Commander Deck Tech: Malcom & Tana

Magic: the Gathering

Deck tech

Commander Deck Tech: Malcom & Tana

This budget Malcolm / Tana deck is focused on winning the game as quickly as possible with two-card combos!

By FELIPE, 11/25/21, translated by Humberto - Comment regular icon0 comments


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Hey everyone! This deck was built by me and the player Eduardo Lorram, and is entirely focused on a budget-friendly casual table, with a few budget restrictions, but with the objective to win games fairly well.


This deck tries to win quickly, and for that, it depends on tutors for its win lines, use some ramp to secure Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator on turn 2 and start generating treasure in turn 3 to guarantee mana while searching for Glint-Horn Buccaneer, a one-card combo with our commander. The deck has combos that are easy to put into play, as one creature tutor is enough to hit the deck's main combo.


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Analyzing the Commanders

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Malcolm is the star of the deck, costing three mana, he is easy to put into play, being a 2/2 Pirate with flying, partner and having the effect of, whenever one or more pirates you control damage your opponents, you create a treasure token. It allows you to generate additional mana in the form of treasures, similar to what Magda, Brazen Outlaw does with dwarves, but here we have the limitation that they need to deal damage in some way to generate these treasures.
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Tana, on the other hand, is a commander with a cost of 4, a 2/2 body, and every time she deals combat damage, creates a number of 1/1 Saprolings equal to the damage dealt, she is mainly here to give access to the red color for the deck's main combo and the green color which allows us to tutor creatures with more consistency even on lower budgets. And, by herself, ends up being a good sacrifice outlet to get the combo.

Winning Games

This deck has four different combo lines, I'll talk about them later explaining how each one works:

Malcolm + Glint

*The most consistent and fastest combo in the deck depends solely on the commander and Glint-Horn Buccaneer, and as it depends on the combat phase, it is ideal to place the pieces before combat. *Combo Condition: Your opponents have less life than you have cards in your deck, have at least 2 opponents, Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator and Glint-Horn Buccaneer on the field, at least one card in hand, have at least one colorless mana and one red mana available, and be in the combat phase and in the combat start step. *1- Proceed to declare attackers step, declaring the Glint-Horn as an attacker. *2- Activate Glint-Horn's ability by discarding a card and paying two mana to draw a card. *3- This will trigger the Glint-Horn's other ability, dealing one damage to each of your opponents. *4- Malcolm's ability will trigger, generating a treasure for each opponent that was dealt damage. *Repeat steps 2 through 4 until all your opponents are dead.

Glint + Curiosity

This combo is similar to the previous one, but it doesn't require the use of mana during it, and it doesn't depend on combat, but it depends on one more card from the deck, and there are several cards that allow us to achieve this combo. They are:
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All of these cards allow Glint-Horn to draw cards while dealing damage. Condition for combo: Glint-Horn Buccaneer enchanted or paired with one of the above cards, and at least eight cards in hand. 1- With at least 8 cards in hand, go to the final step, discarding until you have 7 cards in hand. 2- Glint-Horn deals one point of damage to each opponent, and you draw a card for the card linked to it. With that, you will have 8 cards in your hand, having to again discard a card, and repeating steps 1 and 2 until your opponents are dead, or you lose the game by deckout.


Twin + Caster

This combo is very useful because at the same time it can win you the game when you have both pieces, it can also be used for other things when necessary. Combo Condition: Dualcaster Mage and Twinflame/Heat Shimmer in hand, be in main phase 1, and have mana to cast the cards. 1. Cast Twinflame/Heat Shimmer, targeting any legal creature, holding priority. 2. Cast Dualcaster Mage, copying the spell you cast, creating a copy of the spell. 3. With the spell's copy, target Dualcaster. 4. With the Dualcaster copy, target the spell. 5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have enough creatures to kill your opponents. With that, you will have enough damage to kill your opponents in the combat phase, winning the game.

Breach + Freeze + Petal

This combo is excellent, but in this budget it is not possible to run Lion's Eye Diamond, that is, for the combo we will use the Lotus Petal instead, it generates less mana and does not feed the graveyard; however, it is still possible to win the game with this loop. Condition for the loop; Underworld Breach, Brain Freeze, and Lotus Petal, in hand and at least 4 mana available, at least one red, two blue. 1. Cast Lotus Petal. 2. Cast Underworld Breach. 3. Cast Brain Freeze, copying it twice, mill 9 cards from your deck. 4. Sacrifice Petal to generate blue mana. Escape the petal by casting it again. 5. Repeat step 4. 6. Use Brain Freeze with escape, copying it 5 times and mill more cards. Repeat steps 4 through 6 until the Storm count is large enough to mill all your opponents' cards. Then cast Brain Freeze to mill their deck and pass the turn.

Analyzing the Deck's packages


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This deck has access to green, which makes it possible to use mana dorks such as Elvish Mystic, Fyndhorn Elves, Llanowar Elves who enter on turn one and can help to cast Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator in turn 3. Another interesting tech is to combine a cost one pirate with a viable ramp on turn 1 or turn 2 to play a Simian Spirit Guide, or a Lotus Petal to have mana to cast Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator, and hit with the Pilferer, starting to generate treasure from turn 2. In addition, the list also has all two mana stones.


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Tutors in this deck are essential and normally used to get some combo pieces, mainly Freebooter, but they are also useful for Dualcaster, as both have the same power and mana value. To find them, we have:


- Drift of Phantasms, which finds three-mana spells. - Imperial Recruiter, which searches for a creature with 2 power. - Neoform, which can be used on a cost two creature. - Eldritch Evolution if used on creatures with at least one mana value. - Chord of Calling, which, since it has Convoke, gives an additional usefulness to the tokens created by Tana. - Shared Summons which can search both together or Glint and Siren Stormtamer, as a protection. - Signal the Clans which can search for any creature, but separates 3 and a random one goes to the hand and the rest goes back to the deck. Now that I've talked about all of Minotaur's tutors, there are only 3 tutors left which are Dizzy Spell, which can search for disruptions, so they have one mana value and Curiosity, Muddle the Mixture searches for pieces like tutors, disruptions and the other combo pieces from other lines like Underworld Breach, Brain Freeze and Twinflame and last but not least, we have Solve the Equation which can fetch any instant or sorcery from the deck.

Card Draw

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This package exists because it's important to know what you're going to draw and take out the cards that aren't so good out of your hand and at the top of the deck. Cantrips are essential for this, as they replace themselves in the hand and can look at a good number of cards for a low mana cost. Of the basic cantrips of any deck we have Ponder, Preordain, Brainstorm that look at cards from the top and replaces themselves, Faithless Looting that draws two and discards two for one mana and flashback for 3 mana, Impulse which costs one more, and looks at one more card at instant speed. Dire Fleet Daredevil exiles instants and sorceries from opponents' graveyards and allows you to cast them in the same turn. Ghostly Pilferer guarantees you draws whenever someone casts something out of hand, and also allows you to pay two mana when it untaps to draw. Verity Circle is strong against decks that use creatures to generate mana and other effects, as it guarantees you more cards to deal with the opponent and even makes them think twice before using their creatures for something that isn't attacking. We also have a range of cards that make you draws when the linked or enchanted creature deals damage. In this deck, this is part of the wincondition, but it can also be a way to have extra cards before winning.


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As the focus of this list is not to control, the deck's interaction package is pretty lean and focused on low-cost bounces and removals and low-mana counters. Snap and Winds of Rebuke are excellent for taking out threats on the pass by taking advantage of the mana left over before reaching your turn. For counterspells, we have Muddle the Mixture, Counterspell and Negate, in addition to Delay, as two-mana counters We have Siren Stormtamer, Spell Pierce, Miscast, Swan Song, and Mystical Dispute as one-mana counterspells. Spells that allow us to respond for low mana are essential to protect the combo even if it goes to victory early. And Autumn's Veil is undoubtedly the best way to protect the combo, having protection against the colors that have more disruptions, bounces and removals is vital to not lose too many cards protecting it.

Strengths & Weaknesses


- This list is very consistent and fast. It's hard to be faster on a budget, managing to get under many decks, and being able to seek victory normally in turns 3 to 4. - You can protect yourself relatively well from other decks, especially if you know the time to combo, minimizing opponent interactions, as the deck's pilot.


- The deck ends giving up resilience to keep speed and consistency high, so the games you come up with faster hands will probably be the ones you're most vulnerable to because the deck doesn't have as many free spells. - The list is quite explosive. However, it cannot replace the cards in the hand at the same speed, and ends up depending more on the opponents' mistakes for this.


That's all for today, I hope you enjoyed this decklist and let me know in the feedback which Commander you'd like to see a deck tech next week! See you next time!
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Started playing Magic on M20 in 2019. Prefers control decks and seeks to improve his deckbuilding.

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