Hinata, Dawn-Crowned | Illustration by Ryota Murayama.jpg
Are you ready to cast 8-mana spells for two? Are you ready to hit an infinite number of targets with some X spells? Are you ready to cast Indomitable Creativity on other players’ permanents?
If all of that sounds like a fun way to spend a few hours at an EDH table, Hinata, Dawn-Crowned, a new legend from Neon Dynasty, will be your favorite new Jeskai () commander. And lucky for you I’ve got a deck tech ready for you today.
Let’s jump right in!
Indomitable Creativity | Illustration by Deruchenko Alexander
Call the Coppercoats
Disorder in the Court
Drown in Dreams
Flicker of Fate
Force of Negation
March of Swirling Mist
Saw it Coming
Crackle with Power
Curse of the Swine
Finale of Promise
Pull from the Deep
Solve the Equation
City of Brass
Otawara, Soaring City
Sea of Clouds
Hinata Opus decks hit Arena soon after Hinata, Dawn-Crowned dropped in Neon Dynasty. Hinata’s allure is that it reduces the cost of a spell you cast based on the number of targets.
This deck Jean-Emmanuel Depraz piloted at the Kamigawa Set Championship is the model in Standard and Alchemy. The key card with Hinata is Magma Opus, which you can cast for two mana if you spread the damage to ping a target (sometimes yourself or Hinata) and tap two other things, say your opponent’s lands.
The Opus and other things (like Lorehold Command and Sublime Epiphany in the Historic version of the deck) hit really hard in 1v1 60-card formats. But in Commander even something like an Opus, which can almost win the game on the spot in Standard, is just kind of okay aside from the difficulty of pulling the right set of big spells. And when you show what Hinata can do it might scare your opponents into targeting you, even if it doesn’t really affect the board enough.
So how do you win with this deck in Commander?
The key is Hinata’s less sexy ability, that it reduces the cost of your counterspells and protection spells by . This means things like Negate and Valorous Stance cost a measly one mana. In other words, Hinata only works as a control deck with a few finishers for your last opponent. You’ll never eliminate the table, but you need to be hard to kill for as long as possible.
There are a few pure card draw spells in the deck with Deep Analysis, Drown in Dreams, and Memory Deluge. You could pack more but Hinata’s ability to let you cast the better counters that also draw cards leaves space for a few more wincons.
You’ve got a couple ways to copy or reuse spells here. This is important for your somewhat fragile wincons.
Narset’s Reversal is one of the few cards in the deck that doesn’t have a colorless cost to use with Hinata, but it’s powerful in this build and serves as another counter.
This is the center of the deck. You’re not really a draw-go style blue control deck that just slaps counters on everything impactful that your opponents try to do and then draws a bunch of cards on the last end step before your turn. That’s harder and harder to pull off in Commander games as power keeps creeping, and Hinata isn’t well poised for that kind of game.
Your counters and protection spells are designed almost entirely to protect Hinata. Some of the counters are useful for protecting one of your big spells later in the game, but that’s a tough battle to win against a determined permission mage. It’s often better to just use Hinata’s ability to cast multiple big spells and hope to land something important in that sort of situation.
Your most interesting counters are bigger spells that Hinata’s targeting cost reduction helps you use. Cryptic Command, Mystic Confluence, and Sublime Epiphany are powerful and also replace themselves with a card. They can generally come down for only three mana with Hinata on the battlefield.
Protection spells are your least valuable options since they do little against board wipes, which tend to be on schedule right when you get Hinata down, but Apostle’s Blessing can come out basically for free when you’re tapped out.
Flickers help respond to board wipes, especially because you don’t usually want to counter these since big boards of creatures aren’t always easy for you to deal with when you only have a few creatures in your deck. You’ve got Momentary Blink and Flicker of Fate to start, but that number could easily be increased.
March of Swirling Mist can be used as both protection for Hinata (and for yourself from an alpha strike!) and as a way to lay bare an opponent to attacks from the rest of the table.
Hinata allows you to do wicked things to the artifacts and enchantments on the table with Builder’s Bane, By Force, and Heliod’s Intervention. These can make the whole table miserable given how cheap they are for you to cast. Keep in mind that Bane still costs one mana for each target given its double X cost. These spells can make you really unpopular, so use with care.
You can also tap things, like all creatures at the table until your next turn with Icy Blast. Or everything (including lands) on one player’s upkeep with Reality Spasm. Both cards can leave the player who’s building a lead open to your opponents’ attacks, but of course they can also easily come after you in such board states.
You can steal all the creatures with Mass Manipulation, but the double X in the mana cost make it more likely that you just steal a lot of them instead.
And you can also cause a lot of damage or wipe the board. Curse of the Swine won’t help an awful lot against token beatdown, but Hinata’s ability to hit every creature on the table with this can really cripple some deck synergies. Your big damage wincons will wipe the board, but they also win outright if the boards are big enough. Sometimes you need to wipe smaller boards with those spells in a pinch.
Meteor Blast hits everything except Hinata for four.
Magma Opus can do any or all of these things depending on the board state, plus drawing cards.
Maybe the best outcome in a multiplayer game is the 2-card infinite combo of The Locust God and Sage of the Falls, which makes infinite hasty fliers. Both cards can just be dropped the hard way, but you can also get them back into your deck to use Creativity with Valakut Awakening.
If you look at Creativity you can see the problem is that the card could just pull your artifacts from the deck and drop them instead of your creatures. So you really only want to use it when you have enough artifacts and creatures to sacrifice so that your total number is two more than the number of mana rocks left in your deck, which totals ten.
Does that seem especially fragile and problematic? Of course it does! But most decks have too many creatures to run this kind of spell, so here’s your deck if you want to try it out in EDH. But the best part of the card is a uniquely Hinata ability to generate sheer chaos. For three mana you can wipe every artifact and creature from the table and watch a new set of permanents get plopped onto the battlefield. This is unlikely to be strictly good for you, but if that’s your definition of a good time then this is the only deck where you can see it.
You’ve got 10 standard-issue mana rocks in Jeskai colors that all cost two mana or less. You need to get Hinata out quickly with some mana open for a counter or protection spell, so these are necessary.
You could play this list with less expensive lands but there are quite a few spells in here that want triple or quadruple colored pips, so having your mana base in support of that is key. And these are the common ten of the basic mana rocks of 1- or 2-cost in Hinata’s Jeskai colors. I didn’t include the original dual lands but if you have decks in these colors you may very well already have most of these lands, so I included an optimal mana base in this guide.
If you wanted things cheaper with dual tap lands and a few more basics, it works but less well. In that case I might remove some of the 3- or 4-pipped spells in favor of a few more cheap counterspells to buy you the time you need to get your mana together for the turns where you can win.
Aurelia’s Fury | Illustration by Tyler Jacobson
This deck has a small handful of ways to win the game outright that require Hinata, Dawn-Crowned on the battlefield. It has a lot of disruption in the form of counterspells to stop game-breaking plays by opponents and protect Hinata and your spells when you can finally get moving.
Your “oops, I win!” spells need your opponents to have built a board of creatures to generate enough damage to get to victory, so you’re going to have to find a way to make it to a table filled with creatures even if you get Hinata out early with your mana rocks. Anything you can do to encourage a stalled board state with your disruption is key. It keeps you alive long enough to cast your big spells and provides the targets you need to escalate your damage.
You can’t solve the problems of the whole board alone if it’s scary but not exactly stalled. So you’ll have to let scary things happen and negotiate with others to take care of it if you’re the only player using disruption. That sounds impossible, and it is at some tables. But most creature decks look scary faster than you do, and the players may leave you be for a bit since your board always looks bleak and empty.
You also have a lot of threats in your fist of cards that can leave an opponent open to the rest of the table. And talking that up is often the key to getting to victory, especially if you look like a juicy target for a voltron attack.
Even though most players shrug off board wipes as inevitable these days, your particular set of mass disruption can be salt inducing, especially if you blank the table’s mana rocks with no clear path to victory. But your set of spells can be more disruptive to combo players than simple board wipes so it’s possible to parlay that into some good will when you “save the table.”
Spot removal and counterspells may very well be saved up for you if other players understand or suspect the wincons in your deck. You need a lot of cards to muscle through those turns, or you have to find a way to bide your time so that players with control spells held up need to use them against other targets. But if no one at the table is playing ramp or aggro it may be really hard for you to avoid being eliminated first.
There are decks that are bigger glass cannons than this one, but it takes a certain definition of fun to enjoy piloting this list.
Combos and Interactions
Rule 0 Violations Check
The only real combo in this deck is Indomitable Creativity, which can go infinite. If that’s an issue for your group you can easily replace the two creatures with two other big and scary things, like those used in Historic (Serra’s Emissary and Hullbreaker Horror) or your favorite Phyrexian of the month.
Even though you’re not packing mass land destruction there are places where mass artifact destruction can put you in the doghouse. The rule of thumb for more relatively casual Commander tables is that you can do big horrible things if you’re going to be able to do that to win, not to degrade everyone’s ability to play the game and stretch it all out for unfun hours.
This deck allows you to do that. It also allows you to cherry pick what gets to stay since all your mass spells choose targets. That can help, politically.
For a spell to work with Hinata it has to use the word “target.” Spells that mention an “each” of something like “each creature” (Haunting Imitation), “each player” (Timetwister), or anything else that doesn’t designate it as a “target,” doesn’t get reduced by Hinata’s ability. Similarly, spells that target “all” like Akroma’s Vengeance or even “half” like Split the Party don’t get a cost reduction.
This means that there’s an especially tricky interaction with a key nonbo, overload. Cyclonic Rift, the classic blue monster in Commander, works the way you want only if the overload cost is not paid. The overload coast replaces “target” with “each” which allows you to bounce everything, but it bypasses Hinata since the targeting language is removed.
Confused? It gets worse. A popular card with Hinata on EDHREC is Smoke Spirits’ Aid. I didn’t include it in this build because it’s a bit of a “win more” card at sorcery speed. But it should be fun if you wanted to include it. Take note of the complicated language in its rules text: “For each of up to X target creatures.” That works just as you’d hope with Hinata.
Memory Deluge | Illustration by Lake Hurwitz
This can be a decently budget deck. You can buy Hinata and all the 1-card wincons for less than $20 altogether. Most of the disruption spells are reasonable, but most can also be swapped out for whatever you happen to have lying around. You can do without Mystical Tutor and the few other cards that cost a bit, including the shock lands and fetch lands.
It’s always good to go faster as Commander decks get more powerful, but if you’re a budget-minded player you likely already have some decks where you’re packing Tranquil Cove or Alpine Meadow instead of Raugrin Triome. If you skimped on lands then you could easily field a playable version of this deck for less than $150.
Reality Spasm | Illustration by Jason Felix
There are two other popular builds I don’t think work as well as this, but they might be fun options for mixing up whatever set of Jeskai Commander decks you have lying around.
The first is to lean into magecraft-style effects with classic Jeskai cards like Kykar, Wind’s Fury, Manaform Hellkite, Murmuring Mystic, Talrand, Sky Summoner, Archmage Emeritus and other draw cards plus go-wide spellslinger mechanics. But if that’s your aim, how is Hinata, Dawn-Crowned better than Kykar, Wind’s Fury? How is any of that better than Talrand, Sky Summoner and cantrips? Hinata makes your spells more efficient. That’s not the same as casting more of them unless you have your Commander sitting there, which makes this deck a more fragile version of what other commanders do better.
The second other build is to stack the deck with other creatures that make your spells more efficient, like Battlefield Thaumaturge, Soulfire Grand Master, Willbreaker, and the like, or enchantments that do the same like Thousand-Year Storm, Whirlwind of Thought, and Double Vision. But now you basically have the balance problem of equipment decks where you need to get the right mix of creatures and spells (equipment), and cards fester in your hand if you get it wrong. You can easily imagine a sequence of creature and land draws that just puts you out of the game. So I’d reduce the creatures when in doubt.
I think both of these builds can make for great decks, but I don’t think Hinata is the right commander for them.
Finale of Promise | Illustration by Jaime Jones
This is a fun deck to play. There’s always the chance to just win the game on the spot, especially if someone at the table has a go-wide strategy. Your life gets tougher the more control decks you face at the table. Particularly if folks have, say, read this and know what Hinata can do.
If a lot of blue mages keep holding up mana they can just chip away at you and keep Hinata off the table, and you don’t quite have enough resources to keep up. In fact, it’s hard to avoid losing if everyone at the table is playing spellslinger or control. But people really, really like their creature tribal decks. And all it takes is one to give you a path to victory out of the blue.
What do you think of this list? Any cards you’d swap out, or things you think are missing? Let me know in the comments down below or over on the official Draftsim Twitter.
That’s all from me for now. Stay safe, stay healthy, and wash your hands!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: