Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder

If you want a commander deck that is fun to play whether you win or lose, I would suggest Entropic Uprising. This deck is headed by Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder and was one of the preconstructed commander decks released in 2016. This was not my first commander deck, but it was the first commander precon that I bought so it holds a special place in my heart. The deck’s commander, Yidris, is a 5/4 with trample that costs a blue, a black, a red, and a green. From a cost/benefit analysis, he is a decent creature card. He also comes with an additional ability that reads “Whenever Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder deals combat damage to a player, as you cast spells from your hand this turn, they gain cascade.” Cascade is a mechanic that was first introduced in the Alara block and it works as follows: “When you cast this spell, exile cards from the top of your library until you exile a nonland card that costs less. You may cast it without paying its mana cost. Put the exiled cards on the bottom of your library in a random order.” This is basically casting two spells for the price of one, so Yidris needs to deal combat damage and we can start doing that; this should be easy since he has trample, however, with just the cards that come in the precon this won’t happen too often. This is commander we are talking about after all and there are always bigger creatures that can block Yidris. Sure we can recast him if he dies, but he doesn’t have haste so we won’t be able to get a cascade trigger until next turn. The next problem with the precon is that there is no solid win condition. There are several wheel effects in the deck (effects that cause players to discard their hand and draw seven new cards) so it seems that the deck wants to mill the opponents, but mill is not usually a viable strategy in commander since you have to mill through three 99-card decks and giving your opponents a fresh hand in a format like this is seldom a good idea. It could win through commander damage, but then again a 5/4 is pretty easy to block and you would have to deal 20 to each player for a total of 60.

Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder

For consistency, this deck needs major upgrades. If we want more cascade triggers, we need to make sure Yidris gets through more often and I think the best way to do this is to make him unblockable. There is only one card in the precon that does this, Whispersilk Cloak. I say the deck needs 4 or 5 of these effects to be more consistent: Rogue’s Passage, Cloak of Mists, Aqueous Form, Protective Bubble, or Tricks of the Trade. Really, any kind of evasion like flying or menace would be more than welcome in a deck like this.

Apart from Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder himself, there are only three other cards that come in the precon with cascade: Bloodbraid Elf, Bituminous Blast, and Etherium-Horn Sorcerer. All are welcome additions and I like the fact the Etherium-Horn Sorcerer can bounce itself and has a reasonably high casting cost allowing you to play it, cascade, bounce, and repeat over the course of several turns. There are a few other cards with cascade that I would suggest you have in the deck: Deny Reality, Kathari Remnant, and Maelstrom Wanderer. You can also use Violent Outburst, Shardless Agent, and Demonic Dread, but these three cards only have a CMC of three so you won’t have any huge plays off of them, but they can help ramp you by finding a signet or your Sol Ring.

This is a four color deck so it needs mana fixing. There are several lands that can tap for any color that were included in the precon and you certainly want all of those plus a few more. The deck also comes with all of the tri lands, which are a great inclusion. I say the deck also need at least one copy of each signet the deck can run as well as more duel lands like the guild gates, bounce lands, shock lands, or scry lands, whatever you have the budget for. Izzet, Dimir, Golgari, Rakdos, Simic, and Gruul are the guild colors that the deck can utilize. To ensure that you get the proper fixing, I would suggest running more green and blue sources over black and red so you can cast ramp and card draw spells earlier rather than later. Chromatic Lantern comes in the deck and it is worth keeping in there. You do not want to miss a land drop in this deck because the more mana you have the more spells you can cast and the more spells you cast the more cascade triggers you get, which just means more chaos in your favor.

While we are on the subject of mana, I would advise against running cards that have X in their casting cost or have an alternative casting cost like Entwine or Overload. If you cascade into one of these, say Cyclonic Rift for example, you won’t be able to pay its overload cost and cause a board wipe. Same thing for something like Banefire. Since you’re not paying mana when you cascade into it, X will be 0. Now things with Flashback or Jump-start are okay since you cast those out of the graveyard, but keep in mind, Yidris’s ability reads that the cards must be cast from your hand for a cascade trigger. Now if you really want something crazy, combine all of that cascade with a storm card like Empty the Warrens. Going back to the board wipes for a moment, in commander you do want a board wipe or two, maybe three, in your deck, but be careful attaching cascade to them as you could cascade into a creature and lose it when the board wipe resolves.

So how do you end the game? Since the deck has four colors, you can put in whatever win condition you want. I like to use big spells that are hard to deal with and cascade into more shenanigans like Cruel Ultimatum, Mycoloth, Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh (or any planeswalker really), Consuming Abberation, Spelltwine, Behold the Beyond, Part the Waterveil. These are some big mana spells, but if you cascade off of them, they can really generate some huge value. Take Spelltwine for example; with cascade on it, you’re now casting 4 cards for just six mana. Add Omniscience into the deck and congratulations, you have just broken Magic: The Gathering and at least one player will probably ‘scoop’ at that point.

As a precon, the deck has no idea what it wants to do; it’s just chaos. It does contain some good cards, but there is no synergy among them other than cascade, if you can even call it synergy. While it is a fun deck to play, it needs some major upgrades for consistency. This is a deck that should be able to win on its own without the use of its commander. Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder primarily serves to accelerate the deck towards victory. I also enjoy the flavor of these precons as there is one color missing from each deck and it provides a weird perspective on the color pie. White is the missing color here and it’s the color of order. If there is no order, what do you have? Chaos.

Do you have a legendary creature that you want to see next in this series? Let me know in the comments.

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  1. : ? , Goblin Spymaster, Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder Primeval Protector? ?!

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