Traitorous Instinct

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Highlander Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pauper Legal
Pauper Duel Commander Legal
Pauper EDH Legal
Penny Dreadful Legal
Pioneer Legal
Vintage Legal

Traitorous Instinct

Sorcery

Gain control of target creature until end of turn. Untap that creature. Until end of turn, it gets +2/+0 and gains haste.

zretrareo27 on RW EDH Brion 2022

5 months ago

My 2016 EDH deck - revamped for 2022! use commander Brion Stoutarm to Fling your opponents creatures with cards like Act of Treason, and if you're lucky - use Bazaar Trader to keep them!

I've tried to keep this deck nearly 50% White and 50% Red.

I've narrowed the premise of this deck down to the following categories, 50 Cards to the first, and 10 cards to each other category, give or take.

50% of the Deck is the Commander, Land, Mana rocks, and Draw.
10% is Steal/Keep
10% is Removal/Wipe
10% is Bringing Cards Back
10% is Brion Fodder and Fetch cards
10% is Double Damage and Powerful Flyers

Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. That being said, I will probably not be able to afford the more expensive cards Land Tax, Smothering Tithe, Lifeline, Smuggler's Share etc. that are not already in this deck. However - It's still fun to check them out! If you like it, up vote!


With this revision, I've cut many of the fancier, slower dual lands to opt for faster basic lands. I've also added Weathered Wayfarer.

I've removed cards that target artifacts and enchantments like Kami of Ancient Law, instead opting for better utility cards like Quarantine Field that target "nonland permanent".

I've made some recent changes to this deck, hopefully to address that mid game I am struggling with tempo, as well as running out of mana to cast the creature or steal spell and have enough to activate Brion's ability. Some cards like Deathrender and Thornbite Staff have been removed (even though they were good in concept) to add more playability.

I also found that after all the sacrificing, mid game I was running out of defense, so some additional creatures have been added with dual purpose, such as Angel of Sanctions and Emeria Shepherd.


Decksplanation:

Double Damage:
Fiery Emancipation gives me triple damage. Calamity Bearer works specifically to Brion's sac ability. Angrath's Marauders, Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, Gratuitous Violence all make the damage I do twice as effective.
When creatures I steal die, Stalking Vengeance beefs them. When I summon large creatures into play Warstorm Surge deals damage to my opponent, and when I sac those, Stalking Vengeance hits them on the way out.


Fodder:

Malignus, Serra Avatar, and Soul of Eternity all act as giant bombs to throw at the opponent.
Hofri Ghostforge allows for me to steal an opponents creature, fling it at them with brion, and then keep a spirit copy of that creature.


Draw:
Magus of the Wheel and Reforge the Soul provide the opportunity to get a fresh hand at my whim. Humble Defector is an easy and fun, card that helps me forge alliances with other players in multiplayer while getting me TWO extra cards per turn.
Skullclamp works perfect with the sacrifice ability and is easy to cast.
Well of Lost Dreams is insane when played late game for Brion's lifelink ability and can be fetched with Hoarding Dragon or Open the Armory Sin Prodder gives me a potential extra card per turn, or the chance for an opponent to take damage to the face... and then I can pull it out of my graveyard later with my other cards! Basically a win/win. Mangara, the Diplomat and Mila, Crafty Companion  Flip serve to deter attacks and draw.


Fetch:
Hoarding Dragon serves as a flyer, a sacrifice, and can grab any rocks, Skullclamp, or Well of Lost Dreams.
Open the Armory helps grab Skullclamp, Well of Lost Dreams, or Gift of Immortality.
Recruiter of the Guard is specifically to get Bazaar Trader for the huge advantage of keeping my opponents things, but can also grab Duergar Hedge-Mage for removal or Sin Prodder (amongst a few others). Weathered Wayfarer can grab any land, such as Buried Ruin or Arcane Lighthouse.


Mana Rocks:

Boros Cluestone, Commander's Sphere, and Mind Stone are all serving as early ramp and later card draw.
Sol Ring because Sol Ring.


Removal:

Archon of Justice is quite powerful in this deck, as it allows for a flying creature, then a source to sac, and remove a card permanently.
Angel of Serenity gives me the option of 3 recursion or 3 removal.
Duergar Hedge-Mage can be played and replayed in this deck for knocking off annoying enchantments or mana rocks.
Magus of the Disk is one of the board wipes.
Grasp of Fate, Oblivion Ring, and Banishing Light all allow for really flexible removal. Same for Quarantine Field except allows for extra targets for more mana. Chained to the Rocks works the same, but only for creatures. Angel of Sanctions works similarly, but is a creature. Ryusei, the Falling Star really just acts as weenie removal and a sac source from a flyer.


Bringing them Back (and sometimes keep it!):

Adarkar Valkyrie Sac an opponents creature, then get it permanently!
Bazaar Trader Take it with a steal and keep it!
Angelic Renewal Sac my own creature, get it back! Gift of Immortality Sac my own creature, get it back... again, and again!
Emeria Shepherd play a land, get a card! Play a Plains, get a creature to sac!
Mistmoon Griffin Flys, defends, and sac-able, then get back a creature from the graveyard!
Squee's Embrace fun and easy to play, and retrievable with Tragic Poet.
Tragic Poet, a low mana cost creature to get any enchantment in my deck back for any reason. Fun with Squee's Embrace, Angelic Renewal, etc. Returned Pastcaller a flyer that lets me grab a Threaten or Breath of Life. Angel of Serenity gives me the option of 3 recursion or 3 removal.


Stealing their Creatures:

Captivating Crew steals every turn! No wasted card space here, just a reusable sorcery.
Conquering Manticore powerful flyer, that steals!
Zealous Conscripts You can steal anything! Anything! Lands? Mine. Artifacts? Mine. Works great with Bazaar Trader.
Act of Treason, Portent of Betrayal, and Threaten are all basic steal spells.
Malevolent Whispers, Mark of Mutiny, and Traitorous Instinct all give me steal with buffs for Flinging.
Harness by Force allows for more than one thing to be taken if the extra cost is paid!


Powerful Creatures:

I'll be the first to admit, these don't reallllly fit in with the deck. But they're so awesome it's hard to remove. Akroma, Angel of Fury
Akroma, Angel of Wrath
Aurelia, the Warleader

Optimator on Giant's Deck

2 years ago

Even though you are primarily Giant-Tribal, you may still want to have a small suite of "Brion" cards.

I have a Feldon of the Third Path and Mimic Vat, both of which are extremely good in Brion decks. I also have a Adarkar Valkyrie, which can be good too.

Gift of Immortality is extremely good with Brion. I don't have one though.

Sigil of the New Dawn isn't the most efficient, but can be good.

I have a Serra Avatar too, which is the best Fling-able creature around. Evra, Halcyon Witness is great too, but I don't have one. It's cheap though. A Stalking Vengeance would double up Brion's damage, but I don't think I have one either. Reya Dawnbringer is way mana-expensive but can be useful with such pricey giants dying left and right.

Flameshadow Conjuring can be good with Brion too. I don't think I have one though.

Phyrexian Processor is one of the craziest pieces of Brion tech around. It's not too expensive--I would totally slide this card in, even if I was doing Giant Tribal. You can get blown out, but the payoff is enormous.

Another piece of Brion tech is Grafted Exoskeleton, if you wanna be dirty.


Since Brion isn't the center of the strategy, protecting him isn't at such a premium. Cards like Swiftfoot Boots and Lightning Greaves are still good for protecting your big giants though. It may be worth sliding some cards like that in, but since it's a casual deck you may get away with none.

That said, I have Whispersilk Cloak and Mask of Avacyn in my collection.

Another option on a budget is Mirror Shield. Darksteel Plate is pricey but fantastic when you want to stick a huge beater and keep it around.

I have a Cradle of Vitality on-hand. Might be really good!


If you have any more Threaten-effects, those are functionally creature removal with your commander out. Perhaps a couple of cards like that deserve a slot. Captivating Crew is fun because it's repeatable. Song-Mad Treachery  Flip is cool because it's a land too!

I own: Hijack - Grab the Reins - Mass Mutiny - Traitorous Blood - Traitorous Instinct - Portent of Betrayal - Word of Seizing - Harness by Force

There are many more.


Illusionist's Bracers is very good with Brion, even with less of a focus on him. Probably worth keeping in.

I think Minion Reflector won't be good--too expensive. Seance is decent but probably won't be reliable often enough to make it worth a slot.

Avlex on Pauper EDH Zada

2 years ago

I do see the value of Titan's Strength, I just haven't ever been able to capitalize on it the way my Zada deck plays. I would definitely have lost a few games drawing it instead a stronger buff. The reason usually being, that there is no more draw step after I need the buff spell and it providing one less power than the smallest vanilla buff slot. I will try running it instead of Slaughter Cry for a while, though First Strike provided by the former is usually more important than a fixed draw when I actually need another turn, as it usually means my guys will live where they otherwise wouldn't, considering many of the buffs don't affect toughness. Blood Frenzy and Traitorous Instinct may also be potential slots, but Seething Anger is too important as a Mana-sink and card advantage to exchange.

I recounted my creatures and you are correct, not sure where I counted the remaining bodies, but during test games I found it to be a reasonable amount. Your logic concerning body count is flawed however, as having fewer body generator (and creature) cards in the 99 is not as relevant if the average body count per card is higher. You do have to prioritize body count a bit when deciding whether or not to mulligan though. Otherwise the higher variance will result in a slightly higher rate in blow-out games.

I am not sure how you got the same value out of Hissing Iguanar though, that you get from an additional buff or draw spell. Although it is a Zada target, I guess, I don't see opponents creatures dying to matter as much. Usually it will be your guys, who trigger it at some point. I could see it as wipe protection, but its one toughness actually makes it too vulnerable. Changing the way people play will paint a target on your back though and that won't just hit the Iguanar. So it likely not sticking around (against PDH decks everyone is scared of Zada and is just looking for an excuse to make the Zada player the first target, while EDH decks probably don't consider it as much of a threat) and the most broken thing in the deck actually being buffing Zada and your team and swinging, I really can't see it being worth the slot.

With the Threaten effects, please don't forget, that attacking with an additional commander, that also received all the Zada buffs will fairly often save your ass by killing an additional opponent.

Avlex on Pauper EDH Zada

2 years ago

Thanks for the input. I have actually tested the deck and found it to be oppressively fast and resilient in a very uncomfortable environment. Here are my thoughts on your suggestions:

I will check for a slot for Goblin Tinkerer. It has to stick around for a turn and in cases where I actually care about artifacts of my opponents, I usually require at least sorcery speed. If I don't need the removal, Goblin Replica is the bigger body. However, in the context of what this deck wants to do, the difference is negligable. The Replica actually opens me up to artifact removal, so exchanging it may just be worth a try. I am actually thinking about not playing either and slotting in Destructive Tampering, as I can recur it via Anarchist or Ghitu Chronicler and another option at getting evasion may actually be nice.

I'll also try Boiling Blood, since I managed not find any of my draw spells during the last game and only managed to kill a single opponent because of it. I previously decided against it because of the choice between forced attack or being restricted to play it on my second main phase. Usually, I want to draw into ramp and draw in my first main phase and then decide to go off or not, which in this deck requires an attack phase. Being committing before having the whole picture seems rather dangerous, but then... it's a gambly red deck anyways and I guess I'd rather have the draw spell.

I opted against Titan's Strength, as it will only fix one single draw in a limited (gambling) way, so the slot went to a large buff spell instead for consistency.

I also decided against Raid Bombardment, because I wasn't ever happy to draw it instead of a buff, draw or ramp. It always always seemed like win-more or not doing enough. Raid Bombardment essentially ends up being a +1/+0 buff for the big turn, because the deck rarely attacks before going off, if an opponent has any blockers and in Pauper EDH, they usually do.

Hissing Iguanar and Impact Tremors didn't make the cut, because they just don't do enough in the deck either. They rarely deal more than 5 to 10 damage each and any decent pump spell does more. Pinging your opponents also draws more attention to you, endangering your board state somewhat. I would rather have one more token generator, buff or draw spell in those cases. Also, before going off, enchantments open you up to another kind of removal and while going off, both usually end up being strictly worse up to being dead draws and. I may try Impact Tremors again at some point though, as it has the biggest potential.

Considering the creature count, I am actually playing around 40 creatures (only 2 less than your deck, before storm, doubling and recursion) in those 23 slots, but opted to prefer token generators like Hordeling Outburst instead of actual bodies (successfully, I might add). The reason being, that one card that creates 2-4 tokens will let me recover from a board wipe or focused fire way easier than having to draw and play one goblin a turn. At the same time, potential spot removal in my opponents hands is devalued. This helps me recover and race my opponents into another big turn more easily and heavily increases success rates. Many token generators are instant or sorcery and cards can also be retrieved from the graveyard, in case I need to, adding resilience and recursion. I do lose some nifty goblin abilities, but I found the compromise acceptable. It also opens me up to a bit more board wipes in Pauper EDH though, but since board-wipe pingers seem to not be very popular for their limited usability, I'm not too worried. Crypt Rats and Pestilence being the exceptions, but those rarely trigger for 1 and will usually wipe all goblins off the table anyways.

And lastly, the "Threaten" slots and lands (which kinda go together). The goal of this deck is to: "be quiet and build a board state of small, non-threatening guys that aren't worth the removal and then in one turn draw into ramp that will allow more draw and ramp, then buff the whole team and kill everyone at once (ideally) or just the biggest threat and set up the next big turn". I found, that 6-7 lands in play are quite enough to get the ball rolling as long as you can draw enough buffs and ramp. If anything, I'd actually rather play some artifact ramp to be honest, to accelerate the deck by a turn instead of putting in more lands. Up to now, the deck was consistent enough at 35 lands though.

Now, if I can actually manage to go off as described, my guys usually already have haste via one of the other spells or I have ramped into enough Mana to cast any of the "Threaten" effects on Zada to get there. They aren't that expencive. On the other hand, taking over another creature for its abilities for a turn or to just not have to deal with it in combat on a big turn has shown to be very effective. Additionally, occasionally killing someone with their own commander is hilarious as hell. And finally, 3 of the 5 "Threaten" cards do actually buff your team aside from haste, when cast on Zada, Traitorous Instinct with Menace evasion and Mark of Mutiny actually putting a +1/+1 counter on the whole team, which can also be very useful when you want to cast stuff like Zap on your guys, when you need to save your team or when you need to set up another turn. Both effects you can't get efficiently any other way in red. For this utility, I found paying the premium to be an acceptable compromise.

I'd love to discuss it further. These were my design considerations, any thoughts, found any BS? Let me know!

theMarc on Du Hast

2 years ago

Ball Lightning just doesn't really do anything, outside of being sac fodder, and I'm really not hurting for good sac fodder.

I definitely agree that I need to make several adjustments to the mana rocks.

Fire Covenant and Rogue's Passage are great suggestions.

I'm probably going to run Aftershock and Bedevil both. Being able to hit lands is sometimes relevant. And giving Greven +3/+0 is not nothing. There are definitely cards in here I could cut over Aftershock.

Malevolent Whispers is only in here because I was running Traitorous Instinct, but I realized the Whispers was a straight upgrade. It's absolutely getting replaced with Tentative Connection as soon as I can get my hands on some Ikoria cards.

And as for Skirge Familiar, that thing has been on the aquireboard basically since I first laid eyes on Greven. I just haven't found one.

triproberts12 on

3 years ago

Nice. A few suggestions, given your new theme:

Hazoret's Favor is built for this deck.

Mogg Cannon is less powerful, but a backup sac outlet and cheap.

Mark of Mutiny is a good threaten for Greven.

Traitorous Instinct is basically Malevolent Whispers v0.9.

Treacherous Urge gets any creatures your opponents think they can keep in-hand until Greven leaves the field.

Varchild, Betrayer of Kjeldor , Goblin Spymaster , Hunted Dragon , and Hunted Horror will make sure you have a steady stream of creatures to kill.

Molten Primordial , Insurrection , Mass Mutiny , Captivating Crew , Angrath, the Flame-Chained , Conquering Manticore are all notable Threatens that are missing.

Auger Spree doubles as removal and card draw. Bedeck / Bedazzle does the same and also hits problematic lands. Nameless Inversion is probably the worst of the three, but it can be grabbed by creature tutors, so there's that.

Unwilling Recruit and Might Makes Right might not be efficient, but they will be funny.

Goatnap . That is all.

[email protected]_only on Brion Stoutarm

3 years ago

looking through other brion decks, have a couple of suggestions:

Phyrexian Processor - costs life once, makes large tokens to flink & gain life back.

Mimic Vat - token generator that can exile an opponent's (or your) enter play effect, then sling it with brion

Harness by Force - steal multiple creatures, can dial in as many as you need

Goblin Bombardment - backup sack outlet with no mana cost

Malevolent Whispers , Traitorous Instinct , and Unwilling Recruit - other stealers, these ones gives bonus power

Word of Seizing - because split-second is stupid-good against control

Cradle of Vitality - gain life equal to power? better amp up the next thing to chuck...

Orim's Thunder - a boros staple, disenchant + burn in one card is a good value


overall, I'd probably toss the Fling and Thud over permanents that can sac for less, or get something else out of it (like Carnage Altar )

sparta88 on

3 years ago

Considering dropping both Might Beyond Reason , 1 Hinterland Logger  Flip, and boarding the 3rd Armory of Iroas by dropping the Act of Treason since I've got a pair of Traitorous Instinct in there already. Think that would work for getting an extra 4 lands in there?

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