Commander 2020 spoilers are in full swing as Wizards of the Coast continues to unveil great reprints and interesting new commanders. Now, Wizards has released another wave of these spoilers. This includes today’s topic: Xyris, the Writhing Storm. In this article, we’ll be going over what Xyris does, how to build a deck around him, and which cards pair particularly well with him.
Xyris, the Writhing Storm – The Temur Nekusar?
Xyris is a 3/5 Legendary Snake Leviathan that you can summon for 2, one green, one blue, and one red mana. It has flying, and whenever one of your opponents draws a card besides the first each turn, you get a 1/1 Snake token. Furthermore, whenever Xyris hits one of your opponents, both you and that opponent draw a number of cards equal to the damage dealt.
Almost immediately, Xyris draws comparisons to Nekusar, the Mindrazer. Both benefit from your opponents drawing cards and have blue and red in their color identity. The additional access to green means that Xyris has a lot more options when it comes to ramp and enchantment removal. Xyris also doesn’t damage your opponents directly like Nekusar. Instead, it creates tokens that stay on the field. This means that while the two may share some similarities, they do have their fair share of differences.
How to build Xyris?
There are quite a few directions you could take this commander. You could go with a notion thief-like playstyle with Narset, or a group hug deck breaking parity with Xyris. With that in mind, there are certain cards that synergize more with him than others.
Wheel effects such as Wheel of Fortune are amazing in Xyris. We want our opponents to draw cards, and assuming you have three opponents, a single Wheel leaves you with 21 snake tokens. That said, without a doubt, the best affordable wheel effect for the deck is Windfall.
Let’s say we’ve got seven cards in hand and we hit one of our opponents with Xyris, making both of us draw 3 more. This gives us three snake tokens off of Xyris’ effect. But now we play Windfall. Suddenly, everyone must discard their hands and draw 10 cards apiece. And that means we’ve now got 30 more snake tokens reinforcing our army!
Other cards that force your opponents to draw cards such as Howling Mine, Teferi’s Puzzle Box, or Fevered Visions also pair up great with this commander. It will also go hand-in-hand with Niv Mizzet, Parun, which further benefits you when you draw cards.
Finally, Xyris will also pair very well with token doublers. Parallel Lives, Doubling Season, and other such effects will let you essentially double up on your snake army.
We’ve got an army – now what?
So, once you’ve built up your snake army, what do you do next? Luckily, we’ve got access to green.
First of all, cards such as Cryptolith Rite can make you an absurd amount of mana. Remember the Windfall trick from a moment ago? Add the Rite into the mix, and you could have 30 mana afterward.
Naturally, like all decks that make a lot of tokens, Xyris benefits from anthem effects. If you can get your snake army from a bunch of 1/1’s to 5/5’s, you could be looking at a lethal swing. A Craterhoof Behemoth or the like usually presents doom to your opponents. Other effects that trigger when a creature enters the battlefield can basically make Xyris a better Nekusar.
But something that might not seem obvious at first is how well Xyris goes with sacrifice effects. Phyrexian Altar, for example, will let you turn every one of your opponent’s extra draws into one mana of any color. A similar thing can be said for Ashnod’s Altar, which instead makes 2 colorless mana.
That’s all for our look at Xyris! What do you think of this card? Let us know in the comments. And make sure to stay tuned to Daily Esports for more updates about the upcoming Magic Commander 2020 decks.