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They Call Him Frankie Peanuts


Hello folks!

Are you ready for the Silver bordered onslaught that is Unstable? Are you ready to rock this block Un-Style? Are you looking for some enhancements for your next game night? Then look no further!

This is Frankie Peanuts . . . 

Frankie Peanuts

He wants — nay — demands to be the leader of your next Commander deck. And trust me, you don’t want to be caught refusing the demands of Frankie, capish? So what does Frankie bring?

There are a few cool things to delve into.

Frankie is great at creating uncertain game states for your foes, and they will often make the wrong call. The goal here is to exploit that and win.

Imagine you ask this simple question — “Are you going to block my Akroma, Angel of Wrath with that Silklash Spider?” If they say no, swing with impunity, they have nothing to block with. If they say yes, attack elsewhere, or, attack after pumping up Akroma with a piece of equipment or something forcing the block and death of their card.

That’s a lot of Peanuts!

Please note that a few folks out there have developed the way to win with Frankie Peanuts out as a sort of alternate win condition. Here’s how the question works:

If I were to ask you to concede, would the answer you give to the concession be identical to the answer you are about to give?

So, obviously, the idea is to force them to concede.

  1. Did you answer “yes”? Then you have to answer “yes” when you are asked to concede, as that answer is identical to one already given.
  2. Did you answer “no?” Then you have to answer “yes” when you are asked to concede as that answer is identical to the one already given.

That’s the idea. Now yes, the first answer works. You have to answer “yes or no” to the first question, and answering yes binds you to answering affirmatively the next time. But saying no does not.

But the latter doesn’t. Here, let’s look at Frankie Peanuts closer:

“If you do, that person answers the question truthfully, and abides by the answer.”

That’s the key, sure. And they are trying to trick you. But you are not locked into a “No” for the concession, because the concession doesn’t require a yes or no answer. Thus, it’s perfectly fine to answer “No” to the first question, which requires to give an answer other than “no” for the second. Then, when you are asked if you want to concede, just answer, “Snow,” or “Lava.” That’s what you get for trying to get all tricky!

Plus, it’s important to point out that you cannot play Frankie at your normal Commander night without getting an all-clear on silver bordered cards. Don’t be that person who asks for the ability to run normally illegal cards and then try to win with the above trick. Don’t be that person!

Don’t abuse Frankie! You don’t want to find yourself among the fishes . . .  Merfolk.

Take a look at this Un- card when combined with your leader, Frankie Peanuts . . . 

Staying Power

Staying Power reminds me of the sort of card that could be printed in Black Border land, much like The Cheese Stands Alone or Who/What/When/Where/Why or Uktabi Kong. It enables every effect of this matter to last, not just your own, and can be easily used against you. The good thing with Frankie is that it could lock someone into your answer for a while. Suppose their only creature they control during your upkeep is a Birds of Paradise. You ask them, “If I attack you, will you block?” Wanting to keep their BOP, they say no. Then you drop this and now they can’t block you until they deal with Staying Power. Of course, you could walk into powerful cards that break the game with this out like Hold the Line or they’ll Abeyance you or something. But that’s the joy of a card like Staying Power!

Hold the Line

I tried to add in a few cards that you could use Frankie Peanuts to influence, like Custodi Squire, Nova Pentacle, and Death or Glory.

Consider Death or Glory . . . 

Death or Glory

You could use Frankie thusly, “When I cast Death or Glory this turn, are you going to choose the left pile to be exiled?” Yes or no. If they choose the left, then you put them all in the right, and vice versa, and now Death or Glory is a potent self-only Twilight's Call!

And what about Preacher? You can use Frankie Peanuts to help sculpt what you get from Preacher ahead of using it as well, although not to the degree of abuse of Death or Glory.

Now I choose to stay clear of a card that would likely be banned in Commander if Silver-bordered cards were legal. It’s good, but it’s resetting of life is rough . . . 

Once More with Feeling
Sway of the Stars

Now, Once More with Feeling is actually like a lot of cards that exist in the game. It’s a bit like the banned Worldfire or Sway of the Stars, already banned. It’s not the resetting that’s bad, it’s the life change that comes with it. We have many cards that are legal that will reset the game like Once More with Feeling would. While the heavy commitment to White and the 10 life set could be enough to see it make the cut, but I doubt it. It’d likely be banned very quickly, so I chose not to run it here.

On the other hand . . . 

Look at Me, I'm the DCI
Chaos Confetti

I am running these cards. It’s just so fun! Look at Me, I'm the DCI!!!Look at me toss some Confetti all over this table! In addition to these cards, just one more silver-card made the cut, one that’s not even in Gatherer (although I own a copy so there). Again, it’s a card that works without the Silver concept.

No Mercy

All Snow Mercy is an enchantment that basically reads, “Tap: Tap all creatures with globe counters on them.” And basically, it’s a nicer version of No Mercy. I wanted a lot of self-built in protection as I played around bigger threats like Akroma, Angel of Wrath and getting my Frankie Peanuts to trigger bunches.

I added in the normal cards like Ghostly Prison, Kor Haven, and Windborn Muse that you might expect as well as defensive bodies such as Commander Eesha and Jareth, Leonine Titan. But there are a few cards here that push beyond the expected and yet still bring some strong value at keeping yourself safe . . . 

Fight or Flight
Trap Runner

Those are an interesting and oft-forgotten quartet of Keep Yourself Safe Stuff that you might have either forgotten about or never knew about. So let’s drill down into them a bit, as I have run them all at times.

Fight or Flight basically forces someone to only attack with half of their stuff. Note that it shuts them down from attacking completely, not just attacking you. It’s value is best in decks that seek to go wide, and it has a stronger impact on the board when folks have more creatures. It does nothing against someone with one big creature or who only wanted to swing with their Whispersilk Cloak-ed creature anyway.

Safeguard is both the most expensive card in here, requiring 3 mana each iteration to pop, and yet the strongest, as it’s repeatable and can be used against multiple opponents. As long as I have mana, they can’t do the old “Attack and force Abe to use his Maze of Ith and then Open His Defenses” trick with it out. Its value is clearly stronger the later in the game you go.

Trap Runner is perfect because it can block two creatures in a pinch. Block one, and then tap and block another. But it’s here ideally to block the unblockable. Something with flying? Shadow? Even something with a Rogue's Passage used? Its value is strong. And as Commander players run more and run unblockable tech in today’s metagame, it’s a useful answer.

Finally, my favorite here is Aurification. The Oracle ruling is, “Each creature with a gold counter on it is a Wall in addition to its other creature types and has defender.” That means it gives both defender and the Wall type, in case you care about the type addition. When you start with 40 life, people won’t risk their creatures as much. When I ran it in 20 life multiplayer, it was fine, because they would get, at best, one hit in and often looked elsewhere. But in 40 life? The value of hitting someone just one time is reduced, and thus it becomes much more of a Rattlesnake card in Commander, thus increasing its value considerably.

Sadly, note that nothing else in Magic puts gold counters on creatures. At least not yet! Maybe in the next year or two? Who knows!

This deck knows how to play defense, sure! But it also knows how to swing and beat. Akroma, Angel of Wrath? Avacyn, Angel of Hope? Don’t sleep on the power of a card here like Emeria Shepherd or Twilight Shepherd as well. And the stick-to-it aspect of this deck can go the distance as well. Cards like Glory and Eternal Dragon give the deck a powerful long game, and Evangelize, with buyback, is another card that could add to that game.

Because I’m running Mono-White, I wanted to include some artifacts and other effects that draw cards to make sure that a I am not running out of cards. You’ll see Diviner's Wand, Staff of Nin, Seer's Sundial, and similar effects here. Let’s draw some cards!

And that’s a deck! I hope that you enjoyed this look at a cool and fun deck that brings some fun silver-bordered craziness to your Commander Night!

Let’s serve some Peanuts!

(Seriously . . . )

Unstable is available for Preorder!