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It Was A Graveyard Smash

It Was A Graveyard Smash

Now that the rules committee has officially allowed silver-bordered cards for Commander until January 15th, all of the wacky and janky brews from Unglued, Unhinged, and Unstable are good to go. We no longer have to call it a house rule to allow that Infernal Spawn of Evil in your deck. It’s just the rules that it’s allowed. With this in mind, it’s time toGrusilda, Monster Masher flesh out my favourite potential Commander from my previous article into her own deck.

Grusilda, Monster Masher is an absolute beast when left unchecked. For 3BR we get to take any two creatures from graveyards and mash them together like many a Reese’s cup. These monstrosities have the combined power, toughness, mana cost, and abilities of their parts, so it’s effectively like making The Mimeoplasm every turn. As such, there are plenty of ways we can go about building a Grusilda deck to fully abuse this absurd ability.

The first and frankly lazy approach is to just jam the deck full of discard outlets, reanimation effects, and gigantic monsters. While some people are content with stapling an Ulamog’s Crusher to a Shivan Hellkite and calling it a day, I for one like to take the far nobler, combo-oriented approach. There are so many pairings of creatures that create game-ending effects when mashed together. Grusilda is a Villain. Literally. They created a Villain creature type for her and her associates. That’s why I feel it’s important to let your evil criminal mastermind free to cause havoc and mayhem and fully embrace the flavour of the Commander.

                              

One of the first things I looked at when choosing potential combos was big, unique effects. Platinum Angel is one of the most unique abilities in the game, preventing you from losing the game for as long as it’s in play. You can staple that together with an indestructible creature like Mogis, God of Slaughter or Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger so you can’t lose until they exile your creature. For something a little funnier, you can mash Platinum Angel together with Phage, the Untouchable so that you don’t die to her enter the battlefield trigger, so you end up with an 8/8 flier that kills players with a single attack. Finally, my absolute favourite interaction with Platinum Angel with Abyssal Persecutor. Here you end up with a 10/10 flying, trampling angel-demon and a purgatorial game state where no one can win or lose the game. If you can protect it, you have effectively created the Magic equivalent to entropy, and that’s just downright funny.

Another prime candidate for monster mashing are the Red and Black myriad cards from Commander 2015: Warchief Giant and Banshee of the Dread Chorus. Because of the way myriad is worded, when a combined myriad creature attacks you’ll get token copies of it attacking each other opponent, so it will have all the characteristics of the creature you mashed into it. This creates some wacky effects, such as giving Banshee double strike to make your opponents discard two cards, or even legendary creatures with “when this dies” triggers like Kokusho, the Evening Star. Because they’re still subject to the legend rule, the mashed Kokusho tokens will die after being created, thus triggering their ability and draining the table five life for each sacrificed token.

                              

Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon is a creature that I’ve used to great effect in Commander due to its ability to one-shot someone out of nowhere with the appropriate pump effects. But what if we didn’t have to use any other effects and it just started in play with ten power? Mashing Skithiryx with a firebreathing effect like Moltensteel Dragon or Immolating Souleater can give you the necessary power for a one-hit KO, and if you want to skip paying one mana to give it haste for its own ability, you can combine it with Ball Lightning, Impetuous Imps, or Spirit of the Night to give it ten power, trample, and haste for the surprise kill.

Some creature combinations require a little finessing, but when used properly they can create hilarious game states. The combination of Master of Cruelties and Endbringer with an evasion ability allows to attack an opponent, drop them to one life with Master of Cruelties’ trigger. Then we untap it on the opponent’s untap step with Endbringer and ping them in their upkeep for lethal. And for something a little more intricate, with a global haste effect like Fervor we can use Grusilda in our upkeep to combine Soulgorger Orgg and Magus of the Mirror. The Soulgorger enters and puts us at one life, and then because we’re in our upkeep we can tap it to swap life totals with an opponent. This also has the bonus of gaining us a ton of life when it leaves play!

                              

To round out the deck, I advise including as many mana rocks as possible to get Grusilda online early. Cards like Buried Alive and Life’s Finale can be used to great effect by grabbing a pairing of creatures you want to put into the graveyard to combine, while Entomb and Corpse Connoisseur can put your more flexible combo creatures into the graveyard. Since Grusilda focuses on her activated ability, Rings of Brighthearth, Illusionist’s Bracers, and Heartstone are a must for getting the most out of her activations. As well, since making tokens of your combined creatures copies all characteristics of the creature, we can use Flameshadow Conjuring, Twinflame, and Heat Shimmer to get even more use out of our combinations.

Adding Unstable to the Commander format is going to bring some seriously entertaining things to the table. Grusilda, Monster Masher is just begging to be a Commander, and whether you want to unleash your inner Herbert West and make gigantic, violent monstrosities, or your inner Professor Frink and mash together crazy combinations of game-ending abilities. How you build Grusilda is up to you, but no matter how you do it you’re in for a good time.