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TL;DR – lots of creatures with very high toughness deal lots of damage.
Big fan of big butts? There are several options for the “deal damage via toughness” ability in pauper EDH. Ancient Lumberknot and Belligerent Brontodon are both viable options as a commander for mirroring toughness as power, however today we’re looking at the new legendary creature, Rasaad yn Bashir. Since this is a mono-colored commander from Commander Legends 2, it has the “choose a background ability” which allows you to pair it with any color making it fairly versatile. For this deck we’ve chosen Feywild Visitor as our background to put us in Azorius.
It goes without saying that our wincon is fairly straightforward, play a bunch of low cost, high toughness creatures, resolve our commander and deal damage the old fashion way via combat. The deck is constructed in a way to help us get there quickly and efficiently.
Meet the Fockers
Unlike it’s counterparts like Arcades, The Strategist and High Alert, Rasaad yn Bashir does not allow creatures with Defender to attack. This is one reason we chose to pair with blue, since the color has many high toughness, low cost creatures like Aegis Turtle and Merfolk Secretkeeper. In addition to big dorks, we have God-Pharaoh’s Faithful for life gain, and Sunscape Familiar to make things even cheaper. Almost every creature in our deck has at least four toughness, meaning that once our commander is out on the board, our creatures are likely going to dominate.
Ah, ah, ah, ah Stayin’ Alive
Speaking of our commander, he is very important to our gameplan. Our board can block for days but if we can’t resolve our commander, or keep him on the battlefield through the damage phase of combat, we’re literally useless. Another reason to be in blue with a commander like Rasaad is ensure our commander resolves. We have a trio of low cost counterspells in the form of Counterspell (duh), Negate, and Dispel.
Once our commander has resolved we have a plethora of ways to keep our commander safe from pesky removal with cards like Emerge Unscathed, God’s Willing, and Prismatic Strands, especially since our three toughness commander dies to bolt. And while, yes indestructible is good, a bounce is just as devastating which is why a good portion of our spells offer color protection.
The Bigger the Butt, The Better
One of the main drawbacks of our deck is a very huge, gaping hole in our butt… gameplan; a lack of trample. What we lack in stomping power we make up for in evasion with several flying and unblockable butts. Additionally, you’ll recall our background Feywild Visitor gives us 1/1 flyers for each player dealt combat damage. This means we have the potential to gain three flying tokens during our turn. Those, combined with one of our five pump spells like Solidarity and Bar the Door mean those tokens could present lethal so long as our commander is out. Additionally, our commander has an innate ability to double our creatures toughness when it attacks, devastating on its own, but can easily close out games when paired with one of the aforementioned pump spells.
Our commander’s ability beyond the first doubles our butts if we have the initiative, therefore we have three cards which can provide that boon: Aarakocra Sneak, Goliath Paladin and Trailblazer’s Torch. Our deck contains several butts with vigilance to keep up the pressure, but also to protect the initiative once we have it.
Pogo, pogo, pogo, pogo, pogo, pogo, pogo, pogo, bounce!
Now comes the fun part. In addition to our protection spells for our commander we’ve also included instant speed blink like Ephemerate, and Momentary Blink. These will help our commander avoid interaction, but also reclaim the initiative at instant speed if we have one of these two creatures on board, making them effectively pump spells themselves. Another way to pivot off this interaction is the new common background Candlekeep Sage which turns our blinks and bounces into draw spells so long as they target our commander. Rasaad is going to be a beacon for removal, so we might as well get some value out of it.
Don’t Touch My Butt
While it’s light on interaction we do have Journey to Nowhere, Witness Protection, and Oblivion Ring to get pesky blockers out of the way. We’re throwing in Fall from Favor and Palace Sentinels for additional card draw since it should be fairly easy to protect the monarch. Cards like Snap are versatile and flashing in a Village Bell-Ringer can easily turn the tide of the game when someone goes after your crowns.
Our curve tops out at around four with only a couple creatures in the five spot. As such, we’re running only 33 lands, 26 of which are untapped with the remaining going to cycle lands, fixing like Evolving Wilds and Ash Barrens. Mystic Sanctuary has synergy with Azorius Chancery, Ghostly Flicker, and Dream Stalker so it’s an easy include.
Azorius Butts is good fun with a combat centric game plan relying on timing your commander’s appearance right. It’s perfectly feasible to expect a single swing victory if your spells line up correctly so as fun as it is to bonk people with your big 4/4’s you may be better off holding off until you can stack pump and commander’s abilities to close out games.
Click here to view the deck on moxfield.
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