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Commander Deck of the Week – Zurgo Bellstriker

Okay. That was fun, but now I’m back. #GPVegas was a wild ride, and with everything I had going on, it was pretty much impossible for me to write these articles due to an almost total lack of free time. We’re back now, though, with a Commander Deck of the Week that has been long overdue. Thanks to some electioneering by Level 3 Judge and former ChannelFireball judge extraordinaire Jess Dunks, Zurgo Bellstriker was the winner of our Dragons of Tarkir Commander strawpoll. At first I was just going to create a throwaway deck with a bunch of bells, but then I really took a look at my buddy Zurgo. Here he is in all of his bellstriking glory:

He’s not going to be smashing too many helms in this timeline the way he looks now, but with a little help, I think he can do some work. I wanted to figure out how to create an aggressive mono-red deck in Commander that wouldn’t just fold under a little pressure, and I think I have some good ideas. Here’s how I see the deck working:

Plan A: Dash In for Commander Damage

Zurgo is a sneaky little Orc, and I’m hoping we can get him through enough times to defeat our opponents via Commander damage. He’ll need some help from some fairly unorthodox cards to get through:

With cards like these we can get Zurgo into the end zone with a little more ease. Of course, we have some obvious stuff like Swords of Thing 1 and Thing 2 to sneak him through as well as cards like Whispersilk Cloak and Rogue’s Passage, but I figured those cards would be less fun to talk about because they’re so obvious. Zurgo is a measly 2/2, though, and he’ll need some help to get big. That’s where these cards come in:

Hopefully cards like these can help us rack up big Commander damage totals with Zurgo. Obviously there are more efficient card-for-card Commanders to do this with, but we have to work with what we have here.

So what happens if plan A fails? Well…

Plan B: Recursive Threats

What’s better than a threat? A threat that keeps on giving, either in the form of an effect that generates an advantage or in the form of a card that comes back to life. We also have some big things, but those are less exciting than these winners:

Between damage from Zurgo and damage from other players, hopefully we can finish off the stragglers with these cards. We don’t have all of the full-on heavy hitters in this deck that we might be able to if we weren’t on split plans, but we can still welcome people to the Space Jam with what we’ve got.

Of course, sometimes plan A and plan B will both fail. I mean, it’s a mono-red deck that isn’t about artifacts or Dragons—it might not be the optimal choice, but it’s quite a lot of fun. It’s fitting, therefore, that we have this final plan.

Plan C: Drag Everyone Down to Our Level

Between these and our cards that stop things from blocking, we can really wreak some havoc if we need to do so. This isn’t a huge portion of our deck, but we’ll probably see one of these each game if things go long enough. We can also buff our opponents’ creatures in various other ways and mess with their combats using some other cards, so we’ve at least got the power to mess with people long enough—that way, we can force people to play on our terms just long enough to bring the game home. (Or at least long enough to create a hilarious story.)

By now you’re ready for the deck list and you’re waiting to see this fabulous deck. Well, wait no more:

Commander: Zurgo Bellstriker

All right! Next week I’ll be back with another Commander Deck of the Week—watch my Twitter account @RagingLevine for the next Strawpoll about what to play. I’m building a new computer this week, so you might even see me battling with this list on Magic Online on stream. (Yes, I built the deck!) See you then!

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