How They Brew It - Malicious Compliance

Michael Celani • June 7, 2021

Gerrard Capashen by Brom

Here at Synergon, we pride ourselves on thinking outside the box to accelerate your business. Engage with your clients, seamlessly evolve your methodologies to seize newly elastic markets, and orchestrate frictionless relationships via exciting acquisitions and mergers.  Horizontally integrate your verticals and step into the future today. It's just common sense. Synergon: What Business Craves.™

Let's Get Down To Business

My name's Michael Celani, and I'm hiding in this broom closet to turn my smoke break into a toke break. Let me tell you, we're wasting our best years in these soulless cubicle-de-sacs. The hours are long, the deadlines are short, and my boss reminds me of my mom, because she is. This nine-to-five-guy's-burgers-and-cries lifestyle is getting to me, and to top it off, I've just been given the stupidest job ever.

You see, the higher-ups finally started printing card draw spells for white, but they're symmetrical. In other words, when I cast a spell that draws a card, someone else will draw cards, too. It's terrible, and it doesn't seem like this trend is going to stop any time soon. Corporate wants me to build a mono-white commander deck to show off their "exciting vision for the future."

Well, if the higher ups want symmetrical card draw, let's give it to them.

Card Catalog

With Gerrard Capashen on the field, each card in an opponent's hand represents more life for us. As someone with no life, that's a welcome change. Let's flip card advantage on its head by keeping everyone stocked on spells.

  • You won't need binoculars to find the card advantage in Farsight Adept. Buddy up with someone who's missing land drops, and they'll provide cover for you later.
  • Try to get your opponents to attack into your Howling Golem so you can block to get the most value. Don't be afraid to go on the offensive once everyone's figured out your tricks, though.
  • Not a fan of conflict? A Truce (or Temporary Truce if you're North Korea) is just what you need to keep the heat off yourself.
  • Like my hidden talks with Commander's Herald competition to double my salary Secret Rendezvous is beneficial for both you and the one you're admiring.
  • Remember, anything you create at work is company property, so Oblation can "compensate" employees for that million dollar idea!
  • Howling Mine and its two-of-'em-glued-together clone Font of Mythos work in the draw step, so you have just enough time to copy them with Mirage Mirror for your own turn.
  • Mikokoro, Center of the Sea, Temple Bell, and Otherworld Atlas are each perfect for the micromanager that needs to control exactly when everyone gets to live their lives.
    • Pair these up with Mind's Eye and watch those profits soar!
  • Of course, the Horn of Greed, for lack of a better term, is good for symmetrical draw as well.
  • And once you've reached the top, show off your wealth with your Coveted Jewel. Will players attack into you if you want them to draw cards?

Chief Execution Officer

Of course, it's not good enough for the employees to simply show up and do their job. Employees are expected to live and breathe the company culture, too. "Synergon is a family," they say. Well, my family is wanted in seventeen states for wire fraud. Passed off tin wire as silver. Surprisingly big deal in Maine. Anyway, you'll need to deal with those cards your opponents drew. Control your opponents like you're the big cheese with these spells:

  • Day of Judgment and your nine other wraths including Winds of Abandon and Scourglass each deal with the competition you'll face in the way of your being-alive monopoly.
  • Protect yourself from any corporate espionage with Faith's Shield, Blacksmith's Skill, and Apostle's Blessing. They'll keep your card draw artifacts and Gerrard safe from spot removal.
  • On the creature side, Cliffside Rescuer and Eight-and-a-Half-Tails both put in hours as meat shields and are capable of protecting your property, too.
  • Of course, we can't let our opponents actually use the resources they've been given - that would make Gerrard less effective! Keep their hands full by imposing a harsh Rule of Law, and you don't have to care that your persistent crunch time is a Curse of Exhaustion to all your employees, either.

Return On Investment

Now everybody's drawing like it's a lottery at an old folk's home. Luckily for our "cutthroat business," there's a deal on executions: one per cent, and now that our opponents are rich, it's time to eat them. Management wanted a deck where everyone gets along, but that's never what I had in mind.

  • Kiyomaro, First to Stand is also Last to Leave The Office, making him a very valuable employee on both offense and defense.
  • Psychosis Crawler and Iron Maiden each punish your opponents in a draw-heavy environment, so you can slowly whittle them down over time.
  • Venser's Journal is an inverse-Gerrard that will leave your opponents in awe at the size of your hand, not to mention your life total.
  • Speaking of your life total, Jasmine Seer repeatedly gives you two life for each white card in your hand. You can always use it to reveal a wrath or five to further intimidate your enemies.
  • Once your life total is large enough, unleash your Aetherflux Reservoir and snipe the competition, or sic Felidar Sovereign on them!
  • And though I personally can't stand Tolstoy, I can't help but admit that Sword of War and Peace is a perfect fit for this library.

A Golden Parachute

I've submitted this deck to my supervisors, but I never told them about the poison apple I've included in it that'll blow everyone's mind. One of our symmetrical draw spells looks innocuous enough: Happily Ever After.

Happily Ever After draws everyone a card and gains life, so it's on theme for the deck. You could even say that that's why you've included it. Nobody will touch an enchantment that does nothing, and how could you possible trigger the all-color requirement with white cards alone?

Trick question: you'll use a colorless card instead. Mascot Exhibition makes many multicolored creatures. Suddenly, retiring at eighty looks plausible! But let's discuss the elephant in the room: Mascot Exhibition doesn't make a green creature. Luckily, that can be solved with the elephant in the room.

Finding a New Job

My plan backfired! I've been promoted to management, and now I have to teach everyone in the company how to make Gerrard Capashen EDH decks. I'm not going to become another cog in a machine! I'm going fight the power! Even though it would cost me my hefty pay bump! Y-yeah! A


Hey, what are you doing? Get back to work, peon!

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Newly appointed member of the FDIC and insured up to $150,000 per account, Michael Celani is the member of your playgroup that makes you go "oh no, it's that guy again." He's made a Twitter account @GamesfreakSA as well as other mistakes, and his decks have been featured on places like MTGMuddstah. You can join his Discord at and vote on which decks you want to see next. In addition to writing, he has a job, other hobbies, and friends.