Not Your Average Blink Deck | $50 Shilgengar, Sire of Famine Budget EDH Deck Tech

Benjamin Levin • June 22, 2024

Shilgengar, Sire of Famine | Illustrated by Chris Rallis
Sanctuary Warden | Illustrated by Johannes Voss

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another installment of BathoomBrews. In last week's article, I ran a poll to see which commander you lovely nerds wanted me to build around and at the time of writing Shilgengar, Sire of Famine was the winner, so let's build my take on Shilgengar Orzhov blink. I'll be going over the primary gameplan, key cards, and the upgrades. As always, the final price of the deck must be $50 or less excluding the price of the commander. Without further ado, let's get into it.

The Game Plan

If you couldn't tell from the name of the deck or if you skipped my intro, I decided to build Shilgengar as a blink commander. Now, you might be wondering why I did that instead of an Angel or more traditional sacrifice deck. I decided to make a blink deck because of their reanimation ability. They return creatures with finality counters, which can be removed by blinking the creatures, and what does reanimating creatures do? Brings them back into play, triggering all of their ETBs again, effectively blinking them. I also wanted to note that you can use Shilgengar's ability at instant speed if someone tries to exile your graveyard. 

The Blink Package

Let's kick off the key cards with the blink package of the deck. The easiest way to remove all of the finality counters from creatures is to blink your entire board, and we can do that with Eerie Interlude, Ghostway, and Lae'zel's Acrobatics. These effects can hit your entire board, basically doubling the ETBs from your creatures. 

While not a blink spell in the traditional sense, Cosmic Intervention can be a powerhouse in the deck. It allows you to sac a board with finality counters and still return them to play because both the finality counters and Cosmic's effect are replacement effects, so you get to pick which one resolves first. 

The remaining noncreature blink spells are pretty standard. They consist of staples, like Ephemerate, Flicker of Fate, and Touch the Spirit Realm. Nothing fancy here, just solid value inclusions. Feel free to replace these with whatever blink staples look good to you, these are often flex spots in decks. 

As for creatures that can blink, we have Charming Prince, which shouldn't be a surprise, but one of the best sleeper picks is Abdel Adrian, Gorion's Ward. He's a slower blink, since he exiles creatures under him, but he gives you a board of 1/1s, which your commander can sacrifice for Blood. Then you can sacrifice him to return all your creatures into play. 

Blink Payoffs - Ramp, Draw, and Removal

Of course, we need creatures that benefit from being blinked and reanimated. First up is our ramp package, with Claim Jumper (I always read this as clam jumper for some reason,) Loyal Warhound, Kor Cartographer, and Solemn Simulacrum. The cantrip creatures consist of the usual bunch of Wall of Omens, Spirited Companion, and Inspiring Overseer. Nothing too fancy here, just solid, cheap creatures that give us value throughout the game. Finally, there are the removal creatures, with Ravenous Chupacabra, Skyclave Apparition, Noxious Gearhulk, Accursed Marauder, and Witch Enchanter.

Utility Creatures

Next, let's talk about the utility creatures. These creatures don't necessarily benefit from being blinked or reanimated, but instead provide some other function for the deck. For example, Fain, the Broker and Sanctuary Warden provide additional ways of removing the finality counters from creatures. I wanted to add Hex Parasite, but I couldn't fit it into the budget. A recently added card was Thalisse, Reverent Medium. I overlooked her value when I first put the deck together, but she generates a Spirit every time you make a Blood token, or any token for that matter. Another creature I almost forgot was Mirror Entity. We use it to turn all of our creatures into Angels. Even if X is two, that is still twice the amount of Blood tokens we would get from non-Angels.

Blood Token Support

Before we get into the win conditions for the deck, I wanted to talk about the Blood token support: Voldaren Bloodcaster and Glass-Cast Heart. Voldaren Bloodcaster doubles the number of Blood we can generate from non-Angel creatures, and when it flips we can turn our Blood into 2/2 Bats, while Glass-Cast Heart can drain the table for 13 if we sacrifice 13 Blood. If we can do that with one or two of the win conditions we're about to go over in play, you should be able to win the game on the spot.

Win Conditions

Unlike Azorius blink decks, I've found winning with Shilgengar easy. You include some aristocrat cards, such as the new Marionette Apprentice, Marionette Master, and Nadier's Nightblade, to chip away at opponents' life totals as you sac creatures and/or Blood tokens. Corpse Knight does a great job of pinging everyone when you reanimate your board, while Gray Merchant of Asphodel should easily close out the game after being looped a few times. Finally, Agent of the Iron Throne is an enchantment that can drain out the table. The only downside is you need Shilgengar in play for it to work.

The Upgrades

If you're looking to spend a little bit more on the deck, there are solid upgrades you could make. My first two choices would be Solemnity and Hex Parasite. Be careful with Solemnity, since it is a nonbo with some of the cards in the deck. Plus, Hex Parasite is great at removing the finality counters from your creatures and can be used to remove counters from your opponents' permanents. Of course, you could add more Angels, with Avacyn, Angel of Hope or Battle Angels of Tyr, or more sacrifice payoffs, like Pitiless Plunderer.

Not Your Average Blink Deck - $50 Shilgengar Deck Tech

View on Archidekt

Commander (1)
Instants (13)
Artifacts (10)
Sorceries (4)
Lands (35)
Creatures (33)
Enchantments (4)

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer
View this decklist on Archidekt


I'd love to hear your thoughts on the deck in the comments down below, or over on Twitter @BathroomMTG. Let me know if you think I missed any cards, got any rules wrong, or want to suggest another deck for me to brew up.

Ben has been playing Magic since 2012 and started creating Magic the Gathering content in October of 2022 on YouTube under the name BathroomBrewsMTG ( Primarily focusing on budget EDH content. When he isn't thinking or talking about MTG, he is usually playing video games, spending time with his wife or playing with his two cats. You can find him on Twitter @BathroomMTG.