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By: Leviathan, Mike Morales
May 30 2014 11:00am
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So as you can tell it's Worship Week here at Pure.  Unfortunately, Worship Week is a little bit problematic for me.  You see, a lot of  the "Worship" flavor is handled by stuff like Clerics.  However, I kinda blew my wad on Clerics back in Heaven and Hell Week with my Teysa deck.  While I thought it was cool that I was thinking a little outside the box (Heaven and Hell obviously lends itself to Angels and Demons), jumping the gun on Clerics means that I'm searching for another way to approach Worship week.

So I kicked around a few ideas, none of which made me actually interested in building a deck.  Fortunately my buddy Neo mentioned an idea while brainstorming that I thought could be pretty interesting.

That's right, Cthulhu!  For those of you that haven't heard of H.P. Lovecraft's creation, essentially Cthulhu is an "elder god" that had a legion of followers all worshiping him and his minions through arcane rituals, mutilations and sacrifices in the hopes that he will eventually come back from his prison/hibernation to wreck shop on the unsuspecting populace of the world.  If you want to read stories about madness and insanity (I know, they're the same) feel free to check out Lovecraft's whole Cthulhu mythos.  You might be questioning your sanity after reading a couple.

Even if you just now Cthulhu through common every day usage, you can probably figure out that Cthulhu is mainly lots of tentacles and comes from deep underwater.  I figured that I could fill my deck up with other large, scary things with tentacles that would make people cower in fear when they see them.  This means a variety of Krakens, Leviathans and the occasional Eldrazi legend.  But the main problem was really which creature would be the one to lead the other legends of the deep, the one that would cause people to quake and shout and scream out his name in worshipful terror as they saw him across the table?  You might be a little bit surprised to know who I went with.

What's that?  Is that Lorthos, the Freshmaker's music?!?!  That's right, the big tentacle monster seems like the perfect guy to lead our charge.  Of course, you could make an argument for Wrexial, but I just didn't think he looked slimy or tentacly enough to scare the living piss out of my opponents.  Tromokratis had the same problem.  That doesn't mean that they aren't invited to play in our club though!  Lorthos is sort of overlooked and underused, and I thought this would be a good way to showcase him.  I wasn't disappointed.

So I'm gonna add a couple other denizens of the deep to beat down, and a bunch of ramp to make sure that I can cast this stuff.  Adding in a few cards for the mind control theme helps add to the flavor.  About now I can hear people grumbling, "But how does your deck showcase worship?  What makes it a 'worship' deck?"  The point of the deck isn't to have a bunch of dudes worshiping other beings.  It's to have my opponents worship me! (Insert maniacal laugh here.)  Because that's the way Cthulhu would have wanted it.  Without further ado:

A Commander Deck
1 Burnished Hart
1 Deep-Sea Kraken
1 Inkwell Leviathan
1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
1 Kraken of the Straits
1 Mindshrieker
1 Phyrexian Ingester
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Roil Elemental
1 Scourge of Fleets
1 Shipbreaker Kraken
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Stormtide Leviathan
1 Tidal Kraken
1 Tromokratis
1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
1 Thassa, God of the Sea
17 cards

Other Spells
1 Caged Sun
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Everflowing Chalice
1 Extraplanar Lens
1 Gauntlet of Power
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Grim Monolith
1 Journeyer's Kite
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Quicksilver Amulet
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Sapphire Medallion
1 Sculpting Steel
1 Sol Ring
1 Thran Dynamo
1 Vedalken Shackles
1 Copy Artifact
1 Mystic Remora
1 Omniscience
1 Rhystic Study
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Envelop
1 Fact or Fiction
1 Force of Will
1 High Tide
1 Hinder
1 Mana Drain
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Pact of Negation
1 Pongify
1 Rapid Hybridization
1 Scattering Stroke
1 Turnabout
1 Karn Liberated
1 Tezzeret the Seeker
1 Ancestral Vision
1 Fabricate
1 Inundate
1 Rush of Knowledge
1 Time Spiral
1 Whelming Wave
43 cards
1 Academy Ruins
1 Ancient Tomb
1 Dust Bowl
1 Flooded Strand
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 Polluted Delta
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Scorched Ruins
25 Snow-Covered Island
1 Temple of the False God
1 Thawing Glaciers
1 Thespian's Stage
1 Vesuva
39 cards

1 Lorthos, the Tidemaker
1 cards
lorthos, the tidemaker


Deck Tech

All right, so when coming up with the theme I wanted big scary sea creatures.  That tends to lead to a deck with a lot of Leviathans, Krakens and other sea monsters.  Unfortunately, a lot of the older versions of these guys had horrible, back breaking drawbacks.

polar kraken leviathan jokulmorder marjhan

Originally I was going to try and work around the land sacrifice theme but in reality there is no way that a deck filled with creatures like the above would be competitive.  Really, having too many dudes that had a casting cost of 8 or more was just going to make the deck unplayable.  And I didn't want unplayable garbage, I wanted a deck worthy of carrying forth the beatings that Cthulhu wants, and creating the worship he deserves!

Luckily, with the power creep going on with creatures now there are actually a few Krakens recently printed that have no drawbacks at all.  I also thought that the legendary Eldrazi were worthwhile, since they were really just land based tentacle monsters.  Although the creature count was greatly diminished, at least I wouldn't be crippling myself just to stick to the theme.

After that, it was really just a matter of cramming in as much ramp as I could, and having ways to protect my singular monsters.  As I was playing Blue counterspells seemed like obvious inclusions.  I hadn't played with Force of Will in a while, but I knew that "free" counterspells would be necessary as I would be tapping out to play my huge dudes.  That's also the reason for the inclusion of Envelop.  Typically, the really powerful spells in multiplayer Commander are sorceries, and most people don't expect Envelop.  I briefly considered running Swan Song instead for the extra versatility, but giving my opponent a flying token is sometimes problematic, so I didn't make the change.

roil elemental mindshrieker

The rest of the cards are just basic utility, plus a couple of thematic creatures.  Roil Elemental was a holdover from when I was thinking about the land sacrifice theme, but it still fits, considering the mind control aspect and cool artwork.  Mindshrieker is in here just for the possibility of an early threat.  Plus, it can occasionally hit for a ton early.  But having your mind ripped from you and slowly driving you insane seems like something Cthulhu can get behind, and with a name like Mindshrieker the bird seemed to fit the bill.

Due to the nature of the deck, sometimes you will rush out a bunch of ramp and stomp all over your opponents, and sometimes you will spend the first 10 turns twiddling your thumbs doing nothing while people smash you.  Honestly the main area of improvement for the deck as built is that it could use more draw, which is strange when talking about a Blue deck.  Blue Sun's Zenith would be a pretty good inclusion as it can scale and be cast at instant speed, but I toyed around with Flow of Ideas for a little bit too.  Unfortunately in order to have a decent amount of threats/answer/protection I had to cut some draw.  Feel free to mess around with it yourself though.

I guess the amount of answers is a little low too, but Karn Liberated and Whelming Wave helped a bunch.  Actually, Inundate sort of underperformed for me.  It cost a lot, and there are a lot of multi-colored Commanders with Blue in them that are unaffected by it.  I bet you could take out Inundate for Blue Sun's Zenith and be happy.

So there we go, an offering to Cthulhu!  Would it be as soul crushing as I wanted?  Making people go mad, or have them bow down in worship to my powerful beats?  Or would Cthulhu be unhappy and rip my mind to shreds for daring to build such a miserable pile of dreck in his name?

Game 1

In this first game one of my opponents is Merieke Ri Berit, which is problematic considering I usually only have one dude out at a time.  However, I have Thran Dynamo in my opening hand, which is always helpful.  I'm able to play Stormtide Leviathan, which slows down my bleeding.  Then I draw a bunch of cards with Rush of Knowledge.  The other guys are jockeying for position while Rhys remains mana screwed, and then Lazav drops Damnation.  I'm fine with this, as I have Karn in my hand and drop him into an empty board, using him to get rid of Lazav's Staff of Domination.  Unfortunately Merieke gets rid of Karn using Unexpectedly Absent.

Lazav has out Tezzeret, using him to grab a bunch of mana rocks as I draw into Quicksilver Amulet, then Ulamog with a bunch of counters and Mystical Tutor in hand.  When I flash out Ulamog just before my turn, Merieke has Swords to Plowshares to deal with it.  Fortunately I have Pact of Negation in hand to protect him.  After that, I tutor up Mana Drain with my Mystical Tutor and everyone concedes.  This happens a lot.

Game 2

So in this game I use artifact mana to get Lorthos out on turn 3.  That's kind of crazy, but it's not uncommon to be able to cast him on turn 5.  Thada Adel comes after me but I'm able to Pongify her.  Meanwhile, before I can start tapping down lands Olivia Voldaren amasses a pretty decent vampire army.  With the help of Thassa making Lorthos unblockable, I'm able to take Thada Adel out pretty quickly.

Unfortunately Olivia manages to get Markov Blademaster, Rakish Heir, Guul Draz Assassin and her Commander into play.  Luckily I'm able to tap stuff down and take her out before she realizes she had just enough mana to equip her Commander with a Basilisk Collar and ping Lorthos.  Still, it shows how fast Lorthos can take over games if left out to mess with people.

Game 3

So we have a 2 Headed Giant game here where I'm teamed up with my buddy Neo playing his Rubinia Soulsinger deck.  Luckily I manage to have a decent amount of ramp, as I get a first turn Sol Ring and second turn Solemn Simulacrum.  I back that up with a Rhystic Study while my teammate gets Augury Adept.  The Nin player tries to copy the (Rhsytic Study) but Rubinia tutors up Deglamer to get rid of it.  I'm able to get Lorthos out shortly thereafter and keep our opponents' lands tapped down.  Rubinia brings the beats, with Wolfir Silverheart, Augury Adept, Umezawa's Jitte and Cold-Eyed Selkie.  Our opponents cannot do anything, and even if they were able to try and cast stuff, both of us had Counterspells to deal with problems.

Ok, so the Lorthos deck dominated those games, but they usually don't go that smoothly.  Like I said, you can sit there and twiddle your thumbs if you are stuck holding a couple of fatties early.  There are other times when you draw a bunch of ramp and Lorthos is dealt with, but you aren't able to draw into any more threats.  But for every one of those games, there's another where you smash people with Lorthos, and Eldrazi legend or a random Kraken.

Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed my contribution to Worship Week.  I guess it can be argued that I should have tried to include the Madness mechanic since Cthulhu goes sort of hand in hand with that, but the only 2 mono-Blue Madness cards are Circular Logic and Obsessive Search, and neither really advance my game plan.  But if you can think of other theme cards I missed that would fit in the deck, let me know!

Until next time!

Leviathan, aka Tarasco on MTGO
mrmorale32 at yahoo dot com
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Vs. Tromokratis? by Adam_the_Mentat at Fri, 05/30/2014 - 16:19
Adam_the_Mentat's picture

I feel we should organize a duel or 2HG (same team) where you play this deck and I rock Tromokratis from my Colossal article.


I want in in that by Kumagoro42 at Fri, 05/30/2014 - 17:59
Kumagoro42's picture

I want in in that game!
Seriously, can we organize a regular weekly (or so) rendez-vous of PureMTGO Commander writers? I know Mike isn't available in the weekend, but workdays are fine with me, and even late night schedules (being in Europe, it will always be late for me than for you guys, but it's not a problem).

Haha, that's a good idea by Leviathan at Fri, 05/30/2014 - 18:36
Leviathan's picture

Haha, that's a good idea Adam! I had no idea that the decks would be that similar.

Kuma, send out an email, I'll see what I can do on my end.

Monoblue fatties. I love it. by Doctor Anime at Tue, 06/03/2014 - 21:18
Doctor Anime's picture

Monoblue fatties. I love it. And I want in on some multiplayer if there's room!

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