One of our favorite story lines in Magic: The Gathering was the saga of Mirrodin and its journey to becoming New Phyrexia. The mysterious Bringers of the 5 Dawns (one for each of Mirrodin’s suns), and the rich, flavorful cards and lore of the Phyrexian Praetors had us especially hooked and craving a way to use them together.
To appease the desire to play with the Bringers and Praetors, one of our earliest EDH/Commander decks was a deck centered on the theme of bringing out the Bringers (say that 10x fast) with their WUBRG ability while celebrating the glory that is Mirrodin and its artifact affinity. After several incarnations and additions to some of the “rainbow connections” (cards that are focused on WUBRG), this deck has manifested into one of our favorite combinations of pure, undiluted jank mixed with effective board state dominance.
Getting the Engine Started
With the goal of getting the Bringers onto the battlefield, our choice for a commander for this artifact/rainbow craziness was Ramos, the Dragon Engine.
Besides the obvious reason of being an amazing looking metal dragon, Ramos is capable of playing into three major themes of the deck: +1/+1 counters, artifact affinity, and quickly achieving WUBRG to summon the Bringers.
A question we’ve received often with this deck is “Why not Golos?” Well, while Golos can help with land fixing and cheating out big spells and creatures, they don’t mesh as well with the other themes of the deck and can be less reliable at achieving WUBRG in a singleton deck. Golos is still an amazing card and might be added into the list as a lieutenant some day. However, Ramos provides an easier way to producing a lot of full WUBRG mana quickly using the counters and artifact affinity themes.
Also, did we mention that they are a METAL DRAGON?!?!
Ramping the Rainbow
To achieve our goals of producing WUBRG and delivering the Bringers to the battlefield, we need a combination of a seriously diverse mana base as well as some nifty helpful artifacts.
Lands of Plenty
The whole series of temples from the Theros blocks has been a real help with this deck, providing a lot of color fixing in the early game while smoothing out draws to help finish our little rainbow set up.
In addition to the temples and the basic lands, we have some of your obvious commander staples, such as Command Tower, Exotic Orchard, Reflecting Pool, Terramorphic Expanse, and others. However, what really adds to the fun and the flavor of this deck are two oldies-but-goddies: Crystal Quarry and Mirrodin’s Core.
Constructive Little Curios
Coming from a Mirrodin based flavor, we’ll need/want some artifacts to help with this mana base. There are many choices, including but not limited to:
And when all else fails, you can add in a few mana dorks or just whip out this staple that we know everyone loves so much
However, this helpful hardware doesn’t come alone. While we might be producing all sorts of rainbow mana, we need to put it to good use. That’s where a few other cards will really provide some additional value, such as Fist of Suns or Jodah, Archmage Eternal.
With Ramos’ ability to drop some double WUBRG into our mana pool based on his +1/+1 counters, some counter synergy as well as some proliferation is definitely required.
Counting Up those Counters
Cards generating +1/+1 counters is nothing new in Magic the Gathering, but we felt it was best to focus on cards that synergized while providing value on their own.
Since the deck does tend to also honor the ways of Mirrodin with a high artifact affinity, you definitely include a card like Steel Overseer, to add to not only Ramos’ +1/+1 counters, but those of any other artifact creatures you’ve managed to get out (mentioned later).
Generating all those counters does make your cards, especially cards enhanced with counters from Oko, the Trickster and Experiment Kraj targets for removal quite quickly. Best to protect those counters with something like The Ozolith.
Generating counters to then proliferate is probably one of the best feelings in Magic: The Gathering, and these cards do not disappoint while also adding a little pressure on your opponent with -1/-1 counters.
There is one card we felt necessary to add to maintain the flavor of the deck while helping Ramos get their counters, and that’s Atrax, Praetor’s Voice.
Besides being scary in their own right, the angel horror Atraxa is a great proliferation engine for Ramos as well as any of the other creatures you’ve managed to get +1/+1 counters. With the diverse mana base and helpful artifacts, this card is pretty easy to get out if you draw them, but as you can see, not a requirement to get the WUBRG mana flowing.
While ramping towards WUBRG, this deck features some serious artifact affinity and the multi-colored Mirrodin mechanic of Suburst. High-value cards such as Suncrusher or Etched Oracle are just super fun to play with the mana base that we have. Mixed with some of the counter generating and proliferating effects mentioned earlier, these cards can become pretty beefy very quickly.
To play even more off the theme of artifact affinity, we can add in some dripping-in-value artifacts and artifact creatures, most notably, the Etched Champion. This little soilder becomes exceptionally difficult to deal with, gaining protection from their Metalcraft ability.
Heralds of Doom: The Praetors
Each of the the five Praetors is scary in their own right, and as a collective council, they’re down right terrifying to see your opponent summon. While expensive to cast, this deck is all about generating WUBRG and has some nifty trinkets to help cheat out these legendaries that we’ll talk about in a little bit.
All in all, they are excellent harbingers for the Bringers and the destruction of Mirrodin and your opponents’ battlefield.
Between Ramos and the artifacts, playing the Bringers is an amazing and flavorful way to really bear down on the board state by simply playing WUBRG. If you haven’t achieved that yet, you have a plentiful but diverse mana base does that will help you cast them at retail.
The Bringer of the Green Dawn will be producing plenty of chump blockers while the Bringer of the White Dawn will be helping you maintain those lovely artifacts from earlier as well as any others in the deck. Scarier still is the Bringer of the Red Dawn stealing your opponents creatures all while looking for answers with the Bringer of the Black Dawn, provided you haven’t found them with the Bringer of the Blue Dawn.
Each of these 5 are just crammed with value on their own, and working in concert, is just amazing.
Even after all these years and all the incarnations, this deck is by far one of our most fun to play. Its win rate isn’t high, but it’s valuable jank and has a limitless fun quotient. Whether you bring out the Bringers or just have fun with the five-color good stuff, each of us jumps at a chance to play this deck for a fun, casual game of Commander.