Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Cards [EDH]


The Tentacled One
At long last, I've done it. Weirdly, I've probably built colorless or effectively colorless decks for other Highlander formats more times than most people have ever built a colorless deck, but up until now, I had not actually built a colorless deck for the EDH/Commander format. I kept saying that some day I'd get around to it, and that the commander would probably be Karn, Silver Golem. There weren't really any good colorless commanders anyway, so the commander was just a formality.

I built very artifact-heavy decks on occasion, but always with a color involved. My Prismatic Piper deck came close, with just ten white cards other than the commander. And after that half-joke of a deck, I actually had no plans to build a colorless deck for 2022 at all. Seriously, my spreadsheet didn't even have a row implemented for this color identity. I wanted to make sure I had at least one of all the other color identities except the four-color ones (because their only options are totally unsatisfying to me). The idea of a totally colorless deck was more of a "distant future" plan. No rush. And then the madmen and madwomen at WotC went and made a flying Statue of Liberty head.

Liberator is not merely the greatest colorless commander to date. It beats up all other colorless commander options and takes their lunch money. The contest is not close. Not even a little bit. This thing is so spicy, I cannot resist it. Colorless spells über alles. Colored spells? Those are for nerds.

1 Liberator, Urza's Battlethopter

1 Alhammarret's Archive
1 All Is Dust
1 Ancient Tomb
1 Arcane Lighthouse
1 Arcbound Ravager
1 Arch of Orazca
1 Basalt Monolith
1 Blasted Landscape
1 Blinkmoth Nexus
1 Bonders' Enclave
1 Candelabra of Tawnos
1 Cathodion
1 City of Traitors
1 Clock of Omens
1 Cloud Key
1 Crawling Barrens
1 Crystal Grotto
1 Crystal Vein
1 Darksteel Citadel
1 Darksteel Colossus
1 Darksteel Forge
1 Darksteel Juggernaut
1 Ensnaring Bridge
1 Expedition Map
1 Forsaken Monument
1 Foundry Inspector
1 Ghost Town
1 Grim Monolith
1 Hall of Tagsin
1 Hangarback Walker
1 Introduction to Annihilation
1 Inventors' Fair
1 It That Betrays
1 Jhoira's Familiar
1 Karn, Scion of Urza
1 Karn's Bastion
1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
1 Krark-Clan Ironworks
1 Kuldotha Forgemaster
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Lodestone Golem
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Manifold Key
1 Maze of Ith
1 Memory Jar
1 Metalworker
1 Mishra's Factory
1 Mishra's Workshop
1 Mox Opal
1 Mutavault
1 Myr Battlesphere
1 Myr Retriever
1 Mystic Forge
1 Nettlecyst
1 Nim Deathmantle
1 Null Brooch
1 Ornithopter
1 Platinum Emperion
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Rings of Brighthearth
1 Rishadan Port
1 Sands of Time
1 Scorched Ruins
1 Scrap Trawler
1 Sculpting Steel
1 Semblance Anvil
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1 Sol Ring
1 Spine of Ish Sah
1 Staff of Domination
1 Stalking Stones
1 Steel Overseer
1 Strionic Resonator
1 Strip Mine
1 Su-Chi
1 Su-Chi Cave Guard
1 Thespian's Stage
1 Thought Vessel
1 Thran Dynamo
1 Tocasia's Dig Site
1 Tomb of the Spirit Dragon
1 Treasure Vault
1 Triskelion
1 Ugin, the Ineffable
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
1 Unwinding Clock
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Urza's Factory
1 Urza's Saga
1 Vesuva
1 Voltaic Key
1 Walking Ballista
1 War Room
1 Wasteland
1 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Zhalfirin Void


The Tentacled One
Was there ever any doubt? Liberator is bonkers good. Played this deck twice, and it popped off both games. Second time I tried it did get cut short with the store closing, but I dominated the first game.


The Tentacled One
This deck continues to dominate. Got both Ugins out and was able to protect them for the win.


The Tentacled One
Let's not forget that Forsaken Monument + Basalt Monolith makes infinite mana. I sure didn't, when I saw both cards in my opening hand. Amusingly, I didn't have anything to actually spend the infinite mana on when this first hit the table. Mystic Forge eventually dug through my library to hit Staff of Domination.
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The Tentacled One
Even when I think that his deck is in a bad spot and will probably lose, it can turn things around with big, stupid plays. Mystic Forge is broken.


The Tentacled One
So, I feel compelled to point out that although I won my most recent game with this deck (the day before yesterday), it wasn't until late last night while in the shower that I realized I had a better line, which would have let me go "infinite" rather than taking the precarious approach I actually went with in game. The infinite line wasn't obvious to me at all, and I have no idea why I spontaneously thought of it over 24 hours later.

Breaking it down, this was a five-player game because we had a table of two and a table of three that were both sitting around awkwardly. My deck got off to a slow start, but was generally holding off threats. Grim Monolith and Clock of Omens were letting me stay ahead on mana and deploy some bigger cards, but it was looking like I'd fall behind soon. There was a Krenko, Mob Boss deck that did some early damage to me, but was also kind of manascrewed. Another player was using Baeloth Barrityl, Entertainer and not having much luck, but he was able to use goad effects to defend himself somewhat. Next to me, a player with Chainer, Nightmare Adept was successful in reanimating some powerful creatures, including Blast-Furnace Hellkite and Inferno Titan. And finally, a player with an Arcades, the Strategist deck was drawing tons of cards, building up an army of walls, and looked likely to win the game soon. My deck stalled out, but Ugin, the Ineffable got me a bit of card advantage. I assumed that my opponents would kill Ugin or focus me, but I guess we were all stuck playing defensively because of how many threats were on the table. The Chainer player went after Ugin with Inferno Titan, but used his damage trigger to kill one of the numerous walls of the Arcades player. Using Clock of Omens and Grim Monolith, I was able to make enough mana to flash in Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, killing the Blast-Furnace Hellkite and Inferno Titan in one fell swoop. I thought that the Arcades player would still finish Ugin off, but he held is blockers back, drawing even more cards and setting up to kill us on his next turn.

So I attempted to combo off by using Inventors' Fair to fetch Mystic Forge and casting the Sensei's Divining Top that I'd just topdecked. The Arcades player countered my Top with Force of Negation, exiling it so that I couldn't even try to kill my own Myr Retriever to get it back. I was in a precarious position if I didn't do something about the Arcades deck, but I thought that I might run out of options without Top. I had Rings of Brighthearth and Grim Monolith, but no Voltaic Key, so I couldn't make infinite mana yet. I had Strionic Resonator, but no apparent outlets for that either. My best bet seemed to be to use Clock of Omens to untap Grim Monolith, hoping to topdeck enough cheap artifacts to keep the process going, and to use Clock of Omens on Mystic Forge instead to clear pesky lands from the the top of my library. This got me some useful cards, but nothing game-winning yet. Then I hit Basalt Monolith.

Basalt Monolith + Rings of Brighthearth = infinite mana.
Basalt Monolith + Grim Monolith + infinite mana + Clock of Omens = infinite untapping of any of my artifacts.

Throw in Mystic Forge, and I could consistently deploy cast every spell from the top of my library and pay a life to get rid of lands. But this was bounded by my life total, so my opponents looked on in anticipation, waiting for me to find a way to seal the deal. I figured they'd scoop after I resolved All Is Dust, but they kept watching until seeing Memory Jar, knowing that I had Rings of Brighthearth to copy Memory Jar's ability and Liberator to cast all the spells from my new hand at instant speed. I didn't technically present infinite damage, but I had the resources to pretty easily kill them the old-fashioned way.

So it all worked out. But yeah, I could totally have gone through as many cards as I wanted without paying life. Here's the line I missed...

Liberator, Urza's Battlethopter + Basalt Monolith + Grim Monolith + Clock of Omens + Rings of Brighthearth + Mystic Forge + Strionic Resonator

I could have used Basalt Monolith + Rings of Brighthearth to make infinite mana. I could tap both Monoliths with Clock of Omens to untap any other artifact, then use my infinite mana to untap the Monoliths again as much I wanted. That's infinite activations of Strionic Resonator if I have a triggered ability to target. Mystic Forge lets me cast colorless spells from the top of my library and Liberator, Urza's Battlethopter lets me cast them as though they had flash. Once I hit a land on top of my library, I'll need to use Mystic Forge to exile it, but I actually only need to pay life one time, guaranteed, instead of every time I hit a land, as I actually did.

What I should have done was copy the Mystic Forge activated ability with Rings of Brighthearth, then use Strionic Resonator to copy that triggered ability, using Clock of Omens with the Monoliths to untap the Resonator. At that point, I have three abilities on the stack that would all exile the top card of my library. Liberator lets me look at the top card at any time, so I could let the copied ability on top of the stack exile the land from the top of my library. If it's a land, I'd then use Strionic Resonator again to make another copy of the ability, exiling that land. If it's a non-land, then I'd use Liberator to flash it in and look at the next card. I can repeat this process until I assemble a win condition. In this case, that would have been Hangarback Walker (for X = 9,000,000,000) + Arcbound Ravager + Triskelion.

So yeah, that's an overly long explanation for something that doesn't matter anyway, but I want to note it because I spent some time studying my board state looking for answers, and didn't spot my best line, mostly because I psyched myself out into thinking that Strionic Resonator was useless at this stage. And that's a lesson I want to retain. Strionic Resonator is a tricky card to master.
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The Tentacled One
Forsaken Monument continues to be great. I was poised to win a game thanks to it, but an opponent cast Over The Top. It's a pretty new card and I hadn't seen it in action yet. I had 10 non-land permanents, and Over The Top set me up with an infinite damage combo, which let me kill everyone else at the table before the triggered abilities of their permanents even had a chance to resolve.


The Tentacled One
I've had this deck for three months now, and I had yet to make any revisions. So it's about time for some changes...

-1 Mutavault
-1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
-1 Stalking Stones
-1 Tocasia's Dig Site
+1 Buried Ruin
+1 Karn, Living Legacy
+1 Moonsilver Key
+1 The Mycosynth Gardens

As much as I like Skysovereign for its utility in nuking planeswalkers, there hasn't been a lot of demand for that in this deck, and I find the new Karn intriguing. Thought about swapping out the other Karn, but I still think that one is probably better. We'll see how that goes. I've also swapped out the three lands I've been least impressed with for a new land, an old one that I should have already been running, and an artifact that is flexible enough to warrant dropping the land count.


The Tentacled One
Well, I had a bunch of losses last night and no wins. It all started with this deck. But I think that the game I played with this deck was totally winnable, and that I made some blunders along the way. I got kind of stuck using my resources to keep two of my three opponents from winning, but that meant I wasn't devoting those resources to winning. Eventually, this allowed my other opponent to deploy the game-winning combo he'd practically been telegraphing. I might have gotten slightly unlucky, but like I said, this one was winnable. Hopefully I've learned to do a better job piloting my own deck.


The Tentacled One
Tried this deck twice. Lost both games, but the deck did get to show off its latent potency. First game, one opponent cast a Drannith Magistrate and a second opponent killed my commander. This forced me into a situation where I had to sequence my cards differently than I'd have liked, and while I did kill the Drannith Magistrate, I had to go shields down against the third opponent, who assembled and infinite combo and won the game.

Second game I was tapped out trying to deal with the player who'd just won the previous game, then the guy after him was able to use Satoru Umezawa to ninjutsu in a Blightsteel Colossus and kill me. He also eventually killed the player I'd been fighting, which left him open to be defeated by the one player he'd been ignoring. So really, I got taken out first because I was the most threatening target, I guess.