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Flashpoint: Building Nymris, Oona's Trickster


Hello all! I hope that you are having just the best day ever! I was inspired by a certain leader from Commander Legends...which one?

Nymris, Oona's Trickster

This one! I tossed a Nymris, Oona's Trickster into my Commander Cube (which you can draft here), and set it to six packs and seven bots. What does Nymris bring to the table? Let's look!

First, check out the casting cost and power/toughness. As you can see Nymris is a five-mana commander that has a big butt of 6 toughness but a power of just 1 - that suggests defense, not offense. You can flash it out to block, although since it's your Commander you won't surprise anyone with that move. You also can fly so you can block flyers that come your way. It's a Faerie and a Knight, one of which is very relevant for Dimir.

Let's unpack that ability. As you cast spells on each foes' turn you can dig two cards into your library and put one in your hand and the other into your graveyard. That's awesome! But you can only do it once per turn.

What does Nymris suggest to me?

  • Instants Matter. The first thing you could build around? Instants matter! Forget those nasty sorceries, just load up your deck with a lot of instants and then get a lot of cards. Turn this into a Dimir version of Talrand, Sky Summoner that might even be creatureless save for your leader or a handful of dorks that net you triggers for instants or sorceries.
  • Flash Matters. Nowhere does this say "instants matter," so another way to load this bad boy up is to run a ton of flash-y creatures and other permanents just like Nymris itself. You could easily find enough artifacts and dorks to fill up a Dimir deck with the flash stuff. And you could combine this and run a bunch of instants in your spells rather than sorceries.
  • Faeries Matter Another way to run Nymris? This is a Faerie in an archetype that loves Dimir, and you could just build this as a Dimir Faeries deck with cards like Bitterblossom that play into the tribal elements.
  • Reanimation. Since you might be filling your graveyard with the goodies from your Nymris trigger, you'll want to run cards that will use your graveyard as a dumping ground for key things to reanimate back onto the battlefield.
  • Cantrips. You'll want to draw enough cards so that your spell you cast on each opponent's turn is free so it only costs you mana. Take Opt as a great example. You'll scry. You'll draw a card from it, you'll trigger Nymris, and it only costs you one mana.
  • Flashback/Jump-Start/Retrace. Since you are netting triggers that care about spells being cast on other foes' turns, getting multiple casts from a given instant is a great way to net those Nymris triggers!

What do I want my deck to look like? Let's do a flash/instants deck!

However, I see an issue with this style of build I want to discuss up front. I call it Nymris' Sol Ring Problem. The Sol Ring problem is simple. This deck is going to want support in the form of mana rocks like Sol Ring, equipment that can protect Nymris from death like Lightning Greaves and maybe the occasional sorcery like Demonic Tutor. But those are non-combos with Nymris. I could add in cards like Vedalken Orrery and Leyline of Anticipation that let me cast the Sol Rings of the world as an instant. That's an obvious place to go. But that requires me to control both to get full value from my flash-needing Sol Rings. And the cards that give it flash are going to be mostly worthless here as most of the cards will also really be instants or have flash. I'd be running dead weight for the handful of cards without flash.

What am I going to do? Run un-synergies? Run engines to help them that won't be as good here as in other builds? Skip the un-syngeries but lose their power? This is the Sol Ring Problem of Nymris. I am going to run a handful of cards that are un-synergetic with Nymris but are too good not to include: mana rocks, Solemn Simulacrum, Lightning Greaves, Swiftfoot Boots and Demonic Tutor.

The rest have flash or are instants.

What was the first pair of cards that came to my mind when I saw Nymris?

Cunning Nightbonder

This duo was the first pair of cards that came to my mind because Ikoria was the first place that had some keyword-matters support and Dimir Flash was a thing with these two cards that were intended to lead folks down a nice hill. As you can see, Slitherwisp will let you draw a card and force your foes to lose a life each time you cast something that has flash, just like it does. The second card lets every card with flash cost one less, like your Nymris. They are really strong in this build.

Wavebreak Hippocamp
Stinging Lionfish

Do I add these to my non-flash stuff? Hmm... I hate not having them in my flash team, but the synergy of rewarding things just like Nymris is pretty useful, right? There were a few of these in Theros Beyond Death that were printed, but just two in our colors. Let's do it! These are like Guttersnipe in a deck built around instants and sorceries. They aren't synergy with the theme, but the triggers are needed. The Hippocamp is great at keeping card flow, and the Lionfish can tap or untap anything that's not a land like a key creature that swung to block or a mana rock. Good pair! Welcome home!

There aren't many retrace or jump-start cards in my colors and instants so there aren't that many in this deck either, just Chemister's Insight and Oona's Grace. The Insight is an awesome way to extend your card drawing and Nymris triggers over two opposing turns. Cast it on Foe 1's turn and draw two and trigger Nymris. Discard a land or the worst card you drew to cast it again on Foe 2's and draw two and trigger Nymris again. Total result: four cards from Insight, two from Nymris, one discarded. The Grace of Oona does something very different. Every time you have a spare land you can discard it to cast the spell with retrace. Draw a card and replace your land with something better and trigger Nymris. Net? Discarded one land, drawn two cards with Grace and Nymris. That's good value over time! And the land you might have just drawn? You can do it again on the next turn and the turn after that.

Forbidden Alchemy
Mystical Teachings

The cool thing about this flashback duo is that they are Dimir-colored so you can run them here! The former is a bit of a Nymris trigger save you dig four instead of two. Just like Nymris, you put the cards you don't choose into your graveyard. The flashback is pricy, but it's another spell for Nymris on a foe's turn. Mystical Teachings is the better card here. We have 32 instants to tutor for and can really choose a lot of power. And you can do it again!

Fervent Denial
Think Twice

I know that the first of these flashback spells can be expensive, but any ship in a storm, right? The Denial is great at countering and triggering Nymris. It's the same cost as your commander, so if you have the one you can cast the other, making them fine together. And its flashback is only two more. The latter card is the powerful house here as it's only five mana total for both halves, and can be cast proactively for two triggers and two more cards. Good stuff!

Opposition Agent

This flash duo was arguably the most broken cards from Commander Legends. Neither of these are fair, but they both have flash so I am tossing them into my Nymris deck. Hullbreacher turns foes' extra card drawing into Treasures that you can sacrifice for mana to cast the things that Nymris needs. Pretty slick in here, right? Right!

Meanwhile, Opposition Agent can control your foes as they tutor up something and you can cast those spells or drop that land yourself. Not fair, either of them, and they could suck up key removal so that your better synergy cards like Wavebreak Hippocamp stay alive.

Stunt Double here is a lot of fun. Flash it out and Clone the best dork on the battlefield for surprise blocking. You can easily block and kill something out of nowhere! You can also cast it for a Nymris trigger and copy a great enters-the-battlefield trigger for something like Acidic Slime or Eternal Witness or Sun Titan. It's great synergy here! And don't forget the recently printed Merfolk Pirate Brineborn Cutthroat either! As you cast spells on your foes' turns (which is a lot) you'll net +1/+1 counters for the Pirate that comes down early on turn two and can grow into a threat very quickly. It also has flash!

Spectral Sailor
Muddle the Mixture

Take another look at Spectral Sailor. It's a cheap Nymris trigger at just one mana with flash. It flies to swing over foes for the poking. And it's a repeatable mana draw. At the end of a foe's turn you can tap out and draw the key card to keep yourself and your team alive! Keep up that card flow! Don't sleep on this!

Take a gander at Muddle the Mixture, a transmutable counterspell. We have a ton of two-drops we can tutor for and if you need a non-two drop you can transmute for Demonic Tutor. It's pretty good in here! And you can counter if needed.

And don't sleep on Necromancy, which can be flashed out. I like it a lot in this build. Like a lot a lot. You can cast it at its normal speed to pull out a key dork that died or was placed in the graveyard by Nymris. And you can cast this at instant speed to get a surprise trigger or block and trade with something but the enchantment heads away if you do so at that speed. It's strong here!

Winding Canyons

I don't have many creatures that don't have flash, but the operational cost of a land that taps for colorless isn't much. I tossed it in for your Solemn Simulacrum or Wavebreak Hippocamp. It's pretty good here!

And there we go! Want to check out my build?

And there we are! What did you think of my build? Anything in here that I missed or that you like? Just let me know one way or the other and I'd be happy to engage you with it further!

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