Commander Exercise 79 – Milling for Voltron?

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 Underground Sea on Twitter to build a deck with Lazav, Dimir Mastermind as Commander.

In this deck we are going to mill but not as a primary wincon, but to enable a voltron strategy by letting our Commander copy the stats of the best creatures of our opponents.

The general strategy of the deck is to play our Commander as soon as possible and then mill the opponents which deck has a higher probability to have some powerful creatures. Mill them to have Lazav turn into their best creature and then set up to go for a Voltron win with the Dimir guildmaster.

The deck was built with a 200$ budget and you can click here to see the list.

The ramp compartment of the deck is composed of mana rocks but we are also supporting the Voltron plan with a nice Sword of the Animist.
Our Commander asks for all specific mana and so, if you don’t know if to keep or mull a hand, something to watch out for is if the ramp we have is able to give us the colored mana we need.

Milling into a new form
These cards are what we are going to use to mill our opponents’ decks and get Lazav to copy one of their best creatures. We can also use it as an alternative win condition as we can potentially mill our opponents a lot.
Speaking about alternative win cons, we also have a combo in the form of Duskmantle Guildmage and Mindcrank; with both of them on the field we will simply have to activate the first ability of the Guildmage and then mill or damage a player to activate a chain that will knock them out from the game, either with damage or mill. Having the possibility to win via Voltron, mill and combo makes the deck not too easy to shut down and will let us attack our opponents on many different fronts.
Grinning Totem is not a proper way to mill but we can use it to fully check the deck of an opponent and take the creature we want Lazav to turn into.

Lazav’s Armoury
This is the Voltron section where we have the equipments and the auras that will make our Commander stronger and give us a victory thanks to his damage.
Vorpal Sword is another alternative way to win games as we will simply have to activate its ability and hit our opponent to knock him out; sure… It has a high cost and so it is something we are going to use only in the late game.

Card Advantage & Card Draw
Here we will find both spells that will directly draw some cards but also aura and equipments that will let us get more cards, like some Curiosity effects.
With Lazav getting to copy creatures going into the graveyard from everywhere, Jace’s Archivist can help us both refill our hand and get our Commander to transform into something better.

For our interactions we are going to use the classic staples plus a plethora of counterspells that will also mill our opponents, like Thought Collapse.

With our Commander already having Hexproof, the protection spells are going to be a way to make him indestructible… or pseudo-indestructible like auras with Totem Armor.
Octopus Umbra is a nice aura with Totem Armor that will also give our Commander some powerful stats that will give us the possibility to focus more on the abilities of the creatures we are going to copy.

What’s better than copying the best creature of our opponents? Having multiple of them! Animate Dead will let us reanimate it, while Dimir Doppelganger will copy it while also taking it away from them.

Mostly lands to produce the colored mana we need to cast our spells plus some utility lands that will let us play our game a bit more easily.

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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