Shockbox EDH: Yurlok Enchantress

Sheep Wave • September 27, 2021

Hello. My name is Sheepwave, and I am a deranged madwoman. If you follow me on a single social media platform, you have probably seen me ranting about how I’ve spent the last few weeks assembling a machine that converts taking damage into actual electrical shocks. If you’ve been paying particular attention you will also know that the device is not nearly as simple as take one damage take a shock – it uses all kinds of random delays and thresholds to make the experience as stressful and startling as possible. I have talked about a great deal of the process of making and testing it on my TikTok and will be making a YouTube video about the full coding and construction of the device, but in short, it is fully functional and quite effective.

To answer your first question: Yes, I am a little insane. But even someone unhinged enough to build this has limits, and i did instate a few rules and bans to make the experience slightly less miserable. Magic players are nothing if not determined to break any rule you hand them, and I realized very quickly that if I didn’t ban it outright, somebody was going to attempt to give another player a Platinum Angel and start an infinite damage combo. Further testing showed that cards like Ad Nauseam and Treasonous Ogre were a lot less fun in practice then they first seemed, though I will hopefully get a true cEDH game going with the shockbox at some point.

If you are thinking to yourself “wait, Sheepwave, it sounds like you’re adding new rules and not breaking them, in your article series about breaking the rules!” to which I suggest you read articles 50, 51, 130 and 147 of the geneva convention. anyway, If you are curious about what the full modified rules of the shockbox are, the FAQ, special rules and banlist can be found here. A few major things stick out which I will be going over. So here we must ask: If you’re already hurting yourself and others anyway, what deck do you bring?

 

Group Slug with Sane Limits

Yurlok of Scorch Thrash is one of the three-color commanders that was introduced in Commander Legends. They do something many players have missed for a long time; they reintroduce mana burn (an old mechanic where unspent mana causes a player to take damage) back into the game. They also have the ability to add mana to every player’s mana pool (which if your opponents don’t have a way to spend will burn them for 3).

Spicy Includes

A common build for Yurlok is to play lots of cards like Manabarbs, Overabundance and Burning Earth– these cards punish players for tapping lands for mana at all. These cards are, however, explicitly banned under the special rules of the shockbox. In fact, when I was seeking out cards to add to the banlist, I specifically looked at Yurlok’s EDHREC page for ideas. So what direction do we take this commander in instead? Well, one of the most fun things about yurlok is causing problems on purpose with enchantments, so why not make a jund enchantress deck?

Sanctum Weaver is one of several payoffs for having enchantments, as well as always tapping for 1 thanks to being an enchantment creature itself. Setessan Champion lies among the traditional “enchantress” cards; cards which draw cards whenever you play enchantments and get stronger when you do. Grim Guardian is an example of plain and simple black enchantment payoffs that rarely see play due to black rarely appearing in enchantment decks.

As most nchantress Decks do, this deck favors its basic functions like ramp, removal and card draw to be on enchantments, such as on Seal of Primordium, Utopia Sprawl and Phyrexian Arena.

 

The problem with playing group slug strategies is that you get focused very fast. We want everyone to be attacking, but we want them to be atacking other people and not us. To this end, this deck runs a bunch of creatures like Kardur, Doomscourge, Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs, and Thantis, the Warweaver to keep creatures swinging and benefit when it happens. While this deck tries to avoid the problem many Yurlok decks fall into (ramping your opponents) it does still contain Belbe, Corrupted Observer simply because Yurlok’s ability makes her far easier to benefit off of than it will be for our opponents. This also leads us to our next strategy;

Big Mana

Big mana is fun. With Yurlok in play, you can cast Neheb, the Eternal and float nine red mana on your second main phase immediately. While this deck avoids most symmetrical mana doublers, Dictate of Karametra having flash means you can get to be the first one to untap with it. I’m surprised how much Culling Ritual is still being slept on, but with tokens running rampant as a strategy, Culling Ritual can easily take out your opponents entire boards while giving you enough mana to win the game, or die on the spot! I once killed a Yurlok player by casting Silence while they had more mana than life floating. Being able to sink that mana somewhere is important.

Comet Storm is a great way to turn a big pile of mana into a win condition, and the deck runs multiple variations of big X burn spells. Svella, Ice Shaper and other activated abilities let you turn extra mana into advantage over time, by either freecasting off the top of the library or storing mana as mana rocks. Doubling Cube has a neat interaction of being able to sink the 3 mana Yurlok produces, or reduce 4 floating mana to 2, or 5 to 4, as well as explosively turn 12 floating mana into 18.

Final Thoughts

Because this deck is actually legal in normal EDH rules, I can skip talking about how to convince other people to let you play it. However, if you want advice on how to get people to agree to play magic with electrodes connected to them, it takes literally no effort at all, and in fact you will have more volunteers than you know what to do with. I do not know why this is the case, I think Magic players are just masochists.

Yurlok Shocks Everyone

Commander (1)
Creatures (23)
Sorceries (12)
Enchantments (17)
Instants (4)
Artifacts (4)
Planeswalkers (2)
Lands (37)