This article belongs to the series The most popular archetypes of the cEDH:
Hello my friends! How are you? My name is Fogaça and I'm here to talk about Commander. Up to now, we have been commenting on small pieces of a whole called The cEDH Format. We started with [[Food Chain]] to show the format's speed, going through [[Demonic Consultation]] to say that only a card is not enough, it also has to generate value (which was reiterated in the speech about [[Underworld Breach]] and [[Aetherflux Reservoir]]), and finally we hit the Hatebears to get a sense of the importance of creatures and board presence during the game. Now, we have reached a point where everything explained in the previous articles will converge on a single deck: today is the long-awaited day to talk about Wheels & Thieves. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/dgm-dragons-maze/notion-thief-88.jpeg?7044) * THE COMBO * When we talked about the Hatebears, I used this session to explain the general concept and function of the cards so named, which will be repeated in this article. The idea of a card characterized as a thief comes from [[Notion Thief]], which was part of the cEDH scene for a long time, generating value by locking the opponent. Recently, the format has undergone radical change. First with the launch of collections with a high power level and the printing of important pieces for the current builds (see War of the Spark and Modern Horizons), and then with the ban of [[Paradox Engine]] and [[Flash]] leading to the death of the Flash / Hulk decks. All this culminated in a point where the gameplay leads the player to aim for the highest value in a short time. These fact might have motivated a player to, on a tedious day looking at our dear thief alone in the middle of a bulk of cards, improve what we already saw on the [[Nekusar, the Mindrazer]] decks, but this time, as efficiently as possible. With the concept in hand, it was all a matter of playing the Professor Utonium and using the companion commanders along with the [[Demonic Consultation]] package and some drops of the Element X to bring the renowned Opus Thief to life. After popping-up on the metagame, the four-color deck headed by [[Tymna the Weaver]] and [[Kraum, Ludevic's Opus]] started to gain more relevance, mainly by competing with Flash / Hulk builds like Tymna & Thrasios (which were already presented as tier 0). Its strategy was to use ordinary cards in constructions optimized as wheel effects combined with stax related to opponents' draws to break the symmetry of the table. More and more, the archetype got popular among the players and was seen more, being better used and having the spotlight in a format that is now [[Flash]] free. * COMMANDERS * Initially, the Opus Thief build was exclusive to Tymna & Kraum, but over time the archetype became a way to assemble the deck, being able to integrate almost any list of three or more colors. So I decided to dedicate this session to show builds that have a different development for the same principle. With that in mind, I would like you to consider [[Kenrith, the Returned King]] and so many others who adapt the idea of 4C T&K following the same construction idea, but with different generals. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/c16-commander-2016/tymna-the-weaver-48.jpeg?5185) [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/c16-commander-2016/kraum-ludevics-opus-34.jpeg?5067) The all stars of Opus Thief are [[Notion Thief]] and [[Alms Collector]]. Together with Tymna, they guarantee extra draws, and, in addition, they also work very well at instant speed, and can be fitted in response to a spell or ability that an opponent controls. Next to them, we have [[Narset, Parter of Veils]] and [[Smothering Tithe]], cards from the same block and that, once they arrived, dominated the format. On the wheel side, we have the classics [[Wheel of Fortune]], [[Timetwister]] and [[Windfall]], which started to come together with [[Whispering Madness]] to guarantee redundancy, but, in the end , the biggest innovation in this sense was the addition of [[Winds of Change]] and [[Burning Inquiry]], promoting a great asymmetry when combined with a thief effect. To finish the game we have the [[Demonic Consultation]], [[Tainted Pact]], [[Jace, Wielder of Mysteries]] and [[Thassa's Oracle]] pack together with the [[ Ad Nauseam]] + [[Angel's Grace]] combo which is viable since we have acess to white. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/csp-coldsnap/zur-the-enchanter-135.jpeg?1106) This build works like the classic Zur Control, but, unlike the standard idea, [[Underworld Dreams]] can be used as a thief effect. Here, [[Dark Deal]] takes the place of [[Wheel of Fortune]], [[Vision Skeins]] takes the place of [[Burning Inquiry]] and [[Time Spiral]] works as [[Winds of Change ]]. Its win condition is the same as in the deck above, derived from [[Demonic Consultation]] and [[Ad Nauseam]] lines. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/c20-commander-2020/shabraz-the-skyshark-14.jpeg?7794) [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/c20-commander-2020/brallin-skyshark-rider-4.jpeg?714) The dynamic duo from C20 comes to add to our archetype. With a build that takes advantage of the Jeskai colors, we have the wheels as a subtopic of this deck that simulates the classic Curious Control and takes high value from cards like [[Rielle, the Everwise]], even without having access to black and, consequently, to [[Notion Thief]] itself. * VARIATIONS * As I said before, what was initially an archetype became a way to build your deck. Any strategy with a color pie compatible with the concept of thieves can take advantage of this type of synergy, even more nowadays with massive draw effects present in all builds of the metagame. * HONORABLE MENTIONS AND ALTERNATIVES BUDGET * Again, I will use this session to leave a list of cards that can help anyone who wants to build their deck with the thieves subtheme. Not all of them are viable for the cEDH , but they can cause an impact on a battlefield of a slightly lower power level. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/dgm-dragons-maze/notion-thief-88.jpeg?7044) [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/c17-commander-2017/alms-collector-1.jpeg?6836) [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/c13-commander-2013/nekusar-the-mindrazer-201.jpeg?8420) [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/c20-commander-2020/shabraz-the-skyshark-14.jpeg?7794) [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/ima-iconic-masters/consecrated-sphinx-47.jpeg?2721) [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/m15-magic-2015/chasm-skulker-46.jpeg?94) [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/prm-magic-online-promos/narset-parter-of-veils-72269.jpeg?8289) [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/prm-magic-online-promos/ob-nixilis-the-hate-twisted-72251.jpeg?9718) [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/p2hg-two-headed-giant-tournament/underworld-dreams-1.jpeg?8300) [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/rna-ravnica-allegiance/smothering-tithe-22.jpeg?9777) [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/ori-magic-origins/alhammarrets-archive-221.jpeg?1051) *CONCLUSION* I believe to have presented today an example of innovation. I have heard a lot that the cEDH is consolidated and that nothing new can come up, but I am always seeing strategies that have come up with more value than the previous ones. I will keeping insist on motivating you to always try to innovate. Of course, in certain situations, the performance limit has already been reached, but that is not a rule, and knowing that the format is based on value we can try to find something that takes us a step further. That's it for today. I ask you to leave your feedback so that we can always improve. The series aims to address only part of an entire sphere that covers an extremely diverse format, so I invite you to subscribe to my [link](https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyqfJp8MNsmyE89F2ALRYrg)( channel on YouTube), where I talk about Commander, not only competitive, but also in other varieties, as well as about other formats. Until next time, my friends!Next article in this serie
Sultai Mutate is a deck that, despite having only creatures, can handle the most diverse situations: [deck](47638) *BUDGETING* Despite the focus being on the mutation keyword, let's begin our discussion with some cards that don't have this ability but are great creatures to open the game and good targets for our mutations: We keep the 4 copies of [card](Zagoth Mamba) as it can be a great removal, especially in the late game where we managed to make several mutations in the same turn. We increased from 2 to 4 copies of [card](Paradise Druid) because we can use it either as a ramp or simply keep it untapped to make the mutations in it since it is protected from occasional removals. We keep the 2 copies of [card](Arboreal Grazer), a great creature for the first turn, since for just one mana it is a difficult creature for the opponent to remove in the early game, and it accelerates our hand by ramping when entering the battlefield and being a creature to be mutated on the following turns. We also keep the 4 copies of [card](Pollywog Symbiote) which makes the spells of creatures we cast cost 1 generic less if they have a mutation (remembering that we don't need to play the magic with mutation to decrease the cost). In addition, whenever we cast a creature that has a mutation (again, we don't need to use the mutation ability for that) we will draw a card and then discard a card, thus helping to find creatures we need. As the deck does not use rare cards, we removed the companion [card](Umori, the Collector) and all copies of [card](Nylea, Keen-Eyed) which, like Pollywog Symbiote, decreases the cost of the creatures we are going to play. For the deck's winning condition, we have two paths: The first is draining the opponent's life (s): We keep the 2 copies of [card](Insatiable Hemophage) that will make opponents lose more life while giving us more life each time it is mutated, and in the late game it can make the opponent lose 5, 6, 7 life for mutation. If the plan is to try to win like that, my advice is to make the mutations in Paradise Druid, since it can't be targeted by removal, and gradually draining life from your opponent. The second option is overrunning your opponent: We will keep 4 copies of [card](Auspicious Starrix), a creature that whenever it mutates will exile the X cards from the top of our library, where X is the number of times it mutated and placing all permanents exiled in this way on the battlefield, and the best part is that this deck only has permanents (creatures and lands). So, everything that is exiled will be put on the battlefield, increasing our army. We added 4 copies of [card](Trumpeting Gnarr) to create 3/3 beast token and increase the army along with [card](Auspicious Starrix). We replaced the 2 copies of [card](End-Raze Forerunners), which gives trample (in addition to increasing the power of our army), with [card](Archipelagore) which will tap more and more opponent's creatures and prevent them from being untapped on the opponent’s next turn. In summary, it delaying the opponent's plan and also serves open a breach for a massive attack by the army generated by [card](Auspicious Starrix) and [card](Trumpeting Gnarr). Now that we know our main win conditions, we have other interesting mutations in the deck: For the budget version we will also remove all copies of [card](Sea-Dasher Octopus), [card](Gemrazer) and [card](Nethroi, Apex of Death). However, we keep the 4 copies of [card](Migratory Greathorn) that will help us ramp, which is important since we want to make several mutations in the same turn. We also keep the 2 copies of [card](Dreamtail Heron) to give us a card advantage, 2 copies of [card](Chittering Harvester) for removal (even more so with Zagoth Mamba), and added 2 copies of [card](Boneyard Lurker) to return a permanent from our graveyard to the hand (either discarded by Pollywog Symbiote or simply killed). And finally, for the mana basis, we removed all copies of [card](Zagoth Triome), [card](Castle Locthwain), [card](Overgrown Tomb), [card](Breeding Pool) and [card](Watery Grave). We added 2 copies of [card](Jungle Hollow), 2 copies of [card](Thornwood Falls) and 2 copies of [card](Dismal Backwater) and increased to 7 copies of [card](Forest), 6 copies of [card](Swamp) and 5 copies of [card](Island). With these changes we arrive at the following list: [deck](47735) Despite the changes, the deck still manages to quickly fill the battlefield mainly with creatures but also with lands. The budget list is able to win the game by attacking and making several mutations to quickly drain the opponent's life points with [card](Insatiable Hemophage). I hope you enjoyed and see you soon.