Tuesday Night Takeover

Hylda of the Icy Crown $50 Tap Down Budget EDH

“Come mortal beings, bring your armies to my domain. All will perish in endless winter.

Art:Hylda of the Icy Crown by Ekaterina Burmak

Pricing Courtesy of Moxfield.com

Hylda of the Icy Crown is a sweet commander from Wilds of Eldraine who is also a perfect way to start out in December. Being a deck focusing on tapping down allows us to clear the way for all our creatures to attack. We have a lot of payoffs for tapping down in addition to Hylda that allow us to keep key creatures tapped, or we can even destroy some tapped creatures. Our creatures get a lot better once we start using Hylda’s buff to make all of our creatures bigger. We are in Azorius, so we have some counterspells, draw spells, and common elements you would see in an Azorius deck. Hylda is strong and the main “engine” within our deck. Without further adieu, let’s get it!

The Deck:

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Hylda of the Icy Crown $50 Tap Down !

Commander (1)
Hylda of the Icy Crown

Creatures (31)
Giant Killer
Azorius Guildmage
Gold Myr
Silver Myr
Court Street Denizen
Dreamshackle Geist
Elvish Mariner
Gadwick, the Wizened
Gideon’s Avenger
Icewrought Sentry
Minister of Impediments
Niblis of the Breath
Queen of Ice
Zygon Infiltrator
Grand Arbiter Augustin IV
Lossarnach Captain
Niblis of Frost
Rhoda, Geist Avenger
Sharae of Numbing Depths
Tempest Caller
Githzerai Monk
Icefall Regent
Timin, Youthful Geist
Kapsho Kitefins
Sentinel of the Eternal Watch
Subjugator Angel
Sunblast Angel
Tolarian Kraken

Instants (13)
Feeling of Dread
Path to Exile
Plunge into Winter
Stall for Time
Stroke of Midnight
Succumb to the Cold
Urza’s Rebuff

Sorceries (9)
Austere Command
Cone of Cold
Hidden Strings
Impede Momentum
Runic Shot
Theft of Dreams

Artifacts (6)
Pacification Array
Sol Ring
Arcane Signet
Hylda’s Crown of Winter
Scepter of Dominance
Icy Manipulator

Enchantments (5)
Quiet Contemplation
Retreat to Coralhelm
Citadel Siege
Diversionary Tactics
Lands (35)
Castle Vantress
Command Tower
Desert of the Mindful
Desert of the True
Deserted Beach
Evolving Wilds
Fabled Passage
Idyllic Beachfront
Irrigated Farmland
11 Island
Mystic Gate
Mystic Sanctuary
10 Plains
Port Town
Prairie Stream
Temple of Enlightenment

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Why Hylda of the Icy Crown?

Hylda is a bomb of a commander; a 3/4 for four is not a bad stat line, but Hylda’s abilities help her shine. Creating a 4/4 buff for all of our creatures or scry and draw is really strong for only one mana. We can use these abilities fully since we tap down things almost every turn of the game. When we start tapping down opponents’ creatures, the one thing to consider is whether we can pay for Hylda’s ability, which is something we want to do as early and often as possible.

Deck Overview:

This section contains information about cards in the deck and how they function within the deck! I also highlighted some of my favorite cards in the deck!


Almost all of our creatures tap opponents’ creatures down or provide payoffs. I am going to show off some of my personal favorites. To start out, we have Gideon's Avenger and Rhoda, Geist Avenger which are strong payoffs for tapping down opponents creatures. We also have some strong tap-down creatures like Fatestitcher and Minister of Impediments, which work absolutely perfectly with Drumbellower to keep the tapping going. Even though her tap-down works once per turn, we still get much value from Sharae of Numbing Depths. We have two really strong angels that work perfectly in conjunction in Subjugator Angel and Sunblast Angel, which are the perfect one-two punch and can be devastating for our opponents.


Blustersquall and Deluge are great ways to mass-tap down opponents’ creatures and get a ton of triggers from Hylda. Ensnare has a similar effect, but we can often cast this for completely free! We also have some instant speed removal like Path to Exile and Stroke of Midnight, which are great ways to take care of key creatures/permanents of our opponents. Urza's Rebuff is one of my favorite cards in the deck since it can be a counterspell or a way to tap down an opponent’s creatures.


We are an Azorius deck, so we have some classic draw spells like Ponder and Preordain. Speaking of draw spells, we also have Theft of Dreams, which can be a great way to have some mass-card draw and keep the tap-down engine going. Whether low-roll or high-roll on Cone of Cold, this card is strong and always good for a few Hylda triggers. When we are ahead of our opponents, we can use cards like Sleep to lock down our opponents and go for a kill shot. We tap down many creatures, so Runic Shot is an extremely cheap removal spell, perfect for commanders.


A lot of our cards are not that expensive, so we don’t have a ton of mana rocks, but we do have Sol Ring and Arcane Signet. Scepter of Dominance, Pacification Array, and Icy Manipulator are all great ways to tap down creatures or permanents of our opponents. Hylda's Crown of Winter is by far the best tap-down artifact in our deck and, in a pinch, can also be a strong source of card draw.


The main theme of our enchantment package is tapping down creatures and getting triggers with Hylda. Citadel Siege is one of my favorite enchantments. Depending on the situation, it can be right to choose Khans, but I choose Dragons more often since we can tap down an opponent’s creature and trigger Hylda. Whether we are tapping tokens or tapping our other creatures, we can use Opposition as an instant speed way to get Hylda triggers. Diversionary Tactics is undoubtedly a worse version of Opposition but can be a strong secondary outlet. Retreat to Coralhelm is a landfall way to tap down our opponent’s creatures.

Land Base:

We have a budget land base, but it is still quite efficient. While there are no fetches or shocks, we have no shortage of strong duals like Port Town, Deserted Beach and Irrigated Farmland. We also have Desert of the Mindful and Desert of the True, which can be great sources of card draw in a pinch. Other than various Azorius duals, the rest of our land comprises a bunch of basics to round out our mana sources.

Strengths of the Deck:

  • Our cards/commander allows us to control the board and combat
  • We can reliably lock down commanders or any creature with an important tap ability
  • Hylda is a huge engine for cards and creature production

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • Weak to decks that are not trying to win through combat
  • Not a ton of counterspells
  • Deck is noticeably slower / weaker without Hylda out and triggering

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

5 Helpful Upgrades:

These are in no particular order but cards that I think would improve the deck significantly but were not included due to price!

Main Win Conditions:

There are no infinite combos or loops in the deck. Instead, we win by generating a ton of attackers with Hylda and using our creatures and other cards to tap down and clear the way for all of our attackers. Hylda’s buff for all of our creatures can also help push us over the edge. Even if we go slow and only attack with one or two key creatures, since so many of our creatures tap down our opponents, we can clear the way and hit with some of our biggest.


Hylda of the Icy Crown is a cool commander with an interesting take on Azorius tapdowns. While tapping down creatures isn’t typically the strongest since Hylda gives us huge payoffs, even the simplest tapdowns can be very strong. I enjoy that Hylda can be strong in both a budget and a more expensive build. This deck is perfect for a player of any skill level and is very accessible both in style of play and price. Thanks for reading to the end and for all your support.