Welcome back to Commander Exercise, the series where I build EDH decks for fun and to improve my deck building skills.
This time I got asked by rairaizetsu on Instagram to build a deck with Grolnok, the Omnivore as a Commander.
What lore-wise is Gitrog‘s child we will be able to transform self-mill into card advantage and so we are going to use it as a wincon that will also give us more tools to play with.
Grolnok will net us card advantage by basically giving us three free cards from the top of our deck each time a Frog attacks… while also letting us play every card we are going to self-mill!
I see many players build Grolnok as a Frog deck but we are not going to do that here! We are instead going to focus completely on the self-mill part and try to win by emptying our library and then take the game home with a Laboratory Maniac effect. The deck also supports two combos that will give us a fast win… but more of these later when the cards will come up in the single card discussions.
The deck was built with a 250$ budget in mind and you can find the full decklist by clicking here.
The ramp part of the deck is composed mostly of mana dorks and rocks, some of them that will help even more by milling us, like Deranged Assistant.
The deck doesn’t run any Cultivate-like spell because, as you will see later, we are not running any basic lands in it. We are only going to play Nature’s Lore and Farseek as they let us grab specific land types.
The title here is self-explanatory of what the cards in this section are going to do. If we get to decide which player we are going to mill is always going to be us and we are going to enchant ourselves even with the curses. Many cards also bring other types of useful abilities, like Tamiyo, Collector of Tales that will protect our hand while also giving us the possibility of getting back from the graveyard a card we used or got destroyed.
Hermit Druid is why we are not going to run any basics, turning him into a way to fully mill our deck with a single activation, making it really easy for us to win with Grolnokj letting us cast everything we are going to mill.
Cephalid Illusionist is a piece of the other combo we are running… but more on it later when we find the other piece.
Winning with an empty library
These cards are all the LabMan effects that will give us a win when our library is empty. Not much to explain here.
These are all cards that will let us draw more on will give us some kind of top-deck manipulation that will also end up giving us more cards thanks to our Commander’s ability without directly milling. The more important ones here are cards like Eternal Witness that will let us recover cards from our graveyard, helping us resist removal and counterspells.
Being this deck more on the combo side of playing, having cards to control our opponents board states, protect our pieces and let us combo off uninterrupted… with cards like Winds of Rebuke that will still mill us while bouncing a permanent back to our opponents hand!
Muddle the Mixture is also a quite powerful card in this deck because with its Transmute we will be able to get Hermit Druid or any of our Combo pieces.
Our Commander is at the core of our strategy as it is the cards that will “store” all of our milled ones and that will still let us cast them. So protecting it and our Combo pieces is important to ensure our victory; these cards are here for that, with Whispersilk Cloak that will also let us swing our Commander freely for those extra three cards milled.
Lightning Graves in this deck is also a combo piece that will let us mill our whole deck with Cephalid Illusionist; we will simply have to move them between the Cephalid and our Commander to fully mill our deck… basically Cephalid Breakfast in Commander.
As anticipated before, the lands in this deck are all non-basic to let us fully mill ourselves with a single activation of Hermit Druid. We pack many different utility lands that will help us with their extra abilities.
Littjara Mirrolake can also help us win in the niche situation where our Thassa’s Oracle‘s ability gets countered by creating a copy of it… or a second Eternal Witness to recover another card from our graveyard.
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.