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Toxrill's Slime-Covered Creature Feature

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You'll run!

You'll hide!

You'll scream out in horror at...

When it comes to scary movies, 'creature features' are some of the most fun. There's something oddly charming about the idea of an otherwise harmless critter grown to titanic proportions and wreaking havoc. Perhaps it's our affinity for the underdog? Maybe it's an appreciation for nature's power? Or maybe it's just the silly rubber costumes? Whatever the case, giant monsters make for a good time. And much like classic Nickelodeon, Toxrill, the Corrosive ensures they'll be plenty of slime to go along with it.

Toxrill, the Corrosive
That's not your skin you feel crawling.

As a general, Toxrill, the Corrosive brings a hybridized strategy of mass-removal and Aristocrats to the table. He's certainly large enough to be lethal on his own via Commander damage, but his slimy suite of abilities leans toward sacrifice outlets. There's great synergy here, as sacrifice-heavy Aristocrats decks need time to build enough resources to fuel their engines. Toxrill helps clear the board of threats while rewarding you at the same time with an army of slugs.

Slug
Slug
Slug
Granted, it's not a pretty strategy.

According to the official Crimson Vow lore, the genesis of Toxrill all started with a pair of dueling Nephalia cults. Within the seaside province, these twin cults vied for dominance by claiming their deity was the superior to all others. One such cult, the Spawn of Grolnok, tried to gain the upper hand by creating a gigantic frog beast out of a Gitrog Monster egg. This amphibious nightmare was the supposed reincarnation of their god, and so they named him Grolnok, the Omnivore. The rival cult, the Temple of Toxrill (See where this is going?) decided to keep up with the Jones and whipped up an abomination of their own: Toxrill, the Corrosive. It's kind of odd that a seaside cult worships a deity that's vulnerable to salt, but that's beside the point.

Grolnok, the Omnivore
Lots of Creature Features have "Versus"-style sequels.

Frog vs Slug, anyone?

And so here we find competing cults. They're dangerous enough on their own, but now make life even more difficult for the poor folk of Innistrad by crafting nightmare fuel out of household creepy crawlies. Another in a series of misfortunes for the local townsfolk, though it's not as if they're not used to such horrors. A giant slug might appear downright tame to a people accustomed to a continent-sized Eldritch zeppelin.

Emrakul, the Promised End

Still vacationing in the moon for some reason.

Sad to say, a hefty chunk of the Temple of Toxrill's followers were eaten up by their own gastropod. Guess that makes the temple a gastropub. Dad jokes aside, they're in desperate need of some fresh blood, both metaphorically and literally. So, don that fallen robe and brush off any residual slime, cause it's time to shuffle up Toxrill, the Corrosive at the Commander table! By the time we're done, our opponents are sure to have a newfound respect for mollusks.

Priest of Forgotten Gods by Zack Stella

As usual, let's start by breaking down our Commander!

Cabal Stronghold
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Sunken Hollow

1. Though huge, Toxrill, the Corrosive costs a whopping seven mana to cast, meaning we're gonna need lots of ramp and time. The former to accelerate the actual casting of our general, the latter to keep us alive long enough to do it. We'll bring in the usual Blue/Black mana rocks (Dimir Signet, Talisman of Dominance, Arcane Signet), but will also rely on the power of surplus Swamps. Cabal Coffers, Cabal Stronghold, and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth are some key pieces in powering up our mana production. We'll run the likes of Sunken Ruins and Morphic Pool, but prefer our sources of Blue to stem from Swamps whenever possible. Enter Watery Grave, Sunken Hollow, and Fetid Pools. If you're fortunate enough to own an Underground Sea, by all means include it, but for the sake of most players, we'll keep the classic dual land off our list.

Yawgmoth, Thran Physician
Massacre Wurm
Polymorphist's Jest

2. Once Toxrill, the Corrosive shows up, he's happy to start shrinking the opposition via Slime counters. We'll need to stay alive long enough for that to happen, so we'll run a variety of removal to keep the coast clear in the meantime. We'll select sweepers that scale up with stacking slime counters, so sources that generate -1/-1 counters ((Midnight Banshee, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician) or a widescale -X/-X effect (Massacre Wurm, Massacre Girl) are included to work just as well alongside Toxrill's ability as they are alone. This process can also be sped up via modifying opposing creature stats, which Blue is very good at (Polymorphist's Jest, Mass Diminish).

Forbidden Orchard
Genesis Chamber
Akroan Horse

3. Like any deck with an Aristocrats-edge, we want creatures to be dying as often as possible. Both on our side of the table and our opponents'. Toxrill, the Corrosive starts the slimy process himself, but most importantly, rewards us for said process. Our army grows for each opposing creature we kill, providing both additional defensive capabilities in addition to sacrifice fodder. Problem is, our opponents know this, and are thus likely to cast creatures that are either hard to kill or can get around the slime counters. Or they may simply refrain from casting creatures until the sluggy menace is dealt with. To get around this, we'll gift opponents with creature tokens via Forbidden Orchard, Hunted Phantasm, Akroan Horse, and more. These cards are slug-generating engines, as Toxrill will slime the 1/1 tokens they make and turn them into slugs for us.

Grave Pact
Skullclamp
Revel in Riches

4. Finally, now that we've established fuel sources, we'll need to bring in payoffs to reap the rewards. Toxrill, the Corrosive provides this service, allowing us to cash in our slug tokens for card advantage, but we want far more. Cards like Grave Pact and Dictate of Erebos pull double duty, turn each slug sacrifice into death for opposing creatures, resulting in even more slugs for us! All this death and destruction further powers the likes of Eloise, Drownyard Sleuth and Revel in Riches. With our tokens being 1/1's, if you find that drawing a single card per slug isn't enough for you, Skullclamp will ensure two.

Overall, while expensive, Toxrill, the Corrosive's combination of abilities all work in conjunction to remove threats, provide you an army of resources, and keep card advantage flowing. He's an engine in his own right, and will have plenty of support via our deck. Toxrill can also vanquish a player in three hits, so him keeping the board clear of blockers does more than keep you alive. It makes him into his own win condition.

Toxrill, the Corrosive by Simon Dominic Brewer

Toxrill's Slime-Covered Creature Feature | Commander | Matthew Lotti


Early on, we seek to ramp up lands and shoot down any threats. Once we hit the mid-to-later game, all our mass removal receives the added bonus of synergizing with sacrifice outlets and various payoffs. If our removal is copious enough, Toxrill might be enough to close out the game by himself. The more likely scenario, however, will be our ever-growing army of slugs providing constant value to grind opponents out. Let's dig in!

Clackbridge Troll
Slaughter Specialist
Hunted Phantasm

Creepy Crawlers: Our creatures fall into three camps: enablers, payoffs, and support. In this build, our enablers primary role is to generate multiple creature tokens, often for our opponents in addition to ourselves. Handing our opponents free creatures serves to benefit us far more than them, as our own Commander ensures no enemy 1/1 survives past our own turn. And that's only after the first round of slime counter. Each subsequent turn of ours weakens the opposition further, giving us more and more slugs to work with. Akroan Horse, Hunted Phantasm, Pursued Whale, Clackbridge Troll, Hunted Horror, and Slaughter Specialist all bring additional perks to the table, as their gifting creatures tokens to our opponents is meant to be a drawback. Toxrill simply smiles and turns them into an advantage. Slaughter Specialist has the potential to grow especially huge in the wake of slime counters, and the beastly Clackbridge Troll and Hunted Horror already start out with massive stats.

Ayara, First of Locthwain
Eloise, Nephalia Sleuth
Kels, Fight Fixer

Next up, let's talk about payoffs. What's the good in having cannon fodder without the cannons? Some such troops act as sacrifice engines (Priest of Forgotten Gods, Ayara, First of Locthwain, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician), churning through slugs like popcorn. Gross. Others don't directly sacrifice creatures, but reward us handsomely for doing so (Eloise, Nephalia Sleuth, Skirsdag High Priest, Kels, Fight Fixer).

Vedalken Humiliator
Thrummingbird
Flux Channeler

Finally, our supporting players. In this case, 'support' is largely defined as proficiency in murdering enemy creatures. Massacre Girl, Vedalken Humiliator, and Massacre Wurm have the potential to remove huge swaths of small creatures at once, while Midnight Banshee, Sludge Monster, and the aforementioned Yawgmoth, Thran Physician take a counters-based approach. This makes proliferate-cards such as Thrummingbird and Flux Channeler even more powerful, as they'll often be able to simultaneously add both slime and -1/-1 counters to large groups of creatures. Very little oughta be able to survive this.

Sludge Monster
Toxrill, the Corrosive
Besties!

Note that while Sludge Monster isn't able to directly kill creatures with its counters, it uses the exact same slime counters as Toxrill, the Corrosive, making the two absolute best buddies. With both creatures out, Sludge Monster can remove the abilities of larger creatures while Toxrill slowly eats away at them.

Infernal Genesis
Dowsing Dagger // Lost Vale
Awaken the Erstwhile

Slimy Spellcraft: Our noncreature spells operate on a similar level, with equal parts enabler, payoff, and supporting elements. Genesis Chamber, Infernal Genesis, Dowsing Dagger, and Awaken the Erstwhile each generate multiple creatures for our opponents. Often a few for ourselves, too. Awaken the Erstwhile is especially nasty in this build, as it'll strip each opponent's hand of potential answers to Toxrill while the slug overlord ensures our zombies will be the only ones to survive his wrath.

Contagion Engine
Tezzeret's Gambit
Sudden Spoiling

Next up, let's explore tools to enable further destruction and pay us for doing so. Stat-adjusting spells like Mass Diminish, Polymorphist's Jest, and Sudden Spoiling all become effective Plague Winds with even a handful of slime and/or -1/-1 counters on the table. These conveniently get around Indestructible and Regeneration. Speaking of -1/-1 counters, Contagion Clasp and Contagion Engine play similar roles as their stat-altering cousins, but each multiplies slime alongside infection. Other sources of proliferation include Sword of Truth and Justice, Contentious Plan, and Tezzeret's Gambit.

Dictate of Erebos
Grave Pact
Black Market

When it comes to payoffs, classics like Dictate of Erebos and Grave Pact further keep opposing creature counts low, especially once we start sacrificing slugs. Toxrill may be expensive, but it shouldn't take long for Black Market to build enough charge counters (more proliferate payoffs!) to cover the cost. Speaking of mana generation, with enough creature removal built up, Revel and Riches can provide ample short-term treasure or, given enough time, an easy long-term win.

Skullclamp
Plumb the Forbidden
Maskwood Nexus

Finally, to keep the cards flowing, Skullclamp, Plumb the Forbidden, and even Maskwood Nexus are brought in. The Nexus may only appear to be a slow token generator, but turning all of our creatures into slugs means that Toxrill's sacrifice ability receives extra reach. Four mana is a lot to pay for a 2/2, but Nexus also provides a mana sink and means to restart our engines in the wake of an opposing board wipe.

The Meathook Massacre
Ravenform
Malakir Rebirth // Malakir Mire

Supporting Spells: When it comes to other supporting spells, we're classic Blue/Black in our proclivity for more removal and card draw. Black Sun's Zenith, Toxic Deluge, and The Meathook Massacre provide versatile sweeper spells that build off of any existing slime or -1/-1 counters. In the case of the The Meathook Massacre, the gradual life gain/drain adds up quickly, making future sweepers even better for us.

Ravenform acts as a versatile targeted removal spell that also gifts our opponent a perfectly-slimeable raven for value. Our value, that is. Speaking of which, Mystic Remora and Scroll Rack provide additional card draw/selection to help get us the pieces we need at a given point in the game. Finally, with Toxrill, the Corrosive being so expensive to cast, it'd be a shame for an opposing removal spell to ruin the party, so Malakir Rebirth // Malakir Mire is brought in as insurance that doesn't even eat up a land slot.

Expedition Map
Midnight Clock
Surveyor's Scope

Mana Support and Rocks: Our ramp-plan intends to draw on the power of Swamps alongside Cabal Coffers and Cabal Stronghold, so cards like Expedition Map are crucial. Moonsilver Key can serve a similar function for Urza's Saga, which can in-turn grab us Sol Ring or Skullclamp after providing some Construct tokens. I've also been highly impressed with Midnight Clock in Commander, as the counters add up very quickly in a 4-player game. We've also plenty of proliferate to help with that. Treasure Map makes for a fantastic mana sink/slow ramp/card draw spell. I'm seldom unhappy to see it, and when drawn in the early game, it generates a staggering amount of value.

Everflowing Chalice
Mind Stone
Worn Powerstone

We don't always need to get fancy with our ramp, as classic mana rocks are also on the menu. The likes of Sol Ring, Arcane Signet, Everflowing Chalice, Worn Powerstone, Dimir Signet, and Commander's Sphere are all included to keep us on track to 7-mana.

Cabal Coffers
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Karn's Bastion

When it comes to lands, we could hardly leave Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth out of a build that packs Cabal Coffers and Cabal Stronghold. Fetid Pools, Watery Grave, and Sunken Hollow further support the Swamp-count, with cards like Polluted Delta and Bad River helping to fetch up more. Mana-aside, we also include some utility lands. We've already discussed a bunch of proliferate potential, so Karn's Bastion is a natural choice. Forbidden Orchard and Phyrexian Tower also fit right into our make-creatures/kill-creatures theme.

Sludge Monster by Svetlin Velinov

Warning: Those sitting in the front 3 rows may get wet. And lose all sense of identity.

Budget Options: For a deck built around a giant slug monster, you'd think luxury wouldn't be at the forefront of our gameplan. Alas, Magic the Gathering can be expensive, especially for decks like ours that want to take advantage of pricey mana sources like Polluted Delta and Cabal Coffers. Let's talk budget alternatives for the more financially discerning cultists out there. All cards over $20 will be noted and recommended for swap-outs. If anything seems interesting, regardless of price tag, give it a roll in the main! Commander is as much about creativity as it is competition.

Viscera Seer
Yahenni, Undying Partisan
Flesh Carver

Creatures: Yawgmoth, Thran Physician: $23.00

Fortunately, when it comes to creatures, only Yawgmoth, Thran Physician breaks our budget. Not a surprise, as his blend of sacrifice outlet, creature destruction, proliferate, and card draw is a potent mix. As a replacement, you could opt for classic Aristocrat staples like Blood Artist, Viscera Seer, or Zulaport Cutthroat. Another route are sacrifice outlets and turn into large threats, such as Yahenni, Undying Partisan, Flesh Carver, or Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet.

Mutilate
Thrilling Encore
Bag of Devouring

Supporting Spells: Grave Pact: $39.00, The Meathook Massacre: $38.00, Scroll Rack: $27.00, Toxic Deluge: $22.00, Sword of Truth and Justice: $22.00

Wow, did I ever make a mistake. Back when I wrote about Wilhelm, the Rotcleaver, Midnight Hunt had just been released, and The Meathook Massacre was hovering around $20. I had predicted it wouldn't stay that high, failing to realize it would fast become a Standard all-star. And so here we are at almost $40. Oops.

While it hurts to lose the life loss/gain factor of the Massacre, it and Toxic Deluge can be swiftly replaced by other mass removal such as Mutilate, Decree of Pain, or if you'd like to swap out your basic Swamps for Snow-Covered Swamps, Dead of Winter.

For the likes of Grave Pact, Scroll Rack, and Sword of Truth and Justice, we're best served by aristocratic replacements like Bastion of Remembrance, Vampiric Rites, or Thrilling Encore.

I've not yet had a chance to try out Bag of Devouring, but it seems like a fun inclusion.

Dreadship Reef
Underground River
Tainted Isle

Mana Options: Ancient Tomb: $55.00, Polluted Delta: $45.00, Morphic Pool: $30.00, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth: $28.00, Urza's Saga: $27.00, Cabal Coffers: $22.00, Forbidden Orchard: $21.00, Sunken Ruins: $20.00

Ouch, this one hurts. Much of our Swamp-based mana plan is reliant on cards like Cabal Coffers and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, so losing them is more painful than the likes of Ancient Tomb and Polluted Delta, which could simply be switched out for other Blue/Black dual lands like Tainted Isle, Underground River, Choked Estuary, or Dreadship Reef.

Castle Locthwain
Westvale Abbey // Ormendahl, Profane Prince
Magus of the Coffers

There's woefully little to replace the likes of 'Coffers (that's why it's so expensive), so instead we'll opt for utility lands to provide mana sinks and card advantage. Castle Locthwain and Arch of Orazca help with pure draw, Westvale Abbey // Ormendahl, Profane Prince makes creatures and provides another sacrifice payoff, and Witch's Cottage and Agadeem's Awakening // Agadeem, the Undercrypt can help resurrect fallen creatures. Though not a land itself, Magus of the Coffers can act as a fellow Cabal Coffers replacement.

Polymorphist's Jest by Craig J Spearing

The Cult of Grolnok are about to resemble their master far more than they'd prefer.

As the monstrosities roaming Innistrad continue to get more varied, we're sure to be introduced to even more kooky kaiju in the coming years. Toxrill, the Corrosive taught us that there's room for a giant slug in a world of gothic horror, so who knows what animalistic fiend will come next? Until the inevitable sequel, "Attack of the Giant Slugs VS the Mutant Frog People", I hope you have a blast terrorizing fellow players at the Commander table with slime counters galore!

Thanks for reading, and when it comes to playing Toxrill, may you never forget to bring a raincoat.

-Matt-

@Intrepid_Tautog

Limited time 35% buy trade in bonus buylist