Hello and welcome, players, collectors, and other fans of Magic: The Gathering, the premier trading card game designed and produced by Wizards of the Coast! We hope you've had a fantastic go at the prerelease this weekend for Streets of New Capenna, the latest Magic expansion. Today, we have a special treat that should appeal especially highly to those inclined towards the Obscura, the white-blue-black aligned crime family of the setting of New Capenna. This treat comes in the form of a somewhat political combo-based deck tech for a new commander from the set's supplemental Commander release: Tivit, Seller of Secrets!
Tivit is a 6-drop 6/6 legendary Sphinx Rogue creature with Flying, Ward 3, and an ability that triggers when he enters play or attacks, based around the Council's Dilemma mechanic from Conspiracy: Take The Crown, a multiplayer draft supplemental set from 2016. Council's Dilemma has the table vote on what effect they would prefer to see from the card generating the dilemma. In this way, anything with Council's Dilemma (or Will of the Council, an older mechanic that similarly causes the table to vote with majority rules between two effects) can be remarkably political. Furthermore, Tivit has a final ability that allows you one extra vote on any of the above effects, be they Council's Dilemma or Will of the Council effects.
Now, surely by this point a few of you are saying that Tivit's ability is grossly undersupported in Commander. While it is true that there are 26 cards that mention the term "vote" in their text (according to Scryfall) and of these only 20 of them are actually cards that allow players to vote on an outcome (two of which are ineligible to be played in this deck), Tivit's voting abilities are a bit misleading, in true Sphinx fashion. The true power of Tivit comes more from the outcome of its own Council's Dilemma resolution, which is to create five artifact tokens, each either a Clue token or a Treasure token. It hardly matters for them to be one or the other (although we are apt to be using Treasure tokens to greater effect here), as we will simply be trying to acquire a critical mass of them to our ends.
You can find our decklist on Moxfield by clicking here. Since we have gone on at length about the general ideas behind the deck, let's jump into some notable inclusions we have added to this deck to make it tick best!
Time Sieve, All The Time In The World
Our first mention is Time Sieve, a card that essentially amounts to a one-card combo with Tivit. This was probably the first thing on a lot of players' minds when Tivit was revealed (and perhaps for a few precognizant souls who may have considered this card beforehand), namely because no matter how many votes you get from Tivit's Council's Dilemma trigger, as long as the table is comprised of you and at least three other opponents you will be making at least five artifacts, ready to go into the Sieve for another turn's use. As long as you don't defeat your opponents one-by-one, you have a near-endless supply of extra turns at your disposal between Tivit and Time Sieve.
Academy Manufactor: What's Better Than Choices?
…The illusion of choice! Academy Manufactor will ensure that no matter what votes you or your opponents choose, you will get any of the options you are looking for. In fact, not only will you get any of them, but you will get all of them… and more! This innovative little robot will make, in place of each Clue or Treasure token you generate in this deck, one Clue, one Treasure, and one Food! Fifteen(!!!) artifacts should help pad your life total, draws, and mana generation for a few of the pivotal turns before you get ahold of the Time Sieve or whatever else you may be looking for to close out the game.
Nadier's Nightblade – For The Aristocrats In Your Midst
One of the great payoffs for sacrificing the tokens you've generated with Tivit comes in the form of an artifact-based Aristocrats package in the form of Nadier's Nightblade, Disciple of the Vault, and Marionette Master, all remarkable cards in their own different ways. Nadier's Nightblade is especially notable here, however – while the latter two do not gain you life and also target one opponent at a time (potentially sabotaging your Council's Dilemma shenanigans), Nadier's Nightblade effects all opponents indiscriminately and gains you life in the process. This is big because it also accounts for all of your tokens (though that matters a bit less in this deck than others utilizing the card). With a Time Sieve combo going, this card will likely be one of your payoff wincons.
Tainted Pact – How To Succeed At Blighted Bargains!
The last card we will be discussing in this list's notable inclusions is Tainted Pact, the card that will tie every part of your combo together… provided you don't bite off too much more than you can chew. With Tainted Pact, you can draw any card in your deck at the cost of permanently exiling all the cards that were above it. Furthermore, if you exile two cards with the same name you will not be able to get any card at all. Fortunately, this deck mitigates the level of risk this card poses by having only six basic lands in the deck – all three legal standard-issue basic lands and their snow-covered counterparts. With this method, you'll always be able to get a card of your choice from the deck. However, it is also up to your discretion to choose that card wisely. Our suggestion is to grab the first card that comes up that matters to your current game plan so you don't lose that card or any other card that may be relevant to that game plan later on. It's not the most elementary of concepts but you can't go wrong with the card here, even if it's a simple cantrip and a somewhat-desired card is on the top already.
All in all, Tivit is a strong commander that already has a ton of buzz being generated around it. What do you think about this Sphinx? Is the voting mechanic of the older Conspiracy sets something that should be expanded upon in Magic: The Gathering? Does that choice even actually matter? Let us know your opinions on this and the deck as a whole in the comments below!