Last updated on January 9, 2023
Greasefang, Okiba Boss | Illustration by Victor Adame Minguez
Did you know that there's a rat in the world for each human? Pretty cool fact, huh?
Sadly, there aren't nearly as many rat creatures as there are humans printed in Magic. What's more, there's just a handful of legendary rat creatures that can be used as a commander, but half of them have ninjutsu, an ability that's useless from the command zone.
This is a problem in deckbuilding since you don't have many options as far as commanders that you can use. But today I've got a pseudo rat tribal deck for you that likes to ride vehicles.
Let's dig into it!
Sram, Senior Edificer
Piper of the Swarm
Nashi, Moon Sage's Scion
Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle
King Macar, the Gold-Cursed
Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
Imperial Recovery Unit
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
Caves of Koilos
Temple of Silence
Temple of the False God
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Greasefang, Okiba Boss’s stats aren't that impressive, especially if there aren't any artifacts in the graveyard. Your initial turns should be inclined towards putting your vehicles into the graveyard. That's where your rats come into play since the vast majority of them make the whole table discard a card, including yourself.
That's what the whole deck does at first glance, but let's discuss some individual choices in detail.
Rats in this deck are primarily for the tribal theme, but some fill a more specific role.
This deck can also cheat “ninjas” into play if your opponents doesn't block your initial rats. The perfect scenario is making your opponents discard a creature with Rotting Rats that later can be at your disposal by cheating in an Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni on attacks. Then you replay your bounced rat to trigger its effect again.
Crypt Rats can be used as a board wipe when you need it, Pack Rat is effective at putting your vehicles into the graveyard while expanding your board, and Marrow-Gnawer can also make you more rats through the game.
Last but not least, Sram, Senior Edificer can help you get those extra cards you need to prevent you from running out of gas. But out of all of these creatures, this is the one that has the most negligible impact on the game. You usually send your vehicles to the graveyard rather than casting them. Still, it's a worthwhile addition.
You need to find either the combo pieces or payoffs from the game to win. So this deck runs a wide variety of tutor spells that can search for the right card at the right time.
One of the best tutors in the deck is Oswald Fiddlebender.
The best one is Demonic Tutor. It's only two mana away from getting you the best card in your deck.
You want to tutor for your combo pieces to put your vehicles into the graveyard in the early turns, leading you to aggressive starts. You want to get your finishers or stabilizers later on.
Enlightened Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, and Imperial Seal are some of the other tutors for your deck with the advantage of being cheaper (at least in terms of mana, as they’re somewhat expensive price-wise). But putting the cards they search for on your top of the library instead of your hand. This slight disadvantage is compensated because most of them can be used at an instant speed.
While you usually tutor for your card advantage pieces, sometimes it's better to answer treats directly that aim to kill you. You run a large variety of removal spells that can kill specific targets or proceed to board wipe because of this.
You also have a good mix of spot removal and board wipes that you have access to. And if things go wrong you can always reset the board (almost) with Farewell.
Artifacts and Vehicles
But the best artifacts are the vehicles since the deck is built around those. Parhelion II is by far the best vehicle. Its 13 power of damage per turn makes it a solid finisher for your games.
Speaking of card advantage, you have a few sources of it with Costly Plunder, Deadly Dispute, and Reckoner's Bargain. One excellent interaction with them is to sacrifice the vehicles with the last ability of Greasefang, Okiba Boss on the stack. That way they won't return to your hand and you’ll get a couple of cards out of the deal.
Aside from those and the card advantage you get from some of your vehicles, this deck doesn't run many other engines. But the one that stands out is Ransack the Lab. It can help you get your precious vehicles to the graveyard while putting the card you need into your hand for only two mana.
This deck abuses its commander's ability to get back vehicles from the graveyard and generate absurd initial turns, mainly thanks to Parhelion II. But it's also a tribal deck since most creatures crewing your vehicles are rats.
Combos and Interactions
This deck has some powerful interactions. Some may be intuitive, but it's always good to know all the options available anyways.
Some of the cards I mentioned, especially the tutors, might be pricey in terms of actual money. Thankfully there some options for you to consider that can serve you as replacements for some cards.
Diabolic Tutor, Idyllic Tutor, and Profane Tutor are replacements for other tutors from the deck, with the advantage of being cheaper in terms of price but with the catch that they may prove to be not as efficient as their other counterparts. I'd still consider them for budget purposes.
Liquimetal Coating and Clock of Omens aren’t part of the deck. Combined with King Macar, the Gold-Cursed, they generate an infinite combo. Still, if your playgroup is okay with them, you can add them to your deck as they aren’t pricy in terms of money.
Swords to Plowshares | Illustration by Terese Nielsen
Greasefang decks are known for being annoying to play against in Pioneer, but I tried making a pseudo-competitive version without being broken for Commander. It's far from what it was in its prime in other formats, but it's still terrifying on its own and leads to very oppressing play patterns in the game's early stages.
What do you think? Do you feel like Greasefang is broken, or is it a fine commander? Did you like the decklist? Let me know in the comments or over on the Draftsim Discord.
That's all for now. As always, take care!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: