So, you say you want to draw cards, eh? You say you want to draw lots of cards? Good cards? Game winning cards, perhaps? Well, today, I present to you Magic’s latest and greatest in card drawing technology. That of course is, Azami Lady of Scrolls!
Drawing cards in Magic is probably one of, if not the most powerful thing that a player can do. It helps gain tempo advantage, dig for combos, find answers, and keep hands filled. In general, card draw is just simply good all around. Azami Lady of Scrolls is no exception to this rule by far. She holds a spot as one of EDH’s top dogs because of her powerful drawing ability. She is sure to bring a mighty presence to any EDH table, one that can turn the tides of an entire game in an instant.
First, let’s take a look at Azami herself. A 0/2 for five mana, requiring three blue to boot, is honestly pretty bad. However, we don’t play her for her board presence. We play her for her ability — and ohoho is it very good. It reads, that you may tap a wizard to draw a card. Not only is Azami herself a wizard (so we can draw a card the turn we play her), but she synergizes perfectly with a pseudo tribal, or even full tribal wizard list.
I just love drawing cards, don’t you?
Various versions of Azami have a variety of power levels they can play at. With the most optimized version being full combo and only a few wizards, and the least optimized versions being all in wizard tribal.
***Be warned however, that even the all in wizard tribal version of Azami is still a substantially powerful deck, and some play groups may not want to, or cannot adequately deal with its shenanigans. So, if you do decided to play this deck, just try and keep in mind what other people around you might be playing.
The version of Azami we will mainly be focusing on today is a perfect blend of combo and wizards matter. It combines some very powerful tools into a single concoction, which has the ability to be incredibly explosive, or play out the long game. It is full of answers, beaters, tutors, and combos.
Azami’s playstyle is very much tempo based. If you enjoy decks akin to Delver and Merfolk in other formats, then Azami is definitely a great option. However, unlike most other tempo decks, Azami can be more forgiving with misplays, since you can always just draw more cards, and even untap all your lands to effectively reset your turn.
Overall, Azami is a quick paced combo/tempo deck, that isn’t afraid to show its stuff when the going gets rough. It’s resilient, chock full of answers, and ready for almost anything an opponent could throw at it.
The Deck List and Game Plan
No Magic deck (except for landless combo *shudders*) can play without lands. They are the essential resource to do everything we need to do. Lucky for us, we have a pretty nice suite of lands in our colors, and as an added bonus, they are relevant to our strategy!
Ancient Tomb: Ancient Tomb is a solid acceleration piece in our list. It allows us to get our wizards and combos on board just a bit quicker. The life loss in negligible at best, so don’t worry too much about it. However, it can become a problem later in the game.
Flooded Strand & Misty Rainforest & Polluted Delta & Scalding Tarn: Fetchlands are powerful in almost every deck, and this is no exception. Even though we are in mono color, they help out allowing us to shuffle cards away that we don’t want on top of our library anymore.
Snow-Covered Island: There’s no particular reason to play these over normal islands. In fact, they don’t really do anything special. But I like the art.
Cavern of Souls: Cavern of Souls is great, because it allows us to make all of our wizards uncounterable. This is incredibly important against any control deck, and helps us cast our wizards worry free.
Minamo, School at Water’s Edge: A lot of the wizards we play are legendary, so Minamo can be used to untap them to draw even more cards (or activate their abilities again, if you’re into that instead)!
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx: With the high amount of blue devotion we can reach over the course of a game, Nykthos is a very powerful include. It can help us get to our game winning combos quicker, or cast very powerful spells early on.
Reliquary Tower: In a deck whose soul purpose is to draw cards, Reliquary Tower does a lot of work. You never have to worry about that pesky discard phase again.
Riptide Laboratory: Riptide Lab is a really interesting include, but I like it. It is not always useful, and sometimes it doesn’t help at all. But it can let us get out of a few sticky situations from time to time.
Tolaria West: The land that is all lands. I play this card in almost all blue EDH decks I play. It is so useful! Being able to find any utility land for only three mana is really good. Especially when your deck contains high power cards like Cavern of Souls, Nykthos, and Reliquary Tower.
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Wizards Do Matter
Cursecatcher: Going back to my merfolk days, I have fond memories of Cursecatcher. Its a nice trick, and it’s got some great uses. Even though we already play a bunch of counterspells, Cursecatcher is a wizard, adds to devotion, draws cards, and additionally counters spells. So it gets an A in my books.
Laboratory Maniac: More on this one below.
Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy: Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy also filters cards, and he does a good job at it. His planeswalker side is decent too.
Snapcaster Mage: We play a lot of instant and sorceries, and giving them flashback adds even more consistency to our deck. It allows us to cut down on the sheer number of each type of spell we play, in favor of a little more variety.
Arcanis the Omnipotent: A wizard that draws even more cards? This guy is essentially Ancestral Recall on a creature. He’s just really, really good. Additionally, he can help us recover if Azami gets removed, or we can’t cast her for some reason.
Baral, Chief of Compliance: Making all of our instant and sorceries cost less gets us to our combo that much quicker.
Fatespinner: Fatespinner is a really interesting card. It helps to slow down our opponents, and if we choose draw phase every turn, it basically doesn’t affect us.
Glen Elendra Archmage: Glen Elendra is a really powerful creature. She has the ability to counter spells like they’re nothing, and she can be a real nuisance to play against. She acts as assurance that our combos will go off without fail.
Lighthouse Chronologist: Lighthouse Chronologist is just a solid wizard that can get out of hand very quickly. It helps us draw even more cards, and build up a strong board state early on.
Magus of the Future: Akin to its namesake, Future Sight, Magus of the Future is a powerful include, that when used correctly, can give us just enough information to squeeze out a win a few turns earlier.
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir: Giving all of our wizards flash is really powerful. It means that we can hold up mana for counterspells and draw spells, while still being able to play our wizards effectively.
Trinket Mage: I couldn’t decide if this card should be in the tutors and card draw section, or the wizards section. Ultimately the wizards won out. Since we play a lot cheap one mana artifacts, Trinket Mage can help us get to them super fast.
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Pivotal Control Pieces
Back to Basics: Back to Basics completely dominates almost all multi-color decks. It’s a very solid control card, and can win games on its own.
Rhystic Study: Rhystic Study is not necessarily a control card. But to most players it says, “All spells cost one more to cast”.
Counterspell & Flusterstorm & Mana Drain & Mental Misstep &Disallow & Force of Will & Spell Pierce: Every counterspell in our list is very important. They not only protect us from our opponent’s dangerous threats, but they allow us to access our combo without any worry. They are some of the most important cards in our list.
Cyclonic Rift: Cyclonic Rift is one of the only board wipes available to blue. Usually we won’t be needing to use it. However, in the cases where we desperately need a board wipe, we have it.
Rapid Hybridization & Capsize: Targeted removal is always pretty useful. You never know when your opponent is gonna play something that you have to deal with right away.
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Tutors and Card Draw
Sensei’s Divining Top: Banned in Legacy, Sensei’s Divining top is no joke. It is one of the most useful filtering artifacts that we have available. While it sometimes durdles around, the extra filtering and information we get off of it is essential to the function of our deck.
Instant & Sorcery
Dig Through Time & Preordain & Impulse & Brainstorm & Timetwister & Windfall & Ponder: Our suite of instant and sorcery draw cards includes a bunch of classic power plays. They all do their part in helping our deck run as smoothly as possible.
Muddle the Mixture & Mystical Tutor & Whir of Invention & Long-Term Plans & Reshape & Merchant Scroll & Fabricate: Every tutor we play is very important. They allow us to find our combo pieces right away, and set it up very quickly. They also allow us to search for answers to various situations. **Note that you can search for other tutors with a tutor.**
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Game Winning Combos
This is where things get real. If you thought all that stuff was cool, the combo section is where everything finally comes together!
Grim Monolith & Power Artifact & Candelabra of Tawnos & High Tide: One of the ways our deck wins is by casting spells through infinite mana. While these combos are not unique to Azami, they are very powerful in any mono blue list, and help serve as a backup plan. Grim Monolith paired with Power artifact, and Candelabra paired with High Tide, are both ways to make infinite mana very easily.
Paradox Engine: Paradox engine pairs with Azami very well. It is possible to chain card draws with only a few wizards on the board, some untapped mana rocks, and a Paradox Engine. As long as you keep casting the cards you draw, you could go pseudo infinite.
Isochron Scepter & Dramatic Reversal: Another combo in our deck that allows us to get infinite mana with only a few mana rocks. Additionally, like Paradox Engine, Dramatic Reversal allows us to chain card draws by untapping our wizards.
Psychosis Crawler: With all of this talk of infinite drawing, Psychosis Crawler seems to be the perfect fit. It won’t always be enough damage to win the game, however it is sure to pack a huge punch.
Laboratory Maniac: Lab Man is our main wincon. It is very possible to chain draw our entire deck in one turn, and in doing so we will draw into Lab Man and can cast him. With him on board, and no cards in our library, we are sure to win in no time.
Stroke of Genius & Blue Sun’s Zenith: Other cards that can win us the game with infinite mana. We can either use these cards to deck ourselves as long as we have a Lab Man, or we can use them to take out an opponent in one turn.
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Extraplanar Lens: Extraplanar lens is a really powerful artifact that allows us to get double value off of our lands. It is really great for getting our combo pieces out faster, and for utilizing our various tutors and draw spells effectively.
Tezzeret the Seeker: Tezzeret the Seeker is a solid artifact matters planeswalker that does a lot of work on board. What’s not to love?
Time Warp: Taking extra turns is almost as good as drawing extra cards… almost…
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As mentioned before, there are a ton of different directions to take Azami. The list I’ve created for this article is a very potent combination of wizards matter and combo. However, Azami can take on so many different forms.
If you prefer the combo route, it is possible to forgo almost all of the more arbitrary wizards, and add many fast mana rocks to the deck. That will up the deck’s power level to competitive levels, and turn it into a solid cEDH list.
If you prefer the wizard tribal route, feel free to take out a lot of the tutors and combo pieces, and replace them with a bunch of wizards to do your bidding. There’s almost no end with the different styles of play that Azami can take.
Some other ideas for the deck are:
- Mono Blue Control
- Artifact Tribal
- Blue Aggro
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If, after reading all of that, you think you might be interested in Azami, but aren’t sure if she is a one hundred percent match for you, here are a few other options for similar commanders that you might enjoy:
Edric can be a very powerful tempo commander. Generally the deck plays a bunch of low to the ground evasive creatures in order to ensure a high volume of draws every turn. He usually wins through combo, or creature damage.
Much like Azami, Arcanis is in mono blue. He is another powerful option for EDH, and has the added bonus of some evasion. Drawing three cards every turn really helps find the cards that you need. Arcanis is a solid commander overall, and a good option if you want to play something similar to Azami, but not Azami herself.
Damia is almost always played as a control or staxx deck. She is very good at what she does, and provides a substantial amount of card advantage to her pilot. She also has the added bonus of a relevant combat ability, which is just icing on the cake.
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Overall, Azami is a fairly powerful, thought provoking, and fun EDH deck. If drawing cards is your thing, then you should definitely consider trying out an Azami build. It combines elements of tempo, tribal, and combo, all into one nice neat package, that packs one of the most powerful punches of any mono colored deck in EDH.
I hope this articles was helpful in some way to you. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to leave them in the section below.
And as always, happy gaming!