You Lika The Juice? Unpacking The Devour For Power Commander Deck

Bennie unpacks the Devour for Power Commander deck with The Mimeoplasm at its helm. The goal is to keep the staples, keep the core of the deck, and replace the chaff with better cards! What do you think?

[Addendum to Last Week: I wanted to quickly touch on a big oversight in my column last week unpacking the Counterpunch deck. I tossed Sigil Captain into the “Extras” category and didn’t include it in the final decklist—totally missing out on the amazing synergy he has with Ghave—basically, you make a 1/1 with Ghave; Sigil Captain gives it two +1/+1 counters, each of which you can remove to make another 1/1 with two +1/+1 counters… yeah, people will move quickly to put a stop to those shenanigans, but while it lasts you’re going nuts!]

Over the next couple months I’m going to go over each of the new Commander decks, “unpacking” the cards and explaining how I might go about updating the deck with additional cards. Keep in mind this will be different from how I’d go about building a deck around the Commander from scratch—the goal is to start by keeping the best cards in the deck and then replacing the other cards. This week I’m going to do Devour for Power, which is a crazy fun deck that I think a lot of people will have a blast figuring out insane combos to pull off. Here’s the decklist out of the box:

The Mimeoplasm is the primary general, and there are a fair number of cards that play nicely with his graveyard copying ability. Let’s see what we have when we unpack the cards.


These are the cards that nearly any Commander player will be thrilled to have in his card stock to build decks around. The beauty of the five Commander decks is that they are high on the staple count. Once you tire of playing a few games right out of the box and decide to cannibalize them for cards, there is a treasure trove of good stuff here. Devour for Power has a large number of great staples!

Vorosh, the Hunter

If you wanted to play this color combination in Commander, Vorosh was your go-to guy, but really he’s a bit on the unexciting side outside of just being a big beater… but hey, even if he’s not your Commander, sometimes an efficient big beater is more than worth a card slot.

Sewer Nemesis, Nezumi Graverobber, Lhurgoyf, Mortivore, Vulturous Zombie

These are all solid cards on their own that really shine when graveyards become something you want to use as a resource. Nezumi Graverobber can play double-duty, either stopping other people from doing their own graveyard shenanigans or quickly flipping to start reanimating creatures to join your army. The new Sewer Nemesis is another Lhurgoyf variant, quite a bit smaller overall but doing a nice job of milling cards into graveyards—and sometimes you might even want to target yourself.

Scythe Specter, Windfall, Syphon Mind

One way to get cards into people’s graveyards is to make them discard. Syphon Mind is an easily splashable staple for most Commander decks, and the new Scythe Specter is very hard-hitting and quite powerful in multiplayer. It might be stretching things a bit to call Windfall a “staple” card in Commander, but in some strategies—like Devour for Power—it’s a perfect card.

Riddlekeeper, Extractor Demon

Another way to get cards into people’s graveyards is to mill them, and these are two pretty good ways to do that. Riddlekeeper will probably tend to wave away attacks—especially from those with hordes of token creatures—but it does offer up a nice benefit when people do decide to attack you.

Stitch Together, Rise from the Grave

Since you’re going to be manipulating your own graveyard and those of others, sometimes you’re not necessarily going to want or be able to rely exclusively on The Mimeoplasm, and in those cases a good ol’ fashioned reanimation spell will do nicely!

Eternal Witness, Mulldrifter, Acidic Slime, Spell Crumple, Oblivion Stone

These are all just solid utility cards that any Commander card pool will be happy to have available to add to decks.

Brawn, Wonder

I’m a big fan of many of the Judgment incarnations, and these are two of the best, providing evasion for your creatures—and making The Mimeoplasm especially scary.

Vow of Malice, Vow of Wildness, Vow of Flight

I really love the cycle of Vows in the Commander decks; they are really well designed. Auras are traditionally pretty lame, but there are certainly some good ways to find and reuse them if you have Auras you want to play with. I just love how these can neutralize threats to you while beefing up those threats for other opponents. Like, how many times have you had to kill something you wanted to keep in play because it was a threat to the big bad at the table, but you ended up having to kill it because if it turned your way you were just dead to it? It’s just a fantastic multiplayer design.

Avatar of Woe, Tribute to the Wild

These are the kind of removal spells that are great multiplayer staples, letting you handle multiple threats with a single card. Avatar of Woe is an awesome threat all on her own, able to monitor the board or swing in for big beats, and in multiplayer she is often easily cast for just BB.

Tribute to the Wild is a much less precise instrument that will often miss what needs to die, but it will typically provide some raw card advantage with no downside to you other than some disgruntled opponents.

Syphon Flesh, Fleshbag Marauder

Pretty much just like Tribute to the Wild in terms of a blunt and less precise card-advantage engine, though making a handful of token creatures can be particularly handy as fodder if you want to keep your Fleshbag Marauder in play! These two cards are particularly useful in stocking graveyards with creatures for The Mimeoplasm to copy!

Solemn Simulacrum, Yavimaya Elder, Cultivate

Green makes an excellent base for multicolor decks, especially if you don’t happen to have a thousand dollars to spend on out-of-print dual lands and fetches. Solemn Simulacrum and Cultivate provide great acceleration while Yavimaya Elder provides some incredible raw card advantage.

Dark Hatchling

Pinpoint removal with a decent body attached is nearly always welcome, though I’ll often pair this up with Distorting Lens and Scuttlemutt to make sure I can destroy black creatures as well.

Lightning Greaves

Very few are the Commander decks that don’t want this highly efficient and useful piece of Equipment, and when you build a sick creation with The Mimeoplasm, you’ll want to protect him and get him rocking and rolling right away!

Sol Ring

Sol Ring goes in every Commander deck.” — Monty Ashley, Wizards of the Coast

It’s hard to argue with that!

Golgari Signet, Dimir Signet, Simic Signet

The Signets are some of the best two-mana color-fixing accelerants around.

Command Tower

The very best color-fixing land ever printed… for just this format. Goes in any multicolor Commander deck; you’ll want to collect as many of these as you want to have multicolor Commander decks built at any moment.

Svogthos, the Restless Tomb

This card has always held a warm spot in my heart as the primary kill condition in the very first Dredge deck before it went combo. If you run a large number of creatures and have access to green and black mana, don’t forget to run this nice manland in your Commander decks!

Rupture Spire, Simic Growth Chamber, Golgari Rot Farm, Dimir Aqueduct

I consider these some of the best affordable color-fixing lands in Commander, with the lone drawback of costing you some tempo when you play them. Rupture Spire rewards that drawback by providing pain-free mana of any color, while the Ravnica bouncelands let you squeeze additional virtual lands into the single land slot. However, there are some Commander playgroups that play a very cutthroat style, and these sorts of lands are like catnip to those players, who won’t be able to resist pouncing with pinpoint land destruction and pressing that temporary advantage to try and take you out. I’d say most Commander players would find that sort of play distasteful and will generally save LD for specific threats like Gaea’s Cradle, Maze of Ith, and Cabal Coffers, but be aware that your mileage may vary depending on where you play.

Tranquil Thicket, Lonely Sandbar, Barren Moor

I personally don’t use cycling lands too much because I always seem to draw them when I need to play them instead of cycling, in which case they are generally pretty bad. However, if you’re playing things like Life from the Loam or Crucible of Worlds the utility goes up dramatically. Other people swear by them. Regardless, it’s good to have these in your toolbox.


These are also cards that nearly any Commander player will be glad to have available in their card pool to build decks from, though I think the cards are too narrow to be considered “staples.”

Damia, Sage of Stone

I find Damia fascinating and look forward to building a deck from the ground up with her as Commander. She does a nice job of making the one-shot, fast mana cards and things like Baubles much more viable in multiplayer. This might very well end up being the Ice Cauldron Commander deck I’ve wanted to build for a long time!

Skullbriar, the Walking Grave

I’ve been rather unimpressed with Skullbriar, but he seems so bad I want to build a deck around him! Building an aggro Skullbriar Commander deck strikes me as an interesting challenge.

Wrexial, the Risen Deep

This is an excellent Commander for this color combination, but he’s also just a solid creature in any deck that can support him. Seems like a particularly great card to copy with The Mimeoplasm.

Szadek, Lord of Secrets

On the other hand, this one doesn’t seem quite as good as a Commander—not only is he incapable of killing with Commander damage, but if your opponent is packing any Eldrazi titans, then he can’t kill at all! Still, he’s a pretty potent milling machine, so if you support him with cards like Jester’s Cap you can make him work.

Living Death

A hugely potent swing card, and if you can manage people’s graveyards (including your own), you can break the symmetry of this in half.

Buried Alive

Speaking of managing your graveyard, it doesn’t get much better than this. Seems pretty insane in a deck featuring The Mimeoplasm, doesn’t it?

Minds Aglow, Shared Trauma

The Join Forces cards are definitely some interesting ones, and I think they’re much more interesting if you’re playing Vedalken Orrery and cast them at the end of your opponent’s turn. The trick is to encourage your opponents to want to pay at least a little something into the join while being able to still handle the advantage the spell gives your opponent. I suspect most people won’t join you on Shared Trauma, but you might get some people to chip in a mana or two for Minds Aglow.

Grave Pact, Butcher of Malakir

I’m not a big fan of these cards personally since they can really discourage people from playing cards until someone draws an answer, but I cannot deny they are very powerful tools that you may want to add to your deck. I have to admit, The Mimeoplasm is very happy to have lots of creatures dying and ending up in the graveyard.


Slipstream Eel, Gravedigger, Unnerve, Sign in Blood, Relic Crush, Fact or Fiction, Memory Erosion, Artisan of Kozilek, Patron of the Nezumi, Triskelavus, Desecrator Hag, Dreamborn Muse, Troll Ascetic, Dreadhip Reef, Terramorphic Expanse, Temple of the False God, Jwar Isle Refuge

I was originally going to call this “the chaff,” as in what’s left behind once you harvest the usuables from the deck, but honestly, in Commander, just about any card can make the cut in the right circumstances. Perhaps the card plays into the theme you’re building around (and the case of Ghave, a lot of these do play nice with his abilities), or perhaps you’re going for style points. I have to admit, if you cycle Slipstream Eel and then use it to put six +1/+1 counters on The Mimeoplasm, you might get a few style points.

If you want to know more about why certain cards ended up in one of these categories feel free to ask me in the forums, and I’ll explain my reasoning.


Okay, so I’m going to walk through how I’d go about updating this deck with my own collection. Here are the cards I’d keep from the original build:

1 Sol Ring
1 Nezumi Graverobber
1 Tribute to the Wild
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Golgari Signet
1 Dimir Signet
1 Simic Signet
1 Riddlekeeper
1 Eternal Witness
1 Spell Crumple
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Vow of Malice
1 Vow of Wildness
1 Vow of Flight
1 Yavimaya Elder
1 Windfall
1 Cultivate
1 Sewer Nemesis
1 Lhurgoyf
1 Mortivore
1 Syphon Mind
1 Brawn
1 Wonder
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 The Mimeoplasm
1 Vulturous Zombie
1 Rise from the Grave
1 Mulldrifter
1 Acidic Slime
1 Syphon Flesh
1 Vorosh, the Hunter
1 Scythe Specter
1 Extractor Demon
1 Dark Hatchling
1 Avatar of Woe
1 Command Tower
1 Dimir Aqueduct
8 Forest
1 Golgari Rot Farm
8 Island
1 Lonely Sandbar
1 Rupture Spire
1 Simic Growth Chamber
1 Svogthos, the Restless Tomb
11 Swamp
1 Tranquil Thicket

The mana curve is not too bad, though I’m a bit short on early plays, so that’s what I’m going to focus on. I’m keeping 35 non-land cards, which leaves me with 26 cards to fill the deck out if I keep the land count at 40 (and I suspect the land count is high because The Mimeoplasm probably dies and needs to be replayed quite a bit).

Added some pinpoint removal which can always come in handy. Shriekmaw can be evoked early and makes a decent body with evasion to build The Mimeoplasm on.

The cycling lands make a lot more sense with Life from the Loam, with the dredge possibly stocking up your own graveyard shenanigans without going “all in” and leaving yourself too vulnerable to graveyard hate… and the extra lands you get from Life from the Loam also make Spitting Image quite appealing. Jace’s Erasure and Memory Erosion will stock up your opponents’ graveyards to expand The Mimeoplasm’s buffet.

This is the fun part of building a deck around The Mimeoplasm! Lord of Extinction and Multani can provide a gigantic number of +1/+1 counters especially towards the late game, while many of the others provide nice things to do with those counters. Thought Gorger is one of those cards that is interesting in theory though maybe a bit scary in practice. I still want to give him a try. Mirri the Cursed provides evasion and haste, which can sometimes let The Mimeoplasm get in a surprise knockout punch. Cauldron of Souls plays perfectly with The Mimeoplasm’s +1/+1 counters ability and circumvents the need to keep playing him over and over.

With a couple ways to get trample, you can make Basilisk Collar quite potent, and besides you’ll probably need the life gain to keep you going while you’re swinging with your gigantic Commander. Carpet of Flowers scales nicely, potentially providing a big mana boost late game to replay The Mimeoplasm for the fourth or fifth time. Since you’ll be playing with your graveyard, you’re likely to be targeted by things like Tormod’s Crypt, so Riftsweeper can retrieve a key card from exile.

I ended up shaving a land from the deck because of all the non-land mana sources I’ve added to the mix. Here’s the final decklist:

The mana curve is a little heavy for my tastes, but there’s just too much good food for Mimeoplasm in the four-, five-, and six-mana slots!

If you have them, obviously Underground Sea, Bayou, Tropical Island, Watery Grave, Overgrown Tomb, and Breeding Pool would help smooth your mana considerably, and with Life from the Loam, a Strip Mine wouldn’t be a bad addition. Survival of the Fittest would be a perfect way to stock up on The Mimeoplasm food, but since that’s a $25 card I didn’t include it in my list—if you’ve got it, flaunt it baby!

I think the trick to building a decent deck around The Mimeoplasm is not to focus too heavily on your own graveyard shenanigans since that opens you up to being blown out by graveyard hate or at least stymied trying to play around a Tormod’s Crypt on the board. Instead, lean towards filling your opponents’ graveyards so if anyone is trying to stop The Mimeoplasm’s food supply, they’ll need to nuke other player’s graveyards.

What do you think? What would you do differently?

Random Amusements for the Week

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend everyone!

Take care,

starcitygeezer AT gmail DOT com

Make sure to follow my Twitter feed (@blairwitchgreen). I check it often so feel free to send me feedback, ideas, and random thoughts on Magic and life.

I’ve started a blog, it’s not Magic-related but you may find it fun to read and comment on. I update at least once a week so check on it often!

New to Commander?
If you’re just curious about the format, building your first deck, or trying to take your Commander deck up a notch, here are some handy links:

My current Commander decks (and links to decklists):

Previous Commander decks currently on hiatus: