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Lin Sivvi's Basket of Deplorables

Commander / EDH Midrange Mono-White Tribal

JakeHarlow

Maybeboard


It's time to make Mercadia great again with this mono-white Commander deck headed by Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero. If you're ready to drain the swamp and bury your opponents in a tide of populist resentment, this is the deck for you! The establishment's corrupt mismanagement of Mercadia City has gone on far too long, and it's time to lock them up! No more Phyrexians are going to get into Mercadia illegally, because we are going to build a wall all the way across the border — and make Phyrexia pay for it! Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero and her "deplorables" are ready to return power to the hands of the people, where it rightfully belongs. Let's do this!

Commander

  • Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero: Lin Sivvi has two abilities. Her first is the flagship activated ability shared by many Rebel creatures, usually referred to in shorthand — both by players and WotC — as a "recruiting" ability. The Oracle text of a "recruiting" ability 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." The typical formula for most Rebels' "recruiting" abilities is that their activation costs are more than their CMC, and are able to find a Rebel permanent card less than or equal to 1 less than that. See Ramosian Sergeant and Amrou Scout as examples. Basically, most Rebels can "recruit" a Rebel card with a CMC less than or equal to their mana cost plus 1. So, the 1-CMC Ramosian Sergeant can find up to a 2-drop, the 2-CMC Amrou Scout can find up to a 3-drop, and so on. Lin Sivvi's "recruiting" ability is more mathematically efficient, though, and indeed is the best "recruiting" ability in the entire game. She can pay X and find an up to an X-drop. Basically, she does not overpay for a given CMC like all the other Rebels must do (Amrou Scout must pay to find up to a 3-drop, etc.). Furthermore, Lin Sivvi's second ability (which doesn't require her to tap) allows you to pay to put a Rebel card (not just a permanent — any card that counts as a Rebel, so the spell Crib Swap can also be targeted, for example) from your graveyard back into your library, where, in most cases, it is ready to be "recruited" again — either by Lin Sivvi herself or another Rebel with a "recruiting" ability. As we will see, this second ability is instrumental in allowing this deck to wage long wars of attrition against opponents — especially if they don't have much graveyard hate. In short, Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero is an engine that allows you to efficiently tutor for your Rebels for any situation, use them for value and/or interaction, and then get them back — again and again. We will be seeking to enable her "recruiting" ability to be used multiple times in a single turn via untapping and ability copying effects. This will help us build velocity late in the game so that we can tutor up a big board of Rebels at instant speed, and then use them to win the game!

Overview and Basic Strategy

This is a tribal, toolbox-type deck with an Equipment sub-theme. It is based around the Rebel creature type. What are the advantages of this? Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero and the Rebel subtype allow us to overcome two of mono-white's chief weaknesses — (1) its general lack of effective card draw and library manipulation, and (2) poor graveyard recursion. Using an aggressive artifact-based ramp package, our basic strategy will be to use Lin Sivvi to tutor Rebel permanents (usually creatures) directly onto the battlefield. By using the proper cards, we will seek to gain incremental advantages against our opponents by repeatedly answering their threats, denying them resources, and stymying their game plans. Simultaneously, we will build our own resources and amass enough mana and card advantage to quickly assemble a winning board state — at instant speed — when the time is right.

Individually, most Rebel cards are quite weak. However, when used in conjunction with each other, and when supported by other powerful cards such as artifacts, Equipment, and certain non-Rebel creatures, Rebels can be extremely effective. In addition to this, they will frequently have pseudo-flash and be immune to most forms of countermagic. Finally, because Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero allows us to recur Rebel cards by putting them back into our library from our graveyard — where they are ready to be "recruited" again — we can fight prolonged wars of attrition. Ideally, we will still have access to numerous lines of play after our opponents begin to approach the limits of their own resources. As this happens, we will be looking to quickly establish a board state of Rebels and use one of our win conditions to close out the game.

As we will see below, many of the Rebel cards in this list are especially suited for blunting the offenses of opponents who are playing aggressive strategies, and some even hose down particular colors — all perks which we will endeavor to use to our advantage. Our suite of Rebel cards focuses primarily on three roles: (1) resource denial, (2) answers to threats, and (3) tutor support (i.e. other Rebel creatures which have "recruiting" abilities). We will be repeatedly exploiting these three features until we are ready to make a quick bid for the win. Alternatively, we may also try to win through attrition and incremental combat damage, though we'd prefer to win more abruptly if able.

One final note before we cover the card choices: this is not a cEDH build. This is best described as a focused, "75%" list. If you are interested in building a cEDH-style list for Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero, there are most certainly ways to do so. I will briefly discuss some of the better-known and viable options for building a competitive Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero Commander deck at the end of this description.

Card Choices

Let's go through the cards. Within each card category, I will proceed in order from lowest converted mana cost to highest. I will describe what the card does, why it is included, and its general use within the deck. If you can find even more inventive and useful functions for these cards, please let me know in the comments!

Rebels

  • Children of Korlis: This is a strategically deep card that is bound to annoy opponents who are on an aggro plan. Children of Korlis is a Rebel, and primarily serves as an insurance policy in the event that you 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. However, it recovers all loss of life, not just that suffered from combat damage. Note that you still need to survive the sum total of the hits and/or sources of life loss before you sacrifice this creature to gain your life back. If you have 0 or less life, you still lose the game as a state-based action — so make sure you're going to still be alive when its ability resolves. Children of Korlis' low mana cost means that it is very easy to put back into your library and then "recruit" again with Lin Sivvi (this play only costs ). You can play its ability multiple times within the same turn for huge gains — and due to the fact that its ability doesn't require it to tap, it can be activated without regard to summoning sickness. For example, if you lose 20 life on a given turn, and then use Children of Korlis' ability to gain that 20 life back, you can use Lin Sivvi's second ability to put it back into your library, "recruit" it back into play, and then play Children of Korlis' ability again, gaining another 20 life (for a net gain of 20). You can do this even more times in the same turn by using the "recruit" abilities of other Rebels or by exploiting the untap and/or ability copying effects in the deck. It's important to note that Children of Korlis' ability only cares about life you lost this turn. If you've aggregately gained more life than you've lost in a given turn, its ability will still work, since you've still lost a quantity of life (regardless of the fact that you've gained a greater quantity). One final note about Children of Korlis is its role alongside Phyrexian Processor. It allows you to pay an enormous amount of life to the Processor, and then recover it (multiple times if you can, as described above). This will enable you to create absolutely gigantic Minion tokens every turn without leaving yourself deep in the red zone.

  • Ramosian Sergeant: This is the only 1-CMC Rebel with a "recruiting" ability — she can find up to a 2-drop. She will often be the first Rebel we "recruit," as she helps us build some early velocity and widens our field of mana sinks. The more "recruiting" abilities we have in play, the more quickly we will be able to put our entire suite of Rebels into play — and we'll have access to more lines of play in general. Finally, it is important that we play "recruiting" cards other than our Commander, since we must assume that there will be situations in which we cannot rely on her alone.

  • Amrou Scout: Generic 2-CMC "recruiting" Rebel with a slightly slightly larger body than Ramosian Sergeant's. It can find up to a 3-drop (which comprise the vast bulk of our Rebel cards).

  • Defiant Falcon: Essentially the same card as Amrou Scout, but exchanges a point of power for flying. In addition to its ability to "recruit" up to a 3-drop, its evasion means it wears equipment quite well. Sending a Sword-equipped Defiant Falcon at an opponent every turn is a great way to accrue incremental value.

  • Ramosian Lieutenant: Essentially an extra copy of Amrou Scout, with its power and toughness swapped to 1/2 instead of 2/1.

  • Whipcorder: This is a utility Rebel, and it doesn't have a "recruiting" ability. Instead, it can tap down creatures. It gets stronger with our various untapping effects in play. Generally, this is used to stop big creatures from attacking us, tapping mana dorks during opponents' upkeeps, and tapping down potential blockers so that we can deliver combat damage. Whipcorder's ability has political ramifications, though. 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 often rather difficult to block. Delivering combat damage with a Sword is its best early-game role.

MORE EDITING AND UPDATES TO COME; THIS IS A WORK-IN-PROGRESS

  • 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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Casual

81% Competitive





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Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 day
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.86
Tokens 1/1 Shapeshifter, 1/1 Soldier, X/X Minion, 2/2 Morph, Elspeth
Folders Commander
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Revision 26 See all

2 days ago)

+1 Eidolon of Rhetoric maybe
+1 Ethersworn Canonist maybe