Commander of the Week

Norin the Wary

I know i’ve said in past posts to avoid mono colour commanders because of weaknesses such as Iona, Shield of Emeria. But some recent cards have gave me an idea for this deck. Norin is not that good on his own as he is a 1/1 for 1 mana with an evasive ability that causes him to literally run away at the slightest threat. But mix him with cards that have awesome ETB/LTB effects and you may have a fun and solid win condition.  

Run Away

At first glance norin seems useless as he vanishes whenever someone casts a spell or a creature attacks. But recently there have been some useful abilities such as the Dash abiltiy and cards like Warstorm Surge, Impact Tremors and Outpost Siege that could really work well with a commander that keeps disappearing. The Dash Ability works well with these cards too as creatures enter and then vanish at the end of turn. Such creatures work well with other cards like In the Web of War, Ogre Battledriver and Confusion in the Ranks
as it can give these creatures extra power and abilities and you can steal your opponents creatures.

Burning your Way to Victory

Another constraint to mono colour is the lack of cards available. Since Norin is Mono-Red, Burn is the only viable option besides aggro the hell out of your opponents. Braid of Fire is a great way of building up red mana that accumulates each turn, unfortunately it only lasts the upkeep stage before it fizzles. The good news is Vedalken Orrery is a colourless card that allows you to cast sorceries and other nonland cards at instant speed so you can cast burn spells before the red mana generated by braid of fire disappears. Giants such as Furystoke Giant and Hamletback Goliath can take advantage of creatures re-entering because they gain burn abilities and extra power. Sphinx-Bone Wand Should be used with such burn abilities to deal more damage.

Needs more Dragons

The new Dragon Tempest can really add to the burn theme and ETB effect of the deck. If you can find a way of generating more dragons, maybe with creatures like Dragonmaster Outcast you can deal increasing amounts of damage with Dragon Tempest. Scourge of Valkas is a Dragon with a similar ability to Dragon Tempest so that could be used as well. Conjurer’s Closet could go in to make creatures re-enter. Flameblast Dragon is one of my favourite as it deals extra damage upon attacking depending on the amount of mana paid. There are more that enough dragons now so any combination is entirely up to you. 

And Finally…

Since this deck is only one colour you should only need mountains and maybe Boseiju, Who Shelters All, though if you have a Valakut the Molten Pinnacle that should definitely be added to the land bas for extra burn damage. That should be it for me this week. Happy Deck Building.

Identifying Dragons: Jund

Before the Conflux, Jund was a world free from the peace and order of white and blue mana. Volcanoes erupt and produce rivers of molten rock, and life is about the survival of the fittest. Dragons dominated the world with their flame.

“Dragon lords of Jund rule by edicts of flame.”

Flameblast Dragon by Jaime Jones

Dragons are the top predators in the Jundian food chain. Jundian dragons are hunger, freedom, and fire materialized.

What to Expect

“Dragons make for spiteful gods.”

Predator Dragon by Raymond Swanland

The physical characteristics of Jundian dragons are typical of most dragons - bat-like wings (sometimes a little tattered on the edges), a scaly body, a long tail, and four limbs tipped with sharp claws.

Head: Noticeable on some dragons is the relatively large size of their heads compared to their bodies. In extension, their mouths are large, fit for devouring large quantities of prey.

Body: What can be said to be more physically common among these dragons is the abundance of spines and horns along their dorsal regions. These bony growths start from the head, and continue to the back and even to the tip of their tail.

Tyrant among Kings

Karrthus (from Flight of the White Cat) by Dave Kendall

There is one dragon they called the Tyrant of Jund, and his name was Karrthus. Dragons of all kinds heed his call and respect his roar, and in battle he can make them hasten for the kill.

He has a large head full of short horns, with large orange eyes and a large mouth full of sharp teeth. Karrthus’s back is almost bare, unlike most Jundian dragons whose backsides are lined with spikes and horns. His arms and legs have sharp spiky growths, though.


“The dragon has no pretense of compassion, no false mask of civilization—just hunger, heat, and need.” - Sarkhan Vol

Hellkite Overlord by Justin Sweet

Jund is already a dangerous place. Dragons make it even more perilous, setting fire to forests and mountainsides.

“Look there—they carry that one upon a sedan chair. It must be their leader. Wait … Oh! Perhaps not.” - Kaeda, aven scout

Dragon Appeasement by Paul Bonner

Small creatures (such as yourself, most likely) should take great care while walking out on the open or on the sides of the mountains. Ravenous dragons can dive from above for an easy snack. Stay away from goblins too. Dragons can usually be seen feeding on groups of these. They will fight, but they will also consider it an honor to be eaten by a dragon. They might even offer them sacrifices.

“Frozen in fear, the goblins stared upward at the circling hunter—and were promptly eaten by its diving mate.”

Broodmate Dragon by Vance Kovacs

Sometimes, seeing one dragon flying overhead doesn’t always guarantee that you’ll be facing only one dragon in the near future. It is not as common as seeing solitary dragons, but two dragons can be seen hunting together. One dragon can serve as a distraction so that the other can swiftly glide towards their unsuspecting victims.

“A killing machine from birth.”

Hellkite Hatchling by Daarken

Obviously, their nests aren’t safe places either. Caves and cliffs are two places to watch out for dragon nests. The hatchlings are hungry at birth. They may be flightless, but they will gleefully devour any unfortunate creature that comes their way, or any delicious morsel their mother brings home to them.

“A king in Jund, a serf in Esper.”

Spellbound Dragon by Jesper Ejsing

As with other creatures, mind magic can be used to pacify these dragons. Such was the fate of some dragons in post-Conflux Alara. Jund has become less harsh, having been touched by the colors of mana it once lacked. However, I would warn you that there are still dragons that remain the same on what they embody: flame, freedom, and hunger. Now that Alara is united again, their plate just got bigger.