It's Morphin' Time! Or Something Like That - Decked Out EDH Gameplay Breakdown

VeggieWagon • May 30, 2023

Whether you're an Ottobot or a Deceptoman, fighting for the All-Spice or Urzatron or your friend Shia Labeouf, we can all agree on one thing: I don't know much about Transformers. And for sure, these cards are certainly the Michael Bay of Magic: the Gathering with their complex CGI mechanics ending in giant explosions. In the latest episode, the Decked Out hosts MTGNerdGirl and VeggieWagon are joined by MTG personality Zbexx and WotC Senior Game Designer Melissa DeTora to settle once-and-for-all why it says "Convert" on the cards instead of "Transform."

Blaster, Combat DJ

Melissa is here to shoot some hoops and turn the tables with this unique spin on +1/+1 counter synergy. Her creatures have Modular from Blaster, Combat DJ, and when combined with cards like Hardened Scales, the number of counters on her board continues to increase over the course of the game. Between the Modular effect, artifact recursion, and card advantage from Towashi Guide-Bot and The Great Henge, she's planning to exhaust her opponents' resources trying to deal with her big beaters. Can a Gruul artifacts deck synergize well enough to keep up, or will Melissa get her shot blocked?

DO Blaster - Melissa

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Ratchet, Field Medic

Who needs healthcare when you've got Zbexx to rush to your rescue? (You should still have health insurance). Ratchet, Field Medic transforms life gain into free artifacts from the graveyard, and this deck is designed to loop that effect for a sky-high life total and triggered abilities galore. The goal is for a flashy win with Angel of Destiny or Aetherflux Reservoir, but going wide with Nykthos Paragon works just as well. Will Zbexx be calling an ambulance (but not for her!), or will she be distracted by all the flashing lights?

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Soundwave, Sonic Spy

NerdGirl has the simplest commander of the bunch, it just wants... creature tokens and spells and mill? Soundwave, Sonic Spy requires some significant setup, but the payoff is an army of tokens and free spells out of the graveyard. Conveniently, cards like Dread Summons and Zellix, Sanity Flayer mill opponents and mill at the same time, and then all that's left is to swing. Having out Mirror Box means Soundwave can keep pumping out legendary tokens to feed its own ability. Can NerdGirl put together the perfect mixtape, or will she forget to rewind?

DO Soundwave - NerdGirl

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Commander (1)
Lands (38)
Instants (14)
Sorceries (10)
Creatures (17)
Artifacts (14)
Enchantments (4)
Planeswalkers (2)

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Cyclonus, the Saboteur

Veggie is extra, but this game it's extra phases. Cyclonus, the Saboteur creates extra beginning phases when it hits a player, and Veggie wants to capitalize on the extra upkeep triggers. These often grant card draws, like Bloodgift Demon, and they even give him additional chances to achieve that Triskaidekaphile he's been wanting for so long. Giving Cyclonus double strike with Grappling Hook or other Equipment is a sneaky way to convert and get an extra beginning phase in the same combat! Will Veggie commit to the saboteur lifestyle, or is this just a phase?

DO Cyclonus - VeggieWagon

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Commander (1)
Lands (37)
Artifacts (21)
Enchantments (14)
Creatures (16)
Sorceries (7)
Instants (4)

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How It All Went Down

Dueling Crabs - The Early Game

NerdGirl drops a turn-1 Ruin Crab to begin filling her opponents' graveyards with spells, but she quickly learns it's a double-edged crab. Many of the milled cards are also beneficial to Zbexx and Melissa's strategies. A Keen Duelist from Veggie helps keep hands healthy, but not life totals! He ends up taking a good amount of damage from high-costed cards. Zbexx summons Losheel, Clockwork Scholar for even more card advantage and some free attacks. The pieces start to fall into place for Melissa as she assembles a Branching Evolution and Invigorating Hot Spring combo.

Battlebots - The Mid Game

Each player gets their commander in play to get their engines running. Zbexx converts Ratchet, Field Medic multiple times to recur some life-gaining artifacts and trigger Losheel, while Melissa increases her +1/+1 counter total with the Hot Spring and Blaster, Combat DJ's ability. Veggie uses Dark Ritual to speed out a Sphinx of the Second Sun, though extra Keen Duelist triggers may not be the best for his long-term plans. NerdGirl stalls out when Zbexx destroys her Blade of Selves before she can equip it, leaving her with no way to create tokens.

Ladies Who Lunch - The End Game

NerdGirl sits with a stolen Wurmcoil Engine and the threat of many more with Helm of the Host on the board, so Zbexx sends in an alpha strike to take her out before that can happen. However, because of a mid-game lunch break, she has forgotten about an earlier revealed Inkshield in NerdGirl's hand, which would make 42 Inklings instead! That is, until Veggie comes through with the Counterspell to ensure NerdGirl's doom. He then tries to take over the game himself with Kiora Bests the Sea God and a possible two extra beginning phases. Zbexx removes Cyclonus just in time to stop it, but this gives Melissa the distraction she needed. Her active Lux Artillery and mountain of counters on trampling creatures wipe out the remaining players in one turn to claim victory.

By The Numbers

Counters on the board at end of game: 182

Secret cosplays: 1

Obscure rules that mattered: 1

Inkshields remembered after lunch: 0

Watch the latest Decked Out episode so Veggie can stream the Transformers cartoon.

VeggieWagon is the co-host of Decked Out, an EDH gameplay show focused on having fun with Commander (weird, I know). He spends the rest of his time writing silly songs and sketches about Magic: The Gathering, which allows him to eat on occasion.