I've been thinking of building another EDH deck but I want it to work without the Commander. Two of my three decks rely on landing and sticking the Commander to really shine. The other one is a fun deck that I could use with or without the Commander. This means it's a fine random Multiplayer deck in case I'm sitting down to a table that's without EDH.
I'm guessing most aggro-based strategies would follow here. But are there any particular strategies or Commanders that really don't care about their Commander? Aside from the Super Friends, I guess.
Mono-red artifacts is pretty good at that. You can run the Planeswalker for card advantage and artifact return, or you could run bosh for game-ending damage, but if you've got lots of value artifacts in the deck you pretty much only need to pull out the commander for specific situations.
Emblem-style commanders like Derevi, gods, Oloro, or Karador are also great because they're so hard to get rid of they're practically an emblem.
Damia, Sage of Stone is a good choice. The deck functions basically the same with or without her, but she's a good value play if you run out of gas for some reason. Just put her at the head of a BUG goodstuff deck and voila.
Temur tends to do pretty well without their commander. I had a 4+ Power Matters deck for a while built around Temur Ascendancy and a few other tricks, and while the commander did work whenever it hit (Intet, the Dreamer), nothing in the deck was built around abusing her.
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My Commander decks:
Chandra, Torch of Defiance - Oops! All Chandras.
Prime Speaker Zegana - Draw for Power.
Pir & Toothy - Counterpalooza.
Arcades, the Strategist - Another Brick in the Wall.
Zacama, Primal Calamity - Calamity of Double Mana.
Edgar Markov - Vampires Don't Die.
Child of Alara - Dreamcrusher.
Any deck I have bar Godo. They all function differently (ETB w/ Splinter/Pester combo, Spiritcraft/creature swarm, life-gain/reanimator, landfall combo), but the commander is mainly kinda there for the colour identity.
A good deck should be able to function without its win condition, if needs be. A good commander deck should not need to rely upon the commander, unless that's the entire reason for the deck. Even in Godo, I have other big hitters for the voltron package. A solid reanimator deck doesn't need a specific general, aside from colour dictating what cards you can use. Same goes for enchantress, voltron, etc.
Personally, I suggest playing around w/ Spiritcraft. It's a fun mechanic, and works very well when you have enough. You don't need a specific commander, aside from one who gets you access to the right colours (Green and white are the best, black has some useful stuff, blue and red are also good). No matter what colour combination, you can make Spiritcraft work.
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A giant dork. Who likes to eat with forks. Never used a spork.
Decks: Casual R Burn R
EDH R Godo Voltron R RUG ETB Overload RUG BW Clerics Pain and Drain BW GW Spirits!!! GW RUG Landfall Silliness RUG
I just got done theorycrafting an Enchantress deck for a buddy and I can build a budget version for around $350, a solid one for $700, and top-notch would probably run around $1400 if I wanted to run "ideal" manabase etc. There are certain core pieces you can't get around, but fortunately, if you're willing to accept MP/SP, you can get the core cards for about $150.
I built a The Mimeoplasm deck that worked on infect. It was agressive and while Mimeoplasm was a star, it did not not require him to win. (He just made it much easier)
Stax and Control also work wonders without commanders in play, You can alos go Red or UR artifacts. You ca alos build a swarm deck. I had a B/R Goblin deck that while was good iwthout the commander, did like having its commander in play. Same with my mono-red Purphoros, god of the forge Goblin tribal. Purphy makes great use of the swarm, but it can win without purphoros as well.
Another strategy is to use one-and-done commanders that you only really care about resolving once or twice to get their effect. Things like Zada, Hedron Grinder can be treated as if it basically turns all your cantrips into Collective Unconscious. e.g. when you're running low on cards, cast your commander and then immediately a cantrip for a total of five mana. It doesn't matter if he dies because you can just do the same thing again next time you need cards for seven mana. Prime Speaker Zegana is another example and works the same way.
I'd argue that if it does require their commander, it isn't a good EDH deck. Your deck should do just fine on its own, but really shine with your commander. It shouldn't flounder without them. Was one of the worst things getting rid of tucking generals did was encourage people to build decks that are completely reliant on having access to their commander at all times.
[Derevi, Imperial Tactician[/c] is a very good enchantress general, who benefits the deck but is not required for the combo to go off.
My Intet, the Dreamer deck builds around her, but it can be played without her because the deck is about fetch/top of library manipulation. Control opponents tend to suspect combo coming when Intet comes into play, so avoid casting Intet while using the six mana to establish my own control would be wiser.
My Oros, the Avenger is a white weenie variant, so it could be played without him also.