Archetune-Up - Over the Slime and Under the Radar
(Slogurk, the Overslime | Art by Nicholas Gregory)
The Slime's the Limit!
Hello, and welcome back to Archetune-Up, an article series devoted to tweaking a deck with the help of the EDHREC Theme Pages!
This month, my brain has been all Midnight Hunt, all the time. Every moment I've spent thinking about Magic has been about this set and all the goodies it's brought to Commander (and to my Innistrad cube). I haven't gotten to write about any of the new commanders since my last article, so what better way to get my head back in the game than with another Midnight Hunt commander?? 🥳
Out of all the legendary creatures in Midnight Hunt, it was the Simic legend that caught my interest. I've been pretty underwhelmed by blue-green legends overall, especially recently. They all just want to do soupy value stuff that I just don't care about. I mean, look back at my Strixhaven Quandrix review, where the only legend that I even remotely liked was Tanazir Quandrix, and that was simply because he wanted to beat down in the red zone, unlike the rest of his ilk, who just want to draw cards and go way over the top with value.
Slogurk, on the other hand, is an interesting evolution for a Simic deck, pivoting between being the deck's payoff or being a cog helps the deck run in the first place. I like this goopy friend so much that if I already didn't have two (well, three) other land-centric decks, I would totally build this slimey friend!
This Ooze already has about 60 decks to their name, so let's check out their average list, shall we?
Average SlogurkView on Archidekt
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Despite its recent release, and despite having fewer than 100 decks to its name, Slogurk's average list is quite impressive. It's got a little bit of everything, which isn't something I often can say about these lists. Good card draw, solid ramp, the appropriate number of lands... I like this a lot. We've got our usual Scapeshift + Splendid Reclamation and Exploration extra-lands shenanigans that land-based decks love, while also baking in some interesting Slogurk-specific synergies, like Trade Routes, Ayula's Influence, and Excavation, to make sure there's plenty to do with our lands, whether they're on the battlefield, in our hand, or in the graveyard.
However, even though this list already looks pretty solid, I'm sure there's some tuning up that we can do here, so let's get into the theme pages!
This Land is My Land
The first theme I'll comb through for Slogurk is the most obvious: the Lands Theme! While Slogurk's average list had a lot of the goodies found on this page, there are still plenty more that would make great additions!
Both Tireless Tracker and Cosima, God of the Voyage can help us accrue card advantage. While there's already a handful of card advantage spells baked into the list, land-centric decks can often find themselves struggling to function if there isn't a consistent flow of cards, so the more the better! With all the lands we're playing, there'll be plenty of Clue tokens and Voyage counters to go around, which will easily help us maintain a full grip!
Meanwhile, instead of filling our hand up, Jadzi can dump our hand right onto the board! While we have plenty of things to do with our lands once Slogurk gets them back, sometimes we just want to put them right into play. Plus, if we have eight or more lands, Jadzi's spell effect will let us discard a card (a land, perhaps? 👀) and put Jadzi back into our hand. This is a slick, easy way to make sure that we can play multiple lands a turn, even if we don't have cards like Exploration or Burgeoning out, while also having a great late-game creature that can go out of control.
Two other fantastic payoffs that I'm shocked to see missing from Slogurk's average list are Avenger of Zendikar and Roil Elemental. Both of these creatures are fantastic once we have multiple lands entering the battlefield in a single turn. Whether we're creating a massive army of ever-growing Plant tokens or stealing an army by Mind Controlling all of our opponents' creatures indefinitely, each of these will help close out a game quite quickly if opponents don't respond to it in a timely manner. Lands decks, especially the U/G variety, are often panned for not being able to win games very speedily, so hopefully these two cards will help Slogurk avoid that problem.
Where There's a Mill, There's a Way
While focusing solely on lands would be fine, there's another strategy Slogurk likes that separates it from other land-centric commanders, one that's perfectly at home on Innistrad: Self-Mill!
The neat thing about Slogurk is that it'll count every land that enters the graveyard, unlike something like Crawling Sensation, which will only trigger once per instance of lands going to the yard. This means a single Dredge with something like Golgari Grave-Troll has the potential to give our legendary Ooze all the counters they need, all at once! Along with that, since we don't mind flipping our deck into our graveyard, Mesmeric Orb is a perfect card for some turbo-milling! Orb hits everyone, but we as the Slogurk player should be able to take advantage of the milling the most, ensuring that we never miss land drops, or by just turning our commander into a huge, trampling threat!
The next step with this self-mill plan is a card like Jace, Wielder of Mysteries. It's important to pack a Plan B, and Jace is mine. Of the all the Laboratory Maniac effects, I personally believe Jace is the least egregious. He is costly, can be attacked, and he's a card type that these colors can't easily tutor for, meaning that our gameplan should rarely revolve around him. Jace is here as a value card and a potential win condition, but he is far from the deck's main gameplan, and I want to keep it that way.
Eternal Witness and Bala Ged Recovery are nice in the 99, but once they're in the 'yard, they can't help us all that much. Since the deck now has a bit of a self-mill theme, both Timeless Witness and Genesis are fantastic additions to include alongside the two aforementioned cards. If we're indiscriminately milling ourselves (or if our opponents are playing the proper amount of interaction), Regrowthing key creatures or cards from our graveyard is incredibly important to help make this deck function.
Dryad's Revival also fits into this category, but since it just came out in Midnight Hunt, it has yet to populate the self-mill page, so keep it in mind if you want to go farther down this route!
Slick the Landing!
There we have it! A sloopy self-mill land-centric deck, helmed by the gooiest Ooze this side of Nephalia!
During my Midnight Hunt Gold Set Review, I doted on Slogurk for being an interesting twist on an established archetype, but with the caveat that it probably wouldn't overtake the likes of Tatyova, Benthic Druid or Aesi, Tyrant of Gyre Strait. However, between then and now, a ton of articles have been written about this slimy-friend, so I'm certainly not the only one enamored with this amorphous blob. Hopefully a bout of popularity is in this Ooze's future.
Overall, I'm quite happy to see an interesting U/G legend for a change. The ability to be both a payoff and an engine (and do both in a unique way that other lands commanders in these colors haven't done before) is awesome to see, especially since it's coming from my home plane of Innistrad.
While I'm riding high on Slogurk, what are your thoughts? Do you like this new Ooze? Do you think it's different enough from Tatyova and Aesi to warrant its own deck, or do you think those two are just better? Make sure you let me know in the comments below!
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.
Archetuned-Up SlogurkView on Archidekt
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