Commander Deck Of The Week: Cooking With Gyome, Master Chef

Gyome, Master Chef served Bennie Smith well on a Commander MTG livestream this week. Bennie serves up his decklist and the thinking behind the cards.

Gyome, Master Chef, illustrated by Steve Prescott
Gyome, Master Chef, illustrated by Steve Prescott

Welcome to Deck of the Week, where I’ll pop the oven on one of my paper decks and show you all the delightful ingredients.  This week I’ll share my current list for Gyome, Master Chef, which I recently played on the Brainstorm Brewery stream on Twitch. We had a nice, chill two-and-a-half-hour game with no battlefield sweepers, so things got a little complicated!  There was a lot of back and forth with a fun finish, so if you want to check it out, the video on demand should be available for a little while. 

Gyome, Master Chef

As a longtime Golgari fan, I was thrilled when Gyome, Master Chef came out, since it was very different from what you typically see in the Golgari design space. It was a perfect way to tie in a bunch of the Food-themed cards from Throne of Eldraine and a few more additions from Modern Horizons 2.   Gyome generates Food just for doing what I love the most in Commander—summoning creatures to the battlefield!  But its ability to make creatures indestructible is the most exciting part.  While this allows for you to take a defensive stance protecting your – or sometimes, your opponents’ – creatures, what’s better is that it allows you to be more aggressive, attacking into a large blocker without fear.

Okay, let’s step into my Commander kitchen and see what’s cooking!

Food and Food Makers

Witch's Oven Gilded Goose Gingerbrute Golden Egg Tireless Provisioner Savvy Hunter Feasting Troll King

With enough creatures in the deck, Gyome creates a fair number of Food tokens, but you always want more, so I’ve included a bunch of cards that are either Food or make Food. I love Gingerbrute in particular, since with Gyome on the battlefield, you get to make a Food token with a Food creature. Feasting Troll King is awesome too, since later in the game, when you’ve really got Gyome and Food production humming, it can keep coming back from the graveyard as a burly attacker and blocker thanks to vigilance.

Killer Service

One card that’s missing from my list is Killer Service.  I totally missed that we’d gotten another Food maker in Streets of New Capenna Commander cards, so as soon as I can, I’ll be slotting this into the deck. Converting Food or other tokens into 4/4 Rhino Warrior tokens will be quite handy!

Food Matters

Cauldron Familiar Trail of Crumbs Academy Manufactor

These cards that care about Food are slam-dunk inclusions, especially Trail of Crumbs, which also makes a Food when it enters the battlefield. Cauldron Familiar is also particularly awesome here, since if it dies (say, as a chump blocker), you can return it to the battlefield by sacrificing a Food, and if you do it on your turn with Gyome on the battlefield, Gyome will replace the Food on your end step.

Tokens Matter

Jaheira, Friend of the Forest Halsin, Emerald Archdruid Briarbridge Tracker

I’d like to have more cards that care about tokens in the deck, but I’m pretty happy with these, particularly these two new gems from Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate.  Jaheira is awesome, since it makes your Food tokens into Mox Emeralds, and extra mana is always welcome. And Halsin, Emerald Archdruid lets you turn extra Food tokens into 4/4 Bear creatures if you need some extra bodies to attack or block with.

Indestructible Matters

Durnan of the Yawning Portal Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma

These are the two creatures I’ve got in the deck that really enjoy the fact that you can give them indestructible. A lot of times, just the threat of making them indestructible is good enough to make opponents let them through, especially with Goreclaw giving a size boost and trample to your larger creatures.

In the game that I played this week, Durnan was an absolute rock star!  I cast it on Turn 4, and it attacked each turn after that for the next two hours, finding me a good creature almost every time.  Since those creatures have undaunted, a lot of the time, I could cheaply cast them the same turn as another creature to ensure I generated multiple Food tokens with Gyome. But sometimes the creatures were better to just tuck away in exile to rebuild with later after a battlefield sweeper or a few pinpoint removal spells at my creatures.

There’s also my commander itself, Gyome, who doesn’t mind rumbling to attack with its inherent trample ability. It can run over most chump blockers, and if anyone gangs up on it, give it indestructible and pick off the biggest blocker.

Graveyard Recursion

Reassembling Skeleton

I used to have a bit more creatures with graveyard recursion in the deck to help ensure I had plenty of creatures to enter the battlefield on my turn to generate more Food, but I don’t really have any need for a bunch of sacrifice outlets to really leverage those more, so I replaced them with more card draw to just cast creatures from my hand. Reassembling Skeleton is still hanging in there, though, because sometimes you have a Witch’s Oven and there is no Cauldron Familiar to be found.  And there’s something to be said about being able to recover from multiple battlefield sweepers by bringing back Skeleton at the end of a player’s turn, equipping it the hard way with Blackblade Reforged, and crashing someone’s life total.  It ain’t pretty, but it can do some work!

Lifegain Matters

Gala Greeters Veinwitch Coven Workshop Warchief Sproutback Trudge

Thanks to the fact that you can sometimes just sacrifice Food for life, I added just a dash of Witherbloom lifegain-matters from last year with Veinwitch Coven and Sproutback Trudge.  I also added solid utility creatures from Streets of New Capenna that have some lifegain attached with Gala Greeters and Workshop Warchief.

Trample Matters

Basilisk Collar Ram Through Cranial Plating Blackblade Reforged

Having a commander with trample unlocks a few considerations for your deck.  Basilisk Collar adds deathtouch to trample, which means you can punch through a fair number of blockers of any size, killing them and dealing damage to your opponent. Ram Through doubles as either creature removal or a burn spell, depending on the size of your creature and the size of your target. Cranial Plating converts extra Food tokens and any other artifacts you have into more trample damage, and good ol’ Blackblade Reforged does the same with the number of lands you control.

Card Draw

Castle Locthwain Arch of Orazca Skullclamp Tireless Tracker Augur of Autumn Grim Haruspex Toski, Bearer of Secrets Timeless Witness Harmonize Ohran Frostfang Elder Gargaroth

I’m running a fair amount of card draw and leaned heavily on the kind attached to a creature so that I can still get Food value from Gyome. Ohran Frostfang is particularly good here with so many creatures, and it’s another way to give Gyome deathtouch to go with its trample.  As I discovered in the game this week, my build is actually quite vulnerable to flyers, and protecting Elder Gargaroth from removal with Gyome’s ability is crucial against pesky airborne critters.


Infernal Grasp Go for the Throat Tear Asunder Return to Nature Reclamation Sage Ravenous Chupacabra Damnation Acidic Slime Noxious Gearhulk Kogla, the Titan Ape Massacre Wurm Whiptongue Hydra

Like card draw, I’ve leaned pretty heavily on creatures to pad out my removal suite, with Ravenous Chupacabra, Noxious Gearhulk, and Kogla, the Titan Ape often pointing towards pesky flyers.  And speaking of pesky flyers, I’ve been adding Whiptongue Hydra to more of my decks these days, given how many incredible Dragon and Angel cards that have come out lately.  It came in clutch in my game this week, cracking the battlefield wide open and spinning things towards the end-game.


Homeward Path Nihil Spellbomb Soul-Guide Lantern Tamiyo's Safekeeping Snakeskin Veil Swiftfoot Boots Crashing Drawbridge Junji, the Midnight Sky Marionette Master

Some other ways to interact are crucial to a good Commander deck, especially some amount of graveyard control with Nihil Spellbomb and Soul-Guide LanternTamiyo’s Safekeeping and Snakeskin Veil are in here to occasionally help protect a creature—sometimes Gyome—from targeted exile spells that otherwise sidestep the indestructible ability. Marionette Master can send some chip damage to opponents when you pop off Food tokens, quite handy when they build a pillow fort that’s hard to punch through with creature attacks. 

Crashing Drawbridge is quietly the best card in any non-red, creature-heavy deck by giving your team haste, allowing for a big swing from something you’ve just drawn off the top of your deck. A key turn this week was tapping it to give haste to the Kogla I had just cast, killing something with the fight, and then crashing in to destroy a pesky enchantment.

Mana Ramp

Blighted Woodland Myriad Landscape Castle Garenbrig Sol Ring Joraga Treespeaker Sakura-Tribe Elder Wall of Roots Inspiring Statuary Seedborn Muse

Then there’s mana ramp, and I leaned more towards mana ramp in my land slots and creatures like Sakura-Tribe Elder, Joraga Treespeaker, and Wall of Roots. Inspiring Statuary is another way to leverage Food tokens for casting non-artifact spells (like creatures!), and then there’s Seedborn Muse, which just creates huge mana value if you can keep it on the battlefield, which Gyome helps to do!

Master Chef

Lastly, there’s Master Chef—which actually doesn’t synergize with the deck at all, but for flavor reasons I made a spot for it because Master Chef is right there in Gyome’s name.  In the game this week, they talked me into making it a Background for Gyome in the command zone as a Rule 0, which was fun for flavor reasons and really didn’t impact the game much at all.

The List

So, here’s the decklist as it stands today:

Here are the deck stats from our friends at Archidekt:

What would you put in your Gyome, Master Chef deck that I’ve missed here?  I’ve been thinking about finding room for Silverback Elder, which seems just incredible in this deck.

Talk to Me

Do me a solid and follow me on Twitter!  I run polls and get conversations started about Commander all the time, so get in on the fun!  You can also find my LinkTree on my profile page there with links to all my content.

I’d also love it if you followed my Twitch channel TheCompleteCommander, where I do Commander, Brawl and sometimes other Magic-related streams when I can.  If you can’t join me live, the videos are available on demand for a few weeks on Twitch, but I also upload them to my YouTube channel.  You can also find the lists for my paper decks over on Archidekt if you want to dig into how I put together my own decks and brews. 

And lastly, I just want to say: let us love each other and stay healthy and happy. 

Visit my Decklist Database to see my decklists and the articles where they appeared!