With Halloween around the corner, I thought it would be a great time to share with you my Halloween-themed Commander deck.
The idea for this deck was born during a “Tribal” FNM our store, The Sports Alley was hosting. I typically play something along the lines of Kithkin and wanted something different. With that in mind, I decided to try to build a Scarecrow deck. Sadly, I only had a couple.
I never played in that FNM. Instead, I was inspired to build a Scarecrow Commander deck which then led to a Halloween-themed Commander deck.
Reaper King’s Army
Reaper King – Commander
View the deck here
The idea behind this was to create a feel with the deck. I wanted to feel like they are being set upon by every horror imaginable. I wanted to compliment it with theme appropriate cards.
If you look at the deck you can see, I ignored functionality for theme. That being said, there were certain cards I had to have.
First, I needed All Hallow’s Eve. This card proved difficult to get and I thought I was doomed to build the deck without it. That was until Cody (of Going Behind the Screen) showed up one day with a copy. He and I had talked about the deck and he decided to help me finish it. Thanks, Cody!
Next, I needed to have The Headless Horseman. Why? Because he’s the Headless Horseman! Seriously, there was no other reason.
I also wanted Balthor, the Defiled. He seemed like a good choice to be a second in command to the Reaper King.
After that, I went for flavor. For this, I looked for cards that had either an appropriate title, effect, or picture.
Cards like Evil Presence, Terror, Army of the Damned, and Animate Dead seemed to fit the bill.
The creatures were easy. I had a legion of scarecrows, so I mixed in some zombies, skeletons, and spirits. Basically, if it was horror related, it went in the deck.
I also wanted to include a planeswalker. Sure, I could have taken the easy route and put Liliana in the deck, but that’s not what I wanted. I wanted a big, bad, Micheal-Meyer’s-type hunter that killed everyone. So, I chose the Apex Predator.
When it came to the lands, there wasn’t much to be had for flavor. Obviously I wanted to run a fetch or two, shock lands, and dual lands; however, there was one land I was certain I needed to use, Diamond Valley.
The artwork for this card screamed to me. Plus, with the ability to sacrifice a creature to gain life, I was convinced it needed to be in the deck.
So how does it play? Well, not too bad. Once the army gets rolling and all the triggers start going off, people aren’t too happy. Of the five times I have played it, I think it’s won twice. Typically, the other players in the group begin ganging up on me once the Reaper King comes into play. When it wins, it is glorius. Typically, it doesn’t win.
Here’s the thing, I didn’t build it to win. I built it to have fun and to invoke the Halloween theme. I think I have done that.
Have you built a theme Commander deck? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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Patrick Cossel is the publisher of the Forge Herald. He is a writer, gamer, father, husband, and level 1 Magic judge. Professionally he is the Operations Manager of a family-owned newspaper comapny. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2016, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.