Codie, Vociferous Codex | Illustration by Daniel Ljunggren
Codie, Vociferous Codex is a commander that allows players to win quickly and play all the colors you want. It’s not a straightforward commander to play though, and there’s a lot to learn and master if you want to get good at playing it. We’ll be taking a very competitive approach to this commander today, and show you how you can win an EDH game as early as turn 2 or 3. If you’re a Johnny player and enjoy piecing together a victory, this may become your favorite cEDH decklist. Let’s go through it.
Elvish Spirit Guide | Illustration by Anna Steinbauer
Chain of Vapor
Culling the Weak
Force of Negation
Force of Will
Rain of Filth
Red Elemental Blast
Veil of Summer
Boseiju, Who Endures
City of Brass
City of Traitors
Decklist by Moxfield user Sickrobot:
Codie, Vociferous Codex is a 5-color commander, so there are no restrictions on cards we can play based on color identity. It allows us to tap 4 mana to generate , and the next spell you cast this turn has cascade for instants and sorceries. Be careful: You are restricted to casting only instants and sorceries while Codie’s on the battlefield.
The main route to victory is having the card Thassa's Oracle (Thoracle) in play with an empty library, which can be achieved via Demonic Consultation or via Brain Freeze plus Underworld Breach. Ad Nauseam is usually the main card advantage engine in order to decide how to combo. Bring to Light is a hell of a tutor in this deck, since Codie will generate the 5 colors of mana needed to tutor and cast any 1-5 mana card, and in fact, it’s the best way to tutor and cast Ad Nauseam if you’re lacking double .
The combo potential of Codie comes from a few facts:
- If you play a 1-mana spell with this ability, you can cascade into a busted 0-mana spell with suspend. The most common Codie build for cEDH uses Profane Tutor, but there are other lists built around Hypergenesis or Living End. There’s only one 0-mana instant/sorcery in the decklist, so the first time we cast a 1-mana spell with Codie, it’s guaranteed to hit the tutor.
- Codie shines when you have untap effects, letting you untap them, use the ability again, and even go up 1 mana every time. This can be useful if we need card advantage in the late game, or build a big storm turn to win.
- Many people will hate Codie on sight, so beware. CEDH players are well aware of Coide’s quick winning potential, so expect some resistance.
Codie, Vociferous Codex provides us a tutor from the Command Zone and card advantage via cascading spells. To achieve what our deck is trying to do, we’ll need fast colorless mana to ramp into our Commander, tutors, and win conditions. Since we’re playing mostly instants and sorceries, we’ll have some interaction, either to protect our combo or to avoid losing to the other players. Codie doesn’t allow us to play permanents, so we’ll have to sacrifice our commander to cast the permanents required to win. So let’s break down every section of the deck and what we’re trying to accomplish.
This deck plays very few creatures, and they all generate mana (Tinder Wall, Simian Spirit Guide, Dockside Extortionist). Of course, Thassa's Oracle is our main win condition. Our creatures won’t be getting into the red zone at all.
Most of the deck’s interaction consists of blue counterspells, and many of them can be cast for free or alternative costs. Between Miscast, Force of Will, Force of Negation, and Fierce Guardianship, you have a lot of tools to avoid losing or protect your combo.
Abrupt Decay is a flexible removal spell that can’t be countered and deals with stax/hatebear creatures, which this deck struggles against. Most of the blue bounce spells we play can get rid of annoying creatures (as well as our commander if we need to).
Emerald Charm is an interesting piece of interaction because it can destroy an annoying enchantment (like Counterbalance or Rule of Law), or untap or commander if needed. Finally, cards like Autumn's Veil or Veil of Summer will allow us to combo off through counterspells.
Since Codie doesn’t allow us to cast permanents, we have a few ways to get rid of it when we’re ready to combo off. Phyrexian Tower which can be tutored by Crop Rotation, Culling the Weak, Burnt Offering, Nature's Claim or bounce spells like Snapback and Suspend will get the job done. We should aim for getting our commander off the table and generating mana at the same time, which will help cast the spells needed to combo.
While Ad Nauseam will get many cards in our hands, sometimes we’ll need more mana than we have in order to cast them. Cards like Elvish Spirit Guide and Simian Spirit Guide produce mana for free, as does Lotus Petal.
Options for rituals include Dark Ritual and Cabal Ritual, and we have ways to sacrifice our commander and generate mana as well. Another interaction this deck has that produces a lot of mana is untapping Codie with spells like Emerald Charm, Twiddle, and Claim the Firstborn, so you can tap your commander again and produce more mana.
Bring to Light is a very interesting choice for Codie, Vociferous Codex simply because Codie already generates through its ability, which maxes out converge. This deck needs very different pieces at different times – sometimes we need mana fixing, our win condition, interaction – and we need redundancy, so that’s why so many tutors are played. The hard part is knowing exactly what to find with them at any given moment.
5-color decks aren’t well known to have a nice mana base, especially in EDH where you must have singleton lands. Here also lies inconsistency and the bulk of the deck’s cost, considering that we’ll want fetch lands and original dual lands for maximum efficiency.
That’s why this decklist plays all 10 fetch lands and six Alpha duals. We’re also playing 5-color lands like City of Brass, Mana Confluence, and Forbidden Orchard. Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors help ramp Codie, while Phyrexian Tower serves double duty in sacrificing our commander or generating for Ad Nauseam.
The main line of play here is very simple. We want to cast our commander as soon as possible, either through a Jeweled Lotus, Grim Monolith, Mana Crypt, Dark Ritual, or what have you. Then we’ll want to tap 4 mana to activate Codie once and then cast a 1-mana spell. This will cascade into Profane Tutor, which we’ll use to find Ad Nauseam, cast it, and start revealing cards. You should aim to pay something like 20-25 life to get that many cards, and here’s where the low cost of the cards will help. On average we’re paying a life to get a card, and sometimes even less than that.
After we’ve filled our hand with cards, we’ll need to win, and that’s where the combo part begins. For that, we’ll need three things:
1 – Get rid of our commander, either sacrificing it or bouncing it. Otherwise, we can’t play permanents.
2 – Find your win condition. We’ll have to exile our library and cast Thassa's Oracle after all.
3 – Cast your win condition. We’ll need more mana since we probably used it all for casting Ad Nauseam, so any cheap mana rock we find with Ad Nauseam, rituals, or cards that generate mana from the hand like Simian Spirit Guide are all fair game.
As with every storm deck, you’ll have to practice a lot and goldfish the deck dozens of times to get used to the possible lines. Each time you cast Ad Nauseam, you’ll be in a different board state with different options, and in a competitive game, there will be opponents trying to interact with us, either with counterspells, graveyard hate, or stax pieces. Sometimes you’ll have Thoracle and need to find ways to get rid of your library, or the other way around. Or you have Brain Freeze and need a tutor to then find Underworld Breach.
Here’s where goldfishing with the deck will pay you off big time. 100-card singleton decks will produce awkward hands most of the time, so you’ll have to be experienced with the deck to see what hands allow you to ramp out your Commander turn one, which hands don’t do anything at all, and which hands will give you a good chance to win turn 2 or 3. You’ll not want to muligan away hands with Profane Command or Thassa's Oracle. You shouldn’t keep boring hands like four lands and three 1-mana sorceries that don’t do anything special. Hands with a nice way to ramp out your commander and combo with some piece of protection against counterspells are what we aim for.
There are hundreds of interactions with this deck, so I’ll go through many of the important ones just to give you a feel for what the deck is trying to accomplish.
Activating Codie, Vociferous Codex for and casting a 1-mana spell will always find and cast Profane Command for free. Let’s say we have left. We’ll need another black mana to cast Ad Nauseam from there. Or produce an extra blue mana, tutor Bring to Light, and then find Ad Nauseam.
Don’t forget that our commander can turn colorless mana into all colors of mana. So, a Mana Crypt plus a land can generate any color of mana we want, and this deck doesn’t have that many cards that cost two or three of the same color. Untapping our commander and tapping it again is a way to filter mana the way we want.
To win, we need to follow up Thassa's Oracle’s trigger with Demonic Consultation, and try to find a card that isn’t in your deck. You’ll exile your whole library and win with Thoracle. Tainted Pact will serve the same role since there’s not a single card with repeated names, not even basic lands.
Underworld Breach is a nice way of exiling your library or going through it, especially with Brain Freeze, since casting Brain Freeze on yourself will give you plenty of fuel for the Breach. Giving Brain Freeze the escape ability lets you pay 2 mana, mill three cards, and cast Brain Freeze again by exiling three more cards, and so on. Many times you’ll be able to mill yourself for a lot and cast Thassa's Oracle or tutor for it straight from your graveyard. Breach can help you cast Lotus Petal or Lion's Eye Diamond over and over from your graveyard to keep producing blue mana.
Lion's Eye Diamond fits this deck in many ways. First, it’ll produce 3 mana of any color for us, effectively fixing and ramping mana. Second, we’ll usually not need cards in hand since we can combo off from the graveyard with Underworld Breach.
The primary use of our commander is to allow us to cast a free Profane Tutor as early as turn 2-3. Other than that, our commander can help us grind in the late game with its pseudo-cascade ability, but always remember that in this deck your commander is only one tool for the job. This is a combo deck filled with tutors after all and you don’t need your commander alive to win.
This is a cEDH viable decklist, so you’ll trample your opponents’ more casual EDH decks. It contains a game-winning combo that can be tutored right out of the command zone. Aside from that, the deck plays many tutors, fast artifact mana and efficient cards. Of course, the decklist is at home if everybody is playing cEDH or playing to win. Just make sure not to play this in a casual Commander pod, or worse, lie about the deck’s real capabilities.
Like many Tier 1-1.5 cEDH decks, this deck plays very, very expensive cards. Free counterspells, expensive mana rocks, many of the 1-mana tutors, and Timetwister are usually 100+ dollar cards without easy replacement. Many of these cards are also part of the Reserved List. In terms of price and the cards, this deck looks like 2-3 Legacy or Vintage decks smashed together. We can play fewer fetchlands or replace the Alpha dual lands with triomes or shocklands, at the cost of reducing the deck’s speed or losing more life, which already isn’t ideal since we’re playing Ad Nauseam.
We can replace Jeweled Lotus, Mana Crypt, and Lion's Eye Diamond with cards like Signets and Talismans, but that takes away the explosiveness of the deck. Dockside Extortionist is a very expensive and powerful card, and it can’t be reliably replaced without a massive decrease in power level and consistency. Other suggestions include playing this decklist with proxies for the most expensive cards if your EDH community is okay with it, or playing over MTGO where the cards are way cheaper.
Considering competitive Codie, Vociferous Codex builds, there are decklists that use Hypergenesis instead of Profane Command to cheat big permanents into play. Hypergenesis gets around Codie’s restrictions because you’re putting permanents into play and not casting them. You can then fill your deck with powerful cards like Omniscience or massive creatures like Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Ashen Rider, and Thorn Mammoth, while your opponents are playing low mana value cards and getting stomped.
Another pretty abusable way of playing Codie is with Living End as the free suspend spell. You’ll cycle lots of creatures and cast Living End from Codie’s ability or play other mass reanimation spells like Living Death.
On the more crazy end of the spectrum, you can think of a build that relies on expensive instants and sorceries to get the most out of Codie’s cascade effect. Like casting a 9-mana spell into Cruel Ultimatum or something similar.
Ad Nauseam | Illustration by Jeremy Jarvis
When people talk about the top tier of cEDH, the commanders that are usually in the discussion are Najeela, the Blade-Blossom, Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh plus Silas Renn, Seeker Adept or Kraum, Ludevic's Opus plus Tymna the Weaver. Codie, Vociferous Codex usually flies under the radar in that A-S tier for sure, though maybe not S+ tier. And it’s more than capable of pulling out fast wins.
It’s hard to pilot, especially if you’ve never played a storm deck like Legacy ANT or Doomsday, but the times you win are very satisfying and I suggest you give this one a try. Do you often play with or against Codie in cEDH? What are your main different card choices? Let me know in the comments section below, or let’s discuss it in our Discord server. Thanks for reading guys, and stay safe out there.Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: