Commander Exercise 26 – Birgi, God of Cantrips

Welcome back to Commander Exercise, the series where I build EDH decks for fun and to improve my deck building skills.
Raise fellow Vikings! ’cause Kaldheim is here!

Last week, Kaldheim’s cards reached our homes and so I’m sure that lots of you already started building some awesome new decks based on the new legendary creatures. I started brewing a new personal deck myself, but it won’t be the one I’m going to present you today.

The legendary I wanted to challenge myself to build around, as you have probably already get from the title, is Birgi, God of Storytelling.
She is also the God of Cantrips because we are going to try and use a continuous series of them to raise up our storm count and go for the win.

Birgi’s ability to give us a red mana each time we cast a spell is the engine of the deck, so the first thing we are going to do is to ramp up and be able to play her.
When Birgi hits the table, it’s time to start playing our cantrips, drawing in search for our combo pieces or raising the number of spells casted during the turn to drop a powerful storm spell.

The deck was built with a 250$ in mind and you can find the full decklist by clicking here.

Combo
Let’s start with our main way to win the game on the spot.
We are going to cast Heat Shimmer or Twinflame and, in response to the casting, we are going to play a Dualcaster Mage. The mage is going to copy our spell; the copy of the spells is going to make a copy of the Dualcaster Mage; the copy of the Dualcaster Mage is going to create another copy of the spell that, in turn, is going to create another copy of the Mage… and so on until we create an army of Dualcaster Mage able to take down the table. To drop the combo we imply have to target a different creature, like our Commander, with the spell.

Ramp
It’s important to have Birgi out as soon as possible so we are going to run lots of cheap mana rocks to have her down around turn 2. It’s possible to have her down on turn 1 even with this budget by going, land and Lotus Petal into Pyretic Ritual into Birgi. With the upgrades I’m going to propose later it becomes really easy to have Birgi down on turn 1.
Runaway Steam-Kin helps Birgi make another red mana every time we cast a red spell; the only downside is that it only interacts on red spells and you have to wait for it to have 3 counters to produce the mana.

Almost Rituals
These cards are a series of creatures that we can cast for free and Birgi will produce mana from them. The creature can be an optimal target for some of our cantrips spells.
Lava Dart can’t be casted for free from the hand but we can use it as a last boost by sacrificing a land to produce the extra mana by casting it from the graveyard.

Super Cantrips!
These cards are all cantrips that cost 1 or less and so with Birgi we can draw a card for free or, even better, produce 1 extra mana and also draw a card.
Arcum’s Astrolabe is really strong if played as your first cantrip of the turn because we can cast it with our snow lands… but risks getting stuck in our hand if we draw it later. Mishra’s Bauble is our lord of cantrips as we can net a positive mana while also drawing a card.

Normal Cantrips
These other cards are considered normal cantrips as they work as cantrips normally would as they don’t pay themselves with Birgi’s ability due to the higher mana cost or because we can’t draw a card with them immediately.

Interactions
Despite our plan doesn’t focus much on what’s happening on our opponents’ field, having ways to protect our cards from counterspells or hatebear is something we need.
Burnout, Fire Prophecy and Reroute are all great cards that will interact with our opponents while also progressing our plan of drawing our deck.
Grapeshot can also bring us to a win if we manage to get a storm count high enough to kill the other players (and also the art from Modern Master is really cool!).

Card Advantage
Sometimes our cantrips won’t be enough and so we also run these cards to help us continue in our gameplan.
Mizzix’s Mastery and Underworld Breach are ways to recycle cards in our graveyard or to recover one of our win conditions.
Isochron Scepter will help us conserve one of our cantrips and let us cast it each turn; Valakut Awakening can clean our hand from useless cards and lets us draw new ones while also acting as a land in a pinch.
Zada, Hedron Grinder is here to give use the possibility to draw lots of cards thanks to our cantrips that target creatures and the various 0 mana creatures we have.

Protection
The core of our deck is our Commander and so to keep going we have to keep her on the field; so we run both Graves and Boots to protect her. Graves could hinder us a bit if Birgi is the only creature on the field as they will prevent us from casting our cantrips on her… but we can always target our opponent’s creatures.

Other
With Empty the Warrens we have another win condition based on our storm count… and speaking about storm count, Grinning Ignus is a two cards combo with Birgi that will give us infinite storm count: we cast the Ignus and get the extra mana from Birgi and the we use the extra mana to get Ignus back in our hand while also getting the mana to recast it.

Lands
Snow-Covered Mountains to cast the Astrolabe and the others are all cards that will let us draw more in a pinch, being it by Cycling or by an ability.

Upgrades
Surely the deck will benefit a lot from cards like Mana Crypt and the moxes. A card that I personally dislike for my own motives but that will totally shine in this deck is Jeweled Lotus: it lets us cast Birgi on turn 1 while also it can net us a red mana if we play it when our Commander is already on the field.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Let me know how you would have built it differently, what you will have added and what not…
Also don’t forget to tell me what I should try to build next.

And you? What are you brewing from the new legendaries that came out with Kaldheim?

8 comments

  1. I checked out your decklist before reading and was going to ask about jeweled lotus, and then I saw you addressed that very issue 😀

    It seems that WotC has made the move to make Commander their flagship product now. I’m afraid of that, to be honest. While no longer actively playing, I’d like to see the game stay alive and healthy and I don’t see that happening without tournament style standard and either modern or whatever that other format they created was. 60card magic is the basis of magic. EDH is supposed to be a variant and with wotc focusing on the variant, I think the core game is really going to suffer 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s what brings them the most money… especially in this period where all the tournaments are suspended.

      I think I will be happy until Wizards starts recognizing the format and decides to manage the banlist

      Liked by 1 person

      • If wotc takes over the format, either by creating edh tournaments, or even by trying to manage the banlist, that’ll be the end of EDH as a format 😦

        Both those options seem like things that Hasbro will try to force them to do…

        Liked by 1 person

            • Same deckbuilding rules of Commander but is more competitive oriented and is 1vs1.
              There are various different types of it: the “official” one is Duel Commander that you can play on MTGO but there are also French Commander, Leviathan, Centurion (this is the one I play for 1vs1)…

              Liked by 1 person

                • Yeah is not for kitchen magic but more rules for the one that wants to do Commander tournaments… and trust me (I speak only about the Centurion banlist and way to play) it’s pretty fun!

                  Liked by 1 person

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