Through the Thieves Guild, Xanathar controlled most of the crime in Waterdeep. Rather than operate as a true "thieves' guild", and thus risk the attention of the Lords of Waterdeep, he instead worked entirely through freelance thieves via third parties, so that no-one could reveal his whereabouts, identity, or even existence. Xanathar was the major supporter and advocate of the hundreds of small criminal enterprises in Waterdeep.

Xanathar collected much information about the surface world, also via third parties, and used this to make his plans. The guild operated heavily in the sewers and Undermountain. He greatly enjoyed being a crime lord just under the noses of Waterdeep's Lords and laughed at their claims to have stamped out organized crime. His main goal was simply to maintain his position.

Xanathar loved luxury and pleasures, and very much enjoyed well-prepared foods, scented oils, and spiced tobaccos and herbs from the south. His appetite was huge, and included people. When not engaged in crime, he relaxed in a great glass tank of scented water, where he planned his crimes.

Welcome to the underground lair thievery, manipulation and chaos! This deck is a favorite of mine; one that I've coined as "Dimir Chaos". This is essentially a Dimir control deck featuring Xanathar, Guild Kingpin as the Commander. The overall strategy is to manipulate and have access to our opponents' libraries in order to cast beneficial spells off the top. Negotiate with friends and foes as you utilize your lackeys to carry out crimes of sorcery and summoning with stolen spells!

To effectively run this deck, we'll primarily rely on Xanathar's ability, but also use opportune spells such as Reins of Power or Brainstealer Dragon to disrupt our opponents' strategies and turn the table. In order to efficiently capitalize on Xanathar's ability, we require ways to see and manipulate our opponents' libraries. We can do this using spells like Field of Dreams or Lantern of Insight to see their top card or Telepathy to see their hand. The "Library Manipulation" category of this deck list are some of the primary spells we run to achieve the goal of having access to 4 decks during the game. In this sense, you can anticipate the game playing out rather chaotic for us - and in order to do well, we'll have to use some critical thinking as the game progresses. But in order to execute any of this strategy, ramp is a critical component of being able to keep up with the rest of the table. For that, we run many mana-efficient artifacts to help us cast our own spells as well as have mana left over to cast from the top of our opponents' library or from exile.

Our land base is also equipped to help control the top card of our opponents' libraries, keeping something favorable on top for us to cast. To look at or mill the top card, we run Moonring Island and Duskmantle, House of Shadow. To give everyone a draw (including yourself) to remove the top card, we have lands such as Mikokoro, Center of the Sea and Geier Reach Sanitarium. Lastly, Otawara, Soaring City is great protection for something on our board, and Command Beacon for cheating Xanathar back out if he'd been previously sent to the command zone.

Once Xanathar is on the battlefield, its important that we protect him - or make copies of him! For protection, we have equipment like Champion's Helm and Winged Boots, or enchantments like Propaganda and No Mercy. If one Xanathar let's us look at one of our opponent's libraries per turn, imagine if we had 2-3 Xanathars out! Because of the Legendary rule, we'll need to cast spells like Sakashima of a Thousand Faces in order to make two Xanathars. However, spells such as Helm of the Host or Lithoform Engine are easy ways for us to make copies of any creature we cast or steal throughout the game. In case of the dreaded board wipes or removal targeting Xanathar, we also run a good amount of counter spells - 7 not including Spellskite. Both Hinder and Memory Lapse are amazing counters for this deck as it puts a card we'd like to cast on top of the opponent's library.

Lastly, we run a small suite of tutors in order to dig for those much needed spells in the moment. They're not in the deck to create a win condition, but rather find something you need based on how the game is being played out. Prime example is Inventors' Fair can find us Lithoform Engine, Spellskite or a mana rock depending on what we need at the time. A fun one that we run is Scheming Symmetry which, if the opponent isn't considering the fact we can play spells off the top of their deck, may give us one of their strong combo pieces or something else of value! Not sure what to tutor for out of our deck? Then cast Bribery and we'll search someone else's library for something good - maybe an Eldrazi!

Thanks for reading about my Xanathar, Guild Kingpin EDH build, and please upvote it if you like it. Remember, this one is built to have constant interaction and its ultimately a choose your own adventure! Sometimes we'll get lucky, sometimes we won't. I always welcome feedback and suggestions to make the deck better or more fun!


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Top Ranked
Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 year

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

8 - 0 Mythic Rares

41 - 0 Rares

26 - 0 Uncommons

11 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.17
Tokens City's Blessing, Copy Clone, Manifest 2/2 C, Thrull 0/1 B
Folders Inspiration, zzArchived
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