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This deck is one of the most fun decks I've ever put together. It does crazy things, is very explosive, and often times people just let it be in casual games just to see what it could do. In a previous iteration, I've once had every permanent on the battlefield turned into a manifest due to an opponent's Reality Shift.


Here's how it works:

Play Ink-Treader Nephilim. Target it with a cantrip, such as Crimson Wisps. You now draw cards equal to the number of creatures on the battlefield. Pretty soon, you can double that number, with something like Adverse Conditions or Spawning Breath, then draw more cards with more targeted cantrips. Eventually you can win with a giant token swarm (AEther Mutation), by gaining control of all creatures (Besmirch), by burning everyone out (Fiery Gambit), or by drawing your deck (Laboratory Maniac).


There are a lot of moving pieces to this deck.

All your effects get bigger with more creatures on the board, and these guys make tokens incredibly quickly in this deck. Silverfur Partisan makes things the fastest once you have Ink-Treader out, as it triggers for each wolf token you have when you get the copies from Ink-Treader, then the next spell you cast will have twice as many wolves to make triggers.

  • Any instant, targeted, draw a card effect; too many to list, see: Niveous Wisps

These are the meat of the deck. With Ink-Treader and any three creatures anywhere on the battlefield, these are better than Ancestral Recall. You can draw through your deck incredibly quickly, and you want to.

The important thing here is that they are creatures that tap for multiple colors of mana. There are a few cards in the deck that cause creatures to untap, such as Cerulean Wisps or Jeskai Ascendancy. Whenever you cause an untap with a cantrip and you have a mana dude out, you break even. With multiple mana dudes, each cantrip also becomes a ritual!

These generate more mana the more creatures are on the board, meaning if you have one of these and you start going off, you almost definitely won't need to stop due to mana. The Eldrazi producers are less useful, as the deck plays so many one-mana spells that can't use the colorless, but the cards are too good.

Dovescape is great here because it generates tokens AND counters the original spell that targeted Ink-Treader, but not the copies (since they aren't "cast"). This means you can hit the board with a Pongify effect and still have Ink-Treader around. Nivmagus is great because, since you control Ink-Treader, you control all the copies, so you can eat copies targeting creatures you don't want to target, such as opponents getting indestructible or your creatures getting blown up. A note on protection/indestructible instants: you can cast them in the middle of Ink-Treader triggers resolving, so you can stack the Ink-Treader copies of, say, a Pongify to kill your opponent's things first, then make your guys indestructible and keep them.

Threaten effects are classics in Ink-Treader decks: they turn into Insurrections for cheap! I play only Besmirch because slots in the deck are tight, and I want to be able to win in different ways. It's the also by far best one, as it's basically a double Insurrection; all of your the creatures have to attack on their controllers turn, and they can't attack you, and the other opponents' creatures will all be tapped from you attacking.

LabMan because you can draw your deck very quickly (I almost included Savage Summoning just so I could LabMan at instant speed and uncounterable with draw triggers on the stack).

With Fiery Gambit you have a million chances to flip heads twice, and you can continue flipping until you lose on your own creatures so you don't need to worry about removing them. You're also likely to be able to hit three heads on a couple of creatures, giving you a huge boost towards comboing off.

Confront and Ascendancy can make your team unreasonably large, just make sure you stack the Confront copies such that the ones on your creatures resolve last so they'll be that much bigger than your opponents' teams (or better yet, just cast after they make bad or no blocks).

One key part of playing this deck is that you generally want there to be as many creatures on the board as possible. That being said, there are often creatures you don't want to be on the board. There's a theme to most of the removal in this deck: it also makes creatures. These removal spells let you get rid of what you need to while maintaining (or occasionally increasing) the number of creatures on the board.

Two especially interesting pieces of removal are Snap and Harnessed Lightning. As mentioned above, Snap does wipe the board, but it also generates insane amounts of mana (you get the untap effect for each copy), so it's useful even mid-combo provided you can use all that mana to get creatures back on the field (you can also react to each copy, so if you just need some mana or to get some creatures off the board, you can let what you need to resolve then play a protection instant to keep the rest on the field).

Harnessed Lightning lets you selectively remove the board. You stack the copies so the ones targeting your creatures resolve first. Because you get energy for each copy, you get energy equal to 3 * the number of creatures you control, and you simply choose not to use any of it on damaging your creatures. Then, for each creature you want to kill, you get more energy and have a plethora to spend to kill it. One-sided board wipe in a token deck? Yes please.

  • Willbreaker turns each targeted spell into "Gain control of the board". Gotta be careful of untimely removal against it, though (protection instants are crucial here).
  • Isochron Scepter lets you reuse your best instants whenever you want. Bonkers
  • Unsubstantiate can bounce a creature, bounce the board if you hit Ink-Treader, protect your LabMan, or let you double-dip on a spell by casting the spell, letting the copies go on the stack, then returning the original to your hand to cast again (I suggest using this with Strength of Arms to get an army four times the size of the entire board AND give all your existing dudes +4/+4).
  • Supplant Form casts evacuate on the board but gives you a copy of everything that was there, so it's like a Mind Control that also retriggers ETB effects under your control (though everyone also has a change to replay their creatures...which is great for you if you hit something like Silverfur Partisan.
  • Berserk serves as both wincon and surprise removal. As a wincon it's pretty obvious, double your entire team's power and give trample. As a defensive option, you'll often have the biggest board out there and thus may be hard to attack, so when your opponents attack each other you can surprise-berserk the board, making the attack do extra damage, then killing everything that attacked.

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