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When I see one toughness, I think "two cards". That's because like most Magic players, I'll kill an innocent creature with a 1 from Kaldheim, the one who and a commander I've been playing and winning with since about five hours after it was first spoiled.without a second thought. If you're anything like me, let me sell ya on , his finest tool, , and how you can pair the two for a truly unique cEDH deck. Yes, this is a cEDH deck built around the other Dwarf
The Goal with Koll
The goal with Koll is to find you can draw your entire deck. From there, either of or are used to sacrifice any mana-neutral (or -positive!) creature until the entire table is dead from 1 damage pings. Simple!and break . That's not too hard, given it's already broken ( is banned in Standard, Modern, Legacy, and of course, Mirrodin Block Constructed), but manages to take it up to eleven by recycling any creature you feed to the almighty clamp. With , , and access to a mana-neutral creature, it takes one mana to draw two cards. That alone is a monstrously powerful advantage engine that will leave you wishing you had more than two hands to hold that many cards. But still, there's more. Once you find , congrats,
"A four card combo? How can that possibly work in cEDH?". I hear you, I do. Koll is Boros, Koll requires a lot of moving pieces, and Koll relies on cards that have never seen any play in any format, much less cEDH. But what might surprise you - and everyone you play against - is the sheer redundancy that lies within. Cost-reducers are plentiful, mana-neutral creatures are a dime a dozen, and tutors? It's easier to find
By the power of GreySkullclamp, I love tutors. When you think of good tutors, you probably think of black. Green is close, at least for creatures. Blue is somewhere behind both. Red and white? They're way back in the rear, struggling to pronounce tutor, much less use one. Or at least, that's what the goons at Big Color Pie would have you believe. In reality, finding is trivial, because when it comes to Equipment, Boros has no equal.
That's right, ten different cards that find. Including itself, that's eleven possible cards you can find in your opening hand, a 57.4% chance of success. And when I say success, I mean it. A hand that can't find Darksteel's is a hand that can't win. Always, always mulligan until you have a direct line to . Without it, the best thing you can say about is that he trades with .
While the above tutors can all find, there's no denying that some are better than others. At the top end, we have , scourge of Modern, finder of and the most efficient tutor we will ever see for this deck. Treat opening hands with as what they are: gifts. On the other end are cards like and that take a moment to wind up. If you're relying on the latter, make sure you have appropriate fast mana or an otherwise powerful hand with relevant interaction or support pieces.
So, you've got your hot little hands on, what next?
Kobolds and Ko.
It's time to find a clampee, a disposable creature whose skull you're happy to recycle. Don't fret, you won't need to tutor these: there are so many in the deck that you'll never be more than a few draws away from seeing one. In the event you don't,, , , and are at your service.
The simplest are the Kobolds, defenseless and free. Clamp them for one colorless, draw two cards, then slam them back down before they know what happened to them.is much the same. They aren't exactly exciting, but these little goobers are part of what makes me love as much as I do. Especially . It's rewarding to stare down wincons like , , and with a trio of Kobolds wearing pajamas.
These are refunders. They work much the same when assembling a loop, but the fact that you pay the cost up front will occasionally assist with sequencing. They also have unique lines:pairs nicely with when looking for crucial two-mana artifacts, and which allows for infinite mana paired with , a non- Equipment card, and costs reduced to (0) - not to mention reducing the required artifact/enchantment count for a successful victory. Speaking of Goblins, we have to acknowledge the terrible two.
It's a red deck that plays, go figure. It's not just mana-neutral, it's extremely mana-positive, but unfortunately it's a 1/2, impervious to . Thankfully, exists and can do all the hard work of killing . The same is true of : as long as it's mana-positive, it will work with and for infinite red mana and card draw. Yes, is among a select few cEDH decks that have to take sticker cards seriously. No, I'm not happy about it. Anyway, beyond , as long as either of these Goblin can make at least two more mana than they cost, they will go infinite with and either of or .
Stop Paying The (1)
No, not. To the extent you can, please continue paying for . I'm talking about the equip cost on , a single colorless mana. To be fair, that's already a ridiculously low price for drawing two cards, but the only thing better than paying one mana for two cards is paying zero mana for two cards, and just like 's tutor suite, the cost reduction options are surprisingly numerous:
Another Kaldheim native,is one of the few cards in this article that you'll find in other cEDH decks. It's perfect for going infinite with , but in a deck with this many zero-cost cards, is an absolute mana machine. A cheaper (and easier-to-tutor) alternative is . Making free to equip allows it to go infinite with every mana-neutral creature listed above except , which isn't actually mana-neutral to begin with. requires a little more setup, thanks to Metalcraft, but with an artifact count of 19, this is no challenge. More importantly, completely removes the equip cost. Reducing the equip cost by (2) rather than just (1) makes no difference for , but it does make a difference for our real win conditions, and .
Fighting 'Round The World
has its own mini section because it is both a tutor and a cost reducer, and because I love it so. It feels like it was custom-made just for . As it fulfils two roles, any opening hand with has a good chance at being a keeper. Play it for two mana, find (or / ), and you can assemble yourself a win. It really has no equal; is the stuff wins are made of. Oh yeah, and the third level lets you force blocks. If that ever comes up for you, let me know.
Tips and Tricks
Once you've found, you're going to draw a lot of cards, and as you're drawing, you're going to run into all those Equipment tutors I mentioned earlier. Surprisingly, cards like and its ilk remain useful at all stages of the game, thanks to the all the utility has in his armory. If you're held back by a or a or you think trying to pop off with a in play is too risky, is your answer. If you know the table is completely stacked with interaction, find yourself a or cheat it into play with or so nobody sees it coming. If the game is going long and you need a way to grind, invite the second most broken Equipment card ever printed to the party: .
will mostly eat mana-neutral creatures, but remember that they're not the only ones with a toughness of one. Some of the best tutors in Boros also share that lowly number. The ability to not only fetch out but recycle the same tutor to find is an extremely powerful one. As long as you have the mana, you can fetch out an amazing number of cards by using the same Recruiter over and over again, and best of all, you'll be drawing cards while you do it. Find a to protect yourself from pesky blue players, find a to get rid of that , or if you think you're safe to win now, find that .
Help, I've Lost Clamp!
In some ways,is more of a deck than it is a deck. That makes finding priority number one, which in turn makes destroying priority number one for your opponents. Whether they blow it up with or they answer it on the stack with , anticipate opponents doing what they can to put the Clamp in the bin. But for as powerful and important as is, it is not how we actually win the game. Think of it like a more traditional deck losing : it might be annoying, but the real win cons are elsewhere. This leaves us with two options.
The easiest thing to do is just bring it back. Red is very good at bring artifacts back into play, and white can hold its own if you dip into cards likeor the recently printed , but remeber that you don't need . You need what you've always needed: or . Yes, it's harder to find them without your primary draw engine, but don't spend more time than you need to mourning . Simply pivot and start trying to assemble the win directly.
Attack the Stax
I won't lie:has a difficult time with stax. Plenty of decks looking to vomit out their hand and go ballistic with fast mana do as well, but specifically suffers against almost every common stax card in cEDH.
effects, à la and , are disastrous for . Beyond the general focus on chaining low-cast cards, the entire combo revolves arounds playing and replaying the same thing; not easy to do when you can only cast one spell a turn. and are much the same, turning Equipments into Equipnots.
The answer to all of them? More removal. Thankfully, that's something white and red do extremely well. The cream of the crop is the recently printed, as good at removing limiting stax as it at double dipping on . Beyond the white bounce spell, we've got other catchalls, like and , and more specific answers, like , , and . is even worth running for the surprising quantity of cards it can destroy and the fact it's available off almost every creature in the deck. Knowing when and how to use removal is a major skill in cEDH, one that's important to keep in mind at all times with .
Dealing with Counterspells
Being a Boros deck,won't be influencing the stack much beyond , , and . Instead, has to preempt interaction with protection pieces like , , , and . and need no introduction, and we've already discussed , but shines especially bright in because we can reuse his effect. No, won't kill him, but his own sacrifice effect will, which can make for multiple turns worth of protection. If you want to take this further, you can find room for or even . Just remember you can't Clamp the Soldier tokens, 's +1/+1 ability will kick in.
This is an alternative combo and one that used to see play in earlier iterations of. With , a mana-neutral creature, an Equipment with an equip cost of (0), and , you have the tools necessary to ping down the entire table. This sounds good, given how close it is to the / line, but unfortunately is exceptionally difficult to find. Outside of and , Boros does not have efficient enchantment tutors. If you're building a budget variant of the deck or you're desperate for additional redundancy, including and one of the two Equipment isn't the worst choice you can make, but the deck doesn't need it.
At its heart, Koll is a deck about asking questions, not providing answers. Having said that, if you want to answer opposing graveyard strategies,is perfect. Like with all the equipment in this deck, it's extremely easy to tutor for. With effects like this and we could one day see a slower, toolbox focused variant of the deck. For now, consider if you're playing in a meta with an uncommonly high number of graveyard centric decks.
Paired with, , and any of the mana-neutral red creatures, functions as a breaker. You need to be able to play and replay that creatures three times to begin with, but once you can, you've got a mana-neutral loop. That sounds pretty good, but unfortunately doesn't do much of anything with the non-red enablers and won't reduce the cost enough to allow for a / win.
Fans of Hammertime in Modern may well notice the absence of. While it provides flexibility by allowing an instant speed and can even cheat on the first equip cost, it doesn't do much more than that. By the time you're up and running, it's a dead card and it fails at actually improving or protecting this deck's primary gameplan.
is good enough, why not ? As someone who played Cheerios in Modern during that brief period in 2017 when everyone thought it might be the next best thing and for a long time thereafter, it pains me that isn't good enough. Sadly, there just aren't enough Equipment pieces for to trigger reliably. Even if Koll doubled the number of Equipment it ran, will almost always be the first Equipment card you play, meaning draw is already taken care of.
If Jitte just isn't enough for you, there's always the best of the sword cycle,. A repeatable source of card advantage and removal is the kind of thing that can run away with a drawn out game very easily. At three mana to cast and two to equip, you're looking at an investment of five before you see any return, but the political power that comes with throwing out a every turn is surprisingly high.
My Clamp of Approval
Koll, Skullclamp cEDHView on Archidekt
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