LITERALLY Everything Can Be Cast At Instant Speed!

Introduction

Welcome to my 75% Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage control/combo deck (with an instant tribal theme) where doing nothing is doing something! This deck is capable of drawing an obscene amount of cards with Blue Sun's Zenith mid to late game with enough mana rocks in play. With a healthy mix of permissions, draws, and removals, this deck can basically control the entire board without breaking a sweat! Nothing is better than sitting on a fat stack of cards while just doing things on your opponent's EOT. The cards in my decklist are mostly either historic, instants, or cards with "flash" for the instant speed tribal thematic purposes. As my list evolves, some cards listed in the primer will not be reflected in my decklist.

Rafwyn "Raff" Capashen is a distant relative of Captain Gerrard Capashen. He became the ship's mage of Jhoira's crew on the rebuilt Skyship Weatherlight. Rafwyn is a young illusionist with unruly brown hair who has studied at the Tolarian Academy. He is the son of Aron Capashen, who is the head of the highest house of Benalia. Despite his noble heritage he prefers to go by the name of "Raff". Raff offered to join the Weatherlight after his older sister Danitha refused.

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The Commander

Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage is a four mana human wizard with flying and flash. This allows us to hold up our mana and cast him at an opportune time. His second ability is similar to a Leyline of Anticipation effect for historic spells (artifacts, legendaries, and sagas) which gives us an option of a reactive draw-go gameplan while we let the table duke it out. What this means is that traditionally proactive historic cards with interactive effects like Tormod's Crypt are given a fresh new way to play them when the ability to play them at instant speed is introduced. Artifacts that traditionally come in tapped or with an upkeep clause like Nevinyrral's Disk/Worn Powerstone/Scourglass are also much better now since you can just flash them in at opponent's EOT. The same can be said about legendary creatures like Empress Galina, Arcanis the Omnipotent, or Ertai, Wizard Adept that can't activate their abilities on the turn them come into play but with flash makes them playable by flashing them in at opponent's EOT which essentially giving them "haste". The next section will go into more details.

Historic Spells (when given Flash)

The following are traditional proactive historic spells that are given a totally new way of playing with the ability to cast them at instant speed:

General Strategy

This is primarily a control/combo deck. The deck direction is fairly straightforward, which is to survive the game long enough through permissions and interactions to assemble our win condition. Early game is basically ramping with the plethora of mana rocks included in the deck and only answer any threats directed at us when necessary. Mid game is where we start deploying some of our bigger threat and start drawing a bunch of cards. We should be at a commanding position late game if we are able to survive long enough to win.

Unlimited Reusability and Never Decking Out

This deck is designed to never ever deck out by ourselves and having unlimited spells reusibility. This means that the removal or counterspell we just used will come back to our hand later. All this is achieved with the following engine:

With a draw mechanic like Azami, Lady of Scrolls or tutors like Mystical Tutor, we will always be able to quickly get our spells back to our hand and use it all over again ad naseaum. Chromatic Lantern turns all of our fetchlands into usable lands once all of the possible lands are in play. This also helps thin out the deck even more to get to our spells easier.

Notable Synergies

Isochron Scepter Imprint Targets

Win Conditions

Dramatic Reversal + Isochron Scepter + mana rocks tapping for a combined or more = Infinite mana

  1. Play Isochron Scepter and exile Dramatic Reversal.

  2. Tap any nonland mana source(s) to produce 3 or more mana.

  3. Pay 2 of that mana to tap Isochron Scepter and cast the copy of Dramatic Reversal.

  4. When Dramatic Reversal is cast, untap Isochron Scepter and your nonland mana sources.

  5. Repeat steps 2 and 4, making infinite mana and untapping of nonland permanents.

After generating infinite mana and untapping of nonland permanents, we can then proceed to draw our entire deck with Arcanis the Omnipotent/Azami, Lady of Scrolls/Blue Sun's Zenith and win with:

  • Blue Sun's Zenith = Force everyone to deck out (target an opponent and after BSZ is shuffled back to the library, tap Azami, Lady of Scrolls or cast Nexus of Fate to take an extra turn till we draw it again to continue on another opponent till we win)
  • Walking Ballista = Ping everyone to death (retired)
  • Capsize = Return every permanent to opponents' hand forever
  • Nexus of Fate = Infinite turns (never deck out and casting this forever with this being the last card of the library)
  • Memnarch = Steals everything

Alternatively, as mentioned in the section above, imprinting Mystical Tutor with at least and a draw engine like Azami, Lady of Scrolls available will enable us to take infinite turns with Nexus of Fate and draw into our win conditions eventually. If our combo pieces are removed or we can't combo off for some reason, the following are alternative win conditions to help us get to the promise land:

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The following are cards I've considered/tested but have decided to exclude:

  • Linvala, Keeper of Silence: This is a control deck and linvala breaks the spirit by being more of a death and taxes/stax creature.

  • Mindslaver: Becomes too clunky early to mid game and only useful when opponents have a good boardstate (which is rare when I'm piloting this deck).

  • Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir: The sorcery speed clause for my opponents is actually a double-edged sword. I sometimes need my opponents to shore up answers when I do not have one.

Visit this link for the budget version. The guide on upgrading it to the tuned version will be out soon!

+1 for some Raff Capashen love

raff

Suggestions

Updates Add

This deck performed exceptionally well multiple times upon playtesting. The following cards are amazing:

  • Settle the Wreckage overperformed every time I had it in hand. Totally wrecked an all out attack of indestructible (Avacyn) lethal attack in one of the games which turned the entire game around in my favor.

  • Torpor Orb never disappoints and is always relevant throughout the entire course of the game.

  • Steel Hellkite surprised me at how much better it is when cast at instant speed when my opponent is not given that one turn to prepare for it.

  • Whir of Invention is probably the MVP of the deck. The ability to get almost any answers at instant speed without Raff is incredible.

I've yet to test the following cards and may be cutting them if they under-perform:

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