Budget Commander - Eleven & Will Spellslinger

Magic: the Gathering

Multiplayer

Budget Commander - Eleven & Will Spellslinger

In this article, we discuss a budget decklists based around Stranger Things' new Commanders: Eleven and Will, based on a Spellslinger build with some combo alternatives!

By Eduardo, 10/24/21, translated by Humberto, with help from our readers

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Secret Lair's Superdrops brought new mechanics and excellent commanders, among them Eleven, the Mage, with the devastating ability that emulates Omniscience if you have eleven cards in hand and Will the Wise, which has a subtle ability that can easily end the game. The deck proposal of Eleven, the Mage and Will the Wise is a

Spellslinger

based on Eleven, utilizing our commander's ability to play spells at no cost, seeking to end the game with spells like Crackle with Power or Jaya's Immolating Inferno. There is an alternative win line through combo using Will the Wise generating Infinite tokens or Infinite ETB.

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The Commanders - Eleven and Will

Eleven, the Mage Jane "El" Hopper, better known as Eleven, is one of the protagonists of the Stranger Things TV series. She developed great mental powers while incarcerated at

Hawkins National Laboratory

after being a guinea pig for experiments to amplify her innate psychokinetic abilities
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The Eleven, the Mage card has high power and toughness, evading most of the most common damage removals in the format. Its ability to expand the maximum number of cards in hand to eleven is relevant, allowing us to sculpt our strategy without the need for excessive discards. However, its cost substitution ability is brutal, allowing us to play huge spells without paying their costs as long as there are eleven or more cards in our hand. Will the Wise, William "Will" Byers, is one of the central characters in the plot of Stranger Things. Will was abducted by a creature known as

Demogorgon

and taken to

Upside Down

, a dimension parallel to the known world. Upon returning, he displayed psychic abilities and could see between the planes.
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Will the Wise triggers his ability both when entering or leaving the battlefield, which alleviates the fact that his power and toughness are fragile. It says the following:

When Will the Wise enters or leaves the battlefield, each opponent may investigate. Each opponent who doesnโ€™t loses 1 life. You investigate X times, where X is one plus the number of opponents who investigated this way.

This ability, if triggered multiple times, generates an interesting asymmetry, creating a relevant card advantage.
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The Deck's Strategy

โ€œShould I Stay Or Should I Go?โ€

- The Clash

Our deck has two distinct and complementary strategies centered on each of the commanders. Will the Wise is an excellent source of card advantage in the Command Zone, ensuring additional draws and keeping the game going, especially when we're speeding up the game to reach the eleventh card. Ghostly Flicker is a card that gives the nickname to a famous mechanic which consists of exiling a permanent and returning it to the battlefield under its owner's control. Will the Wise is extremely synergistic with this mechanic, maximizing the generated value. Release to the Wind and Ghostly Flicker along with duplicating mages like Dualcaster Mage and Naru Meha, Master Wizard tend to have infinite combos where we'll have infinite Investigate triggers, and dealing damage with their own ability or with Ral, Storm Conduit. We have a possible line using wizards and

Flicker

cards. By replacing Will the Wise with Venser, Shaper Savant we can return all desired permanents to the owner's hand. By including Azami, Lady of Scrolls or Archmage Emeritus we can draw an unlimited number of cards, winning with Laboratory Maniac.
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โ€œShe is our friend, and she's crazy!โ€

- Dustin Henderson

Eleven, the Mage can generate card advantage every time she attacks, however drawing many cards is necessary for its greatest advantage to be established. For this, we have a selection of cards that make draws that generate a positive balance, or that draws two or more cards. To increase our limit of cards in hand, we have a group of cards for this function; Wizard Class and Triskaidekaphile are highlighted for their versatility.

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Triskaidekaphile has an activated ability to draw cards and a triggered ability that wins the game if we have exactly thirteen cards in hand at the beginning of the upkeep. For both cases, the spell Necrology can serve as a finisher.
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Card Selection

Locating the right cards at precise times is always an advantage. Seeking to have this benefit, we selected cards in two categories: tutors and selection cards. Tutors look for specific cards in the deck and add them to their hand. Vedalken Aethermage and Step Through have the ability

Wizardcycling

, when recycled they add a wizard from the deck to your hand. Dark Petition fetches any card in the deck and adds three black mana. On the other hand, card selection like Creative Outburst look at a certain number of cards from the top and between them select some and add the hand. Another way to select cards is by selecting cards in the graveyard, so Past in Flames and Volcanic Vision have been added to the deck.
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Interaction

โ€œFriends don't lie.โ€

- Eleven

Some commanders have very transparent game plans, such as Eleven, the Mage, which attracts unwanted attention from other players. Consequently, for our game plan to develop, it is necessary to have interactions. Therefore, we chose to use spells with different uses: Reinterpret has a similar function to Mana Drain, while Insidious Will resembles the powerful Cryptic Command. Another way to counter spells is by replicating the counters with cards like Reiterate and Dualcaster Mage, which are very useful for this purpose. Nimble Obstructionist prevents effects activated or triggered abilities, and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir has a static effect that changes all opponents' spells to sorcery-speed Removals are important for dealing with dangerous permanents or

STAX

pieces, strategy based on disruption, taxes and resource constraints. Venser, Shaper Savant deals with both permanents and spells before they resolve, while the

Split card

Commit // Memory returns the threat to its owner's deck and, when played on

Aftermath

, allows you to shuffle all cards from your hand and graveyard into your deck. Other less subtle ways to deal with problems are through damage, and to do this Explosive Welcome hits multiple targets, and Volcanic Vision acts as a sweeper.
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Manafixers

The ability to play spells without paying mana costs on initial turns allows us to have a reduced number of accelerators in the form of permanents. Fast mana stones like Pentad Prism and curve correcting stones like Sphere of the Suns or spells like Strike It Rich form our choice along with Stonework Packbeast, in the function of mana filter. The use of rituals generates huge amounts of predominantly red mana, hence the importance of having a filter.

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To correct our mana curve, we have the budget fetchlands, Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds, in addition to the

Mirage

cycle and the

Alara Panoramas

, which plays well with the "dual" snow-lands of

Kaldheim

. However, our finishers need large amounts of mana to reach full effectiveness. We can highlight Mana Geyser and Rousing Refrain which generate plenty of mana and Apex of Power which, in addition to generating an expressive card advantage, guarantees ten mana of a chosen color.
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Wincondition

โ€œA friend is someone that you'd do anything for, and they never break a promise!โ€

- Mike Wheeler

Among the possible finishers for Eleven, the Mage are large spells like Crackle with Power and Jaya's Immolating Inferno dealing lethal damage. Blue Sun's Zenith can be used to force someone to draw all cards in their deck plus one. Sunbird's Invocation and Swarm Intelligence, in addition to acting as amplifiers, generate

storm count

, and to end the game with Storm, Tendrils of Agony was the chosen option. Our alternate win condition is up to Approach of the Second Sun that, if cast from our hand twice, wins the game.

Conclusion

โ€œWhy are you keeping this curiosity door locked?โ€

- Dustin Henderson

Eleven, the Mage is a commander with immense potential for those who enjoy big spells and memorable games. Lines like Enter the Infinite, Necropotence, Underworld Breach or Oracle-Consultation are expected choices in cEDH. For those looking for a more subtle and paced game and more complex combo lines, Will the Wise is a solid option that generates card advantage and interactions with artifacts, or aristocrats, especially when combined with the other commanders of the

Secret Lair x Stranger Things

. The possibilities expand to Farm lines, turbo-nauseam and other combo decks. Thanks for reading and good games! Any questions, I'm available in the comments!
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Eduardo

Visual Artist and Art Mediator, passionate about Magic since the launch of Mirage, alternative deck builder.

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