Is It Dark In Here Or Is It Just Me? [EDH]


The Tentacled One
My next concoction for the West Coast Commander League. I continue to resist the temptation to bring in the most vicious combo decks I can think of. Points I can go for with this deck...

-Cast two "creature wrath effects" (basically kill or exile all creatures, with some fine print for clarification).
-Gain at least 15 life from effects that caused opponents to lose life.
-Be the first player to deal damage to an opponent.
-Finish the game never having chosen to block with a creature.
-Your commander is exactly two colors, have it in play and control three other nontoken multicolored permanents at the same time.
-Eliminate an opponent with a different opponent's commander.
-Eliminate two opponents with combat damage on two separate turns.

I came up with about 250 cards before I started making cuts to turn this into a real deck and it was not easy! I think I have enough gold cards, enough life-draining cards, and enough board wipes to have a decent chance at those points, while also having a reasonably coherent deck that could actually win games.

1x Ramses Overdark

1x All Is Dust
1x Arcane Denial
1x Arcane Laboratory
1x Black Sun's Zenith
1x Bloodchief Ascension
1x Cabal Coffers
1x Cemetery Puca
1x Chains of Mephistopheles
1x Command Tower
1x Consume Spirit
1x Counterspell
1x Damnation
1x Dark Petition
1x Dark Ritual
1x Dead Man's Chest
1x Death Watch
1x Decree of Pain
1x Demonic Tutor
1x Despondency
1x Dimir Doppelganger
1x Dragonlord Silumgar
1x Drain Life
1x Dream Tides
1x Elixir of Immortality
1x Evil Twin
1x Exsanguinate
1x False Demise
1x Force of Will
1x Hostage Taker
1x Icy Manipulator
1x Imperial Seal
10x Island
1x Launch
1x Lazav, Dimir Mastermind
1x Lim-Dul's Vault
1x Mana Drain
1x Mana Vault
1x Mana Web
1x Maze of Ith
1x Meekstone
1x Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1x Mistvein Borderpost
1x Morphic Pool
1x Mystical Tutor
1x Necropotence
1x Nether Void
1x Nevinyrral's Disk
1x No Mercy
1x Oona, Queen of the Fae
1x Overburden
1x Pendrell Mists
1x Polluted Delta
1x Rhystic Study
1x Rishadan Port
1x Shipwreck Singer
1x Smokestack
1x Sol Ring
1x Sphere of Resistance
1x Spreading Plague
1x Static Orb
1x Strip Mine
12x Swamp
1x Sygg, River Cutthroat
1x Tainted AEther
1x Talisman of Dominance
1x Tangle Wire
1x Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
1x Thawing Glaciers
1x The Abyss
1x The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1x Torpor Orb
1x Toxic Deluge
1x Trinisphere
1x Underground Sea
1x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1x Vampiric Tutor
1x Wasteland
1x Watery Grave
1x Winter Orb


The Tentacled One
Hit a bit of a snag with this. I was up late last night and realized that I've misplaced all of my copies of the card Smokestack. There are a few other cards in this list I've never owned and will hopefully pick up at my local LGS soon, but they're mostly new and should be in-stock. Smokestack, though, I should be able to find somewhere in my possession. A few years ago I built an entire Vintage Stax deck and was playing around with it. I had a full playset of the card and I looked in all of the likeliest places I could think of, but just couldn't find it. Really need to do a full sort of my cards again. Maybe sometime this summer. For now, I'd be pretty reluctant to buy a copy of Smokestack, seeing as I should already own a playset anyway. So if I can't find it, I'm thinking I'll just make a substitution for now. Until I'm sure that my copies of Smokestack are mysteriously lost, I'll make do without it. Annoying because I made some cuts on the basis of keeping a few cards in that are really good alongside Smokestack as well as having other uses (Launch and Oona, Queen of the Fae are both good cards, but as I was forced to trim more and more to get this list down to 100, I considered cutting them, then decided if I was keeping Smokestack in, I'd need to also keep more cards in that work well with it).

I'm vaguely considering Mana Breach, a card that I didn't even think of when I made a big list of possible inclusions. If there's space for it, it could be perfect for this kind of deck.

Now, where did I leave those Smokestacks?


The Tentacled One
Now, where did I leave those Smokestacks?
I hid them pretty well, but not well enough. I don't remember if the topic has ever come up at the CPA, but a while back I built and sleeved up a Vintage Stax deck I pulled from someone else's tournament report (I think it was from 2015). Didn't really have other Vintage decks to pilot it against and it wasn't really appropriate for most of the casual games I find myself in, so the deck saw little play. I had it in a deck box for a year or so before breaking it up for parts. Some of those parts ended up in Canadian Highlander decks, I think. At some point last year, I was running low on sleeves and had to de-sleeve a pile of leftover cards from the Vintage Stax deck. But I was too lazy to sort them back into my collection, so I left them on my bookshelf next to other cards (mostly Eternal Masters). When I moved, I loaded a bunch of those loose cards into an old plastic storage box (one of those thick boxes with compartments for storing small parts and stuff, and they just happen to be the right size for large stacks of Magic cards). Took me a while to investigate that thing, but I did. Mystery solved. Deck completed.

Goldfished it a couple of times last night. It's super slow and clunky.


The Tentacled One
Early on when making cuts and decisions in constructing this list, I noticed that blue/black control has no options for dealing with planeswalkers that aren't either overly narrow or inefficient. I've long held the deckbuilding philosophy that if you can't spot some glaring weaknesses, you dilute your deck trying to cover all possible bases. I made a calculated decision that because next month is the one with War of the Spark and would probably have a lot of planeswalker action, I could probably get away with having planeswalkers as a weakness. And then it turned out that one of the players I faced twice yesterday had asked to use his prerelease planeswalkers in his Atraxa Superfriends deck, and been given permission to do so by the organizer. In both games, the other players failed to help out in dealing with his planeswalkers, generally overreacting to my plodding disruption. And in the other game, I saw the Muldrotha player getting combo components into his graveyard, so I tutored up Tainted Aether, knowing that it would slow him down so much that he could easily be picked off. Of course, another player cast Bane of Progress and then ignored the infinite combo even after I pointed it out. So we lost to that.

I built my deck to be able to get points for the weekly rotating achievements and I scored absolutely none of them this time. I was assured that next month the points will be structured to incentivize more emphasis on building decks toward the themes. But at this point, I don't know that I care anymore. I've already been burned too many times trying to jump through those hoops. I can just look to find the most powerful decks that win on turn 7 as consistently as possible. It's what the majority of my opponents are basically going for anyway, but I can do it too, and I think I can do it better anyway.


The Tentacled One
Here I am, necromancying this thread. Well, the version I built last year, which was originally thrown together for the EDH game I played here at the CPA with Mooseman, turned out to be dramatically different from the weird nonsense in the first post of this thread. Sure, there's some overlap, as would be expected for this commander. But it's basically an entirely different deck. I never started a thread for the deck, and I reused the same name.

Well, I have put this deck back together again, and made some more changes. Hoping to try it out tonight, but we'll see...

Here's the list I ran in 2020...

1x Ramses Overdark

1x Arcane Denial
1x Arcane Lighthouse
1x Arcane Signet
1x Arcum's Astrolabe
1x Bitterblossom
1x Black Sun's Zenith
1x Casting of Bones
1x Chime of Night
1x Claws of Gix
1x Clever Impersonator
1x Coffin Queen
1x Counterspell
1x Crystal Chimes
1x Cyclonic Rift
1x Damnation
1x Dark Ritual
1x Dead Man's Chest
1x Death Watch
1x Decree of Pain
1x Demonic Tutor
1x Despondency
1x Dragonlord Silumgar
1x Elixir of Immortality
1x Evacuation
1x Ever After
1x Fabled Passage
1x Fallen Ideal
1x False Demise
1x Fool's Demise
1x Force of Will
1x Funeral March
1x Hostage Taker
1x Knight of the Ebon Legion
1x Launch
1x Lazav, Dimir Mastermind
1x Lightning Greaves
1x Lim-Dûl's Vault
1x Mana Drain
1x Mana Vault
1x Maze of Ith
1x Minion's Return
1x Murderous Rider
1x No Mercy
1x Order of Midnight
1x Pemmin's Aura
1x Private Research
1x Puppeteer Clique
1x Rhystic Study
1x River's Rebuke
1x Rootwater Matriarch
1x Scrying Sheets
1x Shadowmage Infiltrator
1x Sidisi, Undead Vizier
1x Sleeper's Guile
1x Slow Motion
15x Snow-Covered Island
14x Snow-Covered Swamp
1x Sol Ring
1x Stinging Licid
1x Strip Mine
1x Swan Song
1x Sygg, River Cutthroat
1x Talisman of Dominance
1x Thousand-Year Elixir
1x Toxic Deluge
1x Twilight Prophet
1x Unhallowed Pact
1x Unholy Indenture
1x Vampiric Link
1x Vampiric Tutor
1x Wasteland
1x Wayfarer's Bauble


The Tentacled One
I made some big changes to this deck a couple of days ago. Amusingly, the August 2021 list has some features in common with the April 2019 list and other features in common with the July 2020 list. More refinements will likely follow, but here's what I have so far...

-1 Arcane Signet
-1 Arcum's Astrolabe
-1 Bitterblossom
-1 Fabled Passage
-1 Hostage Taker
-1 Lazav, Dimir Mastermind
-1 Scrying Sheets
-1 Sleeper's Guile
-1 Slow Motion
-15 Snow-Covered Island
-14 Snow-Covered Swamp
-1 Sygg, River Cutthroat
-1 Unhallowed Pact
-1 Vampiric Link
+1 Backfire
+1 Enchantment Alteration
+1 Gaseous Form
+1 Hateful Eidolon
+15 Island
+1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
+1 Polluted Delta
+1 Rootwater Shaman
+1 Spirit Shackle
+14 Swamp
+1 Takklemaggot
+1 Underground Sea
+1 Venarian Gold
+1 Wall of Putrid Flesh

I probably tried to sneak too many Legends cards into this version of the deck, and might cut a couple of them later, but I'm not sure which ones yet, so we'll see. I am dissatisfied with the creature package, although I think it's better than the previous version. Here's my current list.

1 Arcane Denial
1 Arcane Lighthouse
1 Backfire
1 Black Sun's Zenith
1 Casting of Bones
1 Chime of Night
1 Claws of Gix
1 Clever Impersonator
1 Coffin Queen
1 Counterspell
1 Crystal Chimes
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Damnation
1 Dark Ritual
1 Dead Man's Chest
1 Death Watch
1 Decree of Pain
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Despondency
1 Dragonlord Silumgar
1 Elixir of Immortality
1 Enchantment Alteration
1 Evacuation
1 Ever After
1 Fallen Ideal
1 False Demise
1 Fool's Demise
1 Force of Will
1 Funeral March
1 Gaseous Form
1 Hateful Eidolon
15 Island
1 Knight of the Ebon Legion
1 Launch
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Lim-Dûl's Vault
1 Mana Drain
1 Mana Vault
1 Maze of Ith
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1 Minion's Return
1 Murderous Rider
1 No Mercy
1 Order of Midnight
1 Pemmin's Aura
1 Polluted Delta
1 Private Research
1 Puppeteer Clique
1 Rhystic Study
1 River's Rebuke
1 Rootwater Matriarch
1 Rootwater Shaman
1 Shadowmage Infiltrator
1 Sidisi, Undead Vizier
1 Sol Ring
1 Spirit Shackle
1 Stinging Licid
1 Strip Mine
14 Swamp
1 Swan Song
1 Takklemaggot
1 Talisman of Dominance
1 Thousand-Year Elixir
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Twilight Prophet
1 Underground Sea
1 Unholy Indenture
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Venarian Gold
1 Wall of Putrid Flesh
1 Wasteland
1 Wayfarer's Bauble