All on the Mardu Control EDH Train?

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Today, we’re going to dash into the Mardu color pairings and see where Mardu is going as a color pair. On one hand, Mardu without doubt has the best removal and boardwipes, which puts the Mardu train at a junction. There are aggressive Mardu decks that use this removal indiscriminately to push in damage, and there are also more controlling Mardu decks that use this removal to pick off problematic creatures to keep a firm grip on the board.

Looking at the top seven commanders for the Mardu color pairing, you can see that there are four with a more aggressive tilit (Alesha, Kaalia, Zurgo, and Oros), and three with a more controlling tilt (Tariel, Queen Marchesa, and Ravos//Vial Smasher). However, the two commanders on the top seven from the last year (Queen Marchesa and Ravos//Vial Smasher) have a more controlling tilt to them. You can read more on Queen Marchesa and Ravos//Vial Smasher by clicking on their respective links.

So, the question I’m going to discuss in this article is  : “Where is Mardu going?”

As shown, Mardu can tilt towards either end of the control/aggro spectrum, depending on how the deck utilizes the high-quality removal and boardwipes.

Planar Chaos brought the first Mardu commander in 2007, Oros, the Avenger.

The first Commander set, in 2011, brought two Mardu commanders, Kaalia and Tariel.

At that point, there aggro/control ratio was 2 to 1.

We’ve seen a fair share of the aggro side in the past few years, since the symbol of the Mardu Horde is the “Wings of the Dragon”, their aspect of the dragon is speed, and their mechanics are raid and dash, which are both combat-oriented mechanics. The code of the Mardu is called “The Edicts of Ilagra”, which even states :

  • To conquer is to eat.
  • To rule is to bleed.
  • Victory or death.

So, the Khans block brought two aggressive commanders to the scene : Zurgo and Alesha. Then, the aggro/control ration was 4-1.

In this past year, we’ve got two more controlling commanders : Queen Marchesa from Conspiracy 2 and Vial Smasher//Ravos from Commander 2016.

Aether Revolt doesn’t seem like a likely place for a Mardu commander, and although we don’t know what the color divisions will be like on Amonkhet, it’s unlikely that they’ll do another wedge set so soon after Khans block. The next real opportunity to see more Mardu commanders will be Commander 2017, so we’ll wait until then to see.

Will the Mardu control collection grow? What do you think?


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