I was very excited when I first saw Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines. I quickly started to build around it – both in paper Commander, as well as in Historic Brawl. There are just so many possibilities that open with a commander like that. Even before the set was fully released I built this Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines Historic Brawl decklist:
(Since the new Elesh Norn isn’t available yet, this decklist currently uses God-Eternal Oketra in its place.)
Quick Guide for Elesh Norn in Historic Brawl
Elesh Norn offers a very clear direction. Play cards that have various enter-the-battlefield (ETB) triggers, and reap double the rewards. On top of that, stopping opponent’s ETB triggers is really strong. Some decks fold really hard to that effect.
All of that is nicely tied up with a 4/7 body for five, which is an important board presence.
In this quick guide, I’ll talk about some of the card types that are important when you’re building around Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines.
As I said, it’s important to have lots of good enter the battlefield effects. There is no shortage of them on Arena.
With so many creatures with ETB effects, you’ll also want to play flicker (blink) effects. There’s a surprisingly large number of these effects on Arena. There are many variations, each with their own pros and cons. Here are some examples, and their uses:
- Ephemerate – Gives you two uses, protects against targeted removal.
- Eeriee Interlude – Lets you select the creatures, protects against both targeted and mass removal.
- Teleportation Circle – Repeatable effect, but doesn’t protect your creatures.
- Charming Prince – Sorcery speed, one time blink. Since it’s a creature, it can be flickered itself, which enables fun combos.
- Restoration Angel – Similar to Prince, but flash improves the card significantly, as now it can protect one of your creatures.
The final big group of cards, are the good cards. These can be cards that are very synergistic in the deck, or cards that are simply the best at what they do.
Panharmonicon is a must-have, as it doubles as another copy of your commander. This is not only a good synergistic card, but a perfect one at that.
On the other hand, you have cards like Swords to Plowshares and Arcane Signet. They have zero synergies with our commander, but that doesn’t matter. They are so good that you include them in your deck no matter what.
That’s it for today. If you have any suggestions for this build, let me know in the comments below. I’ve surely missed some very good cards for this shell, but I plan on updating the decklist in the future, once I get some actual games in. (Without a replacement commander.)
If you’re playing paper Commander as well, you should also read our article about Phyrexia Commander decks, which look quite exciting.
See ya next time, may you get lots of triggers with Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines.