Buzzed About Drawing Cards - A Commander Deck-tech on The Locust God
Article by Adam Ray
Praise the ancient God of pestilence and the horde. Over the city of Naktamun, an uncountable number of 1/1's with flying and haste buzz about and leave destruction in their wake, just as the game plan with The Locust God as your Commander.
It's no secret that I love Blue and Red in Magic, and the new Izzet Legend from Hour of Devastation brings a new unique game plan to the colour pair akin to The Firemind himself. Whenever you draw a card with The Locust God out, you get a flying, hasty Locust.
When building, I asked myself, what the best ways to draw multiple cards in a single turn could be. Immediately I thought of Wheels and Timetwisters - classics of the genre like Time Spiral, Wheel of Fate, Time Reversal, and Magus of the Wheel all made it into the deck. Commit // Memory pulls double duty as a bounce spell, then a Timetwister. Runehorn Hellkite is a 5/5 Dragon that can get a boost from Favorable Winds but acts a Wheel if you exile it from your graveyard.
Big draw spells all are welcome in the deck, including Blue Sun's Zenith, Pull from Tomorrow, and Stroke of Genius. The all star of this genre though is the twelve mana nonsense mythic known as Enter the Infinite. To draw your deck, leave one on top so you don't lose - and thereby make sixty or seventy bugs feels very good by all accounts.
Other things to make sure you have at least fifteen cards in your hand at all times, is to increase the number of cards drawn whenever you draw. Borrowing a few cards from Nekusar that let you draw more on your draw step are good, like Howling Mine and Kami of the Crescent Moon are great additions. Things that double your draws are also excellent, like Alhammarret's Archive, Thought Reflection, and everyone knows locusts can drink rivers dry, but they do like to drink out of a Well of Ideas. In the early game, effects that speed up everyone's draws make you into everyone's friend, accelerating their production very very quickly. By the end of the game, you'll have seen more cards than anyone, making notions of card advantage irrelevant.
Then there are a few things in Blue that draw you cards just for sneezing, effectively. Commander staples like Rhystic Study and Consecrated Sphinx are must haves here. Coastal Piracy turns the bugs into Scroll Thieves and Windreader Sphinx is a cheeky bit of tech when your attack force is all flying.
With all this Blue talk, what is the Red for? Chandra, Flamecaller was always one of my favourite Planeswalkers. She felt like a swiss army knife back when she was in Standard, having an attack force, a one-sided Wheel, and a sweeper all in one. Here, her middle ability is best, to reset your hand and rebuild with bugs. Sticking with the Nalaar family, her mother Pia's Fateful Showdown against Tezzeret works the same way to reset your hand, and blast something for an inevitably high number seems very good here. If something like a Propaganda or Sphere of Safety is holding back your bugs, there are other ways for them to hurt immensely. Impact Tremors and Purphoros, God of the Forge ensure that them coming in hurts everybody whether they buzz in for damage or not.
Pairing Blue and Red together adds something interesting to the deck. Nin, the Pain Artist; Legendary Creature - Vedalken Dominatrix - has the political potential of letting someone get cards for ping'ed creatures, but the added benefit of tapping out, blowing one of your bugs to heck but getting so many more in return. Arjun, the Shifting Flame is a flying Mindmoil, adding chaos and extra draws on every spell. One of my favourite cards in the entire deck, and one I picked up only to make up value on a trade - but I now think is essential - is Mindwrack Liege. A team anthem is always nice, and it turns your bugs into 3/3's, but does wonders for the Commander itself. The Locust God keeps coming back after death, popping from Graveyard to Hand a the end of the turn. If it's in your hand, Mindwrack Liege lets you drop the God for four mana, not six, in a smooth, un-counterable activation. You get around Commander tax this way too.
Among the obvious Blue/Red Commander Land base, there's even lands that can draw you cards. Mikokoro, Center of the Sea, Geier-Reach Sanitarium, and Desolate Lighthouse will be overrun with locusts not before long.
Many other slots can be filled in with the deck. Even throwing in some infinite mana combos to draw your whole deck with The Locust God's ability could be good. So long as the Laboratory Maniac is cackling under your control. My version of the deck is here.