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5 Free EDH Decks on MTGO | Commander Quickie

With quarantine preventing most of us from playing Magic together at the same table, some people have turned to long-distance solutions to get their Commander fix. While the most common method is to play via webcams, one often overlooked method that I highly recommend is playing on Magic Online aka MTGO or MODO. Now is the best time to give it a shot because Cardhoarder is offering free 5 ticket loan accounts that you can use to play powerful Commander decks for free. "Tickets" are a MTGO currency with 1 ticket being equivalent to $1, which doesn't sound like a lot but with most digital decks costing a fraction of their paper counterparts, you can easily build powerful decks on a 5 ticket budget! And that's what this article is all about: we're covering five sweet Commander decks that you can get for free from this loan program.

Before we dive into the decks, let's briefly go over what you have to do in order to start playing free decks on MTGO. If you want an in-depth guide to setting up and playing MTGO then check out Seth's guide covering that. To quickly summarize here:

  • Install MTGO
  • Set up an MTGO account and upgrade it to a full account (one-time payment of $10)
  • Register your free 5 ticket loan account with Cardhoarder

And that's it, you're ready to play! Whenever you want to borrow some cards, simply go to Cardhoarder, add the cards to your cart, and then pay with your loan account at checkout. Once you've completed your order an automated bot delivers you the cards on MTGO. Returning the cards requires simply clicking "return order" on Cardhoarder, which summons an automated bot to collect the cards from you on MTGO. It's really that simple!

If you'd like me to do an instructional video showing you step by step how to start playing Commander on MTGO then let me know in the comments section and if there's enough interest I'll be happy to oblige. But for now, let's check out some powerful decks that you can borrow for FREE with Cardhoarder's 5 ticket loan account!

1. Shrine Enchantress

Core Set 2021 recently arrived, and with it came six new Shrine cards (Sanctum of Calm Waters), including one that tutors up all the others, Sanctum of All, bringing the total of Shrine cards up to eleven. Ever since these cards were revealed there's been a ton of hype around Shrine Tribal. The concept of the deck is simple: since all Shrine cards get stronger the more Shrines you control, the idea is to jam all eleven Shrine cards in a deck and try to put them on the battlefield as quickly as possible. Shrines do everything you need a deck to do: you ramp with Sanctum of Fruitful Harvest, draw cards with Honden of Seeing Winds, take out threats with Honden of Infinite Rage, and win the game with Sanctum of Stone Fangs. Because of this, Shrines are a wonderful base to build a deck on top of.

To play all eleven Shrines we'll need to pick a 5C commander. Of the ones available, by far the best option is Sisay, Weatherlight Captain, since she can repeatedly tutor up all of our legendary shrines, which is exactly what we want to be doing. From there I decided to lean heavily on an Enchantress theme, since all the shrines are enchantments and Enchantress has a ton of support, especially when building on a budget.

The end result is an Enchantress Control deck that looks to fill the board with Shrines as quickly and consistently as possible. Our deck has tons of ways to find our Shrines, our best being our Commander but also Zur the Enchanter, Idyllic Tutor, Wargate, and Sanctum of All. We also run ways to get additional value out of our shrines such as Paradox Haze to get additional upkeep triggers and Strionic Reasonator to copy a trigger. The deck is filled with ramp (Mirari's Wake), card draw (Setessan Champion), targeted removal (Aura of Silence), and board wipes (Extinguish All Hope). Best of all, our deck is loaded with mass recursion (Replenish -- yes, reserved list cards are dirt cheap online!), so we can easily bounce back from board wipes.

The entire deck can be picked up for free with a loan account! Price is currently 4.76tix as of writing this:

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2. Niv-Mizzet Spellslinger

Niv-Mizzet, Parun is the archetypal Izzet Spellslinger deck. We're here to cast tons of instants and sorceries, removing threats with Pongify and Mogg Salvage, countering spells (Counterspell), and of course, drawing tons of cards (Deep Analysis). We turn all this spellslinging into a giant army with Docent of Perfection, double up with Double Vision, and recur spells with Spellweaver Volute. But while we're burying our opponents in value, we have a bunch of ways to outright win the game, such as:

So yeah, the deck is very strong! Control the board with Spellslinger goodies then win the game with any of our devastating combos!

If you're looking for an in-depth guide to this deck then check out my Budget Commander: Niv-Mizzet article.

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3. Gargos Voltron

Gargos, Vicious Watcher is almost always built as a casual janky Hydra Tribal deck, focusing on the commander's huge mana discount to cast huge Hydras. My version of Gargos is very different, however, focusing heavily on the commander's powerful fight trigger to munch on all opposing creatures. The idea is to ramp out Gargos and then quickly and efficiently trigger its fight ability by targeting it and other creatures for protection (Blossoming Defense), card draw (Hunter's Insight), and removal (Nature's Way), all while dishing out massive damage with our commander. Not only are all our targeted instants and sorceries causing Gargos to fight, but we also have other support cards like Season of Growth, Wild Defiance, and Precursor Golem getting tons of extra value from them as well. Once the deck gets rolling we're like a Control deck, keeping the board clear of any opposing permanents, except unlike most Control decks, Gargos kills people very quickly.

I've written a Budget Commander on Gargos already which I recommend if you want an in-depth guide to the deck. But take my word for it: Gargos may not look scary at first, but this is one of the most powerful budget decks ever made.

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4. Zada Combo

Bored of slowly, durdly decks grinding out value? Looking to end the game fast in one glorious explosive turn that will generate TONS of mana, draw TONS of cards, and deal TONS of damage (and sometimes blow up in your face)? Then Zada, Hedron Grinder is the deck for you! When you target Zada with an instant or sorcery, you get to copy it for each other creature you control. If you control three other creatures then you get to copy the spell three times, each copy targeting one of those creatures. That's a LOT of copies for not a lot of setup and it can lead to silly dumb turns that win you the game!

The deck works like this: once you've ramped and placed down some creatures (Goblin Instigator) and Zada, Hedron Grinder, you're ready to go off. Generate tons of mana with cards like Battle Hymn, draw tons of cards with cards like Expedite targeting Zada, make more mana, cast more creatures, draw more cards, then eventually send them attacking for lethal with cards like Fists of Flame

Zada is all about go big or go home mentality: either you win in one glorious turn, or you get shut down and probably lose. That's the Zada way!

If you're looking for an in-depth guide to this deck then check out my Budget Commander: Zada article.

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5. Sram Auras

What, a Mono White deck? I thought Mono White is supposed to be terrible?

NOPE! Check out Sram, Senior Edificer, an ultra-efficient card draw engine at just 2 mana! This powerhouse of a commander is usually built as an Equipment commander, but building him around Auras is significantly cheaper and honestly, I think it's even stronger! Mono White is actually really good at supporting Aura decks, filled with excellent tutors (Heliod's Pilgrim), recursion (Retether), and even insane card draw (Sage's Reverie). Focusing on Auras fixes pretty much all the issues that Mono White usually has.

The idea is to play Sram, protect him (Hyena Umbra), draw tons of cards (Kor Spiritdancer), then beef him up for massive damage (Ethereal Armor). Simple but highly effective!

If you're looking for an in-depth guide on the deck then check out my Budget Commander: Sram article.

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Want To See More 5 Ticket Decks?

I hope you liked this shortlist of free decks that you can borrow and play on MTGO. If you'd like to see more decks tuned to fit the 5tix budget just leave a comment telling me what commander (1 ticket or less please) you'd like to see in a future article. If there's enough interest then I'll definitely do more of these. Thanks for reading!

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