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Merieke Ri Berit High Power Untap Combo Primer (EDH / Commander)

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    Merieke Ri Berit Untap Combo

    Goal

    The goal of this deck is to find an infinite untap + mana combo, draw the deck, and win by looping Blue Sun's Zenith with Sensei's Divining Top.

    > Combo Lines

    • Illusionist's Bracers line - we need either Aphetto Alchemist or Tidewater Minion to make it a two card combo or two of the other untappers making it a three card combo. Alchemist and Minion are the only untappers that can target themselves so they're ideal. The way this works is that we target an equipped untapper with the untap ability of an untapper. We resolve one copy of the ability, then hold priority and untap something else with the untapper. After that we let the other ability resolve untapping the untapper. This way we've netted one extra untap that can be targeted at anything like lands, rocks, our commander or even tap down our opponents' stuff in the case of Fatestitcher.
    • Isochron Scepter + Dramatic Reversal line - this is a very familiar line and I'm not going to explain it any further. Just note that it also grants us infinite untaps on our creatures, too, which means we can untap lands so the combo can actually run on two mana + an untapper (or theoretically even a single mana and two untappers).
    • Pemmin's Aura or Freed from the Real line - these run off of untappers. We need some good targets for untaps: Gilded Lotus, Chromatic Orrery or Lotus Field. The way this works is that we tap one of the good targets for mana, then untap it with an untapper and untap the untapper with one of the floating blue you've produced. Rinse and repeat for infinite mana. We proceed to untap the untapper repeatedly with the infinite mana we have in order to get infinite untaps on everything.

    > Outlets

    • X-spells will draw us our entire deck. They're all instant speed and some of them can target other players, too.
    • Sensei's Divining Top can be activated, then in response untapped with infinite untaps, tapped again etc. Once we start resolving the Top's abilities the first one draws us a random card and puts the Top on top of the library, the second can't put the Top on top anymore so it just draws a card (the Top) and the third draws a random card again etc. This way we can draw our entire library. The good thing about this loop is that we can draw cards one by one until we hit an important card. This circumvents the inherent weakness of drawing our deck with an X-spell where X=library which could be responded to with instant speed forced draw which would lose us the game.
    • Codex Shredder will get us infinite mill on our opponents if we have infinite untaps.

    > Looping

    • Blue Sun's Zenith is the final piece of the puzzle. We target our opponents with it after which it "shuffles in" to our library being the only card there. Re-draw with the Top.
    • In case we need to loop our entire library it's possible with Top, infinite mana and infinite untaps on the board: cast Timetwister to shuffle everything back in. Re-draw the library with Top. Return Timetwister back into your hand with Codex Shredder. Repeat.

    > Lands

    The land base is optimised for Necropotence on curve. Double blues are also often necessary so we run all duals, shocks, fetches, pains and the the Shadowmoor filter that can produce blue and black. We rely a bit on some utility lands:

    > Ramp

    Nothing special here except for Chromatic Orrery which we'll discuss later. All rocks fuel the infinite combos so they have a double role in running this deck. It's also important to remember that all the untappers can untap rocks and lands acting as slower ramp. The deck puts out surprising amounts of mana with all the untapping going on.

    > Draw

    Somewhat standard except the abundance of X-draw which is necessary for our combo. The deck produces a nice amount of mana with all the rocks and untappers so it's actually possible to draw a decent amount of cards with an X-spell (at instant speed in the end step of the player right before us).

    > Tutors

    > Oddities

    • Ertai's Meddling - this is a "{1}{U} Counter target Dovin's Veto" spell. It exiles a spell instead of countering it essentially letting us stop uncounterable spells. It also catches Supreme Verdict and Boseiju, Who Shelters All in case someone is running them.
    • Disallow - stops nasty disruption like Cephalid Coliseum and other forced draw. We're quite vulnerable when our deck is empty and we're looping BSZ. We're running infinite mana at this point already so it doesn't really matter what it costs as long as it can catch all threats.
    • Chromatic Orrery - enables certain combo lines but more importantly it is also a win condition by itself. With infinite mana and untaps we can cast our commander and use the Orrery's last ability to draw cards. Our ramp package is decent so getting it out is not difficult at all.
    • Hall of the Bandit Lord - it's a tapped land but most of our untappers can untap it on the turn it comes in. More importantly it's a haste enabler for the untappers. Having to wait for a full turn cycle with some low toughness dorks is just asking for it.
    • Boseiju, Who Shelters All - can again be untapped on the turn it comes in by an untapper. It's crucial nobody counters our spells once we've established infinite mana and untaps so this is an additional means of protection.
    • Capsize - it's another outlet for infinite mana. It can remove problematic permanents for its regular mode and with buyback we can wipe the entire board.
    • Codex Shredder - triple role: can loop Timetwister. Can act as a win condition with infinite untaps because you can mill everyone infinitely. Can hose "on top of the library" tutors with a single activation.

    > Notable Exclusions

    I will update the list based on comments.

    • Fierce Guardianship - our commander isn't guaranteed to be out as she is not necessary for the combo to run.
    • Tainted Pact / Demonic Consultation + Thassa's Oracle - it's an untap combo deck. Pure flavour reasons. The deck would be built very differently if it revolved around those combos.
    • Silence - couldn't fit it in easily. I think it's better to have a counterspell at hand than to have Silence but this is debatable and I'm more than welcome to hear arguments against and for it.
    • Reshape - not enough targets. Cannot target rocks because those are needed for the combo and also Reshape can only be used when we already have Dramatic Reversal.
    • Basalt Monolith and Grim Monolith - I would love to fit these in for their ease of use but there's very little wiggleroom in the deck as it is so these got cut. Again, I'll gladly take arguments for and against them.
    • Reanimate and other reanimate effects - they are just redundant with Volrath's Stronghold. Also with so many tutors it's usually easier to go find a new untapper than it is to try and salvage a dead one.
    • Anguished Unmaking is just so awkwardly coloured it's not worth running it. It's also three mana which is a pain to hold up.
    • Mystic Sanctuary - there are not enough Islands for this to work, ever.
    • Diabolic Intent - Merieke isn't reliable as a means to steal creatures thus we can't rely on being able to sacrifice anything for these tutors. This applies to any effect that requires you to sacrifice a creature.
    • Skullclamp - as said above this isn't reliable.
    • Thousand-Year Elixir - it's a good card and would do well in the deck but if we go by the heuristic "would I rather draw this than X" we notice that it's a card that doesn't quite reach the level of the other cards in the deck. I'm happy to hear counter arguments for this. We already have Hall of the Bandit Lord so it's a bit redundant.
    • Trinket Mage - a debatable exclusion. Again, expensive but it hits several fast mana rocks and Sensei's Divining Top so it might just be worth it.
    • Spellseeker - too few important targets. The only noteworthy target is Dramatic Reversal. It does find several tutors and Cyclonic Rift if those would be needed.
    • Expedition Map - while we do play a lot of good lands it's probably not worth it to have a direct tutor for it. Plus, it costs three mana to use which is prohibitively expensive for us since we're trying to combo off before a land like Volrath's Stronghold will be relevant.

    > Merieke Ri Berit

    Merieke Ri Berit is mostly there for the colours but it's also the only commander in these colours that has anything to do with untapping. There are many ways to break Merieke's ability but the most important one for us is untapping her repeatedly. If we activate her, in response untap her and then activate her ability again we gain controls of multiple creatures that do not die. This is an important part of our removal package as it can answer all creature threats. With infinite untaps she can even take on an army of tokens if need be.

    > Strengths

    • This deck shines against combo decks and other single-threat decks because it has offensive counterspell power and Merieke to deal with creatures. The spells we carry can hit all kinds of targets (Praetor's Grasp, Disallow, Chain of Vapor) so it's geared to both disrupt and defend itself from a multitude of threats.
    • This deck can also push through some forms of stax because it can steal pieces (Opposition Agent, Hullbreacher), produce decent mana and untapping combos don't require casting unlike Isochron Scepter + Dramatic Reversal. It's hard to respond to untapping things, too, because regular counterspells do not work.

    > Weaknesses

    • Go wide and aggro, fast combat decks. This deck uses its life heavily as a resource so when facing against a very fast aggro deck it just crumbles if it can't get lucky draws.
    • Tutor disruption hits hard like with any combo deck that has multiple pieces.
    • Also due to our greedy land base Back to Basics and Blood Moon will shut down our lands somewhat effectively. This is somewhat mitigated by our rocks and untappers.

    > Budget Considerations

    • For the fast mana just jam in cheaper mana rocks like the full Signets cycle, Mind Stone and friends.
    • Expensive tutors can be replaced with draw spells and cheaper tutors like Trinket Mage.
    • Timetwister has a direct budget replacement: Echo of Eons. It functions basically identically but it costs double the amount of mana.
    • Free counterspells can be replaced with regular 2-3 costed counterspells. Mind you that you need to have more open mana for your combo in order to be able to protect it. Once you have your combo set up it doesn't make a difference.
    • Volrath's Stronghold can be replaced with a regular Island.

    Tags

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    This deck appears to be legal in EDH / Commander.

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