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Charix, the Penny Pincher ($40- $100)

Commander / EDH Budget Creature Cheat Jank Mono-Blue Voltron



Happiness should be approached sideways, like a crab

This deck is a budget version of my original A CLAWsome SHELLebration of Crab, which I'd recommend checking out as well!

Ok let's get the crab sized elephant out of the room. Blightsteel Colossus cannot easily be replaced on a budget. In fact, he alone is more than half of the deck's budget. That being said... you will get a LOT of mileage out of it and hopefully see it hit play most games. Same goes for Proteus Staff. It is an extremely fun flexible janky card and difficult to replace. Though if you tied my claws... I mean hands behind my back, I would replace Proteus Staff with Hinder and Blightsteel Colossus with any number of big payoff blue/colorless creatures. Without these two cards, the deck is around $40 as of the time of recording (Not including basic lands). With these two, the deck is a little under $100 (not including basic lands). I've tried to keep most of the cards under $1 with a few exceptions that I feel are very good!
The main strategy of this deck is combining a Voltron strategy with a Polymorph backup plan! It seems rather counterintuitive, but then again, we've chosen a giant enemy crab as our commander, so we have to think outside the shell! Charix, the Ragin Isle has built in almost but not quite hexproof as well as a big fat butt toughness, meaning he's a relatively safe polymorph target! Since our deck is full of Voltron equipment, we already have little space for other creatures, so working around Polymorph is actually relatively easy. We miss out on a few interesting niche creatures but gain a consistent threat from our polymorph targets. We have 3 (or two if you choose to exclude the $8 option) polymorph effects: Polymorph, Reweave, and Proteus Staff.

In terms of backup plans, we also run Tunnel Vision as another potential wincon, able to mill out a single opponent (or ourselves) as well as Mirrodin Besieged as another win con to work towards!

While I recommend some particular creatures, the deck serves as a template of sorts to fetch any creature readily from the deck onto the battlefield! While I've found these targets to work really well and recommend a few others, I think you should be able to fetch anything. With a little more budget, I could see the deck taking a combo route with Tidesprout Tyrant as the target creature!

Proteus Staff / Vessel of Endless Rest + Tunnel Vision can try to mill out a single opponent (or ourselves)

Blightsteel Colossus + Hot Soup for a flavorful delivery of soup (goes good with Crab too!)

Twisted Image Quickly changes our crab from chump to champ, switching the power and toughness! Only thing is the need to be careful, if we switch while the power of our commander is 0, it'll die and be sent to Davy Jone's Locker... (Or more likely the command zone)

Mirrodin Besieged The Phyrexian option is a cheeky alternate win condition that also lets us cycle through our deck, and the Mirran option gives us another Polymorph target in a pinch. Another card that synergizes well with Tunnel Vision to take out a single opponent

Reins of Power Since we're choosing to go tall with both our commander voltron as well as a blowout Polymorph, a major weakness of the deck are any go wide strategies that flood the board with multiple little creatures. Reins of Power turns that weakness into a win condition by allowing us to simply swap fields with an opponent.

Mystical Tutor and Merchant Scroll: Since Twisted Image, Tunnel Vision, and Polymorph are wincons in this deck, these tutors allow us to find them or other needed in the moment cards.

Fabricate another tutor to get any needed Voltron piece or a Proteus Staff

Coalition Relic Very good mana rock!

Imprisoned in the Moon and Shadowspear are both upgrades to Frogify and Loxodon Warhammer

Propaganda serves to shoe up the decks weakness to go wide strategies.

Suggestions are welcome as well as recommendations to make the deck cheaper!


It's a good time to be a penny pincher! These past few expansions have given us some cheap toys to cheap shot our opponents!

Out: Island ---> In: Access Tunnel

Another cheeky way for our crabbo to get in there!

Out: Insidious Will ---> In: Scuttletide

Out: Slip Through Space ---> In: Hard Evidence

CRAB TRIBAL SUPPORT! Pinching Intensifies! It'd be a flavor fail to not try these critters out in the deck. Plus they don't mess with our polymorph gameplan and gives us new ways of making crab tokens for fodder! No butter needed!

Out: Lay Claim ---> In: Volition Reins

As pointed out before, the main thing I found myself doing with the Lay Claim is using it to cycle... For sure the Reins are easier to cast. Thanks for the suggestion!

Out: Supreme Will ---> In: Hinder

Another card that was suggested! Gives us another way to set up Tunnel Vision plays, AND it's still a counter spell. Huzzah!

Out: Neutralize ---> In: You Find the Villains' Lair

An interesting new card. Gives us the ability to dig two deep as opposed to one with cycling. Testing it out!

Out: Boon of the Wish-Giver ---> In: Solve the Equation

THIS IS IT, THE BIG ONE! Ok, at almost $3, it's a little outside the $1 limit. HOWEVER, some might say I was asking for this shiny piece for a while! Since Tunnel Vision, Twisted Image, and Polymorph act as wincons for the deck, this acts as a tutor to fetch them! And when compared to the alternatives in this color... This equation is worth solving!

Out: Void Shatter ---> In: Saw It Coming

Out: Fumble ---> In: Ravenform

Could this be seen as a downgrade? Yes. Does this allow you to now play mind games with your opponents? I think so! Just as how every morph creature is a Willbender, any card you fortell from now should have been seen coming! Sometimes the threat of a counterspell is just as good as a counter spell!

Out: Dragon Wings ---> Rune of Flight

Out: Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor ---> In: Giant's Amulet

Out: Preordain ---> In: Confounding Conundrum

Sort of a testing zone! The Amulet gives both protection AND Polymorph fodder, sounds good! Kasmina always felt a little dead in the hand, this at least gives us a decent turn one play. The Rune seems pretty good! Stick it on one of the swords, we get evasion AND it replaces itself! NEAT

Confounding Conundrum is a card that I simply missed when first making this deck. It replaces itself and hoses a meta full of fetch lands and ramp (Which I mean, it's commander. You're going to see ramp and fetches!). It's a card that might not seem very oppressive, but it can slow the game down JUST long enough for us to maybe claw our way to the top! I'll admit it may be a pet card, but I do think this card is underrated and should be considered to have a place in any deck running blue! And coming in price wise under a quarter, I think it deserves a shot!


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89% Casual


Top Ranked
Date added 8 months
Last updated 2 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

1 - 0 Mythic Rares

29 - 0 Rares

30 - 0 Uncommons

12 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.06
Tokens Boar 2/2 G, Clue, Crab, Giant Wizard, Manifest 2/2 C, Myr 1/1 C, Phyrexian Germ 0/0 B
Folders Commander Decks, CMDR, Copy Unashamedly
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Revision 6 See all

2 months ago)

+1 Spell Crumple maybe