Magic: the Gathering
controlarchetype. A good tutorial on how to use this type of strategy can be found in the cEDH Manual series.
Rashmi, Eternities Crafteris a consistent source of card advantage, a vital feature for control decks. The reduced mana cost makes the commander more attractive than alternatives like
Niv-Mizzet, Parun. However, the Niv-Mizzet has compact and synergistic combos with the commander, in the form of
Ophidian Eye. Without an obvious
win condition, what can be a good victory plan for Rashmi?
Deadeye Navigator. Despite the Navigator's reasonably high cost, the combo presented itself as a more resilient option due to the almost irrelevant
board statecondition: some lands in the field. "Better" combos like
Dramatic Reversalneed a slightly larger setup, this setup is usually trivial on optimized decks, but on slightly slower tables (with mass removals happening more often) it is preferable to use a combo that can be performed with less preparation. It is interesting to mention that the chosen combo is reasonably more resilient to removals, at the cost of a few additional mana to flicker the creatures. Now, the combo used generates infinite mana and triggers infinite enter the battlefield effects. How to win from there if the commander does not offer an outlet for this mana like Thrasios? The deck was built with a large number of "
soft outlets". Cards like
Read the Runesallow you to draw the entire deck after the combo is performed, but cards like
Mystic Snakeand [ card](Voracious Greatshark) allow you to counter all your opponents' spells (it is imperative to check the board state and whether it is possible to survive with just that). But after that, how do you
win the game? We could include something like
Laboratory Maniacto really close the game, but it would be a useless card for the rest of the game and we want to minimize those choices. Therefore, the deck is built with a
winconlessapproach, that is, it uses a
super convolutedcombination of cards that the deck would already rotate in any way to end the game. Perhaps the most famous deck that uses this philosophy in its construction is the
The Gitrog Monster. But let's see how the combo runs from start to finish and some alternatives in the next section. In fact, one of the common traps when looking at a commander who casts spells from the top of the deck is to include cards that synergize with this effect, but that are not necessarily good, like
Magus of the Future.
Peregrine Drakeand on the ETB untap 5 lands. Note: if any land generates more than 1 mana, this step generates mana and the initial mana condition is reduced.
Deadeye Navigatorand on the ETB pair with Drake.
Voracious Greatsharkcan counter all next spells until an outlet is found. It is worth noting that the combo must be executed on each opponent's turn and then flicker Snake and Greatshark, but it is good to pair the Navigator back with Drake at the end. If the counters are on hand, we can also take 3 Rashmi triggers in one turn rotation. But what about when we find the outlet? Let's see how to loop any spell (we will use bounces to remove opponents' permanents and a pump spell to win with combat damage). The magic to be looped in the example will be
Into the Roil.
Coiling Oracleor activating
Into the Roil.
Skullwinder. At ETB, return Roil to hand and pair with the Navigator.
Into the Roil.
Reclaimto put the graveyard back on the deck and pass the turn. With the ability to execute the combo at instant speed, our opponents will not be able to override all of the deck's responses. On our next turn the combo is run again to loop a pump spell like
Simic Charmand win by attacking. The mana cost of the combo is extremely high, so the deck usually goes to the late game, where the quality of the deck's cards, associated with the card advantage, makes him quite capable of holding the game until it's time to finish.
Shared Summonscard draws attention by tutoring the two pieces of the combo at instant speed (and this deck always tries to play at instant speed to maximize the number of Rashmi triggers). Although it costs 5 mana, as the combo costs more than that, it is a great tutor for the deck.
instant speedinteraction for the combo. Creature removals, especially exile effects, are good for combating the combo. It is also important to weigh which cards can be played with a low probability of being answered. The control player will not spend his response on any small action from his opponents, but trying to force a play that will end the game when the control player has 6 mana standing will not catch on well. You need to wait / force better opportunities to deploy your best cards.
Alternative Combo PiecesIf the Drake is inaccessible, the combo can be performed with
Cloud of Fariesand
Simic Growth Chamberin place. If the Navigator is inaccessible, the combo can be performed with
Ghostly Flickerin place. This variation requires an additional outlet. You can see that all roads lead to Skullwinder. If there is any fear of winning without Skullwinder you can include a
Archeomancerin the deck. However, I preferred not to spend another slot and try to force victory with only half the deck in hand and attacking if that happens. You have to weigh how much redundancy is going to be stuck in your hand compared to how many matches you should lose because your wincon has been exiled.
RampThe deck runs a very varied composition of ramp pieces. Those that cost less than 2 aim to speed up Rashmi in one turn The heaviest ones are usually in
instantsto maximize the number of Rashmi triggers and always pass the turns with open mana.
InteractionMost varied responses and with a lower curve. With the exception of soft outlets and
Baral's Expertisewhich acts as a curve topper, it is to reset immediate threats on high decks.
Perfect HandPerfect is a strong word, but you can see that an ideal hand is one that ramps on the correct curve and stabilizes with Rashmi before turn 4 with some play to draw cards soon after.
Acceptable HandA slightly less explosive hand with slightly worse ramps. But it is a hand that casts the commander earlier and has interaction + card selection.
Bad HandNothing to cast, right? Waiting to go cast lands to have acess to blue mana is terrible. The hand is almost acceptable if you draw a blue mana, but it's not worth it. Mulligan.
You need to know the metagamePlaying Control is extremely delicate in a multiplayer environment. The control player loses games because he used his answer on the wrong threats. Approach tables carefully and abuse priority mechanisms to preserve your interactions. Try to maximize the number of Rashmi triggers.
StrengthsThe deck stabilizes in the midgame and holds up well until the late game. The combo can be tutored with just one card and the quality of cards in the rest of the deck is quite high. He can operate almost like a
pillow fortand interact only when necessary, waiting for the perfect time to end the game. The budget cap made interactions very varied and
difficult to read. This means that those classic readings like "1 blue mana open= Swan Song / Flusterstorm / Dispel, so I can cast my creature without fear" do not work for opponents, after all, who expects a
Out of Bounds?
WeaknessesThe commander acting as the main card advantage engine means that the pilot needs to spend resources trying to protect her. Medium decks, which pose light threats gradually can overload the deck. Decks with a large presence in the field can also end up passing by the interactions, since there is no key point with which the Rashmi pilot must interact. This list usually stabilizes on 4/5 turns, before that the plan is very linear: ramp and cast the commander.