The All-Ravnica Niv-Mizzet Reborn Commander Deck

In keeping with his character, the latest version of Niv-Mizzet offers near limitless Commander deckbuilding opportunities:

Niv-Mizzet Reborn - Matt Plays Magic

All Niv asks is that you play a large number of exactly two color cards, spread throughout the ten guild combos, in your Commander deck. From there, Niv will do his best to put a bunch of your deck into your hand each time you summon him from the Command Zone.

When faced with so very many possibilities, it can be helpful to remember that (as Magic Head Designer Mark Rosewater is so fond of saying) restrictions breed creativity. As I began thinking through restrictions that could help me build a fun-yet-unusual Niv-Mizzet Reborn deck, I almost immediately hit upon one that delighted me.

Ravnica (home of Niv-Mizzet and the guilds) is one of my favorite Magic planes. Niv-Mizzet now represents all of Ravnica in the Magic story, so why not let him do so in Commander as well?

And that’s how I hit upon building an all-Ravnica Niv-Mizzet Commander deck. If the card wasn’t printed in the Ravnica, Return to Ravnica, or Guilds of Ravnica block, you won’t see it in this deck. Instead, you’ll see a deck that boils Ravnica down to its essence – a world of guilds, gates, cooperation, and chaos.

This deck will not be competitive. In fact, it will be absolute jank. But it will allow me to play a lot of my favorite cards, from my favorite plane, and feel oh-so-good about winning on the rare occasions when I actually do so.

Let’s start by looking at the mana that Ravnica has to offer.

Gates, Shocks, and Signets (But Not Bouncelands)

The three Ravnica blocks offer a wealth of dual lands and mana-fixing, both of which are essential for a five-color Commander deck. Between the shocklands, bouncelands, and gates, a Ravnica-only Commander deck could easily play up to 30 dual lands.

The only problem is, most of those lands enter the battlefield tapped. And while a Commander deck can play SOME “comes into play tapped” lands, it can’t play 20 of them. Especially when half of those lands (the bouncelands) are actively bad in Commander.

Azorius Chancery - Matt Plays Magic
Don’t play bouncelands in Commander. They are a prime target for land destruction.

The Ravnican gates, on the other hand, are completely serviceable dual lands. Including them not only fixes our mana, but also allows us to include one of my favorite alternate win conditions: Maze’s End.

Maze's End - Matt Plays Magic
Maze’s End is one of only two cards that have convinced me to play paper Standard.

Gateway Plaza and Plaza of Harmony will fix our mana just a bit more, and we’ll round out our 38-land mana base by including three of each basic land.

Additionally, to give us a better chance of casting all our multi-color spells on time and ramp us toward casting Niv-Mizzet just a bit faster, we’ll also include one of each Ravnican signet, as well as Chromatic Lantern. Between the shocks, gates, and signets, we should stand a chance of being able to cast all our spells each game – which is going to be essentially if we stand even a chance of winning.

What the Guilds Have to Offer

With exactly 50 cards now accounted for, we have 50 remaining spots to spread among the ten Ravnican guilds. To maximize our chances of “going off” with Niv-Mizzet (and putting ten cards into our hand at once), we’re going to include exactly five cards from each guild.

Below, I’ve broken down each guild’s five card contribution. Each offers something a little bit different, but overall, this deck is designed to:

  • Control the game via card draw, counterspells, spot removal, and board wipes.
  • Resolve a “game-winning” spell like Assemble the Legion, Dovescape, Explosion, or y’know, Maze’s End.
  • If all else fails, beat down with (a potentially buffed-up) Niv-Mizzet.

Azorius

Azorius provides some of this deck’s best control cards, as well as a hilarious win condition:

Orzhov

Orzhov offers a whole lot of removal, as well as a way to profit from that removal:

Boros

Boros provides my favorite army-making enchantment, as well as some weirdly flexible removal spells:

Selesnya

Selesnya contributes the least to this pretty-much-creatureless deck. Still, even the Conclave has something to offer Niv-Mizzet:

Dimir

Dimir draws us cards and lets us play with our opponents’ spells:

Izzet

Izzet provides ways to filter through cards we can’t currently cast, while setting us up to win the late game:

Simic

Simic provides a couple experimental cards, which I’m not entirely sure will be good:

Rakdos

Rakdos offers a few removal spells of varying sizes, as well as one big showstopper of an enchantment:

Golgari

Golgari offers removal, recursion, and a bit of filtering:

Gruul

And finally, Gruul provides a last burst of damage, destruction, and mana:

The Finished Decklist

Niv Mizzet Reborn Ravnica Commander Decklist
Click here to see this deck on TappedOut.

This deck seems like absolute nonsense, and it has no chance of winning within a competitive playgroup. But if your group plays fun, on-flavor decks (or your group is just less competitive), you might want to give this weird all-Ravnica version of Niv-Mizzet Reborn a try. I’m excited to cast as many guild-centric cards as possible within a single game – and figure out what sort of weird cross-guild synergies I can find!

If you’ve got your own off-kilter Niv-Mizzet Reborn list, be sure to share it below. Otherwise, I’ll catch you back here in a couple weeks for a look at recent card templating mistakes, and how they might have happened.

One thought on “The All-Ravnica Niv-Mizzet Reborn Commander Deck

  1. Pingback: How to Handle Magic’s Near-Constant Release Schedule on a Budget – Matt Plays Magic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.