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Gyome, Master Chef


Gyome, Master Chef

Nothing ruins a party quite like Wrath of God. But the food of Gyome, Master Chef is so good and sustaining that it will keep your guests impervious to the occasional party foul. After a delicious meal, you may well be tempted to call Gyome a wizard in a kitchen. But you would be wrong. He's a warlock.

Later in the article I'll show you a menu of different strategies and card choices. For now, let's dive straight into the main course.

Gyome, Master Chef | Commander | AE Marling

When people start thinking of food tokens, they reach for Parallel Lives by reflex. You don't need to be so gluttonous. Accumulating ten or more food tokens won't win you the game (though that would be in interesting victory condition). All you need are a few snacks on the battlefield to protect your critical creatures from board wipes. Going deeper on food tokens makes you more vulnerable to cards like Bane of Progress and requires you play cards with lesser power. (I include a list later of substitute cards that focus on filling a banquet table with food.) Instead of casting Parallel Lives to get more meals eventually, you could summon Solemn Simulacrum to get a food immediately, along with a land to activate it, and a chump blocker that can die for all you care.

That said, I didn't include Solemn Simulacrum in the list. I assume you will already have it in mind and will add staples like that if you wish. Instead, I highlighted cards with more synergy with our specific commander, such as Last Laugh, or a greater flavor match, such as Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger. There are many potent cards like the praeter you could play, but clearly this one is extra hungry and would appreciate Gyome's sustaining fare.

Oracle of Mul Daya
Regal Behemoth

You can and should include your favorite creatures, the ones that you always feel die too soon. That's what I did, with Oracle of Mul Daya and Regal Behemoth. Substitute them in for any of the listed cards that don't suit your palate, after a taste test.

The best way to build around Gyome is not to focus on the food but the company. Giant Opportunity won't do you any good if you create a 7/7 but lack the food to keep it healthy; and if what you need is more food maybe just include more good creatures like Eternal Witness. Rather than chasing Curious Pair all the way into a ginger-bread house because of their token, invite quality guests. Scavenging Ooze does far more for the price, and if this gelatinous friend becomes important to the game, you can keep it alive.

That said, I had to invite Savvy Hunter. Not only will she find you more tasty tokens, but also she'll let you scarf them all in response to a Vandalblast. Trail of Crumbs is the best dessert and reward for our strategy, Witch's Oven the best enabler. Wicked Wolf can gobble down an opposing Commander and is so strong with a ready supply of food you'll feel like you're living in a fairy tale. Beyond those you don't need to pack your larder with cards that specifically mention food.

Herald of Anguish

Rather than overindulging, cast cards that benefit from a reasonable number of artifact tokens on the battlefield. Inspiring Statuary will turn every croissant into a mana rock, albeit a delicious one. Herald of Anguish has improvise built in, and this demon loves playing with food. If you find your table overflowing, you can let God-Eternal Bontu binge. And if the party is getting stale, if no one is eating all your food, you can throw a surprise at end of turn with Rampage of the Clans and win with an army of centaurs.

Rampage of the Clans

Above all I value forming friendships. That's why I added Hunted Horror, as it gives you and an ally thirteen power for two mana. With that you can join forces to stop an archenemy who may be running away with the game thanks to a turn one Sol Ring. Feel free to read my recent article on Allied Victory, but even if the alliance proves only temporary, your horror is likely to survive longer than those centaurs, thanks to the Master Chef. And if your alliance holds true, Gyome, Master Chef can serve dishes to other players' creatures too. He's not the only card from the new set that can build camaraderie.

Incarnation Technique
Verdant Mastery

Along with Incarnation Technique and Verdant Mastery, I also wished to point out the Strixhaven card Beladros Witherbloom. The dragon founder can double your land mana on a critical turn, and it doesn't have to be your own. In response to Wrath of God, untap all your lands and let your creatures chow down. Playing this deck, you'll often face the temptation to use all your mana and tap out, but doing so will leave you vulnerable to a board wipe. I would recommend restraint, leaving a few mana untapped to protect critical creatures. I did add Seedborn Muse, so you'll always have munching mana when you need it.

We need lots of lands to keep this kitchen running, both to summon guests and also let them eat. You could play mana dorks; Birds of Paradise can fly in with a fruit if you play it later in the game. However, that also means your mana source will perish unless you dedicate that food to saving it. I think it's better to rely on land acceleration, such as Nature's Lore. Harvest Season is both flavorful and synergistic. I want my mana creatures to be worth their seats at the table, such as Selvala, Heart of the Wilds and Shaman of Forgotten Ways.

Your deck has a natural defense against board wipes. That means you have all the more reason to play your own. Damnation has never been better, with Gyome's ability cleverly sidestepping the outdated clause against regeneration. Every troll warlock's kitchen should also include a Plague Boiler. When this dish reaches the critical temperature during your upkeep, your mana will be untapped and ready to protect your creatures. Feel free to include even more inexpensive board wipes in your list.

Your head waiter would also like to advise you that Gyome, Master Chef can placate an opponent's creature with food, tap them, prevent them from blocking, and allow you to attack for lethal.

As promised, I will now include a few other menu options. The first is for those who can't get enough food and want more cards in their deck to revolve around artifact tokens.

Another direction you could take the deck is deeper into artifact synergies, with Clock of Omens and Mycosynth Golem. Lastly for a laugh, you could fill your deck with rats. You could have as many as forty copies of Rat Colony scurrying around the kitchen. Don't worry, all the food will keep them alive. The same may not be true of your foes.

Rat Colony

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