February 14, 2017

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Partners Without a Partner - Silas Renn

In this, the third instalment in my Partners Without a Partner series, we tackle Silas Renn, Seeker Adept!

If this is your first exposure to the series, here's how it works: We're brewing one half-deck for a partner in each colour pair. There will be ten in total, and anyone could mash up any two of these lists, add our six staple colourless cards set aside for each deck, and have a playable 100!

Silas Renn is all about artifacts, and since this will represent one-half of a deck only, we want to stay dense in the artifact department. I'll include the full list below, but out of these 26 cards, 15 of them are artifacts, which makes them relevant for Silas Renn's combat damage ability.

We've included a few ideal (read: cheap!) targets to be recurred from the graveyard. Baleful Strix is a true all-star in this half. It draws us a card, happily trades off with almost any creature that comes at us which makes it once again eligible to come back. It's possible that the Strix will likely keep our foes at bay and never get the chance to visit the graveyard. Not the worst problem! So we're running Executioner's Capsule. It also "trades" with a creature and comes back from the beyond even more cheaply. And of course, Expedition Map is one of the best artifacts to keep brining back. Especially considering the final 100 will be at least three colours, we might want the fixing.

All of this is well and good, but we need Silas Renn to get through in combat. His native deathtouch goes a long way there, but there could be a time when our opponents will not stand for our shenanigans. That's why we're running Key to the City. It's one of my favourite unblockable enablers since it costs no mana to activate. If we wanted to, we could even discard an artifact we plan to recast with Renn and still get that extra draw next upkeep. Mask of Riddles has great payoff in addition to getting through, and there's likely one opponent that won't be able to stop us out there. A piece of equipment that doesn't actually make our Commander any harder to block, Loxodon Warhammer ensures Silas will get at least one point of combat damage through unless they're willing to throw away five creatures. Fair trade.

Let's finish the job! Inkwell Leviathan is an untouchable beast of an artifact that will islandwalk it's way to victory in short order. Without a wrath, it's not going anywhere. And even if it did, we can get it back! Scuttling Doom Engine will do some real damage and ignores small tokens, and stings if it's killed - or sacrificed! Of course, that won't be the last time it shows up! And although it doesn't hit quite as hard, Steel Hellkite will decimate their forces in short order!

I'll cover a few support cards that do some real work here. Vedalken Archmage is the creature that will keep giving back as we cast our numerous artifacts from hand or the graveyard. Speaking of graveyards, they've given us a fantastic enabler in the Dimir guild with Ancient Excavation. It allows us to dump out cards we don't need, or artifacts we're "saving for later" in exchange for more cards! MORE CARDS! Sire of Stagnation, only available in Silas Renn's colour identity, has the potential to net us many extra cards. Especially if we get him out early!

There's the deck! This was the first brew to repeat a colour. Blue. Since we're mashing up two short lists, we can't have any repeats. Fortunately, we can basically double up on Counterspell by using Stoic Rebuttal, which in this deck, will usually cost the same!

Take a look at the list below and let me know what you would have changed. And have a look at the last Partner, Ishai, and notice why I couldn't use Cyclonic Rift in this brew!