Commander Exercise 42 – Tovolar, Dire Overlord

Welcome back to Commander Exercise, the series where I build EDH decks for fun and to improve my deck building skills.

As always with the release of a new set, I like to dedicate one of the Commander Exercise to a legendary of the new set.
One of the focuses of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt is Werewolf and the set finally gave one a new Commander for this tribe: Tovolar, Dire Overlord.
I always got my interest in building a Werewolf deck but I always felt limited by the way they transform and so I never tried to build an Ulrich of the Krallenhorde deck; but Tovolar is able to overcome this by forcing the Night!

Tovolar is a great source of card advantage thanks to its first ability but it’s the second one of his human form that makes it an amazing Commander for this tribe: it will force the night and then transform any number of Human Werewolves we control. The fact that it can force a transformation, makes it compatible with the older Werewolves that don’t have the Daybound mechanic while, at the same time it doesn’t work with some of them. In fact, Tovolar specifies that it will transform only Human Werewolves and so the Horror ones from Eldritch Moon won’t be able to be flipped.
Instead, when transformed, Tovolar has an activated ability that will act as a Kessing Wolf Run, but only for Wolves and Werewolves.

The deck is a battlecruiser one focused on tribal synergies. It comes for around 250$ and you can find the full decklist by clicking here.

As always we have a mix of staple rocks and spells that don’t need any explanations, plus some way of ramping specific for this deck.
Scorned Villager and Ulvenwald Captive are simply two werewolf mana dorks; however pay attention to the fact that the Captive is a Horror Werewolf and so you won’t be able to transform it with Tolovar… but at the same time is not too bad to leave it there as a simple mana dork.
The Celestus is a rock directly from the new set that will have many different roles in the deck: it obviously will give us mana but it will also help us set the night when we need it, while also giving us some life and letting us draw by then pitching a card.

Wolves and Werewolves
These are our generic Wolves and Werewolves creatures plus some cards related to them.
Arlinn Kord can be used to create more Wolves and his Emblem lets us play more defensively and use our creatures to hit our opponents directly without going through the combat phase.
Cult of the Waxing Moon is another card that will give us more wolves and it will do it each time one of our creatures flip into a pure Werewolf.
Pyreheart Wolf will give Menace to all our creatures each time it attacks, making it a lot more difficult for our opponents to deal with our attacks.

Surprisingly, Werewolves have a really high amount of lord creatures that will pump up our entire army.
A lot of them, like Howlpack Resurgence, will give Trample to our creatures, letting us not be continuously chump blocked by small tokens.
Rhythm of the Wild is not directly a Werewolves lord but it will give our creatures both uncounterability and Riot.

Card Advantage
Various of our creatures will let us produce some type of card advantage that, combined with Tovolar’s ability will ensure us a pretty steady income of cards.
Return of the Wildspeaker is something we will want to use only when our army is transformed as we need as many non-human as possible to get advantage from it.
Icon of Ancestry is another card that will pump our Werewolves while also giving us the possibility to get them in hand from the top of our deck.
Kindred Summons is a really powerful spell that could possibly drop a lot of Werewolves on the field.

Our removal package is a mix of classic removals of these colors, fight spells and werewolves.
Here we also have the previous Werewolf Commander: Ulrich of the Krallenhorde; Ulrich will give a huge boost to one of our creatures when he enters the battlefield or when he reverts back into human form, while it will fight another creature when he turns into a Werewolf.

A way to protect our board is always welcome in these types of decks and so we run the evergreen Heroic Intervention. Moonmist will protect our creature in combat while still letting us deal the damage and transforming most of our Werewolves.
Ulrich’s Kindred instead will give us Indestructible to only one of our creatures.

With how Day/Night and the old Werewolves works, it is better for us to be able to play in other player turns rather than in our and so we run a few cards that let us do it.
Vedalken Orrery is another card that can help us do it but it wasn’t included for budget purposes… if you happen to have one feel free to sleeve it in!

If our Werewolves are already some creatures that don’t have to be underestimated, Berserkers’ Onslaught will make them fearsome by giving Double Strike to all of them when attacking!
Domri, Anarch of Bolas is able to help in a lot of ways: it will give a constant bonus to our creatures while we can use his ability to ramp and make our creature spell uncounterable or we can use it as a fight spell.
Gruul Charm is another spell that can help us in many occasions: in certain occasion it will make our creatures virtually unblockable or give us back our stolen creatures; Flying creatures are really hard to deal with as a Werewolf deck and so having a card that can hit lots of their creatures and wrath a board full of flyer is really nice.
As I told before, giving Trample to our creatures is really nice and if we also can give them a boost to close the game, even better! Overwhelming Stampede is the spell we are going to use to dish out a really huge amount of damage and try to close the game… or at least eliminate a problematic player.

Regular Gruul mana base with Path of Ancestry to take even more advantage from the tribal theme.
As utility lands we also run Kessig Wolf Run that can act as a substitute for our Commander’s ability if we happen to not have it available.

I hope you enjoyed this post. 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s