A Magic: the Gathering blog by and for the janky combo casual players alienated in a world of netdecking millionaires.

I value inexpensive (kinda) decks outside of the meta because I am cheap and easily bored.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Magic the Mathering - Commander Szadek

I finally took the plunge and yes, commander is actually a pretty fun format. Here is my first decklist.

Commander - Szadek, Lord of I wanted to play a Dimir Themed commander deck

This guy! Appropriate in a mill deck. Also a mondo beefy blocker should he swing and roid up.


Hello! My name is Derek.
I will be violating you presently.
Consuming Aberration, with it's power and toughness equal to the number of cards in my opponent's graveyards is a powerful card in mill decks, firstly it counts all opponents graveyards, good in multiplayer and then it mills further every time you cast a spell.

Chancellor of the Spires is a moderately beefy 5/7 flying creature for 4UUU. It makes one opponent mill seven cards if it's in my opening hand and when it enters the battlefield I can cast a sorcery or instant in an opponent's graveyard for free and opponents tend to have lots of nice things in their decks.

Architects of Will is a nice versatile card. 2UB for a  3/3, I have the option of cycling for hybrid u/b and when it comes into play I can look at top three cards of my library and put them back in any order.

Dimir Guildmage is a pretty average card, but has Dimir in the name and I do like a theme. A 2/2 creature for u/b u/b and with two abilities. 3U draw a card and 3B have an opponent discard a card. Both abilities at sorcery speed, the discarding is normally restricted to sorcery speed so that's OK, but the card drawing requiring sorcery speed is very restrictive.

Dimir Houseguard is another of those average cards with Dimir in the name. 4 mana for a 2/3 creature with fear isn't really that good, even with the sacrifice a creature to regenerate ability. The real value in this card is the transmute ability. Allowing me to dig up a couple of converted mana cost 4 gems that would be otherwise left to the shuffle monster.

Dimir Infiltrator a UB 1/3 unblockable creature, which would find a home in many decks. Without many, if any ways to pump its power I will almost always transmute. The 1UB transmute cost to search for a card with converted mana cost 2 is very useful.

Jhessian Zombies a 2/4 fear creature for 4UB. Not a hardcaster by any stretch but the 2 mana islandcycling or swampcycling ability means the mana fixing is strong with this one.

Thoughtcutter Agent a 1/1 creature for UB. It has an interesting tap ability though.  UB, T: Target opp loses 1 life and reveals their hand. A 40 turn clock and the ability to check someone's hand is quite nice. Also fits thematically.

Vela the Night Clad, for 4UB you get a 4/4 creature with intimidate, other creatures I control then gain intimidate and when a creature I control leaves the battlefield each opponent loses one life. I don't do much bouncing jiggerypokery in this deck but I bet I could make a deck that revolves around it. Thematically works. Backup Commander.

Good looking fella too.
Echo Mage - This guy. Oh yes, this guy. Absolute man of the match every time I've got him on the board. He is a genius.

Chainer, Dementia Master - A 3/3 creature for 3BB. Nightmare creatures get +1/+1. For BBB, Pay 3 life: Put target creature card from a graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. That creature is black and is a Nightmare in addition to its other creature types. When Chainer, Dementia Master leaves the battlefield, exile all Nightmares. Three reasons this chap makes it in. One, he can bring back my creatures. Two he bring back my opponent's creatures under my control. Three, anti-mill Eldrazi hate. Kozilek.

Mulldrifter ahh mully, our ubiquitous 2/2 flying creature for 4U or evoke 2U. You draw two cards when he enters the battlefield and that's why people love him.

Kederekt Leviathan for 6UU and a 5/5 body you kind of want a game breaking effect. "When Kederekt Leviathan enters the battlefield, return all other nonland permanents to their owners' hands." Ah yes, that should do it. Colossally awkward mid-late game. Gets an extra special place in troll town when you can do it again from the graveyard. It has unearth for 6U.

Dimir Cutpurse: a utility 2/2 for 1UB. Whenever it deals combat damage to a player, that player discards a card and you draw a card. Discarding opponents = good, drawing cards = good. Overall rating = good. Add to the Dimir theme nicely as well.

Fleshbag Marauder, or Eric Cartman the zombie. For 2B you get a 3/1 creature who, upon entering the battlefield makes each player sacrifice a creature, you guys I'm seriously!

Whelk I never!
Draining Whelk: 4UU for a 1/1 flyer with flash (You may cast the spell any time you could cast an instant.) Then the interesting part, when it enters the battlefield, counter target spell. Put X +1/+1 counters, where X is that spell's converted mana cost. Spell only needs to be about 4 mana to be worth it.

Mindleech Mass 5UBB 6/6: Trample Whenever Mindleech Mass deals combat damage to a player, you may look at that player's hand. If you do, you may cast a nonland card in it without paying that card's mana cost. No way this makes it into constructed but commander is very different kettle of fish. Casting opponents (probably expensive) spells for free is great.

Evil Twin 0/0 2UB: You may have Evil Twin enter the battlefield as a copy of any creature on the battlefield except it gains "UB, T: Destroy target creature with the same name as this creature." This is now even better at what it was doing before. Entering the battlefield and blowing up the opponents general because the changes to the legendary rules mean rather than blowing themselves up along with the enemy general. They can enter, then blow up the enemy general and you get to keep your copy! 

Clone: Clone, for 3U enters the battlefield as a copy of a creature. It's main function in this deck was to gib the enemy commander. But there are enough creatures in the format worth copying to leave it in.

Duskmantle Guildmage: UB for a 2/2 creature and two abilities: 1UB: Whenever a card is put into an opponent's graveyard this turn, that player loses 1 life. 2UB: Target player puts the top two cards library into graveyard. Only really use the first ability with the commander's ability. Dimir themed goodness as well.

Archaeomancer: 2UU for a 1/2 creature who, when he enters the battlefield allows to return an instant of sorcery from your graveyard to your hand. In a single card format multiple castings of certain spells are very useful.

Guiltfeeder: I used to run this little guy in a deck with ensnaring bridge, grafted skullcap and walking archive Here he does a similar job, as in that deck. \Mmaking opponents lose 10+ life with a single, hard to block swing. 3BB for a 0/4 creature, when he attacks and isn't blocked that opponent loses 1 life for card in their graveyard.

So... many... combos...
Deadeye Navigator 4UU for a 5/5 creature is nothing to sneeze at, pair him up with any creature that has an enter the battlefield ability and watch as you can pay 1U and repeatedly troll everyone. My favourite applications of this card are with Mulldrifter for the card draw, duplicant for a 1U swords to plowshares and no drawback and Draining whelk for the trololz.

Duplicant this chap is a 6 colourless mana, artifact creature that they didn't fully consider the implication when they printed it. He's normally a 2/4 but has the ability. When Duplicant enters the battlefield, you may exile target nontoken creature. As long as the exiled card is a creature card, Duplicant has that card's power, toughness, and creature types. It's still a Shapeshifter. Emratroll getting you down? Duplicant it! I put them into my astral slide deck for fun and profit.


Mind Grind xUB each opponent reveals cards from the top of their library and mills until they reveal x lands. This is the poor man's mind funeral, which would be in this deck so hard if I owned one. Good finisher though.

Deny Reality - 3UB: Bounce a permanent, cascade for converted mana cost less than five. Plenty of good stuff in there, the bounce is a sorcery which counts against it. But essentially a great card.

Consult the Necrosages - 1UB target player draws two cards or discards two cards. Nice boost to cards or makes an opponent discard. If they have three or fewer cards in hand I usually make them discard. Also a nice Dimir theme continuation.

Kill creatures, draw cards.
A more appropriate card
for U/B there is not
Twisted Justice - 4UB target player sacrifices a creature, then I get to draw cards equal to it’s power. Perfect against single commanders.

Sadistic Sacrament - BBB, overuse of this card will lose you friends. Search target player’s library and exile up to three cards. For a kicker of 7, search for 15 cards instead. In deck where only one copy is allowed this is devastating.

Chainer’s Edict 1B - Target player sacrifices a creature, Flashback 5BB is a nice bonus. Making your opponent sacrifice is a good way to get around protection colours, indestructible and hexproof/shroud.

Cabal Conditioning 6B - Any number of target players each discard a number of cards equal to the highest converted mana cost among permanents you control. You only need a permanent of about 4-5 to have this be game breaking.

Ponder U - Look at the top three cards, then put them back in any order. You may shuffle your library. Draw a card. Ponder is so good it's banned in Modern. There are few blue decks that are made worse by its inclusion.

Hexagons! I. LOVE>. Hexagons!
Mind Spring XUU. Draw X cards. Elegant simplicity. Good way to restock your hand late game. Excellent target for Echo Mage.

Preordain - This card, for me, is better than ponder. Dat scry 2 before the draw. Two lands? send them down, never to drawn again until you shuffle your library.

Forsee - Preordain's big brother. Scry 4 and draw 2 for 3U. Like this one too.

Gitaxian Probe - Always paid with 2 life. Intel + card draw. Love it.


Jace, Architecht of Thought: I like the + ability, even if it is a bit weak. The mini fact or fiction is very good and the ultimate, which will never get off because, you know, planeswalker, is game breaking in commander.

Willing to play this one, I like sensible Jace. Moody Jace, Bishi Jace, and Fucking Expensive Jace are not my thing.


Whatever, it's in the deck for the underboob.
Essence Vortex 1UB - Destroy target creature unless it's controller pays life equal to it's toughness. The card is average. But it's good against single onmitank megapump creatures.

Twincast - UU  Copy target instant or sorcery spell, and you many choose new targets. I want you to join me on the crazy boat for a minute. 10 mana open, mind grind for 6 lands, Twincast. (then if we go right off the deep end another two mana for a leveled Echo Mage to copy twincast twice.)

Spin into Myth - 4U Put target creature on top of it’s library then fateseal 2. Tuck your enemy commander right at the bottom of their library and try not to look smug. A little pricey, but a great spell nonetheless.

Countersquall - UB - Counter noncreature spell, its controller loses 2 life.

Capsize - Buyback {3} Return target permanent to its owner's hand. Filth, this card, plus the Echo Mage combined to win me at least one game. Tap eight, buyback capsize and copy it twice.

Counterspell - No links, you know what it does. Clue is in the name.

Cancel - Poor man's counterspell. Still good value at 1UU

Dimir Charm - Hey! The Dimir theme is back, remember that? UB for a swiss army knife of a card. Counter target sorcery spell; or destroy target creature with power 2 or less; or look at the top three cards of target player's library, then put one back and the rest into that player's graveyard.

Recoil - 1UB, Return target permanent to it's owner's hand, that player discards a card. Might as well be 1UB destroy target permanent if they have no cards in hand. Do like. Dimir flavour if not an actual Dimir card.

Mystical Tutor - U, Search for an instant or sorcery and put it to your hand. In a highlander deck format, finding the cards you need is priceless.

Think Twice - 1U, Draw a card, 2U, flashback. Utility card drawing, nice to have it sit in the graveyard until you need it.

Perplex makes the cut despite a lack of
Perplex - 1UB, counter target spell unless it's controller discards their hand. On it's own a great extortion dilemna, discarding your hand is usually bad thing so read 1UB counter target spell. If the opponent has no cards in hand after casting they can choose to discard zero cards. But in that scenario... 1UB, transmute for your favourite three mana card. (Echo Mage.) Transmute is my favourite mechanic from Ravnica 1.

Undermine - Counter target spell, it's controller loses three life. No subtlety, just lose your spell and then lose 3 life.

Cyclonic Rift - Return target nonland permanent you don't control to its owner's hand. Overload (swap target for each) for 6U instead. Gamebreaker if it resolves.


Ixidor was awesome. Hints of underboob.
Future Sight - 2UUU Ixidor was the character I wanted to see more of in the Future Sight block, I know he created a red Akroma blah blah blah, but you take his key ability in the fluff, he can sculpt reality. If he did that while black or maybe green aligned rather than blue aligned you'd have a very different card. Regardless. I like Ixidor and I love the card, which references Ixidor.

Soul Ransom - Steal a creatures, controller may discard 2, have me draw 2destroy soul ransom and return their creature. Great when combined with discarding. 2UB to draw two and have an opponent discard two isn't bad on it's own. Holding a creature hostage while they scrape up the cards to get them back? Dimir themed!

Dire Undercurrents - 3 u/b u/b to cast. When a blue creature enters the battlefield under your control, you may have target player draw a card. When a black creature enters the battlefield under your control, you may have target player discard a card.


Jesters Cap - 4 mana for the artifact. 2 mana to activate it. Exile 3 cards from target opponents library, a card to deal with specific threats. Will usually take planeswalkers or some of the bigger bombs unless I get Gaea's Blessing, Eldrazi, or anything that recycles graveyards.

Lightning Greaves - 2 mana for the equipment, 0 to equip to give a creature shroud and haste. Good value.

Soul Foundry - 4 mana to cast, imprinting a creature card from your hand. Then pay x where is is the creatures converted mana cost, tap and put a copy into play. A billion Echo Mages!

Whispersilk Cloak - 3 mana to cast 2 to equip to give a creature shroud and make it unblockable. A great deal for my commander. 


14 swamps, 14 islands and then a load of UB duals.
Dimir Aqueduct,
Salt Marsh
Frost Mars
Darkslick Shores
Dreadship Reef

Some cycling and my favourite transmute.

Lonely Sandbar
Barren Moor
Tolaria West - This card almost always searches for...
Reliquary tower

A spot of the inevitable cabal coffers/tomb of yawgmoth c-c-c-c-combo breaking

Ghost Quarter

Then some generic fixins

Terramorphic Expanse and it's "strictly the same buddy" Evolving Wilds

The deck, honestly is average. But I have a good time playing it and kicked sadistic sacraments aside it's not too broken to ruin the fun for everyone else

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