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Jinxing Commander with Auntie Blyte, Bad Influence



We haven't officially closed the book on Jumpstart 2022, the set from 2022 that had the fewest Legendary creatures. Should our team of writers have finished the set? Absolutely. However, between the set being spoiled and released, two new sets had come out and we got distracted. So why am I going back? 2022 is in the rearview mirror, and if we were still doing block rotation, every set from 2022 would have rotated out of Standard by now. Yet, here I am looking at a set from literally 2 months ago, an epoch in today's world. Was it worth going back for? Well, yeah. I wrote a whole article about it, you already started reading it. Don't you want to know how it ends? A decklist? ...Lucky guess.

It's also lucky I went back for this commander because I thought it would be very popular. To an extent it is - according to EDHREC, it's the 7th-most-built deck, narrowly being beaten out by Isu, my boy. I had seen it before, last year (I'm using "year" to pretend it's been a reasonable amount of time and not, say, less than the amount of time that transpired between Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation) but I didn't get bit by the brew bug until the second pass. What changed in the meantime? Who knows. But this time around I had an idea I love and I can't wait to share it.

Auntie Blyte, Bad Influence

Auntie means business, but not just any business. Auntie is in the business of you giving yourself the business. Do we want to give other people the business, too? When we can! It was the "When we can" part that made me give this card a second look. It's obvious how to build a fair deck with Auntie that shaves turns and turns off of the game. What took me a bit to figure out was how to make the deck unfair. Put simply, we're going to try to tilt the table. I want to do this in several ways, but let me preface these bullet points by saying they're not for your benefit, they're for mine. I used to have the hotlist prices of every vendor at a GP committed to memory and now my Google search history every time I write an article is like "Enchantment, shock when play spell" or "mtg what's the name of the creature on the side of the docks that extorts" and I'm barely exaggerating. I am going to point out in this article every time I had to Google a card name, because it's a lot and I want it to be a point of levity rather than, you know, existential fear. Also, I don't want to forget either of these concepts because the deck needs both to work.

  • I want to make it impossible for players to gain life until I want to gain life, at which point I'll make it possible to gain life.
  • I want to deal myself damage with sources I can get rid of if need be.

Both of those sound sort of similar, so I want to talk about the scenarios I see for each so you better understand what I mean. In the first scenario, I want to use a (Red enchantment, players can't gain life) Sulfuric Vortex or Rampaging Ferocidon or Leyline of Punishment to keep anyone from gaining life and undoing all of my hard work, then get rid of that permanent when I want to do something big and gain a lot of life. If they were planning on gaining life, they won't be able to catch up and if they don't have a way to gain life, they don't have a way to stop me roundhousing them in the cakehole with a creature with a Shadowspear on it.

By "sources I can get rid of" for that second bullet point, I don't mean something like Ferocidon. I mean a card like Jinxed Idol or Jinxed Ring or Jinxed Choker or... that's all, and comedy comes in threes, anyway. In fact, the Jinxed cards were my inspiration for the whole deck. You can deal yourself quite a bit of damage with a card like Jinxed Choker, which you want, but you also routinely deal quite a bit of damage to them with Jinxed Choker, which is another thing you're trying to do. These cards do it all, and a few of them are even sac outlets for Rampaging Ferocidon, not that we'll be hurting for those.

I don't want to bury a ton of what I think is good discourse in the body of a random article because I think this could easily be its own article or series of them, but let me briefly say that Sulfuric Vortex gives me the kind of game I want to play. We talked about how goading turns blockers into attackers, shaving turns off the game as the board can't get as gummed up. Vortex presents a clock and it keeps people from gaining life to try and race you. Like Goad, Vortex increases the chances that I will be playing with a new deck sooner, which is the goal, because I didn't build 30 decks to spend 3 hours playing with one of them. I don't care if I win or lose a game of Commander, I just want to do the thing and sometimes the thing is shuffling up.

What does a deck like this look like?

There are a few cards that deserve their own paragraph, but they'll have to share. First up, Damping Engine is perfect for this deck. Telim'Tor's Edict and Despotic Scepter, not to mention the very new and very cool Staff of Compleation, have their place, but Damping Engine lets you sac anything at any time and it slows opponents down. I have no idea if this is miserable to play against because no one ever has, but you want to sac permanents in this deck because I played as many "players can't gain life effects as I could find." Next up, Tibalt, Rakish Instigator says "opponents can't gain life" and he makes dorks. Insane value here for a card I once first-picked in a draft I won (2nd pick was Saheeli). Finally, we have a lot of important artifacts and Audacious Reshapers will not only find them, Reshapers will also @#$&*slap you really hard if they're deep, so I play a lot because I'm not looking to get killed by my own Reshapers, unless I give them lifelink.

One thing I looked at was Enrage, but I couldn't make it work. If you want to try, or you just want to make Silverclad Ferocidons work in a deck that's basically identical in every other way, add more pingers. You could build this deck pingers-matter and a lot of people have, but you don't need my help with that.

All in all, this is a very fun deck. I cut deep on Instants and Sorceries as always to load up on Permanents. You could go more Artifacts-matter, you could add Solphim, Mayhem Dominus and Furnace of Rath or you could add more Brash Taunter shenanigans. This has no Goad, make room for Goad - cut one of my dumb things and add Disrupt Decorum. I didn't add Insurrection or Captivating Crew because I expect the game to be either over or close enough to over that I have better things to do with my mana.

What do we think? Too aggro? Too stock? Too legit to quit? Quote tweet this article and let the world know. Thanks for reading, until next time!

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