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Arm for Battle Upgrade Guide – 5 Different Suggestions

Welcome back to another article where we discuss a Commander pre-constructed deck. Commander Legends is nearly upon us and in addition to countless new commanders, we are getting two new decks. In this Arm for Battle Upgrade Guide, I’ll talk about the red-white deck and 5 different ways to upgrade it.

I’ll discuss which cards to remove and which cards to add. I’ll also highlight some of the cards from Commander Legends, which can make the deck better.

Before We Start

First, I want to make a quick note about the following upgrade recommendations. The lists that I am going to make, while not exhaustive, will provide you with way more options than any one deck can handle.

Also, I am not taking into account any kind of budget. My intention with this article is to brainstorm as many fun ideas as I can about this deck, and unfortunately some of the cards might be too expensive for some players to include. I will do my best to recommend ideas for you to find budget alternatives when necessary.

No matter what your budget or play-style, this article will suggest some interesting cards for you to use to power up your Arm For Battle Commander deck.

Even if you’re just browsing to decide which deck from Commander Legends you want, this article can help you see how this deck can evolve with some upgrades. If you want one you can order Arm For Battle on Amazon.

Commander Legends Deck Arm for Battle

Arm For Battle Decklist

Before we go any further, here’s the Arm for Battle decklist:

Commander (1)
Wyleth, Soul of Steel

Creature (11)
Odric, Lunarch Marshal
Relic Seeker
Sram, Senior Edificer
Dualcaster Mage
Danitha Capashen, Paragon
Flickerwisp
Ironclad Slayer
Kor Cartographer
Oreskos Explorer
Tiana, Ship’s Caretaker
Brass Squire

Sorcery (5)
Martial Coup
Winds of Rath
Jaya’s Immolating Inferno
Relentless Assault
Response // Resurgence

Instant (21)
Comet Storm
Unbreakable Formation
White Sun’s Zenith
Wild Ricochet
Word of Seizing
Deflecting Palm
Master Warcraft
Condemn
Dawn Charm
Disenchant
Generous Gift
Return to Dust
Swords to Plowshares
Valorous Stance
Abrade
Expedite
Fists of Flame
Temur Battle Rage
Volcanic Fallout
Boros Charm
Wear // Tear

Artifact (15)
Blackblade Reforged
Loxodon Warhammer
Sunforger
Sword of Vengeance
Bonesplitter
Boros Signet
Explorer’s Scope
Fireshrieker
Haunted Cloak
Hero’s Blade
Mask of Avacyn
Ring of Thune
Ring of Valkas
Sol Ring
Swiftfoot Boots

Enchantment (5)
Sigarda’s Aid
Faith Unbroken
On Serra’s Wings
Spirit Mantle
Unquestioned Authority

Land (40)
Slayers’ Stronghold
Boros Garrison
Boros Guildgate
Command Tower
Encroaching Wastes
Evolving Wilds
Forgotten Cave
Memorial to War
Myriad Landscape
Rogue’s Passage
Rupture Spire
Secluded Steppe
Stone Quarry
Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
Terramorphic Expanse
Transguild Promenade
Wind-Scarred Crag
Mountain
14 Plains

New (2)
Timely Ward
Blazing Sunsteel

Arm For Battle General Upgrades

Wyleth, Soul of Steel Commander Legends Deck Decklist

While there are several different ways to build around this commander and deck, there are few constants for every version. They will probably each need a better mana base, better ramp, and a few extra things to improve the overall power level.

The Mana Base

This first thing to say about this mana base is that there are way too many lands. This is a Boros deck with hardly any mana ramp in it (we’ll get there in a second) and it has 40 lands.

You could definitely cut 2-6 lands from this deck and it would still run fine. The exact number should depend on how much ramp you add and the average converted mana cost of cards in the deck.

Scalding Tarn Fetch Lands

The second thing, though, is to add as many fetch lands as possible. Recently, a white ramp strategy has gained popularity that involves recurring cracked fetches. We’ll go over that more in the next section, but first consider these fetches:

You don’t have to include all of these lands, but including as many as you can will be very helpful for your deck. Furthermore, running a lot of fetches reduces the urgency to run a lot of dual lands. Nevertheless, I would still recommend:

Ramp

Hey now, don’t laugh at me for including a ramp section in an upgrade article for a white-red deck. There are a lot of things that can be done to help this deck ramp into scarier threats faster.

Mana Crypt Double Masters

Obviously, fast mana like Mana Crypt, Chrome Mox, Mox Opal, Lotus Petal, etc. are great options, but they are not very accessible to most players.

However, you can use Smothering Tithe and some 2-mana rocks like:

Ramping in White

Lastly for ramp, we alluded earlier to an innovative new strategy for ramping in white or Boros decks. The idea is to use cards like Brought Back, Sevinne’s Reclamation, and Second Sunrise, to get double usage from your fetch lands.

You crack your fetch, search for a land, cast Brought Back to get your fetch back and do it again. This strategy is convoluted, but can be very effective and helping white and Boros decks pull ahead.

Crucible of Worlds is another card that you should consider if only to ensure a land drop each turn with your many fetch lands in the graveyard.

Sword of the Animist

It doesn’t matter if you build the version of the deck that uses equipment. Sword of the Animist probably needs to be included in your Arm For Battle deck. Aside from helping you ramp into more lands, it might synergize with one of the upgrade pathways you choose.

Sword of the Animist How to Upgrade Arm for Battle Deck

What To Remove

Instants and Sorceries

In addition to that, there are a lot of instants and sorceries you should cut from the deck. The precon has spells that might be generically useful, but distract from pretty much anything you are going to want to be doing in this deck.

Unless there is a good reason to keep them, feel free to cut any instant or sorcery that is not removal, protection, or replaceable with a more efficient version of the same card.

Inefficient Creatures

Lastly for this section, you can trim the fat among the creatures as well. Cut Odric, Lunarch Marshal, Dualcaster Mage, Flickerwisp, and maybe Kor Cartographer. After making these cuts, cutting back on instants and sorceries, and trimming a couple lands you should have plenty of room to upgrade this deck.

5 Ways to Upgrade Arm for Battle

Next is the fun part. I’ve found five reasonable directions to upgrade this deck. They are as follows:

  1. Equipment Voltron
  2. Aura Voltron
  3. Tribal Humans
  4. Tribal Warriors
  5. Boros Enchantress

You will notice that some of those ways are similar to each other and might have overlapping cards. The reason I include them as different decks, however, is because the goals of each of them are unique enough to have different identities, even if they are similar.

Power Level

At the beginning of each the next sections I included a range of numbers. That range is what I expect this deck to be able to perform at on a 1-10 power scale (Based on the power scale established by the Command Zone Podcast). For more information on the Commander power scale, you can take a look at the table below.

Power LevelNameDescription
1-2JankVery little synergy among cards. No Commander staples. Under powered on purpose.
3-4CasualSome synergies, but lacking the strong ones. Deck still lacks focus. Mana curves mostly neglected. A deck that a new player would build.
4-6FocusedSynergy exists, deck has a focused gameplan, although doesn't always win in the exact same way, usually after turn 13. Includes staples and a small amount of tutors. On the same power level as most Commander precons.
7-8OptimizedPowerful and varied synergies between the cards. A decent number of good tutors. Good mana curve. Has an efficient and consistent way to win on turns 10-12 (level 7) or 7-9 (level 8). Some social rules - like no mass land destruction, no consistent combo wins - still exist.
9-10CompetitiveThe most powerful decks, on cEDH level. Quick and explosive, can win on turns 4-6 (level 9) or 1-3 (level 10). No social rules, no jank cards. Only the most powerful commanders and strategies can reach this level.

Actual power levels may vary, but let those numbers be a guide when considering upgrading this deck in those ways. Let’s get started!

1) Equipment Voltron

Power Level: 5-8

This direction along with the next one are probably low-hanging fruit. The commander specifically references Auras and Equipment, and gives a tempting payoff for playing them. In my experience, when a commander synergizes with two different types of cards (see Riku of Two Reflections) it is probably better to choose one of those types and focus the deck around that. Hence, two separate Voltron sections.

If you are focusing on Wyleth’s equipment half, there will be a wide range of playable equipment with which you can upgrade the deck. You might even find that the equipment you have could be replaced with something more efficient or powerful.

Powerful Equipment

Sword of War and Peace Arm for Battle Upgrade Guide

Almost every new set since Mirrodin has had at least a couple of equipment in it, giving this deck a lot to work with. They are not all created equal, however. The “Sword of X and Y” cycle are obviously among the best. These are:

These swords do triple duty in the deck, protecting your commander, drawing cards when he attacks, and getting whatever two additional effects are on the swords themselves.

Other than those, feel free to choose your best equipment and jam them in the deck. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some good ones:

Non-Equipment Upgrades

Equipment Tutors

Stoneforge Mystic How to Upgrade Arm for Battle Deck

This deck will probably also need plenty of cards that care about equipment. First off, cards that tutor for them:

Cost Reduction

Next are cards that help you reduce or avoid equip costs:

Equipment Synergies

And finally, spells that have a general positive impact in equipment strategies:

New Cards from Commander Legends

Seraphic Greatsword

Commander Legends has both great creatures and equipment for this version of the deck. Here are a few:

What to Take Out

Get rid of all of the Auras. They distract from the equipment focus, and all have effects that could be replaced by an equipment that does a similar thing.

Sunforger Commander Legends Arm for Battle Upgrade Guide

Also, this deck contains an equipment that you will have to make your own decision about. Sunforger is an incredibly powerful card, but it requires you to build around it a little bit more than other equipment.

What I mean by that is you will have to include a package of instants that can be fetched out by Sunforger‘s ability. If you want to do that, feel free. Otherwise, consider cutting this card.

2) Aura Voltron

Power Level: 5-8

This version of the deck is going to have a lot of similarities to the previous one. A lot of cards care about or reference equipment also reference auras. However, there are a few unique cards that I will talk about here.

Pentarch Ward Arm for Battle Upgrade Guide

Aura voltron probably wants to enchant Wyleth, Soul of Steel with as many auras as possible and get him swinging out quickly. Like equipment, auras appear in almost every set, so sifting through them might take a while. You can choose your favorites, but these are some that stick out as being powerful:

After all of the cuts that we made previously, there should be plenty of room for as many auras as you would like to include.

Aura Pay-Offs

There are tons of card that care about auras specifically. Some of them, like Sram, Senior Edificer and Sigarda’s Aid, were included in the precon. Here are a few more that were not:

Aura = Removal

There are also tons of removal spells in white that are Auras. They won’t draw you cards from Wyleth’s ability, but from things like Sram, Senior Edificer, and Kor Spiritdancer.

New Cards from Commander Legends

Armored Skyhunter Commander Legends All Cards

One of the main draft archetypes in Commander Legends is auras, so there are plenty of new toys to be found within the set.

What to Take Out

In this section, you basically do the reverse of what we did in the last section. Take out the equipment cards and cards that care about equipment.

The only other thing I wanna say is that Tiana, Ship’s Caretaker comes with the precon and is relevant to both equipment and aura strategies. However, I think that she is more useful in the auras deck. Her ability returns auras or equipment from the graveyard, but auras are significantly more likely to end up in the bin than equipments.

3) Tribal Humans

Power Level: 3-7

Repel the Abominable Arm for Battle Upgrade Guide

Wyleth, Soul of Steel does not offer any pay-offs for being a Human, but he is himself a Human. In the Human tribe and Boros colors there are some pretty cool cards that could make a fun deck. Especially leaning into the equipment strategy is a strong option.

Here are some cards that you might want to include if you decide to go for Human tribal build:

  • Bonds of Faith serves double duty as a removal spell and a pump spell that Wyleth can draw cards with.
  • Elder Cathar helps pump Wyleth to be able to get in the last points of damage against the opponent.
  • Harmonious Archon pumps your Human army and makes your opponent’s big creatures smaller[/c]
  • Herald of War helps you cast your commander and other Humans for cheaper.

The thing that sets this deck apart from other versions of these upgrades is that there are so many equipment that care about Humans. Those really feel at home in this deck and can do a lot of work when equipped to Wyleth.

New Cards from Commander Legends

Humans is not a theme in Commander Legends, but there are a handful of useful Human cards:

What to Take Out

I know I previously advised that you take out Odric, Lunarch Marshal, but this is probably the only version of the deck that I would recommend keeping it in for. All of the non-Humans should probably go, though. Other than that, feel free to take out whichever cards you would like.

4) Tribal Warriors

Power Level: 3-6

Similar to the Humans build, Wyleth does not offer much to the Warriors tribe. This version of the deck is the one that most wants to make a big army of tokens. If you can turn your opponents defenders into Cowards (see below), you will be uncontested in victory.

New Cards from Commander Legends

Again, Warriors are not a theme that show up at all in the new set, but there are two Warriors that you might consider including in your Arm for Battle Warrior deck. They are Rograkh, Son of Rohgrahh and Frenzied Saddlebrute.

Frenzied Saddlebrute

Saddlebrute might prove to be more powerful in this deck, letting your Warriors hit the board and swing out right away. It also encourages aggression by your opponents to each other, but doesn’t allow for them to aim that hasty aggression your way.

What to Take Out

The fun part about using the Arm for Battle deck as a shell for your Warrior tribal deck is that you can add or take out any number of cards that you choose from the precon. The deck contains exactly one other Warrior. I would advise keeping that in the deck, but otherwise you could strip the whole thing clean if you would like to. That leaves more room for your many Warriors.

5) Boros Enchantress

Power Level: 5-8

While this is very similar to upgrade pathway #2 (Aura Voltron), I wanted to include it anyways. That deck focused almost exclusively on Auras and winning with combat damage, and this deck could include enchantments of any kinds, often overwhelming your opponents with tokens.

There will be a lot of overlap between the two builds, but here are some ideas for making this one unique.

Mesa Enchantress Arm for Battle Upgrade Guide

White is a great color for enchantress, bringing cards like:

Red’s arsenal of enchantress threats is a little lighter, but it does have one. Forgeborn Oreads makes it so you can ping down smaller obstacles that stand in your way.

Most of the time, Helm of the Gods is a pretty weak card in enchantress builds, but I definitely recommend it for this deck, since Wyleth can let you draw some cards if it is equipped to him.

Idyllic Tutor and Plea for Guidance would be good in the Auras deck, but they can get any kind of enchantment, so I include them here.

New Cards from Commander Legends

There is a cycle of enchantments in Commander Legends that make you the monarch and give you a stronger effect for keeping it. The two relevant ones to this deck are Court of Grace and Court of Ire. Both are handy, if for no other reason than to help you draw some cards.

The only other relevant enchantment from the set is Promise of Tomorrow. Fortunately, it is a pretty good enchantment in any deck, and has additional value in an enchantress deck.

What to Take Out

The cards to take out of this version are pretty much the same as the ones from the Auras build. You will probably want to include a lot of auras along with the other enchantment pay-offs.

Conclusion

Well there you have it! Thank you so much for reading to the end of this article. Let me know which one of these builds you like best or are going to build. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to leave them below or find me on Instagram or Twitter.

More Commander Legends

If you want to open some of the new Commander Legends cards, that you could upgrade your deck with, you can purchase a booster box on Amazon. In addition, you can find all Commander Legends card here.

Commander Legends Booster Box

There’s also a Collector version of this set. You can find the Commander Legends Collector Booster contents here.

More Content

If you want to check the other deck, you can read my Reap the Tides Upgrade Guide. Additionally, you might enjoy some of my other articles:

Until next time, have fun with your upgraded Arm for Battle deck!

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