Ambassador Laquatus is a Legendary Merfolk Wizard originally from Torment and reprinted in Tenth Edition. For 1UU, you get a 1/3 with the ability to pay 3 mana of any color to have a player mill 3 cards.
One of the weakest strategies in Commander is mill – between it being a multi-player format and the existence of the Eldrazi and the Colossi can disable it as a win condition. It isn’t terrible, though – as a utility ability, instant speed mill can easily get rid of Sensei’s Divining Top and shut down tutors like Mystical Tutor, Worldly Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, and Enlightened Tutor.
On the other hand, he does have the advantage of being both a Merfolk and a Wizard. The benefits of both tribes are extremely relevant – +x/+x benefits from Merfolk and the support of Azami, Lady of Scrolls and her army of wizards.
Another advantage Laquatus has is being a fairly low-cost commander, at 1UU, and the higher toughness than power is typical for a creature that would want to mill rather than damage.
Now, what can make this fish shine? Well, infinite mana combos (or at least ridiculously large combos) work perfectly here. Being able to use his ability as many times as you can is the important thing.
Cards to play in an Ambassador Laquatus deck:
- Basalt Monolith
- Caged Sun
- Extraplanar Lens
- Gauntlet of Power
- Grim Monolith
- High Tide
- Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
- Power Artifact
- Training Grounds
Essentially the deck runs entirely off of infinite mana to mill your opponent’s entire deck out all at once.
The main combo of the deck involves getting an infinite amount of mana with Palinchron and a mana doubler.
As Palinchron untaps 7 lands when he enters, you can easily use mana doublers like the above and other cards like High Tide and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx to get an infinite amount of mana, which you can then put into your Commander’s ability to mill people out. One advantage to this is that it’s infinite mana of any color, so you can use this mana to play spells.
This combo on the other hand produces only colorless mana. As Power Artifact makes the untap cost of both of these artifacts to be less than what they tap for, they can just infinitely tap to get to a infinite amount of colorless mana, which you can then use for Laquatus’s mill ability.
Now, things that are not infinite:
Heartstone and Training Grounds both make Laquatus’s ability less expensive to use, allowing you to mill more cards! Pretty straightforward.
But what about those things I mentioned earlier that shut your combo down?
Well, there are a few answers.
Stifle and Trickbind are both cheap spells that counter the triggered ability that shuffles the graveyard back into the library. They’re also just fantastic cards to play in blue decks – but in this case it helps you push your combo through.
Acquire and Bribery on the other hand both let you look through an opponent’s library for cards and put them into play under your control. With an infinite mana combo, it isn’t hard to mill out their entire deck, see what their protection piece is, and then use one of these cards to pull it out. Acquire can search their library for any artifact. Even if they aren’t playing Darksteel Colossus or Blightsteel Colossus to prevent themselves from milling out, you can always pull out mana rocks or Lightning Greaves or something. It’s unlikely that the deck you’re targeting will have 0 targets when you play it. One advantage to Acquire is the fact it can also hit Legacy Weapon, due to it being an artifact.
Bribery on the other hand lets you get any creature out of that player’s library – whether it be one of the Eldrazi Titans, a Colossus, or a Worldspine Wurm. Fairly self explanatory. In addition, you also get to see that player’s entire library, letting you see if there are any cards that would stop your combo in the first place.
Cards to play Ambassador Laquatus alongside:
- Azami, Lady of Scrolls
- Leyline of the Void
- Oona, Queen of the Fae
- Rest in Peace
- Scavenging Ooze
- Tormod’s Crypt
Essentially, he does the same thing in other decks as he does in his own deck. However, by adding other colors you get access to permanent exile of graveyards – whether it be keeping the graveyards empty with Leyline of the Void> or Rest in Peace, but there’s also Scavenging Ooze that just loves eating out of the graveyard. Tormod’s Crypt is a catch all, for when you don’t have any of the other options, and is playable along with him in mono-blue.
He’s also a solid option in Azami, Lady of Scrolls Commander decks, as she gives him the structure of the Wizard archetype, and he gives you a mana-sink for the infinite mana you’ll likely be producing anyway. Oona, Queen of the Fae is another option for an alternate commander, as they’re both mill commanders, but Oona already has the exile effect built into her ability.
Ambassador Laquatus is a fairly solid card, but I feel as if he’s a little outclassed to be on his own due to the difficulty of playing mill decks in a multiplayer format.
If you think I forgot anything, feel free to add in the comments below!
Until next time.