The Janky Griffin

For the information of all, this is my pet deck. It has been with me since its original inception way back 2016. We've had our ups and downs and this is the version I like the most. It's got a unique approach to it, a unique combo, and some questionable card choices. The deck won't give you a lot of wins but it will be sure to wow most new tables with it.

This deck is in no way intended to be a very competitive, cutthroat deck where a lot of goodstuff cards get thrown into the deck. It used to run a lot more tutors but over time I found that play style repetitive and boring. The current version instead aims to achieve the same effect as running tutors by running a rather large number of cantrips and draw spells. Combined with recursion/recover effects, the effective spell count is high enough that triggering Noyan's ability shouldn't be too difficult.

The deck can make explosive plays, very fast. After a bit of a set-up, the deck should straight out kill at most a single opponent a turn. It's janky enough that it would be fun to see people's reactions when you kill them with this set-up.

If you like a unique take on spellslinger/control decks, I highly recommend Noyan Dar, Roil Shaper.

The primary way to play this deck is to play it safely while setting up the combo pieces. You don't want the commander out in the field if you have not assembled the combo yet. It should be: commander, then a turn later play the combo and just straight out scare the hell out of the table. I once got super lucky and pulled off the combo on turn 5, though that could be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. For all other games that could take longer for me to assemble the combo, I prefer to dig dig dig through my library until I get there.

However, there are times when we cannot reliably assemble our combo. During these times, we just want to play the usual Noyan game.

Note: I'm trying to slowly foil out this deck to the best of my abilities. Some cards I just left as-is since the foils are either too expensive, or do not exist.

The Combo Pieces

My favorite wincon for this deck is to get Griffin Canyon out, animate it with Noyan's ability, give it changeling with Unnatural Selection and the like, make it big and swing.

Here is how the combo works:

  1. Animate Griffin Canyon with Noyan Dar, Roil Shaper, making it a creature with haste
  2. Give it the “Griffin” creature type
  3. Activate its ability targetting itself, untapping it and giving itself +1/+1 in the process
  4. Repeat step 3 to make a very large canyon
  5. Give it evasion then swing to take out an opponent

Of course, Thespian's Stage can also be used as a secondary Griffin Canyon if one so desires.

Plan B Strategy

If push comes to shove and the Griffin Canyon combo doesn't work or maybe it was get rid of earlier in the game, we can always proceed with plan B. The way plan B works is to just play the usual game with Noyan out (casting instants/sorceries) then putting the +1/+1 counters on the other target lands that are either indestructible or evasion built into them.

Plan B Targets

  1. Blinkmoth Nexus - built-in evasion
  2. Celestial Colonnade - built-in evasion
  3. Faerie Conclave - built-in evasion
  4. Cascading Cataracts - indestructible land
  5. Razortide Bridge - indestructible land


Card Advantage


Since this is more of a control deck, board wipes are more than a necessity. We don't want to load up on a gazillion board wipes, so I included the top 5 that will be more advantageous to us than the opponents.

  1. Cyclonic Rift - one-sided board wipe is always welcome
  2. Supreme Verdict - can't be countered
  3. Tragic Arrogance - my favorite board wipe, can be used politically most of the times
  4. Cataclysmic Gearhulk - a worse Tragic Arrogance in that the opponent can choose which permanents remain on their board
  5. Devastating Mastery - a very cost effective wipe, always cast this for 2

With all these cards above and all the jankiness there is in Noyan Dar, Roil Shaper, there are some obvious card choices that I am staying away from right now. Here are they and the reasons they are exlcluded:

  • Land Tax - while it is a very nice card, it is one very expensive card that I don't see much use for. Ramping very fast is not a necessity for this deck

  • Teferi's Response - while only Noyan Dar can make this card work, it doesn't protect our manland from boardwipes, hence its exclusion
  • Sacred Ground/Equinox - I have tried these cards before but they seem to be lackluster to me. They just sit there and don't do much. I'd rather go on the offensive rather than the defensive.
  • Lands Acquire List

    With this being a lands-matter deck, I believe the lands should showcase the beauty of the deck. As such, I'm collecting beautiful land pieces. This section will be used to track down said endeavor.

    1. Seachrome Coast - ZNE foil (obtained)
    2. Sea of Clouds - ZNE foil (obtained)
    3. Celestial Colonnade - ZNE foil (obtained)
    4. Arid Mesa - ZNE foil (obtained)
    5. Marsh Flats - ZNE foil (obtained)
    6. Misty Rainforest - ZNE foil (obtained)
    7. Scalding Tarn - ZNE foil (obtained)
    8. Flooded Strand - ZNE foil (obtained)
    9. Polluted Delta - ZNE foil (obtained)
    10. Windswept Heath - ZNE foil (obtained EXP Windswept Heath instead)
    11. Prairie Stream - EXP foil (obtained)
    12. Hallowed Fountain - Unfinity foil (obtained)
    13. Glacial Fortress - SLD foil (obtained)
    14. Mystic Gate - EXP foil (obtained)

    Random Foils Acquire List

    1. Propaganda - SLD (obtained)
    2. Mystic Remora - SLD (obtained)
    3. Windfall - 30th anniversary (obtained)
    4. Torrential Gearhulk - masterpiece (obtained)
    5. Azorius Signet - SLD old border
    6. Talisman of Progress - SLD old border (obtained)
    7. Fellwar Stone - SLD old border (obtained)


    That's it guys. I hope I have laid out the gameplan and the choice of tools clear enough...

    I welcome any comments and suggestions as I am looking towards improving the deck. There might be things that look different when look at another angle. Thanks!


    Updates Add

    Got to play with the deck and it feels a lot smoother now than before. While the Griffin Canyon combo was easy to pull off, evasive lands like Inkmoth Nexus also wins games. So it does not matter if the combo pieces are removed. One area I'd like to focus on is virtually increasing the number of instants and sorceries that enable Noyan. Things with flashback or flashback enablers are welcome. The deck also thrives whenever Sapphire Medallion is out, suggesting that it should stay in the deck.

    Decided to switch some cards out:

    1. OUT Razortide Bridge || IN Restless Anchorage - Adding in some more evasive animation targets
    2. OUT Glacial Floodplain || IN Meticulous Archive - Adding a strictly better fetchable land
    3. OUT Cascading Cataracts || IN Mystic Gate - Swapping out for a land that can produce colors
    4. OUT Chain of Vapor || IN Stroke of Midnight - I now prefer removals that remove targets permanently rather than allowing for them to be cast again later
    5. OUT Monastery Siege || IN Start the TARDIS - Siege felt to slow, adding in something else that enables Noyan while being able to be cast more than once


    52% Casual

    48% Competitive

    Top Ranked
    Date added 7 years
    Last updated 2 weeks
    Exclude colors BRG

    This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

    Rarity (main - side)

    23 - 0 Mythic Rares

    55 - 0 Rares

    13 - 0 Uncommons

    4 - 0 Commons

    Cards 100
    Avg. CMC 2.51
    Tokens Bird 2/2 U, Elephant 3-3 G, Emblem Elspeth, Knight-Errant, Emblem Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, Human 1/1 W, Map, Shapeshifter 2/2 U, Soldier 1/1 W, Spirit 3/2 RW, Treasure
    Folders EDH Jank, EDH Templetes, Other's Decks, Commander, Cool stuff, Interesting Commander Decks, maybe i can learn, Need to playtest, Budget, Decks of Interest
    Ignored suggestions
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