Aint got no gun, aint got no knife, don't you start no fight.

Welcome to the primer for TNT Sneak Attack

TNT Sneak is a midrangey, highly resilient deck with a plethora of strategies and interlocking pieces that relies on a high volume of enabling lines in order to achieve a relatively simple end state. If you like keeping an eye on multiple variables but enjoy playing creature based decks that can throw down in the combat step, and just “don’t die” this one's for you. If you prefer more linear game plans that find one or two pieces asap, it might not fit your style.

What makes this deck so deadly is that it has action at all stages of the game. In the early game, if left unopposed, it will combo kill quickly. In the mid game it will establish a draw engine under a stax effect and begin to out value the table. If the game needs to go late, the stax pieces and concurrent combo lines begin to add up, weaving a web so that each new card drawn makes the deck more and more live. Opponents stopped your line once? No problem, having it in the grave just makes it more accessible. And with 30 creatures in the deck drawing cards with the help of your generals should be no problem. If Breakfast Hulk variants are the Incredible Flash of cedh, TNT Sneak is The Wolverine.

This deck didn’t just rise up in a vacuum and drew inspiration from many sources in order to reach its current form. With so many ideas bouncing off each other in mtg, getting a deck’s history down can be very useful for understanding its key strategies and how those change and evolve with new tech being printed. TNT has been around for a while now and has played a strange and special role in the background to the evolution of the format over the past couple of years.

Not long after getting deeper into competitive edh, Rockleemyhero and I jammed a game against an unknown tazri player and AstralCodex on an older version of Blood Pod modified with cards like Splinter Twin. Rocklee and I had been debating for a while about building a Kiki/ Twin deck but weren’t sure where to go with it (sans white or sans blue) and this match would prove critical for us because even though he didn’t win the match, Astral’s performance in game made a real impact. And with the unbanning of Protean Hulk at around the same time we decided to do our own Tymna Tana take. Protean Hulk has long and contentious history in MTG and when it was unbanned we were eager to brew with it. Hulk as an enabler for Kiki combos was quite enticing and better still both of those plans fit with a reanimator theme in their own right. This brought up the speed of the deck but it also brought more ideas with idea with it. Hulk’s Kiki lines need to run through Karmic Guide in order to reach their payoff, but Guide also has combos with lark and so we started experimenting with layering different combos. Another idea from Tw0handt0uch’s help brewing outside decks like kaalia which contributed the addition of Sneak Attack, a combo piece for both Hulk and Kiki Recruiter lines. This layering of combos came to shape the core piece of the deck’s philosophy, resilience. Having so many ways to enable overarching combos directly increased the chances of hitting live draws and gave the deck serious staying power as the game carried on, but the final piece of the puzzle came from researching the king of Tymna Tana decks, Imoc’s Blood Pod. The light stax package from mana denial pushed Tymna as a draw engine to her full potential. At first we named the deck “Blood Twin” in honor of that, but as we started to play with it more we coined a new term for the generals. TNT. That name has spiraled out to far more than just our build and now means much more for many players than just the pilots of this deck, and we couldn’t be happier. Since then there has been many other changes and feedback. Examining Sickrobot’s Varolz Hulk build brought in Bodysnatcher Lines. Our four color take helped inspire Tw0hand0uch’s own Hulkball, which in turn inspired us to bring in Leonin Relic- Warder and Animate Dead as an additional Hulk combo, and then later we contributed back to theirs after playing around briefly with Redcap + Melira combos. Finally, Razaketh’s printing and subsequent breaking by Shapersavant doubled the power of the Leonin line and turned it from a weird enabler we were messing with to a core combo piece. Our synthesis of Razaketh would again pay it back by helping former WUTL teammate make his sans red Raza Hulk deck Flashkats during a late night brewing between us and Lilbrudder.

While kept mostly quiet, Bad_Dog wanted to use this as his surprise teams deck, this brew’s history represents the positive interactions of creative feedback within the cEDH community and we are proud of the place it has held across that. It would not exist without the help and ideas of many other players, and we hope that the ideas here have been able to help back in their turn.

Deck Philosophy

Cedh decks regularly try to fall into two specializations. Those which overwhelm opponents with speed and those that overwhelm with card advantage. These are powerful strategies because the longer a game goes on the more likely it is that you will have to deal with unknown variables and, aka risk. Having a deck which goes off quickly and reliably in the first few turns means that opponents will have seen less of their deck, and therefore have less chances of disrupting you. On the flipside, card advantage decks realize this dichotomy and instead try to see more of their deck first, giving them the tools to fight higher elements of risk at later stages of the game. TNT Sneak Attack follows a slightly different philosophy. Overwhelming opponents with threats.

    Resilience isn’t an easy thing to define but it’s essentially a system’s ability to recover to operational effectiveness from a shock. The way this is accomplished in TNT Sneak is by using one of the main centerpieces of the format, the one card combo, and multiplying that in force. While cards like Protean Hulk, Razaketh, and Ad Nauseam may rule this format it is important to understand that these cards aren’t actually combos in and of themselves. These are enablers and the distinction is crucial.

    The core combo of the deck is the two card combo of Kiki Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Felidar Guardian. In and of itself this isn’t impressive compared to other decks in the format, but the sheer simplicity of this core pays back in spades because it allows the deck to run far more ways to get the combo online than more more quick and complicated strategies. More enablers means more live draws and more ways to circumvent opposing stax effects. If the graveyard is locked under a Rest In Peace use Sneak Attack to turn on the red Recruiter line. If Null Rod is in play, go through the grave. Cursed Totem locking things up, use the enchantment synergies to shut it down. If an Aven Mindcensor is locking up tutors then it’s time to put the 30 creature count into use and beat face with Tymna as an engine. And if the coast is clear you can blaze ahead with Birthing Pod.

This high density of enablers and ability to attack from so many lines make the deck highly adaptable. As different threats are stopped they tend to pile up in zones like the graveyard. While this might in some ways look like you no longer have access to these cards, all it means is that they have simply changed zones. The card advantage offered in the command zone with the deck’s high creature count are designed to take advantage of this and allow you to dig for recursion, keeping draws live and lethal into the late game.

So why Red and what makes it worth running over, say, Blue in a build like this?

    In his Ertai’s Study Of Lesser Wizards, Temporal Inept breaks down cedh color specialization using big data as part of a large meta study. In his results:

• White is primarily hate and removal
• Blue is primarily card advantage and counter spells
• Black is primarily rituals, tutors and win-cons
• Red combines some hate pieces, combo pieces, Red card advantage and destroy/dam-age.
• Green is primarily mana boosts with some combo pieces
• Colorless is mostly mana rocks with a few combo paces

    Reading into this, while most colors are known for their individual specialties, Blue for cards and control, Black for tutors and recursion, when compared to the other colors Red is the specialist at being a generalist. This multirole capability was picked up on by as well in an experiment that broke down cards by roles fulfilled and Red cards, while fewer in number worth running, significantly outscored those in other colors and it is this aspect that makes the red splash attractive. Being able to provide diverse effects in tutors, stax, ramp, combo pieces, spot removal, counterspells (should we want them), and even many cards which can pull double duty in multiple roles on their own isn’t trivial and can be incredibly powerful if synthesized well.

Core Combos

The actual infinite combos we are trying to get online

Kiki Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Felidar Guardian Kiki Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Karmic Guide + sacrifice outlet Leonin Relic-Warder + Necromancy + sacrifice outlet (+ Blood Artist if the outlet can’t kill)

Blood Pod Tymna and Tana dance under the crimson moon. , infiniteimoc

Varolz Hulk Varolz Hulk , sickrobot

Hulkball [[deck:Tymna Tana_Aristocrats Hulk [Primer] ]] , tw0handt0uch

Flashakats Flashakats , hornager

Enabling Lines

These are the lines you need to go through to win with
    Organized by cmc

Protean Hulk Hulk dies → Karmic Guide + Viscera Seer. Animate Hulk. Sac Hulk → Kiki + 1 drop. Copy Karmic Guide, sacrifice Kiki in response. Token enters the battlefield, animate Kiki. Copy Karmic Guide, sacrifice Kiki in response. Repeat for infinite Karmic Guides with haste.

    Advantages: simple line, good if a piece has been removed
    Disadvantages: Requires combat step. Requires activating creatures

    Hulk dies → Karmic Guide + Viscera Seer. Animate Hulk. Sac Hulk → Felidar Guardian + Zulaport Cutthroat. Blink Karmic Guide. Animate Hulk. Sac Hulk → Kiki + 1 drop. Target Felidar Guardian with Kiki Jiki. Create infinite Guardian tokens. Sacrifice to Viscera Seer, trigger Blood Artist.

    Advantages: Does not require combat. Can be activated at instant speed. Somewhat resilient to removal. Generates a large board presence if beatdown is necessary.
    Disadvantages: Requires many pieces. Requires activating creatures.

Partially what makes this deck so strong is its resilience to fight through hate. We can win with the following line through cursed totem with sneak attack in play and hulk in hand, and RRRR sneak in hulk, hulk dies at end step. Grab reclamation sage and imperial recruiter. Sage blows up totem, recruiter gets kiki jiki. Kiki copies recruiter, grab Felidar Guardian. Make infinite copies with kiki. Use last copy to blink recruiter, grab zulaport cutthroat to win on the next end step.


No land drop turn: 4 lands, 1 green mana and 1 creature: sac creature to get Life and cast (0 mana, 4 creatures)-> tutor and play cradle (4 G in pool, 3 creatures) -> crop rotation sac cradle for twilight mire (BBG in pool, 2 creatures) -> sac for entomb, sac for reanimate or animate dead

Land drop made: 3 creatures + raz and 1 black mana. For each creature you need, it can be substituted by a land if you have access to 1 green mana as well. 3 tutors for dark ritual -> entomb (leonin or hulk) -> animate dead

No land drop: 3 creatures + raz + 1 green mana (or 2 if using life/death). Twilight mire (BB) -> entomb for academy rector/hulk -> reanimate

COMPARED TO RAZAKATS LED LINE For razakats the requirements are: 1 creature, 2 lands, 1 G in pool

W/o LED for Tnt we are at:

NON LIFE LINES: No land drop made this turn: 3 creatures, 8 life, 1 G mana Land drop made: 3 creatures, 8 life, 1 B mana

LIFE LINES: Less than 3 creatures to sac: add 1 G to the formula and add X creatures to sac pool where X is your land count

No land drop this turn: So using razakats line: 12 life, 1 creature, 3 lands, 1 G in pool. Tutor life -> 0 mana, 3 creatures. Tutor cradle -> 3 G, 2 creatures. Tutor lotus petal -> 1 B, 3 G, 1 creature. Tutor eternal witness get back petal-> 2 B, 2 creature. Get entomb for hulk, get reanimate and sac to raz.

Recruiters Birthing Pod Pattern of Rebirth Academy Rector Eldritch Evolution

Special Thanks To

Imoc: Before TNT we’d actually called it ‘Blood Twin’ in reference his deck. Tw0handt0uch: recruiter lines from a now deleted kaalia deck ? Sickrobot for Bodysnatcher lines

Rocklee's text

TnT is an adaptive combo deck that utilizes a network of intertwining combo cards that minimize wasted "dead" slots (each combo card is a valuable card outside of its combo lines) while simultaneously keeping an enormous density of 1 or 2 cards that can enable a game winning combo with ease. Because of this network of combo cards and lines, instead of listing 2 to 3 dozen optional lines, we've opted to funnel them into 5(?) primary ones. We will list them here for reference, then refer to them as "Combo line #" as the primer continues.

Primary combo lines:

Felidar Guardian + Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker . With both cards in play and untapped, kiki jiki can tap to make a token copy of felidar guardian. The token copy now enters the battlefield, blinks and resets kiki, so that kiki can create another copy of the original guardian. Rinse and repeat and you've created an infinite army of 1/4 hasty cats!

Karmic Guide + Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + a free sac outlet. With all 3 permanents in play, kiki can make a copy of karmic guide. Holding priority to the activated ability, sacrifice kiki jiki, putting him into the graveyard. Then when kiki's ability resolves, a token copy of karmic guide will enter and kiki will become a legal target to return to the battlefield. Rinse and repeat this process an infinite number of times to create an infinite army of 2/2 flying, hasty angels.

Leonin Relic-Warder in the graveyard + Animate Dead in hand + Goblin Bombardment OR + Zulaport Cutthroat and a free sac outlet. Cast Animate Dead and return Leonin Relic-Warder from the graveyard to the battlefield. Leonin's enter the battlefield ability can target an enchantment or artifact to be removed from the game. Target and remove Animate Dead . Once animate dead is removed from the game, it's second clause goes on the stack, which will send Leonin Relic-Warder to the graveyard. At this point, sacrifice leonin. Animate Dead will return to the battlefield, allowing you to reanimate leonin again and repeat the loop. You can now get infinite enter and leaving the graveyard triggers and rinse and repeat with Goblin Bombardment or Zulaport Cutthroat to reduce all opponent's life totals to zero.

Birthing Pod Lines:

"Birthing Pod Lines"

Tymna the Weaver + Birthing Pod + 6 life and in pre combat main phase: sac tymna into Felidar Guardian , blink pod and it comes into play untapped. Sac Felidar Guardian to pod, get Karmic Guide , who brings back Felidar Guardian , blink and untap pod again. Sac Felidar Guardian to get Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker . Kiki makes a copy of Karmic Guide , bringing back Felidar Guardian . Felidar blinks kiki to reset him. From there, Kiki can copy felidar, and each new hasty copy resets kiki, and you can attack with infinite 1/4's.

Alternative post-combat line: Same as above + a mana creature (like a mana dork) and an addition 2 life and . After you make infinite Felidar Guardian s, have the last copy target birthing pod to reset it. Sac the mana creature to find Zulaport Cutthroat . From there, do to Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker s wording, the infinite token copies will hit the gy before ceasing to exist, which in turn targets zulaport cutthroat infinite amount of times. You can use Blood Artist instead if you like, but we've chosen zulaport cutthroat because a) it beats for 1 and triggers tymna's combat damage draw ability and b) can get around opponent's with hexproof or shroud. If you have a meta with others commonly running combos that win with infinite deaths/recursion, then Blood Artist may be better suited as a way to turn off their combo.

Razaketh Lines:

" Razaketh, the Foulblooded "

raz + 2 creatures + : sac creature to find Entomb . Cast entomb to find Leonin Relic-Warder . Sac 2nd creature to find Animate Dead . Cast and target Leonin Relic-Warder . Leonin Relic-Warder enters the battlefield and targets Animate Dead , which when exiled will send leonin back to the gy, which will return Animate Dead to the field, and rinse and repeat. You have an opportunity to sacrifice leonin to raz when his ability goes onto the stack. From there, you have infinite tutors with raz as long as you have the life to pay for it. It is important to note that do to the way the loop works (credit to shaper for finding this loop), all of the tutors go on the stack and do not resolve until you discontinue the loop either by having leonin exile a different artifact/enchantment upon etb OR targeting a different creature with Animate Dead .

raz + 1 creature + : sac creature to find and cast Leonin Relic-Warder . Then sac Leonin Relic-Warder to find Animate Dead , to bring it back and get infinite tutors.

raz + 2 creatures + : sac creature to find Entomb , cast and put Protean Hulk into the gy. Sac creature #2 to find Reanimate , cast to bring back Protean Hulk . Sac to raz to begin a hulk combo.

raz + 1 creature + : sac creature to find Life . Cast life, turning all your lands into creatures and more raz sac fodder.

Sneak Attack Lines:

"Sneak Attack Lines"

+ Protean Hulk + Sneak Attack : find Viscera Seer (or Carrion Feeder ) + Karmic Guide . Karmic Guide brings back hulk and sac it to Viscera Seer . Grab Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker . Kiki makes a copy of karmic guide and with the ability on the stack, sac kiki. The copied, hasty Karmic Guide etbs, bring back kiki-jiki. Use kiki to make another copy of karmic guide, then sac it with the ability on the stack again. Rinse and repeat until you have infinite hasty 2/2 fliers.

+ Protean Hulk + active sac outlet such as Viscera Seer : find Body Snatcher and Grand Abolisher . Now you have protection from all ways to stop the combo outside of Faerie Macabre . Body snatcher's ability goes on the stack, if you have nothing to pitch then sac it in response to get hulk back. From there proceed to go infinite with karmic guide and kiki jiki.

+ Imperial Recruiter OR Recruiter of the Guard in hand. to sneak in recruiter, grab Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker . Another brings kiki into play, activate to copy the recruiter. Etb trigger finds you Felidar Guardian . The final brings guardian into play, who then blinks kiki. From there you can make infinite Felidar Guardian s and swing for infinite damage. If this is your second main phase, go ahead and make infinite cats. Then use the last cat to blink your recruiter, search up zulaport cuthroat and pay an additional to win at the end of your turn when all the tokens get sacrificed due to kiki's ability.

Cursed Totem ruining your day? Speak no more! Sneak Attack Protean Hulk into play. Grab Leonin Relic-Warder , Eternal Witness (getting back hulk), and Viscera Seer // Carrion Feeder . Use another red on your opponent's upkeep to sneak hulk back in, allowing you to grab Academy Rector + Grand Abolisher and go off with the Pattern of Rebirth combo.

Survival of the Fittest Lines:

"Survival of the Fittest Lines"

Survival is a toolbox enabler as well as a wincon in itself. Because these combos are mana intensive, they are best used when activated on your right opponent's end step to dump your combo into your graveyard, then proceed to go off with freshly untapped mana sources on your turn.

Sac outlet out: Creature in hand + : Discard the creature for Protean Hulk or Academy Rector , then discard that for Body Snatcher . Cast snatcher and go off from there

No sac outlet: creature in hand + : Discard the creature to search and dump Felidar Guardian and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker , and putting Karmic Guide into hand. From there, use combo line #

Buried Alive Lines:

With a reanimate effect in hand, buried alive becomes another simple path to victory.

With a sac outlet out: Karmic Guide and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker Protean Hulk Academy Rector No sac outlet out: Karmic Guide + Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Felidar Guardian


Updates Add


Date added 4 years
Last updated 1 year

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

15 - 0 Mythic Rares

54 - 0 Rares

18 - 0 Uncommons

7 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.43
Tokens Copy Clone, 1/1 Saproling, Treasure
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