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Budget Commander: Omnath, Locus of Rage ($63 or 14tix)


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TIMMY SMASH!

Omnath, Locus of Rage wins last week's poll by a landfall! Omnath 2.0 is definitely the splashiest addition to Commander from Battle for Zendikar and has the community abuzz with spicy new brews. Omnath is a very impressive Timmy card (and a splash of Johnny!) that gets out of control in a hurry. The deck is all about explosive ramp, producing an army of 5/5's, and bashing (or burning) out your foes for maximum damage immediately.
 
Here is my contribution to the discussion: a budget list which focuses mainly on Omnath's landfall trigger, along with a small Elemental tribal package. My list also contains some new twists that I haven't seen anyone else discussing, which I think are pretty sweet. Let's get started!

Big Ramp, Lots o' Tokens

Omnath's power comes mainly from his landfall trigger, creating a 5/5 elemental token for every land that enters your side of the battlefield. This ability encourages us to play lots of cards that drop extra lands into play, something Green is the absolute best at doing. Omnath pops out a 5/5 elemental when you cast Rampant Growth and can swarm the board with ten 5/5's if you ramp out ten lands with Boundless Realms! That's insane!
 
Most Commander decks already want to run tons of ramp to crank out their big splashy cards, but Omnath makes ramping even better because your ramp cards no longer become dead draws later on in the game. Drawing a Sakura-Tribe Elder when you've already have ten lands out is usually bad for most decks, but Omnath ensures you still get a sweet 5/5 elemental out of it.

Another easy way to trigger landfall is with lands that put other lands into play. All the fetchlands do this, from Evolving Wilds to Wooded Foothills. Some lands actually ramp you too, like Blighted Woodland.

Since we're building a deck to consistently trigger Omnath's landfall, we should also be running other great landfall cards as well. Rampaging Baloths and Avenger of Zendikar are two notable landfall powerhouses that also love our heavy land ramp deck.

Elemental Package

Omnath, Locus of Rage's second trigger lets you Lightning Bolt something whenever one of your elementals die. This ability gives you some insurance for when Omnath and your army of elemental tokens inevitably die to a board wipe. You can punish or outright kill the opponent that dares wipe your board with a Wrath of God effect. Since this triggered ability counts all elementals — not just Omnath and his tokens — it also acts as tribal support for elemental decks.

While I decided not to go all-in with a Tribal Elemental deck with Omnath at the helm (I rather jam him in a Horde of Notions deck with greater access to elemental creatures), I did add some of my favorite elementals that get better with Omnath around.

  • Titania, Protector of Argoth goes with Omnath, Locus of Rage like peanut butter and jelly. She's an immensely powerful elemental that also produces elementals. Many of the same cards Omnath wants to run, like Blighted Woodland and Harrow, trigger her ability as well
  • Bane of Progress is a powerful artifact and enchantment board wipe that I blissfully run in Green decks already
  • Ingot Chewer is especially good with Omnath as you can cast it for its Evoke cost to blow up an artifact and Lightning Bolt something else
  • Fertilid ramps triggering Omnath, then dies, also triggering Omnath!
  • Tempt with Vengeance is a hyper-efficient token producer, flooding the board with elementals that can easily win you the game if said elementals die with Omnath on the board

There are more elementals included, but those are my favorites.

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Sacrifice for Sweet Value

It's good to have a couple on-demand methods of sacrificing your elemental creatures to trigger Omnath's Lightning Bolt. Sometimes you need to remove a troublesome creature immediately, like Prophet of Kruphix, or your opponent is looking to remove your creatures without killing them, like with Cyclonic Rift.

My rule of thumb is the best creature sacrifice outlets are: (1) minimal or free to activate, (2) repeatable and instant-speed, (3) produce a desirable effect. My favorite sacrifice outlets within our budget are Evolutionary Leap, which replaces our creatures with more gas, and Perilous Forays, which is super brutal with Omnath in play. Sacrifice an elemental token, deal 3 damage to a target and ramp out a land, trigger Omnath's landfall and receive a new token to repeat the process. Ouch!

There are other sweet things outside of creatures that we can sacrifice for value. Something I don't see other people discussing, which I've found to be very cool and brutally effective, is sacrificing our most abundant resource: lands! Once we have 10+ lands in play, which is more mana than we know what to do with, we can sacrifice excess lands to stomp our opponents. Cards like Wildfire are not too painful against us once we have 10+ lands in play, but for our opponents with only six lands in play, it's absolutely devastating.

We can also take advantage of cards that make everyone sacrifice nonbasic lands. Wave of Vitriol and From the Ashes get rid of all players’ nonbasics and replaces them with basics. That's multiple landfall triggers for us while putting our opponents behind with a weaker manabase! Things get absolutely silly if Titania, Protector of Argoth is in play. She LOVES seeing you sacrifice lands for value!

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The Rest

That wraps up the main themes of the deck. The rest of the deck is rounded out by removal, utility, and card advantage. Here are some notable highlights:

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Put it all together and here's the deck:

 

Back by popular demand, here's the Magic Online version of this deck, swapping out some cards due to price disparities between Magic Online and paper markets:

 

Upgrading and Fiddly Bits

As usual, it's up to you to figure out how to upgrade and tune the base list. Playing with the deck a few times gives you a feel for how many lands, tutors, Haste enablers, and removal works for you within your playgroup's meta.

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Vote For The Next Budget Commander

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That's All, Folks!

There have been requests for videos showing the budget decks in action, so that will be coming in the near future. If you have anything else you want to see in future articles, please let me know!

Speaking of which, please let me know which commanders you'd like to see in the future. The ones I like the most or are the most popular will be placed in future polls.

Follow me on Twitter @BudgetCommander for notifications on when the next article is up, updates on future decks, and input for what to work on next. Thanks for reading


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