This is a CASUAL Vedalken-themed Control deck based around ARTIFACTS and giving them HEXPROOF

The main gameplan is to get Knowledge Pool then protect it with Padeem, making copies of it or resetting it to control access to spells.

Sideboard it out for Mindslaver in 1v1.

Ol' lady Padeem

"Impress me."

The Vedalken have always been one of my favorite tribes. They're like space aliens investigating a new planet, performing experiments on whatever sparks their curiosity with their super high-tech probes. When she was spoiled, I knew I had to build a truly Vedalken deck that loves to do what Vedalken "love" to do: control, experiment, and build complex machinery... but what would a Vedalken deck be without their Mirrodin MOTHERSHIP, the almighty Knowledge Pool!


Yeah, it's kind of gimmicky, but Padeem is a very flexible commander that can fit into practically any archetype really because artifacts are so versatile, so my instinct was to try and fit her into a control-shapeshifter deck. This approach gives the deck a lot more variety from game to game which keeps it interesting for me.

I found that some of the most efficient (fun) control artifacts were too low costed to trigger Padeem, but filling the deck with too many high costed artifacts didn't allow me to leave up counterspell mana, so I decided to go the clone route, copying the biggest artifact on the battlefield and running only a handful of my own to get the best of both. This strategy makes this deck very resilient and works well with Knowledge Pool. The low costed artifacts let me "drain" the pool so to speak by just spamming them all at once until there's nothing good left for the opponent to cast except mana rocks and useless artifacts. Counterspells are also a great way to stuff up the pool. By targeting my own spells initially, they never get countered, just exiled which leaves the counterspell in the pool. Unfortunately for the opponent, counterspells require a target on the stack to cast, so if someone is trying to get something out of a Knowledge Pool filled with counterspells, they will be forced to "donate" one of their spells to the pool. It also opens the door for opponents to counter each other’s spells with their own instants so be careful. It gets even weirder when there are multiple pools out. If a player controls them both, that player chooses which order their triggers resolve and thus into whichever pool to be exiled. In a sense you can "juggle" the opponents' spells sending them into empty or harmless pools, while you get to cast all of their bombs for the price of a trinket. Although this is technically a prison strategy, I tried to balance it by not making it too oppressive (i.e. no Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir).

When compared to other mono blue artifact commanders like Arcum Dagsson or Memnarch, Padeem seems pretty under powered. She is certainly a more casual choice and will not draw nearly the hate other typical combo commanders do, but she gives you security in building up your board and when/if you do decide to win the game, there's not much anyone can do to stop you. Her 1/4 stats make her a decent blocker in the early game, but she quickly gets outclassed by much bigger creatures. At 4cmc, she can get out as early as Arcum can but her presence is immediately felt whereas the Arcum player more often than not must wait a turn to impact the board. She is defensive by nature, which suits much larger multiplayer games and with Knowledge Pool, plus the non threatening card advantage she provides, there is more for you to do with those cards once the pool lands.

You could say that defense is the wincon. There is a way to play wherein you dig yourself so deep of a trench that the whole table falls off the board.
  • Ashnod's Transmogrant: Easily my favorite piece of protection for Padeem. It's cheap, easy to tutor, instant speed, and provides a buff in P/T. It's also useful in manipulating non-artifact creatures on the opponent's side of the battlefield for good/evil.

  • Mycosynth Lattice: This card is mostly upside. Turning everything colorless gets around Iona, Shield of Emeria and shuts off Ramos, The Dragon Engine decks, while making counterspells easier to cast off of mana rocks. This thing opens up a LOT of doors like multiple Maze of Ith or Academy Ruins activations, expanding the number of targets for our clone spells, as well as some tapping/untapping of opponents' permanents. Politically it could be used if someone is lacking a certain color of mana or if someone is threatening mass artifact removal or Null Rod, or if you really want to be a hero, flash it in response to All Is Dust. Most importantly though, it's a big artifact that gives all permanents you control protection. The one drawback is when an opponent has something(artifact) more expensive on the field, turning off Padeem's card draw.

  • Darksteel Forge: This big, BIG monster of a machine is Padeem #2, the largest artifact in the deck! Indestructibility is very tough to deal with, especially when it's also hexproof. This makes all your blockers into impenetrable walls and enables some really brutal combos that can remove any hope your opponents have of winning.

  • Lightning Greaves: The sorcery speed activation is a bummer, but granting haste is important for a number of creatures in this deck with some sweet activated abilities, as well as creatures you clone or steal. Hexproof is preferable to shroud, but when testing Swiftfoot Boots, I found the equip cost to be slowing me down. If I were to replace this, it would be with Liquimetal Coating, but Mycosynth Lattice makes that option unattractive.

  • Academy Ruins: The marriage between Island and artifact has never been more beautiful than this right here. There are so many uses for this card that it boggles the mind. No artifact is ever truly broken until the table knows it is coming back every turn with this. We can rebuild it, make it cheesier, and eventually win the game. This is always my first land to tutor. With Padeem triggering at every upkeep, you don't have to worry about what you might have lost in the draw step. It makes chump blocking routine and your tutors feel more powerful. If you have an artifact you want to keep playing, play this.

  • Buried Ruin: Ruins #2, not quite as good, but it can get around instant speed mill effects.

  • Elixir of Immortality: The final trinket... always a target to tutor. Protects your grave, hoses mill, and gains you life.

  • Maze of Ith: Most opponents will go for the easy damage and attack elsewhere instead of running through the maze. You can also offer a service to the players the turn right before you or provide someone an out when they accidentally run into a creature with death touch.

  • Platinum Angel: The big red panic button. This buys you enough time with all of the clone effects in the deck and it’s difficult for opponents to win when the game explicitly states you can’t. Some decks just can't deal with a hexproof/indestructible angel and for the ones that can, there is a Counterspell for that. Current record: win with -119 life.

I’m a big fan of clones. They are versatile, balanced, scale well, and a lot of fun because you will never have the same game twice, opening up so many possible lines of play the bigger the board gets.
  • Copy Artifact: Cost efficiency trades off with some synergy, but that’s ok, we have a lot of them. Be careful if this falls into the pool. An opponent can get around Padeem’s hexproof ability with EtB clones.

  • Mechanized Production: A clone effect that also wins the game. With Mycosynth Lattice, you can win with 7 Islands... or Mechanized Production itself if you get another clone effect... A self replicating replicator. There is a fair amount of token production in this deck and slapping this on Knowledge Pool or Platinum Angel may just win the game.

  • Mirage Mirror: An instant speed clone is very powerful. It dodges artifact removal and serves as a good deterrent to attackers that don't want to swing into a clone of themselves, but it becomes more interesting as a copy of Knowledge Pool. Because its imprint ability never took effect, it becomes an empty pool to funnel enemy spells into, furthermore because of a rule regarding linked abilities, those spells get trapped in exile at end of turn, even if it becomes a Knowledge Pool again on the next turn. This is the MtG equivalent of a black hole.

  • Sculpting Steel: The mediumest clone of them all!

  • Phyrexian Metamorph: One of the best clones since it can hit creatures as well and create a hexproof replica of Padeem.

  • Saheeli's Artistry: The most expensive clone is actually a second set of Sculpting Steel and Phyrexian Metamorph.

  • Etherium Sculptor: A good mana reducer that can block and be recurred with Academy Ruins. Foundry Inspector is an alternative but with 3 power and not being blue doesn’t play nice with Grand Architect or Meekstone.

  • Everflowing Chalice: I love this scalable rock since it is free to cast into the pool, but can be kicked out with counters on it if need be.

  • Grand Architect: Buffs Padeem and turns them both into Sol Ring. It can tap the turn it comes in which makes it better than Worn Powerstone in this deck.

  • Sol Ring: ...speaking of which

  • Chief Engineer: Similar to the architect, he makes the most out of the creatures in this deck by squeezing more mana out of them. He loves (goat) tokens and he can get carried away with a generator on the field like Trading Post. An important distinction to note is that convoke is not an activated ability and therefore gets around Null Rod and summoning sickness.

  • Mana Vault: Untapping and bouncing can get around the downside of this rock, but it's easy to grab and can lead to some stuff happening waaaay earlier than it should.

  • Basalt Monolith: Decent ramp on its own, jumping from 3 to 6 mana is right where I want to be, but it is most importantly the best way to generate infinite mana apart from cloning opponent combo pieces. The Rings of Brighthearth combo is pretty well known, so this thing draws a lot of hate if you play it early. Everflowing Chalice and Voltaic Key can work as a substitute in a pinch but it costs more mana to get it going.

  • Artificer's Intuition: With Academy Ruins to get them out of the grave, you can tutor out entire combos with any spare at EoT. My favorite pairs of trinkets are Meekstone&Pacification Array, Sensei's Divining Top&Voltaic Key, and also the mana trinkets.

  • Expedition Map: This thing acts as a bridge between tutors and fetches up utility lands while ensuring no land drops are missed. It’s usually the first thing to search for with the trinket tutors.

  • Fabricate: Sorcery speed makes me sad but it is good at looking for stuff.

  • Inventors' Fair: A tutor that taps for mana and gains life.

  • Kuldotha Forgemaster: Sacrificing and cheating out artifacts are both really useful, demanding instant speed interaction from the opponent. When Knowledge Pool is involved in both parts of the ability (thanks to Elixir of Immortality shuffling it back in before the tutor resolves) it becomes difficult for the opponent to piece together any coherent strategy.

  • Tolaria West: The land tutor for lands or Pact of Negation or a mana rock.

  • Trinket Mage: This guy is amazing. A tutor that blocks! There is plenty for him to target in the deck, and he can tutor up his own search engine by fetching Aether Spellbomb, bounce himself, fetch Expedition Map to get Academy Ruins and then draw the spellbomb every turn.

  • Whir of Invention: My favorite tutor in the deck because no one sees it coming and it usual only costs . There are too many sneaky tricks with this thing to list them all here.

  • Arcane Denial: In multiplayer games, setting you and another player back a card will make you both weaker and won’t make you any friends. Plus it can generate card advantage if you counter one of your own trinkets.

  • Counterspell: The standard by which all counterspells are judged.

  • Dream Fracture: This is a pet card for me. I think it has the most beautiful art in the whole game. It also takes the sting out of a counterspell and doesn't turn me into that blue player.

  • Forbid: This card is amazing and can really shut down the game with enough card draw!

  • Muddle the Mixture: A counterspell that can search for whatever you need. I tried to build this deck to have something for every situation at 2cmc.

  • Negate: Most of the really dangerous spells are noncreature (wrath effects, sacrifice effects, other artifacts, planeswalkers...)

  • Pact of Negation: Free counterspell that gets stuck in Knowledge Pool since no one wants to lose the game to stop someone from winning. It’s also tutor fodder for Tolaria West.

  • Stoic Rebuttal: counterspell number 2

  • Cyclonic Rift: Arguably the best blue spell in the game. The best thing about it is that you can’t pay alternative costs when casting it out of Knowledge Pool. Casting this at the end step then playing Knowledge Pool is a good way assume control of the board. Have you ever cast this in response to Windfall?

  • Nevinyrral's Disk: Blue has trouble destroying things so this covers the weak spots. Academy Ruins is great with this, as is Darksteel Forge, one of the cruelest combos in the deck.

  • Spine of Ish Sah: With Padeem, this is a really, really angry Howling Mine. This can combo with itself if you end up getting infinite mana. For example, this and Mirrorworks will destroy everything on the board while Vedalken Archmage will draw your whole deck.

  • Vedalken Shackles: These are a Vedalken trademark but usually get blown up, but not with Padeem out! You can be pretty sneaky with these if you play it right and it shuts down most decks that rely on their commander. It feels like cheating when you clone this.

  • Sensei's Divining Top: There really isn't anything like this card. It is useful at every stage of the game and very difficult to remove. By untapping it with it's first activation on the stack and tapping it again, it will net some card advantage. It's great to throw into Knowledge Pool because it keeps coming back to your library and can trigger Vedalken Archmage every turn.

  • Vedalken Archmage: At 4cmc and 0/2, this guy is very fragile. Aether Spellbomb and Vedalken Mastermind offer some protection, but he gets targeted very quickly and for good reason. If left unanswered, he will generate a ton of cards, especially if you are looping your own artifacts through Knowledge Pool since he will trigger once for the artifact spell going in and again for the artifact spell coming out.

  • Blue Sun's Zenith: There's no reason not to play this. It gives extra cards early in the game with the mana held up for counterspells as well as a wincon with enough mana. It becomes useless to opponents in the pool since X will always be 0 coming out and it will just shuffle back into the owner's deck. What I like about this is that if I do get infinite mana, I can’t use this to win if Knowledge Pool is out, creating a firm barrier between casual and more competitive lines of play.

  • Thopter Spy Network: I am really surprised by how powerful this card is. It’s not the most menacing thing on the board, but if left alone it will draw you into ways to protect it as well as givin a steady stream of tokens to block and protect Padeem from sac effects. It has earned its spot every time I’ve gotten it onto the battlefield.

  • Arcane Lighthouse: Many of the cards require targets to work like Vedalken Shackles, Pacification Array, and Maze of Ith, so much so that this becomes a necessary land.

  • Voltaic Key: A really cheap untap effect that is easy to fetch with Artificer's Intuition & Trinket Mage.

  • Grafdigger's Cage: Knowledge Pool only affects spells when they are cast from hand, which means commanders can still get on the field, but for everything else this is a way to keep everyone stuck in the pool. Incidentally, a lot of competitive decks rely on cheating creatures out from libraries and graveyards.

  • Master Transmuter: What a crazy card! You can blink any artifact for . This turns Spine of Ish Sah into a machine gun with some of the untap/clone effects in the deck. Blinking Knowledge Pool is also really useful when you want to fill it with good stuff or cut someone off from a spell. She's even useful to blink herself as a blocker.

  • Vedalken Mastermind: Not as powerful as the transmuter, but a little more flexible in terms of protection as he can bounce anything you control. He's more fragile, but way cheaper and not as big of a target and can be tutored with Muddle the Mixture. Also that flavor text...

  • Pithing Needle: So useful. If you run Trinket Mage, this is an auto include. Some combo decks have a difficult time recovering from this.

  • Shimmer Myr: Amazing flash enabler that gives Master Transmuter and Kuldotha Forgemaster haste (sorta). He's much better than Vedalken Orrery in this deck since most of the spells are artifacts and I don’t have to tap out for it. He's cheaper, he has flash, and he can block.

  • Avarice Totem: Seems like a lot of fun and since Padeem is making all my stuff hexproof, I can steal the biggest artifact then watch my opponents squabble over their stuff, wasting mana. It has a neat trick with Sensei's Divining Top and Elixir of Immortality where I can double activate totem in response to their abilities, trade them for something of theirs, then when the ability resolves the top/elixir goes back into my library leaving them with nothing. Worst case scenario, the opponent is forced to leave 5 mana open which is no small thing for . Best case scenario, I trade their Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger for a 0/1 white goat token.

  • Esperzoa: On the fence about this guy. I could use another bounce effect and 4/3 flyer is not too shabby and that art is so on theme with Extraterrestrials. He also has nice synergy with Avarice Totem, Mana Vault, resetting clones or Pithing Needle, Knowledge Pool, Spine of Ish Sah, and Mirrorworks. It gets around Meekstone and Aligned Hedron Network too, so it’s got a lot going for it.

  • Capsize vs Chain of Vapor vs AEtherize: I only have room for one and they all have their strengths. Capsize is soooo expensive, but it's reliable and can win the game as an infinite mana outlet in combination with Mycosynth Lattice, though Spine of Ish Sah is in a similar role. Chain of Vapor is super cheap, hits all the important stuff, and can be used to save all my good stuff for , but it can turn against me if I don't cover Padeem first. AEtherize sounds like another copy of Cyclonic Rift but just for creatures, which is really valuable, but requires the opponent to go all in with their attack, which isn't always the case and I really don't want to be forced to bounce a Bane of Progress.

  • Batterskull: I need a big dumb guy to smash people with, but I don’t want to go with Blightsteel Colossus because I’m stubborn like that and I’ve dug too deep into making this deck work with creatures under 5 power. This can get around Grafdigger's Cage when using Whir of Invention or Kuldotha Forgemaster, gets around Meekstone and Aligned Hedron Network, and gains me life. The bounce ability can also be abused here, as a combo piece similar to Spine of Ish Sah. The main appeal though is secretly, I just want to beat someone down with goats.

Knowledge Pool is a unique stack intensive card with 2 linked triggered abilities: one etb exiling 3 cards from each library linked to the second ability & one triggered on casting from hand linked to itself. It takes some getting used to to get the most value out of this card and it presents a lot of confusing situations, thus I feel some reference is necessary.

There is a great introductory article on this site here about the pool.

A briefer summary can be found on mtgsalvation.


From Gatherer

6/1/2011 : You may cast any other card exiled by Knowledge Pool, including one owned by an opponent. Any card exiled by Knowledge Pool’s enters-the-battlefield ability or its other triggered ability may be cast.

6/1/2011 : The spell a player casts from his or her hand won’t resolve if it’s exiled, even if that spell can’t be countered by spells or abilities.

6/1/2011 : If the original spell isn’t exiled (perhaps because it’s countered by another spell or ability before Knowledge Pool’s second triggered ability resolves), the rest of the ability does nothing. The player doesn’t get to cast an exiled card.

6/1/2011 : If there are no nonland cards exiled by Knowledge Pool, the original spell is still exiled.

6/1/2011 : You may pay additional costs, such as kicker costs, of the exiled card.

6/1/2011 : If the card has any mandatory additional costs, as Kuldotha Rebirth does, you must pay them in order to cast the spell.

6/1/2011 : Timing restrictions based on the card’s type are ignored. For example, you can cast an exiled creature card this way. Other restrictions, such as Spinal Embrace’s “Cast Spinal Embrace only during combat” are not ignored.

6/1/2011 : If the card you cast without paying its mana cost has an X in its mana cost, you must choose 0 as its value.

6/1/2011 : Any other abilities that trigger when you cast the original spell (for example, if you cast Emrakul, the Aeons Torn) will still trigger and go on the stack.

6/1/2011 : If multiple Knowledge Pools are on the battlefield, keep track of which cards are exiled by each of them. Whenever a player casts a spell from his or her hand:-- If all Knowledge Pools are controlled by the same player, that player chooses the order in which the triggered abilities are put onto the stack. The last one put onto the stack will be the first to resolve.-- If multiple players each control one or more Knowledge Pools, the active player put his or her triggered abilities on the stack in any order, then each other player in turn order does the same. The last ability put onto the stack this way will be the first to resolve.-- The first triggered ability to resolve will exile the original spell, then the player who cast that spell may cast one of the nonland cards exiled by the Knowledge Pool that generated that triggered ability. The abilities of other Knowledge Pools will do nothing when they resolve, as the original spell will already have been exiled.

Rules of IMPRINT

Each permanent with an imprint ability also has an ability that refers to the "exiled card(s)." These two abilities are linked. The second ability refers only to cards exiled as a result of the imprint ability, not by any other ability.

If all cards exiled by an imprint ability somehow leave the exile zone, or if a card isn't exiled by an optional imprint ability, or if the ability failed to exile a card because it was countered, then it is possible for an imprint ability to have no exiled card to refer to. In this case, the linked ability associated with the imprint ability has no card values to refer to and will only do as much as possible. It may do nothing at all. If a permanent with an imprint ability leaves the battlefield and then returns to the battlefield, it is a new object. It has no association with any cards it exiled during its previous existence.


Relevant rulings for Mirage Mirror interaction with the pool:

RE: linked ability part of imprint keyword

607.4. If an object acquires a pair of linked abilities as part of the same effect, the abilities will be similarly linked to one another on that object even though they weren’t printed on that object. They can’t be linked to any other ability, regardless of what other abilities the object may currently have or may have had in the past.

This essentially means when it turns back into itself at EoT all the cards that went into it remain in exile, unable to be cast again even if it turns back into the pool later since the game treats each transformation as a new set of linked abilities.


Relevant ruling for pool leaving the battlefield while trigger is on the stack:

112.7a Once activated or triggered, an ability exists on the stack independently of its source. Destruction or removal of the source after that time won’t affect the ability. Note that some abilities cause a source to do something (for example, “Prodigal Pyromancer deals 1 damage to target creature or player”) rather than the ability doing anything directly. In these cases, any activated or triggered ability that references information about the source because the effect needs to be divided checks that information when the ability is put onto the stack. Otherwise, it will check that information when it resolves. In both instances, if the source is no longer in the zone it’s expected to be in at that time, its last known information is used. The source can still perform the action even though it no longer exists.

The ability will still see the exiled cards even if the pool isn’t on the battlefield.


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86% Competitive

Date added 2 years
Last updated 1 year

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 102
Avg. CMC 2.83
Tokens 0/1 Goat, 1/1 Bird
Folders EDH Decks, Uncategorized, Mono Blue EDH Decks to Watch, Johnny, mtg decks
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