A New Planeswalker Commander: Mila & Lukka's Dragon Deck

RyanS

Do you like planeswalkers? Do you wish you could use one of them as your commander? Strixhaven gives us that option with the double-faced card of Mila and Lukka—creature on one side and planeswalker on the other. Let's put them at the helm of a tribal deck; if you like Dragons, this is for you!


lukka and mila

Modal double-faced cards with a legendary creature on the front side are an interesting way to have more options in the command zone. We already saw commanders that had artifacts and planeswalkers on the other side in Kaldheim. Strixhaven is giving us even more options, with some now featuring sorceries on their back sides. However, one of these new commanders that caught my attention is Mila, Crafty Companion // Lukka, Wayward Bonder a white legendary Fox that cares about (and for) our planeswalkers and provides card draw whenever our opponents target our permanents. On its other side, we find Lukka, Wayward Bonder, the second red Lukka planeswalker card, which as usual cares about creatures. I like the idea of planeswalkers as commanders and of modal double-faced cards allowing us to "cheat" noncreatures into our command zone.


mila lukka

This Boros/Lorehold commander is pushing us into two main strategies, superfriends and creatures. These two different playstyles do not necessarily complement each other. So we need to decide on which part we would like to focus as to have a more consistent strategy. Lukka's first ability allows us to discharge creature cards to draw two cards. This complements his second ability, which brings back any creature from our graveyard and gives it haste. Even though the creature gets exiled at the end of the turn, we can set up some massive attacks by discarding something big with Lukka's first ability or other similar effects such as Faithless Looting or Thrill of Possibility.

Lukka synergizes with creatures, and Mila's card draw effect is arguably more powerful than the ability to add loyalty counters anyway, so I'd rather focus on creatures than planeswalkers. This also gives me an excuse to build around one of my favorite tribes in Magic—Dragons. Although some additional planeswalkers play a role of course.


lukka, coppercoat outcast

Disclaimer: This is not an overly powerful deck. It mostly wants to cast Dragons and beat down on opponents with these big fliers. Mila will help generate card draws when our opponents target our big creatures, while Lukka can help us draw and resurrect a Dragon from the graveyard when we need it the most. These abilities do not sum up to super competitive plays, but if you are like me and just like to play Commander to have fun, this deck is a cool way to showcase Dragons in red and white.

Lukka and His Planeswalker Friends

Even though our main strategy is not to rely too heavily on planeswalkers, that does not mean we can't have a few in our deck. Since we're playing Dragons, I like to include Sarkhan, Fireblood. Sarkhan can ramp out some big fliers while also giving us a way to draw and discharge cards similar to Lukka's first ability. Chandra, Torch of Defiance is a good card to have, as she also helps us with cast Dragons and gives us impulsive card draw.


sarkhan, fireblood jeska, thrice reborn

Since we will have huge fliers ready to smack our opponents for a lot of damage, why not make sure to have one of those fliers hit for triple damage? Jeska, Thrice Reborn can enable us to kill someone out of nowhere. This is a planeswalker card that greatly benefits from Mila's first ability, as Jeska can't gain loyalty counters on her own. Ugin, the Spirit Dragon is the best dragon planeswalker (sorry Bolas fans) so we have to have him in the deck. Finally, we can't be running a Lukka planeswalker deck without including the original Lukka from Ikoria. Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast synergizes very well with our Dragon theme. His first ability even works with any Lukka, so if the Coppercoat Outcast dies, we can still cast the creatures in exile as long as we control our commander, and his second ability will often hit a big Dragon.

Lukka and His Other Real Friends

I'm running a vast selection of all of my favorite Dragons, and their number keeps growing. Lathliss, Dragon Queen creates more Dragons when we cast Dragons, and Utvara Hellkite creates more Dragons when we attack with Dragons. Thunderbreak Regent and Scalelord Reckoner make sure that we can bolt something back or destroy a nonland permanent whenever our Dragons get targeted. Combined with Mila, which also lets us draw a card when someone targets our creatures, interacting with our Dragons becomes a dangerous proposition for our opponents.


lathliss Scalelord Reckoner

Thundermaw Hellkite paves the way for an attack by making sure that our opponents' fliers can't block ours. Sunscorch Regent gets bigger each time our opponents cast a spell. Terror of Mount Velus can give our Dragons doublestrike until the end of turn, while Steel Hellkite can help us destroy artifacts of an attacked player. Terror of the Peaks mirrors the Pandemonium effect of our commander's emblem—which adds up quickly considering our Dragons usually come with a decent power.

With all of these high-end cards cluttering our deck, we need some way to cast them early or we run the risk of them sitting in our hand. Dragonlord's Servant and Urza's Incubator both reduce the cost of our Dragons. The new Archaeomancer's Map makes sure we can keep up with other players who might be ramping, and Mana Geyser gives us the chance for a big one-shot mana boost and to drop our Dragons far sooner than expected. Crucible of the Spirit Dragon is a land that we can charge with storage counters and then uses all that pent-up energy to cast Dragons spells.


archaeomancer's map mana geyser

The Deck


Mila & Lukka's Dragon Deck

Final Verdict

I love how modal double-faced commanders give us more options from the command zone. This feels like having partner commanders stapled onto a single card and like a cooler way to cheat a planeswalker into the role of commander. Mila and Lukka do not support a super competitive strategy, but they do synergize beautifully with a creature-focused build. I love playing this deck at a casual table, as I am rarely seen as a big threat until it is too late and I can knock out opponents in a single attack.


mila and lukka

What do you think of this strategy? Do you like to run less powerful, more casual commanders? How would you build different versions of Mila and Lukka? Let us know by leaving a comment below!


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.



8 Comments

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Pavel-GS(04.05.2021 18:16)

So I took a heavy inspiration from this article and list to build the deck and tested it a bit (not much yet tho) and there's 2 things I noted :
Hellkite Courser is realy bad in the list, you generaly want Lukka to help play your dragons so putting Mila (just 3 mana as well) out for a ride is not really a big deal..
(Drakuseth on an another hand is a good big dragon to cheat into play either reanimating or transmogrifying it with either Lukkas or sneak attacking it with Sneak Attack or Purphoros)
Secondly, I think some sac outlets are realy good to take advantage even more of the -2 from Lukka : reanimate, attack, block, sac, do it again.
While the altars are the classics, Weaponize the Monsters is pretty in flavour :p

So far, love the deck so thanks for the idea and list !

RyanS
rsci1(04.05.2021 18:25)

Pavel-GS Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it :) I love it when people use the deck tech articles as a guide and experiment to built their own take on the deck. I try to show the core of the idea and build a list around that but I leave it flexible so that other players can adapt it to suite thier own play style. Great observations as well ;)

Sagat88(26.04.2021 17:08)

Looks like a cool and fun deck. I will take some inspiration from this.

RyanS
rsci1(26.04.2021 17:09)

Sagat88 Thanks ;) Cool and fun are the best kind of decks :)

Insidious(26.04.2021 15:59)

The new Lukka´s second ability keeps the creature around until your next upkeep, not just until end of turn. If you don´t attack or the creature has vigilance, you can block with it for one full turn. Pretty relevant in Commander.

RyanS
rsci1(26.04.2021 16:10)

Insidious Yes, true. I totally missed that as usually its till the end of turn. That makes it even more viable ;)

IntenseGenius(26.04.2021 09:42)

I really suggest Chandra, Acolyte of Flame, where you can uptick to give your red planeswalkers like Jeska counters as well as recurring the lower cmc instants/sorceries.

RyanS
rsci1(26.04.2021 09:48)

IntenseGenius true. Fair point.

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