Hello there boys and girls, welcome to another Points of Synergy; the bitesize series to making the most out of your command zone! This week is a very new blip on the EDH radar, Akiri, Line-Slinger.
Akiri is one of the latest offerings to the Boros Commander pool (alongside previously covered Boros aggro commander Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder). “But, Unmistakable!” I hear you cry, “You’ve said yourself you’ve covered a ton of boros aggro commanders, this one can’t be too different!”. While you’re correct that she shares a lot of similarities, I decided that she’d be fine with her own segment. But, for those looking to get extra in depth with Akiri, my previously Published Article on Boros Aggro Commanders will be extra helpful. Now, about Akiri’s ability:
1) First Strike, Vigilance
This is an integral part of Akiri’s character: This great blend of combat keywords puts her in an aggressive stance – able to attack every turn without penalty, and able to decide which creatures can block her by striking through anything too weak. This pairs interestingly with her second half:
2) Akiri, Line-Slinger gets +1/+0 for each Artifact you control.
Hold the phone! Not only does she want to attack a lot, she gets buffed for the number of artifacts you control – including that Equipment Boros are so fond of? This smacks of a Voltron commander, like Tajic, Blade of the Legion, but the lack of ‘each Equipment’ as opposed to ‘each Artifact’ leave me wondering if there’s another way to skin a Kor.
Cranial Plating – While this is technically outside of Akiri’s colour identity, she often finds herself paired with Silas Renn in order to provide an extra artifact + access to Blue/Black artifact goodness, so I put it here. Cranial Plating is a modern mainstay; staple of Affinity, ender of lives, this stapled to an Ornithopter brings unprepared opponents to their knees. Strapping this to Akiri doubles the effect of her scaling power, making her even more formidable for less; the secondary ability also allows a lot of flexibility in combat, as nobody can be quite sure where that plating will end up between attacks/blocks and combat damage.
Hellkite Tyrant – An alternative way to boost your commander, Hellkite Tyrant doubles up as a commander grower and a win condition. This guy can come out of the gates at turn 4 if you’re running enough acceleration, and can swing in to take custody of opposing manarocks to screw shaky hands. Every artifact you steal boosts the amount of pressure your commander can put down exponentially, and by the time you’ve taken your fill of artifacts she could be threatening to 2-shot somebody without any equipment attached. Though once you reach a critical mass of artifacts this aims to just win you the game, ending it before Akiri can even one-shot through commander damage! I wouldn’t count on this though – I have never actually witnessed a Tyrant artifact win, but they are out there; but it’s nice to present a Boros deck with an alternate win condition.
Mycosynth Lattice – My first thought when looking into Akiri is also the flashiest. Mycosynth Lattice turns Akiri’s second ability into “+1/+0 for each Permanent you control”, and that’s pretty nice. She immediately goes berserk, taking on Eldrazi titans and threatening to annihilate any player she touches in one hit. This can notably be used as a combat trick when combined with Vedalken Orrery or Shimmer Myr (and it seems a juicy enough payoff to at least consider). To put the cherry on the Mycosynth Cake, it’s also a handy combo with afforementioned Hellkite Tyrant, making it easier to win off of the dragon’s secondary effect and buffing its combat damage trigger to the extent where it threatens to steal an entire battlefield for it’s collection; Akiri players don’t want to leave home without this beast!
That just about covers Akiri, guys! A big fan of her or the 2016 commanders? Lets me know here or on our Facebook feed, and be sure to like it if you like what you see! For now though, Unmistakable out.