[Grixis Commander] Mr. Steal Yo Girl

Discussion in 'Casual Decks/Variants/Etc' started by Terentius, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. Terentius The Instigator

    One of the main things that I key in on when building a Commander deck is availability of distinct cards that do the same or similar effects; i.e. lots of token generating/supporting cards in a token deck. I think this is a common practice for this format.

    This deck started as me wanting to engage in shenanigans by throwing together a bunch of red cards that say "gain control of target creature until end of turn" (of which there are many), which I would use to attack my opponent with the temporarily-stolen creature if able/suitable, and then sacrifice it for my own benefit via various outlets before relinquishing control of the creature at end of turn. A deck built to make friends, for sure.

    I originally wanted to lump hilarious cards like Fling and Crumbling Colossus into the deck... but then I started wanting to win instead. Latest build is more around Marchesa reanimation, used in conjunction with the creature-stealing concept. Another selling point is that these "take control of" plays beat indestructible, though not hexproof (for effects that target).

    Current decklist is here.

    Single-instance steal one creature:
    1x Act of Treason
    1x Limits of Solidarity (AKH)
    1x Mark of Mutiny (M13)
    1x Portent of Betrayal (THS)
    1x Press into Service
    1x Ray of Command (DDM)
    1x Threaten (10E)
    1x Wrangle (AER)

    Repeatable steal one creature, or single-instance steal multiple creatures:
    1x Captivating Crew
    1x Domineering Will (C14)
    1x Dominus of Fealty (CMD)
    1x Mob Rule (FRF)
    1x Molten Primordial (GTC)

    Single-instance sacrifice outlet:
    1x Bone Splinters (MM3)
    1x Culling the Weak (EXO)
    1x Infernal Plunge (ISD)
    1x Innocent Blood (DDR)
    1x Sacrifice (3ED)

    Repeatable sacrifice outlet:
    1x Ashnod's Altar (EMA)
    1x Carrion Feeder (EMA)
    1x Greater Gargadon (MMA)
    1x Grimgrin, Corpse-Born *F* (CMA)

    Sacrifice fodder:
    1x Bloodghast (ZEN)
    1x Nether Traitor (TSP)
    1x Prized Amalgam (SOI)
    1x Reassembling Skeleton (MM2)

    Makes sacrifice fodder repeatedly:
    1x Cryptbreaker (EMN)
    1x Grave Titan (C14)
    1x Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet (OGW)
    1x Lord of the Void (GTC)
    1x Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh (HOU)
    1x Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker (M13)
    1x Ophiomancer (C13)
    1x Sneak Attack (EMA)

    Reanimation, +1/+1 counter things for Marchesa, and related things:
    1x Animate Dead (EMA)
    1x Drana, Liberator of Malakir (BFZ)
    1x Dread Return (DDQ)
    1x Flayer of the Hatebound (DKA)
    1x Marchesa, the Black Rose *CMDR*
    1x Necromancy (VIS)
    1x Olivia, Mobilized for War (SOI)
    1x Sheoldred, Whispering One (NPH)
    1x Unspeakable Symbol (SCG)
    1x Victimize (EMA)

    Otherwise benefits from death of creatures:
    1x Butcher of Malakir (C15)
    1x Desecration Demon (MM3)
    1x Dictate of Erebos (JOU)
    1x Harvester of Souls (CN2)
    1x Ob Nixilis, Unshackled (M15)
    1x Thraximundar (C13)

    Other utility:
    1x Chaos Warp (C16)
    1x Compulsive Research (MM3)
    1x Dark Ritual *F* (V13)
    1x Faithless Looting (EMA)
    1x Indulgent Tormentor (DDR)
    1x Ob Nixilis Reignited (DDR)
    1x Treasonous Ogre (CNS)

    Lands and mana rocks:
    1x Arcane Lighthouse (C14)
    1x Bloodfell Caves (EMA)
    1x Cinder Barrens (HOU)
    1x Command Tower (C16)
    1x Cradle of the Accursed (AKH)
    1x Crosis's Catacombs (PLS)
    1x Crumbling Necropolis (MM3)
    1x Crypt of Agadeem (C14)
    1x Dimir Aqueduct (PCA)
    1x Dimir Guildgate (MM3)
    1x Dimir Signet (MM3)
    1x Dismal Backwater (C16)
    1x Evolving Wilds (AKH)
    1x Geier Reach Sanitarium (EMN)
    1x Grixis Panorama (C13)
    1x High Market (C15)
    1x Island (AKH)
    1x Izzet Boilerworks (C16)
    1x Izzet Guildgate (MM3)
    1x Izzet Signet (MM3)
    1x Jet Medallion (C14)
    1x Miren, the Moaning Well (SOK)
    1x Mortuary Mire (BFZ)
    3x Mountain (AKH)
    1x Nephalia Academy (EMN)
    1x Phyrexian Tower (USG)
    1x Rakdos Carnarium (C16)
    1x Rakdos Guildgate (MM3)
    1x Rakdos Signet (C17)
    1x Ruby Medallion (C14)
    1x Skyline Cascade (BFZ)
    1x Sol Ring (C16)
    4x Swamp (AKH)
    1x Swiftwater Cliffs (DDS)
    1x Unknown Shores (OGW)
    1x Vivid Crag (C15)
    1x Vivid Creek (C15)
    1x Vivid Marsh (C15)
  2. Terentius The Instigator

    Added deck annotations. As I was making them, I realized that many of the cards can do more than the role they're allotted to; Sneak Attack cheats out creatures for sacrifice and/or easy reanimation tricks with Marchesa, Dread Return sacrifices on flashback and reanimates, Olivia can dump creatures into the graveyard for reanimation and put counters, etc.. This is good, right?
    Psarketos likes this.
  3. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Looks like a lot of fun to play.
    Terentius likes this.
  4. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Burnt Offering is strictly better than Sacrifice, although the difference is usually very minor.

    And yes, it does look fun.
    Terentius likes this.
  5. Terentius The Instigator

    Nice! Hadn't seen this card before. I'll definitely swap it, or maybe run both.
  6. Terentius The Instigator

    Also, I'm working on a Grixis Sedris deck, so cards like Feldon of the Third Path, Kiki-Jiki, and Zealous Conscripts are in that deck over this one.
  7. Terentius The Instigator

    Tentative adjustments:

    -1 Lord of the Void - less consistent ROI
    -1 Ob Nixilis, Reignited - good, but want to try out something with greater potential
    -1 Dark Ritual

    +1 Grave Betrayal - Been in my binder forever, excited to try it out! High CMC though.
    +1 Necropolis Regent - consistent +1/+1 counters
    +1 Burnt Offering
  8. Terentius The Instigator

    I was originally hoping this could be combination beatdown and creature control. And that idea isn't totally flawed, but the beatdown part of this particular deck isn't very strong, so I'm trying out a build where I go for more consistent creature control, and also some noncreature control (will update original post later):

    +1 Coldsteel Heart
    +1 River Kelpie
    +1 Glen Elendra Archmage
    +1 Aura Thief
    +1 Cytoplast Manipulator
    +1 Puppeteer Clique
    +1 Reef Worm
    +1 Bloodgift Demon
    +1 Cyclonic Rift - this card is too good in Commander not to have
    +1 Mikaeus, the Unhallowed
    +1 Overtaker
    +1 Insurrection

    -1 Bone Splinters
    -1 Innocent Blood
    -1 Sneak Attack
    -1 Limits of Solidarity
    -1 Ray of Command
    -1 Dominus of Fealty - Sweet card, but color requirements are hard, and this deck doesn't have much on-demand reanimation
    -1 Reassembling Skeleton - Thanks for your service, little guy
    -1 Desecration Demon
    -1 Indulgent Tormentor
    -1 Nicol Bolas, God Pharaoh

    Disappointingly, the list ended up looking very similar to the EDHREC for Marchesa. I may make a poor man's version of this deck that sticks to the idea described in the original post.
  9. Psarketos Active Member

    Terentius, I was recently asked to make a Commander deck after a long time away from thinking about the format. What kind of time scale, in turns, does the deck you are outlining expect to take to win as a general average? Commander deck power scale seems all over the place to me, particularly given the wide range of consistency from deck to deck, so I am attempting to find the right casual point of, "will sometimes show off interesting things without being offensively powerful," and I really have no idea where that is going to sit as a measure of turns developing in a game. Thanks for any help you can provide!
  10. Terentius The Instigator

    Honestly, this deck isn't fast. It's basically a big Timmy trap, where I try to repeatedly steal my opponent's best creatures permanently, or just get rid of creatures that are bothering me. So we're likely talking 10+ turns to even start winning, though I may start to get board control or a card drawing engine around turn 6. There's no infinite combos. My biggest play would be Insurrection + free sac outlet + Dethrone triggers + Marchesa triggers.

    I think it fits this description:
    and it is indeed fun to play, as others have mentioned. But my most competitive playgroup advised that if you want to win in Commander, you should go for infinite combo or "stacks", which I believe means hard control on all opponents; cards like Spreading Plague and Grand Arbiter Augustin IV.

    By comparison, my Combo-animator has maybe a 20% chance to combo out by turn 5, and roughly a 50% chance to combo out by turn 7.
  11. Psarketos Active Member

    Definitely not a fan of control decks generally, and avoiding that sort of thing for fun Commander games specifically! If the general expectation for a non-competitive game is that it will go a dozen turns, that should be enough for Surrak Alone to throw some interesting things onto the battlefield. Turn 7 coinflip does not sound terrible either, as it leaves half the games with a bit more extension and allows the rare amazing draw of my own to not seem uncivil. Thank you!
  12. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    At some point in another thread, I covered the history of the term. It's rather weird...

    JP Meyer built a red Workshop deck in Type 1 in 2001. It mostly won by disrupting opponents and then beating them down with Juggernaut, Su-Chi, and Masticore. He named it "Stacker 2: The World's Strongest Fat Burner." There was no "Stacker 1" deck. The name came from a heavily over-advertised product that was all over television at the time. So it was a silly reference to a TV commercial.

    In 2003, Workshop prison decks started cropping up, using mana denial and often exploiting the fact that you'd be dumping the contents of your own hand while your opponent was stuck with a full hand (Trade Secrets, Oath of Scholars, Windfall, Black Vise, etc.). This evolved into a blue/red deck that became notorious for beating the then-infamous Gro-A-Tog deck. Because it was the "solution" for dealing with the most dominant deck at the time, and because it was more expensive than other Type 1 decks at the time it was called "The Four-Thousand Dollar Solution." That was abbreviated "TK4$S" and then "$T4KS." Also, yes, Type 1 decks back then costed less than $4,000. However, players were pronouncing the deck's name out loud as "Stacks" and it was sometimes just being spelled "Stax." Considering that the deck used the card Smokestack as a key part of its strategy, it was probably inevitable that players who weren't in on the original reference would assume that the name "Stax" came from the card Smokestack. And it kind of did anyway: it's not like the players who devised the name $T4KS as a reference to "Stacker 2" didn't know that Smokestack was in their deck. Surely it was part of the inspiration.

    It wasn't long before Trinisphere was printed, and then the original "$T4KS" was abandoned for "Trinistax." Over time, "Stax" became sort of synonymous in some people's minds with "prison."
    Psarketos likes this.

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