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Gahiji and the Infinite War

Today I’m going to touch on my latest attempt to build a Commander deck. If you don’t play Magic: the Gathering, this won’t be very interesting for you. This time I’m going to outline my rough ideas for a Gahiji, Honored One Commander deck.

You can follow the companion to this blog on TappedOut, where you can leave your own advice and suggestions for the deck itself.

Gahiji and the Infinite War on TappedOut

In most of my Commander decks, I avoid attacking until I can knock someone completely out of a game. My less aggressive decks, in the form of Oloro, Ageless Ascetic, Vorel of the Hull Clade and Riku of Two Reflections, all rely on non-combat abilities and effects to generate advantage and chip down life totals until an alpha strike can be made or a particular synergy reaches critical mass. To take a more pro-active approach to downing life-totals, I’ve turned to Gahiji, Honored One.

Why I Chose Gahiji

Other than just punching people in the face, Gahiji let’s me toy with a theme that I’ve been wanting to focus on for a while – extra combat phases. This desire was born during the Gatecrash Prerelease when I pulled two Aurelia, the Warleaders (one in my pool, one in my prizes). When the Exalted mechanic was re-printed some months after, I quickly made a Boros Exalted deck to marry it with both double strike and Aurelia’s double-combat phases.

Gahiji gives me a shameless opportunity to run a deck with Aurelia that can capitalise on recurring combat triggers in much the same manner, but to far greater degree. The intention with Gahiji is to get as many extra combat phases as possible, so we can get the most out of his ability for ourselves. Since it lasts until end of turn, we can get multiple triggers and really start racking up the damage. If you do throw in double strike, you’ll very quickly start seeing the bodies hit the floor.

The Start of the Infinite War

Let’s jump right in and see the different ways that we can get extra combat phases:

Extra Combat Phases (9)
Aggravated Assault
Aurelia, the Warleader
Breath of Fury
Hellkite Charger
Savage Beating
Scourge of the Throne
Seize the Day
Waves of Aggression
World at War

As you can see, we have nine good options to get extra combat phases, all of which come with a little something extra on the side. The options that didn’t make the cut were:

  • Relentless Assault – This card doesn’t deliver enough. All our other options give us something extra, so this alone isn’t good enough.
  • Godo, Bandit Warlord – While the equipment search is nice, the Samurai-only combat won’t ever actually trigger.
  • Fury of the Horde – Like Relentless Assault, this card doesn’t do enough. The inflated cost isn’t worth the optional free-cast, which will leave you behind if you don’t use it to close out.

War! What Is It Good For?

Combat triggers, that’s what. Extra combat phases means extra triggers from anything that says ‘whenever this attacks’ or ‘whenever this deals combat damage’. In lieue of this, I have the following provisional list of enticing combat synergy options.

Combat Synergy (21)
Angelic Skirmisher
Brimaz, King of Oreskos
Firemane Avenger
Flamerush Rider
Frontline Medic
Goblin Rabblemaster
Hellkite Tyrant
Hero of Bladehold
Hero of Oxid Ridge
Inferno Titan
Jazal Goldmane
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Odric, Master Tactician
Savage Ventmaw
Siege Behemoth
Siege Dragon
Sun Titan
Tajic, Blade of the Legion
Tyrant’s Familiar
Utvara Hellkite
Wingmate Roc

It’s a fun set of toys, but it’s not without its problems. For one, there are only two green creatures – Savage Ventmaw and Siege Behemoth. This list is actually already edited down from an original that was closer to forty cards. Some interactions worth point out are the combos with Breath of Fury, which can go infinite with Brimaz, King of Oreskos, Hero of Bladehold and Utvara Hellkite (if you have haste). Savage Ventmaw also has infinite potential with Aggravated Assault and comes closer with Hellkite Charger. For similar reasons you can expect that the final version will definitely include both Sword of Feast and Famine and Bear Umbra.

At time of writing, I’m currently working through different iterations of the full deck over on its TappedOut page, where you can leave comments and advice on the current build. Any advice is always appreciated. Join Gahiji and I and, together, we’ll wage our our Infinite War across the multiverse!

Published inWords on Magic

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