The cEDH archetypes #02 - Demonic Consultation

Magic: the Gathering

Commander

The cEDH archetypes #02 - Demonic Consultation

05/14/20 Comment regular icon0 comments

Here we will talk about how Forbidden Tutors affect the format, and with that, we will understand why UBx decks have been dominating the meta for a long time.

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Hello my friends! How are you? My name is Fogaça and I'm here to talk about Commander. Last week I came to you with a new approach, in order to explain how the main strategies of the cEDH work, to introduce new players to the format and to review the decks and staples with the old players. Today's idea is to continue the article on Food Chain and talk about how the Forbidden Tutors affect the format, and with that, we understand why UBx decks have been dominating the meta for a long time.
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THE COMBO

As you can see, when we refer to Forbidden Tutors, we are talking about Demonic Consultation and Tainted Pact, which are referred to in such a way as they are considered all in cards. Their function, however, is not to tutor the cards themselves, but to act as pieces in combos where we want to promote a quick and effective self-mill so that we can end the game with something like Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, or Thassa's Oracle. After understanding how the combo works, we got to the point where we thought: but why use something like that? To put it simple, in a highly competitive game it is easier to have a combo where we can win with effects like the one from Laboratory Maniac than to generate a fancy board and take advantage of it, especially in a format where games are much faster if compared to casual games. In addition, the fact that combos like this require few pieces, which have low mana cost and also generate value individually, provides great consistency, and, consequently, much popularity for the archetype.

COMMANDERS

It is a little difficult to talk about the commanders who take advantage of the Consultation strategy to shine, since it is compact enough to enter any type of deck (from the most all in, to the controls). However, there are some outstanding commanders for their efficiency in enjoying these combinations.
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Those who read last week's article are not surprised by the presence of this friend here, as well as they would not do it for General Tazri and Niv-Mizzet Reborn. Since we use combo pieces that can work from exile, there is no reason why we don't use our Forbidden Tutors to dig Food Chain and already exile a Eternal Scourge in the process. In this way, there is also no reason not to add a Jace or an Oracle to complement the formula.
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Talking about our beloved mage, she is undoubtedly one of those who most benefit from using the Consult-Pact duo. Its built based on a control shell that adds up with the ability to reuse the graveyard. Kess herself allows us one of the most unfair lines of the entire archetype: we stabilize the table during the game with our Grixis deck and, when appropriate, we use one of the tutors naming either Jace or the Oracle to then play them and reuse the tutors in the cemetery, thus ending the game.
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Zur is one of the favorites from players outside Brazil and it is no coincidence. His unique role as a tutor coming the command zone gives us a malleability for his builds, alternating between approaches totally all in or control-stax. Despite this, there is one thing in common in almost every construction of our Esper friend: a big panic button called Consultation Combo (if everything goes wrong, we will still have hope for a simple and effective combo).

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And to close our commanders today, we are going with a man who has barely arrived and I already consider him to be family. Kenrith is here to represent all 4C or 5C decks that simply run Consultation to add a consistent finisher to their build, so as not to have any specifics related to the Consultation or the Pact in their lists made to generate value.

VARIATIONS

The first thing I thought for the variations of our combo was to talk about the idea of Sushi Hulk, however, with the ban of Flash, our combo with Protean Hulk was practically extinct from the format (rest in peace, old friend). Afterwards, I thought of other possible derivations for the same decks, in order to separate them into three large groups: • Ad Nauseam + Angel's Grace: The idea here is to buy all the cards in our library for some effect which commonly will come in exchange for our life. Some other options come with Bolas's Citadel + Sensei's Divining Top or using Angel of Grace. • Another form of exile: We can also choose to add other forms of exile to increase deck's redundancy for our combo. Effects like Plunge into Darkness, Leveler and Necropotence are useful for removing unwanted cards from the library. • Doomsday stacks: The latter takes us back to ancient times in the cEDH, before Jace or Oracle. The idea was to have a stack of five cards that, together and in sequence, could lead us to victory. Nowadays, they are no longer used, thanks to the number of slots they occupy and the dependence on certain circumstances during the game, but the most famous stack was made up of Gush, Lion's Eye Diamond, Gitaxian Probe, Yawgmoth's Will and Laboratory Maniac.

HONORABLE MENTIONS AND BUDGET ALTERNATIVES

We have combined both sessions here since they are filled with the variations mentioned above. I leave, however, one more alternative for combaters on duty who do not want to spend a lot on the deck: a deck without creatures and with some token generators go very well with Divergent Transformations, a card to which you can draw Leveler and Thassa's Oracle of the deck to give an effect similar to Consultation (in the case of a higher expense, Spellseeker takes the place of Leveler when sending one of the prohibited tutors to the hand) .

CONCLUSION

It is no coincidence that the Consultation archetype dominates the format. We can conclude with today's arguments that it combines consistency with compactness, necessary for any high-level game. 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 YouTube channellink outside website, where I talk more about Commander, not only competitive, but also in other varieties, as well as about other formats. Until next time, my friends!

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Thiago Fogaça

Jogador de Magic desde Tarkir, sou apaixonado por interações e sinergias que quebram a curva do jogo. Para mim, o cEDH é o teste máximo para o jogador de Magic, tanto para deck build, quanto para gameplay. Para me acompanhar no YouTube, acessem meu canal.

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