Magic: the Gathering

Alex Wennerberg

I've been playing Magic: the Gathering off and on since I was 12 years old. It's probably my favorite game.

My favorite experience playing Magic was in 2012, where I got 6th place in the TCGPlayer Missouri State Championship tournament with a bizarre homebrew Epic Experiment combo deck: decklist. I got an article in ChannelFireball written about it, but the deck ended up going nowhere competitively other than my showing.

Commander

My favorite formats are Draft and Elder Dragon Highlander / Commander. I haven't really played any other formats since the 2012 State Championship. I've made probably dozens of commander decks over the years, but a few years ago started working on a project to make small number of commander decks that I was really happy with. I decided to make five mono-color EDH decks, one for each color. My focus when designing these decks is not to make the most powerful deck, but one which acts as a sort of cohesive "whole" -- where each card fits with every other card in the deck, and where playing with it feels like you're playing with something that is well-crafted, with a lot of time put into it. I'm also not making competitive decks -- while the power level of several of these decks is relatively high, that's not my primary goal. I also avoid playing certain cards or certain strategies that I view as "unfun" or liable to get a lot of negative attention. Some of these decks also lack expensive cards that I don't have. I've ordered the decks based on how mature they are.

These decks are in plaintext format -- there are a number of tools online available to provide a nicer interface for viewing them and they should easily accept this format.

Kami of the Crescent Moon

One of my favorite-designed decks of all time is Owling Mine, due to how strange and unlike any other deck it is like. It was a deck so odd that it led to one of the "worst" cards ever printed -- One With Nothing -- getting played at Pro Tour Honolulu. While I can't quite replicate the deck in EDH, I can replicate much of its spirit (No pun intended). This deck is based around everyone drawing an absurd amount of cards. I exploit the fact that in any game that I play this deck, things are going to get a little Weird. I play a fair number of counterspells and as many free counterspells as I can. Mana is an extremely limited resource in Kami games, so my curve is low and I don't play many activated abilities that cost money. The board state changes frequently, so I try to play as many cards with an immediate effect on the game as possible. I haven't kept track, but this deck probably has the highest win-rate of any of my decks, because people love drawing cards and I'm usually never the biggest threat at the table.

Azusa, Lost but Seeking

This deck is possibly my favorite one. It's a sort of mono-green control deck. I play 66 lands, far more than most Azusa decks. My strategy is to get out as many lands as possible. Since most of my board position is my lands, I play nearly all the board wipe that I can get my hands on. My winning strategy is to either attack with a big creature or return Mindslaver each turn. If you don't count that, this deck has no infinite combos, but there are a ton of subtle interactions that I really enjoy. I also avoid the Wasteland / Strip Mine strategy that a lot of Azusa decks use, since I don't find it very fun. I play a lot of artifacts and artifact creatures to interact with Inventors' Fair, Eye of Ugin, Buried Ruin, and Sequestered Stash.

Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker

The only straight-up combo deck of the five and the only with infinite combos. I'm not a huge fan of infinite, game-ending combos, but for this deck, the only situation I get to that point is after I have an already strong board state, so ideally it doesn't feel out of nowhere or non-interactive. Unlike many Shirei decks, this one is artifact-based, and takes advantage of a number of artifact-based combos independent of the commander. The gameplan is similar to most artifact-engine based decks (which are usually blue), but takes advantage of interactions with Shirei. Fun to play, but can get extremely complex and can bore opponents with many-part artifact combos.

Lurrus of the Dream Den

A newer deck, and my only creature-based aggro deck. I struggled for a long time to build a mono white deck, and it was hard to find something that I found novel and interesting. Mono white substantially limits your design space, and despite attempting several builds, no white commander interested me. White lacks card draw, so mono white can just sort of run out of resources at some point. I found a solution outside of mono white, Lurrus, which gives me deck a resiliency and long game that mono white often lacks. Other than that, this deck follows the "hatebear" theme, attacking with creatures while disrupting the opponent and limiting their actions and resources. Using Lurrus as a commander both gives the hatebear theme a new spin, and allows me to play somewhat unconventional cards that become stronger because they recur. My curve also is much lower -- most of the deck has CMC 2 or less, so it can come out with a strong board position fast. While this is still a work in progress, I'm really enjoying playing with it, which surprises me, as I usually enjoy more combo / control oriented decks.

Squee, the Immortal (WIP)

Not built yet

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to email me at alex@alexwennerberg.com