This article belongs to the series The most popular archetypes of the cEDH:
Hello my friends! How are you? My name is Fogaça and after a long time I'm here to talk about Commander. It's been a while, but I think you remember me and the Deck Techs series where we worked with specific commanders in order to optimize them for the Semi-Competitive Commander. Today, however, I've not come to speak about a commander in particular, but instead to begin a new journey with the high level multiplayer admirers. We will discuss the most popular archetypes of the cEDH and what they have to add to us - for that, nothing better than starting with a classic of the format: [[Food Chain]]. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/mmq-mercadian-masques-food-chain-246.jpg?8633) THE COMBO Let's go from the beginning. Food Chain is our star here, allowing us to exile a creature and add a total of mana of a color to our choice equal to the CMC of the exiled target +1, but this mana can only be used to cast creatures. At first glance, this cards seems better fitted to the storm archetype. However, as we think more about it, we soon realize that the enchantment has more potential than that. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/avr-avacyn-restored-misthollow-griffin-68.jpg?5212) [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/emn-eldritch-moon-eternal-scourge-7.jpg?7613) [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/dom-dominaria-squee-the-immortal-146.jpg?1009) To use its full potential, Food Chain has three best friends: [[Misthollow Griffin]], [[Eternal Scourge]] and [[Squee, the Immortal]] - the idea here is to exile them to generate mana and take advantage of their ability to reconfigure them, thus being able to repeat the process and accumulate infinite mana in our pool (which can only be used to conjure creatures). Once we have access to a generous amount of mana, we will be able to abuse commanders who trigger abilities when they enter or leave the battlefield or when you cast then, since exiling them with [[Food Chain]] gives us the option to return then to the command zone to repeat the process. * COMMANDERS * This session will help us understand how we apply the conditions of our combo. We will explain some basic rules and detail about the role of specific commanders in this process. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/m20-core-set-2020-omnath-locus-of-the-roil-216.jpg?6470) Starting from the simplest, a commander who causes damage when entering the battlefield (ETB) translates exactly what we want with a Food Chain deck. In the case of Omnath, Locus of the Roil, the build does not need to be based on elementals, and it will be enough. Every time our General comes into play, it will deal a point of damage to a specific target (assuming it is an elemental), a fact that will be repeated until exhaustion with the sequence of exiling and conjuring it again from the command zone. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/ktk-khans-of-tarkir-sidisi-brood-tyrant-199.jpg?6508) Making things a little more complex, let's take advantage of the infinite ETB's for another commander. This time, [[Sidisi, Brood Tyrant]], is present in our strategy, and even with the absence of [[Squee, the Immortal]], she leaves nothing to be desired. Its effect gives us a Self Mill Win condition, placing our entire deck in our graveyard and creating zombie tokens as a consequence - we can use this to our advantage with a smart move. Here is the question: What many creatures in the field + Dread Return sent to the graveyard + an empty library reminds? My answer: a victory with Thassa's Oracle. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/thb-theros-beyond-death-uro-titan-of-natures-wrath-229.jpg?3131) Here we have an all star of eternal formats showing up. [[Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath]], is everything that the Food Chain players who would not want to spend on a mana base asked for. With only two colors, Uro comes with a unique draw effect with his ETB, and he himself is already returning to the command zone, so infinite mana is all we need to draw our entire deck and again finish the game with [[Thassa's Oracle]]. Also, drawing all the deck gives us other finishers like [[Jace, Weilder of Mysteries]], and [[Laboratory Maniac]]. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/eld-throne-of-eldraine-korvold-fae-cursed-king-329.jpg?1372) Launched in Eldraine, Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, shines a lot in Standard (unlike his collection and Food Chain partner, Chulane, Teller of Tales), but it also terrifies slow deck players all over the world. His idea is to promote the infinite ETB and use our immortal goblin as fuel to buy the entire deck again; the difference will be that we will not have access to the blue color, so our mana stands out as the finisher, allowing us to end the game with Walking Ballista or other creatures with a similar effects. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/a25-masters-25-prossh-skyraider-of-kher-214.jpg?3008) Now we come to the most unique commander of this archetype, even if it is not the main one. [[Prossh, Skyraider of Kher]], has the specificity of not needing the creatures that are conjured from exile to reach the infinite - his ability to create tokens allows us to always have enough creatures to conjure him again, which makes the finisher of the deck be an outlet for our infinite kobold generator (which can be [[Blood Artist]] or [[Zulaport Cutthroat]] for example). [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/ogw-oath-of-the-gatewatch-general-tazri-19.jpg?8220) Coming to the end, we talk about General Tazri, a notable 5C commander, who, for a long time, made the tier 1 list of the format. Her idea is that she acts as a tutor, who, upon entering the battlefield, will seek out [[Kalastria Healer]] and/or [[Halimar Excavator]], who will be pivots to end the game with successive entries of Tazri on the battlefield. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/war-war-of-the-spark-niv-mizzet-reborn-208.jpg?6346) To continue and talk about our beloved [[Niv-Mizzet Reborn]], we need to recap the period of its launch. At the time, Tazri was the chief commander of the Food Chain, but it had the weakness of being just a combo piece, while Niv could function similarly and still add value when cast in a vacuum. From this fact, a build designed for multicolored spells was created, in order to use the commander to search for valuable pieces and to end the game when we find [[Vela the Night-Clad]], or [[Corpse Knight]]. However, this restricted the deckbuilding in using many two-colored spells, spending slots belonging to monocolored staples, which led us to the creation of our last build of the night. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/mh1-modern-horizons-the-first-sliver-200.jpg?840) If Niv's problem was to limit the use of staples, now we can abuse them. [[The First Sliver]] came to step-up the Food Chain archetype to the cEDH once and for all, adding value with explosiveness. Many people might be thinking something like "but how does a sliver tribal card does this?", And I tell you: the only sliver here is the commander himself. Since it has cascade, we can cast it infinitely, in order to pull the entire deck to play, and the best thing is that the only limitation is to use cards with CMC less than 5 - I can only think of [[Force of Will]] and [[Ad Nauseum]] that exceeds this rule and generates value for the deck. All effects related to damage, draw or mill on the ETB can be used, just choose your favorite and add it to the deck, which brings us to our next topic. * VARIATIONS * In the first builds presented, we needed more cards related to the same combo for everything to work. However, the more we refine things, the more slots and options we have at our disposal. It is normal that the five-color decks have more finisher options since all cards made in the history of Magic are viable, but there are some other archetypes that corroborate with the Food Chain - the late Flash / Hulk is one of those, as well as the Consultation and [[Ad Nauseam]] lines. * HONORABLE MENTIONS * It is interesting that each archetype will always have cards that match its objectives, thus acting as a kind of support for our plans, and, therefore, this session will focus on these cards. Since we have cited their existence, we will explain more about the Demonic Consultation and its partner Tainted Pact, as well as how they act on the Food Chain decks. The duo is known as "the forbidden tutors", assuming that their cost is too high and their use is extremely "all-in", but, as we know, they not only have their own archetype (which we will talk about in the future) , but they also add in a way not seen before for our Food Chain. Think with me, we need two pieces to close our goal here, and one of them can be conjured from exile (or one of the options for this one), so there's no reason why we can't use our forbidden tutors to find Food Chain, since, if we ended up exiling one of the creatures in the process, we performed a 2 for 1 successfully. To finalize our citations, we have a pack of cards that contributes to our primordial idea by exiling exactly what we want - what would be a drawback or a way to remove opponents' pieces from the game becomes a tutor when we use cards like Bitter Ordeal, Extract, Foresight and Manipulate Fate to remove our key creatures from the game. * BUDGET ALTERNATIVES * For this specific archetype, we have no alternative with a lower monetary value, since the Food Chain itself has a unique effect and a high cost for those who want it, however, if your will is to avoid unnecessary expenses, reducing the amount of colors in your deck can help you avoid spending on lands. *CONCLUSION* The Food Chain archetype has history. He already had few pieces in the past, but each collection brings new upgrades. More and more this archetype is becoming one of the most loved by players. His builds are extremely all-in, which justifies his speed and gives you a reason to play with him or against him, so it is interesting that we get to know the archetype and its variables better in order to have a better game reading and greater baggage as players. That's it for today. I often ask readers to leave their feedback so that we can always improve. The series aims to address only a part of a whole sphere that covers an extremely diverse format, so I invite you to subscribe to my [link](https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyqfJp8MNsmyE89F2ALRYrg) (YouTube channel), where I talk about Commander, not only competitive, but also in other varieties, as well as about other formats. Until next time, my friends!
The new edition Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths has been released a few weeks from now and with that we can start to see the metagame being formed. Dominated by Yorions and Kerugas, we are seeing an extremely budget deck gaining space: cycling decks. If we add all the versions of cycling decks, we are seeing something around 8% of the [link](https://mtg.cardsrealm.com/metagame/standard)(metagame), in addition we recently saw a list in the Top 8 of MagicFest Online. This remains constant whether we analyze 7 days or 15 days. But the great advantage of the cycling deck is not in its participation in the Standard metagame, but the fact that it is budget by nature. *The deck has around 30 uncommons, 10 rares and 0 mythic rare*. The rare ones are only lands. Playing a deck with Cycling is, in my view, one of the best ways to start in Ikoria Standard. The deck is mostly made from Ikoria cards, so when playing a lot of Ikoria draft you should have enough to build the deck. Also, because it is Boros or Jeskai, when building the deck, you are building the mana base for the strongest decks of the format: all jeskai fires. So, shall we go to the Cycling versions? [link](https://mtg.cardsrealm.com/metagame/standard/boros-cycling)(BOROS CYCLING) [deck](43257) The deck has cards of all colors, but it is only boros. The idea of the other cards is to always have a cost 1 cycling in the restriction that [[Lurrus of the Dream-Den]] applies. The ideal hand is to have [[Flourishing Fox]] to play in turn one, make the creature huge through cycling and then give it trample with [[Footfall Crater]]. [[Zenith Flare]] keeps you alive in a Tempo fight while serving as a removal or finisher. Some versions use [[Savai Triome]] in the list to be able to add black mana. Black mana allows you to cast [[Memory Leak]] which is great against controls or decks that depend on a specific card. If you hate Lurrus, you can maindeck [[Imposing Vantasaur]], which can be cast as a last resort. But [[Lurrus of the Dream-Den]] fits like a glove in this deck since the threats are low cost and they all go to the graveyard. With an empty graveyard, you can still cycle a card and then cast it with Lurrus. [link](https://mtg.cardsrealm.com/metagame/standard/jeskai-cycling)(JESKAI CYCLING) [deck](43280) The Jeskai version seeks to give significance to the blue spells on the deck, transforming them into something beyond pure cycling. Cards like [[Startling Development]] look weak, but they mean +3/+3 for [[Flourishing Fox]] in addition to protecting from removals. [[Frostveil Ambush]] can be the finisher for you to attack with your entire team. In short, what changes most is the mana base. You take more damage, but allow blue cards to be used when needed. The deck needs a lot of mana that doesn't enter tap, so it's hard to say whether this version is actually better or worse than the other. In addition to mana, cards like [[Pteramander]] can be added, which can quickly become a 5/5 flying creature as several instants go to the graveyard with cycling. [deck](42295) Another option is to play the [[Improbable Alliance]] enchantment that will give you a 1/1 creature with flying every turn, even your opponents', as long as you have cycling cards in hand. *CONCLUSION* If we analyze the price, both in the Arena and IRL, and compare the results, Jeskai Cycling and Boros Cycling are the best decks for those who want to start in the new Standard.