What do you do when you get bored of building (or seeing) the same Commander decks week in and week out? How do you break out of the malaise and get new inspiration? How about building a deck around a random Commander! As Mark Rosewater has stated many times, restriction leads to creativity. Being forced to build around a certain leader that you never considered before is a liberating experience.
All you have to do is head over to Gatherer and then hit that Random Card button until you get a legendary creature. Then you build the deck. I’ve done that a few times here and been forced to build decks around such luminaries as Selenia, Dark Angel and Mirri, Cat Warrior. Let hit things up!
My first random card is… …
Um… no, not a legendary creature. Sorry.
Nope and nope.
And then just… whoa. Fourth card in, and it’s a real legendary creature too…
Alright, I accept that challenge. The Mimeoplasm it is!
- 1 Solemn Simulacrum
- 1 Spike Weaver
- 1 Triskelion
- 1 Krosan Tusker
- 1 Shadowmage Infiltrator
- 1 Genesis
- 1 Scion of Darkness
- 1 Twisted Abomination
- 1 Workhorse
- 1 Mindless Automaton
- 1 Avenging Druid
- 1 Deranged Hermit
- 1 Anthroplasm
- 1 Arashi, the Sky Asunder
- 1 Mulldrifter
- 1 Shriekmaw
- 1 Fertilid
- 1 Lord of Extinction
- 1 Acidic Slime
- 1 Fauna Shaman
- 1 Liliana's Specter
- 1 Edric, Spymaster of Trest
- 1 Scavenging Ooze
- 1 The Mimeoplasm
- 1 Phenax, God of Deception
- 1 Satyr Wayfinder
- 1 Deal Broker
- 1 Soul of New Phyrexia
- 1 Chasm Skulker
- 1 Jalira, Master Polymorphist
- 1 Soul of Innistrad
- 1 Sultai Soothsayer
- 1 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
- 1 Living Death
- 1 Sol Ring
- 1 Diabolic Tutor
- 1 Darksteel Ingot
- 1 Kodama's Reach
- 1 Staff of Domination
- 1 Lightning Greaves
- 1 Strategic Planning
- 1 Deep Analysis
- 1 Dread Return
- 1 Cultivate
- 1 Contagion Engine
- 1 Forbidden Alchemy
- 1 Sever the Bloodline
- 1 Tracker's Instincts
- 1 Extract from Darkness
- 1 Sultai Charm
- 1 Bitter Revelation
- 1 Sultai Ascendancy
- 1 Sultai Banner
- 1 Palace Siege
- 1 Monastery Siege
- 1 Sphinx's Tutelage
- 1 Animist's Awakening
- 1 Evolutionary Leap
And there’s your Ooze-tastic deck!
I wanted to dig into a few fun territories for the Mimeoplasm. First of all, the creature wants to eat stuff when it arrives, so you need to be able to have the goods in your own graveyard when you drop your ‘Plasm. You can ensure whether or not you have the right junk, but more options is better, so hopefully you can hit opposing goods as well to amp up the Mimeoplasm’s value. Ideally, you can find a few effects to mill folks as well as putting things directly into your own graveyard.
Let’s begin with the strategy of putting some goods into your own graveyard. The first place I dug into were creatures that cycled (or channeled) into your graveyard from your hand. Scion of Darkness and Krosan Tusker are great examples of ways to pop a nice body into your graveyard. You can get a lot of +1/+1 counters on that ‘Plasm when you eat a Tusker or Twisted Abomination.
Next up, I dipped into ways of discarding cards for various effects. You could run a ton of Looter effects where you draw a card and then discard. I began with Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy as a great two-drop with the potential for huge added value: you can flip it later as your graveyard builds and get a strong ‘walker. I also really want to use this as an opportunity to discuss Deal Broker.
I know a lot of folks out there look at the draft-mechanic cards as Limited-only stuff. That might be true for many, perhaps even most, of those cards… but Deal Broker is different. It’s a colorless three-drop that’s reasonable in size and taps to draw and discard. It’s easy to play, easy to drop, and every color now has access to Looting because of it. It’s much stronger than a lot of folks realize. Compare it to a three-drop in blue like Cephalid Looter, which is smaller in size.
Use the khans selection on Monastery Siege or activate Sphinx’s Tutelage. We have the goods here.
The next place I delved into were cards that would toss stuff into your own graveyard after it triggers, usually as a by-product. Avenging Druid attacks. Did you hit someone? Then reveal cards until you flip a land, toss that land onto the battlefield, and then toss the rest into your bin. That’s a lot better than an Ophidian. Getting free lands every hit is just downright nasty, and filling your graveyard while you do it is even better. The same is true of effects like Satyr Wayfinder. (You could really push this theme with something like Hermit Druid, but you might want to not.)
When I’m looking for cards to draw more cards, then why not delve into something like Strategic Planning or Bitter Revelation? Considering how often we’re dropping cards into our ‘yard, then it seems that adding in some flashback spells would prove extremely welcome too. That way, if you wind up with Deep Analysis in your graveyard, you can play it and draw some stuff. Forbidden Alchemy and Tracker’s Instincts both can flash back and put some stuff in your hand while filling up your graveyard.
This concept not only works for spells that flashback but also for creatures that have graveyard effects. Genesis makes a lot of sense here, returning your best dead creature from your graveyard to your hand every upkeep as long as you pay the tax. Soul of Innistrad can give you a lot of creatures back and produce strong card advantage while in play, and then post-death you can exile it to recur three cards one last time. Plus, it’s size can really amp your Mimeoplasm. The same is true of Soul of New Phyrexia as well.
For milling others, I only have a few cards and suggestions. I don’t want to belabor it overly much. I adore Extract from Darkness here. You mill everyone of a few cards, and then you can reanimate a creature from any graveyard you choose. It adds a lot of gas to your deck and is a perfect fit for a Mimeoplasm deck. Don’t ignore Phenax, God of Deception either. You can tap stuff when they aren’t needed to mill some cards here and there, and again, build up steam for the next iteration of your Ooze-Master.
Another space that I wanted to mine gently was +1/+1 counters. Imagine that you play Mimeoplasm when you have a Triskelion and Twisted Abomination in your graveyard. You exile them both and now you now have a Triskelion with eight +1/+1 counters on it. You can fling those counters, mana-free, at a whole bunch of opponents. I added a few creatures that can do things with those counters that you inject on a Mimeoplasm. I didn’t want to toss in too many because they aren’t good for Mimeoplasm on the flip slide – you don’t want to have Spike Feeder and Spike Soldier as the only two creatures available to ‘plasm. But we have some!
You can pull counters off Fertilid early in the game to yield those lands, and then later on load up a ton of counters on the Mimeoplasm-Fertilid and just blow through the remaining lands in your deck. Meanwhile, Mindless Automaton converts two +1/+1 counters into a card, Spike Weavers gives you very valuable Fog effects, and Workhorse can grab you a ton of colorless mana.
Chasm Skulker doesn’t pull counters off the creature, but when it inevitably dies the counters on it become tokens – you can see how nice a 6/6 Mimeoplasm copy of a Skulker could be and then watch as it grows from there!
The next place I wanted to look were other Oozes. This may not be an Ooze-themed deck per se, but I wanted to make sure that we had a few here and there. Some are obvious inclusions – Acidic Slime and Scavenging Ooze come to mind.
Take a closer look at “junk rare” Anthroplasm. It’s another perfect card for this deck from out of left field. At first, you may wonder why I like it so much, other than the obvious Ooze-ness of the card. But take a closer look. You can tap X mana into the creature and pull off all of its existing counters to add X counters to it. It’s subtle. Imagine that you churn nine mana into it in the mid- or late- game. Now you have a 9/9 beater for your trouble. Remember that our deck rocks a lot of land-fetching and -searching cards – Cultivate, Kodama’s Reach, Tusker, Avenging Druid, Fertilid, Solemn Simulacrum, et cetera. You could easily blow out a bunch of mana later on, and the Anthroplasm is a great mana sink. It works here.
You could toss in some other Oozes if you like this direction. Necrotic Ooze and Experiment Kraj both fit here and do a good job.
After tossing in Acidic Slime, I wanted to delve into more creatures with enters-the-battlefield triggers. It’s great to play your Mimeoplasm, copy a Solemn Simulacrum and just make it bigger. You can get the right body for the job. Cards like Deranged Hermit, Mulldrifter, and Shriekmaw entered my deck soon enough. Take a look at Sultai Soothsayer! It has a lot of options that fit what we need quite nicely indeed.
I began to flesh out the deck from various angles. Lord of Extinction is pretty good, and remember that it has its power/toughness in the graveyard too so you can exile it to make a Mimeoplasm particularly big. I pondered Survival of the Fittest as a way to discard a creature card (to prepare for Mimeoplasm) and then search up the right creature for this deck, but that felt a little too game-y for my tastes. Instead I used Fauna Shaman as a one-time effect for that here and there to support the roles of the deck.
Sultai Ascendency is a strong card you can play, and then just use for a while as it does its thing casually and without causing any trouble. It plays into the theme quite nicely, stocking your graveyard while it smooths out your draws at the same time. In fact, if you wanted to push the Sultai theme more, you could toss in stuff like Sidisi, Brood Tyrant to get triggers off creature cards hitting your graveyard from your library.
The last section I really pored over was removal of various sorts. Sever the Bloodline works solidly as an exiling card with a few benefits. Firstly, it can be used to take out a bunch of token creatures since they have the same name. Secondly, it can be flashed back so it fits right into the deck and will show up with regularity since we don’t have to actually draw it to get the effect. I also grabbed some awesome removal-based planeswalkers – both Garruk, Apex Predators and Vraska can take out stuff as needed, and they are very flexible ‘walkers.
From there it was a simple matter to throw in some other cards that fit our theme (Living Death, Volrath’s Stronghold) and call it a deck. I had one slot left, and I felt Proliferate would be a mechanic that works well with where we are and where we are going, so Contagion Engine was included to push that theme. I choose that over an effect like Doubling Season, but you could slide into something like that if you prefer. It’s your deck after all!
And that concludes our random The Mimeoplasm deck! So what did you think? Did you find a card or three here that you want to use in your own decks? Do you have your own ‘Plasm deck? Are you looking for a way to push your decks and your metagame to another level?
For whatever reason, you can find some fun ways to grab a random legendary creature and then build a deck around it from a different angle of attack. After all, there’s no reason to get bored when you have a format as diverse as Commander here. So mix it up!
Here are all of the previous random commanders that we’ve done:
1). Grimgrin, Corpse-Born – The random machine pulled out a fun little Dimir sacrifice deck all laden with lovely
2). Yomiji, Who Bars the Way – We flipped over a mono-white legendary creature from Kamigawa who has a serious legendary permanent theme. Let’s let the good times roll!
3). Thriss, Nantuko Primus – Our good legendary leaders inspires the
use of the fight mechanic to defeat
foes with aplomb. And to have fun too!
4). Lady Caleria – What happens when I flip over one of the least exciting legendary creatures of all time? One of my favorite decks, that’s what!
5). Balthor the Stout – Sometimes you flip over a tribal legendary creature, and I love when it’s a odd, less obvious tribe, like Barbarians, that is being built around.
6). Verdeloth the Ancient – Man, speaking of tribes, how do you deal with this saproling and treefolk enabling leader ? By hitting both themes right out of the park.
7). Mirri, Cat Warrior – Here come the Forests. Let’s make a deck that Gaea’s Liege is proud to call home.
8). Iroas, God of Victory – It’s God Time on the Random Commander Challenge. Let’s craft a Red Zone-inspired deck that’ll make Ares downright proud.
9). Selenia, Dark Angel – I built this fun deck around cards like Lich, Worship, and Platinum Angel. Are you ready for the fun to roll?
10). The Mimeoplasm – Ooze into your next Commander match with this graveyard-based fun deck.