Phyrexia: All Will Be One Commander decks are arriving soon, returning us to battle with those eerie Phyrexians. But there’s a Rebellion Rising to answer the threat — a Boros powerhouse featuring heavy-hitting Rebel tokens that is primed for an upgrade.
This deck is the perfect Commander precon base for anyone who loves creating and buffing tokens while manning a truly aggressive board state, but to really save Mirrodin, you may need to bring a bit more heat.
REBELLION RISING: NEW CARDS AND HIGHLIGHTS
Before we dive into upgrades, we should look at the brand new cards that create exciting, new interactions for some of our old favorites.
The face commander, Neyali, Suns’ Vanguard, is a good place to start. This 3/3 gives your attacking tokens double strike and a form of card advantage when you attack with those tokens.
This means you’ll want to generate a ton of powerful tokens and swing face at your opponents as much as possible. With Neyali as your commander, you can really apply pressure through combat using that Double Strike alongside other keywords like Haste and Menace. And if you can find ways to take extra combat steps, then the value gets really out of control.
The alternative commander in Rebellion Rising is Otharri, Suns’ Glory, the legendary phoenix that can be seen soaring above Neyali in the face commander art. Otharri truly has a lot to appreciate for a 3/3 creature, from Flying, to Lifelink, to Haste and a pair of abilities.
The first really gets the token creation engine roaring by creating tapped and attacking Rebel tokens for every experience counter you collect each time Otharri attacks, enabling you to overwhelm your opponents on the ground and in the air.
Otharri’s second ability absolutely leans into its phoenix nature, letting you make the most of reprints like Hour of Reckoning. With a board full of tokens, you should almost never have to worry about paying Commander tax.
Another new card that’s great in Rebellion Rising is Clever Concealment, an instant with Convoke that protects your board, from creatures to enchantments, from any kind of removal without having to hold open too much mana.
Meanwhile, Kemba’s Banner and Hexplate Wallbreaker are two equipment artifacts with For Mirrodin!, a new mechanic in the Phyrexia: All Will Be One set that harkens back to Living Weapon. But this time, instead of making a 0/0 germ that dies if you move the equipment around, For Mirrodin! makes 2/2s that can keep fighting unarmed.
Sneaking out more 2/2 Rebels and generating power on your board via equipment is certainly a welcome perk. Not only does it save you the mana you’d have to pay to equip these cards to a creature, but you can get to attacking almost right away.
Kemba’s Banner gives its equipped creature a buff based on the number of creatures you control while Hexplate Wallbreaker untaps attacking creatures and can add an additional combat phase. Either comes in handy, regardless of whether you’re running Neyali or Otharri as your commander.
Staff of the Storyteller is another new, low-cost artifact that will give you a steady stream of card draw as long as you keep making tokens — and Glimmer Lens lets you draw as long as the equipped creature doesn’t attack alone.
Then there’s Vulshok Factory, an odd little rock that eventually gives you a beefy, hasty, colorless Golem token equal to the charge counters you get from activating its mana ability. That can be some nasty upside if this comes down early.
Rebellion Rising also offers a pair of new cards that can truly blow out your opponents. The first is Roar of the Resistance, which lets you get in right away with the massive board of tokens you’re sure to make. Plus, you can help any player get a bit more aggro against your opponents by paying a couple mana to give every attacker +2/+0 until end of turn.
Last but not least is Goldwardens’ Gambit, which gets cheaper to cast when you have more equipment on the board. Regardless of how much mana you pay, you’ll get five 2/2 Rebel creature tokens with haste, all of which you can suit up with a piece of equipment for free.
REBELLION RISING: DECK REVIEW
When it comes to this deck, it’s all in the name (there will definitely be lots of rebels rising). With For Mirrodin!, this Boros precon offers another way to generate tokens by casting equipment.
But while this deck not only loves a wide board of tokens, it loves BIG tokens. Idol of Oblivion can be sacrificed to make a 10/10 Eldrazi token, Dragonmaster Outcast makes flying 5/5 dragons and cards like Goldnight Commander and Phantom General buff them all up.
Giving all those beefy creatures double strike can close games quickly. Having said that, this is clearly a great deck for aggressive players who waste no time with politics.
Although Neyali is the face commander and still a great choice for card advantage, Otharri Suns’ Glory has the most to offer as the commander of Rebellion Rising. Otharri’s Flying, Lifelink and Haste is too sweet a bonus on top of the Experience counters you can’t lose throughout the game. And since you stack them up by doing what this deck wants to do, you’ll create a mess of tokens to crush your opponents with.
Rebellion Rising also offers some useful reprints to help with token evasiveness, like Flawless Maneuver, which can be cast for free if you control your commander.
However, there’s always room for improvement in a rag-tag outfit like Mirrodin’s rebellion. So let’s get into upgrading this deck to put more of a hurt on your enemies.
UPGRADING REBELLION RISING
While this deck has plenty of token generators, in this upgrade we are seeking to amp up their power and add more card draw to the deck so you never run out of gas. Additionally, I’ll be adhering to a budget under $100 as this guide aims to be budget friendly and pack some cards less often explored.
This deck upgrade will focus on Otharri, Suns’ Glory as its commander, but it’s worth noting a couple of cards that are fantastic inclusions for those who prefer Neyali, Suns’ Vanguard.
The first is Commander Liara Portyr, who cheapens your spells cast from exile cost by the number of players being attacked and adds another layer of card advantage. Another great card for a deck commanded by Neyali is Wild-Magic Sorcerer. Since you’ll be casting plenty of spells from exile throughout the game, the free Cascade value will really start to add up.
But let’s get back to Otharri. First up, despite having plenty of token generators, we’ll start by replacing some of the vanilla ones with some that pack a bit more punch.
Starnheim Unleashed is a sorcery that can give you a single decent token in a pinch or a whole army of them if you can afford to Foretell it. Taking over the skies will back up your commander even better, making it harder for your opponent to stave off damage.
Also making it difficult for your opponent to block, Gut, True Soul Zealot is a token generating creature that gives you tapped and attacking skeletons with menace.
Jaxis, the Troublemaker is an awesome card that lets you create token copies of creatures you control. You only get them through the end of the turn, but they come with Haste and an extra card draw when you’re forced to sacrifice them. This lets you make more, big beaters, but also capitalize on the enter-the-battlefield effects many creatures come with.
For more card draw, I suggest a personal favorite of mine for white token decks: Bennie Bracks, Zoologist. Bennie has Convoke, allowing you to cast him on the cheap and start drawing cards every turn (including your opponents’ if you can afford a card like Smothering Tithe).
Welcoming Vampire is another great card for token decks, as you get a once-per-turn card draw whenever one or more creatures with power 2 or less enters the battlefield under your control — which should be often in this case.
Adding to the fun redundancy of token-powered card draw is Tocasia’s Welcome, an enchantment much like Welcoming Vampire that triggers card draw once per turn for creatures entering the battlefield, this time with mana value three or less. Tokens have a mana value of zero, so you should get plenty of use out of this card.
Now that we have tokens and card draw covered, Adeline, Resplendent Cathar is a killer creature in this deck since her power is equal to the amount of creatures you control AND she adds to your board whenever you attack. What a deal!
We also have the simple Inspiring Leader, an enchantment that says your commander gives creature tokens you control +2/+2, making those awesome attacking tokens that Otharri creates into 4/4 rebels.
Another aim for this upgrade is to add more interaction. While we have five instances of targeted removal, including Generous Gift, Boros Charm and Path to Exile, more interaction is always great when you want to protect your aggressive board state by removing potential threats before they get out of hand.
Finally, while this deck is still kept at under a $100 budget, Anointed Procession is a great inclusion since it makes twice as many tokens as this deck normally would. And if you happen to crack Mondrak, Glory Dominus, I’m sure Mirrodin’s rebellion won’t mind fighting with one Phyrexian on their side if it means victory, right?
Some cards don’t service the deck as well as ones listed in the upgrade so these have been removed:
- Jor Kadeem, the Prevailer
- Cut a Deal
- Increasing Devotion
- Heroic Reinforcements
- Myr Battlesphere
- Siege-Gang Commander
- Battle Screech
- Path of Ancestry
- Hordeling Outburst
- Midnight Haunting
Check out the upgraded deck list in detail here:
Janel SantaCruz Campbell is a writer and gamer specializing in TTRPGs, PC Gaming and all around Horror. She enjoys playing huge, stompy creatures in Commander, especially the shuffle titans when going against her friends’ mill decks. Watch her stream Commander and point-and-click adventures nightly on her Twitch channel, twitch.tv/JanelSantaCruz