[EDH First Pass] Depala Dwarven Vehicles

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 Future blocks may make this article out of date – the most up to date version of this deck will be found at the link below.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

Main (1)
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.

Vehicles (19)
Aethersphere Harvester
Aradara Express
Ballista Charger
Bomat Bazaar Barge
Cultivator’s Caravan
Daredevil Dragster
Fleetwheel Cruiser
Heart of Kiran
Irontread Crusher
Mobile Garrison
Ovalchase Dragster
Peacewalker Colossus
Predator, Flagship
Renegade Freighter
Sky Skiff
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
Smuggler’s Copter
Untethered Express

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.

Dwarves + Pilots (29)
Aerial Responder
Aeronaut Admiral
Aether Inspector
Aethergeode Miner
Aethershield Artificer
Airdrop Aeronauts
Audacious Infiltrator
Aviary Mechanic
Bastion Enforcer
Consul’s Shieldguard
Countless Gears Renegade
Deadeye Harpooner
Duergar Hedge-Mage
Fairgrounds Warden
Gearshift Ace
Glint-Sleeve Artisan
Jor Kadeen, the Prevailer
Master Trinketeer
Ninth Bridge Patrol
Reckless Racer
Renegade Wheelsmith
Restoration Specialist
Solemn Recruit
Speedway Fanatic
Spireside Infiltrator
Sram, Senior Edificer
Toolcraft Exemplar
Veteran Motorist
Visionary Augmenter

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

Gas (15)
Aerial Modification
Boros Keyrune
Built to Last
Built to Smash
Captain’s Maneuver
Caught in the Brights
Chief of the Foundry
Expedition Map
Foundry Inspector
Racecourse Fury
Renegade Map
Siege Modification
Start Your Engines
Thran Dynamo
Voltaic Key


Some final thoughts on this deck – this is definitely the most aggro deck I own, with an average CMC of 2.98 and peaking out at 5. This probably will have issues in multiplayer games, but would be a fun 1v1 deck (as I feel Boros tends to be). Colorwise while it definitely skews white, I would split the manabase evenly as making sure you can get Depala out on 3 is super critical to making sure you don’t stall out.
Also this is definitely my cheapest EDH deck so far at less than $30. The only cards over $2 are Expedition Map and Thran Dynamo, which by no mean are crucial to the deck at all themewise.
Keep it Funky