If you're gonna murder, then you should at least own the murderer identity!

I started off wanting to make a deck that would be a bit more competitive so I could show my friends that their magic teacher still had a few tricks up his sleeves. Gary had a phrase about BU decks – that they make your opponents black and blue. I knew I wanted to bring the pain, so I started looking at commanders and fell in love with Dragonlord Silumgar. However, the "as long as you control" line really ruins the flicker potential for the ETB control ability. Wanting to stick with the "stealing" mechanic, I fondly remembered Merieke Ri Berit from the iceage days and thought about how she could pair quite nicely with flickering in response to her delayed trigger. So, I went about building this deck!
I find that Merieke herself can stall gameplay, especially in commander. So, I did not want to spend too much of the deck on gaining control of creatures, and instead wanted to think about how to use her ability in another way. The delayed trigger presents some fun opportunities to use Merieke's ability multiple times without losing the creatures she gains control of. Primarily, flickering creatures stolen by Merieke wipes their memory and all relations they had prior to leaving the battlefield, and thus they will not be targeted by the delayed trigger. Secondly, activating Merieke's ability, untapping her in response, and re-activating it will allow for multiple creatures to be stolen without the delay trigger entering the stack until she leaves or untaps again. Thus, I wanted to build a deck that maximized Mereike's own creature-stealing ability rather than fill the deck with more gain-control cards (though there are ones that I think are powerful enough in their own right to include in that custom category). Check out the "Tap/Untap" and "Flicker" categories under the custom sort. Bear in mind that cards like Momentary Blink and Soulherder will return creatures to their owner's control, so shouldn't be used to remove Merieke's delayed trigger.
In making this deck, I wanted to be a bit "meaner" and make a deck that performed near a competitive level without relying on cards that put the price point at thousands of dollars (not trying to force the murder of some poor old lady for her pawn broker fortune). I enjoy trying to make commander decks that are more budget-friendly (though, this one is a stretch for my grad student income), as it makes me think outside the box. Options like Peregrine Drake provide great alternatives to traditionally used cards like Palinchron. This being said, I do think cards like Minamo, School at Water's Edge and Rhystic Study provide enough value to include despite their price-point. Cutting down the price more could be achieved by swapping Supreme Verdict with Day of Judgment, the dual lands for basics and signets, and so on. This is a long way of saying I appreciate all suggestions but am not looking to include a card that costs >10% of the current deck price, as this is a physical deck.
Flicker and untapping are for more than just maximizing Merieke's ability. Infinite combos like Deadeye Navigator + Peregrine Drake and Intruder Alarm + Steward of Solidarity can cause mayhem on their own, but are maximized with other parts of the deck. For instance, the former can make Soulherder as buff as you want while the latter can work with Merieke, Vizier of Tumbling Sands, and Mother of Runes to fire them off as many times as desired. There are other combos like Dramatic Reversal + Isochron Scepter , Retreat to Coralhelm + Thawing Glaciers + Vizier of Tumbling Sands , cards within the "Tap/Untap" category, and cards between the "Flicker" and "ETB" categories. Of particular note, are Sidisi, Undead Vizier and her repeatable tutor ability, Archaeomancer and the recursion of powerful spells like Telemin Performance, and Cloudblazer and the draw/life gain. Cards in the "Function" category are meant to increase the effectiveness of the deck, but the clone cards deserve a special shout-out.
I have not had enough opportunity to playtest this deck against multiple opponents even though it was designed with this in mind, but I know it can get locked down hard by cards like Linvala, Keeper of Silence and Torpor Orb. If your play group uses these cards frequently, adding in more targeted removal might be worth it. While shroud can be stopped by stealing the shroud-giving permanent, heavily pillow-forted decks with multiple layers of hexproof and indestructible can become a problem. Merciless Eviction and Supreme Verdict are in for this reason, but Cleansing Meditation and Arcane Lighthouse are other worthy options. Merieke has a lot of play style options as a commander and focusing all on tapping/untapping or flicker or stealing creatures are effective routes to take! Depending on the opponents, swapping ETB effects to destroy artifacts or enchantments, or adding in more creature-control can help keep the deck on top.
You're only stealing and killing creatures so that you can get out of your situation and move onto a better life where you can do a lot of good! But you'll have to own up to being a murderous thief. Cards in the "Utilization" category are meant to maximize the use of creatures stolen by Merieke. Skullclamp and Lazav, Dimir Mastermind make it so you'll never feel too bad about destroying the creatures you steal, while High Market and Dark Prophecy can dump off creatures for your benefit if your opponents try to get their loved ones back. While this kind of labor will just dig a deeper hole, remember, this deck is all about being your authentic self.
Well, I hope you enjoyed Crime and Punishment! There are a lot of cards I considered in making this deck: Adarkar Valkyrie, Venser, Shaper Savant, Fatestitcher, Arcanis the Omnipotent , Empress Galina, Beguiler of Wills, Roil Elemental, Phyrexian Revoker, Flickerwisp, King Macar, the Gold-Cursed, Throne of the God-Pharaoh , Breaking Wave . . . I think that's what makes coordinating a deck around Merieke's ability so fun – it's easy to customize and make decks that are effective but operate in completely different manners! I'm sure there's plenty that can be done to refine and improve on this particular composition, so recommendations are more than welcome. Thanks for stopping by!
This is my first deck to rank, so thanks everyone! Humbly at #60


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86% Casual


Revision 9 See all

(3 years ago)

+1 Knight of the White Orchid main
+1 Oath of Lieges main
+1 Thawing Glaciers main
+1 Thought Vessel main
Date added 4 years
Last updated 2 years
Key combos

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

9 - 0 Mythic Rares

39 - 0 Rares

19 - 0 Uncommons

13 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.27
Tokens Bird 2/2 U, Elephant 3/3 G, Emblem Venser, the Sojourner, Warrior 1/1 W w/ Vigilance
Folders Combo Deck, Reference Material
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