[Grixis Commander] Combo-animator

Discussion in 'Casual Decks/Variants/Etc' started by Terentius, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Terentius The Instigator

    Name of this deck comes from the concept from one of my Constructed decks, which I came to call the Pain-animator. However, this one started as an attempt at a Madness Commander deck; I still want to make that, but the best Commander for it is probably Olivia right now, and I'd want it to be Grixis colors.

    Anyway, main combo is Kiki-Jiki/Zealous Conscripts for infinite haste creatures, which I will tutor for/entomb/reanimate if I get one of the pair in my hand. If that doesn't happen, I'll mostly likely try to hit big with Unearthed/reanimated Annihilator creatures and other big guys. There are also smaller-scale combos with combinations of Kiki, Deadeye Navigator, Palinchron, Tyrant of Discord, Inferno Titan, and Gilded Lotus. Also some cheating of creatures destined to be sacrificed from Sneak Attack and Unearth with flicker effects.

    Decklist is here. Annotations below.

    ETB combo pieces:
    1x Deadeye Navigator (MM3)
    1x Bogardan Hellkite
    1x Great Whale
    1x Gilded Lotus *F* (M13)
    1x Inferno Titan (C15)
    1x Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker (MM2)
    1x Rune-Scarred Demon (M12)
    1x Palinchron (ULG)
    1x Peregrine Drake (PCA)
    1x Sepulchral Primordial (GTC)
    1x Sneak Attack (EMA)
    1x Sundial of the Infinite (M12)
    1x Burning Sun's Avatar
    1x Frost Titan
    1x Gibbering Fiend
    1x Splinter Twin
    1x Tyrant of Discord (AVR)
    1x Zealous Conscripts (MM3)
    1x Warstorm Surge
    1x Impact Tremors
    1x Pestermite
    1x Deceiver Exarch
    1x Nevermaker
    1x Kalastria Healer
    1x Grave Titan
    1x Venser, Shaper Savant

    Reanimation/combo pieces and related effects:
    1x Animate Dead (EMA)
    1x Cauldron Dance (C17)
    1x Diabolic Servitude (C15)
    1x Dimir Doppelganger (CNS)
    1x Living Death (CMD)
    1x Necromancy (VIS)
    1x Reanimate (GRV)
    1x Sedris, the Traitor King *CMDR*
    1x Zombify (9ED)
    1x Body Double

    Card drawing/filtering:
    1x Careful Study (ODY)
    1x Catalog (SOI)
    1x Cathartic Reunion (KLD)
    1x Compulsive Research (MM3)
    1x Deep Analysis
    1x Faithless Looting (EMA)
    1x Frantic Search (ULG)
    1x Tormenting Voice (AKH)
    1x Tragic Lesson (HOU)
    1x Wild Guess (M14)

    1x Buried Alive (GRV)
    1x Dark Petition (ORI)
    1x Diabolic Tutor (C17)
    1x Entomb (AKH)
    1x Lim-Dul's Vault
    1x Razaketh's Rite (HOU)

    Other utility:
    1x Chaos Warp
    1x Dismember (MM2)
    1x Lightning Axe (SOI)
    1x Nightscape Familiar (C13)
    1x Vengeful Pharaoh (M12)

    Lands, mana rocks, and cost reducers:
    1x Barren Moor (CMT)
    1x Bloodfell Caves (C17)
    1x Cinder Barrens (C17)
    1x Command Tower (C17)
    1x Crosis's Catacombs (PLS)
    1x Crumbling Necropolis (C17)
    1x Desert of the Fervent (HOU)
    1x Desert of the Glorified (HOU)
    1x Desert of the Mindful (HOU)
    1x Desolate Lighthouse (AVR)
    1x Dimir Aqueduct (C17)
    1x Dimir Signet (MM3)
    1x Dismal Backwater (C17)
    1x Geier Reach Sanitarium (EMN)
    6x Island (XLN)
    1x Izzet Boilerworks (C17)
    1x Izzet Signet (MM3)
    3x Mountain (XLN)
    1x Polluted Mire (C15)
    1x Rakdos Carnarium (IMA)
    1x Rakdos Guildgate (C17)
    1x Rakdos Signet (C17)
    1x Remote Isle (C14)
    1x Rix Maadi, Dungeon Palace (DIS)
    1x Endless Sands
    1x Sol Ring (C17)
    3x Swamp (XLN)
    1x Talisman of Dominance (AC2)
    1x Talisman of Indulgence (AC2)
    1x Vivid Crag (C17)
    1x Vivid Creek (C17)
    1x Vivid Marsh (C17)
  2. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Wow, this one is cheesy, which of course means I like it. Dream Halls is a pet card of mine, although I'm uncertain if it's a good fit here.

    I've played around with graveyard combos a lot and I have some old notes that might have something relevant to this sort of deck, but I'm drawing a blank going from memory, so I'll have to dig them up. Looking forward to seeing where this goes if you do continue exploring the concept.
    Terentius likes this.
  3. Terentius The Instigator

    It's actually winning the majority of scrimmages between the other two Grixis decks I've posted.
  4. Terentius The Instigator

    Annotations up.

    After testing more in 1v1 scrimmages, I'm finding that most of the wins are coming from reanimated Annihilator-choking. I guess I shouldn't complain, but I would like to find ways to get infinite Kiki combos out more consistently. Gamble is an additional tutor I could use, but I swapped it out for a fifth annihilator creature because I found it always came into my hand at the wrong time. Need to swap in Lim-Dul's Vault for something also.
  5. Terentius The Instigator

    -1 Dark Ritual - can possibly get the combo out that much faster, but I'd rather swap for something more versatile
    -1 Jet Medallion - same as above

    +1 Lim-Dul's Vault
    +1 Chaos Warp

    Played a couple games against actual people over the holiday. Lost one against a friend playing my own Ghave deck that combo'd out. Won the other in 6 turns I think with Sneak Attack on Rune-scarred Demon fetching Kiki, next turn Necromancy on Rune-scarred Demon fetching Zealous, Sneak Attack on Kiki and Zealous.
    Psarketos likes this.
  6. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    As much as I like Jet Medallion and Dark Ritual, they don't pack quite as much of a punch in a three-color deck, and you can't very well build a mana curve into your deck to account for them when it's a 99-card highlander deck and you could easily just never draw them at all. So yeah, LDV and Chaos Warp seem like better choices. I think you've moved this deck in a good direction and it looks very strong. Losing to the Ghave deck doesn't say much because that deck is explosive enough to have a chance against almost anything in EDH.

    I suspect that cutting Gamble may have been you hitting the wrong side of variance on it because that can happen with the card. By that, I mean the card can be the right choice for a lot of decklists, but instead of consistently being pretty good, the random element means that sometimes it works out perfectly and other times it falls flat. The important part is the average. It looks like a good fit, but I haven't tested your deck and you have, so yeah, use your best judgment.
  7. Terentius The Instigator

    Got a win with this deck against my toughest playgroup; these guys are currently on day 2 of PTQ for Modern. Doesn't say anything about their Commander decks necessarily, but suffice that to say that they're good players with good decks.

    The short of the game was, after fighting through Spreading Plague and shutting down combo wins whenever I could, I finally got a combo of:
    1. Zombify targeting Sedris (I let him die previously)
    2. Unearth Peregrine Drake via Sedris
    3. Unearth Deadeye Navigator via Sedris, Soulbond on Peregrine Drake
    4. Flicker combo Peregrine Drake via Deadeye Navigator, untapping and tapping lands for infinite mana via Peregrine Drake ETB effect
    5. Unearth Inferno Titan via Sedris
    6. Flicker Deadeye Navigator via himself, Soulbond on Inferno Titan
    7. Flicker combo Inferno Titan via Deadeye Navigator for infinite damage via Inferno Titan ETB effect
    Can anyone confirm this combo does indeed work? I got some pushback because of the text printed on Sedris, which is misleading from the Oracle text.
  8. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I'm not sure where the difference is because Gatherer seems show the printed text and Oracle text of Sedris is the same.

    However, you can't do #4 as you typed it, because once you flicker the Drake once, the soulbond is broken when it leaves play. You'd have to flicker the Navigator first, then the Drake in response, so when it resolves, the Drake enters the battlefield, then the Navigator, where you can re-establish the soulbond.

    Same thing with #7, you have to flicker the Navigator first and then the Titan. I guess with infinite mana it doesn't matter really, but if you don't do the Navigator first, a rules lawyer will shut you down :)
  9. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Once the Soulbond is broken, Deadeye Navigator is no longer paired with anything and can establish a new bond to Peregrine Drake when Peregrine Drake enters the battlefield. Soulbond says "you may pair this with another unpaired creature when either enters the battlefield." This interaction makes Deadeye Navigator infamous in Commander.
  10. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Looks like Gatherer now has a note to this effect, so I'm guessing it was a common question...

  11. Terentius The Instigator

    Actually the main issue in dispute was that if you flicker an Unearthed creature, would it be exiled permanently or not due to Unearth's delayed trigger.
  12. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Doh, I missed the "either" on the soulbond text. My bad.

    But for Terentius's question, the answer is fortunately in the Gatherer Rulings for Sedris:

    Oversoul likes this.
  13. Terentius The Instigator

    Splendid! Thanks.

    I'll also be adding Pestermite to this deck.
  14. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Deceiver Exarch does a pretty good Pestermite impression, if it'd benefit you to have two copies of that effect.
  15. Terentius The Instigator

    It would!

    -1 Lord of the Void
    -1 Nicol Bolas
    -1 Scion of Darkness
    -1 Safe Haven
    -1 Feldon of the Third Path - Good for a repeatable Unearth once per turn, but doesn't work with flicker effects, and it's hard to combo with him

    +1 Deceiver Exarch
    +1 Pestermite
    +1 Warstorm Surge
    +1 Impact Tremors
    +1 Jin Gitaxias, Core Augur

    I decided to go more in on combo for now, so I had to drop some fun fatties. Playing this deck more, I think there's more infinite combos than I realized. To expound upon the original post, the combo pieces can be put into groups:
    1. Copy Group: Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Splinter Twin
    2. Flicker Group: Deadeye Navigator
    3. ETB Untap Permanent Group: Zealous Conscripts, Deceiver Exarch, Pestermite
    4. ETB Untap Land Group: Peregrine Drake, Palinchron, Great Whale
    5. Generate Mana Group: Gilded Lotus
    6. Deadeye Cost Pay Group: Izzet Boilerworks, Dimir Aqueduct
    7. ETB Other Effect Group: Inferno Titan, Tyrant of Discord, Zealous Conscripts, Gibbering Fiend, Bogardan Hellkite, Burning Sun's Avatar, Frost Titan, Nevermaker, Kalastria Healer, Grave Titan
    8. ETB Complement Group: Warstorm Surge, Impact Tremors
    And the combos are (if my math is right):
    2 + 4 = infinite mana [3 total combinations]
    2 + 3 + 5 = infinite mana [3 total combinations]
    1 + 3 = infinite haste creatures [6 total combinations]
    2 + 4 + 7 = infinite ETB effect [30 total combinations, 20 of which are infinite damage/life loss]
    2 + 3 + 5 + 7 = infinite ETB effect [30 total combinations, 20 of which are infinite damage/life loss]
    2 + 4 + 8 = infinite damage [6 total combinations]
    1 + 3 + 8 = infinite damage [12 total combinations]
    2 + 3 + 5/6 + 8 = infinite damage [18 total combinations]

    One combo can infinite mill, and another can sacrifice all opponents' permanents, so I can tutor for those specific things if I find myself in that situation. Main initiators of the combos are Living Death, Sneak Attack, and Sedris.

    EDIT: Added Zealous Conscripts to group 7, as he can get a soft win con with infinite triggers of his ETB ability as well.
    EDIT: Updated groups with new cards, and bounce lands I missed before.
    Psarketos likes this.
  16. Terentius The Instigator

    More feedback from multiplayer: I think I fell in love with those Annihilator guys because I was winning with soft locks by getting an early reanimation on one in 1 vs 1 matches. Multiplayer I've had much less success with them. So I'm trying a build where I drop them and go all in on Kiki/Deadeye combos:

    -1 Bane of Bala Ged
    -1 Artisan of Kozilek
    -1 It that Betrays
    -1 Pathrazer of Ulamog
    -1 Ulamog's Crusher
    -1 Teferi's Veil
    -1 Body Double
    -1 Flayer of the Hatebound
    -1 Spellbound Dragon
    -1 Jin Gitaxias, Core Augur
    -1 Essence Flux
    -1 The Scarab God

    +1 Gibbering Fiend
    +1 Frost Titan
    +1 Bogardan Hellkite
    +1 Splinter Twin
    +1 Burning Sun's Avatar
    +1 Great Whale
    +1 Extractor Demon - Oh, I can't win by dealing damage? DIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    +1 Deep Analysis
    +1 Endless Sands
    +1 Kalastria Healer
    +1 Nevermaker
    +1 Grave Titan

    I've edited the above post with the new combo allocations. Hopefully I can find a spot for these guys I cut in the jank Madness Commander I'm working on.
    Mooseman likes this.
  17. Terentius The Instigator

    -1 Terminate
    -1 Dark Withering
    +1 Venser, Shaper Savant - belongs in group 7 from the above post, plus great utility
    +1 Body Double

    This deck has been performing well. Able to steal some games from my competitive playgroup, as long as I remember how the combos work. I've been thinking about putting in a small number of counter spells, just to protect my critical plays. Not sure what to cut at this point, though.
    Psarketos likes this.
  18. Psarketos Metacompositional Theoretician

    Venser is a great card. My vote is for +Spell Pierce - use the competitive obsession with efficiency against them ;)
    Terentius likes this.

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