Deckbuilder's Challenge XIX: Otter this World Dec 8, 2020 0:20:22 GMT
Post by Daij_Djan on Dec 8, 2020 0:20:22 GMT
Welcome to the Deckbuilders' Challenge originally created by sdfkjgh! To participate in this Contest you'll have to design a deck along the contest guidelines and throw it into the arena with other competitors' entries! At the end of every two weeks, a winner will be determined by forum poll, and the winner decides the challenge for the next fortnight's Contest!
Here we go, competitors: our nineteenth challenge!
The winner of the “Non-Commander Commander Legends Deckbuilder's Challenge poll“ was ZephyrPhantom with...
Mario, Luigi, and Wario
4 Brothers Yamazaki
4 Renegade Doppelganger
4 Sakashima of a Thousand Faces
3 Snapcaster Mage
Koopa Control Shell Support
4 Force of Will
4 Lightning Bolt
1 Day's Undoing
2 Blood Moon
2 Spell Pierce
1 Spell Snare
Mushroom Kingdom Manabase
1 Geier Reach Sanitarium
4 Scalding Tarn
2 Volcanic Island
4 Misty Rainforest
In the interest of having some fun and showcasing more 'exciting' cards, I wanted to build a deck around an all-new card printed in Commander Legends.
A big part of the challenge of finding a fun Commander Legends build around in this pool is that many of the cards like Armored Skyhunter and Abomination of Llanowar either support existing well-known strategies like White Equipment and Elfball, while other jankier ideas like Rebbec, Architect of Ascension and Yurlok of Scorch Thrash can require some very mana intensive strategies that might take too long to get off the ground even against some janky budget casual deck. While I'm a fan of odd strategies, I'm also a firm believer in making sure you get to play those odd strategies, because that's how you have fun!
Ultimately, I was inspired when I realized the unique interaction between Brothers Yamazaki and Sakashima of a Thousand Faces. Brothers Yamazaki has a sort of cult following for essentially trying to do Partner before it become a mechanic, encouraging you to have two in play. In Commander circles, it's quite often for people to be okay with effectively treating it as if it has Partner with itself, because as the name says, they're brothers!
However, as fun as this approach is, it runs into a few problems in kitchen table magic. At 3 mana for 2/1, Brothers Yamazaki can and have died to Prodigal Sorcerer and all sorts of other weak burn/pingers at the table before they can do anything! You pretty much have to hold up additional mana to make sure they don't die to removal or can play two.
Also, unlike Seven Dwarves, you can only run four Brothers Yamazaki, which makes it an annoying hassle to draw one to start with. Now, one could try to get around this with various Clones...but Brother's Yamazaki only permits two Brothers at a time. This means that any Brothers/Clones past the first are useless unless you try to also jam 4 copies of Mirror Gallery, at which point your deck is basically overflowing with a ton of jank that does nothing by itself. That is, until now! Check out how the Brothers are given their due in the next section.
Deck Breakdown and Performance:
So as it turns out, there exists a perfect curve to land 3 Brothers Yamazaki in a row as of Commander Legends: Renegade Doppelganger, Brother Yamzaki, and Sakashima of a Thousand Faces.
By playing Renegade Doppelganger first, we ensure that a turn 3 Brothers Yamazaki will come down not only as a 4/3 with haste, but also temporarily buffing the Doppelganger that's become a copy of it! Having a 2-mana Brothers Yamazaki allows us to commit more safely to the gameplan of trying to stick them down, as we have plenty of one mana spells to hold up on the opponent's turn.
However, if too many Renegade Doppelgangers are on the field, we can't have them all become Brothers Yamazaki because the legend rule protection only applies when two Brothers Yamazaki are on the field. Having the important functionalities of Sakashima the Impostor and Mirror Gallery in Sakashima of a Thousand Faces together is thus the rest of the glue holding this strategy together as it lets us safely play more and more Brothers Yamazaki, essentially becoming a sort of Relentless Rats-esque strategy, but with giant hasty shapeshifting samurai! In a pinch, we can even have Sakashima instead clone an opponent's win condition and win that way, as the rest of the deck is a Legacy control shell meant to limit our opponent's plays.
I feel it's worth elaborating on some of other interesting interactions with get with building the deck this way - if our Renegade Doppelgangers come too late, we can always pitch them to Force of Will while protecting our on-board Brothers. In the event we need a more generic instant or sorcery recasted in a pinch, we can use Sakashima to instead clone Snapcaster Mage and hopefully break a boardlock with a timely Lightning Bolt, Abrade, or Whipflare. Lastly, we're not particularly mana intensive (all of our cards mostly only care about having a single or open), so we have very little issues playing Blood Moon to wreck greeder decks out of nowhere and slow down their attempts to stop our Yamazaki Brothers from stomping face.
While this is a fairly expensive deck to build (partially because it's a Legacy deck, and partially because Sakashima himself is already becoming one of the more expensive cards in it), I've found it's very playable and flows very well regardless of the situation. Sometimes you'll be doing the deck's main strategy of landing that perfect Yamazaki curve, other times you'll be playing a more classic tempo-control strategy, and sometimes you'll be doing a mix of both! I highly recommend proxying it out and trying it as a casual deck if you want to try something new and janky but also want something that can stand up to more competitive decks from various formats.
And the challenge issued by our winner was...
Please provide a decklist using deckstats, tappedout or similar. Feel free to add some comments as they will be included in the final poll. Please provide a deck name as well as choose a card to represent your deck in the poll.
And now, time to begin the challenge!
Best of luck, competitors!