This deck is primarily themed; it's built to work, but is primarily interested in telling a story. Similar to one of the first decks I ever made, this tells a story and shares flavours and themes from my favourite series of books, The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson. In terms of traditional EDH archetypes, it's a Voltron Enchantress Chaos build....yeah.
This particular deck tells of a series of scenes from the first book in the series, Gardens of the Moon, in which a magically imprisoned ancient being called Raest is released after millennia of imprisonment as part of a military political strike. Short of spoiling what is a remarkably exciting passage, here's an abridged version of what happens: Raest seeks power to dominate other beings, and he was and remains bent on doing so. He is confronted upon awakening by a host of ascendant powers and armies, and a rolling battle ensues in which his foes attempt to destroy him, and he seeks to regain the source of his immense power, a small item invested with the vast majority of his sorcerous power, his Finnest.
The problem is, as a Jaghut, Raest is immensely old and powerful. He has an array of elder magics at his disposal, and is never happier than in the midst of violence.
Darujhistan is in the midst of it's annual Fete of Gedderone, the lady of spring and rebirth. The population is ready to celebrate, and the estate that has had the Finnest secreted on it belongs to Lady Simtal, who plans a masquerade party to celebrate the occasion and cement her place in high society. Certain members of the Bridgeburners, undercover, are hired as bodyguards for this event, and the ruling elite of Darujhistan attend too - including such powerful sorcerous players as the T'orrud Cabal and the quasi-political alchemist Baruk.
When Raest awakens, he is confronted on the plains outside Darujhistan by Anomander Rake's Tiste Andii mage cadre, and Rake's Eleint lover, Silanah. While they battle valiantly and significantly weaken Raest, he is far from beaten, though his physical form is ruined. He is confronted by the Elder God K'rul, and his chosen ally in Darujhistan, Kruppe. Rather than be trapped again, Raest chooses to possess a new form. In Darujhistan, the T'orrud Cabal have been keeping watch on the Tyrant, and one High Mage of the cabal, Mammot, who had accessed his D'rek Warren to observe the Tyrant, is the object of Raest's possession.
The possession of Mammot occurs at the party on Lady Simtal's estate, and events escalate quickly. The sorcerer unleashes chaos, and the squad mage of the Bridgeburners, Quick Ben, is able to hold him at bay, while the sappers in the company, Fiddler and Hedge, use Moranth incendiary devices to obliterate the body Raest has possessed.
While this convergence plays out, the Finnest has been absorbed by the grounds at the back of the estate - this is the Earth's way of protecting itself from extreme dangers - an Azath house has formed, fueled by the power of the Finnest. The tyrant's usurped body is ruined, but still he persists; the Azath uses the plants around itself, ensnares the Tyrant, and imprisons it again, at which point Raest is made the Guardian of the Azath, and his time as a threat to the world at large is over.
Whiskeyjack and the Bridgeburners
Lady Simtal and her Partygoers
The Jaghut Tomb
The Convergence in the Gadrobi Hills
The Convergence at Lady Simtal's Estate
Mechanically, the deck operates somewhere between a chaos deck, a voltron deck and an enchantress deck. There's a relative level of jank here, as the intention of the deck is to portray a story moreso than win games. That being said, hilariously enough I've had several games where the deck has durdle just enough to outlast everyone else at the table and win against any type of odds.
Early game, we are primarily interested in getting some groundwork. We want our colours, we want some draw, and we want ways to work around our tyrant's shortfalls - haste, trample and other combat evasions. We've got plenty of ways to keep running through our deck in various ways with things like Edric, Spymaster of Trest, our enchantresses, Sylvan Library and some of our chaos elements like Possibility Storm, Rashmi, Eternities Crafter and such.
Mid to late game, we want some of our free stuff churning - we want to connect with our tyrant for free spells, free mana, free draw and some explosive value. There's several ways the deck can go into the red zone as it were - we have plenty of combat modifiers, pumps for our tyrant, and ways to see a lot of our deck. We're wanting to put a reasonable amount of damage out and hit as hard as possible as often as we can. There's been times with the deck where I've cascaded into wheel effects with Waste Not in play, cantripped from enchantments, untapped with Nature's Will or Bear Umbra, cast extra combat spells, and entered second main with crazy amounts of mana able to be generated by Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix,
In terms of winning the game, this deck really is just about keeping on swinging. If your board takes a hit, cast your commander again, grant haste ideally immediately and hit as hard as you can, as soon as you can. You want to try and control what your opponents are able to play and respond to, and we have a few tools to manage that - Breathstealer's Crypt, Nature's Will, Eye of the Storm, Possibility Storm, as well as our board wipes.
And there it is. I've been working on a proper way to portray this series of events for some time, and it feels mostly a good fit. There are other bits I want to add - some land enchantments, like Wild Growth, Overgrowth, Fertile Ground and such would all really fit the vibe of an Azath house. City of Brass would be a nice way to portray Darujhistan, it'd be nice to have a portrayal of Moon's Spawn (possibly Oboro, Palace in the Clouds, Luxury Suite, Spire Garden and Morphic Pool) and there's a few characters I'd like to add if possible, like Cutter (some sort of choice or luck-based card would suit) and Hedge, and it'd be nice to have Anomander Rake in the deck too (Sorin Markov?), but I'm not holding my breath on that last one; mostly, I'm happy with where it is now. As with any deck it will always be a work in progress, but more so here as flavour cards are released that fit well.
In terms of both flavour and functionality, I'm happy to take critique or suggestions, so feel free. Enjoy!