Welcome back to Commander Exercise, the series where I build EDH decks for fun and to improve my deck building skills.
For this episode of the series, I got asked by my friend rairaizetsu to build a deck with a card that can only be found in the Midnight Hunt Set and Collector Boosters: Lynde, Cheerful Tormentor.
To be honest, before making a research to build this deck I didn’t know that this many Curses existed! I believed that they were relegated only to the unlucky Planeswalker cycle and the new ones that came out with Midnight Hunt!
With all these Curses I decided to build some kind of Enchantress deck in Grixis colors! Really exciting as it’s a color combination that excludes the two colors that usually have the most enchantment support.
Playing the right Curses on the right player is the key of the game!
The deck is a control deck that, as a main plan, uses the Curses to force the other players to mess their boards and force them to attack each other to reap the benefits given by this type of enchantment.
In the meantime we are going to pillowfort ourselves, getting ready for the late game where our opponents’ boards are going to get crazier. After setting up our board we will try to win with the benefits from the Curses, by pinging our opponents thanks to a combination of some Constellations ability and Lynde recursion, or even with Commander Damage.
Lynde has the most utility in the mid to late game, where she gives recursion to our Curse and can net us some card advantage, but also at the beginning she can act as a Pillowfort piece thanks to both the nice toughness and Deathtouch.
The deck comes around 250$ and you can find the full decklist by clicking here!
The ramp package is mostly composed by mana rocks of our colors but we start with the Curses already from here: Curse of Opulence can be put on a player to create Treasure each time it gets attacked; I would usually put this on the player that is ramping the most so to try force the more “needy” opponents to attack him for mana.
When we are going to play Cloud Key we are obviously going to choose Enchantment to have a discount on all our curses.
The main section of our deck! Curses for everyone! We have various different types and with various different activation times; some will trigger when the enchanted player is attacked, others at every upkeep, some have some type of trigger and others will be always active.
As I said before: the deck needs a bit of practice to run it smoothly as you need to develop the knowledge of which Curse is better on which player; the fact that our enchantment influences only a single player at the time they need some thoughts before getting placed. Some examples: Curse of Obsession is really bad on an aggro player as they tend to always empty their hands rather quickly and this will give them only more fuel… on the other hand on a Control deck it will empty their hand at their hand step reducing the amount of Control they can do. Another curse it could appear easy to place but that instead needs some thinking is Curse of Unbinding as you need to ponder if the creature of their deck could still be useful on our field or if it’s better to put it on another player.
We also run cards like Mirrormade to copy our Curse; I usually like to keep the copying spell for the late game where I can use them to copy one of the curses that deal damage and put my opponents on a faster clock.
This deck is definitely light on creatures so we risk being overwhelmed by opponents that run a lot of them and so we are running these pieces to protect ourselves. The one I usually prefer to have on the field is Silent Arbiter as it lets only one creature attack and so if they try to attack us they can get it blocked by the Arbiter if it’s small or they will always have the danger of Lynde trading with everything they send in our direction.
The card advantage in this deck can be divided in three sub-sections: Curses, Graveyard Recursion and abusing Lynde’s abilities.
As per the name, Curses are in fact curses that will let us draw or tutor, like Curse of Verbosity.
The Graveyard Recursion are our emergency buttons; in case Lynde is not on the field and our curse gets removed we can use cards like Crystal Chimes to get them back.
Last but not least we have cards that we can use to generate card advantage by abusing Lynde’s abilities. These are cards like Infernal Tribute that will let us sacrifice one of aura Auras for something… then we will get the aura back with Lynde and we can move it from us to another player, drawing us two more cards.
Here we have various other curses plus staple removals and counterspells.
Cards that don’t fall into this category are Blightcaster, Doomwake Giant and Thoughtrender Lamia that will instead interact with our opponents hand/board when we play some enchantment. Pay attention however that Blightcaster triggers only while we cast the enchantment while the others two acts on the ETBs… and so they will trigger even each time Lynde brings a Curse back to the field.
Basing our plan on having Curse on the field, having a card like Callaphe that can make it a bit harder to target them with removals is nice.
Another card that is nice to protect is Lynde as she enables various shenanigans and makes it really hard to fully remove our Curses, so we are running Greaves and Boots to equip her with.
Forgeborn Oreads and Grim Guardian are creatures that will let us ping our opponents when our Curses enter the battlefield and together with Lynde they can ping opponents to death; as a plus Oreads also work as a removal.
Geyadrone Dihada is a powerful piece of control that we can use as a pillowfort effect thanks to her static ability and the corruption counters we are going to distribute around with her, plus taking control of our opponents creatures or planeswalkers can generate some havoc we can benefit from.
Helm of the Gods is our enable for a Voltron strategy as Lynde will get a boost for each of our Curses in play, giving us the possibility of knocking out some of our opponents in a few attacks.
The manabase have nothing special and are only some lands in the Grixis colors. The only utility land I find worth mentioning is Rogue’s Passage: a lot of times being able to swing some small damage, little by little, will be clutch to win games and the Passage can also let us Lynde connect every time if we are going for the Voltron finish.
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.