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Budget Commander: Go Wide ... Voltron?! | Otharri, Suns' Glory | $50, $100

Hey friends, welcome back to Budget Commander! Today we're taking two very different archetypes -- Go Wide Tokens and Voltron -- and smashing them together into a deadly deck: check out Otharri, Suns' Glory!

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Can't Keep A Good Bird Down

Back when I wrote my upgrade guide for Rebellion Rising, which gave us two new commanders including Otharri, I said that Neyali, Suns' Vanguard was clearly the better commander: one draws cards and the other doesn't; open and shut case, right?

It turns out that I was underselling poor Otharri, Suns' Glory way too much! In truth, this blazing bird is a powerhouse in the command zone and while it doesn't directly draws cards like Neyali, it indirectly generates card advantage by putting a ridiculous amount of pressure on your opponents every time it swings, generating an ever-growing number of attacking Rebel tokens that must be answered via cards in your opponents' hands! But luckily for us, Otharri has a potent activated ability that lets you recast it from the graveyard for cheap, so the Bird. Keeps. Coming. Back! This makes Otharri excel in removal-heavy metas where something like Neyali can struggle!

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While Otharri looks like a simple bird that just wants to attack and make tokens, building the deck properly is less straightforward. I noticed EDHREC and other initial builds recommending going hard on the Rebel theme by running a bunch of the oldschool tutor rebels like Defiant Falcon and Defiant Vanguard, I guess so you can more consistenly reanimate Otharri after removal? I've also seen the same builds recommend going deep on Tokens and running a bunch of token generators like Felidar Retreat and Assemble the Legion.

I dislike both of these directions. You don't need to run tons of bad Rebels to consistently reanimate Otharri when you can just tutor up the good Rebels instead, and I'd rather not waste slots on token generators either when Otharri is such an amazing generator in our command zone.

Instead, my build focuses on going all-in on our super resilient commander by combining a Go Wide theme with Voltron: the goal is simply to cast Otharri and then maximize its game-winning attack trigger. The only Rebels I want to run are ones that buff that gameplan, so cards like Neyali, Suns' Vanguard adds damage and draw, and "For Mirrodin!" equipment like Bladehold War-Whip can equip to Otharri to help our Voltron strategy while also making a Rebel token to reanimate our commander when needed.

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The best way to maximize Otharri, Suns' Glory's attack trigger is unquestionably extra combats: every extra combat more than doubles our damage output because we're getting an extra attacking Rebel each attack! Hexplate Wallbreaker is obviously on-theme but the absolute best one in the deck is Breath of Fury: if you have a few rebel tokens without summoning sickness (or have a haste enabler like Roar of Resistance) and an open opponent then you have easy lethal on the entire table with Otharri!

All the extra combats are great here. They can get pricey (e.g. Aurelia, the Warleader) but they're all amazing!

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Speaking about damage: the unique power of Otharri is that we can end the game very easily both with commander damage or going wide with regular combat damage! We have some cards to turn our Go Wide tokens strat into an easy Voltron kill: Kemba's Banner, Horn of Valhalla, Mace of the Valiant, and Paladin Class can buff Otharri equal to the number of creatures we're pumping out.

We can also pump our entire team with each Otharri attack: Cathars' Crusade is the best of the best here but Goldnight Commander and Valor in Akros do fine budget replacements. There's plenty of anthems to choose from like Adriana, Captain of the Guard as well. All of these anthems punch even harder with extra combats!

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Weirdly enough, one of the deck's greatest strengths is its card draw: we've got Mentor of the Meek, Welcoming Vampire, Tocasia's Welcome, Symmetry Matrix, Staff of the Storyteller, and Idol of Oblivion for incremental draw off Otharri's token generation, and its lifelink makes Well of Lost Dreams a powerhouse too! There's so much good card draw in the deck that I actually had to cut some old favorites because it was getting excessive.

Between Otharri's self-reanimation and the deck's amazing card draw engines, it's very easy to keep up with the rest of the table and win the game of attrition.

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While it doesn't fit my $50 budget, I think it's important to highlight the best Rebel in the deck for reanimating Otharri: Mutavault. The clunkiness with Otharri's reanimation is that if your rebels are on the battlefield and you eat a board wipe then there won't be any rebels remaining to activate its ability. Mutavault solves that by dodging basically all removal, sitting as a land until you need to reanimate Otharri, then it just costs 1 extra to turn it into a creature!

White has at least two good ways of fetching it up too: Expedition Map and Weathered Wayfarer!

Alright, with the deck highlights out of the way, let's check out the lists:

$50 List

The $50 list already slaps. You slam Otharri and just keep attacking and drawing cards. Your opponents will either need to keep finding removal for all your stuff or they will just die. Sometimes you find one of your 5 extra combat cards and they're super duper dead!

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$100 List

The $100 List does the same thing just better: we get Mutavault that we can fetch with Expedition Map and Weathered Wayfarer, more extra combats, and a bunch of generic upgrades.

Quick rant: I make these articles over a week in advance usually and tweak the decks a little before publishing (prices go up). This list went up over $10 over a single week! I had to cut Aurelia, the Warleader just to get the budget down. Ugh!

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Further Upgrades

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