Oswald Fiddlebender - Illustration by Steven Belledin

Oswald Fiddlebender | Illustration by Steven Belledin

Picture this: an unassuming gnome armed not with a sword, but with boundless imagination and a knack for assembling ingenious contraptions. No, it's not a young Link in Tears of the Kingdom. I'm talking about Oswald Fiddlebender, a commander that has emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the highly competitive world of cEDH.

With a deck built around Oswald, players have discovered an exciting and unpredictable play style that thrives on artifact synergy, manipulation, and a pinch of delightful chaos. Let's explore what makes an Oswald Fiddlebender cEDH deck tick.: from low-cost artifacts that fuel your engine to the intricate web of synergistic interactions.

Are you intrigued by this deck?  Let the tinkering begin!

The Deck

Triumphant Reckoning - Illustration by Svetlin Velinov

Triumphant Reckoning | Illustration by Svetlin Velinov

The Commander

Oswald Fiddlebender

Oswald Fiddlebender is one of the best, if not the best mono white commanders, thanks to its ability to go off while it's in play. The multiple artifact synergies it packs can tutor for almost any artifact that's needed depending on the board state.

When you combine its core strength with protection spells and ways to loop your graveyard, you've got one of the most oppressive commanders available, which is why Kamimura Hiroya, the creator of this deck, took it onto an 88-person cEDH tournament and got the glory with it.

Let’s unfold how this deck works.

The Mana Artifacts

In order for this deck to perform as optimally as expected, you need to rely on the best mana artifact cards ever printed. Spoiler alert: this isn't a budget deck.

It runs cards like Mana Crypt and Basalt Monolith that give you tons of mana very early in the game, and the latter is a critical part of infinite combo shenanigans.

Krark-Clan Ironworks

The most important mana artifact of the deck has to be Krark-Clan Ironworks (KCI) because it's a critical part to enable infinite mana and infinite loops.

The Protection Spells

These spells' jobs are very simple, just ensuring you can go off on your turn without worrying about your opponents interacting with your plays.

You've got cards like Orim's Chant and Silence to prevent them from playing anything on your turn or the turn you're going off.

Other cards overlap into this category, like Grand Abolisher or Ranger-Captain of Eos. They accomplish the same task, but they also fall into the stax elements.

Stax Elements

These cards require your opponents to play according to the rules you set while they're in play. Torpor Orb for example taxes on non-creature spells, making them harder to be cast, while others like Phyrexian Revoker prevent permanents' activated abilities from being played. Those twoswald-fiddlebender-edh-decko are just examples, but this deck has many similar effects that accomplish the same thing: protect your primary strategy.

The Removal Spells

Another way to control the board is to make sure your opponent threats don't interfere or shut down your plans. You need to play your removal spells that can deal with permanents, like a March of Otherworldly Light that can deal with almost any permanent. Or try a Transmogrifying Wand, a cute way to deal with other commanders consistently that goes around the ones that have the protection of some sort of color.

Winds of Abandon

Like those, this deck runs a total of 13 removal spells that can deal with the main problems throughout the game. Keep in mind that your only board wipe is Winds of Abandon, so you might want to play it with some degree of responsibility.

Recursion Spells

You can't guarantee that your opponents won't interact with you or that they won't destroy your pieces. Even if they don't, your commander's main ability forces you to put the artifacts into your graveyard. What if you wanted them back? That's where the recursion package comes in handy.

Some artifacts like Myr Retriever or Junk Diver can return others when they die, but if you're looking for return multiples of them, cards like Open the Vaults and Second Sunrise are at your disposal.

It's also worth noting that with some combination of those, you can also go infinite. To achieve that, you can't rely solely on Oswald Fiddlebender.


From the expensive Enlightened Tutor to the humble Moonsilver Key, this deck has tons of ways to search for the right cards in the right spot. Even others like Ranger-Captain of Eos can fetch some stax elements like Esper Sentinel. Not to mention that some of the lands can also serve as a pseudo-tutor effect.

The Win Condition

So, how does this deck win?

Urza's Saga

There are a couple of options. In theory, you can go aggro with some of your creatures and with Urza's Saga tokens to take on other players in a 1v1 scenario, but I wouldn't use that strategy if you still have more players on the table.

Goblin Cannon

Because of that, you need a way to go infinite and kill the entire table in a single turn, but how do you do that? That's where Goblin Cannon comes into play. For two mana, you deal one damage to any target, and you sacrifice it. All you need to do is to generate infinite mana and go off with it because you can stack its activations by holding priority and ping the entire table. The damage portion of the ability resolves, even if the artifact isn't in play after the first activation.

The Mana Base

Emeria's Call

For a mono-white deck and a cheap commander, this deck only needs a few lands to perform as intended. In fact, it only runs 27 lands plus one MDFC in the form of Emeria's Call. It's somewhat low for commander standards, where decks tend to run around 34 lands and up.

Because of that, aside from the basic Plains it runs, most of the other lands are either tutors to trim the deck like Arid Mesa or Prismatic Vista or utility ones like Eiganjo Castle. The ones that I think are the most important are City of Traitors and Ancient Tomb because they allow you to play your expensive artifacts very early in the game.

Other notable ones are Urza's Saga, which can be used as a tutor enabler and occasionally a finisher, Inventors' Fair as another tutor effect with the upside of giving you passive life income, and Gemstone Caverns that gives you the opportunity of explosive starts.

The Strategy

You have two ways of approaching matches with this deck.

The first one is to go full-on combo mode. Play your Commander as early as turn two, then start combing your opponents when it hits the battlefield. This will fail, however, because the other players will target it as soon as it hits the field. In some cases, it won't even be able to see play thanks to countermagic. This is where the second approach comes in handy: the tax/control game.

With the many stax cards and control elements in this deck, your priority on the initial turns is to a) ramp you with your mana artifacts b) control the board with your stax effects c) search for your combo pieces and protect them, and d) resolve an Oswald and win the game.

I encourage you to keep your combo pieces in hand as much as you can. When you're ready to generate infinite mana or just search for your combo pieces to win that same turn, use cards like Silence on your upkeep to prevent any shenanigans that may occur if your opponents have open mana.

You can always go off if you notice everyone has their lands tapped, but there are cards like Force of Will that don't require mana to be cast and are very popular in cEDH games. There's also the possibility to go off if they play Force of Will to counter your Silence and they're tapped out. Still, It’s better not to take any chances because getting your commander killed with tight mana is a big issue. However, thanks to your stax effects, they'll have a tough time playing multiple cards on your turn, so let's consider that as well.

Combos and Interactions

You can get infinite recursion with this deck or just add infinite mana in multiple ways.

Basalt Monolith + Rings of Brighthearth: Infinite mana

Scrap Trawler + Myr Retriever + Krark-Clan Ironworks + Sol Ring + Junk Diver: an even more complicated way to add infinite mana if you don't have the primary combo.

Faith's Reward + Codex Shredder + Krark-Clan Ironworks: This is another way to generate infinite mana, with the upside that it can also return any other artifacts you may have sacrificed. With enough pieces together, you can have unlimited commander activations, especially if you have Thousand-Year Elixir out. This can also be done with Second Sunrise.

Those are the core ones you should know about. Of course, there are others and endless combinations of them, but as long as you can keep the above in mind, you can mix and match to go off. It may require a bit of practice, but this deck has the potential to play solo very consistently. Because of that, it's meant for cEDH play and not for regular or casual Commander games.

Budget Options

Since this is a cEDH deck, most of the cards can be pricier, and replacing any of them directly impacts the deck's performance.

Still, here are a handful of suitable replacements for some of the most expensive cards.

Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle can be used and is used in most Oswald Fiddlebender decks as it enables some powerful combos along with Myr Retriever. What keeps it from being in the deck is its mana cost, which is a bit pricier for what this deck is willing to pay for a recursion enabler.

Lodestone Golem is perfect for this kind of strategy, as it can almost guarantee you to tax only your opponent's spells. The drawback comes if someone else is also playing an artifact-themed deck.

Sanctum Gargoyle can be a fine replacement if you can't find a Junk Diver near you.

Brilliant Restoration can be used instead of the likes of Second Sunrise, but it's obviously a bit more difficult to cast. It may require more pieces in the board to go infinite with it than its counterpart does.

Buried Ruin is the cheapest replacement of any of the recursion effects if you fail to get your hands on it.

Everflowing Chalice is no Mana Crypt, but for mere cents, this is a decent replacement. With enough mana spent, it can be even better.

Other Builds

You can build your Oswald Fiddlebender deck in several ways, but it may not be as powerful as this version. However, here are some key cards you may want to consider building around.

Staff of Domination builds are very common in most of this commander's decks. With the core elements, you can go infinite with it thanks to its untap ability. All it takes is getting infinite mana to use all four abilities, in which gaining infinite life is probably the most important one.

When you pair Uba Mask with Drannith Magistrate, you can create very oppressive play patterns. In essence, you keep opponents from drawing cards for the rest of the game. You can also mix in Knowledge Pool for a similar effect.

Clock of Omens enables a lot of combos for the decks, most notably the ones involving Basalt Monolith to, yet again, infinite mana.

You can also rely on a Heliod, Sun-Crowned + Walking Ballista combo as a way to pull off some on-the-spot instant wins.

Mycosynth Lattice + Karn, the Great Creator is a must-have combo if your purpose in life is losing friends and winning games in casual games.

Commanding Conclusion

Astral Drift - Illustration by Anna Steinbauer

Astral Drift | Illustration by Anna Steinbauer

As you may have witnessed, this deck's creator, Kamimura Hiroya, knew what he was doing when putting this together, as it's certainly a challenging deck to maneuver.

If you plan to take it for a spin, I encourage you to take it into an MTGO practice room or just proxy the cards before committing to it. It may not be the style of the deck that you may be used to, and it may require a lot of practice and preparation to exploit it to its full potential. But one thing I can guarantee you: it is powerful.

What do you think? Are there any cards you want to add to make it even better? Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter!

Thanks for reading, and catch you later!

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