Commander Deck Of The Week: Obeka, Brute Chronologist

Bennie Smith updates his Obeka, Brute Chronologist deck with excellent Commander MTG goodies from the past year that play well with ending the turn.

Obeka, Brute Chronologist, illustrated by Jesper Ejsing

A decade ago, Wizards of the Coast (WotC) released a weirdo card into the universe in the Magic 2012 set, Sundial of the Infinite!

Sundial of the Infinite

Reading the card is supposed to explain the card, but a casual reading is a head-scratcher:  so, I can spend a generic mana and tap it to end the turn, but only on my turn?  But thinking deeper about the card leads to the realization that, if any sort of undesirable trigger goes on the stack during your turn that you want to sidestep, Sundial of the Infinite can do that for you.  As an example, I run Sundial in my Valduk, Keeper of the Flame deck along with Final Fortune and Glorious End.

Valduk, Keeper of the Flame Final Fortune Glorious End

All of these have a trigger that goes on the stack at the beginning of the next end step, and with them on the stack, I can use Sundial to end the turn, which removes the triggers from the stack.  I get to keep the 3/1 Elementals I created with Valduk that turn, and I get to not lose from Final Fortune or Glorious End.

It’s a weird, niche card, which makes it amazing that years later in Commander Legends they took the effect and stapled it to a legendary creature you can play as your commander: Obeka, Brute Chronologist!

Obeka, Brute Chronologist

The Obeka Factor

Obeka is slightly different in that you can use her ability on any player’s turn, but that player may choose whether or not to end the turn.  Typically, you’re only going to use this on your own turn, but I have played games where one opponent did something to wreck another opponent during that person’s turn, and I offered to just end the turn and clear the stack of the unfavorable effect to gain favor.  It is an extra dimension to the ability that I really like, and makes players who lean too heavily on instant-speed interaction walk a little more carefully, which I also really like!

Let’s take a look at the rules notes on Obeka and ending the turn with her ability:

Ending the turn this way means the following things happen in order: 1) All spells and abilities on the stack are exiled. This includes spells and abilities that can’t be countered. 2) If there are any attacking and blocking creatures, they’re removed from combat. 3) State-based actions are checked. No player gets priority, and no triggered abilities are put onto the stack. 4) The current phase and/or step ends. The game skips straight to the cleanup step. 5) The cleanup step happens in its entirety.

If any triggered abilities do trigger during this process, they’re put onto the stack during the cleanup step. If this happens, players will have a chance to cast spells and activate abilities, then there will be another cleanup step before the turn is over.

If the turn ends before the end step, any “At the beginning of the next end step” triggered abilities won’t get the chance to trigger that turn because the end step has been skipped. Those abilities will trigger next turn at the beginning of the end step.

If the turn ends during the end step after “At the beginning of the next end step” abilities have triggered but before they’ve resolved, those abilities won’t trigger again next turn.

Now, the typical Obeka deck plays cards like Glorious End and the various iterations of Final Fortune to take extra turns without the drawback, but that’s never really sat well with me because of the blue in Obeka’s color identity: if I wanted to take extra turns, I could just play blue Time Walk spells with no drawbacks to my heart’s content. I am much more interested in squeezing extra value from abilities that are typically supposed to be temporary in nature, having them stick around.  In that spirit, here’s my current decklist, which includes new goodies from products this year.


Triarch Praetorian Anathemancer Fatestitcher Sedris, the Traitor King

Unearth is a great mechanic in an Obeka deck!  The exile trigger goes on the stack at the beginning of the next end step, and once you put it on the stack, you can end the turn.  A new card from Warhammer 40,000 Commander, Triarch Praetorian, is a nice addition since it lets you draw two cards when you unearth it, and who doesn’t love drawing cards?

Fatestitcher is quietly one of the best unearth creatures in this deck with its super-cheap unearth cost and the ability to tap or untap target permanent. It can make mana, give one of your creatures pseudo-vigilance, or tap down an attacker, blocker or some other problematic permanent. It also gives you a backup “end the turn” activation for Obeka in case someone tries some sort of shenanigans in response to her activation.


Elturel Survivors Firbolg Flutist

I simply love myriad in an Obeka deck, and Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate gave us some sweet ones!  Just put the exile trigger of the myriad copies on the stack and then end the turn; you get to keep the tokens, and each token also has myriad, so you can quickly grow your army.  Stealing an opponent’s best creature for the turn with Firbolg Flutist, then making myriad copies that you get to keep, is going to be so much fun! 

I need to pick up a copy of Wizards of Thay to add to the deck!  Even though I don’t run a ton of instant or sorcery spells, it would be awesome to get a deep, deep discount for them as I build up an army of 3/3s.


Araumi of the Dead Tide Amphin Mutineer Night Clubber

The encore and blitz abilities have triggers you don’t mind taking off the stack too.  Encore exiles the creature, so you only get the one use of the ability, but if the token copies survive combat, you get to put the exile trigger on the stack and end the turn.

Blitz is wild because you can put the self-sacrifice trigger on the stack and end the turn, but the creature itself retains haste, and when it does eventually die, you still get to draw a card. I like Night Clubber as a way to scrub a complicated battlefield of pesky X/1 creatures, especially tokens. I’m not entirely sure Tenacious Underdog is worth the slot; what do you think?  I need to pick up a Mezzio Mugger to possibly add to the list as well.

Other “At End Of” Triggers

Phantom Steed Whip of Erebos Delina, Wild Mage Hate Mirage Sneak Attack Ilharg, the Raze-Boar Rionya, Fire Dancer Cauldron Dance Hellkite Courser Mirage Phalanx

I’ve got a bunch of other cool effects that work well with Obeka. Phantom Steed is a neat way to save a creature from targeted removal, then create a copy of that creature when it attacks and keep it when you end the turn in response to putting the exile trigger on the stack.

Sneak Attack has long been a bonkers card, cheating out some huge creature, and with Obeka, you get to keep it around, assuming you activate it on your own turn. Ilharg, the Raze-Boar does something similar, but instead of returning the creature on your end step, you can keep it on the battlefield.

If your opponents have tired of your Obeka shenanigans and commander tax has gotten too high, you can cast Hellkite Courser to bring Obeka from the command zone for free with haste, and when the trigger goes on the stack to return to the command zone, Obeka can just end the turn and stick around.

Helping Obeka

Riptide Laboratory Tyrite Sanctum Conqueror's Flail Crashing Drawbridge Esior, Wardwing Familiar Tidal Barracuda Urabrask the Hidden

I’ve added a few ways to help Obeka and my shenanigans, particularly giving my creatures haste with Crashing Drawbridge or Urabrask the Hidden.  I also like Conqueror’s Flair and Tidal Barracuda as ways to shut down opponents from trying to foil my fiddly fun on my own turn.


Gorilla Shaman Vandalblast Feed the Swarm Go for the Throat Infernal Grasp Reality Shift Terminate Ravenform Kill! Maim! Burn! Blasphemous Act

Grixis has a bunch of high-quality options for removal spells, and I’ve got a bunch of them here.  I love that we even have an enchantment removal option with Feed the Swarm

The Warhammer set has the hilariously named Kill! Maim! Burn! that I’m eager to try out. I know some folks might be swayed by the higher mana cost, but there’s a lot of value built in here.  You might even be able to snipe an opponent who’s gotten low enough in life.

Gorilla Shaman may raise eyebrows, but it’s here mostly to eat Treasure tokens from opponents who are trying to get too greedy with them.


Field of Ruin Nihil Spellbomb Arcane Denial Spellskite Negate Rakdos Charm Whirlwind Denial Force of Negation Force of Will

I’m running a fair number of counterspells here to help save myself from losing to someone’s big combo while I try to win the game with my value grind. I also hope to steal the occasional game with Rakdos Charm’s third mode if someone is going nuts making token creatures!

Card Draw

Baleful Strix Mystic Archaeologist Callous Bloodmage Painful Truths Read the Bones Grim Haruspex Blood for the Blood God!

I’d usually prefer to have a bit more card draw, but I’ll be squeezing out value from some of the Obeka shenanigans so that I can trim a bit here.  I am super-hyped to run the new card Blood for the Blood God!  Drawing a whopping eight cards and blasting each opponent for eight at instant speed is going to be amazing.

Mana Ramp

Myriad Landscape Sol Ring Wayfarer's Bauble Arcane Signet Fellwar Stone Ornithopter of Paradise Dockside Extortionist Cursed Mirror Solemn Simulacrum

I’ve squeezed in a fair amount of mana ramp, though since we’re not in green most of it is artifact-based. With ways to copy or get back Dockside Extortionist later in the game, I’m expecting the occasional big turn due to the Treasure infusion.


Brash Taunter Astral Dragon Blightsteel Colossus

Lastly, a few spicy cards.  Brash Taunter has long been a favorite of mine, especially in conjunction with Blasphemous Act. Since I’m running Cursed Mirror, I figured why not give Astral Dragon a slot for the combo potential of copying Cursed Mirror, which will copy Astral Dragon, which will copy Cursed Mirror, and so on.

And I know it’s cheesy, but since I have Sneak Attack and Ilharg, I just had to find room for Blightsteel Colossus!

Okay, here is the decklist as it stands today:

Obeka, Brute Chronologist
Bennie Smith
Test deck on 11-04-2022
Magic Card Back

Here are the deck stats from our friends at Archidekt:

What would you put in your Obeka, Brute Chronologist deck that I may have missed here?  How do you feel about running extra turn cards like Final Fortune in the deck?

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

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