Lantern Control for cEDH. The gameplan is to pull off the combo with isochron scepter and dramatic reversal. Circu is the win con with dramatic scepter and also a weird piece of disruption on his own. The deck isn't actually "stax" as the deck name suggests. It's rather an adaptive combo deck that can go off quite early (t2/3 kill attempts are not unusual) but it has the potential of creating at least a soft lock on draws and hands.

"lantern control" in EDH works differently than in modern (obviously) and it doesn't even focus on actually having lantern of insight + mill rocks. It's rather about establishing a draw lock in general, for example by wheeling into notion thief, chains of mephistopheles and - worst of all - uba mask, which can possibly exile larger chunks of opponents' decks throughout the game to the point of making them unplayable. The lantern package disrupts early tutors, which is especially relevant against the fastest decks of the format, and it provides a great late game plan for a commander that doesn't have card advantage already built in.

If you are seriously interested in brewing with Circu or lantern control as a strategy, join the discord server

The Idea (under construction)

Circu is a commander choice that may raise some questions, especially since one part of his ability seems to be irrelevant in a singleton format. Playing competitively makes the „can’t play cards exiled with Circu“ part relevant because of format staples you will see in almost every deck – the more similar your meta decks are, the better this ability becomes. The actually important ability though is that playing an arbitrary large number of spells will result in exiling all cards in all opponent’s libraries. Circu is an outlet for combos that allow casting as many colored spells as you want, the best of which is Isochron Scepter and Dramatic Reversal.

As soon as there are 2 colorless mana on rocks available, the scepter combo works (assuming that Circu is in play) and if you can produce colored mana in excess of activating scepter, casting Circu after the first activations is possible. Compare this to other combo outlets in the command zone and you’ll see that it requires less setup because we don’t need to go mana positive with scepter.

Having the outlet for the combo in the command zone means that the deck needs to be focused on assembling the (actually very simple) combo and also having alternative options available should scepter or reversal be unavailable. As opposed to card advantage in the command zone, Circu demands a deck that makes up for that.

Transferring the idea of lantern into EDH is a weird choice but in the context oft he deck it makes sense. While we don’t have the density of mill rocks hat modern has, EDH offers other ways of meddling with people’s draws. Lantern of Insight together with the three cmc 1 mill rocks Codex Shredder, Ghoulcaller's Bell and Pyxis of Pandemonium isn’t suited to create a hardlock on draws as we know it from the modern deck. However, the mill rocks kill tutors to the top of libraries on their own and with lantern in play they can at least provide a softlock that is very cheap and still effective. Accompanied by cards that limit the number of cards people can draw per turn, such as Chains of Mephistopheles, the „lantern“ package is a viable choice to include. The aforementioned scepter combo turns the mill rocks into a kill, even if we have no colored mana to cast Circu as our nr. 1 combo outlet.

The lantern itself is a nice tool for knowing what the opponents draw and it makes Necropotence and Ad Nauseam better because you know exactly when to stop drawing, especially when you are at a low life total. Future Sight also benefits from the whole lantern/mill rock package because you can mill away cards that you can't cast and keep going in the same turn.

As cheap and slim the scepter combo may be, it’s also easy to lose one of the two pieces. Having alternatives to the main combo is important, but the choices are plenty and what is best used depends on how you want to play the rest of the deck. The most obvious choice to accompany scepter is Paradox Engine because it turns ANY instant with cmc 2 or less into an infinite loop with scepter and thus a kill with Circu. You can even use a counterspell and repeately cast it on the same spell and only let them resolve/fizzle when Circu has triggered often enough to exile all libraries.

Having Paradox Engine in the deck makes it easy to add other combo parts that work with it, such as Voltaic Key and Sensei's Divining Top (which is already great with the lantern package) to draw the deck and create mana by untapping all rocks with engine. Drawing the deck with infinite mana means being able to cast timetwister, then recovering timetwister with codex shredder and looping the deck in oder to trigger Circu with the colored spells.

What I have tried in this build is the Basalt Monolith and Rings of Brighthearth combo because monolith is another rock that enables a scepter win and the rings work well with paradox engine and divining top. The new Thief of Sanity and Mnemonic Betrayal can use what the opponents have to offer, even win cons like Aetherflux Reservoir, just like Praetor's Grasp can do...especially Mnemonic Betrayal seems to be good with the lantern package and Chains of Mephistopheles as graveyards will usually fill up quickly. These cards are sort of win cons in this deck because they can find something to kill even if scepter and engine are gone completely.

Other possible plan B combos are for example Future Sight and divining top together with something that makes divining top cheaper to cast (Etherium Sculptor for example) or playing Doomsday and/or Demonic Consultation for Laboratory Maniac wins. Circu enables unique DD piles and the mill rocks can act as openers instead of cantrips. Obviously the choice of disruption needs to be chosen according to the used win cons besides scepter. A Doomsday deck wouldn’t like chains of mephistopheles for example.


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Date added 11 months
Last updated 2 weeks

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.03
Tokens 1/1 Bird, 2/2 Manifest
Folders Uncategorized, Dimir Mills, Model EDH Decks, Interesting Commander Decks, Favorites!, EDH Decks, EDH decks, EDH, Dimir cEDH, David EDH, See all 14
Top rank #34 on 2018-03-14
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