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Former Commander 2020 deck reviews:

Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths and Commander 2020 (or Commander: Ikoria) release is just behind the corner as we dig into the fourth precon deck, Enhanced Evolution. This deck is Sultai-colored, or blue-black-green and is built around the brand new mutate mechanic introduced in Ikoria.

Enhanced Evolution
Otrimi, the Ever-Playful
Nissa, Steward of Elements
Auspicious Starrix
Beast Whisperer
Boneyard Lurker
Boneyard Mycodrax
Cavern Whisperer
Cazur, Ruthless Stalker
Chittering Harvester
Cold-Eyed Selkie
Dreamtail Heron
Genesis Hydra
Glowstone Recluse
Heroes' Bane 
Hungering Hydra
Illusory Ambusher
Insatiable Hemophage
Masked Admirers
Migratory Greathorn
Pouncing Shoreshark
Predator Ooze
Reclamation Sage
Sawtusk Demolisher
Silent Arbiter
Souvenir Snatcher
Tidal Barracuda
Trumpeting Gnarr
Trygon Predator
Ukkima, Stalking Shadow
Vastwood Hydra
Wydwen, the Biting Gale
Yavimaya Dryad
Zaxara, the Exemplary
Beast Within
Deadly Rollick
Krosan Grip
Animist's Awakening
Find // Finality
Gaze of Granite
Deadly Tempest
Dredge the Mire
Kodama's Reach
Mind Spring
Migration Path
Profane Command
Villainous Wealth
Parasitic Impetus
Predatory Impetus
Psychic Impetus
Arcane Signet
Bonder's Ornament
Lifecrafter's Bestiary
Manascape Refractor
Sol Ring
Blighted Woodland
Command Tower
Darkwater Catacombs
Dimir Aqueduct
Dismal Backwater
Endless Sands
Exotic Orchard
Golgari Rot Farm
Jungle Hollow
Llanowar Wastes
Mortuary Mire
Myriad Landscape
Opulent Palace
Rogue's Passage
Simic Growth Chamber
Soaring Seacliff
Sunken Hollow
Temple of the False God
Thornwood Falls
5 Swamp
11 Forest
2 Island


Poroscope covered the mutate mechanic more in-depth in the Ikoria Commander Primer article but we might want to refresh ourselves how do this mechanic works. Mutate is an alternate casting cost that lets the player mutate the card with another non-human creature already on the battlefield. When the creature is cast, it targets the creature it is trying to mutate. If the targeted creature leaves the battlefield before the mutate creature's cast resolves, the cast creature will just enter the battlefield as a normal creature. If the mutated creature gets to mutate, the player chooses to place the mutate card either on top or bottom of the targeted creature now forming a single creature on the battlefield. The mutated creature has the characteristics, power and toughness, and name of the topmost card and all abilities of the card below it. A creature can be mutated an unlimited amount of times. If a commander is part of the mutated creature, the creature will be count as a commander since the commandership is tied to the physical card. 

As usual for the precons, this deck is aiming to win with combat damage by building massive mutants as the game proceeds. Including the commander, the deck includes 39 creatures which of 15 have the mutate ability. The other creatures have a ton of keywords and other abilities thus making the mutants pretty packed with different abilities. Other cards in the deck include lands, some removal spells, and mana producing artifacts. Also, cards that tutor lands from the deck to the battlefield are included. As a new print for the free to cast spells if you control a commander cycle there is the black card Deadly Rollick, which will simply exile a target creature. 

Overall, the deck seems pretty interesting and fun to play! The main theme being big strong creatures this is probably a nice pick up if you want to make some big beefy mutants. There is a slight Voltron-vibe in the deck as the player might end up having a pile of cards as one creature on the battlefield. Most of the mutate cards also get triggers when the creature mutates and all of these will be triggered, if there are more of these cards in the mutated pile. 

Mutate mechanic seems to be quite strong but it is pretty well balanced because it makes single target removal more powerful against it. This is something players should keep in mind when mutating creatures.

The default commander for the deck is Otrimi, the Ever-Playful. Otrimi can be cast either normally or mutated into a creature. Otrimi has an ability that lets the player return mutate-cards from their graveyard to their hand when Otrimi or the creature it mutated with deals combat damage to a player. This provides the player with some card advantage and returning the mutate-creatures to your hand is fairly powerful, as you can then decide if you want to mutate the creatures or play them the normal way. The other commander options are Zaxara, the Exemplary and partners Ukkima, Stalking Shadow and Cazur, Ruthless Stalker. From these commander prospects the default commander Otrimi feels most powerful. Zaxara is a good one for a Hydra tribal since it provides three colors for the deck. It will be interesting to sii if Zaxara will find it's way to the commander tables! Ukkima and Cazur feel pretty strong but they don't really synergize with the mutate theme. 


Mutate-themed improvements can only be found in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths since the ability is completely new. From Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths you could try at least Sea-Dasher Octopus. Also the very cheap CMC Zagoth Mamba would fit the deck pretty well. Roughly all of the mutate cards from sultai colors can be tried in the deck as it boosts up the mutate theme. Brokkos, Apex of Forever is an auto-include and could work as the commander of the deck pretty well! 

If I were to upgrade the deck I would definitely go for the mutate-theme full on! Maximizing the amount of mutate creatures would be the first step. Also things and support cards that trigger from mutating are a must. Silent Arbiter already found in the deck is a good pick and similar effects are welcome as the deck probably tries to win more with less creatures than going wide in the creature count. 

Out of the box the deck seems very interesting and fun top play especially because the mutate is a brand new thing. Since the mutate is new it is very hard to predict if this deck will be super powerful, but for players looking for fun gameplay and big mutant creatures, this deck is spot on! 

Pekka "Löhis" Löhönen