January 12, 2016

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Commander Mondays – Cutting All the Throats

Hello to all my happy EDH playing readers! This week I’m back with another one of my old decklists that’s ready to share with the world. Although I haven’t played this deck in ages, Sygg, River Cutthroat is one of my favourite commanders. As a disclaimer, this is one of the decks I’ve considered most competitive – it’s not meant to be fun for anybody, but the person piloting it.

Tossed Down the River

Sygg performs as an aggressive control deck. It tends to have an answer for any given threat whenever one arises. For comparison, the deck has a similar play style to Edric, Spymaster of Trest, except instead of a bulk of creatures, you get more answers. Edric tends to kill/lock faster than Sygg, but Sygg tends to be more consistent and less likely to lose to the resolution of a single spell.

Basic Game Plan is Basic

The way this deck performs is simple, using Sygg and creatures such as Shadowmage Infiltrator and Dimir Cutpurse to generate an obscene amount of card advantage. Sygg allows its controller to draw a card on each turn that an opponent has lost 3 or more life. This is not limited to combat damage, or even loss of life that you have caused. Notably, it allows Undermine to generate some strong card advantage.

Essentially, you want to:

  • Throw down dudes.
  • Hit your opponents with these dudes.
  • Profit like mad.
  • Make sure your opponent never resolves another spell.

How are the match-ups?

This deck absolutely destroys most combo decks. You rarely have to use your commander – just hold a few counterspells to take out the first couple of pieces that get cast then proceed with the usual game plan. Aggro match-ups are more varied, depending on the type of deck. Tokens is difficult if you can’t draw a board wipe fast enough, so be more wary of what you let resolve in these games.

The most frustrating games are the mirror matches. A friend of mine played a similar list but with slightly different cards, and most of the time the first dozen turns were used playing a long game of chicken. Whoever cast the first spell tended to be the one who lost. So against other control matches I’d be wary of when you start casting cards. If you can stick a Cavern of Souls, then name Wizards, resolving a Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir tends to be your best bet.

The Deck

Sygg Cuts all the Throats

Commander: (1)
Sygg, River Cutthroat

Creature: (19)
Baleful Strix
Bloodghast
Delver of Secrets
Dimir Cutpurse
Gilded Drake
Glen Elendra Archmage
Invisible Stalker
Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
Ninja of the Deep Hours
Notion Thief
Phantasmal Image
Phyrexian Metamorph
Shadowmage Infiltrator
Snapcaster Mage
Sower of Temptation
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
True-Name Nemesis
Vendilion Clique
Venser, Shaper Savant

Spells: (37)
Arcane Denial
Brainstorm
Capsize
Complicate
Counterspell
Countersquall
Cryptic Command
Cyclonic Rift
Diabolic Edict
Dismember
Exclude
Flusterstorm
Force of Will
Frantic Search
Go for the Throat
Hero’s Downfall
Into the Roil
Mana Drain
Mana Leak
Memory Lapse
Mystic Confluence
Mystical Teachings
Mystical Tutor
Negate
Remand
Rewind
Shadow of Doubt
Spell Pierce
Think Twice
Trickbind
Undermine
Vampiric Tutor
Damnation
Demonic Tutor
Inquisition of Kozilek
Thoughtseize
Toxic Deluge

Artifacts: (8)
Dimir Signet
Mana Crypt
Sensei’s Divining Top
Skullclamp
Sol Ring
Sword of Feast and Famine
Sword of Fire and Ice
Umezawa’s Jitte

Enchantment: (1)
Bitterblossom

Planeswalker: (1)
Jace, The Mind Sculptor

Lands: (33)
Cavern of Souls
Cephalid Coliseum
Command Tower
Creeping Tar Pit
Faerie Conclave
Flooded Strand
14 Island
Bazaar of Baghdad
Misty Rainforest
Mutavault
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Sunken Hollow
Sunken Ruins
Swamp
Underground Sea
Watery Grave

That’s all for now folks. I hope you enjoy this list, and if you happen to have cheap junk such as Jace, The Mind Sculptor, Mana Crypt and Bazaar of Baghdad lying around, perhaps give the deck a try!

Until next week, thanks for reading!