Heart of the Cards – Samut, Voice of Dissent

(Samut, Voice of Dissent | Original Art by Aleksi Briclot)

Samut Absolutely DESTROYS Snowflake Control Decks

Hello, and welcome to another Heart of the Cards! If you haven’t read other installments of the series, here’s the rundown: we’re going to pick a commander, build a shell with all of the supporting, goodstuff, staple-type cards you just can’t do without, and then build a few different core packages that could each potentially act as the heart of the deck, defining its unique flavor and personality.

Today you voted to look at Samut, Voice of Dissent.


The Shell

Before we dive into different ways we can define the deck’s personality, we need to take a look at the cards we just can’t play without.


Eat Your Vegetables

Every deck needs ways to jump ahead on mana, and Samut has access to the best ramp color around. There’s nothing splashy or impressive here, just vegetables. However, some of our Heart packages do have some more unique ramp pieces included.


Make It Rain

Samut does not inherently generate card advantage, so a solid draw package is a must. Since Samut has double strike, effects that draw cards based on damage are especially efficient. Keen Sense effects are great since they potentially stick around. (They’ll have added synergy with some of the cards in the Pingers and Slingers package.)

I’m also putting Open the Armory in this category. It’s great in this deck. It can snag a Keen Sense, or it can get one of the pieces of Equipment that the deck is using as finishers, and it can interact with our different packages, snagging some handy pieces from each of those. Lifecrafter’s Bestiary is a curious include. I usually prefer to run Beast Whisperer, but this deck isn’t necessarily running a high density of creatures, so the occasional card draw, with the consistent scry, means Bestiary is what we want here.


She Protec, She Attac

The bane of any aggro deck is countermagic and instant speed removal. This deck is running Rhythm of the Wild and Grand Abolisher to deal with them. If your meta is really heavy on answers, you might consider beefing it up by adding Tithe Taker, Vexing Shusher, or Wardscale Dragon. I can’t recommend Dosan the Falling Leaf, though, because as much as this deck hates instant speed answers used against it, it often wants to play its own answers at the last possible second.

The deck is running some pretty standard removal pieces but is opting for flexible Wraths in place of lots of spot removal. Slaughter the Strong and Austere Command are some of our strongest, most flexible options, but I also like Sweltering Suns. If you need to add to this package, take a look at other damage-based Wraths such as Anger of the Gods and Hour of Devastation.


Let’s Blow This Taco Stand

How to make the game end? Double strike on a general almost always means that commander damage is going to be a primary or secondary win condition, whichever way you choose to build the deck. Equipment is a pretty safe way to beef up your beater. Tenza, Godo’s Maul and Inquisitor’s Flail are two that I like, but really, anything that pumps Samut up and/or gives her some evasion is going to get you there. I really wanted to include Mageslayer in this list because I find “triple strike” hilarious, but alas, it was not meant to be.

Iroas, God of Victory and Archetype of Aggression are here instead of Equipment because most of our other builds include at least a few other creatures that you might want to attack with. If your creature count is low, cut them for more Equipment.


The Heart of the Cards

With the underlying skeleton now built, let’s check out some different strategic directions we could take our deck. This is where EDHREC’s Theme Pages usually shine. But this month, only one of our Hearts is built from a Theme page! Oh my!


 

PEW PEW PEW!

Even though Spellshapers are “shapers,” I’m calling this package “Pingers and Slingers.” This approach was inspired by Samut’s mass haste-granting, and her seemingly out-of-place ability, “W, T: Untap another target creature.” I’ve built in a bunch of untapping effects and a bunch of creatures that have tap abilities.

I want to point out that Spellshapers are hungry for cards, so it’s imperative that you get Keen Sense or Snake Umbra early and stick it on something that hits everyone like Legion Guildmage or Zhur-Taa Druid, letting you draw one card per opponent.

Deathtouch enablers like Basilisk Collar and Gorgon Flail give you the ability to machine gun your opponents’ creatures down, and generally just control the board, but watch out for Wraths. You can still rely on Samut to close out the game if you need to, but the primary wincon in this package is Latulla, Keldon Overseer and Heartless Hidetsugu who are capable of dishing out incredible amounts of damage.


Today’s Special: Soup

Samut has three keywords in her text box, not including flash: double strike, vigilance, and haste. That’s a lot. Add a dash of spice, a pinch of salt, and a generous measure of jank, and you’ve got some hot keyword soup.

Wizards is still developing support for this archetype. Currently, the only cards that let us share abilities with the whole team are Odric, Lunarch Marshal and Concerted Effort. As such, we are going to up the tutor count. Eladamri’s Call and Congregation at Dawn are both relatively cheap and can go find Odric, or a creature with a bunch of keywords if Odric is already out. Enlightened Tutor can grab Concerted Effort, or one of our Keen Sense effects if Effort is out already.

This deck has a much higher CMC than the other brews, so some extra ramp is appreciated. Sylvan Caryatid is perfect since she both ramps and adds hexproof to the soup. Apart from that, we need to prioritize keywords that aren’t found on Samut. I’ve gone heavy on hexproof, indestructible, trample, and flying, as those are some of the best we have access to.


Yer A Wizard, Samut

Who says that blue gets all the spell-slinging fun? Samut is in perfectly cromulent colors for instants and sorceries… that turn her into a huge, haymaking beast. We have a couple of very fun tricks here, mostly involving Spellbinder. This card is kind of like Isochron Scepter if Scepter was an Equipment. The main difference is that Spellbinder doesn’t have a CMC cap. Putting this on Samut lets you cast the imprinted spell twice, since Samut deals combat damage twice, so it’s not too bad with our Giant Growth-type effects.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Savage Beating and Resurgence can go on Spellbinder, giving us infinite combat phases! Resurgence is a little bit weird, but basically, because Response is an instant, you can imprint the card with Spellbinder, and when Samut deals damage you can cast either half of the card. This makes all split cards and charms extra good with her, because, again, double strike. The charms and commands can also go onto Isochron Scepter, providing repeatable versatility. This is a pretty weird brew; a Voltron deck based around instants and sorceries. I pulled a lot of ideas from the Tempo Theme Page.


And She’s All Outta Bubblegum

So, what does it look like when we put a heart into the skeleton? I’ve put the Slingers and Pingers package together by bringing the land count to 36. All that’s left to do is shuffle up and start swinging with a deck that curves out at 3.03. This is my ideal form of battlecruiser Magic: control, modality, speed, and jank. I hope you enjoy!

Let me know what package you picked, or if you have a totally different take on the deck, by tweeting @GrubFellow, and be sure to tell me how your games go!


Dean is a husband, father, writer, and long-time fan of Magic and gaming in general. He co-hosts the Commander Time! podcast with Nate Burgess and Patrick Sippola. Currently located in Rochester, NY; he loves playing with new people, so if you're ever in the area, shoot him a message. Follow him on Twitter @GrubFellow, where he tweets #dailyEDH microcontent.