Errrrr, hello, loyal readers! Happy Leap Day! Normally we over here at Bleeding Cool would be ending the month with a silver-bordered Commander deck tech for Magic: The Gathering, but we have decided this month to do things a little differently. Today we are going over my fellow Rochester Commander player Paul Toal's competitive list based on his commander, The Gitrog Monster.
This deck's full list can be found here. Keep in mind that this is a highly competitive build (from a scale of one to ten, with ten being "Competitive Commander" and one just being less than a preconstructed Commander deck, this is a solid 9.5 at least!), so bear that in mind before trying to pub-stomp your friends. Or don't. It's your life.
Furthermore, keep in mind here that a lot of the cards in this deck are not budget-friendly at all. Bazaar of Baghdad is itself a $1200 card alone! Paul himself has pumped a lot of hard-earned money into his deck, so he has his filled with foils and aesthetically-pleasing decisions, but always remember that this will make a deck even more expensive. We did a quick tally of the de-foiled deck and it's still around $5000 total. Be warned!
So, you might be looking at this decklist and asking yourself, "how does this deck win?". Well, dear inquisitive reader, the answer is simple for this deck, always and universally: Frog.
What does "Frog" mean, you might ask? Well, by "Frog," I mean to say you keep Gitrog alive and kill everything else in Frog's path. How? You use the one-card combo that is Dakmor Salvage, my friend. Dakmor Salvage is the key to Frog.
The engine is simple: Dakmor Salvage being sent to a graveyard with Frog out would draw you a card, which triggers the Salvage's dredge, putting two cards into your graveyard and returning Salvage to your hand. Rinse repeat.
Okay, I wasn't entirely truthful in saying that Salvage is all you need. You do need Frog, and you do need a free-discard outlet like Wild Mongrel or Oblivion Crown in order to get your necessary drawn cards off of the Salvage's dredge. But when you have all of that, you should be able to go off upon the table like it's nobody's business.
This color combination does not have access to Laboratory Maniac, Jace, Wielder of Mysteries, or Thassa's Oracle (a newly-printed powerhouse in Competitive Commander!), so we have no real way to keep from drawing out our deck to oblivion ourselves. Therefore, we have a lone Eldrazi Titan – Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre – to keep our deck cyclical enough to not lose in that way. Ulamog also acting as emergency removal is pretty rad as well.
In the end, this deck, as exorbitantly expensive as it is, is a massive slaughterhouse of fun and value. I recommend this deck to any competitive Commander player who is not into the idea of Thrasios/Tymna, Urza, Sushi Hulk, or any of those other overplayed decks. This deck can still compete well! I guarantee this much.
But what do you think of this deck? Is it up to snuff with your own decks? Can it hold a candle to things like Jake Fisher's Animar, Soul of Elements deck, or Sheldon Menery's Ruhan of the Fomori deck (the aptly-titled "You Did This To Yourself")? Let us know what your thoughts are here!