Last updated on June 28, 2022
Kykar, Wind’s Fury | Illustration by G-host Lee
Kykar, Wind’s Fury is a pretty interesting commander. It’s always stirring up a whirlwind of trouble at tables with its ability to storm off using cheap instants and sorceries for tons of value.
But what if I told you there’s a different way to take advantage of Kykar’s wacky shenanigans? Oh yeah, it’s time for an equipment storm.
Banefire | Illustration by Raymond Swanland
Akiri, Fearless Voyager
Emry, Lurker of the Loch
Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain
Vadrok, Apex of Thunder
Sai, Master Thopterist
Scroll of the Masters
Hammer of Nazahn
Masterwork of Ingenuity
Seat of the Synod
Temple of Triumph
Kykar has the ability to create Spirits when you cast noncreature spells, and conveniently also has the ability to sacrifice Spirits to add to your mana pool. You’re going to use that ability to take advantage of equipment spells also being noncreature spells to generate value and win with a big scary Kykar that can slam face for huge damage, or big mean spells that absolutely obliterate your opponents.
That said, you can’t get too high up in mana value or else you’re not going to net anything. To help with that you’re going to bring in a few cards that can reduce your artifacts’ cost and help you cast them for a much cheaper price. Your board ideally gets set up to start spewing out low-cost equipment for free.
You run some light control in the form of a removal spell or two plus some counterspells to keep your board as safe as you can while you build up for the finale. And of course your finale is none other than one of my favorite spells: Banefire. It’s also accompanied by another fun and indisputable damage dealer in Molten Disaster.
Sounds kinda wacky, right? That’s because it is. It isn’t some masterpiece of tight-knit strategy and an impenetrable combo, but it isn’t a deck that plays fast turns either. It’s like slow roasting solitaire. It’s consistent enough to get to its goal as the game goes on and it feels fantastic when it does, but don’t expect to be off to the races here. You definitely don’t want to play this in any cEDH games.
I also can’t vouch that it’ll ever be budget. Even if you knock out the more expensive cards like Stoneforge Mystic, Steelshaper’s Gift, Shadowspear, and Anointed Procession, you’ll still find that cards in the $2 to $5 range are plenty in this deck and they absolutely add up.
Kykar, Wind’s Fury isn’t quite a master of armed combat. But you know what, you’re here to make it happen!
Kykar’s ability is straightforward in its intention: cast noncreature spells, create tokens, sacrifice tokens for mana, rinse and repeat. The important thing to remember is that “noncreature” doesn’t mean you have to dedicate to instant or sorcery spells. Artifacts are perfectly viable options. Plus any instants or sorceries you use to set yourself up or protect yourself are icing on the cake since they still generate mana for you.
Your MVPs come in the form of cards like Etherium Sculptor, Jhoira’s Familiar, and Foundry Inspector. There are plenty of powerful creatures that do a lot more than these, but reducing the cost of those other cards is infinitely more powerful and more noteworthy in my opinion.
Plus they aren’t exactly big money cards, so if you tweak the list a bit you don’t lose the benefits that these bring since you aren’t likely to cut them.
From there you have some good friends in cards like Goblin Engineer, Stoneforge Mystic, Trinket Mage, and Trophy Mage. These are going to go find your artifacts from anywhere in the deck and help you get your gameplan going just a little faster. They’re invaluable tools with a low cost to play and grab whatever you need for the situation.
Other creatures worthy of mention include Myr Retriever, Emry, Lurker of the Loch, and Vadrok, Apex of Thunder. They all serve as graveyard recursion for artifacts that were once thought lost to the grave. They’re super nice tools to have if you ask me.
Finally, the honorable mentions that serve you via various useful effects are Phyrexian Metamorph, Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain, Sai, Master Thopterist, Puresteel Paladin. They all have their own advantages, but I’d say that Jhoira is the best of them all if you can get some of your cost reducers on the field to just start spamming artifacts and drawing cards until the well runs dry.
Time to bring in the big guns. Narset, Parter of Veils and Karn, Scion of Urza help you dig through your deck a little bit as the game goes on while Ugin, the Ineffable and Saheeli, Sublime Artificer help develop your board state in their own ways.
Instants and Sorceries
Sometimes you can’t draw what you need. So you’ve got a few spells that help bring stuff to your hand from the library as you see fit. Steelshaper’s Gift, Open the Armory, Fabricate, and Whir of Invention are your best friends when you’re looking to grab the next piece of your masterful invention.
You might notice that you’re missing the traditional Counterspell, and that’s because the stuff you’re used to won’t work with Sunforger. When building this list you have to make sure that all of your counters are red or white in color so that you can fetch them with your Sunforger.
Next you have some fun cards that don’t do a whole lot on their own but are super useful when paired with the other things you’ve got going on. Anointed Procession can get super funny when you’re playing a few free artifacts and netting two Spirits instead of one, which just means you get more bang for your buck.
Storm the Vault is usually kinda difficult to work with since it has a requirement to meet before it can ramp you, but you’re playing so many artifacts it would almost be foolish to leave it out.
Similarly, Whirlwind of Thought makes card draw super easy once it’s down on the field since at least a solid 60% or more of your deck triggers it.
Then you have all three guild lockets in your colors since they let you draw cards when you run out of steam on top of the ramp.
Sunforger can unattach itself at instant speed to search up a red or white instant card with a mana value of four or less and cast it without paying its cost, all for the low price of . This thing hits any counterspell in your deck since they all share one of those colors which makes for a fantastic means of keeping your opponents off of your back, as well as doing favors for allies to gain a few if necessary.
Here they are, your biggest swingers in the pile! The whole reason you’re trying to generate value off Kykar is to surprise your opponents by dumping tons of mana into cards like Molten Disaster and Banefire to deal massive, uncounterable damage to your foes. And nobody’s gonna see it until it’s way too late since they’re your endgame.
And if your opponents suspect something and play around those big burn spells, let it happen. Dance of the Manse can catch them off guard again by reanimating every artifact you’ve lost and making them some good creatures to flood the board with. This is especially fun if you’ve just been hit by a board wipe.
The Mana Base
You also have some miscellaneous dual lands like Temple of Triumph, Shivan Reef, and Riverglide Pathway. This is the place to start if you’re looking to budget out this deck. The first place I look when I budget decks out is the land base. I’ll watch Modern decks go from a whopping $1,000 all the way down to a couple hundred in the blink of an eye. It’s kinda crazy. Definitely works in Commander, too.
For utility you play Reliquary Tower since you’re going to have a large hand every single time this deck does its thing.
Finally you run Seat of the Synod, Darksteel Citadel, Ancient Den, and Great Furnace to help out any cards in your deck that like the number of artifacts you control to be high, like All That Glitters and Storm the Vault.
Chief Engineer | Illustration by Steven Belledin
And here we are. You’ve drawn your hand and confirmed that you have three lands ready to go, and hopefully you draw your fourth soon. Time to lay out the plan for the turns to come!
Turns 1-6: Gather Your Parts, Make Friends
Start the game with three lands, an artifact tutor, and a cost reducer in your hand if possible. After that you want your other two cards to be a tutor, cost reduction, or rocks. It can be anything. Realistically you can mulligan down to five before you really start to worry about the value of your hand. Past that point it becomes hard to get your engine running earlier.
You’re going to start by playing cost reduction and rocks. You’re saving your tutor for the buildup to your engine’s first breath of life. Once you’ve gotten your overall artifact cost down to an average of one, maybe zero if you’re lucky enough, it’s time to fire off the engine.
That tutor you have? Your best search (if it’s not already in hand) is Skullclamp. This with Kykar is one of your best draw engines, especially if you’ve gotten your overall cost to cast artifacts down to zero, or if you have something like Chief Engineer to have those Spirits help cast artifacts without having to die and put in more work as Skullclamp fodder.
Your goal here is to have your engine ready to go by turn 6 at the latest or else the chance you’ll get in the game (or stay in it once you are in it) dwindles by the turn.
Turns 7-9: Looking for Win Conditions
First thing to do once the engine is started is drive to your local hardware store and buy yourself a hammer. Sunforger to be specific. This thing protects you like crazy with access to the only six counterspells you’ll ever need. What’s more is that each one offers a special bonus of some sort. Play around with your situation and choose the right tool for the job.
While Sunforger is super important, it’s actually a sidequest for the most part. You’re really using it to buy time so you can find Banefire or Molten Disaster. And your engine is only getting more and more gassed up to blast away your competition while you’re doing that.
If you get the chance, equip Kykar with Basilisk Collar or Shadowspear to work on keeping your life total in a safe space so you don’t kill yourself along with everybody else when casting Molten Disaster. Who knows? Maybe you’ll run into Embercleave and Whispersilk Cloak while you’re at it and take a couple players out with commander damage, leaving the last opponent prey to your Banefire.
Turns 10+: Win
There’s nothing more to really search for. You’ve likely run into so many pieces of your engine at this point that you’re just burning through your deck. You’re looking for your win condition and the ability to create tons of mana. Your Spirit tokens or Ashnod’s Altar will find that mana for you.
Once you’ve found your wincon, be it smashing face with Kykar or casting a big mana spell, absolutely unload your hand and draw as much as possible, cast as much as possible, and generate all the mana you need to go wild and win the game. The best thing you to do here if you’re scared of losing your board presence is hold up the pieces you need to repair the engine in your hand and don’t overextend. That goes for the whole game really, but it’s especially important here. If you’re going to go all in, make sure you know you’re going to win that turn.
Tips and Tricks
Basilisk Collar | Illustration by Howard Lyon
Don’t be afraid to mulligan aggressively. Your first mulligan is free in a multiplayer game so mulligan until you find a hand that ensures a turn 5 or 6 engine. Just don’t go below five cards otherwise you won’t have enough to get your game plan going.
Don’t ever get greedy. It can be tempting to vomit your whole hand onto the board on turn 3, but hold back everything you can regardless. You’re trying to fake a bad hand so that your opponents look away. If you show them that your engine is almost ready then they’ll break it and hand it back to you in shambles, putting you out of the game with no way to recover.
Make sure that you’re playing the whole thing when you play your engine. This includes Kykar. Lots of times it isn’t a threat until your engine is up. Put Kykar on the field, maybe with a piece of protection for it to make it look like you’re stuck.
Watch for board wipes. If you notice one or two other players have pushed ahead of the rest of the group but you see one holding back their value and you think they’re about to wipe the board, don’t play into it. Don’t overextend, don’t be a hero, just stay your hand and wait for the best time to respond to it all.
Rule 0 Violations
There are no infinite combos in this deck, no board wipes, nothing rude like that. The list is guilty of being a solitaire deck at times. If your playgroup is okay with that then you’re sitting pretty!
Relic Seeker | Illustration by Volkan Baga
If you’re looking to budget this deck out and try to cut down on the price, here are a few suggestions.
First up on the chopping block is the pesky pricey Stoneforge Mystic. You need something that roughly keeps the pace that Stoneforge does so look at Relic Seeker. It might take an extra turn to get the artifact you’re looking for but it’s workable.
Shadowspear can also go and you can replace it with any low-cost equipment you see fit. You could also ditch Ashnod’s Altar and replace it with a cheaper artifact. There’s nothing that quite does what Altar does so you lose out on that source of big mana, but it doesn’t break the deck not to have it.
You can also replace Steelshaper’s Gift with another artifact tutor. There are tons of them but your best bet is probably Fighter Class. It’s more difficult to cast but it searches for equipment all the same.
You can also easily drop Anointed Procession. It’s expensive and while being able to double your tokens is funny and helps you storm off, it isn’t necessary by any means. You want something fun called Promise of Bunrei to replace it. It isn’t doubling up your order of Spirits all the time but it can give you a small burst of fodder for Kykar’s ability whenever you sacrifice one of them since it sacrifices itself to create four 1/1 Spirits when a creature you control dies.
I wish I could recommend cutting more costly cards, but the deck slows down drastically if you do. A lot of the deck price also comes from cards that aren’t super expensive but that cost enough that it adds up. And few cards can do the same jobs with the same efficiency. It gets more difficult for the deck to accomplish its goal the more you start tweaking.
That said, I hope the budget options I did go over chopped off a solid chunk of the deck price for you.
Render Silent | Illustration by Matt Stewart
I find this deck to be a really fun and unique build since it can pivot from being a big mana deck to a voltron deck on the dime once the engine is running. Any changes that I’d make would happen with Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty since it’s showing absolutely tons of artifact synergy.
All that said, thank you for joining me today so I could share this with you! I enjoy EDH builds a ton and while powerful builds with tons of staples are great, I always enjoy running with a unique build and throwing caution (and budget) to the wind to see what can be done with it.
What do you think of this build? Are you going to try Kykar out at your next Commander game? Let me know in the comments down below or find us over on Draftsim’s official Twitter.
Thanks again, an remember: stay safe, stay warm, and stay healthy. I’ll see you back here in the next one!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: