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Edric's Aggressive Diplomacy

Commander / EDH* GU (Simic)

avk207

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My current iteration of Edric, Spymaster of Trest that I've had since he was printed, 5+ years. Just updated and putting final polish on the list. Any thoughts, comments, or suggestions are very welcome. I love the list where it is at right now because the CMC is so ludicrously low that it starts taking off very very early. Any cards I've missed in my searches that fit in I'd love to see.

I've got a number of strange choices for the list that I haven't seen anywhere else, so hopefully I can shine some light on them. First however, is my thought process on the main functionality of the deck.

Edric draws TONS of cards, it draws so many it manhandles and breaks one of the core rules of magic, 1 draw per turn. It breaks this rule so badly that I've oftentimes found myself with a giant wad of lands in hand and no way to unload them, combined with so much gas that I can't hope to cast it all. A number of my more niche picks help mitigate this problem while still advancing your board and game plan.

END GAME PLAN - take extra turns, drawing more cards and playing more lands than the fundamental rules of MTG allow, utilizing all this extra resource to land a finisher ( Craterhoof Behemoth or Beastmaster Ascension ) with a massive wall of countermagic to guarantee victory.

PLAYER INSIGHTS - I have found that playing the role of the "good guy" or "group hug" player while conversing at the table sets people at ease. The individual creatures in this list aren't inherent threats. Edric's drawing ability is a HUGE threat, but I've found many players don't equate "extra cards" to something scary, especially when they're caused by a swarm of 3 to 8 1/1 dorks. People don't wrath you if you're being "nice" and evenly distributing your damage, or if you're chipping away more at one person because they have the highest life of all your opponents. People also love the idea of drawing more cards from their creatures, not targeting you so that they can take advantage of Edric's ability. While there are no "infinite" combos, I've found both the goldfish and actual game testing essentially combo's out between turn 5 and 10, depending on draws and gamestates requiring answers. Make no mistake however, you are the aggro playing this list, furthermore, you are a tempo deck. Don't waste your counters or bounces on anything that doesn't directly threaten Edric (removal), your board (wraths), your Time Walks (countermagic), or is directly enabling another player to win (typically combo pieces that go infinite).

RAMP, INTERACTIONS, AND COMBOS Green Sun's Zenith - toolbox spell. Finds you Azusa, Lost but Seeking , Elvish Pioneer , Skyshroud Ranger , Sakura-Tribe Scout , and Wirewood Symbiote to unload as many lands as possible. (Tap Sakura-Tribe Scout to put a land in, play Elvish Pioneer to put another in, return pioneer with Wirewood Symbiote to untap ranger/scout, repeat)

Wirewood Symbiote is also a free Edric save on each persons turn, and also ramp combo's untapping Arbor Elf , or rebuying the ETB on Reclamation Sage .

Arbor Elf + Utopia Sprawl + Wild Growth - Self-explanatory combo. I include the enchants over Llanowar Elves or any other ramp dork because of their lack of evasion, and you have better Green Sun's Zenith targets. These enchants can be used the turn they come into play, and can also turn your Cloud of Faeries and Snap into free ramp. I also want to note the conspicuous lack of a Sol Ring in the list here. The CMC of the whole list is super low, which requires quite a lot of colored mana. Sol Ring is awesome in a ton of decks, but its colorless mana really only interacts in this list with the 2 drop counters, finishers, or extra turn cards. I've found the ramp to be high enough and consistent enough that it feels unnecessary.

Gaea's Touch - Unloads more forests, ramps you later. Care in declaring which land is for your turn.

Summer Bloom - Immediate hand dump that can be Reclaim 'd, Noxious Revival 'd, or Snapcaster Mage 'd to ramp harder (cast in first mainphase, Reclaim , draw during attack step, cast second main, dumping up to 6 lands in a turn).

I cut Oracle of Mul Daya and another chaff card for the 2 above. They ramp harder, and with how much you're drawing already Oracle's filtering ability is moot. Plus you're giving away all that free info on what you're drawing.

All this ramp gives you the immediate ability to dump even more 1/1's for 1 onto the field, or leave up a wall of countermagic.

BREAD AND BUTTER STRATEGY

These specific Time Walks are important to how the deck functions. Many new ones either exile the card as part of the spell, or shuffle it away, leaving it to chance that you draw it again. These card choices aim to reduce that unpredictability.

Using Mystical Tutor , Eternal Witness , and Noxious Revival + Reclaim , resolve either Time Warp , Temporal Manipulation , or Notorious Throng . These extra turns let you draw that many more cards, giving you the greatest chance to combo out. Notorious Throng is your absolute best extra turn card for this. It doubles the number of evasive creatures you have, doubling the number of cards you're drawing on your extra turn. Resolving more than 1 extra turn should allow you to burn through over half the deck, securing more turns, that much more countermagic, and a win con.It's also very possible to just beat people to death with unblockables and fliers if enough turns are secured.

OTHER RANDOM NOTES

Druids' Repository - if this lands early and isn't dealt with, barring very unlucky draws you can take over the game in very short order.

Beastmaster Ascension + Craterhoof Behemoth - self-explanatory, don't drop Beastmaster unless you're KO'ing the whole board, or have an extra turn already resolved.

Crop Rotation - gets either Reliquary Tower , Simic Growth Chamber , or Ghost Quarter . The chamber combo's with Cloud of Faeries and Snap , netting free mana. Reliquary Tower is just nice to have with all the draws when you pop off, and Ghost Quarter deals with any pesky lands.

Faerie Impostor + Shrieking Drake - seem like immediate downside cards at first glance, but allow you to re-buy many creature ETB effects while still being super cheap evasive dorks. Elvish Pioneer , Plaxmanta , Spellstutter Sprite , Eternal Witness , Reclamation Sage , Snapcaster Mage , Faerie Seer , and Cloud of Faeries . They also let you buy-back and reset Azusa, Lost but Seeking + Wirewood Symbiote for more ramp or another untap.

Countermagic - Most of this is pretty generic and subject to preference. Ones of note however are Familiar's Ruse + Spellstutter Sprite , Snap , Plaxmanta , and Daze . Re-buying ETB triggers with Familiar's Ruse is fairly obvious, especially Spellstutter Sprite . Plaxmanta is a shroud shield that can always turn sideways to draw cards. Daze is questionable, but I always include because of a memorable play (I tapped out, convincing someone my countermagic wall was down, returned an island to daze their fully tapped out Martial Coup ). Snap also comes in handy to rebuy Plaxmanta + Snapcaster Mage + Spellstutter Sprite , and it even untaps your lands to cast the spell! I do want to work an Unsubstantiate into the list, it works as a temporary problem creature removal and can deal with "can't be countered" stuff for a turn. Possibly add in a Vendilion Clique to send it to the bottom. Also note that Siren Stormtamer can stop targeted removal for Edric, and Mausoleum Wanderer can surprise counter things if opponents aren't paying attention.

The 1/1's for 1 - All the evasive dorks empower Edric's ability, nothing much to note here other than you'll be much happier with the 1/1 for 1's! There are plenty of looter and unblockables that have CMC 2, and I've found without fail that casting 1 dude for 2 mana vs. casting 2 dudes for 1 feels worse!

There are some creatures from more recent sets that are better at being unblockable, but I've included some of the older fliers and landwalkers because I like their goofy charm (looking at you Cloud Pirates !). Tinker and add whichever you see fit, just note if you're cutting a rogue or faerie due to synergy.

Beast Within - Generic removal for strange stuff that pops up. I've considered AEther Tradewinds as well for the rebuy effect on ETB creatures.

Bident of Thassa + Coastal Piracy - Backups in case people realize you're abusing Edric way harder than they can and are actively trying to keep him off the board. Also function as a power-up if you've already secured an extra turn.

Lands - All lands in this list enter and can be used immediately, with very little exception. This is fairly critical to getting the ball rolling ASAP.

FINAL THOUGHTS

While I haven't thought about it in years, this plays very similarly to Eggs in Modern. The mechanics might be slightly different, but your "eggs" are your evasive dudes and your combo piece isn't Second Sunrise, but an extra turn that you can recur.

I hope people give this underappreciated commander a try, this is the list I play when I want to win. I took it to a commander event at a local card shop in a much less refined form and with roughly 5 years hiatus from playing, and still managed to secure a victory against very cocky big money Zur the Enchanter and Muldrotha, the Gravetide . They simply dismissed the creature choices as non-threats, then got rocked when I took 3 turns in a row, even fighting through a resolved Cyclonic Rift .

UPDATE

Added potential swaps in the "maybe" board for weird threats. "Countermagic" that deals with uncounterable for a couple turns with Ertai's Meddling + Unsubstantiate .

Some other niche removal and resilience to spot removal/wipes with Autumn's Veil + Heroic Intervention + Veil of Summer .

Hand disruption with Psychic Theft + Venarian Glimmer + Vendilion Clique .

I'm probably just overthinking things at this point, but possibly using Clairvoyance + Gitaxian Probe + Peek for perfect info to better plan your combo.

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