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Planeswalker (1)


Description



The Undisputed Rasputin



Intro

Welcome to my Rasputin Dreamweaver UW Flicker Commander deck guide. Why Rasputin you ask? Well not only is he Russia's greatest love machine, he provides a generous amount of mana, can save himself from combat damage, and often goes under the radar regarding who wears the "target hat" at the table. On top of all that, he is fun as hell!

Before we go too far, we need to go over one imporant keyword.

Flicker - To flicker a permanent is to exile it from play, then return it to the battlefield at a later time. Typically, the permanent is returned instantly or at the next end step.
(See Flicker vs Ghostway)

Edited 06/2015 Show

Deck Concept

The design of the deck is based around flicker effects, which obviously interact well with both the general and almost every creature in the deck. When flickering Rasputin, this allows you to ramp out a big Sphinx's Revelation, fast Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, or unexpected Rite of Replication kicked. When used on your other creatures, provides incremental value which can help edge out the game in your favor.

Additionally, the deck has great interaction with Nim Deathmantle, allowing you to wrath with Rasputin in play, and return many of your creatures using his starting mana and the mana he brings back when revived.

Lastly, the deck provides a good amount of control while not simply sitting on counterspells. A multitude of wrath effects, exile/tuck, and bounce help you play interactively and not be that guy who never lets people resolve spells.

Execution

The deck has a number of attack angles that provide unique winning conditions at both the early and late game.

After tutoring up the key equipment (Nim Deathmantle and Skullclamp), you have yourself a black intimidated 7/2 beatstick zombie Rasputin Dreamweaver. That's right folks, three measly whacks from this old guy will do the trick. Throw on Swiftfoot Boots for haste and added protection.

More often than not you will simply fall into a number of interactions with your Rasputin and Nim Deathmantle that will lead to an inevitable infinite mana combo. While this is not the intent of the deck, it is there and open for abuse at your discretion.

Some examples of these aforementioned interaction include:

Rasputin Dreamweaver + Nim Deathmantle + ...
Phantasmal Image/Vesuvan Shapeshifter/Clever Impersonator =
Mirror Entity =

Obviously these interactions become more degenerate when bringing in outlets for the mana such as Skullclamp to draw X, Sphinx's Revelation to gain life and draw, or Martial Coup to make a hefty army of soldiers. It also goes without saying, Mirror Entity tends to enjoy exceptionally large amounts of mana.

More notably, when recurring with Phantasmal Image or Mirror Entity, you can easily abuse creatures with exceptional etb triggers such as Venser, Shaper Savant to return all of your opponents permanents or Karmic Guide to bring back all of your creatures.

There also exist some interactions that allow you to repeatedly recur creatures from your graveyard until you (or your opponents) have had enough WITHOUT using Nim Deathmantle. One example is:

Reveillark + Mirror Entity + (Karmic Guide OR Body Double)

This allows you to recur any creature with power less than 2 from our graveyard to play X times which will usually end the game on the spot. These become more complex/powerful when including cards such as Fiend Hunter or clones.

Flickering Rasputin even a few times can allow your small army of weak fliers to get more than large enough to knock a player or two out in one foul swoop when channeled through Mirror Entity

Either through Ghostway or Rasputin Dreamweaver + Nim Deathmantle or Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, a wrath effect where you get to keep your stuff is a great way to kill a player or two. Other methods that require more planning include Mistmeadow Witch or Parallax Wave

Clone something huge, then trigger it a few more times. Avenger of Zendikar wrecking your playgroup? Make one of your own and flicker it 2 or 3 times. Or simply get a few triggers out of your Diluvian Primordial and slam your opponents' spells back at their domes.

Discussion about Combos

While there certainly are infinite combos that exist in the deck, there are many points of discussion around them.

One, they are all 3 card interactions that are exceedingly vulnerable. Once a Rasputin Dreamweaver + Nim Deathmantle interaction begins, a simple instant artifact removal on the stack leaves your general stuck in your graveyard. No chance to go back to the general zone, he sits there for the rest of the game. I don't play silence effects for a reason :)


Two, every deck needs a way to win late game provided you did what your deck was designed to do. Green ramp decks can typically win off the back of a Tooth and Nail entwined once they have ramped X times. Black decks often tutor their way to late game victories through Exsanguinate or excessive graveyard recursion. Most blue decks go off of taking X turns and grinding through some combination of Omniscience and draw. Control decks are no exception. Control the game and rely on 2-3 cards to pull out a victory. It is no different than every other deck late game "I win" button.


Three, combos are optional. You are never forced to use them, or required to tutor for them. More often than not, I simply fall into 5-6 card interactions that just "goes off". Did I tutor into it? Nope. Do people still get upset? Sometimes. Do I feel bad? Absolutely not! EDH is the place for big things to happen.

That being said. most often the best games are ones where there are challenging interactions and an abundance of thought provoking magic. I highly recommend all EDH players do not build "combo" decks that intend to win the game the same way every time. Variety is the spice of life!

Cryptic Command vs Trickbind

As you can see, I have a copy of Trickbind in the main board and a copy of Cryptic Command in the sideboard. What gives!? In what world is a conditional counter better than a real hard counter with upside? Warning, this is a long-winded summary...

Well, with the recent nerf aimed towards anti-tucks of generals, Spell Crumple has (to me of course) lost much of its original muster and was replaced with Cryptic Command. Before, when players saw I willing left counter magic open, and they knew I played Spell Crumple, it was far too risky to throw out their general in the event that he would be condemned to the nether region of their deck. Now, acting as a simple Cancel, it doesn't hold that same fear factor for the most commonly cast and important resource of most peoples decks (their general). Cryptic Command was a natural replacement, being able to stop many of their other plays such as Time Stretch or Tooth and Nail, and can also act as a one turn Fog or bounce a key permanent. However, ideally our deck should be able handle the consequences of those spells resolving. It is the general that is central to most deck strategies, and thus a new card should replace Spell Crumple that aggressively makes players think twice before resolving one.

How do we instill that fear again? Well, Trickbind has a very unique property when interacting with flicker-esk effects. Allow me to provide an example:

I cast Voyager Staff. use its activated ability targeting your general. "That was a bizarre play..." you ponder to yourself, as you move your general away from the board, the shorthand most people use when temporarily exiling a creature to soon be returned. End of turn comes about, and you, bewildered as you are at my play, begin to move your general back onto the boardstate. Suddenly, I tap , and resolve Trickbind targeting the delayed triggered ability that was destined to return your beloved general back to play, thus trapping him in the horrible exile zone for the remainder of the game.

Yes, that is a atrocious outcome. A second read of the cards in question may be required, or a rule check to ensure that what just happened is in fact possible. Perhaps you may even attempt to move your general to the Command Zone now, but alas, as you may only do that during zone movements, it must instead be stuck, RFG and a harsh lesson learned.

The end result of this event? Next time I flicker your general, perhaps you avoid the risk and simply move him/her directly to the Command zone. Better safe than sorry, right?

Sure, that isn't always the result, but it does happen enough, and has enough synergy with our deck alone to make Trickbind and inherently valuable card. Considering the amount of removal (both spot and mass) the deck has, the bigger issues are usually etb triggers, activated combos, or planeswalker ultimates.

Thus, Trickbind often performs quite well at both instilling a certain uncertainty in our opponents when exiling their creatures with Parallax Wave or Vanish into Memory, and at stopping powerful and common abilities our deck cannot interact with otherwise. Plus, split second stops any opposing counterspells, so what's done is done :)

: Trickbind stops things such as:

  • Stops creatures returning from delayed flicker abilities such as Angel of Serenity or Mistmeadow Witch
  • Prevents any enter the battlefield triggers (Sorry Avenger of Zendikar and Ixidron)
  • Stops planeswalker abilities (including ultimates) even though loyalty is paid
  • Stops storm triggers from happening
  • Prevents equipment from attaching to a creature
  • Prevents sacrifice abilities such as fetch lands
  • Stops the Annihilator ability from Eldrazi (eg: Kozilek, Butcher of Truth)
  • Prevent suspended cards from being cast after the last time counter has been removed (no joke, look it up!)
  • Graveyard triggers that shuffle in (Looking at you Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre)

As you can see, even without interacting with our own triggered abilities, it still remains to be a highly functioning card that is rarely "dead".

NOTE: Cryptic Command is still an EXCELLENT card and I routinely sideboard it in when playing in larger multiplayer games or when no one general present is a "MUST KILL ON SIGHT" type of role.


Misc. Deck Notes

Tutoring Targets

Transmutation via Muddle the Mixture or Drift of Phantasms give a diverse range of searchable targets to fill many situations. It is also uncounterable (except by Stifle esk abilities) and not limited to a specific tutor target type (unlike other / tutors).


Removal - Oblivion Stone, Fiend Hunter, Crib Swap
Flicker/Value - Ghostway, Ghostly Flicker, Crystal Shard (Bounce)
Tutor/Draw - Sphinx's Revelation, Trinket Mage (See list below)
Other - Stonecloaker (GY hate), Aven Mindcensor (Search counter), Mirror Entity (Win Condition), Coalition Relic (Ramp)

What is a blue deck without Trinket Mage!?
Sol Ring - Ramp is good!
Darksteel Citadel - Missed that turn 4 land drop? Don't worry!
Skullclamp - Amazing draw engine
Voyager Staff - Colorless, on command flicker effect, re-usable with Sun Titan, Sanctum Gargoyle, or Academy Ruins
(Also, Meekstone or Glaring Spotlight from the SB)

Much like transmute, targeted cycling can effective provide a diverse range of tutorable targets to fit the current situation. In this case, Vedalken AEthermage allows us to search for any of the following Wizards at instant speed.
Removal - Crib Swap, Venser, Shaper Savant (Bounce)
Flicker/Value - Snapcaster Mage, Mistmeadow Witch, Galepowder Mage
Tutor/Draw - Trinket Mage (See list above)
Other - Mirror Entity (Win condition), Aven Mindcensor (Search counter), Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir (No more instants), Rasputin Dreamweaver (Anti-tuck)
(Also, Glen Elendra Archmage from the SB)

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Date added 7 years
Last updated 1 week
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.62
Tokens 1/1 Shapeshifter, 1/1 Soldier
Folders EDH Decks, New Decks EDH, Untap, Blue/White EDH Decks, Likes, Rasputin, Decks n' shit I want, Things I want, Commander, edh ideas, See all 18
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