Commander Legends: Akroma and Kamahl Empowering the Weak
- Ryan Scicluna
If beating down with a bunch of creatures is what you like to do, then check out this deck commanded by the new partner pair Akroma and Kamahl. Using their boosting abilities, this Selesnya strategy turns an army of small tokens into an even bigger threat to trample over your opponents.
Commander Legends has brought us new versions of two beloved characters from Magic's past, both featuring the partner mechanic. Kamahl, Heart of Krosa is a Dominarian barbarian-turned-druid, while Akroma, Vision of Ixidor is an Angel created by Ixidor, a powerful illusionist. Both of them played a huge role in the storyline, where they crossed paths as well. So I thought it would be fun to pair them up for an explosive beatdown deck.
Empowering the Weak
Flavor aside, how do these two creatures interact with one another? Kamahl is an Overrun on a creature and triggers at the beginning of each of our combats. If we manage to assemble an army of creatures, Kamahl would boost their power and let us trample over our opponents. On the other hand, Akroma boosts our creatures depending on how many keyword abilities they have. I don't think one should focus on a keyword soup strategy for Akroma to be effective. Just a few keywords will be enough and combined with Kamahl's ability to give trample to all our creatures, this guarantees that at least they will get an extra +1/+1.
So the ideal scenario is having both Akroma and Kamahl out on the field alongside a number of other creatures. Then, at the beginning of combat on our turn, resolving Kamahl's ability first (+3/+3 and trample), followed by Akroma's ability (+1/+1 for having trample), our creatures will get at minimum of +4/+4 and trample. The only problem facing our strategy is that Akroma costs seven mana and Kamahl costs eight, so the deck is very mana hungry. Especially when our opponents start targeting our commanders with removal.
This deck can really make use of cheap creatures that tap for mana. Usually mana dorks are not a good investment when considering ramp due to the fact that it is very common to see multiple board wipes played even in a single game of Commander. Less fragile land ramp is almost always prioritized. However, in this deck, they can serve multiple purposes. Cheap mana dorks help us cast land ramp cards earlier and then, if the dorks manage to stick around, they can become huge, thanks to our commanders' abilities.
Since most of the efficient mana dorks happen to be Elves, why not include an Elf subtheme? Arbor Elf, Elvish Archdruid, Elvish Mystic, Fyndhorn Elves, Llanowar Elves, Marwyn, the Nurturer, and Wood Elves all speed us up, while Oracle of Mul Daya helps us play multiple lands each turn and from the top of our library. The priority of the deck is to ramp as fast as possible and only cast our commanders when we can swing in to make a difference.
A Token Army
How are we going to have enough creatures to overrun our opponents? With tokens of course! Usually token strategies only focus on going wide, creating a lot of small creatures that can overwhelm the opponents. Similarly with this deck we use small token generators and then cast Kamahl so these tokens can grow and become serious beaters.
Imperious Perfect, Arasta of the Endless Web, Avenger of Zendikar, Rampaging Baloths, Scute Swarm, and Tendershoot Dryad are all creatures that generate tokens. Finale of Glory and Secure the Wastes are spells that can create an army out of nowhere. Court of Grace is a new enchantment from Commander Legends that gives us the monarchy while generating a token in our upkeep. Anointed Procession and Parallel Lives double the number of tokens we create while Cathars' Crusade makes our creatures bigger each time a creature enters the battlefield. Elspeth, Sun's Champion and Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury are both utility planeswalker that create tokens.
We can even make our army stronger with some combat upgrades. Mirror Entity can boost the base power and toughness of our creatures so that a 1/1 can become bigger without Kamahl's boost. On the other hand, Odric, Lunarch Marshal and Akroma's Memorial synergize with Akroma's ability by giving our creatures a bunch of keywords before Akroma's trigger. With enough power Champion of Lambholt can make our creatures unblockable and if we have enough power on board we can cast Triumph of the Hordes to finish off a game. Kamahl's Will and Akroma's Will can also be used to create an enormous board and swing in for the victory.
Kamahl and Akroma make for a fun pair in the command zone. The deck can be quite explosive, but it can also suffer if we do not protect our commanders or token army. Cards like Prowling Serpopard, Flawless Maneuver, Heroic Intervention, Teferi's Protection, and Shalai, Voice of Plenty should help us in that area, though it can still be tricky. Sometimes we might need to activate Kamahl's other ability, turn our lands into 1/1 creatures and beat our opponents with our own lands. Playing the deck is quite fun and to a long-time fan of Magic lore has some nostalgic beats to it.
What do you think of the deck? How else would you build Kamahl and Akroma or with what other partners would you pair them? Let us know down below!
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