Maybeboard


TK Divergent


What is it?
TK Divergent is a potent midrange deck that plays a suite of the best proactive and reactive control cards in the format to keep fast combo decks in check until enough card advantage can be accrued to force through a win. It was inspired by a list created by Lilbrudder and ShadowMizzix called Tymna's Transformative Fleet. By eschewing creatures in the deck you are able to guarantee a two-card creature combo at instant speed via Divergent Transformations and the only setup required is having two bodies on board, which conveniently you have in the command zone (in addition to other ways to generate bodies ). There are a number of “divergent” piles that can be chosen and each has pros and cons, but the Niv-Mizzet and Tandem Lookout pile gives the deck the power of an instant speed kill. Once Divergent Transformations and the subsequent soulbond trigger resolve, if anyone casts an instant or sorcery a loop begins that will ping an opponent and then draw you a card as many times as you like until you want to end the loop. Typically this results in killing two opponents and ending the loop with 60-70 cards in hand which makes finishing off the third pretty trivial.

Thanks to the printing of LabJace the deck is also able to layer Consult lines and wheel plus payoff lines. This keeps card quality high and makes the deck resilient to most stax and even losing combo pieces. The deck is also very flexible in being adjusted to fit a particular meta. The maybeboard is filled with cards that are a bit more niche but should be included given the appropriate meta. Cards like Disenchant and Abrade are great includes if you see a lot of Null Rods while you may want to slot Rule of Law against Food Chain or Pyroclasm against Najeela .


What weaknesses does it have?
The primary drawback of playing Divergent Transformations as the win condition is the prevalence of Grafdigger's Cage thanks to the ubiquity of Flash Hulk decks. Another weakness of the deck is that it focuses on being reactive and grindy which means there are almost no situations where you are attempting a win in the first 3-4 turns of the game unless your opponents tap out when you’re way ahead. The worst nightmare of this deck is a pod with three fast combo decks (and yet I still chose to pilot this deck in the Timetwisted Tournament). Ideal pods for this deck have at least one control or stax deck to help you keep faster decks off any early win attempts while you rely on your superior draw engines and card quality to ride to an easy victory.

Tymna Kraum


Tymna Kraum has recently gained traction within the competitive community thanks to the exposure brought to the pair by ShaperSavant and his Opus Thief list. The crew over in Lilbrudder’s discord server has been experimenting with Kraum for quite some time now despite many believing that a 5cmc draw engine was not viable in the command zone. Prior to Opus Thief the commonly accepted best list was Lilbrudder’s Kraum's MANly Combo which is a Midrange Ad Nauseam list that seeks to play proactively with one-sided hate pieces and value engines until Ad Naus can be resolved favorably. Besides that list there were a variety of other win conditions and shells experimented with by Lilbrudder and his followers. I joined the cult of Kraum about a year ago and primarily played Lilbrudder’s stock list before experimenting with a Blood Moon style list of my own creation and then finally converting the deck to a Divergent list.

Divergent Transformations


LabManiac_Sigi created the first commonly accepted cEDH list running Divergent Transformations as a win condition. With Thrasios and Vial-Smasher at the helm it is easy to get bodies on board which double as value engines. Similar to this list you play control and wait for a window to cast a game winning Divergent Transformations . The current divergent pile for Sigi’s list is Notion Thief and Whirlpool Warrior . Drawing 28 cards and emptying opponents’ hands at instant speed for is pretty good.

Various other piles have been experimented with including:

Razaketh + Rune-Scarred Demon

Spellseeker + Lab Man

Thief + Seeker

Niv-Mizzet, Parun + Tandem Lookout

These piles all have different pros and cons but the Notion Thief and Whirlpool Warrior pile is the best balance of card quality, speed, and impact. Unfortunately that pile does not have the ability to favorably run Cursed Totem which is one of the best reasons to go Sans-G. This, in addition to the power of an instant speed kill on top of another player attempting to win, is why I believe Niv is optimal for TK Divergent.

Why play Tymna ? You probably don’t need me to explain that one. The format-warping power of that card is undisputed. Kraum on the other hand may seem questionable. Sometimes the deck does not even cast him, but in grindy matchups he is great for drawing cards, acting as a pseudo Rule of Law against more cautious players, preserving your life total, and pressuring the life total of opposing Ad Naus decks. He is sometimes too expensive to cast which is why the deck runs cards like Inkmoth Nexus and Legacy's Allure to create bodies for Divergent Transformations .
The name of the game? Sandbag. What is sandbagging? Abusing turn order to force other players to use interaction so you can save your own. This deck wants to disrupt the faster decks, ideally with impactful stax pieces so you can keep counters to protect your own win attempt. Opposing draw engines are a major problem for your game plan so play around them and encourage others to do the same. Early tutors are pretty much always used on Mana Crypt , Mystic Remora , or a key hate piece unless you have what you need and you can save them. You want to establish value engines as fast as possible, an early Rhystic Study or Smothering Tithe can lead to easy wins. Don’t be afraid to sandbag your Mystic Remora either. Casting it midgame will often lead to unstoppable win attempts or virtually silencing your opponents if used in conjunction with a Rhystic Study . Once you start accruing value you want to establish bodies on board and get Divergent Transformations or another way to close the game into hand. After that you wait. Sometimes it takes a long time to establish a window but if you gain enough card advantage sometimes you can force a win attempt into untapped mana. Mexican standoffs are very common in my meta and if you try to go off first you will typically get hosed and open a window for an opponent. Thankfully the instant speed nature of your win condition means you can bluff being out of answers and then win on top of an opponents win attempt once stack interaction has run dry.

This deck has solid matchups into most of the field. Against Gitrog and Hulk decks you generally want to make sure you have relevant interaction or a good hate piece in your opener unless there is another deck at the table that is going to help you keep them in check. Against other control decks you can usually outpace their card advantage and wait until you get a solid window or multiple layers of protection for your win condition. Against instant speed decks like shuffle hulk you want to make sure you sandbag harder than them. Wait for them to flash and then cast your Divergent Transformations on top of it and snipe them first. Null Rod decks can be a problem for you depending on whether you are hitting your land drops or you are relying on artifact mana. If you are hitting your land drops then the Null Rod might be hurting opponents more. This is true for most stax pieces, think hard about whether it is actually hurting you. Don't remove something that's hurting another deck until you absolutely have to. Learning opposing win conditions and the major stax pieces that hose their strategies is an absolute must for playing control in cEDH. Threat assessment is at a premium when you make it your job to play fun police.

Divergent Transformations


The namesake of the deck. You need two bodies on board to target. Once it resolves you will reveal cards from the top of your deck until you reveal a creature, put it onto the battlefield, and then repeat the process once more. Since the only creatures in the deck are Niv-Mizzet, Parun and Tandem Lookout they will both be put into play assuming you didn’t cast Divergent Transformations with a cage in play. A soulbond trigger will go on the stack and you will choose Niv . Then depending on your hand and the boardstate you can either cast an instant or sorcery or create a draw trigger to start the loop. Niv will trigger and deal one damage to any target (which will generally be the most threatening opponent), this will trigger Tandem Lookout which will draw you a card, which will trigger Niv , and so on and so forth. At any time you can choose to stop the loop by targeting something other than an opponent with the damage trigger. Generally you will have enough cards left in your deck to kill two opposing players before you have to stop the loop. Remember to leave a chunk of cards in your deck so that the remaining opponent cannot cast enough instants and sorceries to deck you. After this loop resolves you can likely play control with your 60+ cards in hand, wait for your turn, and then end the game in a variety of ways, the most common being cast Timetwister to put cards back into your deck and restart the loop to finish off the third opponent.

Demonic Consultation and Jace, Wielder of Mysteries


This classic combo is the namesake of a number of other lists. It is extremely compact and Jace is not nearly as dead of a slot as Lab Man since it can act as an overcosted value piece in a pinch. If you don’t already know the combo: Demonic Consultation and Tainted Pact both can exile your deck allowing you to activate Jace to win the game.

Wheel of Fortune and a Payoff


These are not actually game ending combos but they do typically result in a win. Add that to the fact that the card quality is very high for all of these slots makes their inclusion a no-brainer. Smothering Tithe with a wheel generates 28 treasure . Narset, Parter of Veils with a wheel will leave opponents nearly hellbent.

Inclusions


Rest in Peace

One of the best hate pieces in the game. This card is great for hosting opposing graveyard strategies, especially Hulk and Gitrog . This card has antisynergy with a couple of other cards in the deck but generally that risk is more than worth the reward. Being able to drop this and virtually ignore one or two other decks at the table while you develop your own game plan is invaluable. If your meta plays with a bunch of other RIP decks like najeela or hatebear strategies you can swap this for a more meta pertinent card like Pyroclasm .

Suppression Field

This card is extremely potent against a lot of decks and can be a huge tempo swing in a lot of matchups. Though it does hurt some of our lines it hurts others quite a bit more.

Cursed Totem

A slam dunk in the current meta and one of the best reasons to play Sans-G.

Narset, Parter of Veils

A planeswalker? IN MY cEDH?! In all seriousness this card is solid when played correctly. With Kraum on board she is easy to protect and acts as a one-sided stax piece akin to Notion Thief , though not nearly as powerful. In a pinch she can help you dig for interaction or a tutor. She can also act as a wheel payoff that leaves your opponents with only one card in hand.

Smothering Tithe

In case you hadn’t already heard this card is a house. By itself it generates enough mana to win the game if people don’t play around it. If you can combine it with a wheel you will generate 28 Lotus Petals which often can set up a win attempt on the spot.

Praetor's Grasp

This card is extremely versatile. Pulling a Gilded Drake or Notion Thief from an opponents deck is pretty good or you can grab a Mystic Remora if those aren’t good targets. It can also grab a Laboratory Maniac if your other win conditions got exiled for whatever reason (which is how I took my second game in the Timetwisted Tourney!).

Gamble

In a list that draws so many cards it’s like an Imperial Seal . I try to cast this when I have 9 or more cards in hand. It’s also amazing post-Naus.

Inkmoth Nexus

A cheap flying body to swing with Tymna or Divergent fodder. Enough said. Colorless mana sometimes hurts but it’s worth the trade off and the primary reason other utility lands are not slotted.

Legacy's Allure

A spicy rattlesnake and Divergent fodder. This will sometimes deter opponents from attacking you and often completely hose commander-reliant decks if the counters get high enough. It is also a solid layer of protection against some Hulk piles.

Beckon Apparition

Flying body for Tymna , Divergent fodder, and interaction for Gitrog and other graveyard based strategies.

Smuggler's Copter

This card is an okay draw engine that doubles as divergent fodder. Might not be good enough but it is serving its purpose for now.

Winds of Change

A 1cmc wheel is great for enabling cheaper combos and it can sometimes be used for disruption if you correctly read your opponents.

Considerations and Notable Exclusions


Ashiok, Dream Render

This card was tested for quite a while and is great against decks like Gitrog and Hulk . It can be a bit narrow and sometimes doesn’t come down early enough to make a difference which is why it was cut.

Notion Thief + Spellseeker or Whirlpool Warrior

The other two Divergent piles in the running. Thief layers much better with the wheel synergies but the win is less deterministic, the WW pile means we need to cut Cursed Totem , and the Spellseeker pile means we can’t win at instant speed.

Not Forgotten

If Beckon Apparition is too narrow for your meta this is a reasonable substitute.

Abrade

If you play against Null Rod or Collector Ouphe you probably need to slot this card.

Rule of Law

This card can be a bit difficult to play around but generally we can win through it with a bit of patience. It’s a great include if your meta includes Food Chain .

Blood Moon

Swapping in a few basics/snow-covered basics can enable you to run blood moon reasonably well. Sometimes this card can be kingmakey or not very useful into a blind meta where you might face mono-colored decks which is why this card was cut.

Pyroclasm

This and other additional wipes are worth consideration if you face a lot of Najeela, the Blade-Blossom or other creature reliant strategies.

Swords to Plowshares

If you find yourself needing more spot removal due to spoopy commanders this is a good include.

Vandalblast

If your meta is more artifact heavy and less creature heavy this is an easy swap for Rolling Earthquake .

Plunge into Darkness

A solid spell for digging but using it to its full power can be a bit sketchy in this list. Exiling one of your divergent targets puts you pretty far behind. It is a house for consult lines though so it's a fair choice.

Necropotence

This can be swapped for Suppression Field if you find yourself needing more gas. It was cut to include the aforementioned hate piece. I rarely liked dropping this because it makes you public enemy number one and was not an “I win button” like it is in a lot of other lists.

Counterbalance

This is a reasonable include for grindier metas. The floor can be a bit low which is why it is not in the main board.

Scroll Rack

Depending on the divergent pile you pick this card can be a bit more valuable but ultimately the antisynergy with Suppression Field and the inclusion of Timetwister makes this unnecessary. If you are on a budget it is probably necessary though.

F5-F0-ABB7-D97-C-4-B81-B884-467-D233521-A6

This hand is an easy keep. Tutoring for Crypt turn one opens up quite a few lines for turn two. The safest bet is casting Tymna and starting to accrue value and using the other tutor to get Remora, a hate piece, or DT.


3-E3-F2-EC8-22-D5-43-FD-8-A8-C-469-FFD73-C874

Snap keep. Turn one Mana Vault into Talisman into Copter followed by a turn two Tymna crewing the Copter will start drawing a lot of cards. You also have the free counter in the event of an early Flash.


4-CA2-A1-FE-1-A74-4119-9-DD8-32-AC40299966

This hand is not the best. All your colors, guaranteed land drops, and a cantrip make for a safe start. If it is your second seven it is not the worst keep but if it is your first seven definitely mulligan.


F302441-E-B532-4-BDB-B778-CB7626846-F70

This hand is pretty solid with a fast start and plenty of interaction. Tutor for Crypt before the start of your second turn and then drop Tymna turn two is pretty nice.


83-A08145-B8-C8-4467-A48-E-DB15-A099-CA93

Despite having Niv in this opener it is still a pretty great hand and you have a few ways to shuffle Niv back into the deck. Turn one totem followed by turn two Rhystic Study will either draw you a boatload of cards or keep most other decks from casting anything for the first few turns.


65593-A85-FB4-B-4-D51-A2-D5-E737721-C51-D2

This hand is an easy keep. Dumping fast mana onto the field turn one and then casting Narset followed by a wheel turn two will likely be back breaking for everyone else at the table. You likely won’t have many cards left in hand but you can safely cast your commanders and start accruing a massive advantage.

Lilbrudder for always looking at my spicy and sometimes awful lists and still managing to patiently give constructive feedback and reasoning.

LabManiac_Sigi for also giving feedback and inspiring the list with his original Divergent list.

Azurel_The_Ceaseless_Brewer for kicking my butt with his T&K;: Bear-Weaver list and getting me interested in the power of Kraum.

ShaperSavant for his feedback and for letting me use his beautiful custom css for the primer.

ScottyKnowsMTG, timmyt1000, Spleenface, Shawn, Nick, Austin, and many other friends who have helped me playtest the deck.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns hit me up on discord: jordank#7777

Updates Add

Comments

Casual

100% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 4 weeks
Last updated 1 day
Exclude colors G
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 1.89
Tokens 3/3 Ape, None Treasure, 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Bird
Folders Uncategorized
Votes
Ignored suggestions
Shared with
Views