Introduction

Hello and welcome to my Aminatou, the Fateshifter primer. This is my 75% flicker control deck that seeks to abuse permanents with ETB effects with Aminatou's -1 ability to control the board while gaining value to get closer to victory. "Flicker" is the nickname (alluding to the effect of its namesake, the Urza's Destiny card Flicker) for exiling something, then returning it to the battlefield. With the introduction of Aminatou, esper has brought flicker to a whole new level. In the past, flicker generals like Brago, King Eternal or Roon of the Hidden Realm are limited by the lack of haste or some kind of restriction like requiring the combat step. Aminatou, the Fateshifter eliminates most of the problems those commanders faced as she can activate the flicker ability immediately, costs only 3 mana, dodges creature removals, targets permanents, and is part of an infinite combo suite. Access to black meant increased consistency in assembling any synergies or combos due to unrestricted tutors. Having access to black also meant an easier path to an infinite combo payout unlike Bant or Azorious.

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Her Story

Aminatou's magic revolves around fate and the manipulation of destiny. She can perceive the matrix of fate and foresee the destinies of others. Aminatou's spark ignited at an incredibly young age, and for seemingly no reason at all. If one were to ask her why it did so, she would answer, "Because I foresaw it would one day, and I decided I didn't want to wait for that."

Like all eight-year-olds, Aminatou is playful and fickle. Her own destiny is something she toys with on a daily basis; some days she'll grow up to be a singer, other days a powerful wizard, some days a trainer of beautiful beasts and other days a conquering queen. She is young, but because of her powers, possesses the knowledge of a lifetime. That knowledge is often offset by her childlike capriciousness—it may be one thing to wield great knowledge, but utilizing it can be difficult when one still has the decision-making skills of a child.

Aminatou is mercurial but not impulsive, and pragmatic despite the chaos she leaves wherever she goes. A child's logic guides her choices for now, and while those who know her are certain she'll grow out of it, the results of her current temperamental nature can be worrisome. Aminatou's independent nature often gets the better of her; her parentage is a mystery in that she only ever has them when she wants to be taken care of.

Source

Her Audience

This deck is for you if you like:

  • Her flicker shenanigans
  • Synergies and infinite combos
  • Value and engine
  • Not being combat-centric
  • Complicated boardstates
  • Playing archenemy

This deck is not for you if you like:

  • Top deck manipulation more than her flicker ability
  • Straightforward strategies
  • The combat step
  • Making big splashy plays

Aminatou Analysis

+1 Draw a card, then put a card from your hand on top of your library.

Her +1 ability essentially gives us a virtual eight card handsize as it allows us to foresee the next draw, and if it's a good card, exchange it with a card we don't need this turn. This means we can setup a miracle spell, play something relevant, and also shuffle away a bad card with our fetchlands. All cards that put things on top of our library like Volrath's Stronghold and Vampiric Tutor also becomes significantly better. Since this deck's primary theme is flicker, her top deck manipulation ability will act as a strong enhancement to our overall gameplan.

-1 Exile another target permanent you own, then return it to the battlefield under your control.

This is the ability that this deck is based upon. Other than the obvious synergy with ETB effect permanents, there are other tricks this ability can do. The keyword here is own, which is completely different from control. This means that cards like Gilded Drake becomes obscenely powerful and is a Homeward Path effect at the commandzone. Another keyword is permanent, which means lands can be targeted too. This means that ETB lands like Bojuka Bog becomes a repeatable graveyard hate and the landfall mechanic like that of Emeria Shepherd can be abused.

-6 Choose left or right. Each player gains control of all nonland permanents other than Aminatou, the Fateshifter controlled by the next player in the chosen direction.

This is a very unique ultimate for a planeswalker and will likely not get activated very much. Her ultimate serves as a panic button in my build when I'm severely behind in the game. The fact that Aminatou is still under my control after she ultimates, means that I can slowly get back my permanents over the next few turns. Another strong combo with her ultimate is Paradoxical Outcome/Teferi's Protection where you can cast it in response to her activation to retain all of your important nonland permanents in addition to gaining control off your victim's permanents. There is a way to make her ultimate useful but only with Oath of Teferi + Felidar Guardian combo and Aminatou needs one extra loyalty to be able to survive her own ultimate. This will give Aminatou infinite -1 flicker activation to be able to get everything you gave away back to our control.

General Strategy

The general strategy is to get the value engine going as soon as possible. The value engine consists of an ETB permanent and the combination of a constant flicker effect. Thankfully, we already have a consistent flicker effect in the commandzone. Treat the library as a toolbox and use tutors to get whatever is needed for the given situation. This deck can easily spiral out of control and play archenemy once the engine is set up and it is better to have some access to protection before taking off. This deck wins via out grinding the table by stripping away their resources slowly or infinite combo (see "She Controls Your Fate" section for more information). I seldom use the combat step to reduce the risk of running into any combat shenanigans that may kill my creatures but it is an option when the table is low on life.

Early Game (Turns 1 to 4)

Our Opening hand should include some form of card draw/tutor and ramp to be considered keepable. Only drop Animatou when the coast is clear with some kind of ETB permanent like Baleful Strix in play for her flicker to generate value. Depending on the draw, aggressively tutoring for card draw ETB permanents is key in keeping us in the game.

Mid Game (Turns 5 to 8)

This is where we start to go off. Keep the board clear of threats with cards like Ravenous Chupacabra, deploy more permanents with disruptive ETB effects like Lavinia of the Tenth to set up an engine to control the board, and generate more gas by flickering permanents that generate card draws which we should have been aggressively tutoring for early game.

Late Game (Turn 9 and Beyond)

It is very rare that we will lose at this point if none of the engine is significantly disrupted. If we were to fall behind in our boardstate due to the table ganging up on us, we should work towards getting Aminatou's ultimate off and take over the player with the most threatening boardstate.

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The following card choices are organized by Interaction, Utility, Disruption, and Card Advantage for permanents that can be abused with Aminatou. As the list evolves over time, the cards below may not be accurately reflected and should just be used as a general guideline. Some cards will be listed in multiple categories as they serve multiple purposes. The general guideline is to diversify my permanents for a similar effect to not get totally blown-out by a well-timed boardwipe.

Interaction

The following are permanents that interact with my opponents via permissions, treachery effects, or removals:

Utility

The following are permanents that flicker, recur, ramp, or clone:

Disruption

The following are permanents that affects my opponents' gameplan execution:

Card Advantage

The following are permanents that nets me one or more extra cards:

Synergistic Combos

Infinite Combos (Win Conditions)

Infinite Turns (with Time Warp)

Infinite Mana & ETB Triggers

**I've excluded the obvious instant win Aminatou, the Fateshifter + Felidar Guardian + Altar of the Brood or Vela the Night-Clad combo due to meta reasons.

The Payoffs

The following are payoff cards to win the game after getting infinite mana & ETB triggers:

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Aminatou is an interesting commander that can go in several directions. Flicker and top library manipulation seems to be a popular theme. Her -1 ability works surprisingly well with stax strategies and I can see people using it in a more competitive meta. Stealing and playing opponent's stuff can also work with her and pairs well with her ultimate. My deck goldfishes a pretty consistent turn 7 win uninterrupted but that is with aggressive mulligan and tutoring for the combo pieces. There is also an option for hard mode to power down the deck level in a more casual pod by aiming to win with my opponent's stuff using clones and cards like Perplexing Chimera/Gilded Drake/Gonti, Lord of Luxury and ending the game by lowering everyone's health to 10 with Magister Sphinx to aggro out.

Please upvote if you enjoy the list!

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Suggestions

Updates Add

Played and won one round with Aminatou in a pod of Kira, Great Glass-Spinner, Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas, and Ayesha Tanaka. Notable experience:

  • Ixidron is the MVP and absolutely hosed the entire table

  • Ghostly Flicker/Archaeomancer once again proved to be a powerhouse

  • Tutoring for a draw permanent like Mulldrifter early game has proven to be a working strategy

  • Solemn Simulacrum has proven to be a dead card mid to late game and will be replaced with Thran Dynamo for more impactful ramp

  • Glen Elendra Archmage has been monumental in protecting my board from disruption

  • This deck has proven to be able to play an effective control game and archenemy provided that the right card is being tutored for the situation and careful planning is executed

Thoughts:

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Date added 2 months
Last updated 3 weeks
Key combos
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.45
Tokens 2/2 Zombie, 1/1 Soldier
Folders My Current Active EDH Decks, My EDH Brews, Interesting Ideas, Cool decks I can never afford, Cool ideas, Cool Ideas, Great Ideas, Uncategorized, EDH Decks, Overpriced decks that I fucking need but I’m to broke, See all 66
Top rank #1 on 2018-07-29
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