Last updated on September 20, 2023
Yargle and Multani | Illustration by Slawomir Maniak
There are lots of ways to win a game of Commander. Combat damage, comboing off, staxing the table so hard that everyone rage quits… But have you won by flinging your commander at people’s faces? I mean, not literally. The card stays on the table, but you make it all happen with Fling effects.
Let’s break down how the deck works so you can practice your Yargle vocalizations to celebrate your victories!
Disciple of Bolas | Illustration by Slawomir Maniak
Disciple of Bolas
Ghalta, Primal Hunger
Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord
Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar
Selvala, Heart of the Wilds
Shadowheart, Dark Justiciar
Yargle, Glutton of Urborg
Zopandrel, Hunger Dominus
Fake Your Own Death
Return of the Wildspeaker
Return to Action
Tend the Pests
Finale of Devastation
Green Sun's Zenith
Mandate of Abaddon
Rite of Consumption
Bala Ged Recovery
Boseiju, Who Endures
Golgari Rot Farm
Lair of the Hydra
Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Takenuma, Abandoned Mire
Yargle and Multani is one of only fourteen legendary vanilla creatures. Most of those are overcosted nonsense from Legends like Lady Orca, so it’s just about the only one you’d want to play as a commander aside from the OG Yargle, Glutton of Urborg itself, which would be mostly for the memes.
What’s more important is that this has the most power of any legendary creature by far, eclipsing all the Eldrazi including both printings of Emrakul. One way to build this deck is to use that to secure commander combat damage by buffing it past 20 and finding a way to push through an attack. This deck keeps that option open as a secondary wincon, but it’s all in on the Thud factor here.
I’m going to break down the elements and themes in the deck. Fair warning, black and green have a lot of riches to pilfer for a build like this, so most of these cards do double duty in other areas.
This is kind of what green does best, but as with mana rocks, I’ve stuck to 2-drops like Nature's Lore, Rampant Growth, Sakura-Tribe Elder, and Three Visits. There aren’t enough swamps in the deck to justify Farseek, but thanks for asking!
I’ve eschewed mana dorks to focus the deck a bit, but there are some cards that take advantage of your commander’s size to give a boost of mana like Selvala, Heart of the Wilds and Tanuki Transplanter. There are also two cards that can sac for lots of mana, which works in response to removal and/or synergizing with the scam package.
You’ve got nine card draw effects in here, which may seem low, but each of these draws lots of cards, so it seems to work.
You’ve got a few subthemes here on top of all-purpose awesomeness like The Great Henge.
Some of the best cards in this space require sacking a creature. That works well for you, especially as response to removal. We’re talking Disciple of Bolas, Greater Good, Life's Legacy, Momentous Fall, and Shadowheart, Dark Justiciar.
This is a small package, and you can always add three more card draw spells if you’re at a able that discourages tutors, like Harmonize instead of Finale of Devastation, Green Sun's Zenith, and Invasion of Ikoria.
These are cards that are familiar to players of the Rakdos () scam decks in Modern, where the idea is to recur evoke elementals like Fury. The idea in this deck is to use these effects to recur Yargle and Multani in response to removal and/or in response to your various sacrifice effects you use to win the game. Sacrificing your commander to make 18 1/1s or draw 18 cards to doming someone for 18 and then recurring it is the name of the game.
You’ve also got two auras, the pesky Kaya's Ghostform from a million Lurrus of the Dream-Den decks, and sleeper powerhouse Journey to Eternity, which is amazing when it transforms. This may be the best ever deck for it.
You’re a little light on traditional removal in this deck because you can always use fling effects as removal if you really have to. As a combo deck, you don’t have lots of space for removal, so you’ll be one of those decks where you shrug when tablemates are asking for spot removal answers to something scary.
Trample and/or Haste
One of the ways this deck can win is by attacking an unguarded foe out of the blue or trampling over the top of chumps.
There aren’t a lot of haste enablers in these colors and most also give trample, so you’re packing Gaea's Gift, Garruk's Uprising, Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma, Indomitable Might, Nature's Way, Overwhelming Stampede, Rancor, and Shadowspear. Most of these also serve double duty with other themes in the deck.
You can’t play actual factual Fling in these colors, and there aren’t quite enough of those effects around to reliably win games so you’ve got a couple of options here.
Dying Wish requires a sac outlet, which is where some of the card draw choices come in.
Rite of Consumption is more straightforward.
Essence Harvest works without a sac at all!
I also can’t resist Ghalta, Primal Hunger as a tool in this build.
The Mana Base
It’s obvious what your deck does when opponents see your commander. They’ll be saving their one Path to Exile effect for you. The key stratagem for the whole deck is to avoid casting your commander until you have a scam or sacrifice (or both!) effect ready to roll. You only have so many ways to sac it for value, and you only have so many opportunities to generate enough mana to keep paying commander taxes.
During that time, you probably won’t have enough blockers and removal to stay alive against a determined go wide foe. But a heavy control suite likely means you’d have to lose some of the stuff that makes this deck work, so that’s the risk you take in playing this deck. It’s like a Voltron deck in that regard, but I like this better than Voltron because you don’t necessarily ever need to connect in combat.
It feels powerful to have Yargle and Multani down with mana and sac outlets up, and to win you’ll have to parlay that feeling into political gains. There’s a player you could sac to eliminate in many turn six or seven scenarios. Instead of eliminating that player, can you work with them to take down a more problematic threat?
This is a pretty fair deck, with no obvious Rule 0 combo nonsense. It also has to work harder to win and pick its moments.
The simplest version of this deck sacs your commander for damage. The best version stacks those triggers with the scam cards to get way more value. To do that, you to need have multiple sacrifice outlets up or to spec on a card that’ll draw you 18 and hope to grab one.
Here’s what that turn looks like: sacrifice Yargle and Multani to make mana and scam them back. Sac them again for tokens or cards and scam them back. Then you can start chaining sacs and scams to dome everyone for damage.
The B tier version of the combo is to do that on the immediately preceding opponent’s end step so you can make a giant army that can hit next turn while also getting a big overrun style effect on line. There are times when you can eat the table this way.
Yargle and Multani is kind of a budget commander! Most of the irreplaceable cards, like Disciple of Bolas or Momentous Fall and all the scam cards, are also pretty cheap. Expensive utility pieces like Heroic Intervention can be swapped out for other kinds of interaction, usually. And the more expensive lands can be pulled out. In that case, I’d replace the higher cost spells with cards like Cultivate so that your mana works better.
You could simplify some of these interactions by stacking the deck with more huge creatures and lean more into the big green beatdown plan that also has these black cards that can sac big creatures for value, sure. But that’s not as fun!
The alternative I’m excited about is to take this whole idea and shift in into Jund colors, where it belongs, with a commander like Mr. Orfeo, the Boulder or Ziatora, the Incinerator. It gives you access to a few more big creatures that have value like Etali, Primal Conqueror. More importantly, it broadens your roster of damage effects, with cards like Fling, Thud, Soul's Fire, Mage Slayer, and others, as well as tricky cards like Kresh the Bloodbraided.
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord | Illustration by Eric Deschamps
This isn’t a cEDH deck by any stretch. But it’s a lot of fun to mess with, especially for a budget deck. Complicated combo decks usually have some pretty key cards that you need to make a decision about investing in to play, but this is a deck where lots of the key pieces are cheap and/or things you likely already have if you have a green beatdown deck of any kind. In that sense, this is a nice first try at combo for players who haven’t really made a lot of decks in that space.
Although this deck will probably struggle to keep up at any high-powered table, especially if they start picking on you first, in more casual spaces, it’s just right. When this deck goes off, it’s hilarious, even when it can’t find the win. Drawing a fifth of your giant deck in one go is a pleasure in and of itself that’s almost worth the trouble of sleeving this up.
This deck is a party (a frog party), and it’s 18 power worth of fun!
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