Forgotten Harvest - Splicey Meatballs

(Evermind | Art by Matt Thompson)

Deckbuilding Postbellum

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another edition of Forgotten Harvest, where I highlight the most hyper-underplayed cards in EDH. For today's article, we're going to take a look at one of the new commanders from War of the Spark. First, however, I should discuss my policy when digesting a new set.

During each spoiler season, I keep an eye out for the missing pieces to complete decks on my "wish list." These are cards or commanders that will complete a deck idea I have and make it a legitimate build instead of just a sorry attempt at a deck. I mean, my decks are already full of jank, but at least it's cohesive jank. The hype gets especially heavy for me when tribal themes are spoiled, as a bunch of these ideas are founded in creature types. Anyway, when preview season for War of the Spark began, I had my eye out for any of these missing pieces, ready to pounce.

Ilharg, the Raze-Boar was the first such piece to emerge, but I'm saving that deck for two weeks from now. The second meatball to roll out of WAR was God-Eternal Kefnet.

My goodness, this commander is wonderful! He plays so well with blue's spellslinger tendencies, especially if you can control the rate of card draw. Additionally, he's very hard to get rid of, slipping back into the library if removed. I knew this birdie would be a popular commander and would likely get paired up with the plethora of extra-turn spells that always crop up whenever folks talk about great blue cards. However, I saw him commanding a different kind of spellslinger deck.

On Top of Spaghetti / All Covered with Cheese...

The deck I'm talking about is Arcane and Spirit tribal. From all the way back in Kamigawa block, these two themes go hand-in-hand. The Splice onto Arcane cards work especially well with God-Eternal Kefnet, as you can splice cards onto the copy generated by Kefnet, including the actual card you copied. For example, let's say I draw Dampen Thought (105 decks on EDHREC) and reveal it using Kefnet's ability. I get a copy of Dampen Thought that I can cast while the real one goes to my hand. I want to splice the real Dampen Thought in my hand onto the copy, so I reveal it (again), and then pay the full cost of the spell, reduced by two generic mana (the last bit of Kefnet's ability), which makes it UU to mill eight cards while losing no card advantage. The next time I draw an Arcane spell, I can splice Dampen Thought onto the copy again with no card loss.

Now, I would love to get into each and every underplayed Arcane card, both those that splice and those that can be spliced upon. But nearly every blue card of this spell type is underplayed, so instead I'm going to hit some highlights. There isn't really a clear theme among the effects caused by these Arcane cards, and as the mechanic only appeared in Kamigawa block, there isn't a huge pool to draw from. But one common theme that I've seen is that these spells tend to target creatures a lot! As such, despite being a spellslinger deck devoid of pump spells, the main win condition becomes combat.

Some Arcane spells, like Consuming Vortex (142 decks) and Psychic Puppetry (80 decks), can be used to remove blockers and clear a path. Others, like Lifted by Clouds (20 decks) and Veil of Secrecy (158 decks), provide evasion to your creatures to get those attacks through (Virtus and Gorm from two weeks ago would be so proud). And if a more permanent form of removal is required, I've got Dismiss into Dream in the deck to make all that targeting magic lethal. Reweave, in 270 decks, also gives some great spot removal for any kind of permanent on its own, assuming you keep on casting/splicing it.

I Lost My Poor Meatball / When Somebody Sneezed

In addition to providing Arcane spells, Kamigawa block also brought us a series of Spirits that care about them. Teller of Tales (53 decks) and Guardian of Solitude (35 decks) are both a continuation of the themes above, removing blockers or providing evasion whenever a Spirit or Arcane spell is cast. Similarly, Kiri-Onna, in 122 decks, can help clear the field with bounce effects and can be repeatably cast. Quillmane Baku provides even more tapping shenanigans, while only seeing play in 33 decks.

An alternative wincon in this deck is mill, though it's the more difficult option. The presence of Dampen Thought is bolstered by Cloudhoof Kirin, found in only 138 decks. Given the card draw in the deck, and the duplication of spells thanks to God-Eternal Kefnet, all these abilities should be triggering regularly.

The uber-mono-blue Spirit from the same block, The Unspeakable, also makes the deck, despite only being in 206 decklists. This also includes the three spells that help summon him directly out of the deck: Reach Through Mists, Peer Through Depths, and Sift Through Sands. Given the amount of library manipulation and draw in this deck, I expect the alternate summoning route to be a regular occurrence.

As the modern Magic player knows, not all great Spirits come from Kamigawa. The plane of Innistrad has supplied its fair share of Spirit spells. Lantern Spirit is currently only in 45 decks, but it fits into the theme of wanting to repeatedly cast Spirit spells, and its self-bounce can pay off big in this deck. When its cost is reduced thanks to a card like Urza's Incubator, this card can be a real all-star!

Since we're playing Spirits repeatedly, we might as well throw in Nebelgast Herald (190 decks). Again, we have a phantasm that helps tap down opposing creatures that gets better as we play more and more Spirit spells. Tapping down a creature isn't the same as a full neutralization, and Soulsworn Spirit can provide that option while keeping to our theme. It's a wonder that it only sees play in 75 decks.

Finally, we have the true Spirit tribal cards: Battleground Geist and Supreme Phantom. This duo will help pump our team, making sure that our attacks count for more. Given its fairly weak power level overall, this deck is going to win primarily on tempo and explosive turns, and these cards are going to play a big role in keeping up the pressure. They're in 194 and 133 decks, respectively.

Let's take a look at the final deck, shall we?

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Time to Roll Out!

That about does it for this edition of Forgotten Harvest. If you have any questions, comments, or snide remarks, you can find me in the comments section below. I'll be down there to talk about how I keep building Spirit tribal or how Evermind would make a really great name for a band. Let me know about the decks on your wish list that are just waiting for a missing card or commander to become a reality, or any hyper-underplayed cards you'd like to see featured on this series in the future. In the meantime, I'll be working out the kinks in this little red-green number that's all set to abuse Ilharg, the Raze-Boar. See you later!

Midwest transplant to the Pacific Northwest, Kyle has been playing the jankiest of decks for nearly 20 years. He loves non-lethal combos, obscure deck themes, Cloudstone Curio, and winning with Coalition Victory. When he's not tapping lands or brewing decks, Kyle is enjoying his other ridiculously expensive hobby: building with Lego.

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