I wanted to create a thread to see if there are any other people out there in the Nexus-Verse looking to fine tune and brew around one of my favorite commanders: Tinybones, Trinket Thief
Having played mono black and discard since I first laid eyes on the card Megrim in high school in 2004, I have a passion for this sort of strategy. I have played discard and mono black control all throughout my time as a magic player, and in multiple formats - I remember playing inquisition of kozilek when it was printed in standard, 8-rack in modern, and my favorite constructed deck ever - rack-pox in legacy. So when Tinybones came out I was extremely excited, to say the least. I built a deck, played with it a little, and then this cute lil dude was quickly outclassed when Tergrid, God of Fright came into town like a wrecking ball. I did what many black players did - thank my lucky stars such a powerful MBC control commander was ever printed, and then continuously question if I was dreaming or not. It turned out that Tergrid has been a bit of a sore topic in my playgroup, so I have finally decided to retire that commander and move back to a smaller, cuter, passion-project. Tinybones!
I know my way around a discard deck, but it has always been a sort of "glass cannon" sort of strategy in my experience, heavily dependent on draws, redundant playsets of critical role-playing cards (I am looking at you ensnaring bridge), and a life total half of what it is in EDH.
I tried my hand at building the deck a few times now just tapping into my experience and vast scroll rack of mono black spells. And I ended up building a few glass-cannons.
So I did some research, I found a few decklists online, looked at what other people were doing BT (before Tergrid) only to find that it seems development of this sort of deck has really fallen to the wayside.
I found these resources helpful for getting ideas:
- Moxfield Primer by Partick Marlett
- Combo oriented List by wpfurcraft
- Channel Fireball Article by Brian DeMars
- EDHREC of course
With that said, I have come up with what I think is a new structure to build a tinybones deck. This section of the thread will probably update as I work on my deck, but this is where I am at right now.
My Deck Building Parameters:
My main goal is to win WITH Tinybones, Trinket Thief. I want to have the experience of draining my opponents out after shredding their hands. I intentionally did not include any of the discard-oriented combos in my deckbuilding (this could change). I find little reward in finding a combo while other people topdeck. There are many combos that fit this archetype and I don't hold it against anyone who uses them (I have other decks that aim to combo) - this is personal. I want to win with discard. And I know, that is a challenge. With that in mind, I am trying to optimize the list to achieve that goal, and am not set on any specific kind of build. Generally I don't have any budget restrictions when I build decks - the only expensive mono black card I want but do not own is imperial seal (holding out for a reprint). So when I build, I go all the way in that regard. I want the deck to be interesting to play and resilient.
So for my take on the little dude - I wanted to build a Tinybones deck that was able to use and abuse the many discard ETB creatures we have access to, over and over again. Here is what I came up with...
+1 Mind Swords +1 Skullclamp // -1 necrogen spellbomb -1 funeral charm
11/26/21 - total overhaul of the discard suite into more deck utility in general
+1 Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker +1 Grim Tutor +1 Vesuva +1 Library of Leng +1 Mana Vault +1 Lightning Greaves +1 Ensnaring Bridge +1 Urza's Saga +1 Dance of the Dead +1 Creeping Dread +1 Bolas's Citadel +1 Noetic Scales +1 Entomb +1 Diabolic Intent /+1 Mindslicer +1 Ashnod's Altar / -1 Avatar of Woe -1 Mox Amber -1 Snow-Covered Swamp -1 Witch's Cottage -1 Kaya's Ghostform -1 Stitch Together -1 Call to the netherworld -1 Necromancy -1 Damnation -1 Mind Swords -1 Vicious Rumors -1 Arterial Flow -1 mind rake -1 Smallpox -1 Mausoleum Secrets
11/27/21 Versatility upgrades
+1 Sensei's Divining Top +1 Necromancy +1 Fell Stinger +1 Stronghold Rats // -1 Entomb -1 Unearth -1 Library of Leng -1 Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker
The idea of this brew is to use and re-use discard and utility creatures to control the board and the hand, and generate card advantage with tinybones while assembling stax pieces that set up the final drain. I am not sure the ratios are correct for everything in here. Half the fun of a discard deck is constructing a well balanced machine. Out of all the constructed decks I have ever played, discard was always the hardest to master and play well, and the decks had to be a perfect balance between discard, defensive spells, and control. The margins for error in discard are very small, so optimal play is even critical than your average deck. Since we are playing at a disadvantage from the start, keeping the wrong hand, sequencing spells poorly, or failing to find the right answers will lose you the game very quick as all your friends might even gang up on you for your choice of strategy.
Let me elaborate a little bit on the concept. Black is really good at a few things: Creature Recursion, Discard, and Removal. This deck design aims to capitalize on Creature recursion as a core element to facilitate both discard and removal. Allowing me to achieve hellbent status and win the game with tinybones. Why this? Creature recursion adds a lot of resilience to this deck that it lacks in other forms, at the sacrifice of potentially more explosiveness. Creature recursion effectively gives the deck access to a toolbox substrategy and excellent end-game lockout abilities. Locking the hand is easier than locking the board, but locking both is the most effective way to win before you die. By giving the deck flexibility with a reanimation suite and a host of ETB creatures and utility creatures, I am looking to get the best of both removal and discard repeatedly. This does open up the deck to being more susceptible to GY hate, however.
Each creature in the decklist serves a specific role. There are the obvious inclusions - the discard effects such as burglar rat. Also removal all-stars in Plaguecrafter, Crypt Rats, and Bone Shredder (which comes with its own sac outlet so you can use it ever turn) or Avatar of Woe (which will quickly cost a measly BB in a discard deck. And then Recursion engines in Coffin Queen, Hell's Caretaker, Sheoldred, whispering one, and enchantments that abuse these effects in strands of night and phyrexian reclamation. Not to mention, if my opponent happens to discard something crazy, I can just steal it with one of my targeted reanimation spells.
So, any ideas are most welcome! I think this shell has some legs and I want to see it through. I also want to try other builds with Tinybones and hope a few more players join me in brewing this recently overlooked commander.