Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait – $15 Precon Upgrade – Commander Deck Tech – Command Valley

Hey guys, this is Landon with the Command Valley, bringing you a budget upgrade guide for the “Reap the Tides” preconstructed Commander deck being released alongside Commander Legends! Thank you to Game Grid for sponsoring our channel; if you want to check out their new and improved store and support our channel while doing it, check out this link here. We have a copy and pastable list at the end of this article that you can paste right into their deck builder and buy your singles there. Please check out our YouTube channel, subscribe, and give us some likes and comments. We really appreciate it!

Today I’ll be taking eleven cards out of the Reap the Tides preconstructed deck and putting in eleven new cards that I think will improve the deck! I won’t be telling you to put in all the crazy expensive cards you could put in though, we’ll be sticking to a budget of fifteen to twenty dollars so that you can easily, quickly, and affordably upgrade your deck right out of the box.

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The preconstructed decks are ready to play right out of the box, but there are always ways to improve them! Let’s start by just quickly highlighting the strategies and strengths of the deck. First of all, we should start by taking a look at the commander, Aesi! For four generic, one green, and one blue mana you’ve got a 5/5 Serpent that says, “You may play an additional land on each of your turns.” Ok, not bad; however, Aesi has a second ability that says, “Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, you may draw a card.”

As you can already tell–and as you’d expect from Simic–this is a very powerful commander. Getting an additional land each turn, and turning our lands into card draw is amazing. However, our commander does have a hefty converted mana cost of six. That means we’re going to see a lot of ramp in this deck. With lots of ramp and our commander’s ability to play extra lands, naturally, there are some really powerful landfall and lands matter support cards, too! With token making cards like Rampaging BalothsSporemound, and Avenger of Zendikar you’ll be able to get multiple activations of their abilities each turn. This deck also has no shortage of disgustingly huge, destructive sea-monsters that hit super hard as well as some big nasty land-locked creatures such as Verdant Sun’s AvatarTerastodon, and Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer.


Now that we’ve gotten a better understanding of what the deck is trying to do, let’s look at the cards that I suggest taking out! Quick disclaimer: I’m not suggesting that any of these cards are bad or that you shouldn’t play them in any deck. After evaluating the deck, these are the cards that I felt were a little out of place or had a better replacement! So here is the list of cards I would immediately cut and their replacements.

Yavimaya Elder for Wood Elves: While Yavimaya Elder has some good utility later in the game, Wood Elves ramps us in the early game which is really important for getting our commander and other huge creatures out.

Wickerbough Elder for Springbloom Druid: Wickerbough Elder is just kind of expensive to remove one artifact or enchantment. I’d much rather have cards that put more lands into play!

Sharktocrab for Somberwald Sage: Sharktocrab is definitely a cool card! I just feel that four mana for its one-time activated ability isn’t all that impressive. Somberwald Sage will generate SO much value for us throughout the game, considering the deck is primarily creature-based. Three mana every turn is nuts even if it is restricted to solely casting creatures.

Fathom Mage for Tatyova: Fathom Mage has a lot of potential for drawing us a lot of cards if we sequence it right, but I think Tatyova is just an overall better card draw engine, and I’m quite surprised it’s not in the deck already.

Slinn Voda, the Rising Deep for Boundless Realms: I’m taking Slinn Voda out because we really don’t want to be bouncing away our token armies being made by our landfall creatures, and ten mana for a board wipe is a little pricy. I like Boundless Realms because it’s an absolute bomb in this deck, and will certainly give us a ton of value from our landfall and lands matter cards.

Sphinx of Uthuun for Harrow: I know. I know. Putting Harrow in does seem a little unexciting; however, it’s honestly super good for the deck. We want this early game to ramp into our commander, and we want this late game to abuse the landfall triggers.

Compulsive Research for Roiling Regrowth: The same as what I said about Harrow applies here as well. We want it early game, and we are also ok playing it in the late game!

Ior Ruin Expedition for Thwart: This is kind of an interesting switch. While Ior Ruin Expedition can draw us cards after some setup, Thwart can counter any spell, even if we’re tapped out, and we can play the islands again with our commander out to draw more cards! I think Thwart is super strong in this deck.

Meteor Golem for Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar: Meteor Golem is a decent removal spell, but Multani is just an absolute unit of a card. It has so much synergy with what we’re trying to do. It’s a massive beater with trample, a good blocker with reach, and it can be recurred by returning lands to our hand, lands that we can then play to get more value.

Seer’s Sundial for Return of the Wildspeaker: Seer’s Sundial is a card that I’ve cut from just about every single deck I’ve ever put it in. Our commander gives us this effect for free! We also have Tatyova. So to further exploit the power of the massive creatures we’re playing, Return of the Wildspeaker is absolutely amazing! It literally turns power into card draw.

Mulldrifter for Abundance: Finally, we’ve got Abundance to replace Mulldrifter. Without having a way of really abusing Mulldrifter–like blinking or reanimating it–I don’t think it’s that useful in the deck! Abundance though, Abundance is amazing. Being able to get us out of being mana flooded, or getting us lands when we don’t have any is incredibly useful and I feel like this card is super underrated. So enjoy playing it.

That’s it for today’s upgrade article. We’re super excited about this brand-new, commander-focused set and we hope you are excited about it, too. Please head to YouTube and like this video and subscribe to our channel if you haven’t yet especially if you are interested in seeing more Commander Legends content. Thanks again to Game Grid Lehi for sponsoring our channel. You can click on this link to their website here to shop for all your Magic needs there and you’ll be supporting our channel as well. Be sure to join us for our livestreams on Twitch every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time for some Brawl on Arena. Thanks, everyone! Stay safe out there.



1 Springbloom Druid
1 Return of the Wildspeaker
1 Thwart
1 Abundance
1 Somberwald Sage
1 Wood Elves
1 Roiling Regrowth
1 Harrow
1 Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar
1 Tatyova, Benthic Druid
1 Boundless Realms

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