Welcome to the Space Jam [EDH]


The Tentacled One
It's my final EDH deck of 2022. For a while, I had been operating under the assumption that I'd revisit God-Eternal Oketra again. I wanted to do one more mono-white deck, and other commanders were not jumping out at me as interesting. Reviewing my options, my interest was piqued when I noticed Ao. Twice this year, I used Ao as a maindeck card to strong effect. And so, at the last minute, I came up with a list that I think I'll like. Here's hoping that I get to recur my commander so very, very many times.

1 Ao, the Dawn Sky

1 Academy Rector
1 Adarkar Valkyrie
1 Altar of Dementia
1 Angelic Renewal
1 Ao, the Dawn Sky
1 Archaeomancer's Map
1 Argivian Find
1 Ashnod's Altar
1 Auriok Salvagers
1 Boreas Charger
1 Breath of Life
1 Brilliant Restoration
1 Brought Back
1 Cauldron of Souls
1 Chromatic Sphere
1 Chromatic Star
1 Conjurer's Bauble
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Deep Gnome Terramancer
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Esper Sentinel
1 Faith's Reward
1 False Prophet
1 Fiend Hunter
1 Flagstones of Trokair
1 Generous Gift
1 Hall of Heliod's Generosity
1 Invoke Justice
1 Jailbreak
1 Kami of False Hope
1 Karmic Guide
1 Land Tax
1 Late to Dinner
1 Lifeline
1 Lion's Eye Diamond
1 Lotus Bloom
1 Lotus Petal
1 Loyal Retainers
1 Mana Vault
1 Maze of Ith
1 Miraculous Recovery
1 Mirage Mirror
1 Mirror of the Forebears
1 Mistveil Plains
1 Monk Idealist
1 Mother of Runes
1 Mox Diamond
1 Mox Tantalite
1 Pearl Medallion
27 Plains
1 Planar Birth
1 Pursuit of Knowledge
1 Recruiter of the Guard
1 Reinforcements
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Restoration Specialist
1 Resurrection
1 Reveillark
1 Scroll Rack
1 Seal of Cleansing
1 Second Sunrise
1 Serra Ascendant
1 Sevinne's Reclamation
1 Sigil of the New Dawn
1 Sol Ring
1 Sol Talisman
1 Storm of Souls
1 Strip Mine
1 Sudden Salvation
1 Sun Titan
1 Tragic Arrogance
1 Triumphant Reckoning
1 Wasteland
1 Zuran Orb


The Tentacled One
I have gotten to have zero fun with this deck, and I'm actually really irritated about it. Some of my woes were just down to bad luck, but I also had a particular player disingenuously bringing in decks that are just much more competitive than what I'm building for. I either need to not play against that individual, or only do so with my higher-power decks. This was a waste of my time and not at all fair to my deck.


The Tentacled One
This deck won a game, and I have very mixed feelings about it.

So I had an opening hand of five lands and two creatures. Not great, but I topdecked Sol Ring and was able to cast Ao on turn 4. I had Land Tax, but my opponents never let me trigger it. On my next turn, I attacked with Ao, baiting an opponent with a flying blocker to trade. The opponent had a combat trick to save her creature, and I activated Mirage Mirror to copy Ao, getting triggers. The first one just grabbed Pursuit of Knowledge. The second one grabbed Chromatic Sphere, Lotus Bloom, Kami of False Hope, and Lion's Eye Diamond. Despite another opponent using Path to Exile on Ao after I used Loyal Retainers to bring it back, I was able to set things up so that I cast Monk Idealist, cracked Lion's Eye Diamond with Monk Idealist's trigger on the stack, sacrificed Pursuit of Knowledge to draw a fresh hand, and had Monk Idealist's trigger target Pursuit of Knowledge, getting it back for later use. I thought that this was a really cool play and a great use of Pursuit of Knowledge. Ao is a nice commander to make the card shine.

Well, I drew Auriok Salvagers and was able to Bomberman loops, generating infinite mana with Lion's Eye Diamond, drawing through my deck with Chromatic Sphere, and then milling my opponents out with Altar of Dementia. I believe that this was turn 7. There was some back-and-forth, and I'm not saying that this was a bad game or disappointment. But I'm torn because Ao interacts so well with so many cards that I think are cool, but the end result is that I just end up digging my way into an infinite combo.

Obviously I knew that Auriok Salvagers could go infinite with LED when I put the cards in the deck. It wasn't an accident. But this sort of decisive combo finish can make games end anticlimactically. It's a very real consequence of designing decks in the way I have been, and I've even taken steps to optimize this sort of thing in order to better compete with the high-power decks I see so often. But I'm left wondering what my goal is here. Putting Ao in the command zone and digging up infinite combos is not a consistent strategy and can't truly compete with high-power decks. It's also pretty oppressive against low-power decks. So the deck that makes me excited because it can make cards like Pursuit of Knowledge and Breath of Life look good is also one that almost certainly either wins in unfair blowouts or loses against superior opponents, with a vanishingly small middle ground.