To start about the name: I listened to melt banana the band while brewing and playtesting it. For a while I needed to listen to the band while I played so I could focus. ADHD is a bitch like that. Otherwise, a bit about me before we begin: I'm an abrasive asshole who memes hypocrisy and yells at people for running bad cards or not playing competitively enough in cEDH land. My deck history for commander is something along the lines of pure trash pile elves, azami, edric, sidsi, yisan, zur/jeleva, yidris and some weird midrangy pile or w.e flavor of the month you can think of. I tried making a lot of crap work tbh.

I also played hella yugioh and some ish 60 card experience. I love ad nauseum. I love it so much.

In 2016, spoiler season was a riot. Discord was sad and full of despair over no good spoilers. Leaks happened, yidris was teased. Thursday comes, i look to my phone. Yidris is spoiled alongside thrasios. I knew. I saw the power and glory when others didn't. People told me he was shit, they told me “oh he needs to deal combat damage he's so bad! What if they kill him before you can??????”

But they were wrong. Zur connects and blockers don't matter all the time! They didn't understand how fantastic and wonderful he could be. I fell in love. But I had another lover. Ad nauseum. I loved ad nauseum I still love ad nauseum. I make this joke all the time and it I don't feel ad nauseum about it.

So I got-to brewing. I started with jeleva slim + green - fat that reversemermaid ran at the time. However that was then and this is now. If this primer is going to serve as a reason for you to play the deck and feel okayish running the gauntlet with melt banana. It’s going to need to provide reasons in the contemporary metagame. Over the course of time, I’ll update with older reasons that merited this deck, and give the time frame by set release instead of just pure date.

->While the deck has about 2ish confirmed flex slots, that number is actually super low compared to its peers that call themselves combo decks. So where other decks need to more heavily preside for their locals, yidris doesn’t really need to. This is by design, I generally prefer blind builds as the stock list, rather than heavily specialized ones.

->Your main phase Ad Nauseam are consistent. Turns out when you design your deck ton consistently cast and resolve this card by turn 2 or better, or have a comparable play in the same window of time, those plans synergize and support each other. I’m not saying that you can’t whiff, lord knows i have, but I am saying that having a line is very likely. .

->Melt banana is very good at playing counterspell hot potato with a table. This is a complicated idea for newer players, but it goes back to the idea of tempo and the clock. Your clock is consistent and fast, and you don’t actually need to jam at the wrong time. If you know the table composition, you’ll have a very solid idea about which spells are safe to throw out because countering them is a game loss and which ones are not and you need to sandbag them.

->You don’t like the counterspell dork core that makes up the bulk of modern cedh decks in 2018. While this ties into the previous point, we have access to a lot of varied anti hate should we choose. I want to work on a more discard heavy brew, or something that can play counterspells but not sacrifice utility. There’s a certain limit to how far we can take this, but that can easily be said for blue heavy counterspells.

->I’m also a big fan of how much shit there is to do in melt. I’ve tried other decks but other decks don’t have lines as synergistic as melt does, so if I wanted to transition into a different line, I wouldn’t be able to.

This isn’t to say that melt doesn’t have flaws, oh my. What did you think this was, a hype post where i get to avoid the 2 years of constant bullshit telling me why my deck is bad?. I’ll post some of the more relevant ones that aren’t just people not knowing how to play magic.

->This deck is expensive and a lot of the cards don’t have in line budget replacements,

->Without a good plan for a pod's composition and confidence in your role of a pod, yidris can feel very play-draw dependent vs some decks. However this does go away as you learn what the matchup is from the other side.

->Sometimes you have to go all in and then you get forced and because of how extra jammy our deck can be, we need the read to play around counterspells.

->It’s extremely important that you can read your opponents. This is beyond simple casual politics, this is delving into actual magic skill. Free information you can gain from players is extremely valuable. You’re looking to reverse engineer the contents of their hand and deck based on how your opponents fetched, how they responded to your jokes and comments, and how they carry themselves even before they sit down. Unfortunately the hard part is learning what those tells, and what those sequencing things mean in cedh. While i can’t help with your intuitive area regardless, I want to get around to helping how to read player sequences.

The goal is simple. Your cascades should not be for value. You should be winning. Every cmc 1 card becomes a 0 automatically, every 2 is a 1 or 0 and every 0 is actually a reveal and shuffle, etc. Let that sink in. This is hella consistent if you know how to perform basic probability manipulation. That being said, I’m a painfully intuitive player and thinker, I’ll often stumble into the correct idea/solution with about as much grace as Shrek but I lack the skill to articulate the idea from Wolfie formatting to normal people formatting. As far as cascade goes, this will be about as much help as you’re going to get from me.

Cascade turns are some of your most involved turns playing this deck.When you’re casting spells, you should be maximizing your chances to hit certain cards in the best sequence and then adjusting.

This bears repeating because it is that important. Each time you cast a cmc 1 spell, you get a mana positive option or a card draw effect that’s banned in legacy. This means for every one drop that you can cast, you increase your chance of hitting these cards. Similarly, Each two drop you cast, you’ll find a 1 drop or a 0 drop. But that’s obvious and not why we’re here. The important bit is the implication.

I think it’s important to understand what happens when you actually go through and resolve a cascade effect. Sometimes my 0 drop is at the top and that’s perfectly well. However if we’re going to maximize the cascade turn we need to pay attention! Doing some rough math, and assuming that n 0 drops are in the deck, you’ll be able to look at roughly your remaining deck size / n. Granted this is your statistical average that I did in the back of my head at 1 in the morning.

This means you have some control over how you sequence if you can remember what cards you’ve sent to the bottom from previous cascades. And by some control i mean that it’s absolutely critical that you do. This dictates what order you cast your 1s and 2s. It dictates what mana you float off cards like squandered resources or rain of filth. It also dictates how you sequence your way into a larger payoff cards. You're looking for one of your twelve 3+ drops or a relevant suspend card. Wheel of fate arguably the biggest reason this is possible with just 1s and 2s to start. Wheel of Fate lets you gas up when you’d normally be out of gas.

When you're sequencing 1-2s, order matters. It's a little more obvious when fishbowl is live, but casting your spells in response to another let's you sequence cascade triggers better more than not. Because the Cascade turns are a huge depends moment for how we go about it, I can't just say yes always do x. It's just something to keep in mind.

A lot of the time worrying how to sequence 1s and 2s in a cascade turn is controlling when you hit the wheel, what you cast that gave you the wheel, and assuring you have a plan post wheel to minimize bricks. As such wheel itself is the worst possible draw in this deck bar none. Like in general, a cascade turn isn’t that valuable if you can only hit mana off of it, so you either need another plan alongside it or a way to stick wheel in the deck again.

Ancestral Vision and Lotus Bloom aren’t as bad to naturally draw. Early on if you can develop while they tick down and threaten a win, the extra storm count and resources they provide can be fantastic bait and setup for mind’s desire. Doing this however can be tricky, your clock is way more visible than it would be otherwise, and astute players will abuse this if they can.

As far as the rest of the deck is concerned, the advice is going to get a bit more vague. Floating mana between spells and wheels in general, is difficult unless you’re told how to do it correctly. You should be looking for 2 of each color between your sources, regardless if you cast yidris or not. Generally speaking, Black > red / green > colorless ramp > blue. Blue is great for cantrips and Mind's Desire, does fuck all else. Don’t believe me? Go look at the list.

The plan without yidris is very similar: cast a broken payoff spell and assemble a lethal fishbowl. While this seems reductive, and it kinda is, its the best explanation for what we’re trying to do. Any opening hand you keep should be looking to accomplish that and departure from that rule of thumb needs some pretty extreme justification.

Basic setups are very fluid. There are two types of cards we use to combo. Starter cards and extenders. Starter cards are cards in this context are cards that just need mana to operate and not much else. ad nauseum, wheels, Mind's Desire, even yidris. They're used to get the ball rolling, getting us access to our other combo pieces and if maths right, the mana to cast them.

Extenders are cards that can be used to continue going when we otherwise wouldn't. They're usually better in the late game and need a bit of setup. You run them because your deck would be less consistent without them. Think Past in Flames, Yawgmoth's Will, to an extent twister. The longer you wait on these the better you are.

This thinking also applies to how you ritual and start bursting out of the gate. Cards like Squandered Resources or Carpet of Flowers get evaluated different depending on the gamestate. However the distinction is a bit blurry in general so don't focus on it too much.

Removal is a touchy subject. Other players will insist you run more, and also more blue, but that doesn’t really jive with cascade or like storm synergies in general. We want to run just enough anti hate and general purpose disruption to influence our spot, but no more than that. Each card we run, has to be as live as possible.

I've been using hand attack pretty aggressively from the early builds, right around yidris’ post counterspell purge. In practice hand attack is more versatile than counterspells. Not only can I hit counterspells preemptively, and you arguably shouldn't be hitting them early game, hand attack is a huge tempo move for us.

Most edh decks in general aren't built to run a Thoughtseize much less get their hand destroyed by it. To properly cast a targeted discard you need to answer two vague questions. “What are my outs and how do I lose this?” and “who do I target to give me the best outcome that I just described?”.

This is a lot of effort for 3 cards. However the skills aren't unique to just discard but evaluating every spell in the deck. We're trying to leverage every single spell into a win because of how unforgiving cedh is.

So while we have two flex slots, there are a ton of cards we could be running instead. These cards are your sideboard cards. The difference in going 5-1 at the GP and 0-3 drop. I don't think I need to give these a ton of explanation but if I do, i will.

Pyroblast, Autumn's Veil, Abrade, Natural State, Back to Nature, Flusterstorm are all super situational or just a bit too redundant. Abrade the least of the bunch as it kinda just solves most of an otherwise horrid blood pod matchup.

Mana Drain has held a slot because it's still a hybrid ritual but as of Assassin's Trophy I've finally found something to challenge it's dominance.

Aether Spellbomb went in as a removal spell but stayed as a cantrip.

Okay so maybe take out steam vents and breeding pool for a pair of basics. Maybe. Usually a dumb idea.

To summarize, these cards aren't included because I haven't tested them yet or they're kinda just not good in what we're doing. I'll update as new shit comes out that I need to shoot down.

Time Spiral, Notion Thief, and white cards are usually clunky and too defensive.

Winds of Change hasn't been tested over gamble

Bonus Round and Thousand-Year Storm are probably bad because they look win more as fuck

Fat spells like dig through time and treasure cruise of other spells for the wild and zany cascades are for precons. Leave them there.

And with that the primer is over. I hope you had a horrible confusing time that gravitated your head towards the table at a velocity reminiscent of a planetary collision.I know i sure did writing this, and learning how to play Melt Banana. I want to give a huge shout out to my boys Scoops and Shaper for the high key editing and direction they provided. Without them this primer would be garbage so hot it makes the sun look like ice cream.


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