Commander Exercise 65 – Gimme those free big spells!

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

This time I got asked by mathmelody on Instagram to build a deck with Jeleva, Nephalia’s Scourge as Commander.

This commander does two things: let us play some of our spells and some of our opponents and let us do it for free. For this deck I decided to focus a bit more on ours and I set it to try to win the game by casting some pricey powerful spells for free and synergizing with them.
If in the meantime we are able to fish some of our opponents’ powerful instant or sorcery, that’s only more value!

The main plan of the deck is to simply play Jeleva, get to exile some spells with her, attack until we are able to play all the one we want. After that we get Jeleva back to our hand and replay her, restarting the cycle.
The deck aims to win but the direct value we get from casting these spells for free.

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

Ramp
The ramp part is pretty straightforward: mana rocks and creatures that will discount our spells.
We don’t play many counters, but Baral is really good for the discount it gives to our spells, even better if sometimes it lets us draw.

Back to Hand
Flickering Jeleva doesn’t work as she will not count as casted and so she will not exile cards. The solution to continuously exile more spells is to re-cast and so we are going to have her bounce back to our hand thanks to these cards.
Words of Wind is the more tricky to use as we will need to renounce a card draw to use it, but it is still awesome because it will also make our opponents bounce something back to their hands.

Haste Enablers
Having to cast Jeleva and wait one turn before she is able to swing to cast one of the spells for free is bad, as it will give our opponents plenty more opportunities to deal with her. To let her swing immediately we are going to run these haste enablers.
Anger is the more tricky as we need to have it in the graveyard but we can avoid the problem by simply tutoring for it with Unmarked Grave and put it directly in it.
You may have noticed that we run Swiftfoot Boots but not Lightning Greaves; that because the Shroud from the greaves can hinder our ability to return Jeleva back to our hand and, despite the equip costa being 0, sometimes we won’t have another creature to pass them to.

Double Jeleva
Another way we have to get more Jeleva triggers is by duplicating them with the abilities of Strionic Resonator or Harmonic Prodigy.
The other way is to have another Jeleva on the field by copying the original one with Sakashima of a Thousand Faces or the Impostor one. The Impostor is also really nice as it can bounce back to our hand on its own!

The Spells
These are the big spells that we are going to use to gain some great advantage over our opponents. The majority of them are to gain extra turns or to steal our opponents’ cards.
Skull Storm could really become a bomb if our opponents like to constantly remove our Commander and could put them as such a low life that even Jeleva with her small power could knock them out in few turns.

Card Advantage
The card advantage from this deck comes from the pure card draw, given from the spells we are going to cast, or by some interactions with our big spells, like copying them with Arcane Bombardment or recasting them from the graveyard with Mizzix’s Mastery.
If our Commander isn’t available, Galvanoth will still help us cast our big spells without having to pay their real cost.
Tasha is a great addition to the deck as it fit really well our general plan, giving us some board presence when we cast spells from exile with our Commander and at the same time give us the possibility to cast others from the ones we are going to find in our opponents’ graveyards.

Interactions
Some of our interactions surely will be unusual as they end up costing a ton but thanks to Jeleva we will be able to cast them quite easily. Most of our wrath effects are one sided, like In Garruk’s Wake and so we will be able to preserve Jeleva into play.
Having the color blue we could run a lot of different counters but we will avoid them because they turn into “dead draws” if exiled with our Commander, as they will be completely useless when Jeleva would let us cast them for free.

Lands
In our lands’ slots we will also run some utility lands that will cover the job of other cards we already have in the deck; like Haste enablers (Flamekin Village) or to get Jeleva back into our hand (Riptide Laboratory and Sanctum of Eternity).
Rogue’s Passage will let Jeleva attack freely without having to worry about getting her blocked and killed. Still, if our opponents manage to destroy her too many times, we will have Command Beacon to recast her one more time at an affordable price.

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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