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Brallin, The Last Skyshark Rider [cEDH Primer]

Commander / EDH* Combo Competitive Control Primer RUW (Jeskai, America)

DoWell jmessy17


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Welcome to the primer of the newest potent wheel brew in cEDH! This brew is a joint effort of mine and Novus_Spirtus. We are here to change the way you see Jeskai! This is a midrange combo library based off the ability of Brallin, Skyshark Rider   to ping opponents to death using combos like the Lion's Eye Diamond + Brain Freeze + Underworld Breach or Curiosity + Ghostly Pilferer or Curiosity with >8 cards in hand at the endstep. We can also use the Curiosity effects to generate value off our commander via combat or draw/discard type effects, and much more!

Shabraz, the Skyshark gives a second big body in the command zone and access to the color profile needed to make this deck not only strong, but resilient. I'm not gonna lie, the shark bird is the best card in this deck.

What I find to be so interesting about this library, is that it is a perfect mix between Niv-Mizzet, Parun and Shaper's famous Opus Thief. We are able to run payoff effects for wheels like Opus Thief does, while also being able to run Curiosity effects for for wins, like Niv-Mizzet does. So essentially what we have here is a combination of what makes the 2 best wheel decks so strong.

1. Both commanders can block (and kill) Tymna and easily beef up to kill Najeela without dying. Both commanders beef up pretty quickly, with just 1 wheel they can potentially both be a 10/10.

  1. This deck is quite resilient, with access to some of the best cominations of interaction in Magic, The Gathering.

  2. We can control the pace of the game by slowing our opponents with some asymmetric stax pieces, while generating a lot of value out of the deck itself.

  3. There are a ton of combos to generate value or win the game from.

  4. Wheels disrupt several deck types with less adaptability.

  5. This deck can win without the commander(s).

  6. This deck has more flex slots to add stax and interaction specific for your meta choice. More so than most cEDH decks can.

  7. We can ruin a Thassa's Oracle player's day with Angel's Grace.

  • We don't run black, obviously, so we can't run Thassa's Oracle + Demonic Consultation/Tainted Pact lines.

  • Wheeling opponents (especially Oracle players) can be dangerous. Potentially even handing them a win. All they need is a god-tier wheel to win, and it does happen sometimes.

  • This library can be subject to it's own demise. In other words, our own pieces can hurt us when in control of an opponent. Smothering Tithe, Narset, Parter of Veils, and notion theif all stop us from drawing (and discarding) as much as we want and need to in order to win. (Good thing we have Brain Freeze.

  • Though we generate a lot of value, it isn't in the command zone. You need to get it from the 98, but with proper mulligans this isn't a big issue.

  • Though this deck is consistent, it's not a turn 3-4 deck. In goldfish and real games this deck averages wins in turns 4 and 5. Thankfully we have a lot of interaction to push the game to turn 4/5.

  • We generate value off of cards like Smothering Tithe, Verity Circle, Rhystic Study, Ghostly Pilferer, and Mystic Remora. These can beef up our commanders to smack those ad naus players. These cards give us the value of extra draws or extra mana to be able to go off while holding up protection.

    We also have looting and wheels to disrupt the game. Wheel of Fortune, Windfall, Faithless Looting, Frantic Search, and Timetwister

    Being Jeskai, we have access to several hateful cards. These include Drannith Magistrate, Aven Mindcensor, Narset, Parter of Veils, Stranglehold, Cursed Totem, Blood Moon, Magus of the Moon, and Back to Basics. All of which are slow the game down significantly for the majority of opponents.

    This deck has plenty of interaction to protect itself and stop opponents, including a whopping 15 counterspells (plus a Deflecting Swat), not to mention access to the overall control of Cyclonic Rift, Chain of Vapor, Angel's Grace, Rolling Earthquake, Silence, Swords to Plowshares, etc. Coming in at a total of 22 pieces of interaction on top of our hate pieces.

    These are just my opinion based on the pods and decks I've played so far.
    1. This deck has performed well against:
    Najeela
    Inalla
    Cazzur & Ukkima
    Rielle
    Elsha
    Kykar Kess

    1. This deck has had difficulty performing against:
      Gitrog
      Medium Green
      Blood Pod
      Kinnan Urza Snoop Thar
    This deck thrives best with some type of value piece or looting/wheel in hand such as a Frantic Search, Mystic Remora, etc. Thing is we don't have enough to always mulligan into them.

    What you want to look for in a hand is some type of stax piece and any interaction piece. If you can get ramp or a wheel/lootspell too you're in a good spot. The name of the game is to slow the game and interupt the plans of everyone else while we set up either our hand or yard for the win.

    Ramp is nice, but you can get by without it depending on the pod you're playing. A rampless hand with good interaction or a blood moon is sometimes worth keeping. Just keep in mind that Brallin is a 4 cmc and Shabraz is a 5 cmc.

    So your ideal hand has a draw spell, 2 lands, and either interaction, ramp, or a value source. Preferably 2 of the 3 but sometimes you only get 1 of the 3. This is pod dependent though. Being mid range we want to stall the game past turn 5. So If you are in a pod with faster combo decks you may be more inclined to keep a hand with interaction over a hand with ramp.

    My perfect hand has 2 lands, artifact ramp, a stax piece, interaction, and either a loot spell or tutor. This lets you stall the game, set up your hand, then go for it!

    Well we can win a few ways, well first we need to talk about rule CR 514. This is the ruling of the "clean up phase" of your endstep, and is abusable by decks such as Brallin and the notorious Gitrog.

    Once you have Brallin on the field with a Curiosity effect, if you have >7 cards in hand during your cleanup you will discard to hand size. Brallin will see that you've discarded, and his ability is put onto the stack. When Brallin's ability resolves, he will deal one damage to each opponent. Curiosity will now trigger one time for each opponent. Keep in mind this effect is an exponential growth of card draw since each damage to each opponent is a different Curiosity trigger. For example, if you have 3 opponents and discard 1 card, Brallin does 1 damage to each opponent separately (in 3 different instances) this puts 3 triggers of Curiosity onto the stack. So if you discard 1 card you'll draw 3, discard 3 you'll draw 9, 9 to 27, etc. Luckily Curiosity and Ophidian eye are both MAY abilities, so you can choose to not draw, but Tandem Lookout is a forced draw hence this being important to understand. Don't accidentally deck yourself!

    514.3a states "Once the stack is empty and all players pass in succession, another cleanup step begins." A new cleanup step will begin, and this will loop until your opponents are dead. Bellow are our approaches to win with and without this ruling.

    1. By having Curiosity, Tandem Lookout, or Ophidian Eye on our commander and a Ghostly Pilferer (Phil) on the field we can loop draws and discards until we kill everyone. This is especially potent because as long as we have other cards in hand we can discard in response to anything and win on the stack. Phil is a necessary addition given it's low CMC it is easy to throw down at any point (and generates value) in the game and with a board state of Brallin and Phil we can flash an Ophidian Eye onto the field to win on the stack outside of our own turn.

    2. Without Ghostly Pilferer, moving to our discard phase (with any of the 3 Curiosity cards mentioned attached) and 8 or more cards in hand we will loop draws and discards on our cleanup step to ping all opponents to death.
      Also, with any of our 3 Curiosity effects on the commander, we can cast one of our discard/draw causing cards. This will cause us to draw 3 cards for each 1 card discarded, easily putting us over the 8 cards needed to move to endstep and loop a win.

    3. This option is with Underworld Breach and Brain Freeze/a wheel effect. It has it's own section bellow. It's pretty damn spicy, honestly.

    4. Every deck has that "last resort" of commander beat down, and thankfully in this deck that option is actually (somewhat) viable in those situations. Both commanders can grow at a rapid pace and can outperform many other decks when it comes to last resort beat down. Personally, I have killed multiple players with a beefy Shabraz, and it feels good.

    You cast Underworld Breach and Lion's Eye Diamond (LED). Then crack LED for 3 blue, discard your hand, and exile 3 cards from yard to cast brain freeze. Storm count is at minimum 1 or 2. So you target all Brain Freeze's to yourself and mill 6-9 cards. Recast LED from yard, recast Brain Freeze. Keep doing this until your whole library is in your yard. Cast Silence the first change you get to without screwing yourself out of mana/cards in the yard to exile.

    Each spell you cast (LED/Brain Freeze/Silence/etc.) counts to storm, keep track of it. Storm copies to NOT count toward Storm

    After this you have a few options: 1. Keep casting freeze targeting you opponents to mill them out. 1a. From there pass turn and they each die in their draw step. 1b. You cast Angel's Grace to survive through a wheel which kills them during your turn.

    1. After milling yourself out, you have access to your whole deck and a ton of mana. First cast Silence (if you hadn't already). Then you can cast Brallin (or a bounce spell if he's been Gilded Draked) and put a Curiosity effect on him. Cast something that triggers discard like Ghostly Pilferer (Phil). Cast Timetwister to refill your hand AND library. Discard to Phil to trigger loop. If needed, you have Underworld Breach on the field still (and your library is back in the yard after drawing and discarding the deck to Phil/Curiosity). Now you will be able to cast Timetwister again to refill your deck. Repeat those steps as many times as needed to kill everyone.

    So basically you can exile anything but a Curiosity effect, Silence, Timetwister, Phil, and LED. (I recommend keeping counters too, especially if you have to exile Silence). The rest if your deck fodder to use for Underworld Breach.

    If you do this line make sure that if you use Tandem lookout you cast Angel's Grace before looping discards. Tandem Looking is a forced draw and will kill you. Curiosity/Ophidian you can opt not to draw when the library is empty. Cast Timetwister, then go again.

    Keep in mind you're exiling a good bit of your library to make this happen hence twister.

    Echo of the Eons works as Timetwister in budget decks. Just don't use it's flashback cost if you are going to need to cast it more than once (it's possible). Lotus petal can be LED, it just takes so many more cards out of your library. I think Lotus Petal will kill you though, I haven't done the math on it.

    I wanted to take a moment and thank my good friend Novus_Spiritus again for helping me brew this list! The man is brilliant.

    I would like to also thank Deakmania for his suggestions and criticisms.

    Last but not least, I would like to thank you for taking the time to not only look at this list, but read the information I posted about it.

    1. Blood Moon and Magus of the Moon have been added. Alms Collector has been swapped for Narset, Parter of Veils. Narset is cheaper and just performs better, she allows us a to put cards into hand, and alms does not work on opponents drawing off cards like Rhystic Study

    1. OUT: Tireless Tribe
      IN: Ghostly Pilferer
      Just a better card all around

    2. OUT: Counterspell , Burning Inquiry;
      IN: Stranglehold , Supression Field (trial cards)
      Strangehole feels good here, Supression has potential dependant on meta.

    3. OUT: Supression field , Fellwar Stone , Wear//tear , glint-horn buckaneer, Careful Study, Tandem Lookout
      IN: Counterspell , Mox Opal , Izzet Signet , Back to Basics , Lotus Petal , Idyllic Tutor
      Supression is good, but not in my meta. Counterspell is just better to have than wear//tear. Glint-horn never gets cast, and we have non-brallin wins without it as is. Back to basics is better in this slot. Careful study underperforms, as does fellwar. Swapping for petal and opal to have a little more rock density, along with mana fixing under back to basic effects. Tandem can cause us to kill ourselves before the opponents. This makes for an awkward game sometimes. Dying to tandem is only prevented by perfectly timed REB/pyroblast, or an angel's grace. This just feels too situational. Tandem is also never chosen in my intuition piles, so idyllic just feels better in this slot.

    4. OUT: Plains (29 lands including Bazaar)
      IN: Muddle the Mixture

    Cards mentioned in the description but placed in sideboard are flex cards that can be swapped into the deck for meta choices and needs.

    Please leave a like if you enjoyed this list! And again check the main primer here

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    Top Ranked
    Date added 5 months
    Last updated 1 month
    Legality

    This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

    Rarity (main - side)

    8 - 1 Mythic Rares

    52 - 7 Rares

    15 - 10 Uncommons

    15 - 4 Commons

    Cards 100
    Avg. CMC 1.87
    Tokens 2/2 Bird, Treasure
    Folders Uncategorized, Templates, EDH Primer, Favorite Decks:, cedh, cEDH
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    Revision 6 See all

    1 month ago)

    -1 Azorius Signet side
    -1 Baral, Chief of Compliance main
    +1 Brain Freeze main
    -1 City of Brass main
    -1 Dizzy Spell side
    -1 Fiery Islet main
    -1 Forbidden Orchard main
    -1 Gemstone Caverns main
    +1 Ghostly Pilferer main
    -1 Land Tax side
    +1 Muddle the Mixture main
    -1 Negate main
    -1 Rielle, the Everwise side
    -1 Sacred Foundry main
    -1 Sea of Clouds main
    +4 Snow-Covered Island main
    +1 Snow-Covered Plains main
    -1 Spellskite side
    +1 Steal Enchantment side
    +1 Suppression Field side
    and 25 other change(s)