Forces of the Imperium - Upgrade Guide

Forces of the Imperium Precon Upgrade Guide
(Inquisitor Greyfax |Art by Lie Setiawan)

What’s up, friends! Andy here, coming at you from the Scrap Trawlers channel, where we do EDH on a budget. Last time we looked at the Forces of Imperium precon from Warhammer 40K, guiding you through how to play the deck right out of the box. Today we’re talking about some of the best cards to put in this deck that makes it more functional and synergistic. All without breaking your wallet! 

Here’s the original decklist:

Forces of the Imperium

Commander (1)
Creatures (30)
Instants (6)
Enchantments (4)
Artifacts (14)
Sorceries (8)
Lands (37)

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer

Where to Begin

The face commander for this deck is Inquisitor Greyfax. In addition to her anthem effect, she also taps an enemy creature and Investigates. And since I don’t think Greyfax really got to shine in the original decklist, I wanna stick with her and see what we can do to improve her capabilities. Never fear, Marneus Calgar is staying in the deck.

So how do we make this deck really hum with commander synergy? We’ll start by leaning more into that Investigate ability, then we’ll see what other benefits we can get from tapping our opponents’ creatures. And then we’re going to make the most of all those tokens we’re gonna make. So we’ll not only make even more of them, we’re also gonna make them hurt more for our opponents.

In addition to that, the original decklist had a serious mana problem. So we’re going to do what we can to drop that average mana value down as well, so we’re making the deck more focused and efficient.

Let’s Inquisit More

I really want this deck going clink and clang, raining Clues and other artifact tokens. So we’re adding a few cards that not only help us make more Clues, but also make our Clues more powerful.

First up is Academy Manufactor, a token powerhouse that will give us a Food and a Treasure each time we make our Clues. Erdwal Illuminator gives us an additional Investigate the first time we do it each turn. Search the Premises lets us Investigate for each creature that attacks us. Tamiyo’s Journal Investigates on our upkeep and can turn those Clues into tutors. Thorough Investigation not only Investigates whenever we attack, but also Ventures Into the Dungeon whenever we crack a Clue (the dungeon can be hugely advantageous for many reasons). And Ethereal Investigator makes a bunch of Clues when it enters and spirit tokens when we draw extra cards.

In: Academy Manufactor, Erdwal Illuminator, Search the Premises, Tamiyo’s Journal, Thorough Investigation, Ethereal Investigator

We’ve got a lot of artifact tokens looking to get sacrificed, so let’s take advantage of that. Agent of the Iron Throne, Disciple of the Vault, and Nadier’s Nightblade will all hurt our opponents when we sacrifice a Clue. But there’s room for synergy when they enter as well! Contraband Kingpin scrys whenever an artifact enters, Kappa Cannoneer gets bigger, Underhanded Designs can drain for 1 mana, and Junk Winder can Frost Titan any nonland permanent.

In: Agent of the Iron Throne, Disciple of the Vault, Nadier’s Nightblade, Contraband Kingpin, Kappa Cannoneer, Underhanded Designs, Junk Winder

We also want to take advantage of Inquisitor Greyfax’s tap ability, so we’re throwing in Betrayal and Verity Circle for some extra card draw. Clan Crafter turns Clues into a way to pump our commander or to sacrifice other artifacts for card draw. Tezzeret, Betrayer of Flesh gives us a free Clue sac every turn. Shimmer Dragon can tap two artifacts to draw a card. And for a finisher, we’ll turn all of our artifacts into beaters with Rise and Shine. Combine that with Greyfax’s anthem, and you’ve got a freshly awakened army of 5/4s with vigilance.

In: Betrayal, Verity Circle, Clan Crafter, Tezzeret, Betrayer of Flesh, Shimmer Dragon, Rise and Shine

All of these additions will cost you less than $30!

The Expendables

The unfortunate thing about having a precon with a large percentage of new cards is that the cuts hurt more. I want to play with all the new toys! Thankfully, most of the cuts we’re making aren’t because the cards are bad, more because they belong in other decks.

To start, I chopped some of the heavily-costed spells. Callidus Assassin is too expensive for a single target removal, even if we get something in exchange. Exterminatus is a powerful spell, but I generally avoid game resets because they’re just never fun. Reaver Titan and Knight Paladin are strong, but this really isn’t a vehicle deck. And Sister Hospitaller belongs in a blink deck, which we certainly do not have here.

Then for stuff we cut for being off-theme, And They Shall Know No Fear was the easiest cut. There’s really no synergy for it, and the creature types are mixed enough that it doesn’t feel right in this list. Granted, it might be good if you’re able to churn out a bunch of Squad copies. Assault Intercessor has a sweet static ability, but not for what we’re doing here. If we cut Celestine, the Living Saint, we cut most of the life gain from the deck, which means she clearly doesn’t belong here. Triumph of Saint Katherine goes as well. 

Thunderwolf Cavalry will be amazing in an aggro counters deck, but, again, not what we’re doing. Sister Repentia, The Golden Throne, and Sanguinary Priest are all part of an undercooked aristocrats package in the precon that really felt out of place. And Cybernetica Datasmith and Neyam Shai Murad both belong in some weird group hug package. All easy cuts.

Out: And They Shall Know No Fear, Assault Intercessor, Callidus Assassin, Celestine, the Living Saint, Cybernetica Datasmith, Epistolary Librarian, Exterminatus, Knight Paladin, Neyam Shai Murad, Primaris Eliminator, Reaver Titan, Redemptor Dreadnought, Sanguinary Priest, Sister Hospitaller, Sister Repentia, The Flesh Is Weak, The Golden Throne, Thunderwolf Cavalry, Triumph of Saint Katherine

We Spared No Expense

Okay, so now let’s talk about the stuff we’d add to the deck if we weren’t worried about money. And the best place to start is the area we ignored in the prior sections: the lands. Honestly, although the land package in the box is cheap, it’s also solid. But that doesn’t mean we can’t invest in it a little. I’d start with the shock lands: Hallowed Fountain, Watery Grave, and Godless Shrine. You can add fetch lands, like Marsh Flats and Flooded Strand, if they make you happy. Crowd lands are always great, and currently not terribly expensive. So add in a Vault of Champions, Sea of Clouds, and Morphic Pool. You can add some Innistrad lands, like Shipwreck Marsh and Deserted Beach, and the new tri-land Raffine’s Tower.

But that’s the boring stuff! Let’s talk the real saucy stuff here. The biggest one here is definitely Smothering Tithe. Tithe plus Marneus Calgar is *chef’s kiss*. To really take advantage of those artifacts, toss in Time Sieve and Urza, Lord High Artificer. Esper Sentinel and Rhystic Study for even more card draw. And, although they’re not terribly expensive, I left them for this section as more of an optional addition. Magewright’s Stone and Thousand-Year Elixir can really make it so Greyfax can keep on tapping stuff down and making Clues, but aren’t exactly spicy adds. Then, of course, if we want to really up our token game, throw in an Anointed Procession and Divine Visitation

There’s plenty of other sexy bling you can add here. But I’ll let you figure out the rest.

Inquisitor Deluxe

Here’s my upgraded decklist for Inquisitor Greyfax:

Forces of the Imperium upgraded

Commander (1)
Creatures (26)
Planeswalkers (1)
Artifacts (12)
Enchantments (10)
Sorceries (8)
Lands (37)
Instants (5)

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer

Our average mana value is now 3.38, way lower than the original 3.81. We streamlined the deck, we improved the synergy, and we’re gonna drop more Clues than a serial killer desperate to get caught. Still plenty of room for improvement, but that’s where you come in! What else would you put in this deck? Sound off in the comments! What’d I miss? What’d I get wrong?

Hit us up on Twitter, or find our other content on YouTube and Twitch. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more Warhammer content from my fellow Scrap Trawlers right here on EDHREC. And until next time, remember to budget…before you buy it.

Scrap Trawlers is a Magic: The Gathering budget EDH streaming and video group, with gameplay, deck techs, chats, and more. Catch our videos at Andy, Nick, Lenny, and Bert.