Tuesday Night Takeover

Nagao, Bound by Honor Samurai Auras Pauper EDH

“Sharpen Yourselves for Battle.”

Art:Nagao, Bound by Honor by Dave Dorman

Nagao is a card that needs a ton more love; while there are certainly stronger commanders in both mono-white and for samurais, Nagao is still quite strong, and honestly, it’s a shame that this is only the fourth deck to be published online. Samurais are a ton of fun to play and lend themselves quite well to play into the general mono-white strategy. This deck mostly focuses on filling up the board with our samurai, locking down opponents’ creatures, and getting a ton of value from our big damage auras. I hope you all enjoy this one as much as I did!

The Deck:

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Nagao, Bound by Honor Samurai Auras!

Commander (1)
Nagao, Bound by Honor

Creatures (19)
Devoted Retainer
Araba Mothrider
Dawnbringer Cleric
Eiganjo Exemplar
Impostor of the Sixth Pride
Transcendent Envoy
Avian Changeling
Heliod’s Pilgrim
Imperial Subduer
Kitsune Blademaster
Warded Battlements
Blessed Hippogriff
Changeling Sentinel
Irregular Cohort
Mothrider Samurai
Seven-Tail Mentor
Kitsune Dawnblade
Alabaster Host Intercessor
Silverstorm Samurai

Instants (12)
Call to Glory
Crib Swap
Dawn Charm
Emerge Unscathed
Family Reunion
Generous Gift
Loran’s Escape
Prismatic Strands
Shields of Velis Vel
Your Temple Is Under Attack

Sorceries (7)
Bring to Trial
Imperial Oath
Inspiring Roar
Now for Wrath, Now for Ruin!
Settle Beyond Reality
Silverflame Ritual

Artifacts (7)
Amorphous Axe
Ancestral Katana
Arcane Signet
Greatsword of Tyr
Marble Diamond
Wedding Invitation
Brass Knuckles

Enchantments (18)
Cartouche of Solidarity
Ethereal Armor
Hyena Umbra
All That Glitters
Angelic Gift
Cho-Manno’s Blessing
Chosen by Heliod
Eland Umbra
Grasp of the Hieromancer
Journey to Nowhere
Realmbreaker’s Grasp
Asha’s Favor
Flaming Fist
Oblivion Ring
Squire’s Devotion
Mammoth Umbra
Lands (35)
Desert of the True
Drifting Meadow
Evolving Wilds
Idyllic Grange
Path of Ancestry
26 Plains
Secluded Steppe
Terramorphic Expanse
The Fair Basilica
Tocasia’s Dig Site

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Why Nagao, Bound by Honor?

Nagao is a great card, especially for blocking, now this comes as no surprise as almost all samurai are, but Bushido, combined with the buff that we get from a good majority of the cards in the deck we, are able to be quite strong in combat, whether we are able to use Nagao offensively or defensively it is quite strong and allows us to win combats and put additional pressure on our opponents. Because of Nagao’s cheap cost, we are able to cast them early and often and typically keep them on the board for a good majority of the game.

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!


Alabaster Host Intercessor is a very strong temporary removal effect, and honestly, I just can’t believe this card is a Samurai! We also have a few cards that provide some strong buffs from Samurai’s attacking alone, which is perfect for us because we are absolutely cool with attacking with one creature that is all buffed up. Eiganjo Exemplar is a pretty simple example of this providing nothing more than a +1/+1, but hey, a buff is a buff. Imperial Subduer is another great card, and being able to tap down a creature is always nice; it also works perfectly with Greatsword of Tyr. Silverstorm Samurai is a little expensive, but being able to flash in a Bushido creature is quite strong and can really take our opponents by surprise. Transcendent Envoy is one of my favorites in the deck and being able to reduce the cost of a good majority of our deck is always strong. We are also quite heavy on changelings, which can be great because many of them have quite strong abilities as well as being decently evasive like Avian Changeling and Irregular Cohort.


Since we are quite susceptible to aggressive decks since we typically don’t like to block until we have Nagao, we can get a ton of value out of Dawn Charm and Angelsong, it doesn’t matter if we are taking a lot of damage early or late game as these are both quite cheap and allow us to protect ourselves quite well. Shelter and Loran's Escape are our protection against single-target removal, which typically becomes a problem when we have a buffed-up creature or our commander out. We do have some single-target removal of our own, like Generous Gift; we aren’t very heavy on removal, but having the option to take out a permanent as needed is quite strong.


Silverflame Ritual, Now for Wrath, Now for Ruin! and Inspiring Roar are pretty much redundant effects within the deck, but having more and more ways to buff up our entire board is something we will never say no to. Imperial Oath is a little expensive but works very well with our commander, gives us some strong additional attackers/blockers and the scry can be quite meaningful, especially in the late game. I love Settle Beyond Reality in the deck since we are able to bounce and re-ETB one of our creatures and exile one of our opponents, which, depending on what we are able to get, can be quite devastating. Bring to Trial and Fragmentize are both great pieces of hate and can help to slow down our opponents.


While we are primarily focused on being an aura-based deck, we absolutely had to include Greatsword of Tyr, which is an amazing card and arguably one of the best pieces of equipment within the format. We do have a few non-Samurai, but Amorphous Axe is quite strong on pretty much any creature we have and is a great damage buff for the deck and allows us to put additional pressure on our opponents. Ancestral Katana is a very flavorful card and a great buff for the deck; being able to move it around with ease is quite strong as well. We have a few mana rocks as well, like Arcane Signet. While we are a mono-colored deck, I still like having an additional ramp to help us speed out our commander.


By far, the two best auras in our deck are All That Glitters and Ethereal Armor, which are the two best big damage machines in the deck and can easily allow us to close out games. Eland Umbra is a wonderful aura. I love putting on Nagao because being able to be a better blocker is always great. Chosen by Heliod doesn’t give us as much of a toughness buff, but the card draw is extremely valuable for the deck since we are in mono-white. Asha's Favor works very well with the big damage auras and gives one of our creatures keyword soup. Whether we put this on our commander or whatever creature we have buffed up, this aura is strong. Grasp of the Hieromancer is a great way to control our opponents’ blocking in combat; being able to take out some of the best and biggest blockers our opponents have is always quite strong. We are not entirely focused on offense as we have quite a few strong defensive enchantments that allow us to lock down our opponent’s commander/creatures like Reprobation and Petrify.

Land Base:

Being in mono-white gives us a pretty clear direction to go with our landbase, which is almost entirely comprised of plains for a mono-color deck this is absolutely perfect. While we are mostly plains, we do have some pretty strong nonbasics like The Fair Basilica and Drifting Meadow, which are both great sources of supplemental card draw, which helps an absolute ton in mono-white. Since we are almost entirely focused on Samurai’s Path of Ancestry and the scry it gives can be a great way for us to look ahead, speaking of looking ahead, we also have Tocasia's Dig Site which is another great way to filter out terrible draws which can matter an absolute ton in the late-game. I like this landbase a lot and find it to be strong and effective.

Strengths of the Deck:

  • We are a very strong blocking deck and can be good against most strategies.
  • A good majority of the deck gets the buff from our commander; if we have a big board, we can be quite strong.
  • There are an absolute ton of ways to lock down our opponent’s creatures, allowing us to chip in for damage.

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • We can be a little weak in the late game, especially if we don’t have our big damage enchantments.
  • Weak to enchantment hate.
  • Without a big board or commander doesn’t do a ton.

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

Main Win Conditions:

There are no infinite combos or loops within the deck. We are a combat deck through and through; in terms of big damage, we get a ton of value out of our best auras like All That Glitters and Ethereal Armor which are huge damage pieces in the deck, we do get a buff for nearly our whole board when blocking with our commander and we get a ton of value out of being able to lock down our opponent’s creatures as well. Whether we swing a little or hit super hard in one turn we are easily able to whittle down and take out our opponents.


I have been having such a blast with this one and have been enjoying it a ton, while just like in regular EDH, mono-white is a tough color combo to play, but even so, I still like this deck and think its quite strong; while we are not able to do some of the broken things that many decks in the format can and we are overall quite fair, we are still a strong and pervasive combat deck. Thanks for reading to the end and for all of your support!