Rith Blinks!

The great Sheldon Menery likes enters-the-battlefield value as much as anyone! That’s why he’s concocted a new blink deck around a famous Dragon from Magic’s yesteryear. See his deck breakdown and card choices here!

Join The SCG Tour<sup>®</sup> in Philadelphia February 27-28!” border=”1″ /></a></div>
<p>Rarely do I build a new deck for a single card that’s not the commander. I designed this deck for the sole purpose of playing <a href=Eldrazi Displacer. Sometimes I’ll let a card suggest a theme, but in this case, it was all about playing Blinky the Eldrazi. It’s not that I’ve built some kind of combo deck featuring the card; it’s merely that the other 99 are there so I can hang out with Blinky.

In December 2014, I started the Do Over Project to build the next 99 with each one of my commanders (having finished the Chromatic Project, building one of each color combination). The idea, which sometimes leads to unusual card choices, is that there are no repeats of cards save for basic lands. Originally, I considered mana-producing lands okay (so Plateau would be okay in both decks), but then I decided to challenge myself and even avoid that. Fifteen months later, I’ve only managed to build six of the 34 (there are 27 color combinations, but I have Temur and Jund issues). Karador, Ghost Chieftain (two versions, actually); Kaarthus, Tyrant of Jund; Kresh, the Bloodbraided; The Mimeoplasm; Ruhan of the Fomori; and Phelddagrif have come before. Now it’s time to get moving with more.

I obviously needed a white deck for Blinky. Since Rith, the Awakener is one of my longest-running decks and I wanted to do something new with it, it became the obvious choice. A secondary factor is that I already have a blink deck with Lavinia of the Tenth. While there are a few cards which appear in both decks, I didn’t want to create a repeat. Most importantly, I didn’t want the deck to have any blue in it, because that seemed too easy.

The deck turned out reasonably toolbox-y. It’s reasonably straightforward, although there are some techy choices. I definitely wanted something fun to play, not too oppressive, and a deck that would require me to make in-game choices, as opposed to just plopping down cards (which is why, in the end, even if Craterhoof Behemoth wouldn’t have been in the original, I likely would not have put it in here). The deck leverages creatures with good enters-the-battlefield triggers and other cards which do things when creatures enter.

I’ll offer up the list, and then go into the card choices.

The Creatures

Angel of Finality: Other players’ graveyards can be problematic. I’m not going to use mine much, so I don’t care if someone Clones this and gets rid of my graveyard—plus, I have some tech to take care of that.

Angel of Serenity: Getting multiple uses out of this lovely Angel seems like all upside, whether I use it to protect my own things or get rid of problematic cards other people have.

Auramancer: I’m a little heavy on enchantments, so I want there to be a bit of recursion, just in case.

Auriok Champion: The lifegain is very good, especially when lots of creatures are entering the battlefield, like with Rith’s trigger. Protection from black and protection from red means some defense against both beefy creatures and the damage-based battlefield wipes (Chain Reaction, Blasphemous Act) that my local group likes to use.

Champion of Lambholt: Another one which leverages what Rith does (sometimes the Naya Dragon can be a single-card strategy), Champion of Lambholt can get big quickly and, more importantly, make my creatures tough to block.

Conclave Naturalists: Ultimately superior to Indrik Stomphowler, since it’s an optional ability on this card. It still makes me want to think about a Druid deck.

Deadwood Treefolk: I looked at quite a few cards that have fading, vanishing, and cumulative upkeep. The fact that this is a leaves-the-battlefield trigger made me jump all over it.

Devout Lightcaster: The triple white will be a little dicey once you check out the awkward manabase, but once this is online, it will take care of the color which is most likely to want to recur things.

Duplicant: Dupli-CAN.

Eldrazi Displacer: My only regret is that Blinky can’t protect itself (I’m pretty sure Eldrazi are gender neutral). I hope to have loads of fun blinking everyone’s stuff.

Eternal Witness: I was surprised to find that this isn’t in the original. It was an easy pick. I imagine getting back either the Spider Fog or one of the protective spells will happen most often.

Farhaven Elf: A little bit of ramp which can go a long way, especially when used repeatedly. The secondary value behind the cards which search up lands is that it means you draw more gas later in the game.

Fiend Hunter: I’m using the old version in case I want to abuse the triggered abilities, but the biggest reason this is in the deck is to provide some protection for my own creatures. Battlefield wipes happen. It’s nice to be able to recover from them more quickly.

Fierce Empath: This isn’t there to get anything particular, so it only partially violates the “no tutors” stance. There are only twelve targets for it, and each target is situational. I predict Duplicant or Luminate Primordial to be the most popular choices.

Galepowder Mage: I’ve loved this card for a long time and don’t get to play it enough. The tricky decision comes with blinking one of your own things in order to get its triggered ability again, or blink a potential blocker.

Inferno Titan: Who doesn’t love a good roasting, three points at a time?

Invader Parasite: Every deck has to have a way of dealing with nonbasic lands. This is mine. I have rarely used it to take out a basic land in order to get the damage, but I can see a situation where that might be useful. Mostly, I just don’t want people recurring scary lands like Cabal Coffers.

Juniper Order Ranger: Cathars’ Crusade lite on a stick, Juniper Order Ranger can get rather large when Rith is involved. It also gets rid of -1/-1 counters from Woodfall Primus. With a sacrifice outlet, it sets up an infinite loop, but it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever leverage that.

Kor Cartographer: Obviously better with dual lands, but it gets the motor running.

Krosan Tusker: You’ll see later that Astral Slide is in the deck. This is one card with cycling that I would play anyway.

Luminate Primordial: Exile is strong. Exile multiple times is stronger.

Oreskos Explorer: Since the ramp is low in this deck, I figured this would be a decent choice. Again, if it’s just getting lands into my hand, it means I’m not drawing them later.

Reclamation Sage: I was very happy when this cheaper version of Indrik Stomphowler was printed in Commander 2014 and Magic 2015. Flexibility is the key to superiority.

Reveillark: This was a last-minute addition when I realized that it wasn’t in the original Rith deck. Sure, I don’t have Karmic Guide to mess around with (since that is in the original), but there are plenty of good creatures to make my bones with.

Restoration Angel: Can’t really have a blink deck without the queen of blinkers. I predict, however, that more than once I’ll try to blink one of the deck’s Angels.

Soul of the Harvest: This creature plays very nicely with other creatures entering the battlefield. Sure, it’s interested in nontokens only, but Rith is really the only thing that does that.

Soul Warden: Suture Priest is already in the other deck. I considered Essence Warden since it has cool Terese Nielsen art, but for some reason decided I wanted the white creature instead of the green.

Stonecloaker: Some graveyard hate which will also allow me to bounce creatures back to my hand in order to cast them again.

Stonehorn Dignitary: One I lifted directly from the Lavinia deck. You can’t go wrong making opponents skip combat steps.

Sun Titan: Bits and piece of graveyard recursion are fine, even if I’m not banking on them. Most likely here is getting back one of those cycling lands.

Sunblast Angel: The only awkward thing about Sunblast Angel is if it comes in via Lurking Predators. Still, it’s the battlefield wipe that I know I’ll eventually need.

Wall of Blossoms: Since I went with the white card with Soul Warden, it seemed only fair to go with the green one instead of Wall of Omens.

Woodfall Primus: If I find that infinite loop with Juniper Order Ranger coming up too often (like, more than once), I may change this to Terastodon.

The Legendary Creatures

Hazezon Tamar: The problem with blinking this is that it exiles all the tokens. Hopefully, by then they’ll have done their work (specifically via Goblin Bombardment). The good news is that Taurean Mauler and Chameleon Colossus are Changelings.

Nissa, Vastwood Seer: A little bit of ramp and draw in a planeswalker that no one will really care to blow up.

Purphoros, God of the Forge: I imagine Rith will like this.

Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice: It’s here for the lifegain. There might be an occasion when I populate something, since there are a few token creators, but I suspect that’s really the outlier case.

The Artifacts

Blade of Selves: This card is insane in a deck with so many enters-the-battlefield triggers. That is all.

Conjurer’s Closet: You knew this was coming, too. Nearly every creature wants to be put into this closet.

Minion Reflector: This is an idea I cribbed from my Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice deck and it nearly caused me to also put Serra Avatar in, but that’s just too janky. Nonetheless, getting an extra copy of anything that enters the battlefield (perhaps as a result of some other blink effect) will start an interesting chain. It almost led me to play Mana Echoes, but the deck isn’t nearly tribal enough.

Strionic Resonator: Cool triggered ability? Think I’ll copy it. The issue here won’t be if I’ll copy something; it’ll be which one.

The Enchantments

Astral Slide: I put in most of the cycling lands but avoided the non-Krosan Tusker creatures because most aren’t that great. Deadshot Minotaur would have been okay without the targeting restriction of a flying creature. Note that Astral Slide triggers on any player cycling a card, and nearly everyone in my group plays cycling lands.

Aura Shards: Just in case someone plays Humility, I need a way to get rid of it. This should keep the battlefield clear of other players’ nonsense.

Cream of the Crop: One of the techy choices, which will offer a little help to Lurking Predators. It’s something I want to try out, but I concede that it might not turn out as well as I had hoped.

Elemental Bond: The Garruk’s Packleader that doesn’t die to Wrath of God.

Flameshadow Conjuring: A cheaper enchantment version of Minion Reflector, Deadwood Treefolk seems like a winner to copy with this.

Goblin Bombardment: I need sacrifice outlets for a number of reasons, not the least of which is wanting to damage peoples’ faces.

Greater Good: I can’t count on creatures living forever, so getting something extra out of them before their inevitable demise is a winner.

Lurking Predators: Probably the least scary deck in which I’ll ever put Lurking Predators. It will still be insane value if it survives a few turns.

Parallax Wave: Old-schooling it a bit here, Parallax Wave is good for resetting opponents’ creatures that have a pile of counters on them, or for tucking away your own in the case of a battlefield wipe.

Sneak Attack: There might not be enough beef in the deck to make this worthwhile, but we’ll see. Getting cool triggers for only one red mana seems like it’s a winner. Then, if I Conjurer’s Closet or have Blinky do its thing with the creature, it won’t get sacrificed.

Warstorm Surge: Creatures enter the battlefield, and they dome stuff. Then they do it again. What’s not to love? Obviously, Warstorm Surge makes a strong argument to play that Serra Avatar I was talking about earlier.

Wheel of Sun and Moon: I’ve wanted to play this card for a long time. This seems like the deck. Sure, I have a few graveyard recursion things, but in the end, not enough to make a difference—and this is only one card. I’ll have the option to enchant the dredge or other graveyard recursion player, but this one is mostly intended to enchant myself. My real hope is to be able to continue to reuse things like the lands which cycle and to not have to bin the three cards from Greater Good but have them ready for reuse later instead.

The Instants

Arachnogenesis: If I’m going to have things that trigger off of creatures entering the battlefield, my Fog can certainly up the ante there. SpiderFogForever.

Ghostway: The other instants in the deck are just protection for my creatures. Faith’s Reward is in the original, or I’d want to play that. Ghostway gives me lots of opportunities to both deal with battlefield wipes or simply leverage all my triggered abilities a second time.

Make a Stand: I imagine that the primary use for this card will be to save my creatures, but there’s always the possibility that Rith (or Arachnogenesis) has created a swarm which could be lethal with just a little help. This card made me think about Storm Herd, but that’s just getting silly.

Rootborn Defenses: Again, not much to populate, so it’s all about indestructible. And Boros Charm is already in the other deck.

The Sorceries

Kodama’s Reach: Just a little ramp.

Nature’s Lore: Ditto.

Sudden Disappearance: There are two major uses for Sudden Disappearance. The first is to clear the way for an attack. The second is to attack and reset my own battlefield. Which one happens depends on the battlefield state. The low-use case is to clear away someone’s token swarm for good, but unless they’ve played the aforementioned Storm Herd, it seems like a more active use is in order.

The Planeswalkers

Domri Rade: I might be just shoehorning this in because I like it. At one point, I had a fight sub-theme, and this is a holdover. Of course, getting the emblem would be very, very nice.

Xenagos, the Reveler: I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen the ultimate on Xenagos go off. For me, it’s all about the mana generation of the first ability. I considered using Zendikar Resurgent in this slot but thought I might be too enchantment-heavy already.

The Lands

My self-imposed land restrictions make the manabase a little awkward, but it should play well enough.

This week’s Deck Without Comment is the original Rith.

Rith, the Awakener
Sheldon Menery
0th Place at Test deck on 12-30-2012
Magic Card Back

Check out our awesome Deck List Database for the last versions of all my decks:


If you’d like to follow the adventures of my Monday Night RPG group (in a campaign that’s been alive since 1987 and is just now getting started with a new saga called “The Lost Cities of Nevinor”), ask for an invitation to the Facebook group “Sheldon Menery’s Monday Night Gamers.”

Join The SCG Tour<sup>®</sup> in Philadelphia February 27-28!” border=”1″ /></a></div>
    </div><!-- .entry-content -->
    		<div class=