Archetune-Up - A Taste of Madness
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Before I go too far, yes, this is an article about. I know her name looks like just a jumble of letters, but since I'll be saying quite a bit, I wanted to make sure I start this article off with an easy-to-understand pronunciation guide!
Of course, of course, your praise is appreciated, but no need to thank me, I'm just happy to help!
With that out of the way, the catalyst for this article was born from a common criticism I hear when discussing the Commander 2019 Preconstructed decks and theMadness deck in particular. The criticism levied here is that while the intent with Anje was to promote a value-based Madness theme commander, she is best utilized as a combo-enabler, allowing you to pitch your Madness cards, chain them together without casting them, and then churn through your deck, digging down to something like a + combo.
Of course, Anje doesn't have to be played that way, and you can build her in whatever manner you choose, but the criticism is still valid no matter how you would prefer to build her: she's undeniably better at enabling combos than she is at enabling a value-based gameplan.
Enter. Not only is she cheap to cast, but she's powerful, has the potential to provide interaction in the form of removal, and she also tutors up to help enable her and other Madness payoffs, while incidentally creating Food Tokens to boot! Now this is a value-enabler!
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Now,'s average deck list is quite similar to Anje's, aside from some Food payoffs and some extra discard outlets.
That said, I think there are some cards that we can trim since they aren't worth the slot, things likeor , or Madness cards that just don't jive with what I want to do with the deck, such as or . So let's get cooking.
We're All Mad Here
Needless to say, for this jaunt through EDHREC's theme pages, I'll be consulting the site's Madness Theme. This theme has been populated with data from , , and for a number of years now, so let's see what goodies they have in their kitchens!
Since I pulled a few Madness cards from the deck, I wanted to make sure I added some to help keep the density up. Madness decks are a classification I refer to as "cerebral". What I mean by this is that there will often be more things going on in the pilot's head than there is on their board. In Madness decks, there's a lot of shuffling cards from your deck, to your hand, to your graveyard, back to your hand, onto the battlefield, then to the graveyard, etc., and its main gameplan doesn't often involve committing to the board. This is perfectly fine when you plan on having some kind of combo finish with Anje, but for, we want to be chock-full of interaction since we plan on the game going long.
That's whereand come in.
While these are underwhelming removal spells at first glace, thanks to, each subpar removal spell we discard for its Madness cost will also produce a Food token, which then also provides half the cost for 's last ability! While these spells lack the ubiquity of something like , they help fuel our engine, and provide value, giving us something that is more than the sum of its parts.
in particular is a great utility piece for this deck, as its Cycling ability will count as you discarding a card, allowing you to cast early game if you haven't gotten your engine set up yet!
The final Madness card I added into the deck unsurprisingly hasn't populated the page since it is so new, but I don't expect it to stay that way for long.
is a new version of , and a much welcomed value piece that helps us recur any of our draw spells or interaction. Its role here is simple and clean, and I expect other Madness decks to start including it once more players get their hands on Modern Horizons 2.
Which Card? Discard!
Unlike other Madness commanders,has an extra hoop to jump through before we can kick our engine into high gear: unless we are able to discard a card, we won't be able to cast , and subsequently, we will be unable to tutor for . Luckily, we have plenty of crafty ways to discard cards!
's main purpose in this deck is as mana-less means to meet 's cast restriction. For a mere two life, we now have access to cast our commander, and we get to draw a card to boot! Great! , , and other cards with Cycling are great ways to enable the casting of , and a just a fantastic way of smoothing the deck out.
Another mechanic that incidentally discards cards is Transmute. other black Transmute cards that may pique your interest, so check them out!is the only listed Transmute card on this Madness theme page, but it is great for what we need. An instant that provides incidental grave-hate or a tutor for any two-drop in the deck is a lovely amount of flexibility. When we discard , not only do we get access to cast , we also get to search through our deck for cards like , , , or , just to name a few. If you're interested in this kind of toolbox-y tutoring, there are
The final card I included is the enabler of enablers:. For a single black mana, we can discard a creature, another one from our 'yard, and then have access to out of the command zone. can also trigger payoffs like and multiple times a turn as well, giving us a way to either accrue value over time, or get out of hand incredibly quickly by juggling cards from the hand to the 'yard and vice-versa.
Dine and Dash
Instead of the usual "10 cards in, 10 cards out" I normally do, I went a bit over this time and swapped 13. It may not sound like a lot, but I've only gone through half of them so far! So, to prevent this article from going on forever, let's quickly go through the last few cards!
- I added , , and since I literally cannot stop myself from adding Zendikar Rising MDFCs into every deck I can. They're just fantastic, it's as simple as that. If and were on the Madness page, I'd have added those as well, because I have zero self-control.
- may not have to accompany him in this deck, but that doesn't change how strong he is here. With us constantly discarding cards, we will be dealing a plethora of damage to our opponents and getting a huge beater in the process!
- is an excellent card that flawlessly pivots from an early-game removal spell to a late-game finisher. Doming the entire table for upwards of ten life out of nowhere is incredible utility, especially since we have easy ways to discard it if we don't have any use for the Cut half.
- I stand by my assessment on Kaldheim Set Review. This is a red deck without access to blue, and as such, a way to interact with spells on the stack is super coveted. We already want to run , so we can justify running a second that can instead counter spells. If Trickery's randomness scares you, you can always opt for something like or . in my
- The final card is not inspired from the EDHREC theme pages. In fact, it is inspired by the Food decks popping up in Modern right now. is the perfect creature to pitch to . We can discard it, made a Food, and then immediately bring Daredevil back to our hand. This doesn't progress our Madness plan, but mid-to-late game, it is a fantastic way to keep cooking up some Food. Just don't ask what it is made out of!
There we have it, an appetizer, main course, and a dessert! I hope you've enjoyed!
I can't say thatis more powerful than , but I do think she ends up being more interesting than the latter's linear playstyle. essentially having "Partner with " is an interesting angle that can even be a tad more focused on if you were looking to add in some more minor artifact synergies, like or .
I thinkhas quite a bit of depth and is a fantastic addition to the Madness theme in our format, but what about you? Do you like 's slower, grindier way of enabling Madness, or do you prefer Anje's fast and loose style? Is there something in the middle with a different legend, like ? Make sure you let me know down below, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
As always, you can reach me on Twitter (@thejesguy), where you can always hit me up for Magic- or Jeskai-related shenanigans 24/7. Do you have any comments, questions, or concerns? Please don’t hesitate to leave them below or get in touch! Stay safe, get vaccinated, wear your mask, and keep fighting the good fight. I support you. No justice, no peace.
Archetune-Up Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacars Idiot Sandwich
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