Burn the Vampire [EDH]


The Tentacled One
Experimenting with a higher power level here. Cormela is ridiculously good.

1 Cormela, Glamour Thief

1 Ad Nauseam
1 Aetherflux Reservoir
1 Arcane Denial
1 Arid Mesa
1 Ashnod's Altar
1 Badlands
1 Birgi, God of Storytelling
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Bonus Round
1 Brain Freeze
1 Brainstorm
1 Burnt Offering
1 Cabal Ritual
1 Chain of Vapor
1 Chrome Mox
1 City of Brass
1 Command Tower
1 Corpse Dance
1 Culling the Weak
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Dark Petition
1 Dark Ritual
1 Demonic Gifts
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Desperate Ritual
1 Diabolic Intent
1 Echo of Eons
1 Exhume
1 Fellwar Stone
1 Flooded Strand
1 Footsteps of the Goryo
1 Force of Will
1 Gemstone Caverns
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Goblin Electromancer
1 Goryo's Vengeance
1 Intuition
2 Island
1 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
1 Jeska's Will
1 Lion's Eye Diamond
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Marsh Flats
1 Mind's Desire
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Mountain
1 Mox Diamond
1 Mox Opal
1 Mystic Remora
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Narset, Parter of Veils
1 Notion Thief
1 Otawara, Soaring City
1 Painful Truths
1 Phyrexian Altar
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Polluted Delta
1 Prismatic Vista
1 Pyretic Ritual
1 Rain of Filth
1 Rhystic Study
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Seething Song
1 Shallow Grave
1 Snapcaster Mage
1 Snow-Covered Island
1 Snow-Covered Mountain
1 Snow-Covered Swamp
1 Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance
1 Sol Ring
1 Solve the Equation
1 Spellseeker
1 Storm-Kiln Artist
1 Swamp
1 Swan Song
1 Takenuma, Abandoned Mire
1 Talisman of Creativity
1 Talisman of Dominance
1 Talisman of Indulgence
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Thermopod
1 Thousand-Year Storm
1 Timetwister
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Twinflame
1 Underground Sea
1 Underworld Breach
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Volcanic Island
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Windfall
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Young Pyromancer
Last edited:


The Tentacled One
So, there's a bit of a story behind this one. Last week, I was brainstorming which commanders to try out from Streets of New Capenna. When the previous set came out, I went with Seshiro the Anointed, an old commander from the same plane. I couldn't do that with New Capenna because it's a brand new world. So I made up my mind to brew a deck with one of the new commanders. I didn't know which ones I'd open in my first box (prior to the full release of the set). So I didn't have my heart set on any particular legends, but I did give the matter some thought. Around this time, I came across an article on EDHrec that piqued my interest: https://edhrec.com/articles/too-specific-top-10-unearthing-rebirth/

The "Too Specific Top 10" series is a bit silly at times, but it's fun. Reading that article, I was struck by three things...
  1. Cormela is kinda broken in the format. A hasty mana dork in the command zone that effectively gives you a Relearn if you manage to kill it? Even by 2022 standards, that's crazy.
  2. As an uncommon, there would be a high chance that I'd pull a copy of this card in my first box. I still didn't know for sure which New Capenna commanders I'd have available before the full release of the set, but here was something that gripped my attention and seemed a lot more likely than, say, one of the mythic rares.
  3. The format of the article showcased a lot of spells that weren't really ideal with Cormela. Stuff like Infernal Offering really doesn't make sense. In contrast, cards like Shallow Grave, which could be great in a Cormela deck, were given no consideration.
My mind jumped to setups like Ashnod's Altar + Exhume + Cormela, Glamour Thief. I also pondered how the mana burst from recurring Cormela even just once or twice could easily be enough to set up a storm combo turn using stuff like Ad Nauseam, Mind's Desire, Yawgmoth's Will, etc. A quick Google search showed that most of the discussion on Cormela as a combo enabler related to the unreleased card, Saw in Half (the "Unfinity" set was originally scheduled for an April 1st release, but has been delayed and rescheduled for September). And that got me thinking about Twinflame. So I started putting together a list.

Sure enough, I pulled multiple copies of Cormela a week ago in my booster box. I sent a friend a picture of all my options for a commander from New Capenna, as well as the ones from "The List" that came in my set booster packs. Notably, I pulled Othelm and Cecily, a "Friends Forever" combination that really tempts me as enabling one of the most obnoxiously broken decks that might be right up my alley. That might come up in the future. But the immediate response I got back was "Cormela." I hadn't told him that I was already tinkering with a tentative Cormela list.

I had most of my list worked out by Monday. I was still thinking about it on Tuesday when this article dropped: https://edhrec.com/articles/the-600-predicting-the-popularity-of-new-capenna-commanders/

I had Cormela on the brain, so I immediately sought the card out. I was bewildered to see this prediction...

Unlike Quezar, Cormela is more aligned with the power level we've come to expect from uncommon commanders. Fixing and ramp is nice, but it's less appealing when limited to instants and sorceries. Though the death clause is a fine consolation prize, it's disappointing in a format as powerful as EDH.
My prediction: Under
I wasn't the only one who disputed that pick. I suspect that the author will end up being proven wrong on this card. And if not, well, I'd be one of the few people running this commander. I finished my list later that same day. It turned out that there were two rares I didn't couldn't find in my collection, although I'd originally intended for them to be in the deck. Sedgemoor Witch seemed ideal in this deck, but I still don't own one. I filled that slot with Young Pyromancer. Peer into the Abyss is the other card I'm missing, and I decided to try out Thousand-Year Storm in its place.

Essentially, this is a Storm deck. I can potentially set up an infinite loop with a sac outlet and one of several spells here, but I can also just use the recursion to get ahead on mana and storm count. The deck's name comes from Skyrim, where NPCs will shout the phrase, "Burn the vampire" if they're in combat with or near a vampire (even if it's you). Cormela is great for pitching to Burnt Offering or for shenanigans with Twinflame, which might be one of my favorite spells for this deck.

The one time I brought this deck to a game, I had a mediocre first hand, mulliganed it, and kept a lackluster second hand. I dropped third-turn Birgi, God of Storytelling and had nothing else going on, but my opponents didn't kill Birgi. Next turn I dropped a couple of mana rocks, Seething Song, and used Cormela to Windfall, which hit enough cards to set up an infinite loop with Corpse Dance + Twinflame. I was pretty much fumbling my way through unfamiliar lines in a deck I threw together with cards I guessed would probably work well with Cormela. I don't think it was especially close to optimized. Once the cEDH community has more time to brew with this commander, I think we'll see the optimal combo setups worked out and possibly one of the strongest Grixis options in the format.


The Tentacled One
I think I built this deck better than I pilot it. Had everything set up for what was almost certainly an easy Ad Nauseam win, but I took another line and fizzled because I was brain-dead. Oops! Too many of my good cards are locked up in this deck, but I am fond of it, so I might keep it around for a while...