CUT #21 - Omnath vs Geth vs Saint Traft and Rem Karolus

Travis Stanley • May 12, 2023

Omnath, Locus of All| Illustrated by Bryan Sola
Geth, Thane of Contracts| Illustrated by Flavio Girón
Saint Traft and Rem Karolus| Illustrated by Lucas Graciano

When I started playing Magic (back when Magic Origins was released), Magic sets came out more slowly, and it was always more speculation than not. Nowadays, with the torrent of new product coming at us from every which way, leaves little room to even bask in the releases themselves, let alone speculate about the next ones. For CUT this week I wanted to give all the sets that have come out this year some retrospect, before we are bombarded with the wave of new things.

Before we get to that, let's see who won CUT #20!

Congratulations to Jubilee, you did it! Rashmi and Ragavan gained you enough value it seems to take the win, congrats! A big thank you to Joshua as well, there can't be a winner without a loser. Even though you lost this round, you are still a winner in my heart.

Go and say hi to our CUT #20 deckbuilders:

Jubilee: Welcome to Flavortown (Commanders Herald), Twitter, Instagram

Joshua: Nearly Identical (EDHREC)

This week we have some awesome folks for this first round, and here are the challenges they had to face:

  • Must choose a commander that was "newly" released in 2023

  • Must include a card from: Dominaria Remastered, Phyrexia All Be One, March of the Machine, A Secret Lair released in 2023

  • Must include 30 non-reprint cards

First up we have Nick! Nick is a writer over on EDHREC, so after you've finished reading and voting on this article hop over to EDHREC to check out his series Myth Realized. Let's see what he brought today!

CUT Battle Bean

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Commander (1)
Creatures (24)
Lands (39)
Enchantments (9)
Planeswalkers (3)
Artifacts (6)
Sorceries (2)
Battles (16)


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Battles are the hottest thing since sliced bread in the MTG world. With 36 in total spread across the five colors of Magic and colorless, I decided that I want to play 16 of them, but playing them normally would be too predictable. So, I slammed these 16 battles and 81 more permanent cards into a deck with Primal Surge and thought, let's see what will happen. This, my friends, is the Battle Bean deck, and it does... something.

The leader of this deck is Omnath, Locus of All, a five-color commander who lets you cheat on the black mana symbol for the cost of two life. What does Omnath do in our deck? Like the earliest version of the bean boy, they can let us bank mana to use later at our discretion in the form of black mana. Occasionally Omnath will reveal a card bereft of mana symbols and let us change up the colors of free mana we get, but more often than not, they will just be putting a card into our hand for free without drawing it; looking at you, Narset. I could have picked the new Atraxa to lead this deck, but that would limit my ability to play red, and there are a few key battles that need that color, so the bean boy made the cut as a de facto leader. Is Omnath required on the battlefield for this deck to work? Not particularly. Is it more fun when they are? Absolutely.

With 16 battles in the deck, some must be better than the rest. Invasion of Alara gives us more value than the average player can handle. Invasion of Fiora lets us not die to our opponents wishing they could play our deck. Invasion of Zendikar gives us color fixing. Invasion of Regatha is one of the easiest ways to flip battles, something this deck is not concerned with.

The mathematicians among you might realize that I'm coming up short with my deck math of Omnath + 16 battles + 81 more cards. There is one more battle-related card and an Omanth-related card on the list. Begin the Invasion is XWUBRG, allowing you to put X battles onto the battlefield. For the low, low cost of 21 mana, every battle in this deck can be yours at once; good luck stacking triggers.

But how do we get to 21 mana, or more likely, ten mana, for Primal Surge to dump our entire deck on the battlefield? We ramp, that's how. Cards like Birds of Paradise, Noble and Ignoble Hierarchs, Azusa, Lost but Seeking for more land drops, classic artifact ramp, like Sol Ring, Arcane Signet, and newcomers, like Timeless Lotus and Realmbreaker, the Invasion Tree. Wrenn and Realmbreaker, Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, and The World Tree help us make sure our colors are always correct. Lastly, everyone's favorite card, Smothering Tithe, gives us a Treasure to cash in when needed for our many haymakers contained within the cards of this deck.

If, for some reason, your opponents won't fight your battles for you, why not show them what random value is made of with a Cascading torrent of terror for them to face? Apex Devastator, Maelstrom Nexus, and Maelstrom Wanderer let you enjoy a nice bonus or two or three.

"But Nick," I hear you call out from the LGS, "how do I win with my deck laid out before me in all its glory? With haste, I say. Temur Ascendancy, Rhythm of the Wild, and Concordant Crossroads ensure that once your pain train has entered the station, there is no waiting for it to leave, and like any good deck, we need a backup plan for when everything goes wrong, and luckily, we have one in the main character of Magic, Jace, Wielder of Mysteries. There are a few cards I could have added as our "win the game" card, but this is one of my favorites. If something like infinite life, too many blockers, or some pesky tax effects are stopping you from stomping your opponents into the dirt, then use the passive ability on this Jace to win the game with no cards left in your library.

You know what they say When in doubt, Beans out.

Cool beans, I mean deck, Nick! Hopefully Omnath, Locus of All will be able to conquer all and take you to the finals. Feel free to go and check Nick out on EDHREC or over on his twitter!

Next up may I introduce Jordan! Jordan is a Magic content creator, with a series on YouTube called The EDH Jank Center, and also a written series over on EDHREC, called Finding Homes For Janky Cards. So, Jordan, got any sweet jank for us?


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Hey there! My name is Jordan, and I'm an actor and music producer, but more contextually important: I am an MTG content creator! I run the EDH Jank Center on Youtube, and I am also a writer for EDHREC! My channel is all about janky, budget, and under-utilized cards. It is my belief that every card can shine given the right deckbuilding context, and I wanted to bring that philosophy to the CUT series.

Today I will be building around: Geth, Thane of Contracts

Let's not mince words here: Geth is uh... underwhelming to say the least. However, when going over the specifications for this challenge (more on that later), I just kept getting pulled back to this guy who really loves contracts. I thought: how could an anthem effect like Geth's be Judo-flipped in my favor? And thus, "Geth Creature Bombs" was born!

The deck works like this:

1. Play Geth

2. Play cards like Syr Konrad, the Grim and Bastion of Remembrance

3. Play cards like Abhorrent Overlord

4. Gain and drain off of those tokens all hitting the battlefield and immediately dying!

Are there better and more efficient ways to do this? Yeah, probably. But I'm interested in making Geth viable, and in playtesting this deck was SO MUCH FUN, so let's talk about the nitty gritty:

The Challenges

1. Must include a commander that was "newly released" in 2023

Geth who that might be. Boom. Done. Easy Peasy.

2. Must include a card from: Dominaria Remastered, Phyrexia All Will Be One, March of the Machine, and a Secret lair released in 2023

So this is where it got a little tricky. These sets don't contain too much support for the strategy we're going for, but I made the best of it. In corresponding order of the sets listed above, here are the cards I chose:

Dominaria Remastered: Faceless Butcher is a fun budget removal option. However, it does even more work for us because we can play this card, exile something like Chittering Witch, sacrifice our Faceless Butcher to a sac outlet (we have plenty), and pseudo-blink Chittering Witch. This will generate us more tokens that will die to Geth or our sac outlets. You get the picture!

Phyrexia All Will Be One: I chose Drivnod, Carnage Dominus for the simple reason that it doubles our gain and drain triggers from things like Syr Konrad!

March of the Machine: Ichor Shade was my selection here because it's fun, janky, and budget-friendly, but also can fly under the radar as it beefs itself up turn after turn as our creatures die. And who doesn't love a lil beefy boi?

Secret Lair: for this I didn't have too many options so I didn't overthink it, just went with Massacre Girl from the City Styles Secret Lair. This is a great board wipe for token decks that can still allow us to commit to our gain and drain strategy if for some reason we don't have Geth out.

3. Must include 30 non-reprint cards from the aforementioned sets:

So, as I said before I didn't see a lot of specific support for what I wanted to do in the sets we were given, so I decided to source most of the removal, ramp, and card draw packages for the deck from these sets. Cards like: Corrupted Conviction, Pile On, and Sheoldred's Edict all serve their purpose relatively well and are cheap to cast!

The Rest of the Deck

Our creature bombs include the likes of the aforementioned Abhorrent Overlord as well as Underworld Hermit, Myr Battlesphere, and Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder. Endrek especially is an all-star in this deck because as long as you cast cards that are 6 CMC and under, Geth will always clear those Thrulls out of the way, meaning you won't ever have to get rid of Endrek due to his last ability, which effectively turns him into a Thrull-making factory. Pretty sweet if you ask me!

We've got our creatures now, so how do we turn them into bombs? Well, there's two important components to go over: sac outlets and life-drainers!

Our sac outlets are standard fare with a few exceptions because in building this deck I had to avoid creatures with one toughness as they would die to Geth's ability before we could do all of our cool stuff. So, we have the typical stuff like Ashnod's Altar and Altar of Dementia. But, we also have cards like Fallen Angel and Corpse Blockade to let us sacrifice an unlimited amount at instant speed!

And as for our gain-and-drainers we again had to avoid anything with 1 toughness, so classics like Zulaport Cutthroat and Blood Artist were out of the picture. Luckily, black has no shortage of effects like these, so in this build we're running cards like Nadier's Nightblade, Sanguinary Priest, and Vindictive Vampire.

The rest of the deck consists of some pillowforting to discourage people from messing with us while we set up our combo! Cards like Cunning Rhetoric, Revenge of Ravens, and Silent Arbiter should do the trick. We've also got cards that care about creatures dying from staples like Black Market to utter jank like Necrosquito!

And lastly, if our army of tokens can't be sacrificed for some reason, Graaz, Unstoppable Juggernaut will be there to act as our janky version of craterhoof, turning all our 1/1s into 5/3s!

Thank you so much for reading. Hope you enjoyed it and remember: every card deserves a chance to shine!

Thanks, Jordan! You are totally right that every card deserves a chance to shine! If I may step on a little soap box for a moment, that's why I started CUT: I wanted to challenge people to think outside of the cards they normally would when it comes to deckbuilding. So thank you Jordan, for bringing your "Janky" philosophy to CUT, I think you fit right in. If you, the reader, would like to check Jordan out, make sure to go visit him over on his Youtube channel, his articles on EDHREC, or over on Instagram.

Last, but certainly not least, you know him, you love him, it's CUT series regular Mike Carrozza! You may know Mike from his article series Am I the Bolas? here on Commander's Herald. If not, go and check it out! What has Mike brought us on his 4th visit to CUT?

CUT Saint Traft and Rem Karolus

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Commander (1)
Lands (34)
Artifacts (14)
Enchantments (15)
Creatures (29)
Instants (3)
Planeswalkers (1)
Battles (1)
Sorceries (2)


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The Jeskai Convoke precon deck has two really fun commanders for the deck, but Saint Traft and Rem Karolus had been getting attention for potentially competitive EDH. Personally, I immediately thought of Altar of the Brood, Altar of Dementia, and all the mill goodies.

But in good ol' CUT! fashion, the restrictions required me to can that idea but push on with a token swarm strategy. I took the approach of trying to showcase different ways to run the commander. I will say that having a space for Furystoke Giant and Crackleburr makes me pretty friggin' stoked. I also completely forgot that Bennie Bracks, Zoologist has Convoke!

I love doing CUT! so much. I'll say while this isn't my best deck, finding different cards to tickle my brain is always a good time. Unctus, Grand Metatect and Neyali, Suns' Vanguard are all-stars in this deck and get out of hand quick.

Thanks for having me again!

Thanks for being on again, Mike! Hopefully your short and sweet write-up will entice the votes in your favor so we'll possibly see you again! You can check out Mike's articles here on Commander's Herald, or say hi to him over on twitter!

A big thank you to all three of our wonderful deckbuilders! It's nice to see the cards that were printed this year showcased before they inevitably slip back into the recesses of our minds as more and more new and exciting cards enter our vision. Here's where you come in: make sure you vote on which decks you thought were the best and who you would like to see in the Finals of CUT #21. Thank you so much for reading and voting and as always remember, if you don't love it, CUT it!