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[Primer] Maelstrom Mystery (cEDH Yidris consult)

Commander / EDH Combo Competitive Multiplayer Primer Storm UBRG


Further updates to this primer and decklist can be found at: https://www.moxfield.com/decks/ZUw1dxdOJUyMvi2VZoIXJw

What is cEDH

This is a competitive elder dragon highlander (cEDH) deck. cEDH is not a different format than regular EDH, they use the same banlist and rules. The difference lies is building your deck optimally. This means decks should be able to win or stop someone from winning starting turn three, in some scenarios even turn one or two. Games often take longer than that, since most decks play enough interaction to be able to stop each other. Before building this deck, please ensure that your playgroup is ready to handle cEDH decks. Pubstomping (beating other players with significantly stronger decks) is frowned upon by the community.

The game plan

This deck aims to win with an empty library, using Thassa's Oracle or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries. Tainted Pact and Demonic Consultation are often used to exile the rest of the library and win. If you do not have one of these combos the deck works like a storm deck, playing a lot of draw and mana positive spells in a single turn to eventually find the combo. The deck doesn't really contain other ways to win, but is very fast and resilient. Little setup is needed, you just need one of the wincons, a way to empty your library and enough mana to cast everything. The core combo costs only in two cards, making the combo very compact and fast. All additional cards help you get to or protect the combo.

This wincon synergizes well with Yidris as the commander acts as a proactive card advantage engine. Cascade helps consistently hit 0 mana rocks, instantly getting your mana back and enabling you to cast even more spells this turn and possibly the next. Compared to other commanders, Yidris enables a very fast consistent gameplan, but suffers in longer games.

When to play this deck

You will like this deck if you like playing quick combo decks, solving puzzles and discovering interactions between cards. The commander also provides unique turns in which you can chain together spells and obtain a lot of value or chain together a win. The deck is very resilient since it plays very little permanents and does not care much about many specific stax pieces except for ones that disallow playing more than one spell each turn.

You will not like this deck if you like the combat phase or play 'on the board'. You will also not like this deck if you dislike 'solitaire' decks, as this deck can take 10 minute and longer turns to try and find a win, even in the hands of experienced pilots. The deck cannot protect itself against creature-based strategies or stax-heavy metas very well. Sometimes the deck is fast enough or can sneak in a win. You will also not enjoy this deck if you like to play slow and controlling games, or if you want a deck completely focused around your commander.

Comparable commanders

Kess, Dissident Mage: Kess has the upside of making the traditional consultation package even more compact by using Demonic Consultation or Tainted Pact for both finding the wincon as well as exiling your library. Compared to Yidris, it struggles a bit more in finding enough mana to both play and protect the combo. The commander allows to to play a slower game, which doesn't always fit its proactive wincon. Not having access to green makes the general card quality a bit lower, but running more colours also asks more of your landbase.

Zur the Enchanter: The commander to find Necropotence, which in turn can help you quickly find the cards you need to win with. Red has higher card quality than white, and Zur also loses access to a fourth colour. Kess is likely a better fit than Zur, unless you really want to play white.

Thrasios, Triton Hero & Vial Smasher the Fierce: Thrasios is the most important part of this partner pair, as vial smasher is mainly used for colours. Compared to Yidris, Thrasios will provide significantly fewer cards in the early game but excels at going into the long game. This fits better with a reactive or slower playstyle.

Thrasios, Triton Hero & Tymna the Weaver: Comparable to Thrasios and Vial smasher, but in this case Tymna is a valid draw engine. Red cards are also generally of better quality than white cards. For this deck as well, wincons that are less all-in are often a better fit.

The First Sliver: A Food Chain deck that finds any of the wincons after gaining infinite mana and then using the commander to cascade into almost every spell in the deck. The deck is less streamlined because it needs cards for its Food Chain package. Adding a fifth colour adds a little more strain on the mana base, but a few white cards are incredibly good for the strategy. The deck is a little slower because it is less focused on one wincon, but has access to backup wincons, which makes the deck more resilient.

Further discussion

If you're interested in knowing more about Yidris, feel free to join the discussion in the Yidris discord at https://discord.gg/RVE3Yxg.

Deck history

I've always like combo and artifact decks. My first deck was a Sharuum the Hegemon deck that slowly increased in power until I switched to card:Breya, Etherium sculptor. Other players began running more artifact hate, and the combos I ran became even more compact and robust. Eventually, the deck began to look like a storm deck and, after testing a lot of different commanders, I switched to Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder permanently. I had been playing Yidris storm for a few years, and then switched to a consultation package a few months after War of the Spark came out.

Mulligans and the early game

In the early game, the focus is on finding permanent based mana such as mana rocks, dorks and lands. A good opening hand usually contains around two lands. You also want to have at least one payoff spell in your hand, or a way to tutor up that payoff spell. Make sure you can either protect your payoff spell or can fall back to another strategy at all times. The following list contains payoff spells and the recommended turns to play these cards. If you can play these cards even earlier than the recommended turn then it's even better. Try to balance casting early with protection.

Some alternative hands:

  • A hand that allows you to cast your wincon as well as a way to remove your library around turn four. Often, these hands cannot be protected and are very risky to keep. The fact you have it in your hand doesn't mean you should also directly play it on turn four.
  • A hand that contains mostly reactive spells. Do this only if all other decks are faster than you.
  • A hand that contains a few filter and draw spells. Generally it's better to mulligan this, but this can be kept when you've already taken a mulligan a few times.

As a general guideline, don't play Demonic Consultation too early. You need enough mana to play out your wincon and extra mana to play interaction. Demonic Consultation could exile too many cards.

The order in which to look for specific combos or synergies is described below. Using Yidris is described at the bottom, not because this is the worst strategy, but because it's a strategy that enhances the other strategies. At the very worst, going for this early will bait a piece of interaction. You can safely do this if you can't win with your current hand and don't need to hold up interaction that round.

Life = cards

One of the easiest ways to assemble both pieces of the combo is by finding an Ad Nauseam or a Necropotence. This allows you to draw so many cards that you can find all the fast mana, the wincon and a way to remove your deck in one go. Ad Nauseam is significantly better, especially because of the low cmc of the deck. The best moment to cast this is the end step before your turn but the deck can often still win off of a main phase cast. There is no clear amount of life to pay with Necropotence. Try to calculate the odds of drawing a win by dividing the amount of cards in your deck by the types of cards that have an effect you need. Some decks also play necropotence as a way to fill your hand every turn, but this is generally not recommended. The deck plays little other cards that cost life, unless they're really good, as this negatively impacts the main gameplan.

The manual route

Use your wheels, tutors and draw spells to find both pieces of your combo and then play them out. Casting many spells in a single turn and possibly either starting with a Song of Creation or following up with a Mind's Desire. Make sure you don't permanently lose access to either Thassa's Oracle or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, as you have no good alternative ways to win. That doesn't mean you should be scared wheeling them away, since you have Regrowth, Noxious Revival, Yawgmoth's Will and Underworld Breach to get them back. In that case, be on the lookout for graveyard hate.

Underworld Breach synergizes incredibly well with wheels and rituals. If you have a ritual that provides you with enough mana to (re)cast a wheel and the ritual you can cycle through your deck, eventually finishing the game with a Jace or oracle. Using Lion's Eye Diamond with Wheel of Fortune also works, although your opponents can draw into interaction. High Tide or Utopia Sprawl with Frantic Search also fuel your graveyard while gaining you mana in the meantime, often finding enough spells to continue the combo.

When tutoring for a game winning card it's generally better to go for Thassa's Oracle rather than Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, as the oracle is two mana cheaper and is harder to interact with.

It is better to not exile your whole library with Demonic Consultation and Tainted Pact. Both Thassa's Oracle and Jace, Wielder of Mysteries can with with a few cards still left in your library. This is only relevant if one of the last cards in your deck can help you win this turn, or help you go for it again the next turn. Too many people shortcut to exiling the whole library only to be blown out by one piece of interaction. Not exiling everything with Demonic Consultation is only possible if you know the bottom card(s), for example through scry or Yidris. You will be slightly weaker to cards like Noxious Revival if you leave exactly enough cards in your deck. You're also weaker to removal if you count on having devotion for Thassa's Oracle.


Rather than just wheeling into a new hand, Wheel of Fortune and card:Winfall can be used with Notion Thief to strip your opponents of their hands while you draw everything. Often this is enough to win the current or the next turn, but at the very least buys a lot of time if your opponents do not have a demanding board position. In extreme cases, you could use this time to kill everyone with combat damage if you have no other way to win.

Death reversal

If everything else went wrong, you can theoretically win with a combination of Deathrite Shaman, Underworld Breach, Dramatic Reversal and rocks or dorks. For each 2 life the opponent with the highest life total has, you need , an instant or sorcery card in your opponents' graveyard and three cards in your graveyard. You can use the second mode on Deathrite Shaman to drain everyone. Yidris can help finish people off if needed.

Using Yidris

As mentioned, Yidris enhances the previous strategies. Since the deck plays a lot of 1-cost spells, you are practically guaranteed to hit most of your fast mana. Yidris also works well with topdeck tutors, since you will get instant access to them as long as what you're tutoring for has a lower cmc than a card in your hand. As a general guideline, it's better to first cast all lower cost spells. This improves the value of cascade hits. Yidris is a good card to play when you are unable to win with your current hand and don't need to hold up interaction. Usually, there's no need to protect Yidris unless you have no other plans to fall back on.

The commander

Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder: A piece that enhances all other strategies but isn't needed to win. Can be used as a counter- or removal magnet to push through another line. One one hand, isn't too good in creature heavy metas because it is hard to trigger him. On the other hand, the big body can block a lot of creatures and is sometimes large enough to survive small boardwipes. In rare cases the stats are high enough to finish people with combat damage.


Abrupt Decay: This spell can hit almost anything because of the low average manacosts in cEDH decks, you'll have to play around the few cards this can't hit. The fact that it can't be countered makes it incredibly good since counterspells are quite common. A few fringe counterspells work against decay because they don't explicitly counter the spell.

Ad Nauseam: One of the best cards in the deck since the high starting life total and low average cmc ensures you can draw a lot of cards. The card comes with a deckbuilding restriction. The best moment to play this is usually in the end step before your turn. That way you have the most mana available during your own turn. The deck is also capable of winning off of a main phase cast, but isn't built around it. Usually you try to win after having cast the card but there are situations, such as being in a slow game or being really unlucky with what you reveal without the direct need to win, where you can cast the card for value.

Assassin's Trophy: A good cheap spell that can remove anything. Most people play at least a few basic lands because of cards like this. Giving your opponents a land is an upside for them, so try to keep this card in hand as long as possible. It can also be used as a soft wincon if you are able to loop through your deck in some way.

Brainstorm: If you have access to a shuffle effect then this usually feels like a 1 mana draw 3. In other cases it gives you specific cards at an earlier moment. During cascade turns you can also put cards you want to cascade into back on top of your library, making it especially good with the suspend spells.

Chain of Vapor: Often used to bounce back all your own fast mana to go mana-positive. Because you have to sacrifice most or all of your lands, this should only be done when you're almost sure you can win that turn. This also turns off cards that synergize with your lands such as High Tide and Frantic Search. As an interaction spell, this card has the downside that people can also bounce one of your own permanents. If you really need to interact with someone winning the game, it's advantageous to bounce another player's permanent, so they are forced to sacrifice a land to deal with the actual problem. They can also bounce the problem back to you, so only do this if their target is of really high value.

Dark Ritual: Black is the deck's second most important colour and this is one of the most efficient rituals in the game. A lot of our payoff cards also need multiple black mana.

Demonic Consultation: A piece of the core combo. Often used to exile your library by naming a card not in your deck. Can also be used as a tutor in urgent situations, but using it as a tutor is not recommended. If you play it too early then you risk exiling cards you need to win, but by waiting too long you increase the chance that the named card is in the top six. If you know what one of the bottom cards in your deck is then it's usually better to name that card and not exile your entire library.

Dispel: A narrow answer Comparable to Red Elemental Blast. The most important cards both can hit are Flash and opposing counterspells. This card can also hit Ad Nauseam, Assassin's Trophy, Demonic Consultation, Tainted Pact, Vampiric Tutor, Pyroblast, Veil of Summer and Silence.

Dramatic Reversal: This card is used as a ritual that often produces 4 or more mana. It can also combo with certain cards, most notably Isochron Scepter, Bonus Round and Narset's Reversal. Can also be used to synergize with Deathrite Shaman, especially if you can keep recasting it.

Drown in the Loch: A flexible card that acts both as a counterspell and as removal. Two mana counterspells are not too amazing, though. The most important part is the flexibility. Against some decks, such as Yisan and sometimes Najeela, you cannot hit the commanders with the removal fast enough.

Flusterstorm: A narrow counterspell, but one that is hard to interact with because each copy is a spell itself. Mainly used for protecting your own combo.

Force of Will: A staple in most blue decks because it's a 'free' spell, even though exiling a card from your hand is a real cost. The one life usually doesn't matter that much. You need to run at least around 30 blue cards to make this worth it, so it comes with a deckbuilding restriction. Since the cost of casting it for 'free' is pretty high, use it only in critical scenarios. The fact that it is 5 mana also makes Ad Nauseam slightly weaker.

Frantic Search: A free spell with three cmc, which makes is very good for hitting higher costed cascade targets. This provides card selection, but also card disadvantage. It synergizes with cards that make your lands tap for more than one mana, such as High Tide and Utopia Sprawl.

High Tide: Blue is the most important colour, so the deck runs a lot of islands. This makes this card often a blue Dark Ritual. It becomes even better when you also have cards that untap your lands.

Impulse: Instant speed card selection that lets you look at four cards. Pretty good mostly because it's instant speed, but not the most efficient draw spell overall.

Mana Drain: Both an interaction spell and a colourless ritual, depending on the scenario. Being two mana makes it harder to protect your own combo with, since you are often really tight on mana during the combo turn. The fact that it can counter anything while also doubling up as a ritual, even though you don't need much colourless, is what puts this card over the top.

Manamorphose: This spell is completely free, both returning you a card as well as the mana. The only downside is that you don't know what you're going to draw, and thus don't always know what colours to name. If the spell is copied or reduced in cost, it even gains you mana.

Mental Misstep: Most played counterspells are one mana, making this spell very good at protecting your combo at no mana cost. Also very good at countering your opponents relevant early spells when they're faster than you.

Mystical Tutor: A few of the most important cards in the deck are instants or sorceries: Tainted Pact, Demonic Consultation, Ad Nauseam, Wheel of Fortune and Windfall. This is almost always used to find one of these cards and continue with your game plan. It going to the top of your library can be a small downside, but depending on what you want to find, also an upside if you can cascade into that spell. It can also find you a lot of other cards, since most of the deck is instant and sorcery based.

Noxious Revival: Free spells are incredibly good, especially so In Yidris when they still have a mana cost of one or higher. This spell is practically a tutor that only looks at your graveyard, most often being used to return a Jace or oracle when they both end up in the grave. In cascade turns, you can put relevant spells, often suspend spells, back on top of your library to cascade into. It can even be used to stop opponents combos if they need to use a specific spell in the graveyard, such as Worldgorger Dragon decks.

Opt: A filler card to find the cards you need. This being instant speed makes it so you can hold up interaction, but it doesn't dig much. Not a bard card to include, but not a great card either.

Pyroblast: There is very often a blue deck at the table, but even if there isn't this spell can target non-blue permanent due to the specific wording. It won't destroy non-blue permanents though. The reason this card is doubly good is because it isn't dead when cascaded into, while the other counterspells often are.

Red Elemental Blast: A second copy of Pyroblast with the downside that this can't be cast on anything that isn't blue, making it less good to cascade into or when building up storm. It's comparable to Dispel and mostly used against enemy counterspells and Flash. Cards this can hit that Dispel cannot hit are Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, Thassa's Oracle, Mystic Remora, Rhystic Study, Timetwister, Gilded Drake, Notion Thief and Narset, Parter of Veils.

Repeal: Most often used to return a mana rock back to your hand to draw a free card, but can also be used as interaction when needed, even though this is slightly expensive. Even just bouncing an opponent's Chrome Mox or Mox Diamond hurts.

Snap: A good tempo play against creature based decks. It synergizes well with High Tide. Since it doesn't draw cards or permanently get rid of a creature, it's also nothing more than a tempo play most of the time, but the fact that it can act as a small ritual is what makes it better.

Swan Song: One mana counterspells are very good, but often restrictive. So is this one, but it often hits important targets such as opposing counterspells. Keep in mind it only hits enchantments, and not artifacts. Also try to not give a bird to your opponents too early, unless needed, since that is going to likely cost you quite some life over the course of the game. It's often best to keep it to protect your own combo.

Tainted Pact: One of the most important cards in consultation, as it can be used to both find your wincon as well as exile your library. It's often correct to choose one of the bottom few cards of your library if that helps you protect your win, rather than just shortcutting to exile the rest of your library. It is also a good instant speed tutor that has you lose access to certain lines. Make sure you don't exile both wincons. In the storm variant this card is also pretty good, but you have to be even more aware of what lines you lose access to by exiling too much. You can be pretty liberal with exiling your deck in the consultation variant to find a specific card.

Vampiric Tutor: One mana tutors are very good, especially when they are instants. The two life is more than worth this card, since it represents the best current card in your deck. It loses some effectiveness in the later game when you need to threaten a win that turn, since you also need a way to draw a card.

Veil of Summer: A good protection piece that protects your cards for the rest of the turn. Incredibly good if your meta has a lot of counterspells, but not as spectacular if you often have to use it as a one mana drawspell. It does only give protection from blue and black to cards that are on the battlefield when it resolved, so keep in mind people can still target permanents you play later that turn.


Demonic Tutor: For two mana you can get the most important card in your deck. If you don't specifically plan to cast what you are searching this turn or the next, then it's likely better to keep it in your hand, see what else you will draw, and then decide what to tutor for. An exception to this rule is finding counterspells early to protect your combo later.

Gamble: One mana tutors are good, especially when they go into your hand. This one is slightly risky because you have the chance that you discard what you tutored for. It might be unsafe to use gamble to find one of your wincons if it's the only one in your deck and you have no other ways of getting it back any more.

Gitaxian Probe: Free spells that draw cards are good, especially because this also triggers cascade. The information this gives can be used to see if you can safely try to win that turn or whether it's good to wait. it's almost always correct to pay 2 life rather than the mana.

Imperial Seal: One mana tutors are good, but this being a sorcery doesn't let you hold up interaction as well in most cases. Still, it's an incredibly good card, but not one that you can't do without for budget reasons.

Infernal Tutor: A spell that can find a wheel or other payoff spell when you've used up every card in your hand. It also synergizes with Lion's Eye Diamond, but you should be pretty certain your opponents do not have interaction. Since the deck doesn't run any duplicates because of Tainted Pact this card does literally nothing if you cannot get rid of your other cards, but otherwise it's a second copy of Demonic Tutor.

Mind's Desire: Seems like a costly card, but this usually provides you with a lot of card advantage and even mana advantage after just a few spells. Cascade turns usually double up all your spellcasts. When you run cards that can return the spell to your hand it's better to let the original not resolve before you have looked at all the free cards provided by the copies. Even in the worst case scenario, where it exiles a lot of lands, you will not draw these lands in following turns. In the storm variant, this spell can be used to make looping more consistent by letting unwanted cards stay in exile.

Ponder: Great card selection that lets you look at four cards, either the top three or the random card on top of your library after shuffling. Great for finding specific cards you need.

Preordain: Another great card selection spell for just one mana, possibly digging a total of three cards deep. Scrying is a little less relevant with the amount of shuffling the deck does, so cards hardly stay on the bottom of your library for long, but at least you will not draw those cards now.

Regrowth: Not so good in the early turns, but can be used to get a specific spell out of your graveyard that you need later in the game, for example wheel effects that were already used. Also relevant to get back one of your win conditions, since the deck only contains two. Don't hesitate returning a fetchland if you need to hit your landdrops. In the storm variant this can be used in infinite loops.

Wheel of Fortune: This card becomes progressively worse later in the game since it often refills your opponents hands just as much. It's good to quickly cast a lot of spells, then follow it up with a wheel. If played incredibly early, it can even disrupt your opponents hands. In the storm variant, it's better to tutor for this card than Timetwister in almost all cases, to fuel Yawgmoth's Will or simply to keep twister safe from graveyard hate for loops.

Windfall: Another wheel effect, also generally gets worse later in the game. Overall, Wheel of Fortune is often stronger, but sometimes an opponent has drawn a lot of cards and has more than seven in his hand, in which case windfall will draw you even more cards. Drawing four to six cards for three mana is still an incredibly good ratio, but be careful not to refill you opponents hands too much as well.

Yawgmoth's Will: Over the course of a game a lot of spells will end up in your graveyard, this spell enables you to replay them all. Don't feel bad for casting this card early just to get value out of it, you don't always need to win the game after resolving it. Remember that this card exiles itself because of its own effect. In the storm variant, casting this card makes it so you are unable to win using loops that turn.


Arcane Signet: Signets and talismans are already pretty good, and this doesn't cost you life or require additional mana, as well as tapping for all relevant colours by itself. The best signet or talisman in the deck.

Chrome Mox: Exiling a card from your hand is a real cost, especially in the storm variant. But being able to cast something a whole turn earlier usually rewards you more, especially if it's a large payoff card as described in the 'how to play' section. Don't exile cards that you assume you will need to win that game. Exiling a red or green card is usually not that good, since you don't need much of that colour.

Dimir Signet: The deck needs a certain density of ramp cards as well as artifacts. The signets are generally better because they can tap for mana instantly, but blue and black are so important that a signet isn't bad. Costing generic mana is also pretty good during cascade turns, since there are a few effects that only provide colourless mana.

Fellwar Stone: You opponents usually play enough colours to make this the second best signet or talisman in the deck. It can be tapped without further mana or life investment.

Lion's Eye Diamond: A card that gives quite some mana, but can only be used together with specific spells such as tutors and wheels. It also combos with Wheel of Fortune and Underworld Breach, making you draw your deck until someone draws interaction. It's also a free spell to build up storm or to trigger cards like Song of Creation. Very good when these cards come together, but the card is unplayable without any setup as it cannot be used as a regular mana rock. This makes it one of the worse cards to cascade into. Even if you have a card that synergizes with it, you will still have to discard your hand which makes you weak against counterspells. It can also easily turn on metalcraft.

Lotus Bloom: A decent card to suspend on turn one or two, in later turns I would rather keep it in my hand to put back on top of my library in some way unless you know the game is going to go longer. One of the best targets to hit during cascade turns, it's a Black Lotus then.

Lotus Petal: Being able to cast spells a turn earlier is incredibly good. Sometimes it's better to keep on the field to turn on your Mox Opal, but otherwise don't be afraid of using it, even on something like a talisman.

Mana Crypt: The deck doesn't have that much generic costs, but ramping yourself by two for 0 cost is amazing. This could mean turn 1 wheels, or early "free" talismans.

Mox Diamond: The deck doesn't run that many lands, so it can sometimes be hard to fulfill this condition. If the choice is between playing the land or the diamond, it's often better to just play the land, unless you can abuse the fact that it's an artifact, for example by untapping it or to attain metalcraft. Because of this card it's usually correct to hold up one land during cascade turns. If you cascade into it and expect to have a land later than turn, then don't cast it yet. You are likely to cascade into it later that turn.

Mox Opal: This artifact comes with a deckbuilding restriction, namely needing to play enough artifacts to consistently have two others in play. Because of this, it's often correct to remove the opal if you play less than 15 artifacts. In Yidris this amount can be around 13, as your cascade turns practically guarantee hitting enough artifacts.

Sol Ring: The deck does't need a lot of colourless mana, but getting one mana instantly and then two every following turn is incredibly good. It also doesn't have any real downsides. There should be a very good reason to not include this in your deck.

Talisman of Dominance / Talisman of Curiosity / Talisman of Creativity: The talismans are slightly stronger than signets because you don't need an additional mana to activate them, while the lifeloss isn't usually that much. It is going to stack up over the course of a game though, making you draw less cards with Ad Nauseam and Necropotence. In some cases you can also use them to tap for colourless, but the deck is quite colour intensive so this hardly happens. All talismans are blue focused since that is by far the most important colour in the deck.


Arbor Elf: With 11 relevant lands in the deck (duals, shocks and fetches) there are usually enough land that enable this card. Sometimes you can fail in finding a forest, which makes this card do absolutely nothing. Tapping for blue is rather important in the deck though.

Birds of Paradise: Can tap for any colour while only casting one, one of the best mana dorks in the deck.

Deathrite Shaman: One of the other best mana dorks in the deck. While it can fail to produce mana if there are no lands in graveyards, the other abilities provide you with an alternative win condition as well as some life. It can also stop certain combos that rely on the graveyard. There being no lands in graveyards hardly ever happens with the amount of fetches players run, and there's almost no downside to exiling your own fetchlands aside from cards like Regrowth and Yawgmoth's Will. In the storm variant this can be used as a consistent back-up wincon because of loops.

Dockside Extortionist: This card is often better than most rituals we have, and can make a lot of mana in a turn. I like to compare it to Cabal Ritual which costs two and adds five. This card is slightly worse than cabal if it makes less than 5 mana, but even then it has the upside of adding mana in different combinations of colours as well as not needing threshold, and you can use it the next turn(s) as well. The artifacts also help attain metalcraft for Mox Opal. Having two toughness also makes it able to block mana dorks to deny Tymna triggers. If this card often makes three treasures or less I would consider cutting it.

Elves of Deep Shadow: Black in the second-most important colour in the deck, so this is a good inclusion. Losing 1 life every time you use it does decrease the effectiveness of a few other cards, and makes it harder to use in the infinite mana-untaps combo.

Notion Thief: Combos with the wheels played in the deck, making you draw all the cards and your opponents none. Also very good as an instant speed interaction piece when other players are generally drawing a lot of cards. The card is easy to counter or remove, so don't go all in on this card if you can avoid it.

Thassa's Oracle: The most logical comparison is Laboratory Maniac. The upside of this card is that you do not need a draw effect, and can win without removing your whole library. It also costs a mana less. This card also does something for you when setting up, although you will need a way to replay it later. It can also block a lot of relevant creatures. It is worse against Torpor Orb style cards and Stifle effects. It also is harder to play out early in a turn to set up for a win, so this is something you will have to play around.


Carpet of Flowers: A card that does nothing against non-blue decks, but in most cases there will be a blue deck at the table. This can easily give you two or three mana each turn, as well as choose the colour of mana you need. This is stronger than most of the one-shot rituals in the deck.

Counterbalance: Most people see this card as a set-up counterspell, which it isn't. It is an incredible tempo piece because most cEDH decks run cards around the same mana cost. It's comparable to a Chalice of the Void for 0, 1 or 2 that only hits your opponents. In some cases, for example using topdeck tutors, you can even guarantee countering certain spells when necessary.

Mystic Remora: One of the best cards in cEDH decks, practically an auto-include in every deck that can run it. Either people decide to 'not feed the fish', severely hampering their options. Or you draw a lot of cards for a low mana investment. It's usually right to stop paying for the upkeep once you see you have more impactful cards already in your hand.

Necropotence: Really food in refilling your hand, but more importantly finding the specific cards you need to win the game. I don't recommend using this to refill your hand every turn, as losing your draw step is going to cost you a lot of cards over a longer game. There's no hard rule on how much life to pay. Often it's better to see what kinds of cards you still need, how many cards are in your deck and estimate how many cards you would need to dig to find all needed cards. Do remember that you permanently lose access to everything exceeding seven. The discard-to-exile is a trigger you can respond to, if you really need to save something. In the storm variant of the deck, this card is less good as you need a high density of cards and discarding to exile is going to shut off certain winning lines.

Rhystic Study: More of a stax effect, good players know to pay . If your meta hardly pays, then this is a fantastic include to draw you a lot of cards over the course of a game. It doesn't do anything during the combo turn, and three mana is also a bit high to just play it for storm count.

Song of Creation: A very risky piece to play since you have to discard your hand at end of turn. But what is storm if not risky? Many other comparable cards that have this effect are way more mana or only draw you one card, even with stricter requirements for the types of spells you cast. This card giving two cards per spell makes it incredibly likely to go off if you can cast a lot of mana-positive spells, especially because other cards in the deck also let you dig deeper. The fact that you can also play an additional land helps you start the chain. If you have absolutely nothing else in hand you could try to play this early, discard your hand and hope you can go off with whatever nonland you'll hopefully draw the next turn, otherwise I can suggest keeping this card until you're ready for a win attempt. When also cascading with Yidris you draw cards for both the original spell as well as the spell you cascade into, and the draw is not optional, so make sure not to deck yourself.

Underworld Breach: Comparable to Yawgmoth's Will in that it lets you recast cards from your graveyard, but this exiles other cards rather than the played card. This makes it incredibly good to remove your deck with. The most common examples would be using a card to exile your library and then casting a wincon from your deck as often as needed and as mana and cards allow. Using High Tide and Frantic Search also allows you to gain mana by recasting the latter a lot of times, turning one card in your graveyard into three mana. It also dumps two of the three cards you need to exile in your graveyard already, and the mana can likely partially be used to cast draw spells. Wheel effects are also incredibly good with any of the mana positive spells in the deck, since they refill your graveyard to cast even more spells. Eventually, this ensures you can empty your library to win. Also don't be afraid to just play this card for value when needed.

Utopia Sprawl: Comparable downsides to Arbor Elf as you need a forest in play to effectively use it. The upside is that it doesn't get hit by creature removal or cards that shut activated abilities down. Also synergizes well with cards that untap your lands. Compared to a dork, this also gives you your mana back immediately if you have at least two untapped lands.


Jace, Wielder of Mysteries: The secondary wincon of the deck, since Thassa's Oracle costs two mana less. It's often not correct to play this card for value, as you have almost no way of protecting a planeswalker. The biggest upside of Jace is that the draw effect and win effect are on the same card. He does cost a lot of blue mana though, which is something to be prepared for. As Jace's effect is a replacement effect, cards like Notion Thief or Narset, Parter of Veils will not work against Jace with an empty library. Since you're the affected player, you can choose if you want your opponent to draw a card or if you want to win the game.


Arid Mesa / Bloodstained Mire / Flooded Strand / Marsh Flats / Misty Rainforest / Polluted Delta / Scalding Tarn / Verdant Catacombs / Windswept Heath / Wooded Foothills: Fetchlands can slightly thin your deck, which might increase your win percentages by a small margin. Practically, this will only be relevant when playing hundreds of even thousands of games. The main reason why these are good is because they can find you your dual and shock lands, which ensures you can hit the right colours when needed.

Tropical Island / Underground Sea / Volcanic Island / Bayou / Badlands: The very best lands that tap for more than one colour. They enter untapped, have basic land types and don't have additional costs. The only downside these have is that they don't tap for all four colours and that they are nonbasics, and sometimes get hated out.

Breeding Pool / Steam Vents / Watery Grave: These have basic land types, meaning they can get fetched and enter untapped when needed at the small cost of 2 life.

Morphic Pool: A land that taps for the primary colours that practically always enters untapped.

Island / Snow-Covered Island: There are a few cards that hate on nonbasic lands, so the deck still runs some basics so that is able to interact with decks that play these cards. There are also a few spells that let you look for basic lands, most notably Assassin's Trophy. Island are also important for High Tide.

City of Brass: A land that taps for all colours that only deals one damage to you, great for getting the right colours at the right time. The damage is a triggered ability, so you can win or gain life in response to the trigger to not die.

Command Tower: The best all-colour land in this specific format, having no downsides except getting hit by nonbasic land hate.

Exotic Orchard: With the efficient manabases each cEDH deck has, this land also often taps for all colours. The downside is that this doesn't tap for anything if you play first and play this as your land.

Forbidden Orchard: This card is a little worse than the ones that deal damage to you, since you have very little ways to deal with the creatures, often causing you to take more damage in the long run. You need a lot of lands that can tap for all colours. This card does provide other players with blockers for Tymna the Weaver, which denies your opponents resources.

Gemstone Caverns: If this land is in your opening hand and you're not playing first then you're effectively ramping yourself at the cost of a card. It's also a land that taps for all colours. Tapping for colourless is a real downside in other cases.

Mana Confluence: A mana of any colour for one life is a good ratio. This is a cost rather than a trigger, so you can not respond to it. It can also not be prevented.

Taiga: Blue and black are the main colours of the deck, so a card that taps for the two secondary colours is not that relevant. It's still one of the more efficient lands in general, but is hardly ever fetched.


Brain Freeze: A potential alternative wincon that synergizes really well with Underworld Breach strategies, making you mill yourself to win with Thassa's Oracle or milling all your opponents. The card quality isn't that high by itself, making it mostly gonly good in the breach strategy.

Cabal Ritual: Two mana to gain five is a good ratio, but you do need at least seven cards in your grave. The ritual being the 7th doesn't count. This is very good with the amount of one-time use spells in the deck, but the card isn't that good if you can't consistently get seven cards in your grave.

Counterspell: A fine card, but the average cmc of most decks is so low that this usually does not provide a tempo advantage. Counterspells are less good in multiplayer formats anyway, since both you and one opponent spend a resource and your other opponents didn't do anything. Two mana is usually a bit too much to be able to protect your own combo as well.

Cyclonic Rift: The overload is good in staxy matchups to completely clean the board. Since this deck is trying to go fast and my meta also plays fast decks this is usually always a bounce spell for two mana. I can see people running this if their games usually go long and they can overload it every now and again.

Deflecting Swat: A solid 'free' interaction spell that's mostly used to redirect opposing counterspells. If needed, you can also redirect a counterspell to deflecting swat, since the target will be illegal when it tries to resolve. Because the commander is four mana and not part of the primary gameplan, the baseline cost of the card has been a bit too high consistently, but if you get your commander out almost every game then it's a solid free spell that also cascades into other spells very well.

Delay: I'm not too fond of two mana counterspells that do not have additional upsides. Often, three turns is enough to never see the card again, but in grindy games it isn't even a full counterspell.

Dig Through Time: This card isn't run for the same reason as Treasure Cruise, namely the high cmc. I would also not run both in a deck, even when not running Ad Nauseam, since that is a little too harsh on the graveyard.

Fierce Guardianship: A solid Negate that can be free to cast. Because the commander is four mana and not part of the primary gameplan, the baseline cost of the card has been a bit too high consistently, but if you get your commander out almost every game then it's a solid free spell that also cascades into other spells very well.

Fire Covenant: An efficient spell to remove other creatures that is instant speed, which makes it often better than Toxic Deluge unless you really need to do a full boardwipe often. Costing life as a cost makes it very vulnerable to counterspells. The moment this removal spell is really effective is also the moment when you will need to pay a lot of life, which cuts into your main gameplan too much.

Flash: Only good with Protean Hulk and Spellseeker to create your own hulk package. The seeker is used to find a forbidden tutor, while Thassa's Oracle is also found with the hulk trigger. The deck cannot assemble these pieces easily enough, without dedicating a lot of other spots to it, making the combo weaker. If one of the fetchable creatures is in your hand then the combo fails as well. Can also be used to flash in a Thassa's Oracle for an instant speed win.

Force of Negation: Free counterspells are incredibly good, but this one can only counter spells in your opponents turns. Because the deck tries to win during its own turn, this card can only be used to stop an opponents combo rather than protect our own.

Hurkyl's Recall: A good card for bouncing all your rocks and replaying them, gaining a mana advantage. It can also be used on your opponent's stax pieces before trying to go off. That second part was never needed in my meta, but I can see running this card if you can actively use it against your opponents as well. Also hurts a lot when cast in response to a wheel.

Lightning Bolt: Very good in creature heavy metas, since it can destroy Najeela, Tymna and other relevant creatures. In the storm variant this can also be used as a wincon during loops, but I don't recommend playing it if not often used as a removal spell.

Lim-Dul's Vault: This tutor is often played to find you the specific card you need to win the game the next turn, but it is both two mana, costs you life and tutors to the top. All in all, a bit too many downsides, even though it can theoretically find you any card.

Narset's Reversal: Most often used as a counterspell that can even target uncounterable spells. Keep in mind that they can still re-cast the original spell if they have the mana. Also very good to steal opposing Ad Nauseam's and tutors as a tempo play. This card is the reason why you always leave the original unresolved when resolving Mind's Desire storm copies. In the storm variant, this can go infinite with a lot of cards. The problem is that two mana counterspells can't protect your combo, so it's mostly relevant in the storm variant only.

Nature's Claim: An efficient answer to artifacts and enchantments, but thus also limited in what it can destroy. The reason it's so limited was what made me cut it eventually. The four life is hardly ever relevant, but does mean that your opponent can pay some extra life into other effects if they are a black deck. In the storm variant this can help you gain a lot of life when looping, eventually winning with a Rolling Earthquake.

Pact of Negation: Counterspells are good, especially if they can protect your combo. Sadly, that's all this card is doing, it's quite bad to use against cards during setup. I'd rather have my cards be good all game, rather than just during the combo turn. The zero cost also makes it very easy to cascade into, which weakens the Yidris turns.

Plunge into Darkness: Comparable to Impulse to find a specific card off of the top. The deck plays quite some other cards that cost life, and the mana and life ratio to just finding one card isn't that great. Sacrificing greatures to gain life is practically never relevant.

Reap: An instant speed Regrowth that only works if one of your opponents has at least one black permanent. It can even be stronger if an opponent controls more black permanents. The downside is that the most played black cards are not permanent based. The most common played permanents are Necropotence, Deathrite Shaman and some commanders. Depending on the meta there will be very little black permanents in play.

Remand: A counterspell that also draws a card, usually a good tempo play when countering a high converted mana cost spell. Since we play a multiplayer format, that usually means the other players have gained a slight advantage. This card can also save one of your own spells, or return Mind's Desire back to your hand for even more free cards. Using Bonus Round this card can combo with spells that gain a lot of mana, but only if each spell is resolving four times.

Spell Pierce: A decent counterspell than can be run if you already run most of the other counterspells and you really often need a noncreature counterspell. In longer games, people often have the to pay.

Spell Snare: A narrow answer mainly used for countering Flash, Thassa's Oracle, Tainted Pact or Isochron Scepter. While the average cmc of decks is getting lower this card is getting weaker, since you also want the option to counter 1 mana spells.

Stifle: Very good against opposing Thassa's Oracle's while also hitting other popular strategies such as Worldgorger Dragon or Najeela, the Blade-Blossom. While it is very good in stopping opposing combos, it cannot be used to protect your own combo, making it less good in proactive fast decks. Although it can also stop storm triggers, making it work against Flusterstorm.

Tale's End: Strong against popular wincons, with the upside that it can also hit opposing commanders. It doesn't happen often that you have two mana left when trying to stop an opponent. A better piece is controlling grindy decks than in fast decks.


Ancestral Vision: A card that is almost only good when cascaded into. You usually only suspend it if you believe the game is going long. Often, it's better to keep it in your hand in later turns to put it back on top of your library with cards like Brainstorm or discarding it and putting it back with Noxious Revival. The fact that this card is blue is relevant for Force of Will and in a sense Chrome Mox.

Bonus Round: Copies every instant and sorcery you're going to play that turn. The double red can be hard to achieve, but this card is often worth it in storm strategies. Do keep in mind that you want to play at least 3 mana worth of other instants and sorceries, and that your opponents instants and sorceries are also copied that turn. This card enables infinite combos and makes looping through the deck significantly easier. Remember that it's not optional to cast the copies.

Dark Petition: This card is usually described as a second copy of Demonic Tutor since it gives you three mana back if it resolves. The high mana cost made it rather clunky to use with Ad Nauseam, and the BBB could often not be used for the spell you were tutoring for. If an opponent countered this spell, you also often lost your whole turn.

Duress: A proactive piece of interaction. Being a sorcery makes it hard to cast it at the most beneficial time, but the fact that it also provides information about your opponent's hand makes it incredibly good. This card you usually keep in hand until you are trying to win that turn or the next. By knowing other players' hands, you can also let the burden of interaction fall on players later in the turn cycle to deal with urgent problems. This can't hit creatures, which hasn't often been a downside, as you're mostly looking to strip away other people's counterspells.

Inquisition of Kozilek: Most of the cards in cEDH are 3 cmc or less, hence why Abrupt Decay is also very good. This can often hit anything, and knowing what's in your opponents hands helps you decide whether you can try to win that turn. The most important cards this cannot hit are Force of Will, Jace, Wielder of Mysteries and Ad Nauseam. You can also let the burden of interaction fall on players later in the turn order if you know they have a spell to deal with something.

Merchant Scroll: A two mana tutor that can find all pieces of High Tide, Snap and Frantic Search. It can also get you both Narset's Reversal and Dramatic Reversal for the infinite reversal combo if you have another way to get Bonus Round. Can also get you a counterspell if you think someone will stop you and you need to protect a spell. The biggest difference with most other tutors in the deck is that the card goes straight to your hand, rather than to the top of the library, so this card is not card disadvantage.

Pyroclasm: A good narrow answer against creature decks. Might be included over Rolling Earthquake if you never use it for anything other than one or two damage. Can't be used as a finisher in the storm variants.

Rolling Earthquake: A boardwipe that can semi-control the cards you are going to cascade into by selecting different values for . If you never use a variable mode for X then other boardwipes are often better. Though this card doesn't cost any life on cast, it does weaken your cards that cost life when it resolves. This card does allow for an alternative win condition when you have more life than each opponent and a lot of mana.

Serum Visions: A decent filtering card, but the worst of the available options since it scries after the draw. The deck plays a lot of shuffle effects, and this also isn't instant speed so you can hold up answers. Not bad, but not interesting either.

Thoughtseize: A proactive way to protect your combo. This spell can hit everything, but at the cost of two life. That's not much, but it is going to limit the amount of cards you can draw with Ad Nauseam and Necropotence. This card is better if you often need to hit forces, Jace or creatures. The information this provides can help you decide whether to go off or not. If you know an opponent later in the turn cycle has interaction, you can let the burden of interaction fall on them.

Timetwister: A three mana draw seven. Sometimes, you quickly play all the cards in your hand and draw a fresh hand to continue your combo. This card is also the easiest spell to start looping with infinitely, since it places a lot of cards from your graveyard back into your library. In storm strategies, this card is hard to leave out. In consultation decks, it's better to not reset your progress towards an empty library. This card also doesn't synergize well with Yawgmoth's Will and Underworld Breach.

Toxic Deluge: A good card against creature decks, but the amount of life you have to pay usually adds up to a few extra cards that could have been drawn. You also usually spend your whole turn simply casting this spell.

Treasure Cruise: The cmc of eight hurts a lot with Ad Nauseam, which is our primary game plan. It's quite easy to delve away a few cards that you do not need any more to turn this into an Ancestral Recall. There are a few cards in the deck that care about cards in your grave, which do become weaker if you would play this.

Wheel of Fate: While this card is very strong in cascade turns, it is absolutely horrible in a regular game. Paying two mana and telegraphing for four turns that a wheel is coming gives your opponents ample opportunity to prepare for it, either countering it or emptying their own hands. Four turns is also such a long time that the game can often already be over when it comes off of suspend.


Aetherflux Reservoir: The most common way for storm strategies to win. If it's the first spell you play, you only need to cast 17 other spells to kill three opponents, even starting from 1 life. When player later in the combo turn, it's easy to gain large amounts of mana. There's no shame in playing this early and hoping it survives a turn to be able to win, or playing it early to gain the life against more aggressive decks.

Bolas's Citadel: A sorcery speed and removable ad nauseam, that stops your combo if you hit a second land on top, which happens rather quickly. Since it's a permanent, it's also pretty easy to remove, often costing you six mana versus their one or two. You don't have to pay the mana cost for spells though, which is better than ad nauseam. Also combos with Sensei's Divining Top, where you can draw a card, put the top on top of your library and then replay the top for 1 life. Lotus Bloom and Ancestral Vision can be played off the top for 0 life.

Cursed Totem: And the third case of speed versus protection. This card has the added downside that creatures can still attack you, which is going to cost you even more cards and thus speed. Does cost less mana overall though.

Isochron Scepter: This card is usually not needed to win, but makes it easier. The main combo is using this with Dramatic Reversal to make infinite mana and storm, then winning with aetherflux or bouncing it and putting a game winning instant under it. The initial investment, four total, is high and it is very susceptible to removal. Your important spells are also permanently exiled. If you can run this almost risk-free, it might be worth it, but I can't imagine a pod where that's the case.

Mana Vault: A colourless 1 mana spell that gives you 3 mana in one go, which can also be used in later turns. Incredibly efficient, and the life loss can usually be ignored since you end the game before it matters. If you can't end the game quickly, the life loss will tick up and make a few other key cards less good. The deck also doesn't play that many cards that require a lot of colourless, so some games you simply have too much colourless mana producers in play.

Paradox Engine: (currently banned) This card makes it really easy to win, but often isn't needed. You can chain wheels and other draw spells for practically free, but the deck is built so well on chaining cards that this usually feels like a win-more effect, especially as the deck does not have any outlets for the leftover mana you make.

Sensei's Divining Top: A repeatable filtering effect that synergizes with different strategies. It is an artifact for metalcraft. It can draw you the necessary card with a topdeck tutor immediately. It soft-locks people together with Counterbalance and it allows you to draw additional cards with untap effects if you respond to the actication with an untap effect. All in all, it costs a bit too much mana to be truly effective.


Baral, Chief of Compliance: Reducing the cost of most of your spells is incredibly important, but most decks nowadays run very little spells that cost colourless mana. The fact that it can block and survive certain commanders and other creatures makes it very playable, saving you some life over the course of a game. The looting when you counter something is icing on the cake. This synergizes especially well with Counterbalance as it also triggers on spells countered by abilities.

Barrin, Master Wizard: Combos with Dockside Extortionist for infinite cascades (assuming you connected with Yidris) if your opponents have at least 5 artifacts and enchantments, and for infinite mana if they have at least six artifacts and enchantments by paying two and sacrificing a treasure to return dockside back to your hand and replaying it.

Dark Confidant: Good in grindy matchups, but not as good for your primary game plan. Every extra card you draw, your opponents will also all have drawn a card. You draw one extra card versus their three, which is not good if you're trying to be the fast combo deck.

Erayo, Soratami Ascendant  : (currently banned) A good one-sided stax piece as well as protection card when you want to go off. Should be easy to trigger in a storm deck, but opponents could satisfy the condition as well. This card is currently banned, mainly as it is a legendary creature, but I suspect this card could be unbanned one day.

Gilded Drake: Very good if you play against decks where both stealing a creature stops your opponents gameplan as well as helping your own, such as consistently stealing a Notion Thief or Kess, Dissident Mage. If you cannot consistently steal a card that also helps your own gameplan, the fact that you give your opponent a 3/3 flier often hurts your life too much.

Laboratory Maniac: This card was needed so that Jace, Wielder of Mysteries wouldn't be the only wincon in the deck, but was eventually replaced by Thassa's Oracle. It's slightly worse than the alternatives because you need a draw spell in addition to the other cards you need for the combo. The upside of labman is that it is a little easier on your blue mana, but the reason falls flat when you consider you often use a blue spell as a draw effect to win.

Leovold, Emissary of Trest: (currently banned) A good protection card that slows down opponents while synergizing very well with your wheel effects. Usually draws you at least one card after hitting play. A three mana investment might be pretty high, especially for a deck that tries to win fast, but it's a soft wincon with wheel effects.

Lore Drakkis: Goes infinite with Dockside Extortionist and a bounce spell if your opponents have enough artifacts and enchantments. Wins through Cursed Totem and costs less than Barrin to start the combo. If you connected with Yidris that turn you will cascade into enough 0, 1 and 2 drops to likely win. It's also a decent regrowth effect, though not amazing.

Spellseeker: A card that can find most instants and sorceries in the deck, but at the cost of three mana. If you can not cheat this card out in some way it's usually not worth the mana.

Vexing Shusher: A solid card that can block a lot of agressive creatures while also protecting your spells. Since it requires two mana up front, this card usually needs to be activated at least twice to be efficient. The downside in this deck is that this card requires a lot of green and red mana, which are both secondary colours to the deck.


Compost: A grindy card that can be very good against specific decks, since it only triggers if a black card is put into an opponent's graveyard. Synergizes well with our own wheels, but likely you will need at least one other opponent that is either mainly on black or an opponent that is generally casting a lot of wheels (such as Opus Thief). I would want on average at least three cards from this after a round before I would consider including this.

Sylvan Library: Another card which draws you extra cards, possibly two this time, versus your opponent's three cards per round. Paying four life per card is also not a rate I am interested in, since this is going to cost you cards with Ad Nauseam later.

Waste Not: Synergizes well with the wheels, and potentially discard spells, in the deck. In a singleton deck you will not find these cards all the time, and often there are better cards you can play on turn two as well. Becomes better if your opponents also play a lot of wheels or discard in their decks.

Wild Growth: Synergizes well with cards that untap your lands. This has the upside that it doesn't get hit by creature removal or cards that shut down activated abilities of creatures. If you have at least two untapped lands, this also gives your mana back instantly. The downside is that you don't usually need more green once you have one source.


Ashiok, Dream Render: A decent stax piece, but often you want to play a fast game rather than a control game. It's also very hard to protect in this kind of deck, often resulting in the card being killed before the turn gets back to you.

Narset, Parter of Veils: An incredibly good card that shuts down your opponent's draw spells while synergizing well with your wheels. The deck can generally not protect the planeswalker, making it a three mana impulse most of the time.


Ancient Tomb: Lands that tap for two and come in untapped are good, but we still don't run this since we usually need all the coloured mana we can get. If your deck runs a lot more signets or other colourless spells it might be a good inclusion, but that also likely means the average cmc of your deck is a bit higher. The life is also going to cost you cards later in the game.

Cephalid Coliseum: A card that can be used to punish opposing Thassa's Oracle strategies, with the downside of needing treshold. In my experience the oracle players usually win so fast that this doesn't come online quickly enough. It does synergize well with cards like Notion Thief.

Fiery Islet / Waterlogged Grove: Decent cards that can be used as a draw effect when needed. The related lifeloss hurts your primary gameplan and the deck already runs a very low amount of lands, so there is hardly ever a situation in which you want to sacrifice one of them to draw a card.

Llanowar Wastes / Shivan Reef / Underground River / Yavimaya Coast: Decent budget alternatives for true dual lands. If these lands are included over dual lands, consider removing cards such as High Tide and Utopia Sprawl as these will likely become too inconsistent.

Snow-Covered Swamp: Might be good if you run into a lot of non basic land hate or often run out of basics to fetch.

Tarnished Citadel: While it's incredibly good to have a land that taps for all colours, three damage is a lot and hurts your overall gameplan too much.

The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale: Backbreaking meta card against creature decks since we're so low on creatures ourselves. It doesn't tap for mana though, so including this is going to make your deck become slower. There is a point where you need to make a choice between speed or protection, and while this is an incredibly good protection piece, the regular game plan of the deck becomes slower.

White cards

Angel's Grace: In the current meta one of the best ways to stop your opponents from winning, and also synergizes very well with Ad Nauseam as it allows you to draw your whole deck. It can also be used to prevent yourself from losing the game drawing from an empty library if you want to win by wheeling away all opponents libraries. The card is likely not good to include if you also don't use the ad naus or wheel synergy. You cannot pay more life then you have when using Necropotence. Lastly, it can be used as a way to pay for your Pact of Negation if that's included in your deck.

Dovin's Veto: An uncounterable counterspell. Two mana counterspells are usually not needed, and if you splash white I would generally not include it. If white is a more generally used colour, it's probably one of the better counterspells available.

Enlightened Tutor: A solid tutor that either finds you fast mana or Mystic Remora early game, Underworld Breach or Necropotence if you need gas or Rhystic Study if you're in a slow game. Solid in any point of the game, although it can't find you every card.

Noble Hierarch: One of the best mana dorks in the game. If colour identity rules weren't the way the currently are this would be an auto-include in Yidris.

Silence: One of the best "counterspells" in the game, to make sure you can freely go off during your turn. You can also cast it on the beginning of your turn if you need to bait a counterspell.

Swords to Plowshares: One of the best single target creature removal spells, although single target removal isn't as good generally.

This list shows, in order, the cards that I feel are under performing and will be cut once a better alternative is found. They can also be considered flex slots. They will not contain any direct explanations and the list may change rapidly. If you have a question as to why a card is on the list, feel free to post a comment of reach out via the Yidris discord at http://discord.gg/RVE3Yxg.

Infernal Tutor (Testing: Deflecting Swat)


Mind's Desire




Dispel (Testing: Fierce Guardianship)

Red Elemental Blast


Lotus Bloom


In: Merchant Scroll, Opt

Out: Regrowth, Serum Visions

I actually made these changes earlier, but started to track my changes since now. Regrowth didn't do anything for me most of the time, even though it's good in theory. I wanted to try out Merchant Scroll even though it's narrow. Trying Opt over Serum Visions because I feel instant speed might help me combo with Paradox Engine more often, or lets me leave mana open for counterspells. Scry before drawing also seems more relevant in most games. Scry 2 is good while cascading though, so I might put visions back in some day.

Update (27-01-18):

In: Birds of Paradise, Abrupt Decay

Out: Izzet Signet, Opt

Opt isn't that exciting either, I'd rather run a piece of removal and be slower than run a mediocre card. Birds of Paradise was in the list earlier, but was removed to help with metalcraft. It's a lot better than a signet though.

Update (21-02-18):

In: Elves of Deep Shadow, Culling the Weak, Inquisition of Kozilek & Exotic Orchard

Out: Doomsday, Laboratory Maniac, Rain of Filth & Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

One of the biggest changes I'm probably going to make in a long time, maybe ever. I never needed the backup labman win in over 100 games, and the deck is more consistent when not running two 3 drops that do nothing during the combo turn. Rain of Filth is too much a burden on the landbase when also running Gush (for now?) and Chain of Vapor.

Update (03-03-18):

In: Nature's Claim, Fellwar Stone

Out: Culling the Weak, Elves of Deep Shadow.

I didn't test this enough, but I already feared I wouldn't like these cards. I didn't... Switched them for two generically good cards so the current list doesn't run any cards I don't like.

Update (05-04-18):

In: Helm of Awakening, Future Sight

Out: Lion's Eye Diamond, Gush

Lion's Eye Diamond and Gush were still in the deck from when Doomsday and Laboratory Maniac were played, but aren't that amazing by themselves. An additional A+B combo fits nicely into the deck, and I could use more card-advantage anyway. The cmc of these cards is quite high, and I don't like that helm can't be cast safely early, but it seems like the best option for the deck right now.

Update (18-07-18):

In: Bonus Round

Out: Toxic Deluge

I haven't tested with Bonus Round too much yet, but it has won me the game several times. Often it provides as much value as Yawgmoth's Will. It copies your opponents spells too, which hasn't been relevant yet, but is something to be wary of.

Update (14-10-18):

In: Snap, Mnemonic Betrayal, Assassin's Trophy

Out: Helm of Awakening, Future Sight, Lim-Dul's Vault

Bonus Round has won me even more games, so it stays in. Because of this, Snap has enough payoff cards to be worth it. I did not like Future Sight and Helm of Awakening that much. Since I needed room for Snap, I cut both those cards and added Mnemonic Betrayal as a lategame payoff card. Assassin's Trophy destroys all permanents while under an Isochron Scepter with Paradox Engine. I removed Lim-Dul's Vault because it's card disadvantage. Rhystic Study is a tad better.

Update (03-03-19):

In: Lightning Bolt, Regrowth, Opt, Elves of Deep Shadow, Arid Mesa, Windswept Heath

Out: Flusterstorm, Swan Song, Isochron Scepter, Hurkyl's Recall, Paradox Engine, Spire of Industry

This seems like a big change, but is more a meta-shift. There's a lot of creature based decks in my meta, so the counterspells are less good. They were already not good to cascade into. I took those out for a bolt and elves, one to remove problematic commander, the other to ramp into my own commander a bit more quickly. I considered running Toxic Deluge again, but decided against it. Bolt has the added advantage of being a wincon during loops. To make that side of the deck more consistent, I removed Paradox Engine and Isochron Scepter and added Regrowth. Additionally, Hurkyl's Recall is not that good against creature decks, and Opt is card-neutral. Lastly, Spire of Industry was changed to another land because the number of artifacts got low, and I added an additional land.

Update (04-04-19):

In: Bolas's Citadel, Narset's Reversal

Out: Mnemonic Betrayal, Night's Whisper

Bolas's Citadel is a weaker second copy of Ad Nauseam, and might be one of the most important new cards for any competitive (storm) deck. Narset's Reversal can go infinite with Bonus Round and a few other cards in the deck, while also being a good soft counterspell and copy effect. I cut Mnemonic Betrayal because I wasn't happy at drawing it in any point of the game, and it was especially bad against decks full of creatures. The last cut was a toss up between Night's Whisper and Opt. Something instant speed seemed slightly better to me.

Update (01-06-19):

In: Arbor Elf, Goblin Electromancer, Snow-Covered Island, Snow-Covered Swamp

Out: Reflecting Pool, Cyclonic Rift, Island, Swamp

Arbor Elf seems interesting with High Tide and is a fine dork on its own, although getting a forest in the early turns might be tricky. Goblin Electromancer is a fine cost reducer, but more importantly a card that blocks Najeela, the Blade-Blossom and Tymna the Weaver. I removed a land again to get more value from Bolas's Citadel, and removed Cyclonic Rift because I can't remember the last time I overloaded it. Changed two basics to snow because they will be good if I decide to run Tainted Pact, it currently does not have any practical effect on the deck.

Update (05-07-19):

In: Tainted Pact, Snow-Covered Island, Lion's Eye Diamond

Out: Dark Petition, Island, Necropotence

Once the snow lands got in, I started testing Tainted Pact and was surprised by how effective it is. Being instant speed really helps a lot. Since you can lose access to certain lines when exiling too much, it's a complicated card to play. Changed yet another basic land to a snow-covered one to make hitting duplicates less likely. Because of High Tide and opposing Back to Basics I feel it's not correct to remove the basic lands. The odds of hitting duplicates is rather low anyway, although not zero. I put LED back in because I noticed I was having problems with hitting metalcraft for Mox Opal and I currently run more spells that provide an opening for using LED than when I had cut it..

Update (02-08-19):

In: Izzet Signet, Simic Signet

Out: Bolas's Citadel, Waste Not

Bolas's Citadel is an incredibly good card which often wins you the game, but it's also a six mana spell that sometimes does nothing because you hit two lands. Waste Not has also not been doing much lately. I considered running Dark Petition or Cyclonic Rift again, but these were either too expensive or not impactful enough. The signets can help with metalcraft while also setting up for an earlier commander, and making cascades easier since they cost generic mana. When Arcane Signet gets released, one of these will get replaced. I'm still testing Veil of Summer, which is very good in certain games and does absolutely nothing in others.

Update (23-08-19):

In: Bayou, Badlands, Taiga, Dockside Extortionist

Out: Island x2, Snow-Covered Island, Opt

I practically never play against nonbasic land hate any more, which allows me to cut back on the amount of basic lands. Even in games where it is played, other players get hosed by it just as much and want to also get red of it. Adding the nonbasic lands is generally good, but also makes cards such as Arbor Elf and Tainted Pact better. I have been playtesting Dockside Extortionist since it was spoiled and it usually gives around 5/6 treasures, which makes it one of the best rituals in the deck. I cut Opt, as this was one of the filler cards still in the deck. Lastly, I decided not to run Veil of Summer. It was often awkward to cast because of player order to just let it draw a card. It's a fine card if your meta runs a lot of counterspells, but not amazing if the amount of interaction is medium

Update (06-10-19):

In: Morphic Pool, Arcane Signet

Out: Taiga, Simic Signet

I hardly ever fetched a Taiga, and Morphic Pool taps for the most important colours. The fact that it can't be fetched is hardly relevant because there are enough other fetchables in the deck. Arcane Signet is strictly better than any other talisman or signet. Getting double red for Bonus Round is pretty important, and I isually fetch green based lands before red ones, so I decided to cut the green signet.

Update (13-10-19):

In: Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, Laboratory Maniac, Necropotence, Demonic Consultation, Swan Song, Flusterstorm, Talisman of Dominance, Talisman of Creativity, Talisman of Curiosity

Out: Aetherflux Reservoir, Bonus Round, Timetwister, Merchant Scroll, Remand, Cabal Ritual, Goblin Electromancer, Mana Vault, Izzet Signet

When I removed Doomsday and Laboratory Maniac from the deck, I called that the biggest change I would probably make to the deck, maybe ever. I was wrong. Winning by drawing your deck is back as a wincon, but now more efficient than ever. Jace, Wielder of Mysteries provides the same effect, while not needing an additional draw spell. Doomsday itself has also been replaced with Tainted Pact, that was already in the deck, and Demonic Consultation. This package is a good fit for Yidris since the commander itself is already very proactive, rather than reactive. Setting up for the combo turn becomes significantly easier when you have consistent access to a few of the best mana rocks. A lot of the cards are used in both variants, so the deck mostly plays the same. The difference lies in how you end the game.

Using this as a wincon is both faster and needs less setup than storm does. The deck is also more resilient and cares less to not at all about the graveyard, and cares less about Rule of Law effects. The deck is also less dependant on having access to certain cards, so you can play more aggressively with cards like Chrome Mox, Force of Will, Tainted Pact, Necropotence and Yawgmoth's Will.

Since you use certain cards more agressively, twister loops cannot be guaranteed any more, so Timetwister is cut. It's still a fine card to include, but it makes your Yawgmoth's Will worse. Resetting your progress towards an empty deck can also be frustrating at times. The deck is only capable of winning off Jace or labman, and can't fall back to an alternative win condition. This is not much of a problem, since twister loops were often not relevant. And if so, mostly because the deck wasn't fast enough.

A few of the other cuts were especially good for twister loops or comboing with the reversal package. Since this isn't relevant any more, these could be cut. Mana Vault was cut because the deck is even more focused than before. Producing colourless usually doesn't make it. Talismans were included over signets since they have to be re-used less, while getting the exact right colours of mana has become even more important. Counterspells are once again included because storm needed a high density of cards, while this variant will need to protect their combo. Because the focus is more on finding and protecting a specific combo, rather than reaching critical mass, the following cards that were dubious in storm have become significantly stronger: Chain of Vapor, Force of Will, Imperial Seal, Gamble, Mystical Tutor.

The average cmc of the deck has gone down slightly because of these changes, which makes the deck able to go off even faster. As an additional bonus, the deck has become significantly cheaper, on the basis of not needing a timetwister alone. That card could not be cut in the storm variant as it was integral to the deck. It's not that relevant for this variant, which will make it easier to build for people on a budget. For people who really like the storm variant, I will still be testing and maintaining cards.

Update (17-11-19):

In: Veil of Summer

Out: Lion's Eye Diamond

LED was only good with specific cards such as tutors and wheels, and bad otherwise. Even in combination with those other cards it was a risky card to play as you would discard your hand while the relevant spell could be countered. Veil of summer is often used as a 1 mana counterspell against opposing counterspells or removal, often comparable to an instant speed discard spell that also draws a card. The downside to an actual discard spell being that this is only relevant against counterspells and removal, but that's often what discard spells are taking away anyway.

Update (20-12-19):

In: Drown in the Loch, Opt

Out: Narset's Reversal, Thoughtseize

Narset's Reversal was often too specific in what it could hit. I was able to get the dream of hitting an Ad Nauseam, but because the timing of the spell is awkward it isn't even that great. Reversal is still very good in the storm variant because it allows you to go infinite. Drown in the Loch is good because it also allows you to remove creatures, but is not incredibly good as a two mana counterspell. Opt is also not great, and a card that has been put in and out of the deck, but being instant speed is good, I also needed a few more one drops that draw cards. Thoughtseize and Nature's Claim were both considerations, but because the fact claim is instant speed and is a little better in my current meta I decided to keep it in. I also tested Gilded Drake but I'm not too fond of it when the creatures I can usually steal don't help my own gameplan.

Update (13-01-20):

In: Thassa's Oracle, Underworld Breach, Marsh Flats

Out: Laboratory Maniac, Nature's Claim, Snow-Covered Swamp

A new year, a new set. This one brings a few very strong cards. Currently almost everyone is discussing the incredible potential of Thassa's Oracle, and with good reason. The card is a one cmc cheaper labman that doesn't need an additional draw effect. Kill spells don't do anything against it if your library is empty enough (or your devotion to blue is high enough). It's also not the worst card to draw and play when setting up. All in all, it's a very easy switch. I think it might even be the go-to card to find over Jace, Wielder of Mysteries simply because it's two mana less. When playtesting, I found myself looking for the oracle practically every time. Underworld Breach is also an incredible new addition, which acts as a different second copy of Yawgmoth's Will, which exiles other cards rather than exiling the played card. It's rather easy to find a combination of cards that can be replayed again and again in one single turn as an alternative way to empty your library. When playtesting this card I assumed I was already on all ten fetches, only to find out that wasn't the case, so I quickly fixed that issue as well. The cut here wasn't anything special, just the currently weakest card in the deck because it only hits a very narrow portion of cards. I also re-tested Mox Amber because of Jace, but quickly realised that it still most often doesn't do anything in the early game.

Update (31-01-20):

In: Dispel, Red Elemental Blast, Utopia Sprawl

Out: Drown in the Loch, Duress, Rolling Earthquake

The deck needed a few extra answers against flash hulk, since it didn't get banned last time. The other interaction spells were either too slow due to costing two or being a sorcery. Utopia Sprawl is a good ramp card that synergizes well with cards that untap your land, I simply never thought of including it. I've also tested Wild Growth but the green usually wasn't useful. The boardwipe is removed because the deck is already weaker in grindy games, so it's better to go fast. Pyroclasm would have been an excellent card otherwise. I've also tested a small hulk package including Flash, Protean Hulk and Spellseeker, but this was too inconsistent. These cards also often hurt the primary strategy through the high cmc and low synergy with the rest of the deck. Flashing in a Thassa's Oracle has been pretty fun though.

Update (13-03-20):

In: Drown in the Loch

Out: Baral, Chief of Compliance

While drown isn't amazing in a deck that's trying to win fast, it's still a very versatile counter- and removal spell. Baral was very good but has over time been reducing the cost of fewer and fewer spells. The chance of reducing enough spells in cost has become too low. I've also tested Stifle and Pyroclasm in the meantime. The first was very good at stopping opposing decks, but couldn't protect my own combo. It's better in grindier decks rather than proactive decks. Pyroclasm fell in the same boat. It's incredibly good for what it does, but I'd rather play some setup spells or try to win than stop my opponents proactively.

Update (18-04-20):

In: Song of Creation, Lion's Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor, Taiga

Out: Lightning Bolt, Ancestral Vision, Inquisition of Kozilek, Sensei's Divining Top

Song of Creation has been one of the more impressive pieces printed for storm, although it is a risky card. LED already synergized well with Underworld Breach, but with song entering it's yet another 0 cost artifact that can help with storming off. The tutor isn't amazing, but since the deck can get hellbent pretty easily it's a fine inclusion. It helps that it synergizes nicely with LED as well. Ancestral Vision is even less needed, since the deck now has another outlet to win without the commander. Because of that reason, Fierce Guardianship and Deflecting Swat are still being tested. Currently, they don't seem to be castable for free enough times. That's what you get with four mana commanders that aren't necessary for the primary gameplan. Bolt and Inquisition were the worst cards in the deck, but not by a large margin. Mind's Desire has been put higher on the watchlist because song seems to be better in getting a large advantage, while costing two mana less and being better in the starting hand. Because the deck now runs a lot of higher-costed payoff spells, an additional land is included. It will be cut again once the average cmc drops again. I've also removed the storm-specific primer since the current decklist still has a lot of storm elements, but I can't with good conscience recommend running aetherflux or timetwister loops any more.


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