Last updated on February 3, 2023

Maelstrom Wanderer - Illustration by Victor Adame Minguez

Maelstrom Wanderer | Illustration by Victor Adame Minguez

Commander decks come in all colors and flavors. Some are very aggressive, some like to take things slow and build card advantage synergies through their turns, and some are one-trick ponies that rely on the same combo for the win. Sometimes a deck comes along that doesn’t fit any of those molds but still has a straightforward plan. In this case it’s to cast your commander fast and then cast spells for free.

That's right! It’s time to cover a Maelstrom Wanderer build that’s explosive and hard for opponents who stumble or aren't prepared to keep up with.

Are you the type of player that likes to roam around? D’you stay in one place, or do you roam from town to town? If, like Dion DiMucci, you’re a wanderer (yeah, a wanderer), this may just be the deck for you!

The Deck

Titania, Protector of Argoth - Illustration by Magali Villeneuve

Titania, Protector of Argoth | Illustration by Magali Villeneuve

Commander (1)

Maelstrom Wanderer

Planeswalkers (6)

Dack Fayden
Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Garruk Wildspeaker
Tezzeret the Seeker
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

Creatures (11)

Sakura-Tribe Elder
Trinket Mage
Solemn Simulacrum
Phyrexian Metamorph
Venser, Shaper Savant
Oracle of Mul Daya
Titania, Protector of Argoth
Consecrated Sphinx
Inferno Titan
Hullbreaker Horror
Balefire Dragon

Instants (13)

Mystical Tutor
Nature's Claim
Worldly Tutor
Cyclonic Rift
Mana Drain
Thirst for Knowledge
Beast Within
Krosan Grip
Fact or Fiction
Cryptic Command
Force of Will
Dig Through Time

Sorceries (19)

Ancestral Vision
Nature's Lore
Three Visits
Anger of the Gods
Kodama's Reach
Explosive Vegetation
Skyshroud Claim
Temporal Manipulation
Time Warp
Urban Evolution
Walk the Aeons
Seasons Past
All Is Dust
Time Stretch

Enchantments (3)

Mystic Remora
Sylvan Library
Rhystic Study

Artifacts (9)

Mana Vault
Sensei's Divining Top
Sol Ring
Coldsteel Heart
Grim Monolith
Scroll Rack
Chromatic Lantern
Coalition Relic
Crystal Shard

Lands (38)

Ancient Tomb
Arid Mesa
Bloodstained Mire
Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Breeding Pool
Cavern of Souls
Command Tower
Flooded Strand
Forest x2
Hinterland Harbor
Karplusan Forest
Kessig Wolf Run
Mana Confluence
Misty Rainforest
Mountain x2
Polluted Delta
Reflecting Pool
Reliquary Tower
Rootbound Crag
Scalding Tarn
Steam Vents
Stomping Ground
Strip Mine
Sulfur Falls
Temple of Abandon
Temple of Epiphany
Temple of Mystery
Tropical Island
Verdant Catacombs
Volcanic Island
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
Yavimaya Coast
Ketria Triome

The Commander

Maelstrom Wanderer

Maelstrom Wanderer is a unique creature because its base power and toughness aren’t the only big things on it. It’s fearsome that you have the potential to cast three spells for eight mana.

Sure, there are times when you can hypothetically hit two ramp spells. But even if that’s the case it still serves you to cast this powerful commander on the following turn if it dies.

Ramp Spells

These are the spells that let you cast your commander ahead of schedule. The most prevalent types are artifacts and sorcery-speed base spells that tutor for lands and put them into play. You can rely on something other than mana dorks like Llanowar Elves, which are vulnerable to removal and are easier to answer.

Sol Ring Mana Vault

The most outstanding of the bunch are Sol Ring and Mana Vault as solid mana rocks.

Farseek Skyshroud Claim

Farseek and Skyshroud Claim are the main sorceries to search for Forests with other basic land types on them.

Solemn Simulacrum Oracle of Mul Daya

Narrow creatures like Solemn Simulacrum and Oracle of Mul Daya can serve as ramp outlets that provide value even if they die.

Card Advantage

This deck packs a bunch of ways to refill your hand to stay supplied.

The dream is to hit an Ancestral Vision out of one of the cascade triggers from your commander, but hitting Harmonize or Urban Evolution is the same in that particular scenario.

Rhystic Study Consecrated Sphinx

Other forms of card advantage come in the form of Rhystic Study and Consecrated Sphinx that can take over games on their own when unanswered.


Worldly Tutor Mystical Tutor

You can count some of the ramp spells as “tutors” for dual lands or triomes, but what I’m referring to in this section are cards like Worldly Tutor or Mystical Tutor that can fetch a specific kind of card in the colors of your commander.

Trinket Mage

Trinket Mage may seem like it could be more impressive as an artifact tutor, but some hands that involve it can be mighty. You could be potentially casting Maelstrom Wanderer as early as turn 3 if you start with a Sol Ring and fetch your Mana Vault.


Plans don't always come together as you expect. When opponents realize what you’re up to they come after you and try to stop you from developing your game-changing commander sooner than later. This deck packs a good mix of spot removal and board wipes that can put you back into the game in challenging scenarios to put the brakes on their threats.

All is Dust

All Is Dust is by far the best board wipe you could access. It doesn't destroy anything, but it makes your opponents sacrifice their permanents when it resolves.

Slagstorm Anger of the Gods

Slagstorm and Anger of the Gods work in the same way to reset the board on more minor battlefields.

Cyclonic Rift

The infamous Cyclonic Rift is now an auto-include spot/board wipe for any deck that runs blue.


Another way to protect your plans, creatures, and life is through counterspells.

While there are a lot of cards like Counterspell, this deck just runs the best of their kind like Force of Will, Mana Drain, and Cryptic Command.

Time Walks

I know this isn’t pretty and there's nothing more annoying than an opponent playing solo. Still, I think Maelstrom Wanderer is one of the best commanders that can abuse Time Walk effects. The main plan is to ramp fast, and sometimes one of these cards can be used as a glorified Explore.

Time Stretch

Time Stretch is the only one you won't be hitting with your commander, but its power is such that it would be unfair otherwise.

Other Spells

As you may have noticed, this deck is very “vanilla” because you don't have to do anything extravagant with it to win. Instead, it's straightforward in what it does, and the rest of the cards are just raw power.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor Scroll Rack

Jace, the Mind Sculptor and Scroll Rack are powerful on their own, but they excel when they’re in play and you’re close to casting your commander. They let you reorder what you want to cast for free.

Crystal Shard

Speaking of cards that go well with your commander, Crystal Shard is a handy one. You can keep bouncing the Maelstrom Wanderer and abusing its triggered abilities every turn.

Bribery Hullbreaker Horror

Hitting Bribery or Hullbreaker Horror can also be backbreaking for some tables.

The Mana Base

This deck’s mana base is probably the priciest part of it because fetch lands, shock lands, and duals are affordable to next to no one. I mention them here to set a base on what the perfect mana base should look like. From there you can upgrade your cards to be closer to it little by little.

Boseiju, Who Shelters All Cavern of Souls

Aside from those, some utility lands are worth mentioning, like Boseiju, Who Shelters All, a card that makes some of your spells uncounterable. The same is true with Cavern of Souls, but it helps directly with your commander.

Ancient Tomb Kessig Wolf Run

Ancient Tomb is very good at casting your commander ahead of schedule, and Kessig Wolf Run fits perfectly in a deck whose primary goal is to generate massive amounts of mana in little time.

The Strategy

This deck’s plan is straightforward: ramp your mana base and cast your commander. It’s a simple but effective strategy that can win the game in the blink of an eye depending on the combination of cards you hit with your commander.

In a perfect world you cast one of your heavy hitters like Inferno Titan along with Time Warp to apply tons of pressure on a single turn. Other times you just hit your board wipes and make a clean hit with your the Wanderer.

Regardless of the result, casting three spells in a single turn is insane and a lot of other decks can't match the value behind it.

Combos and Interactions

There are some neat tricks you can pull off with this deck despite its simplicity. Here are the most common that you should be aware of.

You can double up your mana and jump from turn 3 to 7 with Tezzeret the Seeker and either Sol Ring or Mana Vault when played correctly. The planeswalker can also use the first tutor for one of the combo pieces and then start abusing its power.

Crystal Shard Phyrexian Metamorph

If you already played your  Phyrexian Metamorph as a creature and want to copy something else, you can bounce it with Crystal Shard and recast it to select new targets.

Garruk Wildspeaker Ancient Tomb

Garruk Wildspeaker and Ancient Tomb is similar to the Tezzeret the Seeker interaction, but with lands.

Venser, Shaper Savant Maelstrom Wanderer

You can bounce Maelstrom Wanderer to replay it with Venser, Shaper Savant even if you reveal Venser as one of your cascade triggers since the Wanderer will be on the stack.

Oracle of Mul Daya Scroll Rack

You can return your lands from your hand and put them on top of your library to be played from there with Oracle of Mul Daya and Scroll Rack. This creates a pseudo-card draw effect.

Budget Options

Since this deck is very straightforward it doesn’t need a narrow card to perform at its best. You could argue that the Time Walk effects are pricey, especially the older ones, but there are some cheaper ones that can be used instead. If I could make a change to the deck, it would be in the mana base to replace duals and fetches with more affordable options to make this deck cheaper.

All these lands have something in common: they’re very cheap. The one that caught my attention the most is Tangled Islet, which can be tutored with Farseek. The other options are there if you don't want to spend hundreds on duals or shock lands, but be aware that bounce lands are somewhat fragile to land destruction. Remember that Beast Within is very popular in the format.

There are a wide variety of cheap artifacts you can choose from if you can't afford some of the pricier ones, like Simic Signet and Talisman of Curiosity.

Shifting the focus toward cascade can also make the deck cheaper. In that case you should consider running all the other good cascade creatures, like Annoyed Altisaur, Shardless Agent, Etherium-Horn Sorcerer, and Bloodbraid Elf.

There’s a vast list of fatties you can run so it's just a matter of choosing the ones that best fit your game plan. One of the ones with the highest synergy with this commander is Etali, Primal Storm, whose price tag is under a dollar.

Other Builds

The deck can be built in a bunch of ways since this is a 3-color commander. Some are more aggro-oriented, and others are just combo versions of it.

Aggro Creatures

This build focuses on running big creatures in Temur () colors that hit hard and fast. Some of the combos that can be run include:

Combo Control

This deck can perform similarly to how some Riku of Two Reflections Commander decks tend to by copying spells or creatures. To give you an idea, this deck can use Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Pestermite as its main win condition, or generate infinite mana to cast the Wanderer indefinitely with a Temur Sabertooth, Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, and Maelstrom Wanderer combo.

Commanding Conclusion

Worldly Tutor - Illustration by Cristi Balanescu

Worldly Tutor | Illustration by Cristi Balanescu

The deck may not be the most exciting version, but it’s one of the most powerful and straight to the point. It may struggle to keep up against some of the most combo-oriented decks but you can always rely on the rest of the table to handle them and surprise them by taking the game in consecutive turns.

What do you think about the deck? Were there any cards you’d have liked to see? Was this what you were looking for? Are you interested in other versions? Let me know in the comments below or over on Draftsim's Twitter.

That's all I’ve got for now. Take care, and I'll see you next time!

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