Reap the Tides Upgrade Guide – 4 Different Options

Its time to discuss another set of Commander pre-constructed decks. Commander Legends is nearly upon us and in addition to countless new commanders, we are getting two new decks. In this Reap the Tides Upgrade Guide, I’ll talk about the blue-green deck and 4 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 Reap the Tides 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 Reap the Tides on Amazon.

Commander Legends Reap the Tides Deck

Reap the Tides Decklist

Before we go any further, please review the decklist for the deck:

Commander (1)
Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait

Creature (28)
Avenger of Zendikar
Elder Deep-Fiend
Meloku the Clouded Mirror
Nezahal, Primal Tide
Scourge of Fleets
Shipbreaker Kraken
Sphinx of Uthuun
Stormtide Leviathan
Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer
Rampaging Baloths
Ramunap Excavator
Verdant Sun’s Avatar
Fathom Mage
Murkfiend Liege
Simic Sky Swallower
Slinn Voda, the Rising Deep
Acidic Slime
Eternal Witness
Reclamation Sage
Wickerbough Elder
Yavimaya Elder
Coiling Oracle
Meteor Golem

Sorcery (10)
Whelming Wave
Spitting Image
Compulsive Research
Kodama’s Reach
Rampant Growth
Search for Tomorrow
Urban Evolution

Instant (8)
Arcane Denial
Fact or Fiction
Into the Roil
Peel from Reality
Beast Within
Growth Spiral
Simic Charm

Artifact (4)
Seer’s Sundial
Simic Signet
Sol Ring
Swiftfoot Boots

Enchantment (3)
Ior Ruin Expedition
Khalni Heart Expedition
Retreat to Kazandu

Land (44)
Blighted Woodland
Command Tower
Coral Atoll
Evolving Wilds
Jungle Basin
Memorial to Genius
Reliquary Tower
Simic Growth Chamber
Simic Guildgate
Terramorphic Expanse
Thornwood Falls
Vivid Creek
Vivid Grove
Woodland Stream
15 Forest
15 Island

New (2)
Trench Behemoth
Stumpsquall Hydra

Reap the Tides General Upgrades

Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait Commander Legends Deck Decklist

No matter what your theme is when you upgrade this deck, a couple of things have to always be fixed. First thing we have to tackle is the mana base.

The Mana Base

The precon version of this deck has 44 lands. While that is a lot of lands, it could be the right number for a deck like this that wants to play a lot of lands. You could definitely cut a few if you wanted to, but don’t take too many out. Lands are the engine of this deck, so running out is a huge problem.

There are also a lot of lands that enter tapped. While this is not a huge problem in lower-level circles, if you can upgrade to dual lands that enter untapped, you should. Some great additions would be:


There is not a lot that I can say about the ramp for this deck. Since it is itself a ramp deck, cards like Rampant Growth, Cultivate, and Kodama’s Reach already come with the precon. If possible, go ahead and find more 2-mana ramp. Three Visits is being reprinted into Commander Legends and would be a perfect addition to this deck.

Burgeoning Reap the Tides Upgrade Guide

Another all-star in this deck would be Burgeoning, since it helps you ramp into your commander quickly and then can draw you a bunch of cards once its on the field.

If you felt the need to add more ramp than that, you might have to use creatures that tap for mana like Birds of Paradise, Llanowar Elves, and Elvish Mystic. I don’t personally think this deck needs it. If you do, though, that’s great.

Which Cards to Remove

The pre-constructed Reap the Tides deck is all about getting as much mana out on the board as possible to cast your big spells. The most important thing to do is to trim the fat.

There are a lot of cards in this deck that are generally above average, but not necessary to the overall theme. These are cards like:

They should be cut to make room for more synergistic options, then added back in later if there is available space.

With that being the case, there are not a lot of cards outside of ramp spells and your favorite big fatties to add to the deck. Not, at least, until we move on to the four unique upgrade strategies.

4 Ways to Upgrade Reap the Tides

These are the four ideas I had about upgrading this deck:

  1. Landfall/Lands Matter
  2. Turbo Ramp
  3. Combo
  4. Tribal Serpents

If you have another idea about how to do it, I would love to hear about it in the comments. Otherwise, let’s get right into which cards I would include for these different upgrade pathways.

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
1-2Jank Very little synergy among cards. No Commander staples. Under powered on purpose.
3-4Casual Some synergies, but lacking the strong ones. The deck still lacks focus. Mana curves mostly neglected. A deck that a new player would build.
4-6Focused Synergy exists, the deck has a focused gameplan, although it 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.
7-8Optimized Powerful 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.
9-10Competitive The most powerful decks, on competitive EDH 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.

1) Landfall/Lands Matter

Power Level: 6-9

The skeleton for this deck is actually quite familiar. The reason for this is that there is already a Simic Lands Matter that sees a lot of play among Commander players. Tatyova, Benthic Druid is a commander that looks almost identical to Aesi, Tyrant of the Gyre Strait.

The only real difference is that Aesi is a Serpent with a bigger body and it can let you play an additional land on each of your turns. These differences are the ones that we are going to accentuate for this section and the rest of the article.

The precon includes a few landfall cards like Avenger of Zendikar and Rampaging Baloths, but it is missing a few other powerful cards. These are some of them:

More Lands

And what would a landfall deck be without more cards that let you play lands?

Ancient Greenwarden

New Cards from Commander Legends

The card from Commander Legends that might be the most valuable to this deck is Jeweled Lotus. Because of its hefty converted mana cost, getting the command out fast enough could be a legitimate concern. Even if Jeweled Lotus is controversial, it can help power out Aesi soon enough to have an impact on the game.

Reshape the Earth Reap the Tides Upgrade Guide

On the other hand, Commander Legends is also providing us with one of the best late-game cards for a landfall deck. Reshape the Earth can let you play ten lands all at once. That gives you ten triggers for any of the landfall cards that you had on the field at the time.

The only other new card from the set that might be useful in this version of the deck is Kodama of the East Tree. Kodama lets each land drop potentially be up to two land drops, which will draw you more cards with Aesi.

What to Take Out

For this version of the deck, anything that is not a landfall card or one that puts lands into play is a distraction from the main theme. Due to the fact that this strategy is already so dense, you will need all the slot you can free up by cutting other less relevant cards.

You can find more about landfall in Commander here.

2) Turbo Ramp

Power Level: 6-9

The “Turbo Ramp” version of this deck is just a natural extension of what the precon is already trying to do. Of all the other upgrade directions, this is the one that most wants to play more ramp spells like Harrow and Roiling Regrowth. This deck would also want to play mana dorks like we discussed in the general upgrades section.

Because the commander for this deck draws cards for something as simple as playing lands, the deck does not need to run as many card draw effects as other decks. This opens up more slots to do the other thing that the deck wants to do: cast big spells.

Mass Manipulation Reap the Tides Upgrade Guide

For this part of the deck, you can choose whichever spells you want. If you want to cast big creatures like Eldrazi, this version of the deck will help you do that most successfully. If you want to cast backbreaking spells like Mass Manipulation and Enter the Infinite, you’ve found the right deck. This is the deck that lets you embrace your inner Timmy.

New Cards from Commander Legends

What is the Timmy-est card to be printed in forever? How about Apex Devastator. It costs ten mana, but you get 5 spells when you cast it. This card was made specifically for decks like this one.

Mnemonic Deluge Reap the Tides Upgrade Guide

Mnemonic Deluge is another big spell printed in Commander Legends. It lets you cast a spell from anyone’s graveyard three times. It would go perfectly in this deck.

Sphinx of the Second Sun is another high-costed creature that would be fun to spend all of your mana on. Plus, it untaps your lands and draws you an extra card in the second half of your turn, giving you even more resources to use.

Brinelin the Moon Kraken is another way to draw a lot of cards if you are casting a lot of big creatures.

What to Take Out

Reap the Tides had the right idea already. There are a lot of big creatures and a lot of ramp spells. However, any of them can be upgraded to any of the aforementioned ideas I presented in this section.

3) Combo

Power Level: 6-9

As with Tatyova, there is huge potential to combo off with Aesi, Tyrant of the Gyre Strait. In this section, I will explain some combo lines that you might be able to build in to.

So, the idea is that you put Oboro, Palace in the Clouds into play with Sakura-Tribe Scout. That triggers Retreat to Coralheim, which untaps Scout. You then use mana from Oboro to return it back to your hand and repeat the process. This gives you infinite landfall triggers, so you can win with cards like Hedron Crab.

Although the combo can be clunky, it has many interchangeable parts. I will separate it into 4 categories:

Play LandGet Land BackUntapPay-Off
Sakura-Tribe ScoutSimic Growth ChamberRetreat to CoralhelmLotus Cobra
Walking AtlasOboro, Palace in the CloudsRampaging Baloths
Llanowar ScoutMeloku the Clouded MirrorAesi, Tyrant of the Gyre Strait
Patron of the MoonGhost TownAmulet of Vigor*Courser of Kruphix

*Amulet of Vigor only works with Patron of the Moon

This does not include every possible piece of the combo. But as you can see, this combo takes up a lot of slots in your deck. It also has a lot of redundancy. In order to guarantee you get all the pieces you need when you need them, add as many efficient tutor as you can, such as Worldly Tutor.

Non-Combo Inclusions

Other than the combo pieces and the previously mentioned ramp spells, you should mostly include efficient card draw spells like Brainstorm and Rhystic Study. You’ll also want spells to protect your combo like Fierce Guardianship and Force of Negation.

New Cards from Commander Legends

Kodama of the East Tree Commander Legends All Cards

Once again, Kodama of the East Tree is actually an interesting possibility for a combo piece, since it allows you to put a land into play when you play a land. Combined with Retreat to Coralhelm and a bounce land, you could get the infinite land enters-the-battlefield triggers that this combo wants. Unfortunately, it still requires a creature like Sakura-Tribe Scout.

What to Take Out

As I mentioned before, everything that does not contribute to, protect, or build up to the combo should probably be cut for maximum effectiveness.

4) Tribal Serpents

Power Level: 3-6

This deck might not be the most powerful, but it sure is a lot of fun.

Reap the Tides Upgrade Guide Serpent Tribal

The final way I thought to upgrade the Reap the Tides deck is to utilize Aesi, Tyrant of the Gyre Strait‘s creature type. There are a good hand-full of Serpents in Magic. Here is a link to a Gatherer search of all Blue or Green serpents.

Lands to Islands

One common theme of Serpents is that they often cannot attack unless the opponent controls an Island. Since we cannot guarantee that our opponents will have Islands in play every game, here are a few cards that turn lands into Islands:

Islands to Dust

Tsunami MTG

Since you are already turning your opponents’ lands into Islands, you can include cards that punish Islands. There are especially a lot of these in green:

And if, for whatever reason, your lands get turned into Islands somehow and you need to reset them, you can play cards like Daze, Foil, and Gush to put them back in your hand. You get a useful effect out of them, and Aesi makes it easier to catch back up on lands.

Serpent Synergies

Finally, here are a few cards that generally would be valuable in a Serpents deck:

New Cards from Commander Legends

Scrapdiver Serpent

Surprisingly, Commander Legends actually did come with a new Serpent – it’s Scrapdiver Serpent. However it’s not very strong. Other than that one card, there are no other new cards that synergize especially well with this deck strategy.

What to Take Out

There are not any Serpents in the precon, so you could potentially take out all of the creatures. I would recommend leaving in Slinn Voda, the Rising Deep, since it has an ability that synergizes with Serpents.

Other than that, you could clean out all of the creatures and fill them with your favorite Serpents from Magic’s history.


And with that, we finish another upgrade article. Thank you so much for making it to the end. 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 cards 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 Arm for Battle Upgrade Guide. Additionally, you might enjoy some of my other articles:

Until next time, have fun with your upgraded Reap the Tides deck!

2 thoughts on “Reap the Tides Upgrade Guide – 4 Different Options”

    • I only think they should be set aside during deckbuilding while you find homes for more synergistic pieces, then added back in later in the process when you need more interaction. The amount that you include/exclude should depend on your playgroup and power-level needs.

      Check out an upcoming article on format staples and why I believe synergy is more important than power.

      Note that I also think that Peel From Reality, Into the Roil, and Simic Charm should just be cut rather than considered later on in the deckbuilding process like Counterspell and Beast Within should be.


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