Hello! This week for Fat Stacks, I'm presenting some decklists from my local players. Although I didn't specifically ask for multiplayer or 1v1 decks, the lists my locals gave me were all built for 1v1 play. There are quite a few cards that are banned in multiplayer decks, but most of the cool interactions are perfectly legal. Best of all, I have played against these lists many times, so I have a lot of insight on how they work.
Lately, I have been rocking a Tymaret, the Murder King aggro list, which has been performing fairly well in our weekly Duel Commander FNM. I used to run Omnath, Locus of Mana, but since Gaea's Cradle was recently banned, the deck is just sad to play. I can't run the deck in any format that have both Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary and Gaea's Cradle in the list, so that deck is facing a major existential crisis.
The Tymaret, the Murder King deck is mainly comprised of haste creatures like Spike Jester, Rakdos Shred-Freak or Hellrider. A lot of the decks in the format are weighted to win reliably on turn five or six, so an explosive early game will often keep their mana sources busy, and can often delay these decks for a few turns. For the later game, I put in some uber-value cards like Fulminator Mage and Olivia Voldaren.
Tokens also go really well in the deck because they are great fodder for Tymaret, the Murder King's two damage ability. Bitterblossom, Goblin Rabblemaster, and Ophiomancer are all spectacular in this build, as well as the recently-printed Captain's Claws. Creatures that Reanimate themselves are also really good in here, like Bloodsoaked Champion and Bloodghast. Throwing Skullclamp on Bloodghast is one of the best ways to get card advantage in most decks, and of course it is a good choice to sacrifice to Tymaret, the Murder King.
The Tymaret, the Murder King deck is built from stuff I happened to have nearby, and there is a lot of stuff I need to work on. To be honest, I try not to win too hard in our FNMs, and I am mostly content to just push the metagame by introducing a hyper-aggro deck. I want the deck to force everyone to deal with fast aggro, which can dilute the power that a raw combo deck can have. Control decks are also fairly prevalent, which is a big reason for a lot of the haste creatures.
With all that said, let's take a look at the first deck that I play against quite a bit – Pat's Scion of the Ur-Dragon Super Stars deck.
This is what Pat had to say about his list:
Why have only one commander when you can play them all? Originally like every other Scion deck of self-mill/reanimate combo, I decided to go a different direction. The list is filled with combos, and the deck has evolved into what is effectively a deck filled with the format's most powerful lengends, and each of them work so well together. Skittles ( Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon) + Rafiq of the Many? Kaalia of the Vast + Griselbrand? You name it! In the end, it is a Sneak Attack list that aims to overpower the aggro and midrange decks with powerful creatures by cheating them into play, and attempts to sneak under control decks with combo kills backed up with versatile Counterspells.
You would think a Dragon deck would be filled with Dragons, but it is really not necessary to win with Scion of the Ur-Dragon. There are a few Dragons in here of course, and each fulfills a specific function. Silumgar, the Drifting Death's hexproof makes him the go to choice when Scion is being targeted with removal, and Tyrant's Familiar usually shows up to clear out a big creature. We have a Ruhan of the Fomori deck that usually does really well, so dealing seven damage is excellent.
Most of my losses against this deck are due to Scion of the Ur-Dragon becoming Dragon Tyrant or Skithiryx. Since the ability goes at instant speed, there are a lot of things that can be done with stack manipulation. There are also combos that will pair with a single Dragon; if he manages to get Ophidian Eye, he can transform Scion into Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, and win via a torrent of chip damage.
This deck is a great reason to pack removal, but it really has to be able to target Scion of the Ur-Dragon, which is black. Terror effects just don't cut it, though this Scion of the Ur-Dragon deck does have a low enough creature density to be vulnerable to Diabolic Edict effects. The deck is also pretty weak to land destruction, and of course even the greatest Magic players in history are vulnerable to the dreaded mana screw. Five-color decks have the most difficult mana bases to work with, so there is a big risk with all the different colors in the deck. Even a single Wasteland or Fulminator Mage can be enough to derail a decent starting hand, and some artifact removal helps against Chromatic Lantern / Coalition Relic.
This next deck oddly looks quite a bit like the Scion of the Ur-Dragon deck, only this time the Commander is Kaalia of the Vast. Matt built this deck, and I played against it as recently as last Friday, so it is fresh in my mind. Matt had a few words about his specific build: “It's a little different from normal voltron Kaalia, as it has a late game, and it has a few twists of mine such as Stranglehold and Angelic Destiny.”
While I do love Dega / Mardu colors, there is one big problem... it doesn't have green or blue spells available. Kaalia of the Vast is powerful, but Mardu has a problem with the mid- and late-game. Black does have some great card advantage spells, but they almost always cost life, as do the obligatory fetch / shock lands.
Matt has tried to combat the very awkward progression that Mardu colors can have sometimes, especially with cards like Winter Orb, or as he mentioned, Stranglehold. Stranglehold shuts down the Scion deck we just looked at, and of course the Time Warp protection is glorious in the right matchup.
Usually, the best play in this deck is to draw/tutor Master of Cruelties, swing with Kaalia of the Vast, and then win on the spot. It is an ever present situation that needs to be dealt with, so I tend to leave up a lot of blockers. The tokens in Tymaret, the Murder King are great for this, and we can just chump block, and then heave the token to the dome for two. Two of the best removal spells in the game are Mardu colors – Vindicate and Anguished Unmaking – so the Bitterblossom is always vulnerable.
I think my favorite part of this deck is the way it uses the Scorched Earth strategy. With cards like Armageddon or Rakdos the Defiler, the deck can get slightly ahead of the opponent, and then just start nuking the world. Kaalia of the Vast is good even without mana, and with all the mana boosts in the deck, it is easy to boost ever so slightly ahead, and then destroy everything but the few key cards.
One major card in Matt's deck that I want to bring up is Nahiri, the Harbinger. I am a big Boros fan, and her previous incarnation in Nahiri, the Lithomancer, is my favorite Commander 2015 card. Nahiri, the Harbinger is solid with decent plus and minus abilities. In essence, Nahiri, the Harbinger was an obvious choice for any Boros-colored deck.
I tend to ignore most Planeswalkers' ultimate abilities because they so rarely come up. They are win-more a lot of the time, and Planeswalkers don't survive long on the regular grind. After using Nahiri, the Harbinger to fetch out Gisela, Blade of Goldnight three straight games in a row (in my Archangel Avacyn deck), I am really starting to see her power. The fact that the creature goes back to hand instead of sacrificing is also very merciful card design. Make no mistake, Boros players, Nahiri, the Harbinger sets a really great precedent for future Boros cards.
For the final deck, we are leaving Boros colors completely for the dreaded Sultai. This is Anthony's The Mimeoplasm deck, which is a fairly powerful deck in the 1v1 Commander metagame. It has a really easy combo to pull off, and even better, it has access to blue and green cards!
Actually, that is the funny part about building a Sultai deck in any Commander variant – you have all three of the strongest colors in the game. Instead of being happy with discarding a card to draw, we can cast Harmonize. Or if you prefer, Concentrate. Or, we could go cheap, and cast Painful Truths. The problem tends to be keeping enough focus among the strong card pool to make a deck that actually does something. It is pretty awesome to have every cool draw, removal, and Jace in a deck, but you eventually need to win.
That is why I like this deck so much – it has a very specific combo. In an ideal situation, Buried Alive is cast, putting Necrotic Ooze, Phyrexian Devourer, and Triskelion into the graveyard. After that, The Mimeoplasm comes into play as a copy of Necrotic Ooze, and usually an opposing creature for the +1/+1 counters. It is important that Phyrexian Devourer and Triskelion are both in the graveyard, because Necrotic Ooze will copy both of their abilities.
If you are old enough to have played when the Phyrexian Devourer was a Standard (Type 2.0) card, you may remember being very confused. I was only about 12 or so, but even now it is a bit weird to see it in a powerful combo. Usually, the six mana cost and the prohibitive sacrifice clause keeps this out of most decks, but in this case, all we need is the activated ability.
The updated card text on Phyrexian Devourer now adds X +1/+1 counters, so the Necrotic Ooze may exile the top card of the deck to add the CMC in +1/+1 counters. With Triskelion's damage ability, this deals X damage for the CMC of the exiled cards.
This is probably one of my worst matchups, as it is hard to disrupt the card advantage. The The Mimeoplasm deck is a bit slower though, so I tend to just throw my troops at maximum speed, and hope I deal 30 damage before I die. Even if the combo doesn't fire properly, there are plenty of really good cards that tend to ruin days, like Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur. I hate that guy.
Well, I hope you liked a look at some really strong combo decks that I fight against frequently. Even if you don't play 1v1 Commander, the Griselbrand, Primeval Titans, etc, are not super-essential to the decks.
Thanks for reading!
- Cassidy Silver