Budget Commander - Trelasarra, Moon Dancer

Magic: the Gathering

Multiplayer

Budget Commander - Trelasarra, Moon Dancer

Trelasarra, Moon Dancer is a commander with great potential to dictate the pace of the game, establishing pressure on the opponents from the beginning of the game.

By Eduardo, 07/28/21, translated by Romeu, with help from our readers

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Introduction

"Trelasarra, Moon Dancer" is a straightforward deck that aims to harness the proactive potential of Trelasarra, Moon Dancer to set the pace of the game by advancing fiercely against opponents and generating pressure from the beginning of the game. The list also features a lot of interaction with counters using this feature to impose board presence, while granting evasion and protection for your augmented creatures. Eventually, the deck uses lifegain as an alternative way to add counters with the commander. The use of

Soul Sisters

(Essence WardenSoul Warden and Souls' Attendant) tends to complicate the game for your opponents, as every elf or mana dork means a potential increment for our commander, while explosive turns with Overrun or Return of the Wildspeaker can easily end the game.

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The Sword Dancer - Analyzing the Commander

"

With Eilistraee  we learn that we are not prisoners of the circumstances we were born into. It is possible to find beauty and light if we have the courage to search for them.

" Trelasarra Zuind is a priestess of

Eilistraee

, the deity of moonlight and mercy, and informal leader of the newly restored

Promenade of the Dark Maiden

, where she is at the head of a group of other drow who reject the worship of evil goddess Lolth, Spider Queen, guiding them in both religious practice and military discipline. More details about Trelasarra and the restoration of the temples of the goddess of light can be found in

Death Masks

, a book by Ed Greenwood, on the author's Twitter or on the Wizards of Coast's website. In the Dungeons & Dragons Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set Trelasarra, Moon Dancer has kept its RPG game characteristics as an elf cleric and its stats guarantee that we will commonly start with her power and toughness equal to 3 or 4 consistently, thanks to its triggered ability. In addition to a considerable tempo advantage thanks to the card selection granted by scrying (you can look at the top card of your library and decide if you want it to be on top or on the bottom).
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The Omen - The Game Plan

This deck is simple to play. Your goal is to create a board presence through the number of creatures and focus on combat. Gradually amplifying creatures' power and life advantage until it reaches a critical moment. Explosive turns are also possible by surprising our opponents with Return of the Wildspeaker, Overrun or with the interaction between Tragic Arrogance and Death's Presence.
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The Magic Circle - Manabase

Our game plan is based on a proactive opening, as we want to start the game with the

Soul Sisters

or a creature that generates mana for turn 2 to bring a lifegain source and the commander into play. For that, we have several options in the one-drop spots to develop the game right from the start. A highlight is  Hamza, Guardian of Arashin, which reduces the cost of all creatures by 1 for each other creature with a +1/+1 counter you control, greatly speeding up the game. We have several green ramp options, we selected some creatures that put lands into play, Farhaven Elf, Fertilid, Rishkar, Peema Renegade, the latter for their interaction with counters to create tons of value. Lands that add counters are also important in early turns and to speed up interactions between the creatures in the deck.
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We also have the mana dorks Avacyn's PilgrimElvish MysticFyndhorn ElvesLlanowar Elves and some rocks that correct the curve, such as Prismatic Lens and Selesnya Signet. To maximize the mana production Wilderness Reclamation allows us to use our resources without worrying about not having enough mana to interact with other players.
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The green spells are always quite effective, so we look for those that are synergistic with our strategy. Map the Wastes ramps up a land and puts a counter on our creature with the lowest power. Scale the Heights is a multi-purpose spell as it makes you gain life, allows you to play an extra land this turn, and gives +1/+1 counters. Vastwood Surge, in addition to putting two basic lands from the deck into play, also puts +1/+1 counters on all creatures

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Spiritual Weapon - Counters

Our main threat is the use of counters to grant evasion to our creatures. Tuskguard Captain, Pridemalkin, Gnarlid Colony, Duskshell Crawler, and Crowned Ceratok all grants

Trample

, allowing them to overwhelm your opponents' defenses. Abzan Falconer grants

Flying

, allowing you to evade stronger creatures and dangerous threats.
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Thus, we have creatures that distribute counters. Arcus Acolyte grants

Outlast

(

when the Outlast ability resolves, put a +1/+1 counter on the creature

) to all creatures without +1/+1 counters. Good-Fortune Unicorn, Ivy Lane Denizen, and Renata, Called to the Hunt put counters on each creature that comes into play. ​Collective Effort, Ajani's Presence, Lifecrafter's Gift, Pledge of Unity, and Unbreakable Formation spells grant counters to all creatures in addition to their effects that will be seen in their respective categories.
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Some creatures add counters when they enter the battlefield. These include Duskshell Crawler and Pridemalkin which also grants trample to all creatures with counters, Oran-Rief Ooze of which, when attacking creates another +1/+1 counter to each attacking creatures with counters, Rishkar, Peema Renegade which makes every creature with +1/+1 counters on it a source of mana. We have the Conclave Mentor and Mowu, Loyal Companion as amplifiers, which grants an extra counter every time a creature gets a +1/+1 counter. Oran-Rief Ooze puts counters on attacking creatures, and Slurrk, All-Ingesting grants each creature with +1/+1 counters an additional counter whenever a creature dies. Citadel Siege is a modal enchantment where the

Khans

mode is the most interesting, as it adds two counters every turn for a creature. And lastly, the Death's Presence enchantment that grants a creature a number of counters equal to the number of counters another creature had when it died.
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Wound Healing - Lifegain

Trelasarra, Moon Dancer and Ajani's Pridemate share the ability to grow stronger each time we gain life, so gaining life is also a way to create threats with our commander. Arcus Acolyte and Conclave Mentor can give you life sometimes, but it's with Abzan Battle Priest that we'll gain life on several occasions and in large quantities, as its static ability grants lifelink to all creatures with counters on it.
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The Soul Sisters,  Essence Warden, Soul's Attendant, and Soul Warden, are clerics who whenever another creature enters the battlefield you gain 1 life. Our commander interacts very consistently with them, receiving an average of 4 counters per round, which in a short time makes her perceived as a huge threat. Ajani's Welcome is an enchantment that works similarly.

Sign of Hope - Draw and Recursion

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Keeping the gas running during games is always important, so Lifecrafter's Bestiary allows us to draw cards whenever we cast a creature, in addition to selecting our draws with scry. Abzan Beastmaster guarantees an extra draw on every upkeep of which you control the creature with the highest toughness. Masked Admirers guarantees a recurring card draw.
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Sandstone Oracle makes us draw cards until we have the same number as the player with the most cards in his hand, being able to draw 7 or more cards. Armorcraft Judge and Inspiring Call draw cards based on the number of creatures with counters on the battlefield, allowing some explosive turns. Return of the Wildspeaker and Hunter's Insight draw cards when played on our most powerful creature, in this deck, it usually occurs with our commander who gets huge easily, that means plenty of cards. Creeping Renaissance and Return to the Ranks are powerful recursions that return a large number of permanents to your hand, quickly restoring the game after a sweeper resolves.
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Speeding up some plays can be decisive, in addition to the card selection through scrying, we have Fierce Empath to search for answers with Terastodon, board presence with Slurrk, All-Ingesting or even combo lines with Hamza, Guardian of Arashin. Crop Rotation tutors a land and puts it into play untapped, Gavony Township is the option to generate counters, Rogue's Passage adds evasion, and Emergence Zone grants flash until end of turn for all of your spells.

Death Ward - Interactions

Considering that Commander is an unpredictable format, it's crucial to have versatility on the cards. To deal with the opponents' creatures we will use our creatures with spells which allow them to fight the targets, being  Ancient Animus and Inscription of Abundance the cards in this category. Collective Effort punctually removes opponent's creatures or enchantments and can activate multiple modes similar to  Inscription of Abundance. Also, for dealing with creatures, we have Selesnya Charm, another modal spell. Kenrith's Transformation is an interesting card as it removes all abilities from a creature, making it a dead weight on the opponent's board.
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Terastodon is also a real threat to the opponents, removing up to three non-creature permanents,  while Reclamation Sage performs a one-time removal for artifacts or enchantments. For that, we also have Collective Effort and Inscription of Abundance in their respective modes. Protecting our field is vital, as aggressive decks are dependent on creatures. Inspiring Call, Make a Stand and Unbreakable Formation, in addition to increasing our creatures' power, grant indestructible, Song of Freyalise has this same feature in its effects, however it is used in a more offensive way.

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Thinking about the possibility of critical moments, I suggest Tragic Arrogance, as a sweeper. It will destroy a large part of every player's board, however, only the permanents of your choice will be kept. In this way, it is possible to remove the opponents' indestructible permanents, or other threatening cards, but keep our commander in play.

Destructive Wave - The Finishers

Following the combo lines, we can gain life infinite times with the interaction between the Soul Sisters and Ancestral Statue plus Hamza, Guardian of Arashin, thus making our commander's power and toughness infinite, this combo can be performed at instant speed thanks to Emergence Zone. Trelasarra, Moon Dancer with some kind of evasion, is our greatest asset. The deck has immense potential on the growth of your creatures as counters are put into them, and Overrun or Return of the Wildspeaker can easily make any number of small creatures a threat, especially when we can protect our creatures from an eminent response while reducing opponents' life total quickly.

Conclusion

That's all for today. If you have any question, feel free to leave it 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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