Hey there, Mages and Magettes, and welcome to Points of Synergy, the bitesize segment to get the most out of your command zone! This week we have a… niche pick at best, Alexi, Zephyr Mage.
Alexi comes at us from Urza’s Saga block, Alexi forms a cycle with Greel, Mind Raker, Latulla, Keldon Overseer, Jolrael, Empress of Beasts and Mageta the Lion in a cycle of Legendary ‘Spellshapers’, creatures that use cards from your hand to produce powerful effects on (heh) tap. She only has the one ability, which is:
- , , Discard two cards: Return X target creatures to their owners’ hands.
While it’s a hefty price to pay, Alexi forms a potent implied threat once you get 2 or more cards in hand. Once her conditions are met (a decent amount of mana and 2 cards in hand), she can fire a shotgun Man-o’-war blast, Jilting creatures away like it was Just the Wind. This is an incredibly flexible ability to have access to at instant speed, setting up one-sided Evacuations at instant speed, protecting combo turns, messing around with combat, and ensuring your threats make it through unimpeded. She can also target herself, allowing her to protect herself and bounce a few opposing creatures if targetted by removal, or even save your entire board in response to a boardwipe!
So we’ve got a flexible, monoblue commander. What do we want with her now?
First up, the discard ability doesnt come cheap; we need some easy card draw. Arcanis the Omnipotent is the first thing to come to mind, as a self-protecting creature that activates Alexi on his own, with additional benefits. An immensely powerful draw engine, once he gets going he’s ridiculously difficult to stop. Similarly, Slithermuse is an incredibly synergistic piece of tech with Alexi, not only drawing a ton of cards over multiple uses, it’s also an ETB, enabling Alexi to use it multiple times (even bouncing it again in response to the sacrifice trigger if you choose to evoke it!)
With all these cards hitting the graveyard, a plan to make the most out of losing them from your hand is going to be pretty essential. Madness seems great, Circular Logic and its ilk can be cast as soon as you discard them to her ability allowing you to somewhat negate the downside of discard to activate her ability. Abilities on spells that can be activated from the ‘yard such as Flashback (Deep Analysis), or retrace (Oona’s Grace), allow you to keep casting the spells after you mulch them, sometimes at a discount (in Deep Analysis’ case). These’ll keep you high in spells while also keeping your shotgun of a commander online!
And finally this week in flavour corner we have Alexi’s Cloak. While not immediately synergistic with commander, it’s always a nice little hat tip to have a card named after the legendary. In this particular instance, Alexi’s Cloak provides a pseudo-counterspell, able to blank abilities and spells targetting one of your creatures, while protecting the target for the long haul, as well.
That just about covers me for Alexi! What do you guys think? Good? Not worth it? Feel free to let me know on Facebook, we love it when you guys get involved! For now though, Unmistakable out.