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FILO: Thousand-Year Bonus Inalla

Commander / EDH U/B/R (Grixis)

LabManiac_cobblepott

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Inalla Storm

Branched from my original Inalla Twin list, this is a study into composing Bonus Round and Thousand-Year Storm with established Inalla canon to produce exponentially increasing line-of-play trees that lend incredible flexibility for dealing with challenging and/or complex board states and pulling wins seemingly out of nowhere.

For background, it's worth restating the first principles outlined in the original listing:

Inalla First Principles

  1. Her Eminence ability allows all your wizards to double up on ETB triggers for without ever needing to cast her. Got a Trinket Mage coming into play? Pay an extra and grab an extra mox. Spellseeker ? Two instants to hand seems good. Etc.

  2. Her Eminence ability triggers on ETB not on cast. So things like Flash , Reanimate , Essence Flux etc, not only get an ETB at a discounted rate, but also open the door to throw on an extra for another ETB and a temporary body to go with it.

  3. Her Eminence ability bestows Haste upon the temporary copy. This is the really broken part. Got an Apprentice Necromancer in play and Magus of the Mind in the yard? Let your opponent go infinite. You can just pop the Magus into play at the right moment, pay the extra for the hasty copy that can be activated right there. to Mind's Desire as an instant without actually casting any spells? Yes please. (In this case the original has Haste too because of the Necromancer, but you get the idea!)

FILO: First In Last Out

The original non-storm list was already rife with intimidating stack management demands given the complex sequences of Inalla triggers and Wizard ETBs exhibited in many of its lines. This incarnation takes stack jockeying to a completely different level. In the days long before Aetherflux Reservoir and Sentinel Tower existed, storm players leveraged Remand and Unsubstantiate to exploit the way cards like Tendrils of Agony behaved on the stack in order to double up on Storm triggers and create much larger effects than would otherwise have been attainable.

In the old days, the Remand trick was of course a very powerful tool, but everyone knew it was only a one-shot to double up on some given storm spell. Enter Bonus Round and Thousand-Year Storm . We now have the ability to imbue Remand and Unsubstantiate with storm-like behavior themselves. Therefore, instead of bouncing some other storm spell back to hand as a one-time effect, these spells can bounce themselves back to hand at the same time. When we couple this with the power to bestow storm-like behavior on other spells that don't normally have storm ( Snap , Frantic Search , Shallow Grave , Mission Briefing , Dramatic Reversal , Demonic Tutor , etc) the results quickly become absurd.

Stashing

Over the years, lots of time has been spent discussing effective ways to exploit the various zones available to you in a game of Magic. Reanimator strategies and Yawgwill strategies break open the graveyard to cheat on mana costs and generate card advantage. Birthing Pod and Survival of the Fittest strategies establish toolboxes by using their entire libraries as their 'hand'. Ad Nauseam and Necropotence strategies sacrifice their life resources in order to establish unfair numbers of cards in hand to ensure the ability to storm or combo off.

This list builds its core strategies around a less often discussed zone and resource:

The Stack.

Just like the cases of reanimation and Birthing Pod, where a huge part of the value proposition comes from 'cheating' on mana costs, most avenues for copying spells on the stack tend to be extremely mana efficient. But to an even greater extent, they wind up being card efficient. Why cast a spell over and over when you can just leave it on the stack and use a repeatable copy effect to reuse it as much as you'd like? Why limit yourself to a single spell, when you can instead throw multiple spells on the stack at the same time and copy them in different sequences to implement your win con? I call this practice 'Stashing' and it's the engine that makes everything in this deck work.

Notes

There's a lot of detailed discussion incoming to cover the strategies and tactics to keep in mind to pilot successfully, but in the meantime, some notes:

  • Giving all your instants and sorceries storm-like behavior creates a huge amount of bookkeeping for spells that have targets. Of course, you can do some very wild things with the flexibility, but keep in mind that copies need to have targets at the moment they're placed on the stack. For example, if you put a number of copies of Essence Flux onto the stack all targeting the same creature, only the top copy will resolve. The rest will be targeting a game object that no longer exists and they'll fizzle. So plan carefully.
  • Alternatively, giving all your instants and sorceries storm-like behavior makes spells that don't target exceptionally powerful. Part of this is because you aren't giving away 'targeting' information for your opponents to plan their responses. Thus, your plan isn't revealed once it goes on the stack and it can even adapt along the way as interactions take place. Got four copies of Mission Briefing ? It's entirely possible that none of the four cards you wind up casting from the yard were actually in your yard when the Mission Briefing s went on the stack.
  • In keeping with the original version of this list, cheap instant effects like Flash , Shallow Grave , Essence Flux , etc make up the backbone of how we wring value out of the Wizards in our lineup. Even without any storm-like cards in play, Remand , Unsubstantiate , and Venser, Shaper Savant dovetail perfectly into this framework, allowing us to embellish the already rich set of options at our disposal. The fact that Unsubstantiate and Venser can target not only spells, but permanents as well gives us freedom to go ahead and use our Dualcaster Mage s and friends without feeling the need to hold them idly in hand waiting for just the right moment.
  • Shallow Grave has some fun properties for applying creativity, whether it converts Plaguecrafter into an asymmetric, instant speed board/hand wipe or instead approximates an asymmetric, instant speed Living Death for that gives all the reanimated creatures haste. Or interleave Culling the Weak effects to net mana and re-Reanimate certain creatures multiple times. Don't forget each Wizard will prompt an Inalla trigger as it enters, so don't sweat sacrificing intermediate instances.
  • Why did I leave out Isochron Scepter ? Because here Sigil Tracer is almost always better. (I'll come back to unpack that later)
  • You won't find Yawgmoth's Will or Past in Flames in this list for reasons similar to Isochron Scepter . Izzet Chemister and Mission Briefing lend themselves much better to supporting reuse.

Lots more to come...

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Date added 7 months
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Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 1.97
Tokens 1/1 Bird, None Copy Clone, 3/3 Frog Lizard, 2/2 Morph
Folders Commander, Other people's EDH decks, That's an idea, EDH Ideas, Follow, cEDH, Take Note, Decks for Reference, cEDH Lists, Reference EDH, See all 16
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