cEDH's B-Side - Okaun, Eye of Chaos & Zndrsplt, Eye of Wisdom

Magic: the Gathering

Competitive

cEDH's B-Side - Okaun, Eye of Chaos & Zndrsplt, Eye of Wisdom

This article presents the third deck from this competitive Commander series: Okaun and Zndrsplt!

By Kaylani, 05/05/21, translated by Romeu, with help from our readers

Versions:

Introduction

Hey guys. We are back with the third article of the cEDH's B-Side series, where we will analyze decklists aimed at the competitive commander, but only "off-meta" lists. In the first article, we commented a little on the composition of the most present decks in the meta, so let's go straight to this week's commanders:

Okaun, Eye of Chaos

and

Zndrsplt, Eye of Wisdom

! We saw the list straight from cEDH's database.
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Motivation

On the previous decks, we could have a strong discussion about the strengths of each deck and how they attack the current metagame. There were positive points that could be used to justify one deck use over tier decks. We then came to an almost undoubtedly inferior deck to popular decks of the format, which is inevitable when looking at "B" decks. So, why would anyone pilot this Izzet deck?
  • You like tossing coins.
  • Você like having some victories based solely on luck.
  • You have a

    Frenetic Efreet

    and wants to use it
  • Combat damage with a bit of luck is attractive for you.

Commanders' Roles on this deck

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Okaun, Eye of Chaos

is the least important partner. His ability can be used to put some pressure on the life points of decks that run

Ad Nauseam

.
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As for the good partner,

Zndrsplt, Eye of Wisdom

is our combo piece and card advantage engine. At the beginning of the combat, we can draw many cards, especially if both commanders are in play. To those who are unaware, both Commanders check

every coin you toss

, including those tossed by another commander's trigger and/or by

Mana Crypt

. So, you'll usually invest five mana on this blue

Ad Nauseam

that never truly draws as many cards as

Ad Nauseam

could. But, Zndrsplt is the second piece of a combo that is always accessible on the command zone.

The deck's Combo

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This deck has two combos, but the main combo uses

Frenetic Efreet

: Board State: Zndrsplt and Efreet on the battlefield.
  1. Activate

    Frenetic Efreet

    's ability, hold priority and activate it again.
  2. Repeat the process over and over and as much as you like
  3. Let Zndrsplt's trigger resolve and draw your entire deck.
  4. Bounce Zndrsplt (usually with

    Snapback

    so you don't deck yourself out)
  5. Resolve all of the Efreet's triggers
There is an argument about the non-deterministic nature of the combo; if it happens at a table, solve the Zndrsplt triggers manually with a smile on your face. The combo cannot be considered

slow play

because the triggers are previously placed on the stack and their resolution no longer depends on the player's action. It is usually understood that the chance of you putting 10 ^ 10 activations on the stack and not drawing your deck is approximately 0 and the combo can be solved at once. So the idea is simple, activate Efreet and draw the deck. Now how to win the game?

Winning the Game

The deck runs

Thassa's Oracle

Bribery

to fetch the Oracle from one of the other 3 decks on the board. Bribery is a little less dead than Oracle. After drawing the deck, use the positive rocks to generate enough mana and finish the game. What if there is no deck running Oracle on the table? Check your calendar; you must have returned to 2019. But realistically, if Oracle is in your opponent's hand and not on the deck, we have another combo.

The other combo

Since we are at Izzet colors, we cannot use Oracle + Consultation, so which other Izzet Combo works on this deck? TwinMage! There are some variations on how to use it, but let's see one of the ways to play this combo: Initial State:

Dualcaster Mage

and

Twinflame

in hand. Five mana available, of which three are red.
  1. Cast

    Twinflame

    and hold priority.
  2. Ad

  3. Cast

    Dualcaster Mage

    and target

    Twinflame

    with its ETB effect.
  4. Mage's trigger resolves and it copies

    Twinflame

  5. Twinflame's copy targets Dualcaster Mage
  6. Repeat the process an arbitrary number of times
  7. Attack with an absurd number of Dualcaster Mage copies
The combo can also be played with

Heat Shimmer

rather than

Twinflame

, but with one additional mana. Heat Shimmer also requires at least one creature on the battlefield. Note that there is no point in casting the Dualcaster Mage before because if you cast the creature copying spell with Mage in the field, the copied trigger goes to the stack when the original spell has resolved. Some lists, including this one, runs

Grinding Station

,

Brain Freeze

and

Underworld Breach

to go off with

Lotus Petal

and use the

Bribery

setup mentioned before.

Notable card choices

Let's not waste time with Izzet's boring interaction package or its traditional mana rocks. We have all the usual package:

Force of Will

,

Mana Drain

,

Mana Crypt

,

Jeweled Lotus

... But we can also see some cards that fit particularly well with this deck.

Krark's Thumb

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Before we met

Krark, the Thumbless

, his thumb was already very well used on this deck. It has an obvious synergy since we'll

probably

draw more cards and

probably

boost Okaum's power more often. It's also a good way to grind games with our commander, but it's not mandatory to win the matchup.

Additional Tutors

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Drift of Phantasms

tutors

Frenetic Efreet

,

Dualcaster Mage

and

Heat Shimmer

.

Imperial Recruiter

serves the same role, except for

Heat Shimmer

Muddle the Mixture

has been disappearing from the most popular lists due to the power creep, but it's still a good counter and tutors our combo pieces alongside

Underworld Breach

.

Flex Slots

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The presented list runs wheel effects alongside

Hullbreacher

(which is no longer optional) as a disruption.

Mizzix's Mastery

helps with this deck's weakness of having too few recursion effects and can recover some combo pieces, and it synergizes well with a deck that runs fewer creatures.

Knowledge Exploitation

is usually a 7 mana

Ad Nauseam

, but it gives us access to some of the best cards of the format, which we cannot use because we are an Izzet deck.

Conclusion

Weaknesses

Our commanders having the same mana value makes its curve a bit weird, especially since both cost 5 mana. Also, having a card advantage engine that relies on your luck can lead to some frustrating matchups.

Strengths

Although some frustrating matchups might happen, your commanders can draw an absurd amount of cards, especially with

Krark's Thumb

on the battlefield. The pressure that Okaun can put on your opponent's life totals cannot be ignored since three victorious coin flips are enough to make him hit for lethal. Furthermore, the "meme" quality of the deck causes even experienced players to underestimate the list. The threat assessment forces us to focus on more aggressive decks, so our partners can go under the radar and steal some victories. This ends the third article of the series, soon we will come back with another deck for you who got tired of piloting the same decks.

Grade

0

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Kaylani

Kaylani Bochie iniciou no Magic em Mirrodin, no final de 2003. Foi iniciado no cEDH em 2016, pelo interesse natural em otimizar estratégias no Commander. Busca decks control em todos os formatos e está sempre à procura do “2-por-1” perfeito.

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