Maybeboard


Weirdly Specific Theft Themed Deck

I had the idea for this deck when I first saw cards that allow you to cast your opponents spells. I decided to look for more and build a deck around them. I like to think of it as a way to make every game new and interesting. No two games ever being the same. Which is what I believe the Commander format is all about.

I have not picked your typical Mind Control or Act of Treason spells as that isn't the type of theft I am interested in. That is to say I avoid red cards that only give you control temporarily and I also avoid blue enchantments because if they get removed you lose control of whatever they enchanted.

The rough categories of theft spells I go for are:

  1. Casting opponents spells for free

  2. Casting opponents spells, still having to pay the cost (and sometimes being able to spend mana as though it were mana of any type or colour)

  3. Cards that just "put" you opponents permanents into play under your control

  4. Taking control of creatures and/or spells on the stack

  5. Controlling your opponent

  6. Miscellaneous

The first 3 categories can be further divided by what type of cards they steal (creature, artifact, instant, sorcery, etc.) and where they steal cards from (hand, deck, graveyard, field, stack). Sorting by all these sub categories just makes too many groups, most of which only have a few cards each. I've made a category of cards that I am not running that fit the theme, with explanations as to why I don't run them. Look at that category for budget alternatives if interested.

The Maybeboard is made up of cards I already want in the deck. Some of which were in it previuosly and have a high chance of getting back in if I take something out.

WITHOUT THE COST

Casting opponent's spells is fun! Especially when it's free* (after paying the cost of the theft spell itself)

Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge: Building a deck around theft, I had to either go Grixis with Jeleva, or Esper with Sen Triplets. I chose Grixis (mainly because I already had Jeleva and she was the main/first card to inspire this deck idea). There aren't many instants and sorceries she can grab in my own deck since I built around theme more than function. She still takes stuff from the other 3 decks in a regular Commander game which usually means I get something.

Mind's Dilation: I love this card. It doesn't matter who's turn it is. Just that it's the first spell an opponent has cast on that turn. For each opponent. SO GOOD.

Etali, Primal Storm: The more opponents the better. Etali might not have any evasion or keywords of any kind but it's abilkity triggers on attack so that's completely fine

Silent-Blade Oni: Ninjutsu works great with Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge, allowing you to both use Jeleva's flying to get this guy in and the fact that you want to recast Jeleva to steal more stuff with her ability

Stolen Goods: Great when it steals big things like planeswalkers. Less great when you steal a mana rock late game

Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh: His +2 is Stolen Goods, which is a nice effect to be able to do over and over

Spelljack: Very versatile since you can cast the stolen card whenever. Would love to see new art for this though

Diluvian Primordial: 3 free instants and/or sorceries on a 5/5 flying body feels like value to me. Even at 7 CMC

Wrexial, the Risen Deep: 2 different landwalk abilities means it usually slips past on at least 1 opponent

Mindclaw Shaman: I thought this would be one of the first cards I'd cut but it's performed surprisingly well. Grabbing ramp or a boardwipe is great, and casting a spell is optional if you don't like what you see. The fact the opponent's hand is revealed to everyone is relevant as well. I like politics

Spelltwine: 2 for 1. The funny thing is the spell I cast from my own graveyard will most likely be another theft spell

Talent of the Telepath: Getting Spell Mastery isn't hard in Commander. It just happens

Memory Plunder: Allows you to cast sorceries at instant speed. Casting an opponent's boarwipe from their grayeyard in response to their attacking you is fun

Fallen Shinobi: Ninjutsu is fun and works great with my commander. Also worht noting that this allows you to cast BOTH cards it steals for free

Mnemonic Deluge: Essentially spending per copy of the spell you target. Takes a while to get to but once you do this is worth it

Dazzling Sphinx: The cost isn't too expensive for a 4/5 flying creature and I definitely like repeatable theft abilities

Wildfire Devils: It's nice to have another (relatively) low cost creature that fits this theme. the fact it goes off on each of your turns is great even if it is random

Fevered Suspicion: Beholders are cool, and hitting everyone with Stolen Goods twice is amazing even at

Extract Brain: This is amazing. Unless someone has an absurdly large hand size (which, admittedly, does happen in commander)

Ashiok, Nightmare Muse: Casts from exile and doesn't care how they got there or who sent them there. Great synergy with several other cards in this deck including the commander

WITH THE COST

When you still have to pay the cost, you want something that makes that less of a burden. Ideally you don't have to pay that cost on the same turn you payed the cost of the theft spell itself, or you may not even have the mana available to do so. If you are not casting it right away, it's also nice if it's concealed (exiled face down) so that your opponents can't see it coming. The icing on top is if the spell allows you to "spend mana as though it were mana of any colour/type" (Colour/type is an important distinction as "type" can use coloured mana to cast things like Kozilek, the Great Distortion but "as though it were mana of any COLOUR" cannot). If the effect is repeatable in some way that can also justify having to pay the cost of the stolen card. The following cards have at least one of these upsides

Gonti, Lord of Luxury: Gives you a selection then sits on the field as a scary deathtouch blocker

Thief of Sanity: Almost a better Nightveil Specter, as the thief doesn't have to stay around for you to cast the spell(s). Not strictly better due to the difference in toughness and the fact the thief doesn't allow you to play lands.

Stolen Strategy: Essentially more card draw on your turn while denying your opponent those cards.

Praetor's Grasp: Mess with people :) I often get people guessing what I took and it's fun to take something they'd never guess

Nightveil Specter: Unfortunately the specter has to stay around for you to play the cards it takes. still good, since you can play opponents lands to help cast the spells you steal.

Hurl Through Hell: Love having removal that fits theme now. The newer theft cards like this and You Find Some Prisoners giving you extended time to cast the stolen card is amazing. I hope to continue seeing new theft cards like these

Cunning Rhetoric: Having a deterrent to being attacked is nice since I don't have many low cost creatures

Opposition Agent: WOW this card is amazing! If ANYONE searches their deck for ANYTHING they are denied what they want AND you get to steal! Green players trying to ramp with stuff like Explosive Vegetation will hate this

Mindleecher: Mutate is a cool ability. Even if I only get it's ability to go off once it is still hitting each opponent so I think it is worth it.

PUT INTO PLAY

This is it's own category becasue you are not casting the things you steal and that is sometimes an important distinction.

Lord of the Void: By far one of my favourite cards. Love the artwork and the ability. There are seven sevens on this card: 7 power, 7 toughness, 7 CMC, 7 cards exiled, 7 lines of text, there is a 7 in the card number, 7 Demons in the artwork.

Telemin Performance: Gets stuff in the graveyard for other cards and steals a creature. If they don't have any creatures, then it just mills their entire deck. People who play super friends decks beware

Bribery: Great card, would love to see it with new art. I am aware there is an alternate art judge promo but it's expensive

Oblivion Sower: Good colourless ramp. Stealing Opponents lands makes casting their cards easier. The fact it takes all lands that player owns in exile is great considering what my commander Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge does. Also great with other exile effects like Ashiok, Nightmare Muse as they both exile, take from exile, and don't care who put it there in the first place.

Thrilling Encore: Cast this after a board wipe and become public enemy # 1

Inevitable Betrayal: This is ridiculous. Bribery at is insane even if it takes longer to go off. Also, if you think I am not going to quote Firefly every time I cast this you are sorely mistaken

TAKE CONTROL

I could add a lot of Mind Control enchantments to fit the theme of this deck, but I don't like how the enchantment getting removed gives the creature back to it's owner. I went with things that didn't need to stay around for me to keep stolen cards.

Commandeer: Alternative cost is powerful. I've won multiple games with this card. Most while tapped out and my opponent thought I couldn't do anything

Aethersnatch: Steal anything being cast. Fun when someone thinks their "can't be countered" spell is safe

Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker: Just Great. Won me a game where someone had kicked Desolation Angel. I took control of the angel and beat them with it. Felt like justice

Hellkite Tyrant: I don't play against decks with many relevant artifacts but stealing whatever people happen to have is still usually good. Insane when someone plays a Mycosynth Lattice and you take everything they have

Order of Succession: This card is SO MUCH FUN! The POLITICS. The FLAVOUR. Which direction do I choose? Do I have no creatures for someone else to take? That's a shame. Symmetrical effects are nothing but fair

Chef's Kiss: Yes I will do a Cheff's Kiss whenever I cast this, try and stop me. Even with random targets, it can't target you or your stuff so it is safely random. Controlled chaos is what this deck is all about.

Agent of Treachery: Strong deck synergy from this. Nice to have some reliable card draw. You probably shouldn't take lands with this but the option is there.

Mass Manipulation: Expensive to grab multiple things but still powerful

Lullmage's Domination: The cost reduction is inevitable in commander

Entrancing Melody: Simple and clean

Dominate: Being an instant makes for some fun interactions like yoinking things out of combat

Geyadrone Dihada: I am very happy that not only is there a new Grixis planeswalker that is not Nicol Bolas, but aslo that it is built around theft!

CONTROLLING PLAYERS

Stealing your opponents whole turn is a powerful form of theft.

Worst Fears: High cost, still amazing. Wins games. Especially when your opponent is able to sacrifice things, or pay life into something like Necropotence

Emrakul, the Promised End: People don't expect this. The cost reduction is great and protection from instants is more valuble than I thought it would be

Miscellaneous

Stuff that loosely fits theme but doesn't cleanly fit into one of my previous categories.

Drain Power: Your opponent tapping their lands does NOT stop you from taking their mana as their mana pool drains into yours

Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God: Copying other planeswalker abilities is cool and fun!

WRONG COLOURS

Unfortunately, there are some cards in this theme that are not within Grixis colours.

Sen Triplets: Would be a great to have

Aminatou, the Fateshifter: Fun ultimate, I'd use this if I was prioritizing chaos over theft

Daxos of Meletis: Good evasion, some life gain, and even though you have to pay the cost of the stolen spell, you're not doing it on the same turn you had to pay for Daxos and you can spend mana as though it were mana of any colour to cast it

Villainous Wealth: I wish this card did not have in it's mana cost. It can't be run in theft decks with all it's Grixis or Esper theft card friends :( I have copied this once with Reverberate. That was fun

Plasm Capture: Fair and balanced version of Mana Drain would be fun to play, but once again gets in the way

Profane Procession  /Tomb of the Dusk Rose: Would be a great deterrent to make people not attack you

Inniaz, the Gale Force: Unlike with Order of Succession, you get to choose each card being passed around like a hot potato

Haldan, Avid Arcanist and Pako, Arcane Retriever: Haldan can't play fetch without Pako

NOT USED, FREQUENTLY SUGGESTED, AND BUDGET ALTERNATIVES

I do not run the following cards. I have done my best to describe why. Something being on this list does NOT mean it will always be here or that these cards are bad, just that I do not currently run them. Some of these cards are great in other decks but do not function here due to how they steal things like Admiral Beckett Brass and Guile. Some of these are on the cheaper side for those interested in budget alternatives to the more expensive cards I've used in the deck. Not all of these are budget alternatives. Some are on this list specifically because they are absudrly expensive.

Psychic Intrusion: After spending the I am rarely able to cast the stolen card on the same turn. Everyone sees it coming. It might not come in time. I run a few cards like this but they all have some sort of upside this one does not

Covetous Urge: Identical to Psychic Intrusion but with a different cost.

Psychic Theft: Only until end of turn, have to pay for it, and you have to have the right type(s) of mana. Chromatic Lantern solves one of those issues but I don't like relying on it too heavily

Helm of Obedience: Not good. Though I think about this card now and then just because it's one of the oldest cards I can find that does this type of theft. Doing research into this weirdly specific niche has given me insight into how WoTC has changed how they design these cards over the years. I could go on and on about the design choices made but I haven't found many people who like to talk about that kind of stuff

Thought Dissector: Same as the helm, just for artifacts.

Mindleech Mass: I want to like this card, but the isn't worth a 6/6 even with Trample. To make this worthwhile it would need to be bigger, cost less, have an additional keyowrd or 2, or some combination of all these things

Grinning Totem: Slow, costly, needs right colours

Mindslaver: Slow. Paints a target on your face

Jace's Mindseeker: Even with flying, a 4/4 who's ability only goes off once doesn't feel like it should cost

Chancellor of the Spires: Same mana value as Diluvian Primordial but has fewer targets. Opening hand ability is cool but rarely happens

Hedonist's Trove: Slow and costly. Can only cast one thing a turn. If the enchantment gets destroyed you lose all the cards. If anything else removes cards from graveyards, there's less for it to take. Just too many downsides

Dead Man's Chest: I just never managed to get this to go off. Would be amazing if it had flash

Herald of Leshrac: This is great in commander. However, since I have a couple other things that steal land such as Oblivion Sower and Nightveil Specter it's less great since it returns ALL lands I control owned by other players. Even ones not stolen by the Herald

Perplexing Chimera: Bites you in the butt. Great for chaos decks

Conjured Currency: This will come back to haunt you. Great for chaos decks

Switcheroo: Fun, but not often functional at . Role Reversal is in my colours with lower cmc, and can target more than just creatures. Great for chaos decks

Kheru Spellsnatcher: When you have one Morph card in a deck and you play the same people each week, they tend to catch on

Knacksaw Clique: UNtap ability is awkward

Eternal Dominion: Epic is bad

Expropriate: I strongly dislike extra turn cards.

Piracy: Your opponents can just tap all their lands to stop you from using them, unlike with Drain Power

Hive Mind: Great for chaos decks, not great for this deck

Knowledge Pool: Also great for chaos decks

Nicol Bolas, the Ravager  /Nicol Bolas, the Arisen: Planeswalker side of this is great but it costs a total of to get there and that takes time in which he is an easy target.

Thada Adel, Acquisitor: I don't play against many decks that have a lot of artifacts

Acquire: Basically Bribery but for artifacts. Which is great but I just don't play against many artifact heavy decks

Mana Drain: Fits thematically, costs too much money

Karn Liberated: Also fits thematically, but most people just scoop in commander when he uses his ultimate. I don't like abilities or spells that essentially say "I win". If I don't get to actually play out the effect than it's not fun to me. Also costs too much money

Gilded Drake: Costs too much money

Curse of Echoes: Could be good if someone is too powerful and everyone gangs up on them but can also be used against you. Great for chaos decks

Reversal of Fortune: High mana cost for an effect that is cheaper elsewhere. I wouldn't be mad if this got reprinted with new art, but I think it's more likely that something similar but better would get printed instead

Ornate Kanzashi: Interesting card. Still makes you pay for the spell but mana isn't bad as an activation cost

Dire Fleet Daredevil: This deck already lacks low cost creatures which might make you think this is a good addition, but this cards ability makes you NOT want to cast it right away since you probably wont have mana to cast both it and be able to steal a card with it

Admiral Beckett Brass: This is not a pirate deck

Guile: I don't run enough counterspells

Thieving Amalgam: Expensive mana cost and I am not a huge fan of manifest and other face down card stuff

Jace, Architect of Thought: Only his ultimate fits the theme and his other abilities don't impress me a lot

Vedalken Plotter: Can be good but I don't want to give away lands. Even to get something better. Great for chaos decks

Shared Fate: Fun, but doesn't help out one player (me) specifically. Great for chaos decks

Allure of the Unknown: I want someone else at the table to play this. I will not.

Rags / Riches: Worse than Blatant Thievery at the same mana value

Mnemonic Betrayal: Having a selection of spells to choose from doesn't matter as much as you might think when you have to pay full price for each of them

Kefnet's Last Word: Not untapping your lands is bad

Fiend of the Shadows: Too expensive for a 3/3, and I would never be able to utilize it's regenerate ability reliably

Daring Thief: Interesting, but this is not a chaos deck

Riptide Entrancer: Interesting, would be great with some sort of evasion. I don't like morph

Kukemssa Pirates: No evasion and I don't face many artifact decks

Empress Galina: Definitely good in Commander but to be completely honest I am shallow enough to not run this because I don't like the artwork

The Trickster-God's Heist: The first 2 parts are fun but the 3rd is underwhelming

King Narfi's Betrayal: Similar to Mnemonic Betrayal, being able to steal multiple things from a selection of cards is great, but having to pay retail for them is not

Share the Spoils: This deck is not about sharing. Great for chaos decks though

Author of Shadows: Great card if you want complete graveyard removal with upside, but for this deck it would just be stopping me from stealing other cards from graveyards

Aura Thief: I like the idea of what this could do against the right deck, but it's a little too specific to run it all the time

Beguiler of Wills: It really hurts that she is a 1/1. I think being mythic could have justified her being a 2/3 at least. Especially at . Her ability is great in other decks, but in mine I do not often have many creatures and when I do she is just a win-more card

Breeches, Brazen Plunderer: This is not a pirate deck and Menace is my least favourite evasion ability

Crafty Cutpurse: This is great, I just don't play against token decks enough to justify it

Kheru Mind-Eater: menace is not great evasion, and the fact that my opponent gets to choose what I get is also not good

Lorcan, Warlock Collector: I don't have any guarnteed life gain so this would be very risky

Memnarch: Repeatable but expensive

Necrotic Ooze: I tried this for a while but it just never performed well

Notion Thief: I am paranoid about how the card draw isn't optional. I have seen people lose to someone else having Consecrated Sphinx too many times

Robber of the Rich: I don't like how I must attack with a rogue to cast the stolen spell, in addition to the restrictions on when it can steal in the first place

Simic Manipulator: I don't think I have enough creatures to make this work. Even with theft cards that have opponents creatures enter on my side of the field

Sphinx Ambassador: ...Are they supposed to be weird elbows? Who decided to give this art the green light? This needs to be reprinted with different art becasue I love the ability but I am done with people looking at me funny when I play the card

Gather Specimens: I love what this card could do in the right situation when someone casts Living Death or Rise of the Dark Realms but that happens so rarely for me that I can't currently justify running it in this deck

Wrong Turn: Contrary to popular belief, this is not a chaos deck

Role Reversal: I ran this for a while, it was fun, but I took it out for something more one sided

Sakashima's Will: Your opponent gets to choose what you get

Muse Vessel: This isn't terrible but isn't great either

Planeswalker's Mischief: The randomly revealed card might not even be an instant or sorcery. Sure there are siutuations when it is guaranteed or at least highly likely but I do not think it is worth it often enough

Sudden Substitution: I no longer use cards that exchange control of things. They are fun, but I'm focusing on other effects now

Political Trickery: I don't run exchange cards anymore

New Blood: You could argue that it is reasonable to run this since my commander is a vampire that I am guaranteed to have to cast this spell, but I am just not certain

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91% Casual

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