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Commanding Dennick

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Hello Happy Readers! I hope that your day is kicking serious booty! I hope that it is both great thus far and full of potential for the rest of the day, whenever you read it!

Today I want to take a look at the fifth article that I've dedicated a Tuesday column to in a row! Here are my first four:

  1. Gisa, Glorious Resurrector - I first built around this mono-black leader that wants to kill foes with destruction effects like Damnation, -X/-X effects like Mutilate, sacrificing effects like Slum Reaper, and then triggers and reanimation and mono-Black ramping tools. It's a whole lot of fun! You can see the song I sung over here.
  2. Rem Karolus, Stalwart Slayer - In this Boros-based build I toss in a ton of damage-based mass removal that will keep your stuff alive if you survive, such as Rolling Earthquake and Blasphemous Act, as well as backup ways to keep your stuff alive like Iroas, God of Victory as well as triggers and damage dealers to people's face from burn like Stuffy Doll. Enjoy it here!
  3. Ludevic, Necrogenius // Olag, Ludevic's Hubris - This Dimir deck is deep is graveyard manipulation for Ludevic like creature tutoring such as Entomb and Buried Alive, milling like Ashiok, Sculptor of Fears, card drawing like Bitter Revelation, and great creatures to copy like Avatar of Woe. Check out this cool deck here.
  4. Florian, Voldaren Scion - This crazy build is all about that draining and pinging life from your foes in a number of ways. I build a Group Slug Rakdos deck. I have ways to keep you alive like Caverns of Despair and Maze of Ith. Ways to punish attackers like No Mercy and Cunning Rhetoric. I have draining effects like Subversion and Sanctum of Stone Fangs. I have Monarch-granting cards like Court of Ambition and Court of Ire. I have card drawing ways to punish others life like Xantcha, Sleeper Agent. It's great stuff. You can see it here!

What transform card inspired my brew today?

Here you go!

Dennick, Pious Apprentice // Dennick, Pious Apparition

It's this disturb card! Dennick, Pious Apprentice is good on curve and has pertinent lifelink, as well as the ability to prevent stuff in graveyards from being targeted. It will shut down things like targeted graveyard removal like Cremate. It also shuts down reanimation spells that target a card in their graveyard, like Karmic Guide. When Dennick, the Living dies you can send it to your graveyard rather than the Command Zone and then disturb it. You get a 4 mana disturb into a 3/2 flyer, with nice evasion, and whenever creature cards are put into any graveyard from anywhere, milling or death, you'll investigate, but just once per turn.

There are a few ways I can see to build around this. Several in fact that leap out to me. What are they?

1. Disturb Tribal - Build around Disturb (and things like flashback as well) that let you use things from your graveyard. Run mono-White ways to keep your graveyard from being interacted with in addition to this one, like Leyline of Sanctity that shuts down Bojuka Bog effects. In this case you might not want to disturb Dennick much since you'll be leaning on his first ability to help protect your graveyard.

2. Hate Bears - Since Dennick shuts down the valuable recursion and reanimation of massive amounts of powerful and commonly played at the Commander table (think Eternal Witness to Dread Return), you can lean into this and run a bunch of Hate Bears that shut down things as well. Again, like the first ability, you probably won't need to disturb this build that often, since the first iteration of Dennick is so good at shutting those things down.

3. Azorius Milling - Dennick's flip ability would be very strong in an Azorius milling brew. You would need to sacrifice Dennick, Pious Apprentice and then disturb him from your graveyard, and then collect mad card flow from the milling. Note that you have to really jump through a lot of stuff to get to the transformed side of Dennick - something to sacrifice it too, or a mass removal spell like Wrath of God, and then the mana to flip it.

4. Azorius Clues Matter - Since Dennick can make a bunch of Clues after getting flipped to his other side, you could really make a fun Clues Matter tribal build around Dennick! This is how the community has built around him on EDHREC.com.

5. Azorius Control - This deck would really want to run tons of mass removal which your leader would die to and then disturb into the version that will investigate as folks die. Run Blue destruction removal like Pongify to trigger Dennick on your foe's turns.

I'm leaning toward the first two.

Hate Bears or Disturb Tribal? Hate Bears or Disturb Tribal?

How many Disturb cards, other than Dennick, are in these colors? Four in White, five in Blue, one gold - so 10 total. Of that 10, how many are playable in Commander? One is only good in Disturb Tribal, and then five (maybe six) others are feasible in Commander. That's it.

All right, since both Hate Bears and Disturb Tribal want Dennick, Part One in play, we'll run both!

Let's start with disturbing.

Overwhelmed Archivist // Archive Haunt

Check out this uncommon Human Wizard. As you can see, as it arrives to the party, you loot a card (draw and then discard.) This helps with card flow, works to drop extra lands and is really strong at discarding something with flashback or disturb to use. You can disturb this 3-drop 3/2 into a 2/1 flyer and then when it swings, you Loot a card as well. It's really strong for the team and I enjoy its ability to keep up the card flow on both sides as well as add to your graveyard.

Covetous Castaway // Ghostly Castigator
Devoted Grafkeeper // Departed Soulkeeper

Check out this duo with two sides each, so it's sort of four cards in two. When they arrive to the battlefield, you can mill some cards straight into your graveyard. Good fuel! Each of these 2-drops does something a little different. The Castaway is a 1/3 and can disturb for 5 mana into a 3/4 flyer that will let you shuffle up to three cards from your graveyard to your library, like lands or good spells or creatures that cannot come back with disturb. Note that you cannot target when you control Dennick, the Living. The Grafkeeper will let you tap creatures down as you cast things from your graveyard, which is pretty good. You can disturb it for 3 mana into a nice 3/1 flyer that can only block flyers. Okay. That's fine.

And check out Chaplain of Alms! Pretty nice! And it can disturb for 4 mana into a 2/1 creature that keeps the first strike and adds flying. All of your stuff gets ward 1. Pretty good at protecting the team, and it feels like a Hate Bear on a disturb creature!

Malevolent Hermit // Benevolent Geist

This is the last disturb card we'll be looking at! We start with a 2 mana 2/1 that can sacrifice to Mana Leak a noncreature spell, which is pretty good. Then you can disturb it into a 2/2 flyer for 3 mana that keeps people from countering your noncreatures. Good stuff for the team, right? We only have 26 creatures including our leader, so more than half of our nonlands will now be unable to be countered!

All right, how about flashback!

Visions of Glory
Battle Screech
Increasing Devotion

I tossed in a lot of flashback support cards and this trio. We don't have the biggest number of creatures in the world to win the game with, so I tossed in token-making. The Visions will make tokens, and then can be flashbacked for 6 mana to make more. It does look at tokens, so if you just cast it, you can get around 10 tokens or so pretty easily, and then begin swinging!

You can cast the Screech to make a pair of flying tokens, then tap them and your leader to flash it back, and you made 4 1/1 flyers for 4 mana and two are tapped. You got a flying horde pretty early in the game to swing over foes with. Then the Devotion kicks in with its 5 1/1 Human tokens for 5 mana, which is reasonable, and you can flash it back later for 9 mana and 10 more Humans! These are all great after mass removal!

Echo of Eons
Memory Deluge

I tossed in card flow like Deep Analysis and this pair. The former is a 6-mana Timetwister that can also be flashed back for another 3 mana. Use it when your hand runs low, or your library is running low instead. This will give you more game to keep on keeping on. But it does shuffle your graveyard into your library, so there are tensions here. The latter card is amazing card flow. Note that you dig deep based on your mana spent, not the casting cost, so you dig 4 first and 7 second. You net 4 cards drawn and 11 cards dug over two castings. Love it here!

Momentary Blink
Sevinne's Reclamation

Last flashback duo to unplug! The Blink will let you "Blink" twice, and that's pretty keen in this brew. I love it here to chump block a nasty attacker with an overwhelmed Hate Bear and keep your dork alive, or to save a key creature from targeted removal. But it's also here to Blink a disturbed creature back to its base form so it won't be exiled.

Almost all of my Hate Bears cost 3 or less mana, so let's run Sevinne's Reclamation! You can return anything that's recurrable with Sun Titan, from lands that were milled to Hate Bears that were killed. When you flash it back for 5 mana you get two recursions! It's pretty strong in this brew! Note that you cannot target them when you control Dennick, Front Side, so you'll need to wait until after he dies or flips to do it. Might I suggest after a sweeping removal that set your whole team back?

And now....Hate Bears await!

Esper Sentinel
Tithe Taker

Let's look at this pair of Hate Bears! The Sentinel is a money card that has been made and played all over the block since its printing in Modern Horizons 2, and I really like its strength here in this brew. You don't need to increase its power here to make it work! The Taker of Tithes is a nice 2-drop that will force your foes to spend another mana on your turn for their spells and abilities and that's a pretty nice tax. Don't sleep on the Afterlife for a 1/1 flyer after it is answered either! Good duo! I tossed in a lot of taxing like Aura of Silence and Rhystic Study.

Alms Collector
Isperia, Supreme Judge

Check out the first card's power. It has flash and it's a 4-drop. If an opponent would draw more than two or more cards at a time, nope! Now they just draw one, as do you! Note that this does not shut down someone from drawing more than one card per turn. They could draw an extra card on your turn with Opt and then another with Consider. However, drawing more than one like Brainstorm would run into this. I love it as a flashable Hate Bear. I also tossed in Isperia, which will net you a card anytime something swings at you or a planeswalker you control (I am only running one of the latter though). They might not want to net you cards, so this could send folks elsewhere, which is pretty good!

Hate Bears are pretty tame, so let's head elsewhere!

Leyline of Sanctity
Orbs of Warding
Witchbane Orb

We need hexproof to keep our graveyard from removal like Bojuka Bog, so enter this trio. The first can be played prior to the first turn if it's in your hand, and you can punch above your weight with it! Note that it's on a harder to answer enchantment form. Then we have two artifacts. The second article is a 5-drop that gives you hexproof and feels a little Pillow Fort-y as you'll prevent the first damage dealt to you by sources from creatures. I love it here. I tossed in the final option after another Innistrad set came with Curses and with the popular Lynde, Cheerful Tormentor acting as a Curse Lord for Commander decks, you'll run into them more now and that's a great answer!

Enduring Angel // Angelic Enforcer

The Angel gives you hexproof as well as the above three permanents, on both sides. I doubt you'll flip the Angel often, but a 3/3 flying, double strike, hexproof-granting 3/3 for 5 mana is pretty good rate anyway. If you do flip it, you can quickly increase your life total from 3 with a few attacks. Note that the flip slide lacks double strike so you may only get in one attack before it's killed by a blocker. Note that you double your life total and increase it to a 6/6 prior to blockers being named or damage being dealt. Good card!

How about some surveil?

Sinister Sabotage
Dream Eater
Mission Briefing

These are better in a graveyard-centric brew like this than scry. The first spell I thought of with surveil is the Sabotage, which I run in my Commander Cube. I like it a lot here. The Eater of Dreams is a nasty 4 surveil machine that's a 4/3 flyer with flash that will let you bounce an opposing nonland permanent if you surveilled. Pretty good for the machine. Finally, we have the Briefing which will surveil 2 and then let's you cast an instant or sorcery from your graveyard. I love this with a more expensive flashback card that you may not have the mana for yet as well as non-flashback-able stuff too!

Do you know why I tossed in Capsize as my final 61st card? Great question! It's here to bounce your disturbed cards and then let you recast them on the front side and reload. It's also good to invest extra mana, keep away powerful swingers, bounce nasty permanents that got through your counter shield to counter them this time, bounce something that was targeted for removal, and loads more! It's a nice adjunct to what this deck is doing!

Now let's turn to look at some lands!

Geier Reach Sanitarium
High Market
Miren, the Moaning Well

Can you see why I'm running the Sanitarium here? It's for graveyard-based card flow, as you (and everyone else) will draw and discard, and I love this legendary land here a lot!

I know that we really want to cast Dennick's front side, but there are times when you aren't running against reanimation and recursion and you may want the card flow of the inverse side of Dennick. Enter High Market and Miren. You can tap the former and sacrifice Dennick for a life and disturb him, and then you can sacrifice him to the latter card for 3 mana and gain three life and disturb him all day long. Love them here!

Cave of the Frost Dragon
Hall of Storm Giants
Celestial Colonnade

How is this deck supposed to win? Hate Bears like Aven Mindcensor are just 2/1. At a 2/3 size Dennick isn't exactly a Commander Damage threat.

So how do we win? The first way are the flashback horde making sorceries we saw before. This trio is the second big way of pulling out a win. This is a set of creature-lands that can tap to make a big threat. They are immune to sorcery-speed removal like Wrath of God or Damnation that cannot target a land.

The Cave and the Colonnade make flyers. The Hall can make a nasty 7/7 Giant with ward 3 to protect it. You can save a creature-land targeted for removal by a Vindicate or a Swords to Plowshares with counters as well as Capsize which bounces lands. I also tossed in Faerie Conclave that can fly.

Crawling Barrens
Path of Ancestry

Check out this duo! The Barrens is also good at providing a nice mana sink over time and can also win games after growing to an 8/8 or 14/14.

Can you see why Path is here? Dennik is a Human. There are a ton of Humans in the disturb family as well loads of Hate Bears with the Human tribe, so you will likely get that scry 1 a lot!

Faithful Mending

Faithful Mending is getting play in Modern and Standard. I like it here as well. You gain two life and loot two cards. Good card flow! Then you can flash it back and do it again! More card flow and life gain. Love it a lot here!

Phantom Carriage
Runic Repetition

Check out this duo of Blue uncommons. The Spirit is a nice 4/4 flyer for one more mana than Air Elemental. When it arrives to the party you can search up a flashback or disturb card and send it to your graveyard. Shuffle. Love it here a lot! The Repetition is a fun way to get back an exiled card with flashback to your hand, on a 3-mana sorcery. It's a powerful way to keep up the card quality. Enjoy the power of this duo!

Dennick is more popular than I thought over at EDHREC.com there are a full 42 decks registered, which is loads more than more reliable options from the set, like Ludevic, Necrogenius. Anyways, that's pretty cool!

Here's my 100!

Dennick's Hating Disturbs | Commander| Abe Sargent


And there we go! So...what did you think of my build? Anything in here inspire you? Anything that I missed? Just let me know!

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