top of page

Cascade Through Your Deck For One Dollar!

Deck tech for the budget Imoti cascade Commander deck on MTGO.
Card: Imoti, Celebrant of Bounty | Art: Kate Bomak

Budget decks are wild. Magic Online budget decks are a whole other breed. Today, I present to you the one-dollar Imoti, Celebrant of Bounty Commander deck. For those who don't follow Magic Online don't fret, this deck is still budget in paper! This deck comes in at less than $90 or around $60 if you exclude some notable cards that are strangely cheap on MTGO, however, today's main focus is MTGO!

First thing, why Imoti? Some friends and I were playing a lot of Magic Online in recent years after we all moved our separate ways after college. We were also however a bunch of cheapskates. It turns out a lot of cards on Magic Online are dirt cheap. This spawned the idea of the one-dollar deck. We tried our hand at several decks, however, none would cause such outrage, bring such power to the table, and just out-value the table like Imoti. Let's go on a journey, to the depths of the ultra-budget and build a one-dollar Commander deck on Magic Online.

What Does Imoti Do?

Imoti is pretty simple, this naga druid is a five-mana Simic commander with cascade, and “spells you cast with mana value six or greater have cascade.” One very important thing to note with cascade going into this, casting a spell via cascade counts as casting that spell. This allows us to chain our cascades together! For example, let's say Imoti is in play and you cast a seven-mana spell. A cascade trigger goes on the stack. You reveal cards until you hit a spell with mana value six or less. Suppose you hit a six drop. That card will now also get a cascade trigger.

By casting one spell, you just got two extra spells on top of it! This deck gets out of control very quickly. If your opponents don't answer Imoti immediately, it is game over. On top of all these, even if you whiff with the cascade trigger, you're still getting a free spell. It's all gravy! Now let's get into some broad strokes of what the deck does!

For those interested in following along with the decklist you can do so here!

Some Notes On Cascade

Cascade is a funny mechanic we don't see all that often. Here are some rules and notes on the mechanic to ensure you play this deck to its very best!

1. Cascade reads "You may cast that card without paying its mana cost." If you cascade into a spell that is not very good based on the current board, you can choose not to cast it!

2. Cascade triggers when the spell that has it is cast, not when it resolves. This means the first card with cascade will not enter the battlefield until the cascade trigger and any spells you cast off of cascade are resolved.

3. Countering a spell with cascade will not stop the cascade trigger.

4. If you copy a spell with cascade with something like Twincast you will not get a cascade trigger off the copy. This is because the copy is put on the stack. You are not casting the copy. Something like Isochron Scepter will get cascade triggers because it makes you cast the spell.

5. If you cascade into a card with an alternative mana cost you cannot pay that cost, eg: Cyclonic Rift cannot be cast for its Overload cost off of cascade.

6. Your opponent may counter spells put on the stack with cascade. They are treated like any other spell. But if you're cascading into another spell thanks to Imoti's ability, that still happens.

7. If you cast a spell with cascade and there are no cards in your deck with lesser mana value you will exile your entire library then randomly rearrange those cards and put them back in your library.

8. Spells may have multiple instances of cascade. Each instance of cascade will trigger separately.

9. If you cascade into a modal double-faced card, you may cast either side of the spell so long as that side's mana value is less than or equal to the original spell's mana value minus one. For example, Throes of Chaos can be used to cast Valki, God of Lies, but not Tibalt, Cosmic Imposter. (We don't play any MDFCs where this is relevant but this was a big ruling change to cascade in recent years, check out the official MTG Wiki page on cascade for more info!)

Ramp and Mana Generation

First off, we need mana and lots of it! This deck needs to get to six mana as soon as possible. Even going beyond six mana is good as it means we can cast more and more big spells per turn!

Llanowar Elves, Farseek, and Rampant Growth are some nice cheap early ways to get more mana. There are a couple of other budget mana dorks and ramp spells here at two and three mana as well, but the above ones are our best options.

Outside the ramp, we also have cards that reduce the cost of our spells. Thryx, the Sudden Storm, reduces our pricey spells by one mana and makes them uncountable. Meanwhile, Conduit of Ruin makes the first spell we cast each turn cost two less. Lastly, Mana Reflections makes all our permanents tap for twice as much mana.

Cheating Mana Values

This deck also takes great advantage of casting spells on the cheap. One of my favorites is Treasure Cruise. This card costs eight mana, but you usually cast it for one. Regardless of how much you spent on the spell, you will still get to cascade based on its mana value! In the same vein, Deep-Sea Kraken and Ghalta, Primal Hunger can be cast for cheap if our commander is in play.

Besides big creatures, we also have big spells. Spelltwine is top of its class in this category. For six mana we can exile an instant or sorcery from our grave and an opponent's grave. We then copy those spells and “Cast the copies if able without paying their mana costs.” Worst case scenario, this is a six-mana spell, so we get to cascade anyway. Best case, we target a six-mana spell in our grave and the opponent's grave for a triple cascade payoff! I adore this spell. If you are looking for a way to turn the tide in a game, this is it!

We can also get some huge value off of Summoning Trap. This spell costs six mana, but we can cast it for zero mana if we had a spell countered this turn. It lets us look at the top seven cards of our deck and put a creature from among them onto the battlefield. With the cascade tacked on, we get the chance for two creatures for free out of this spell!

Jmoti Cascade's Interaction Suite

The removal package in this deck is suboptimal given the budget. Feel free to tweak and alter it as you see fit.

Pongify is a nice cheap answer for creatures. Delay is an impressive quick answer at a low cost, however, it does mean we need to deal with the threat again later. Finally, Supreme Will is a bit of a catch-all, acting as card selection or Mana Leak-style effect.

From Green, we have Khalni Ambush as a simple fight effect to keep opponents on their toes. At the same mana value, Reclamation Sage destroys an artifact or enchantment.

We also have several high mana value spells that will offer us removal, and cascade triggers thanks to Imoti. Terastadon is one of the biggest and baddest of the bunch. Of particular note, it can destroy lands if you're feeling rude. Additionally, at eight mana it could hit a six or seven drop for that sweet double cascade. Scour From Existence and Meteor Golem also fulfill a similar role by being good catch-all removal with no color requirements.

Big Synergy

Seeing as we are casting big spells, we might as well have some big synergy to go along with it! Fierce Empath is a great tutor that sets us up for later turns. If we managed to get some effective ramp out early, we can use the empath to have a six drop ready for our next turn. Alternatively, use him to grab a big spell that can deal with an opponent's threat.

Thunderous Snapper is a great card to curve into on turn three or four if we can set it up for our big spells. Drawing cards and getting a free spell on every cast is awesome! The hybrid Simic mana makes this card incredibly easy to play on curve too, even in the most unoptimized mana base.

Finally, Paleoloth lets us return a creature from our grave to hand whenever we cast a six-drop spell. This gives us some insurance even when our opponent has answered out big creatures.

Card Draw

Card draw is essential and every deck needs it! One of the joys of playing on Magic Online is Sylvan Library has been reprinted so much it is now only two cents! This card is much pricier in paper, unfortunately. If you are following along in paper I would recommend trying out Bident of Thassa or Reconnaissance Mission for staying within a budget. While neither of these is strictly as strong as Library, they can net you lots of cards at once if you swing with multiple creatures!

Soul of the Harvest and Garruk's Uprising both provide card draw whenever a creature enters under our control. Solid pickups for this deck to keep the cards flowing! Both of these are when a creature enters the battlefield. This means if you cast a cascade spell you will need to cascade first, then draw your card.


These cards are just big spells. They trigger off Imoti and provide us with some value. They are just generically good. This is the section with the most flexibility. If you just have a random 6+ mana spell you like just play it here. These cards are just some of my favorites!

Crush of Wurms is a bit of a funny spell. Putting 18 power on board for nine mana is a big investment but ultimately it gets leans into us getting more cascade triggers due to the high mana value. The flashback is just icing on the cake as it lets us do it again! This card is just a big spin-the-wheel moment.

Boundless Realms is a great include as it lets us clear our deck of lands and just keep drawing powerful spells! This is an awesome card to cascade into too! We are always hungry for mana in this deck and are happy to have more lands for more shenanigans.

Nezahal, Primal Tide is just a classic blue beater. Cant be countered means this is always going to land. Drawing a card whenever an opponent casts a spell is just nasty. Finally, being able to protect itself is just wonderful. This is an awesome big blue dinosaur, you will have a lot of fun drawing cards and smashing faces with this!

Winning The Game

The game plan of this deck is pretty simple, smash face! However, some spells enable this much more efficiently than others. For me, the duo of Ulamog's Crusher and Artisan of Kozilek does this incredibly well. While you push ahead with big flashy spells this duo comes in and threatens to cut down the opponent's resources with every attack. In particular, the Arisan even brings a friend from the graveyard back to play with it!

End-Raze Forerunners is a fine big body on its own but also gives all our creatures a buff as well until the end of the turn. This can be a great way to alpha strike the board, put pressure on life totals, and even kill a couple of players.

Finally, Tidespout Tyrant lets us return a permanent to its owner's hand whenever we cast a spell. Given all our spells essentially come as a two-for-one deal, this means we will get to bounce a lot of permanents. Of particular note, this lets us bounce lands. Is it a bit unfair? Yes absolutely! Will it win you games? For sure it will!

With that said, this section also opens the door to a lot of possibilities. If you simply have some good cards laying around or find other killer cards on a budget then feel free to include them. This deck has a broad card pool available to it so make sure to include your favorites!


This deck is a budget deck at the end of the day has some weaknesses. Firstly, as we are a deck that needs to reach six mana before things start to go off we may succumb to an early fate at the hands of an aggro or combo deck. Be careful and pick your battles well. Keep early hands with mana dorks and other accelerants to ensure you make it to six mana.

This deck is heavily reliant on its commander. In its current form, the deck has minimal ways to protect its commander outside of a few counterspells and Lightning Greaves. Before beginning to cascade, consider having protection at the ready, or enough mana to cast your commander and a six drop. Spend your early turns ramping. Don't be afraid to spend some extra time setting up to ensure you get some value.

This deck can force the game to go long as you bash through enemy lines with heavy beaters. Keep an eye out for combo players skulking in the background. Try to focus these players down. They will be the hardest for you to beat in the event of a long game.

Even Deeper Budget Diving!

As this deck is built with budget play on Magic Online in mind, consider checking the various free bots out there. Cardhoarder has several bots that offer free cards! These cards may not be the best in the world but they are free. Some commander staples can even be found here. This can be a great place to search for cards with this deck. In many cases we don't care what are spells do so long as they are six mana or more. Lots of draft chaff ends up in these bots, and it can be a great source of inspiration when brewing.

Look out for CardhoarderFreeBot, CardhoarderFreeBot2, and CardhoarderFreeBot3.

And if you want to check out Card Hoarder's awesome loan program, consider using our affiliate link here. You'll get to play as many decks as you want and we'll get to keep making the content you love!

Going Beyond Budget

If you would like to build this deck with fewer budget restrictions, then you are in luck. This deck can perform well on high and low budgets! The first thing I would upgrade is the removal suite. Swap out some of the removal spells where appropriate for one and two mana spells if you can.

Next thing is to look at your ramp. Green has so many good ramp spells be it elves, or just simple things like Three Visits to get to your commander and those big spells even faster!

In addition to the ramp, the mana base needs work. While cascading into spells means we do not need to be as fussy with our mana it's still good practice to have some solid lands. If you have the budget spring for some dual lands, even ones that enter tapped can be useful here! Utility lands are also always welcomed.

After that, consider looking for better big spells. Things like Apex Devastator, Annoyed Altisaur, and Dawnglade Regent make for excellent includes with some extra upside too! This deck is a pile of Simic good stuff. So feel free to be flexible and pivot your focus where you see fit!


With that, I hope you enjoyed a look at one of my all-time favorite commanders. Imoti is a blast to play for anyone who likes big spells and just a little bit of randomness in their gameplay. Let us know how you get on! If you enjoy MTGO-focused content and deck guides let us know! And be sure to check out Cardhoarder for up-to-date prices on the cards included in this deck!


❤️If you want to support Bolt the Bird, consider checking out our Patreon page and sharing this article! ❤️

720 views0 comments
bottom of page