Commander Deck Tech: Sharuum, the Hegemon

Magic: the Gathering

Competitive

Commander Deck Tech: Sharuum, the Hegemon

This article brings a Sharuum commander decklists with plenty of ways to finish the game.

By FELIPE, 10/26/21, translated by Humberto, with help from our readers

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Introduction

This decklist was built with the following rules: โ€ข Commander(s) are not included in the list's final value โ€ข Deck have to cost around USD 100 โ€ข The deck is built to be as strong and consistent as possible given the deck's limitations. โ€ข Basic lands are included in the deck's value. โ€ข Decks must adhere to Wizards of the Coast's Banned/Restricted list. The list that will be presented falls under the

COMBO

Archetype and was created by me, being developed to operate against other decks that are in the same price range.

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Gameplan

This deck seeks to win the game with a certain speed. It won't be the fastest, but its board development has spaces to interact with opponents who try to be faster than you. The list has many mana rocks to speed up the Commander as much as possible, and the purpose of the list is to cast it as soon as possible, with a clone in hand or artifact clone in the graveyard and something that finishes opponents.
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The Commander is an artifact creature, has a relatively high cost and no intrinsic ways to reduce it. When we cast the Commander, and it enters the battlefield, she will return an artifact from the graveyard to play, which may include herself! Since Sharuum is an artifact, this allows for combos using cards that clone her and cards that sacrifice her. Considering the fact that Sharuum doesn't have a built-in card advantage, we can't afford to spend cards from our hand unnecessarily.

Winconditions

This deck has two combo lines: a quick one that can be played turn 3 or 4 that involves Leonin Relic-Warder, but it's not that common and leaves you with little room for protection, and another aimed at cloning the Commander, having many more parts and tutors to support it.

1. Loop with the Commander

The commander is the simplest way to perform the loops, since being in the command zone, it is one less piece to be searched for and the other pieces are mostly artifacts or cost two mana, which are the simplest to be found with this deck's tutors To perform this loop, you need the Commander, a

Clone

, and a

Finisher

.

Clones

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These cards manage to copy our commander. Some don't need to be cast, like Phyrexian Metamorph and Sculpting Steel, and can be thrown to the graveyard in one of the ways I'll mention later, and they can go to the graveyard with the loop. Mirror of the Forebears can come back with Sharuum's ETB, but it can't go into the graveyard, as it needs a colorless mana to become a commander clone. Phantasmal Image is the clone with the lowest mana cost, but it's the easiest to be stopped, as it only takes a spell to target it. Mirror Image and Mirrormade cost an extra mana, but can be targets of spells and stay alive if the spell doesn't resolve.

Finishers

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All cards listed above interact in some way with the loop. Corpse Knight, whenever a creature enters the battlefield, it deals one damage to all opponents. Cruel Celebrant, Zulaport Cutthroat, and Blood Artist interact whenever a creature you control dies. Altar of Dementia works by milling opponents' decks. Using Sharuum as a sacrifice, Blasting Station also works. And last but not least, we have Disciple of the Vault, which only works with artifacts.

Condition for the loop

: a

Clone

in hand (or on graveyard if it can be targeted by Sharuum), Sharuum in the command zone or hand, and a

Finisher

on the battlefield. 1. Cast Sharuum (targeting Graveyard

Clone

, if any). 2. Cast Clone (if you have reanimated a

Clone

, skip this step). 3. Place the clone as a copy of Sharuum, Legend Rule applies, sacrifice the original Sharuum. 4. With the Sharuum clone's ETB, target the original Sharuum.

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5. When the original enters the battlefield, sacrifice it again. 6. With the original Sharuum's ETB, target the original Sharuum on the graveyard. 7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until your finisher manages to @@@@ all opponents.

Observation

This loop is doable with any clone, but not with any finisher; Altar of Dementia and Blasting Station depend on a clone you can reanimate, in which case you will sacrifice the clone with the finisher, and then reanimate it with the original Sharuum.

Leonic-Dead

This line is based on Leonin Relic-Warder, along with Animate Dead and one of the deck's finishers (except Disciple of the Vault, which only works with artifacts).

Loop Condition

: Leonin Relic-Warder in Graveyard, Animate Dead and a valid finisher on the battlefield, plus one colorless mana and one black mana available. 1. Cast the Animate Dead, target Leonin-Relic Warden 2. When Leonin enters the battlefield, target Animate Dead. 3. If your finisher on the field is Blasting Station or Altar of Dementia, sacrifice Leonin, responding to Animate Dead's sacrifice trigger, and targeting one of your opponents. 4. Leonin leaves the battlefield, Animate Dead leaves exile. 5. With Animate Dead's ETB, target Leonin. Repeat steps 2-5 until you win the game.

Analyzing the Deck's Packages

I separated the deck's cards into packages to be able to explain them better without talking directly about each one of them, except those that need some attention: Ramps and Reducers, Tutors, Card Draw and Interactions.

Ramps:

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This deck speeds up a lot with mana rocks, all costing 2 except for Sol Ring, and most of them enters untapped, which is essential to optimize turns, as it is possible to drop mana rocks and still have mana available for something. Dramatic Reversal is a ritual in the list, as it allows you to reuse all the mana rocks on the field to generate even more mana.

Reducers:

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Cost reducers are essential on this deck. Simply because more than a quarter of the list is made up of artifacts they end up working as ramps, making you spend less mana to cast your artifact spells, but they aren't good for other types of spells. Thus, as most of the mana rocks in the deck generate mana, the reducers can be more effective than rocks, as they end up saving more mana, but with this limitation of only reducing the cost of artifact spells.

Tutors:

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Tutors are essential to ensure consistency across decks, and since it's not possible to use multiple copies of the same card in Commander, it's important to have other ways to ensure that the desired card will be in your hand. Dimir Infiltrator, Muddle the Mixture, and Shred Memory works to fetch 2 mana cards, which cover almost all finishers, such as Phantasmal Image, Mirror of the Forebears and Leonin Relic-Warder's combo with Animate Dead. Tribute Mage and Trophy Mage respectively search for 2 and 3 mana artifacts, and both manage to search at least one

Clone

and one

Finisher

.

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Buried Alive can fetch Leonin if we have an Animate Dead, and can also fetch a Phyrexiam Metamorph for the main line. Whir of Invention and Reshape can fetch the missing artifact directly to the battlefield, while Fabricate costs less mana to cast, but puts the card into your hand. Wishclaw Talisman is used to search for any card from the deck, but avoid using it to find something in a turn that you won't win, as you will give it to an opponent. Final Parting is a double tutor for the deck, as it searches for the clone to be reanimated, and the finisher or interaction for the hand.

Card Draw:

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This package exists for a simple reason: it's important to know what you're going to draw and take out the cards that aren't so good out of your hand and at the top of your deck. Cantrips are essential for this, as they replace themselves in the hand and can look at a good number of cards for a low mana cost. On the basic cantrips, we have Ponder, Preordain and Brainstorm, which look 3 cards from the top and reorganize them, and Gitaxian Probe, which will usually cost 2 of life to see the opponent's hand and replace itself. Impulse costs one more mana, and looks at one more card in instant speed. We also have Forbidden Alchemy which is an Impulse that put things into the graveyard, which can make the combo easier, and even has flashback. Frantic Search is virtually no mana, as we untap our lands and can still discard cards you want to stay in the graveyard. Thirst for Meaning draws three and discards up to two, very useful for discarding what you don't want. Thirst for Knowledge is one of the best draw spells in the deck, as it is almost never made to discard two cards, and the fact that throwing an artifact into the graveyard is good, as our Commander can retrieve it.

Interactions

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As the focus of this list is not to control the board, the deck's interaction package is very lean and focused on low-cost bounces and removals, as well as low mana counterspells. Blink of an Eye and Into the Roil are excellent at taking out threats on the pass by taking advantage of the mana left before reaching your turn, and even being able to replace themselves in your hand. Dismember destroys a creature for one colorless mana and 4 life, Misdirection can be cast for free and change the target of a single-target spell. Ghostly Flicker can save creatures from removals, repurpose ETBs, and restart the deck's combo when needed. For counterspells, we have Arcane Denial and Keep Safe that replace themselves, preventing us from running out of cards, in addition to Delay which costs two mana. We rely on Stubborn Denial, Spell Pierce, Miscast, and Dispel for one mana counterspells. Spells that allow us to answer threats for cheap are essential to protect the combo, even when going for the win early. Silence is undoubtedly the best way to protect the combo. If a Silence resolves on your turn, it's almost a guarantee of victory for you, which makes me wonder about dedicated tutors to find it.

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Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths

- Very consistent and fast

considering that the commander costs 6 mana, it's very difficult to be faster on a budget

, managing to get under many decks. - It's a slightly off-the-line list, but extremely fun, and it doesn't fall behind more popular decks. - You can protect yourself relatively well from other decks, especially if you know when to win, minimizing opponent interactions as the deck's pilot.

Weaknesses

- The deck is not very fast due to the Commander's mana cost, going to win normally turn 4 or 5. - The list is quite explosive. However, it cannot replenish the cards in the hand at the same speed.

Conclusion

That's all for today, and stay tuned for another Commander deck tech! Thanks for reading!
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FELIPE

Started playing Magic on M20 in 2019. Prefers control decks and seeks to improve his deckbuilding.

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