This is a tournament-level combo control deck. It is designed to win in high-pressure environments by withstanding incoming disruption, suppressing opponents, and using efficient and powerful combos.

This deck is built around a network of synergies; the combos have interchangeable pieces, and the cards that support them can be used outside of the combo as general utility cards. Because the number of combo-only cards is minimized, the deck's resilience is increased, and the odds of drawing dead cards are decreased.


The Primer


Comments, suggestions, criticisms, and ratings are all welcome!

When recommending cards, please remember that this deck is tournament-oriented and must only contain the most efficient and powerful cards available. Please do not suggest casual or otherwise nonviable cards for inclusion. Also, please keep in mind that the deck is based around a network of synergies; combo-related cards should be useful outside of their combos.

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Epochalyptik says... #1

Baral, Chief of Compliance


@Silverf1sh: Krosan Grip is a meta call, yes. I generally don't run it because I don't think the split second is worth the extra compared to Nature's Claim, but if that effect matters in your meta, it's available.

I cut Glen Elendra Archmage because of its cost. If you find that your meta is slower and grinds games out, you could theoretically justify that cost in order to get a double-use counter effect.

January 4, 2017 11:53 a.m.

Emzed says... #2

You only have 17 cards that actually get cheaper from Baral (if we don't count hardcast FoW) and having cheaper spells that now cost mostly colored mana isn't necessarily great with the high number of colorless sources in your deck. It negates the effect of Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and similar stax cards partially, and it ramps towards Tooth and Nail (though not in form of extra lands, which you need in order to combo). The looting ability seems really sweet, and the combination of both effects does look attractive, but it's tough to evaluate without playtesting.

January 4, 2017 3:34 p.m.

Epochalyptik says... #3

I wouldn't necessarily count as a downside the fact that the discount leaves me responsible the colored portions of mana costs since I would need to pay that anyway.

I'm more concerned with the fact that Baral doesn't do anything upon entry; I have to use it in conjunction with other cards. The cantrip is really what makes this a consideration, though. The question is whether a semi-reliable draw engine stapled to a reliable discount effect fills an important enough niche in the deck to warrant inclusion.

You're right, though. Not an auto-include; it would come down to testing.

January 4, 2017 6:26 p.m.

Emzed says... #4

Of course having colorless mana that you don't need to use on your spells isn't a disadvantage, i was just trying to say that the cost reduction also doesn't really matter in that case. The number of spells you get to cast in a turn might be more limited by your colored sources than by the total mana cost. Of course that doesn't happen all the time, it just factors into the evaluation of the cost reduction.
I also just noticed Baral's loot ability requires actual successful countering of a spell. If you are outmatched in a counterwar, he doesn't do anything and can't help to get you back into the game. Obviously, with the number of counters you are running, usually you should resolve a few of them, but Baral is certainly no Merfolk Looter that guarantees one activation per turn. But you can do some sweet things with redundant copies of Flusterstorm, targetting other copies and creating extra Baral triggers (if the Storm mechanic actually allows that, not entirely sure).

January 4, 2017 6:57 p.m.

Ishio says... #5

Epochalyptik: It may have been mentioned earlier, but digging through 114 pages of comments is rough. What's the overall opinion on Manabond keeping in mind Burgeoning and Exploration are in the deck.

January 5, 2017 2:16 p.m.

enpc says... #6

Ishio: Usually discarding your hand at the end of your turn is bad when you're a control deck. You could potentially generate a bit of value if Damia is in play but then you'd have no means of protecting her and she probably wouldn't survive.

January 5, 2017 7:13 p.m.

Ishio says... #7

enpc: I completely understand. I'm now thinking, even if it was a beginning of the game card, it'd be a dead slot in the 99 if not drawn in the early game. Thank you.

January 5, 2017 8:20 p.m.

Emzed says... #8

The newly spoiled Illusionist's Stratagem is more powerful than Ghostly Flicker since it allows you to draw your deck when comboing, any thoughts if that is worth one extra mana?

January 6, 2017 1:32 p.m.

BiggestJohn says... #9

I doubt the new flicker will work, in going infinite you HAVE to draw your deck and then some. The card draw is not a "may".

January 7, 2017 1:51 a.m.

enpc says... #10

By the time you've drawn your deck, you'll have enough mana to cast the rest of the combo pieces. That's not the issue. The issue is that outside of combo it's not as good as Ghostly Flicker. It only hits creatures, meaning you lose some good interactions with cards like Top or Cradle. Not to mention the extra mana makes it harder to cast.

January 7, 2017 2:19 a.m.

For those looking for a little more budget friendly ramp, consider Utopia Sprawl / Wild Growth / Voyaging Satyr. They synergize with Arbor Elf / Kiora's Follower. Cheers.

February 13, 2017 2:02 p.m.

ooop333 says... #12

Your land count is pretty high for competitive EDH. Have you considered dropping it down to the 31-33 range? If you do, you can also cut cards like Azusa and Burgeoning to add more control and diversify your wincons. Paradox Engine ramps pretty hard with cantrips and mana rocks, and it's an easy win if you get it out with Aetherflux Reservoir. Also, you should consider Leovold, Emissary of Trest and Windfall, and possibly Timetwister if you can get your hands on one.

February 16, 2017 5:40 p.m.

Emzed says... #13

ooop333 This deck uses Palinchron to win, so it really needs a good number of lands on the battlefield. With only 3 or 4 lands it's difficult to combo, that's why the land count has to be so high and why cards like Azusa are required.

February 16, 2017 6:47 p.m.

ooop333 says... #14

Emzed still, you should consider Leovold and wheel effects. alternatively, you can flash in Notion Thief the turn before you wheel if you'd rather hold mana for counterspells.

February 16, 2017 6:57 p.m.

@ooop333: This deck is designed to operate on a lands-matter win condition, where it needs a sufficient number of lands in play in order to make Palinchron or Peregrine Drake functional. Therefore, the deck leverages additional land plays and includes more lands than other competitive decks. I don't think it's productive enough to cut cards like Azusa, Lost but Seeking or Burgeoning given that focus. I haven't had great luck running a leaner land base, either, but I suppose it could be worth testing again.

For cards like Paradox Engine and Aetherflux Reservoir, consider the points I outline in the "Criteria for card selection" chapter of the primer. These cards are expensive and don't offer much to the deck in light of their costs. Paradox Engine is hard to fit into the deck's curve (the CMC 4-5 range is actually very difficult to play around) and its usefulness is only directly proportional to the number of mana rocks and land/permanent untappers I have on the field. Aetherflux Reservoir doesn't do anything particularly useful; it would only be viable as a win condition (as opposed to a utility card), and it isn't nearly as strong as the other win conditions in the deck.

Leovold, Emissary of Trest is a possible substitute commander. I'm less sure if it would be part of the 99; I have no experience using the card. If you have experience with it, please share what you've found.

I generally don't like cards like Windfall or Timetwister in this deck. There's a reasonable amount of draw power available, and I'm able to keep my hand full (or close to it) most of the time. I hesitate to spend at sorcery speed to refill my opponents' hands.

@Emzed: Regarding Illusionist's Stratagem (from an earlier comment), I think the limited targeting options and the extra cost outweigh the cantrip effect. I'm comfortable enough with the redundancy in the deck and with Ghostly Flicker's ability to fulfill its role that I can justify not including Illusionist's Stratagem. Others' mileage may vary, though; it's an interesting alternative/insurance policy for those who find themselves in need of one.

February 16, 2017 10:46 p.m.

Dankey says... #16

Has Foil been suggested? I feel a competitive, low curve deck like this would dream of having as many zero cost counter spells as possible. Also, this commander in particular is excellent at drawing the cards needed.

February 16, 2017 10:58 p.m.

I'm not sure if it's been considered before, but given the low count of Islands in this deck, I don't think there's enough support to make it work.

February 16, 2017 11:05 p.m.

ooop333 says... #18

Epochalyptik I don't know about you, but my competitive playgroup is almost completely made up of storm and combo decks that want to draw most of their deck in a single turn. Leovold is an include in pretty much any deck I make that uses the colors because he hoses their draw, works with wheel effects to twist their hands away, and replaces himself if removal is used on him.

February 17, 2017 11:33 a.m.

Silverf1sh says... #19

Epoch, when playing blue sun's for utility, what's the most you draw for? Do you simply leave open the room for counterspells in hand and go in, or do you have a set plan in mind?

February 21, 2017 9:55 p.m.

Silverf1sh says... #20

Epoch, when playing blue sun's for utility, what's the most you draw for? Do you simply leave open the room for counterspells in hand and go in, or do you have a set plan in mind?

February 21, 2017 9:56 p.m.

XxFATMAN247xX says... #21

Epoch, honest opinion on seedborn muse? I have this deck card for card, and i took out green sun's for Villainous Wealth, but thinking about adding seedborn and re-adding green sun's, what do you think?

February 24, 2017 11:26 a.m.

enpc says... #22

XxFATMAN247xX: Both of those cards are covered in the description under "omissions".

February 24, 2017 7:01 p.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 5 years
Last updated 2 weeks
Exclude colors WR

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 101
Avg. CMC 2.48
Tokens 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Bird
Folders EDH, EDH, edh ideas, Awesome EDH, EDH, 6. Funnihilator, Brilliant, EDH Decks, Other People's Decks, EDH Stuff, See all 453
Top rank #2 on 2012-08-19
Views 252820

Revision 58 (2 weeks ago)

-1 Polluted Delta main
-1 Tooth and Nail main
+1 Blue Sun's Zenith main
+1 Tooth and Nail main
+1 Volrath's Stronghold main
+1 Phantasmal Image main
-1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All main
+1 Sensei's Divining Top main
-1 Palinchron main
-1 Skyshroud Claim main
+1 Azusa, Lost but Seeking main
+1 Yawgmoth's Will main
+1 Damia, Sage of Stone main
-1 Nature's Lore main
-1 Birds of Paradise main
-1 Yawgmoth's Will main
+1 Hinterland Harbor main
+1 Gaea's Cradle main
-1 Kiora's Follower main
+1 Imperial Seal main
and 196 other change(s)

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