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Scalding Tarn
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Type: Deck Idea
Variant Tag: comCommander (EDH)
Approx. Value:

2 Likes 2 Comments
Mana Curve
Card Color Breakdown
Card Type Breakdown

Main Deck - 99 cards, 84 distinct
Name  Edition Price Type Cost
Rarity Color
Creature (7)
1 Gilded Drake
$57.86 Creature - Drake
1 Magus of the Moon
$5.56 Creature - Human Wizard
1 Metalworker
$51.68 Artifact Creature - Construct
1 Snapcaster Mage
$61.80 Creature - Human Wizard
1 Spellseeker
$5.57 Creature - Human Wizard
1 Trinket Mage
$0.24 Creature - Human Wizard
1 Walking Ballista
$15.54 Artifact Creature - Construct
Instant (23)
1 Abrade
$1.97 Instant
1 Brainstorm
$0.80 Instant
1 Chain of Vapor
$1.43 Instant
1 Chaos Warp
$1.98 Instant
1 Comet Storm
$0.76 Instant
1 Counterspell
$1.07 Instant
1 Cyclonic Rift
$17.13 Instant
1 Dramatic Reversal
$0.20 Instant
1 Flusterstorm
$13.48 Instant
1 Force of Will
$78.45 Instant
1 Galvanic Blast
$0.72 Instant
1 High Tide
$1.15 Instant
1 Impulse
$0.26 Instant
1 Into the Roil
$0.21 Instant
1 Mana Drain
$63.04 Instant
1 Mental Misstep
$1.29 Instant
1 Mission Briefing
$2.50 Instant
1 Muddle the Mixture
$2.09 Instant
1 Mystical Tutor
$6.95 Instant
1 Negate
$0.18 Instant
1 Pact of Negation
$10.59 Instant
1 Swan Song
$4.15 Instant
1 Whir of Invention
$2.51 Instant
Sorcery (11)
1 Fabricate
$4.34 Sorcery
1 Gitaxian Probe
$1.51 Sorcery
1 Merchant Scroll
$2.69 Sorcery
1 Ponder
$2.55 Sorcery
1 Preordain
$4.44 Sorcery
1 Reshape
$3.80 Sorcery
1 Sweltering Suns
$0.85 Sorcery
1 Transmute Artifact
$159.22 Sorcery
1 Vandalblast
$3.81 Sorcery
1 Wheel of Fortune
$99.64 Sorcery
1 Windfall
$1.08 Sorcery
Artifact (21)
1 Chrome Mox
$32.93 Artifact
1 Fellwar Stone
$1.98 Artifact
1 Grafdigger's Cage
$5.61 Artifact
1 Grim Monolith
$118.66 Artifact
1 Isochron Scepter
$6.16 Artifact
1 Izzet Signet
N/A Artifact
1 Lotus Petal
$7.91 Artifact
1 Mana Crypt
$149.85 Artifact
1 Mana Vault
$24.96 Artifact
1 Memory Jar
$22.33 Artifact
1 Mind Stone
$0.42 Artifact
1 Mox Amber
$7.94 Legendary Artifact
1 Mox Diamond
$213.35 Artifact
1 Mox Opal
$108.22 Legendary Artifact
1 Paradox Engine
$15.87 Legendary Artifact
1 Prismatic Lens
$0.21 Artifact
1 Scroll Rack
$49.86 Artifact
1 Sensei's Divining Top
$22.30 Artifact
1 Sol Ring
$3.61 Artifact
1 Staff of Domination
$29.30 Artifact
1 Vedalken Shackles
$8.71 Artifact
Enchantment (4)
1 Blood Moon
$18.72 Enchantment
1 Mystic Remora
$9.31 Enchantment
1 Power Artifact
$155.51 Enchantment - Aura
1 Stranglehold
$8.46 Enchantment
Planeswalker (2)
1 Dack Fayden
$15.48 Planeswalker - Dack
1 Tezzeret the Seeker
$14.26 Planeswalker - Tezzeret
Land (31)
1 Academy Ruins
$24.66 Legendary Land
1 Ancient Tomb
$31.07 Land
1 Bloodstained Mire
$24.24 Land
1 Buried Ruin
$1.16 Land
1 Cascade Bluffs
$7.12 Land
1 Command Tower
$1.69 Land
1 Flooded Strand
$18.36 Land
1 Inventors' Fair
$3.26 Legendary Land
16 Island
N/A Basic Land - Island
1 Mountain
N/A Basic Land - Mountain
1 Polluted Delta
$19.72 Land
1 Scalding Tarn
$79.98 Land
1 Shivan Reef
$2.64 Land
1 Steam Vents
$12.81 Land - Island Mountain
1 Strip Mine
$18.82 Land
1 Wooded Foothills
$23.16 Land
Sideboard - 1 cards, 1 distinct
Name  Edition Price Type Cost
Rarity Color
Creature (1)
1 Nin, the Pain Artist
$0.76 Legendary Creature - Vedalken Wizard

This is my competitive (or as close to 100% as I can get) EDH deck. In a cEDH setting, Nin is an artifact combo list with a healthy dose of interaction and a little stax. 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. If Comet Storm is countered, flash it back with Snapcaster Mage. If everything has gone wrong and none of those options are available, it's time to start hitting opponents' creatures with Nin to deck them.


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. Also is a nice spell to imprint under the Scepter when I'm going for Plan D to win, which has happened a few times.

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.

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.

Mission Briefing: Currently testing it out - we'll see if I want this or some 1cmc interactive spell instead.


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

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.)

Fact or Fiction: Just too high of a CMC for a good draw spell. Replaced it with Impulse since it's cheaper, usually does the same job, and is imprintable under the scepter. If I have over 4 mana to spare, I'm probably funneling it into Nin to draw cards.

Annul: The blue 1-mana disenchant. The cards I'm most terrified of are Stony Silence, Null Rod, and Cursed Totem - all of which are hit by Annul. Also, there are plenty of scary targets besides the one I mentioned. There are other 1 mana answers that are more useful though.

Thought Vessel: Got cut as the weakest of the 2cmc rocks as more hatepieces made their way into the deck (Grafdiggers, Blood Moon, Stranglehold, etc.)

Torpor Orb: Karador has mostly left the local meta, so I feel better about taking this one out. The only deck this really messes with nowadays is Animar, but I have some tech for him already.

Pyroblast: It's good disruption and combo protection all in one, especially if you know there will be a lot of countermagic trying to interact with you.

Gamble: This card was in the list for years, and it was only recently that I took it out. I understand why it's popular (it's a 1 mana tutor in red!), but I hate this card. You usually use tutors to find the second piece of your two card combos (Iso/Scepter or Grim/Power). By that time, there usually isn't much else left in your hand, so discarding one of your combo pieces is likely. So, perhaps you use this to just tutor for fast mana or silver bullet stax pieces? But you can't do it when you have any combo piece in hand, since you're SOL if you discard it. Sometimes you're just unlucky. Generally, I only use this card when I've drawn a lot of cards with Nin and the probability of discarding something critical is low. So, most of the time Gamble is a win-more card. I'm testing taking this card out, but who knows. Most cEDH lists use it, maybe I've been using it wrong.

Spell Snare: Just like Mental Misstep, most people in cEDH play cheap spells. This slot was at first reserved for protection against the scariest stax pieces (Stony Silence, Null Rod, Cursed Totem), but I realized that Spell Snare is more useful than most counters not just against these hate cards, but tons of others. Hits Survival of the Fittest, Kataki, tons of hatebears, Isochron Scepter, several counterspells, Grim Monolith, Flash, Thrasios, etc. Currently replaced with Into the Roil since it's more versatile.

Spellskite: I like this guy, but too often he's a do-nothing. cEDH decks skimp on creature removal, and if someone's going to try to stop my combo, they're likely to use countermagic instead of a removal spell on my commander or combo piece. He's great in a 75% style deck, but doesn't make the cut at 100%.

Dispel: Turns out cEDH has a lot of good instants to counter.  Most non-elfball decks run at least 20-25. Handy for protecting Nin when attempting to shoot herself to refill my hand, or countering disruption during combo turns.

IN GENERAL: the 1-mana "narrow" counter/removal slot(s).... I'm constantly flip-flopping between Spell Pierce, Pyroblast, Annul, and Spell Snare. Judging from other cEDH lists, Spell Pierce is the most popular, followed by Pyroblast...but I'm not too fond on any of these cards.
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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
Scalding Tarn
Please consider subscribing to a premium account, which provides useful features and removes ads. View More Details