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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
    7. Scalding Tarn - ZNE foil
    8. Flooded Strand - ZNE foil
    9. Polluted Delta - ZNE foil
    10. Windswept Heath - ZNE foil
    11. Prairie Stream - EXP foil (obtained)
    12. Hallowed Fountain - Unfinity foil (obtained)
    13. Glacial Fortress - SLD foil (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

    I've recently been buying foils and was thinking of shaking things up a bit regarding the card choices.

    The Replacements

    1. An Offer You Can't Refuse replaces Saw it Coming - this was stated in the previous update but I just recently obtained a foil copy. An offer might give treasure tokens, but who cares about that when the spell they wanted is now gone. This has a very Swan Song-like feel to it.
    2. Glimpse the Cosmos replaces Deep Analysis - Glimpse digs deeper and it can be recast easily from the yard due to all the changeling sub-theme the deck has
    3. Memory Deluge replaces Behold the Multiverse - I find behold to be quite underwhelming and overcosted when not cast with foretell. However, deluge solves that problem by being able to dig deeper overall due to it having flashback.
    4. Search for Azcanta  Flip replaces Isochron Scepter - Scepter just becomes automatically removed no matter what you imprint with it, leading to 2-for-1 situations. Search helps the deck to dig deeper for answers and isn't as difficult to protect as scepter.
    5. Spellskite replaces Swiftfoot Boots - I find that boots and greaves just sit there on the field waiting for Noyan to drop. I'm just trying to experiment with spellskite and see how it goes. Hopefully it's able to steal some good stuff.
    6. Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip replaces Devastating Mastery - I find having more than 4 board wipes in the deck feels clunky in the long run. I decided to replace mastery with baby Jace just to help fill the yard for Search for Azcanta  Flip and to enable reuse of cantrips/draw effects in the yard.

    The Chopping Block

    I'd like to list down the cards that I would like to replace with something else at this point.

    1. Supreme Will - I find mostly using the Impulse mode and it feels underwhelming. I might replace this with another mass draw spell like Sphinx's Revelation or Blue Sun's Zenith
    2. The Ozolith - while this card is a powerhouse in a lot of decks, I find that it doesn't quite do a lot here. I'm still thinking what to replace this with. Maybe go to 35 lands and add in Inkmoth Nexus?


    29% Casual

    71% Competitive

    Top Ranked
    Date added 6 years
    Last updated 6 days
    Exclude colors BRG

    This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

    Rarity (main - side)

    17 - 0 Mythic Rares

    48 - 0 Rares

    18 - 0 Uncommons

    11 - 0 Commons

    Cards 100
    Avg. CMC 2.52
    Tokens Bird 2/2 U, Elephant 3-3 G, Emblem Elspeth, Knight-Errant, Emblem Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, 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, See all 15
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