Going Brokkos - See How Mean This Dean Can Bean

Naomi Krause • October 7, 2021

Kianne, Dean of Substance // Imbraham, Dean of Theory | Art by Ryan Pancoast | Alterations by Naomi Krause


This better not awaken anything in me

Most of my napkin scribbles on this site have been about tossing older cards into Scrooge McDuck vaults and seeing if we can force them to kinda work. I mean there was that Tetzimoc, Primal Death build but that one was really cringy and bad so please don't read it ever. Outside of her, it's all been pre-2012-the-movie jank with 90% Kamigawa cards and 10% that guy from Hot Tub Time Machine. Let's churn out a disappointing sequel and play around with a new Commander from this past year.

The reason my articles tend to focus on old cards is because nowadays, whenever an interesting Commander is spoiled, people will figure out combos and builds in a flash and put them on stupid sites like EDHrec god what a stupid site who would run such a bad site geeze. So we're left with only a handful of legends with untapped potential. Untap pun.  

That said, Kianne, Dean of Substance // Imbraham, Dean of Theory have largely flown [HAH BIRD SOCK IT TO 'EM] under the radar. At the time of writing this, they're sitting at a paltry 42 decks on EDHREC, and that's a shame because they excel at one thing and one thing only: Exiling a $&%!load of cards from your library.



Let's break these folks down one side at a time. First off, we have Kianne, Dean of Substances. For the sake of this deck, we are 100% going to be ignoring her second ability. My original build focused on playing a ton of different unique mana value cards, but it was real bad and I honestly didn't realize the potential of her first, much better ability until after the build was done. Sorry Grozoth, another time old friend.

Anyways, Kianne excels at exiling cards off the top [SENSEI'S TOP GET IT AHAHAHA SUCK IT] and drawing into an extra land occasionally. It's not a particularly strong ability, but one that gets much more interesting once you introduce Untappers to the gene pool. Now you're exiling a loooooot of cards and drawing a loooooooot of extra lands. Also Life From The Loam would probably fit into this deck with the fetchlands but I hate that card more than literally any other in the game don't @ me so it aint here. Feel free to add it in yourselves and never tell me about it lest I lose all respect for you as a person.


This half of the deck is all about finding Untappers and making sure you can put those extra lands in your hand to use. There's probably an argument for an Ayula's Influence or something but ehh that's not really how we're planning on winning with this mishmash of garbage proxies.


Since we're a smidge better at deckbuilding than whoever threw together that voltron precon, we're going to toss in a few other cards that synergize with our untap target permenant tribal theme. Arcanis the Omnipotent draws a million cards, Zimone, Quandrix Prodigy helps us drop the extra lands we're drawing with our commander, and Circle of Dreams Druid poorly represents its subclass. Seriously guys there's literally a druid circle thats all about summoning creatures why would you not slap Gaea's Cradle on that.



Moving on, let's gossip about Imbraham, Dean of Theory. This feathery fothermucker also exiles a metric $%@!ton of cards, but specializes more in one big explosion rather than Kianne's precision strikes. He's also much better at tutoring for extra cards since you're effectively sorta but not really Dig Through Timeing every time you tap him.

This half of the deck is all about finding Ramp. Specifically ramp that actively taps for a lot so we can weave it together with all of our Untappers. That's why I love these deanalingalings; both halves are unique, but they flow together so well. Kianne can set you up for extra lands while Imbraham can help you dig for Untappers.

A lot of the time, MFDCs feel like they sort of work together but not really. Even the other Deans in the cycle suffer from this.

Uvilda gives cards crappy suspend and when you cast them Nassari gets.... a +1/+1 counter. Coooooool. Then Nassari's first ability doesn't have anything at all to do with Uvilda. They must be the school administrators that dab all the time and secretly hate eachother. Kianne and Imbraham excel at proactively improving their other half the next time you bring them down, so they're clearly the cool principals that... uh hmm my principals were all awful and emotionally abusive so I have no frame of reference for that. Ok Kiane and Imbraham are like Spongbob, perfect.



So we're doing cool skateboard tricks to exile a ton of cards and convince freshmen's parents to donate to our pyramid scheme, so what? How does that help me get a job? How do we actually win the game? That's where our old buddy Food Chain comes in.

A lot of people have asked me, "Hey Naomi, where are you supposed to play these decks? What power level do they fit into, cEDH or casual?"  Great Question!


























So Food Chain is far and away the most consistent strategy to exploit our vast fields of exiled cards. Since we actually want our combo creatures to be in exile, all we need is to draw the dirt pile and self mill our library into the cosmos before dropping a Walking Ballista with infinite creature mana.

Of course, this can go horribly wrong and we can exile our Food Chain without being able to retrieve it right away, but the nice thing about Dean Pelton is that his ambiguous sexuality puts Study counters on every card exiled with them. So we can grab one of those peanut bars whenever we feel like, even if we have 0 mana to pay into Imbraham's X.



In case things go horribly awry and our deck is being torn apart like a proverbial cowboy star wars paintball game, we have a few hail marys to grab cards we really need. Riftsweeper is the most obvious oh crap card to shuffle Food Chain back in, and Mirror of Fate can act as a weird sort of Doomsday to freaky friday our exile pile with our library. Also Mirror of Fate is a great backup option for Thassa's Oracle decks. Even if its kinda slow, it lets you go hold up mana for countermagic next turn just sayin'.


There's also a backup Isochron Scepter + Dramatic Reversal combo if you get lost in the woods and need to rub one out real quick. Oh and Intruder Alarm will let you know if your parents came home early and you need to come something jesus christ what am I writing.


Mind Over Matter is a silly card that can let us exile our entire library fairly often if we can get Kianne suited up with some Illusionist's Bracers and we're able to keep hitting lands. Retreat to Coralhelm is our bad budget version that works well with cards that let us play multiple lands per turn. There's also our old pal Arcanis the Omnipotent if you feel like going infinite but what kind of loser puts cards in their hand ewwww.


Oversimplify is in the list because Simic just gets all of the cool white cards now I guess. There's really no need to single this card out, I just feel like bitching about color pie creep and beating the dead crab horse with simic deathtouchers. Oh and I can always reanimate that horse with Finale of Devastation cuz green gets that too now. Why do I play this game again?


Oh yeah because Akroma's Memorial is dope as hell and actually functions quite well in this deck with all of the ramp and cards that could really use haste. The extra protections are a nice bonus, eat #@!% Avacyn's Memorial (I actually really like that card don't tell twitter).


Chromatic Orrery is sort of a weird include, but it works well with the untap squad and the mana filtering can be quite useful when we're only able to generate a bunch of green and want to abuse untappers to dig with Abraham some more. We're running a healthy number of Artifacts in the list, so being able to snatch the ones we exile with Karn, the Great Creator is a nice little boost if the Deans are out raving.


In Conclusion

I hate to say it because this series is mostly a thought experiment focused on seeing if it's possible to make bad commanders good given unlimited resources, but you could 100% build a budget deck with these nerds and have a ton of fun with it. The flip flopping deans may only excel at one very specific niche strategy, but man oh man do they excel. Switching on that turbo mode and giving yourself carpal tunnel with the untap game feels so good, and I highly recommend investing in higher education today.



Dalmatian Video Kianne EDH

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Commander (1)
Lands (32)
Enchantments (12)
Creatures (24)
Instants (5)
Artifacts (16)
Sorceries (8)
Planeswalkers (2)

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Naomi Krause is a weirdo Cephalid lady who writes jokes about card games and desperately craves your approval due to an emotionally abusive upbringing. She also loves crabs!