Commander Deck Tech: Edgar Markov

Magic: the Gathering

Deck tech

Commander Deck Tech: Edgar Markov

11/19/22 Comment regular icon0 comments

This article talks about Edgar Markov: one of the best commanders for those who want to play with an extremely aggressive Vampires deck.

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The Commander - Edgar Markov

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Edgar Markov is the first vampire of Innistrad, grandfather of our dear Sorin Markov, also responsible for the existence of the species on the plane. For that reason, he was one of the most respected and important entities on Innistrad. His card represents his peak. I was particularly pleased with the mix of flavor and power in the card. Despite the high cost, he is extremely useful directly from the command zone, giving a lot of flexibility to the deck and serving as a finisher, since he enters with haste and in combat distributes +1/+1 counters among all vampires you control.

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Decklist and Strategy

The flexibility I mentioned earlier comes from the fact that you don't have to over commit to the board, as you can generate a lot of volume with few cards. Four vampires you played, as a rule, means eight bodies on the battlefield, generating a lot of value and allowing you to attack without wasting cards in your hand.
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This possibility is essential, as it is very common for aggressive decks to play all cards in their hand and be unable to recover after a sweeper. If you play smart, it's possible to have stability worthy of midrange decks, while attacking offensively. And if you know that your group isn't playing too many sweepers, you can choose to be greedy and play as many creatures as possible, managing to take out one or two players in the first turns, without the need to play Edgar Markov. With that in mind, I tried to keep the list with a good balance of card advantage, ramp, removals, and threats.

Deck's Packages

Card Advantage

Well, some Staples will be used, but the focus is to have synergy with the tribe and the commander, so I preferred Card Advantage (abbreviated to CA) generated through vampires. Remember that CA is not just a direct draw, having direct access to a card that is not in your hand also gives you an advantage. So, the first mention I make is Florian, Voldaren Scion. It allows you to look at some cards in your deck and play them, post-combat, and it also has a good base to help with aggression. It is important to always remember to leave mana available for post-combat. Other creatures in the tribe that are excellent for generating Card Advantage are: Champion of Dusk, Twilight Prophet, and Welcoming Vampire. All of them naturally rewards you for what you're doing while offering good bodies on the board.
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As for noncreatures, but in the tribal theme, we have: Herald's Horn, Icon of Ancestry, Idol of Oblivion and Pact of the Serpent. The first, in addition to giving you a draw every time the top is a vampire, also serves as a ramp. The second increases the power of all your vampires, in addition to looking for creatures at the top of your deck, it ends up being included for the dual function. The last one is the card that probably generates you the most CA, just be careful not to be too greedy and wait too long. If you draw 4 cards for 3 mana, you are already advantaged, three vampires on the field are enough to use it. Since you generate plenty of tokens, running Village Rites, Skullclamp and Deadly Dispute is practically a must.
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Finally, the generic color package: Painful Truths, Night’s Whisper and Read The Bones. I added the Sorin, Grim Nemesis, for flavor reasons. At the end of the list, some cards that generate CA indirectly ended up making it, but I believe they are too inconsistent to count them and are on the list for being a vampire with reasonable mana cost.

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Ramp

By ramp, I mean anything that lets you play cards early, so Herald's Horn and Bontu's Monument I count as ramp. Other than that, we have the traditional mana rocks, as Mardu isn't good with ramp. Sol Ring, Arcane Signet, the 3 Talisman and the 3 Signets entered the list. Deadly Dispute generates a treasure that can speed up the game a bit, although I think with the power level we're playing it's not enough to be considered a ramp. Anyway, another interesting card that more or less counts as a ramp is Scion of Opulence, but since it doesn't interact with your tokens and isn't something guaranteed like mana rock, I didn't count it as a ramp, but it will certainly help to speed up your game in some matches.
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Removals

Here things end up getting a bit dull. I've tried to find interesting vampires that also serve as spot removals, but there aren't many. We have Captivating Vampire that serves as a lord and eventually takes the opponent's creature, it's not exactly a removal, but the creature leaves the opponent's battlefield. There's also Patron of the Vein, but 6 mana to deal with a creature isn't worth it, not even with the extra effect of distributing counters. So let's go with the traditional package.
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Swords to Plowshares, Despark, Rakdos Charm, Anguished Unmaking, Terminate. I focus on low-cost removals, as we usually want to play a creature alongside it. Despark and Anguished Unmaking deal any type of permanent and Rakdos Charm plus destroying artifact exiles a graveyard. Some interesting options I left out but could go in easily: Fracture, Bedevil, Feed the Swarm, Path To Exile.

Sweepers

This time we want few, since it's probably our field that will be the threat, but enough to find the cards when things go south.
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All of our sweepers are flexible. Damn can be a targeted removal when needed, Austere Command and Merciless Eviction allow you to choose what you want to take away, often saving your field.

Major Threats

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The deck tries to win by attacking with multiple creatures at once, so most of the main threats are cards that benefit from this. Olivia, Crimson Bride doesn't mind our go wide plan, but it's excellent for bringing back some useful vampire.

Recursion

Here we have the cards to reuse what has already been used. In addition to the aforementioned Olivia, Crimson Bride, we have Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord and Bloodline Necromancer. On a table with more interactions and where you feel like you're losing many permanents, Sun Titan is an excellent option, in addition to Whip of Erebos.

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Other Interactions

Here are some cards that will let you better deal with what the opponent is doing: Unbreakable Formation, Boros Charm, Immersturm Predator, Blood Seeker and Bojuka Bog. My focus here was on protecting my creatures and dealing with someone else's graveyard, but it's a flexible part of the deck, although I see no reason to take Bojuka out of the list.
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Non-Budget version

The first thing to consider is that Edgar alone, here in Brazil, is costing around US$70.00. With that in mind, it's clear that you can't make a really cheap list, as the commander is extremely popular, and some key cards have a relatively high value. That said, I came up with a list that I would use in my playgroup if I didn't have financial concerns. It wasn't thought of in cEDH, so synergies and combos that allow you to win early in the game were ignored, even though it added some more expensive ramps. I left Old Dual out and didn't run all possible fetch lands, but it's more of a personal matter, don't hesitate to use it if you have the cards or the money to purchase them.
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Conclusion

One of Commander's strong points is the pool gigantic available in addition to the possibility of playing cards of your choice. No doubt some other cards could have been mentioned or chosen for the decklist. While reviewing the article, I was able to think of several that could make it or one or two possible adaptations to make on the list. And ideally, you should do the same. The intention is not to be a list for you to copy and think it's something definitive, but to give you an idea of ​​how to approach the commander. Therefore, during the deckbuilding, I went through several points that you have to worry about, such as the amount of sweepers, something that people tend to ignore in more aggressive lists. Until next time!
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Gabriel Almeida

Advogado que gasta mais tempo com MTG do que deveria. Começou a jogar em 2013 e passou por praticamente todos os formatos possiveis. Hoje joga muito Explorer e EDH.

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