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By: Leviathan, Mike Morales
Sep 08 2010 1:03pm
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I.  Introduction

So in my quest to write about a deck using every color combination, I knew that I had to write about a Dimir deck.  Black/Blue has a few unique issues.  Among the problems of the color combination are the fact that they have a difficult time dealing with artifacts and enchantments.  Sure, there are ways to deal with them, with the easiest being counterspells, but I generally wanted to avoid that route.  However, among the color combination's strengths are the ability to draw a ton of cards as well as tutor up answers.  So essentially, Black/Blue is sort of like Robin without Batman.  Good on their own, but with weaknesses.

Or like Nightwing without Batman.  Because he's black and blue?  Like a bruise?  Ah, forget it. 

But anyways,  I knew that I had to take the problem head on.  Here's what I came up with.

II.  The Deck:  Large and in Charge

I was originally going to go with Sygg, River Cutthroat.   He seemed cool with his ability to draw cards.  I was going to basically include a ton of equipment so that I could make sure that Sygg himself could do the 3 damage required to trigger his ability.  However, after putting together a quick draft, it felt like a weaker version of my Zhang Fei deck that I used in my very fist article.  It just never really got off the ground for me, so I quickly moved on.

Looking at the other Commanders in this color combination, the two that stood out were Oona, Queen of the Fae and Wrexial, the Risen Deep.  Oona is a little more scary, in that it is possible to generate infinite mana with the current online cardpool and deck people.  And people generally don't like the fact that Oona removes their decks from the game.  As such, I went with the less threatening, but still powerful, Wrexial.  Let's take a closer look at him.

wrexial, the risen deep

I love the fact that he's busting out of the water and tossing ships all over the place.  So Wrexial likes picking at your opponent's graveyards.  Plus, he comes with two pretty good forms of evasion.  If you really wanted, you could incorporate a milling theme with him to make sure that he always has something juicy in the graveyard to grab.  However, due to the nature of the format, there is almost always something in a graveyard without your help, as people generally play powerful spells.  As such I decided to avoid the milling strategy.  Mainly because I hate it.  

So it looks like we have a winner.  Instead of trying to build around Wrexial, I just use him as a beat stick, and include a bunch of cards that I like.  Sounds like fun to me!  On a side note, I did include Oona in the deck.  So if you get tired of Wrexial, you can always switch up your Commander.  Oona can tie up your mana a little bit, but in reality the deck doesn't play much differently either way.

Let's take a look at the deck.

Wrexial, the Risen Deep
A Commander Deck
1 Body Double
1 Coffin Queen
1 Dimir Doppelganger
1 Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
1 Dread
1 Duplicant
1 Gilded Drake
1 Graveborn Muse
1 Inkwell Leviathan
1 Kagemaro, First to Suffer
1 Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
1 Ob Nixilis, the Fallen
1 Oona, Queen of the Fae
1 Puppeteer Clique
1 Roil Elemental
1 Sakashima the Impostor
1 Shadowmage Infiltrator
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Sphinx Ambassador
1 Sun Quan, Lord of Wu
1 Sygg, River Cutthroat
1 Thada Adel, Acquisitor
1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
1 Wrexial, the Risen Deep
24 cards

Other Spells
1 Dimir Signet
1 Expedition Map
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Journeyer's Kite
1 Mind Stone
1 Mind's Eye
1 Nevinyrral's Disk
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Talisman of Dominance
1 Temporal Aperture
1 Bloodchief Ascension
1 No Mercy
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Phyrexian Reclamation
1 Rhystic Study
1 Desertion
1 Hero's Demise
1 Imp's Mischief
1 Memory Plunder
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Spelljack
1 Time Stop
1 Trickbind
1 Acquire
1 All Is Dust
1 Ancestral Vision
1 Beacon of Unrest
1 Blatant Thievery
1 Bribery
1 Damnation
1 Decree of Pain
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Grim Tutor
1 Profane Command
1 Promise of Power
1 Recurring Insight
1 Rite Of Replication
37 cards
1 Academy Ruins
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Cabal Coffers
1 Creeping Tar Pit
1 Dimir Aqueduct
1 Dreadship Reef
10 Island
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Polluted Delta
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Shizo, Death's Storehouse
1 Strip Mine 
1 Sunken Ruins
10 Swamp
1 Terrain Generator
1 Thawing Glaciers
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Vesuva
1 Volrath's Stronghold
1 Watery Grave
39 cards

shadowmage infiltrator


The curve is all right, but there's a bunch of stuff in the 5 drop area.  It looks controlling enough.  Let's look at the cards.

Card Draw  
sygg, river cutthroat graveborn museshadowmage infiltratorsygg, river cutthroatmind's eyephyrexian arenarhystic studyancestral visionpromise of powerrecurring insight
Graveborn Muse, Shadowmage Infiltrator, Sygg, River Cutthroat, Mind's Eye, Phyrexian Arena, Rhystic Study, Ancestral Vision, Promise of Power, Recurring Insight:  There's a good amount of card draw here, but there could be plenty more.  Both Shadowmage Infiltrator and Sygg are pretty under cover, in that they are small so people do not usually worry about them.  Sygg in particular can draw a bunch during the mid-game when people are beating down.  The rest are just standard favorites in these colors.
roil elemental

gilded drakeroil elementalthada adel, acquisitordesertionspelljackacquireblatant thieverybriberysphinx ambassador
Gilded Drake, Roil Elemental, Thada Adel, Acquisitor, Desertion, Spelljack, Acquire,  Blatant Thievery, Bribery, Sphinx Ambassador:  So we have a couple different forms of theft.  We have the ability to steal things in play, with the Drake, Elemental and Thievery.  We also have the ability to go into your opponents' decks and steal things directly from there with Acquire, Bribery and Sphinx Ambassador.  Finally, we have the ability to steal stuff as it is being cast, with Spelljack and Desertion.  Good times.

Roil Elemental is sort of fragile.  However, without targeted removal, people are not going to be able to get their stuff back without doing some gymnastics.

phyrexian reclamation coffin queendimir doppelgangermemory plunderphyrexian reclamationpuppeteer cliquebeacon of unrestprofane commandbody doublevolrath's strongholdAcademy ruins
Coffin Queen, Dimir Doppelganger, Memory Plunder, Phyrexian Reclamation, Puppeteer Clique, Beacon of Unrest, Profane Command, Body Double, Volrath's Stronghold, Academy Ruins:  I will admit that only about half of these cards are of the traditional recursion variety.  The other half, like Coffin Queen and Dimir Doppelganger, are good at using your opponents' creatures against them, as well as removing them from the game.  But you definitely have enough of the traditional recursion as well. 
Mass Destruction  
all is dust kagemaro, first to sufferoblivion stonenevinyrral's diskdecree of paindamnationall is dust
Kagemaro, First to Suffer, Oblivion Stone, Nevinyrral's Disk, Decree of Pain, Damnation, All is Dust: I like making things go boom.  Don't you?  The Stone, Disk and All is Dust are you main ways of getting rid of annoying artifacts and enchantments, so use them wisely.  The rest of the stuff is creature control.  You have lots of ways to draw cards, so Kagemaro usually is able to wipe the board.  Combine with Volrath's Stronghold to keep creatures under control.
Targeted Removal  
ulamog, the infinite gyre drana, kalastria bloodchiefduplicantulamog, the infinite gyrehero's demise
Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief, Duplicant, Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, Hero's Demise:  Not a whole lot of targeted removal, but this stuff is powerful.  Drana is awesome, in that she can hit hard while taking care of multiple creatures.  However, the big bad here is Ulamog.  Yes, this is the first deck I've written about with an Eldrazi.  However, he fulfills an important purpose in that he can get rid of any permanent on the board, which can definitely help.  I am not ashamed to say that I like Ulamog in this deck.
grim tutor

expedition mapdemonic tutorgrim tutor
Expedition Map, Demonic Tutor, Grim Tutor:  Not nearly as many tutors as their could be.  The Map is good for getting Cabal Coffers or Urborg.  There are plenty of other tutors to consider in these colors, so feel free to include as many as you want.

One thing to note is that there are two landfall creatures in the deck.  As such, Fabricate may be a worthwhile inclusion so that you can get Journeyer's Kite and ensure your land drops.

Mana Help  
mind stone dimir signetgilded lotusmind stonejourneyer's kitesolemn simulacrumtalisman of dominance
Dimir Signet, Gilded Lotus, Mind Stone, Journeyer's Kite, Solemn Simulacrum, Talisman of Dominance:  Pretty standard stuff here.  I like Mind Stone a lot in this deck.  There are times you can be overflowing with mana, so you might as well draw a card and dump the artifact you no longer need.
temporal aperture

temporal apertureimp's mischief
Temporal Aperture, Imp's Mischief:  Ok, so I was looking for some fun cards that I had not used before, and I found these two.  I remember thinking how cool I was to use these guys, and they actually did come in handy a couple of times.   You will see that I was able to put the Aperture to use in the game I report below.

Unfortunately, I did not take me long to realize that Blue just has better versions of both of these cards.  Instead of the Aperture, I would usually be better off playing Future Sight.  Sure, occasionally you can cheat out something that costs more than the 5 it takes to activate Aperture.  But Future Sight allows you to dig farther.  Especially if the majority of your deck consists of cards that cost under 5 mana.

Imp's Mischief should probably be Redirect.  You won't have the life loss with the blue version, which can be big sometimes.  The only advantage Mischief has is that it is black, so you can tap out all your islands and lull people into thinking they won't be facing a Counterspell.  I don't know if the card is worth it just for that reason though.

So what I'm saying is you should take these cards out for Future Sight and Redirect.

So, control and beatdown.  Sounds good.  There are a bunch of cards here that are fun to play with, and stuff that I haven't used before.  So it's pretty fun, for this type of deck.  It is controlling though, but not as controlling as the Dakkon deck I wrote about a while back.  When people play you, they will be expecting counterspells.  This is good, typically.

This isn't the most brutal version of this deck, or the most efficient.  But it is good enough to get the job done without getting you on the blocked list.  Let's see how it does.

III.  The Game:  Fight!

This is actually the very first game that I played with the deck, but I wanted to write about it because it was one of the few games where counterspells were used and how people played around them.  Here are my opponents: 

Isperia the inscrutableNath of the Gilt-leafsol'kanar the swamp king
Isperia is blue/white control with flyers, and can cause problems depending on how many Counterspells he runs.  Nath can be very annoying with a variety of different discard effects.  Nath himself causes random discards, which is a pain in the ass.  Sol'Kanar can be a variety of different types, but is usually control.  Sol’Kanar wins the roll.  My opening hand:
Two lands and a mana accelerant are good enough for me, so I keep.  Let's get to the action.
Round 1
S: Mountain.
I: Boreal Shelf.
Me: Draw Phyrexian Arena. Play Island.
N: Terramorphic Expanse, crack it for Forest.
Round 2
S: Swamp, Reassembling Skeleton.
I: Flood Plain, Relic of Progenitus. He uses the Relic to get rid of various cards in graveyards until he pops it later.
Me: Draw Island, play Academy Ruins, Dimir Signet.
N: Forest.
Round 3
S: Island, attacks I with the Skeleton (39).
I: Secluded Steppe.
Me: Draw Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and play it. Try to cast Phyrexian Arena, but S counters it with Convolute. Hmmmm. 
Ummm... yeah.
That's an interesting counter, and it was definitely annoying right there.
N: Swamp.
Round 4
S: Attacks I with Skeleton (39). 
I: Calciform Pools.
Me: Draw Rite of Replication. Play Island, then Sygg. 
N: Swamp, then Explore. Then a second Swamp.
Round 5
S: Island, then Survivor of the Unseen. Attacks I with the Skeleton again (37).
survivor of the unseen
I: Plains, then sacs Flood Plain for an Island. Plays Isperia. At the end of I’s turn, N casts Plummet, getting rid of Isperia.  That's a good use of the card right there.
Me: Draw Shizo, Death's Storehouse and play it. Attack I with Sygg (36), then cast Wrexial.
N: Vault of Whispers, then Nath. All we need is Sol’Kanar now to have every Commander out there.
Round 6
S: Pays the upkeep on Survivor of the Unseen, then uses its ability. Plays Island, then Oubliette, getting rid of Nath.
I: Nothing. I assume he has a counter or something like Condemn.
Me: Draw Gilded Drake. There is nothing really in anyone’s graveyards as I has been using the Relic pretty regularly, so there is no one that I have to attack in particular. Attack N with Wrexial (35) and I with Sygg (35). At the end of turn I draw Spelljack from Sygg’s triggered ability. 
N: Swamp, then Sylvan Ranger getting a Forest. 
Round 7
S: Uses the Survivor’s ability, then doesn’t pay the upkeep. Mountain, then Void targeting I. I try to Spelljack Void, because I have a feeling S is going to pick 6 and get rid of Wrexial. However, I casts Dismiss targeting my Spelljack. Sad times. S does pick 6, getting rid of Wrexial. I’s hand consists of the following:
That’s a really defensive hand right there.  Hinder is especially troublesome, as it can tuck Commanders.
I: Island.
Me: Draw Sphinx Ambassador. Attack I with Sygg (34). I’m going to see if someone else will draw out I’s answers, so I pass the turn. N casts Naturalize on the Oubliette, bringing Nath back.
N: Targets me with Nath, making me discard Puppeteer Clique. Forest, then Rise from the Grave targeting my Clique. I targets me with Relic, probably hoping that I will remove the Clique from the game.  However I get rid of the Spelljack and let N take my Clique. I do this because there isn’t really anything good in any graveyards for me to worry about, and I like the idea of possibly recurring the Clique in the future. Clique brings back Survivor of the Unseen. Attacks I with Nath, Survivor and Sylvan Ranger. I casts Exile targeting Nath and going up to (38) before dropping to (35). Survivor of the Unseen gets exiled at end of turn, and I draw Solemn Simulacrum from Sygg triggering.
Round 8
S: Consult the Necrosages, drawing 2 cards. Then Reality Acid, targeting my Academy Ruins. Doh.
I: Future Sight, revealing Lonely Sandbar, which he plays, revealing Wall of Omens. Plays the Wall, showing Return to Dust, which he draws, revealing Battlegrace Angel.
Me: Draw Island and play it. Then Solemn Simulacrum, getting a Swamp.
N: Myojin of Night's Reach.
Myojin of Night's Reach
This causes plenty of concessions.
Removes the counter, and everyone discards their hands.  I definitely should have played Phyrexian Reclamation before this, just in case I was hit by Nath again.  This is a big mistake on my part.
Round 9
S: Reality Acid loses a counter. Plays Crumbling Necropolis, then Sol’Kanar.
I: Draws the Angel, revealing an Island that he plays, revealing Faerie Conclave. Then sacs the Relic, getting rid of everyone’s graveyards and drawing the Conclave, revealing an Island. Plays Battlegrace Angel.
Me: Draw Island and play it. Didn’t play Wrexial for some reason.
N: Spitting Spider, then a morph. 
spitting spider
Never seen his guy before, but it could be useful with Life from the Loam.
Attacks I with his Myojin (30). At the end of turn I draw Graveborn Muse from Sygg.
Round 10
S: Reality Acid loses another counter. Attacks N with Sol’Kanar (30). I draw an Island from Sygg. 
I: Draws his Island, revealing Remand. Plays an Island, then attacks me with Battlegrace, knocking me to (35) and raising him to (35). Then Isperia.
Me: Draw All is Dust. Play Island. Try to play All is Dust, but I Remands it, drawing a Plains and revealing Reprisal.
N: Swarmyard. Then attacks S with the Myojin, Puppeteer Clique and the morph. S blocks the morph with Reassembling Skeleton, and drops to (32). I draw Duplicant from Sygg, and S brings the Skeleton back from the graveyard.
Round 11
S: Reality Acid loses its last counter, and I lose Academy Ruins. Attacks N with Sol’Kanar (25). I draw an Island from Sygg.
I: Draws Reprisal, revealing Path to Exile. Casts the Path, targeting Sygg and revealing Plains. I search up a Swamp. Plays the revealed Plains, revealing Negate. A sequence like this is why Future Sight is better than Temporal Aperture.  Attacks me with Isperia, which gets exalted and lifelinked. I drop to (31) while he goes up to (39). We were all chatting at the time, and he screws up, naming the card he was going to search for, Sphinx of Lost Truths, instead of the All is Dust that he knew was in my hand. 
Me: Draw Reliquary Tower, play Island. I then play Wrexial, gaining S one life (33).
N: Attacks S with his whole team. S blocks the morph with Reassembling Skeleton, dropping to (20). Plays Root Sliver and Llanowar Elves. S brings back the Skeleton.
Round 12
S: Attacks N with Sol’Kanar (20), with 15 Commander damage. Casts Dread, going up to (21).
I: Plays Sacred Mesa, then Empyrial Plate, then Plains, revealing Counterspell. Equips Isperia with the Plate, making her 8/11. Attacks N with Isperia, knocking him to (11) and going up to (48). N has one card in hand, and I guesses Forest, but it’s Juvenile Gloomwidow
Me: Draw Mind's Eye, play Reliquary Tower. The only useful spell in a graveyard is I’s Path to Exile, so I attack him with Wrexial, but I hits my Commander with Reprisal. I then cast Mind's Eye, trying to bait out I’s Counterspell, as he only has two mana left untapped, and it works. Now that I is tapped out, I have just enough mana to cast All is Dust, and wipe the board of everything except land, my Simulacrum, N’s morph and I’s Plate. My Puppeteer Clique persists, and I pull Wall of Omens from I’s graveyard to draw a card. I draw Polluted Delta, and Wall of Omens gets exiled at the end of my turn.
N: Attacks S with the morph, and flips it. It turns out to be Krosan Cloudscraper
krosan cloudscraper
Holy Cow!
N drops to (8).
Round 13
S: Casts Dread. That’s a lucky draw.
I: Plays Temple of the False God, then Isperia again. Equips Isperia with Empyrial Plate.
Me: Draw Damnation. Play Polluted Delta, then Damnation, since I don't like having the humongous Cloudscraper running around. I draw Temporal Aperture as a result of the death of my Sad Robot, and play it. 
N: Plays Nath, then Disciple of Malice.
Round 14
S: Plays Sol’Kanar. I sac Polluted Delta (30) for Watery Grave.
I: Plains, then Isperia again, equipping her with Empyrial Plate again. At the end of his turn, I activate Temporal Aperture, revealing Bribery. Since Bribery is a sorcery, I can’t play it.
Me: Draw Bribery. Cast it targeting I, but he Negates it. Then activate Temporal Aperture, revealing Nevinyrral's Disk, which I play. 
N: Makes I discard an Island with Nath, getting him an Elf. Plays Goliath Spider
Goliath spider
That's a big spider!
Attacks I with the Disciple (47). 
Round 15
S: Plays Swamp, then Mind Rot, gaining 1 from Sol’Kanar and going to (9), targeting N and making him discard his only two cards, Juvenile Gloomwidow and Assassinate. No attack.
I: Attacks me with Isperia, which is a 6/9 (24). Guesses Duplicant correctly, and searches up Sphinx of Lost Truths. Casts the Sphinx, with kicker, but S casts Induce Paranoia, countering it and milling some cards. I then casts Stonecloaker, getting rid of S’s Reassembling Skeleton since S was tapped out, and bouncing itself. Then plays Faerie Conclave.
Me: Draw Blatant Thievery and cast it, targeting Goliath Spider, Sol’Kanar and Isperia. In response, I bounces Isperia with Stonecloaker (getting rid of Puppeteer Clique in the process), but I get the other two creatures. I then activate Temporal Aperture, revealing Creeping Tar Pit, which I play. I have one land untapped in case I have to blow up the world with the Disk.
N: Uses Nath to make I discard Isperia, but he exiles it. Casts Night's Whisper, dropping to (9) while I go up to (25) due to Sol’Kanar. 
night's whisper
Yay card draw!
Plays Swamp, then Virulent Sliver. Attacks I with Disciple of Malice and Nath (42).
Round 16
S: Casts Spectral Searchlight and Yawning Fissure. Everyone sacs a basic land. 
I: Plays Island, and attacks N with Stonecloaker (6). Then plays Isperia again, equipping her with the Empyrial Plate, again.
Me: Draw Trickbind. Activate Temporal Aperture, revealing Profane Command, the only X-spell in the deck, and therefore useless with the Aperture. So I cast Duplicant, targeting Isperia, so I can hit I hard and slow I down. I concedes in response. He still had a lot of life, but no card drawing at the time, so maybe he thought he couldn’t take all of us on?  Or he probably had real life step in. It doesn't matter, and I am now free to attack the other two guys. I attack S with Goliath Spider, and N with Sol’Kanar. In response, S concedes as well, so Sol’Kanar leaves and N takes no damage. I then pop the Disk, taking out everything, since I know Profane Command is coming up and N is only at (6).
N: Doesn’t draw anything useful. I hit him with Profane Command to win the game.

IV.  Conclusion

So that was not too bad.  Some good control and mass destruction.  I think I would have had a good shot at winning even if I hadn't conceded.  Not playing that Phyrexian Reclamation earlier was a mistake, but didn't really end up hurting me.  To look into purchasing the deck from mtgotraders, just click HERE and you are one click away from downloading it or buying it.  The deck comes out to approximately $175.  Keep in mind that this version still has Temporal Aperture and Imp's Mischief in it.

You can go a variety of different ways with the deck.  You could add some mill effects, with Nemesis of Reason being the one that I like the most.  Other stuff to consider would be Altar of Dementia and something like Traumatize.  Another way you could go would be to include more Counterspell effects, but that isn't as fun.

Another card that I forgot to consider was Thawing Glaciers.  This color combination does not have too many ways to ensure land drops, so the Glaciers could come in handy.

Hope you guys liked the deck.  Until next time!

Leviathan, aka Tarasco on MTGO
mrmorale32 at yahoo dot com


fantastic stuff, I've been by JustSin at Wed, 09/08/2010 - 18:05
JustSin's picture

fantastic stuff, I've been quietly reading your stuff and I'm a big fan, I was so excited to see that Dimir = Wrexial because I've made a couple versions that haven't been great and I def grabbed some ideas from this, keep it up

Gotta love Wrexial by Xaoslegend at Wed, 09/08/2010 - 20:07
Xaoslegend's picture

Gotta love Wrexial

Great by Lythand at Thu, 09/09/2010 - 18:18
Lythand's picture

Another great article.

By the way leviathan, I need to contact you. Are you registered in the forums?

Thanks guys. I am registered by Leviathan at Thu, 09/09/2010 - 19:20
Leviathan's picture

Thanks guys.
I am registered but it is probably easier to email me at mrmorale32@yahoo.com.

Email by Lythand at Sat, 09/11/2010 - 11:18
Lythand's picture

Sent you an email