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Champions of the Maze Winner: Playing With Synergy

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Casual Magic, Commander

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Editor’s note: We would like to thanks all our loyal readers for their continued commitment to LegitMTG.com. We read/discussed/debated the many amazing entries we received for our Champions of the Maze contest. Each entry was first reviewed by our content manager, who removed the names from each entry before sending them to the appropriate judge to select without knowing who submitted them. We hope everyone had as much fun creating their Commander decks as we did reviewing them.

I received a number of entries that were all really interesting for this contest, and wanted to thank everyone that submitted to me. Ultimately, I had to pick just one winner, but there were some other lists that I wanted to honorably mention.

Runner-up: Lavinia of the Tenth by Hirwaz Despommes

Scotty: This is a sweet prison style UW Good Stuff list designed to abuse Lavinia of the Tenth and other 187 creatures. It was really close to something I would actually build, as a lot of the card choices would be similar to mine.

Runner-up: Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts by Uriah Oxford

Scotty: This deck was nicely suited to abuse Teysa’s abilities and played some old-school All-Stars, which I was very pleased to see. Nettling Imps and Norrits are super awesome picks here.

Winner: Vorel of the Hull Clade by Sean Patchen

Scotty: This last list is the absolute winner. I loved the number of amazing interactions built in to the deck, allowing for very deep synergies, diverse tool availability, and resilience to disruption. Not only that, but this author created an entire how-to guide for the deck, making understanding all of the cogs and switches of this doomsday device that much easier to navigate. This list really answered each of my criteria to the fullest degree. Here is Sean’s submission in almost all of its beauty:

“I used to hurl rocks and eat scraps of meat burned over a fire. Look at what I’ve become and tell me Simic does not hold infinite possibility.” — Vorel of the Hull Clade

Plan A: The Doomsday Devices

The main win condition for the deck is to charge up a Darksteel Reactor or Helix Pinnacle and win by finishing construction of your doomsday device.

The Darksteel Reactor is straightforward, using Vorel, Doubling Season, Core Tapper, and proliferate shenanigans, the deck tries to turn what was designed to be a 20-turn clock into a two- to five-turn clock. The concept is pretty simple; you use multipliers to reach the 20-counter goal. You want to activate an effect that doubles the counters, then repeat that effect. Coretapper lets you start charging it up before you have it a full turn, and anything that lets you use Vorel multiple times in a turn is worthwhile.

The Helix Pinnacle can’t be directly affected by Vorel but are the batteries for this doomsday device. The deck contains mana ramp and lands that depend on counters to produce more and more mana. From the mana batteries and charge lands to the newer Gyre Sage and Gemstone Array, almost every mana source can either go infinite or go big enough to seriously ramp to the 100-mana goal. Doubling Season can be huge in this case, because when you use counter-based mana to put counters on the Helix Pinnacle, you cut into 25 percent of what you would usually need.

Plan B: Time Vault

If you can’t find either of your doomsday devices or you get stopped, the deck has a backup plan of creating an infinite turn loop. You have three basic ways of creating this loop:

  1. Magosi, the Waterveil + Rings of Brighthearth
  2. Planar Portal + Beacon of Tomorrows
  3. Magistrate’s Scepter + (stuff that can put three-plus counters on a turn; too many to list easily)

The Magistrate’s Scepter portion was the easiest add to the deck. All the ways to put 20 counters on Darksteel Reactor make it very easy to achieve three counters on the Scepter. This is actually the easiest combo to achieve in the deck, even though it isn’t the primary plan.

Magosi, the Waterveil was another easy add, because Rings of Brighthearth is very helpful powering up all aspects of the deck. Because most of the activated abilities in the deck aren’t actually mana abilities (even though they lead to more mana), Rings has an absurd number of targets.

Planar Portal is a great card in decks that can create huge amounts of mana. I had added Power Artifact to the deck for a number of combos, and this is part of that package. Currently it can go infinite with Filigree Sages + Doubling Cube; Doubling Season + Gemstone Array; the Portal; Staff of Domination and mana guys; and the usual Monolith targets.

Plan C: Infinite Power and No Responsibility

The final backup plan is to use the abundance of options to create infinite/large amounts of mana to power up the creatures in the deck to be monstrous in size and beat face the old-fashioned way. The creatures are mostly for utility, but thanks to some Simic lords and Umbral Mantle, they can be transformed into giants when the need arises.

Scotty: I’m pretty sure that Sean had me at Blue Mana Battery.

Congratulations Sean. Your diabolic machinations have earned you a spot atop my rogue’s gallery for all time.

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