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Apr 04 2017

Commander: Yidris, Green Grixis Guy

Commander is a large facet of MTGCasualPlay. As my favorite casual format, I relish the opportunity to bring a new commander to each table. Occasionally I’ll enjoy a particular deck so much I run it back a few times over just for fun. The last time I did this was with a Surrak deck that just played fatties and card draw. The four color commanders were a boon for me, as I could finally proclaim my hatred of white by playing every color except it.

Yidris From Grixis

[card]Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder[/card] is all about that chaotic lifestyle, and I’m with him all the way. A little bit of organized chaos is never bad. A lot of unregulated chaos is a party! While this particular Yidris deck doesn’t maximize his Cascade potential, his ability is strong enough on its own that the threat of him dealing combat damage makes him a huge threat of a Commander. Plus, Cascade is literally the most fun mechanic in the history of Magic. Instead this will be a four-color goodstuff deck that functions well without Yidris and simply becomes absurd when his ability is on. Let’s go!

The Manabase

While most people like to save the mana base for last, I decided building a four color mana base would be strong enough regardless that I wouldn’t end up restricted by color requirements. So here’s the mana base I’m going to be working with:

[deck]
[Lands]
Hissing Quagmire
Exotic Orchard
Rugged Highlands
Evolving Wilds
Simic Growth Chamber
Wooded Foothills
Temple of Malady
Dismal Backwater
Terramorphic Expanse
Rakdos Guildgate
Shadowblood Ridge
Simic Guildgate
Opulent Palace
Savage Lands
Crumbling Necropolis
Scalding Tarn
Rupture Spire
Reliquary Tower
Temple of Abandon
Izzet Guildgate
Command Tower
Blood Crypt
Thornwood Falls
Jungle Hollow
Golgari Guildgate
Frontier Bivouac
Temple of Mystery
Swiftwater Cliffs
Rakdos Carnarium
Gruul Guildgate
Bloodstained Mire
Mountain
Mountain
Forest
Forest
Swamp
Swamp
Island
Island
[/Lands]
[Creature]
Sylvan Caryatid
[/Creature]
[Artifacts]
Sol Ring
Chromatic Lantern
Izzet Signet
Simic Signet
Rakdos Signet
Dimir Signet
Commander’s Sphere
Fellwar Stone
[/Artifacts]
[/deck]

Deck Structure

Previously (and what I’d assume is common for Yidris), my Yidris decks were full of [card]Windfall[/card] effects, pretty similar to the preconstructed deck, but without all the jank they include for some reason. This time I’d like to take a different approach and fill the deck with hard-hitting creatures, ramp spells, and repeatable card draw effects. The end goal is for my deck to encourage mass mayhem and chaos while also acting as the policeman of the table, ensuring nobody’s decks function quite as planned. The two game plans seem at odds with each other, but they complement each other quite well. In order to pull this off successfully, I need to see lots of cards and run a few tutors for consistency.

[deck]
[Card Advantage]
Glint-Eye Nephilim
Fathom Feeder
Dragon Mage
Ongoing Investigation
Sire of Stagnation
Thrasios, Triton Hero
Courser of Kruphix
Kiora, the Crashing Wave
[/Card Advantage]
[/deck]

Kiora is a favorite of mine and I’ll put her in as many decks as I can. She’s not the only staple of mine, and I’ll usually jam about a dozen of my pet cards before getting to the important stuff. For this deck, I’m throwing in the following spells, no questions asked.
[deck]
[Some Pet Cards]
Willbreaker
Harmonize
In Garruk’s Wake
Burgeoning
Hornet Queen
Animist’s Awakening
Bloodbraid Elf
Kolaghan’s Command
Clever Impersonator
[/Some Pet Cards]
[/deck]

Don't Leave Home Without This
[card]Clever Impersonator[/card], by the way, is a Commander Staple that should be in every single one of your blue decks. I love this thing!

Story Time

The true goal of Commander is not to win, but to create an exciting narrative. The best way to do this is to go hard on your deck theme at the cost of power and synergy, if necessary. Since my commander is literally the embodiment of the Maelstrom, I want as much chaos as possible. Global enchantments, powerful, expensive, sorceries- I want the works. There’s one caveat to my commander decks- I won’t buy new cards to make a deck. If you want to make a Yidris deck similar to mine, don’t bother buying any of the cards here. Just replace the ones you don’t have with some you do have.

[deck]
[Lands]
Command Tower
Rupture Spire
Exotic Orchard
Crumbling Necropolis
Frontier Bivouac
Opulent Palace
Savage Lands
Hissing Quagmire
Temple of Abandon
Temple of Malady
Temple of Mystery
Reliquary Tower
Golgari Guildgate
Gruul Guildgate
Izzet Guildgate
Rakdos Guildgate
Simic Guildgate
Dismal Backwater
Jungle Hollow
Rugged Highlands
Swiftwater Cliffs
Thornwood Falls
Rakdos Carnarium
Simic Growth Chamber
Shadowblood Ridge
Evolving Wilds
Terramorphic Expanse
Bloodstained Mire
Scalding Tarn
Wooded Foothills
Blood Crypt
Swamp
Swamp
Forest
Forest
Island
Island
Mountain
Mountain
[/Lands]
[Creatures]
Bloodbraid Elf
Butcher of Malakir
Clever Impersonator
Courser of Kruphix
Deathbringer Regent
Dragon Mage
Fathom Feeder
Gaea’s Revenge
Glint-Eye Nephilim
Goblin Dark-Dwellers
Goblin Spymaster
Greenwarden of Murasa
Hornet Queen
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
Living Lore
Managorger Hydra
Mina and Denn, Wildborn
Mizzium Meddler
Ob Nixilis, Unshackled
Reaper of the Wilds
Sidisi, Undead Vizier
Sire of Stagnation
Surrak Dragonclaw
Sylvan Caryatid
Tasigur, the Golden Fang
Thragtusk
Thrasios, Triton Hero
Torrent Elemental
Willbreaker
Yasova Dragonclaw
Zealous Conscripts
[/Creatures]
[Permanents]
Kiora, the Crashing Wave
Burgeoning
Dictate of Erebos
Ongoing Investigation
Temur Ascendancy
Dimir Signet
Izzet Signet
Rakdos Signet
Simic Signet
Fellwar Stone
Chromatic Lantern
Commander’s Sphere
Sol Ring
[/Permanents]
[Spells]
Animist’s Awakening
Bring to Light
Chain of Vapor
Cruel Entertainment
Dark Petition
Dubious Challenge
Far Wanderings
Harmonize
In Garruk’s Wake
Mizzium Mortars
Treasure Cruise
Urban Evolution
Villianous Wealth
Hero’s Downfall
Kolaghan’s Command
Sultai Charm
[/Spells]
[/deck]

So here’s the full decklist. As you can see, I filled the last ~30 or so slots with sweepers, tutor effects, and things like [card]Urban Evolution[/card] that ramp me even more. I’d like to go over some questionable card choices to sort of explain my reasoning.

Dubious Challenge

I’m going to resist the urge to make the obvious pun here and get right to the point. Sure, this card is terrible and is in no way going to help you win, but there are some crazy hits here that the table will be laughing about for another half hour. [card]Deathbringer Regent[/card], [card]Gaea’s Revenge[/card], [card]Hornet Queen[/card], [card]Ob Nixilis, Unshackled[/card]?! This is gonna be a hoot. There are enough creatures in the deck to consistently hit two or three of them.

Spin to Win

This is probably the Spikiest card in the deck simply because attacking the person to your right all but guarantees their death. It combos with the two Delve spells as well, adding a free mana when it hits the bin and allowing you to bring it back. It’s also a removal magnet for the table, protecting your recurring card advantage engines like [card]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/card].

Tutor Number OneTutor Number Three

Many people frown upon tutors in Commander, and for good reason. Adding frightening consistency to otherwise powerful decks can make them unstoppable. The real trick to tutors is knowing when they’re fair and when they’re not. In a deck like this, we’re not searching out anything unfair with them; we’re simply looking for an answer to another person’s shenanigans. [card]Bring to Light[/card] in particular can be difficult to cast for all 5 colors since you only have about 5 sources with the ability to tap for white mana. Simply casting it for 4 is passable, of course.

Hopefully all the other card choices are self-explanatory. If you like keeping a friendly and exciting atmosphere at your table, this is the deck for you!

2 comments

  1. Wally D.

    Great to see your first Commander article Mike! Yidris is definitely intriguing. I’m considering him for the future. Like what you did here. I would definitely shuffle this up and play. Well done!

    1. Mike Jardine

      You can’t build yidris wrong! He’s a lot of fun and I’ll be bringing this deck to my next fnm

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