Welcome to the first article in a series called “Spicy Brews”. We’ll show you sweet decks from commanders who might have multiple ways to build around them or decks that are oddball but very interesting in the way they are built or played. They may not necessarily be the best or most competitive decks but they are for sure spicy!
This nearly all spells Rashmi, Eternities Crafter deck was inspired by the recent Standard deck called Blue/Green Crush. In that Standard deck people tried to assemble the combo of Crush of tentacles alongside Den Protector in order to get Crush back from the graveyard and loop Crush over and over again via Den Protector‘s unmorph ability. While this deck isn’t trying to win off the back of a 8/8 Octopus created by Crush of Tenticles it is trying to survive to the late game and snowball so much value off of Rashmi, Eternities Crafter that you should be able to hold off your opponents while you figure out how you are going to win the game. This deck is also incredibly customizable and should be outfitted with the right instants and spells to deal with what your opponents are doing.
The Main Strats
This deck can be exceptionally grindy and almost always will make games go long. Part of this is because we need to make our land drops (naturally or through a minor amount of ramp) and the other part is that we need to figure out how we are going to actually win the game once we’ve denied/stalled our opponents out of the game.
Understand Your Opponent’s Timings
Your first goal in each game is to make all the land drops you possibly can while staying alive. Know when your opponents plan to kill or combo you and understand when it is safe to spend turns on mana development if you happen to find your ramp cards ( Cultivate, Nissa’s Renewal, Skyshroud Claim, etc). There are mass bounce spells you will usually use in order to control how many threats there are on the table at any given time (like Devastation Tide ). If you can time these mass bounce spells to throw off both the combo decks and the aggro decks you are going in the right direction.
Know you can’t beat everything
There are games where at the start you know you could totally loose to a really quick combo or other players ganging up on you before you get your defenses set up. It is impossible to build the perfect control deck and there is always a way that the pure proactive decks could find a way through your defenses. Playing overly defensive and not developing your manabase or hand can often kill you as often as dying to the early game combos.
Playing with Rashmi
Normally you want to cast Rashmi when you can cast another spell to at least net one card off of the Rashmi cast trigger.
If you can untap with Rashmi in play then you are doing great and are set to gain lots of value. Casting spells on other players turns (like counterspell or Peek) can essentially net you a card per spell cast as long as you are casting the spells on different turns. Rashmi only gives you a trigger for the first spell you cast each turn. Casting these small counterspells and cantrips are good because not only are you netting card advantage but you are giving yourself more draws to find lands so you are also developing your manabase. Note that if you cast Rashmi and your opponent goes end-of-turn kill your Rashmi and you counterspell the kill spell you won’t get the trigger (because Rashmi herself was the first spell you cast that turn).
Once you’re casting spells that cost more than 2 or 3 mana you really increase the odds of hitting spells off your Rashmi trigger where you can actually cast the spell. This is nice because it gives us three options that are usually all good to have:
1: Cast the spell off of Rashmi for free.
2: Don’t cast the spell and keep the spell for a later turn to trigger another Rashmi trigger.
3: It’s a land and we just “draw” it to play on the following turn.
You can see where with option #2 we can use Rashmi to “draw” more cards to use to enable more possible Rashmi triggers (because so much of the deck is played at instant speed). When you start netting cards each time you cast a spell it makes it easy to trade with your opponent’s boardstate.
High Synergy Rashmi Cards
While a lot of this deck is customizable to what your opponents are doing and what type of cantrips you like to play yourself there are a few cards that provide us with mini-combos when paired with Rashmi, Eternities Crafter.
Reclaim and Noxious Revival : These cards are solid cantrips while Rashmi is out and on the field but they can also offer you the ability to recast cards from your graveyard. When you enable a Rashmi trigger you can cast Reclaim or Noxious Revival in response to your trigger to get whatever you need from your graveyard on top of your deck to cast or redraw of the Rashmi trigger.
Ancestral Vision : A cmc 0 spell that is easy to cast off of Rashmi. Games last long enough that suspending it is totally viable.
Brainstorm, Serum Visions, Preordain, Ponder : These cards can help you set up cute Rashmi triggers. They are also generally good at helping you dig through your deck for the tools you need to fight what your opponents are playing while you develop in the early game.
Constant Mists and Capsize : There are a fair amount of buyback cards but I choose these two because in a pinch they are cmc efficient and they are impactful on their own. Once you get a fleshed out manabase and Constant mists it feels almost impossible to loose to dedicated creature decks if you have Rashmi in play. Capsize is good at being annoying and getting rid of non-creature things that you wouldn’t normally be able to get rid of. The buyback mechanic is so strong because you are getting a Rashmi trigger and bringing the spell back to your hand each turn.
Eternal Witness and Evacuation / Devastation Tide / Crush of Tentacles : The cards this deck was inspired by, you are trying to Resolve an effect like Crush and then Eternal Witness the Crush back to your hand to create a loop that you can recur over and over.
These win conditions are a little loose. Remember that the real win condition is staying alive and developing your manabase.
Metallurgic Summonings : You get free dorks for casting spells. This card lets us chump block where we need to and eventually build an army we can attack with. It’s also cool because it’s secondary ability to Exile itself and bring back all of your instants and sorceries to hand from the grave is totally possible because the constructs that the enchantment makes are artifacts.
Rise from the tides and Quicken : Once we cantrip through our deck it is super easy to cast Rise from the tides that makes a lethal army of 2/2s that we can use to start killing opponents with. You can use Quicken to facilitate casting it at instant speed.
Blue Sun’s Zenith : For really grindy games it becomes viable to mill people out with this card. The idea is you’ve made it to the stage in the game where you have 20 or so lands in play and you cast Blue Sun with a large X amount with the intent to shuffle it back into your deck and recast it later in the game. If you stall out the game long enough you will be able to do this multiple times and mill out your opponents.
The Real Win Condition: Staying alive until the late game
Reins of Power : You and an opponent swap creatures for a turn. It helps that you’ll not usually have many creatures in play. This card is good in a pinch on an opponent’s turn when they are trying to aggro you out. You can cast it during an attack to basically remove those creatures from combat and stall out another turn.
Gather Specimens : Good at stealing problematic creatures and winning out of nowhere.
Rite of Replication : If you can kick this you can often get so much value that your opponents can’t match it.
Seasons Past : It’s not a win con on its own but its the best card at letting your reload your hand too stabilize the board and often gives you the resources you need to close out a game.
Deck Construction Notes
Why do I run almost only basics? Well when you tend to only have lands in play I want to feel secured in what I have and not randomly loose to effects like Blood Moon or Ruination. Also I’m in a two color deck so I don’t have to run dual lands to naturally find the colors I need. More notably I run almost only basics so I can search up basics with my ramp effects at any point in the game so I can maximize how filtered my deck is in the late game.
I think that cards like Mystical Tutor or Merchant Scroll could be very good in a Rashmi deck, but I choose to instead add more win conditions to my deck over tutor effects to find win cons. Mystical Tutor could be especially good because it can interact with Rashmi triggers.
The reason I don’t run Reliquary Tower is because this deck wants to get cards into the graveyard. Sometimes its to fuel a delve effect, and sometimes its for a large Rise from the Tides. In the especially grindy games there are moments where you start to replay your deck after you shuffle it from your graveyard into your library. If you can delve away cards that are not necessary you can increase the quality of your deck as you play through it over and over.
How This Deck Loses
Most of the matchups share the similar trait where the longer the game goes the more it favors you overall. If you lose the game before the late game then you’ve usually lost to a combo or couldn’t find a mass bounce spell to defend yourself versus the creature decks. Sometimes you get focused really hard and can’t answer everything.
Graveyard hate can be good against this deck, but it’s only good if it can exile a majority of your win cons. As long as you have cards and wincons you can still make plays. You just might fall under more pressure if your graveyard starts to get exiled.
The decks that rely on enter the battlefield triggers usually won’t be able to kill you unless they have ways to deploy all their threats, enable haste, and do a 1 turn kill on you. Even then you have countermagic. Cards like Purphoros, God of the Forge and other passive damage/life loss enablers can be problems for your deck. Because games can last so long effects that cause minor life loss really hurt you over time. There are a few cards that can gain you some life but you are still very exposed to these annoying life loss effects.
Against red decks you might want to watch out for instant speed burn effects. Sneaky opponents might try to wait for you to tap all the way out and initiate a sequence of plays with a flash enabler to try to kill you.
The best thing you can learn while playing this deck is when you’ve stabilized the board enough to start being more proactive towards winning the game. This deck is really good at stalling but if your opponents start to focus you and work together to time their spells to get around your defenses you probably won’t be able to stop everything they throw at you. Understand when you need to be proactive.