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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Commander Review: Fate Reforged – Jeskai Ideals

November 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

To be Cunning Enough to Fool the Enemies.

To be Cunning Enough to Fool the Enemies. 

Hello fellow EDH-ers and welcome to yet another article of the past of Tarkir. Today article we will be talking about the origin of the ideals for the Jeskai. We knew from the introduction of the Jeskai back then that the clan admires the Dragon’s cunningness. Of all the Dragons then, a Dragon known as Ojutai was among the most cunning or as the then Jeskai khan sees it, the wisest.


The Cold and Wise

Icefall Regent

Frozen Home Grounds.

The Jeskai main territory are the cold peaks of Tarkir. Dragons drawn to here were revere for their cunningness; an aspect of which the Jeskai admires about the Dragons. Dangerously treacherous, these Dragons would often force the Jeskai into battles of wits for their survival. Leading these Dragons was the insightful and wise Ojutai; a lithe, feathered winged Creature with an icy breath, who constantly lead monastery siege on the Jeskai with his Brood.


All that will eventually come to an end originally upon Ugin’s death. The Dragonstorm will then stop and without new Dragons being created to replace the defeated ones, Ojutai and his brood will slowly be defeated and eventually die out allowing the Jeskai to claim the cold Mountain peaks as theirs.

Island Tarkir

Changing Times.


Due to Sarkhan’s intervene with the past, the Dragonstorm intensified and Ojutai and his brood thrived instead of perished. With the Dragon attacks intensified all over Tarkir, the then Jeskai khan, Shu Yun arranged for a meeting with the other clan khans as a last resort in hopes of finding a countermeasure to the Dragons’ attacks which threatened their very survival. Their hope of surviving the crisis was dashed though as Ojutai teamed up with fellow Dragon leader Silumgar, and together with their Brood raided the meeting initialing the khanfall. At the end of the raid, Ojutai successfully eliminated the Jeskai; slaying their khan banning and the clan ways, effectively erasing their existence from Tarkir history. Ojutai will then go on to establish himself as the ruler and founder of the clan which was renamed after him; making him the Great Teacher and his Brood revered as the elites where the lower humanoids of the clan will learn and gain wisdom from.

Identity Forever Lost in History.

Identity Forever Lost in History.


With the brief history of the origin of the Jeskai ideal done, let’s have a look at the cunning and wise Dragon leader’s stats.


 Ojutai, Soul of Winter

Card Name: Ojutai, Soul of Winter


Types: Legendary Creature – Dragon

Card Text: Flying, vigilance

Whenever a Dragon you control attacks, tap target nonland permanent an opponent controls. That permanenet doesn’t untap during their controller’s next untap step.

P/T: 5/6

Ojutai color identity is on the Control side. His Dragon Tribal theme attack trigger sort of goes in flavor with his icy breath which he uses to freeze his enemies. Attacking on his lone self Ojutai usually means tapping down a potential blocker and preventing it from being an attacker for a turn. With a full on Dragon Tribal theme, the trigger truly becomes devastating when you attack with a full fleet of Dragons as you attack and tap down would be blockers for a turn. And the “fun” begins when the defending player does not have enough or no blockers at all for you to tap. Then you can proceed to lock other nonLand permanents down. The beauty of the trigger is that it is not only restricted to the defender’s nonLand permanents. You can also use Ojutai politically by helping the others to tap down the next players’ attackers or tap down dangerous nonLand permanents; examples like Winter Orb or Static Orb to help the others to recover or live on. As a Dragon, Ojutai also comes with Flying and the very defensive Vigilance which allows you to attack and defend at the same time; a very valuable abilities combination for EDH. All of the above abilities are packed into a not so disappointing 5/6 body. The only down side I see in Ojutai is his high 7cc preventing him from entering the battlefield early in the game to really make an impact.


Total Lockdown

Ojutai’s main power comes from his “Ice Breath” attack trigger which tap down nonLand permanents. Going full Tribal with the trigger can really lock down the board when you attack. Although those tapped nonLand permanents already stay locked for one turn for their controllers, you can further place opponents in a difficult situation by using the below cards which further restrict the amount of things they can untap each turn.

Damping Field / Imi Statue Players can’t untap more than one Artifact during untap steps.
Dovin Baan Emblem is Static Orb.
Smoke / Stoic Angel Players can’t untap more than one Creature during untap steps. Out of color identity.
Static Orb Players can’t untap more than two permanents during untap steps if Orb is untapped.


Static Orb Masterpiece

More Hard Choices.


Ojutai attack trigger can also use in combination with a group of other cards to destroy Creatures. This group of cards originated from the card Royal Assassin, who used to combo with Icy Manipulator to destroy tapped Creatures. Like the Assassin, the group of cards all do the same thing thus together with Ojutai’s attack trigger you can get the targets ready for destroying. Below are the said cards which you can consider to combo with Ojuta’s attack trigger.

Assassinate / Death Stroke / Murderous Compulsion / Sheer Drop / Swift Reckoning / Vengeance One shot spells that destroy target tapped Creature.
Deathbringer Liege Destroy tapped Creatures with every Black spell cast.
Gideon Jura Planeswalker who can repeatedly destroy tapped Creature.
Guan Yu’s 1,000-Li March / Righteous Fury / Sunblast Angel Board sweep all those tapped down Creatures.
King’s Assassin / Rathi Assassin / Royal Assassin / Stalking Assassin / Steam Catapult / Stone Catapult Creatures who can repeatedly destroy tapped Creature.


Royal Assassin

Any Life for A Price.


If you want to further abuse Ojutai attack trigger, you will need to go full Dragon Tribal with him. Doing so will allow you to tap and lock down most threats with each attack. A full force of Dragons attacking with Ojutai on the battlefield can easily allow you to lock down a board buying you time to secure the board. Although it can be argue that some permanent threats are still active when they are tapped, the trigger can also be use as your political leverage with other players by helping them to tap down potential attackers.


As powerful as the whole idea can be, Dragon Tribal theme can prove to rather challenging to play as they are not effectively fast to start up due to them generally having high cc. There is however an alternate way within Ojutai color identity which you can consider to get an army of Dragons in an instance. The method is to build your board with low cost Creatures or tokens during the early game and then follow it up with a Day of the Dragons “changing” all those Creatures and tokens into Dragons in the mid or late game. After that you can end it all with Ojutai and sending your new legion of sky terrors in for the kill and lock down whoever is still alive after the attack. If the above suggested way is too “expensive” to execute for you, then you may go for the good old more traditional way of casting Dragons. Below are some Dragons which you may consider to use in Ojutai color identity.

Day of the Dragons

All are Dragons. Dragons are All.


Alabaster Dragon Goes back to your library when it dies.
Amoeboid Changeling / Avian Changeling / Changeling Hero / Changeling Sentinel / Mothdust Changeling / Shapesharer / Turtleshell Changeling Extra lower and middle cc “Dragons” to fill the ranks. The filler to all Tribal themes.
Belltoll Dragon / Shieldhide Dragon Pumps your other Dragons when Megamorph up.
Clockwork Dragon Comes with its own +1/+1 counters and way to increase them.
Cloud Dragon / Henge Guardian / Pearl Dragon / Scion of Ugin / Teeka’s Dragon Basic Dragons to fill the ranks.
Cunning Breezedancer Pumps by +2/+2 till end of turn when casting nonCreature spells.
Draco Biggest and highest cc Dragon available for all color identity.
Dragonlord Ojutai Upgraded Control-style Ojutai
Eternal Dragon Plains fetcher.
Icefall Regent Locks down an opponent’s Creature for as long as it stays on the battlefield. Tax opponents’ spells targeting it by 2.
Keiga, the Tide Star Steal a Creature when it dies.
Lotus Guardian Mana producer.
Mindscour Dragon  Mills four on target player when it deals combat damage to an opponent.
Mirror Entity Tribal Power fully opened. Changes your whole army into Dragons.
Mist Dragon Self-protection by Phasing out.
Phantasmal Dragon 4cc for Flying 5/5 with drawback of need to sacrifice when being targeted.
Pristine Skywise Gains Protection from a chosen color till end of turn whenever you cast a nonCreature spell.
Quicksilver Dragon Self-protection of redirecting spells targeting only it to another target Creature.
Steel Hellkite Spot mass removal through cc when it connects with opponents.
Sunscorch Regent Grows and gains you life as your opponents cast spells
Wardscale Dragon Stop spells from defending player when attacking.
Yosei, the Morning Star Lock and tapped down opponent for a turn when it dies.


Keiga, the Tide Star

Master of the Mind.


Winter’s Night

Ojutai, Soul of Winter

The Flying Winter.

In conclusion, Ojutai is a very build around and Tribal Commander. His ability is only powerful when attacking en mass. Solely with him alone the attack trigger does not really makes a difference facing multiple opponents. His cc is also quite high. His color identity however is quite good to be a build around Commander; adding his attack trigger as a means of control. Otherwise, I see him more of a common Creature in a Dragon Tribal deck rather than a Commander as his cc is too high to get him onto the battlefield early and his ability does not has a huge impact which will seals the game once he hits the battlefield. It can be rather frustrating to cast Ojutai from the Command Zone only to have not enough mana left to protect him then on.


What do you think of the origin of the Jeskai ideal?  Will you employ his help as the Commander or just a normal Creature of your deck? Share with us your thoughts and ideas of the Dragon leader in the comments below. And that bring us to the end for today article. Stay tune for more upcoming Commander Review of Fate Reforged. Till then.


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


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