If you’re unfamiliar with “1 TIX Commander”, the idea is simple: build a complete Commander deck (not including basic lands) for a total of 1 ticket on Magic: the Gathering Online. In this series, we play with the standard Commander banned list and compete in 2-player games only. Keep that in mind if you’d like to adapt this deck for group play or MTGO Commander 1v1 rules.
Jori En excites me because she can serve as a great budget start for other Commander builds. Today’s deck is currently under $45 US in paper, which leaves a lot of room for upgrades. There’s a good chance you already own some of these cards, or alternatives that would otherwise extend the cost beyond the single ticket budget of 1 TIX Commander.
Scroll down for my full list and deck tech below (or watch the embedded video deck tech on YouTube).
NOTE: Since we’re dealing with a large number of cards at 0.01 and 0.02 TIX that vary in price over time, this list may be slightly over or under 1 TIX when you check out. All 1 TIX Commander decks are 1 TIX or under when purchased for The Discard.
1 TIX Jori En, Ruin Diver
Budget Jori En Deck Tech
Jori En, Ruin Diver‘s sole purpose in this deck is to generate card advantage turn after turn. If we can reliably cast a second spell every turn, we get a 1-sided Howling Mine effect. Casting spells rewards us with card advantage, which in turn fuels casting more spells. Early in the game, make sure you can reliably cast a second spell the turn Jori En hits the battlefield. Late in the game, try to cast two spells on both your turn and your opponent’s turn.
There are a few strategies we will utilize to help up the odds of casting a second spell every turn:
- Cast “free” spells.
- Reduce the cost of our spells, or ramp a bit.
- Cast low-cost or variable-cost spells.
When I say “free” in the context of a 1 TIX Commander build, I’m really talking about a suite of cards that replace themselves or bring a second spell with them. The most obvious inclusions here are Peregrine Drake, Palinchron, Frantic Search, and to a degree, Rewind. These spells all untap lands equal to their converted mana cost, meaning you will get the mana spent to cast them back for use on your second spell.
We can gain a similar—though less consistent—effect with Mindclaw Shaman. Provided our opponent has an instant or sorcery card in hand, the Shaman is a 5-mana spell that will cast our second spell for the turn by itself. It can be quite a setback if Jori En draws us a second card while stripping the opponent of a spell and leaving a body behind to boot.
Cheating on mana is a time-tested method for getting ahead in the game. All things being equal, the player who can use more of their resources over the course of a game is more likely to win. Casting one 4-mana spell or two 2-mana spells a turn sooner than our opponent gives us a better chance of pulling ahead.
Unfortunately, our budget limits the deck quite a bit on cost reduction. Our price locks us out of the truly broken technology, like Sol Ring or Cascading into a free Ancestral Visions. If we had the budget, Baral, Chief of Compliance would be an obvious inclusion. We do, however, have access to modern classic, Goblin Electromancer. A bit higher in the curve, we also get access to Jace’s Sanctum, which additionally offers a Scry 1 each time you cast an instant or sorcery spell. On turns where you trigger Jori En, the Sanctum lets you dig two cards deep before drawing.
To augment our cost reduction efforts, the deck also runs Curious Homunculus, Everflowing Chalice and Izzet Signet for ramp. There are not currently a lot of good mana rocks within our single ticket budget, so these will have to do for now.
It’s also worth noting that their bans in other formats mean that 1 TIX Commander has plentiful access to Delve spells like Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise. We’ll be casting a lot of spells, filling up the graveyard, and it’s hard not to play more spells after casting a good-enough rendition of Ancestral Recall.
Using All the Mana
As I mentioned earlier, the overall goal of Jori En, Ruin Diver is to use as much of our mana over the course of the game as possible, and extract more value from our cards than our opponent.
Early in the game, we will want to cast multiple low-cost spells as possible. Many of our spells cost 2 to 3 mana, presenting a high chance of casting two spells per turn as many times as we can. Quicken into Arc Trail or Volcanic Hammer, killing one or more creatures, drawing a card from Quicken and drawing a card from Jori En.
While I’ve called this Jori En build a spells deck, that’s not our entire strategy. In fact, our spells are more fuel for a blitz-like aggro deck.
Stormchaser Mage hits in the air right off the bat, while Guttersnipe shocks the opponent as we cast spells. Spellheart Chimera presents a bigger and bigger threat as we fill the yard. Later in the game, Docent of Perfection creates an army of 3/2 fliers.
Since the budget allowed fewer ways to cheat on or reduce mana costs, I chose to run a handful of cheat walls, like Wall of Stone, Aether Membrane and Rage Nimbus. This allows the deck to go a bit longer if needed, but I recommend playing around with the mix of defense to aggro that works for how you’d like to play.
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Check out the full episode where Jori En challenges Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest below, and subscribe on YouTube for more budget commander brews!