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Lin Sivvi's Basket of Deplorables

Commander / EDH Midrange Mono-White Tribal

JakeHarlow


Description

Note: This description needs extensive revisions to reflect updates and changes. To come at a later date.

It's time to make Mercadia great again with this mono-white Commander deck, headed by populist leader Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero. If you're "mad as hell" about the establishment's mismanagement of Mercadia City, then play this deck to help "drain the swamp." Lin Sivvi and her Deplorables are ready to help players return the power to the people, where it rightfully belongs.

Overview

This is a tribal deck based around the Rebel creature type. Mono-white's chief weaknesses (lack of effective card draw and recursion) are somewhat mitigated by this deck's Commander, Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero. Using an aggressive artifact-based ramp package, the idea is to use Lin Sivvi to tutor the deck's creatures onto the battlefield. Most of the creatures in this deck are of the Rebel creature type, or count as such via the changeling ability. Once a large enough board state has been established, the deck wants to win the traditional way -- by attacking with creatures. While most of the deck's creatures are quite weak on their own, they will eventually represent a threat when gathered in numbers and coupled with the deck's win conditions.

With enough mana, Lin Sivvi and accompanying Rebels with similar tutor abilities can quickly establish a board presence. This helps thin the deck out, with the intended result that the odds of drawing noncreature cards steadily increase throughout the game. As Rebels die, you will be able to dump mana into Lin's second ability to put them back into your library, where they are ready to be tutored again. This helps the deck stay resilient in longer games, and allows for the repeated use of Rebel creature cards that confer beneficial effects upon their deaths.

The deck espouses a midrange play style. Furthermore, owing to the inclusion of several Rebel creature cards with useful abilities for specific situations, it has the distinctive character of a "toolbox" deck. A solid, but not degenerate, removal package helps to ensure survival while you establish incremental advantages on the board.

This is certainly not the strongest Commander deck you can play. In fact, it is decisively on the weaker end of the spectrum. To be certain, there are cards -- expensive cards -- that would give strict upgrades to this deck, but I don't see most such inclusions as impactful enough to warrant spending lots of money on them. The majority of the creatures are from older, lower-powered sets. However, the deck's high-quality noncreature cards significantly offset this. With shrewd choices of play, many of these Rebels are actually much more useful than they seem.

I recommend this Commander to those who enjoy playing white and want to try something new. I will caution, though, that in playgroups for which highly competitive, tournament-level decks are the norm, this deck will almost certainly underperform. Lin Sivvi should do fine against average to even above-average decks. Most importantly, though, this deck is fun, and I believe your friends will enjoy playing against it.

Card Choices

Let's go through the cards. Within each card category, I will proceed in order from lowest converted mana cost to highest.

Creatures

  • Children of Korlis: This Rebel is an insurance policy that you may want to leave open in case you are about to take massive damage on a given turn. Leaving yourself open and flashing this in after you take your licks is somewhat similar to a Fog effect, but it nullifies all losses of life, not just those suffered from combat damage. Note that you still need to survive the sum total of the hits and/or sources of life loss you plan to recover from, before you sacrifice this creature to gain your life back.

  • Ramosian Sergeant: One of several generic Rebel creature cards with a "recruit" ability whose Oracle text reads: ", : Search your library for a Rebel permanent card with converted mana cost X or less and put it onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library." This ability is the primary theme of the deck, and it is important that cards other than our Commander have it, since we won't always be able to rely on her.

  • Amrou Scout: A slightly larger Ramosian Sergeant that can tutor for a larger pool of Rebels.

  • Defiant Falcon: Basically the same card as Amrou Scout, but with one less power, and flying. This one is another Rebel fetcher, but it wears equipment quite well as it is evasive. This is a great target for tutoring when the board stalls up, and it's reliable at accruing incremental value if you can equip it with one of your Swords.

  • Oreskos Explorer: One of the few non-Rebels. This is a very good card for land filtering, and ultimately, card advantage.

  • Ramosian Lieutenant: Essentially another copy of Amrou Scout.

  • Whipcorder: It gets stronger with our various untapping effects. Its ability can be used politically. In multiplayer, you don't know who an opponent will attack until his or her declare attackers step (by which it is too late to tap down creatures to prevent them from being declared as attackers). So, you need to make a decision about which creatures to tap before this step happens.

  • Amrou Seekers: This Rebel wears equipment very well, since it is rather difficult for some decks to block. A good remedy for board stalls.

  • Defiant Vanguard: This is one of the standout creatures in the deck. Tutor it in as a response to incoming attackers to block and destroy something. Lin Sivvi can bring it back out with little trouble (provided it isn't exiled). Its ability to tutor for other Rebels itself is just a bonus. This card helps us play a midrange game and is particularly useful when attrition becomes important.

  • Lawbringer: Repeatable removal against decks with red creatures. It can target most other creatures with Distorting Lens.

  • Lightbringer: Repeatable removal against decks with black creatures. It can target most other creatures with Distorting Lens.

  • Mirror Entity: A win condition, given enough mana and a wide board state. Has changeling, so it can be tutored for just like any other Rebel. Can be used as a combat trick in a pinch, too.

  • Nightwind Glider: Evasive, and a good answer for blocking or attacking through black creatures.

  • Outrider en-Kor: Flanking is fine to have. This creature essentially has indestructible in combat when you have Cho-Manno, Revolutionary or a creature with protection from an applicable color in play. It's good when you need to set up some sturdy defense on the ground.

  • Ramosian Captain: First strike is excellent, and more importantly this creature can tutor for more Rebels.

  • Shield Dancer: This is similar to Defiant Vanguard in that it can be very lethal as a surprise blocker. Its ability won't kill every creature, but there are plenty that it will.

  • Thermal Glider: Evasive, and a good answer for blocking or attacking through red creatures.

  • Zealot il-Vec: Very evasive, and works as repeatable removal against X/1's in a pinch. Wears equipment quite well.

  • Ballista Squad: Repeatable removal that makes for a surprisingly effective political tool. Untapping effects allow for multiple targets, though this can be mana-intensive.

  • Cho-Manno, Revolutionary: An excellent blocker that has good synergy with Outrider en-Kor. Survives all damage-based sweepers, too.

  • Heliod, God of the Sun: Utility and a mana sink. Only active as a creature, essentially, if we want him to be. Worth considering.

  • Pious Warrior: Flashing this in as a surprise blocker against something huge allows for significant lifegain. It's a good attrition tool for later in the game, and also discourages other players from attacking you.

  • Ramosian Commander: A bigger Ramosian Sergeant that can search for more Rebels.

  • Rappelling Scouts: Our most evasive creature and probably our best blocker. Wears equipment very well. Definitely one of the elite Rebels.

  • Reveille Squad: Flash this in before somebody goes to combat to discourage attacks. Untapping all your creatures grants another opportunity to tutor out more Rebels, provided you have the mana for it.

  • Solemn Simulacrum: It isn't a Rebel, but it is a format staple that we shouldn't be without in mono-white.

  • Changeling Hero: Counts as a Rebel, and has a fairly big body. Flashes in to protect valuable creatures from ill effects, such as an opponent's attempt to gain control of your Commander. Wise use of this card can rob opponents of opportunities. It cannot be played by itself, though.

  • Sun Titan: The top of the creature curve is occupied by this non-Rebel. It can reanimate most of the deck's creatures. It is the only way to bring Oreskos Explorer back from the graveyard, which can provide repeatable value.

  • Eternal Dragon: Recurrable late-game threat that wears equipment well. Primarily, though, it will cycle early for a land (it can also fetch Mistveil Plains), and sit in the graveyard until we need it. Mono-white struggles to pull land out of the library, so this card provides a rare instance of this with a late-game upside.

Artifacts

  • Skullclamp: Repeatable card draw. Lin Sivvi provides plenty of opportunities to feed this card, as do other Rebels with the "recruit" ability. Putting spent creatures back into your library with Lin's second ability allows you to keep the system going.

  • Sol Ring: Format staple for artifact ramp.

  • Distorting Lens: This has relevant synergies with other cards in this deck, but it really stands out when paired with Lawbringer and Lightbringer. This enables a very efficient removal engine.

  • Illusionist's Bracers: An ability doubler that allows for quick acceleration into a board state when used with a "recruit" ability.

  • Magewright's Stone: Used for untapping Rebels, generally so you can activate their "recruit" abilities again.

  • Basalt Monolith: Additional mana acceleration. The well-known infinite mana combo with Rings of Brighthearth will allow you, in some situations (specifically if you have Lin Sivvi and a repeatable untap effect like Sword of the Paruns or Umbral Mantle in play), to put all creatures in your graveyard and library on the board and pump them infinitely with Mirror Entity -- at instant speed. It is best to execute this immediately before your next turn begins, since you should be able to win the game that turn unless disrupted. It's also noteworthy that Skullclamp will permit you to draw your entire deck under these conditions.

  • Swiftfoot Boots: Provides protection for important creatures and also grants haste. This allows some Rebels to activate their "recruit" abilities on the same turn on which they entered the battlefield.

  • Heartstone: Reduces the cost of "recruit" abilities as well as other abilities on Rebels. An accelerant, basically.

  • Rings of Brighthearth: This artifact has a broad range of synergies in this deck. Obviously, it duplicates activations of "recruit" abilities, which is valuable. However, it can double all activated abilities on our permanents, excluding mana abilities. This means, amongst other things, that for extra, Mirror Entity's ability gets twice as big, artifacts like Thousand-Year Elixir get to untap two creatures, and cards like Lightbringer get to exile two creatures. This broad range of applications makes this artifact quite potent in this deck.

  • Sword of Feast and Famine: The biggest upside for us is that it makes it possible to untap all of our lands. It's still an offensive and defensive tool, and a good one at that, but its primary use should be as a mana accelerant.

  • Sword of Fire and Ice: Repeatable removal (or extra damage to players or planeswalkers) and card draw make this a very valuable tool.

  • Sword of War and Peace: Since our hand size can be pretty large if we are focusing on playing "recruit" abilities instead of cards from our hand, this card can provide useful life gain. Best when we are pursuing an attrition strategy, but is also good for being aggressive.

  • Thousand-Year Elixir: Speeds up attempts to create a board presence. When we have a lot of mana, this can facilitate a cascade of plays in which we tutor successively for Rebels with the "recruit" ability -- all at instant speed.

  • Umbral Mantle: Equipment that allows us to untap creatures. The lack of an equip cost makes this highly efficient, and is repeatable. The fact that it grows its wearer is quite a nice bonus that helps us assemble late-game offensives.

  • Worn Powerstone: More artifact ramp.

  • Sword of the Paruns: Another untapping effect that has the bonus of letting us get aggressive when our board is wide enough.

  • Thran Dynamo: Another artifact ramp staple.

  • Coat of Arms: A win condition to be kept in hand until we are ready to make a lethal attack. Allows for devastating attacks with a wide enough board.

  • Gauntlet of Power: Mana accelerant for basic lands that pumps our board.

  • Mind's Eye: Card draw, but be careful not to expend too much mana on it if you were holding up mana for another reason.

  • Caged Sun: Mana accelerant similar to Gauntlet of Power.

  • Dreamstone Hedron: Artifact ramp that can provide some card draw later in the game. Note that Rings of Brighthearth can enable you to draw another three cards when you sacrifice this.

Enchantments

  • Bound in Silence: This aura can be tutored directly into play with any "recruit" ability, and Lin Sivvi allows it to see use again and again, provided it isn't exiled. Furthermore, because of the rules regarding auras that enter the battlefield without being cast, this enchantment can be attached to creatures with hexproof and shroud.

  • Grasp of Fate: Efficient nonland permanent removal for multiplayer games.

Instants

  • Enlightened Tutor: Finds relevant cards to address most situations. Use it early to tutor Sword of Fire and Ice to start gaining value.

  • Lapse of Certainty: Countermagic can be extremely useful, and most opponents won't expect any from a mono-white deck. This card is surprisingly good in many situations.

  • Path to Exile: Staple creature removal. Of course we're playing it.

  • Swords to Plowshares: Staple creature removal. Of course we're playing it.

  • Crib Swap: Excellent, repeatable removal, since Lin Sivvi can put it back into our library.

  • Return to Dust: Efficient, flexible artifact and enchantment removal.

Sorceries

  • Gift of Estates: Puts lands in your hand if you fall behind on mana.

  • Open the Armory: Equipment is quite important to this deck. This can also find Bound in Silence if you need it and don't have a "recruit" ability available.

  • Wrath of God: Excellent sweeper.

  • Rout: The ability to play this at instant speed makes this a very strong sweeper.

  • Austere Command: Despite a high mana cost, this card is extremely powerful. Its flexibility allows it to answer numerous scenarios and exert control over a wide array of permanents.

Nonbasic Lands

Infinite Combos and other Competitive Options

Note: The following suggestions are for making the deck more competitive in a combo-oriented play environment. These cards enable infinite combos, or offer powerful utilities, that make Lin Sivvi much better in such settings. I personally didn't choose to build this deck with these cards, since I play in a more casual setting. However, other players may find them to be appropriate inclusions within their own playgroups.

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Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 month
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.87
Tokens 1/1 Shapeshifter, 1/1 Soldier, X/X Minion, Elspeth
Folders Commander
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Revision 21 See all

1 month ago)

+1 Everflowing Chalice main
+1 Mind's Eye main
-1 Mind's Eye main
-1 Fellwar Stone main