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Sigil Hulk


Welcome to Sigil Hulk, a layered midrange-combo deck focused around Protean Hulk, Isochron Scepter, and Demonic Consultation. Thanks to the variety of effects and paths to victory, Sigil Hulk can be played in different metas against a variety of stax pieces. Often Sigil Hulk can grind out value better than anyone else at the table and play a win condition that avoids the stax pieces on the battlefield the most successfully.

Sigil Hulk is a fork of Consultation Scepter Thrasios (CST), a powerful and resilient combo deck aimed at maximizing deck speed, individual card strength, and value-scaling as the game progresses. Sigil Hulk shares many similarities with CST, meaning it shares similarities with traditional cEDH storm lists. CST and Sigil Hulk both use efficient two-card combos in place of card- and resource-intensive storm outlets. They seek to utilize Tymna and Thrasios as scaling consistency engines and with some clever optimizations, Thrasios enables extremely slot-efficient wincons on the back of slim infinite mana combos.

CST is an incredibly modular deck that can be equipped with different win conditions and pieces of interaction to combat specific aspects of your own meta. The Sigil Hulk list I share here is my own version of CST/Sigil Hulk that I have developed thanks to the fantastic work done by members of the community in developing the modules that I have decided to go with. Sigil Hulk was originally developed by Shaper, Lerker, and Pongo and since they released their version of the deck I have been tuning my own list to meet the needs I have in the various groups I play with across the East Coast of the United States.


Hi! I’m Braden. This primer is a fork of CST, so I am simply using the CST Primer written by ShaperSavant and AlwaysSleepy as a huge resource. Most of this primer was written by them.

This primer speaks to a more general idea of how to play with infinite mana, and what makes this archetype powerful. Each of us have been on the infinite mana train for a while, Shaper having spent extended time tuning infinite mana Tasigur (long live Damia!) and AlwaysSleepy still being an emissary of Oona and the Fae. Shaper and Sleepy have tinkered with the infinite mana archetype for a long time, and wanted to extend our experience to this new frontier. I have been playing infinite mana strategies, mostly Thrasios and Tymna, since partners were printed and most of my experience comes from piloting this deck and PST (now known as CST.)

Sigil hulk is a fork on CST, so we should examine "Why CST?"

With the emergence of Thrasios, Triton Hero much of the space for commander choice in infinite mana strategies collapsed to a singularity, with mermaidman eschewing many of the reasons for playing other commanders. Thanks to the partner mechanic, each of these new commanders brought to the table a new strength to the deck and a new dimension to explore: Thrasios offers a powerful combo outlet and the ability to convert acquired mana into compounding resource advantage and card selection; Tymna as a commander accrues card advantage with our ramp creatures we otherwise utilize in our combo, allowing a split between creature and artifact mana that offers a resilience to varied hate.

Why fork off onto Sigil Hulk instead of playing a traditional CST/PST list?

Sigil Hulk is extremely flexible. We can play aggressively by taking advantage of the power of Flash and Protean Hulk or we can begin to grind through stax pieces or metas with longer games using cards like Training Grounds, Seedborn Muse, or Rhystic Study. In my experience, Sigil Hulk plays a bit more comfortably as a grindy or controlling deck that wants to just grind card advantage and take advantage of our ability to win at instant speed. That play style can be extremely fun and it is why I have been playing the deck for a few months.

Here is Sigil Hulk.

Raw Scepter / Reversal

This is one of the more obvious patterns -- you have half the puzzle and some mana and just need to tutor the rest. Be careful not to get trapped into over-tunneling on these types of hands; they're often fast but risky and leave you scrambling to recover if you're disrupted. But if life gives you the nuts, don't be afraid to make peanut butter.

Ad Nauseam Rush

This is an attractive plan in scenarios where you've got fast mana rituals, a tutor, and are looking to rush out a win or slip between a light amount of stack-based disruption at instant speed. It also is a very attractive game plan against non-blue decks that levy permanent-removal in lieu of counterspells, as once Naus resolves, your combo will be very well-protected. The deck is quite capable of a main-phase Naus, but end-of-turn will always be more secure.

Notion Thief & Twister

When the game gets wonky with too much stax or you've reached a complicated late-game, this is a clean way to steal the victory while interacting with Thief and circumnavigating most stax pieces. It's a little mana-intensive to easily rush, but Notion Thief is quite strong in the interactive Tymna/Thrasios mirror.

Midrange Value / Control

Keeping hands that lean on incremental draw like Mystic Remora , Sylvan Library , Dark Confidant , etc. are strong when you're planning on going into the long game against control/stax decks. These pieces are innocuous enough to not draw countermagic early while setting you up to sculpt into a winning hand when an opportunity opens up -- or in the hyper-lategame when you've sufficiently ramped into a window you create with Cyclonic Rift .

Sigil Hulk has extra pieces like Training Grounds, Rhystic Study, and Seedborn Muse which allow us to dig even deeper into these types of game.

Ramp to Tymna & Thrasios

If you've mulled to 6 or so and didn't get strong gas or are playing against a lot of mana-denial stax -- if you don't expect a lightning-fast pod -- playing out dorks/ramp into Tymna draw and later Thrasios draw can be a strong value plan.

Laboratory Maniac Effects & Consultation Effects

In games where there are standstills, or if there are some difficult stax effects to maneuver around, this win condition is extremely potent and 100% deterministic. It's compact and space efficient and addresses weaknesses and blind spots present in some of the other lines of play. Overall, this potent combo is an efficient way to steal games with minimal set up or telegraphing.

Hulk Lines

We have exactly 2 separate Hulk Lines with both being their best when you sandbag down and wait for the absolute perfect moment to strike. The Sigil line is very slow and mana intensive while the Consultation line faster and more dangerous. Typically you will go for the Consultation line, with the Sigil Tracer line as a backup plan.

Before talking about how to win the game specifically, let’s talk about how this deck actually goes infinite.

Isochron Scepter + Dramatic Reversal + 3 Untappable Mana = Infinite Mana

Casting Reversal with Scepter untaps Scepter and the mana to cast it again.

Sigil Tracer is our redundancy for Isochron Scepter and the lines are very similar.

Sigil Tracer + Dramatic Reversal + + a wizard ( Thrasios, Triton Hero is a wizard) = Infinite Mana

Flash Hulk is an extremely powerful combo, and being able to play it without dedicating more than those 2 slots is quite unique.

Sigil Tracer + Spellseeker -> Dramatic Reversal + = Infinite Mana

This pile requires and is much more likely to just be pulled off manually.

Additionally, if Thrasios is in play, you can draw your whole deck, noxious revival Flash to the top of your library, draw Flash, Flash Laboratory Maniac into play and draw to win the game at instant speed.

Sometimes you just happen to draw Flash+Hulk, but you've already drawn some of your hulk pieces and it just feels super bad. Don't Panic! You have some excellent creatures in the deck that you can hulk for and protect that will eventually win you the game through sheer value.

Seedborn Muse + Noble Hierarch - This is an excellent hulk pile for when you already have Sigil Tracer in play and Spell Seeker isn't in the library. Noble Hierarch taps for blue in case you try to win with sigil tracer and Seedborn Muse generates a ridiculous amount of value. If you're playing against some other graveyard decks you might choose to get Deathrite Shaman instead.

Notion Thief + Bloom Tender - This pile is also extremely value centric. Bloom Tender creates a large amount of mana (at least 3 because of Notion Thief) and Notion Thief is an excellent grindy hate bear. This pile can win you the game when a Wheel or Twister is on the stack.

Notion Thief + Gilded Drake - Hate bear city. Sometimes you need to teach someone a lesson, and this pile does just that. Gilded Drake can steal the best thing on board and I've already mentioned the power of Notion Thief.

The crux of this win-condition lies in the fact Sigil Tracer and Isochron Scepter both allow you copy a spell any number of times if you have Dramatic Reversal under the Isochron Scepter. Alternatively, you can cast any instant with cmc 2 or less infinitely by activating Isochron Scepter between each copy of Dramatic Reversal resolving (which you are copying infinitely with Sigil Tracer.)

There are many different cards which can win under this second Isochron Scepter , which contributes to its power as a combo finish since most decks will not have to run different cards or cards which are far outside the overall game plan. This translates to overall a very high density of live draws over the course of the game which can be recycled later to win the game with. Awesome right?

Here’s a run-down of how the combo works, it’s fairly quick so we’ll go over it in a few steps then spend most of the time talking about corner cases, card choices, and other tricks.

  1. Play out Isochron Scepter + Dramatic Reversal to make infinite mana. Infinite colored mana is not required. But since Thrasios draws the deck off this combo making colored is more or less trivial.
  2. Play out Sigil Tracer + your win-condition of choice. Thanks to Scepter untapping all your artifacts and the infinite mana, you can repeatedly cast any instant or sorcery spell, letting you win the game.

OR

  1. Play out Sigil Tracer + Dramatic Reversal to make infinite mana. A single blue source is required.
  2. Play out isochron + your win-condition of choice. Thanks to Dramatic Reversal untapping all of your artifacts and the infinite mana, you can repeatedly cast the instant, letting you win the game.

Similarly to Copy Scepter, given unbounded mana and draw, Timetwister in conjunction with a graveyard recursion spell can generate unlimited casts of the spells in your library.

To execute a Timetwister loop:

  1. Generate infinite mana, cast Thrasios, Triton Hero , and draw your library.
  2. Cast spells to loop, such as Swan Song on a Nature's Claim , generating a token.
  3. Cast Timetwister , resetting your library.
  4. Draw your library.
  5. Regrowth Timetwister .
  6. Repeat steps 2 - 5 to infinitely cast any spells in library.

If Timetwister isn’t in budget, you can perform similar loops with Memory's Journey :

  1. Generate infinite mana, cast Thrasios, Triton Hero , and draw your library.
  2. Cast spells to loop, such as Swan Song on a Nature's Claim , generating a token.
  3. Cast Memory's Journey , returning looped spells and your Regrowth.
  4. Draw those cards.
  5. Regrowth Memory's Journey .
  6. Repeat steps 2 - 5 to infinitely cast any spells in library.

Once you’ve successfully assembled infinite mana and have drawn your library, the next step is to loop your available spells in a way that results in winning the game. This involves the utilization of some number of outlet cards -- in the interest of slot efficiency, we prioritize cards that are already strong, useful, and appropriately costed that can double as a way to win the game.

At a high level, the goal post-infinite is to wipe away all enemy resources, generate an infinitely large token board, and lock your opponents out of the game by holding up a library of countermagic and Silence . Some of these steps may be extraneous, but better safe than sorry. :thmile:

  1. Clear enemy boards with Cyclonic Rift or Assassin's Trophy .
  2. Clear enemy hands with Notion Thief + Timetwister
  3. Gain infinite life with Nature's Claim or Plunge into Darkness (post-infinite birds).
  4. Play all of your nonland permanents.
  5. Generate a board of infinite Swan Song tokens.
  6. Reset your library with Timetwister .
  7. Pass the turn.
  8. Draw most of your library on opponents’ upkeeps.
  9. Allow nothing to resolve, Silence as necessary.
  10. Swing for lethal or use Scepter + Deathrite Shaman to drain opponents.

Let’s take a closer look at possible outlet cards:

Reality Shift

This was the original card which started the whole dual scepter idea. The idea is repeatedly shifting your opponents’ creatures (and the resultant manifest) will exile their entire libraries, leading to losses on their draw steps. This card is also playable outside of the combo as 2 CMC removal which exiles is overall adequate individually bearing in mind it’s also one of the combo finishes. You can give you opponents targets using Forbidden Orchard in case they do not have any.


Noxious Revival

This card is a unique way of playing around the 2 CMC/instant constraint of the Sigil/Scepter combo by letting you cast any card and place back on top of the library to redraw with Thrasios and recast.


Swan Song

This card also works but in a more convoluted fashion in relation to the other imprint targets. Making infinite mana with Scepter also involves creating an arbitrarily large high storm count. This lets you cast any instant or sorcery of your choosing and countering it with Flusterstorm . After the storm ability on Flusterstorm resolves, you place an (again) arbitrarily large number of copies on the stack, which you can then counter repeatedly with Swan Song . This puts you in a similar situation as with Pongify , but now they are 2/2 flying vessels of terror. Eat your heart out Storm Crow . It is worth mentioning you can Swan Song the copy from the Scepter with Dramatic Reversal under it, but make sure you can untap all your permanents in some other way. Paradox Engine , for example, lets you do this.

Sigil Hulk inherits an strong sense of modularity from CST. The deck has a number of easily swappable parts which lets it easily adapt to the metagame you are playing in and how you want to be approaching it. It’s analogous to a sideboard in constructed; it lets you adjust the cards that your metagame is prepared to interact with.

Making a decision between dork- and rock-heavy builds is largely a function of your metagame. In nearly every case, you will want to play a mix of mana sources; the best of each of the dorks and rocks are strong enough to warrant near auto-inclusion in your own version of Sigil Hulk. Additionally, it's important in the blind to mix mana sources so as to avoid vulnerability to any one form of mana-ramp denial ( Cursed Totem / Null Rod ). Splitting the mana architecture allows us to maintain our mana integrity and operate under those effects to search for answers before winning; this fairly non-trivial property of the deck which certainly helps it deal with hate.


The rocks that net mana without significant use barriers have near auto-inclusion status, not only in Sigil Hulk but universally across cEDH builds. Likewise, it's hard to imagine any build of Sigil Hulk that would forgo the best of the mana dorks; they're too efficient to ignore.

Rocks

Dorks


In order to begin customizing the remaining ramp package, it's important to understand the advantages provided by each style of ramp. Here is a list of the top picks in both categories in rough order of desirability, along with pros & cons of each package.


Dorks:

Other Dorks:

Pros:

  • Accelerate very quickly

  • Swing for Tymna draw

  • Offer blocking options

  • 2-cost dorks produce multiple mana

Cons:

  • Do not tap immediately on the combo turn

  • Vulnerable to activated ability denial (Cursed Totem, Linvala)

  • Vulnerable to wipes

  • Deathrite and Deep Shadow do not significantly contribute to Scepter critical mass

  • May be difficult to use in Sigil Tracer lines


Rocks:

Other Rocks:

Pros:

  • Allow mid-turn acceleration for Scepter critical mass

  • Enable Mox Opal

  • Fixes colors with colorless

  • Rocks which tap for U make Sigil Tracer more consistent

Cons:

  • Without fast-mana acceleration, 2-cost rocks result in slow hands

  • Vulnerable to artifact hate (Null Rod, Stony Silence)

  • Increased life loss from Ad Nauseam


Remember: mana ramp is compounds cumulatively. The earlier you begin to ramp, the more resources you are able to expend subsequently ramping and drawing. Exploding out-the-gate is incredibly important to race early lock-out mana denial (such as Trinisphere and friends) and establish engines that let you get your gameplan and/or sufficient control online. This is one of the primary motivations for our choosing to play dorks over 2-cost rocks.

When customizing your deck for your meta, ask yourself a few questions:

  • How much creature hate is being played? Artifact hate?
  • How often are my dorks able to swing in for Tymna cards?
  • How often am I pumping bulk mana from 2-cost dorks into Thrasios or other big-mana plays?

These should give you a sense of how much you'd like to skew toward artifact ramp from the default build. Start cutting dorks from the bottom of the dork list and adding rocks from the top of the rock list until you reach the right mixes of ramp.

Many of the interactive spells in this deck can be replaced with cards that I've put into the maybeboard.

Here are some examples of cards I'd consider cutting:

We'll use this space to discuss our mainboard choices, but remember that these things may change depending on your respective metagame needs!


Assassin's Trophy - Formerly Pongify

Pongify was played in lieu of Swords to Plowshares , for the reason that most single targets which need to be removed are hit by both of these spells, however Assassin's Trophy is just a better spell to use for looping with Isochron Scepter or Timetwister win conditions.


Plunge into Darkness

The absolute champion of inexpensive dig spells, this card was included since overall the deck is only looking to assemble 2 cards to win the game. Considering that Plunge into Darkness is specifically in line with digging for specific cards, we have included this card to improve the deck’s consistency. In testing, there are some worthwhile notes to share. The first is Plunge a little more conservatively than you would in a deck like Food Chain Tazri. It’s possible you plunge very deep (~30 cards) and then exile your win conditions looking for the card you need, so take care to factor in what else you need to create and utilize your infinite mana engine. On average, look to dig about 8-15 cards blind. If you have other parts in hand, then you can begin to increase your Plunge depth. Ideally, Plunge deep if you really just need a single card, and be more reserved the more parts you are missing. Worst case scenario on a miss, it will replace itself with another relevant card like more draw or a counterspell.


Dorks!

This is one of the major shifts in the list. Both of us have felt that while certainly powerful, previous Scepter lists with Tymna the Weaver did not fully abuse how effective her card draw is. With this in mind we sliced a number of the slower artifact mana and replaced them with dorks. These cards still hit Scepter threshold however also can be used to draw cards every turn with Tymna the Weaver . Cards like Priest of Titania provide some staying/grinding power with Thrasios, Triton Hero and let us easily hit threshold into other bear based decks by netting mana off the opponents’ Elves in play. Notion Thief is a generally powerful card which gives huge blowout potential to the wheels in the deck as well as again being a source of card advantage with Tymna. The normal dork package is included and rounded off with Dark Confidant which gives a guaranteed extra card per turn and potentially a second with Tymna. In testing this choice let the deck consistently draw extra turns and abuse its life total as a resource in ways other decks did not with the exception of Ad Nauseam , Necropotence , and Sylvan Library . Considering the inclusion of these cards in the list, the deck effectively keeps a constant stream of card advantage by efficiently using each resource at hand to the fullest.


Demonic Consultation

Very powerful and adds an element of inherent risk. Instant speed to-hand tutor for B is unmatched in tutor power, but the possibility of exiling the searched card in the top or too many outlets on the way down is ever-present. The odds of hitting the named card in the top 6 of a 90-card library are approximately 6.66%.

These are (mostly) powerful cards we have chosen not to include in the list or the mainboard. Each card has the reasoning associated with it.


Swords to Plowshares

Touched on earlier, we selected a card which doubles as a win condition instead of running Swords. While still an excellent card and not an incorrect choice, Assassin's Trophy helps improve win condition density with the aggressive card digging the deck can do with Plunge into Darkness and Tainted Pact .


Grim Tutor

No.


3+ Mana Tutors

Okay, so here we will expand on the previous idea. Generally speaking, 3 mana tutors put too much strain on the curve since before assembling infinite mana, the margins a pilot will operate on are very narrow. The cards in this slot are often of too poor quality to warrant inclusion over another card. The exceptions to this rule in some cEDH lists are Doomsday and Dark Petition , the former being itself a win-condition and the latter fixing mana after cast.


Aven Mindcensor

A powerful asymmetrical hatebear that often trades 1-for-1 at instant speed. Importantly is an evasive swinger for Tymna, which usually means a guaranteed extra draw when on that gameplan. Great for grindy games, especially against tutor-commanders than shine in those scenarios, like Zur, Yisan, Sisay, etc. Also quite strong against Protean Hulk .


Stifle

While a little narrow and quite an angle-shot, it's quite good against Hulk and other strong abilities.


Walking Ballista

In order to keep this list’s dead draws to an absolute minimum, we have elected to use Timetwister loops and Scepter/Copy win conditions as much as possible. This prevents draws which do not do anything until you are already in a situation where you have “won.” Considering that winning post-infinite mana with Thrasios, Triton Hero is not an issue, the list does not require unneeded dilution.


High Tide

Sigil Hulk is not a storm deck, nor does its combo require large amount of mana to assemble in full. With dorks to compensate and a singleton manabase supporting additional tutors and alternate win conditions, the benefit of High Tide is lost to the benefit of being able to increase tutor/dig density. The inclusion of dorks allows for play under Blood Moon and Back to Basics , which are relevant hate cards that High Tide manabases can combat fairly effectively. This is also why there is no Candelabra of Tawnos .


Mox Opal

A great card, and sadly a straightforward exclusion. We don’t have the mainboard artifact density to make it consistent enough to play. However, in rock-heavy builds, it makes its way back in.


Copy Artifact

I've found Copy Artifact to be pretty slow lately. I haven't copied anything crazy in some time. If your meta is jamming Bolas' Citadel and Gilded Lotus, I think this is a sensible inclusion.

On top of that we have replaced Copy Artifact for Sigil Tracer for the most part. Copy Artifact used to act as a second Isochron Scepter that allowed us to copy some spells infinitely after we've drawn our whole deck. Sigil Tracer does this pretty well on its own, and its not restricted to instants that are 2cmc or less, but any Instant or Sorcery.


Reality Shift

This is a worthwhile card to increase your outlet spell density. We didn’t include it in order to make room for other things, but if you find yourself wanting more outlet cards (say you play against Jeleva exile frequently or are never-lucky-always-punished on Plunge or Pact), this is a good go-to.

Don’t be afraid to mulligan aggressively. You won’t get punished thanks to the power of the London Mulligan.

When I am mulliganing I usually choose to mulligan unless I see one of these things:

  • Turn 2 Tymna

  • Turn 1 Thrasios into Turn 2 Tymna

  • Turn 1 Sylvan Library, Mystic Remora, Dark Confidant

  • Turn 2 Rhystic Study

  • Turn 3 Seedborn Muse and Thrasios in play

Generally these requirements mean you’re looking for:

  • value enchantments

  • mana dorks

  • moxen

Here we arrive at the end of our write-up. I hope that it was informative in ways more than just within the realm of Sigil Hulk and CST, and I appreciate you spending some time to read about Sigil Hulk. I hope that people may pick up the list and explore the modular components of it, testing and seeing which builds are effective in their pods, and approach constructing their own cEDH decks in a similar fashion: that is aiming to always optimize and improve what is at hand while realizing that often there is more than one path to victory!

Thank you so much to Shaper and AlwaysSleepy for having written such a fantastic primer for CST. Their primer was an excellent source of information and obviously is the source for most of the Sigil Hulk primer.

Thanks to Lerker, Shaper, and Pongo for creating the original list in the first place and answering many of the questions I had while tuning the deck to my play style and meta.


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Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 month
Legality

This deck is not Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

8 - 0 Mythic Rares

63 - 0 Rares

16 - 0 Uncommons

12 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 1.85
Tokens 2/2 Bird, 1/1 Spirit
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