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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Creature — Spirit
Whenever Dimir Cutpurse deals combat damage to a player, that player discards a card and you draw a card.
9 months ago
Ah, Dimir. Blue-black is where you come to turn an opponent’s soul these exact colors, sidestepping their defenses in order to slip a scalpel right in their feels. Combining the thematic terror of black with all the manipulations of blue, if you think about it, is one of the most disturbing, creepy tactics in magic. Forget psychological warfare: blue-black is about marinating the psyche of your opponent in anxiety, slow-roasting it over the fires of depression, lathering it in the sauce of their own inadequacy, and finally feeding them their own deliciously barbecued will to live. Think I'm exaggerating? Consider these titles. Glimpse the Unthinkable. Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver. Freaking Brainbite!!!
If you think this comes from a place of dislike, think again. I have a deep affection for this nasty little mix. Making opponents flip their collective gourds in a sporting way makes me very, very happy. Today, we’ll be going over three primary themes of commanders who embody Dimir chicanery: Mill, Rogues, and Theft. As always, please bear in mind the point isn’t to discuss the competitive but rather to celebrate the thematic.
The magic equivalent of memory loss, mill suffers in commander: eating through 99 cards is a tall order, and opponents with an original eldrazi titan somewhere in there may well fetch you the worst insult of all and ignore you. There are ways around that, of course, but this is an inarguably uphill climb. Which, of course, makes for a delightful challenge the Dimir will gleefully help you meet. Just ask Nemesis of Reason. It’s very, very hard to protect one’s library, and there’s something truly horrible in watching all your goodies piff away without even hitting your hand.
If you’ve read this series through, you might remember that my oldest deck is mono-green. It’ll be no surprise to you, then, that when I was learning commander I lived in abject horror of Oona. Anyone running a mono-colored deck is going to feel targeted by this hideously nasty commander. Do you even need a strategy to play her, beyond ramp? Honestly, she rather plays herself: even outside her chosen prey, “Exile X” on a stick is very, very spicy, and when you’ve got your chosen prey they may well scoop when you play Kindred Discovery. Remember those eldrazi? Screw those eldrazi.
Hail the mighty poo beetle. No, it doesn’t actively mill, but HOLY BALLS OF ROLLING SHIT does it reward milling! There is a fine, fine pool of zombies in dimir colors, and when that palls you can make your own. I’ve never seen this played, but to be honest I don’t want to, especially since the mighty poo beetle will always be five mana… maybe I want to see this played. By me. Scry X? Bleed X? Army of the Damned, anyone?
Now this is general damage. This is also, in my opinion, a genuinely bad idea for those who aim for winning rather than fun. Seven mana for a 5/5 flyer who doesn’t actually do damage to opponents? Less than competitive, shall we say, but certainly neat and themey. Stuff like Dauthi Voidwalker or Leyline of the Void do nothing to undermine Szadek’s growing spree, and embiggening this already self-embiggening boi could make for a very, very scary board presence. And seeing this work, making this work, would be undeniably fun.
I say ‘rogues’ not as the creature type, but as the overall concept of sneaky sneaks sneaking off to perpetrate sneakiness. See Rogue Class or Dimir Cutpurse and you’ll get where I’m coming from. Dimir is the guild of spies and intrigue, so it’s no surprise that blue-black rewards the “Doink! Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk” playstyle. If your passion drives you toward little bodies that pilfer, plunder, or otherwise profit on the swing, look no further.
Zareth is an odd choice to be commander. He functionally has Ninjutsu, but unlike a certain upcoming favorite has no provision for command zones. If you like thinking around corners, there is actually a fair bit of support to be found. Run an aura theme, for instance, and stick Necromancer's Magemark on a spare dude. Or Phantom Wings on the man himself. Zareth will reward you, and as for the second half of his text, it’s a doozy. Mill/kill your opponent’s stuff, then steal it. Good times.
This is a heavily themed card, combining tribal, milling, and draw elements in a nice little vampiric package. Not quite the unpleasant beast that the original Anowon is, but still nice. Be sure to include Notorious Throng.
Instead of a profitable army of petty thugs, you may prefer just the one guy. For actual command damage, Szadek’s replacement has an inarguably better grasp of the job. Mill yourself. You know you can. Clone yourself an unblockable midget, then switch into a Phyrexian Dreadnought (or something similarly large but more affordable) before you tag them. This guy is an absurdly versatile toolkit. Just avoid jerks with Lignify. Hehehe…
We’ve talked thieves, now let’s talk actual yoink. Blue and black are the only colors with access to consistent, long-term swipage, and combining them inevitably brings you to a natural conclusion: why make a plan when you can steal someone else’s?
Keiga, the Tide Star called. She’s pressing charges on the grounds of copyright infringement. Dragon? Check. Six mana? Check. Theft? Big ol’ check. When combined with blink and a sac outlet, this big and greedy cheese can steal an army. And, if you do this to a super-friends player, maybe lose you a friendship.
This guy’s just neat, especially if there’s some cocky twit in your local meta who likes taking extra turns. Mill him a bit, then tag him. He’ll stop that right quick. Bonus points if you get somebody to make a custom version of this guy as a certain cosmic entity. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh, Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
Do you like Sen Triplets, but not artifacts, white, or being thrown out of playgroups? Xanathar doesn’t pilfer hands, but libraries are fair game. The utility of certain tutors is suddenly very, very much in the eye of the beholder (sorry, I had to). Run stuff like Thoughtpicker Witch, Painful Memories, or Sealed Fate, and enjoy your monopoly on topdecks… I kind of want this one too.
And, for my personal favorite...
My darling, dearest Yuriko. Readers know my love for Kamigawa, so imagine my roaring delight when this beauty was released. There are 346 rogues currently in print. There are only 22 ninjas, and not all of them are good, but even the piddliest ninja becomes horrifying when Yuriko is out (and thanks to ninjutsu, she’s ALWAYS out). There’s a weird imbalance encouraged here: lots of inexpensive bodies digging for absurdly expensive spells. At the worst, you draw some cards. At absolute best, you smack the table for eleven damage by revealing Temporal Trespass… which you then cast for three mana, you magnificent bastard.
That's it for this round. Thoughts and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed it, and will come back next week for Rakdos!
1 year ago
Hey, I saw your comment. Is this an alternate account for twechsler or is this deck just inspired by theirs? Either way, I'll go into greater depth on some possible build paths. libraryjoy is correct in that if you're (mostly) mono-green, your best way to destroy creatures is often to take advantage of the abilities on your own creatures. You already have the deathtouch style shell so I'd just focus on that. But even with deathtouch, there are a fair number of options for guaranteeing that damage gets dealt. There are the bow/staff cards like I use in my artifact commander deck A Pile of Cans with the deathtouch from Sydri, Galvanic Genius . Then there's fight effects which you can see working with Wren's Run Packmaster in my wolfless wolf deck Size of the Fight in the Dog (although this strategy doesn't require DT if your creatures have high enough power). A final approach is forced combat damage. Since it's been mentioned the least, that's what I'll focus on here.
Forced block cards like Lure , Gift of the Deity , Indrik Umbra , Ochran Assassin , Roar of Challenge , Tempting Licid , Provoke , Irresistible Prey , or Tangle Angler are the core of such a deck. Most of these cards are rather costly in terms of CMC, and I'd consequently only recommend such a deck for slower casual play. It should be pretty strong in creature-heavy metas though. If that sounds reasonable, the next thing you have to decide on are the creatures and supporting cards. These choices aren't always obvious because of the many things a deck like this wants. For example, it may be better to play cheap deathtouch creatures like Deathcap Cultivator , Gifted Aetherborn , Narnam Renegade , Wasteland Viper , and Nightshade Peddler so you can start controlling the board sooner. But if all your DT creatures have low power, they'll only be able to kill 1 or 2 things off a big forced block. Thus, it may be better to instead grant deathtouch with other cards like Basilisk Collar , Deadly Allure , Virulent Swipe , Bow of Nylea , Archetype of Finality , or Ohran Frostfang . Then, you could just run creatures with high attack for their cost. Still, I think there's something to be said of looking for other abilities that interact well with deathtouch. First strike and double strike are the most obvious examples because they can let your creatures survive combat to attack all over again on later turns. Viridian Claw , Glissa, the Traitor , and Grappling Hook see play in such decks for this reason. Alternatively, you can learn from the synergy of the Frostfang that abilities triggering on face damage pair well with deathtouch. Only a fool would block your 1/1 DT with their 3/3, but if that 1/1 is drawing you a card, suddenly that trade sounds more appealing. Cold-Eyed Selkie , Dimir Cutpurse , Edric, Spymaster of Trest , Oakhame Adversary , Ohran Viper , Tomebound Lich , Fynn, the Fangbearer , and Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons are some cards that might fill this role.
I know I've just rattled off a lot of cards here. I'll try putting together a casual deck to demonstrate what I'm talking about when I find the time.
As an aside, I see that you've included Novablast Wurm as the only meaningful white spell in this version of the deck. It's too slow to see play in anything but ramp, but it can definitely be built around as a beefy Wrath of God too. Consider using something like Heroic Intervention or a Dauntless Escort sacrifice to break the symmetry on the board wipe. Also, creatures that grant boons on death like Thragtusk or Wurmcoil Engine could find a home in a self-wipe deck, although the Wurm might be outclassed then by something more traditional like Austere Command , Settle the Wreckage , Kindred Dominance , or Phyrexian Rebirth .
1 year ago
I'd start by identifying what you want the main goal of your deck to be. I see two main ideas here that could be built around.
The first is dealing unblocked damage by disincentivizing blocks with deathtouch. Darkblade Agent , Eternal of Harsh Truths , Graveblade Marauder , and maybe Blightsteel Colossus (with enough reanimation) fit this archetype. Because of the two "blade" cards, there is some overlap with the second archetype which I'll cover next (and if you keep them, cards like Notion Rain , Mission Briefing , Thought Erasure , and Discovery / Dispersal are likely to get more mileage than Divination or Secrets of the Golden City ), but there may be even better ways to profit from unblocked creatures. Curiosity enchantments like Curious Obsession , Sixth Sense , and Keen Sense are frequent accompaniments to the Invisible Stalker s and other bogles of the world, and Bident of Thassa is a strong option for those going wide. I like Quietus Spike as a sort of midway point between Basilisk Collar and Master of Cruelties in decks like these too. Other beaters to get in with could be Tomebound Lich , Oona's Blackguard , Dimir Cutpurse , Looter il-Kor , Shadowmage Infiltrator , Surrakar Spellblade , Wharf Infiltrator , or Virtus the Veiled if he's legal in whatever format this is for. More generic deathtouch synergy could include Hooded Blightfang , Viridian Longbow , Thornbite Staff , Psionic Gift enchantments, and any source of first strike. Finally, I like Cipher as a way to gain advantage from repeated attacks, so maybe a Hidden Strings or Paranoid Delusions could come in handy.
The second main idea is to stack the graveyard(s) with as many creatures as possible to extract value from Undergrowth and similar mechanics. Avatar of Woe , Lotleth Giant , Trepanation Blade , Teferi's Tutelage , and some of your Disentomb effects fit here. Major threats in these kinds of decks include Wight of Precinct Six , Jace's Phantasm , Consuming Aberration , Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker , Fleet Swallower , Nemesis of Reason , Bonehoard , Mortivore , and Nighthowler . If you want to focus on your own graveyard, green is a great color to dip into as I alluded to earlier. Ghoultree , Boneyard Wurm , Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord , Splinterfright , Nyx Weaver , Nemesis of Mortals , Spider Spawning , and Kessig Cagebreakers are just some of the tools you get access to. Golgari is also the king of Undergrowth, so Hatchery Spider , Izoni, Thousand-Eyed , Molderhulk , Rhizome Lurcher / Undergrowth Scavenger , Kraul Harpooner , and Necrotic Wound are on the table. If milling your opponents is more your thing, some staples to consider are Thought Scour , Sphinx's Tutelage , Drown in the Loch , Traumatize , Fraying Sanity , and the crab duo. Jace's Erasure , Psychic Corrosion , and the Tutelage pair benefit the most from other draw synergy, and Visions of Beyond is an obvious inclusion if that's the route you take. Either way, I'd cut down to only the most efficient of your reanimate to hand cards and the like since you don't want to be stuck with a fist full of them and no creatures in the graveyard to target. Speaking of cuts, for maximum power, it's usually correct to play as close to the 60 card minimum as possible. Picking a single strategy to hone in on should make it easier to whittle down to the most important 60 in the deck.
If you have questions, let me know. Good luck with your build!
2 years ago
rdean14: Recoil or Compelling Deterrence work similarly, it's a deck archetype that I've used for ages during the original ravnica block (looking at you, Dimir Cutpurse, you absolute unit). heck, got an edh deck for it here: Mind crusher, Dream Breaker
lets see here; white has "redirect damage" effects, red has "can't block, must attack" effects, lets see what we can do to combine them:
Enchantment - Aura
enchanted creature has aggressor (this creature can't block), and must attack each combat if able.
whenever the enchanted creature would be dealt damage, its control takes that much damage as instead.
4 years ago
I do like the idea of running Sakashima's Student, but I'm concerned that it would lose much of its appeal if I ever reach the "You are playing top deck and I bounce your shit" stage. I'm putting it on the maybeboard for experimentation
Asder on Fool's Gold
4 years ago
great budget brew. im liking the money theme in King Macar, the Gold-Cursed, Dimir Cutpurse and Gild. if you want to stick to a budget theme thats cool but mabye some cycling lands or some other cheap nonbasic could be cool
4 years ago
I think you should try to lower your curve and more mana-rocks like Dimir Signet, Talisman of Dominance and Coalition Relic wouldn't hurt either. It's true that the higher cost minions are pure value but I think it's better to play smaller "threats" to bait removal out while generating some card-advantage trough them. If you are going to stick with the B/U creature based strategy, then here are some suggestions;
- Glen Elendra Archmage
- Phyrexian Metamorph (I would run him over Sakashima)
- Dimir Cutpurse
- Dimir Infiltrator
- Baleful Strix
- Nightveil Specter (Might even be a better Ghastlord of Fugue)
- Gonti, Lord of Luxury
- Havengul Lich
- Deadeye Navigator
- Notion Thief
- Looter il-Kor
- Massacre Wurm
- Solemn Simulacrum
You could try to take advantage of your creatures who can swing in without any problem since a lot of them can't be blocked by running Coastal Piracy
I would also try to fit in the Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots, they are great at keeping your value creatures on the battlefield. (Random thought), Maybe even run Quietus Spike to just annihilate opponents with one swing? The Spike combined with Wound Reflection is an insta-kill. Wound Reflection has also perfect synergy with Sorin Markov btw.
If you are playing valuable creatures, you also really need a SacOutlet to protect them from exile or the dreaded copy/steal effects, so Ashnod's Altar or even Phyrexian Altar could also be great additions.
And even though you are running counter spells, you can't counter everything people throw at you so some reanimation could come in handy. This combined with the sacoutlet makes Kokusho and Keiga so much better. Imagine what you could do with the Dragons when Mikaeus, the Unhallowed is on board as well. Mikaeus has a strong combo withTriskelion to, infinite damage ftw.
Last of, running some blue staples could really help you out. Blue is the best color for card advantage so why not take advantage from that with Rhystic Study? Capsize is also really good for controlling the board-state.
4 years ago
Hey there! This deck looks pretty solid already, and I don't know how much I can help - it's already in great shape. Here's a few suggestions:
- Grisly Spectacle is a little expensive for an EDH removal spell, but it accomplishes two tasks at once, which can be very valuable.
- Cyclonic Rift is one of the best EDH board wipes in existence, and belongs in pretty much every Blue deck ever.
- Sire of Stagnation can get out of hand pretty quickly with all of the card draw and mill it provides.
- Counterspell also belongs in pretty much every Blue deck ever due to its extreme efficiency and versatility.
- Wrexial, the Risen Deep doesn't mill by itself, but takes heavy advantage of the mill effects in your deck.
- Sepulchral Primordial for the same reason as above.
- Whispersilk Cloak can protect your commander and ensure his attacks connect.
- Whispering Madness is sneakily a mill card, forcing your opponents to draw and discard repeatedly.
- Windfall also has the same effect.
- Same with Jace's Archivist.
- Undead Alchemist also causes some serious mill stuff.
- There's basically no reason not to run Command Tower.
- Bojuka Bog turns off any graveyard shenanigans your opponents have going on.
If you're looking for cards to cut, I'd start with:
- Illusionist's Bracers doesn't do what you want it to do; Mirko Vosk's ability is a triggered ability, not an activated ability.
- I don't know how full your graveyard usually gets, so Psychic Spiral seems a little bad.
- Dimir Keyrune is too expensive for its effect.
- Same with Midnight Recovery.
- Same with Dimir Doppelganger.
- Same with Mindshrieker.
- Same with Riddlekeeper.
- Same with Dimir Cutpurse.
In any case, hope this helps!