Hello again! I have been a little detached from competitive Magic for the last few months. But getting vaccinated has afforded me more opportunities to play Commander with friends again, and I have been enjoying it tremendously!
To give you some context for the deck to come, let me explain how I generally approach the format. First of all, to set the scene, here are the parameters that apply to my playgroup: We usually have games with about four people. Deck strength definitely covers a pretty wide range, but the weakest are still a lot stronger than preconstructed decks, while the strongest are not nearly at the level of "competitive EDH" decks. Overall the discrepancy in power level is usually evened out through politics, so it's mostly your everyday Commander round.
I personally dislike two things in Commander. "Staples" that should be in every deck and cards that make me search and shuffle libraries. The first mostly expresses itself in me not playing Sol Ring and Mana Crypt in any of my decks. Though I also apply this rule to color-specific staples like Smothering Tithe. I do play Smothering Tithe alongside Dockside Extortionist in my Treasure-based Commander deck, as it perfectly fits there; just not in every white Commander deck regardless of theme.
The second rule against search and shuffle means you usually won't find an optimized fetch-land mana base in my decks either, saving everyone a lot of time. Not running staples also leads to more slots to fill with cards you like, which I consider a net positive for all players in your group too. I'd rather build a 99-card deck than a 98-card deck and acquire a Sol Ring just because it's the best card. Additionally, my decks do not contain cards I would not like to play against myself. One example would be extra turn spells.
This particular deck does actually contain one extra turn card, because it just fits the theme of the deck too well. It does not contain the two-card combo of Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and Triskelion, although I'm not categorically opposed to including such combos if both cards are natural fits for the deck, especially without tutor effects.
My decks are usually on the low end with regard to interaction, as I strongly prefer to focus on a theme rather than generic answers. In the example of today's Scorpion God deck that means most interaction is based on different types of counters, be it charge, −1/−1, or others. Before we go into too much more detail, let me give you the full list:
|The Scorpion God Commander|
The mana base of this deck isn't anything special. Besides lands and artifacts just in there to enable me casting my spells, there's also some utility and fixing based on counters. The vivid lands as well as Peat Bog and Sandstone Needle give mana while having minor synergies with the deck's overall theme. I sprinkled a bit of interaction into the mana base too, in the form of Bojuka Bog and Blast Zone.
The other mana sources are mostly ones you see in a lot of Commander decks such as Rakdos Signet, albeit with a focus on ones that care about counters, making Astral Cornucopia and Everflowing Chalice natural fits. The most unusual are probably Plague Myr, Pentad Prism, and especially Braid of Fire. The latter only gives you mana in your upkeep, but The Scorpion God makes good use of that. I like the Myr because it's a mana source that occasionally infects people with a poison counter, allowing me to slowly proliferate them throughout the game. Similarly, you'll occasionally recharge Pentad Prism through proliferate as well.
The deck has a whopping 50 mana sources in total. This high number is easily justified by The Scorpion God acting as a mana sink, especially because it is pretty tough to get rid of for an extended period of time.
If they aren't in here for mana, most cards support the theme. They place −1/−1-counters, proliferate, or interact with counters otherwise, such as Power Conduit. You play some cards that accumulate counters, use your commander to refill, and get rid of your opponents' pesky creatures. People relying on low-stat commanders will have a particular bad time casting them into The Scorpion God.
Fairly often you try to assemble a big mana-producing card, but as you basically have no way of protecting them, spreading counters can be of interest. The main mana engines are Braid of Fire, Black Market, Everflowing Chalice, Astral Cornucopia, and Empowered Autogenerator. The enchantments and Autogenerator don't need much help as their mana generation ramps up naturally. But putting additional counters on them is still nice and it is necessary for producing big amounts of mana if you have to rely on one of the two artifacts.
Energy Chamber, Surge Node, and Coretapper are the most efficient at that, though every proliferate card makes your mana engine go a bit bigger too. This allows you to take a lot of game actions.
If you manage to assemble enough pieces, you can actually kill people through big chunks of damage with Yawgmoth, Thran Physician and Flayer of the Hatebound. Usually, though, if you win, it's because you get to answer all the creatures while accumulating more and more card advantage. You control the board and just keep hitting with the couple creatures you have in play.
Sometimes you'll alternatively distribute some poison counters via the small number of creatures with infect before using Contagion Clasp or Contagion Engine to slowly kill your opponents. This process naturally accelerates via the mana production already discussed. Especially the three mana sources that ramp up by the turn are great for "going off."
One last avenue of winning is Magistrate's Scepter, but it requires a lot of support, as you need to be able to put three charge counters on it without using its first ability to take all the turns. Once again, Contagion Engine does most of the heavy lifting here.
The Scorpion God triggers off itself but can't put counters on itself. This means you usually want to give it a −1/−1-counter if there's nothing around you can just take down, because your opponents will kill it and being able to draw a card off that is neat. Its card draw ability also is not optional, so be careful not to deck yourself with Black Sun's Zenith.
Grim Poppet is obscene, it throws counters around for free and just does everything you want it to do. Try to keep it alive. If your opponents have a lot of noncreature threats, maybe try to communicate your inability to get rid of those to potential allies. You only have All Is Dust and Lux Cannon as efficient ways to answer those.
If you have any questions regarding my card choices or suggestions, please leave a comment.
See you next time,
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.