Hi, for fun Commander fans. Today I bring one of my favorite commanders:
This is the epitome of a "for fun" commander. A green bear druid who, every time it goes into the field or attacks, makes you return the target creature with no abilities from your graveyard to your hand. He also makes all your creatures with no abilities get +1/+1 and when they attack, you can assign their combat damage as if they hadn't been blocked.
So, get your green creatures that don't do anything and only tell stories in that shoebox and come with me!
Getting to Know the Deck
In this list of my own, I followed a strategy of putting the famous creatures which we call "Vanilla", a term we use for creatures which don't have rule text. The most famous vanilla creature we have is:
Grizzly Bears was the reference for a good creature for many years when Magic started. A 2/2 bear for two mana that at Alpha/Beta times was made to show how green had the best creatures, as in other colors the usual was for you to pay 3 mana for a 2/2, such as Scathe Zombies or Gray Ogre (we won't mention Savannah Lions because it is an exception, it was one of the most desired creatures for a long time at that time).
Of course that in my list I also added Grizzly Bears not only for its nostalgic factor, but I also put in three creatures very similar to it.
I couldn't leave out three more vanilla creatures which have power higher than their summon cost.
Gigantosaurus is a fantastic card: for 5 mana you have a 10/10! Leatherback Baloth and Kalonian Tusker are also very good for their cost benefit. They played in Modern's Stompy for a long time (at that time, you could still play with a few budget decks in this format).
You can put in your favorite vanilla cards because in this commander they've found their place. I gave preference to some creatures which, at the cost of a not so great defense, have a very high attack because our commander makes it possible for us to deal damage to our opponent as if your creatures weren't blocked.
But keep in mind, your creatures can still be blocked with our commander in play, the difference is that you can assign their combat damage as if they weren't blocked, so, the damage can hit our opponent, but the blocks will happen as usual.
We'll enhance our commander's ability of giving +1/+1 to our creatures with a few interesting cards.
Muraganda Petroglyphs is for sure an essential card when we think of building a commander with creatures with no abilities. This card matches our bear professor so much, that in his artwork he is drawing Muraganda Petroglyphs on the board.
We'll use some enchantment and artifacts with this same idea of enhancing our Ruxa.
In green, we don't have many issues drawing cards, so you can put your favorite green draws. I, personally, like to put around 10 draws in my commanders.
Harmonize represents green draw well, but I have a few suggestions for you that are in this list.
Though Toski and Beast Whisperer are creatures with abilities, they are two very good creatures to give us draws. Toski, besides being indestructible, will make us draw cards for each of our creatures which dealt combat damage, and that will be very easy, as our commander allows for assigning combat damage as if they weren't blocked.
Here we have a tough spot because in green we don't have good global removals as much as in other colors, except for this great card:
A fantastic global creature removals in green, and great against your friend who plays tokens.
In my list, I added a few examples of global removals that unfortunately don't remove creatures, but will do the job.
Protecting Our Creatures
Our weak spot, as any other deck based on creatures, is summoning our creatures and, when we're almost running out of cards, if we get hit with a global removal. So, we have a few cards that might protect us.
I like Vitalizing Wind because besides it protecting our creatures from damage-based removals, it can also serve as a win condition. Don't refrain from adding Heroic Intervention: this card isn't on my list because my only copy is in Galea, Kindler of Hope's commander.
Another way to build this commander is to do it based on tokens, and if you do that, it will strengthen it because, usually, it's best to have two 5/5 creatures than just one 10/10 creature on your board, for instance, keeping in mind that tokens are, usually, creatures without abilities.
Though in my list I followed the vanilla creatures strategy, I added some very interesting cards that create tokens.
Beacon of Creation is the strongest card here, as it makes one token for each forest you control, and with the enhancers that make our creatures grow by +1/+1, this card becomes something to fear on board. Rampaging Baloths is another example of a creature that has an ability in our deck, but the important part is that it creates a 4/4 creature every time we play a land (though our deck isn't a "landfall" deck, that is, decks based on playing lots of lands).
Budget Ruxa Tokens Version
As I said previously, building this commander as a token-based list makes Ruxa even stronger, so because of that, I also bring here a version with tokens and, best of all, it's also a budget version!
I have the most fun when I'm playing this deck and when I summon my vanilla creatures, I read their "flavor text" (that text that is just there to tell some story. Some cards had literary quotations in them in the first few years of Magic) to the table, mostly when someone asks, "What does this card do?"
How fun it is to attack someone with Grizzly Bears! Your opponent doesn't even get mad at you for attacking them with such an iconic creature.
Lately Wizards decreased a lot the amount of their vanilla creatures; the last ones were Spined Karok and Ageless Guardian, but with the release of Jasmine Boreal of the Seven with the idea of the "Legends Retold" from the Dominaria United set; it only makes me like more these creatures that don't do anything, just tell stories.
Do you, like me, also like vanilla creatures? Did you like this list? Tell me about it in the comment section, and until next time.