A Commanding Challenge: Edric, Spymaster of Trest: 40-Turn Clock (Simic Commander Deck Tech)
32 Colour Combinations – The Premise
What exactly is this “challenge”? In short, the idea is to build a Commander deck for every colour combination. That means a deck for each mono colour (including colourless), each Ravnica Guild, each Shard/Tarkir clan, each Nephilim combination, and of course WUBRG or five colour.
This appealed to me on two levels. Firstly, I love brewing for Commander. Building decks is just so fun to me, whether it’s “Good Stuff” decks or decks with a theme or even just a sub-theme, something about it is so relaxing.
Secondly, I love the challenge that it provides, from choosing an interesting general for each deck, to trying to make them play differently and enjoyably. There are so many things to think about when building for Commander.
I decided that instead of just building these lists and leaving them to gather dust in my Tappedout folder, I’d write an article for each one. I highly recommend you try this out too. I’m only about half way through the decks and I’ve enjoyed it immensely.
I am not planning to do these articles in any particular order so I hope that they don’t get too confusing!
Overview of the deck
This deck is a play on an old Canadian Highlander strategy known as ”Flying Men” after the card with the same name, Flying Men. The deck plays a series of cheap, small evasive creatures such as Triton Shorestalker, Gudul Lurker and for a faster kill against combo decks, Blighted Agent.
As well as a swathe of cheap threats, the deck runs cheap interaction and permission.
The deck’s counterspell suite has a very low converted mana cost, meaning that you can play a number of small creatures while also easily holding up mana to keep them protected. The low costs go as low as Force of Will and Pact of Negation which you can cast for free, allowing you to go incredibly aggressive while also having a buffer of protection against your opponent’s Wrath of Gods. There are also some one mana counterspells like Abjure and Swan Song, curving up to the wide utility of Cryptic Command.
Here is the full decklist:
The deck’s main gameplay goal
This deck’s main goal is to draw a million cards through Edric, Spymaster of Trest, Coastal Piracy, and Bident of Thassa, allowing you to play multiple creatures each turn and wear your opponents down with a stream of 1/1s. As well as creatures, this will allow you to draw into your removal and counterspells, which will help to keep your army alive and kicking.
Since you have to deal 120 damage in total, unlike the Canadian Highlander deck which only has to deal 20, a bunch of 1/1s probably won’t be able to close out the game, so the deck runs a few other win conditions to help deal that much damage. The fastest of these win conditions is probably Triumph of the Hordes. This is definitely the best way to win with the team of evasive 1/1s, as it means you only need to hit each player with four creatures to deal enough infect damage to knock them out.
After Triumph of the Hordes, the next fastest win condition is probably Psychosis Crawler. This is a card that I normally try to avoid putting into decks as playing it turns you into a huge target, and if you can’t win with it in one fell swoop it tends to get you killed. This card works great with Edric, Spymaster of Trest as it effectively means that each creature that hits a player drains your opponents and causes Crawler to grow. As well as Psychosis Crawler, Throne of the God-Pharaoh is another powerful draining card that allows you to suck the life from the table based on how many creatures you attacked with.
The last of the win conditions are Beastmaster Ascension, Biomass Mutation and Hour of Eternity. These all turn your tiny army into huge, evasive beaters allowing you to close out games four or even five times faster than you would with your tiny one-drops. These will be priority targets to protect, as without them you are definitely going to struggle to win the game.
With the core of this deck’s curve being one mana, there is very little need for ramping as hard as some other decks. Instead, this deck runs Chrome Mox, Sol Ring and Thought Vessel to play Edric as early as possible and get into the swing of the deck’s core gameplay.
The other two ramp cards are Druid’s Repository which benefits from the core goal of the deck (attacking with lots of small creatures) and the new Growing Rites of Itlimoc (AKA Gaea’s Cradle). These cards both allow you to curve into your top end cards like Psychosis Crawler, Triumph of the Hordes, Hour of Eternity, and Notorious Throng.
Since almost all of the creatures have evasion, there is very little need to interact with your opponent’s creatures; however, there are noncreature permanents that need interaction. The removal in this deck has a wide range of targets. The majority of this removal hits both creatures and other permanents, with Krosan Grip being the only piece of removal that doesn’t hit creatures. However, it’s powerful due to the inability for opponents to react to it in any way (very good against the increasingly popular Paradox Engine).
Getting More Cards
This section is kind of self-explanatory since it is the main goal of the deck. The core of this deck’s card draw is in the command zone tagged onto Edric, Spymaster of Trest, this is the reason why there are so many evasive, cheap creatures in the deck. Edric, Bident of Thassa, and Coastal Piracy all allow you to turn your cheap creatures into card advantage engines that get you so far ahead of your opponents that they find it very difficult to catch up.
The other benefit of having a bunch of 1/1s is that they’re perfect fodder for Skullclamp, an incredibly powerful card draw engine that turns each of your creatures into 2 cards for 1 mana. This deck also has a way to turn its mana into cards in case of land flooding through Kefnet the Mindful and River Hoopoe, this means that if you do draw too many lands, it won’t take much time to find threats.
Fun Cards and Interactions
This deck runs some ways to protect itself. The best of these is arguably Meekstone. Pretty much all of the creatures in this deck (bar Kefnet, Psychosis Crawler and Vendilion Clique) meet the condition of less than 3 power while a lot of Commander decks focus on big powerful spells and creatures, most of which are larger than 3 power.
The evasive nature of the creatures also allows the deck to benefit from Bloodforged Battle-Axe. This equipment can quickly get out of hand as it allows you to equip a number of these to one of the unblockable creatures and take chunks out of your opponent’s life totals (especially effective with Blighted Agent and Inkmoth Nexus).
This deck is perfect for those who enjoy playing aggressive but want to play an unconventional version of an aggro deck (no Red cards). The benefit of cutting red and using a lot of small evasive creatures instead means that the problem red aggressive Commander decks suffer from, having their creatures chump blocked, is negated. The other benefit of having blue allows you to protect yourself from Wraths, something that low to the ground, aggressive decks often can’t recover from.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about this deck and if you have any feedback, please let me know!