Hi guys – Crazy here with a special request edition of no-cash commander.
If you’re just clocking in here for the first time – This series of articles is decks I’ve built for the player who wants to try something new without the investment of building a full-force deck. After last week’s great success with Rishkar (That article here) we decided to ask the community at r/edh what they wanted to see. We had a response from one user who suggested we try our hand at the dark horse legendary of the new set. Clocking in at $48.64 (Minus basic Wastes) – Hope of Ghirapur.
Tappedout Decklist here.
Now, colourless win conditions tend to be a bit pricey – See: Eldrazi Titans, Blightsteel Colossus. So the first order of business when it was decided I’d be writing this article was “How the hell do I win?”. Settled eventually on using Hope of Ghirapur as a powerful disruption piece from the command zone to keep our opponent from interrupting our colourless combo win-conditions – Featuring at least 4 different ways to go infinite. Including:
Animation Module + Decoction Module + Fabrication Module + Ashnod’s Altar = Infinite Servos, Mana, +1/+1 counters and Energy. Nothing to do with the energy though. Without the Ashnod’s the “Module Combo” produces a 1/1 Servo, a +1/+1 counter and an Energy per 1 mana – But with the Ashnod’s we can turn that one Servo into 2 mana, meaning we can loop this forever as long as we keep sacrificing the Servo, netting one mana each time. Then for each time we’ve completed the loop by sacrificing the servo we can complete the loop without sacrificing the servo using the 1 mana gained per loop – or use the infinite mana for something else, your choice.
Summoning Station + Grinding Station + Salvaging Station + Blasting Station + any 1 cmc or less noncreature artifact = Infinite Mill and Damage. Unlike the one above this one can kill a table on the spot – Just a shame it’s a lot of bits. To go infinite you tap them in the order listed above – Making a Creature, Sacrificing your artifact to mill your opponent, Returning your artifact and then sacrificing your creature to deal one damage to an opponent, then making a creature, and so on – Each one untapping the station before it. Flayer Husk in particular makes this combo more efficient as since it’s a noncreature that makes a 0/0 creature on entry you only need the Grinding Station and Salvaging Station for infinite milling – Sacrificing the Husk to mill for 3 also kills the germ, untapping the Salvaging Station, which can be tapped to bring back the Husk and untap the Grinding Station.
Ugin’s Nexus + Prototype Portal + Artifact Sacrifice Outlet (List below) = Infinite Turns. If your opponents don’t just concede you’ll have all the time in the world to draw into a different combo. All you need to do is imprint the Nexus into the Prototype Portal – then when you activate the Portal to make a Nexus you can sacrifice it to take another turn. The Portal will then untap on your next turn, allowing you to do it again. And again. The list of cards that work with this is: Grinding Station (Also doubles as a win-condition), Trading Post, Phyrexia’s Core and Rusted Slasher.
Triskelion + Dross Scorpion + Cauldron of Souls = Infinite Damage. This works like a bit of a budget Mike+Trike combo – Tap Cauldron to give Triskelion Persist, remove all of the counters from Triskelion to damage your opponent for 1 per counter and killing your Triskelion – This will trigger Dross Scorpion, allowing you to untap the cauldron. Because +1/+1 counters cancel out -1/-1 counters Triskelion will return with 2 +1/+1 counters, allowing you to give him persist again and repeat ad infinitum.
Sub section – Infinite Mana outlets
Chimeric Coils – If it’s on the board already and you have a way to get it through (Something something Rogue’s Passage something) this is effectively a colourless Fireball that can be easily recurred by Salvaging Station among other things.
Diviner’s Wand – No longer just for wizards, allows us to draw our entire deck and make a titanic beater along with it. Good thing our Commander has built-in evasion huh?
So there’s how we win – That got a little complex. The next sections are much simpler – We need to put something into these combos to get something out:
We run as good a suite of mana rocks as our budget allows:
Everflowing Chalice – The “Build-your-own rock”. Potentially a worse version of the above rocks, but gives you a rock that fits anywhere on your curve, giving it a large amount of flexibility in exchange for power. Also synergises with Animation Module well.
Sol Ring – Goes in every deck, you know this one by now.
Temple of the False God – Nothing wrong with a good ol’ “Sol Land”. Just probably don’t keep this in your opening 7 if you can help it.
Palladium Myr – Another rock in the “Bad Sol Ring” series, but now with extra legs.
Burnished Hart – Thank Wizards for Wastes am I right? It’s some pretty good ramp considering the budget.
Blight Herder – A tad more situational but enough decks run cards that exile themselves or that exile as part of a cost (Good old Delve helpful for us there) that this can probably go off more often than not.
Oblivion Sower – Can answer some problems pre-emptively but primarily we want to use it to grab another land or two from the top of someone’s library.
Foundry Inspector – Not ramp in the traditional sense but since it makes near enough all of our nonland cards cheaper I’m willing to put it here.
The other most important bit of course is finding our combo pieces. The best way to do that:
I’ve managed to scrape together a reasonable amount of draw considering the budget. Some has already been mentioned (Mind Stone and friends) but others include:
Diviner’s Wand – Mentioned above as an infinite mana outlet, it’s also just good as a draw engine with all the leftover mana you’ll have if you found too many rocks.
Farsight Mask – I’d expect this to draw a lot of cards in certain metagames, in others it keeps people from attacking you so you won’t draw cards. Either outcome is fairly acceptable.
Infiltration Lens – You may be noticing a theme here but this one is a little different in that it forces our opponent to choose between allowing us to hit them with Hope – Potentially closing off their noncreatures for a turn – Or drawing us some cards and closer to a game-ending combo.
Magnifying Glass – Horrifically inefficient but it does draw cards and also supports a certain other card I’ll go into below by making those clues.
Temple Bell – Draws you cards, draws them cards. We could probably do better but while we have it you could try turning it to your political advantage.
Tower of Fortunes – A bit expensive maybe but also powerful, repeatable draw.
Trading Post – Certainly not it’s only purpose but it does a respectable job of recouping losses to opposing spot removal.
Deal Broker – This conspiracy classic gives us a not-terrible looting engine to help us churn through our deck.
Endbringer – All said, this is a powerful and flexible card that gets better the more opponents you’re staring down. Potentially draws a card per player per round.
Filigree Familiar – Sad Dogebot is pretty fine on a budget as a chump blocker that replaces itself
Kozilek, the Great Distortion – A personal favourite of mine and one of my mainstay commanders – Don’t fall into the trap of trying to win by beating down with him here though – He’s here as a draw engine with counterspell benefits. Was utterly gobsmacked when I saw he was only $4.
Sandstone Oracle – At a powerful enough table this guy should be a second copy of Kozilek – Fully reloading you and providing a not-terrible body.
Staff of Nin – Draws cards, pops Weenies. just a generally good card.
Sub-section – Tutors
Being a combo deck we’ve splashed as much as reasonably possible within the budget on tutors – Not as much as I’d like but we take what we can get.
Tamiyo’s Journal – A not-terrible source of card advantage that can also provide a powerful tutor effect every few turns. Synergises well with Magnifying Glass.
Ring of Three Wishes – Over three turns will tutor an entire combo with little trouble. A bit on the expensive side maybe but the power in this deck is undeniable.
The rest of the deck is focused on protecting our own combo pieces while disrupting our opponent’s plans. We normally call that second category…
Scour From Existence – Remove target problem. It’s expensive but for spot removal in colourless we take what we can get. Even unbudgeted decks sometimes run this.
Spatial Contortion – 2 mana to pop a weenie is pretty fine in my books. Can kill some real problem creatures with little trouble like Fauna Shaman and Gaddock Teeg – The second of which can be a massive problem for us.
Aligned Hedron Network – Can hit some of our creatures but when you’re staring down a ramp deck going off you’ll be glad to have this. Notably doesn’t hit most of our combo pieces.
Nevinyrral’s Disk – A tried and tested “Everything dies” button. Curbed somewhat by the fact it can’t be popped on the turn it comes in – Redeemed by the fact it can then be popped at instant speed for only one mana.
Perilous Vault – See above, but be careful with this one. If we exile a combo piece we’ve got no way to get it back. Notably though can be activated the turn it comes in with enough investment.
Ratchet Bomb – Goes a long way to shutting down wide decks, Elfball and Tokens beware.
Spine of Ish Sah – A pretty easily recurrable piece of removal. All you need is to be able to sacrifice it, which is not super difficult here. Curtailed by the amount of mana it requires though.
Steel Hellkite – A big, evasive threat that can potentially destroy a lot of problem permanents every turn. Also happens to be another outlet for infinite mana.
Phyrexian Revoker – Not exactly removal but can make some permanents useless enough that they might as well be removed – Planeswalkers being a primary target.
And then there’s protecting ourself and our cards:
Protection, Recursion and other support
Orbs of Warding – A card I’ve found a lot more powerful than people let on – Can actually save you from dying to a lot of different infinite combos, from Exarch Twin to Infinite Mana Fireball. Conveniently for us also stops targeted discard effects like Thoughtsieze.
Trading Post – I did say it was good for more than just drawing cards. It can also get back our destroyed combo pieces for another round.
Artisan of Kozilek – Reanimates a combo piece while also creating a commanding presence on the battlefield thanks to it’s titanic body and Annihilator.
Junk Diver – Chump blocks to revive a rock. It’s pretty fine.
Scrap Trawler – An as yet unproven new card from Aether Revolt. I feel like even if every time we lose an artifact all we get back is a Wayfarer’s Bauble that’s still a pretty silly amount of value.
Shimmer Myr – Popping down a lot of our cards at instant speed can be the difference between taking and delivering a beating. Spine of Ish Sah for example gets a hell of a lot more scary when it can come down any time.
Soul of New Phyrexia – One hell of a body that can continue to support us from the graveyard by blanking boardwipes and spot removal for a turn. Excellent card.
Then we just have a few interesting nonbasics to go over:
Buried Ruin – Yet another piece of pretty premium recursion, but this one doesn’t even use up a spell slot.
Darksteel Citadel – Artifact Land. Conveniently can go infinite with the Station Loop while also being incredibly hard to remove up to that point.
Blasted Landscape – It cycles. There’s nothing wrong with a decent cycling land.
Phyrexia’s Core – A difficult to interact with way to get value out of our rocks that would otherwise be destroyed. Also can be the sac outlet needed for the infinite turn combo.
Rogue’s Passage – Pretty much a combo piece here but can also be used to force Hope through a locked down board if you desperately need the disruption.
And all of the other lands just produce mana. But oh the things we could do with this deck with just a bit more money…
Faster Mana = Faster combo. It also means you can interact more with the board to protect your pieces should you need to. Apparently mana is pretty good.
Nim Deathmantle is a card I so wanted to put in this deck, it making infinite mana with any creature that makes at least 2 others on entry (Such as Myr Battlesphere) and either an Ashnod’s Altar or – in this case – a Krark-Clan Ironworks.
You may have noticed I said “Removal” and then put down 2 planeswalkers. That’s because they are both absolutely insane, warping the game around them simply due to the amount of threats they can answer. All is Dust is another card I would have loved to fit but was cut die to budget constraints – It’s essentially a one-sided boardwipe when we’re mono-Colourless.
Special Mention – Lifeline
This plus your commander is a softlock on one opponent. The only time they will be able to use noncreatures is before your main phase two should it take your fancy. Budget constraints stopped it from being put in here but it would be a first choice for me otherwise.
And that’s the deck – Obviously there are other improvements I would make but there’s only so much space for this sort of thing. Did you enjoy this article? Think it’s novel? Think it’s terrible? Want to suggest another commander for me to scrape together on a budget? Let us know on our Facebook Page, and maybe give us a like while you’re there!
This article was suggested by reddit user /u/BlinkDaggerOP in the comment thread of our previous article