Conditions Allow - Borborygmos and Fblthp EDH

Ben Doolittle • May 16, 2023

(Borborygmos and Fblthp | Art by Rudy Siswanto)

Tall and Small

Hello, and welcome back to Conditions Allow. In this series I take a legendary creature with a drawback and build a commander deck to turn it into a strength. March of the Machine gave us several cycles of team-up commanders, two legendary creatures working together to fight off the Phyrexian invasion.

Borborygmos and Fblthp is two of my favorite things in Magic, a big creature that uses lands in an interesting way. Much like Borborygmos Enraged, this incarnation of the Gruul Guildmaster discards cards to dish out damage. This time, however, that damage must be aimed at creatures, and you only get two damage per land instead of three. Even with Fblthp contributing some card advantage, this makes it much more difficult for Borborygmos and Fblthp to deal with larger creatures. You technically break even on cards against four-toughness creatures, but anything more leaves you at a disadvantage, and you're unlikely to be able to discard two lands every single turn, meaning you'll have to be careful about when you choose to use your commander's ability to deal with a creature.

Discarding lands, however, is a deceptively powerful ability. Splendid Reclamation is a powerful way to trigger a lot of Landfall abilities at once, and Borborygmos and Fblthp both fill your graveyard and draw through your deck to find Splendid Reclamation (or World Shaper). This deck is going to want to maximize its draws from Borborygmos and Fblthp's triggered ability, and get as many lands into the graveyard to set up a win with Splendid Reclamation.

A Combat So Nice You Do it Twice

Borborygmos and Fblthp's ability is very similar to Inferno Titan, so my first thought for drawing as many cards as possible was to flicker or clone them multiple times in a turn. Then you can draw several cards and only discard any lands when the last trigger resolves. Borborygmos and Fblthp is a 6/5, though, and it would be a shame to waste all that power by flickering this dynamic duo over and over. Instead, I'm going to use Delina, Wild Mage to create nonlegendary token copies. Rionya, Fire Dancer requires a little less luck, even if her tokens won't stick around. You can get around that by copying a Spark Double or Sakashima of a Thousand Faces instead, however. Then you'll get all of the triggers when the tokens hit play and when they attack.

These effects also all play extremely well with extra combat effects. Karlach, Fury of Avernus gets you an extra draw with Borborygmos and Fblthp every turn, while Port Razer could get you up to three extra attack steps. Keep in mind, however, that because Port Razer untaps your creatures when it deals damage, and not when the extra combat steps start, that copying it with Rionya won't result in any more usable combat steps. By far the best way to get extra combats in this deck is Moraug, Fury of Akoum. Moraug combos perfectly with the real centerpiece of this deck, Splendid Reclamation, easily generating an extra five or six extra combats. Not only does that mean extra Borborygmos and Fblthp triggers, your Rionya, Fire Dancer tokens will multiply, and even a couple of creatures on board become a lethal army.

Cultivating Allies

Luckily, there are a lot of excellent creatures to choose from. Ramunap Excavator and Erinis, Gloom Stalker of course let you play the lands you discard to your commander. Treasures are a less permanent source of mana, but Surly Badgersaur and Life from the Loam are a powerful combination in this deck, consistently getting you three mana ahead. Ancient Greenwarden also lets you play lands from the graveyard, but is more relevant as a Landfall-doubler. Still, reach is a welcome addition to any green deck.

Speaking of cards that like it when you discard, Rielle, the Everwise is the best way to keep your hand full at all times. Just keep in mind her ability only triggers the first time you discard, since this deck will usually trigger Borborygmos and Fblthp more than once in a turn. Titania, Voice of Gaea also rewards you for discarding lands, although with a few extra life instead of cards. Incidental life gain is surprisingly relevant, however, especially for a deck that wants to attack as often as possible. I haven't chosen to include Argoth, Sanctum of Nature in this version either. While the extra Splendid Reclamation effect could be valuable, a 3/4 with reach that gains life every turn is extremely good.

Finally, I'm adding two creatures to help fill your graveyard even faster. Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion is a powerhouse that helps cast some of your six- and seven-mana spells while filtering through your library. My personal favorite creature to wheel myself with, however, is Cavalier of Flame. Putting enough lands into your graveyard turns this Elemental Knight into a win condition, especially if you can rebuy it with Eternal Witness. Cloning Cavalier of Flame is a lot of fun as well. Just remember that the tokens from both Delina, Wild Mage and Rionya, Fire Dancer are exiled, so they won't get you extra death triggers. Still, getting to wheel yourself two or three times could be enough to get the job done with just the one.

An Explosive Finish

Finally, we come to our main finishers. No Landfall deck with access to it would be complete without Omnath, Locus of Rage. Five power for every land that hits play is no joke, especially when you get a free Lightning Bolt when they die. Second up is Valakut Awakening, as well as Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle itself. The real star here is, undoubtedly, Valakut Exploration, however. This enchantment comes down early and provides some card advantage while also filling your graveyard. When you cast Splendid Reclamation you can leave all the cards in exile and it will deal damage to each opponent, rather than having to worry about the number of Mountains in play. Finally, I've already mentioned Moraug, Fury of Akoum, so I want to highlight its synergy with Sylvan Awakening. Bringing back a bunch of lands and then turning them into 2/2s with haste and indestructible is an excellent way to make sure you can close the game with a couple extra combat steps. Even without extra combats, Sylvan Awakening is a great play after a board wipe, or if your big Splendid Reclamation turn wasn't quite enough and you just need a little bit more to finish things off.

If you need a lot more to finish things off, however, this deck can try to go again. Sylvan Safekeeper is a great way to protect your important creatures early, but you can also use it to put a lot of lands back into your graveyard. Then Bala Ged Recovery or Eternal Witness (perhaps with help from Conduit of Worlds) can re-buy Splendid Reclamation and let you make more Elemental tokens, or just punch everyone else with Valakut Exploration. Conduit of Worlds can also go straight for World Shaper, or bring back any of your payoffs, making sure you don't run out of steam against more removal heavy pods.

Commander (1)
Creatures (22)
Artifacts (11)
Enchantments (1)
Sorceries (10)
Instants (10)
Lands (45)

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Borborygmos and Fblthp was a commander I had my eyes on since they were spoiled, but I wasn't sure what direction to take them until I sat down to brew for this article. There's a ton you can do, from really focusing on maximizing damage with their discard ability to comboing with Brash Taunter. From the data on EDHREC, it doesn't seem like Borborygmos and Fblthp have really been explored as a flicker or extra combats commander, so I'm excited to see how this deck will evolve over time.

How would you approach this Cyclops Homunculus? Are there any synergies I didn't mention? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

Ben was introduced to Magic during Seventh Edition and has played on and off ever since. A Simic mage at heart, he loves being given a problem to solve. When not shuffling cards, Ben can be found lost in a book or skiing in the mountains of Vermont.