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Lessons From the Fringe: Tymna Farm and Turbo Ad Nauseam

Bringing Turbo Ad Nauseam Back!

Abzan Farm (also known as "Bad Farm" for a long while) is a Turbo Ad Nauseam deck; a type of fast combo deck that aims to exploit the power of enhanced main-phase Ad Nauseams to close out the game as early as possible. If this quick Ad Naus plan is disrupted, the deck switches gears to a value-grinding gameplan that capitalizes on the deck's utility creatures with Tymna to draw up to 3 extra cards per turn. This, accompanied by the high amount of lifegain potential from Ikra Shidiqi, the Usurper and other lifegain engines in the deck, allows it to power out huge Ad Nauseam turns or Necropotence sculpts at any stage of the game.

The shell and the name "Farm" were originally inspired by RiverMayCry's deck Mad Farm, a Mardu list helmed by Tymna the Weaver and Bruse Tarl, Boorish Herder. The partner pair got depicted as inhabiting a farm full of weaving, herding and butchering small herd animals for resources. The name stuck ever since, and these days it is mainly used to describe non-blue Ad Nauseam fast combo shells in parts of the cEDH community, usually with Tymna as one of the commanders.

Aside from Ad Nauseam itself, this particular list is also equipped with a diverse package of game-ending combos for more maneuverability around certain forms of stax and hate, much like with River's original build.

This deck might be something for you if you:

  • Play in a competitive EDH playgroup (the list is tuned to its highest potential).
  • Like playing fast combo decks and have a highly proactive playstyle.
  • Enjoy synergistic decks that amount to more than a sum of their parts.
  • Like playing with less conventional cards.
  • Enjoy taking risks and relying on your intuition.
  • Like that big, scaly booty in the command zone.

On the flip side, this deck might not be something for you if you:

  • Play in a more relaxed playgroup or table that are populated by low-power decks (again, this deck is built to win as fast as possible and will not make any friends).
  • Want a lot of interaction and/or stax in your deck, as this one runs very little of either.
  • Like decks that have a high individual card quality.
  • Don't like commanders with the Partner mechanic.
  • Like more established decks that are known to bring in results.

In addition, I have some alternative deck options for you if you just prefer playing:

  • Bruse Tarl/Red instead of Ikra Shidiqi/Green (see Mad Farm)
  • Thrasios/Blue instead of Tymna/White (see Shidiqi's Betrayal).
  • a list helmed by both Thrasios and Tymna because that would just be a better version of this list (see Consult Scepter Thrasios).

Sickening Dreams

Use Ad Nauseam + Angel's Grace to draw your deck, then cast Sickening Dreams discarding 50+ cards to kill the whole table.

Leonin Relic-Warder

Put Leonin Relic-Warder to your graveyard by discarding/sacrificing it, put Corpse Knight or Blasting Station on the field, then cast Animate Dead/Dance of the Dead/Necromancy on Relic-Warder to bring it back to the battlefield. Target the reanimation enchantment with Relic-Warder's ETB trigger, exiling it and putting Relic-Warder back to the graveyard. This brings the enchantment back and can be looped for infinite ETB/death triggers. Finally, use either Corpse Knight or Blasting Station to kill the table. You can use targeted discard like Thoughtseize, Cabal Therapy or even Overeager Apprentice to discard Relic-Warder from your hand, if need be.

Squirrelcraft

Stick Earthcraft and a basic land, enchant the basic land with Squirrel Nest, and finally tap the land to make a squirrel token, tapping the token via Earthcraft to untap the enchanted land. This creates infinite tapped squirrel tokens when looped. The kill takes a turn cycle to go into effect unless you have a Blasting Station or Corpse Knight, in which case you can keep creating (and sacrificing) new squirrel tokens to kill the table on the spot.

For both of the combos with Blasting Station, the outlet can also be something like Altar of the Brood if you're not up against players that run Eldrazi Titans or other forms of graveyard shuffling in their decks.

Flash Hulk, the Apex Predator

Flash Hulk lists are arguably the fastest combo decks you can come across today in cEDH tables. Given that their combos require only two cards and two mana to bring about a game-winning game state, usually with protection, some games you just lose to these decks, and that is a concession Farm is willing to make. However, given that we are talking about arguably the most dangerous decks in the table, you have a few tools at your disposal that you can use to deal with them, both in verbal and cardboard form.

  • Discard: Early Thoughtseizes and Cabal Therapies naming Flash are always valid choices against local Hulk players. Even if you miss your Therapy discard, getting the information on their hand ASAP is of utmost importance unless you want to get got by their sudden participation to a counter war down the line by flashing in a win (pun intended). By revealing their hand you also give the rest of the table the knowledge required to deal with any incoming early win attempts. Just don’t discard their Hulk unless you’re planning to reanimate it right after yourself - they run plenty of reanimation too.
  • Grave Hate: With Thassa's Oracle out and about, graveyard hate became even less relevant than before against the strongest Hulk piles. However, if one does come across any Hulk deck that likes to abuse their graveyard somehow, we have our way around that. Our primary blow-out piece here is Scavenger Grounds, which can be tutored with Crop Rotation as well as flashed onto the field via Krosan Wayfarer. As Grounds is a land, it also goes through protection pieces like Grand Abolisher, which is important to keep in mind if the Hulk player runs piles with Abolisher in them. Noxious Revival works as grave hate against DNV piles (short for “Definitely Not Varolz”, don’t ask) that utilize Lesser Masticore persist loops, but unfortunately doesn’t do much against any other Hulk piles that are out there. Necromancy can be used to disrupt anything reanimation or persist-based that’s not with Grand Abolisher backup, but do take care of Shuffle's flashed back Memory's Journeys that can be used to respond to your hate spell. Work with the table here if possible to present responses to Hulk player's responses.
  • Silence Effects: If your opponent is playing any Hulk pile that requires casting spells afterward, Silence stops them in their tracks. Just be careful if they can win at instant speed, because at that point they can just go off during the next player’s upkeep if the table is not prepared. With the arrival of Hulk piles that run Thassa's Oracle, these might be less frequently encountered, but it's something to keep in mind regardless.
  • Strategy & Politics: Your strongest weapon against Hulk is ironically our other opponents’ interaction against Flash, so using verbal means to ready the table against it is our A-game. Anything the Hulk player does, be it mana production, casting spells, tapping mana, not tapping mana… call it out. Make a parade out of the ever-approaching doom named Flash. Let the Hulk player know that you’re not falling for anything they might try to take the spotlight off of them, and let the table know that they need to keep their interaction up for those Flashes at all times. As focus is shifted away from your value game, you can either keep grinding with Tymna, or slip by an innocuous Silence effect just to hit the Ad Nauseam button right after.

Flash Hulk players are your some of your hardest opponents to deal with, not just because of their consistently high speeds, but also due to their extreme resilience against interaction and hate. Fortunately, however, you’re not alone with this dilemma. Use the table to your advantage, and shift attention as much as you can towards the top dog. If you’re up against multiple Hulk players, this strategy unfortunately gets less effective and your wins come down to luck more than anything. However, the longer the games and standoffs go, usually the more inevitability you can represent with your Silences and counter-proof lands. Meta-specific hate cards like Containment Priest, Hushbringer, Aven Mindcensor and Hallowed Moonlight can be used against Hulk if you can’t turn the table against them with table talk, but use any static effects sparingly and mainly as last-ditch blowouts.

Consultation, the Midrange Mastermind

There were more than half a dozen decks that won by abusing Laboratory Maniac before 2019 in the cEDH scene, but with last year's arrival in Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, the sample size of decks running at least one of these two had fittingly doubled, more so since the ban of Paradox Engine. Now with the fresh spoiling of Thassa's Oracle, a large majority of cEDH decks with blue might as well have some sort of "win the game when your deck is gone" effect in them.

Consultation is not as much of an archetype as it is a package that is being pasted into every deck that by default tries to go fast, usually along the lines of Ad Nauseam, Food Chain or some other engine. However, given the package’s primary role as a resilient slow-roll win condition, most of these decks are a pretty good matchup against us. The playstyle Consultation leans towards is consequently more on the conservative side than the storm decks of old - something we can leverage to outrace them with our aggressive tactics. Proper use of your interaction cards should be taken into account when facing Consultation Kess, CST (Consultation Scepter Thrasios), Food Chain First Sliver or anything of the sort, with some tips presented below to help you prioritize against their most favorite backup plan.

  • Discard: Consultation players often like to play the game from their hand rather than from their board, so taking a peek at all the information they have access to and revealing their gameplan to the table is often a powerful move, especially when they have been relatively passive for a turn or two. This especially applies to non-creature storm decks like Kess or Zur, which only hold mana sources or value enchantments on the field outside of their generals.
  • Praetor’s Grasp: Praetor's Grasp is also a very useful card against Consultation, as these decks like Ad Nauseam almost as much as we do, with some exceptions. Getting a “wheel-proof” Ad Naus is very useful for us, but don’t be afraid to take a Silence, a Mystic Remora or even a Dockside Extortionist in case the situation calls for it (and you have a mana source that can cast the card you stole). Grasp can also be used as a way to speculate what the Consultation player has in their hand, but this tactic only works in a paper metagames and only when you know their decklist inside-out, so keep that in mind.
  • Removal: Abrupt Decay does wonders against Consultation lines that rely on Laboratory Maniac, but not so much against Jace nor the new haymaker Thassa's Oracle. Assassin's Trophy works Lab Man and Jace, but counterable spells can have trouble resolving due to the amount of cheap counterspells run by these decks. Be sure to fire your removal rather sooner than later if you see no-one else having interaction for the game-winning permanents, as their controller can easily deck themselves in response to your efforts given enough time and resources.
  • Grave Hate: Consultation combo lines go through grave hate like nothing, but it’s good to note that every Consultation deck in their right mind also runs Yawgmoth's Will. Some madmen even play Mnemonic Betrayal, so keep that Scavenger Grounds handy in case graveyards start getting stacked.
  • Silence Effects: Silence doesn’t work well against Consultation + Lab Man itself, but it sure makes the more conservative players break a sweat if you’re presenting Ad Nauseam mana. Keep these small jabs with Ranger-Captain, Hope of Ghirapur and reanimation for them ready to threaten combo attempts and keep them on their back foot. Silence effects also work against any of the non-Consultation lines like with Food Chain Sliver, or with any of the storm lines by CST, Kess etc.
  • Strategy & Politics: Consultation decks are usually a tad slower than we are in our combo attempts, so trying to force them to interact with us or with someone faster than us is a pretty valid strategy most of the time. If it’s the Consultation player who’s speeding, then be ready to start speculating with the table the lines they could be taking. Are they going for a quick Ad Nauseam kill? A Food Chain line? Notion Thief + Wheel perhaps? Finding out what the Consultation player is going for helps the table to respond accordingly when they eventually cast their haymakers, so help other players as much as you can verbally in pinpointing the right course of action (and interaction) for that point in time. After the fast combo attempts are done with, you can try your own luck in going off, or grind value with Tymna & Ikra if the board becomes stagnant due to hate pieces until you have enough removal and/or protection to force through a win.

All in all, Consultation players like to lean on the grindy side in regards to many cEDH tables, so most of the time you’ll be asking the questions with early Ad Nauseams or mid-game Silences. If they try rounding up the table against you, play the attention politics as much as you can and try beating them at their own value game. If the game goes long enough, you can start threatening Ad Nauseam through Boseiju, or an Abolisher creature through Cavern of Souls to win on the spot. There aren’t many meta-specific cards I’d particularly recommend, as the combo package is pretty immune to any specific hate, except for the new Thassa's Oracle which is best disrupted with Hushbringer at best due to the card's uses already against Flash Hulk. Other than that, just direct the table so everyone can contribute with removal or counterspells when everyone’s favorite blue Gray Ogre or one of his younger cousins enters the fray.

Blood Pod & Stax, the Former Nemesis

Stax decks have been the traditional main opponent against fast combo decks, especially back when Partial Paris was a thing. However, with the arrival of the more strict Mulligan rules in EDH, stax has taken a backseat for a while (save for very established playgroups), and the surge of midrange makes using card slots for hate pieces even less favorable despite the arrival of London mulligans. A couple of dedicated stax lists still see play online, the primary one being Tymna Tana Blood Pod. Stax decks like Blood Pod can bring our combo plans to a halt with a couple of properly timed spheres or Rule of Law effects, but with Farm, we have several tactics we can use to deal with them.

  • Serra Ascendant & Aggro: The amount of games I’ve been in and where the stax player has been beaten out by the table is more numerous than one might imagine. That being said, Serra Ascendant often is one of the biggest beaters available in cEDH, and with evasion to boot. The moment the stax player starts over-dedicating to their hate piece gameplan, start leaning on “player removal” instead of permanent removal by swinging at them with any creatures that are able to connect.
  • Discard: One might think that the best way to deal with a hate piece is to get rid of it before it even hits the stack, but try being conservative with your hand hate here. Stax players play plenty of hate, and your discard is definitely not plentiful. Shooting your discard spells is more of a thing to consider when forced to a 1v1 situation against stax down the line.
  • Removal: Just like with discard, be conservative with your removal against stax. If you see that you can go off by removing one troublesome permanent, then definitely tutor a Decay/Trophy/Claim and blast off. If it’s anything more than that, however, then try leveraging the removal held by the rest of the table. If your deck runs mass removal spells, those can be handy depending on the situation.
  • Tymna Value: Sometimes, the best thing against stax is to just sit back and grind. With Tymna and evasive creatures, you often are at an advantage against your opponents, as creature beats go through almost every relevant cEDH stax piece. With Ikra, your life totals will also stay at reasonable levels despite aggressive approaches from your opponents, but be ready for the occasional Toxic Deluge or Elesh Norn that can ruin these kinds of gameplans.
  • Strategy & Politics: Leverage the fact that stax is one of the most difficult archetypes to play when it comes to politics: nobody truly likes being stopped from playing Magic, even at the competitive level where everything goes. Try emphasizing on those early game creatures, so that when the eventual Trinisphere, Rule of Law or Null Rod hits the field, you can rally the whole table to gang up on the stax player. If the stax player is smart, he’ll conserve most of the stax and play only as much as is necessary to stop the fastest decks, in which case you can attempt to remove that one piece that’s stopping you from going off, then do just that.

Stax is not something that exists in huge numbers in most cEDH tables these days, especially now that midrange is seemingly everywhere. Midrange preys on stax, so while the occasional taxing permanent or a Deafening Silence can can stop our Ad Nauseam-filled fun time, their controllers are rarely favored against the numerous value engines presented to them by their opponents. Simply keep in mind that Blood Moon is a card so you don’t get blown out by not fetching those basic lands when you could’ve.

Things do however become much more problematic when every opposing deck plays stax, because at that point you’re the punching bag, and at the same time you’re the only one that wants to get rid of the now stax-infested board. If your local metagame ever (d)evolves into that, adding 1-2 mass removal spells like Engineered Explosives, Toxic Deluge, Force of Vigor, Pernicious Deed or Seeds of Innocence is an option. If playing red, cards like Abrade, Fiery Covenant, Wear//Tear, and even By Force can be used if absolutely needed.

Najeela Tempo

While Najeela Hulk is a threat to behold upon getting a fast hand, regular Najeela Tempo with its infinite creature combos is still somewhat favored in the midrange meta of today. Not many people run enough board wipes to actively keep Najeela at bay in the more diverse metagames, and the lack of proper blockers only grows the warrior army stronger as the game advances.

While our deck can mitigate some of the damage Najeela does by leveraging lifegain, our sharp flower provides exponential growth to her army, not unlike a certain goblin mob boss. This means that upon reaching several warriors, you eventually get alpha struck by 80+ damage and there’s nothing you can do about it without a board wipe. Our deck doesn’t run anything else than a measly Sickening Dreams, but given the low toughness of the tokens and Najeela herself, there’s no need to discard your whole hand to blow her board out. If running against a regular that always brings out Najeela, adding a board wipe wouldn’t be the worst move. However, keeping spot removal mana open and reminding the table about keeping blockers up should usually be enough to keep Najeela in check should she become a regular problem in any given table.

Gitrog Dredge

Times may change indeed in terms of deck preference, but I can still pretty safely say that The Gitrog Monster helms one beast of a combo deck with its cockroach-like resilience and consistency. To combat the Flash Hulk menace, the more contemporary Gitrog decks have attempted to speed things up by adopting more aggressive tutors in Tainted Pact & Plunge into Darkness as well as a tad more aggressive playstyle, not unlike us in that sense. However, even with this speed, Gitrog has difficulties keeping up with Farm’s velocity. While presenting way more eventuality than we do with the mere fact that a resolved Gitrog allows one to draw cards by sticking two fetchlands without passing priority, Tymna costing 3 and Gitrog costing 5 means that we’re always one step ahead in our value plan. I know from firsthand experience that this will irritate Gitrog players to no end, so being ready for them to call out your Tymna or remove it themselves is a reasonable course of action to take.

You can’t do much against Gitrog itself, so playing the table is key here. If there are 2 players with blue, it’s basically a politics game between you and frog on who is the bigger threat. While this happens, grinding value with Tymna means that we’ve usually got the bigger amount of resources, but if other players are lacking in interaction, it’s time to race and hard. While we can’t do much to disrupt Gitrog other than with something like Silence or spot removal to buy time, Gitrog hasn’t got much on us either, so hitting off those Ad Nauseams ASAP is the name of the game.

Reanimator / Razaketh

When the metagame starts to slow down, cEDH players often like to leverage the consistency granted to them by the graveyard by adding a reanimator package to their decks. Even some of the Hulk players lean on this kind of plan in case their “flashy” win doesn’t add up to expectations (you guys can see how much I love Flash, can’t you?), especially now that Vilis, Broker of Blood is quickly getting results along with Dockside Extortionist in terms of cards and mana, respectively. Razaketh is the primary reanimator shell to beat, but other variations also exist due to the malleability of reanimator packages. As with Hulk, grave hate does its work here, and a little bit more effectively too. Focusing on outracing these decks usually is preferred, however, as after an Entomb, Survival of the Fittest or a Buried Alive it’s hard to keep them from sticking their haymakers to the table. One strategy of course is to reanimate their threats yourself with Animate Dead or Necromancy, which is very entertaining when you can make it happen.

Green Creature Combo / Elfball

Originally helmed by only Yisan, the green creature shells have expanded to Momir Vig Hackball as well as to Selvala, Heart of the Wilds Brostorm over the years. There’s not much I can say about the latter two, but Yisan has always been weak to board wipes, and I bet a similar approach works on the rest as well. This means desperate Sickening Dreams lines sometimes, but even reminding people that Yisan is the most consistent deck in all of cEDH can encourage people to tutor their own Toxic Deluges. If these kinds of decks are a problem factor in your playgroup, you can consider adding creature wipes of your own to your list. Rely on your players as much as you can though, as we’re not exactly a reactive deck.

Mono Blue

Never mind the age and place, people have always loved playing their mono blue cEDH brews. Azami, Teferi, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  , Baral, Urza, even Fblthp and Emry… in short, there are a lot of lists out there. However, playing mono blue these days comes with a humongous risk because of Carpet of Flowers. The card essentially becomes a super ritual that repeats every turn it stays on the field when there’s a mono blue player at the table, so tutor for that Carpet ASAP, especially when against Teferi or Urza which love playing stax cards to break parity on mana, which Carpet dodges like nothing. Urza is arguably the most dangerous of all of the generals mentioned above, but even then his power in comparison to partners is not too significant.

As much as I’d like to just jam a Collector Ouphe against mono blue decks, our dependence on mana rocks is high enough that using mass removal like Engineered Explosives, Seeds of Innocence or Pernicious Deed is more preferred in case some are wreaking havoc (which I seriously doubt at the moment).

I’ll keep it brief: this deck has got some pretty easy mulligans, especially when you know what to look for. I’ll answer that exact question by going through the priority order of what you want from best to worst.

Fast Mana + Ad Nauseam / Tutor

For any storm veteran, this is a pretty obvious instant keep. Ad Nauseam, ridiculous mana potential and a tutor for pretty much anything you would need. I would most definitely try a turn 2 Ad Nauseam here with 0 mana floating; the deck is designed to win from those kinds of situations as often as possible with all the Moxen and other fast mana we have still in our deck. Vampiric Tutor gets us an easy Yawgmoth's Will or Scroll Rack depending on what we need after getting our 20+ cards, or alternatively a recursion spell to try another Ad Naus if it gets countered. Even without Ad Nauseam in the opener, the Vampiric Tutor here would easily work as a replacement for Naus too, making this an easy keep nevertheless.

Fast Mana + Creatures that land before Tymna / Necropotence

One of our better hands that this deck is built to very consistently mulligan to. You have plenty of ramp and plenty of 1-drop creatures here, and it’ll be easy to jam Tymna on turn 2 or 3. One question here would be whether to play Avacyn's Pilgrim or Serra Ascendant first. Depends on the table, but an early Ascendant can be used to pressure other Ad Nauseam decks, or alternatively ones that play an early stax piece to keep you from comboing off. Even though early ramp is often preferred, don’t underestimate the clock Ascendant represents if you play it on turn 1. Take note that Necropotence also is a high-priority target in openers should your hand be able to cast it, and has an equal level of priority as hands like the one above.

Fast Mana + Other Value Engines / Interaction

Now we get to the more common examples of openers: a lot of ramp accompanied by less powerful value engines and/or some interaction. Because we already have our engine in the command zone, these kinds of hands fit well for our purposes. The first hand can Tainted Pact into Ad Nauseam too, but in case it doesn’t find Naus before exiling most of your mana sources, it still has more than enough action to function well with Scroll Rack that can dig deep with Tymna. The second hand has no tutors, but it has more than enough mana to cast Ikra as a Tymna creature, and also Ad Nauseam should we topdeck it or a tutor for it.

Creatures that land before Tymna

The sketchiest of keepable hands, but still keepable as it has a steady game plan. Tymna comes out on turn 2 or 3 depending on our topdeck, and at that point you’ll be most likely topdecking into more and more mana. One tutor plus a protection piece will seal the game, but depending on the table it will be a tough race for you at times. The Smothering Tithe and Dark Confidant make this one of the better hands of this level, but even with 1-2 creature cards instead of those two would suffice if you’re already mulliganing deep.

Now we’re getting to the more challenging part, that being the resolution of a main-phase Ad Nauseam with very little mana open. Among black combo players in EDH, people often prefer playing Ad Naus pretty conservatively as an end-step draw-spell, which makes it essentially free card-draw to set up for your combo turn. Most decks are satisfied by building their decks around this sort of Ad Naus usage, and it is quite powerful in relation to the amount of deckbuilding sacrifices you’d have to make.

However, as the high-power tables get used to seeing 5+ mana open followed by the combo player passing turn without doing anything, everyone will be holding onto their counterspells which makes attempting to go off that much more difficult. By comparison, main-phase Ad Nauseams give no early forecast on what’s about to happen, and at the same time eliminate the risk of passing turns to people who might be going off on their turns. And even if you don’t draw into enough fast mana and end up passing turn, sculpting into your perfect 7-card-grip often is more valuable than risking a turn cycle where you might get countered.

For the uninitiated, here’s a pretty usual game state in terms of your board and open mana post-Ad Nauseam, but with some unfriendly flips to force some elaboration on possible lines one can take:

Game state: Your turn 3. You’re up against 3 blue players, two of which have 1 blue mana open. You play Wooded Foothills getting Savannah as your land for the turn, and no-one presented counterspells to the Mana Vault that you topdecked. You proceed to cast Ad Nauseam, which also has no responses. You go down to 3 life with the following hand post-resolution:

Children of Korlis, Grand Abolisher, Marsh Flats, Verdant Catacombs, Gemstone Caverns, Snow-Covered Forest, Swamp, Overeager Apprentice, Gaea's Cradle, Arcane Signet, Imperial Seal, Elvish Spirit Guide, Cabal Ritual, Forest, Vampiric Tutor, Flooded Strand, Ancient Tomb, Exotic Orchard, Snow-Covered Plains, Crop Rotation, Skullclamp, Polluted Delta, Boseiju, Who Shelters All, Dark Confidant, Serra Ascendant, Cavern of Souls, Command Tower, Memnite, Smothering Tithe, Animate Dead, Corpse Knight, Exploration, Yawgmoth's Will, Scavenger Grounds, Regrowth, Abrupt Decay, Grim Monolith

Your graveyard consists of: Windswept Heath, Wooded Foothills, Ad Nauseam

When it comes to your opponents, this might very well be a goldfish situation assuming everyone knew what they were doing. As no-one presented any counterspells to your Ad Nauseam nor to your Mana Vault, there are very few real interaction pieces that could disrupt us anymore. Mental Misstep is one of the only counterspells that could still potentially threaten us because of its unique restriction to 1-mana cards, but that is only if someone was willing to take the risk by letting our Mana Vault resolve. Assuming everyone knew what deck we’re on, I doubt they’d let Ad Nauseam resolve by itself, so those facts give us already tons of information. All this being said, if someone decides to Silence you on the opportune moment you’re screwed, but there’s no point playing around that anyway without blue, so you can ignore that case here.

Hand-wise, however, it might look like we’re in a jam. We only got a couple of rocks and a single proper ritual, that being Cabal Ritual with no obvious way to reach Threshold. We’ve got no real Moxen to really start mana production either save for Elvish Spirit Guide, and any dreams of combo assembly are distant with our hand as-is. What we essentially need is more cards or we’re getting nowhere other than fiddling with rituals to Yawgmoth's Will ourselves into pretty much nothing relevant.

Fortunately though, we do have a combo “extender” in Scroll Rack. Rack works like a second mass draw spell with cards like Ad Nauseam, and with this kind of hand, Racking for 20+ cards will almost always dig us into the rest of the fast mana that are still in the deck (unless we get super duper unlucky). Therefore, the main objective for this kind of hand is to:

  1. Produce enough mana to tutor, play and activate Scroll Rack (playing and activating costs 3 mana total, so plus tutoring costs)
  2. Retain enough life to resolve a black top-deck tutor and survive, seeing as we only have topdeck tutors that cost life (Total cost: + 2 life)
  3. Use whatever we can to draw our Scroll Rack from the top. We have Skullclamp as pretty much the only reasonable option to draw cards, so we need at least 2 more mana to cast and equip Skullclamp. We have Arbor Elf and Memnite, so no shortage of free bodies so far (Total cost: + 2 life)

With all of this in mind, there’s a couple of decision trees that can be navigated through for more mana-positive cards, mana fixing, and finally progress towards Scroll Rack:

Playing Exploration with the we have access to from Elvish Spirit Guide, then playing Ancient Tomb or Gaea's Cradle + Memnite to net an extra mana from a new land drop. As we don’t have any ways to gain life from 3 and no tutors that don’t cost any life, Ancient Tomb is out of the equation. So, with Gaea's Cradle and Memnite we’ve made Exploration to a green Rite of Flame to produce , which isn’t anything to scoff at.

Next we’re going to do something that requires certain knowledge on what is in our particular list, and that is playing Crop Rotation with we’ve produced. There is still a Phyrexian Tower in the library, so we can fetch that and sacrifice Arbor Elf / Memnite to it for . This will fix our green mana to black, and also nets us mana unlike the Arcane Signet, which would cost mana instead. Our total mana is now in pool with Savannah open, and we’ve gone from 3 cards in graveyard to 6, so Threshold is now starting to look more than achievable.

From here on we can pretty easily play either Imperial Seal or Vampiric Tutor, go to 1 life, achieve Threshold and Cabal Ritual to get to in pool with Savannah still open. With one extra mana from Grim Monolith, all that’s left is to play Skullclamp, attach it to Memnite to draw Rack + one card, then Rack away pretty much everything that’s left in your hand save for Yawgmoth's Will. That means we’re racking away a total of 28 cards, which at this point is over half of our remaining library (50 cards after Clamping). We also still have one in our pool and an open Savannah, so let’s see what we get.

Scroll Rack activation into: Enlightened Tutor, Fellwar Stone, Chrome Mox, Cabal Therapist, Thoughtseize, Sol Ring, Necromancy, Deathrite Shaman, Mox Diamond, Overgrown Tomb, Squirrel Nest, Ranger-Captain of Eos, Praetor's Grasp, Sickening Dreams, Mana Crypt, Nature's Lore, Temple Garden, Godless Shrine, Noxious Revival, Veil of Summer, Tainted Pact, Earthcraft, Arid Mesa, Wishclaw Talisman, Mox Opal, Assassin's Trophy, Avacyn's Pilgrim, Krosan Wayfarer.

There we go, the Christmas Land right there. Racking into Mana Crypt, Sol Ring, Mox Diamond, Mox Opal, Chrome Mox et al. allows for pure mana production straight into a total of 8 mana, which can be used to cast Earthcraft, Krosan Wayfarer, tap Wayfarer to Earthcraft, sac Wayfarer to put a land into play, play Yawgmoth's Will, do that all again, cast Cabal Ritual & Memnite for more mana… essentially you’ve got more than enough to just win the game on the spot with the Squirrelcraft combo. You’re still lacking an outlet (Blasting Station / Corpse Knight), but one can be fetched easily with Tainted Pact now that it’s the only piece you need. A Sickening Dreams kill is also possible here by just tutoring and casting Angel's Grace with Wishclaw Talisman and casting Ad Nauseam from the grave via Yawgwill to draw your whole deck, using the final rituals left to cast Dreams for well over 50 damage to the whole table. Leonin Relic-Warder+ Animate Dead is not valid anymore due to using Yawgmoth's Will, so keep that in mind (unless you’re using Leonin in someone else’s graveyard, it can happen).

So in the end, we ended up winning from a pretty mediocre Ad Nauseam with white mana open at all times to Children of Korlis our way back to starting life if things look grim. Therefore, getting disrupted at the start by a Mental Misstep would not have been the worst thing, and in addition you can be glad due to all the protected wins you’ll be getting if people start using their counterspells only after you’ve resolved your Ad Nauseam. All in all, a line above average difficulty that was weak to interaction in multiple points. Luckily, however, there often is 1-2 mana open for protection post-Nauseam from played lands and the sort, as well as a ton more of actual flipped Moxen, rituals and protection to make reaching critical mass easier. Knowing the deck and what to tutor for in a given situation also helps getting these kinds of mediocre 20+ cards into actual gas and consequently wins, so goldfishing here is key.

Regarding the Scroll Rack activation, you could say that it’s pure luck with how much fast mana one can flip into at that point, and that is somewhat true. However, the more cards you see in a list that’s built to be this mana-positive, the less it’s about luck and more about making the odds in your favor. If you still can’t get enough mana to win despite seeing 50-80 cards in your deck, finding enough to crack that Children of Korlis is enough to bring you back to your golden age of high life totals and sculpt into the perfect 7 that wins you the game on your next turn.

For more gameplay tips and info on how to play the deck, go check River's list and mini-primer (and upvote him while you're at it):

Mardu "Mad" Farm Decklist & Mini-Primer

I also have written several articles about the Turbo Nauseam archetype that can be found below:

Lessons From the Fringe: Tymna Farm and Turbo Ad Nauseam (2020)

Introduction to the Turbo Nauseam Archetype (2018)

Suggestions

Updates Add

Cuts: Kambal, Consul of Allocation

Adds: Smuggler's Copter

Just a small adjustment this time, bringing the Looter Scooter to the list for some testing to see how well it connects with all the small utility creatures being played. The discard function will also most likely be relevant with Relic-Warder reanimation, but we'll see how that works out.

In addition to that I updated each card on the list to match the version I have in my collection (compulsory bling flex is compulsory).

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Top Ranked
Date added 2 years
Last updated 2 months
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

15 - 0 Mythic Rares

48 - 0 Rares

20 - 0 Uncommons

13 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 1.70
Tokens 1/1 Squirrel, Treasure
Folders Commander deck ideas, Commander, stuff, cedh, cEDH, Commander ideas, Decks to build, Decks for Reference, Neat, cEDH Library, See all 25
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