Commander 32 for 32, vol. 2: Dimir
by Kory Horn
Welcome, MPM Family, to the second installment of 32 for 32. This is the 32-part series where we'll examine each of the 32 color combinations in Magic: The Gathering and construct a Multiplayer Commander deck for each combination. For each build in this series, we'll select a commander, consider the most powerful cards, and dig up underrated tech. Expect us to diversify this master list as much as possible with different focuses, win-cons, budgets, and power levels.
If you've checked out the last installment, on Mono White, you already know that each deck-building mission will have unique focuses and sub-focuses. While it's challenging to stick exactly to the colors, we'll always keep on-theme. (ie. we don't need to get into details about how good Cyclonic Rift and Capsize are in every Blue build)
Make sure to comment your ideas and suggestions either here, on Facebook, or in the EDH Sub-Reddit because we are building paper versions of each deck and I'll test them out against the local competition here in the DC area, then share follow-up notes in the succeeding installment of the series.
We aren't planning any specific path through the color combinations or any specific order, and today's piece should set the precedent that although we started with mono-white, we'll be mixing it up the whole time.
Sub-Sub-focus: Krakens, Octopuses, and Leviathans
Power level: Medium (Can hold it's own against big-budget decks)
Fun to Power Scale: 4/10
Budget: Medium ($200 - $600)
Dimir in Commander
Before we look at the Decklist, lets overview the Dimir stance in Commander, generally. Here is a small sample of the best cards in the color identity, and underplayed cards or budget alternates.
Best Dimir Creature for Commander: Sygg, River Cutthroat, Gisa and Geralf, Phenax, God of Deception, and Grimgrin are all very strong strong commanders. Oona may be the strongest commander, her ability to fast-mill opponents would've included her in my list, if it didn't draw all the table's hate. Honorable mentions Baleful Strix and Consuming Aberration just don't have the game-swinging power level of Notion Thief. The thief can lead your comeback efforts or lock in a victory by stealing your opponents' fuel without so much as a warning.
Best Dimir Instant/Sorcery for Commander: This title should go to Memory Plunder or Lim-Dul's Vault. One grabs you the best card your opponent has played (or that you've milled), the other helps you sift through your library to find an out. Mystical Teachings is an outstanding tutor in these colors, especially for long games were you need and answer late, or maybe that final combo piece. I can't get over how hard Mind Grind hits, just dump all your mana in.
Best Dimir Enchantment for Commander: I'm going to cheat a bit and name Sphinx's Tutelage. Trying to stick to our colors as much as possible, that means that it's Phenax, God of Deception. I feel like we're going to come across this issue more and more as we progress through these Commanders. Whenever possible, I'm going to stick to the colors. Whenever I don't, it'll be a card that specifically aids this Combination.
Best Dimir Planeswalker for Commander: Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver stands alone, but I don't consider her as strong as Jace, Memory Adept or Liliana Vess in this type of build.
Best Artifact for Dimir Commander: Dimir is a color combination that needs to take full advantage of mana rocks. Looking through builds, you'll find that almost all of them use Dimir Signet, Dimir Keyrune (which is actually pretty good if you run equipment and board wipes), Talisman of Dominance, and the like. This all contributes to making the Dimir mana rocks a bit more valuable than their counterparts, particularly in foil - the official language of EDH. Rocks aside, Memory Jar is everything you want in these colors: Card Advantage and Milling, all on a recurable artifact. After Baleful Strix lost out to Notion Thief, we have to consider it here. Baleful Strix gives you a layer of protection against the most common type of evasion, along with card advantage, all for a much lower cost.
Best Land for Dimir Commander: Nephalia Drownyard bows to Creeping Tar Pit. With 3 power on an unblockable creature, put any equipment on this guy for a late-game or post-wipe difference maker.
Some Quick Deck Details:
Win-Cons: Combo Mostly; Helm of Obedience, Mind Over Matter, or Mindcrank Combos
Jank Rating: This deck is nearly 100% Jank, but there are support cards that keep it moving 8/10.
Curve: Pretty Mid-Range for the format
-10th Most Popular Dimir Commander
As we move through this list, I'm sure to receive loads of deck submissions for each color combination. If a deck that I'm building is leaning more on the fun or challenge side, I'll find another list to balance it out. This time we're going with Sart, our Partner at Mythic MTG Tech.
For a more competitive arrangement, here's Sart's Sygg, River Cutthroat build:
Sub-focus: Equipment Package
Power level: High
Fun to Power Scale: 9/10 (Only a handful of signature Jank, the rest is calculated cardboard terrorism)
Budget: High ($600+)
Win-Cons: Very Grindy, this deck is more anti-[Your opponents win con]
Jank Rating: This deck is nearly 100% competitive, but there are signature cards that keep it unique, looking at you Praetor's Grasp and Overwhelming Intellect. Just enough to keep you on the lookout. 1/10
Curve: Pretty Low-Range for the format
-9th Most Popular Dimir Commander
I hope everybody enjoyed this glimpse into Dimir. Please leave your feedback; I'll test each deck out. I've got several matches in with 8 1/2 Tails, so expect to see 8 1/2 and Wrexial notes and records at the conclusion of the series' next installment. Still working on that formatting and testing some of your recommendations. Until then, scoop responsibly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kory James Horn is our CEO and Event Director. One of the founding partners of Main Phase MTG, Kory leads our player and community efforts around the globe from Washington, DC. Kory has been honored by military organizations around the world for his commitment to community building through tabletop gaming. Mentoring and coaching players and tournament organizers of all backgrounds is his true passion. Kory is also an avid EDH player, and our Lead Commander League Developer.
Command Zone's Game Knights ft. Oona
For those who want to keep track of where we're at:
W- 8 1/2 (Vol. 1)
UB- Wrexial, the Risen Deep (Vol. 2)