Magic: The Gathering "Gyome, Master Chef" Commander Deck Tech

Hey there, Magic: The Gathering players, especially fans of the Commander format! We wrote up a new abridged deck tech based on a concept we mentioned in a little more than passing in our article covering the  "Witherbloom Witchcraft" preconstructed deck from Commander 2021, coinciding with Strixhaven: School of Mages. This concept was a deck based on Gyome, Master Chef, a legendary creature that virtually screams, "break my card!".

The art for a Food token, one of the tools we will be using to win in Commander with this deck. Illustrated by Steven Belledin for Magic: The Gathering's Throne of Eldraine expansion.
The art for a Food token, one of the tools we will be using to win in Commander with this deck. Illustrated by Steven Belledin for Magic: The Gathering's Throne of Eldraine expansion.

You can find the deck we are discussing on TappedOut by clicking here. This deck thrives on non-token creatures entering the battlefield, and therefore a few vital components exist here. We need a card that reduces creature mana costs to zero, we need a creature that can be cast and recast at a rapid-fire rate, we need a card that can sacrifice Food artifact tokens, and we need a way to pay out from the sacrifice of either Food, artifacts, or tokens. Here are a few customary examples of these necessary cards:

Ancestral Statue

Ancestral Statue is a colorless creature that can return itself to our hand. If we can make this cast free, we therefore have a controlled infinite amount of times we can have a creature enter the battlefield. This is a simple card with a complex plan, because if it is countered, we are nearly out of luck if not for recursion. We also need to be able to make it free, as mentioned above. The best answer we have for now is Ezzaroot Channeler, one of the new cards from the "Witherbloom Witchcraft" precon alongside Gyome. With this reduction, the Statue is free, and cast rapidly until we have done this, perhaps, 400 times. Let's keep this number in mind for the future.

Magic: The Gathering "Gyome, Master Chef" Commander Deck Tech
Ancestral Statue, a card from Magic: The Gathering's Dragons of Tarkir expansion, and a novel lynchpin of this deck's strategy.

Dina, Soul Steeper

Dina, Soul Steeper is an alternate, faster, win condition than the strategy of this deck's game plan. With an Essence Warden or a Verdant Sun's Avatar, casting Ancestral Statue endlessly (or, as mentioned, 400 times in this example) means you gain 400 life. Dina will also trigger 400 times, meaning your opponent(s) will lose 400 life. This will often mean you've won, but if it isn't enough somehow, or if Dina isn't available (nor Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose, another card with a similar effect), it's best to move past this line to the backup plan. This is the time to cast Gyome and enact your alternative endgame.

Dina, Soul Steeper, a new card from Strixhaven, School of Mages, the newest expansion for Magic: The Gathering.
Dina, Soul Steeper, a new card from Strixhaven, School of Mages, the newest expansion for Magic: The Gathering.

Arcbound Ravager

Before you win outright with Gyome, you'll also need to cast a few more cards. One of these must be an artifact-based sacrifice outlet. To this end, Arcbound Ravager is one of the strongest, historically. It doesn't actually matter which sacrifice card you have as long as it's a repeatable effect. Krark-Clan Ironworks is another good example for instance, but Arcbound Ravager is a creature, and therefore a) it's usually going to be free with the Ezzaroot Channeler out and b) it can attack for a lot if your opponent yet survives after you've won. Plus it counts to make a Food with Gyome at the end of the turn.

Arcbound Ravager, a card from Magic: The Gathering's Darksteel expansion.
Arcbound Ravager, a card from Magic: The Gathering's Darksteel expansion.

Disciple of the Vault

There is a reason why the last two cards discussed here were banned during their time in Standard, and it is precisely the interaction between both cards in the format. Disciple of the Vault feeds on artifacts hitting the graveyard, and Arcbound Ravager makes that more than possible, but Gyome does even more for Disciple than ever previously imagined. The final plan now is, at the end step, sacrificing all 400-plus Food tokens you've amassed by casting Ancestral Statue ad infinitum, triggering Disciple of the Vault (or Nadier's Nightblade, another strong option), and making the opposition lose their collective lives worth of life. Devious!

Magic: The Gathering "Gyome, Master Chef" Commander Deck Tech
Disciple of the Vault, a card from Mirrodin, an expansion for Magic: The Gathering.

If we are being entirely honest, this completed combo is going to take massive amounts of setup in Commander and is a bit fragile, but is worth it to assemble and win with if you like slower combos in Magic: The Gathering. Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below!

Gyome, Master Chef, a new card from Magic: The Gathering's Commander 2021 release and the commander of this deck.
Gyome, Master Chef, a new card from Magic: The Gathering's Commander 2021 release and the commander of this deck.

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About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.
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