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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Commander Review: Dragon’s Maze – The Created Running Man, Melek, Izzet Paragon

April 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius

“Let the Game Begins.”

Melek can provide something that Niv-Mizzet can’t. Free spells and increase your hand size virtually by one.

Let’s look at its ability again:

Play with the top card of your library revealed.
You may cast the top card of your library if it’s an Instant or Sorcery card.
Whenever you cast an Instant or Sorcery spell from your library, copy it. You may choose new targets for the copy.

Melek, Izzet Paragon

With 6 casting cost (4UR), this free spell Creature should mean one thing: you are winning.

Really? I mean really winning?

With more and more players packing their Commander decks with Creatures with powerful ETB (Enter the Battlefield) effects, is there any reason why a player should play spell cards that may not offer Creatures to block or attack?

Yes, there are plenty of reasons why players can use Melek as a General. Here are some ideas I can come out with:


Control General


“Did I said you can cast that?”

Blue, as we know, has plenty of draw spells and plenty of counter magic. Blue is the perfect color for controlling. Red on the other hand, not only can provide strong direct damage to either Creatures or players but also Artifacts and Land destruction. What Red can’t handle, let the Blue counter it, for example countering Enchantments.

There are also plenty of bomb spells that worthy of copying. Epic Experiment, Rite of Replication (if it is kicked, the copy spell will be kicked too).

Since Melek is provided with a role as fuel engine, cards your deck should pack are not just strong Instant and Sorcery, but also cards that control in different avenues.

  • Torpor Orb: With tons of ETB effects Creatures, this would really stop players from gaining advantages from their Creatures.
  • Crawlspace: You don’t want too many Creatures to touch you.
  • Damping Engine: As long as you don’t have the most permanents, opponents have to sacrifice a something to cast something. This restricts and creates card advantages.
  • Meishin, the Mind Cage: I assume you have high amount of card drawing, this can really make you very Very safe.

You get the idea, Creatures restrictions are one of the ways to control. Red provides Land destruction, but that isn’t fun, am I right?


Wheel of Fortune General

Wheel Of Fortune

One Spin Determines One’s Fate

This idea of Wheel of Fortune deck has been in my mind for quite some time. Red and Blue has some card drawing for everyone. Why not use it a new fun deck? Both of these colors have a decent amount of “All players discard hand and draw X cards” just in Instant and Sorcery alone:

All your opponents will be disoriented, not sure if this is a boon or bane as these cards may really dig into their decks very deep. You could disrupt the game plans or strategies they have planned in their mind, thanks to the spells you cast causing them to discard.

For each card drawn, you are milling their decks down to 1%. With Melek in play, Wheel of Fortune can mill 14% of their decks.


The only problem you may encounter is Eldrazi Creatures; Kozilek, Butcher of TruthUlamog, the Infinite Gyre, as they save their owners from decking, so you need an alternative strategy. Laboratory Maniac is a good alternative since you also mill yourself at the same time with this strategy.

Laboratory Maniac

“Muahahahahh~~!!!!! Library is for Losers~!!!!”


Melek’s Weakness

This section will be listing Melek’s weakness as this should be in your consideration when you building your deck with him as your General. Basically his weaknesses are very obvious:

  • 6 casting cost
  • Survivability
  • Blue color
  • You are not Yugi Muto

6 Casting Cost

A destruction of Melek General means it will be more expensive to return it back from the Commander Zone. Which brings the next point…


Since your General is meant to serve a purpose in your deck, it will be a target naturally. Melek virtually extend your hand size by 1, and everyone can see that card that Melek is going to double. Your General really is an objective for destruction.

Blue Color

Blue has tons of infinite combos and insane card drawing. You can be naturally a target board for all kinds of attacks before you start anything. Just be prepare for it.

You are not Yugi Muto

Yes, you are not Yugi Muto. The only person who can ‘tutor’ his draw. (If you watch the animation, this bugger can top deck any thing he wants.) When you get your General in, you may not have an Instant/Sorcery card on your top of the deck. It is kind of wasted, isn’t it?

Yugi Muto

“What can save me now?” – Yugi Muto, Topdeck Hero



How can we deal with these weaknesses? It is simple. Pack tons of counter. Cards like Darksteel Plate and Clout of the Dominus may seems good, but Counter magic are still universal answer to your threats. However this will bring the fun factor down quite a lot.

To solve the top deck issue, you really need quite a decent amount of library manipulation cards. For example:

Sensei's Divining Top

Optimising the Top Deck Since its Depute



Melek, Izzet Paragon

Created to Run

Personally, Melek, Izzet Paragon is a decent General. With Blue, it can naturally be defensive with universal counter magic. However, due to that, I don’t think this General can be fun, unless you are willing to forgo that and try out what I suggest, a Wheel of Fortune deck with Melek. If you are going to take that route, it will have a hard time to survive in 1v1, as you may need time to set it up your combo.

Can it be competitive? Which Blue General can’t do that? But as a creature instead of General, I don’t see how it can benefit you unless you have Omniscience in play. But then, are you suppose to win?

Here are my ratings:

Fun Factor: Possibilities are there! It can be crazy ^^

Competitive: Oh come on… It is Blue!

Support Creature: there are better cards to cast for 6 mana. *cough Consecrated Sphinx Cough*


Your Humility



One Response to “Commander Review: Dragon’s Maze – The Created Running Man, Melek, Izzet Paragon”
  1. Ervin says:

    Hi, perhaps a nice addition to the Wheel of Fortune idea would be Hive Mind? This way, everyone can “contribute” to the milling. Another suggestion would be Possibility Storm? Since Melek casts off the the top of the library, you can cast spells reliably while adding to the chaos of the Wheel of Fortune effects!