Hello there, fans, players, and collectors of Magic: The Gathering, Wizards of the Coast's premier trading card game! Magic: The Gathering, as many of you certainly know, is a game with varying degrees of fantasy and folklore behind it. Expansion sets like Lorwyn are higher fantasy-derived, deriving from Welsh folktales of fae, boggarts, and giants, while Kaldheim is derived from Nordic mythology. But Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, Magic's latest expansion, changes the game drastically by including a very different view of the plane of existence known as Kamigawa. For a long time, we thought that Kamigawa was based on Shintoism and feudal Japanese folklore, based on our first time visiting in-game. However, with Neon Dynasty, we were due for one helluva reality check: as the plane struggled with its identity's past and future, it became apparent that it used all manner of tropes of Japanese popular culture.
Today, we will be showcasing a new Commander deck tech featuring one of the new commanders from the newest set: The Reality Chip, a creature that can turn into a piece of equipment capable of giving insights into what possibilities can be when you play it. This is a very strong deck in theory, but if focused on can be a bit tricky to get going. With that, let's look at the abridged deck tech!
Reality Check: An Overview
You can find the decklist for the deck we will be discussing via Moxfield by clicking here. The gist of this deck, which is a control deck with combo elements to it, is that you aim to equip The Reality Chip to anything you can, as soon as possible. With that done, you can look at the top of your library and play any cards from the top as long as you follow the timing restrictions. It's important that you keep the window of time that opponents can interact with the Chip as a creature as short as possible, because at that time the Chip is extremely vulnerable to interaction, and usually that'll be an interaction you don't want to occur.
The fact that this deck is monoblue means that you are well-equipped to handle any interaction that could affect your commander, via countermagic and other forms of removal such as March of Swirling Mist or Reality Shift. This deck, as an aside, has gone through a few big changes in the interim between conceptualization and the penning of this article. For example, there was originally no Counterbalance in the deck, but because that card is so synergistic with The Reality Chip we had to include it as a major part of the control package. Furthermore, this deck had a somewhat higher curve with cards like Myr Battlesphere in it, but the cards that cost over 6 mana have been cut to facilitate a faster game plan. We still want to give the ax to Flood of Tears, if we're being frank.
But we digress. Let's look at some of the awesome blue cards that give way to a winning strategy for this Commander deck!
Generating The Mana To Keep Going With Basalt Monolith
Basalt Monolith is a very powerful artifact that can tap for 3 colorless mana and untap for 3 generic mana all the while. With a way to add even one point of mana generated by Basalt Monolith, the card can be used to generate infinite colorless mana. This enables us not necessarily to cycle through the entirety of our deck, but rather to discount the spells we cast by any prerequisite generic costs. Cards like Rings of Brighthearth and Forsaken Monument allow this to be done quite handily.
Of course, when it comes to the massive amount of colorless mana generated, it is not the be-all, end-all, so we have added cards such as Extraplanar Lens and High Tide to assist in generating as much blue mana as you'd need in order to cast anything that needs casting from the top or thereabouts.
Drawing the Deck With Psychosis Crawler
With an endless amount of mana enabled we can proceed to use at least one of our win conditions: drawing an excess of cards using a "draw X cards" spell while either having Ominous Seas or Psychosis Crawler in play. Ominous Seas doesn't quite do as much as the Crawler does, but having 8/8 Kraken tokens in play for every eight cards drawn is definitely helpful. In any case, the first step at this time is to have Psychosis Crawler in play.
The next step is to use that absolute glut of mana that you've generated by abusing Basalt Monolith and a card that ups its mana production as well as one to three blue mana in order to cast any one of a few different cards, such as Drown in Dreams. This will allow you to draw as many cards as you need to defeat the opposition all at once… If you don't draw your deck and lose first. However, we have Laboratory Maniac and Jace, Wielder of Mysteries as a pair of final failsafes should that event arise.
Self-Mill With Thought Lash
Speaking of Lab Man strategies, our most consistent one is using The Reality Chip in conjunction with Thassa's Oracle and Thought Lash in order to exile our entire deck and win off of the Oracle's trigger. Thorough goldfish-style playtesting sessions have put this at a potential turn 6 win on a consistent basis. With regard to actual, interactive opponents, we currently can't be too sure, but the card Thought Lash is an excellent tech for the deck even if you don't have Thassa's Oracle in hand, provided you can see the top of the deck, which can be done with The Reality Chip. All synergies are good synergies here!
Aggressive Gaming With Kappa Cannoneer
When all else fails this deck, there is also the option of being hyper-aggressive with a couple of major beaters, namely Kappa Cannoneer and clones of the card. Clones for the Blastoise-lookalike include Sculpting Steel and Mirrormade.
We harp hard for this card because it is truly a powerful control finisher. Many Legacy players are even playing it! With Ward 4 and the ability to become impossible to block while it pumps itself up, Kappa Cannoneer is a cheap and powerful threat in any format.
Overall, The Reality Chip is far more than a goodstuff-style deck if done properly. Although many games have gone as far as turn 11 in our goldfishing, we are confident that this Commander deck is a strong competitor. What do you think? Is The Reality Chip good enough for major play in Magic: The Gathering's most popular format? Let us know your opinions in the comments below!