Commander Deck Tech: Halana and Alena

Magic: the Gathering

Commander

Commander Deck Tech: Halana and Alena

This Halana and Alena deck has an aggressive midrange strategy, growing its threats and the board quickly to win the game.

By Eduardo, 06/12/21, translated by Humberto - Comment regular icon0 comments

Versions:

Edit Article
Halana and Alena, Partners are the protectors of Ulvenwald, they hunt the horrors of the woods, so the people can live in safety. Our deck is an aggressive Midrange, using a progressive game, starting from the idea of growing the board exponentially advancing linearly to develop threats in the early turns. We prioritize building a deck with a limited budget; however, it can be customized according to each player's choices.

The Commander

โ€œHalana and I have a bond thatโ€™ll never be broken.โ€

- Alena, Kessig Trapper

Ad

Halana and Alena are protectors of Ulvenwald, the ancient forest of Innistrad, home to many of the most fearsome creatures, including werewolves, vampires and the possessed. They hunt the horrors of the forest so that the people can live without fear. Emrakul's arrival in Innistrad caused a series of increasingly bizarre and horrific events, cult activities and murders increased, and the people near the Ulvenwald forest began to turn into horrors. Alena defended travelers crossing the woods, guiding them to the town of Gatstaf, and together with her working and life partner Halana, investigated the activities of hidden cults and confronted them. The two hunters and their former enemies, the werewolves, battled Emrakul's mutated horde to help save the world. However, with the beginning of the eternal night, their battles against werewolves resumed. They are protagonists of Innistrad's tale, Under the Moon Silver and had their individual cards Halana, Kessig Ranger and Alena, Kessig Trapper represented for the first time in Commander Legends and now in Innistrad: Crimson Vow. More about the legends of Innistrad can be read on the Innistrad: Crimson Vow's page
Loading icon
Halana and Alena, Partners has a triggered ability that at the start of combat on our turn grants X counters to a target creature under our control, where X is the power of Halana and Alena. That creature gains haste until end of turn. This ability is strong, referring to Xenagos, God of Revels, however Halana and Alena have their strategy based on counters.
Loading icon

The Strategy

โ€œWorks every time.โ€

- Halana, Kessig ranger

Generate large amounts of mana consistently is one of the specialties of green, and red knows how to use all these resources very well. Our goal is to generate a significant amount of mana in the first turns to play our threats early in the game, putting pressure on our opponents every turn. By optimizing mana utilization, we achieved the ability to play creatures with a 6+ mana cost on third and fourth turns consistently. We could start with Llanowar Elves on turn one, Incubation Druid or Heronblade Elite on turn two, and the Commander right after. If we don't lose any land drop in the turn the Commander comes into play, we'll have 3 or 4 more mana available, which would allow us to advance even further. The next turn, we're supplied with enough mana to play any threat, but I suggest playing Great Oak Guardian and Temur Sabertooth as a priority.
Loading icon

Mana Sources

โ€œIโ€™ve never known dryads to suffer visitors in their woods. Beware the Ulvenwald when she welcomes you.โ€

- Alena, trapper of Kessig

Ad

Generating large amounts of mana is a fundamental part of our strategy. The use of small mana-generating utility creatures, the famous mana dorks, is the essence of our deck. Cards like Llanowar Elves and Arbor Elf are desirable openings, as our goal is mana optimization, that is, using all available mana every turn. Orcish Lumberjack is a strong acceleration, making it possible to play powerful creatures in the early turns. Tinder Wall works similarly to a ritual, generating two extra mana.
Loading icon
The use of other artifacts and enchantments complement our resource generation at the start of the game, so cards like Sol Ring, Wild Growth and Springleaf Drum have been added. Simian Spirit Guide is a source of extra mana, playing well at all times during the game. Chancellor of the Tangle can be revealed in the starting hand to add a green mana to be used in our first main phase.
Loading icon
For our two-drops we opted for creatures capable of generating larger amounts of mana under specific conditions. Ilysian Caryatid and Whisperer of the Wilds can generate extra mana if we have a creature with power 4 or greater in play. Leafkin Druid adds two mana when we have 4 or more creatures. Scorned Villager generates extra mana when transformed, and Gyre Sage generates mana equal to the number of +1/+1 counters on it and has

Evolve

. Wall of Roots and Devoted Druid use counters, but in a negative way, which we can correct with the counters provided by our commander, creating an important synergy. Goblin Anarchomancer is a cost reducer for both green and red spells.
Loading icon
At turn three, our most synergistic options are Marwyn, the Nurturer and Heronblade Elite which generate mana equal to their power and have triggered abilities that increase their power and toughness. Another similar creature is Viridian Joiner, which generates mana equal to its power. Fertilid can remove its counters to fetch basic land and put it into play, creating an interesting combination with Tireless Provisioner that creates treasure tokens each time it fetches a land. Rhonas's Monument is a cost reducer for green creatures, and whenever a creature spell of that color is played, it grants +2/+2 and trample to target creature.
Loading icon
The mana trail continues to curve with each new step. Mina and Denn, Wildborn allows us to play one additional land per turn, Grand Warlord Radha generates mana equal to the number of attacking creatures whenever one or more creatures attack.

Ad

Alena, Kessig Trapper generates mana equal to the power of the largest creature that came under our control during the turn. Savage Ventmaw generates three red and three green mana when attacking.
Loading icon
Another way to generate mana is to untap our creatures. For that, we have the following creatures and their abilities: Copperhorn Scout untaps all our creatures every time it attacks; Hyrax Tower Scout untaps a creature when it comes into play, and Great Oak Guardian gives +2/+2 to all of our creatures and untaps them.
Loading icon

Threats

โ€œObviously itโ€™s dangerous, but Iโ€™ve never seen anything like it. This could be an entirely new species! I say we follow it.โ€

- Halana, Kessig ranger

Our deck has most of its threats in the form of creatures or combat tricks, further enhancing our greatest creatures. Decimator of the Provinces and End-Raze Forerunners grant trample and +2/+2 to all our creatures, similar to Overcome and Overrun spells. Archetype of Aggression grants trample to all creatures, while Curse of Hospitality grants trample for each creature that attacks the enchanted opponent and lets you play cards from the top of this player's deck if it takes combat damage. Wild Beastmaster and Cultivator of Blades grants +x/+x to all other attackers when they attack, with x being their power.
Loading icon
Quartzwood Crasher has a triggered ability that creates tokens with trample each time an opposing player takes combat damage from our creatures with trample. Giant Adephage creates copies of itself whenever it deals combat damage to an opponent. Fires of Yavimaya is an enchantment that grants haste to all our creatures and occasionally a +2/+2 combat bonus to one of our creatures. Rogue's Passage is an additional evasion for one of our creatures.
Loading icon

Interactions

โ€œWeโ€™ve learned enough! I say we run.โ€

- Alena, Kessig trapper

Creatures were prioritized for all functions, including interacting with our opponents, and one of the ways green deals with creatures is through fighting. Thorn Mammoth upon entering the battlefield fights target creature, in addition to its triggered ability that makes it fight whenever a creature enters the battlefield under our control. Kogla, the Titan Ape fights a target creature controlled by the opponent as it enters the battlefield and whenever it attacks, destroys the artifact or enchantment defending player controls. Halana, Kessig Ranger has whenever a creature enters the battlefield under our control, we may pay 2, and if we do, the creature deals damage equal to its power to target creature.

Ad

Loading icon
In our deck there are also removals. Acidic Slime that destroys an artifact, enchantment, or land upon entering the battlefield. Beast Within destroys any target permanent, and the controller puts a 3/3 beast onto the battlefield under their control. Nature's Claim destroys target artifact or enchantment, and its controller gains 4 life. Kenrith's Transformation turns the enchanted creature into a 3/3 elk, and we draw a card. Inferno Titan, when entering the battlefield and attacking, deals 3 damage divided between one, two or three targets. Fanning the Flames is a

buyback

spell that deals X damage to any target.
Loading icon
Some creatures have indirect ways of interacting with our opponents. Destiny Spinner prevents our creature spells and enchantments from being countered. Ruric Thar, the Unbowed deals 6 damage to any player who casts a noncreature spell. Dawnglade Regent gives

hexproof* to all of our permanents while we are the Monarch. Temur Sabertooth has an activated ability that allows us to return a creature from our battlefield to its owner's hand to receive

indestructible

, we can use this ability to defend our key creatures from removal or unwanted effects. The instant Autumn's Veil prevents our spells from being countered by blue or black spells, and creatures under our control can't be targeted by blue or black spells.
Loading icon

Card Advantage

โ€œWhen I was a child, we worried about picking the wrong mushrooms for the cook pot. Now we must worry about being picked ourselves.โ€

- Halana, to Alena

Our draw strategy for this deck is tied to creatures, whether they remain on the battlefield, be played, or other effects. Dragonborn Champion has a triggered ability that we draw a card each time a source we control deals 5 or more damage to a player. Colossal Majesty and Triumph of Ferocity check our creatures' power at the beginning of the upkeep to draw a card. Glorious Sunrise is versatile, as each combat allows us to draw cards or grants life, or even gives +1/+1 and trample all our creatures.
Loading icon
Shapers' Sanctuary grants additional draws each time one of our creatures is targeted by an opponent's spell or ability. Beast Whisperer rewards us with a card whenever we cast a creature spell. The Elemental Bond and Garruk's Uprising enchantments generate draws when playing creatures with the greatest power on the battlefield.
Loading icon
Tutors and recursion are also present.

Ad

Among them, Fierce Empath fetches creatures from the deck and Timeless Witness interacts with our graveyard. Primal Command has actions similar to these aforementioned cards, and can also put a non-creature back on top of its owner's deck.
Loading icon

Victory Lines

โ€œTread carefully. You remember what happened in the last quiet, peaceful clearing.โ€

- Halana, to Alena

We have some victory lines based on the interaction between Temur Sabertooth with ETBs, the main ones being Great Oak Guardian and Hyrax Tower Scout, that when they enter the battlefield, they untap our mana dorks and allow us to generate a loop.
Loading icon
The play works like this: we tap all our dorks, play Great Oak Guardian, grow all our creatures and untap them, Temur Sabertooth activates its ability and returns Great Oak Guardian, thus achieving infinite power and mana.
Loading icon
Hyrax Tower Scout can perform the same streak. However, we need one of our dorks to be able to generate 6 or more mana and thus allow for an infinite mana cycle. In this line, we can use Fanning the Flames choosing any value for X, as many times as necessary to finish the opponents.
Loading icon
Temur Sabertooth is very versatile allowing numerous interactions: with Cultivator of Blades it can generate infinite tokens; Acidic Slime can destroy all lands, artifacts, or enchantments; Inferno Titan for infinite damage to any targets; Fierce Empath to tutor all creatures with 6 or more power/ Beast Whisperer to draw as many cards as you like, remember that the effect is mandatory. These are just a few possibilities.

Upgrades

The first suggestion is Aggravated Assault, an enchantment that lets you play multiple combats at a cost of five mana, something simple to achieve with our creatures, Savage Ventmaw could pay this cost infinite times. Hellkite Charger and Moraug, Fury of Akoum are creatures that also allow you to play multiple combats. Selvala, Heart of the Wilds is another powerful addition, as it's a complete creature, meaning it draws cards, generates mana and is within our deck's themes, and Thunderfoot Baloth grants trample and increases the power of our creatures. Malignus is devastating if not controlled immediately.
Loading icon
Phyrexian Swarmlord is especially dangerous when we have many buffs like Overwhelming Stampede. Phyrexian Hydra and Spinebiter with a few counters followed by a Chandra's Ignition can win the game easily, and Triumph Of The Hordes is always an excellent finisher for green decks.
Loading icon

Ad

Conclusion

Halana and Alena, Partners are versatile and fun commanders, allowing different game proposals, whether in a proactive mode seeking to quickly finish one or more opponents, or in a deck centered on combos or extra combat. Thanks for reading and good games! Any questions, I'm available in the comments!
Profile Main Image

Eduardo

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

Social Instagram Brands iconTwitter Brands icon

User profile image

Be the first to comment

Same Author

Quiz: Which MTG Archetype suits you best?

Discover Your Archetype

Quiz: Which MTG Archetype suits you best?

Find out which archetype suits you best in MtG: Aggro, Midrange, Control, Combo.

Quiz: How Much do you know about Commander history?

Commander Quiz

Quiz: How Much do you know about Commander history?

Find out how much you know about Commander on this new quiz!

Upgrading Commander Deck: Riveteers Rampage

Upgrading Precon

Upgrading Commander Deck: Riveteers Rampage

A breakdown of the Streets of New Capenna: Riveteers Rampage preconstructed deck commanded...

Upgrading Commander Precon: Bedecked Brokers

Commander Precon

Upgrading Commander Precon: Bedecked Brokers

A review of the Streets of New Capenna: Bedecked Brokers preconstructed deck, commanded by...

Upgrading Commander Precon: Obscura Operation

Obscura Operation

Upgrading Commander Precon: Obscura Operation

A review of the Streets of New Capenna: Obscura Operation preconstructed deck, with sugges...

Quiz: Which Streets of New Capenna crime family are you from?

Quiz

Quiz: Which Streets of New Capenna crime family are you from?

Find out which Streets of New Capenna crime family has more in common with you on this qui...

More from same author

Most read today articles

X
Hi