For the first time ever, Wizards of the Coast made a Vehicle card that can be used as your Commander. In addition to being unprecedented and unique, Shorikai, Genesis Engine, makes for an extremely competitive Commander.
Shorikai draws cards like no tomorrow, creating creature tokens in the process. As long as it isn’t crewed, the Genesis Engine also dodges all of the popular creature removal spells in the format. And to top things off, Shorikai is also a part of a sweet infinite combo.
Shorikai, Genesis Engine
Although Shorikai is a Vehicle, this deck doesn’t lean as heavily on Vehicles as Kotori, Pilot Prodigy does. You can certainly add a Vehicle sub-theme if you want. But for the purposes of this Commander guide, I will focus on ways you can maximize the value of Shorikai itself.
Synergies With Shorikai
Shorikai has a dynamic toolkit that pairs well with a variety of other Magic cards.
Unwinding Clock will untap Shorikai on your opponents’ turns in addition to your own. Throw in a mana rock like Sol Ring, and you can activate Shorikai four times per turn-cycle in a game of Commander. That draws you eight cards and makes four Pilot tokens by the time your next turn arrives!
Shorikai will make a small army of Pilot creature tokens over the course of a game. Equipping Skullclamp onto those Pilots will kill them, but you draw a ton of extra cards.
Shorikai’s draws a ton of cards. But it discards cards too. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways in MTG to take advantage of this.
Containment Construct squeezes even more value out of Shorikai. Whenever your Commander would discard a card with its ability, you can instead exile it with Containment Construct and cast it. This virtually turns Shorikai’s ability into “draw three cards”.
Tameshi, Reality Architect
While he makes for an interesting Commander on his own, Tameshi is also an ideal inclusion for Shorikai, Genesis Engine. Tameshi can repeatedly bring back artifacts and enchantments from your graveyard that you discarded to Shorikai’s ability.
If you ‘flood out’ and draw too many lands, Tameshi’s ability returns land to your hand which you can then discard with Shorikai.
And on top of these convenient synergies with Shorikai, Tameshi will also draw you a bunch of cards whenever the first noncreature permanent is returned to a player’s hand each turn.
Sevinne’s Reclamation is a versatile Magic card that is perhaps at its best in a Shorikai Commander deck. It can bring back any card with a mana value of three or less from your graveyard to the battlefield. There will always be an abundance of targets for this ability because of Shorikai’s ability.
In addition, you can cast Sevinne’s Reclamation from your graveyard if, for example, you discard it with Shorikai.
Dance of the Manse
Shorikai will discard a slew of artifacts and enchantments over the course of the game. Targeted reanimation effects like Sevinne’s Reclamation are handy. But sometimes you’ll want to scoop your entire graveyard up and dump it onto the table. That’s where Dance of the Manse comes in.
As long as you have the mana to afford it, Dance of the Manse can bring back as many artifacts and enchantments from your graveyard as you wish. And, if spend enough mana, Dance will also turn those permanents into 4/4 creatures which you can use to beat down your opponents.
Nasty ‘Stax’ Pieces
‘Stax’ is a nickname in Magic: the Gathering given to abilities that tax or prevent the execution of specific strategies. While most Stax effects are symmetrical, because of Shorikai’s unique Vehicle card type, it is able to dodge many of these effects. At that point, your opponents will bear the majority of the burden.
Creature-focused decks hate Cursed Totem. It notably shuts off mana dorks like Elvish Mystic, Birds of Paradise, and Llanowar Elves, which drastically hinders any green deck.
On top of that, it stops other commonly played Commanders like Kenrith, the Returned King, Sisay, Weatherlight Captain, and many more.
But most importantly, Cursed Totem doesn’t affect Shorikai, Genesis Engine, because it is just an artifact until you crew it.
There’s a fine balance when it comes to playing Humility in Commander. It has the potential to completely shut down certain decks by removing opposing Commanders’ abilities. But when shoved carelessly into the wrong deck, Humility can also lock yourself out of the game.
Shorikai, Genesis Engine, is the perfect deck to play Humility. Because Shorikai is just an artifact (until it is crewed), it maintains its ability while Humility is on the board. Meanwhile, Humility will wreak havoc on your opponents’ strategies.
Similar to Humility, Dress Down shuts off creature abilities, although it only does so for one turn. But you can use the temporary nature of this card to your advantage. Dress Down is great for stopping your opponents’ combos, but by your next turn, you can still use the abilities of your own creatures.
Gain Infinite Mana and Draw Infinite Cards With Shorikai
Intruder Alarm is a classic Commander combo piece. It goes infinite with so many cards, such as Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, or any creature with an activated ability that produces a creature token. This includes Shoikai Genesis Engine!
In addition to Shorikai and Intruder Alarm, you’ll need at least one mana-producing creature. Here are a few options that fit in this blue and white deck:
This is how to draw infinite cards (and potentially infinite mana) with your Commander assuming you have the required cards in play and Shorikai is a creature:
- Tap Silver Myr to make a blue mana.
- Use that mana to activate Shorikai’s ability. Draw two cards, discard one, and make a Pilot creature token.
- The Pilot token that enters play triggers Intruder Alarm, untapping all of your creatures.
- Repeat steps 1-3.
To gain infinite mana, in addition to drawing infinite cards, you must have more than one mana-producing creature, or one creature that produces two mana, such as Palladium Myr.
After you draw your entire library, cast Thassa’s Oracle, Laboratory Maniac, or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, to win the game on the spot.