Last updated on January 9, 2023

Greasefang, Okiba Boss - Illustration by Victor Adame Minguez

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.

Intrigued? Well, Greasefang, Okiba Boss isn't just a powerhouse in Pioneer, it can also cause mayhem in Commander.

Let's dig into it!

The Deck

Sol Ring (Commander Collection Green) - Illustration by Joseph Meehan

Sol Ring (Commander Collection: Green) | Illustration by Joseph Meehan

The Commander

Greasefang, Okiba Boss

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.

The Rats

Rats in this deck are primarily for the tribal theme, but some fill a more specific role.

Gnat Miser and Locust Miser tax your opponents by reducing their hand size by a certain amount, and Burglar Rat punishes them further by making them discard a card.

Rotting Rats Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni

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.

The Other Creatures

Vile Entomber and Oriq Loremage help you find and put your vehicles or creatures into the graveyard, and Sun Titan and Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle bring them back to the battlefield.

King Macar, the Gold-Cursed Pain Seer

King Macar, the Gold-Cursed and Pain Seer are excellent drivers because their abilities trigger when they untap and vehicles let them bypass combat, which means that they get tapped safely.

Sram, Senior Edificer

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.

Tutor Spells

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.

Oswald Fiddlebender

One of the best tutors in the deck is Oswald Fiddlebender.

Demonic Tutor

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.

Removal Spells

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.

Swords to Plowshares Damn

The ones that are the most notable are Swords to Plowshares for being the cheapest and Damn for its versatility.


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

Sol Ring Lightning Greaves

There aren’t a lot non-vehicle artifacts in this deck. But the most notable ones are the mana rocks, like Sol Ring and Lightning Greaves, that help you protect your vehicles and creatures.

Parhelion II

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.

Skysovereign, Consul Flagship Surgehacker Mech

Skysovereign, Consul Flagship and Surgehacker Mech can serve as extra pieces of removal.

Weatherlight, Aerial Surveyor, and Reckoner Bankbuster are great at providing you with card advantage in different ways.

Card Advantage

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.

Ransack the Lab

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.

The Strategy

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.

Nezumi Bone-Reader Greasefang, Okiba Boss

Nezumi Bone-Reader + Greasefang, Okiba Boss: Before the vehicle goes back to hand, you sacrifice it with Nezumi so you can use it again.

Imperial Recovery Unit + Burglar Rat + Nezumi Bone-Reader: This combo is cute when it comes up, but the idea here is to sacrifice the Burglar and bring it back with Recovery Unit.

Surgehacker Mech Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni

Vehicles + ninjutsu: There are some vehicles like Surgehacker Mech that have an ETB effect, and getting to pair it with the likes of Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni is a great combo.

Budget and Other Options

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.

Austere Command and Cleansing Nova are cheap options if you can't find yourself a Farewell.

If you’re looking for utility lands, Buried Ruin, Roadside Reliquary, and Phyrexia's Core are perfect additions or replacements for some of the most expensive lands in the deck.

Commanding Conclusion

Swords to Plowshares - Illustration by Terese Nielsen

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!

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1 Comment

  • Avatar
    Moonfolk August 22, 2022 7:29 am

    I will “upgrade” this deck by replacing [High Market for Faceless Haven], [Sram, Senior Edificer for The Book of Exalted Deeds], [Chittering Rats for Skeletal Changeling], [4x Plains for 4x Snow-Covered Plains], [4x Swamp for 4x Snow-Covered Swamp], [Lightning Greaves for Liquimetal Coating], and [Okiba Salvage for Cloak of Omens]. I think the replacements will not disturb the core of this deck. I like this deck idea so much with discard, limiting opponent’s hand, recurring vehicles, and a lot of tutors for a lot of combos. With [Year of the Rat] sleeves from Secret Lair, it will be perfect for the Rat boss and his gangsters.

    What do you think with all those changes?

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