Partners Without a Partner - Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist
Welcome back to Partners Without a Partner! This week, we take on a Red/Blue partner. Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist!
Personally, Red/Blue is my favourite colour pair. However, I've never brewed a deck with one of the Izzet partners. It was a really tough decision on which one to go with, and an even tougher brew to put together a half-deck!
This is the first colour-pair we've encountered that doesn't seem to point us into a clear direction. Neither partner leads any strategies that we can solidly build around. We can't ensure our opponents will play two spells per turn, nor would we want to, so Kraum's out. We're using Ludevic. His draw ability can be used by every player, but it'll mean other players taking damage, which is ultimately the goal!
The clearest direction we can go with Red/Blue has historically been "instants and sorceries matter", so that's what we're leaning towards. Charmbreaker Devils are a real boon in any deck with plenty of instants or sorceries. Commander decks tend to be mostly high-impact spells anyway, so I'm most excited to see what kinds of spells they bring back from whichever partner Ludevic teams up with! Although it's a bit of an investment, Echo Mage will start to pay back by copying our own spells, or our opponents' if they're juicy enough! Mizzix of the Izmagnus is more than capable of leading a deck of her own centered around instants and sorceries, so she's welcome here too.
The Izzet guild isn't very strong in the ramp department, but having blue means we can draw enough cards to ensure playing a land each turn. We've got some real all-stars in the draw department. Arcanis the Omnipotent, if he isn't dealt with immediately, will start to draw us three cards per turn. Basically Ancestral Recall, which is powerful enough to be banned in our format. Decent. Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind can also draw one card per turn, and fling around some damage with each card drawn. Nin, the Pain Artist (It really seems like the Izzet guild only uses half the alphabet) can draw us a lot of cards, but often at the price of one of our creatures. I'd hate to give an opponent lots of cards as a price to kill a difficult creature of theirs, but it's nice to have options.
We're good at drawing cards, and making the most out of our non-permanent spells, so we'll just need a few cards to put our opponents away. Sphinx of the Final Word is a beastly flier that can't be dealt with easily. Call the Skybreaker will net us 5/5 upon 5/5 while we put all the extra lands we'll be drawing to good use. Plus it comes on a sorcery which suits our deck nicely. And last but not least is one ace of a red finisher, Insurrection. As long as each player has taken some damage, it's very likely that this card ends the game on the spot. And in case an opponent is able to sacrifice all of their creatures before you get a hold of them, that's fine by us as well!
One of the better sorceries in Commander is Rite of Replication. Five copies of the best creature on the battlefield seems like a pretty good deal. This half-deck is the one that gets to play with it! In these colours we also get to run Hypersonic Dragon, allowing us to make most of our plays at instant speed. One sorcery we'd love the ability to cast on an opponent's upkeep is Sleep. Such a simple card, but if we can take down one player's defence for an entire go around the table, most of us ought to be able to swing into his vulnerability for massive life-loss!
There you have it! One more half-deck to be mashed up with any other from this series. With a spell-centered focus, whichever deck Ludevic teams up with will likely lead to some very interesting synergies. As always, I'd love to hear if you would have done anything differently. Leave a comment below!
Partnerless Partner: Ludevic