Quarantine Commander: Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves

Commander has been a social outlet for me for quite some time. It was a way to take a night out and just jam some games. The last social thing I did was play a few games after weighing the options of going out in the final days before the New York City lock down.

Given all of this I needed to find another way to stay sane and decompress. Commander was such a huge part of that for me that losing it was way harder than I expected. So when a few of my friends posited playing games through Magic Online I jumped at the chance. One of them – Mike the Geologist – had been talking about the card rental service he uses. I decided to give it a go. I have had a great experience using ManaTraders (not sponsored) and if you are looking to get some silly games with friends online, I cannot recommend them enough.

Back to the Commander; Kendra Smith (aka TheMaverickGirl) is a streamer and agreed to host our Wednesday night game on her channel. The game include Kendra, Mike the Geologist, and Mike from the Pauper Cube. Once the replay is up you can listen to everyone cringe as I compare the original art of Mana Crypt to part of the human body. Which part? Well, I’ll leave that to you to decide.

I wanted to play a deck that I had considered putting together in paper but wasn’t entirely sure if I wanted to invest in the physical cards. The deck is Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves.

I have a thing for permanents entering the battlefield in ways other than being cast. Tolsimir lets me create tokens and generate value, but it shines when you can make other tokens that trigger his ability. It also let me run one of my all-time favorite Commander cards in Kessig Cagebreakers. Cagebreakers just speaks to part of my Golgari soul. It wants you to have creatures in the graveyard and then it helps to make a giant army. If I ever build this deck in paper it will be because of that card. And hey, it also can be a kick in the teeth when Tolsimir is out.

I also have a soft spot for the fight mechanic. I have long thought about building a mono red fight deck around Tahngarth, Talruum Hero (and might just do that one night on MTGO) but Tolsimir makes it so much easier. I never got to pull it off in game, but I would have loved attacking with Cagebreakers while my Commander was on the battlefield with a Bow of Nylea out.

I’m not very nice.

The last thing I loved about this deck was how it let me run one of my favorite triumvirates of cards. Cryptolith Rite, Druid’s Repository, and Throne of the God-Pharaoh all work together with a token strategy. They encourage attacking and generate mana, giving you the tools to make more tokens. And when it’s all said and done you get to hit every opponent with the Throne. Mike the Geologist talked about Nature’s Will as a compliment to Repository and it is something to consider.

So if you’re looking for a goofy deck that is relatively cheap on Magic Online, you could do worse than my Tolsimir deck. Because who doesn’t love dogs?

Published by Alex Ullman

Alex Ullman has been playing Magic since 1994 (he thinks). Since 2005, he's spent most of his time playing and exploring Pauper. One of his proudest accomplishments was being on the winnings side of the 2009 Community Cup. He makes his home in Brooklyn, New York, where he was born and raised.

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