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Jodah "Kill On Sight" Aristocrats! | Jodah, the Unifier | $50, $100

This week's Budget Commander continues our trend of taking a popular new commander and making it super affordable: I'll show you how to build Jodah, the Unifier on just a $50 or $100 budget!

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Kill On Sight Aristocrats

For those of you who haven't seen Jodah, the Unifier in action yet, let me assure you that he's very, very strong. He's so strong, in fact, that it's basically impossible to build a "low power" version of him: so long as you put legendary creatures in your deck, Jodah's "legendary cascade" card advantage and super Coat of Arms anthem is going to provide you with a lethal board state in just a few turns: it doesn't matter if your deck is filled with draft chaff like Ambassador Laquatus or Ambassador Blorpityblorpboop when Jodah is casting an extra card for free and turning them all into 10/10's!

He is the definition of a Kill on Sight commander: the only way to stop a Jodah deck is to mercilessly kill the commander as soon as he hits the battlefield. Otherwise Jodah likely wins the game.

So that got me thinking: if Jodah basically wins the game if he stays on the battlefield, why not build a deck that is designed to protect him, or even benefits from him dying?

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At first I just added ways to prevent Jodah, the Unifier from going back to the command zone: Esior, Wardwing Familiar, Linvala, Shield of Sea Gate, and Hajar, Loyal Bodyguard can all keep him from leaving the battlefield, and Saffi Eriksdotter gets him immediately back. Curiously though, Linvala, Hajar, and Saffi all sacrifice themselves to do this! Hmmm!

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What about returning Jodah back to our hand instead of command zone so we don't need to pay command tax? Well, Liesa, Forgotten Archangel and Rienne, Angel of Rebirth do just that, which is doubly nice because we can recast our other legendary creatures with Jodah out for more cascade! And what about Hofri Ghostforge and Ratadrabik of Urborg to make copies of our legendaries when we die? Looks like we're getting a lot of sacrifice support all of a sudden! Hmmm!

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And then the final piece of the puzzle: since we have so much sacrifice support, let's run some sac outlets of our own! Since Jodah, the Unifier pumps our entire team we can draw absurd amounts of cards with Shadowheart, Dark Justiciar, or gain tons of life and start removing things with Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim!

And thus, Jodah Aristocrats is born!

$50 and $100 Decks

I played an earlier draft of the $50 list over on my stream which you can see here! Minor spoiler: the deck performs VERY well!

But you can't play 5C on such a low budget?! Nonsense. I follow Frank Karsten's math on how many mana sources we need to consistently cast our spells on curve. This deck needs 19 Green sources from lands a 1-drops to cast Rampant Growth on turn 2, for example, and it's got 19 to do just that. It's got even more fixing options from 2-drops and 3+ drops. Casting Jodah, the Unifier on turn 4 is not a problem at all for this deck.

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The $100 list improves all aspects of the deck, with the single best inclusion being Chulane, Teller of Tales, which not only draws cards and ramps but also bounces legendary creatures back to hand so we can cascade again with Jodah, the Unifier! You can see the deck in action on tomorrow's Commander Clash!

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Further Upgrades

Obviously there are a ton of ways you can improve this deck with a higher budget!

Fans of 1v1 constructed formats might remember how you used to cast 3-drop Violent Outburst to cascade into the 2-drop Valki, God of Lies, and then choose to cast the backside of Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor, which is a 7-drop? This interaction was so powerful that WOTC decided to change the rules of cascade to prevent this from happening anymore. Thankfully for us, Jodah can pull off the same trick as the old cascade rules! So Valki is one of the best 2-drops to cascade into. I also love Esika, God of the Tree, which you can cheat The Prismatic Bridge if you want or the front side is great too!

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The rest is more generic Legendary Tribal suggestions: obviously Captain Sisay is absurdly good, and you can throw in the other legendary support stuff like Plaza of Heroes, Kethis, the Hidden Hand, other Sisay, etc. etc. And you can throw in better lands like shocks + fetches, Vampiric Tutor, blah blah. You know, good stuff. Have at it!

That's All, Folks!

Next week is either going to be Queen Kayla bin-Kroog Weenie Reanimator or Satoru Umezawa Ninjutsu, not sure yet!

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