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General Pain

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The letter I!'m featuring this deck as an apology.



Last time I wrote about Commander, I was dismissive of the plan of acceleration and card draw, essentially as its own end, as being unoriginal in Commander.


The fact of the matter is that doing things in Magic is fun, and the resources that let you do things are mana and cards. As you build your deck to have more of those things, you get to do more. Decks that are designed this way tend to lead to an enjoyable play experience for their pilots.

Every now and then, you find a deck that gets to keep doing things while being less obviously just a pile of ramp and card-draw spells. But those decks are rare, which is why I celebrate finding them. If everyone tried to play only those, it would probably lead to a more homogeneous format. The fact that people can build a deck around solid fundamentals of mana acceleration and card draw allows them the freedom to do what they want with a few other cards to give the deck some flourish.

This deck is an example of a deck with extremely strong fundamentals: Lots of mana and card draw, leaning toward more mana because, like Prime Speaker Zegana, Nin, the Pain Artist means that you always have a mana sink and card-draw engine. In this case, I use the strong fundamentals to let me play cute, on-theme win conditions like Stuffy Doll or Repercussion with cards that damage creatures.

It's just too bad that the color identity rules prevent me from playing Boros Reckoner and Spitemare, which would be perfect for this deck.

Nin, the Pain Artist
Commander – Nin, the Pain Artist

Main Deck

99 cards

Commander
Academy Ruins
Ancient Tomb
Arid Mesa
Bloodstained Mire
Cascade Bluffs
Flooded Strand
Great Furnace
Izzet Boilerworks
Kher Keep
Minamo, School at Water's Edge
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Reliquary Tower
Scalding Tarn
Snow-Covered Island
10  Snow-Covered Island
Snow-Covered Mountain
Steam Vents
Strip Mine
Sulfur Falls
Temple of the False God
Tolaria West
Volcanic Island
Wooded Foothills

38 lands

Ashling the Pilgrim
Coalhauler Swine
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
Kraken Hatchling
Mogg Maniac
Snapcaster Mage
Spellskite
Steel Wall
Stuffy Doll
Trinket Mage
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

11 creatures

Ancestral Vision
Basalt Monolith
Blasphemous Act
Blue Sun's Zenith
Braingeyser
Brainstorm
Bribery
Chain Reaction
Coalition Relic
Counterspell
Cryptic Command
Desperate Ravings
Devil's Play
Earthquake
Fact or Fiction
Force of Will
Future Sight
Gamble
Grim Monolith
Harvest Pyre
Incendiary Command
Inferno
Izzet Signet
Lavaball Trap
Mana Crypt
Mana Drain
Mana Vault
Merchant Scroll
Mind Spring
Mind Stone
Mindslaver
Molten Disaster
Mystical Tutor
Pact of Negation
Ponder
Power Artifact
Preordain
Prismatic Lens
Repercussion
Rolling Earthquake
Sensei's Divining Top
Serum Visions
Slagstorm
Sol Ring
Starstorm
Thirst for Knowledge
Thran Dynamo
Vedalken Shackles
Voltaic Key
Worn Powerstone

50 other spells

Nin, the Pain Artist

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