April 5, 2020

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Ikoria Commander Showdown - Jeskai Vs Abzan

Welcome to another article in the Ikoria Commander Showdown from CommandBeacon.com. We have two more of the Commander deck Legendaries this time, again we're still pitting humans against monsters but they're vastly different. Our contenders today are Gavi, Nest Warden the Jeskai Cycle Commander with her Dinosaur Cats and Kathril, Aspect Warper the Abzan Nightmare Insect with a swarm of keywords. Enough talking about who they are and more about their cards and decklists.

Gavi, Nest Warden

Gavi is a 2/5 for 5 Jeskai Commander devoted to a fan-favourite mechanic, Cycling. She has a defensive body but the value is for sure all in the abilities. Gavi has an alternate cost where you can pay 0 instead of a cards cycling cost for the first card you cycle each turn, which as an alternative for the usual costs for Decree of Silence and Decree of Annihilation is incredibly powerful. You get the cycle effect, card draw, and on top of that just keep making more Dinosaur Cat tokens, whoever chose that creature type knows what they're doing.

The deck itself takes advantage of the Cycling aspect to run some very narrowly played cards that really shine with this deck. With Astral Slide and Astral Drift we're bringing even more cycling value and blinking all the creatures! Besides being able to abuse enter the battlefield we can blink Gavi to defend her from removal. So the strategy is to cycle, control, and possibly swarm with tokens until you're out of opponents.

Gavi, Nest Warden

Commander (1)
Creatures (21)
Artifacts (10)
Enchantments (10)
Instants (12)
Sorceries (8)
Lands (38)

Kathril, Aspect Warper

Kathril is a 3/3 Nightmare Insect for 5 mana, yup that's all. Oh and it also has an enter the battlefield effect that gives an ability counter for each matching ability of flying, first strike, double strike, deathtouch, hexproof, indestructible, lifelink, menace, reach, trample, and vigilance on any creature you control and gets a +1/+1 counter on it for each creature you placed a counter on, but besides that just a 3/3 for 5 mana.

Kathril is similar to cards like Cairn Wanderer, SoulFlayer and Majestic Chimera, but it's so much more versatile. You can go all-in with Kathril to have a devastating creature filled with keywords or share with others to make a threatening board and a bigger Kathril. There are ways to blink Kathril as well and the ability is an enter the battlefield so keep piling on those counters! There is no limitation so you could give the same abilities to a creature multiple times to get a bigger Kathril. The deck has been loaded with keyword option creatures with Odric, Lunarch Marshal to share with your whole board.  This is all dependant on a decent graveyard though so beware the graveyard hate.

Kathril, Aspect Warper

Commander (1)
Creatures (28)
Artifacts (12)
Enchantments (6)
Instants (4)
Sorceries (5)
Planeswalkers (7)
Lands (37)

There's our next round of Commanders decks done. Ikoria is an insane set with so many powerful creatures, all these crazy effects, so many keywords and I think these Commanders show aspects of that quite well. For a full breakdown of Gavi and Kathril check out their respective deck articles on Command Beacon. Until next time have fun, keep shuffling, and stay safe.