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Killian? I hardly know 'em! (PDH) (EDH / Commander)

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    Pauper EDH is an alternative format that uses any uncommon creature as the commander and the 99 are commons.

    This Orzhov Silverquill deck is built around the recently spoiled Killian, Ink Duelist with his unique cost-reduction ability.

    I think there's a lot of ways to build Killian, heavy control / tethmos combo / voltron. I've decided to go for the latter.

    Let's start with the mechanics; Killian reduces the cost of cards like Crib Swap that target a creature.
    Similarly auras like Scavenged Weaponry have Enchant Creature which also targets a creature in its full oracle.

    This means previously unappealing cards like Hobble now are 1 mana cantrips with considerable upside, this is why most of the deck at the moment uses cards that cantrip.
    This means we can see a wide variety of cards at most points of the game and most importantly don't have to tap out, which lets us hold mana open to protect Killian, which the whole deck relies on keeping on the board.

    Since we're holding mana open we also run a fair amount of instant speed outlets like Bonder's Ornament and draw spells like Succumb to Temptation and Crushing Disappointment, there's also some cycling.

    The voltron game plan revolves mostly around the powerhouses Endless Scream and Ethereal Armor.
    Empyrial Armor is most likely also worth running, Edge of the Divinity might be just good enough?
    The rest of the auras are underwhelming. They either cantrip, provide vigilance, protection or regeneration.

    One concern is that a lot of removal in pdh comes from white or black and if we use protection white/black our auras will fall off (Benevolent Blessing being the exception, however preventing future auras.).
    If this comes up a lot we can replace a protection spell for a hexproof spell like Beaming Defiance / run more indestructible spells for example Adamant Will.

    Another concern are edict effects like Innocent Blood, Chainer's Edict and Diabolic Edict. For that we have creature-based cantrips like Thraben Inspector, Dusk Legion Zealot and more. If it's a major concern Recruit the Worthy might we worth considering.

    Killian has built in evasion with Menace however on top of that we run Angelic Gift (cantrips) & Nimbus Wings for flying, Grisly Transformation (cantrips) for Intimidate and Sleeper's Guile for Fear and atm Haunted Cloak is in the deck. Notably Vorrac Battlehorns makes Killian unblockable.

    The final auras I'll mention are Bonds of Faith and Phyrexian Boon, they're flexible as they either buff our commander or act as removal.

    Besides all the cantrips there's also actual card advantage in the deck; Night's Whisper, Sign in Blood, Casting of Bones, Read the Bones, Succumb to Temptation, Crushing Disappointment and Syphon Mind. Might be overkill considering the massive amount of cantrips in the deck, will have to see during playtesting.

    Considering the low avg. cmc (around 1.07 with Killian's reduction) the deck only has 35 lands, we're very likely to hit most of our land drops with all the cantripping so we might need even less.
    Ramp in the deck isn't very necessary as we want Killian on board as quickly as possible however the deck still runs Bonder's Ornament, Mind Stone & Commander's Sphere (worst case 3 mana cycling), Orzhov Locket (expensive card advantage). Will have to evaluate the usefulness of the mana rocks during playtesting.

    There's also Prying Blade & Goldvein Pick while not reduced by Killian I still believe they're very well suited for the deck as we want mana available for protection.

    A recent addition is Remove Enchantments, a very old card that lets us either save our auras from removal / replay our cantripping auras / remove cards like Lignify or Kasmina's Transmutation

    Lastly I'll mention the deck's recursion, Auramancer and Necromantic Thirst. Auramancer is good for the occasional piece lost like a Hobble / Phyrexian Boon or (god forbid) someone played a Hush or Patrician's Scorn, fortunately those cards are fairly rare in my experience.
    Necromantic Thirst is a bit sketchy in a deck with so few creatures, will have to see.

    Notable exclusions: Nihil Spellbomb, Relic of Progenitus, Faerie Macabre. Run them if you need graveyard hate.
    Sadistic Glee, Eternal Thirst. Could easily pump Killian considerably and will be tested but the deck doesn't run very many sweepers so they strike me as unreliable.
    Armory of Iroas' cost isn't reduced by Killian and strikes me as a bit slow, but might be worth considering.

    The manabase is probably not ideal, we want WB turn 2 for killian but at the same time don't want to run too many taplands since we want as much mana available as possible at all times, requires some testing.

    Thanks so much for reading! If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know!




    This deck appears to be legal in EDH / Commander.

    This deck contains cards from future sets that have not been released yet. These cards are marked with an asterisk (*) in the deck list. Thanks to MTG Salvation for sharing these with us.

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