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Friday, October 20, 2017

Commander Review: Theros – Soldier of Fortune Daxos of Meletis

February 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

Hello and welcome back to a long awaited Commander Review of Theros. Today Commander is a very special one in his class. Although default as a Human Soldier, he has a very Rogue feel to me. Sounds confusing? Maybe you should read on and see what I meant by that last sentence there. So shall we proceed?

 

Resourceful or Sneaky?

As with previous review, let’s have a look at today Commander’s stats.

 Daxos of Meletis

Card Name: Daxos of Meletis

CMC:1WU

Types: Legendary Creature – Human Soldier

Card Text: Daxos of Meletis can’t be blocked by Creatures with power 3 or greater.

Whenever Daxos of Meletis deals combat damage to a player, exile the top card of that player’s library. You gain life equal to that card’s converted mana cost. Until end of turn, you may cast that card and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to cast it.

P/T: 2/2

Daxos has an in-built evasion of sorts to allow him to evade blockers that would otherwise block and kill him. All of that is great but Daxos toughness is only 2 and the evasion Wizards gave him is not a full evasion ability. Since only Creatures with power 3 or greater cannot block him, a 2 power blocker can still blocks and kills him. It is not so bad if Daxos could take that blocker along with him but the worst case scenario would be a power 2 Wall or Defender Creature blocking Daxos and surviving. Thus toughness pumping is a welcome boon to ensure Daxos’ survival. Now the secondary ability, the one which gave me a Rogue feel of him, is an interesting card stealing Saboteur (Creatures with ability which triggered as it deals combat damage to a player) ability. Daxos steals the top card of the player he hit and let you gain life equal to the stolen card cc. Then you have till the end of turn to cast that card. Daxos is even kind enough to allow you to use any mana to cast that card, which solves the problem of color identity. As EDH decks are built using color identity of your Commander, that can be instances of you stealing your opponents’ spells (Grinning Totem or Praetor’s Grasp) and not being able to cast the spell due to the spell not of your deck’s color identity.

 

Hit and Run

messenger's speed

The trick here is to hit the target and survive after that to tell the tale.

An interesting part which I found of Daxos’ Saboteur trigger of stealing the defending player’s top card of the library is the life gain part. At first look of Daxos’ ability reminds me of an older card which I had previously and still use in my old Domain deck (now a Legacy deck). That card in question is Reviving Vapors from Invasion. Both look to the top cards of libraries and gain life equals to the card which is chosen. The main differences here are; Daxos exiles top card of defending player’s library top while Vapors mills three cards from top of your library; Daxos allows you to play the spell for that turn but Vapors puts the chosen card into your hand instead. In a way the Vapors sets you up for later turns but Daxos requires you to cast the stolen card the turn he stole it for you. And in the event that you do not do so, that card is exiled and cannot be cast at later turns. This is to be noted if you want to abuse Daxos’ ability. Although Daxos allows you to use mana as though it were of any color to cast the stolen card, you still need to pay for it if you want to cast it. Also if that top card happens to be a Land, you cannot play that Land as Daxos only allows you to cast the stolen card. Lands are played not casted. Kinda like a Land-D on that opponent with zero card and life gain. So in a way Daxos acts as a one card mill by exile if he hits the opponent at the very least.

 

Leading or Being Lead

Higure the still wind

Born Leaders or Followers? That is the question.

Daxos has a very low cc which makes him an easy Commander to cast and recast from the Commander Zone. But as usual, low cc Commanders like him are also easy target for removal, especially so when the Commanders have big impact to the game. Due to that, the below are some ways to protect him, some of the usual things we believe everyone is already very familiar with in EDH. You could use them all to protect and ensure that Daxos’ Saboteur ability triggers.

Champion’s Helm

Equipment made for Commander. Gives equipped Creature +2/+2 and additional Hexproof if equipped Creature is a Commander.

Darksteel Plate

Has Indestructible and grants Indestructible to equipped Creature.

Diplomatic Immunity

Has Shroud and grants Shroud to enchanted Creature.

General’s Kabuto

Grants Shroud to equipped Creature and prevents combat damage to it. Combines with Daxos’ evasion ability to   allow it to survive combat with Creatures with enough power to block and kill him.

Holy Mantle / Unquestioned Authority

Grants Protection from Creatures to enchanted Creature. Fully ensuring Daxos’ Saboteur trigger.

Indestructibility

Grants Indestructible to enchanted   Creature.

Lightning Greaves

Grants Haste and Shroud to equipped Creature. In our opinion top No.1 Equipment for Commander-based decks for the protection it offers and its zero Equip cost.

Swiftfoot Boots

Grants Haste and Hexproof to equipped Creature. Offers better protection than Greaves but in our opinion falls to No.2 Equipment for Commander-based decks due to its 1 Equip cost.

 

Here are some combos which are useful with Daxos.

Precognition / Wand of Denial + Daxos

Both allow you to look at the top of opponent’s library but Precognition tops for its secondary upkeep ability for being free while the Wand requires you to pay 2 life. Both let you have an idea of what is on top of the library you want to attack, allowing you to decide whether to keep the card on top of the library for Daxos to steal or put it away and gamble for the next card. Also both permanents can be annoying soft lockdown on an opponent who is Land screw and depending on   drawing into Lands. This can be done by denying the opponent of Lands when you see it on top of his or her library.

Moonring Island / Rootwater Mystic + Daxos

Other permanents which allow you to gain information of opponent’s library top to decide whether to attack that player or not.

Field of Dreams / Lantern of Insight / Wizened Snitches + Daxos

Permanents which makes everyone plays with the top card of their libraries revealed. Now everyone have   insider information to discuss and decide who you should to attack with Daxos.

Nevermaker + Daxos

Use Nevermaker’s leave the battlefield ability to place the nonLand permanent you want on the top of the library for Daxo to grab.

If you use Daxo as a normal Creature in your deck, there is always the element of surprise there for your opponents. As Generals are always shown at the beginning of the games, opponents could start preparing for him before he even hits the battlefield. Due to this Daxos may go in and out of the Commander Zone repeatedly when you play. If you do not like the idea of recasting Daxos over and over again, then using him as a normal Creature as a secret tech would be a better route for you. EDH players will not hesitate to use a board sweeper just to get rid of one Creature if that Creature has great impact on the game.

 

Conclusion

The way I see it, Daxos makes a very good build around Commander. His low cc complements this point too. Although not as powerful as Geist of Saint Traft, Daxos still provides some impact with his mini evasion and life gain spell stealing Saboteur ability. Milling in EDH can prove problematic especially when the opponents do not have recur methods. Daxos outright exile cards he stolen rendering recur useless if you do not or cannot cast the stolen spells. Recasting him is a hassle you could afford for that last ability alone. One should include some amount of mana acceleration to the deck to make recast of Daxos a lot easier. Also that mana acceleration could also be use to cast the spells which Daxos steals. One thing I had notice from my play group is that spot removal is very rare and board sweep is more common. So Daxos could also be used as bait for these board sweeps. Last but not least, Daxos, in my opinion, makes a good Commander for his low cc. Remember the choice of sending Daxos back to the Commander Zone when he dies or got exiled is make by you. You could always accustom your deck to revive him from the graveyard or return him from the graveyard to your hand and recast him again. All that is part of what White does too.

And so with that being said, that is all we have for Mr Daxos the Soldier of Fortune. We shall end it off here and till our next Theros review…

Daxos of Meletis

“Need a hand? Call me.”

 

This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.

:D~

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