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Primer and Write-up under construction, please pardon our mess. Thank you.

Competitive Sidisi Brood Tyrant Combo with a primer intended to be used in r/competitiveedh. Sidisi utilizes the three best colors in cEDH and aims to be a fast combo deck that has several axises of play with hard to interrupt combos and countermagic to protect them. It is generally accepted that this deck is potent and worth being afraid of as I have fought Tooth and Nail to earn my Tier 1.5 status, something I think my undefeated record in the swiss rounds of the cEDH spring tournament justifies. Sidisi is making waves in cEDH with myself and u/lilbrudder being chief among her pilots. The deck has several combos that are pretty cheap and most of the rest is format staples, here is a $500 Budget Build of the deck, this was thrown together and is very rough. I'll be working to keep it updated though.

This deck has evolved over time starting way back in 2013 when it was Sek’kuar the Deathkeeper. It was so bad... It was my first legendary creature and basically just Jund Rares from my binder. That got stripped down with the help of u/AdmiralFisticuffs and became Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord and his merry band of big idiots. The deck grew better and better as I traded for fancier green and black cards. Then, just before Khans of Tarkir prerelease, I was looking at both Sidisi and Anafenza as potential options for commanders. I decided that if I opened one at either of the events I went to, I would test them out, with the full intention of switching back to Jarad after I got bored. I opened both and chose to start with Anafenza, the Foremost an attempt at hatebears/voltron. It did not go well and lasted about a week. Then I tried out Sidisi. Sidisi, Brood Tyrant in her early days was more of a creature utility centered deck that used the combos from Jarad backed up by a small amount of protection and self-mill. I kept up with Jarad, making sure I never traded the cards away and picking up the new tech when I could. But something about Sidisi stuck with me. I kept updating the deck and she became a mass Living Death deck that was fueled by throwing all the zombies into the Altar of Dementia. Eventually I added Laboratory Maniac and started leaning on that more heavily on that as my win condition. The true turning point for the deck was when there was an EDH tournament being hosted at my school. I went, tagging along with u/Skuloth, u/angelforge, and u/AdmiralFisticuffs. I was not expecting to do well but I ended up making it to the finals. I lost to u/Skuloth, but the person I beat in the finals was u/ShaperSavant off the back of Strip Mine and Stinkweed Imp. From that point on I was a sucker for cEDH. I was determined to make Sidisi as good as possible because I believed in her potential.

With this deck, your opening hand should contain one or more of either a combo piece, a tutor, mana, and ramp. Once you get your ramp into play figure out what combo can most easily be tutored for. If you are short on Mana or Tutors, Hermit Druid only requires one card to go off. Razaketh, Muldrotha, and Jin-Gitaxias are big reanimator targets that can turn into a combo as the game goes on.

Now assuming you are still reading, that means the first combo was answered. From here you want to set up some way to get card advantage as you likely spent a lot trying to go off. Mystic Remora is one of the best cards in competitive EDH and don’t be afraid to just keep paying for it while you wait for the tools to come to you. When you encounter opposition such as graveyard hate, simply wait it out and amass resources to set up to go off when the opportunity arises. If it is one shot grave hate like Relic of Progenitus, Nihil Spellbomb, or Tormod's Crypt try to give your opponent something enticing to pop it on once you've set up another combo that doesn't require any of the pieces that will bite the dust.

If it becomes apparent that the game is going long your goal should be to set up some form of card advantage engine. Usually this comes in the form of a Mystic Remora you just keep paying for or a Sylvan Library, but since the graveyard is a heavy theme, you can also just cast Sidisi and start attacking as a way to see more cards. From there the goal should be staying alive and letting the combo come to you. Try to find the sneakiest time to go off and generally don’t commit before having a backup plan in place.

You Would Like This Deck If:

  • You want to be threatening to win as soon as possible. This deck can put up very consistent Turn 3 wins with Hermit Druid, allowing you to get under decks that are not immediately prepared to interact.
  • You want Turn 3 wins. Turbo Druid decks like this one, in my opinion, are no longer the fastest decks in the competitive EDH format. But what they lack in potential they make up for in consistency. Turbo Druid has probably the lowest variance as far as achieving a Turn 3 win which once I have finished compiling data I should have the numbers to back it up with a lower standard deviation.
  • You like graveyard based decks. Part of the resiliency of this deck is that all of its pieces can easily be recurred if there isn’t a consistent answer in play. Most interaction will only hold you back for a turn or two.
  • You want a deck that has clear win conditions, but many ways to get there. This deck a few clear ways to win (Lab Man, Muldrotha [and then the 4 or 5 different ways to win once the loop is established], and Food Chain) almost all of these combos have overlapping pieces and the support cards can take you in almost any direction.

You Would Not Like This Deck If:

  • You want to have super explosive games. While this deck can have contained Turn 1 wins, it is not the norm. If you do want to have those kind of games then I highly recommend Flash Hulk variants of the deck because they offer a lot of speed and more importantly instant speed wins.
  • You want a deck that plays no dead cards. This deck plays some real stinkers, but they are very necessary to the more intricate escape routes. Long gone are the days of Thornling, Grimgrin, and Phantasmogorian; but Thrasios Decks that can preform Twister Loops will yield less awkward draws if that is something you are worried about.
  • You don’t want to have to think. Yes, this deck has games where it just gets to jam its combo as fast as possible and not care, but if you play against good opponents who know what they are doing and can prepare for it, you have to work around a lot. Graveyard hate is very common in cEDH and figuring out how to either remove it or bait it out takes time and practice.

Results

Any deck is only as good as the games it wins. This deck can compete with a meta full of Tier 1 decks and I piloted it to an undefeated record of 7-0 in the preliminary rounds of the r/cedh tournament. Several people are helping me run sample games, but through goldfishing I can confidently say that this deck will average a turn 3 win (3.22 to be precise). Sidisi put up good results with my playgroup which consisted mainly of Tasigur Oath, Tasigur Control, Breya Combo, GW Selvala Stax, Tymna/Kidar Hatebears, and several other decks here and there. This is not a particularly friendly environment for a combo deck, but Sidisi is slippery and can win out of nowhere when she has been all but forgotten.

Food Chain Combo

Setup: Food Chain + Eternal Scourge

Using these two cards simply exile and recast Eternal Scourge netting 1 mana off of Food Chain each time. Once you have infinite mana, cast Sidisi enough times to mill Dread Return , Eternal Witness , and Walking Balista from your library using her ETB trigger. You will make several Zombies to use as fodder for Dread Return , use them to flash it back targeting Eternal Witness. Using that ETB, return Walking Balista to your hand and cast it for your preferred arbitrarily large number.

Muldrotha Combos

Devourer

Note: I am currently testing a version of this deck without Devourer because of how dead the card was outside of the combo and basically anytime past turn 4 or 5. I am trying out Apprentice Necromancer in its place at the moment.
Update: I decided to finalize the cut of Phyrexian Devourer from the list because it is certainly a fat useless card and while the combo is very protected, it stops working after a while. The replacement buried alive pile is now Necrotic Ooze, Hermit Druid, and Blighted Bat. This combo works at any point in the game and only requires 1G after reanimation. This allows the deck to cut Devourer for more interaction in the form of actual cards.

Setup: Necrotic Ooze in play, Walking Ballista and Phyrexian Devourer in the graveyard.
How it Works: Necrotic Ooze will inherit Devourer's ability to exile cards from your library to put X +1/+1 counters on itself where X is the CMC (People will argue this with you but the errata for Devourer says +1/+1). Then Ooze will also have Walking Ballista's ability to remove +1/+1 counters to deal damage to creatures or players. Simply exile cards from your library until the Ooze has enough counters to kill the table. If a player responds with removal that is not split-second, just put more activations on the stack until they die which will exile the effect and let you keep going.
Enablers: Buried Alive + any Reanimate will set up the combo in the most efficient way. Survival of the Fittest also does a stellar job. You can either cycle through the first two and cast Ooze, or pitch Ooze if you have a Reanimate in hand. This is best done on the end step before you untap because the longer you give your opponents to react and find graveyard hate the less likely you will be able to resolve your combo.
Total CMC: ~156 (This varies, check before you sleeve kiddos). So when you get the combo setup simply subtract the CMC of all cards in other zones and you will know how many are left in your deck. If you are activating the combo in the mid-game when you don't have enough to kill everyone you can kill the 2 most threatening players then leave counters on Necrotic Ooze and enough cards in your library to go for a few turns. Then when you untap, just clear blockers out of the way and attack, effectively doubling the damage of each counter. This number is always in flux as new cards get tested and rarely keep the same CMC keep in mind the CMC of your deck when executing this combo as each is different.

Devoted Initiate

Setup: Necrotic Ooze in play, Wall of Roots, Blighted Bat, Devoted Druid, Channeler Initiate, and Walking Ballista in the graveyard. How it works: Once Necrotic Ooze is in play you can use Wall of Root’s ability to make a green mana without haste. Then you put that into Blighted Bat’s to actually get haste and use regular tap abilities. From there you loop Devoted Druid to put a -1/-1 counter on Ooze and untap, and Channeler Initiate to remove the counter and make a mana. This gives you infinite mana of any color which you can funnel into Walking Balista to add infinite counters and deal infinite damage.

Apprentice Necromancer

Setup: Necrotic Ooze in play, Wall of Roots, Blighted Bat, Devoted Druid, Birds of Paradise, Apprentice Necromancer, and Walking Ballista in the graveyard.
How it works: Necrotic Ooze needs to gain haste with a separate mana source, then use Birds to make a B, untap with Devoted Druid, repeat and make another black mana. Then activate the Necromancer’s ability targeting the Necromancer itself, after announcing the ability you have the opportunity to use Wall of Roots to make mana to pay for the ability leaving you with a floating Green mana in addition to the extra Black mana. It will have haste and can reanimate the Ooze using the floating black mana. Simply repeat this process (without needing to pay for Blighted Bat now) until you have infinite green mana and kill using Walking Ballista. Credit to u/Noobzaurs for discovering this interaction, please check out the reddit post for a more detailed explanation (Link)

Hermit Druid

Setup: Hermit Druid in play without summoning sickness, 1 Green mana and either another creature or 1 Blue mana.

How it Works: Once you put your entire library into your graveyard Narcomeba will trigger entering the battlefield. Now the next step is to get 3 creatures in play to flashback Dread Return. If you only need one more then spend Blue to unearth Fatestitcher and untap whatever you used to pay for it if you are holding up protection, or you can use it to tap down an opponent's land then change phases. Once you cast Dread Return targeting Necrotic Ooze, you activate Necrotic Ooze’s abilities as described in the Devoted Initiate line.

Panic Buttons: Since most of the combo involves casting cards from your graveyard, sometimes the cards get stuck in your hand. Nothing feels worse than going to untap with Hermit Druid on turn 3 and drawing Laboratory Maniac. The 2 panic buttons we have access to are Memory's Journey, to give us a few cards back in our library to buy some time and not lose if we can't get Lab Man into play, and Phantasmagorian to give us a discard outlet from the graveyard if any of the key flashback pieces get drawn early.

There are lots of tutors in the deck to add consistency and redundancy to the combo elements as well as act as silver bullets if necessary. Some tutors are conditional and will search out different things depending on the circumstance but in general, they will perform as follows:

Chord of Calling : The primary purpose of this card is to put Hermit Druid into play before untapping.

Eldritch Evolution : Main purpose is turning Mana Dorks into Hermit Druid . Can also be used to turn a few things into Laboratory Maniac or Necrotic Ooze if the rest of the combo is already set up.

Entomb : Can complete graveyard combos that have been partially milled, get reanimation via DreadReturn, or to perform my all time spiciest play of Entomb Narcomeba for a surprise blocker (This is very bad and should be avoided). Entomb works particularly well with Shallow Grave .

Green Sun's Zenith : Almost exclusively cast for X = 2 to get Hermit Druid but has occasional other uses like mana dorks.

Intuition : This is a complicated one. There are several resources for intuition piles but the 2 main concepts are your pile should do one of 2 things: Get you one card and 2 ways to recur it, or 3 separate cards that are all equally scary. I have included a section on Intuition specifically down below.

Mystical Tutor : Usually, this gets either Buried Alive or a Reanimate depending on what you have in hand, Removal for problematic Stax pieces, Counterspells for protection, or a more versatile tutor are also common choices.

Tainted Pact : A doozy of a card that I need a lot more practice with. Will most likely get Food Chain or to exile your library when you have Laboratory Maniac in play. While risky, it can also be used as a way to draw into Eternal Scourge if you are also going for interaction. As a result of this risk and several bad runs with most of my library exiled I cut Pact and so far haven’t really missed it, but it can still be a solid inclusion.

Lim-Dul's Vault : Often times LDV is just a Vampiric Tutor stand in that loses you a bit more life. Keep in mind that draw spells affect how you can stack the pile and that you can also cast Sidisi to mill through 3 of the cards if they can also be useful in your graveyard.

Demonic Tutor , Vampiric Tutor , Imperial Seal : Catch All.

Worldly Tutor : You guessed it, Hermit Druid .

How To Trust Your Intuition

Intuition, and it’s unfortunately banned sister, Gifts Ungiven, are complicated magic cards to say the least. You choose 3 cards but an opponent chooses which one you get, well it’s not that simple. One of my good friends described the card as “probably one of the most skill testing cards in magic outside of Doomsday”. This complexity issue is compounded by another choice you have to make in EDH, not only do you have to choose 3 cards, you have to choose one of 3 opponents. In order to get what you want every time you need to both appropriately analyze your needs and read your opponents. The best way to do this is practice with the card but I'll do my best to provide some pointers.

Target Acquired: Intuition says “target opponent,” and this is very important to how you resolve the card. Choosing the opponent who has the worst threat detection is often valid as they are unlikely to see a convoluted line that you are setting up. An opponent who has been repeatedly scorned by the other two players or that you have ingratiated yourself upon is also more likely to give you what you want. On that note, it can be correct to provide unnecessary information by asking for a specific card that you want; or bluffing and asking for one that you don't. Ultimately, depending on what your understanding of your opponent is will influence how you choose your cards.

When you are the threat: If you can look at the table and tell that, as often the case, there is one other threatening player and two people you are significantly less worried about (i.e. The table is You, Scion, Kozilek, and Feldon) then you need to figure out which of the non-threats to target. The more persuadable opponent you could convince to give you what you want, but the other threat could do just the same working against you. More often than not, it is best to target the 2nd most gullible opponent at the table as they are both unlikely to know what you are doing or be persuaded against you.

Tutoring for a specific effect: Sometimes you don’t care which card it is, you just need to get a job done. Maybe it's killing a stax creature that is keeping you from comboing off, maybe it's removing a bothersome artifact or combo piece another player has left open, or even something as simple as getting counterspell backup or a less revealing tutor. This is a decision you need to make when deck building as including redundant effects is the key to consistency. If you want to have access to a certain effect, at least 3 copies of it should be present in your list. If you are willing to cut corners, you can cheat on slots by including versatile or catch-all cards. Sultai Charm and Chain of Vapor are excellent examples of these. There are significantly better options for various roles (artifact/enchantment/creature removal etc.) but by choosing the slightly less efficient option, the slots in your deck get more efficient. Charms and modal spells can also help disguise your intentions if you are not immediately reacting to a threat.

Tutoring for a specific card: Often times you need to get one card with Intuition. But how do you make sure you get the right one? Your options are to convince your target that your desired card is the least threatening option, or that you will get what you want regardless of what they choose. Examples of the latter are what you normally see discussed elsewhere and boil down to a pile containing "the Target" and two pieces of recursion such as, but not limited to, Eternal Witness, Snapcaster Mage, or Reanimate.

Examples of the former will vary from deck to deck, but here it usually involves making your opponent decide which combo they lose to. I'll highlight Hermit Druid in this section because this is another one of his jobs. HD is one of the boogeymen of the format and many players are rightfully scared of the card. This makes him a great decoy for getting what you want because many players are afraid to give him to you. That being said, HD is basically never a card you actually want to be given off of your pile. The combo relies on casting a 1/1 creature and then getting to untap with it after all of your opponents are aware of what's going on. Hermit Druid is so good due to his early game prowess and Intuition is almost exclusively a mid to late game card (Exceptions apply, yadda yadda yadda). A good opponent will give you the Hermit Druid, but as I discussed earlier, we don't target the good opponent.

Optimizing Intuition: This is where things get tricky. Once you get the basics down you need to start practicing how to make sure you always get the right card assuming your opponent chooses correctly. Hermit Druid is a good decoy at casual tables but once that stops working you need to get more nuanced. Catering your diversions towards that player will help persuade them to give you what you want. For example, if I’m targeting the Selvala elves player with a developed board I will put Toxic Deluge in, or Null Rod against the Breya eggs deck. If your goal is to shut down a specific player, targeting one of your mutual enemies with a pile consisting of the hate you want for player B, and 2 things that player C can’t deal with. For example, if Selvala Elves is getting a little too out of hand I can cast Intuition targeting Breya and get Toxic Deluge, Null Rod, and Nature’s Claim.

Intuition for Favors: When you target someone and need to ensure that you get a specific card it can often be helpful to ask for their specific choice in exchange for another favor. Maybe you have a removal spell for the creature that is beating them to death or can remove something that is shutting their deck down. Establishing goodwill with players will go a long way with Intuition so targeting a player you helped save earlier in the game is also usually a good idea.

The Double Entomb: So one of the reasons people speculate about Gift’s Ungiven being banned in Commander is the wording that says “up to 4 cards” allowing you to only choose 2 cards and send them both to the graveyard. Intuition, in theory, doesn’t let you do that. In theory. In practice, however, you can force through scenarios where your target has to give you a certain card which means you get to pick 2 cards guaranteed to go to the graveyard. For instance, let’s say you sit down at a highly competitive table with Zur, Prossh, and Selvala; Zur goes to cast Ad Nauseam before he untaps. That’s bad. Both player know that Ad Naus will effectively win Zur the game so you cast Intuition targeting either of the other opponents. You grab Flusterstorm, Phyrexian Devourer, and Walking Balista. Necrotic Ooze has yet to be seen so it doesn’t just win you the game, but they are already between a rock and a hard place. When all 3 people are united towards stopping a specific play is when the double entomb lines are best. A specific case with Double Entomb, if you are in the scenario where someone will be forced to give you an answer but you also want a reanimation spell you can get Dread Return and a target if you have enough creatures in play or in hand to flash it back you can even get your reanimation target. If not, you can grab Narcomeba, which will be put into play because it is still going into your graveyard from your library.

Start Your Engines: So intuition is really good at setting up graveyard based engines or power turns off the back of Yawgmoth’s Will or Life from the Loam. Life from the Loam, while not included in my list is an excellent card with Intuition. Loam and 2 lands isn’t a choice of what you will get, but when you will get it. Similarly to Loam, Unburial Rites or Dread Return are cards that can be used both in your hand or in the graveyard. Cards with Flashback or Dredge are always solid inclusions in an Intuition pile if you are struggling to find another card.

Fighting Back: Facing off against enemy Intuition piles can be scary, but by reading through this you can put yourself in their shoes. Think about what they want based on the board state, try to figure out if they are baiting you with a threat. If you know you are playing against a competent opponent with a competitive deck and you have no idea what a card does in their deck, be afraid. Tuned decks do not just randomly run bizzare cards like Goblin Cannon or Scapeshift, fear of the unknown will keep you alive. Often times, you can also just ask after you have chosen if they got the one they wanted. Having these casual conversations will help build a better Knowledge Pool about how to resolve Intuition, both as a caster and a target.

Notable Omissions

4 Horseman: Basalt Monolith + Mesmeric Orb are usually a mainstay of Sidisi decks, and until very recently were included here. When I made the change over to Mana Dorks as opposed to artifact based ramp I was more capable of supporting Eternal Scourge + Food Chain to accomplish the same effect in the same number of card slots. The advantage of FC is that both pieces are 3 cmc (relevant for Drift of Phantasms) and Half of the combo is a creature which is much easier to tutor for than artifacts in this deck.

Wheel Effects: Since the deck uses its graveyard as a resource You don’t want the draw 7’s that shuffle your graveyard back in. And as enticing as it is to refuel off a big Windfall, you are often times going to be giving your opponents more interaction. If your meta is already very wheel heavy I would include both Notion Thief and Windfall because more people casting Windfall means interaction is more likely to get wheeled away by another person and you can more consistently get the full 7. Notion Thief needs no introduction if your opponents are running wheels, so you might as well run one as well.

Land Recursion Package: Life from the Loam, Crucible of Worlds, Wasteland, and Strip Mine are all very useful cards but are more about grinding out eventual value in a more engine oriented build. If you include these cards I highly recommend Notion Thief as the synergy with Cephalid Coliseum is absurd.

Powerhouse Countermagic: With only 4 spots of stack interaction, my choices may seem somewhat odd. Mana Drain is deliberately left out because it does not fit with my gameplan. Mana Drain is at its best when you can hold up preventative countermagic, then use the mana advantage to power out a large threat the next turn. We are more likely going to be using counterspells to protect our own combo and none of our cards are that expensive. Despite the deceptively high mana curve, Sidisi herself is the most expensive card we ever actually cast given normal circumstances. Force of Will seems ideal for this deck, free countermagic that can be used to nullify any opposing disruption? The only problem is that the deck frankly does not run enough blue cards to justify Force because casting it is just not realistic from a numbers perspective.

Protean Hulk: Fresh off his unban, Hulk is changing cEDH in a big way. There are versions of Sidisi that run Flash Hulk to great effect, but my personal opinion is that the deck is better served by focusing on the other combos and getting a slight edge in speed of execution.

Misthollow Griffin: Most all in Food Chain builds include both enabler creatures but I think that only 1 is needed. Griffin has the advantages of flying and being blue, but since I don’t play Force of Will it is immaterial. Scourge has the benefits of not being “removable” before Food Chain hits and is the same CMC as FC which allows Drift of Phantasms to tutor both halves of the combo.

Thank you for checking out my primer for Sidisi Brood Tyrant Combo! I am always refining both the deck and description and love answering questions about it so feel free to leave a comment.

-Voidia (Lime_Blue)

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Date added 4 years
Last updated 3 months
Exclude colors WR
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

13 - 0 Mythic Rares

52 - 1 Rares

22 - 1 Uncommons

13 - 1 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 1.91
トークン 2/2 Zombie, 1/1 Spirit, Jace, 1/1 Bird
Folders Interesting concepts, EDH Inspiration, cEDH, inspiration, EDH, cutthroat canon, Inspiration, future decks, Willing, Unoriginal Deck Lists, See all 82
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