Singleton Shmingleton - Fling

(Fling |Art by Lucas Graciano)


Hello, and welcome back to Singleton Shmingleton, where I bend the singleton rules of Commander by building decks with as many functional reprints of a certain card as possible. This week it's Flinging time, and someone is going to die. It might be our opponents, who can't deal with forty damage straight to the face, or it might be us, after two-for-one-ing ourselves seven times and falling short. But this game is going to end and it's going to end fast.

Fling has a long history as the go-to first idea for how to turn an enormous creature into a definitive win. It's never the best way, but its existence has opened up a lot of deckbuilding avenues. It was the first card that came to mind when Colossification was released. Even recently, with March of the Machine, we got a pie-in-the-sky limited combo of Yargle and Multani plus Voldaren Thrillseeker to deal exactly twenty damage in one shot. Fling is the type of card dreams are made of.

And in Commander, the format of dreams, it has found its niche. Brion Stoutarm, who acts as a Fling in the command zone, is a fan favorite, and Yasova Dragonclaw plays very well with Flings. But I want to go more all-in.

There are nineteen cards that can sacrifice a creature to deal damage equal to its power to one or more players. Almost all of these are in red, with a couple of very strong effects in green and black. Here they are:

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The most played of these cards, with 43,693 decks, is Kazuul's Fury. Fling is either incredibly powerful or absolutely useless, so giving the option to play it as a land makes it so much more consistent. The second most played is in fact the original, in 32,002 decks. It's a classic, it's got name recognition, it's instant speed, and everyone owns one. The least played of these cards is Freyalise Supplicant, which finds its way into only 62 decks. It's so cheap for a repeatable activated ability, but limiting it to only sacrificing red or white creatures is narrow, and only dealing half the damage makes it very hard to break this card. I do think there are more than 62 decks that might want this effect, though. As a utility creature, it can repeatedly turn your excess creatures into removal spells. Sounds perfect for a deck like Trostani, Selesnya's Voice.

Among these cards are not one, not two, but three potential commanders: the classic Brion Stoutarm, Legacy all star Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes, and massive Demon Dragon Ziatora, the Incinerator. Of these three, Ziatora gives us the best colors for this effect, and is a powerful card in its own right. Making treasures as well as dealing damage will allow us to rebuild our board quickly for another Fling later on.

Making Fling Sing

In order to make this deck work, we need to make creatures with incredibly high power. Like, we're talking forty-damage one-shot high power. I'm sure we've all seen creatures this big at a Commander table, but we need to turn power boosting into a science, something we can do again and again. And we have a lot of tools at our disposal.

On the low end of the curve, Managorger Hydra and Taurean Mauler can grow incredibly quickly just with the course of the game. They will often eat our opponents' first removal spell and keep us alive until we can start deploying our heavyweight threats.

For a few more mana, we can play creatures like Yargle and Multani, Kresh the Bloodbraided, and Okaun, Eye of Chaos, which can get out of hand quickly. Ziatora triggers on end step, so with any luck we can both attack for a bunch and throw our creatures at someone. Kresh the Bloodbraided also offers an alternate commander that we can switch out for Ziatora if we start feeling like the fatties to Flings ratio is too low. Whenever we throw a huge creature with Kresh in play, it picks up stacks of counters, fueling our next Fling and threatening massive amounts of Commander damage.

These next cards are not for the faint of heart. There are some potent cards in black and red that trade life for power, and they're some of our strongest creatures. Wall of Blood is the epitome of "strong but narrow." It can't attack, but its size is only bounded by our life total and squeamishness. Moltensteel Dragon is similar, except it can attack and the cost is even steeper. Phyrexian Processor is a little slower, but is repeatable, threatening a true engine with our commander. And Hatred is a classic gotcha card that can one-shot opponents out of nowhere. No one is safe when these cards are on the table, including us.

Card Spotlights

Mayhem Devil: This guy pulls double duty in this deck. Not only does it trigger when we sacrifice a creature to Ziatora, it also triggers when we sacrifice the Treasures we get in return. And of course, it also triggers off of anything our opponents sacrifice, making it a killer utility creature.

The Skullspore Nexus: A new card, and perfect for this deck. It'll always be cheap in this deck, it gives us a second huge body when we sacrifice our big guys, and it can even double a creature's size. Truly tailor-made for a deck like this.

Mossbridge Troll: The biggest creature you've never heard of! This card can easily one-shot an opponent, and is resistant to a lot of removal. In a deck that thrives on putting all of its eggs in one basket, this basket is perfect.

Vampiric Link/Basilisk Collar: Ziatora is disgusting with Lifelink. It removes a lot of the risk, and allows us to go incredibly deep with Wall of Blood and friends. If we don't have our commander on the field, these cards work equally well with our other creatures that act as Flings, like Surtland Flinger or Bloodshot Cyclops.

The Decklist

Commander (1)
Creatures (25)
Enchantments (3)
Instants (14)
Sorceries (12)
Artifacts (7)
Planeswalkers (1)
Lands (37)

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This deck embraces the swinginess of multiplayer Magic. When everyone is trying to do something big and you can't expect to win more than a quarter of your games, why try to build value and outlast when you can go out in style? This deck makes games quick. Often we can kill one player remarkably fast, and then it's a coin toss whether we can win from there or lose on the backswing. This kind of deck is important to have in your arsenal for the quick second or third games before everyone leaves for the night. And Fling is certainly the star of the show. Opponents will quickly learn that we always have it, and will have a hard time ever tapping out again.

Until Next Time

How much mana could we really need? Explosive Vegetation and its counterparts have been Commander staples since the beginning, but what could we possibly do with *checks Scryfall* nine copies of this card? Get ready for some BIG MANA next time on Singleton Shmingleton!

Read More:

Too-Specific Top 10 - Any Target

Finding Homes for Janky Cards - Halana and Alena, Partner

Jesse Barker Plotkin started playing Magic with Innistrad. He was disqualified from his first Commander game after he played his second copy of Goblins of the Flarg, and it's all been uphill from there. Outside of Magic, he enjoys writing and running.

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