Partner Focus — Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix

Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix and I have a special personal relationship, in that I was honored to be literally the first person to sing Kydele’s praises to the world. Since the Prophet of Kruphix left the stage, the Big K needs a new multi-armed wizard to represent his interests in the mortal world.

{Tap}: Add {C} to your mana pool for each card you’ve drawn this turn.

Let’s take that piece by piece.

  • Tap Kydele as the cost of the activated ability.

Summoning sickness does apply. Haste enablers could be useful.

If we can untap her, then we can do the ability again.

  • Add {C} to your mana pool…

She’s a 4 CMC mana dork.

  • …for each card you’ve drawn this turn.

She’s a 4 CMC mana dork for an arbitrary amount of mana. We can increase the amount of mana gained by doing more of something else that we already wanted to do anyway, since drawing more cards gives us more ways to use all that mana we can get.


Untapping Kydele

You can’t really tell from the art, but Kydele is totally ripped. It’s because of her exercise regimen from all the sit-ups she does, tapping and untapping and again and repeat so many times in a single turn. Or was it standing push-ups? Either way, it is often the last turn, because the game suddenly looks to be over.

Among her favorite exercise equipment is the sweat-whisking material of the Umbral Mantle (3192 decks). It also allows infinite colorless mana after she has finished her warm-up of drawing 4 cards in a single turn. Sometimes she puts in the earbuds and trances out to the droning background hum of Paradox Engine (4658 decks) to get in the zone and power out all the colorless spells in her (four) hand(s).

To support her athletic career, she has considered commercial sponsorship deals with Magewright’s Stone (1578 decks) and the multinational beverage corporation behind Thousand-Year Elixir (6990 decks). Behind the scenes, the mega-corporate ad business is greatly intertwined, as you can see from Magewright’s Stone’s Signature Card portfolio, which includes all of the above products.

Although not all famous celebrities care about being able to tap more than once, she is in fine company with over a hundred other notables who might have their own ideas about it…

Search: Type: AND legendary creature, Text: “{T}” (131 results)

(Other search sites may use different codes, but “{T}” is what Gatherer uses to search in a card’s rules text for the tap symbol.)


Drawing More Cards

For mental exercise, and due to the fact that it weighs about twenty pounds and can be used as a medicine ball during crunches, Teferi’s Puzzle Box (3919 decks) helps her focus and bulk up at the start of her strength days. She “inherited” this artifact from an elf guy she used to be dating before she turned pro… Leovold was his name. He suddenly “retired” from the life and skipped town, but he left most of his stuff behind in her apartment when he moved out. She still makes good use of a lot of it.


Card Draw Timing

Unlike some commanders who don’t care when they draw the cards to get their benefits, Kydele prefers drawing multiple cards on the same turn that she can use her mana. This implies doing it on her own turn, which lowers the utility of things like Rhystic Study that draw cards on opponent turns. On the other hand, we could look into flash enablers like Vedalken Orrery, Leyline of Anticipation, or Alchemist’s Refuge to cast stuff whenever we can. Whether or not it is a good investment to devote a portion of the deck toward that plan depends on being able to both draw many cards and untap Kydele during opponents’ turns. Seedborn Muse and Murkfiend Liege come to mind for untapping, especially if we add the usual suite of green mana dork creatures. Intruder Alarm can act as a secondary Paradox Engine that also works when your opponents cast their creatures.


Arbitrary Amounts of Colorless Mana

So as long as the first few steps are working together, we have a potentially large amount of colorless mana. What can we do with it?

Do you like the colorless eldrazi (48 results)?

How about eldrazi non-creatures (4 results)?

Do you want to make another deck about artifacts (1643 results)?

What if they happen to be made of Blightsteel (1 result)?

All of the above? Are there any phyrexian artifact eldrazi? No? Not yet. Commander 2021 Unset Tribal: MechPhydrazi.

Do you like cards with X in their mana cost (271 results)?

Do you like cards with an activated ability that includes {X} in the mana cost (160 results)?


The Deck

I considered a Temur Wizard tribal with Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist but then remembered that I already sort of did that with Thrasios, Triton Hero. Since I want to try out the new Torment of Hailfire, I’m leaning towards a focus on cards with {X} in the mana cost. Since I’ve already mentally added black to this deck, that reminds me that I can add Villainous Wealth as well.

A lot of leftover tech from Leovold’s wheelhouse also causes opponents to discard their hands, which not only complements a mill strategy, it helps alleviate the benefits your opponents may get from symmetrical card draw effects like Howling Mine. If we remove the few blue wheels that shuffle opponent graveyards back into libraries, then we can make something along the lines of mill with added discard. If we pair with Vial Smasher the Fierce then we can add red or black wheels from commanders such as The Locust God, Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, and Nekusar, the Mindrazer.

Speaking of The Locust God, I mentioned in my deck tech in episode 6 of the Commander Time! podcast that a wheel-heavy deck could benefit from the original legendary eldrazi titans Kozilek, Butcher of Truth and Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, since discarding them puts your own graveyard back into your library. They also happen to have large casting costs of colorless mana, and Kozilek at least can draw some cards for you, so they can make a decent backup plan if you haven’t drawn a good X spell. The graveyard shuffle also eases the sting of self-sacrificing effects like Memory Jar, Magus of the Wheel, and Magus of the Jar, since we might be able to draw and use them again if the game lasts a while. Consider it a very slow form of graveyard recursion.

While this deck does include Nekusar, the Mindrazer, it does not include related cards along the lines of Spiteful Visions and Fevered Visions that increase card draw but punish opponents with further damage for drawing cards. Adding that subtheme is an option, but it takes up significant deck space. I consider it a lower priority than cards that work toward the primary strategy of “drawing lots of cards”, the secondary strategy of “doing something with X colorless mana”, or the tertiary strategy of “untapping Kydele to make more colorless mana”.

Another potential wheel-related subtheme is adding cards like Megrim and Waste Not that do something when your opponents discard. The drawback is that they do nothing until you force your opponents to discard. I made an exception for Geth’s Grimoire, since it has the potential to turn any wheel into a card draw explosion (see above: “primary strategy”). While Nath of the Gilt-Leaf is a pet card of mine, he does not actually help the first three strategies.

Speaking of Nath, we could shift over to a token creature strategy with The Locust God spewing bugs with our wheels and Oona, Queen of the Fae turning Kydele’s colorless mana (and one black or blue) into card exile and a few faeries. This seems like it would require more support explicitly for token creatures, but if we don’t care that much about untapping Kydele then we would swap out some of the untappers supporting the current tertiary strategy for token-related cards.

Enjoy.

Kydele + Vials: Wheelhouse

Commanders (2)
Creatures (19)
Instants (3)
Sorceries (13)
Artifacts (18)
Enchantments (6)
Planeswalkers (1)
Lands (38)

 

Next time: Ravos, Soultender

Nate is a game developer, programmer, and writer from San Francisco. He is a co-host of the Commander Time! podcast, a former co-host of the Commanderin’ MTG Podcast, and does occasional programming with EDHREC's database. Nate can be found @commandtime and/or @misterplorg.