Commander of the Day: Vazi, Keen Negotiator

Hi there everyone! My name is Jason and today I'd like to start a (hopefully) daily post where I talk about Commanders that I like for the wonderful game of Magic the Gathering. 

What is Commander?
In Magic there are many different formats that you are able to play! These can range from well known ones like Standard, Commander, Modern, and Pioneer, to more obscure ones like Pauper, Oathbreaker, Legacy or even Vintage. By far the most popular one that has taken the community by storm over the last couple years has to be my personal favorite and the one that I learned first, Commander! Commander is what is referred to as a "Singleton Format" in which unlike most other formats you can only have 1 copy of a card in your deck. The deck size is also limited to exactly 100 cards making it possible to see tons of wacky combos in just 1 game. What makes commander so special and so popular is that it feels like a fresh game and a new deck every time you sit down to play and really brings a sense of community as most games are played in a 1v3 free for all unlike the other formats which are typically 1v1. 

What is a Commander? 
Your commander is any legal legendary creature card that you always have access to and are able to cast from a special zone called the "Command Zone". In this format the commander is usually the most important card in your deck and is the main focus of your deck building and theory crafting.

My Pick for Today!
Now with the brief housekeeping out of the way and hopefully enough context given to new readers I'd like to go over today's pick, Vazi, Keen Negotiator. 

Vazi is an exclusive Jund (BRG) Legendary Creature from the Streets of New Capenna Commander legal cards. She costs 2BRG and has haste. She says "Tap Target opponent makes X Treasure tokens, where X is the number of Treasures you have made this turn." Immediately the first thing that comes to mind is everyone's favorite subgame, politics. Her entire persona is that of a 1920s mobster with the mentality of "Hey Tony, you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours Capiche". Her last ability gives her a little bit of card advantage and grows a creature on the board, it says "Whenever an opponent casts a spell or activates and ability, if mana from a treasure was spent, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature and draw a card. I absolutely love this Commander because it makes me feel like a crime kingpin bribing my way to a victory. Give a little get a little

Tips for Building
Vazi can fall into a few archetypes. The first one that might come to mind is a Group Hug or Kingmaker mentality in which you help the whole table while furthering yourself or you funnel everything into one specific player and support them as they steamroll opponents and then hopefully have a backup plan to sneak out a victory and backstab your partner just like a real mobster. Running some more obscure cards like the "Hunted" line can give you creatures while at the same time spreading the love and giving some of the other players some creatures too. 

This card will give not only you a creature but someone else at the table a few blockers as well! Next you need to start generating some value and start dishing out treasure tokens. Cards like Tireless Provisioner will generate treasures on landfall, Professional Face-Breaker will make it so that when a creature connects you'll get to make a treasure, and throw in a Xorn or Jolene The Plunder Queen to give yourself just a few extra treasures. Next strike a deal with a friend, tap Vazi down and pass on some very addicting artifacts. First one's free right?

My personal experience with this build was an extremely positive one, however the largest downside I found was that I started to generate more treasures than I knew what to do with and whenever I'd pass them to the other players, they would often either forget about them or simply choose not to use them. After some careful considerations and a lot of internal debating I let her sly voice get the better of me and Vazi lead me down a very destructive rabbit-hole a destructive rabbit-hole. Now before you say "Jason land destruction isn't fun for anyone and it slows down the game and essentially resets everyone to 0!" normally I'd fully agree with you as I also hate it when Armageddon hits the board, however, I believe that with Vazi  you are able to tastefully and flavorfully pull it off. 

Vazi wants everyone to use their treasures and to gain value from them doing that. Well if the problem was that nobody was using them, why not strongarm the table into needing to use them by destroying their other sources of mana. Not only will this make you everyone's best friend and worst enemy at the same time, it'll most likely assure your safety as everyone pleads with you to pass some treasure their way. Cards like Boom // Bust, cycling Decree of Annihilation, and Tectonic Break will take out all those pesky lands and leave people begging you to send them some treasures. 

From here on out it's smooth sailing as you wrack up counters and push yourself farther ahead as you draw cards from everyone frantically spending all their treasures. Burn them down with cards like Mayhem Devil, Reckless Fireweaver and Disciple of the vault so each time they crack that treasure they're slowly getting blead dry.

Not fast enough for you? Want to be a little meaner? Marionette Master is one of if not my favorite black treasure support card. Each time you crack a treasure you'll drain them for 4 life if you use her fabricate ability on herself! Throw in ingenious artillerist and the whole table will be sobbing and begging you not to spend any of the treasures that you're wracking up. 

But Jason, Vazi only targets one other player! Doesn't that seem a little slow and unfair if you're blowing up EVERYONE'S lands! Yes usually, however since Vazi's ability is activated and not a mana ability she can benefit from cards like Rings of Brighthearth, Battlemage's Bracers, or Illusionist's Bracers to double up those triggers.

Well that just about wraps up this post for me. I know the start of the article delved a little into the basics of Magic and Commander, but don't worry I won't be doing that everytime! Next time I'll jump right into the Commander and the fun jank that I've come up with. I hope you enjoyed reading and if you liked what you saw maybe give her a try! I think she's a really unique spin on a treasures Commander and is a little more janky and fun than say Prosper, Tome Bound or Korvold, Fae Cursed King.

Best of luck in your games! And remember if you turn one Sol Ring I hope you stub your toe!

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