Power Sink - Slicer's Deep Cuts

It Slices, It Dices

Overpowered commanders got you down? Try Power Sink™, the article series where we take the commanders that are a cut above and make them a new deck that's anything but dull. Today, we've got a deal on Slicer, Hired Muscle.

Newly released with The Brothers' War, Slicer only has 481 decks to his name at the time of writing. He generated significant buzz thanks to the performance of a Rogue deck at the Silicon Dynasty cEDH tournament in January 2023. I can't speak to whether or not Slicer is a new meta buster in competitive, but in casual Commander he can be tough to deal with. A 3/4 with double strike is a surprisingly effective attacker, and since you can goad him and pass him to your opponents, you can make those three easy payments of 21 commander damage to end the game in no time.

Slicer also comes down early thanks to his alternate cost, and when he does, everyone starts scrambling for blockers or a removal spell. If you're looking for a game where you don't have to mulligan for removal and can spend the first few turns ramping, you aren't likely to have it with a Slicer deck in the mix. While Slicer is only in mono-red, that gives him access to plenty of tools to get him out fast, boost his power, and recur him and other artifacts. Now that we know how Slicer works, let's look at the average deck list on EDHREC to see what he uses to edge out the competition.

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Slice of Life

Slicer's average deck looks very much like a typical Voltron deck. Darksteel Plate, Swiftfoot Boots, and Whispersilk Cloak all work to keep Slicer on the field, while Hammer of Nazahn is useful for cheating equip costs.

The deck is also filled with cards to make Slicer harder to block in case opponents find their footing and develop a board to protect themselves. Vorrac Battlehorns gives trample and prevents opponents from blocking with multiple creatures to kill Slicer, and if you happen to get menace with something like Madcap Skills, then blocking is no longer an option. You're almost guaranteed to see nonbasic lands from your opponents, so Trailblazer's Boots is another way to ensure Slicer gets at those life totals. Komainu Battle Armor grants menace, and if you hit an opponent, you can goad all of their creatures and watch them scramble to develop enough blockers to stop you from goading them again.

Slicer has an unusual interaction with much of the Equipment in his list: if you pass control of Slicer to an opponent, you still retain control of any of your stuff you attached to him. This means if he hits an opponent when he's wielding Sword of Hearth and Home, you can search for the lands, not the opponent controlling him. Similarly with Sword of Fire and Ice, you draw the cards and get to send that two damage where you please.

This is also why this list contains Goldvein Pick, Zephyr Boots, and Infiltration Lens. Slicer will be giving you a tremendous advantage simply for making your opponents attack with him. Umezawa's Jitte is the most insidious of these interactions. You'll be able to use the counters on the Jitte to pump up Slicer, but you can also use them to remove pesky blockers or utility creatures, and with Slicer attacking every turn with double strike, those counters are going to build up fast.

I also want to touch on some cards in the list that speak to the adoption of Slicer as a high-powered or potential cEDH commander. Rite of Flame, Simian Spirit Guide, and Ancient Tomb are all cards that work toward getting Slicer out on turn one or two. Surprisingly, Mana Crypt is absent from the list, but I suspect that's going to change since Slicer has recently got more publicity. Blood Moon and Magus of the Moon aren't so effective in the current cEDH meta, but they can be devastating in high-power Commander games and aren't typically the kind of thing people run when they're playing nice. Finally, Red Elemental Blast and Pyroblast are great cards, but they tend to show up primarily in cEDH where you can expect to see a blue spell you need to counter.

That's the gist of the average deck, but if you're looking for something off the wall, have I got the Slicer deck for you!

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Get a Slice

Once again we're going back to group hug. I know we do these kinds of decks fairly often in Power Sink, but Slicer gives us an opportunity to take a different approach to this archetype. The average deck is filled with cards that benefit you when Slicer is being passed around and making julienne fries of your opponents, but if we put cards into Slicer that give abilities to the creature they are attached to, then they become something our opponents could use.

This deck is looking to load Slicer up with all kinds of abilities to use, and since we don't have to pass him to our opponents, he can be a bargaining chip as well. To sell the idea to our opponents, we're going to avoid Equipment and Auras that make Slicer evasive save for a few notable exceptions.

Tired of those games where everyone feels bad because a player is down on mana and can't do anything? Slap a Paradise Mantle on Slicer to turn him into a mana dork you can share with your friends. Even better, now that Slicer has a tap ability, your opponents can opt out of attacking. Sticky Fingers gives Treasures on combat damage to an opponent, and while we're trying to avoid making Slicer evasive, we can just say the menace is there to make sure people get their Treasures. We've also got Victory Chimes and Curse of Opulence in case Slicer is out of the equation and we still want to share.

In a pickle and someone else needs to draw the answer? Slicer's got you covered. Prophetic Ravings and Epiphany Storm can give you - or whoever controls Slicer - a way to dig into their deck as long as they have a card to discard. Or they can pay into Diviner's Wand to draw cards (don't worry about it giving Slicer flying). If you've got a player that loves top deck manipulation, why not pass them Slicer equipped with a Witches' Eye for scrying?

Your opponents are going to be champing at the bit to bargain with you for ramp and draw, but wait, there's more! Do they want tokens? How about Elemental Mastery! Removal? Try Burning Anger or Siren Song Lyre. Copying spells? It's more common than you think with Dual Casting. We can even pass around an Overrun; that's right, just give Slicer a Dragon Throne of Tarkir.

We don't even have to stop at a single use for these abilities. We've got Clock of Omens and Manifold Key to untap Slicer. Heck, we don't even have to stop at using Slicer. We can pass around Khârn the Betrayer or Humble Defector with any of these cards, or we can build our own Slicer with Assault Suit or Custody Battle.


While making deals and helping our opponents is fun, it doesn't win the game. Although Slicer is great at ending games, we don't want the deck to be fully about that, otherwise we might as well go back to the average deck. A surprising number of Equipment cards make tokens on attack, so while we and our opponents are attacking with Slicer, we will be amassing a token army. We have them for the tokens, but the power buff from Captain's Claws and Sigiled Sword of Valeron will go a long way with a double striking commander. We don't really care about the first strike from Moonsilver Spear, but we're very interested in those Angel tokens, and Staff of Titania ramps us and can be quite the boost over time.

Inquisitorial Rosette is another card we're breaking our no evasive Equipment rule for, but we want that token and we can offer it as a way to give our opponents' creatures menace. Helm of the Host allows us to make copies of Slicer that we can pass around, though it only works on our turn. Since we have a lot of Equipment, we can also use Reckless Crew or Goldwardens' Gambit to make an army out of nowhere.

We don't want to completely ignore our commander's damage potential, so we've got Blackblade Reforged and Thran Power Suit. These work especially well alongside Dragon Throne of Tarkir and Elemental Mastery to help us take a game. We also have Kediss, Emberclaw Familiar to make sure that if we do go for the Voltron kill, we aren't keeping the rest of the table waiting.

Cut it Out

Overall, I'm very pleased with how this deck came together. I think it's a great deck for players that like to table talk and make deals, and I think it's the sort of deck that leads to memorable games... provided your opponents want to play along. I'm in the market for a mono-red deck, so I think I might put this together and practice wheeling and dealing. How do you feel about making deals and helping opponents in commander? Let me know in the comments, and I'll see you next time for another Power Sink.

Lenny has been in an on again off again relationship with Magic since Fallen Empires. He fell in love with Commander in 2010 when his friends forced him to build Niv Mizzet, the Firemind and has been with the game ever since. When he's not turning cardboard sideways or trying to justify using bad draft commons in EDH decks you can find him playing something from his massive board game collection or practicing the Brazilian martial art Capoeira. Follow Lenny on twitter @LennyWooley

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