Turning Data Into Decks - Exploring Your Own Wincon
(Barl's Cage | Art by Tom Wänerstrand)
Despite All My Rage...
I'm losing my mind. There are probably better ways to start off an article, but after weeks of staying home and staring at a blank page, this was the only proper introduction I could provide.
It's okay, though, because I'm clearly not alone. I've had quite a number of requests for today's article, which is definitely a first. You can only sit there and question the sanity of those who're looking for guidance on creating the type of decks we're going to explore today. What kind of decks are these, you ask? Well, they involve a theme that many of my readers are familiar with. That's right, today we're going to explore how to create your very own unique chaos deck!
You heard me right! Kya is here to save (or destroy) the world once again! Welcome back to Turning Data to Decks, the series where we take a different dive into the EDHREC site from the typical norm. Now let's get out of this paragraph because I think it's now the 7th time Smashing Pumpkins has looped on my music playlist.
Okay, then, how does one create a chaos deck? Creating a proper chaos deck can either be the simplest task in deck creation ever, or an over-convoluted mess. It really depends on what you want to do. If the goal is to create the most chaotic board state the world has ever known, I've explored a few deck options that you can reference here and here. Also, let's not forget that there's an entire page (you're welcome) dedicated to chaos on EDHREC, itself!
Put simply, there are a lot of chaotic cards out there that make brewing a deck stuffed full of nonsense extremely easy. Over time, however, I've had strong urges to create very specific masterpieces of nightmare board states. Just throwing down a Warp World doesn't do it for me anymore. My playgroups have experienced this time and time again, so the expressions of horror on their faces isn't as rich as it used to be. A play group is like a relationship, after all; sometimes you need something unique to respark their dread - I mean, passion! Need an example? That's why we're here today!
Ever since I saw Morality Shift, I knew that making everyone else cast it would be the bee's knees. Imagine mid-game, everyone's world being turned upside down in a way they've never seen before! What's so great about this? The thing is, any EDH player can knock someone out of 40 life. I, like you, have done that plenty of times. It gets boring after a while, in my opinion. Pulling this off, however, is a very special kind of win-con within itself. Sure, you may not win "the game", but you'll win the achievement of the perceived impossible.
This is something I cannot stress enough when it comes to playing EDH in general. Magic: the Gathering is one of the most complex games in the world. Simply winning doesn't have to be the only goal one has while playing Commander. Exploring the limits of various complex interactions is a very rewarding experience sometimes. It's not limited to chaos, as creating a million tokens or endless life is also something many enjoy striving for. However, I think it's chaos decks that are able to dive even deeper into the unknown, and that's why you've seen me now write about them several times. If you find a play group that's willing to explore the vast, crazed land of the Mad Hatter's realm, I encourage you to jump in headfirst!
Finding a Mad Hatter to Host Your Tea Party
Now that we have a very specific goal, it's time to create a deck around it. To start off, we're going to need a commander that includes at least black and blue to match the color requirements of Hive Mind and Morality Shift. Normally, I'd strongly recommend dipping into red as well, as there are a lot of chaos cards in red, such as Thieves' Auction. However, again, this is a very specific goal we have here. Diluting it with another color without a direct benefit to each of these two cards is not something I'm interested in right now, so let's see what we have on EDHREC for blue and black.
There are actually a lot of great options for Dimir when it comes to our interaction. Lazav, the Multifarious jumped out to me immediately, for example. However, this deck is all about creating impressions, and I have a feeling that not many have played against Wrexial, the Risen Deep before. Plus, his ability is hilarious when you think about switching libraries and graveyards. Imagine an all-you-can-cast buffet with three other decks after almost their entire libraries hit the graveyard! Sure, the commander is costly, but the dreams of casting someone else's Warp World is something I can't ignore. Plus, imagine if your Hive Mind is still out when you do it!
Preparing Your Tea Set
Now that we have a commander and a dream, let's get to work constructing this deck. We're going to need some supporting cards to go with our main two-card combo. With Dimir, it's very tempting to add various cards that pour our library into our graveyard. However, we're trying to avoid that as that'll be the end result in a massive way. Why give them a bigger library by decking them slowly over time if you're just going to Morality Shift later? No, they'll probably knock you out of the game after all is said and done, so let them suffer with the aftermath, I say!
I want to make a bit of a stop here to mention something important about deck creation and EDHREC, since this is a Data Into Decks article. Context is important in deck craft. Often people can get fixated on the most popular cards of, say, a commander or theme. EDHREC is like the Codex Astartes: it's meant to be a guide, not a text to be taken as law. It's important to remember what you're trying to accomplish. So, instead of just looking at Wrexial's top cards page, let's look at something else, shall we? Our goal today is to protect ourselves while we find our two cards. Propaganda and various Walls will stop people from hitting us as we look for our cards. After all, we got 92 cards to go through if it's not in our starting hand. It can take a while! With that said, let's look here at the various Walls on EDHREC for some good inclusions!
Hiding Cards in Your Sleeves
As mentioned before, we have a lot of cards to shift through if we want to find our own special win-con. Thankfully in blue and black we have all the tutors and all the draw that we could ever want. I know that I said that I'm against milling of any kind with what we plan to do, but Jace's Archivist doubles as a blocker and a repeatable wheel, which is just too good to ignore! I know some tutors can be pricey, so instead of a $30 tutor, go for a Diabolic Tutor, instead. Or get both because we'll need all the help we can get.
Looking for more draw and tutors? Luckily for you they're the most popular cards to EDH players. Let's look at EDHREC's top cards of all time for some tutor and draw ideas, shall we? Oh god, I'm already approaching the desired word count. Was it the rant earlier? It's always the rants that kill me. If this deck suggests anything, my craziness can't be contained! Anyways, let's add the finishing touches.
"How Many Sugar Cubes For Your Tea?"
...You ask sarcastically, as you pour the tea on their heads. Say we finish our work of art and cast both Hive Mind and Morality Shift, but our victims- I mean friends have the nerve not to scoop. What then, I imagine you ask? Then we create masterpieces within our masterpiece by adding to the mess! Imagine your whole world turned upside-down, but the one tiny comfort you have is at least you can draw from your graveyard. Nope! Cast a Shared Fate and make them get cards from other graveyards, instead! If only we had white for Drannith Magistrate, too... oh well.
Not enough insanity? Make the world truly insane by casting Twilight's Call now that we have big new graveyards.
That not enough still? Let's add in an Endless Whispers and Lethal Vapors! Good luck keeping up with it all! Wahahahaha- oh is it time? Okay fine I'll stop here... here's the finished project:
No Morality in ChaosView on Archidekt
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer
What does everyone think? Would they find it a wild ride if their library and graveyard changed places? I don't know why, but finding cards that are designed to be limited to a single person and sharing the love is something that I thoroughly enjoy. Cards such as Hive Mind and Fractured Identity are the best! I hope you find my process for creating chaotic decks helpful. As mentioned before, I'm slowly turning away from the bland generic concept of just slotting with random chaos cards. In my opinion, you find a lot of enjoyment in focusing on a specific goal that specializes in unlocking crazy achievements. Blame the gamer in me, I guess.
What kind of chaos decks are you making? I'd love to hear of your ideas!
Until next time,