Commander Legends: Abomination of Llanowar on a Budget
- Ryan Scicluna
Check out this budget Golgari Elf tribal deck led by the Abomination of Llanowar. Cast a lot of Elves for value, ramp and/or card draw. Somebody wipes the board? No worries, the commander cares for the number of Elves in the graveyard as well, so it will only grow bigger and bigger …
Abomination of Llanowar is an Elf that cares about the number of Elves on the field and in the graveyard. This makes it a very useful counter to something that Elf decks usually have problems with — board wipes. Clearing the board is typically a huge setback to creature-based strategies. But the Abomination mitigates this by growing in power even if the Elves go to the graveyard. As a deck, it can either go wide by casting a number of small Elves or grow tall, Voltron-style, simply by letting Elves die. The best part is that we can build this deck on a budget.
New Elf Toys
Commander Legends has brought us some interesting new Elf cards to play with. This results in more choices and options for deck building, but most importantly, this gives us new commanders to try out, two of which are Miara, Thorn of the Glade and Numa, Joraga Chieftain. They can even partner up and be swapped in for the Abomination if you like. Miara is excellent at proving card advantage in the face of removal, while Numa can transform excessive pools of mana into power (in the form of +1/+1 counters).
Nightshade Harvester punishes landfall or ramp strategies by draining our opponents for each land they play and making itself bigger. Elvish Dreadlord can be an excellent one-sided board wipe, especially with the encore ability. Pride of the Perfect is an enchantment that boosts the power of all our Elves. This can be very useful for our commander combined with some dirty tricks we can use to kill off players …
Since our commander has a tendency to get big and already has evasion in the form of menace, we can try to surprise our opponents with an infect win. The most obvious way to go about it is to equip the Abomination with Grafted Exoskeleton. As long as there are seven other Elves present on the field or in our graveyard, our commander is already lethal since we only need to inflict 10 points of damage to kill a player with poison counters. Or we can swing in when our commander has a total power of 9, wait to see if it gets blocked, and if it doesn't, cast Tainted Strike for a similar result. Likewise, if we managed to create an army of small Elves, we can use Triumph of the Hordes to kill everyone with infect.
Not Big Enough
What if we want to make our commander even bigger? I like the image of a mass of horrifically fused bodies putting on Ring of Kalonia or Ring of Xathrid. These rings give trample and regeneration respectively but also come with the extra of adding a +1/+1 counter to our creature. Shadowspear is also useful as it gives the equipped creature trample and lifelink. Since we are playing Elves, we might as well include different Elf lords that work double duty. Elvish Archdruid, Elvish Champion, and Imperious Perfect all add power to our team but also do something else. The Archdruid ramps, the Champion grants forestwalk, and the Perfect creates additional Elf tokens.
One of my guilty pleasures in Magic is to try and get to planeswalker ultimates. This is usually very hard to achieve in a four-player game. However, with a bunch of Elves we can easily defend our planeswalker. If there is one planeswalker whose ultimate I would really like to activate it's Nissa Revane's. The original Elf walker's last ability would let us put all Elf cards from our deck onto the battlefield, which would make our commander the biggest creature on the board. Even if somehow all our Elves go to the graveyard, we can still beat down with the Abomination.
Disclaimer: The only thing we have to look out for is graveyard hate, and unfortunately, that is not as uncommon as it used to be.
What do you think of the Abomination? Does it bring certain eldritch fears to the forefront of your consciousness or is it just me? I like the idea of some creature stalking the forests of Llanowar on Dominaria, composed of various Elves, alive and dead. What is the story behind it? Who created such a monster?
What about the deck? Do you like this new take on Elves? Or would you rather have Miara and Numa as joint commanders? Keeping in mind the budget of this deck is around 74 euros, do you have any recommendations? Let us know down below!
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