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TINY PUNISHER - Discard/Stax [cEDH Primer MH2]

Commander / EDH Combo Competitive Discard Mono-Black Primer Stax Suicide Black

zAzen7977

Maybeboard


Top Rank: #1 on T/O - thanks for reading!

GREETINGS!

Tinybones, Trinket Thief is the TINY PUNISHER, and he never forgives...

OVERVIEW

This is my Mono-Black Discard/Stax Control build featuring my favorite commander Tinybones. I’m trying to make this as competitive as possible at the cEDH level.

The objective is to lockdown my opponents with discard and stax spells, destroy or stall their creatures, develop my mana base, dig for key cards, and when the time is ready...punish them.

My opponents expect me to play creatures and focus on reanimation. However, this deck runs very few creatures and minimizes graveyard abilities because of the prevalence of Rest in Peace and similar graveyard hate, which are very common in most competitive decks. Instead, this build focuses on discarding, generating card advantage, locking down the board with stax effects, and assembling infinite combos.

STRATEGY AND CARD CHOICES

Opening Hand

The optimal opening is to play the Tiny Punisher by turn 1, then time my discard spells carefully to generate superior card advantage while locking down the board.

I aggressively mulligan unless I begin the game with at least 1-2 discard spells and at least 2 lands and/or mana sources. If my hand is lacking discard spells, I can still keep it if I start with a tutor.

Ramp

To play the Tiny Punisher as early as possible, I want to start the game with one of the following ramp cards: Arcane Signet,Cabal Ritual, Chrome Mox, Dark Ritual, Grim Monolith, Jeweled Lotus, Jet Medallion, Lotus Petal, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, Mox Amber, Mox Diamond, Mox Opal, or Sol Ring.

Although Waste Not is versatile, I primarily consider it to be a ramp card, since most players run more lands than any other card type, and each time an opponent discards a land I generate .

Cabal Coffers becomes useful during the mid/late game once I have several swamps or Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth on the battlefield.

Jeweled Lotus helps me recast the Tiny Punisher from the command zone, since he is often the target of removal and my own board wipes.

Discard

I have chosen only the most efficient discard spells (cards which discard the most for the least amount of mana). I categorize them based on the turn in which they cause opponents to discard. This is important to consider because the Tiny Punisher lets me draw a card during each player’s end step if an opponent discarded a card during their turn.

The following spells can discard on any turn: Funeral Charm, Geier Reach Sanitarium, Oppression, Painful Quandary, and Words of Waste.

The following spells can discard only on my turn: Chain of Smog, Dark Deal, Delirium Skeins, Duress, Grief, Hymn to Tourach, Liliana of the Veil, Mind Twist, Raven's Crime, Thoughtseize, Tourach, Dread Cantor, Vicious Rumors, and Wrench Mind.

The following spells can discard on my opponents’ turns: Anvil of Bogardan, Bottomless Pit, Chains of Mephistopheles, and Necrogen Mists.

Graveyard Hate

Cling to Dust, Dauthi Voidwalker, Leyline of the Void, Nihil Spellbomb, Bojuka Bog, and Scavenger Grounds ensure that the opponents’ discarded cards are exiled, shutting down most decks utilizing graveyard manipulation.

Combo Hate

Against The Gitrog Monster and other combo-heavy decks, I target their combo pieces with discard spells with a Void in play to remove those cards forever, then target their most important card from their library with Praetor's Grasp.

A great tool against combo decks (or almost all decks, since most use fetchlands and tutors) is Opposition Agent.

Dauthi Voidwalker is essentially Leyline of the Void with a body. Plus it allows me to use a discarded card against my opponent.

Creature Hate and Removal

This build runs very few creatures and punishes opponents with creature-heavy strategies via No Mercy and Noetic Scales. I also run numerous targeted and area removal spells, including Baleful Mastery, Black Sun's Zenith, Damnation, Deadly Rollick, Dismember, Feed the Swarm, Murderous Rider, and Toxic Deluge.

Blast Zone takes care of any non-land threats, and Strip Mine destroys a troublesome land.

It is inexpensive to repeatedly cast the Tiny Punisher from the Command Zone, so I can wipe the board often, especially if the Tiny Punisher is stolen by another player.

Draw/Tutor

The Tiny Punisher is a draw engine on his own. I strategically time my casting of discard spells to generate card advantage. The best spells to trigger the Tiny Punisher are the spells that affect each player on their own turn, which are Anvil of Bogardan, Bottomless Pit, Chains of Mephistopheles, and Necrogen Mists.

Ad Nauseam, Bolas's Citadel, Castle Locthwain, Dark Confidant, and Necropotence are each life-intensive spells for drawing numerous cards.

Words of Waste together with Geth's Grimoire (and/or Waste Not) is a powerful draw/discard engine which can trigger during my draw step every turn to reduce an opponent’s hand to 0 cards. If I have a way to draw a card at instant speed like Sensei's Divining Top, I can trigger Words of Waste after an opponent draws during their Draw Phase to force the opponent to discard their only card.

Mikokoro, Center of the Sea allows me to force each player to draw a card, which I can then discard later to trigger Tinybones. Geier Reach Sanitarium is a better version of Mikokoro which triggers Tinybones on its own.

Reliquary Tower gives me infinite hand size, so I can draw cards with impunity and abuse Necropotence.

Nihil Spellbomb also draws me a card when necessary.

To tutor for specific cards I need (especially combo pieces), I am running Demonic Tutor, Grim Tutor, Imperial Seal, and Vampiric Tutor. Inventors' Fair also lets me tutor for an artifact if I have at least 3 artifacts already in play.

The full set of Swamp Fetchlands allow me to thin and randomize the deck, which increases my chances of drawing the cards I need.

I am also currently testing Yawgmoth's Will. I previously ran several cards which wiped my own graveyard like Planar Void, but I’m experimenting with more recursion.

Now that I am running more creatures and less self-graveyard wipes, Buried Ruin and Volrath's Stronghold may prove useful for returning discarded artifacts and creatures to my hand, respectively.

Punisher Protection

The Tiny Punisher can wear his Lightning Greaves when he needs to go incognito.

Imp's Mischief is a versatile card that can redirect a spell and save me in a tight spot.

WIN-CONS

Tiny Punisher Solo-Mission

Once each opponent has no cards in hand, I can use the Tiny Punisher’s activated ability to inflict 10 damage to each opponent. With stax pieces in place, mana ramp, and some luck, this hand-lock can be accomplished as early as turns 3-4. Usually each opponent will not be able to recover without playing the card they top-deck, allowing me to continually hit them with 10 damage each turn. However, using the Tiny Punisher is less reliable than using an infinite combo, so I primarily use him to dig through my library to find combo pieces.

Infinite Damage

Aetherflux Reservoir + Bolas's Citadel + Sensei's Divining Top

Aetherflux Reservoir mitigates the continuous life-loss from the Tiny Punisher and other card effects, and is lethal if I can reach 50 life. Bolas's Citadel always allows me to play a card if I have none in hand and can turn my multitude of cheap artifacts and enchantments into timebombs. I can use it with Sensei's Divining Top to continuously dig through my library at the cost of 1 life per card. If I also have Aetherflux Reservoir in play, I can repeatedly cast the Top from the top of my library to generate as much life and draws as I want (the life loss from the Citadel will be offset by the life gain from the Resevoir), then channel the life into the Resevoir to kill every opponent. This combo requires a total of .

Infinite Mill/Exile

Dauthi Voidwalker or Leyline of the Void + Helm of Obedience

If I have Dauthi Voidwalker or Leyline of the Void in play, I can cast Helm of Obedience, tap it for X=1, and immediately kill an opponent by milling their library into oblivion. This 2-card combo is even stronger with the release of Dauthi Voidwalker. This combo doesn’t work with Planar Void (which I used to run before Voidwalker), since Planar Void is a triggered ability, as opposed to a replacement ability like the Voidwalker and Leyline. This combo requires with Voidwalker, or with Leyline.

Infinite Life Drain

Chain of Smog + Professor Onyx

If I cast Chain of Smog targeting myself with Professor Onyx in play, I can copy Chain of Smog an infinite number of times, then drain infinite life from each player with Prof. Onyx’s Magecraft. This 2-card combo involves no creatures and does not target opponents, (bypassing hexproof), and costs a total of .

Prof. Onyx is also useful on her own, since each instant or sorcery I cast with her in play will gain me 8 life in a 4-player game. With Bolas's Citadel and Onyx in play, I can abuse Citadel without worrying about life-loss and easily draw into an infinite combo.

Anvil and Chains Lock

If I have both Anvil of Bogardan and Chains of Mephistopheles on the board, each player draws and discards two cards to begin each turn, and players will not be able to refill their hands. I save this combo until I have enough available mana so I can then kill each opponent with the Tiny Punisher.

The Tergrinator

Tergrid, God of Fright   is known by her victims as the Tergrinator. Once I have the early game set up, dropping the Tergrinator will allow me to keep each permanent card my opponents’ discard or sacrifice, which gets out of hand very quickly.

I no longer run Planar Void. However, if Planar Void is in play, I can choose to keep the discarded card with the Tergrinator before it hits the graveyard, since I can choose the order of triggered abilities on the stack. This does not apply when Dauthi Voidwalker or Leyline of the Void are in play, both of which have a replacement ability and not a triggered ability. Since these Void cards are usually the subject of immediate removal, the Tergrinator provides a great Plan-B to utilize your opponent’s discarded cards.

Outdated Combos

The following is another infinite combo I previously considered, but I realize now that it involves too many moving parts to execute reliably in a cEDH setting:

If I control at least 4 swamps, I can generate infinite mana with Cabal Coffers + Deserted Temple + Rings of Brighthearth (first use the Coffers, then use the untap ability of Deserted Temple to untap the Coffers, then in response to the Temple’s ability, use the Rings to untap the Temple, use the Temple to untap the Coffers, and so on, forever). Once I have infinite mana, I can channel it into Torment of Hailfire, Exsanguinate, or Tinybones, Trinket Thief (if opponents have no cards in hand) to kill all opponents simultaneously. Rings of Brighthearth is also useful for doubling the Tiny Punisher’s damage ability for only two additional mana (pay 8 mana to do 20 damage).

EXCLUSIONS

Rack Spells

This strategy forgoes Rack spells like The Rack and Shrieking Affliction, because those cards do not further the main goal of the deck, which is to reduce opponents to 0 cards and use the Tiny Punisher’s ability. These Rack spells are best suited for other commanders with built-in discard abilities, like Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger or Nath of the Gilt-Leaf.

Discard Spells

I have chosen only the most efficient discard spells relative to mana cost. Other expensive spells like Awaken the Erstwhile, Syphon Mind, etc. were cut to bring down the deck’s curve to help with the life loss from Ad Nauseam, Bolas's Citadel, and Bob.

Gibbering Descent is too expensive for its effect, even with the madness cost, and I’m already running other cards which trigger discard on upkeep. I cut it to make room for the Tergrinator.

Creatures

I have also excluded most aggro creatures like The Haunt of Hightower and mana-generators like Crypt Ghast to focus more on control. I have included Tourach, Dread Cantor because it is a 2-for-1 creature providing discard and aggro potential. The only other creature I would consider running at this time is Rankle, Master of Pranks.

Mindslicer wipes hands, but I find that other players will try extremely hard to avoid killing it. It will usually stay alive unless I wipe the board.

Artifacts

Library of Leng is useful because it allows me to save all the cards I discard with Necropotence, Bottomless Pit, Liliana of the Veil, etc. The Library bypasses Planar Void and the opponents’ graveyard hate as well. However, each time I drew it, I wish I had drawn more mana instead, so I cut it to make room for more ramp artifacts.

I used to run Damping Sphere because it shuts down storm and ramp decks, but every time I drew it I needed something else. Its drawback usually hurts me as much as the opponent, since I am primarily going for a combo win.

I previously ran Relic of Progenitus, but it often hurt more than it helped, so I cut it. I am experimenting with more recursion now that I am no longer running Planar Void. I also cut Soul-Guide Lantern to make room for more ramp.

I don’t like Bag of Holding because if it’s destroyed, all the cards I exiled with it are gone forever.

Other Exclusions

The cards listed on the Maybeboard were considered but ultimately didn’t make the cut.

META-SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS

I have been encountering more Planeswalkers lately. If you think Walkers are growing in popularity in your meta, I would suggest swapping in Hero's Downfall and The Elderspell for the cards of your choice (perhaps Dismember or Toxic Deluge).

This is a work in progress! I would like to make this as competitive as possible. Any comments or suggestions are appreciated!

Suggestions

Updates Add

After doing some research, I have significantly revamped the deck to be more competitive. I reduced the number of cards focusing on Swamps and shifted the focus more towards control. There are now additional win-cons and less potential for dead draws.

If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them! :)

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Casual

97% Competitive