pie chart

The Devil On Your Shoulder - EDH Tempting Deals

Commander / EDH Budget Casual Group Hug Group Slug Multiplayer U/B/R (Grixis)




A different twist on politics in which the politics aspect of the deck is a side-effect of using cards that benefit oneself

I've had a lot of experience with playing group hug, politics, pillow fort, group slug and chaos archetypes in commander, and I have noticed that the same thing happens every time: Either your deck slows down the game to a grind, the board state becomes a stalemate, you end up giving far too many resources to one person (causing the rest of the players to get upset) or people find you to be a nuisance because you are taking the fun out of their deck by changing the game. Another big problem about these archetypes is that they end up being a fairly sizable trade-off between changing other people's board state and changing your own (i.e. you have no board presence because you were too busy putting vows on everything). This deck is an attempt at finding the optimal balance between politics/group hug/chaos/group slug and having a fun, fair game that you can still be a big player in.

If you were to look at this deck in the most basic form possible, it is obvious that it is a group slug deck; you're dealing damage to players every turn and drawing cards from it. But in practice this deck has much more finesse than most group slug decks.

The idea of the deck is fairly self-explanatory: Ping your opponents every once in a while with Vial Smasher the Fierce to draw cards from Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist, but offer everyone else most of the benefits that you are gaining. People tend to not like Vial Smasher the Fierce all that much, but if you are in a 4-way game, people tend to be willing to roll the dice and take about (on average) 4 damage (or more like 1 damage a round if there was no variance) in order to reap the benefits of Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist.

The thing that sets this deck apart from most group slug decks is that people are usually willing to take the damage that you are dishing out, and half of the reason for this is the fact that the deck works fairly gradually; If you are set out to do something, it is pretty obvious what you are trying to do. This makes you much less of a threat than, say, an infinite combo deck, because it is safe to leave you on the sideline while bigger threats are taken care of.

Another big thing about this deck is that a lot of the time the damage/detriment that is incurred on players is reasonably fair. With Vial Smasher the Fierce, damage is assigned at random, and it isn't all that big of a deal unless it was from a 7-drop. With Fevered Visions, Oath of Mages and Rivalry, damage is dealt to those who have the most resources (hence the reason why I am not including Spiteful Visions in the deck). Sure, Deadly Designs can kill two creatures, but the only time that it would actually be worth using is if there is a big threat on the board and other players agree to help you (otherwise it is a 12-mana Curtains' Call). Sure Fatal Lore, Browbeat, Pain's Reward, Plague of Vermin, Emberwilde Djinn and Vexing Devil can all hurt players pretty badly, but it will only do so if they so choose. In general, people don't mind taking damage or paying resources if they have a choice in the matter (and it isn't intrusive like Rhystic Study).

Anyways, in general, while it seems much more like a group slug deck initially, this deck is meant to be more of a compromise between getting the whole table to have fun and doing well in the game. I am trying to show that the two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, and that you don't need to lower yourself to making everyone else have a bad time in order to do well in a game.


Updates Add

I feel like there is a lot about this deck that isn't all that easy to notice from simply looking at it, so I tried as best as I could to explain in the description

Comments View Archive

Compare to inventory
Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 month

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.98
Tokens 2/2 Knight, 1/1 Elemental, 1/1 Goblin, 3/3 Centaur, Monarch, 6/6 Dragon, 1/1 Squid
Folders Ideas?, Needs Work, Unique EDH, Cool Decks, Interesting decks, Commander, Neat Stuff, Need to try!, Think about, Commander, See all 85
Top rank #6 on 2017-12-04
Ignored suggestions
Shared with

Revision 21 See all

2 months ago)

-1 Counterspell main
+1 Vial Smasher the Fierce main
+1 Counterspell main
-1 Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist main
-1 Humble Defector main
-1 Vial Smasher the Fierce main
+1 Humble Defector main
+1 Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist main
+1 Notion Thief main
-1 Notion Thief main
+1 Triskaidekaphobia main
-1 Triskaidekaphobia main
+1 Illusionist's Gambit main
+1 Skeletonize maybe
-1 Curiosity maybe
-1 Deadly Designs maybe
+1 Deadly Designs maybe
+1 Curiosity maybe
-1 Skeletonize maybe