All Creature / Creatureless project

As a sub project of this deckbuilding endeavor, I like to sometimes hold myself to specific restrictions. They have included Ultra-Mono (no non-lands outside color identity), CMC Restrictions (all non-lands either have that CMC or can be played for that cost in a non-X way), or All Permanents.

The restrictions I’ve followed most often are the All-Creature deck, and the “Creatureless” deck. Creatureless decks are allowed to create creatures, and have creatures as generals, but play no cards with the Creature type in the 99.

While I doubt that I will ever complete this grid, I am interested in filling it out over time.

Color All Creature “Creatureless”
 White  Commander Eesha
 Blue  Azami, Lady of Scrolls  Soromaro, First to Dream
 Black  Lim-dul/Geth/Chainer,  Nefarox 2.0
 Red  (almost Kiki-Jiki)  Slobad/Kurkesh/Daretti
 Green  Thrun, the Last Troll
 W/U  Daxos of Meletis
 G/W  Karametra, God of Harvests
 W/B  Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts
 U/R    Niv-Mizzet, the FireMind
 R/W  *tbd
 WUB  Oloro, Ageless Ascetic
 WUR  Narset, Enlightened Master
 RGU  Animar, Soul of Elements

Game #189: Commander Eesha

Game #189: Commander Eesha
Date: 2016-02-02
Location: Red Castle Games, Portland OR
vs. Melek; Derevi; ZoZu the Punisher
Result: Fun Win

Commander Eesha, Magic, JudgmentvsMelek, Izzet Paragon, Magic, Dragon's MazeDerevi, Empyrial Tactician, Magic, Commander 2013Zo-Zu the Punisher, Magic, Champions of Kamigawa

Because Mono-White is really fun to play (and haters think it’s the worst), I had to build a second Mono-white deck as I was building Mikaeus (Game #188) because I had so many other possible Generals.  I started this game with a Plains and a Tormod’s crypt. I’d never played against a ZoZu deck before and was a bit scared.  Zozu hit early with a Meekstone as back-up, but Melek Pongified ZoZu.  Derevi played a Soulcatcher’s Aerie (which I was quite happy to see).

I played Eesha on turn 4 and played an Opal Palace. Zozu played a Manabarbs.  I played a Delyaing Shield to offset some of the Zozu damage, and was happy that Derevi Cyclonic Rifted everything a way. I recast Eesha, Zozu played Koth and a Caged Sun and Manabarbs and a Basilisk Collar and it was looking scary.  I know I buffed Eesha and set up some defenses for myself (Orbs of Warding).  I was at low life thanks to Derevi’s for-style-points-only Ebony Owl Netsuke.  I used a Riot Control to stay alive and gain some life.  Zozu played a Kozilek. I attacked to leave Zozu at 1, forcing Derevi to make the kill (and not attack me).  After that I was able to get BloodClock/Delaying Shield online, and with Melek and Zozu dead, Derevi conceded so that another game could start.

I think the next game was the Godo game  I forgot to  record properly.  This is also one of the few instances of me having Back-to-back victories (and with mono-white decks to boot!)

About the Deck:  This is my only “Commander” deck, the rest are EDH decks.  Eesha is a winner on many levels: she’s a Bird and a Soldier, she’s unblockable, she’s from Judgment (one of my favorite sets) and she’s painted by Rebecca Guay.  I didn’t have a mono-white “creature-less” deck, and I had a lot of good white auras around from building other decks.  Goals for the deck include getting Eesha vigilance and maybe an Entangler.

Game #167: Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis 2.0

Game #167: Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis 2.0
Date: 2015-04-29
Location: Family Game Store, Savage, MD
vs. Grimgrin, Corpse Born; Kruphix, God of Horizons; Jarad.
Result: Mostly fun Loss

Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis, Magic, Magic 2013 (M13)vsGrimgrin, Corpse-Born, Magic, InnistradKruphix, God of Horizons, Magic, Journey Into NyxJarad, Golgari Lich Lord, Magic, Duel Decks: Izzet vs. Golgari

Grimgrin had arrived to round our our pod, and Jarad made some deck adjustments (he only has one deck, but has a huge “sideboard” to make it play differently, kind of like my Kaalia).

This game got kind of crazy. I had a 3 land hand, and cast Beseech the Queen on turn 3 to get Waste Not. Jarad played Rites of Flourishing and later Howling Mine, Kruphix had Shizuko, Caller of Autumn, and later Howling Mine AND Dictate of Karametra. Grimgrin had a Soothsaying. This allowed us to build ridiculous board-states (having a Dreamstone Hedron and a Sol Ring helped me out too). Ridiculous enough that I was basically able to rebuild my board in one turn after a Cyclonic Rift from Grimgrin.

I cast Nefarox with a Hedron Matrix, Predator’s Gambit and Vow of Malice, but GrimGrin Fleshbagged it. Booo. There was also a Heartbeat of Spring out by this point, and there was so much mana available it became really hard to keep track of what all was going on. I know I did a Necromantic Selection at one point, AND I know I played a Warped Devotion which was BRUTAL when Kruphix cast a Warped Devotion.

Some other stuff happened, but then Kruphix Blue Sun’s Zenithed himself into a Laboratory Maniac and cycled a land for the win.

About the Deck: tapped out someday
Nefarox used to be the boss of my 13 demons and acolytes deck, but his Exalted ability didn’t really fit into the deck, so he got replaced by Ob Nixilis the I-wish-he-didn’t-screw-over-tutoring-because-it-draws-much-hate-and-I-only-really-care-about-the-+1/+1-counters. I had a foil Russian Nefarox, so that required a new deck. I decided to go “creatureless” and play lots of the “loner” cards, as well as play Waste Not with some discard effects for fun. I may take out the WasteNot and transfer it to a Sidisi deck, but I’m not sure.

The Rest of the Night

As I predicted, this game took a lot longer than I wanted (because I wanted to get a third new deck in tonight), but we had time for at least a short 3 player game. I played Titania and was doing some fun stuff and making lots of dudes off of a great opening hand. We didn’t finish it, but it was really close. I was at 1 life (in part because I took 20 points of damage from Nu-Ob Nixilis in order to Ghost Quarter myself and Evolving Wilds), but I had a Crucible of Worlds and a Zuran Orb (that made a surprise last ditch surviving effort when Jarad chose to sac Ob Nixilis for damage instead of attacking). Jarad’s Rites of Flourishing was letting me play an extra land each turn, and I was pretty sure I could keep him off of green mana with Strip Mines long enough to get in for the win. But it was 9 and we called the game.

Game #136: Narset, Enlightened Master

Game #136:Narset, Enlightened Master
Date: 2014-10-01
Location: Family Game Store
vs. Prime Speaker Zegana; Baru, Fist of Krosa
Result: Fun Loss

Narset, Enlightened Master, Magic, Khans of TarkirvsPrime Speaker Zegana, Magic, GatecrashBaru, Fist of Krosa, Magic, Future Sight

I started the game with a three land hand, none of which produced colored mana (Sunhome, Slayer’s Stronghold, Cathedral of War). I kept it anyway and drew… Rogue’s Passage. By turn 6 I also had a mountain and a plains, but no blue. Baru had a Sylvan Library, Chameleon Colossus and was doing pretty well. Zegana was ramping and had a Psychosis Crawler. Baru hit 8 permanents on a Genesis Wave for 8 and was looking very strong.

I cast narset and swung into Zeganna, who did not block with a 4/4 Psychosis Crawler (thanks First Strike and Exalted). I got a Beacon of Tomorrows. On the extra turn I got two extra attacks, and I Long-Term Plans-ed for Alpha Brawl (to take care of Baru’s board) but didn’t notice that Baru had an Altar of Dementia, so it got milled away (grrrrr….). I had Divine Reckoning in hand to take care of Baru’s board when he was going to pop Nissa Worldwaker’s ultimate, but instead he just used Overrun via Garruk and smashed us.

About the Deck (
Narset stood out to me as the most fun of the new Khans. My deck isn’t super original (I faced a similar one last week). Narset’s the only creature (other than kobold, Keyrune or Tatsumasa tokens). I tried to limit the number of Extra Turn spells, only playing Beacon of Tomorrows, but I do like Extra attacks a lot. Hedron Matrix is a favorite choice because it’s The Matrix, and Narset is Keanu. The other goal is to get all three in-color “Dragon” enchantments on her to make her a Serra Lightning Angel Dragon (4/4 Flying Vigilance, Haste, Firebreathing). Reconnaissance is gold in this deck too.

The Rest of the Night

We played another game with Balthor that got long and grindy. I played Marath, and had lots of opportunities and good draws, but kept getting foiled by Patron of the Moon and Roil Elemental. Patron eventually won. Then I played Teysa #3, but Balthor rolled us over.

Game #129: Reveka, Wizard Savant

Game #129: Reveka, Wizard Savant
Date: 2014-05-14
Location: Family Game Store
Vs. Pheldagriff; Glissa, the Traitor; Balthor.
Result: Fun Loss

Reveka Wizard SavantvsBalthor the DefiledPhelddagrif, Magic, AlliancesGlissa, the Traitor, Magic, Mirrodin Besieged

I started the game with a 4 or 5 land hand, and it started out pretty great: Balthor played the Liliana I was very much hoping he would play and made everyone discard, allowing me to discard Psychic Purge and deal him 5 damage. That achievement alone made the game fun for me. Glissa played a Carnage Altar and imprinted Prototype Portal with Tree of Tales. I played down a Shapeshifters Marrow which eventually became a Geralf’s Messenger, and then played a Caged Sun to match the one that Balthor had (Along with his Candelabra and a Top and a Sac Outlet dude.) Pheldagriff was using StoneCloaker to mess with people and used the mass blink spell on Glissa to get rid of the token Lands and generator.

I decided to slow the game down by playing Frozen Aether AND a Meekstone, keeping most of the rest of the creatures tapped down, I also was a jerk and Amnesia-ed Pheldagriff (for having the most cards in hand… all of them non-land), this would prove to be a mistake. I played Reveka.

Balthor then got crazy with Geth and Ridiculous amounts of Mana: Darksteel Forge, Suture Priest, several trinkets, Stone Cloaker, 2(!) Coat of Arms, some other big dudes from Phelda’s graveyard, and then we all died horribly (and Balthor was put away for the night).

About the Deck (TappedOut some day)
I wanted to make a Mono-Blue Creatureless (no creatures except the General) deck. When I started building I realized I was going in two directions so I refocused the deck as Soramaro. Then I realized that I had to cut all of my “Stuff Blue Shouldn’t Do, But Used To” cards. So I had to build another deck. Since it was going to be a Direct Damage deck (kind of) Reveka was the old school best choice (also, she’s a Blue Dwarf Legend). The deck has all manner of blue damage spells and old school damaging engchantments(Beta Psychic Venom, Creature Bond, Feedback,etc) plus other weird stuff from the Early days of magic (Baki’s Curse, Energy Vortex), and then some standard playing-creatures hate like Aether Storm and Soul barrier. It’s rounded out with un-tap effects for Revkeka and a few “theft” spells. It ended up being better than I expected.   I think I cut Sorrows Path at the last minute (because I didn’t have a spare Donate at the time), but I think it’s going back in.  I plan on winning a game via Sorrows Path some day…

The Rest of the Night
The next game featured me playing Daxos (another “Creatureless” deck) vs Karona, “Foils” God, Baru (borrowed by Balthor) and Oloro. I played a turn 2 Daxos and did a lot of swinging, but Karona got really silly (though I was smart enough to put a Vow on her). Baru won that one because of mono/mana mania.

The last game of the night had me playing Chainer, Dementia Master (ALSO “creatureless”, but really just my Lim Dul deck with a different General — not truly “new” as a deck) vs Arcades Sabboth, Nekusar, and Baru. I had a ridiculous start with Grave Betrayal, Black Market, a copied Ulamog and a Life’s Finale into Rise of the Dark Realms, BUT I totally died to Arcades letting Nekusar kill his Prime Speaker, which then came back to Grave-ly Betray me and make me draw 13 cards when I only had 11 life. I never did get to use Chainer.

Game #126: Soramaro, First to Dream

Game #126: Soramaro, First to Dream
Date: 2014-04-19
Location: Mom’s house in Duluth
vs. Rhys the Redeemed
Result: Win

Soramaro, First to Dream, Magic, Saviors of KamigawavsRhys the Redeemed, Magic, Shadowmoor

Though it was late, my brother and I decided to get one more game in (since I brought two decks home with me). I had a 3 Land hand to start out. My brother had one land, but used it for Rhys and an Essence Warden, and eventually worked his way up to a Heritage Druid and Seedcradle Witch and a bunch of other elves. I managed to turn many of his Elves into Pigs with Curse of Swine, and then was able to Aetherize a large attacking army of elves and insects.

I drew a bunch of cards off of a Recurring Insight, and was able to pull off the Proteus Staff trick with Soramaro and stack my deck, though by that point it was a two hit General Damage Kill. This one didn’t go on too long, but it was okay, since I had to get up in the morning to be on the road to the airport.

About the Deck

This one is another “Creatureless” deck, with no other creatures but the general. The whole idea is to just draw a lot of cards and make the general big (and maybe stack the deck with Proteus Staff). This deck is going to end up being somewhat similar to the Kruphix deck I’m building, but I’ll likely keep both, as this one is a “Creatureless” deck.

Game #105: Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer

Game #105: Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer
Date: 2014-01-29
Location: Family Game Store
Vs. Balthor; Gisela, Blade of Goldnight
Result: fun loss

Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer, Magic, DarksteelvsGisela, Blade of Goldnight, Magic, Avacyn RestoredBalthor the Defiled

Many people don’t seem to like 3-player commander games, however, sometimes 3 player games are quicker and that means you get to play more of them. I think 4 is the best number, but I would much rather play a 3-player game than a 5-player.

Since there were only 3 of us, we were able to get a 4th game in in our less than 3 hour time-slot. I decided to play another deck on its maiden voyage. I started out with a 3 land hand with a spellbook, and played a turn 2 Howling Mine. Gisela had a Lightning Greaves and some Battalion guys and started building up a small army, which Balthor Damnationed (which killed Slobad).

I had in play: A Sculpting Steel (Howling Mine), Cock of Omens, Unwinding Clock, Staff of Nin, Sol Ring and a Temporal Aperture, so I was drawing 4 cards per turn and shutting off the Mines on other peoples’ turns. Gisela had a Sunforger out, but was stalled at 5 lands.

I kept buildng up artifacts and using tapping/untapping tricks to Temporal Aperture (which was always for lands) often using Blinkmoth Nexus Mana, and eventually I also had a Summoning Station and Darksteel Reactor plus some Chimeric things. However I didn’t have enough win-condition yet.

Balthor was sacced to get back Mikaeus and a Gempalm Polluter and played Coat of Arms (and had a Candelabra of Tawnos). I knew I could pump out a bunch of Pinchers to block with, and could use a Chimeric to block Mikaeus, but I still didn’t have win power. I drew the thing that steals an artifact for a turn. I didn’t want to do the math (and in hindsight don’t think I could have) to try to generate mega-mana with his Candelabra (I would have needed at least one other artifact land that I could use to tap to the Clock of Omens), so instead I took Balthor’s Coat of Arms. I didn’t have Haste with any Pincher Tokens to try to win there, so I sacrificed the Coat to Slobad.

My only hope was to try to draw or Aperture into Dismantle to try to get my Darksteel Reactor to go off, but I couldn’t and Balthor tutored for a Phyrexian Altar to combo off with Gravecrawler. It was closing time anyway. I enjoyed this game because it did what I wanted it to do, which was fiddle around with artifacts (since it’s creature-less it feels very different from my Karn deck or the Bosh or Sydri decks).

About the Deck (   not quite pared-down to the final build )

This is the third deck that was generated from taking apart my old Sharuum Deck. It started out as being a Mishra deck, but I didn’t really like where it was going and I also wanted to have a “red” creature-less deck, so I switched to Slobad. The goal is to either set up the Station Combo (which is tougher to do with no natural Creatures, thank goodness for Flayer Husk), or to Build up a Darksteel Reactor, or, if need be, take a cue from Bosh and suit up Slobad with Bludgeon Brawl (or a Strata Scythe… less fun).

Game #86.1, 86.2: Daxos of Meletis

Game #86.1: Daxos of Meletis
Date: 2013-12-18
Location: Family Game Store
Vs. Damia, Sage of stone; Marath, Will of the Wild; Jeleva, Scourge of Nephalia
Result: Scoop. Unfun.

Daxos of Meletis, Magic, TherosvsDamia, Sage of Stone, Magic, CommanderGhave, Guru of Spores, Magic, CommanderJeleva, Nephalia's Scourge, Magic, Commander 2013

A newly built deck that I was excited to try out. The game started with Marath’s player taking a telemarketing survey phone call, that lasted for several turns. I had 3 lands and a Keyrune and started the game with Field of Dreams. Damia ramped like nuts and played early sword of Feast and Famine and Mana Reflection. Damia took long turns, killed off my white mana, ramped more, then ramped, then drew a billion cards and bonded Sylvan Primordial to a Dead Eye Naviagator and everyone scooped. This was turn 5.

Thankfully, another super competetive player had arrived, and also Balthor got there, so Damia and Marath went to a different table. This wasn’t a worthwhile game, so I decided Daxos got another shot.

Game #86.2
Same Bat-time
Same Bat-place
vs. Jeleva; Ghave #1; Balthor

Daxos of MeletisvsBalthor the DefiledGhave, Guru of SporesJeleva, Nephalia's Scourge

Game two started out much more fun. The Ghave player was from out of town and had time to kill before picking someone up at the Airport. I had a 4 land hand with a Mindstone as well, and then a Sword of Vengeance and more Mana rocks. Jeleva hits the table and is able to cast Army of the Damned on turn 5 AND copy it for 26 tapped zombies. Strangely none of us were worried, and Balthor took care of it with a cycled Decree of Pain (so I held on to my Evacuation).

Jeleva also managed a Vampiric Tutor from this casting, so, of course, I had to swing Daxos that direction to try to cast that which was tutored for, but Daxos was turned to Frog (and therefore did not get any greaves.

I got Cruel Ultimatumed. Balthor’s Patriarch’s bidding caused Daxos to die and everyon to get Gray Merchant-ed for 10. A Balthor activation kills Jeleva and Ghave, and I die to the attack (despite a Propaganda). Daxos was poised to be cast for the 5th time (with a Thespian’s Stage playing Opal Palace). A much more fun game.

Daxos had the chance to cast: Ray of Revelation, Gempalm Polluter, Isochron Scepter and something else, but none were worth doing.

About the Deck: Tapped Out Someday

This deck is all Daxos, all the time. No other creatures.   There’s a decent amount of mana-rock ramping, some decent defensive enchantments, wraths, and things to give Daxos first strike or double strike.  Field of Dreams is a fun card to have to make an educated choice, as is Spin Into Myth and other bounce-to-top-of-library cards.  I may add Pyxis of Pandemonium  to partner with Field of Dreams.

Game #75.1, 75.2 : Lim-Dul, the Necromancer

Game #75.1, 75.2 : Lim-Dul, the Necromancer
Date: 2013-11-02
Location: Family Game Store
vs: (game 1) Teneb the Harvester; Prime Speaker Zeganna; Dralnu, Lich Lord

Lim-Dûl the NecromancerVSTeneb, the HarvesterPrime Speaker ZeganaDralnu, Lich Lord

After a long game with Oloro vs the other 4 new Commanders (on a Saturday Night, which is not my normal EDH night), I joined up with a pod of people I didn’t know very well. I had just made a few updates to Lim-Dul and was excited to play it.

The group looked like they were pretty intense. I had a bad land start, but impulsively played a Necropotence on turn 3.  It was followed up by Dralnu playing a Hypnotic Specter and Hitting me twice (exiling cards I needed to have a hope of a chance). I tutored for a Nevinyrral’s Disk (the only means of artifact destruction that I had), but the random-discard of the Hyppie exiled it. Knowing I was basically out of the game I chose to “draw” 33 cards and then died, hoping to join a different less cutthroat pod.

Game #76.2  vs Kei Takahashi; Olivia Voldaren

VSKei TakahashiOlivia Voldaren

This game was against a father-son duo. The Olivia deck was a new one and the Kei deck was purported to have no real win-condition other than surviving.   I got into the mana-production game early with a Gilded Lotus, Everflowing Chalice and a Cabal Coffers, and eventually a Caged Sun.  I also played an early No Mercy to deter attacks.  Kei played a CoP: Black and Olivia played a Steel Hellkite  to try to deal with my enchantment. I kept finding ways to kill it and Sheoldred (including Dark Betrayal). I necromancied  Sheoldred.  Eventually Olivia had a Trostani’s Summoner on a Mimic Vat.

I tried to stay inthe game as long as I could, but Lim-Dul was always threatened, so never got cast. Warstorm Surge plus the Summoner/Vat got dangerous.  I Exsanguinated for 9 to try to live on, and a Life’s Finale was followed up by Rise from the Grave on a Sepulchral Primordial (that had been Finaled from the library), but ultimately I lost to Insurrection + Entwined Savage Beating.   Though the guy that won attracted a Kibitzer from another pod who looked over his shoulder, helped search the deck, gave advice on combat math, etc.  It was kind of annoying. I was hoping for a better game with Lim-Dul.

About the Deck ( (mostly))

This deck only has Lim-Dul as a creature. Everything else is creature destruction and reanimation. Two Lilianas hang around. I once was able to sneak enough counters onto Grimoire of the dead to steal a mass-reanimation out from under Balthor (though I still lost).  Dark Betrayal was a pretty crucial addition to the deck, as I always end up against partial-black decks, and most of the cards in the deck don’t like to kill Black creatures.  If I had a Damnation, it would be in here

Game #9: Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind

Game #9: Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
Date: 2013-04-10
Location: Family Game Store, Savage, MD
vs: Savra, Queen of the Golgari (Guild); Prime Speaker Zeganna;
Result: Fun Loss

Niv-Mizzet, the Firemindvs. 

zegannaSavra, Queen of the Golgari


I started with 3 land and a Sol Ring, and an early Windfall to get some great cards. I nearly activated an Archmage’s Ascension, but it got blown up.  Savra tried to throw down a Vraska, the Unseen, but Zeganna countered it (luckily for me, as I have a tough time blocking in this deck, and instant-death assassins could have meant trouble).  Thoughtpicker Witch left me with an Iceberg (!) that I played with 8 counters, and then left me with Brainstorm (because he wanted to see what would happen with it). I Brainstormed for 14 with Niv on the table, which was not enough to kill off a very huge Golgari Grave Troll, but did take care of some of Zeganna’s board.  However I did a really bad job of discarding (as in, not noticing that I had a Spellbook in hand until after I decided what cards to keep during the end step).  I ended up keeping basically what I had started with, which included an Insurrection, AND a Reins of Power.  A potentially game-winning Insurrection was countered, and neither Zeganna nor I could survive Jarad flinging Golgari Grave Troll at us twice in the turn.  This was a game that any of the three players had a good chance to win, and was a lot of fun.

About the Deck (

This is a rebuild of the second deck I ever built. The original had other creatures in it and tried to ramp into Emrakul, and was otherwise a Counter-burn deck. I thought I was really clever, “discovering” that Curiosity was great with the general (I had been out of the game for 5 years before that).  Eventually I started scavenging it for parts, finding it to be a boring deck, and wanting to build other ones instead.

Later I decided to take the skeleton of the deck, strip all the other creatures and try to get away with just Niv-Mizzet. I liked that restriction a lot (and reused it on other decks). I also decided to cut Curiosity from the deck so that I wasn’t stuck looking for the obvious combo every time. I enjoy the thrill of not being able to rely on dudes to block (it’s fun and political), unless I make some Kobolds.  I don’t play this deck very often, but it’s one of the few that I have that I think have won more times than lost.

Plagiarize is my favorite card in the deck, led to my favorite victory in recent memory: vs. Balthor the Defiled (whom you will meet shortly) who was at 32 life, with 16 zombies in play including a Graveborn Muse. I Plagiarized in response to the Muse trigger, drawing 16 cards and dropping Balthor to 0  at the beginning of a turn where Balthor would have one the game.