Akuta, Born of Ash is an unusual Legendary creature to say the very least. In fact, I wrote about him quite a while ago on the old website, here.
A 3/2 with Haste for 2BB isn’t terrible, but not all that great either. He does, however, come with an interesting ability.
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have more cards in hand than each opponent, you may sacrifice a swamp. If you do, return Akuta, Born of Ash from your graveyard to play.
This ability to recur himself is similar to an ability found on a more recent legendary creature.
Sacrifice a Swamp and a Forest: Return Jarad from your graveyard to your hand.
Similar, but not the same.
Allowing your commander to go to the graveyard can be risky. Not having the ability to recast it means you have to rely on either its own abilities or putting it into play with other reanimation that you play.
The problem with Akuta is that if any of your opponents have more cards in hand than you, you can’t bring him back. Even when you can bring him back, it still costs you a Swamp.
Things to play in Akuta, Born of Ash
- Buried Alive
- Cabal Conditioning
- Crucible of Worlds
- Kagemaro, First of Suffer
- Sheoldred, Whispering One
- Syphon Mind
- Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Entomb and Buried Alive are both tutors for Akuta if he gets shuffled into the library, as he’ll mostly be spending time in the graveyard.
Cabal Conditioning is one of the more interesting cards I discovered while looking into this commander. It makes each of your opponents discard cards from their hand equal to your highest CMC among your creatures. With Akuta in play, that’s at least 4 cards. Syphon Mind is one of more commonplace discard cards, where everyone else discards a card and you draw a card for each card discarded. Either of these cards will generally guarantee that you have more cards in hand than your opponents.
Kagemaro, First to Suffer is another creature that benefits from having a lot of cards in hand, but that’s more or less where the actual synergy ends. Sheoldred, Whispering One keeps Akuta in play without worrying about sacrificing your lands, while making your opponents sacrifice their creatures.
Crucible of Worlds lets you play lands out of your graveyard, while Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth turns all of your lands into Swamps to sacrifice to Akuta to bring him back.
Cards to play with Akuta, Born of Ash:
There aren’t any cards I particularly recommend other than was already mentioned.
Overall, while Akuta is an interesting card, I’m not a huge fan of him. But if you are, go right ahead and brew away!
Until next time,