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Arid Mesa
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Type: Deck Idea
Variant Tag: conConstructed
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Approx. Value:

2 Likes 2 Comments Group listing by:
Mana Curve
Card Color Breakdown
Card Type Breakdown

Main Deck - 99 cards, 85 distinct
Name  Type Cost Edition Price
Color Rarity
Creature (8)
1 Gilded Drake Creature - Drake
1 Magus of the Moon Creature - Human Wizard
1 Metalworker Artifact Creature - Construct
1 Simian Spirit Guide Creature - Ape Spirit
1 Snapcaster Mage Creature - Human Wizard
1 Spellseeker Creature - Human Wizard
1 Trinket Mage Creature - Human Wizard
1 Walking Ballista Artifact Creature - Construct
Instant (20)
1 Abrade Instant
1 Brainstorm Instant
1 Chain of Vapor Instant
1 Chaos Warp Instant
1 Comet Storm Instant
1 Counterspell Instant
1 Cyclonic Rift Instant
1 Dramatic Reversal Instant
1 Flusterstorm Instant
1 Force of Will Instant
1 Galvanic Blast Instant
1 Impulse Instant
1 Mana Drain Instant
1 Mental Misstep Instant
1 Muddle the Mixture Instant
1 Mystical Tutor Instant
1 Negate Instant
1 Pact of Negation Instant
1 Swan Song Instant
1 Whir of Invention Instant
Sorcery (12)
1 Fabricate Sorcery
1 Gamble Sorcery
1 Gitaxian Probe Sorcery
1 Merchant Scroll Sorcery
1 Ponder Sorcery
1 Preordain Sorcery
1 Reshape Sorcery
1 Sweltering Suns Sorcery
1 Transmute Artifact Sorcery
1 Vandalblast Sorcery
1 Wheel of Fortune Sorcery
1 Windfall Sorcery
Artifact (22)
1 Chrome Mox Artifact
1 Fellwar Stone Artifact
1 Grafdigger's Cage Artifact
1 Grim Monolith Artifact
1 Isochron Scepter Artifact
1 Izzet Signet Artifact
1 Lotus Petal Artifact
1 Mana Crypt Artifact
1 Mana Vault Artifact
1 Memory Jar Artifact
1 Mind Stone Artifact
1 Mox Amber Legendary Artifact
1 Mox Diamond Artifact
1 Mox Opal Legendary Artifact
1 Paradox Engine Legendary Artifact
1 Prismatic Lens Artifact
1 Scroll Rack Artifact
1 Sensei's Divining Top Artifact
1 Sol Ring Artifact
1 Staff of Domination Artifact
1 Torpor Orb Artifact
1 Vedalken Shackles Artifact
Enchantment (4)
1 Blood Moon Enchantment
1 Mystic Remora Enchantment
1 Power Artifact Enchantment - Aura
1 Stranglehold Enchantment
Planeswalker (2)
1 Dack Fayden Planeswalker - Dack
1 Tezzeret the Seeker Planeswalker - Tezzeret
Land (31)
1 Academy Ruins Legendary Land
1 Ancient Tomb Land
1 Bloodstained Mire Land
1 Buried Ruin Land
1 Cascade Bluffs Land
1 City of Brass Land
1 Command Tower Land
1 Flooded Strand Land
1 Inventors' Fair Legendary Land
14 Island Basic Land - Island
2 Mountain Basic Land - Mountain
1 Polluted Delta Land
1 Scalding Tarn Land
1 Shivan Reef Land
1 Steam Vents Land - Island Mountain
1 Strip Mine Land
1 Wooded Foothills Land
Sideboard - 1 cards, 1 distinct
Name  Type Cost Edition Price
Color Rarity
Creature (1)
1 Nin, the Pain Artist Legendary Creature - Vedalken Wizard

This is my competitive (or as close to 100% as I can get) EDH deck. If you like artifacts and drawing cards, this deck is for you. In a cEDH setting, Nin is a hybrid of an all-in artifact combo list and a stax-control shell. This is because we are slightly slower than the dedicated fast combo decks anyway (Food Chain, Storm, etc.), so it is best to pack more interaction to help control the game until we can safely win.

Land count: 31
Average CMC: 1.81

We usually win by generating infinite mana and using an outlet to kill the table.

Here's how you can get infinite mana:
Plan A: Dramatic Reversal + Isochron Scepter + 3 mana from artifacts
Plan B: Grim Monolith + Power Artifact
Plan C: Metalworker + Staff of Domination + 3 Artifacts in hand
Plan D: Isochron Scepter + Anything Imprintable + Paradox Engine + 3 mana from artifacts

After you have infinite mana, you have a few options. In order to win, you can use Nin, the Pain Artist's ability on herself (or another creature you control), drawing your deck. You can also use Staff of Domination (or the suite of artifact tutors to find Staff) to achieve the same effect.  Afterwards, you play Walking Ballista and activate its second ability a million times (holding priority) to kill the table. If it gets exiled somehow, you can still kill the table with Comet Storm.

Metagame Choices:

Galvanic Blast: Brago, Linvala, Meren, Atraxa, Karador, Zur, and Kess are tough to deal with - Blast helps me efficiently deal with these pesky 4-toughness commanders.  Sometimes you just have to kill a commander or lose (Yisan, Selvala, Zur). Most don't expect it, and punishes people who go a little too deep with Ad Nauseum. Most often gets rid of a hatebear, which is just fine.

Grafdigger's Cage: Stops Reanimation, Hulk combos, Yisan, and Chord effects. Hardly affects me at all.

Sweltering Suns: Wrecks the elfball / hatebear decks. I wanted a cheap sweeper to fight against creature decks since most of my remaining removal is designed to fight blue. When it's not a good draw, I can always cycle it away. I believe this is stronger than Anger of the Gods.

Torpor Orb: A metagame hatepiece. I see a lot of people relying on Reclamation Sage effects instead of noncreature spells for artifact removal. Shuts some decks down completely. Good insurance against Bane of Progress vs. GBx midrange decks, and turns off Palinchron loops. The main competition at the new shop is Karador, Animar, Tasigur, etc. so it does a good job at hindering those decks.

Vedalken Shackles: A little expensive mana-wise, but much stronger than it looks. Most creatures in a competitive environment are small, so I usually only need a few islands to threaten to steal anything. Makes strategies that rely on a commander very difficult (Yisan, Brago, etc.). Sometimes just steals mana dorks, which I'm fine with since I can hit it with Nin and steal another one the next turn.

Abrade: Very versatile interaction - either blows up a piece of fast mana (Sol Ring, Mana Crypt), hatebear or other relevant creature (Yisan, Thalia, Baby Jace), or stax piece (Trinisphere, Null Rod, etc.). Really helps round out my removal suite since most of my other interaction doesn't hit artifacts or creatures.

Magus of the Moon: I live off the tears of greedy greedy Atraxa / 4 color Thrasios + Tymna manabases. The most threatening people in my meta play Animar, Karador, Thrasios/Tymna, Tasigur, and Kess - all of which are sad to see a Moon effect.

Stranglehold: Gets better the more competitive your group is. Brutal when powered out early, since it also turns off fetchlands. Love playing this against Yisan and Sisay players in my group.

Pyroblast: When I first changed stores I was facing off against mostly Atraxa, Karador, and Yisan - which this card isn't great against. However, nowadays I'm seeing a lot more of Brago, Kess, Baby Jace, and Animar - all of which are blue! This also serves as a combo-protection counter since it counters pretty much all other counters for R.

Notable Exclusions:

Timetwister / Mishra's Workshop / Volcanic Island: The benefit just isn't worth it in real world dollars. I'm not doing any infinite Timetwister loops, so it's just an insanely expensive wheel effect. Mishra's Workshop is not even good, and while including Volcanic Island would be nice, the benefit is marginal for how much it costs.

Past Inclusions (So I remember in case it's time for cuts / re-additions):

Pyroblast: Good as a gotcha card and when your meta has a ton of blue, but not good enough. Overall just too narrow (right now).

Great Furnace: Used this to make sure Mox Opal would be active more often, but I've found it's more important to just have Islands (Vedalken Shackles, Blood Moon effects, etc.)
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  • Hamish ()

    Just wanted to throw a comment on here to thank you for checking my Reddit post out and commenting. 

    I love the deck, and I also love finding another Deckbox user amongst all the TappedOut users :) It's far superior for inventory and deck building! I only use TO for sharing with people on Reddit... heh

    • Austin Howes ()

      Cheers! Always happy to run into another Nin pilot, hope the changes to your list feel smooth. Let me know how they work out.

Market deals
Arid Mesa
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