So a buddy of mine asked for me to take a look at a few of his decks, which I gladly do for food. So if you ever want to buy me a sandwich I can give you some quick recommendations. Now at my FLGS (faluhgus) I'm known as "that guy who does a bunch of infinite combos in the same deck, what a pain in the ass, his wife is so right about him not having any friends", and because of this, people have fun. I specifically go out of my way to make my combo convoluted. It takes multiple pieces on board, and it is ridiculously difficult to pull off without people letting me do it.
In commander, where Bane of Progress and Terastodon are common ways of destroying EVERYTHING I need to go off, it's not a bad thing to say, "It is entirely the fault of the group I won."
Even when people KNOW that they can't let me keep things, they forget, and suddenly I'm winning. So, like I said, a bit of a reputation. Anyways, the first two decks (and footlong I got out of it) that I did were more of a fix on a philosophical scale, in that he was playing giant dragons, without enough ramp.
This deck he handed me the other day though, is built kinda sideways. It has Mogis, but I think a huge chunk of the deck is just red/black cards he had laying around. So, I went looking for themes that are just built in. I think Mogis decks often try to be control decks. They want to stick Mogis, and then spend the rest of the game destroying EVERYTHING. This makes sense, but with Mogis, that is such a slow clock, that not only will you run out of cards, but eventually your opponents will just grow out of reach.
So my first instinct was to build towards that. Well, actually, the first thing I did was try to stuff more mana rocks into this deck, I mean, seriously, every deck has that deficiency. Well, okay, it's a bit harder in a 2 color deck. Surprisingly the more colors you have, the easier it is to justify rainbow lands, but with two colors, it becomes more of a challenge.
So a lot of his sub themes were: Attack for big effect (discard, destroy or damage, etc), a light discard effect/damage theme, and big creatures theme. There was already some good removal in there, but not enough board wipes, and there was also a lack of ways to deal with certain things.
Overall the subthemes were weak and under represented, but I liked the big spells theme. I liked the control theme, and I wanted to throw something extra in there. Now I know that for me personally, I would have made an aristocrats deck. And if I didn't at least stick to one of his themes, I'd end up changing 70 cards instead of only like 30. Though, 30 cards in an EDH deck is practically changing the entire thing.
To top it off, I'm also trying to keep things within a certain budget. He does proxy things to scope out results before investing into it, but it should still be reasonable. Because of this, I find it hard to recommend cards like Liliana of the Veil, even though I think it should absolutely be run in this deck. In the end I think I changed quite a bit from what he had, over 50 cards changed!
So Step 1: The Lands
The deck starts with 30 basics, and 4 Duals. I think step 1 is just adding more dual lands, more utility lands, and maybe some gold lands.
The more I think about it, the more I do want to run Blood Moon in this deck. So for calculation purposes, we count the duals as Red Lands, and stuff more basic mountains. We'll come back to this at the end after we figure out mana curve, but for now we throw in: Akoum Refuge, Bloodfell Caves, Dragonskull Summit, Geier Reach Sanitarium, Hanweir Battlements (more on this later), Terramorphic Expanse. He already had Temple of Malice, Evolving Wilds, Rakdos Carnarium, and Smoldering Marsh. I also would want to add BlackcleaveCliffs, Blood Crypt and Bloodstained Mire when money is more available. Overall we want to stay at around 32-34 lands.
Step 2: Mana Rocks and Ramp
This became a bit of an interesting question, how many 2 and 3 mana Mana rocks do we want?
I feel like we want to shoot up in mana. Things like Lotus Bloom, Dark Ritual in combination with Sol Ring and Thought Vessel. I also liked the Idea of Thaumatic Compass if we are going to maintain a relatively high (20 or more) basics in the deck. Rakdos Signet, Cluestone and Keyrune should probably find a home somewhere.
Step 3: Take Out the Trash
So these were cards that are generally draft chaff, or that don't play well in multiplayer (single target discard spells, single target planeswalkers, etc). I also took out some powerhouses that are better off being built around, and that just didn't have the support in this deck. This was 16 cards. I still had 13 cards in a theme (the attack benefits theme) that I could keep in to maintain or support the theme with changes and a couple of just okay effect cards. If I take them all out I have 31 spaces to add to the deck. This is where I started having trouble deciding which direction to take the deck. I'm not sure what would be the best direction. Now he already has a couple of aggressive 5 color dragon decks, and so I think maybe some of these are not the best themes to be going in this deck with.
Step 4: Acknowledging Strengths and Weaknesses
Mogis is strong in the same way that most Theros gods are strong, but it gives opponents a choice. That is its biggest weakness. But since that choice can allow us to choose how we mess with opponents, or allows us to remove the choice entirely, we have some things we can do with the way we build the deck around it.
The other thing is that we want to keep things as one sided as possible. So we want to avoid us not being able to gain life, we want to avoid us taking damage as well, and we want alternate win conditions to speed up the game randomly.
Step 5: Winning the Game
Revel In Riches. This card was already in the deck and I love it in the deck. It punishes opponents for sacrificing creatures, and with board wipes it can help us out. So lets get some treasures going! Brass's Bounty, Captain Lannery Storm, Contract Killing, Pirate's Pillage, Trove of Temptation.
Star of Extinction. This is the killing things portion. Languish, Terminate, Dreadbore, Hero's Downfall, Never//Return, Cruel Reality, Torment of Scarabs, Blasphemous Act, Unlicensed Disintegration, Chaos Warp, Decree of Pain, Black Sun's Zenith, Void and In Garruk's Wake.
Then a few cards to make sure they have a hard time gaining life, like Tainted Remedy and Erebos.
Finally a discard theme with Raider's Wake, Liliana's Caress and Megrim. Torment of Hailfire, Blightning, Rakdos's Return, Skull Rend, Chandra Ablaze, Dark Deal, Incendiary Command, Molten Psyche, Myojin of Night's Reach, Words of Waste, Syphon Mind, Pain Magnification.
Sunbird's Invocation. Now we are just going to find value and value like things. Koth of the Hammer, Kaeverk the Merciless, Hanweir Garrison for that random combo with Battlements. Goblin Rabblemaster, Tilonalli's Sumoner, Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury, Steel Hellkite, Rakdos Charm, Vial Smasher the Fierce, Angrath the Flame Chained, Obnixilis Reignited, The Scorpion God, Defiant Bloodlord, Exquisite Blood, Sanguine Bond (a combo by themselves), Thundermaw Hellkite, Rise of the Dark Realms, Lightning Reaver and Wound Reflection.
And that's what I figured would be a good EDH deck for him that wasn't about beating face.
What do you guys think? Any suggestions or replacements? Let me know in the comments!