pie chart

Niv-Mizzet Parun Control cEDH

Commander / EDH Competitive Control UR (Izzet)



Niv-Mizzet, Parun cEDH Discord: https://discord.gg/uQDXAzN

Niv-Mizzet control is a cEDH deck in the same vein as Baral, Tasigur, and Rashmi that contains 3 single card combos in Curiosity, Ophidian Eye, and Tandem Lookout.

  • NMP is excellent at generating value, something needed for a control commander
  • His combos happen immediately and are very compact
  • Can't be countered is really great, and creates a threat that can't be ignored on the board
  • Red adds some great support cards and can run strong hate cards like Blood Moon & Stranglehold
  • NMP can work as his own stax piece, making him difficult to combo through
  • The curiosity combos get around most common Stax pieces
  • His mana cost is garbage. It makes colorless mana rocks and sol lands much less useful
  • Control can sometimes just not go your way at competitive tables. Because you can't race fast combo, you'll somewhat be reliant on other decks having interaction as well
  • It doesn't have black, meaning that we're light on good tutors
  • The creature count of the deck is low, which means it won't be able to apply much pressure to life totals to influence things like Necropotence or Ad Nauseum use
When I start brewing a commander, I start by trying to answer basic questions to form a path of deckbuilding such as: "What makes this commander better than other commanders of the same color?", "What are the most effecient win conditions?", "Does anything do it better?" That last one comes later, but its important. When the list started artifact heavy with Paradox Engine and rituals like Desperate Ritual etc, it played like a storm deck. However it was very easy to see that any black deck (particularly Grixis storm decks like Kess) could easily out-perform it on speed and consistency. Having tutors, Ad-Naus, Necropotence, and black rituals is a huge advantage. Other fast Paradox Engine & Iso+Rev decks similarly have access to black & green or make much better use of things like Grim Monolith, Mana Vault, etc (think Teferi or Urza).

This left the only other logical path as control. The game plan is simply to stop people from winning until you can play NMP. I chose to run Curiosity effects over Iso+Rev due to scepter requiring a high level of additional tutor cards to be consistent and increased vulnerability to removal and stax pieces.
NMP's mana cost is bad for cEDH. Common cards such as Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, Grim Monolith, Ancient Tomb, City of Traitors all do nothing to help power out NMP, and can only be used for subsequent casts. We don't want to drop all of these, as some of them are just too good. So what's the best way to go about dealing with this?

The answer, I believe, is to move the curve of the deck slightly higher by running cards that can take advantage of the colorless mana ramp and to run just the best of the colorless mana rocks. Cards with casting cost of , ,,,, are more favorable than they would be in other decks.
Curiosity, Tandem Lookout, and Ophidian Eye either enchanting or paired with NMP will cause a loop when you draw a card. At this point if an opponent tries to cast a removal spell, the draw will trigger first from NMP, you can deal 1 damage to that player (or any player), which will cause another draw trigger, and so on. This is nice because it means that once NMP is hooked up, most removal becomes moot.

If your opponents have more life than you have cards in hand there are a couple ways to handle it. The first is to kill the strongest 2 players, leave the 3rd, and go into beatdown with Niv and a hand full of counterspells. However, with the addition of Glint-horn Buccaneer, another option is to disperse the damage. Then with a very large hand, cast the free mana (Moxen, Crypt, Sol Ring) to get 1RR and cast Glint-Horn. When you move to the cleanup step he'll trigger for each card and deal a lot of damage to all opponents.

People commonly ask what to do about decking yourself. Curiosity and Ophidian Eye each have a "may" clause in them. You can stop the loop at any point. For Tandem Lookout just have Niv target anything but an opponent to end the loop. He can even target himself.
Glint-Horn Buccaneer has made the cut for me in testing. It serves as a combo replacement to Niv-Mizzet and fills a couple niches. He can come out faster than Niv which is valuable in poor matchups where you find yourself having to race. If Niv has been removed several times, he's pretty expensive to recast and having backup is useful. He's tutorable with Imperial Recruiter which means the Recruiter can now grab either part of the combo. Most importantly it only takes 1 slot and doesn't require the deck to run any additional support. Glint-Horn combo works in this way:

1. Cast Glint-Horn and equip him with a Curiosity Effect
2. Use his ability during combat, discarding a card, pinging each opponent, and getting draw triggers. This should work out to 1R: Discard a card, deal 1 to each opponent, draw 4 cards.
3. Move to the cleanup step with 8+ cards in hand. Discard down to maximum handsize. This triggers Glinthorn for each discarded card which forces a new round of priority due to this rule:

514.3. Normally, no player receives priority during the cleanup step, so no spells can be cast and no abilities can be activated. However, this rule is subject to the following exception:
514.3a At this point, the game checks to see if any state-based actions would be performed and/or any triggered abilities are waiting to be put onto the stack (including those that trigger “at the beginning of the next cleanup step”). If so, those state-based actions are performed, then those triggered abilities are put on the stack, then the active player gets priority. Players may cast spells and activate abilities. Once the stack is empty and all players pass in succession, another cleanup step begins.

4. Resolve each damage trigger independently as each one will trigger another curiosity draw(s)
5. After these are resolved you now have a bunch more cards in hand. Move to another cleanup step and repeat this.

Because each damage trigger will trigger curiosity independently, if you drew all possible cards multiple times, the growth is exponential. For instance if you discarded 3 cards, you can now draw a maximum of 9 cards, then 27, then 81. See the problem? For Curiosity and Ophidian Eye the solution is simple: Only choose to draw 1 card off his triggers. So it would go Discard down to 7, Glinthorn triggers, Choose to draw a card off the first curiosity trigger, choose not to on the others, repeat, going 1 card at a time.

The real problem is if he's paired to Tandem Lookout, as Tandem Lookout doesn't have a "may" clause for drawing a card. The solution to this is to be careful and use a well time removal card (preferably free like Snapback or Submerge).

1. First make sure you have enough cards in your deck to deal enough damage
2. Resolve the combo as normal, even with the exponential growth. Let's say you have just discarded 27 cards to maximum handsize. You have 27 Glinthorn triggers
3. Each of those triggers will put 3 draws on the stack that will resolve before the next damage trigger. Lets say you have 20 cards left in your deck. You'll be able to resolve 6 of those damage triggers, as each will draw you 3 cards (18 draws).
4. You now have 21 Glinthorn triggers on the stack. If you let them resolve now, you will lose due to drawing cards. At this point hold priority and cast Snapback/Submerge/Pongify/Blink of an Eye/Whatever on the Tandem lookout
5. You can now safely resolve those 21 triggers dealing 21 damage. You also have 17 extra cards in your hand (18 minus the 1 removal spell) and you can move to discard and safely deal another 17 damage to everyone. This will have been well over 40 damage assuming you started the loop at a smaller number than 27.
I've removed the Iso+Rev combo, but I will leave this in as it could change in the future or for anyone that chooses to run it. My current opinion is that this combo has low value in the list. Its difficult to assemble without black and the slots it takes to support it are better used as interaction or card selection. As a "Plan B" win, the 1-slot Glint-horn is better imo.

Isochron Scepter Combos Isochron Scepter imprinting Dramatic Reversal is a combo that works when you have mana rocks that add 3 or more mana total. It will untap the scepter and your mana rocks, which means you can repeat it for infinite mana. The cast will also trigger Niv-Mizzet, allowing you to draw out most of your deck.

The above combos will only allow 1 damage for each card drawn, which often will not be enough to kill 3 opponents who started at 40 life. There are a few ways to handle this.

Infinite Swans: This is done by assembling the Iso-Rev combo either before or after drawing the deck. Bounce NMP to ensure you don't draw yourself into a game loss, as his draw ability isn't optional. Cast Copy Artifact copying Isochron Scepter and imprinting Swan Song. Cast an instant, sorcery, or enchantment and hold priority, activing Swan-Scepter targeting that spell. Hold priority again, activing the Iso-Rev to untap everything. Now activate Swan-Scepter targeting the first copy of Swan Song. This will counter it, give you a bird, and you're back to where you started. Repeat for millions of pecking birds.

Another route is to distribute your damage with NMP so that each opponent's life total is less than yours, then generate mana with Iso-Rev and cast Rolling Earthquake to get rid of everyone.

Both of these lines are reliant on Isochron Scepter or certain other conditions. This leads us to the next section.
Update: As of 5/29/19 I've removed Kozilek. I will reconsider it if I run into a situation where it affects being able to win. I will leave this section in as it contains details on the loop should you choose to run it or feel the need for it.

I'll preface this by saying Kozilek/Ulamog is not necessary for the list, however his inclusion helps resolve several situations which include:

1. Isochron Scepter has been destroyed or exiled
2. Swan Song/Copy Artifact has been exiled (very common since the deck runs FoW, Misdirection, Snapback)

Kozilek gives us a looping mechanism for NMP card draw/damage. There are 2 particularly useful ones:
Manaless Loop
This loop is not shortcuttable, but is very useful if you're low on mana, other players are low enough on life where you don't have to go infinite, or certain pieces have been exiled.
1. With Curiosity effect on Niv, draw cards until you get Snapback/Submerge/Git Probe/Mogg Salvage and Kozilek and at least 1 card left in library.
2. Move to cleanup step and discard down to maximize handsize dropping Kozilek and keeping the free spell. Kozilek's trigger will cause a new round of priority. Let Kozilek shuffle resolve.
3. Cast the free spell causing the Niv to trigger, looping through the deck.
4. Repeat. If you don't have enough targets for Submerge/Snapback, counter it each time with a Pact or Force of Will

ISO-Rev Loop
This is a shortcuttable loop useful for when Swan Song/Copy Artifact is exiled. To get to the starting state the first time you'll probably have to cast Frantic Search once discarding Kozilek, and loop through the deck once. To start it, use Iso Rev and Niv Mizzet to get mana and set up the beginning state of 2 cards in library, empty grave, Frantic Search, NMP, and Mystical Tutor in hand. Cast a bounce spell on Niv when there are 3 cards to start it off, then proceed to the loop:
1. Use Iso Rev to get billions of Blue and Red Mana
2. Cast Mystical Tutor/Merchant Scroll, holding priority cast Frantic Search
3. Draw the last 2 cards and discard a card and Kozilek
4. Hold priority on Kozilek shuffle and cast Dig Through Time and 1 other arbitrary instants (Impulse for instance)
5. Resolve Kozilek shuffle
6. Resolve Mystical Tutor/Merchant Scroll putting Dig Through Time on top or into hand. (6-7 cards in deck, DTT on top or in hand) Graveyard now has Mystical Tutor/Merchant Scroll
7. Cast Niv Mizzet from hand
8. If Mystical Tutor was cast, use Isochron to cast Dramatic Reversal, Drawing the Dig Through Time (6 cards in deck)
9. Cast Dig Through Time, draw a card off Niv and deal a damage, find the Bounce spell and Mystical Tutor/Merchant Scroll
10. Order the remaining cards so that Frantic Search is on top. (3 cards in deck)
11. Cast the bounce spell on Niv Mizzet, drawing Frantic Search off Niv.

At this point the starting point has been reached, 2 cards in Library, Niv, Frantic Search, Mystical Tutor in hand. 2 points of damage have been dealt from Niv-Mizzet triggering from the Iso-Rev and DTT.

There are other variations of this if either Mystical Tutor or Merchant Scroll is removed. Merchant Scroll and Muddle the Mixture can work as it will always get you the Merchant Scroll.

Impulse can also work with either, but I may not be technically be shortcuttable as it is a little bit logic tree-ish.

Pull from Tomorrow can substitute for Frantic Search as well.
The Free Stuff - Snapback, Mogg Salvage, Submerge, Misdirection, Gitaxian Probe: These cards aren't particularly great in other lists, but perform extremely well for NMP. With him out each ones gets an extra rules tag on them of "Draw 1 card, deal 1 damage". Snapback and Misdirection are particularly useful, as after casting NMP mana tends to be a little low and he'll often draw removal. These cards make these interactions very swingy. A common example would be NMP resolves, turn ends, opponent casts Swords to Plowshares. That causes a draw and a damage, then you can cast Snapback targeting NMP to draw and damage again and not have to pay the commander tax again. Every time these interactions happen to try to remove NMP it gives you valuable draw (possibly into more free spells) and some level of board control. Snapback is the most "out there" addition, but even a generic unsummon is not bad and an emergency free bounce can help get out of some sticky situations like Notion Thief + Wheel or other creature based shenanigans.

Pyroclasm & Rolling Earthquake: These cards help slow down some of the very swarmy type decks that are fairly popular in cEDH like Najeela and Blood Pod, and can also hit all the main mana dorks the we can't run anyway. Rolling Earthquake can double as a wincon if everyone else has been pinged down to life totals lower than you.

Captain Lannery Storm serves several purposes at a good mana cost of 2R, which helps as a sink for colorless mana. The first is simply to get more mana. Collecting treasures is very good and gives you the option of ramping out Niv early, or waiting a few turns to be able to cast interaction after you play him. There's almost always someone who is an easy attack target as Tymna players can attest to, and Thrasios can't make an easy block due to Lannery's pump trigger.

Paradox Engine: Now banned but I'll leave this here as a note. I decided against Dox fairly early as in order to be useful the deck needed a large number of artifact mana, and in UR you're forced to use some pretty subpar options which also eats into the interaction slots.

Narset, Parter of Veils, Karn, the Great Creator, Dack Fayden: In general, for planeswalkers to be good in cEDH they need to stick around or have an immediate effect. In decks with Tasigur or Thrasios in the command zone, or with a high creature count, its much easier to support planeswalkers because you'll have a decent blocker ready. At 9 creatures, its fairly likely you won't be able to block a turn cycle for said PW. As for immediate effects, Dack can steal an artifact which can be good, but then he'll die. I ran him for a bit and that was lackluster compared to other things I could be doing at 3 mana. Narset should be a necessity if you choose to run wheels, otherwise its unreliable.

Magus of the Moon: Excluded because Blood Moon isn't central to our game plan. It can be a great card, but I don't want to see doubles of it in my hand.

Gamble: with fewer combos in the deck and high redundancy there's not often a specific card you want with the risk that comes with gamble.

Isochron Scepter & Dramatic Reversal: I ran these from the get-go, however the more I played the deck the more I didn't want them in it. I consistently found myself discarding pieces of it to things like Frantic Search or Pull From Tomorrow. I more often tutored Gilded Drake or Pyroclasm with Muddle the Mixture, and I always won by playing Draw-Go and dropping Niv into a favorable board state. There were cases where I had the ability to try and go for it, but was too low on artifacts to net mana. This is more of a testament of how strong Niv is by himself.

Timetwister, Windfall, Wheel of Fortune: Its fair to say that draw 7's are more beneficial to faster decks that already run rituals, more rocks, and tutorable Notion Thief abilities. Because this doesn't fit those criteria, it means that they will be far more situational. Mid-game wheel's for us would be sketchy at best, drawing 3 opponents a total of 21 cards, and tapping 3 mana at sorcery speed are both risks. If you have Niv out prior to casting it, you might be drawing opponents removal just to deal a measly 8 damage. If you prefer to run them you can, but I personally don't.

Gemstone Caverns: This is excluded simply because most of the time it will be a bad draw. Colorless = bad = no caverns.

Chain of Vapor: Chain of Vapor is a great card. It can lead to interesting politics, multiple land sacs, stop someone for winning all for 1 mana. The reason I'm not running it is because it is significantly less good after Niv has been played. 99% percent of the time, when he's on the board he's the biggest perceived threat and if you cast that Chain of Vapor, he's going to get bounced.
The manabase used is to provide all colored mana while being able to play around Blood Moon and Back to Basics easily. This means that there are significantly more basic Islands than Mountains as Moon effects will make the non-basics mountains anyway.

The mana rocks used are ones that are either too good not to included, or provide colored mana for NMP.

As stated earlier Treasonous Ogre is fantastic at "filtering" colorless mana. He makes casting and keeping NMP much easier as you can use 9 life for the red mana, and often still have lands held up for counterspells.
When you get down to 2 colors in edh decks, there's a lot more room for personal preference. You can look at other lists and see things quite different because its not as easy as 4-color where each color has obvious choices (i.e. it has white so it needs Silence and Smothering Tithe, has green so it has each mana dork, has black so it needs each tutor etc). In this section I'll just point out what cards I would likely remove if I wanted something else there:

Blink of an Eye: I like having a versatile bounce spell but there are plenty of reasons you might not want to run it. This is usually 1U and only occasionally do I use the kicker.

Sleight of Hand: I like having good card selection, especially on turn 1 as it increases the number of keepable hands. On average Sleight digs deeper than Opt since sometimes you'll keep the top card with Opt.

Spell Pierce: I really like 1cmc or less counterspells, as keeping mana open for counterspells after playing Niv isn't always easy. If I were to axe one it would be pierce.

Negate: Negate is the worst 2 mana counterspell in the list. Its a great card, but you may have a creature heavy meta where you want more interaction or removal over it.

Anticipate: More instant speed dig, slightly worse than Impulse but not by much.

Cyclonic Rift: I haven't been running this recently and this has been a flex spot for testing for quite a while for me. Niv doesn't care about most stax pieces so resetting the board really doesn't matter most of the time. Usually it was just a 1U bounce spell that can't bounce my own Dockside or Niv, so meh.

As for what to add in, do what feels right to you :P I will say if you want to run Isochron Scepter and Dramatic Reversal you need to make room for tutors for it. Top picks would be Gamble, Fabricate, Whir of Invention, Transmute Artifact, Tribute Mage. Otherwise you'll likely never/rarely assemble that combo. That level of support requirement is why I chose not to run it, but some folks do, so go for it if you want to.
Opening hands aren't quite as important with Niv as with other more combo oriented decks I've played. Since the deck's best card is in the command zone and has some inevitability, the most important things in opening hands are mana sources and card selection. You want to be able to make land drops, sculpt your hand, and then have interaction ready, or are able to bluff it. Having blue mana untapped and saying "I pass my turn" is often enough for people to hold back from trying to dangerously jam their combo piece. Usually people don't want to play their Flash or Food Chain straight into that.

Other acceptable keeps are ones that have a Stax piece you know will screw people up. Grafdiggers and Cursed Totem in particular cover a lot of ground and can also ruin mana dorks for a while. Mystic Remora hands are of course fantastic, and if you can play that out and keep making land drops, go for it.

A note on land drops. Depending on what you're playing against, its often better to drop lands that aren't island early game. This can help prevent people from accelerating quickly with Carpet of Flowers. Its fine to match someone else's island count (unless of course they're the one with Carpet).

The most important thing in your opening hand is to consider the decks you're going against. If you're looking at a Yisan, Najeela, something else, that Mystic Remora, Dispel, and Pyroblast in hand aren't all that useful. Or if you're facing down a couple Food Chain Slivers, Pongify and Gilded Drake aren't likely to make a big dent. Choose your starting hand wisely.
The deck plays almost entirely draw-go. You can feel free to drop things that will slow people down, or speed up your own game plan. This includes the Stax pieces, Rhystic Study/Remora, Lannery Storm, Mana Rocks etc. Its preferable to have mana open at the end of your turn as the game progresses. In the early game it can threaten having something like a Pierce or Swan Song even if you don't have one, which will make players hesitant to jam their combos. The creatures in the deck all notably either trade or block Tymna, and getting an early Spellskite just to stop yourself from being an easy way for other players to draw cards is also nice.

Counterspell when necessary, not just because you can. Things that are good to counterspell: Necropotence, Ad Nauseum, Flash, an early Mystic Remora, giant frog monsters, Food Chain, Twister after a Notion Thief, Tainted Pact, Paradox Engine with a Lab Man out.
Things that are generally not good to counter: Sylvan Library, Carpet of Flowers, Timetwister/Windfall/Wheel, other peoples stax pieces, creatures in general.
Picking what to counter can be difficult, but in general its things that directly set up a game win. Some things that seem like big threats to you will ALSO be perceived as big threats by other players. This can take a lot of attention away from you and set up for just casting NMP.

On casting NMP:
Usually it's best to cast NMP with backup ready to go. It could be leaving an extra mana open to cast a Brainstorm to kill a Gilded Drake or a counterspell, it could be 0 mana but having free counters in hand. Its best to have something to do to get the biggest bang for your buck when folks might have removal ready to go.

There are times where its worth the risk to cast him without protection. Usually that's when you're forced to by the speed of the game, or a recast. Maybe you cast him one time, fought against some removal and lost the battle. That means your opponents are that much lighter on removal and recasting him is safer.

The main removal to worry about is Gilded Drake. An opponent grabbing your Niv is a really really bad thing. If one has been cast already they lowers the risk. Always keep in mind you can respond to the Gilded Drake trigger and either use removal to kill the drake, Niv Mizzet ping, or you could safely bounce Niv to your hand with a Snapback or something. Keep in mind the lands people are leaving untapped or what removal you think they might have. Avoiding the almost universally played Abrupt Decay is great but Assassin's Trophy is relevant.

If you think someone is getting ready to try for a win, this is a pretty ok time to just play NMP depending on the deck. Dropping it before a storm player goes off can potentially just ruin their plan, or for other decks give you a chance to draw into removal you didn't have. If other players get into a counter war to stop that player from winning, you're sitting off to the side drawing and pinging. A lot of times when players are setting up for their win they're collecting counterspells, not creature removal, so its a decent sign you may be safe from removal from that player. It also screws up other players Dramatic Reversal lines as you'll be getting a trigger every time they cast it. On the other hand, decks that don't win by casting a bunch of instants or sorceries, you may be better waiting for a more opportune time assuming you have good control in your hand.

A final word of caution in the section. Dockside Extortionist has been a huge boon for the deck. However, it comes with a strong temptation. I strongly caution against casting Dockside early and jamming Niv down too soon. Using treasures to pay for the majority of his cost early means that opponent's will not have used many resources and you'll have to wait a long time to get him out again. It's best used as padding to cast interaction when you are already close or ready to casting Niv Mizzet off of other mana sources. There are exceptions, especially if you're in a game where you are forced to race.
Frantic Search can be a valuable way to filter your colorless mana and allow earlier casts of Niv. Example: 2 islands, 2 mountains and Sol Ring in play. Pool with lands and with Sol Ring. Cast Frantic Search using . You'll untap 3 lands and have left in your pool. Also Baral will lower the cost of Frantic Search and will net you a mana.

Don't be afraid to cast Curiosity Effects for value if you're in a good position for it. I have frequently put them on Baral, Lannery Storm, and Treasure Nabber. Tandem Lookout is particularly good for this as he'll get a card draw himself, potentially getting you 2 extra cards every turn.

Removal works on Gilded Drake in response to his ability. So if someone tries to Drake your Dragon, cast removal or try to hit 3 pings in response.

Glint-Horn Buccaneer is great for dealing lots of damage at the end of the NMP loop to kill everyone. Honestly this isn't really needed, but the option is there, and people ask all the time what to do when there aren't enough cards for Niv.
Addendum 10/30: I recently had my first game where this did matter. It was a timed game and after hitting time I had one turn left to win. I was able to curiosity combo but fell short on damage. Drawing 40 cards and distributing the damage and then dropping Glint-Horn and moving to discard got the game.

Submerge is pretty versatile. I don't frequently use it to protect Niv, but the options there. It can throw off tutors occasionally by putting another card on top, and I've used it to buy a turn against Lab Maniac after they've Demonic Consultation'd and gone to draw a card.

Spellskite can occasionally mess with other people's combos or prevent them from moving forward with them. Some that I have come across are:
-Derevi, Empyrial Tactician untap triggers preventing Najella, the Blade Blossom combo
- 4c Rashmi Curiosity effects
-Oblivion Crown in Gitrog
-Freed from the Real targeting Bloom Tender
-Divergent Transformations combo
-Felidar Guardian trigger, combos often involving Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
-Quirion Ranger effects in Prime Speaker Vannifar and Yisan, the Wanderer Bard
-Teferi, Temporal Archmage combo redirecting one target, likely The Chain Veil
This is tough to write as its not so clear-cut like it is with other decks as there's nothing that quite hates out Niv Mizzet other than Humility. However, there are some pods that spell trouble. As I mentioned in the "Why not to play" section, its hard or impossible to keep up with 3 fast combo decks. The worst matchup imo is the Frog Monster. Other combo decks if piloted well will not just jam their combo into your untapped blue lands (unless piloted poorly). They'll try and sculpt and prepare a hand that can combo after someone else has tried to go off or the conditions are right. This means they're in a sort of waiting game with other players, there's good back and forth happening in between, and it gives you time.

Gitrog on the other hand can keep on jamming things and doesn't run out of gas. The worst position you can be in is the table police, trying to stop the fast combo deck, while other folks are assembling combos and seeing you use your counterspells. Try and get others to use countermagic to stop them. Multiple Gitrogs is bad news. On this all I can say is, Cursed Totem can help, Gilded Drake can help, Pongify can help, stop the Frog, counter Necropotence and Ad Nauseum, and try your best.

Mixed pods can create very good conditions for NMP. When players have to be cautious or work around other stack pieces and things get drawn out longer is a good place to be. Sometimes its worth protecting another players stax pieces. Stranglehold, Rest in Peace, Rule of Law, Ashiok, etc can all work in your favor. I've found that one person running Blood Pod is excellent as we have good answers to their win conditions and they put extra pressure on other decks.

Individual Tactics:
Gitrog: Counter/destroy/Gilded Drake Gitrog if possible is the best tactic. Its the biggest speedbump for them. Be wary of Ad Nauseum or an early Necropotence. Often a good candidate to Git Probe early if you have it

Prossh: Prossh can be a difficult matchup like Gitrog. While Food Chain is their plan A, their plan B of beatdown is very good as well. Countering Prossh doesn't stop his army of 1/1s made more difficult with ETB or Blood Artist effects. They also don't have a lot of instant/sorcery interaction which is less draws for NivMizz. Be wary of Food Chain and try not to let their dudes get your health down too low. Stranglehold and boardwipes should be favored here.

Urza: This matchup has been fine overall. They're not the fastest deck ever either. Be aware of their stax pieces as Winter Orb or Static Orb can be trouble, so save your Salvage and Abrade for them if you have it (or as an emergency if they drop Scepter or Dox Engine).

Flash Hulk: All the decks stax pieces are strong here. If there are multiple decks on it, its probably worth taking a mulligan or two to try and get a stax piece, value them higher than normal. If you have a Fluster, use it well.

PST (Paradox Scepter T&T): This is a fairly good deck to be paired with. They're slower and more deliberate than many other combo decks. They have a high level of interaction which is good for us. It means you have an indirect ally to fight faster threats and pull the game out longer. Watch for open Ad Naus and Notion Thief.

Food Chain Sliver: Counter Food Chain if possible. The list is more dependent on dorks than others since they ramp after Food Chain as well, so value Pyroclasm effects slightly higher than normal. Necropotence is very good for them, and even more deserving of countering than normal. Be aware of Ad Naus

Tymna Kraum Thieves: A deck around Wheel + Thief shenanigans. This deck is dangerous, but not particularly fast, and also a bit more predictable since it relies on A+B wheel combos. Instant speed creature removal and bounce should be valued more in this matchup. Save them to respond to a wheel effect. For example if they play Notion Thief eot, allow it, then in response to Wheel on their turn bounce it or remove it. This isn't always correct based on how much value other players could get from the Wheel, but is generally what you want.

Selvala/Yisan: not much to say here other than wipes and Cursed Totem are good. Early NMP is good here if possible as the ping is really useful against them.

4c Rashmi/Curious Control: Our curious brother/sister deck. They get out curiosity dudes quicker than we do generally and have a slightly higher board wipe count, so keep that in mind. Spellskite is good here to redirect stuff. Note that Misdirecting or Spellskiting Curiosity won't give you the benefits, its still under their control. However, this means you can also piggy back of their curiosity dudes too. Putting Curiosity or Ophidian Eye on a Vial Smasher or Electrostatic Field is pretty funny. Note that you will only draw cards when it hits your opponents, not you.

Razakats: Just be aware of the combos. Removal and Counters are good, all your Stax pieces are good.

Consultation Kess/Storm: Another deck that can and often does run Cursed Totem is nice. Gilded Drake can be good here as the game goes on, but don't make it your main focus as casting Kess isn't theirs. Don't let an Ad Naus resolve when their health is in a good spot. Attack them when possible with stuff like Treasure Nabber or Lannery to whittle them down a bit, ping them with Niv Mizzet when possible. Their life is very valuable to them and they don't run many blockers. Expect Tymnas to be swinging at them as well. Make sure you or someone is able to interact with a Consultation Jace out of nowhere

Zur: Haven't been able to test against any Zurs yet, just hasn't come up in pickup games. In general though try not to let them attack with Zur. Other than that storm lists play a lot like Kess but slightly worse. If you're unsure of the variant, be on the safe side and worry about Consultation Jace. Control variants are clunky, and you should be able to spot them if they get Rest In Peace or start dropping some more unusual enchantments. Be wary of Helm of Obedience if they pull out RiP

Korvold: Korvold has been a tricky one and more difficult to deal with than Prossh. He pairs even better with Dockside Extortionist than Niv does, to the point where countering dockside if able is quite valid. Saccing 5+ treasures for mana and drawing into more combo pieces, or being able to reanimate him and continue the chain to build up things like Veil of Summer or Vexing Shusher in preparation for casting Food Chain. Stranglehold is good here as it shuts down a lot of their tutors.
$500 budget list

I also just wanted to thank Archon for also testing NMP on playEdh, discussing card selection at length with me, and having to go through Paradox Engine ban. He went an artifact heavy route with Paradox Engine and is now in the rough spot of having to completely change up his deck.

PlayEdh & cEDH Nexus folks in general for helping me get in quality games and testing.

cEDH Nexus in general for being an excellent webcam game environment that puts gameplay and friendliness first.

Thanks all!


Updates Add

Now that they're legal I've added Fierce Guardianship & Deflecting Swat over Trickbind and Narset's Reversal. Spell Snare and Grafdigger's Cage are more up in the air if I want to keep them now that Flash Hulk is gone (hurray!), but will leave them in for now.

I'm shifting over to using Moxfield to create/store/edit decks. Niv-Mizzet home is: https://www.moxfield.com/decks/HmRJ5ju54USIf9UVsl5kwQ

I also have been doing a lot of brewing and playing other decks lately so no big updates, although I do have a re-tool of Niv in the back of my mind I'll probably be working on at some point. This will be an alternate list around more free spells (including Gush and Commandeer), a faster Niv, fewer stax pieces. The control build is still very solid, but I think with Swat & Guardianship and Flash out of the picture, a faster Niv approach could have legs.

Comments View Archive

Top Ranked
Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 month

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

3 - 0 Mythic Rares

44 - 0 Rares

23 - 0 Uncommons

19 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.09
Tokens Treasure, 1/1 Spirit, 2/2 Bird, 3/3 Ape
Folders Ideas, Reference Decks, Deck Ideas, Parun Inspirations, Nice, cEDH - Ideas, Decks to check out, Templates, my commander, NMP Additions, See all 49
Ignored suggestions
Shared with

Revision 21 See all

1 month ago)

+1 Earthquake main
+1 Steal Enchantment main
-1 Stranglehold main