> Disclaimer <
The reason why I uploaded my personal Commander decklist isn't to promote the idea of having someone build the same exact thing (especially considering how much investment would be required with the cards I've selected and own), but rather to share my knowledge of what can be accomplished when taking the Mayael Commander route at a more complex level:
What type of gameplay would you experience, what are its pros and cons, but most and foremost how much >Fun< it is to play!
I hope that by uploading this decklist I'm influencing someone to try out the Commander format. There's lots of fun to be had and social hangouts that just make the game shine and while we're at it, let's take a look at what Mayael has to offer!
So sit down, and lets discuss strategy!
Even tho I've spent a lot of time perfecting my very own deck, Commander is not a format you can brute-force as its not meant to and can't even be exploited to be a one deck dominant theme, but rather to have a laugh at the amounts of strategies that would never see play in any other format any other way!
Welcome to Commander, where enemies are your friends and the game's direction is hectic and all over the place. Cards that just don't see play anywhere else can be all-stars here and the social aspect of this format is what brings old players together with cards that reflect on one's identity in a way where it just wouldn't be possible in any other format.
>Defining Mayael as a Commander<
Its no surprise to anyone that Mayael tends to be severely underestimated. She's one of the most casual of commanders in tables I've seen and played in. Searching and investigating on the matter only makes me ever so certain that this seems to be a common misconception.
What you should know is that the most common of Commanders impact the board by:
1) Commanders who do something once they enter or leave the battlefield;
2) Commanders who heavily impact the board with abilities the moment they are activated without the need to be "tapped";
3) Commanders with triggered abilities that you can exploit;
4) Commanders with counters such as experience counters with whom you can keep and interact with through-out the game;
5) Commanders with cost reductions who can come in for a static mana cost;
6) Commanders with Hexproof or Indestructibility who are hard to deal with.
7) Commanders that grant you something without the need to be cast;
As you can see, where does Mayael stand in the list? Well, she isn't.
For Mayael to perform well you need to somewhat mitigate the common issue of board removal, as she has to linger for an entire turn to have her ability become relevant.
However, do not be discouraged, as understanding her flaws allows us to run with cards that protect her because Mayael's ability is very powerful, provided you have a well-balanced deck to make the most out of it.
The biggest problem I've seen are in deck's cardlist that are far too heavy slow, and redundant, filled with creatures that barely impact the board just for a hint of Mayael craze. Yes - it is fun and engaging getting her to work, but stop and ask yourself this:
"Am I gonna put a creature in the deck that won't change anything just because it has a high casting cost?"
This mentality will ultimately just make the entire Mayael experience clunky and messy, and at worse, just a lot of creatures that look great at a zoo.
>Balance is key<
So, we've analyzed that there are problems and risks that come with Mayael, now should ask yourself this:
"Is this a Commander I want to run despite these issues?"
If so, then you've come to the right place! For those problems you see, can be used in your favor ~
Trust me, most Commanders go without saying that you need a good well-driven deck, Mayael takes that to the literal EXTREEEME as she needs more leverage but she can easily become a powerhouse within just a few turns of gameplay if you provide her with enough fuel to work with. This coming from someone who plays Commander actively and keeps on looking out for how to better drive this formula, making all kinds of wacky tests just for a tiny bit more fluent gameplay. You're welcomed!
This is what I love about Commander, the tinkering never-ends, but finding a good card that works just feels so very fulfilling!
> Mayael Overall Deck Analysis <
After lots of careful consideration, I composed this list with some of the most iconic cards in the Magic the Gathering History as well as some very Commander oriented cards kept in the mix. It should come to no surprise this deck ain't cheap, however for what it does, it holds its ground pretty well. In addition, being a Mayael centered deck allows for a RNG feel to it, making every moment unique and fun to experience.
Built for your everyday Commander social encounter:
seeing the spectacle of pulling in creatures with Mayael (even more so when you can control which creatures you want her to pull), whilst catching your opponents off-guard from the outcomes you can trigger every turn (theirs included), is but a joy to see and its certainly what makes this commander very unique and perfect for social encounters.
Shall you carefully look and analyze the decklist Its composed, these cards were carefully selected and tested to ensure you have a very complex net of possibilities as to how you wish to play, which is where it shines best as it's after all : Commander, having a multitude of options that cover lots of ground is generally what you'd seek in a multiplayer environment:
1) Ramp, you need Mayael to be engageable assap and for that we have lands that secure and allow you to never be stuck with cards you cannot cast and some of the strongest Naya mana dorks in the game;
2) Securing the Battlefield for Mayael. As mentioned, Mayael is a priority but don't rush it, until you've found yourself 5 mana with a 6th in hand, you do not want to be paying extra mana unnecessarily;
3) Manipulating the top card of the deck as to be able to properly engage with Mayael's ability and securing your pull;
4) Creatures that never feel obsolete with abilities that make up for Mayael's slow nature and immediately benefits and interacts with the board (*);
5) Draw, you need lots of cards to keep on making yourself relevant with solutions without being ever-so reliant on the one card you'll be drawing per turn and to better benefit from your top-card manipulation.
On the "How to Play" Section we're gonna go through-out exactly how we set Mayael's wheel in motion and how these cards play a key factor into your deck manipulation.
(*) - Most decks use a lot of spells to overcome many situations, Mayael works in a very unique way. Those spells come in the form of creatures, think of them as tool-kits. You tap Mayael in search of answers to "counter" spells, this is why you see a lot of spell-hate and creatures that encourage a steady board that are very hard to remove.
Example: Pulling Avacyn to answer a Board-Wipe; Archtype for Hexproof; Thorn Mammoth/Terror of the Peaks for creature removal; Balefire for Single Player Board Wipes; (and the list goes on).
> Updates <
I do make an effort to look out new cards and possibilities they can unlock, and as a result I do update the decklist whenever I feel there's a card that outperforms something in the list, making adjustments as it needs be so the deck stays consistent with its traits and core gameplay.
Any card that has been a part of the deck is on the SIdeboard, being that the only big card I swap in and out (depending on playgroups) is Selvala vs Sacrifice theme decks.
Last updated with Dominaria United on the day: [09/08/22].
We're rolling a Mayael themed deck, Mayael being a very unique Commander with the unique ability to look at the top 5 cards and pull into the battlefield a creature card whose power is 5+ (who cannot be counterspelled and can enter the battlefield on your opponents turn for extra value!).
Our main goal here in order to fully expand her ability to its fullest will be to
> Manipulate your Deck <
This will ensure you're able to steadily build a board filled with highly flexible creatures on tempo whose traits best benefit your board presence against your opponents!
It is highly important that you're able to keep on landing creatures that synergise well with the "enter the battlefield" mechanic, all of which should pack traits that both excel on aggressiveness and defensiveness in order to keep your board intact while mercilessly dominating the battlefield.
Yes, its a mouthful, but highly possible! And bellow we're going to go through it step by step as to best explain how we're gonna make it work.
Pros: Mayael allows for a fast board engagement with creatures impacting the board nearly every turn.
Faults: Its a deck that is susceptible to board control and as such, you'll be working to overcome this weakness.
With this in mind you have two goals to reinforce and further amplify Mayael's ability:
1) > Ensure her safety, you have a lot of means to protect her with cards such as Giver / Mother of Runes, both Lightning and Swiftfoot Boots / Steely Resolve / Shaper's Sanctuary/ Hexproof creatures such as Oak Street Innkeeper (with the Archtype and Avacyn as some of the top priority picks once she's settled).
2) > Make it possible to use Mayael's ability Several times <
This is easily done via Seedborn Muse which allows you to benefit from the multiplayer format by being able to have Mayael's ability ready whenever your opponent's untap their lands.
For this its imperative that you're able to summon Seedborn Muse assap and secure your ground as you'll quickly be the target of your opponents.
Cards such as Eldritch Evolution, See the Unwritten, Eladamri's Call. (On a Pinch, Wordly / Sylvan Tutor)
3) > Manipulating your top 5 cards <
This is made possible via:
Scroll Rack, Sylvan Library, Noxious Revival / Reinforcements / Sylvan & Worldly Tutors.
>For fast mana engagement the best creature to tutor for is Bloom Tender and/ or Faeburrow Elder, as you can easily summon your Commander on turn 3 and thus have her provide 3 mana.
Turn four you can already use Mayael's Ability and go from there, or better yet, use Seedborn Muse and have Mayael do the rest.
Once you've set the wheel in motion, you'll want to tap into Mayael's full potential and unleash havoc:
1) Open up Mayael's range of options and summon creatures who can directly disable your opponents and bolster your board presence:
Angel of Serenity; Thorn Mammoth; Vorinclex; Void Winnower; Terror of the Peaks; It that Betrays; Blightsteel Colossus. The list goes on.
3) Engage in all out combat, swarm the field and unleash havoc with combo cards: Craterhoof Behemoth, Gisela, Gruul Ragebeast, Utvara Hellkite, Balefire Dragon, Ulamog, etc.
Board Wipes are all around us, keep your Wordly Tutor/ Noxious Revival / Reinforcements in hand, as you'll quickly learn that Avacyn is your Go-to card whenever one shows up and the results then become delightful.
In case of a Board flick via Cyclonic Rift then Void Winnower too is around the corner, oh, and he too can counter Pair casts with Supreme Veredict, Wrath of God, Day of Judgement and several other's 6 casts being on the list! So there's always a 2nd way to deal with those.
These two are to be used abused as they are the key ingredients to success. An Odd pair, yes, but they get their job done.
Another way to pull this off is with Scroll Rack, to both card search and then pull them onto the top of your deck in response with Mayael doing the rest.
>Creatures & You <
As mentioned, creatures are Mayael's signature, and so I've made the deck packed with overwhelming creatures as to take advantage from such feature. The moment you get her on board, you'll be bringing on the spectacle of seeing what she'll pull into the battlefield.
So, being this is a multiplayer format you need to have answers for a wide range of scenarios and with this in mind (and having experienced a whole lot of diversity of commanders and strategies), I selected creatures that would overall always impact the board in some fashion. From Artifact/Enchantment Removal, Fights/ Damage to any target, Graveborne abilities, Hexproof & Indestructibility, Damage Doubler, Single Player Boardwipe.
Mayael is essencially a swiss army Knife, it does need the tools to work with, but her range is then ever-expanded.
> Last Thoughts <
Should you give it a go, you'll soon notice the deck is keen on providing you solutions no matter the situation you are in - That's this decks beauty - and the fun value of playing it is just glimmering with potential.
You'll be drafting yourself a holy grail of cards each time you use Mayael, either to get something on board or just to ease up the cards you draw, You'll feel as if you're driving on a highway. Every pick matters and absolutely nothing goes to waste.
Enjoy and do leave a comment if you wish to bring up new possibilities you believe could further fuel it up.
Also, I'm more than open and even thrilled as to discuss proper strategies and gameplay with whoever fancies leaving a reply!
Have any ideas or suggestions you feel could benefit a Mayael EDH Deck ?
Feel free to join in!
Cheers & I eagerly await your suggestions from you all o/