Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder - The Jaghut Tyrant Rises

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toctheyounger
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 year ago

The Jaghut Tyrant Rises

Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder as Raest, the Jaghut Tyrant



Image
"Now," he whispered, "I deliver death."

He fashioned an empire of sorts, bereft of cities yet plagued with the endless dramas of society, its pathetic victories and inevitable failures. The community of enslaved Imass thrived in this quagmire of pettiness. They even managed to convince themselves that they possessed freedom, a will of their own that could shape destiny. They elected champions. They tore down their champions once failure draped its shroud over them. They ran in endless circles and called it growth, emergence, knowledge. While over them all, a presence invisible to their eyes, Raest flexed his will. His greatest joy came when his slaves proclaimed him god – though they knew him not – and constructed temples to serve him and organized priesthoods whose activities mimicked Raest's tyranny with such cosmic irony that the Jaghut could only shake his head.

Introduction



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.
More complete version for those who've read the book
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Raest is awakened by Adjunct Lorn and T'lan Imass First Sword Onos T'Oolan on behalf of the Malazan Empress Laseen, who seeks to draw out the Tiste Andii lord Anomander Rake, and weaken him by presenting a threat to him that must be answered. In this way she hopes to reduce his influence and protective force so that her forces are able to annex the last free city in Genabackis, Darujhistan. Onos T'oolan releases the bindings hold the Jaghut Tyrant through his links to the Hold of Tellan. Once the bindings are released, the First Sword departs, and Adjunct Lorn removes the repository of Raest's power, his Finnest, and hides it in the garden of an estate in Darujhistan. In the midst of this, the legendary Malazan marine corps, the Bridgeburners, have infiltrated Darujhistan so that they are on the ground when the time comes to announce themselves. Ostensibly, their plan is to destroy the city should the tyrant fail to be withheld, thus removing the last bastion of defiance against the conquering Malazans. The Bridgeburners, though, suspecting they are caught in a plot towards their own destruction, have plans to ensure their own escape.

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.
I partially chose this commander as a way to visually portray the Jaghut. As you can see in the illustration from the collector's edition copy of the book, there is some resemblance. It's not perfect, but a large green ogre with fangs is close. As are a lot of the other characters and themes(I definitely got closer with my Lazav deck, but this is close too). On top of that, Yidris' abilities are a pretty good portrayal of Raest becoming more and more furious and unleashing chaos. That's definitely reflected in some of the card choices.
Decklist by Type
Approximate Total Cost:

Decklist by theme
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Convergence of the Jaghut Tyrant

Raest, the Jaghut Tyrant


Adjunct Lorn


Onos T'oolan


Mammot


Captain Paran


Quick Ben


Anomander Rake


Moon's Spawn


K'rul, the Elder God


Pran Chole, T'lan Imass Bonecaster


The Bridgeburners arrive in Darujhistan and Intervene


Mammot's Possession


Approximate Total Cost:


Mechanics and Strategy



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.

Further Developments



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!
Toc
Last edited by toctheyounger 11 months ago, edited 3 times in total.
Malazan Decks of the Fallen
| Shadowthrone/Lazav | Raest/Yidris | T'iam / The Ur-Dragon |

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 year ago

Made a couple of upgrades, both for flavour and functionality:


A couple of the more chaotic elements go, but that's fine. Adding Hua Tuo, Honored Physician and Scroll Rack realy help with cascade and Rashmi, Eternities Crafter triggers. Actually, so does Courser of Kruphix. Aside from that, Courser fits the theme of Paran - there's an element of discovery and travel to the card which fits well enough, and an element of chance which fits with Paran intentionally travelling to Darujhistan against order and being one of Oponn's pawns. Hua Tuo isn't a perfect Baruk, but being an honored part of the elite fits nicely enough, and Scroll Rack fits with Baruk's extensive library containing arcane texts like Fisher's Anomandaris and parts of Gothos' Folly.

None of the departures I'll really miss, and I'm hoping the additions help smooth out some of the top deck options, both for land drops and 'free cast' triggers.

I'm also looking at adding a few enchant lands shortly, once I can grab em from my LGS - Wild Growth et al, as well as Storm Herald, partly for a little redundancy if my board gets wiped, and also because Storm Herald + Vanishing = neat interaction. It'd be fine in the meantime to portray Anomander Rake; the vibe fits if not the actual appearance. I also like Hateful Eidolon to portray Raest after Mammot's body is incinerated. It fits in theme and it helps me recover with a full grip too. It might come in.
Malazan Decks of the Fallen
| Shadowthrone/Lazav | Raest/Yidris | T'iam / The Ur-Dragon |

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toctheyounger
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 year ago

Some more updates, mostly already discussed.


It seems like losing a lot of firepower in this change up, and that probably is the case, at least in terms of something like Leyline of Anticipation going...not sure if that was the right call, but we will roll with it I guess in the meantime. The land enchants I'm happy to have, and happy to sacrifice a few ramps to have them too. I still have a couple of pieces in the deck so that's no major, neither is the lantern going. Oftentimes it's a bit of a crutch card anyway. Pretty happy with the flavour all around, and great to get Storm Herald and Hateful Eidolon in to get a little 'bounce back' utility post-wipe. I'm also really happy to have an Ancestral Vision, both for flavour, and for more options for Shardless Agent to hit on a cascade.


Next on the list is improving the land base for flavour and for better fixing. Expensive and arduous!
Malazan Decks of the Fallen
| Shadowthrone/Lazav | Raest/Yidris | T'iam / The Ur-Dragon |

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Dunharrow
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Post by Dunharrow » 1 year ago

I like it a lot Toc
Audibly laughed at Reassembling Skeleton.

I will say that I always imagined Quick Ben as a planeswalker since he can open other dimensions and even travel through them. I guess I would put Rake in the same place.
Does Thrasios play an important role in the deck? I think if it were my deck I would choose a Teferi, but Dack Fayden could also fit.
Maybe Sarkhan for Anomander? I do like DRS though as the representative.
The New World fell not to a sword but to a meme

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 year ago

Thanks @Dunharrow! It's taken a lot of finagling to get things looking ok for this one, and it's always tough being a slave to theme and still making a deck work.

Reassembling Skeleton was Champion of Stray Souls at one point but ended up with the chop for cost. Besides, the skeleton is literal T'lan Imass, and kind of describes him well for thepiint at which we first meet him - before you find out how bad ass he is in the later books.

Quick Ben could easily be either Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir or Teferi, Temporal Archmage. Either are strong and embody his appearance well. Unfortunately I don't have a spare copy of either. It looks nothing like him but Venser, Shaper Savant has the right theme for him. I think I like OG teferi most though - he provides a relative free avenue to combat and allows me to plan my turns better.

Rake is a tough one. Sorin Markov fits pretty well but is super griefy and probably fits Silchas Ruin better. For Sarkhans, I don't know. Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker fits for transforming into a dragon but otherwise kinda sucks. The other option I have is to just take the character out of the list; it's obviously pretty hard to portray the scope of the entire book, and Rake isn't integral so he could just go.

Thrasios, Triton Hero is pretty awesome. He's an excellent mana sink, and plays super well with some of the land untap stuff and Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix. He's not a great representation of any of the characters physically obviously - maybe he'd be good for Crokus? The top deck flip does have an element of 'coin bearer chance' to it.
Malazan Decks of the Fallen
| Shadowthrone/Lazav | Raest/Yidris | T'iam / The Ur-Dragon |

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 year ago

Dunharrow wrote:
1 year ago
I will say that I always imagined Quick Ben as a planeswalker since he can open other dimensions and even travel through them. I guess I would put Rake in the same place.
So Core set 2021 gives me an option to add a walker in here now; Teferi, Master of Time. He's as stupid good as any other Teferi printing before, so it seems a no-brainer right?

I've been giving a little more thought to other characters represented here - we've talked over Anomander Rake, and the closest representation I can think of is Sorin Markov. The walker status suits for representation of his power, and I guess in a cute subversive link, the guy who illustrated the card (Michael Komarck) also illustrated the limited edition Subterranean Press edition of Gardens of the Moon. Meant to be, perhaps? It's the only Sorin iteration that will fit into the deck, and I think it's probably pretty good, although the card is slightly griefy.

So, extrapolating slightly from here, the other character I'd think of that might be well represented by a walker is Kruppe. He's a high mage adept, and everyone knows it. Visually, the representation isn't perfect, but Oko, Thief of Crowns is thematically stunningly good. His first ability creates Food. That's so Kruppe. His second ability is transofrming/confounding. Not perfect, but pretty Kruppe. His last is a theft ability. Very, very Kruppe. And from a play perspective, swapping food for value is pretty nice, as is swapping control of an enchantment on my creature for something cool too. It'll still be enchanting my stuff, so no big deal. This also frees Edric, Spymaster of Trest up for being assigned the role of Baruk, High Alchemist. Thrasios, Triton Hero will probably come out, but that's fine.

So yeah, these are probably my next upgrades at some point.
Malazan Decks of the Fallen
| Shadowthrone/Lazav | Raest/Yidris | T'iam / The Ur-Dragon |

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Post by Dunharrow » 1 year ago

Those changes sound really good to me!
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Post by toctheyounger » 11 months ago

A couple of minor changes, some functional, some thematic

So, the bounce lands I wanted to add to (maybe) get a little extra out of Mystic Sanctuary, which was added as a decent way to portray Baruk's residence. It's always described as surrounded in glyphs and impenetrable for all but adept high mages, so it seems apt. Plus, it's a decent card. I'd probably need a massive update to the lands to make it extremely reliable to use effectively, but I'm happy to take my chances regardless.

Castle Vantress seems a reasonable enough portrayal of Moon's Spawn. It's a floating castle. Plus, it scries, which is nice for a deck that cascades. The only other genuine options I had for portraying Moon's Spawn were Oboro, Palace in the Clouds which is pretty pricey, and Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, which is relatively apt, but also just a tiny bit niche in application.

In other news, I think I have another character to fine tune, with Academy Researchers. This could easily be Mammot or Baruk, I'm just not sure which. Granted, there isn't a ton it can pick up, but I do want to try and track down an Auramancer's Guise, and it's a nice early way to get Rancor or Bear Umbra if I need them, both of which are really valuable cards for different reasons.
Malazan Decks of the Fallen
| Shadowthrone/Lazav | Raest/Yidris | T'iam / The Ur-Dragon |

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