Enchantment (1)

Creature (1)

Competitive multiplayer EDH Splinter Twin - I've been playing this list, more or less, for close to a year now and while I keep tweaking the configuration I've become really happy with the end result. Twin seems to occasionally pop up in cEDH conversations, but there's never been a full writeup done for the deck and EndStepTop keeps bugging me to put one together, sooo:

Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Combo.

"But why Kynaios and Tiro?"
"There must be a different general to use."
"Wouldn't five-color just be better?"

Don't sweat it chickpea, the boys are just here for the show.

More seriously, 5c Twin is a very different deck than UWR Twin. I personally just don't like playing black in competitive decks - especially combo decks - since I like the higher variance that comes with not running unconditional tutors. The base of the deck is squarely UR, so it's about deciding what other tools you want, and what cost you're willing to pay ("greatness, at any cost" lalalalalala). Ultimately, I like what white brings to the table more than any other color, both for card options and style reasons. Green is really just in here for Birthing Pod and that's about could certainly be better in many ways, but I think I'd have a lot less fun with the deck in that case.

Reasons You Might Enjoy This Deck

  • You like going infinite
  • You like winning out of nowhere in one quick series of spells
  • You like playing mind games with your opponents over critical cards
  • You played Modern twin and you still feel salty

Reasons You Might Not Enjoy This Deck

  • You don't like combo
  • You like controlling the table
  • You don't like playing without using your commander
  • You played Modern twin and you still feel salty

Real talk - UWR(g) isn't always consistent. I've closed games with this deck right out of the gate, but I've also sat on the same half of the combo for several turns in a row without a real out. Sometimes you just don't draw what you need, but other games you and the deck are just in sync.

Card Choices

We all know Splinter Twin, we all know the kind of results it put up for years in Modern and that one time at Eternal Weekend in Philly. Unfortunately, we can't run four-ofs, but that's just an excuse to get creative:

The goal is to combine one of the first group with one of the second, make a billion dudes, and kill everyone. Simple right? Simple.
The cards in the first half were (mostly) selected because they have flash, allowing you to leave mana up for other shenanigans and then win across your opponents end step into your own turn (end step, flash exarch, untap, upkeep, draw, twin, win).

"But why no Restoration Angel?!"
Well, that's ultimately a simple choice - Resto only combos with Kiki. Yes it has flash, yes it can save a creature, but every other one of the options in group 1 combos with Kiki, Twin, and Pod (with the exception of Copy Cat, which combos with Saheeli), so they all make the cut. Ultimately, Resto came out when Felidar Guardian was printed, which also spurred the shift to Green to include Pod.

"Combat Celebrant?"
This one is closest to inclusion at the moment, honestly. If it had haste or flash it would already be in the deck. It combos with both Kiki and Twin, but ultimately not with Pod or Saheeli. It might work its way in, but right now I'm leaning towards "unlikely."

"Bounding Krasis?? Derevi, Empyrial Tactician????"
Krasis doesn't untap Pod, and the color requirements are steeper than Village Bell-Ringer. Derevi doesn't have flash, and the color requirements are even worse there. If Woodland Bellower could fetch legendaries, I would be including both it and Derevi to patch all the holes in my Pod chain, but until they build a better bellower or print a nonlegendary Derevi I won't be playing either.

Birthing Pod deserves it's own primer. In fact, I'm sure it already has its own primer. So what's it doing here? Turns out Pod chains are 100% premium gasoline. Here's the default example:

2 Drop > Pestermite or Deceiver Exarch, untapping Pod > Felidar Guardian, blinking Pod > Karmic Guide, reanimating Guardian and blinking Pod > Kiki, copy Karmic Guide, make a billion copy cats

Turns out this works from any 2-4 drop in the deck. There are a few tricky chains that you need to navigate if you lose a link in the chain, but Wash14 has a really solid 5-color Pod primer available here.

The biggest problem with half your combo only being two(ish) cards deep is inconsistency. It continues to be the bane of the deck, but I like playing with a handicap and maybe an unconditional tutor just makes things too easy.

These are MVPs 1 and 2. Each one can single-handedly close out a game by chaining into Kiki Jiki, copying the Recruiter, and finding the other half of your combo. With Sneak Attack you can do it all at Instant speed for RRR. You go Glen Coco.

These are the only other real tutor effects in the list, with Intuition being the top contender. My go-to Intuition pile is Kiki, Twin, and Argivian Find. It's basically just a three mana instant speed Demonic Tutor sometimes...god I wish Gifts Ungiven was legal. The rest are all still excellent card selection - I've cut Gamble after having it kick me in the nuts more times than I can count. It's the main reason why I don't play Wild Research - that shit's scary.

I'm just here to draw cards.

These two are the only other PWs to really make the cut for me. Dack is just nuts and Nahiri's +2 makes her harder to kill while fixing your draws and her ult lets you grab half your combo for the kill. JTMS was just too slow and too easy to kill. 9 times out of 10 I was just paying 4 mana to Brainstorm.

Sometimes the best way to get around a counterspell is to walk right into it and then come back immediately after with the win.

I used to run more in terms of recursion but generally I've found that if I try to go off once, then fail, then try to go off a second time and fail again, well, I'm really just out of the game at that point. Then's about the time I hard cast Numot and just start griefing.

I try not to run more permission than necessary to protect the combo turn. These are what I feel are the bare-minimum you need to get by.

"But MrKrabs, why are you running Chant over Silence? The fog can't really be worth it!"

You're right, pretend voice, but you take one look at this and tell me it's not a better foil than this. Yes it's a dumb reason. Yes I stand by it.

"Delay vs Arcane Denial?"
This argument refuses to die and frankly I feel like the percentage point gain/loss for running one over the other is way smaller than the size that this issue has blown up to in the competitive community. I think they're both good. I think both do the same thing if you cast them when you're trying to go off. I think I'd rather replace it and be down a card immediately in exchange than never replace it and be down a card three turns from now. Delay is probably better suited to control decks, imo, but at the end of the day I think the difference is trivial. Run whichever counterspell you want.

I don't like playing a ton of removal in a combo deck, but sometimes /u/EndStepTop jams a cursed totem down your throat turn 1 and nobody else wants to man up and take care of the problem. Here's what's on the menu tonight:

Before you get started on Path vs Swords, I own 6 playsets of WPN Promo Path to Exiles. Used to be 8 playsets. There's simply no prettier way to exile something for just one white mana.

Rocks are rocks. Everyone has their preference on what they want to run and what they want them to do. Some people like to play Null Rod and make people like me cry. I run 15 rocks to help the deck build up speed.
I like to keep things more simple, usually. People like to run too many non-basics. I'd prefer to just run fetches, fetchables, and basics, but Command Tower is admittedly useful in 3+ colors.
A big part of card selection is heavily dependent on your meta, and there are quite a few choices I made here to fit the environment I normally play the deck in. Here are a few changes you might make to fit a different meta:
  • If you play against a lot of stax or Artifact-heavy combo, cards like Hurkyl's Recall and Vandalblast might be in order.
  • In more Creature-heavy metas, the addition of Surpreme Verdict and possibly Wrath of God.
  • For a control-dominated meta I'd actually not recommend more permission but more recursion, to help you assemble the combo through disruption.
  • Depending on the manabases you run in to, Back to Basics, Blood Moon, and Ruination are all good options.
  • I used to run Armageddon, Ravages of War, and Cataclysm. Not sure what meta they're best against, but they do make a funny Intuition pile.

Game Plan

Early game you want to go off right away, so hands with the combo or hands that get you to the combo quickly are choice. Sometimes you just have the nuts and can win on turns 2-4, often through disruption.

Barring a quick steal you want to stay under the radar. Try not to make enemies and quietly pull all the pieces together while gathering information on who has what sort of permission and removal (people looooove to advertise their permission and removal). Let other people fight to stay in charge. The only disruption you really care about is instant-speed removal and permission - taxing effects and board wipes don't really bother you since you only need to cast two spells to win. When you're convinced that you have all the pieces you need and the permission to protect it, kill everyone.

That said, this plan doesn't work against stax. When facing decks like those you're in a race to the combo, because you wont be winning the long game against heavy stax effects. You can still win these games, but you have to win them quickly before they can start hurting your board position.

Closing Notes

That's all there is to it, really. The deck doesn't do much else besides try to go off and it's best in multiplayer games, since it's excellent at keeping quiet until the turn you win. Good luck, have fun, make a billion dudes, kill your friends.

Oh, and if the only thing you have to contribute is a gripe about the price tag, please just move along. This is competitive edh - one of the top Ad Nauseam Doomsday Zur decks costs over $5000. Life might be a drag, but that doesn't mean you need to be.


Updates Add

Updated the primer to address a number of the common questions I was getting, so hopefully those will all be answered now. Reset the comments to clear the slate.

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