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Ugin’s Insight 5 – Talrand Sky Summoner EDH Deck

Hello readers welcome back to the fifth installment of Ugin’s Insight! This is the article series that features YOU and YOUR EDH deck in an interview style format. If you would like to have your deck featured on Ugin’s Insight, it’s easy! Simply go to the MagicEDH.com EDH Deck Interview Page and fill out the form.

Before we begin, I want to splatter your screen with another barrel of thank-yous. There has been a healthy influx of deck submissions so I will keep this article series going until I have exhausted them all. Decks are chosen for Ugin’s Insight randomly every week, using a d20. Look for a new article every SUNDAY with maybe a bonus article or two throughout the week. Now then. Let’s get started!

Talrand, Sky Summoner EDH Deck by Erabel

About Erabel: Today’s article features an interview with EDH Reddit user /u/erabel as he introduces his Talrand, Sky Summoner Commander Deck. Erabel lives in Charlotte, NC and currently has two EDH decks, although, he is working on two more. He doesn’t play any other formats stating: “All Commander, all the time baby!” He is a blue mage that will dabble within the depths of Dimir, Bant and Jeskai.

About the Deck: Erabel has been playing this deck for about two years now. The deck itself is of average difficulty and can be piloted by anyone with a firm grasp of how to play Commander. This commander brew is built around Talrand and will struggle if access to him is denied. When Erabel shuffles up this mono blue deck his playgroup knows to grab a deck with a higher power level to go against it.

Here is a few more insightful facts about the deck:

  • This deck is designed for Multiplayer Commander games
  • Follows the Normal EDH Rules Committee Banlist
  • Built to be Semi-Competitive
  • Erabel’s Talrand Deck is a Control deck

Before we begin the interview, let’s take a look at the Talrand, Sky Summoner EDH Decklist!

Talrand EDH Deck Interview with Erabel

Talrand Sky Summoner EDH Deck

MTGCasualPlay.com: Why did you choose this commander?

Erabel: Way back in the day, I challenged myself to make a Commander deck where the only creature card was the Commander. I looked through potential generals, and the relatively new (at the time) Talrand stuck out to me. He turned a spellslinger deck into an engine that churned out tokens, which I thought was a fantastic idea. I threw together a whole bunch of blue cards I had lying around, and the deck was born.

MTGCasualPlay.com: Give us a Brief History of this deck and how it came about.

Erabel: At first, the deck was mostly what blue instants and sorceries I had lying around, plus a few specific cards I had to get. This happened to be an awful lot of counterspells. At first, it was okay, but then my playgroup got my attention about the fact that my countering all the things was… not what they wanted.

I went back to the drawing board, cut most of my counterspells (the deck now runs… 6?), added a lot more cantrips (the deck now runs… 16? one-mana cards that replace themselves), and it was basically a whole different deck. I got to sling spells, my opponents got to actually resolve theirs, tokens beat face, it was a good time. That’s mostly what it’s been from then until now, with a few niche cards added here and there.

MTGCasualPlay.com: What are your Win Conditions?

Erabel: The major overarching win condition of this deck is Talrand and his Drakes. Make a lot of ’em, swarm the board. Pretty straightforward.

The deck doesn’t have many other win conditions, but there’s also Runechanter’s Pike (with 59 instants and sorceries in the deck, it usually gives a pretty substantial boost), Bribery and Acquire (both of which can just let me have the best kind of win condition: yours).

MTGCasualPlay.com: What are some of the deck’s strengths?

Erabel: This deck does well in the long game. If I get past turn 10 or so in a decent spot, that game is almost always mine to win. Blue, by itself, can also deal with basically any problem in the game, and my deck has enough instant speed draw power to be able to find my one or two outs to any given scenario.

MTGCasualPlay.com: What are some of the Weaknesses of the Deck?

Erabel: This deck is ungodly reliant on its commander. If my opponent can keep Talrand from sticking, whether it’s by killing him repeatedly or keeping my land base from building up, it’s a lost game for me.

It also loses hard to decks that build a boardstate quickly (Goblins and Elves both come to mind), but this is often less of an issue in multiplayer.

The deck also only runs 32 lands, 2 of which don’t tap for mana, and land screw can happen, even in a deck with this sheer amount of card draw. If Talrand can’t hit the field, the deck doesn’t run.

MTGCasualPlay.com: What are some of the more Powerful cards or interactions of the deck?

Erabel: Bribery and Acquire immediately come to mind – people tend to know about Bribery already, because stealing someone’s best creature is a helluva powerful effect. Acquire I see run a lot less, but it really should be used more. Has stolen me everything from Sol Ring to Steel Hellkite, from Caged Sun to (in one of my best moments) Whip of Erebos.

Reins of Power is also a fantastic card – If I’m behind, this can either steal me the game or buy me a round if I switch after the declare attackers step.

MTGCasualPlay.com: Are there any Unique or Underrated cards that you play in this deck?

Erabel: I run two pretty unique build-around cards in this deck: Tolaria West and Cunning Wish. Both are extremely useful toolboxes. Neither are essential to the deck’s function, but both are really neat.

West grabs me anything from ramp (Thawing Glaciers, Myriad Landscape) to card draw (Ancestral Vision, Cephalid Coliseum, Blighted Cataract) to protection (Pact of Negation, Glacial Chasm, Maze of Ith).

Cunning Wish is a silver-bullet engine, grabbing me that perfect card out of the sideboard for the exact situation. Tokens overwhelming me? Echoing Truth. Artifact nonsense getting out of hand? Hurkyl’s Recall. Someone targeting me with a big ol’ Banefire? Misdirection. Niv-Mizzet about to combo out? Plagiarize and Stifle both do the trick.

MTGCasualPlay.com: Do you have a Wish List of Cards that you would like to add?

Erabel: Two cards are on the “If it weren’t so expensive” list: Force of Will and Timetwister (why that card is legal, I’ll never know, but I want one so badly for this list).

I’m also in the process of foiling the deck out as much as possible. I’m a little more than halfway there so far.

MTGCasualPlay.com: Are there cards missing because they didn’t work or were too Powerful? What happened?

Erabel: I’ve decided that no card in the deck should have a converted mana cost of higher than 5. Two reasons for this: One, the aesthetics of it really please me; and two, lower cost spells mean more spells in one turn means more Drakes. This means I’m not running a lot of powerful cards, including but not limited to: Caged Sun, Spelljack, Recurring Insight, Commandeer, Sphinx-Bone Wand, Treasure Cruise, and Dig Through Time.

MTGCasualPlay.com: Why would I want to play this deck?

Erabel: If “mono-blue token aggro” sounds like a challenge rather than a contradiction, this deck (or something a lot like it) is definitely the deck for you. Also, if you’ve ever thought “Counterspells don’t give me enough *value*. Can I have a 2/2 flier alongside them?”, Talrand is your guy.

MTGCasualPlay.com: Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your EDH Deck. Is there anything else you would like to include before we wrap things up?

Erabel: Thanks for choosing my deck to interview! 😀

End Step

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Talrand, Sky Summoner EDH Decklist by Erabel

If YOU would like us to feature YOUR deck in a future Ugin’s Insight article please visit the MagicEDH.com EDH Deck Interview Page

On to the next!

1 comment

  1. Wow, an EDH deck with no other creatures than the commander? That does sound really interesting and I would love to build it myself. I just fear that this would not work in my playgroup. However, it sounds cool enough that I might try it out!

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