Commander Exercise 60 – Nine-Fingers Keene

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

A new Commander Legends set is out and this time it is focused on Baldur’s Gate setting, bringing many new Commanders from the amazing series of videogame and the Forgotten Realm setting.

After the ban of Golos, I think that commander players were starving for another good commander for a Maze’s End deck! Battle for Baldur’s Gate finally gave us Nine-Fingers Keen! So let’s build a gate deck with her!

Let’s start with a fun fact about Keene… that is probably a big pun of the designers of the set.
Gates got famous and were something exclusive of Ravnica’s sets until the release of Baldur’s Gate. If you take a look at Keene’s background, wondering why she might have an ability linked to Gates like that, we find out she was the leader of the Guild, a criminal organization operating in Baldur’s Gate; she was so called the Guildmaster.
I’m 100% convinced that Keene cards were born only as a big pun between the name of her criminal organization and the Guilds of Ravnica.

Back to the deck! Our main win condition will be to assemble a Maze’s End win thanks to all the tutors for lands we are going to run. However Keene can also be really difficult to deal with thanks to that Ward, so going for a secondary Voltron plan can also be a good idea; especially because her ability will trigger when dealing combat damage to our opponent and so having her ready to fight will be always nice.

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

Ramp
Our ramp package becomes extremely important in the deck as it is what is going to accelerate our win even more than in other decks. We run the regular mana rocks, to be able to drop our Commander and cast our bigger spell sooner, and spells that will get us some non-basic lands.
Pir’s Whim will also double up as a removal, while Reshape the Earth will put us in the position of winning the game via Maze’s End.

Card Advantage
Our Card advantage will mostly have a link to our lands sub-theme, like Growth Spiral or Tatyova. The other way is by recovering cards from our graveyard, like with Ramunap Excavator, that will save us if some of our opponents are onto land destruction.
Gateway Sneak is a cool way to draw some more, supported by our main theme.

Tutors
The tutors are all cards that will let us search for our Gate and Maze’s End… but they won’t let us play them as an effect of the card. A good way to get all the gates we need as soon as possible and go for a quick win.

Interactions
These are all staple Removals and Counterspells and we get to play some of the best ones thanks to the fact of being in Sultai colors.
Broken Bond is an amazing card in this deck as we will get to accelerate our plan even more while removing one of our opponent’s pieces.

Voltron
The Voltron cards are divided in three different roles: we have cards to simply power up our Commander (Blackblade and Glaive), make her unblockable with Way of the Thief and cards to give her Double Strike (Fireshrieker and Grappling Hook). Double Strike becomes pretty cool to have as it will let us trigger Keene’s ability two times!

Other
Abundance become a really good way to look for our lands and have like a 100% possibility to get the next one.
Gatebreaker Ram gives us a powerful beater that can support our Commander and protect us from attacks.
Usually we are safe by relying on lands… but some player still like to bring massive land destruction to the table and so having Heroic Intervention in the deck to protect our Gates is still really nice.
Replication Technique is basically 5 mana to get two more Gates and possibly make a friend.
Strionic Resonator is another way to double Keene’s ability and can really help us digging for more gates.

Lands
Our mana base is mostly composed by Gates, lands to produce colored mana and Maze’s End.
As utility lands we run both Vesuva and Thespian’s Stage to copy a Gate; and Tolaria West that we can use to tutor for Maze’s End or for the land we need.

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.

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