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One-Land Spy, But In EDH This Time | *PRIMER*

Commander / EDH Combo Five Color Jank Primer


His mind whirled with grand plans, never thinking of what might happen if he were to succeed.

STANDARD DISCLAIMER: This deck is not meant to be competitive, just to be fun. You will have to mulligan about half of the hands you draw or more, making the deck inconsistent at best. This guide to keeping hands is to ensure you get the best hand you can, not a hand that will win you the game. Now, on with the guide.

The Mulligan Guide

The main rule with keeping hands in this deck is to NEVER EVER keep a hand that has no mana sources in it, no matter how much card draw or free cantrips there are, no matter how good it looks. Doing this will get you killed 90% of the time. Always try to keep a hand with at least 1 reliable mana source (Like a mana dork), some way to get 1 mana from 0 mana, and maybe a ritual or two. Card draw is also essential. After your mana is fine, try to get 1-2 cards that let you draw. If a hand has Hermit Druid in it, card draw is mostly unnecessary. You just need another creature since Narcomoeba will enter from your library. As for the rest of the hand, you want a few cheap creatures or utility cards to get you going. A hand with Dryad Arbor in it can't be kept all of the time, but it can be kept more times than most, considering it is a 0-mana dorks with no drawback other than summoning sickness. Once you assemble this combonation of parts, you should be able to get going without discarding to 7 cards every turn. As for hands that win fast, it is relitively unlikely you will get one of these. However, it does happen, and it typically consists of Hermit Druid/Undercity Informer or Balustrade Spy + Dryad Arbor or a card to tutor for Dryad Arbor, little to no card draw, extremely fast mana accel, and a 0-cost creature or two. You should almost always keep a hand that consists of these parts.

When Laboratory Maniac's flavor text is the theme of the deck, you know it must be weird. The way the deck works is by trying to get Dryad Arbor out of your deck, then using one of the win conditions. Hermit Druid is by far the best, enabling you to mill out even when Dryad Arbor is in you deck, then win by Dread Returning either Angel of Glory's Rise or Necrotic Ooze. If you don't have enough creatures to activate Dread Return, Narcomoeba and Lingering Souls will help get more creatures. Necrotic Ooze can win with the Kiki Jiki+Devoted Druid combo. With Angel of Glory's Rise, you want to return Laboratory Maniac and Azami, Lady of Scrolls, then tap either one of them with Azami to draw a card and win off of Laboratory Maniac. This is also the way to win using Balustrade Spy/Undercity Informer, but they don't work if Dryad Arbor is still in your deck. Unburial Rites acts as a backup Dread Return, for if you don't have 3 creatures or if Dread Return is in your hand. The final wincon is Goblin Charbelcher. With the Belcher, you can deal about 85 damage to a single opponent each turn if Dryad Arbor is out of the deck. If Dryad Arbor is in the deck, flip cards until you hit Dryad Arbor, nuke something, then stack Dryad Arbor to the bottom and try again next turn. Those are the wincons, so now on with the tutors and card draw, the mana, and the creatures.

Instants and Sorceries

Battle Hymn: With a lot of creatures on the board, this ritual can be better than any other in the deck.

Cabal Ritual: Typically the deck will have more than 7 cards in the grave, enabling this to net you 3 mana most of the time.

Culling the Weak: This card + a creature = mana galore!

Dark Ritual: The original ritual.

Desperate Ritual: This ritual can give your mana that one slight boost to activate Belcher, or anything else you may need.

Manamorphose: Filters like nothing else can, and cantrips for free.

Pyretic Ritual: Same reason as Deperate Ritual.

Seething Song: Generates huge amounts of mana, especially when paired with Pyretic Ritual or Desperate Ritual.

Songs of the Damned: Works before or after comboing off to generate substantial amounts of black mana.

Infernal Plunge: Not quite as good as Culling the Weak, but it does what it does well.

Rite of Flame: A great 1 mana ritual that is good for the same reasons as all other cheap rituals.

Enchantments and Creatures

Cryptolith Rite: Allows all your creatures to be Birds of Paradise, and is bonkers with Mass Hysteria.

Eladamri's Vineyard: Really speeds up the deck, and helps get out other manadorks.

Food Chain: This card is so powerful in this deck that with enough creatures, you can even power out Progenitus.

Avacyn's Pilgrim: A great mana filter that lets you get more colors into your mana pool.

Birds of Paradise: A 1 mana dork that can tap for mana of any color is essential to the deck.

Burning-Tree Emissary: It's a creature that filters your mana and replaces itself. What more can I say?

Chancellor of the Tangle: This is a weird card, but it's important if you have mana dorks in your hand but no ways to get the mana to play them.

Devoted Druid: An amazing dork that can add multiple green mana to your mana pool in 1 turn is awesome, but it also combos with Necrotic Ooze when it's in the graveyard.

Dryad Arbor: A key piece in the deck, Dryad Arbor serves the imporatant role as the only land in the deck and a creature at the same time.

Elves of Deep Shadow: This card is good for the same reason Avacyn's Pilgrim is good, just with a little drawback.

Elvish Mystic: One of the most vanilla, yet one of the best dorks.

Elvish Spirit Guide: Gives you free mana.

Fyndhorn Elves: The same thing as Elvish Mystic.

Llanowar Elves: Again, Llanowar Elves fills the same purpose as Elvish Mystic and Fyndhorn Elves.

Magus of the Vineyard: Fills the same purpose as Eladamri's Vineyard, except it is a creature.

Noble Hierarch: One of the best manadorks in the game, Noble Hierarch is like a normal dork, but can tap for most any color of mana.

Simian Spirit Guide: Has the same purpose as Elvish Spirit Guide.

Tinder Wall: A 1 mana wall that can be sacrificed to give you 2 mana and activates Hidden Herbalists. It explains itself.

Wild Cantor: An amazing mana filter that can trigger Hidden Herbalists, just like Tinder Wall.


Chrome Mox: An important artifact in the deck, Chrome Mox gives you colored mana, for no mana.

Everflowing Chalice: With plentiful mana rocks such as Mana Vault and Grim Monolith, Everflowing Chalice can sometimes be cast with 2 or more charge counters on it, though it will typically be cast with 1 or 0 counters on it.

Grim Monolith: This rock can generate enough mana to activate Becher as soon as turn 4, which without rocks is typically the time you would be casting it.

Lion's Eye Diamond: A sort of Black Lotus at times, LED combos well with Goblin Charbelcher and Infernal Tutor, and helps get combo pieces out of your hand.

Lotus Bloom: If this card is in your opener, you could be able to pull of a turn 4 win, even if you have no other mana sources.

Lotus Petal: Plays relatively like the Elvish and Simian spirit guides, but can get mana of any color, and can just be a free artifact if you dont need the mana.

Mana Crypt: One of the best mana rocks in the game, Mana Crypt can enable you to win turns faster than normal if played right.

Mana Vault: In this deck, it's a better Grim Monolith, which is really saying something.

Mox Opal: This card can be fickle, but with the abundance of 0-drop artifacts, it helps the deck an immense amount.

Paradise Mantle: A 0-drop artifact that can turn any creature into a Bids of Paradise by paying the small equip cost.

Serum Powder: This card serves 2 purposes: 1, helping to get the cards you really want in your hand, and 2, being a mana rock.

Sol Ring: Of course.

Springleaf Drum: A sort of Paradise Mantle.


Ancestral Vision: For only 1 mana, get 3 cards just a few turns later. Just an awesome card in general.

Cathartic Reunion: Just a card to discard combo pieces and draw cards from it.

Dark Petition: A normal tutor that will often turn out costing the same as a Demonic Tutor.

Demonic Tutor: The first, and still one of the best tutors, in the entire game.

Diabolic Intent: With the high amount of creatures in this deck, Diabolic Intent will turn into a Demonic Tutor almost all of the time.

Dimir House Guard: Can transmute for Balustrade Spy or Belcher.

Fabricate: Lets you tutor for that missing mana rock or for Belcher.

Faithless Looting: A better Cathartic Reunion which can be cast twice.

Gamble: A 1 mana tutor which at the worst wastes discards the card you were tutoring for, and at the very best, discards a combo piece and gets you a card.

Gitaxian Probe: A legacy staple which draws a free cards and lets you know one of your opponent's gameplan.

Green Sun's Zenith: A card banned in modern, for very good reasons. Lets you tutor for Drayad Arbor for 1 mana, then lets you tutor for it later and fetch Hermit Druid, winning the game.

Land Grant: A free tutor for Dryad Arbor.

Ponder: One of the best cards for filtering in the entirety of the game, letting you get just what you want, or shuffle it all away, with a guaranteed cantrip. Amazing when used with Brainstorm.

Preordain: Ponder's twin, Preordain digs less deep, but gives you a better chance of getting what you want.

Safewright Quest: A worse Land Grant.

Serum Visions: Pretty similar to Preordain, but it draws before scrying, so it is worse.

Sleight of Hand: Lets you go looking for combo pieces and mana sources for 1 mana.

Wheel of Fortune: The first wheel effect, and still the best.

Windfall: An amazing wheel effect that lets you refill your hand when you don't have one.

Winds of Change: Winds of Change is worse than Windfall, but is less mana.

Instants and Others

Brainstorm: An insane amount of filtering for only 1 mana, and can also be cast at instant speed.

Chord of Calling: With the large amount of creatures in this deck, Chord can often cost almost no mana for a card lets you tutor up Dryad Arbor or Hermit Druid to the battlefield.

Enlightened Tutor: Can fetch Belcher, Eladamri's Vineyard, or anything else you need to get.

Intuition: With Intuition, you typically want to fetch what you want, then 2 of these three: Faithless Looting, Yawgmoth's Will, or Eternal Witness, so you can get back/discard what was put into your hand.

Manamorphose: As I stated in the Mana section, Manamorphose is an amazing mana filterer, but it also is a free cantrip, which is awesome!

Mystical Tutor: It can get other tutors, or get a Green Sun's Zenith to fetch a Dryad Arbor or a Hermit Druid.

Summoner's Pact: This is a tricky card. Only use it if you need Hermit Druid, Dryad Arbor, or Wild Cantor, NOW. You can also use it if you have the mana to pay for it next turn.

Vampiric Tutor: The king of tutors along with Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor tutors the card to the top of your library, but is 1 mana less and is an instant.

Worldly Tutor: The backup to Chord of Calling and Green Sun's Zenith, Worldly Tutor can fetch a Birds, a Dryad Arbor, or a Hermit Druid at instant speed. Unfortunately, it puts it on the top, not the battlefield.

Mishra's Bauble: Drawing a card, even as a delayed draw, for free is amazing, simply put. Looking at the top card of someone's deck isn't to bad either.

Street Wraith: Drawing a free uncounterable card at instant speed is great, even if it comes with a cost of 2 life.

Eternal Witness: Lets you get back important cards, like cantrips, combo pieces, or rocks like Lion's Eye Diamond.

Kiki Jiki: Combos with Necrotic Ooze for infinite tapped copies of Necrotic Ooze, and can replicate mana dorks with haste to get extra mana.

Lingering Souls: Gets tokens from your graveyard while comboing off or if you need an extra creature to Cabal Therapy away a counterspell.

Memnite: Just a 0-mana creature/artifact for Culling the Weak, Infernal Plunge, Food Chain, Mox Opal, comboing off, or anything else you need it for.

Narcomoeba: A free creature for when you're comboing off.

Ornithopter: serves the same role as Memnite and can block fliers.

Pact of the Titan: Gives you an extra creature to sac to Dread Return or anything else, but can only really be used when you are going to win this turn.

Phyrexian Walker: Serves the same purpose as Memnite.

Shield Sphere: Works as an early blocker and serves the same purpose as Memnite.

Snapcaster Mage: The same thing as Eternal Witness in most cases, but is better since it costs 1 mana less and has flash.

Instants and Sorceries

Cabal Therapy: Gets rid of disruption your opponents may have for FREE while you are comboing off.

Pact of Negation: A 0-mana counterspell to stop disruption while you are comboing off.

Slaughter Pact: Creature destruction if your opponent has a Platinum Angel or something similar stopping you while comboing off.

Yawgmoth's Will: A supremely broken card, Yawgmoth's Will lets you sac and cast all of your spells, then do it again. For only 3 mana.


Sensei's Divining Top: Lets you filter repeatedly like no other card, leading you straight to your mana sources.

Spellbook: Keeps your hand together when you draw a lot of cards or can't do anything else.

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