"I bless the living with a song of death." —Lord Dralnu, here
So I've played Magic for some years, and EDH for about the majority of them now, with nary a look back at leaving standard behind. When I build a deck, I like to build with a theme in mind, or a mechanism to synergise. Not necessarily competitive but fun, and I like to build around generals with reasonably bizarre abilities. Needless to say, when I saw Dralnu, Lich Lord
, I was in. Being more or less the only Dimir spellslinger, and with the first ability as a definite soft spot, I enjoy being challenged - also my heart is , a lot of my decks splash Dimir. Since building, the deck has been through a lot of variation, and is now at a point where it can be remarkably strong. It's not necessarily a combo deck, but it can look like it when things go well, and it's a lot of fun to pilot.
For an excellent in-depth primer of Dralnu, I'd strongly suggest looking at jenncertainty's list here
. While this deck draws much from the primer, there are some differences. Mostly power level, and while I have drawn a lot of inspiration from the primer thread, there are some choices here I've made to make this a slightly different build. Nonetheless, this deck is built along the same premises, because it's fun and because it works well. I've always loved reanimation, and I love some of the splashier control spells in the deck. Jenn has recently mentioned that she is thinking about moving on from the sheer cunning brutality of our Metathran Zombie overlord following the banning of Paradox Engine
, but nonetheless her primer remains an amazing resource, if for nothing else to look over what has been tested to date.
Dralnu is a fairly particular style of deck. As mentioned above, there are not a lot of spellslingers in Dimir, and with that comes badass notoriety - y'all remember Snapcaster Mage
? Guy's pretty good, and we get that in the command zone. He has somewhat of a reputation in certain circles having been in earlier times fairly prominent as a competitive storm commander, and aside from this he features in some of the more interesting parts of Dominarian lore, and....look that art is badass, the guy is super cool, and in general almost all of the games I've played with this commander I've enjoyed immensely. Between the chosen commander and some of the other options in the deck, you have access to playing cards from almost every zone.
- You like playing control in a resilient and sustainable way
- You like explosive, out of the box plays
- You like drawing (often quite literally) a buttload of cards
- You like reanimation - big, nasty creatures that you don't pay CMC for.
Let's break Dralnu down and see what he gives us:
for a 3/3 Zombie Wizard.
Fine, if unspectacular stats. We're not planning for him to be attacking, but his creature type does play at least some spall part in the deck - being a wizard gives us at least one way to protect him. His body literally does not matter though, because the last thing we ever want to do is block with him (although hard mode win condition would be commander damage win with him - I haven't done it yet).
If damage would be dealt to Dralnu, Lich Lord, sacrifice that many permanents instead.
Yeah...not gonna lie, that can hurt. It's not all for naught though, I've been Blasphemous Act
ed before and lived past it to win the game. All this really means is we need to protect him somewhat. It's something that deters a lot of people, but honestly it really doesn't cause major problems 90% of the time.
Tap: Target instant or sorcery card in your graveyard gains flashback until end of turn. The flashback cost is equal to its mana cost. (You may cast that card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
Here's the gravy. This ability basically treats our graveyard as bigger hand that our opponents often won't see coming or just forget about. It's extra value, and a way that we can get extra synergy with what's in our hand as we need to.
I'll admit, I get a lot of people these days scrutinising my commander and going 'Who??' Damn youngsters can get off my lawn. The other response is 'oh damn, that first ability is nasty!' Yes, yes it is. And it's an absolutely valid reason not to play Dralnu - if you don't have nerves of steel and a daring demeanour you ought to look elsewhere
- You don't like a risky commander. There's no denying it, Dralnu is that. But like...don't be a wimp
- You like having a full board presence at all times.
- Combat damage is your preferred win condition (we can do it, but we don't always)
- You don't like holding up mana for answers or permission.
- You prefer to just play your own game than play gatekeeper for the table.
- Kess, Dissident Mage - easily the most comparable commander to Dralnu, and in all fairness, probably more powerful. With that, though, comes a bit more rigidity, in that her ability is a once per turn cycle thing. So in that respect a Kess build potentially could be less agile and would look to maximise that trigger. She's also relatively prominent in cEDH from what I understand, so there's probably a stigma to running her in that respect.
- Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge - Another predominantly cEDH commander. I don't know that she gets the play she once did these days, but the idea is to aggressively storm as quickly as possible.
- Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign - Instead of graveyard, the sphinx uses top of library. Obnoxiously, the most common spellslinger variant of this commander I've seen is extra turns.dec. If you want to win your games with people scooping for time, go right ahead.
- Mizzix of the Izmagnus - This is probably the first commander that comes to mind with spellslinger. Really strong if the commander sticks to the board for any length of time, but also fairly fragile while it's not in play.
- The Scarab God - This guy is pretty bonkers. He can avoid commander tax, abuses graveyards and can be really pretty nasty. I love the idea of a deck with him at the head, he's a great option. He's the Dimir creature control to Dralnu's Dimir spellslinger control.
- Oona, Queen of the Fae - Yeah, she's cute and all, but she's nasty as hell too. Expensive to cast, but savagely good for combo material. Most variants focus on a mill/combo route with sacrifice outlets, she's definitely not to be underestimated.
- Phenax, God of Deception - The millman. A very different build, very grindy and another commander that looks to play a dangerous game. No one likes having their library shredded, and mill is notoriously ineffective in a format with 100 card libraries. Nonetheless, he can be nasty to play against, or with. At the very least, Gods are tough to get rid of.
As I mentioned in the intro, I've run this deck for a fairly long time now. Back in the mtgsalvation days this was one of my more prominent lists, and I still love playing it because the plays are always ridiculous. Whether I win or not I generally get some credit for shenanigans from the table and that's an achievement worth unlocking. The last two games I've played I managed to firstly Rite of Replication
my own Bone Miser
(kicked, of course) and Clever Impersonator
an opponent's Akroma's Memorial
before alpha striking for the win, and in the second copying Peer into the Abyss
twice to make an opponent draw 70 cards and lose 55 life before taking the table out with a flashbacked Exsanguinate
that again copied twice.
"Do not fear death. I shall release you from the eternal bonds and bring you glory" - Lord Dralnu, here
The deck has recently been overhauled; since the banning of Paradox Engine
, it lost a lot of momentum. In all honesty, I'm glad it got banned, purely because the deck was becoming pretty ubiquitous with stalling until I could get the engine, go crazy and win. It was disgusting, but it was also really boring for people to play against. Now, I have a lot of different lines of play, and it takes a lot more math, creativity, and ingenuity to win, which is always rewarding and always fun. That's why we play this game, right?
- Baral, Chief of Compliance - Mostly, this guy is here for a spell cost reduction. The triggered ability on countering of spells is fine, but I'm not laden with those. There's some, but probably not enough for it to be really reliable. He has enough early presence as a 1/3 to be able to chump block early swings if need to, too.
- Hullbreacher - I mean we run wheels, so...we oughta run this right? It's nasty, so you won''t be popular for using it, but you will probably win.
- Clever Impersonator - 4 mana for whatever you need. The best copy I think I've made so far is Akroma's Memorial, but the possibilities are endless.
- Fatestitcher - His body is unimpressive (sorry for the body shaming), but his ability is nice. He's here to help us get more out of our activated abilities, be they from mana rocks or our commander. As a bonus, if resources are tight we can unearth him for a single with haste to get the job done.
- God-Eternal Kefnet - A reasonable cost for a 4/5 flier with pseudo-recursion, which isn't unwelcome for the deck. What really sells the card though is the start of turn ability - a quick cost-reduced copy of whatever instant or sorcery is on top of the library. And as the spell is copied, it synergises nicely with Twinning Staff for a freebie. It's sort of a jack of all trades, master of none, but it does what it does nicely enough.
- Notion Thief - I mentioned earlier I draw buttloads of card with this deck, right? Well, this guy makes sure I'm the only one that does. Works beatifully for an explosive boost to the hand with Windfall variants, and basically ends the game with Psychosis Crawler in play. Flashes in, too, so you can sneak it up on folks.
- Phyrexian Metamorph - Only slightly less flexible than Clever Impersonator, even if this clones a mana rock I'm ok with that. Being able to drop it in early using phyrexian mana is nice, and if I have Vilis, Broker of Blood in play I'm happy for it to count as a cantrip.
- Archfiend of Ifnir - Pretty much counts as a board wipe with wings. Great with Windfall variants, can cycle for draw if needed, and the body is costed right. The nice part about this is it clears the board. Gods, Eldrazi, indestructibles, those counters will flatten them all.
- Bone Miser - Value zombie is great value. Yet again, Windfall variants. He gives us bodies for defense, to funnel into splashy spells and cards in hand.
- Perplexing Chimera - I kinda love this card. It just makes people hold back their plans, purely because you can pull the rug out from under them. It's pretty frustrating to play against.
- Psychosis Crawler - This thing will get big. That doesn't matter though, what matters is the triggered ability it comes with. It shreds life totals like nobody's business, and it's pretty much a win condition in and of itself.
- Consecrated Sphinx - I don't know if there's any more that need be said about this card at present. Probably the most ridiculous source of card draw in the format, and that's why it's here.
- Massacre Wurm - Our second board wipe on legs. Not quite as definitively flattening, but comes with a side of life loss, and that's super handy.
- Sphinx of the Second Sun - This ostensibly gives you an extra turn, more or less, each turn cycle. There's no way that's not pretty backbreaking and a great reanimation target.
- Vilis, Broker of Blood - An overgrown demon beater with a disgusting draw ability. There's a couple of cards that abuse the absolute bejesus out of him here, but in a pinch he can do the job himself, and that's just dandy. But if you can, Reanimate him.
- Void Winnower - Instead of telling you my thoughts, I'll just quote gatherer.wizards.com: Yes, your opponent can't even. We know.
- Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur - The most back-breaking, soul destroying blue creature there ever was. The draw is nice, but knowing your opponents must answer it or have no answers for the rest of the game is even nicer.
- Sol Ring - Mana advantage, brilliant acceleration, it's all been said before and you know why it's here.
- Arcane Signet - The newest colour fixer. Enters untapped. Gives you immediate access to all of your colours. Really is brilliant, please print more, Wizards.
- Dimir Signet - Colour filtering. It's good, just not as good as the arcane version.
- Fellwar Stone - Mostly, I don't care what colour this produces. It enters untapped and that's perfect.
- Lightning Greaves/Swiftfoot Boots - Our commander has a fondness for boots. Seriously, though, these are a must. They're the difference between casting Dralnu and waiting a turn for someone to remove him or blast him and being able to cast something sweet right away.
- Talisman of Dominance - Again, entering untapped is ideal, the life loss is mostly insignificant, except when its not.
- Thought Vessel - Enters untapped (there's a definite theme here) and gives us the ability to hold on to all of those cards we're drawing.
- Twinning Staff - There's a few ways we can use this to fire ahead, and it really doesn't take a lot of copying to make a big impact. I don't remember ever using the activated ability, but I guess it's nice if you need to.
- Primal Amulet//Primal Wellspring - The front face is fairly good actually, if a little unexciting. Clearly, though, we are here for the back face. Colour fixing and copying spells is super sweet, and being able to use our other bits and pieces to untap it and do it again is even nicer.
- Gilded Lotus - Sure, it's costly, but you're netting mana advantage the second time you untap it. It's usable right away too, which is pretty cool.
- Staff of Domination - MtG's answer to the swiss army knife. Capable of doing many things, one of which is combo. I haven't built specifically around that, it's just here to untap Dralnu, Lich Lord where it can.
- Bolas's Citadel - This is one of the most horrendously strong printings in recent years. Sure, you can combo with it, I probably can here, too. I haven't ever seen the need. Can you play lands from it? Sure. Can you play everything else, any time you like? Following usual timing restrictions, yes. Does it use mana? Lol no. Does Vilis, Broker of Blood commend you on your choices? Absolutely.
- Animate Dead - Cheap, easy reanimation. You can take from any graveyard, for a low low cost of . It does get better, but not by much.
- Ominous Seas - I've mentioned the draw potential of this deck, right? Free Octopi seem nice, for an alternate way to win, or just as a way to protect your neck.
- Search for Azcanta - The front of this card is great. It's surveil 1 before Guilds of Ravnica saw release. The back is even better - we can't pick up creatures, but we can give ourselves whatever else we might like to pad our hand with.
- Necromancy - A nice variant on the original, we can play this with flash if needed. It's...uh, it's a good card. Hard casting creatures is for chumps.
- Retreat to Coralhelm - Seems fairly innocuous, but both modes are things we can use to great effect. Need more mana? Untap a big rock. Need another Dralnu trigger? Drop the land at the right time and make it happen. Need something sweet on top of your library for Bolas's Citadel or God-Eternal Kefnet? You can make that happen.
- Leyline of Anticipation - Everything is better at instant speed, ask anyone.
- Entomb - You haven't lived until you've dropped Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur into your graveyard end of turn one and Reanimated it turn 2. True story. I....may not have got Miss Congeniality that game.
- Swan Song - Cheap, easy, versatile counter. I don't care about the bird, no one does.
- Counterspell - The original. Does what it says on the tin, which is just fine with me.
- Cyclonic Rift - Look, we all know what this does at this point. One of the best cards in the format.
- Lim-Dul's Vault - This card is just super nice topdeck manipulation. Great with Bolas's Citadel and God-Eternal Kefnet again, just do yourself (and the table) a favour - resolve it end of turn and let them all know they can carry on while you sort it out. No one likes how long this can take.
- Muddle the Mixture - A cheap counter and a versatile tutor. Most likely this will do what we want it to do as we're the most likely to be doing gross stuff, so this is more of a defensive counter, but that's fine by me for flexibility.
- Narset's Reversal - Not quite a counter, not quite a copy spell, a bit in both camps. Really, really great card, and if stacked right could probably just go infinite here with a copier in play. Otherwise, it's just great disruption. Being able to usurp someone else's Cyclonic Rift or what have you is really, really strong.
- Disallow - A little higher cost than the rest of the counters, but it'll say no to almost anything, and that's great.
- Dismember - Bargain basement removal. Usually one for one isn't great in this format, but being able to drop some life to make it super cheap is pretty great. Again, Vilis approves.
- Fierce Guardianship - Up there as one of the best counters in the format. Because, you know, a lot of the time it's free.
- Hero's Downfall - Instant speed versatile removal.
- Whir of Invention - Improvise doesn't mean a ton here, but instant speed tutoring of an artifact to play is great. We've got some tasty targets too, depending on whether you want to copy stuff or see and play your topdeck.
- Ancient Excavation - A selective wheel, just for us. Plays nicely with Bone Miser and Archfiend of Ifnir, and just allows us to be nicely selective of what we have to replay with Dralnu.
- Fact or Fiction - I love this card, honestly. It's a really, really good test of how good a player is. It's instant speed, it digs deeper than its CMC, and usually there's at least one player at the table whos either more interested in their own gameplan (pick them) or one who might just be a sympathiser (or pick them).
- Turnabout - I either use this for enormous mana accrual or to stop the possibility of counters, blockers, whatever the case might be. Because it's usable on anybody or anything, there's no reason you can't use it for political gain, too.
- Mystic Confluence - It's not cheap, but it's a nice array of options.
- Dig Through Time - Digs very, very deep. How often do you think we pay full cost for this?
- Reanimate - So, when I said it gets better than Animate Dead, this is what I meant.
- Exsanguinate - Brutally good game-ending card. We can copy it, too. We just can't pay for from the top of our library.
- Torment of Hailfire - This one is even nastier, if anything. It's just back breaking. If you're resolving it for more than 5 or 6 it should drastically change the way the board looks.
- Curse of the Swine - Exile is pretty good, I heard. So is bacon. Mmmmm....bacon.
- Stitch Together - Nice, cheap reanimation. We will generally only be casting this with threshold activated, certainly by preference anyway.
- Dark Deal - Windfall variant #1. These are in the deck because they fill our yard (and so serve us better than other players), give us stuff from Bone Miser and Archfiend of Ifnir, and because we can take all the cards.
- Toxic Deluge - Probably one of the best board wipes in the format. Vilis, Broker of Blood would have you pay special attention to the life loss condition.
- Windfall - See Dark Deal above.
- Rite of Replication - I've had some hilariously great times with this card. 6 Bone Misers in play after kicking this? I'll take it. You could even get cute and target Clever Impersonator to make a ton of rocks or just copy someone else's boardstate. Because you can.
- Whispering Madness - See Dark Deal above. But with cipher, so we can do it over and over again.
- Beacon of Unrest - I'm the first to acknowledge this is not well costed, but it is reusable and gives me a way to get artifacts back, should they be blown up.
- All is Dust - This is probably the killswitch board wipe of the deck. We have enough rocks to recover from it just fine, it's really just there as a way to stop other people winning.
- Peer into the Abyss - Alright, so this card is crazy. Like, it's very good, but it's also just a bit insane. I'll be the first to say there is every chance this blows up in your face, but it's just such a way to go out. I like that you can point it at whoever you like, too.
- Command Tower - Enters untapped and gives us whatever we like. Perfect.
- Dimir Aqueduct - normally a relatively suboptimal include, there's a couple of things it works nicely with. Firstly, there's at least a couple of untap triggers we can use to untap it right away. Secondly, it can bounce a Mystic Sanctuary to hand for another trigger.
- Underground River - It's not a shock, but it's good enough. I don't mind the life loss either.
- Island/Swamp - The meat and potatoes. If you have to ask...well it's not that you'll never know, it's that you're probably in the wrong place.
- Tolaria West - It'll get us the land we want, or just be an island.
- Castle Vantress - Almost certainly enters untapped, and fixes our draws when needed. Nice utility, I'll allow it.
- Reliquary Tower - Does what it says on the tin.
- Bojuka Bog - It's a staple for a reason. There's nothing we play that would require us to break symmetry with it, but there comes a time in many games it's required.
- Riptide Laboratory - So this is the reason it's a good thing Dralnu, Lich Lord was errata'd to be a Wizard. Just a nice way to keep our fella safe, and avoid sacrificing anything.
- Mystic Sanctuary - A really brilliant card. There's at least one or two ways we can use this to our advantage - God-Eternal Kefnet and Bolas's Citadel. It's less guaranteed to enter untapped, but that's why I've skewed slightly higher on Islands than Swamps.
- Phyrexian Tower - Worst comes to worst, I do not mind sacrificing my general in lieu of sacrificing a whole lot of other stuff.
- Geier Reach Sanitarium - Looting is fun, this is cheap, and I love the flavour.
- High Market - Again, I'll gain 1 life and lose a commander if I have to.
- Minamo, School at Water's Edge - Just a nice way to get extra mileage from our commander.
Firstly, here's what I choose not to run, for whatever reason:
- Aetherflux Reservoir - It might be irrational, but I sort of hate this card. It's very good, but I don't like being taken out by it so I won't do that to anyone else.
- Dramatic Reversal - There's every chance it could do wonderful things for me here. I haven't found it necessary, and I guess there's just no need.
- Isochron Scepter - If I were to add one I would probably add the other, no reason not to. It'd be god mode Dralnu, Lich Lord. Again, just surplus at present.
- Eldrazi Titans - I guess the only real reason to run these would be to prevent drawing out. There's just no need, where's the fun in life without a little danger?
- Laboratory Maniac - Look, he'd be brilliant here. It's just not how I want to win.
- Jace, Wielder of Mysteries - See above.
- Thassa's Oracle - See above, and above.
- Storm - Brain Freeze, Temporal Fissure, Mind's Desire, Tendrils of Agony - These were in the list at the same time as Paradox Engine. They potentially could come back in, at some point. The thing I've generally found though, is that for most of them unless you can really storm off casting these for one or two copies tends to be a little impotent.
Other than these, there's a lot in the current list that can be swapped out. The removal and control I run can absolutely be switched out for functionally similar pieces or superior - my decks generally operate on a budget, so what I have is based on what I can optimally afford or feasibly source. If you have availability above this, don't feel that my deck is canon by any stretch - it's purely a guide to getting optimal leverage from Dralnu.
Secondly, here's my wants list:
This deck does play out a little differently to many, and may be somewhat risky in some aspects. The deck relies fairly heavily on the concept that death is not forever, and your graveyard is a library to be drawn from too. A lot of the draw we have on hand is either a) a little bit looty, or b) explosive enough to overdraw and overflow us. We can use that to our advantage, by throwing away what we don't need now, for use later, or for not paying full cost for in the case of creatures.
This does leave us a little bit vulnerable, but a lot of our counters and control are pretty low-costed, so it's easy enough for us to protect from too much hate. As well as that, because our board often looks relatively quiet, it's pretty common to fly under the radar until we're ready to make some moves. This even works in terms of combat, too. It'll often look like we're struggling purely because we're creature light, and people sort of just put us aside to deal with later, which I'm personally more than happy to take advantage of. Even if we are targeted down, there's plenty of answers in terms of targeted options, wipes, bounces and control in the deck, so there's no need to take a ton of damage just because the board looks a little bit light.
With our sweet new deck list functionality here (thanks Feyd) this is something you can toy around with for yourself, of course, but it's good to get an idea of what you should keep and what you shouldn't, and what's in between.
As a generalised suggestion for the deck, you're really wanting to keep a good selection of early rocks, land, and draw if you can get it. The dream hand has Entomb
and a Swamp
, or a chain of rocks and a Windfall
variant, but otherwise anything that lets you see a good deal of your deck is absolutely fine, so long as you're not leaving yourself lean on mana.
It's a definite mulligan here. The retreat is nice early, but there's just not enough to get us going, so it's an easy one.
It's close, but probably a risky keep. Turn one Ring is brilliant, but you still don't have your colours, so riskier than it ought to be.
Another one that's close, but probably not quite there. Entomb
is crazy strong early on, but you do need a way to get whatever it is back out of your yard.
I love Fact or Fiction
. The fact that you have immediate reanimation in hand means you're set up for something nasty early on. I'd keep this just to see what drops off of the Fact. Bare minimum you can cycle the Archfiend and reanimate it early for a solid beater.
Well, you've got a lot of mana very early in the game here, so there's probably no reason not to keep this.
The deck does play a little differently to most. Sure, you want to ramp, you want to draw, but the very last thing you want is your commander on the battlefield with nothing else going on
. The deck in it's current iteration is designed for you to be able to pick options from your graveyard, your hand or your library - not at will, but with relative ease. So with that in mind you do need some supporting infrastructure.
"I confer with Death itself. What could you possibly do to injure me?" - Lord Dralnu, here
Early game looks different depending on your hand, but let's be pretty clear; we are not firing off a cast of our commander ASAP. It's a bad idea. What we want is to see lots of cards, however we can, get some lands and artifacts into play and put some good things into our hand and graveyard. Ideally if you can get something low CMC in for chump blocks that's great, but otherwise keep yourself a low profile and use whatever answers you have relatively sparingly.
There's a few cards you'll want to see to push you ahead at this point. Any rocks you can drop into play will serve you well, Windfall
variants are excellent for advantage, but also for disruption for anyone that's committing significant resource to the board; that tells you they have a plan, and dropping their hand will usually throw a spanner in the works. And if anywhere, this is where your spot removal and counter suite will shine.
The good part of this part of the game is that you can hand out 'favours' - you fix problems that are problems for the majority and people will thank you for it and return the favour by leaving you alone or even protecting you. Just remember; if you promise favours, honor them, until the time comes to end the game. That's when you turn the knife on them.
In the words of the mighty Wu Tang Clan, protect ya neck.
Here's where you want an engine going. You want to see cards, lots and lots of cards. If you have to wheel, do it. You shouldn't even think twice about that if you have access to Consecrated Sphinx
, Psychosis Crawler
, Notion Thief
, Bone Miser
or Archfiend of Ifnir
There's every chance you could
end the game early here; it could happen. If the right couple of combinations come into play at the right time (see above) or you get lucky there's enough synergy in the deck to string some magic along. Otherwise you're looking to establish some board, answer whatever has been established or attempted across the table from you, and get the right cards in place at the same time. This should be easy enough by virtue of card advantage, eventually; between your hand, your graveyard and the top of your library, you should be able to manage to align things nicely.
You may, at this point want to cast Dralnu, Lich Lord
. I strongly recommend putting shoes on him ASAP, so if you don't have them or can't find them, do not waste a turn tapping out to cast him
. The last thing you want is to have no untapped land and an unprotected commander, especially since you need a commander with haste or without summoning sickness to really get anything from him, and at worst an opponent could very well burn him, fight him or otherwise manipulate him to torch your board. You can recover from it, but it's not a given, so best avoid it if possible.
Ultimately, at this point in the game it really does depend on what's going on about you as to how you react and play. Because a lot of what this deck does is relatively control based and reactive, you do want to bear the current situation in mind to assess your plays.
Late game it should be relatively simple to string enough value together to overwhelm whatever your opponents have done. We have a lot of threats in the deck, we have a lot of synergy, and if you haven't seen at least 1/3 to 1/2 of your deck something has gone wrong. Nonetheless, because we have ready access to a lot of our deck at any point in terms of graveyard, top of library and hand, it really should be a matter of mixing and matching to come up with something overwhelming. Really, it comes down to what you need at the time.
Need mana for a huge X-spell? Turnabout
, copy it if you can and tap your lands and rocks in response to the casts. Use your rocks and get you some untap triggers.
Want to bleed the board to death? Wheel with Psychosis Crawler
, or even better, Peer into the Abyss
Have multiple things to kill, multiple threats to attend to? Primal Amulet // Primal Wellspring
and Twinning Staff
will get you there. Ultimately it's up to you to put some zany plays together, and however you do it it's going to be pretty crazy.
There's not much here that isn't pretty self-evident, but there are a couple of things that ought to be clarified:
While it's generally an extra cherry on top, and is really great value, the Flashback mechanic has one relatively big limiting factor. Upon resolution, if the spell would be put anywhere else (such has hand, top of library, graveyard), it is exiled instead
. This is pertinent to probably only a couple of cards in the list, most notably Narset's Reversal
, but it is worth noting.
It's certainly not the end of the world. All things being equal without Dralnu, Lich Lord
or Snapcaster Mage
the spell was gone anyway, it just has a limit to it's power.
Yes, I've played it down, but nonetheless we do need to know how we're managing the threat of damage to Dralnu. There's a small package of things we can use to manage this:
Our own spells
These are generally ranked in descending utility. Obviously, most burn is targeted, so a good pair of shoes will keep us pretty safe. If we really need to, we can sacrifice him for value, either or 1 life (Woot!). It's not ideal, but it's better than wholesale demolition. Thirdly, if we absolutely need to, there's plenty of spells we can use to target him ourselves; Dismember
, Hero's Downfall
, Mystic Confluence
, even Vilis, Broker of Blood
can take him apart, and refill our hand in the process. That's to speak nothing of our counter suite, which should be complete enough to manage a reasonable defense.
This list has been together a long while now. Predominantly, thanks should go to jenncertainty on mtgsalvation for an inspiring primer and plenty of feedback. Benjameenbear and weebo/Socorro Tortoise have provided plenty of feedback regarding the list too, and I genuinely appreciate every bit of feedback I get. Dralnu is a relatively niche commander, and every bit of feedback I get is valued.