While this blog is primarily an EDH blog, I actually play limited and draft moreso than EDH (organizing regular playgroups is hard). As a result I end up with a lot of draft chaff, and if there is a critical mass of a particular theme or archetype I enjoy, why not try to expand my favorite draft decks. And even if the archetype wasn’t good in draft, if I have the critical mass of cards why not use them in an EDH deck for cheap? Such is the case with Depala’s Dwarven Vehicles – with Vehicles being deciduous in Magic there will likely always be one or two upgrades in future sets to consider.
Note: This decklist is accurate as of M19. Future blocks may make this article out of date – the most up to date version of this deck will be found at the link below.
Depala is pretty straightforward as a commander despite not being the most straightforward Boros commander (ie wanting to attack over and over). While she does care about going sideways, more often than not in this deck you are going to do that through crewing vehicles, which in turn draws you more
|Depala, Pilot Exemplar|
Vehicles are of course the main namesake of this card. A Scryfall search for vehicles shows 25 results. For flavor reasons I excluded the 5 Ixalan Ship vehicles (plus some of them had mechanics that don’t jive with the rest of the deck). I also excluded those with a crew cost above 4. The average power of Creatures in this deck is about 2.5 – with Depala’s boost to Dwarves that put it about 3. Having to tap down for Demolition Stomper’s 5 Crew cost after paying 6 or Consulate’s Dreadnought ridiculous 6 crew cost for no evasion. The average Crew cost as is is about 2.3 so in general we should be able to crew the average vehicle with the average creature in the deck. I also included the Predator, Flagship card as a flavorful vehicle, though it is an early contender to be cut should something better come along. Also important is that there are fewer vehicles than creatures, as having cars but no drivers would be a bad place to be.
I’ve included pretty much every dwarf in the Kaladesh block – All 22 (plus Depala as Commander). This actually put me in an interesting position where I wouldn’t have enough cards between Vehicles and Dwarves for a full EDH deck so I got creative. Of course I could include the 3 in color non-dwarf pilots. M19 brought Aethershield Artificer for synergy (though Dwarven Priest didn’t make the cut due to anti-synergy with the vehicle’s non-creature status. Jor Kadeen gives our Vehicles a boost (though is an early cut when better stuff comes along). Spireside Infiltrator also synergizes with the tapping for crewing creatures. Of the 5 other new border dwarves, the only one I had on hand was Duergar Hedge-Mage (though Assailant, Cave Guard and Dwarven Demolition Team don’t really have the power or synergy to justify being included). I could consider adding in Mine-Captain at a later time since his untapping ability synergizes with crewing. Dwarven Lightsmith from Battlebond could work, though the timing of when his buff comes down isn’t ideal.
Aside from cards above that work with Vehicles, there were 4 additional cards to take advantage of the critical mass (Aerial Modification, Caught in the Brights, Siege Modification and Start Your Engines) in the oracle text. Built to Last and Built to Smash are flavorful in-world combat tricks that synergize well, and Chief of the Foundry and Foundry Inspector have obvious synergy. Beyond that, I focused primarily on cards that flavor-wise would match. Keys (Boros Keyrune, Voltaic Key), Maps (Expedition and Renegade, which help with Boros’s ramp problem), and Driving related cards (Captain’s Maneuver, Racecourse Fury, Thran Dynamo). I did consider Paradox Engine for a while but that isn’t what this deck wants to do and I have an idea that would make better use of it