Dead or Alive

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The letter C!ommander, aside from just being a lot of fun to play for about a million other reasons, is also a format that allows a lot of boundary stretching. I know a ton of local playgroups that have their own house rules ranging from multiple commanders to Pauper-only decks to having to bring multiple decks and battle it out. The last is a variation where, when you get knocked out your first time, you tag back in with your second deck. If you get knocked out a second time, you're dead.But this format brings up a ton of interesting strategies, including pandering to the crowd with your second deck to try to live as long as possible. Jules Robins recently wrote a two-part series on a pair of Commander decks that might be perfect for just that.

The idea was to start from two opposite places and to then support each legend in a defining way. There are a lot of legends in opposite camps, of course, like Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis and Sigarda, Host of Herons, but Jules was shooting for polar opposites. So Jules took a look at Iname, Life Aspect and his much more morbid half, Iname, Death Aspect. Both Spirit legends have a unique flare to them that Jules could harness and build around.

With Iname, Death Aspect, you could play your Commander, dump a ton of Spirits into the 'yard and then, for example, cast Patriarch's Bidding. Iname, Life Aspect was a bit harder to harness, but Jules decided to play the deck in a way that had it Raise Dead a bunch of guys only to be able to cast as many of them as possible right away through mana acceleration and other methods of cheating things into play. Together, the two decks make for a great pairing for any duo-deck type of Commander variant. And if you ever want to extend your squadron of decks to include a third? Well, there is always Iname as One still on the table! Check out both of Jules's articles here (Life) and here (Death)!

Jules Robins's Cycle of Life
Commander – Iname, Life Aspect

Main Deck

99 cards

Blasted Landscape
Deserted Temple
Evolving Wilds
19  Forest
Gaea's Cradle
High Market
Mosswort Bridge
Mystifying Maze
Reliquary Tower
Slippery Karst
Terramorphic Expanse
Thawing Glaciers
Tranquil Thicket
Winding Canyons

33 lands

Arashi, the Sky Asunder
Ayumi, the Last Visitor
Body of Jukai
Bounteous Kirin
Briarknit Kami
Carven Caryatid
Chameleon Colossus
Elder Pine of Jukai
Harbinger of Spring
Hermit Druid
Jugan, the Rising Star
Kodama of the Center Tree
Kodama of the South Tree
Loam Dweller
Masumaro, First to Live
Myojin of Life's Web
Nightsoil Kami
Patron of the Orochi
Petalmane Baku
Primordial Sage
Regal Force
Sekki, Seasons' Guide
Silverglade Pathfinder
Soul of the Harvest
Thousand-legged Kami
Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger
Yew Spirit

30 creatures

Akroma's Memorial
All Is Dust
Altar Of Dementia
Birthing Pod
Boundless Realms
Caged Sun
Carpet of Flowers
Cloud Key
Collective Unconscious
Crop Rotation
Door of Destinies
Emerald Medallion
Everflowing Chalice
Expedition Map
Gauntlet of Power
Genesis Wave
Glimpse of Nature
Greater Good
Kodama's Reach
Life from the Loam
Mana Reflection
Nostalgic Dreams
Oblivion Stone
Perilous Forays
Planar Gate
Reap and Sow
Rending Vines
Sands of Delirium
Slate of Ancestry
Survival of the Fittest
Sylvan Scrying
Urza's Incubator
Venser's Journal
Vernal Bloom
Wild Pair

36 other spells

Iname, Life Aspect

Jules Robins's A-S-P-E-C-T, Find out How It’s So Deadly
Commander – Iname, Death Aspect

Main Deck

99 cards

Barren Moor
Blasted Landscape
Bojuka Bog
Cabal Coffers
Crypt of Agadeem
High Market
Mystifying Maze
Petrified Field
Phyrexian Tower
Polluted Mire
Reliquary Tower
Shizo, Death's Storehouse
19  Swamp
Temple of the False God
Thawing Glaciers
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Volrath's Stronghold

37 lands

Balthor the Defiled
Blood Artist
Crawling Filth
Disciple of Bolas
Dread Cacodemon
Entropic Specter
Falkenrath Noble
Graveborn Muse
Harvester of Souls
He Who Hungers
Kagemaro, First to Suffer
Kami of Lunacy
Kokusho, the Evening Star
Krovikan Horror
Kuro, Pitlord
Kyoki, Sanity's Eclipse
Midnight Banshee
Nether Shadow
Nether Traitor
Patron of the Nezumi
Phyrexian Plaguelord
Plagued Rusalka
Pus Kami
Reiver Demon
Sewer Nemesis
Sheoldred, Whispering One
Solemn Simulacrum
Spirit of the Night
Thief of Hope
Umbra Stalker

35 creatures

Ashnod's Altar
Black Market
Decree of Pain
Dread Return
Dreamstone Hedron
Expedition Map
Grimoire of the Dead
Lightning Coils
Living Death
Mind Stone
Mind's Eye
Patriarch's Bidding
Phyrexian Altar
Phyrexian Arena
Promise of Power
Slate of Ancestry
Sol Ring
Songs of the Damned
Tombstone Stairwell
Twilight's Call

26 other spells

Liliana Vess

1 planeswalker

Iname, Death Aspect

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