Welcome back to Commander Exercise, the series where I build EDH decks for fun and to improve my deck building skills.
This time I decided to take on the request I got by Reddit user IceDragon77 and build a deck with Oswald Fiddlebender!
Oswald got my interest when I was able to find it during my Prerelease event. As an ex-Birthing Pod player in Modern, I couldn’t not notice the potential of this Commander! Oswald is basically a Birthing Pod for artifact, letting us tutor our deck for them by sacrificing one with a lesser mana cost. This can let us assemble various artifact combos by sacrificing and chaining the right artifacts.
Oswald is the optimal Commander to lead an artifact deck that tries to assemble a Combo as fast as possible to win the game with it. By having a tutor right in the Command zone we can rely on Combos that require a lot of pieces without the fear of not being able to pull them out.
Starting with one or some of the combo pieces in hand is always nice but with Oswald you don’t have to fear it if you don’t! He will start looking through your deck and find them for you!
The deck was built with a 250$ budget in mind and you can find the full decklist by clicking here.
Let’s explain a bit the various combos before going to the full analysis of the deck.
Basalt Monolith + Rings of Brighthearth
A really easy combo to start creating infinite mana; we only need these two cards on the field and two generic mana.
- Starting Point (2 mana in pool)
- Tap the Monolith for mana (3 colorless Mana in pool + 2 other mana)
- Use 3 mana for the untap ability of the Monolith and the other 2 to copy it with the rings (0 mana in pool)
- Untap the Monolith and, while the second untap ability is still on the stack, tap it for mana (3 colorless mana in pool)
- Let the second untap resolve and tap the Monolith again (6 colorless mana in pool)
After point 5 we are back in the same situation we were before point 3 but with one more mana in our pool. We can continue to do this loop for infinite colorless mana.
Krark-Clan Ironworks + Scrap Trawler + 2 Junk Diver / Workshop Assistant / Myr Retriever + 0-cost Artifact
This is another combo that will net us Infinite Mana. Let’s say we have Ironworks, Scrap Trawler, Junk Diver, Workshop Assistant and Memnite on the board (all the sacrifice are done with the Ironworks:
- Sacrifice Memnite to the Ironworks (2 colorless mana in pool)
- Sacrifice Junk Diver and we get the Memnite back in hand (4 colorless mana in pool)
- Cast Memnite and sacrifice it (6 colorless mana in pool)
- Sacrifice Workshop Assistant and we get back the Junk Diver with its trigger and the Memnite with Scrap Trawler’s one (8 colorless mana in pool)
- Cast Memnite and Junk Diver (5 colorless mana in pool)
- Sacrifice Memnite (7 colorless mana in pool)
- Sacrifice Junk Diver and we get back the Workshop Assistant with its trigger and the Memnite with Scrap Trawler’s one (9 colorless mana in pool)
- Cast Memnite and Workshop Assistant (6 colorless mana in pool)
- Sacrifice Memnite (8 colorless mana in pool)
- Sacrifice Workshop Assistant and we get back the Junk Diver with its trigger and the Memnite with Scrap Trawler’s one (10 colorless mana in pool)
If you look at passage 4 and 10 we are doing the same exact things but we have 2 more mana in the pool, a clear sign that we are netting infinite mana if we continue to repeat these passages. When we are in infinite mana we can start to sacrifice our creatures with cards Blasting Station or Grinding Station instead (while still repeating that loop) to finish off our opponents.
We can also use an artifact with mana value 1 instead of the 0 one to do this infinite loop but we won’t net any mana (unless we use some mana rock like Sol Ring and we tap it for mana before sacrificing it)… however if we use cards like Chromatic Star or Terrarion we will be able to infinitely draw, letting us look for a 0 mana artifact to go infinite and a Walking Ballista where to sink all the infinite mana!
Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle + Scrap Trawler / Junk Diver / Workshop Assistant / Myr Retriever + Blasting Station / Grinding Station / Krark-Clan Ironworks + 0-cost Artifact
This is a little harder to pull out as Teshar isn’t an artifact, but the loop is easier. For the explanation we will use Myr Retriever, Blasting Station and Memnite
We have to have all of the pieces on the field and the 0-cost Artifact in hand.
- Sacrifice Myr Retriever, pinging something with the Blasting Station.
- Cast Memnite, triggering Teshar and bringing Myr Retriever back to the field. Blasting Station will untap
- Memnite resolves and, when it enters the battlefield, Blasting Station will trigger and another of its untap ability will get on the stack
- With the ability still on the stack, tap the Station sacrificing the Memnite.
- Let the ability resolve and untap the Station. Sacrifice Myr Retriever and get back Memnite in hand.
After point 5 we are in the same situation as before point 2, with Memnite in hand and the Retrieve in the graveyard. We can continuously do this loop to ping our opponents to death with Blasting Station, mill them with Grinding Station or have infinite mana with the Ironworks.
After this parenthesis about the combo we can get back analyzing the various cards of the deck as we usually do.
Various mana rocks and discounter for the Artifacts. Nothing special.
We run different 0-mana artifacts like Astral Cornucopia to be able to have free spells to use for the combo. Also rocks that cost 2 and that can be immediately tapped for mana, like Fellwar Stone, can be used in the second combo but we won’t net any extra mana but only infinite enters the battlefield for our permanents.
Solemn Simulacrum is really nice in the deck, as we can play it to get a land and then sacrifice it with our Commander to draw and tutor for an artifact, however there aren’t important pieces for us that come at a mana value of 5 but we will still be able to look for some general utility.
Having the possibility to untap Oswald to use his ability multiple times in a turn is really nice and so we run these cards to help us do this. Staff of Domination is another tool we can use to untap Oswald or, if we have infinite mana, we can use it to go infinite with life or draw one one of our combos.
These are our artifact creatures that don’t have the role of card advantage or removals.
We have various control elements like Hope of Ghirapur and Lodestone Golem and 0-mana creatures to use for our combo.
Myr Welder gives us some nice recursion by being able to replicate the activated ability of the artifacts we have in the graveyard and we exile with it, working like a worst Necrotic Ooze. Walking Ballista is another sink for our infinite mana that can close the games for us.
These are some general utility artifacts that we can use to close the game like the two Stations or as silver bullets against certain types of deck like Grafdigger’s Cage.
Altar of the Brood can transform one of our combos that is not netting extra mana in a way to close games by milling all our opponents.
Damping Sphere can go against our combo but luckily we can easily sacrifice it to leave us free of comboing off.
Most of the cards here are cards that give us recursion like Scrap Trawler and the other pieces of our combo but we also have some general white staples like Mangara. All these recursion makes the deck really resilient to removals! I had a game while testing it where I was able to get back and recast my final combo piece after it was countered three times!
Treasure Keeper is really nice in the deck as all our important cards cost 3 or less and so a lot of the time it will be able to get us one of our combo pieces or at least a card to pod into them with Oswald.
The staple removals of white but also some niche ones that work really well with the deck, like Dispatch.
Glass Casket and Portable Hole are two small removals that we can use in the early turns to slow down one of our opponents but then we can sacrifice them to tutor for one of our combo pieces.
Cataclysmic Gearhulk is a really nice way to partially wrath the board while also saving us some pieces; the plus is that it can be tutored by our Commander.
Oswald is really an important piece to make the deck work and so it is important for us to have a way to protect it from our opponents. Cards like Greaves and Boots are optimal to do this as they are artifacts that we can tutor out of the deck with our Commander.
Bronze Guardian is another way to protect all our artifacts and that can be tutored by Oswald… while also being a decent beater!
We run mostly Plains or artifact lands (or that turns into artifact) that we can sacrifice to Oswald to get some of our small artifacts.
Buried Ruin will get us some of our artifacts from the deck, while Inventors’ Fair will tutor for one of them from the deck.
War Room is another way to get some card draw that works really well in the deck as we are running a single color.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know how you would have built it differently, what you will have added and what not…
Also don’t forget to tell me what I should try to build next.