Brew For Your Buck - Death by a Million Pings

Stuffy Doll | Art by David Rapoza

Burning Man Dolls

Hello, fellow brewer, and welcome back to Brew for your Buck, where we swap out the top 10 most expensive cards in a deck with 10 budget cards that add a unique twist. This time, we're building around our first mono-colored commander of the series! I had no idea this card existed as I was mashing the "random commander" button on EDHREC in search for inspiration.

Turns out, the dude that faced Kakkazan has a really cool card all to himself! Kumano lends himself to being built around turning your mana into damage, with lots of ways to amplify that damage to make the most of the two-mana investment. On the flip side, we have a bunch of ways in the deck to grant him deathtouch, so get him equipped and ping your opponents' creatures into sweet oblivion. And it is oblivion too, since we get the exile clause built in to stop all of the graveyard shenanigans. Kumano's average deck comes at an insanely high $451.97, especially for a mono-colored deck. Our cuts feature some mono-red staples and a few niche cards for our Master Yamabushi (anyone know what that is?).

          1. Deflecting Swat ($58.06)
          2. Dockside Extortionist ($57.91)
          3. Ruby Medallion ($35.82)
          4. Neheb, the Eternal ($24.68)
          5. Fiery Emancipation ($24.61)
          6. Repercussion ($21.25)
          7. Shadowspear ($19.20)
          8. Goblin Sharpshooter ($18.48)
          9. Jeska's Will ($17.55)
          10. Braid of Fire ($14.99)

Total Value of Cuts: $292.55

Only one land would have made it into this list. I'm glad we don't cut lands anymore, because Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle ($21.60) is one of my absolute favorites. If you did just replace it with a basic, though, it would bring our total savings to $314.15.


As I mentioned before, I had a bit of writer's block to come up with a deck for this one, but as soon as I saw Kumano it hit me like a freight train: Stuffy Dolls. Not only can we wreak havoc on our opponents' creatures but we can also ping our own for max value!

Gobs and Dolls

We'll start with the namesake card, of course. Stuffy Doll ($0.70) has been iterated on a few times, and we'll also add the newest one, Brash Taunter ($1.00). The best part about these two are that they are indestructible. Even if we ping them while Kumano is wearing an Equipment that grants deathtouch, they won't die along the way. They also make great blockers in the face of anything with a big butt that will be hard to ping down. Coalhauler Swine ($0.15) is able to simultaneously hit our opponents' life totals when we ping it, and if you're playing the deck right, the downside of us also getting bonked should be minimal.


Our next group of cards don't exactly work the same way as Stuffy Doll, but more like a better version of the Enrage mechanic from Ixalan. First up, Ill-Tempered Loner ($0.36) will dole out damage like the dolls above, but this time to any target. When it flips, ALL of your permanents pass along the pings, which means you essentially double up any damage hitting one of the other dolls. The new Feldon, Ronom Excavator ($0.23) can come down early for some quick hits but also can trade himself in for some good card selection later. Zalto, Fire Giant Duke ($0.12) can pack a big punch and can also speed through dungeons as each instance of damage dealt, which coincidentally is exactly what our commander wants to do.

Payoffs for Pinging

Next we have two cards that pay us off for all this damage we're doing. Knollspine Dragon ($0.46), while mana-intensive, can act as a giant one-sided wheel for us after we dome an opponent for a bunch of damage. With all of our damage-amplifiers, Toralf, God of Fury ($2.20) is hard not to include. If you've never seen this card go off, just get a little bit of excess damage (which also gets amplified), and it's very easy to snowball into dead opponents. Speaking of damage-amplifiers...

Facilitating the Fire

...Fiery Emancipation would be one of the best cards in this deck, it's just SO expensive. Fortunately, we just had a pseudo-reprint. Those of you paying close attention will notice we added eight creatures to the deck, making City on Fire ($3.77) a lot easier to cast. Once this hits the board, we're throwing strikes (or bolts if we have Heartstone) with Kumano like Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning, and once the game is over we can all sing a Rousing Refrain ($0.69) of "New York, New York". Yankees nostalgia aside, Rousing Refrain is an underrated card, repeatedly giving us a burst of mana that can be used even outside of our upkeep. Looking at you and your hefty pricetag, Braid of Fire.

Wrap Up and Savings

How did we do on savings?


Nice! Yet again, we managed to cut the cost of the deck by 2/3 and gave ourselves a new angle of attack.

Death by a Million Pings

View on Archidekt

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
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View this decklist on Archidekt


Did I miss anything you would have liked to see? Are there any other cool, old legends that I don't know exist? Any cards you would have added to support the Stuffy Doll theme? Do you know what a Master Yamabushi is? Let me know in the comments! And if you want more content, follow me on Twitter @BrewForYourBuck. I'll see you next time when we brew for your buck!

Please note: card prices listed in this article are accurate at the time of writing, but prices can vary over time and between locations.

Brian played Magic intermittently between 2003 and 2017 when he fully embraced his love for Commander. Finding ways to maximize the value of each piece of cardboard in the deck is one of his favorite things to explore, especially if it involves putting lands in the graveyard! Outside of Magic, Brian works as a consultant in the marine industry, turning his passion for boats and ships into a career.

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