Keskit & Toggo - Junkyard Animatronic Tatyova Knockoff

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Rumpy5897
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 5 months ago


Success breeds imitation. Few know this better than Tatyova, the top Simic commander for years now. Turns out that rewarding ramp, an action you very much want to be doing in EDH, by drawing cards, also a thing you very much want to be doing in EDH, tends to be a strong thing. To nobody's surprise, various imitations showed up through the years. Aesi is the blatant Pepsi to Tatyova's Coke, and it seems that the serpent found a way to improve upon the formula. Sticking an Exploration on may not seem like a big deal at first, but in practice it helps amplify value milking, getting stuff off the ground if the other pieces are not collaborating. Is this going to lead to an eventual shift in Simic leadership? Since the release of CMR, Aesi has been outnumbering Tatyova 3:1 in terms of new decks, but the old-timer has a 2000-deck lead. It might take a while.

Most other attempts at replicating Tatyova's secret sauce have gone mediocrely, as exemplified by Eligeth making friends with Retreat to Coralhelm and to a lesser extent Marit Lage's Slumber. A particularly interesting knockoff attempt came from the labs of Keskit and Toggo, who employed some unorthodox tactics to try to get a similar thing going... in Rakdos, of all places. Why Rakdos? Tax reasons? Regardless, looking at their finalised contraption brings to mind various failed electronic experiments and persisting British attempts at solving solved problems. For some reason, the draw can only be done in lumps of three land rewards (stored as useless artifacts because reasons), once a turn, in a summoning sick fashion. Also, the engine fails to draw all three of the cards it sees, you have to pitch one and only get two. To nobody's surprise, this didn't take, and various Keskit & Toggo brand animatronic monstrosities occasionally crop up in junkyards across the multiverse.




Silly intro thing aside, this is indeed a Rakdos landfall deck. The idea is to fuel Keskit via sacrificing random garbage, some of it Toggo-derived, to go digging into the deck for... further garbage to sac? The board gums up with an assortment of useless tokens, be they tiny insignificant creatures, Toggo's rocks, treasures, what have you, at a rate outpacing what Keskit can eat. And at some point some sort of payoff setup comes around and tries to turn the mound of stuff into a game win. It's a horribly fragile and terrible deck. I consciously took out stuff like Demonic Tutor or Exsanguinate+KCI to try to avoid having the deck crutch on top tier support cards. Anything off here? Help me, almighty Nexus collective, please and thanks :P

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Last edited by Rumpy5897 2 weeks ago, edited 9 times in total.
 
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Post by cheonice » 5 months ago

This looks ... weirdly fun! Well done!

A few suggestions:
I like Scrap Trawler better than Workshop Assistant. Hangarback Walker and Disciple of the Vault could be neat but higher powered additions.
Some weird equipment options include Goblin Gaveleer and Vulshok Battlemaster, but they are somewhat low-powered.
I'm not sure about Tamiyo's Journal. I like it, but it never did the work i wanted it to do (produce a steady stream of tokens). I'm not shure you need expensive stuff like Chromatic Orrery either.


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Post by Rumpy5897 » 4 months ago

Thanks for the thoughts! In classic 2020 fashion, took me a while to get my act together to show up in here again.

Calling out the high-end ramp is actually a correct list criticism. The deck is quite ripe with various ways to get plentiful (by Rakdos standards) lands into play, so that tends to suffice for ramp in conjunction with a relatively manageable curve. Scrap Trawler would be weirdly medium here, as most of the artifact crap you actually want to sac is two-drop, so it'd rarely get to recur anything outside of Burnished Hart/Solemn Simulacrum deaths. Equipment sinks get weak fast, the best one that's not in here already is Champion of the Flame, and that's not that great in the grand scheme of things already. Disciple of the Vault is actually weak - cheap, yes, but a lot less efficient than Nadier's Nightblade or Marionette Master. I'd likely take forever to sac off Hangarback Walker, just piling counters into oblivion instead. I almost did a double take at how I missed Scaretiller, but then realised it only triggers on becoming tapped. So still solid, getting two landfalls with a fetch, but four mana for the privilege. Decent welding target though. Need to think about it a bit more.

There was a particular game which resulted in a pretty interesting board state, actually. I chased out Valduk, stuck ten rocks on him, and out came a swarm of Spark Elementals. Thirty damage offered to opposition. Do you just take it to face? Do you block? But if you block, there's a Nadier's Nightblade to drain the table, and a Pitiless Plunderer to convert the Sparky to treasure. Decisions! This board state was a welcome change of pace from the common game pattern of "create wall of junk, land sac payoff, do a mass sac, profit". The surviving decks tend to have some variety to how their games go, even if the underlying engine is rather monochrome. I've already got a bit of a disposable creature wide in here to serve as a Keskit buffet, may as well lean into this to create a bit of gameplay duality.


A lot of the cuts are ramp-related. I'd often over-ramp, and just not have anything interesting to do with all the available mana despite the card advantage. Foundry Inspector would usually just sit in hand or get binned in the Keskit choice, as he didn't really excite me enough. Sol Ring is a symbolic cut, as within the group not having a Sol Ring is the mark of not being a tryhard, and that's something I'm trying to pursue with this new batch of CMR decks. I'll agree that Tamiyo's Journal is not that great at gumming, so out that goes too. Dockside Extortionist is on the stronger side, and gets cut in a move similar to why a bunch of the other stock utility staples are absent from this build.

The new includes largely focus around the aristocrats'y branch of gameplay. Bastion of Remembrance and Zulaport Cutthroat are the best Blood Artist variants, Dreadhorde Invasion is a wannabe Bitterblossom that I missed in my initial scryfalling as I wasn't using fo: (sometimes you learn something from Commander's Quarters videos!), Reassembling Skeleton is a tried and true classic of sacrifice.dec. Yawgmoth, Thran Physician might have been inspired by that Valduk game state from earlier, but even outside it he's a good way to utilise the garbage bodies and frees up Keskit to go eat rocks or whatever. Sword of Rampant Growth is a pet card that I took out of a super early draft of this list, but it should be back in here. I mean, I run Wayfarer's Bauble. This is essentially a repeatable Bauble, even if the fodder wearing it dies in combat every single time. Or, more accurately, goes into combat and gets fed to Keskit before damage once blocked. I was approaching the card wrong, and it works quite nicely with the continued pursuit of creature-based gum.

This creature/artifact duality is quite interesting, with the bits of aristocrats in one corner and welding stuff in another, and both angles meet in the maw of Keskit. The aristocratting adds a bit more commander independence (Yawgers and Skullclamp both outperform Keskit, and the drain stuff still works without the head honchos around), yet does not rot in hand with Keskit/Toggo in commission, which is a tricky area to land in usually. In terms of shaky stuff, I nearly took out Brass's Bounty, but it's a seven mana hunk of garbage that actually synergises with what the deck does. Myr Battlesphere is pretty much only good with Goblin Welder, but damn is it good with the Welder. Goblin Engineer is a bit risky, as binning the Crucible only for the gobbo to die sounds like an entirely feasible and entirely unpleasant scenario. I kinda wanna run Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools - he gums a lot better than Tamiyo's Journal did, and even has a built in mini-Skullclamp if need be. However, that ultimate is nasty, and I'm afraid that folks will get upset by the very fact it's written on there, even if I have no intent of using it.
 
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 3 months ago

A few further swaps, some KHM'y, some less so.

23.01.2020 Changes
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As mentioned in the prior post, Brass's Bounty and Goblin Engineer were among the deck's weaker cards for various reasons. Those became Krenko and Scaretiller. The former swarms quite nicely, tapping for two with just him and Toggo around. Hold off on feeding the gobbos to Keskit for a while and the board presence can spiral out of control. The latter is honestly pretty okay, all things considered. May lack the on-death card draw of Depression Automaton, but compensates for it by recurring fetches, translating to twice the landfall triggers. Plus hey, sometimes he might just survive combat, or become fodder for Inspiring Statuary or Ghirapur Aether Grid. There's some potential there.

In turn, the new set includes are Sulfurous Mire, another fetchable, and Tibalt's Trickery. I like Trickery as a card, the replacement flip aspect makes it feel like less of a dick move than conventional removal, yet it can still wrench plans pretty well as it wrecks the situational benefit of the spell being cast. Plus the fact it attacks the stack allows interaction with any kind of spell, something that's historically tough to do. Taking out Ancient Tomb and Meteor Golem. The Tomb just feels like a tryhard card and this is not a tryhard deck. On vaguely similar grounds, the Golem would shine the brightest if I kept weld-spamming him, but that's not a play line I'm super interested in pursuing with this list. And paying seven for removal is nontrivial, so this doubles down as minor slimming.
 
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 months ago

I've been actually rather enjoying the aristocrats'y sort of direction the list has taken. Let's pursue it a bit more.


The cuts are various artifacts'y stuff that is ultimately middling in one form or another. Hellkite Tyrant is a relatively low effort "I win" button if things come together, and isn't that interesting. I don't tend to use artifact recursion much - I've cut back on the welding already, and now I'm going after the explicit to-hand recursion pieces a bit. I think I assumed early on I'd be spamming Burnished Hart/Solemn Simulacrum a lot more than I do, and/or eating non-token artifacts with Keskit. Well, neither of those is currently that applicable, as a more common play pattern is Crucible/Rings/Walking Atlas sort of stuff. So I'm going to cut back on this sort of effect a little with Junk Diver for now and see if I miss it. Marionette Master is not that much more efficient than a simple Zulaport variant, unless the stars align, only works on artifacts, costs six, and causes a massive panic response as another deck in the group ends with it even better than this one does. Myr Battlesphere is great when welded in and groan-worthy otherwise. Trading Post rots in hand, there's just better stuff to do for that mana. Yawgmoth, Thran Physician gives off a tryhard vibe that I'm not looking for here.

Clock of Omens has in the vicinity of ten relevant targets, the most important of which are Scaretiller (all lands from hand/grave are on field now, as the Clock can tap the Scaretiller to untap the Scaretiller) and Wishclaw Talisman. It's a cool piece of jank that fits the deck's goofy ways. Kardur, Doomscourge is another Zulaport, this time for attacking creatures only, not that that's a problem. And the bonus Disrupt Decorum is not the worst either. Krav, the Unredeemed is less tryhard feeling than Yawgmoth, and the life gain and big chungus aspect of the guy are actually surprisingly relevant. I once grew him big enough that he lived through a Star of Extinction. It's also important that the life gain/draw are theoretically targeted - if faced with a ridiculously sized swarm, or a ridiculously deck-thinned opponent, he can deck people. Spawning Pit is an attempt at a sacrifice outlet that's a little off the beaten trail. Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools looks frightening with the ultimate, but I use him as a Thrull dispenser. Don't think I've used either of the other abilities yet. Vindictive Vampire is another Zulaport, running out the pool of ones that cost less than five mana to get online.

I've gotten some games with this configuration of the deck, and it's honestly pretty cool. All the new includes make me happy to an extent, with Spawning Pit's extent being the smallest so far. But even that allowed me to faff around and accomplish nothing as I blew through my board at an agonising pace while staring down lethal, so it was funny at least. The various token gum allows saving Toggo rocks for other things more often than not, having them turn into emergency Keskit filler rather than a primary source of fuel. Inspiring Statuary and the others are happy with this outcome.
 
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Post by kraus911 » 2 months ago

Looks like a fun deck! Tombstone Stairwell seems like it would have some synergy here. Feeds Keskit, but one round around the table with Nightblade or Cutthroat out and that might be game.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 3 weeks ago

Tombstone Stairwell is an interesting idea. I don't tend to fill up my 'yard too much with creatures, a lot of the sacrifice shenanigans are based on tokens. I'll have to keep the possibility of this in mind and try to monitor my creature graveyard density. Getting this sufficiently online would be good for the deck in a lot of ways, like you pointed out.

For now, I'm going to nix a few undesirable play patterns.

18.04.2021 Changes
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Scaretiller plus Clock of Omens is good fun, and has become one of the deck's flagship interactions. It fits perfectly into what the deck wants to do, i.e. ramp crazily via land drops. That's all fine and dandy. However, its presence in the 99 led me to finally figure out how to correctly use Kuldotha Forgemaster in here. In the first activation, you get Rings of Brighthearth. You can then copy the Keskit ability, and untap next turn, copy the Forgemaster for Scaretiller + Clock, copy Keskit again, and that should be a crazy amount of lands in play and deep dig for stuff to play. While I like the interaction, I think Forgemaster enables it to come together too easily, especially given the potato power tier the deck is aiming for. Krenko also lends himself to repetitive play patterns, but in a different way - if he comes out and lives unimpeded for ~5 turns, that's game over. This is hardly the most busted clock in the history of the game, but it circumvents the card's desired purpose in the list. It's supposed to generate Keskit fodder first and foremost, not be a weird slow-motion standalone win condition. Scrapyard Recombiner loses his prime target in Forgemaster, and his current toolbox is Walking Atlas plus Workshop Assistant. So hardly the best of toolboxes.

Elemental Mastery does what I imagined Krenko would do - provide a constant stream of Keskit fodder. Put this on Toggo and that's 2/3rds of a meal right there. Plumb the Forbidden is a neat instant speed creature Reprocess, potentially useful to avoid getting blown out by wipes too hard, and comes with the standard Reprocess'y above-Keskit rate of return. I often found myself with too many cards to play, so the slight curve slim hopefully helps with that, but I'm also adding the missing 2-drop coloured mana rock. Yeah yeah, the deck's heavy on land ramp, but a two-drop coloured mana rock is nothing to scoff at, especially with Clock of Omens becoming a surprisingly major player in the list. I'm even reconsidering Gilded Lotus to an extent, just a little bit

C21 had some cool cards in Audacious Reshapers and Battlemage's Bracers, and I could see myself giving the former a go at some point to see how interesting a Rock to Madcap Experiment converter is. The latter is unlikely to make its way in, as I've already got Illusionist's Bracers and that card curves better early, and doesn't require a mana investment to do its thing once equipped, and is already a bit eh by the deck's standards. I've found Reassembling Skeleton a bit lacking lately, I just didn't see the need to pay 1B for a solitary body, be it from hand or from the bin.
 
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Post by Rumpy5897 » 2 weeks ago

Got some games in with this recently. A friend's been fiddling with a fun Nikara + Yannik cost discounting hand bouncing thing, and this was the most appropriate opposition. The Scaretiller + Clock of Omens wombo really makes the deck feel like it's come into its own, and the Clock actually does stuff even without the Scaretiller around. One game I got to combine it with Wishclaw Talisman, and that was good times. Another game Goblin Welder plus Servo Schematic really kept the ball rolling, and Tibalt's Trickery allowed me to try for an alpha swing into a tricksy Selenia deck with some modicum of response to shenanigans. Just fun to see the deck operate in various ways. A few cards didn't really operate though, so I'll devote the slots to something else.

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Kardur is being removed due to how disruptive a board-wide goad is in the potato bracket. Suddenly all the gummed up boards are stuck crashing into each other, and the opposition isn't really having fun. Goad is a rather disliked mechanic in my group, and I don't think I've ever actually cast Kardur upon drawing him as I just felt bad about what he'd do. While Goblin Welder is great for artifact recursion, I continue not really getting much mileage out of the other guys. Myr Retriever gets to live as he's a 1/1 (more on this in a second) for 2, so he curves a hell of a lot better with two 3-drop commanders. Workshop Assistant's non-1/1 stat line is nice in its own way, as you can stick a Skullclamp on him and he lives to chump/get sacced, but the mana cost means he's not that likely to come out. The nail in his coffin came when I got smacked with Lord of the Void and Assistant was my only creature in the top seven. I actually felt a bit of relief at having him taken away, at which point I knew he had to go.

I'm backtracking a bit on my prior ramp cuts and reintroducing Gilded Lotus. One, it will be quite awesome to get this online with Clock of Omens. Two, the deck's always been rather draw-happy, as Keskit by himself tends to bring in two cards a turn, which can potentially get me more cards than I can chew through in the early mid game. Plus there have always been bombastic draw options in the 99, which also like having mana around. I don't think I need a ton more ramp relative to where I am now, the Lotus will probably suffice, but I have the power to tweak either way if need be. I randomly remembered Sword of the Meek exists, and there are a good number of ways to make 1/1s here. Plus the scenario just humours me - a faerie spawns, and a sword materialises in its hand with angelic music and everything. This faerie is the chosen one, and will be the saviour of the meek! To what Keskit pops out from around the corner and eats the faerie, sword and all, and finishes off lunch with a rock from the side of the road as he's still peckish. And then the whole ordeal repeats again the next turn.

Reassembling Skeleton is still not looking great, but maybe his standings will improve with the Sword around. Plus even if I ditch him to Keskit or hand size, he's active in the 'yard, so that's good. Spawning Pit is a bit boring as far as sacrifice outlets go, but the free ones are either silly (mana altars) or a comparable level of lack of impact. I could consider Goblin Bombardment to marginally accelerate kill potential in its place. Lightning Greaves lost some of their appeal with most of the tap guys out of the deck by now. I could try Purphoros, God of the Forge - two damage on the way down is no slouch, and the activated ability could be nice for trying to convert a wall of gunk into a wall of damage.
 
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