Deck Build – Inalla, Archmage Ritualist (EDH)

Introduction

After having played Magic: the Gathering in the EDH/Commander format for several years and having a blast with my Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder deck that spawns a bunch of Eldrazi, I decided to branch off and get myself a second deck to play with our group. I had had an Inalla pre-con deck that had been laying around for quite a while since it wass very underwhelming. This deck ended up being influenced by and based on the Commander’s Quarters budget deck tech for Inalla, Archmage Ritualist.

Inalla, Archmage Ritualist Card
Inalla, Archmage Ritualist

Inalla has a sort of unique Commander ability since it may be activated without actually having to play her and it is actually quite powerful. As long as you have (1) mana, you effectively “get haste” on “every creature” you play, since the token copy can tap and/or attack immediately instead of waiting a turn for summoning sickness to wear off. Additionally, if you have ETBs (enters-the-battlefield triggers), these can be multipled using this ability. Should you choose to play Inalla, a 4/5 isn’t huge, but it isn’t anything to disregard either. Here is my working deck list.

Win Condition(s)

Obviously the objective is to win, so how do I accomplish that with Inalla? There are a couple of ways to build around Inalla’s Eminence ability, including bouce and blink. Alternatively, I decided to go Wizard Tribal + flicker/blink , since Wizards are a pretty strong group, and flickering and blinking the Wizards will provide as much value as possible from the creatures’ triggers and abilities.

There are a ton of Wizards that have ETBs that we can abuse using Inalla’s Eminence ability. And not only that, but Wizards are quite easy to combo off of as well.

In one instance, assuming we have the necessary mana, if we have Anathamancer in our hand we can play it, create a token copy with Inalla’s Eminance ability, then use things like Siren’s Ruse, Into the Roil, Illusionist’s Strategem, Ghostly Flicker, Essence Flux, or Displaceto flicker or blink it away and back in. When it re-enters, we can pay the (1) again to create yet another token copy of it. If you opponents have a decent number of nonbasic lands, this can deal a lot of damage quite easily.

Other situations let you go infinite or close to infinite, such as Archaeomancer and any flicker, coupled with the Wizards of your choice with a good ETB triggers.

Additionally, if you’re leading in life total, copying and flickering Dire Fleet Ravager can run the rest of the table down quickly while you’re ahead.

There are also other fun cards such as Lighthouse Chronologist that will let you take a bunch of extra turns.

Deck Specs

Colors: Grixis (Blue/Black/Red)

Commanders: 1 | Planeswalkers: 0 | Creatures: 42

Enchantments: 0 | Artifacts: 13 | Sorceries: 0 | Instants: 10

Lands: 34

Mana Curve (Average CMC): 3.26

Why Inalla?

InallaArchmage Ritualist is a legendary human wizard from an unknown plane.

Inalla is a masterful wizard whose quest for power led her to probe the depths of the darkest sorcery. She concealed her arcane practice from the elders of her conclave, impressing them with her talent and working her way up to the position of archmage, an ascent aided by the forcible removal of anyone who stood in her way.

As Archmage, Inalla devised an inner council, ostensibly to protect the conclave from external threats, but in truth to act as a dark wizards’ circle where she could teach forbidden magic. Her machinations hint at her greater plan to augment her power and influence.

(GamePedia, 2019)

Okay, so when I picked up Inalla, I honestly thought it was a different deck. Some friends had introduced me to Commander a long while back and I had borrowed one of their blue/red spell slinger decks and had a blast. I thought this was it, but was definitely wrong. Playing the pre-con deck, it felt really underwhelming and it performed poorly. I ended up setting it to the side and not touching it for the better part of 6 months. But I eventually picked it up again when I wanted a second commander deck. Grixis has become one of my favorite color combinations. Also, being less experienced at the game format, I am often shy to get my commander out because I feel like it’ll just get targeted. Well, Inalla solved that problem for me at the time. The ability to use Eminence from the Command Zone is hugely valuable and works well for the way this deck plays. Beyond that, I like the concept behind Inalla, as well as the card art, and for those reasons I ended up putting this together. After quite a bit of play with our group, this deck has perfomed well consistently. I’ll have some tweaks and upgrades to it in the future, but for now she does the trick.


Additional Reading

Inalla, Archmage Ritualist – EDHrec

Inalla – MTG Wiki on GamePedia

Got lore on Inalla? Post in in a comment below!

Author: griffethbarker

Griff is a manager of IT, consultant of IT and management, and continuous student of organizational development. His hobbies and interests include games of all types (video, board, dice, card, tabletop, etc.) as well as listening to music, photography, and writing. Find him on LinkedIn!

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