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March 2011

Commander Help: Ith, High Arcanist for Ludo 

Always glad to help a fan of Commander, I received this e-mail:

Hi! I'm really a huge fan EDH, but unfortunately, I'm still at loss when it comes to building a deck like this.


So here's the thing:

I do have a General in mind and I was also able to find other sub-Generals for the deck. I was wondering if you could help me build an EDIth, High ArcanistH Deck around these cards.


My chosen General: Ith, High Arcanist


What do ya think? Can you help me fill it with other cards? Thank you so much and your reply would be greatly appreciated. :)


- Ludo (from Philippines)

Well of course I can Ludo, be happy to. Ith isn't the most popular general but choosing him makes a control deck very formidable. I definitely have found maze of ith to be one of the most annoying cards ever printed. The following deck will not make you friends but it will make a nice list. Let's start with lands:

Lands: 42
1x Prahv, Spires of Order
1x Adarkar Wastes
1x Mystic Gate
1x Hallowed Fountain
1x Coastal Tower
1x boreal Shelf
1x Maze of Ith
1x Minamo, School at Water's Edge
16x Plains
18x Island

You can pretty much use an Blue/White dual land to help with mana. Figured I'd include the namesake land for it's utility.

Onto the Good stuff:

1x Sovereigns of Lost Alara - gets Conscription!
Sovereigns of Lost Alara
1x Adarkar Valkyrie
1x Auriok Champion
1x Body Double
1x Glen Elendra Archmage
1x Godhead of Awe
1x Karmic Guide
1x Keiga, the Tide Star
1x Mirror Entity
1x Mistmeadow Witch
1x Mulldrifter
1x Reveillark
1x Twilight Shepherd
1x Venser, Shaper Savant
1x Azorius Guildmage
1x Grand Arbiter Augistin IV
1x Mnemonic Wall
1x Wall of Denial
1x Wall of Omens
1x Silent Arbiter
1x Mangara of Corondor
1x Vedalken Mastermind
1x Guile

I'll explain the creatures after the rest of the list.


1x Lightning Greaves
1x Blasting Station
1x Mindslaver
1x Azorius Signet
1x Relic of Progenitus
1x Pithing Needle

Mostly "hate" cards, and Mindslaver for Academy Ruins.

1x Aura of Silence
1x Oblivion Ring
1x Dovescape
1x Elddrazi Conscription
Dovescape is for our Guile, c-c-c-combo.

1x Pact of Negation
1x Condemn
1x HIndering Light
1x Momentary Blink
1x Path to Exile
1x Spin into Myth
1x Gather Specimens
1x Desertion
1x Commandeer
1x Vanish into Memory
1x Rebuff the Wicked
1x Swift Silence

1x Hallowed Burial
1x Austere Command
1x Day of Judgment
1x Planar Cleansing
1x Preordain
1x Rout
1x Wind of Rath
1x Wrath of God
1x Fabricate

Your basic suite of board sweepers, you could swap preordain for Sensei's Divining Top if you have one. Fabricate is just a tutor for some "hate" cards or for when you get your academy ruins out and want to find your Mindslaver.

1x Venser, the Sojourner
1x Jace Beleren
1x Tezzeret the Seeker

Okay basically to play this deck you have to know a few of the rules of magic that are subtle. Priority from the comprehensive rules:

116.3c If a player has priority when he or she casts a spell, activates and ability, or takes a special action, that player recieves priority afterward.

Okay this basically means during your turn at the beginning of each phase you are given priority and must "pass" priority to your opponent before the stack resolves. This lets you abuse our Momentary Blink/Vedalken Mastermind in the deck with any activated abilities such as Mangara of Corondor. You tap Mangara of Corondor, the ability goes onto the stack, you then cast momentary blink targettin Mangara, your opponent passes priority and the stack resolves from last card to the first. Momentary Removes Mangara from the game and returns it to the battelfield untapped. Mangara's ability removes a permament from the game but not Mangara because the Mangara is now a new object in the game and loses its "memory" of tapping.

Other combos include the Reveillark Combo
It uses Body Double, Revillark, Mirror Entity/Blasting Station and A come into play ability

The combo is quite resilient because it doesn't really matter if the cards are in your hand or graveyard. You evoke Lark, getting Body Double and a come into play card, we'll use Venser, shaper savant in our situation. Body Double copies Lark, Venser's ability will go on the stack. It'll resolve and you can use your Blasting station to sacrifice Body Double which will be just like Lark going to the graveyard and will bring itself back to untap Blasting station. You can also do this with just Reveillark and Karmic Guide. The card Reveillark is quite abusable, here's an excerpt from a blog i read:

"You have got Reveillark in the graveyard and a Body Double in hand along with Mirror Entity. Provided you have something productive in your graveyard (a Riftwing Cloudskate, say, or simply an evoked Mulldrifter) you can "go off" with this deck. The next step is to activate Mirror Entity for zero as many times as you'd like, all in response to one another. When you finally let the first Mirror Entity roll, what happens is that everyone dies, including the Reveillark and the Mirror Entity. When the 'Lark bites it, return the Body Double copying Reveillark (and something productive) and let the next Mirror Entity activation resolve. Now reverse it and pick up the original, and so on interchanging the two 'Larks, then repeat until you've returned all of the opponent's cards, drawn your deck, whatever you like based on the cards available to you... provided it can be accomplished via repeated access to two 2-power creatures. Your advantage on the board at the end of it all should be massive one way or another, plus the deck will often be in a position to win with a single attack powered by Mirror Entity." - Death Mark

While this may not happen a lot with your deck, it's possible, you simply do this with Auriok Champion or mulldrifter to gain a ton of life. The best part is that all these cards are good on their own merit. I also suggest you switch to Grand Arbiter Augustin IV if you want to stick to WU as your EDH colors as he makes all your stuff cheaper and all your opponent's more expensive. I advise you to read up on Reveillark and it's many uses to fully understand the card. Hope you enjoyed my ideas on a deck and Good Luck building your own Ith, High Arcanist Commander!



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