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Unleashing Fain, the Broker


Hello all! I hope that you are having the best day in your life today, and if not yet that it will be by the end of the day! I want to give you my seventh article featuring a guy from Strixhaven or Commander 2021 for you! Today we'll be returning to the latter product.

Would you want to check out my previous work? Awesome possum!

  • First, I built my deck around the Elder Dragon Galazeth Prismari who founded the Prismari School! I added in a ton of artifacts as well as some big spells to cast more easily with his ability to tap any artifact for mana for instants and sorceries. I hope you enjoy it!
  • Second, I built a fun deck around Killian, Ink Duelist and fellow Strixhaven card Reflective Golem and the copying tandem they'll make! I then created a bunch of self-targeting instants and sorceries which felt much like an Orzhov version of a Feather, the Redeemed list. Do you like it?
  • Third, I built a deck around another Elder Dragon called Tanazir Quandrix. Around this Simic colored fun force I added in cards that went big with counters for him to double like Hydras, Fractals, and other friends, and then I went wide with support dorks to use his latter ability to change things into 4/4s. Want to check it out? It's here!
  • Fourthly, I built a deck around Extus, Oriq Overlord // Awaken the Blood Avatar. In this deck I created a graveyard based synergy to use Extus's magecraft trigger to Raise Dead a dork as well as enough sorceries and instants to trigger said Extus. It's pretty fun, as you can see here!
  • Fifthly, I built around the popular Osgir, the Reconstructor who has 1045 decks over at EDHREC.com and is the most popular leader from the mega-set. I built an artifacts matter deck around cards with awesome enters-the-battlefield triggers and artifacts loving things like Goblin Welder and Armillary Sphere and new cards from the Commander deck that features him. Enjoy it here!
  • Sixthly, I created a deck around Dina, Soul Steeper, an uncommon from Strixhaven and did one of each color at the school! I created a Pest-matters theme with lifegain triggers, sacrifice engines for my Pests, and recurring life gain effects like Essence Warden.

What Commander 2021 leader am I building around?

Fain, the Broker

Have you seen Fain, the Broker? Check him out! I saw him over at the spoilers and wanted to build around him. He reminds me of three artifacts that are pretty good at the kitchen table which we'll add to the deck. All three of his tap abilities are free. The first one sacrifices a dork (of ours) and nets you two +1/+1 counters. Not bad if you care about either counters or sacrifices and its mana free which is rare for a sacrifice in the command zone. Check out the second tap. You can remove a counter from a dork you control to make a Treasure. Not bad there either, and you can make Treasure after pulling a +1/+1 counter you made from sacrificing. A sacrifice will turn into two Treasures, albeit slowly. Its third ability will sacrifice an artifact, like the treasure you just made, and turn it into a flying 2/1 dork. Then you can, over time turn it into two 2/1 flyers, but that takes a while. Then you can spend 4 mana to untap Fain and speed him up.

How do I see myself building around Fain? Great question!

  • Mono-Black Mana Ramp. Mono-Black has a history of running cards like Cabal Stronghold and others to push out a ton of mana. We'll run it all.
  • Enough Creatures to Sacrifice. To getstarted, we need to sacrifice a dork, so we need to be running enough dorks to sacrifice. I'll run my removal through dorks with ETB triggers.
  • Creatures with +1/+1 Counters. We can jump past the first ability and speed up a turn by adding in creatures that arrive to the battlefield with counters, which is uncommon in the color but we can find a few here and there. By pulling off a counter from that dork you'll speed up Fain by a full turn. Plus, you won't have to sacrifice anything.
  • Run Enough Artifacts. Want to speed up Fain by another turn? You can add in a bunch of artifacts to sacrifice for Inklings that are 2/1 and fly. I'll also lean into artifact creatures which we can sacrifice for counters or another flying dork. I'll lean into artifacts that have enters the battlefield triggers that you can sacrifice for the win.
  • Recursion. Since we are sacrificing dorks and artifacts for our Commander, and since we are in black anyway, I want to add in some cool recursive elements.
  • Mana Sinks. Since we are making a bunch of mana, we'll need sinks not named Fain, the Broker!
  • Support. We'll need removal and card drawing in our support.

Staff of Domination
Trading Post
Retrofitter Foundry

Look at this trio of cards. These are the three artifacts that came to mind when I saw Fain, the Broker. Two of them serve as mana sinks as well. The Staff will let you draw cards, tap and untap stuff and then gain life, all with your extra mana and is a classic card in Commander that was once banned. The Post is a great option for your Fain as you can discard, pay life, sacrifice a dork or an artifact all for various effects. Those last two duplicate Fain and let you add to your sacrifice options. The Foundry can create Servos and then get untapped and reused for five generic mana total. Good stuff, right? Right! I love this trinity!

Mindless Automaton
Walking Ballista

Here's another trinity for you: Triskelion and Walking Ballista and Mindless Automaton. By having artifact creatures with counters, you can use them with all of Fain's abilities - pull off a counter, sacrifice a creature or sacrifice an artifact. I have a few of them here and there. I love the first card as a great way to turn +1/+1 counters to removal. You can shoot and kill something with its counters and then sacrifice the 1/1 that's left for an Inkling. You can also load it with counters from Fain and shoot more. The second card can be used to turn +1/+1 counters into cards. You can sacrifice a creature to load up two counters onto it and draw a card, so you turn sacrifice into card drawing. You can also discard cards for counters and then pull one off for Fain to make a Treasure to sacrifice for an Inkling. The third Construct serves as a valuable mana sink and can duplicate the first's ability to shoot down dorks or finish off planeswalkers. Enjoy another trinity!

Tempting Contract

Have you seen this card from Commander 2021? I hope so! This is my first time adding it to a brew for you. Basically, your foes can make Treasures and you'll net Treasures and everyone wins. I doubt anyone will not grab one to keep you from not grabbing one either as mana matters at the kitchen table. And friends matter here as well. I like this bad Contract a lot here as you can make a bunch of Treasure for the sacrificing (or the ramping) whichever you prefer.

Disciple of the Vault
Sly Requisitioner
Marionette Master

Triggers win the game! We have a lot of death triggers like Grave Pact and Dictate of Erebos, and these two as well! They are classics in the format, and you can see how their power here adds to your sacrificing death machines. I love the first card as it can trigger for non-creature artifacts like Treasures being sacrificed. I don't like that it only works on one foe though, so I'm tossing it in but pointing that out. We also are running cards like Blood Artist.

Welcome back to Kaladesh block with the Master and the Requisitioner! Did you know that these exist? Did you forget them? The former will let you turn dying nontoken artifacts into 1/1 Servos that can swing. No Treasures, but yes to everything else. Pretty good right? And you can look at the latter card that turns dying artifacts into forcing them to lose 1 or 4 life whether you fabricated or not. You can also put more counters on it with Fain to increase its power and its ability, or you can pull a counter off for a Treasure. Pretty good for the cause, right? Right!

Phyrexian Scriptures

Look at this bad boy. 4 mana? Put a counter on a creature that becomes an artifact. You can pull off the counter with Fain or sacrifice your now-an-artifact for an Inkling. Then on the next turn you'll destroy all non-artifact creatures which won't hurt you that much. Then you exile all opposing 'yards which is a pretty good way of answering graveyard recursion, right? Pretty keen!

Maga, Traitor to Mortals
Nyx Lotus

Have you forgotten that Maga, Traitor to Mortals exists? It's perfect here and not on the EDHREC.com page for Fain, the Broker. It's a mana sink, and it arrives with +1/+1 counters for the pulling off to make those Treasures. Maga can kill someone and leads a pretty big mana-loving brew. And check out Nyx Lotus! It's a great way to make mana from Black devotion and works as a great addition to the mana ness. And if you need a backup artifact to sacrifice it's there. It's not on the EDHREC.com page either. And it wins!

K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth
Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief

Check out this pair of legendary mono-Black options. K'rrik is amazing in any mon-Black brew as a way to turn mana costs into free life loss phyrexian mana. I love him here as a powerful adjunct to our Black stuff like Maga or Gray Merchant of Asphodel or Grave Pact. It's awesome. I also adore Drana here as a mana sink. You can send some mana into her to kill off opposing dorks while also pumping up herself for the win. These aren't on the EDHREC.com page either.

Liliana's Shade
Nirkana Revenant

Want more mana sinks? Okay! Check out the Shade duo (also not on EDHREC.com) of Liliana's Shade and Nirkana Revenant. Liliana's fetches a Swamp on arrival to the battlefield and will be happily sacrificed for counters to Fain, but it's mainly here to provide a Shade to use spare black mana on. Have you forgotten the nasty Nirkana? It doubles your Swamps that make that mana and provides a ramp and a sink in one card. It's perfect here!

Dread Presence
Sidisi, Undead Vizier

Check out this duet (also not on the EDHREC.com page)! The Nightmare will landfall your Swamps and you can draw cards as they arrive (and lose a life each time) or drain a target of two life and you'll gain it. Given the high Swamp count to work with cards like Magus of the Coffers, Cabal Coffers and Cabal Stronghold, it's valuable here. You can drain life to hit a foe, you can off a x/2 or smaller dork, you can drain a walker of the planes. Check out the Zombie Naga! As it arrives you can sacrifice a body (net those triggers) and then Demonic Tutor. It's good here as an adjunct sacrifice and Tutor on legs. Inspired by my Naga, I also tossed in Rune-Scarred Demon to tutor on legs as well.

Geth, Lord of the Vault

Why isn't Geth, Lord of the Vault on the EDHREC.com page either? Check it out! It can reanimate dead dorks or artifacts (or both) from a foe's graveyard. You can then sacrifice them for counters or Inklings to Fain and then recur them again as Geth doesn't tap to use his ability. He's a great mana sink as well. The Lord of the Vault is a 5/5 intimidate for 6 mana and can slip past a lot of bad guys and smash for 5 damage. He can also mill foes and get them closer to them losing the game. Note that you can use Geth as you are attacked to pull out a dork, but you cannot block with it as the card arrives tapped. Enjoy Geth!

Liliana of the Dark Realms
Liliana, Dreadhorde General

We only have two planeswalkers in the brew because I wanted to emphasize creatures and artifacts (and both). Both are Lilianas! Her Dark Realms iteration is amazing in a mono-Black build. Check her out! Her +1 can fetch a Swamp (any Swamp, not just a basic) and that's a great thing to do over and over and over again. You can also -3 her to kill a dork or pump your Fain to lethal with Commander damage. Her Dreadhorde General version works well in any sacrifice build like this one to draw cards. She can +1 to make fodder for Fain and Friends. Her -4 can Barter in Blood and that's not bad if you have some tokens to sacrifice to keep your team alive. Great tag team, Liliana!


And here is our final card we'll drill down into: Panharmonicon! Why am I adding this in? Check it out! As you are probably aware it doubles your triggers from your creatures, like Gray Merchant of Asphodel, Ravenous Chupacabra, and Solemn Simulacrum. But that's not the only reason it's here. It also triggers for artifacts as well! Spine of Ish Sah? Mycosynth Wellspring? Ichor Wellspring? Yup, those count as well! Pretty nice right?

Ready for the 100? Let's take a look!

Unleashing Fain | Commander | Abe Sargent

And there we go! I hope that you enjoyed this deep dive into all things Fain! Anything I missed or that you like? Just let me know!

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