Deck Tech – Sedris, the Traitor King

Hi all, Crazy here taking over on a full-price EDH Deck Tech.

Today I’m going to be talking about my newest list which I’ve cooked up recently and have been having much success with. Ladies and Gents, allow me to introduce you to Sedris, the Traitor King.

Land (35)
 Blackcleave Cliffs
 Blood Crypt
 Bloodstained Mire
 Choked Estuary
 Command Tower
 Crosis’s Catacombs
 Desolate Lighthouse
 Dragonskull Summit
 Drowned Catacomb
 Foreboding Ruins
 Island
 Mountain
 Polluted Delta
 Reflecting Pool
 Reliquary Tower
 Rix Maadi, Dungeon Palace
 Shivan Reef
 Smoldering Marsh
 Steam Vents
 Sulfur Falls
 Sunken Hollow
 Swamp
 Tainted Isle
 Tainted Peak
 Temple of Deceit
 Temple of Malice
 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
 Watery Grave

Enchantment (6)
 Animate Dead
 Flameshadow Conjuring
 Necromancy
 Sneak Attack
 Teferi’s Veil
 Warstorm Surge

Creature (25)
 Archaeomancer
 Body Double
 Corpse Connoisseur
 Deadeye Navigator
 Disciple of Bolas
 Dragon Mage
 Dragonlord Silumgar
 Dualcaster Mage
 Flayer of the Hatebound
 Havengul Lich
 It That Betrays
 Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
 Lord of the Void
 Massacre Wurm
 Master of Cruelties
 Mulldrifter
 Nicol Bolas
 Nightscape Familiar
 Rune-Scarred Demon
 Sepulchral Primordial
 Sheoldred, Whispering One
 Shriekmaw
 Sidisi, Undead Vizier
 Solemn Simulacrum
 Thraximundar

Sorcery (9)
 Blasphemous Act
 Buried Alive
 Dark Petition
 Diabolic Tutor
 Faithless Looting
 Living Death
 Reanimate
 Toxic Deluge
 Twinflame

Instant (12)
 Capsize
 Cauldron Dance
 Counterflux
 Counterspell
 Cyclonic Rift
 Entomb
 Fact or Fiction
 Grixis Charm
 Rakdos Charm
 Savage Beating
 Spell Crumple
 Word of Seizing

Artifact (10)
 Chromatic Lantern
 Conjurer’s Closet
 Dimir Signet
 Izzet Signet
 Mana Vault
 Rakdos Signet
 Sol Ring
 Sundial of the Infinite
 Thran Dynamo
 Whip of Erebos

Planeswalker (2)
 Dack Fayden
 Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

So there’s the list – But before I get onto the breakdown I want to make sure we’re all on the same page here. So first…

Rules Dump

The primary mechanic of this deck is, of course, Unearth. Intended as a “One-Shot reanimation” mechanic – this deck comes with several ways to take advantage of the mechanic. First – If a creature brought back with unearth would be exiled you can choose to have it go to exile from the exiling effect rather than the unearth trigger. So, for example, if it were flickered (By, say, Conjurer’s Closet) you could have it return to the battlefield as a separate object, and not have it exiled at the end of the turn. Second – If any trigger that would happen at a specific time, such as the delayed trigger created by Unearth (“At the end of the turn”)  is skipped, stifled, or otherwise removed from the stack it will not happen again.

These two rules allow us a surprising amount of flexibility in how we go about our business when piloting this list. On with the breakdown, starting with:

Bombs

Given that we’re a reanimator list, our primary victory conditions are (almost) all lined up for us here:

It that Betrays – By far the largest and most expensive creature in the list, provides a solid beatdown while also shutting down the win conditions of many permanent-based combo decks by stealing anything they sacrifice. Best tutored against permanent-based combo like Karador, Ghost Chieftain or most stax lists due to the lean number of permanents they play.

Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur – My favourite go-to reanimation target, unchecked for even one full rotation he completely cripples all of your opponents whilst also drawing you toward something with a bit more bite. Hurts spell-based decks like Mizzix of the Izmagnus or Quick-Combo decks like Riku of Two Reflections the most.

Lord of the Void – The go-to bomb when facing down a similarly threat-heavy list, since it lets you steal one of your target’s creatures most of the times you hit them. My favourite tutor target when staring down something like Mayael the Anima, Animar, Soul of Elements or Kaalia of the Vast.

Massacre Wurm – Dear lord does this decimate token lists. I’ve won many a game just off the back of this guy. My personal favourite was when someone made infinite doves (Dovescape + Guile) and I dropped Massacre Wurm before he could swing lethal. Best targets for this guy are almost any given token list – Ghave, Guru of Spores and Krenko, Mob Boss come to mind

Master of Cruelties – This is the guy that’ll lose you friends real quick. I normally only find it when facing down lists with a lot of lifegain (such as Zedruu the Greathearted) or when someone is about to win and I need to answer them right now.

Nicol Bolas – One of the OG Elder Dragons. Remember what I said about Jin-Gitaxias shutting down spell-based decks hard? Well Bolas does that but meaner because now it’s only that guy sitting in the corner with nothing to do. Prioritise this as a target if there’s only a couple of the problem decks at the table and you want them to take a chill pill.

Sepulchral Primordial – So maybe something happened and you’ve lost all of your threats. Not to worry, just use everyone else’s! Just try not to use it if you know there are people running around with Homeward Path.

Sheoldred, Whispering one – Allow me to quote Alex from Loading Ready Run on this one – “Her abilities are gross and should actually read “All opponents with creatures completely tilt out””. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that she herself is a reanimation engine, letting you bring out even more bombs. Best to grab if you’re ahead and need to keep everyone else down or if you’re against voltron decks like Uril, the Miststalker and you need them to sacrifice their target.

Thraximundar – He’s almost just a removal spell on a stick but since he’s also effectively a 7/7 haste we’ll let him in to the Bomb section. He also tends to get a lot of incidental counters from opponents just sacrificing things to their own effects.

Savage Beating – Honorary bomb for multiplying the power of the rest of your bombs by 4. If you’re resolving this entwined you should probably be winning on the spot or at least killing one guy.

Because this is a reanimation deck- we’re also going to have a separate section called:

Utility Bombs

These guys aren’t quite as big or splashy as the previous, but they come with some added bonuses that make them very much worth your reanimation spell – Less likely to take over a game by themselves though.

Archaeomancer – Effectively turns your renanimation spell into a Mystic Retrieval. Pretty great if you need to get back a boardwipe or a tutor but all you have is this Animate Dead.

Corpse Connoisseur – An Entomb that can reanimate itself, what a time to be alive. This is what you use if you need to grab something from the bomb toolbox to answer a particular threat.

Disciple of Bolas – Running out of options in hand and can’t find Jin-Gitaxias quick enough? Disciple of Bolas has you covered, trade in that extra bomb for a new hand of cards and some life to boot.

Dragon Mage – All the bombs stuck in your hand but you want them in the yard? Or maybe you’ve just run out of cards in hand? Let me introduce you to Dragon Mage, the 5/5 Wheel of Fortune.

Dragonlord Silumgar – Oh that’s a nice Karn Liberated you have over there. Be a real shame if something… happened to it. Bonus points for stealing a Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker and having it +3 to kill itself.

Dualcaster Mage – Only really works as a reanimation target when done at instant speed but can have some spectacular results when done properly. Also forms half of this deck’s alternative win condition of “Not-Splinter Twin”, but more on that later.

Havengul Lich – It’s a reanimation target that can reanimate other things! The best part though is that they don’t all have to be your things, which combos excellently with the Chromatic Lantern also hiding in this list.

Mulldrifter – It’s a Divination you can reanimate – Usually nice for some incidental value off a Living Death or Havengul Lich.

Nightscape Familiar – I’d describe this as a really hard to kill mana rock. Notably it essentially lets us ignore commander tax one time.

Rune-Scarred Demon, Sidisi, Undead Vizier – Lumped together as they’re essentially the same thing – A tutor you can get back with Sedris or any other reanimation spell. Animate Dead? Now it’s a Demonic Tutor.

Shriekmaw – Any one else remember when one of the questions about whether or not a creature would be played was “Does it die to Doom Blade?” – Shriekmaw says let’s bring it back.

Solemn Simulacrum – Value on the way in, value on the way out. Just an excellent card for a reanimation deck looking to eke out a little more advantage here and there.

And that’s almost all the creatures in my list. Of course most of these are a little expensive to just be played so we have to cheat a little. Step one to this is…

Grave Fillers

Be it from hand or deck, we need to get most of our creatures to the graveyard first before they hit the board.

Corpse Connoisseur, Entomb, Buried Alive – These three cards are basically all near enough Demonic Tutor in this deck. Entomb in particular allows for some disgusting early game plays such as T1 Entomb targeting Jin-Gitaxias into a T2 Reanimate or Animate Dead. Normally we save Buried Alive to set up for a big Living Death though to avoid being totally blown out by a well placed Relic of Progenitus.

Faithless Looting – Top-tier card filtering, lets us draw some cards, maybe the lands or rocks we needed to cast Sedris, while also allowing us to pitch the biggest bombs in our hand for later reanimation. The best part? It does it twice.

Fact or Fiction – Already a great example of a powerful card draw spell, in this deck it does double duty as you can pick a pile to hand and then pick the pile with the most useful creature to dump in the yard.

Dack Fayden – Go back and read Faithless Looting. Now replace “Twice” with “Every turn” and throw in a “Sometimes you can steal a Sol Ring“. Excellent inclusion in this list.

So we’ve put the creatures into the graveyard, now how do we get them back out again? These cards will certainly help:

Reanimators

Sedris, the Traitor King – Sedris doesn’t want to work particularly hard and he’s not a big fan of reanimating things. Instead he says “Here [bombs], take this ability and go reanimate yourselves!”. With haste too, which is wonderful for things like Master of Cruelties or Lord of the Void. Fair warning, if you want to keep it for longer than a turn you’re going to need some of the enablers I’ll be mentioning in the next section.

Animate Dead – Pretty standard top-tier reanimation spell, 2 mana, grab your bomb.

Necromancy – Animate dead for +1 mana but also the ability to be used at instant speed. Allows for shenanigans such as Wit’s End-ing someone by flashing back Jin-Gitaxias or grabbing Massacre Wurm in response to infinite Saprolings.

Body Double – No it’s not *technically* a reanimation spell but for most things it’s as good as, and has the added benefit of being reanimatable itself.

Living Death – Probably how you’re winning most of your games. Because you know what’s better than reanimating one bomb? Reanimating your entire graveyard while boardwiping.

Reanimate – Say it with me class: “Life is just a resource”. 10 life for a Jin-Gitaxias may seem a little steep but if you’re doing it turn 2 and you’ve basically won if they drop their hands that early then who cares?

Cauldron Dance – What do you get if you add Through the Breach to a slightly better Unearth? The answer is “Insane Value”.

Whip of Erebos – AKA “Backup Sedris”. Interacts with all the same things as Unearth with the added benefit of lifelink. Benefits greatly from not being a creature.

So we’ve got a lot of ways to bring things back. You may have noticed that many of these ways have downsides such as Whip and Sedris. But that’s why we have…

Enablers

These cards all help us twist the rules mentioned in the Rules Dump up top to our advantage.

Teferi’s Veil – If you want a proper explanation of Phasing I’d look elsewhere, but the short version is things that are phased out don’t exist. If an unearthed creature doesn’t exist during the end step it should have been exiled the trigger is skipped. Forever.

Deadeye Navigator – A deck that has Deadeye Navigator but nothing it goes infinite with? It’s more likely than you think. Flickering a creature that has been unearthed brings it back in as a separate object from the original, and as such it will not go to exile at the end step or when destroyed. Bonus points to Navigator for being able to unearth and then flicker itself to continue being an engine.

Conjurer’s Closet – Similar to Deadeye Navigator, a creature flickered with this is now a separate object. Has an advantage over Deadeye in that it doesn’t require mana to flicker but can also only affect one creature per turn.

Sundial of the Infinite – To the untrained eye this card is complete garbage. In most cases that eye would be correct, but not here. You see, when you end the turn everything that was on the stack at the time gets exiled, so you activate this in response to all of the end of turn Unearth triggers going on the stack and then you laugh all the way to the value train.

You could argue that this seems like a lot just stop our creatures from being exiled at the end of the turn. You’d probably be right if we didn’t have a whole bunch more effects waiting in the wings to take advantage of them.

“At the beginning of the next end step” effects

Flameshadow Conjuring – What’s better than one bomb? Two of the same bomb that’s what. With Sundial of the Infinite in particular we can keep the extra token indefinitely.

Sneak Attack – The card that inspired this deck actually when I opened a foil one. Lets us get the bombs straight from hand to battlefield with no fuss and with haste. Interacts with any of the enablers to let us keep our creature but even if we don’t have one the creature goes to the graveyard rather than exile for us to reanimate later.

Twinflame – Flameshadow Conjuring: Sorcery edition. Also happens to go infinite with the Dualcaster Mage creating infinite hasty 2/2 creatures if you’re into that sort of thing.

Word of Seizing – This plus any of the enablers besides Sundial lets you steal a creature on a more permanent basis.

So we’ve managed to reanimate, steal, and otherwise cheat a pretty dangerous-looking field. Now what do we do? Hopefully win. But what if there are obstacles like other players in the way? Well that’s where we use the…

Removal

Warstorm Surge – Is it removal? No. It does however turn all of our creatures into removal for anything smaller than the creature – And in case you haven’t noticed our creatures are all pretty huge. Doubles up as a way to win when paired with a mass reanimation spell like Living Death and since it’s the creature that deals the damage it adds incredible value to Nicol Bolas and any of the Deathtouch creatures.

Flayer of the Hatebound – See above, except it only works when you reanimate something. However considering that this guy comes back with Living Death and still sees everything else enter I’d say it’s probably worth it (Edit: As pointed out by /u/therestlessone on Reddit, Living Death has them all enter from exile and will not trigger Flayer of the Hatebound. It does, however, still add value to your regular reanimation spells and unearths.)

Blasphemous Act – Pretty standard red boardwipe, nothing to see here.

Toxic Deluge – That nasty Avacyn, Angel of Hope got you bogged down in a nasty ground war? Good job this card ignores Indestructible huh?

Capsize – Not really removal, but also one of the best answers to enchantments in Grixis colours so it’s going here anyway. Bonus points for being infinitely re-usable.

Counterflux, Counterspell, Spell Crumple – A fairly standard counterspell suite for when you absolutely do not want something to resolve. Notable targets for these include those enchantments you’re having trouble destroying but are totally shutting you down like Rest in Peace or Ground Seal.

Cyclonic Rift – Effectively a one-sided boardwipe, should really be in every blue deck.

Grixis Charm – Just an excellent utility card, bounces Enchantments for a turn, kills a powerful utility creature and can even let you squeeze in the last few points of damage or allow you to trade up.

Rakdos Charm – A personal favourite of mine, it can lock an opponent out of your Living Death, destroy that pesky Grafdigger’s Cage and make every Splinter Twin player within a 20-mile radius break down in tears.

Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker – So the worst has happened, someone resolved a Rest in Peace against you and you’re sitting there wondering why you ever listened to that great internet blog. Allow me to introduce you to “The panic button”. This guy’s +3 will destroy all manner of problem permanents for you, including RIP, Ground Seal, Grafdigger’s Cage, Homeward Path – And what he can’t destroy he can steal with his -2. Try to avoid playing him unless you need to though – He’s one of the only answers to enchantments in the colours of this deck.

You may be wondering what to do if you have a problem on the board but not the cards to deal with it right now – Well that’s why we have…

Tutors

Diabolic Tutor, Dark Petition – Both very standard tutor cards, although if you can afford to upgrade the Diabolic into a Demonic Tutor I would strongly recommend you do so.

There’s also Sidisi and Rune-Scarred demon as mentioned above.

Finally, we have the backup backup plan. Everything’s gone wrong, there’s a RIP down, your Bolas is in exile and they’ve made it hexproof anyway. In which case, we’re going to have to just…

Ramp

Obviously since we aren’t in green, almost all of this is going to be rocks.

1 mana: Sol Ring, Mana Vault – Both provide a big boost to colorless mana ready for us to rush out Sedris if played early enough.

2 Mana: Dimir Signet, Izzet Signet, Rakdos Signet – Ramping and Fixing at the same time for only 2 mana, staples of the format.

3 Mana: Chromatic Lantern – Best fixing in the format. Has the added benefit of allowing Havengul Lich to pilfer from any graveyard now that we can produce mana outside our colour identities.

4 Mana: Thran Dynamo – Another format staple and solid piece of ramp, if we didn’t have so many creatures costing 7+ I wouldn’t even consider it but for now it’s justifying it’s spot.

And there you have it – My Sedris deck. One thing to note is that you should generally avoid playing Sedris until you have enough mana to Unearth something too – Otherwise someone’s just going to pop it and then he’ll cost even more on the next attempt.

Improvements

Here I pretend I live in magical Christmas land and I just won the lottery and can put in whatever cards I want. Cards I’d put in if I could justify the spending include:

Through the Breach – Sneak Attack: Instant Edition. Even if only for redundancy – Unfortunately the card is played in Modern and Legacy so it’s probably not happening for me anytime soon.

Goryo’s Vengeance – Unearth target Legendary creature seems pretty strong in a deck with threats like Nicol Bolas, Thraximundar and two of the Praetors. Unfortunately it’s in the same spot as Through the Breach in that it’s played in Modern and Legacy.

Demonic Tutor – Strict upgrade to Diabolic Tutor, ’nuff said.

ABUR Duals – What? I said Magical Christmas land.

 

That’s all from me folks, have fun reanimating fatties and losing friends – tell them Crazy sent you!

Crazy out.

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