Hey!!!! Decks get stale or we butcher them for parts so we rip them in shreds and leave sad piles of cards all over the desk. BUT WHYYYYY? Here’s some thoughts from team members about decks they’ve taken apart and why. Maybe you’ll find some sweet tech to copy?!?


Roon of the Hidden Realm Bounce You to Boredom

Just one from me, because everyone was so prolific. I had a Roon of the Hidden Realm flicker control deck, aka the Roon blinky deck. It was one of the silly exercises I did where I took a generic general, just threw in cards I liked, and tried it out to see if it would still be boring if I didn’t try to make it good. It was medium powerful, mega boring, and full of cards I don’t want to cast very often anymore. Plus, I needed the sleeves.


Jon Pflug

Prime Speaker Zegana– The Maro Redundancy

I just took my prime speaker deck apart this year after having it together for the better part of four years. Its goal was simple:

  1. Play a Maro
  2. Next turn play Prime Speaker Zegana and draw all the cards
  3. Swing with enormous Maro while holding all the cards

It had some other fun creatures that got bigger off of draw (Lorescale Coatl and Chasm Skulker), and the always awesome Riptide Mangler, but the goal was always to get a giant creature and swing away. I had accomplished that enough times and the deck was cumbersome to play as I would be holding 20+ cards in hand most of the time. I needed a change of pace for a U/G build so I put it on the chopping block.

Progenitus – Planeswalkers to Protection

I had a Planeswalker deck for a few years after I first got into EDH. I was smitten with the card type when I got back into Magic and was amped to build around them. It was fair at first when it mainly focused around token producing ‘walkers, but it slowly got more and more degenerate as Wizards released more cards that supported this theme (looking at you, The Chain Veil). I gutted the deck, but I did like the protective aspects of the deck and decided to build a “protection from” theme deck in its place.

As we’ve spoken about on the site on numerous occasions, five-color decks are unwieldy even when they are built around a theme. The deck had a bunch of fun cards, but did not work cohesively. I pared it down to Mardu with Oros, the Avenger at the helm, and after underwhelming results it now exists as a Gisela, Blade of Goldnight protection/Boros Control deck that is among my favorites to play. The process to get there was a long one (probably around three years), but all of that trial and error really paid off in the end.

Mr. P


Have you ever heard anyone say that it’s impossible to build a non-broken Mono-Blue deck? Tell them to come talk to me. I’ve actually built and taken this thing apart twice, because I used to have free time that I liked to waste on things like trying to build around Ixador, Reality Sculptor. Nice life! This deck was so bad that small children who came near it immediately began smoking cigarettes and punching law enforcement officials. And then I took it apart (again). You’re welcome, world.


So you built Doubling Season.dec. Congratulations. How original. Let me guess, a bunch of Planeswalkers, a lot of +1 and -1 counters, various Proliferate effects and Atraxa as the General. Nice one. Sorry, I dozed off there.

I had a Vorosh deck for a while. It played Doubling Season. It played Inexorable Tide. There were some Planeswalkers in there. It’s not like this is hard, you know?


Nice article, Mr. P!


Decks That I’ve Taken Apart

Decks That I’ve Built, Never Played, and Took Apart Right Away

Any and All Partner Commanders

The Partner mechanic from the Commander 2016 product spoke to me as a deck builder, as it encourages open-ended design and nearly unique design space with combinations of colors that is otherwise unseen in the format.

However, it became almost too much of a good thing, regarding “good stuff.” Every time that I’ve tried building around two partner Commanders, it would almost become an exercise in finguring out which good and powerful cards to attach to the deck. The temptation of adding additional colors into your deck brings forth the allure to adding generically powerful and strong Commander staples. Until they print mono color partner commanders to pair the same mono color legendary creatures together, I am sticking with one color only for the foreseeable future.

Rashmi, Eternities Crafter or Why Cascade in Sheep’s Clothing Still Sucks

I hate Cascade in Commander. Most Cascade decks in Commander fall into one of two linear gameplay paths: ramping excessively to amass a mana source advantage; or overwhelming your opponents with value such as card draw stapled onto creatures.

I get it, Commander is a format about big and memorable plays, but the consistency of Cascade decks has the repetitiveness of a CBS sitcom. Rashmi, Eternities Crafter unfortunately fell into the style of game play of Cascade decks—cast spells, get more spells in return—in the two colors that bring the most efficient ways to fall into that Cascading strategy. I built the deck because I love Simic and hoped this would be something new and unique for UG, but it was a lie.


Ghave, Guru of Spores

Sometimes, even without combos you make a deck that is super boring and redundant. I wanted to move away from tutors and increase synergy with redundant effects. It worked. A little too well. Every game ended with a huge whirlwind of counters and saprolings, then an Overrun effect to finish things off. Ghave synergizes with three quarters of all Magic cards so things got out of hand. The deck did the same thing every time and got boring quickly.

Isperia the Inscrutable

This was supposed to be a “My First EDH” deck. I even had a cheat sheet to give the little Newblets so they had some ideas about what the heck to do. The deck was complicated and a bit unwieldy. Opponents didn’t like having cards revealed, newbies take forever tutoring, and the deck was assumed to have all the powerful W/U control tools. Instead, I had lots of effects to help make sure Isperia could name the correct card or trigger multiple times. The deck was fun, but people tended to overreact and the newbie running the desk was too often lost. It came apart, but I learned a lot about building new player decks.


Sheoldred, Whispering One

Back in my early days of EDH, I built some truly awful decks. Building under Mageta the Lion was an exercise in futility, and that deck was quickly outpaced and stripped for parts. My first truly ‘good’ deck was mono black under Sheoldred. I kept it for a long, long time, and fine-tuned it more than any other deck I have ever built. It quickly became oppressively powerful and un-fun to play against. When that happened, I kept it for powerful games where everybody wanted to raise their own levels a bit.. and for when somebody was not playing to the table’s desires and needed to be smacked down a bit. But it eventually became boring to pilot, and was left in the box far more often than not. Six months after the last game I played with it, I finally tore it apart. I still have the list written down somewhere, and I reflect on this deck wistfully, but this ultimately ruined my ability to play mono-black EDH. Every time I try, it’s basically the shell of this deck with only a few pieces moved around.

Yomiji, Who Bars the Way

This was a fantastic idea in theory. It was mono-white, which is not something I play often, and it was an underused commander that I had never seen before. The text on the card was interesting, and I thought it would lead to games where everyone would leave me alone long enough to become too powerful to deal with. It was basically Legendary tribal, with neat little sac-and-recur engines that lent a ton of value. The problem was that in practice, it was too slow. The casting costs on all of the things I wanted to run in this are too high, and there was not enough ramp in white to allow me to abuse the ability. That, and while all of the Legendary things in the deck were individually great, none of them really worked that well together, leading the whole thing to be a mess. I still have hopes that there will be things printed in the future that will make this a good deck, but for now it just doesn’t work.