Commander Deck Work In Progress - Assassins

aphetto alchemist assassin bounty hunter commander contract killing dauthi cutthroat dauthi trapper merieke ri berit revel in riches royal assassin shadowmage infiltrator sorceress sorcoress vintage virtus the veiled vizier of tumbling sands witcher

In addition to cracking packs, we also enjoy brewing decks, particularly for the commander format.  As we teased on social media a few days ago, one of the decks we’ve been working on is an assassin deck led by Merieke Ri Berit.  Here’s some details behind how this deck came into existence.

The idea first came up when looking through some older cards and finding Bounty Hunter from Tempest.  This instantly reminded us of one of our favorite cards from when we first started playing back when Revised was out - Royal Assassin:  


From there, we gathered a list of assassins or creatures with abilities that destroyed or exiled other creatures.  These tended to be mostly black, white, and/or blue, so we looked through Esper colored legends for a commander to lead them, and found Merieke Ri Berit:

Why Merieke Ri Berit?  At first glance, this infrequently used commander (just 463 decks on EDHREC at the time this was written) seems like an odd fit to lead a group of assassins.  However, looking at the wonderful artwork by Heather Hudson, her stoic appearance flanked by two skulls in the rock formations behind her suggests that she isn’t as innocent as she seems.  That she also has a (slave?) crown in her lap hints that she is able to manipulate and control powerful beings or is in close proximity to power.  This is reminiscent of an advisor to the king, or perhaps a sorceress of the Witcher universe.  With that in mind, it is not hard to imagine her as being the head of a powerful clan of assassins or hired killers.  While the primary purpose of her activated ability is to gain control of a target creature, the triggered ability of destroying the controlled creature when she becomes untapped (or leaves play) fits in perfectly with the assassination theme.

The primary concept of the deck is fairly straightforward - cast out assassins and find ways to untap them so that their abilities can be used multiple times.  Since assassins tend to work in the shadows and work for financial gain, we incorporated Shadow and Treasure token sub-themes into the deck:


Of course, these assassins don't work alone - there is whole network of supporters to help the assassins carry out their contract killings, so we've highlighted a few here:


For winning the game, we have several paths available.  The most on-theme approach is Virtus the Veiled, the assassin that hits players for half their life with each successful strike.  Alternatively, Merieke can gain control of an opponent’s most powerful creature to use against them.  Finally, Revel in Riches offers an alternate win condition by collecting enough Treasure tokens from killing your opponent's creatures.


Below is the full deck list that we'll be testing out - leave us a comment to let us know what you think!

Merieke Ri Berit

Big Game Hunter
Dark Impostor
Hunter of Eyeblights
Kiku, Night's Flower
Royal Assassin
Virtus the Veiled
Avatar of Woe
Bounty Agent
Bounty Hunter
Dauthi Cutthroat
Stonybrook Angler
Vigean Graftmage
Vizier of Tumbling Sands
Spirit en-Dal
Dauthi Trapper
Evil Twin
Devout Witness
Intrepid Hero
Visara the Dreadful
King Macar, the Gold-Cursed
Aphetto Alchemist
Sun Titan
Hostage Taker
Baleful Strix
Crashing Drawbridge
Burnished Hart
Shadowmage Infiltrator

Dauthi Embrace
Retreat to Coralhelm
Thassa's Ire
Freed from the Real
Pemmin's Aura
Aura of Dominion
Black Market
Land Tax
Rhystic Study
Revel in Riches
Smothering Tithe
Fool's Demise
False Demise

Contract Killing
Scheming Symmetry
Pull from Tomorrow
Hidden Strings
Shadow Rift
Swords to Plowshares
Enlightened Tutor
Spell Swindle
Debt of Loyalty
Generous Gift

Umbral Mantle
Jandor's Saddlebags
Magewright's Stone
Puppet Strings
Thousand-Year Elixir
Treasure Map
Expedition Map
Wayfarer's Bauble
Glaring Spotlight

Arcane Lighthouse
Detection Tower
Command Tower
Bojuka Bog
Hall of Heliod's Generosity
Halimar Depths
Swamp (14x)
Island (8x)
Plains (7x)

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