Commander Deck Tech: Gale, Waterdeep Prodigy & Scion of Halaster

Magic: the Gathering

Deck tech

Commander Deck Tech: Gale, Waterdeep Prodigy & Scion of Halaster

07/26/22 Comment regular icon0 comments

Today, we introduce a Dimir budget list focused on Gale, Waterdeep Prodigy and the background Scion of Halaster!

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Today, I bring a

budget

deck tech based on Gale, Waterdeep Prodigy and the background Scion of Halaster! This deck is also suited to the Tempo archetype, requiring its pilot knowledge and skill to know when to stop opponents and when to let opponents deal with each other. Hope you like it!

The Decklist

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Commander Analysis

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Gale is a 3 mana 1/3 commander, which allows us to cast him on the first turns with ease and when he's on the battlefield, every time you cast an instant or a sorcery, from your hand, he'll allow you to cast another of the other type from your graveyard, which will be exiled after that.

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An interesting fact is that this spell is cast with what triggered the ability on the stack, that is, it ignores the spell's time, allowing you to use sorceries from your graveyard at instant speed and during your opponents' turn. As a whole, its effect is a recursion tool, card advantage and very high value that serve as the basis for the deck to work.
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This 2 mana background enchantment gives commanders the effect that every time we go to draw the first card of each turn, we will instead have the effect of Nagging Thoughts and then draw a card. Theoretically, this effect is very similar to Nymris, Oona's Trickster, but it will also trigger on your turn, giving you an extra card at your draw step, allowing you to dig 3 cards per trigger.

Gameplan

As a Tempo deck, we need to hold the early game against the faster decks, while establishing their card advantage engines, stalling opponents and expending as few resources as possible. If the commanders stay in play for one or two of your turns, giving you card advantage and value, you will probably have already made it possible for you to dig into the deck enough to have answers and tutors to win. It's important to avoid wasting important resources and cantrips early in the game, as commanders rely on triggers to generate value.
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The deck's wincondition costs little mana, but the list doesn't have many ways to get Thassa's Oracle back from the graveyard, so if for some reason it goes there, we'll probably have to go to the deck's "plan B" with Laboratory Maniac, which besides being more expensive, depends on the draw. The list isn't a midrange with plenty of ramps and speedups, which means you'll be relying on land drops for mana. The deck still abuses cards that can be cast from the graveyard or that exile cards from the graveyard, since for each cast on opponents' turn, at least two cards go to the graveyard - which ends up being a way to increase your resources and efficiency. This part won't be news to anyone at all: the list was created and thought to use this wincon in a scenario with a budget limited by its ability to dig into the deck to find it, so the only way the deck has to win the game is:

Thassa + Consult

Required cards: Thassa's Oracle or Laboratory Maniac, and Demonic Consultation. Combo Condition: Thassa's Oracle and Demonic Consultation in hand, and enough mana to cast them. 1 - Cast Thassa's Oracle. 2-Respond to its ETB by casting the other spell from your hand and naming a card you don't have in your library, thus exiling your entire library. At Thassa's Oracle's ETB resolution, you win the game. You can use Laboratory Maniac in place of Thassa's Oracle. If that's the case, you'll need one more mana and one card draw to start, for a total of 3 blue, one black, and one generic mana.

Packages Analysis

Tutors

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The deck is equipped with all possible tutors in a budget deck, including the 3 transmutes to find Thassa or an answer, Mystical Tutor and Solve the Equation for Demonic Consultation, and Lim-Dûl's Vault, Long-Term Plans and Wishclaw Talisman as generic tutors. Long-Term Plans is a great tutor in this deck because, with a Halaster trigger, you can put the card you were looking for in your hand. Gale, like Kess, Dissident Mage, can repurpose tutors in your graveyard, as long as they are instants or sorcery — but unlike her, he ignores the spell's timing.

Draw Engines

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The deck has its commanders as its main advantage card engines, but these are not the only ones. Verity Circle is one of the most useful means to punish the opponents, and Wavebreak Hippocamp allows your counters and removals to trigger the Background, generating even more card advantage. Secrets of the Dead allows Gale's trigger to also trigger Halaster, giving you a lot of card advantage, and Notion Thief steals opponents' draws for you, very useful for undermining opponents' draw spells.

Interactions

Counterspells:
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Removals:
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The deck has many interactions of different types, precisely to keep the game controlled and favorable for you, and even the deck doesn't have as many counterspells as other lists. In this way, it is possible to interact with the pieces that remain in play and save the counters for the relevant, and non-permanent spells, such as tutors, massive draws and interactions. In addition, the deck has two cards that serve to protect and restart the combo. Essence Flux is a very useful one mana blink to restart Thassa's combo, and Unearth is the deck's only reanimation and merely a tool to get Thassa back from the graveyard.

Ramp

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This package is quite small, as there aren't many cheap, low-cost mana rocks in Dimir colors, and also because this list doesn't rely much on ramps to develop. A differentiating factor of this list compared to Nymris is being able to cast the commander separately, not being completely open on the turn you do. An acceleration and keeping the land drops going is enough to start well during the game. It won't be possible to overwhelm opponents in mana, but it won't be impossible to stop them.

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Cantrips and Others

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Cantrips aren't just cantrips with Gale and Scion of Halaster: they allow you to access a card from the graveyard that can handle the situation, and they can even give you card advantage with Halaster's replacement trigger. For this reason, the deck uses these low-cost cards to dig into the deck and find the card needed for each situation. In addition, another important thing for this deck is to always keep control of information, that is, inside the cantrips we have cards that allow you to look at your opponents' hand, providing you information and pressuring the opponent to use the cards to deal with the another opponent.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

It's extremely consistent and resilient if piloted well. Its wincondition is compact, and the deck isn't so dependent on expensive cards.

Weaknesses

This deck will hardly have more mana available than any opponent, and cannot afford to try to win at the wrong time. It has a fragile early game and can be easily run over by very fast decks.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this article! If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below! Good week and good tables to you!
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Felipe Torres

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

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