There’s a storm brewing in Commander and Vadrik, Astral Archmage is the spell-slinging catalyst.
When Vadrik was released in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, a lot of players compared him to Mizzix of the Izmagnus as they are both Commanders that can reduce the cost of your spells. Vadrik, however, has a less conditional cost-reduction effect and he even costs one mana less to play.
That’s why Vadrik is my Izzet Storm Commander of choice. Let’s take a look at some of the best spells you can include to “storm off” in a Vadrik Commander deck.
The Perfect Storm
Storm decks, named after the Storm mechanic on cards like Grapeshot, focus on chaining multiple spells together in one turn. This is a popular strategy in many formats with a tried-and-true recipe for success.
There are three main requirements to “storming off”. We’ll need mana-producing spells to keep the engine running, card-drawing spells to make sure we have enough gas, and payoff spells to go for the kill.
Pumping Up Vadrik
“Storming off” is all about going fast. We aren’t going to want to wait for day to turn to night and vice versa to incrementally add +1/+1 counters on Vadrik between turns. Instead, let’s use some unusual pump spells to make the most of Vadrik’s ability:
Buyback is the perfect ability to pair with Vadrik, as his cost-reduction effect can reduce a spell’s buyback cost. Once you cast Seething Anger on Vadrik and buy it back, Vadrik will have 4 power and reduce Seething Anger’s buyback cost to zero. From here, you can continue casting and buying back Seething Anger for one red mana, pumping Vadrik’s power further.
Haze of Rage works in the same way, but it also has Storm, which we can easily exploit in this deck. In combination with Vadrik, both of these spells will allow us to greatly discount the costs of all future spells in a turn.
If we do get some +1/+1 counters on our Commander, Tezzeret’s Gambit can proliferate and pump up Vadrik by adding even more counters. Plus, if we can get Vadrick up to 3 power, then Tezzeret’s Gambit can draw us two cards for zero mana (and two life).
Seething Song is a classic storm card. It turns three mana into five. But if Vadrik can reduce the initial casting cost of Seething Song, it nets us even more mana.
If we can buff Vadrik enough (like with Haze of Rage), Brass’ Bounty can net us a ton of mana. Brass’s Bounty can be better than Song in many situations, especially because the Treasure tokens it creates give us access to both blue and red mana.
Jeska’s Will checks two boxes in our Storm game plan. It gains us mana and it effectively draws us cards. This card is great in a lot of red-based Commander decks, but it works particularly well in Vadrik, Astral Archmage.
Archmage Emeritus is perfect for providing steady card draw. Since we’re aiming to cast multiple spells each turn, we might as well draw a card for each spell we cast.
When discounted by Vadrik’s ability, Frantic Search and Pirate’s Pillage can draw us cards and even net us mana. Importantly, they can also help fix our mana colors.
The Storm Rages On
While storming off, it’s important that we don’t run out of mana or spells to cast. That’s why we’ll need cards that will allow us to prolong our Storm engine.
Once we chain together enough spells, Mind’s Desire will let us play a big chunk of cards off the top of our library for free. That means more mana ramp and more card drawing spells.
In a lot of situations, overloading a Mizzix’s Mastery can basically win us the game. We’re naturally going to have a bunch of spells in our graveyard in this deck, and being able to cast them all again for just eight mana will lead to massive value.
Lier, Disciple of the Drowned will let us cast all of our spells twice. That’s twice as much mana-ramp and twice as much card-draw. This card is perfect for any storm deck.
So, we now have all the pieces we need to keep storming through our deck. But how do we actually win the game? The simplest way is with giant X spells that can kill your opponents all at once.
Crackle with Power and Jaya’s Immolating Inferno are great casual ways to win the game if your playgroup is opposed to combos. They are budget-friendly. And it can be pretty epic dealing 20-30 damage to everyone at the table.
So long as we’re digging through our library, let’s play a couple of two-card combos to stumble into along the way. These are even better finishers than the big burn spells listed above. The reason is, if you draw them at any time, you can combo off and win on the spot.
Dualcaster Mage and Twinflame (or Heat Shimmer) can make infinite 2/2 creatures with haste to kill all your opponents with one swing. The combo works like this:
- Cast Twinflame on a random creature you control.
- While Twinflame is still on the stack (before it resolves), cast Dualcaster Mage
- Dualcaster Mage will enter the battlefield and copy Twinflame
- Use the copy of Twinflame to target Dualcaster Mage, and let the copy of Twinflame resolve
- When the token of Dualcaster Mage enters the battlefield, use its ability to copy the original Twinflame (from Step 1) which is still on the stack.
- Repeat Steps 3-5 until you have an arbitrary number of Dualcaster Mage’s with haste
- Break the infinite combo by using the last Twinflame to target a creature other than Dualcaster Mage
- Attack for the win!
Heat Shimmer may cost one more mana than Twinflame, but you can target an opponent’s creature with Twinflame. That means you can start this combo even if you don’t have any other creatures on the battlefield.
Infinite Mana with Isochron Scepter
This is an infinite mana combo that can be run in any blue deck. It is a fairly simple combo and all we need are the above cards and enough mana rocks on the battlefield to produce three mana. It works like this:
- Cast Isochron Scepter and imprint Dramatic Reversal
- Activate Isochron Scepter, copying Dramatic Reversal
- When Dramatic Reversal resolves, it will untap Isochron Scepter and and all mana rocks, like Arcane Signet
- Repeat Steps 2-3; if you have Sol Ring and Izzet Signet in play, for example, you now have infinte red and blue mana to continue storming through your deck.
Vadrik, Astral Archmage cEDH
There’s a bunch of different ways to build Vadrik, but if you want to play competitively, here’s an example decklist:
If you want to learn more about this particular deck, you can check out its creator’s deck guide here (although you’ll have to use Google Translate to convert it to English from Spanish).