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You work here now! Chihiro Pillowfort Sen Triplets

Commander / EDH Casual Control Pillow Fort Theme/Gimmick WUB (Esper)

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Hi all! This is a themed deck built around the film Spirited Away, which I think is a brilliant animation film, and some of the characters that appear on such film. However this is a very unconventional themed deck, rather than picking art that fits a character, I chose abilities and other features of the cards that match the characters, but most importantly fit together in a "real deck". This is a control deck with a lot of action on each of your main phases, with more or less expensive spells, and some defensive counters to not to loose to fast combo or big ramp decks. In few words, this is a pillowfort/theft deck, where you protect yourself with Propaganda effects and then cast or steal the other player's stuff to finish the game, which fits quite well with Yubaba's power.

An important thing to say about what cards represents who or what, is that art is important in some cases, but in many others I chose to match the abilities or features of the cards to the characters rather than art itself. Some cards in Magic happen to have abilities or be spells that match perfectly some things that appears on the film. A pretty straight forward example of this would be the card Curse of the Swine which is essentially the curse that transforms people into pigs! In this line, the ability on Sen Triplets matches quite well the magic that Yubaba imposes. Sen Triplets is not any character specifically though, but more of a related card with all Spirited Away, overall (name, ability... even colors).

The list of characters is as follows:

  • Chihiro: Spellseeker . Chihiro, as you would imagine, is one of the more challenging characters of the film to fit into a creature. Spellseeker seems to fit in that Chihiro spends the hole movie seeking for a way to un-curse their parents. Also, she seeks to help Haku when he's hurt in Dragon form, and the faceless when he becomes a monster. She also goes to find Zeniba to give her Seal back.
  • Haku: Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  . He is a blue looter (so he's supper blue), that becomes later a Planeswaker (someone who can travel worlds, in the fiction).
  • "Evil" Haku: Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver . This card represents Haku when he is under control/vigilance of Yubaba, and thus behaves in an authoritarian way to other people. Also, a pretty cool include in the deck!
  • Nigihayami Kohaku Nushi (Haku in dragon form): Chromium, the Mutable . For some time I had Dragonlord Ojutai as Haku in it's dragon form, but Chromium is literally a shinny dragon (just like Haku's scales shine, sort or) that transforms into an unblockable hexproof human! This card has to be Haku!
  • Yubaba: Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts . This card really fits as Yubaba! The White and Black colours really fit, White because order and law, agreements and contracts of the Bathhouse, and Black because of the greed and ambition for power and control that Yubaba has. Also, the art kindda looks like younger Yubaba sit at her armchair. For the longest time Yubaba was being represented by Phoebe, Head of S.N.E.A.K. just because Phoebe is literally the best flavor inclusion. It literally steals the text of other creatures! However, it's a silver-bordered card, and some people aren't keen on that.
  • Yubaba's Eagle: Baleful Strix
  • Yubaba in her Sphinx form: Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign
  • Zeniba: Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts . A bit like Yubaba, but not a manipulative person, so no blue. And the abilities kindda matches. Whoever steals the Seal has to die, like Haku was about to. And so, protection from creatures, and whenever a creature deals combat damage to you, destroy it.
  • Kamaji: Hundred-Handed One . Mono-white creature that has a ton of arms. Pretty straight forward.
  • Yuna (Slug Spirits): Windborn Muse . This creature represents the women working at the Bathhouse, which I believe they are slug Spirits, while the men in the Bathhouse are frog Spirits of some sort. In general, it's just a pretty good creaure, that deters aggression and can block flying Thopters for example. A versatile and useful creature, just like the Yuna.
  • River Spirit: Keiga, the Tide Star . I think this is pretty clear.
  • Polluted River Spirit: Sepulchral Primordial . Same thing.
  • Demon and God-like Clients of the Bathhouse: Gonti, Lord of Luxury . Just a really good card for this deck that has some sort of God-like or Spirit-like looks. The same way Tidespout Tyrant kindda looks like a spirit or God. And besides being a great creature, it's super useful in this deck specifically.
  • Paper birds: Luminarch Ascension . These are the paper birds that chase Haku when he is in his Dragon form. I believe they are called Shikigami.

I considered Kamagi as Sifter of Skulls for a while. In this case the art itself wouldn't match at all, I know. But the Sifter is a guy with multiple limbs, that spits little tokens that produce resources, which would be the sootballs that carry coal! I finally cut it because it's a loose include in the deck. Also Chihiro was Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit for a while, but Spellseeker was a much better card that also seemed to fit.

Finally, there are also other cards which are thematic, but not proper characters. For example, Planar Bridge is the tunnel that connects both worlds. Rogue's Passage is the backdoor to the boiler room. Such a successful Bathhouse can easily Revel in Riches . Profane Procession   would be the procession of spirits from the Boat to the Bathhouse. The new art on Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth kindda looks like Zeniba's house, in the midle of the swamp. The unmaking of the pig curse by Yubaba at the end of the film is probably an Anguished Unmaking . And so on. As you can see there's a lot of imagination regarding the cards and not so much solely flavor includes!

Pillowfort Strategy

The main strategy of this deck is to protect yourself first and foremost, and then find someway to enable your game plan. The main way that this deck has to "control" your opponent threats and protect yourself is through Propaganda itself and other similar effects like Ghostly Prison , Sphere of Safety and Windborn Muse . Basically, don't let your opponents attack you!

If your Propagandas got blown, or for some reason they are paying 7 mana to attack you with one creature, and you are being attacked, another pretty cool protective (and flavorful) enchantment in Aurification . This cards mean that their creatures get one shot, and then they turn into gold. There are other two similar cards in No Mercy and Dissipation Field . Any of these cards so far can be recurred with Hanna, Ship's Navigator , which besides being a great card has a beautiful art.

Then there are some other spells that definitely don't seem like Pillowfort includes, but are great nonetheless. One of my favorite is Comeuppance ! It prevents all damage to you and deals it back, either to the creatures or the player! Also Maze of Ith is a super useful card.

Finally, the last way to protect you is through Removal and Counterspells. Specially the latter I tend to use them in a protective way, that is, if someone tries to make something to me. There are some spot removal spells like Anguished Unmaking , Profane Procession   and Swords to Plowshares . There is some Wrath effect like Decree of Pain , Merciless Eviction or Austere Command . And a bunch of counterspells in Swan Song , Disallow or Pact of Negation

Control Magic and other Steal Spells

Once you've protected yourself properly it's time to enable your Game Plan, which is a shorter way to say "enable the Game Plan of your opponents on your side". The main way you get there is with Control Magic and similar effects. Although, I don't run all of them due to the fact that if they blow the enchantment, they get their thing back. I only run the very best, like the aforementioned Control Magic, which is the cheapest one, and some other which are really good in Treachery , Volition Reins and Corrupted Conscience .

Other spells steal their spells right from their hand or library, before they even resolve. The main one is obviously Sen Triplets . In order to facilitate casting their spells I do run a lot of fixing in a bunch of multicolored lands and rocks. Also Paradox Haze gives you a second upkeep to trigger your Sen Triplets. And Tidespout Tyrant synergises just too well with Triplets. Other permanents that steal stuff irreversibly are Keiga, the Tide Star , Sepulchral Primordial , at some point the aforementioned Profane Procession  , Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver or Gonti, Lord of Luxury . All of them super cool cards!

And some of the best steal spells are the Instant and Sorcery ones, because nobody is expecting those! And differently that the Enchantments they steal irreversibly. Those cards are things like Desertion , Praetor's Grasp and Blatant Thievery . Oh! An extra spicy one is Mind's Dilation which allows you cast your opponent's stuff right from the top of their deck.

Finally, I don't run Expropriate ! I don't think that card is fun at all, it's more of an "I Win" button. But if you like the card, by all means, run it! It's bonkers good!

Mana fixing

Unfortunately, card: Sen Tripelts ability does not read as Gonti, Lord of Luxury in that you can't use whatever mana. For that reason, there are some cards that try to help in that matter, like Coalition Relic and Chromatic Lantern . There's also mana rock like Darksteel Ingot , Fellwar Stone and Gilded Lotus to help cast some of the spells you steal.

The mana base in this deck is kindda weak, because I don't want to invest a bunch upfront for fetches and duals. I've not been playing magic for long, and I don't have a very big collection of cards. Also I don't play Modern, and I do not own fetches of any sort. That's when multicolor lands like Exotic Orchard really shine. And some really bad lands that might be even good, like Undiscovered Paradise , which turns its downside into an upside if you're playing against Back to Basics or Winter Orb . Finally, I also have three Vivid lands in here like Vivid Marsh

Miscelanious

I have the feeling that this deck is going to draw a lot of hate, because nobody likes to loose their stuff and get someone else to play it. For that reason, stuff like Propaganda , Ghostly Prison and Sphere of Safety are really good. Specially the Sphere, taking into account all the other enchantemnts in this deck, which sum up a great taxation effect on attacks. The card Perplex is really good to find the first two enchantments. Perplex also finds Chromatic Lantern or Celestial Dawn in case you need mana fixing or Anguished Unmaking in case you want to get rid of something problematic. Perplex can also get As Foretold in the early game. The 3 CMC slot is full of good stuff.

Creature Spells

  • Diluvian Primordial was a consideration for a long time, but I couldn't find a flavor reason to include it in the deck. Plus my deck is not all that powerful in the Instants and Sorceries aspect, so it would rely too heavily in my opponents.

  • Soul Seizer   was a consideration for some time as the black thing that controls Haku. It's a super flavorful inclusion, but it's super slow, and really underwhelming of a card. I swapped it for a flavorful enchantment.

  • Phoebe, Head of S.N.E.A.K. used to represent Yubaba for the longest time. But I realized that Yubaba would fit a lot more with Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts which used to represent Zeniba, and Zeniba would be better represented by Hanna, Ship's Navigator . Also, it takes out a Silver-bordered card, which some people aren't keen on. Also to be fair, I feel she would be brutal as a commander, but it turns out it's a bit underwhelming within the 99.

  • Lin: Lavinia, Azorius Renegade . This creature really matches Lin. Despite the hair she looks a bit alike Lin, and the colour combination also matches Lin. White is the colour which stands for lawfulness and order and at first she's upset at Chihiro for being arround, just because she's wanted. But Lavinia is also Blue, and it also fits, because she's kindda sneaky! She helps Chihiro get to the top level and acts against her duty as a bathhouse for doing that, sort of. However, Lavinia is quite narrow and not all that useful in my current meta.

Non-creature Spells

  • Winds of Rath was for some time in the deck, but at that time I had many other Control Magic style enchantments. Right now I don't think that card is that good, I instead have Austere Command which is super versatile! Kill everything or kill everything else!

  • As Foretold because I had quite a lot of expensive stuff, and playing cards for free is appealing. That being said, the time necessary to play stuff for free is a ton, and without proliferation or extra turns to get multiple counters in less table rotations, I don't think it's worth.

  • Celestial Dawn was for some time in the deck, but it really shuts off many of the utility lands in the deck. Also, there's a lot of fixing in the multicolour lands, Coalition Relic , Darksteel Ingot and Chromatic Lantern among other stuff.

As final thoughts, this deck does not have a name yet, other than a brief description of itself, if someone has suggestions feel free to comment. This is basically my first control/steal deck in Commander, so if anyone has played something similar (or not) and has suggestions or directions to take are very welcome (either deck construction suggestions or flavor suggestions). Just any kind of feedback is highly appreciated! :D

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58% Casual

42% Competitive

Date added 1 year
Last updated 3 weeks
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.79
Tokens None Copy Clone, None Treasure, Jace, 2/2 Boar, 1/1 Spirit, 4/4 Angel, 1/1 Bird
Folders Commander, Oui, favorites
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