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Prisoner of Fate - Budget Triad EDH

Commander / EDH Budget Casual Multiplayer W/B (Orzhov)



"Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds." -Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Sorry FDR, but not anymore!

Why does nobody use this commander? I mean, sure they're no Atraxa, Praetors' Voice, but is that really such a bad thing? I mean, I don't know about you, but I like having fun when I play magic, and I like my friends to have fun, too! Otherwise you start running out of people to play with.

These guys lay out a very clear strategy that I personally think seems very fun. Blinking creatures for ETB effects and easily removing your opponents threats with activated abilities. Now they may be slower than Brago, King Eternal, but they have more options, like instant-speed blinking your creatures to dodge removal, and the ability to kill off your opponents' creatures. They also give you access to a lot of valuable black cards with cool ETB effects.

Let's take a look at our deck's contents here.

First things first, if our commander is going to be any good, they have to be able to tap more than once a turn so we can put on counters, then do something with them. What do we have for that?

- Jandor's Saddlebags / Magewright's Stone / Puppet Strings - 3 artifacts all with essentially the same ability, but it EDH that redundancy is valuable. We're 3 times more likely to draw into it.

-Sword of the Paruns - Very useful since it not only lets us untap as many times as we can pay 3, but it gives the added benefit of boosting everyone else's toughness.

-Thousand-Year Elixir - With a similar effect to the first 3 artifacts, Thousand-Year Elixir has the added benefit of giving our Triad haste.

- To Arms! / Roar of the Kha /Village Bell-Ringer - It's good to have a few instant-speed untappers that can't be naturalized when we need them most. Plus, these all have the added benefit of untapping the whole team.

Alright, so now that our commander is nice and playable, what do we do with them? Obviously we're going to need some nice ETB(enter the battlefield) effects to exploit? Here some of the cool things we'll we able to repeat a couple times each turn:

- Angel of Despair - "Destroy Target Permanent" has always been a powerful effect, which is why this 7-cost 5/5 is still $3. You can kill creatures, lands, artifacts, whatever! And you can do it at least once every turn.

-Ashen Rider - Just Angel of Despair with exile instead of destroy, so potentially even more valuable against any of those Meren of Clan Nel Toth decks out there.

-Captain of the Watch/Geist-Honored Monk/ Evangel of Heliod - Nothing puts the pressure on your opponents like throwing down a metric crap-load of creature tokens every turn.

- Sunblast Angel - Keep a fate counter ready on this guy and your opponents will think twice before swinging at you.

-Stonehorn Dignitary - This guy is a common? Seriously?! Okay, maybe he's not that useful under normal circumstances, but with the Triad on your side, he can keep an opponent locked down indefinitely.

-Gray Merchant of Asphodel - Probably the coolest name for a common ever, and not a bad effect either. Blinking this guy drains all of your opponents' life totals, and hits harder the better your board presence is.

-Kor Cartographer - This guy is important, because it's one of the only white mana-ramp cards I could find. Plus, get him(her?) out early and you have a huge advantage as far as mana, blinking every turn and helping you get to the top of your curve faster.

Nice! That's some cool and only mildly annoying stuff to recur. But hang on, what if our commander is killed or worse, Darksteel Mutationed! Well, an important rule in building EDH is that you never make your commander your only win-con, so here's some things to blink my guys just in case the Triad can't:

-Eerie Interlude - In my opinion, one of the most underrated cards in EDH. Not only does it work great as a backup for Triad, it can potentially save my entire team from a board wipe!

-Cloudshift/ Acrobatic Maneuver /Otherworldly Journey - Targeted Blinking can be valuable, too. Whether you're saving it from removal or a board wipe or just want to reuse its ETB ability, these cards all get the job done well enough.

-Conjurer's Closet - Get one of these out and you get to blink a creature a turn!

There ya go. An underrated commander deck that's easy to pilot and easy to upgrade as your budget increases!

Let me know if you know some particularly synergistic cards I should add!



pattybenpatty says... #3

Heartstone and Thornbite Staff perhaps? Thornbite might work well with ETB removal, like Fleshbag Marauder.

April 4, 2017 8:26 p.m.

Cmasa435 says... #4

With the plan to stick to flickering stuff like Felidar Guardian is nice to have a backup flicker if needed. Also as you have black you can throw in a bit of stack manipulation to be a real sneaky bastard. Get a sac outlet Carrion Feeder and Viscera Seer are my personal favorites, then play your Fiend Hunter or Angel of Serenity get the ETB trigger, then sac it in response, the leaving field effect resolves before the ETB, so what got exiled stays exiled (odds are you know this, but on the off chance that you don't its worth explaining). While usually this kinda tactic is reserved for graveyard based decks, i have a friend who runs a flicker/grave hybrid deck that is just weird. You never know what he is gonna do, but you know it wont be good for you. Plus, adding in some more grave interaction could be worth it in the event that your opponents manage to kill your stuff and you cant flicker it. A personal favorite card of mine is Mesmeric Fiend, its awesome for the sac tricks, but if you decide you dont like that route it still gives you a peak at the opponents hand and you steal a card from it, and if they tutor up something mean, flicker him and trade out for the new threat. This may just be from my mind being on graveyards, but I adore Puppeteer Clique. Take someting big out of the opponents yard and smack them in the face with it. If he dies you can flicker him to get rid of the -1/-1 counter, He is annoyingly hard to kill at times. Whenever I play white I put in a Nevermore. Locking out commanders is fun.... for me. Wall of Omens can provide some nice draw, as can Phyrexian Arena for a bit more $$ (worth it IMO). Another draw card I'm fond of is Dark Tutelage though it has killed me before, though I love to draw so I usually take the risk associated with that card. Enlightened Ascetic, Angel of Finality, and Demon of Dark Schemes can act as repeatable forms of removal (specifically enchantment, grave and creature with these). Karmic Guide and Reveillark can get massive value when flickered/sacked respectively (and can go infinite in certain circumstance). That's bout all I got, sorry if its a bit more grave focused than purely flicker, that's whats been in my head these past few days. Good luck with the deck, always fun to see rare commanders out there (I didn't even know this one existed till today)

April 6, 2017 12:14 a.m.

chaosumbreon87 says... #5

sol ring? angel of glory's rise? eternal scourge for the card advantage?

have fun with the idea. Im so out of touch with casual commander that the best advice I can give is more ramp

April 6, 2017 11:20 a.m.

bellz76 says... #6

Have you done any testing with this yet? I'm in the process of building my own and your build and description has been a big help. I'm curious if you've found any cards to be the real deal, or if any have failed. I have less flicker effects and some more "good stuff" cards, but I feel like I'm just jamming cards in that seem cool but aren't the best fit.

Also, with as many "untap" effects that the deck uses, do you think itt might be worth while to put other creatures with tap abilities in here? I can't think of any off the top of my head, but it seems it would be a waste to not have some to get use of those artifacts

Either way, +1 from me.

April 11, 2017 11:13 a.m.

vbfabled says... #7


In my testing, some of the more useful cards to blink are Kor Cartographer for crazy ramp, something B/W is lacking in, Captain of the Watch for 3 new 2/2's a turn, and Gray Merchant of Asphodel for constant drain. Also, keeping a fate counter on Sunblast Angel has proven a great deterrent to potential attackers.

A good thing to consider when looking at creatures for this is "How much do I want this ETB effect to go off every turn?" Pile of good stuff is fine, just make sure there's synergy!

Good luck and happy building!

April 11, 2017 11:21 a.m.

bellz76 says... #8

Yeah, I agree- I much prefer synergies than just the "good stuff". What do you think about Cathars' Crusade? You flicker any of the token generators (Captain of the watch, for example) and your whole board gets 3 counters each? Or maybe you flicker an Abhorrent Overlord with some devotion? esp at the end of turn before yours... And since all the tokens come in at the same time, they all see each other to trigger off one another...

could be pretty good.

April 11, 2017 11:49 a.m.

vbfabled says... #9

My only concern for Cathars' Crusade is that it only really goes off if your token generators do, and if they don't, any creature you blink loses all it's counters anyway, so it becomes more of a nonbo than anything.

However, I could see it being very valuable if you made a more token-centered build.

April 11, 2017 1:11 p.m.

vbfabled says... #10


I just had a thought. If you do build a more token-centered build I would also include more of the "souls sisters" like Soul's Attendant and Soul Warden. I've considered switching Suture Priest out for one of them.

April 12, 2017 10:48 a.m.

This is giving me lots of ideas for the triad. Thanks! :)

April 12, 2017 12:06 p.m.

bellz76 says... #12

RE: souls sisters.. I feel that they really don't impact the game enough to include them, and they don't really further the goal of the deck. They aren't a very good top deck, and the life gain is minimal...

RE: Crusade: I still think the Crusade is worthwhile even with only a few token generators. I understand you lose the counter\ counters, but you're not usually flickering more than 2 creatures a turn- and if you keep flickering a single ticket the other creatures get big... and the Triad can get bigger too...

In general, in looking at your list, I think it needs more card drawing. I don't know how you recover from wipes, or even get to your money cards, or for that matter make land drops consistently. I know the Triad can help offset it some, but the only way you have to draw cards is the Disciple, Hedron Archive, and Read the Bones. You'll be in top deck mode the majority of the game. Someone earlier suggested Phyrexian Arena, which I think is ideal, but if it's not in the budget there are a ton of good black draw spells that are cheap- Moonlight Bargain is .33, Ambition's Cost is .20, or the same effect Ancient Craving .32, Damnable Pact is .37, and even Promise of Power .49. But these will all net you cards for life, but there's plenty of life gain to balance that out.

I would also recommend Solemn Simulacrum. He's a commander staple as ramp with the ETB effect and draws a card as well. Just a good value card.

April 12, 2017 12:24 p.m.

vbfabled says... #13

Yeah, I know Sad Robot. He's just a bit cliche for me, ya know? Everyone runs him, and I just don't play EDH that way. As for the card draw, I've considered pretty much all of those, but in my testing cards were never really a problem. I may try to work in Phyrexian Gargantua or Wall of Omens for the ETB synergy.

April 14, 2017 9:56 a.m.

TehGrief says... #15


It is far to often that the "Budget" tagline is overused or misused; honestly, you've done a great job.

This deck is refreshing to look at; you've given the decklist good thought. I am happy to see someone going against the grain when it comes to "Staples"; diversity is the freshest air we can breathe in a casual community.

It's synergistic and not over-complicated.

This would be a deck I would recommend for new players. And at a cost of ~$50 (CAN), you can't beat it!

Well done, keep it up.

+1 from me.

August 13, 2017 9:28 a.m.

vbfabled says... #16


Thanks! As a broke college student myself, I try to help other people who don't have much money still be able to enjoy this game. Plus I always felt like the entire point of Commander was to have every game be a different experience and keep things fun, which staples kinda ruin for me. After the third Cyclonic Rift in one game, it really starts to get old.

Anyway, glad you like it

August 13, 2017 11:50 a.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 10 months
Last updated 8 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.89
Tokens 1/1 Servo, 1/1 Soldier, 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Harpy
Folders Budget, Inspiration, EDH, EDH, Interesting Commander Decks, EDH Ideas, Commander, Cool decks i've seen, Budget Commander, good deck ideas, See all 12
Top rank #27 on 2017-04-16
Views 2477

Revision 5 See all

8 months ago)

+1 Angel of Finality main
+1 Knight-Captain of Eos main
-1 Stasis Snare main
-1 Sign in Blood main
-1 Roar of the Kha main
+1 Disciple of Bolas main