Tuesday Night Takeover

Zaxara, the Exemplary $100 Big Mana Hydras Budget EDH

“Finally, Hydra”

Art:Zaxara, the Exemplary by Simon Dominic

Pricing courtesy of Moxfield.com

Zaxara is a really sweet X commander that allows you to not only make some extra mana but give you an additional creature benefit for casting an X spell! Zaxara is also in Sultai which allows her not only 3 colors of the best X spells in the game but gives us access to interaction on the stack and for a little removal! Zaxara is the best X commander out there and really doesn’t get a ton of love these days! This card is a ton of fun to play and an absolute house of a commander! Without further adieu lets get it!

The Deck:

Zaxara $100 Big Mana Hydras!

Commander (1)
Zaxara, the Exemplary

Creatures (27)
Stonecoil Serpent
Arbor Elf
Elves of Deep Shadow
Elvish Mystic
Hungering Hydra
Llanowar Elves
Mistcutter Hydra
Genesis Hydra
Hooded Hydra
Hydroid Krasis
Neverwinter Hydra
Primordial Hydra
Steelbane Hydra
Vastwood Hydra
Eternal Witness
Grakmaw, Skyclave Ravager
Kami of Whispered Hopes
Lifeblood Hydra
Managorger Hydra
Yavimaya Elder
Corpsejack Menace
Herald of Secret Streams
Kalonian Hydra
Kura, the Boundless Sky
Gargos, Vicious Watcher

Spells (25)
Black Sun’s Twilight
Green Sun’s Twilight
Nature’s Claim
Spell Pierce
Tyvar’s Stand
Black Sun’s Zenith
Blue Sun’s Twilight
Change of Plans
Extract Brain
Go for the Throat
Nature’s Lore
Profane Command
Reality Shift
Thassa’s Intervention
Beast Within
Kodama’s Reach
Villainous Wealth
Culling Ritual
Mythos of Brokkos

Artifacts (6)
Arcane Signet
Charcoal Diamond
Sol Ring
Moss Diamond
Talisman of Curiosity
Elementalist’s Palette

Enchantments (3)
Mana Bloom
Utopia Sprawl
Fertile Ground
Lands (38)
Barren Moor
Blighted Woodland
Command Tower
Darkwater Catacombs
Dismal Backwater
Evolving Wilds
10 Forest
Golgari Guildgate
Grim Backwoods
Lonely Sandbar
Polluted Mire
Remote Isle
Riveteers Overlook
Slippery Karst
Thornwood Falls
Tranquil Thicket
Waterfront District

Why Zaxara, the Exemplary?

The main reason that we chose Zaxara is that they give us a benefit when casting our X spells in the form of more creatures allowing us to easily build up a board of really big attackers. Zaxara being in Sultai also allows us to play a lot of hate / interaction as well as some of the best X spells. Zaxara also adds two mana themselves so we can make our X spells even bigger!

Top 5 Upgrades:

If you are planning on upgrading this deck these are the cards I would consider adding first!

Deck Overview:

This section contains information about cards in the deck and how they function within the deck!


To start the deck off we have Arbor Elf, Elvish Mystic and Elves of Deep Shadow as great early pieces of mana ramp that can help us get ready for some of our bigger X spells!

Beyond our pretty basic ramp package we of course have a bunch of fat X creatures and hydras some of the best being Genesis Hydra, Hydroid Krasis and Mistcutter Hydra just to name a few. All of these X spells have pretty big effects when they come beyond the fact that they are usually pretty big. Combine our X creatures with Zaxara and allowing us to make tokens makes the impact of casting one big X creature a turn not that much of a drawback.

We also have some cards that make the deck so much better like Kura, the Boundless Sky which is a great way to grab some lands or make a huge X token! Gargos, Vicious Watcher is not only a big body themselves but since they reduce the costs of hydras they allow us to play a bunch of spells on our turn!


Our instant package has a few counterspells like Dispel, Spell Pierce and Counterspell all of these are just great ways to stop our opponents! Black Sun's Twilight, Black Sun's Zenith and Blue Sun's Twilight are all great ways to get some Zaxara tokens and clear the board! Blue Suns is a great way for us to grab a creature from an opponent, perfect for an opponents commander!

We also have some single target removal in Go for the Throat, Reality Shift and Beast Within all of these are great ways to deal some with some pretty annoying permanents that our opponents have!


We have some pretty cool sorceries in our deck one of my personal favorites is Mythos of Brokkos since we can basically tutor for a card and get a permanent already in the graveyard back! Culling Ritual is another great card that gives us some mana for blowing up some stuff. Extract Brain is a really sweet spell that lets us cast an opponents thing for free which we will never say no too. Since we are a big mana deck we also have Cultivate and Kodama's Reach as ways to get some extra mana.


Our artifact package is pretty much an oops all ramp situation with some of the diamonds in Charcoal Diamond, Moss Diamond. We of course have to have Arcane Signet and Sol Ring. We do have one other artifact that is a mana rock but in a little bit different of a form in Elementalist's Palette which is a great way for us to store and bank our extra mana.


We don’t have a bunch of enchantments but all of them help us to ramp and cast some more X spells! Mana Bloom not only triggers Zaxara but can be a great mana bank for a key X spell! We also have Fertile Ground and Utopia Sprawl are both some great early enchantments that allow us to get some more mana which we will never complain about!

Land Base:

We are a big mana deck so of course we are a little heavy-handed on the lands at 38 but we do make use of most of them if the game goes long. We are playing all of the cycle lands for Sultai just in case we become flooded and need to draw a card instead of making a land drop! Other than that it is just a combination of Sultai Duals and basics!

Strengths of the Deck:

  • Easy to make huge creatures
  • Big swings in combat can end games quickly
  • Being in Sultai we have access to good creatures and good interaction

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • Weak to creature hate
  • Slower without ramp
  • Weak to commander hate, deck is worse without Zaxara

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

Main Win Conditions:

Our main win condition is solely through our big X creatures and all of the tokens that we make from Zaxara, no infinite combos or loops here. We can very easily overwhelm the board and just have a bunch of huge creatures which act great defensively as well!


In conclusion Zaxara is a really sweet Sultai X commander that lets you play some cards that you really dont see a lot in EDH. Being able to play a different style of deck and with uncommon cards is a great experience for any player! Hope you enjoyed this list and with the weekend coming up and bonus articles for Saturday and Sunday please request any commander and format on twitter or in our discord!