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Uril, the Miststalker - Illustration by Jaime Jones

Uril, the Miststalker | Illustration by Jaime Jones

Commander is a format filled with variety. Some people like to play combo decks, others control games, and some just want to get things done and be as aggressive as possible.

I prefer the last kind of decks while disrupting my opponents, so no wonder one of my favorite commanders is Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, right? But lately I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic.

Who remembers five big cats transforming into a Megazord-style robot? Well, if you guessed right, I’m talking about Voltron, and today I’m going to go over a style of commander that carries the same name. So while we may not be engineering robots, we will be doing something similar.

Intrigued? Let’s find out which commander has crossed the shards this time!

The Deck

Sol Ring - Illustration by Mike Bierek

Sol Ring | Illustration by Mike Bierek

Commander (1)

Uril, the Miststalker

Creature (18)

Argothian Enchantress
Bloom Tender
Destiny Spinner
Grand Abolisher
Herald of the Pantheon
Kor Spiritdancer
Light-Paws, Emperor’s Voice
Sanctum Weaver
Sram, Senior Edificer
Sythis, Harvest’s Hand
Eternal Witness
Mesa Enchantress
Satyr Enchanter
Verduran Enchantress
Archon of Sun’s Grace
Eidolon of Blossoms
Sun Titan
Gisela, Blade of Goldnight

Sorcery (11)

Shatterskull Smashing
Bala Ged Recovery
Cultivate
Idyllic Tutor
Kodama’s Reach
Retether
Seize the Day
Three Dreams
Winds of Rath
Austere Command
Emeria’s Call

Instant (8)

Enlightened Tutor
Swords to Plowshares
Sejiri Shelter
Unexpectedly Absent
Beast Within
Generous Gift
Krosan Grip
Faith’s Reward

Enchantment (27)

Ethereal Armor
Flickering Ward
Hyena Umbra
Rancor
Spider Umbra
Utopia Sprawl
Wild Growth
All That Glitters
Daybreak Coronet
Fertile Ground
Spirit Mantle
Sterling Grove
Ancestral Mask
Armadillo Cloak
Battle Mastery
Enchantress’s Presence
Gauntlets of Light
Oblivion Ring
Shield of the Oversoul
Snake Umbra
Unquestioned Authority
Angelic Destiny
Bear Umbra
Hallowed Haunting
Sage’s Reverie
Runes of the Deus
Sigil of the Empty Throne

Artifact (1)

Sol Ring

Land (34)

City of Brass
Clifftop Retreat
Command Tower
Contested Cliffs
Copperline Gorge
Evolving Wilds
Fire-Lit Thicket
Forest x4
Jungle Shrine
Krosan Verge
Mosswort Bridge
Mountain x2
Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers
Plains x3
Razorverge Thicket
Reliquary Tower
Rootbound Crag
Sacred Foundry
Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
Spinerock Knoll
Stirring Wildwood
Stomping Ground
Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
Sunpetal Grove
Temple Garden
Temple of the False God
Terramorphic Expanse
Thespian’s Stage

This is an enchantment deck with the primary goal to build the biggest and baddest creature on the board, and potentially kill more than one player a turn. To do that, I’ve picked Uril, the Miststalker as its commander.

The Commander

Uril, the Miststalker

There are tons of other Voltron-like commanders out there. The most popular probably being Rafiq of the Many followed by Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest and, on some occasions, unorthodox ones like Narset, Enlightened Master. What sets Uril, the Miststalker apart is that it has built-in protection and grows for every aura attached to it.

The “hexproof” part is what makes Uril so good in this style of deck. It’s tough for your opponents to deal with it and will become virtually unkillable in a blink of an eye if you pair it with other cards to push the protection further.

Let’s talk about individual card choices to accomplish that feat.

Tutor Spells

This deck runs a few spells to search for other critical cards that enable combos or are just needed in narrow scenarios.

Idyllic Tutor and Enlightened Tutor are the top ones in this realm since they search for the vast majority of enchantments you need, including creatures.

Sterling Grove MH2

You also have Sterling Grove as a pseudo-tutor choice, but its main role is usually to protect your other enchantments from being destroyed one way or another.

Three Dreams

Three Dreams can help you get the last pieces of evasion/protection your commander or other creatures need to make them the Megazord they always dreamed of.

Removal Package

Things don’t always go as planned and you need to have your bases covered. You run a  decent amount of removal to make sure you’ve got it handled. The most notable ones are Austere Command, Oblivion Ring, and Swords to Plowshares.

Austere Command

Austere Command is perfect as you can wipe everything except your enchantments and rebuild from there while leaving your opponents with almost nothing on the board.

Oblivion Ring

Oblivion Ring is fine removal. It’s something you can tutor for in a pinch, but I wouldn’t rely on those effects too much because they can quickly be dealt with. But I still think one copy is good.

Swords to Plowshares

Swords to Plowshares is the single most effective spot removal ever printed, and you’re playing it.

Ramp Spells

Uril is a big boy that needs to enter the battlefield sooner rather than later, so you run a fair amount of ramp spells to get the feat done.

The deck had multiple ramp creatures in the original build including Birds of Paradise. But I figured that enchantment-based ramp spells are better in this kind of deck since it synergizes perfectly with the rest of the cards, especially the card draw engines.

The only ones that survived the cuts were Bloom Tender and Sanctum Weaver. They have the potential to “add” more than one mana.

Herald of the Pantheon

You also have Herald of the Pantheon to reduce the mana you need to cast enchantments. Unlike Transcendent Envoy it doesn’t restrict you to only auras.

You also have other ramp spells that tutor for lands like Cultivate and the Commander all-star Sol Ring for efficiency.

Card Draw Engines

These effects are the most important for the deck because they allow you to draw cards whenever an enchantment is cast or enters the battlefield.

You have 11 of these spells total, the most notable being Kor Spiritdancer for its ability to grow itself as Uril does, and Sythis, Harvest’s Hand to give you some life back.

Light-Paws, Emperor's Voice

Light-Paws, Emperor’s Voice also lives in this category since it’s almost like a draw spell but better, since it can help you find multiple auras a turn for less mana.

Utility Creatures

The deck also runs a bunch of utility creatures that mostly have a dedicated role in the deck that no other card has.

Sun Titan and Eternal Witness are the ones in charge of recursion.

Destiny Spinner protects your enchantments from being countered while being a hidden win condition. And if we’re talking win conditions, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight can win games on its own. You’re almost guaranteed not to lose the game if you manage to give it protection of some sort.

Grand Abolisher

Last but not least, I’ve grown to like Grand Abolisher quite a bit as a way to prevent your opponents from interacting with you the turn you want to assemble Voltron to win games.

Utility Spells

Like their creature counterparts, utility spells are here to provide an extra reach to the deck. They do have synergy with the deck’s plan even if they’re not enchantments.

Retether

Retether can help you bring some of your already-used auras back and attach them to a creature, preferably Uril.

Faith's Reward

Faith’s Reward has a similar role, and it’s your safety card after a board wipe happens. You can pair it with your board wipes and leave your opponents with nothing while you still will have a mighty creature staring at them with enough mana.

Seize the Day

The last utility spell is Seize the Day, which gives you multiple attacks per turn. You can kill the whole board one player at a time with enough luck.

Auras

Around 20 auras in the deck have a mixed purpose of pumping your creatures into mighty threats, giving them protection, or some relevant keyword that helps during combat.

The most notable ones are Ethereal Armor and Ancestral Mask. These make any creature a formidable threat that your opponents need to answer immediately or risk dying.

Flickering Ward

One quick thing that I’ll remind you of later is that some auras grant your creature protection from color, like Flickering Ward. But be careful with the color you choose since all auras of that color attached to that creature will fall off.

Gauntlets of Light

Gauntlets of Light is the only aura that doesn’t do much at first glance, but it’s the one responsible for giving you infinite mana.

Token Makers

Archon of Sun’s Grace, Hallowed Haunting, and Sigil of the Empty Throne all trigger whenever another enchantment is cast or enters the battlefield. The Archon creates 2/2 lifelinkers and the Sigil makes 4/4 angels for the cost of one more mana, but the Haunting is the real deal. It can create creatures that escalate in power the more tokens you manage to make.

These three combined are powerful enough to make your opponents think twice before attacking you because it won’t be easy, and these cards are essential for protecting your life and representing a win condition.

The Mana Base

The mana base is definitely the most expensive part of the deck, so I decided to go with only shock lands and not include any fetch or dual lands.

Shatterskull Smashing is here for the extra removal, Emeria’s Call creates a couple angels in a pinch, Sejiri Shelter is good for protection at instant speed, and Bala Ged Recovery is here for recursion.

The deck also runs the original Kamigawa utility lands: Okina, Temple to the Grandfathers and Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep. These are both relevant for combat.

You also have some hideaway lands in the form of Spinerock Knoll and Mosswort Bridge, since they’re straightforward to activate given the premise of the deck.

As far as the rest of the mana base goes, it’s just a mix of cheap lands that add your commander’s colors plus EDH-staple utility lands like Reliquary Tower and Temple of the False God.

There are also others that are relevant in combat in the form of Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion and Contested Cliffs.

The Strategy

You can approach the deck in two ways depending on how the board develops.

The first option is to be as aggressive as you can and suit up a creature to be the mightiest of all, then try to kill an opponent without even needing your commander. While this may be good, it can make you the whole table’s target in the blink of an eye. Even if you succeed in killing one of the other players, chances are you’ll be killed by the rest of the table next turn since your only creature is probably turned sideways.

That’s why I recommend the second option: ramping and establishing board presence by casting enchantments. You’ll also usually create a big guy that acts as a safe keeper so others don’t attack you. You’ll also want to attach auras to multiple creatures so that you don’t get blown out by a single removal spell. Also avoid casting your game-winning auras like Ethereal Armor or Ancestral Mask too early, saving them for last or until you want to deal the final blow.

You also rely on your token makers to develop further board presence and have a different way to protect yourself and finish the game. My advice is to try not to overload too much unless you have a protection spell, a way to bring back your enchantments from the graveyard, or you’re close to finishing the game.

Combos and Interactions

You can do some cute interactions with this deck, and hopefully you can use them in each of your play sessions. But remember that you should ask your playgroup if they’re okay with some of the interactions this may have.

Gauntlets of Light and Sanctum Weaver can provide infinite mana if you can produce more than three mana with the Sanctum. This is one of the interactions that could cause discomfort in your group, but it’s so easy to deal with that it generally shouldn’t be an issue. Still, it’s worth bringing it up.

Flickering Ward

Flickering Ward can draw you multiple cards if paired with any of your card draw engines. It also has the potential to draw your entire library if you manage to get infinite mana with the previous combo.

Faith's Reward

Cast your board wipe and return everything in the same turn with Faith’s Reward.

The best auras to tutor for are Shield of the Oversoul and Ancestral Mask if you’re planning to equip your commander, Snake Umbra, and any other evasion creature.

When tutoring for enchantments that aren’t auras, the best one to get first is Sterling Grove to protect your other enchantments, followed by Destiny Spinner so they don’t get countered.

Prioritize ramping first, casting your non-ramp enchantments later. This way you secure casting multiple spells at a turn with the potential to draw tons of cards.

Budget Options

Some of these cards, especially the older ones, may be a bit too expensive to invest in. Particularly if this is your only Voltron deck. So I’m going to go over some cheaper replacements that perform about the same for the deck.

Jukai Naturalist, the newest addition from Neon Dynasty, has the same role as Herald of the Pantheon except for the lifegain part. Heliod’s Pilgrim, Open the Armory, and Plea for Guidance are other options as far as tutors go, with the downside that they’re a bit pricier in terms of mana cost. Still, they do the job okay.

Boros Charm is an acceptable replacement for Faith’s Reward that has the same function. Brilliant Restoration is your “other” Retether effect that can be used as a replacement or just a second copy. Jungle Shrine and Naya Panorama are your budget versions of Jetmir’s Garden.

Speaking of fixing your mana, Temple of Triumph, Temple of Abandon, and Temple of Plenty are great for that, and they’re very cheap. Divine Reckoning and Single Combat are pseudo-wrath effects that can be useful in this deck since you’ll leave your most powerful creature against theirs, and you’ll hardly lose from there if the creature happens to be your commander.

Some card draw cards like Argothian Enchantress can be a bit pricey, and Siona, Captain of the Pyleas is an acceptable replacement for those.

Commanding Conclusion

Bloom Tender - Illustration by Chippy

Bloom Tender | Illustration by Chippy

This deck can’t go much out of its rails since it’s pretty simple. You attach multiple things to either your commander or another creature and proceed to win, just like Voltron did on the Cartoon Network! You can change your numbers and run a more aggressive approach by slamming more auras into the deck, but having a backdoor on the go-wide token plan is very good at a Commander table.

What do you think? Are there any suggestions of cards you’d run instead? Do you want to see other Voltron decks in the future? Let me know in the comments or over in the Draftsim Discord.

As always, it’s been a pleasure, and I’ll see you in the next one. Take care, everyone!

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