Voja, Friend to Elves | Illustration by Chris Seaman
For me, the best part about a new Magic set debuting is perusing the legendary creatures to get Commander deck ideas. Murders at Karlov Manor offers many new commander creatures to explore and build decks around.
Today, I have a deck guide for you highlighting the unique, new Voja, Jaws of the Conclave as the +1/+1 counter commander that’ll blow your opponents away with high-powered creatures and substantial card advantage. This commander combines my love of running high-powered armies because of the +1/+1 counters it distributes and my desire for access to as many resources as possible while playing because of its beneficial card draw engine. Plus, Voja is a wolf itself, one of my favorite creature types in Magic.
Allosaurus Shepherd | Illustration by Randy Vargas
Bennie Bracks, Zoologist
Circle of Dreams Druid
Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen
Ezuri, Renegade Leader
Marwyn, the Nurturer
Master of the Wild Hunt
Mondrak, Glory Dominus
Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation
Priest of Titania
Rhys the Redeemed
Selvala, Heart of the Wilds
Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves
Tolsimir, Midnight's Light
Boseiju, Who Endures
Field of Ruin
Kessig Wolf Run
Temple of Abandon
Temple of Plenty
Temple of Triumph
Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth
Wolves are ferocious and, of course, travel in packs. Hence, the wolf support cards in this deck will band together and keep your opponents’ creatures at bay so you’re better advantaged when it’s time to go to combat.
Voja, Jaws of the Conclave is a Naya color identity commander that pumps all your creatures with +1/+1 counters based on the number of elves you control and draws cards based on how many wolves you control. It’s like operating a dual typal deck that can run the best +1/+1 counters spells and card draw in green, burn spells in red, and board wipes in white to get the most out of your play experience.
In addition to pumping your board and drawing tons of cards, Voja’s Ward will make it harder for opponents to aim spot removal at your wolf commander.
This commander falls under the wolf creature type, so it’s only fitting that we highlight key cards in the wolf pack portion of this deck.
Pyreheart Wolf from Dark Ascension develops a more solid offensive tactic by giving your entire pack menace, and its undying ability brings it right back to the battlefield should it die. Runebound Wolf’s activated ability is best for mid- to late-game as your wolf army grows larger.
Kessig Cagebreakers doesn’t fit the wolf or elf typal theme, but it generates Wolf tokens on attack equivalent to however many creature cards are in your graveyard. This is a highly creature-based deck, so if an opponent board wipes before you can get your protective spells in hand or if someone playing blue keeps milling you, at least you Can recover quickly with a few attacks from Kessig Cagebreakers.
Master of the Wild Hunt isn’t a wolf or elf either, but it’s still a member of the wolf pack because it generates a Wolf token every upkeep. Plus, you can take care of a huge creature on your opponent’s side of the field with this creature’s tap ability once you have enough wolves in play.
As a creature-based deck, Beast Whisperer will be your prime source of card draw as you cast more wolf and elf creature spells. Bennie Bracks, Zoologist guarantees at least one extra card per end step as long as you create an Elf or Wolf token once per turn.
Ambush Commander will transform your forest lands into 1/1 green Elf creatures that you can still tap for mana. This will add to your elf creature count when it’s time to pump Voja, Jaws of the Conclave with +1/+1 counters.
Elvish Warmaster can quickly bulk up how many elves you control by creating an Elf Warrior token for each elf spell you cast. Emmara Tandris can protect all those tokens by preventing any damage dealt to them. That lets them attack and block without repercussions.
This deck runs more elves than wolves, and most of your elf army will be 3/3 creatures or less, so Allosaurus Shepherd turning them into 5/5 elf dinosaurs with its activated ability could be useful if you want to finish off with a full swing
The one key card that can change so much for your game strategy is Maskwood Nexus. Your wolves will now also be elves and your elves will now also be wolves because all your creatures will be changelings. When you need more bodies on the field, just activate this artifact.
When you attack with Voja, Jaws of the Conclave while controlling Maskwood Nexus, you’ll get the same amount of +1/+1 counters and cards drawn. Say that you have five elves and four wolves in this scenario. You’ll receive nine +1/+1 counters on Voja, Jaws of the Conclave and draw nine cards because of this creature type fixing.
In the event you don’t have Maskwood Nexus out, Mirror Entity is a great alternative to temporarily give your creatures all creature types with its activated ability. Realmwalker can also help you cast more elf spells from the top of your library (select elf as the creature type for Realmwalker since there are more elves than wolves in this build).
Primal Vigor will not only double your +1/+1 counter output, but also double the output of Elf and Wolf tokens created with various cards in the deck. Creature tokens will enhance your army quickly so that you can get more card draw and more +1/+1 counters on Voja, Jaws of the Conclave from each attack trigger.
Parallel Lives and Anointed Procession are your two other enchantments working as token doublers in the deck. Mondrak, Glory Dominus is another token doubler, but in creature form. Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation is a creature token tripler that can act as a great back-up plan if you don’t draw into one of the deck’s token doublers.
Howling Moon can give you up to three other Wolf tokens per turn rotation as long as each opponent casts two spells. You can pump Voja, Jaws of the Conclave on every combat with this enchantment as well.
Some planeswalkers offer wolf and elf support, which is why they’re included in this deck. Arlinn Kord can give you a Wolf token and then transform into Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon to give your creatures a temporary buff and trample, amongst other benefits.
Arlinn, the Pack's Hope can give you two Wolf tokens at a time with its minus ability. This Arlinn can also transform into Arlinn, the Moon's Fury, a beefy Werewolf creature that helps you ramp with red and green mana.
Anthem effects are a must when running a creature-matters deck. Overwhelming opponents with combat damage is one of the best win conditions for go-wide token decks. The more power you have on board, the quicker you can whittle down opponents’ life totals with combat damage; that is, if you haven’t taken out opponents by dealing enough commander damage with Voja, Jaws of the Conclave yet.
Tolsimir Wolfblood will give a +2/+2 pump to your five Selesnya creatures while all your other mono-colored creatures get +1/+1 from this card.
The main mana base comprises three each of basic Forest, Mountain, and Plains lands with the remaining 29 being various lands that tap for one of two colors or have added utility beyond adding mana. Plus, you have artifact ramp available from Sol Ring, Arcane Signet, Talisman of Conviction, Talisman of Impulse, and Talisman of Unity.
Marwyn, the Nurturer, Circle of Dreams Druid, and Priest of Titania are all elf mana dorks that buff up your access to green mana in unique ways. Circle of Dreams Druid is an automatic include for decks with a creature token sub theme as you’ll be able to tap this creature for a higher output of green mana as the game goes on.
Marwyn, the Nurturer is best cast as early in the game as possible to become a beefy creature you can attack with later in the game as it gets more +1/+1 counters from elves entering the battlefield. Plus, it can turn into a high-generating mana dork quickly as you cast lower mana value elf spells. Priest of Titania gives you more green mana the more elves that anyone controls, like a Marwyn, the Nurturer, but without the benefit of beefing up with +1/+1 counters.
The strategy is to go elfballing to get Voja, Jaws of the Conclave as strong as possible while developing a card draw engine equivalent to the strength of your wolf army. It’s a half-typal, half-aggro strategy.
Utilizing defensive tactics to keep your army alive while destroying your opponents’ board states will advance you to a more expeditious win. When you’re backed into a corner, you can cast Heroic Intervention or Akroma's Will to make your creatures indestructible and then cast Austere Command or Blasphemous Act to act as a one-sided board wipe to give you the advantage.
Some cards in this deck combo together to give you infinite mana.
Aggravated Assault and Selvala, Heart of the Wilds can generate infinite colored mana of your choice. Be sure before starting the combo that you control a creature with power 7 or greater. You need at least 1 green mana for Selvala, Heart of the Wilds’ activated ability to add at least , , and any color for the remaining 3 mana. Then, pay the 5 mana to activate Aggravated Assault to untap Selvala, Heart of the Wilds with 2 mana left over after each cycle with this combo.
Devoted Druid and Swift Reconfiguration combo off to give you infinite green mana. Attach Swift Reconfiguration to Devoted Druid. Tap the creature to add a green mana then put a -1/-1 counter on it to untap. Because Swift Reconfiguration turns Devoted Druid into a non-creature vehicle, it won’tt die from the -1/-1 counters. Hence, you can manipulate this to your advantage for infinite green mana.
You’ll need to have a Rule 0 discussion with your playgroup about the infinite mana combos in this deck. Your playgroup may prefer that you don’t run infinite mana combos. In this case, substitute with different cards that can still give you the mana you need without overwhelming your opponents by comboing off.
This build wouldn’t really be in a list of budget decks as it averages about $400 total. You can find ways to minimize how much you’ll pay to build the deck by seeking out more budget card options that can achieve the same things.
While you won’t be able to pump your elf army with Allosaurus Shepherd’s ($21) activated ability by substituting it out, you can at least get the same effect of non-counterable creature spells by considering Gaea's Herald for $2.
Force of Vigor is a valuable $23 removal spell. However, you can achieve close to the same effect by replacing it with Heliod's Intervention ($3). Sure, you’ll have to pay 4 mana to remove two artifacts and/or enchantments with Heliod's Intervention rather than having free removal via exiling a green card with Force of Vigor, but it’ll at least get the job done in a more budget manner.
Elvish Champion comes at a $12 price tag. However, you can substitute with Lumbering Satyr (50 cents) to give all creatures forestwalk instead. Most of the creature base includes green except for three mono-white creatures and two mono-red creatures, so a Hidden Path ($8) would be a viable substitute as well. This would also be great for the green Elf and Wolf creature tokens you’ll be creating throughout the game.
Akroma's Will ($15.50) may be a high price tag for some budget players. Instead, you can substitute with True Conviction ($4) for permanent double strike and lifelink rather than just a temporary buff. Chance for Glory ($1.50) is a good substitute to give your creatures instant-speed protection via indestructible, but you have to be extra sure that you can win on the extra turn it gives you or you’ll lose the game.
Anointed Procession ($49), Mondrak, Glory Dominus ($39), and Parallel Lives ($25) are the most expensive token doublers in the deck. Even if you take these three cards out, you’ll still be left with Primal Vigor ($7.50) and a creature token tripler, Ojer Taq, Deepest Foundation.
Teferi's Protection has a beefy price tag of $42. Clever Concealment can phase out any number of your nonland permanents for only $16. That instant spell also has the possibility of being cast mana-free because of its convoke ability.
Jetmir's Garden ($19) can be easily replaced with Jungle Shrine (50 cents) to tap for the same Naya colors, you just won’t be able to cycle it. Boseiju, Who Endures ($38) can be replaced with another Forest or utility land of your choice not already in the deck.
Voja, Jaws of the Conclave is a pretty unique commander in that you need at least some elves and some wolves to get both the benefits of +1/+1 counters and card draw. While not in the original deck list, Wolf-Skull Shaman could be one way that you generate more Wolf tokens by utilizing the original build with more elf spells because of its kinship ability.
Maybe you want to try a different build that includes more wolves for extra card advantage instead of the elves that give the creature pumping benefits. As long as you keep the Elf token generators, you can still get enough +1/+1 counters on the commander while benefiting more from card draw with a bigger wolf army.
Besides the two changeling creatures already in this build, there are 22 other changeling shapeshifter creatures in Naya Commander colors that could be part of your creature base. All creatures with changeling will be counted as wolves and elves for Voja, Jaws of the Conclave’s triggers so you don’t have to worry about running Maskwood Nexus.
Circle of Dreams Druid | Illustration by Sam Guay
I hope you enjoyed this Voja, Jaws of the Conclave Commander deck guide! Its dual purpose of pumping your army while giving you card draw means you can run an advantageous game strategy while simultaneously having fun.
Remember that Commander is subjective to the player and that you can substitute cards from the original build based on how you want to win with Voja, Jaws of the Conclave. My suggested guide was only a starting point to what could be an awesome play experience if you decide to try out this Commander deck.
Commander decks are super fun to build as you have access to the more than 27,000 cards in Magic’s arsenal to customize your build how you desire. If you’re ready to dive into more Commander deck guides, check out the Draftsim blog. You can stay updated on the Draftsim Facebook page so that you know when we drop our latest Commander deck guide! Until next time, stay spicy and build your best deck!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: