at no added cost. Furthermore, you can copy spells even further for the price of 7 more mana! A small price to pay if you want to make a bunch of extra Zombie tokens via something like Army of the Damned. And speaking of which…
Docent of Perfection & Final Iteration
As mentioned above, we will want to make a ton of tokens in order to sacrifice them rather wantonly to pay for Casualty. There are a bunch of token generators such as Poppet Stitcher and Talrand, Sky Summoner, but Docent of Perfection and even more its flipside, Final Iteration, are a chef's kiss for this Commander deck. This deck runs a surprising number of Wizard creatures and as such Docent of Perfection will flip easily into its Final Iteration. At that point, all of the Wizard tokens that you have amassed with it will be large enough to sacrifice to Anhelo. At the same time, any other tokens generated in this deck will be large enough already to use for this purpose. You have to have value to make value, as we have heard.
There will undoubtedly be times where it'll cost more mana to cast a win-condition spell than you can afford. At these times, it's a boon to have a card such as Omnispell Adept. Given that this creature from Guilds of Ravnica can let you cheat in spells for a cost of a measly 3 mana, you'll be casting the big spells – rife for the copying – in no time!
When you've set yourself up for victory, it's time to barrel your way there with knockout spells like Expropriate, Army of the Damned, or Jaya's Immolating Inferno. If you can resolve a few of these spells first in a given turn, then you are practically assured the win! Alternative options include Crackle With Power, Torment of Hailfire, or Explosion, X-costing spells that you can use to defeat players through an overpowering of that cost. These are best served after using Brass's Bounty to set yourself up with Treasure tokens en masse.
What did you think about this Commander deck tech for Magic: The Gathering? If you like this tech, you'll surely love our other ones. Let us know your opinions in the comments below!