How They Brew It - The Neverending Story

Michael Celani • April 24, 2023

God-Eternal Kefnet | Illustrated by Lius Lasahido

Come in, weary wanderer! Hang your hat, put away your satchel, and lay down that enriched uranium suitcase of abandoned armor-piercing discarding sabot kinetic energy projectiles which you rescued from that drive-thru deal gone wrong. You've reached an ancient place of safety, of warmth, and of knowledge, a space that exists outside time and place, where you can find anything to read that your heart desires. Yes, we welcome you to The Traveler's Repository, a nexus which contains all books and stories that are and ever will be written, and which our lawyers maintain is a legally distinct entity from any other such fictional libraries you might have heard of. No outside beverages, please.

Left on Read

Greetings! I'm director Michael Celani, and being the lone steward of an infinite library is not easy. People keep talking in our uncountable corners, invariably disturbing our uncountable number of patrons, I find books left out and not put away everywhere, and the less we talk about how Dewey the decimals are in the adults-only section, the better. It's enough to make me consider giving up reading entirely and frittering my time away chasing pointless pursuits like video games or a meaningful connection with my wife. I had to campaign for this position. I'm stressed, so needless to say, we're hiring.

While I take my fifth break this hour (let's go with... smoke break, haven't used that one in a while), please direct all your complaints to God-Eternal Kefnet. With him, when you check out your first card from the library each turn, you may reveal it; and if it happens to be an instant or sorcery card, you can copy it and cast the copy for less. Once this library is up and running, you'll see just how much fun (for you, not your opponents) literacy can be.

Throw the Book At 'Em

The first step in getting this library system up and running is to horribly misappropriate funds meant for children's programs into a fund meant for my new car hire professionals that are passionate about helping the public. Ideally, we want to employ creatures that make it easy to draw cards not only on our own turn, but also on our opponents' turns. That way, we can take advantage of God-Eternal Kefnet's ability multiple times a cycle. Luckily, my new questionnaire is guaranteed to filter out grifters and conmen by including questions like "Would you be disappointed to find only gold at the end of the Reading Rainbow?" and "Have you been to Florida?". Let's see the candidates!

  • Merfolk Looter and Thought Courier are the quintessential looters, and most of our inclusions will be variations on this theme. This is excellent, because as an erudite reader, I like to challenge myself by analyzing the themes of various literature, such as how Crime and Punishment is about a man who could have gotten away with it if it weren't for his terrible execution.
    • There's a couple more two-mana candidates worth mentioning:
      • Like my deadbeat father after wasting his paycheck on booze-flavored cigarettes, there's couple of bargain-bin looters out there. Represented by Dragonborn Looter and Facet Reader, they're practically the same -- don't tell me that one point of toughness matters -- but they unfortunately require to activate.
      • Sindbad might force you to discard the card you just drew, which seems like a critical flaw, but since we're copying the spell we cast with God-Eternal Kefnet anyway, it's not as Sindbad as it seems.
    • At three mana, we would have more tricks up our book sleeves, if they didn't keep getting destroyed by careless patrons.
      • Reckless Scholar, Cephalid Looter, and Cephalid Broker each target a player. Like my harshest insults, most of the time I'm targeting myself, but that all changes the moment Narset, Parter of Veils hits the battlefield and we're suddenly capable of making opponents discard at instant speed.
      • Bonded Fetch has haste, which allows us to loot immediately if we need it to find something like a land the turn we cast it.
      • Zephyr Scribe often untaps itself after Kefnet copies what we draw, which makes him more all-in-one than some of these other options.
      • Enclave Cryptologist is essentially a standard looter, but you can build up to it over two turns instead of needing it all at once. You can even power-level him into an actual engine if you're so inclined.
  • Teferi, Master of Time is capable of drawing four times in one cycle, and with Kefnet as a shield, it'll be quite difficult to hit him.
  • Finally, though Stinging Lionfish isn't itself a looter, it tends to reset them each time you use them, so keep it around if you want to be selfish standoffish e-fish-ent concerned with productivity.

Here Are Your Library Cards

So which Commander Spellbook do our patrons care to read, and where can we find it? Unfortunately, nobody knows how to use the internet here at the Traveler's Repository, because access to our computer lab is locked behind nine separate sign-up processes. Luckily, we do have quite a large card catalog, which is a phrase I've been wanting to say on How They Brew It for years and only now do I finally get my wish. Anyway, this upcoming list of cards contains the spells we're casting with Kefnet.

  • Before we can check out our game-ending cards, we first need to find them. Inexpensive draw spells, like Chart a Course, Ghastly Discovery, and Frantic Search, dot our list of nonpermanent spells because you can copy them on the cheap and then practically double up on their effect by casting the real thing.
    • Most of them are fairly similar, but it's worth taking a special look at Brainstorm, because its copy is capable of putting the original back on top of your library. Brainstorm every single turn, and your opponents will be begging you to play something else so that games can actually progress.
    • In fact, Brainstorm is so good in this deck that we're running Spellseeker to find it. If you play with it a lot and find you love it, consider adding a copy of Micromancer to the list, too.
  • As we draw cards, we'll also need to control the board to ensure that the game lasts long enough for us to find our win conditions.
    • Recalibrate is especially effective in this deck because, like when the Vikings find your unprotected coastal settlement, there's going to be a lot of looting going on. You're almost guaranteed to get that draw if you want it.
    • Baral's Expertise is a bounce spell with extra value attached. If you draw this on an enemy turn, you can effectively use this to flash in an additional creature or cast a sorcery at instant speed, too.
    • Curse of the Swine is all the more delicious when you can exile two creatures for free off of Kefnet's copy.
    • A Flood of Tears is what will be coming out of your opponent when you cast it on their end step, as you can bounce all of their permanents while leaving behind Kefnet or some other big permanent under your control.
    • Spectral Deluge is a one-sided board wipe that's almost guaranteed to hit each creature your opponents control, barring them playing something like Yargle and Multani.

Welcome to the Club

We'll talk about our game-winners in the next section, but first a quick detour to show off our rapidly expanding book club. As in, I just discovered this room an hour ago, and now it's already four times the size it was then and it's filled with things that get us even more value off casting spells and drawing cards. Oh, God, it's reached five times; someone, please help me.

Book Return

Of course, we here at the Traveler's Repository ask that you return your books once you're done reading them so that other patrons can enjoy them as well. Some people try to keep them for well past their due date, and let me tell you, it's annoying to have to go pick up more bullets every week. Let me tell you a little secret, though: one person figured out the trick to keeping a book out as long as he wanted. His name was Leng, and figured out a way around our limit on renewals.

That's right, there's a reason our deck is filled with Reckless Scholars. Since discarding the card is part of the effect of these looters, and not the cost, with Library of Leng out on the battlefield we can simply return the card we withdrew back to the top of the library we just checked it out from. Put a card like Ghastly Discovery on top of your deck, draw it with Merfolk Looter, cast the copy off of Kefnet, and then repeat the process a turn later. Effectively, that lets cast spells as many times as we'd like.

Ever wanted to halve your opponents' libraries multiple times? By recurring Maddening Cacophony and kicking it repeatedly, you can do just that. Or make tons of copies of an enemy Avenger of Zendikar with your repeatable Rite of Replication. And the thing about casting a copy of Bond of Insight is that you don't have to exile the real thing! (Real jerks would use this to cast extra turn spells, but I can't advocate for that here or my lifespan will rapidly enter the fiction section.)

Oh, if you're worried about finding Library of Leng, don't; we've got plenty of ways to handle that. The following five cards can all find Leng, and with all the draw in the deck, it's only a matter of time before you run into one of them or the permanent itself.

Time to Check Out

Well, weary wanderer, thank you for spending your time here, with us at the Traveler's Repository. Unfortunately, it's closing time: 3 PM. Just be thankful you're not here on Sunday, where we open at 7 AM and close at 6 AM. I'd lead you to the exit, but unfortunately, with our premises always expanding, I no longer know where that is. Good luck!

If you enjoy How They Brew It, please check out the Discord and my other projects at my website. You can vote on what article you want to see next, or just check out the other cool stuff I do! Also, make sure you check out the other cool articles here, like A Case For Allowing More Than 99 Cards in EDH. See you then!

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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.