Let’s Build a Doomsday Machine, possible updates.

This week I used my Let’s Build a Doomsday Machine deck again. The deck has some downsides, as it’s not very interactive and it does require a lot of concentration and knowledge of all the interactions and combos to use well. Discussing the deck with an opponent, we’ve even discovered some unintentional combos in it here and there. However, a deck is never finished, and even if it’s hard to find spots for new cards, there is always room for innovation, and inspiration comes from all directions.

So, I watched a youtube video on an event on Magic Arena, and this earned me some respect for a particular card. It always felt a bit niche, but seeing it in action really brought the point home of what it could do for the Doomsday Machine. It also happens that the theme of the card perfectly fits the theme for the deck.

Fires of Invention is a really strange card. It’s Wizards attempt at making spells free, without breaking the game. Nce try, Wizards! When it’s in play, it changes how the game works. Coloured mana has less of an impact, lands that don’t tap for mana or that are tapped still count for casting spells. There are two noticable downsides to having this in play: You can cast only two spells per turn, and only on your turn. So, instant and flash cards and interactions are mostly turned off.

So, the question becomes: How often do I play more than two meaningful spells on my turn, and how likely am I holding up an instant to interact with an opponent. As it turns out, the Doomsday deck doesn’t do that very often. Sure, I’ll play some cheap artifacts to dig deeper with Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain, but Fires of Invention allows me to play multiple of the more expensive artifacts, for more impact. And that’s where it breaks the two-spell limit: I keep my mana open to activate my artifacts. Because activations aren’t spells, so I get to do even more on a turn, despite the limit.

Concider for example, Planar Portal. Normally, it’s a very slow card, and I have to pay to cast it, to activate it, and then an amount of mana to play the spell I fetched with it. With Fires of Invention out, I play the portal for free, use my open mana to activate it ánd I get to play whatever I choose to find for free as well. That’s huge. Other portals work in a similar matter: There is now less risk on using a Prototype Portal or Soul Foundry, having the mana to activate it and at least get one token out of my card investment. And again, these activations don’t count toward the two-spell limit, so I’ll get a lot more things done per turn.

Another upside is that it allows me to play spells through my Kill Switch / Mycosynth Lattice combo. The way Kill Switch works is that usually, I’m the last one to untap my stuff, but Fires mitigates the downside somewhat. It’s not a perfect solution, but it might buy me some time and drop some things while the game is shut down for everyone else. All in all I’m very excited to try Fires of Invention out.

Another card I’ve found some respect for is Folio of Fancies. It seems Throne of Eldraine has some really weird cards, and this one really helps to dig for stuff, while also having the capability to mill opponents out, if you try really hard. It’s a non-combat wincondition, but also a risky one, because of the cards it gives to everyone. Sadly, it doesn’t have the option to mill yourself, but at least it makes games more interesting.

The discussion around the surprise combo in my deck was about Prototype Portal / Soul Foundry with Dross Scorpion. There was something about duplicating the Scorpion with, say, Sculpting Steel, having a sacrifice outlet and an imprinted Ornithoper. Then you can make infinite Ornithopters. I don’t run Ornithopter, but I do run Hangarback Walker, which dies when it comes of the Portal/Foundry. This does skip the whole “sacrifice outlet” part, and while I don’t get infinite Walkers, I might get infinite “Artifact enters the battlefield” and “Artifact dies” triggers. This in turn gets interesting with Quicksmith Genius or Reckless Fireweaver.

As far as “free” spells go, Stonecoil Serpent is an interesting one. It has both reach and protection from multicolored. This, and the fact that a lot of people run multicolor commanders means it’s a good blocker, holding off commander damage.

Of all these, Fires of Invention is the most likely to find a spot in the deck. The whole mana-efficiency boost it gives may be too juicy to pass up. For the others, well, space is limited, so new things to need to add a lot to the deck to replace old things, and in this deck every bit counts, as almost every card is a part of something.

Posted under Commander / EDH

Jund Food with Plaguecrafter

The experimentation continues. I’m still happy with how the deck plays, even though I sometimes get overrun by fast, agressive decks. Shorter games favour the luck of the draw, and I’m playing single games instead of best-out-of-three, so no sideboarding. So, I guess that’s ok. Sometimes I don’t have an answer to quick starts, and if I don’t find my Cauldron Familiar / Witch’s Oven combo, or my Mayhem Devil to take care of the many smaller creatures and stabilize. A sideboard would help against these fast decks. Also, in best-of-three I could mulligan more aggressively.

Being geared towards single games also informs my deckbuilding; Outside of the core cards, it’s a bit of a hotchpotch of 2-offs, especially in the removal section, to cast a wide as possible net in disrupting opponents. Assassins Trophy is the catchall removal spell, but unfortunately it only works on opponents permanents, so no trading a food for a land and ramping that way. I also found one card that has been working quite well: The Plaguecrafter.

I’ve been comparing this to Spark Harvest, and on the surface the harvest is cheaper, more flexible and it targets. The thing that pushes Plaguecrafter though is the fact it causes sacrifices, which play into Mayhem Devil. Plaguecrafter usually causes 2 Devil triggers, where Spark Harvest would only cause one. In quick testing, it already caused multiple one-sided boardwipes. One of the crafters replaced a Murderous Rider, because is easier to cast than .

I’m also concidering splashing for Oko, Thief of Crowns. He does add the need for a fourth colour to the deck, but Gilded Goose and Paradise Druid are already in, and they can take care of that. It’s just that turn 1 Goose, turn 2 Oko is such a strong start, and help stonewalling a ground offensive. I’m okay with trading a Cauldron Familiar or a Food for something a little more aggressive. The familiar I’ll probably get back soon anyway. When Oko a turn 2 or 3 doesn’t get hit with an early removal spell it’s going to be an uphill battle probably, buying me some time to set up my other tricks. Some steady food production also factors into my other cards, like keeping Wicked Wolf alive and growing.

Generally, the whole food thing works out really well. I didn’t expect the life-gain version of Treasure and Clues to be so flexible and effective. Food itself isn’t as good as the tokens that give mana and draws cards, but with the right cards around it food actually can draw cards and give mana. Is Jund Food the best deck? Probably not, so far it hasn’t been consistent enough, but it’s flexible, and very fun to play.

Posted under Commander / EDH

Jund Food Updates

After trying out the deck some more, and winning some wildcards to further tweak my deck, I made some updates. Mayhem Devil got bumped up to four, since they are the main damage dealers in the deck. With that, I also made some space for an additional Status // Statue.  Both sides of this card served me well. It won’t happen often, but I had some sacrifces queued up and had Status wipe out an army using the Devil, now pinging for deathtouch damage. For a card originally put in the deck as a placeholder removal card it does a surprisingly amount of work.

I also included a new planeswalker into the mix who sorta-kinda acts as an additional Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, providing some sacrifice opportunities and card draw, as well as generating her own sacrifice fuel.

I must admit she doesn’t look that powerful on paper, but the card draw effect is nice, and she makes a good tag-team with Garruk, Cursed Huntsman. His wolves and her -4 are devastating. But what do you expect from 2 six-mana cards? I’m also eyeing her ultimate, which could be a nice finisher with some Mayhem Devils on the table.

Speaking of the devils, I cut Syr Konrad, the Grim in favour of more of these, because they are more efficient and flexible in the context of this deck. Another card on the cutting table is Rankle, Master of Pranks. The haste is good, but I generally only use the discard effect, sometimes the sacrifice effect. The draw effect I generally won’t use, because I don’t want to give opponents cards. Sometimes, Rankle works, but I feel he needs specific situations to shine, despite the fact he has 3 abilities.

Once I have a Cauldron Familiar and a Witch’s Oven out, generally things are going well. Manifold Key helps getting out extra oven activtions, and functions as oven 5-6. The downside is it doesn’t do much without an oven and it requires additional mana to work. It requires testing, because when it works it is a force multiplier.

Wicked Wolf seems like a must-have for this deck. The fighting works with Status // Statue and he can eat food at instant speed. He’s removal with a body, and can dodge some removal.

Considering I’m out of wildcards, this is going to take some grinding though. Good thing my winrate with this deck has been good thus far.

Posted under Commander / EDH

Happily Ever After

Recently, I got a prerelease foil of Happily Ever After. It’s not the best card, but it says “you win the game” on it, and it’s shiny and foil. The question is, which deck am I going to use it in? It took a bit of an epiphany to find the correct deck.

The first thing the card does is giving everyone a card and some life. Technically, it’s card disadvantage, because aside from drawing, you also use up a card and everybody draws. People also get a bit of life, and hopefully, they’ll like you a bit more now. In a game where winning is zero-sum, “being liked” is a weird advantage, because you’re still the enemy, but, at least maybe the other players are more the enemy than you are. For now. Maybe the others now try to kill you last which is something. This is the group-hug theory, but beware, some people hate that, and try to attack you first. Having a card in play that reads “you win the game” probably doesn’t do you any favours either.

While it is unlikely to win with Happily Ever After, it’s fun to try. A couple of conditions need to be met, and it’s not easy.

– Your life total is equal, or greater than your starting life total. Since it’s likely everyones primairy strategy in the game is to try and lower your lifetotal, preferably to zero, this is a difficult condition to meet. The card graciously gives you 5 more life points to work with, but other means of upping and protecting your life total are in order to make sure it’s even possible, and to defend yourself when you threaten to win and become a target.

– There are six or more card types among permanents you control and/or in your graveyard. Happily Ever After is an enchantment. You probably cast it using mana from lands. And you likely have some creature around or in the graveyard. It’s handy that killing the creature doesn’t stop the effect, so that’s already 3 card types. Now all you need is an artifact, an instant and a sorcery, or a Planeswalker and you’re off to the races. In general, you’ll arive here naturally, and it’s probably the easiest condition to meet.

– There are five colours among permanents you control. It’s tricky, and it nudged me towards one of the commanders. But then it hit me: I’ll use this one instead:

Zedruu only has 3 of the 5 colours needed, and since there are restrictions in Commander based on the colour identity of the commander, I’ll have a hard time actually casting something black, green, or black-green. Hard, but not impossible. Living Weapon cards like Batterskull make a black Germ token. Curse of the Swine can turn something into a green Boar. Transguild Courier just is all colours. But do I really need to dilute the deck just to make an obscure wincondition work? Then I realized something about how my Zedruu deck functions. Trading!

The main thing the deck does is giving stuff away to gain cards and life (handy for the 40 life or more condition.) – But, it also has many control effects and effects that exchange control. It than hit me that I don’t actually need to run black, green or black-green things, as long as I have an opponent that does. Worst case scenario, and I’ll just give away Happily Ever After to some player that can’t trigger it, or to make someone a target.

So, that’s another card I can use to create a bloodless victory, and it feels more friendly than Approach of the Second Sun. It also works well, because Approach gives an additional life buffer. I just hope that other players accept that I’m playing a slightly different game with the alternate win conditions, but at least it’ll be different with a distinct play style, and generally focusing on enabling other decks, and creating a narrative. I mean, you won’t actually lose when you all get to live happily ever after.


Posted under Commander / EDH

DOOMSDAY MACHINE and Mirrodin Besieged

I’m still looking at tweaks for the Let’s Build a DOOMSDAY MACHINE deck. I found another card that might be interesting and could do many things in this deck. It seems like a powerful card, offering both the ability to create “scrap” – random artifact tokens I can sacrifice to other effects in the deck –  or it helps with card selection and with getting artifacts into the graveyard, so I can use Goblin Welder effects to get them out on the table.

But that’s not all. Should I ever get 15 artifacts in the grave -and it’s not that hard for this deck- I can start eliminating opponents, one per turn. And that is a bit of a pickle for this deck, as it looks for more contrived ways to do that, building intricate machines. Is it worth it to run one card that kicks a player out of the game that really deserves it, like the one hiding behind a huge pillowfort, or some stax player, or combo player? Or does it betray the goal and flavour of the deck?

Also, since I tried to find a spot for Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, but couldn’t find a spot, even though she has a similar function to the Mirran side by making tokens, it seems hard to find actual space for Mirrodin Besieged. At least Saheeli is somewhat flavour appropriate.

Posted under Commander / EDH


The DOOMSDAY MACHINE deck had the concept of using “scrap metal.” This is any artifact that I can sacrifice, to get another artifact out of my deck or graveyard. Typically, I want to use some token artifact for this, so the deck runs some cards that create treasure tokens, or clue tokens, servos, thopters or just any kind of token just for this purpose. So, anything that puts any artifact on my side of the table is worth taking a look at, especially if it can create multiples with no further investments needed.

This made me take a good look at Dockside Extortionist. Most creatures in my deck are artificers, but it seems I need some kind of acquisitions department as well. This goblin could very well make multiple treasure tokens at once, and give me some mana advantage and some resources for my Goblin Welder. Things get really crazy once I get Mycosynth Lattice online. Moreso when I can use Soul Foundry or Feldon of the Third Path and I can get multiples, and maybe repeat the process using Clock of Omens.

Another goblin that can do some acquisitions is Treasure Nabber. He won’t be as efficient and requires the opponent to use their mana artifacts, but having some extra mana ramp once in a while seems good. With Lattice, he can steal entire mana bases, and feed Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer or better yet, Krark-Clan Ironworks so I’ll never have to give anything back.

Another card I’m eager to add is Emry, Lurker of the Loch. Every piece of artifact recursion is welcome, and Emry also puts some extra cards into the graveyard as a bonus. She also facilitates some combos, even if it means finding card slots for things like Mirran Spy and some free to cast artifacts – preferably Lotus Petal for lots of mana. This might be worth it since Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain is my Commander, and it means free, infinite card draw.

Finally, in the category of things that change things into other things: Witch’s Oven. I might want to get into food tokens, although I don’t know what this will actually add to the deck. Sure, it’s fun to turn the goats I get from Trading Post into pies, but it doesn’t seem like the best use.

Maybe it can stand in for Blasting Station in the Station combo, creating another shortcut for that combo, as it can be sacrificed to Grinding Station, be returned (untapped!) with Salvaging Station, and bake the Pincher token from Summoning Station, creating lots and lots of food. Any other shortcut is great, and it fits the theme of the deck: Goblins building a crazy Rube Goldberg machine, and now death by infinite pies! It still will be an infinite mill combo, but at least it’s somewhat funny. That probably makes it worth a slot, somewhere.

Sidenote: I also have a Depala, Pilot Exemplar deck. I put in a random assortment of Dwarves, but she might have some use for the Seven Dwarfs, that might actually turn into giants at some point.

Posted under Commander / EDH


One of the interesting things in Modern Horizons are several Ninjas and Ninja-related cards. I run a Vela the Night-Clad deck which add to the evasive nature of my creatures and gives a little extra oomph to the Ninjutsu ability. Ninjas are few, and most of them aren’t really that good – especially the first batch from Betrayers of Kamigawa had a few low-impact ones that hardly make it worth the effort. But it’s fun, having creatures jump in and out of the game. There where a few later ones that feel a little more powerful, and now there is a whole new batch. But are they worth it?

Ninjutsu by itself has synergy with my commander, and the bar isn’t that high. Still, a Ninja deck is also about other cards. Having a Ninja swapped in for another Ninja isn’t really what we’re going for, it’s changing evasive creatures into Ninjas and doubling up on enter-the-battlefield effect (or leave-the-battlefield effects, with Thalakos Seer) that makes it shine. Deck space is limited, even if Ninjas themselves aren’t really large in numbers.

The Ninjutsu ability is cheap, only and 3/3 is a decent body. The indestructible is handy when attacking with multiple creatures. That’s a situational effect, but if you also have another cheap Ninjutsu card, it might make more than one attacker indestructible. This card is all about the cheap Ninjutsu cost.

Ninjas are all about their saboteur abilities. And this is a great one. Getting a double Thief of Sanity ability can create so much value. This is one of those newer Ninjas that actually feel good to hit with.

Drawing cards is good, and this one is a Ninja of the Deep Hours that shares its ability with your other Ninjas. There still aren’t many other Ninjas, but the Infiltrator certainly rewards playing as many Ninjas as possible.

This works well with Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive, and doubling itself can get out of hand quickly. If Mist-Syndicate Naga comes out early enough, it has the potential to overwhelm the board.

Probably a worse Mist-Syndicate Naga. The Illusions are small, evasive creatures though, so they can help setting up future Ninjutsu effects.

I get it. The “saboteur” ability is just doing extra damage. Even though it has Ninjutsu, it feels like a vanilla creature though. It’s not bad, but it does feel like where the new Ninjas begin to falter. I know you can’t compare commons to rares, but for paying 4, look at Fallen Shinobim and while this has an extra point of damage, that’s it. It doesn’t compare at all.


Oh, now we don’t even get Ninjutsu anymore. I have enough much better unblockable creatures in my deck. While Phantom Ninja can use the (sparse) tribal effects, just compare it to the cheaper Changeling Outcast. The latter is also a Ninja (because Changeling) but at a third of the cost. We lose 1 point of power and the ability to block, but blocking (or dealing damage) isn’t really the role of these cards. I can’t find myself to include Phantom Ninja in my deck, when there are so much better options.

No Ninjutsu, no evasion. Even token Ninjutsu would have tied it into the Ninja theme and this doesn’t. Lifelink is ok, but there are better sources of extra life than this guy, and at the very least less conditional. So, it’s a pass for me.

So, that’s 8 new Ninjas. A few great ones but 3 that feel really ‘meh’ and are only worth to include for thematic reasons. Changeling Outcast is a nice ‘bonus’ ninja. Still, with so few Ninjas in the game at all, having 3 that are great is still a a luxury. Fortunately outside new Ninjas there are also a couple of Ninja-related cards.

Cunning evasion isn’t exactly a Ninja card, except for the theme and because it really, really synergizes with Ninjutsu. If something goes through, its likely the Ninja of your choice goes through and the way it’s done looks really fun. It also helps the “enter the battlefield” cards in the deck, and helps Vela trigger. So, while it’s not an actual Ninja, it really belongs in a Ninja deck.

Smoke Shroud is basically an extra Sai of the Shinobi. Nothing dramatic, really, but it’s difficult to get rid off. How a cloud of smoke using to escape grants +1/+1 I don’t know, but the extra evasion should be helpful.

Posted under Commander / EDH

DOOMSDAY MACHINE Modern Horizons updates.

With Modern Horizons on… the horizon, I wasn’t really planning to get into it. Because, somehow, Wizards decided these are going to be more expensive boosters. I might hunt down some singles though, because there where some cards spoiled that fit one of my favorite Commander decks: Let’s Build A DOOMSDAY MACHINE. This deck, headed by Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain tries to assemble a combo out of artifacts, and Modern Horizons has some new tools.

Thing is, the deck is already filled to the brim, and when War of the Spark came out, I wanted to include a Saheeli, Sublime Artificer but honestly couldn’t find something to cut, even when Saheeli does something important for the deck: Creating scrap metal to transmute into more powerful things. So, I think the bar for replacing cards is really high, and still, I think these cards make the cut.

First, there is Goblin Engineer. The DOOMSDAY MACHINE deck has some Goblin Artificers, and it’s part of the theme to have them make random stuff, and turn that into other things. This is a nice second Goblin Welder and even though unlike the welder it has a limitation on what to get back, it also functions as an artifact tutor, in conjunction with other “from the graveyard” effects in the deck. At the very least, it helps me find Expedition Map and turn some scrap into Urzatron. I also like his interactions with Feldon of the Third Path. With al the combos, having a tutor for at least a piece is great. If only to find the next card I’m interested in: Scrapyard Recombiner.

This is another tutor card, even though it’s more limited in what it can find. However, the deck does have some very powerful constructs. Metalworker? It’s a construct that can makes lots and lots of mana, potentially infinite in the deck. Kuldotha Forgemaster is recombiners bigger brother and can find all the artifacts in the deck. Myr Battlesphere is a big construct that makes more scrap. Hangarback Walker also counts. Then there are Combustible Gearhulk and Scuttling Doom Engine which may be part of an infinite damage combo.

What hasn’t been said about this Urza card? It’s Urza! And he comes with his own construct, which is either huge or a nice piece of scrap metal to transform. Then, when used fairly, he is “just” a source of mana and card advantage. Then, if there is a Paradox Engine around, he potentially plays your entire deck. I must admit, the deck does play some scummy combos, but Urza might push it over the edge a bit.

All in all some aggresive cuts may be in order to include these new toys in the deck. But at least the first two cards fit the theme of the deck very well.

Posted under Commander / EDH

Smothering Tithe

Ravnica Allegiance brought a card that becomes more and more interesting to me in its uses, and I’m inclined to include it in more and more decks. That card is Smothering Tithe. I like tokens, I like mana and I like colour fixing. But Smothering Tithe is that much more.

The basic idea is that each turn, each opponent has the choice to either give me a treasure or pay . Either outcome is ok, because I gain some mana, or they spend a significant percentage of their mana, and slow down. Often, players include their own card draw, and that’ll give me even more mana to work with. But ultimately it allows my decks to really go off, when I force all opponents to draw multiple cards, often enough so they can’t actually pay the tithe. And then, I go either large or infinite.

Think how it’ll work in a 4 player game, and I gained some treasure, then use it to cast a big Prosperity. I draw cards, everyone draws cards, and I get a huge amount of treasure. Then I can chain it into another draw spell, like Skyscribing, get even more cards and more treasure.

There are some decks where I’m particularly interterestin in using Tithe in:

I really dig all the applications, from just creating “materials” for artifact decks, a little more ramp for some decks, and a combo piece for others, creating huge turns. It’s powerful enough to ‘warp’ some decks around it, like my Shu Yun deck which will have a few more wheel effects to enable Tithe.

Posted under Commander / EDH

Dimir Sinister Surveilance Update

The Magic Arena version of my deck is still slowly getting closer to my ideal version. Sidestepping to other cards shows what works and what doesn’t, even though some cards will work better in context once I get the right amount of cards around it. My general philosophy on deckbuilding is using 4x the cards I like when possible, because if it’s good enough to play it should be good enough to be in there 4 times; This deck is becoming a hotchpotch of 2x or 3x cards. This is because I have a lot of card selection, and the cards are different approaches to the same result, all slighty different so they work better in different situations.

An example is Etrata. I’m not 100% sure about her. I want a big wall that I can use as a removal when needed, or as an attacker when the board is clear. She’s fine, but so far she doesn’t solve the problem when I play against another control deck, and that is having a persistant threat on the table. But there are other cards that fill a similar role, while being very good in a situation the rest of the deck has trouble handling. So, maybe I want to run Nightveil Predator instead. A flying deathtouch creature still works well as a “wall” and trades with most of the things that get thrown at me, all the while being resiliant against spot removal.

In fact, when playing a mirror match I see Etrata once in a while, and I simply kill her with a removal spell, but my deck roled over when faced with a Nightveil Predator, because I simply couldn’t touch it. This is partly because I didn’t have enough Dimir Spybugs, Thought Erasures or Sinister Sabotages to actually handle it, yet, but I think the Predator simply works better as a standalone threat than Etrata.

In a similar slot is Hostage Taker. She works as a removal spell, and sometimes I get some card advantage out of her, by stealing an opposing creature. There are some issues that they have a chance to get their creature back, and bouncing something I have stolen is something that comes up often enough.

The same problem happens with Thief of Sanity. I do note that I’m often happy to see one, more than I am to see Darkblade Agent, but there are risks involved.  Thief is slightly more vulnerable than Agent, but doesn’t require to be “turned on” for card advantage, and it’s more evasive. I think I’ll replace the Thieves eventually, especially once I complete my disruption package:

The cards  I’m debating in that disruption package are Thought Erasure and Sinistar Sabotage.  On one hand, Thought Erasure a cheap surveil spell, and it makes me feel a lot more safe when I know what my opponent is doing, and I get rid of a removal spell that could ruin my plans. It’s a really good card. The downside is that, while it can remove things I normally can’t deal with, it also does so without costing my opponent mana. When I counter something with Sinister Sabotage, at least it means my opponent invested in the card I’m trying to stop. Sabotage requires me to keep mana open, though, and since my mana isn’t optimised yet, keeping open is dificult. Especially if I want to use Mission Briefing to keep open to counter things. Mission Briefing is a big part in my toolbox strategy, but difficult on mana. I run 2, which somewhat counts as 2 additional copies of any particular spell. The manabase might need some rework to make it work better, I’m often lacking to do the things I want to do.

Notion Rain is a card I was reluctant to spend card slots on. I certainly don’t want to play 4 of it, because of the life cost involved. So far I was happy to see this one though. Digging 4 cards deep and gaining card advantage often helped, but against very aggressive decks it sometimes becomes a dead card, because I can’t afford the 2 life. I haven’t experienced Disinformation Campaign yet, which is a similar draw spell, plus disruption, which might be a reasonable alternative, and gains me more value over time.

The current goal is:

~ Dimir Sinister Surveilance (version 4) ~

Creatures (18)

Doom Whisperer
Dimir Spybug
Nightveil Predator
Nightveil Sprite
Thief of Sanity
Thoughtbound Phantasm

Spells (18)

Cast Down
Discovery // Dispersal
Notion Rain
Mission briefing
Price of Fame
Sinister Sabotage
Thought Erasure

Enchantments (2)

Disinformation Campaign

Lands (22)

Drowned Catacomb
Memorial to Folly
Memorial to Genius
Watery Grave

Sideboard (15)

Golden Demise
Moment of Craving
Nightveil Predator
Selective Snare
Vraska’s Contempt

Land wise I might also include Memorial to Folly and Memorial to Genius. I’m not commited to these, because they come into play tapped. My live version still includes some Dimir Guildgates, and having lands come into play tapped so far hasn’t been a huge downside, but it’s obvious something you want to avoid. Memorial to Genius seems like a poor man’s Search for Azcanta however. It remains to be seen if a tapped land basically counts as half a landdrop, or if Azcanta can be reliably flipped to count as a land drop. Azcanta helps digging for lands early on and digging for spells later on, but I want to avoid getting too little lands in my opening hand, and have a higher chance of early manascrew.

That said, the opportunity cost seems low, and Folly enhances my threat density, while Genius gives me a chance at card advantage. I’m not exactly expecting miracles here, but they might give me some incidental advantage, for example when I’m holding up counters, but nothing gets played.

And even though I usually don’t play best out of 3, it’s nice to have an idea for a sideboard for when there is an event. There are extra Nightveil Predators in there, for when I play against other control decks. Then there are mass removal effects against tokens. Moment of Craving for decks with small creatures, to give some live padding. Vraska’s Contempt also gives me some life and also deals with Planeswalkers. There are some Duresses to deal with spell heavy decks. Duress might miss more than Thought Erasure, but it can come in when there are more targets for it.

Now that Guilds of Ravnica draft is life, I have something to grind towards. The plan is to draft for missing pieces, and do more and more testing. Even though I’m not having the version I want of the deck, yet, the performance seems good enough that it wins more than it loses. I expect that problem matchups will become more prominent. That is, fast, aggressive red decks and decks that create lots of tokens, but that the final version also becomes more resiliant to those decks.

Posted under Commander / EDH
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