Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Atraxa Decks on EDHREC
"Atraxa, Praetors' Voice" offers one of my favorite commanders in EDH format, carrying 4/4 stats plus vigilance, flying, deathtouch, and lifelink! Even better, during your end step, she lets you proliferate, duplicating pre-existing counters on selected permanents/players.
Using four out of the five colors (everything but red), Atraxa has plenty of deck-building options, but many of her best supports are surprisingly absent from commander-assisting website EDHREC.com—which underdogs deserve notice? These are the top ten underemployed Atraxa synergies in Magic: The Gathering!
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 1
Atraxa decks flock to planeswalkers to proliferate their loyalty counters, but you'll want some creatures to help protect those planeswalkers. Enter Hexdrinker, who arrives as an impressive 2/1 for just one mana. He can "level up" for another mana, becoming a 4/4 with protection from instants at levels 3-7, and a 6/6 with protection from everything at level 8 and beyond!
Cool thing is, leveling up comes in the form of level counters, which Atraxa can proliferate. Plus, unlike some levelers, Hexdrinker accepts any color to level up, so once his base cost is gone, you can spend whatever types you have.
9. Felidar Sovereign
Admittedly, Felidar is lacking the oh-so-precious counters that Atraxa loves to proliferate, and his mana price is pretty high. But he's got solid 4/6 stats and cat synergy alongside vigilance and lifelink.
More than that, Felidar wins you the game at your upkeep if you have 40 or more life. Not only is this an easy exploit in EDH (where you start with 40), thanks to lifelink on both Atraxa and Felidar, it's pretty easy to maintain your minimum amount.
Heck, even if you dip below 40, the threat of the win might draw aggression away from your planewalkers, letting them live to activate more loyalty effects.
8. Confiscation Coup
Atraxa requires four mana, so you'll probably play her as your turn-four spell, making Coup a nice option for the round afterwards (assuming you meet your land drop). It gives you four energy counters, then targets an artifact or creature and lets you spend energy equal to that creature's mana cost to gain control of it!
Removing an opposing unit (possibly your opponent's commander) while gaining it yourself offers a brutal two-for-one punch, and the ability to affect artifacts as well as creatures increases versatility. Note you can steal a token for free and that Coup has better range if you gain preexisting energy counters for Atraxa to proliferate, so blend with cards like "Aether Hub" and "Era of Innovation".
7. Umezawa's Jitte
CMC: 2 (2 to equip)
Jitte is simply one of the best equipments in the game, currently bearing a 4.6 out of 5 stars on the official database. Both casting and equipping take two mana (thankfully of any color), and Jitte gains two charge counters whenever its bearer deals combat damage (whether to a creature, player, or planeswalker).
Of course, Atraxa can proliferate these counters, and you can remove one at instant speed to give the equipped creature +2/+2 for the turn, give anyone -1/-1 for the turn, or simply gain two life. So you've either got a buff, weakener, or life recovery (useful for Felidar), all versatile options that can trigger multiple times per turn.
Atraxa's vigilance and deathtouch mean she's easy to attack and block with, quickly amassing counters. Plus, Jitte's card type empowers artifact-related supports, like many of the blue/black Tezzeret planeswalkers you're probably running.
6. Oracle's Vault
My one gripe about Vault is that it takes four mana, which you would ideally be using on Atraxa, but its colorless nature works when you haven't found all four colors yet. After casting it, Vault taps and spends two mana to exile the top card of your deck, letting you play it until the end of the turn (you still pay its cost).
That's decent, but using the effect gives Vault a brick counter, and once it has at least three, both the tap and casting effects become free! This gives you an easy play each turn and doesn't reduce your hand—proliferate those brick counters for quick access.
5. Krav, the Unredeemed/Regna, the Redeemer
First things first, Krav and Regna work well with Atraxa thanks to their lenient mana costs (mostly accepting any colors), so you can probably cast them even without mana filtering. Like other paired partners, when one enters your field, you get to tutor the other from your deck, maintaining card advantage, and they mesh with each other and Atraxa.
Krav lets you spend mana and sacrifice creatures to draw cards, gain life, and gain +1/+1 counters (which Atraxa will proliferate). Meanwhile, Regna gives you two 1/1 soldier tokens at the end of any turn (even opposing ones) where you gained life, which can trigger from either Krav's ability or Atraxa's lifelink. Sure, these tokens are weak, but they make good throwaway blockers or fodder for Krav, and you'll gain twice as many if you have the infamous "Doubling Season" active.
4. Depletion Lands
Admittedly, these lands have some disadvantages, entering the field tapped, needing to spend one of their two depletion counters for mana, and sacrificing themselves when they run out. However, each taps for not one but two mana, and Atraxa's proliferating ensures you don't run out of counters.
They also combo with the two-color bounce lands (like "Simic Growth Chamber"), which can help reset the depletion counters if you can't proliferate at the moment.
Here's the corresponding land for each of Atraxa's four colors:
- Green: Hickory Woodlot
- Blue: Saprazzan Skerry
- White: Remote Farm
- Black: Peat Bog
Great for decks with enough filtering to swap out redundant colors, these fields are temptingly cheap, costing less than a dollar each!
3. Lighthouse Chronologist
Unfortunately for Atraxa builds, Chronologist is picky with mana, needing blue for both his cost and to level up. He starts as a weak 1/1, but becomes a 2/4 from levels 3-6 and a 3/5 at level 7.
More than that, reaching level 7 gives you an extra turn whenever another player's turn ends. Extra turns are powerful advantages, and getting them continuously makes Chronologist a huge threat, especially since you can proliferate his counters to rapidly exploit the effect. And if you're worried about color needs, be sure to filter with...
2. Prophetic Prism
EDHREC offers many useful mana-tweaking artifacts, but strangely leaves out this gem. Prism arrives for two mana and grants you a draw on entry, quickly replacing itself in hand. More than that, by spending one mana of any type and tapping, you get to add one mana of any color.
This does wonders for converting redundant colored mana from those depletion lands (or colorless from "Sol Ring"), ensuring you don't get color-screwed. There aren't any counters to proliferate, but don't let that mislead you into thinking Prism shouldn't be in Atraxa decks.
1. Mikaeus, the Lunarch
An adaptable play, Mikaeus requires one white mana plus X more of any type, entering with X +1/+1 counters. Between proliferating and his ability to tap and gain another counter, Mikaeus should have plenty to spare.
This lets him spam his second effect, tapping and spending a counter to give your other creatures a +1/+1. This lets Atraxa proliferate all your creatures (including herself), immensely fortifying your army.
Now, your deck might not be huge on creatures if you emphasize planeswalkers, but many of them summon creature tokens through loyalty effects anyway, so don't underestimate Mikaeus's buffing potential.
Atraxa Staples in Magic
Today we examined many powerful Atraxa spells not presently found on EDHREC, but be sure to browse its recommended content for mainstays like "Deepglow Skate" and "Astral Cornucopia" to form your ultimate commander deck.
Atraxa can replicate creature counters, planeswalker loyalty, infect poison counters, or a mixture of all, so you've got plenty of tools to choose from. But for now, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill