Hey all, Z here. I’m here to discuss Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder.
Most people who want to play my sweet baby boy here end up going a similar route. He’s in the best colors for the Storm archetype, and if you actually manage to hit someone with him (it shouldn’t be too difficult, he has four arms), it makes Storming off trivially easy.
I’m not a fan of playing Storm decks. You know what I do like? Hitting people. You know who’s really good at hitting people? That’s right, Yidris.
Hit people with Yidris until they’re dead. Utilize a suite of extra turns, extra combat steps, and cards that generate ridiculous amounts of value with Yidris’s ability to give cards Cascade and just beat up on your opponents until they’ve taken 21 Commander damage. It’s a simple game plan, but the deck takes some real thinking to accomplish. Yes, generally your go to is to drop Yidris onto the battlefield as early as possible and get a swing in, but what you do then is often made up of a myriad of choices.
The deck is also built to work very well with Yidris’s Cascade ability. There’s a very small amount of interaction (compared to the rest of my decks, which hopefully I will be able to share with you all), and the interaction that is there will generally be applicable regardless of the board state. Let’s talk card specifics.
I’ll do you all a favor and skip over most of the manabase. Just know that if you want to regularly hit all of your colors, you’ll need to invest in fetchlands and shocklands. However, the deck can work decently if you can’t shell out the inordinate amount to support the colors.
These four lands provide ways to allow Yidris to get in for damage and ensure that his ability goes off. Shinka and Shizo are better early, as they provide colors and let Yidris survive trades he wouldn’t normally. Kessig Wolf Run and Rogue’s Passage are both good as finishers which let Yidris hit the opponent regardless of what they want.
I run sixteen pieces of the best pieces of mana ramp available that cost 2 or less. The goal is to get Yidris out (safely) as fast as possible. With these cards, you can get him out by turn 3, or 2 if you get lucky and hit Burgeoning. Most, if not all of these also work as color fixing, and the best part is that none of them are dead cards later on in the game: one hit with Yeezus, and you’re cascading into your value engines.
Terminate is great. Two mana, destroy a creature, instant speed. I don’t know what more I’d want from a card.
Cryptic Command is one of the cards I’m willing to put in Yidris due to its modality. Casting a 5-drop and and cascading into Cryptic Command is never going to fizzle, as you will always be able to bounce a permanent and draw a card.
Venser can either counter a spell, bounce a permanent, or act as a slow card-advantage engine in slow matchups. If Yidris has hit an opponent, when you cascade into Venser, you can choose to bounce himself, and then recast him, cascading off of the cast. If you have a lot of mana (which happens with the somewhat obscene amount of ramp I’m running), you can do this several times a turn. He also works well with several other cards in the deck, most namely Paradox Engine.
Ancient Grudge is just too efficient to not include. Cascading into it is a bit of a bummer if there are no targets, but it is amazing in every other situation. Plus, usually your opponent will have at least one artifact for you to target.
Vaevictis Asmadi before Vaevictis was reprinted. I love this card. I’m gonna get real with you all, I love the phrasing ‘target permanent’. Its versatility is beautiful, and the fact that this cascades into all of your 2 mana removal means that you’ll often be hitting opponents for multiple cards, while only spending one card from your hand.
‘Destroy target permanent.’ You had me there.
Reclamation Sage hits an artifact OR enchantment, and then leaves you with a blocker.
Acidic Slime doesn’t have the key wording of ‘target permanent’, but it’s close enough to run, especially with the excellent blocker that it leaves behind after the ETB ability.
Yidris has a huge target painted on his big, beautiful head, so he needs protecting. These six cards are the bread and butter in these colors. Whispersilk Cloak means that you can freely activate cascade, and Bear Umbra works excellently with your extra combat steps.
Fun Fact: Cascade abilities stack. That means that if Yidris hits twice, your cards that are cast from hand get: “Cascade, Cascade”. If you have Blood Mist out, then take an extra combat step, your cards get: “Cascade, Cascade, Cascade, Cascade”. If you manage to take another extra combat step after that, you’ve usually won the game.
Haste cannot be overstated. It blanks sorcery-speed removal, and almost always lets Yidris pummel someone. It helps that both of these cards add stats, which means Yidris is both harder to block and also ends games faster.
I don’t have the Masterpiece Sword of Feast and Famine, but I wish I did. This is in the deck for the same reason Bear Umbra is; untapping your lands is absurdly powerful when you get extra combat steps.
Extra combat steps get insane value when every spell you cast gains cascade. That’s really all there is to say about the most of these, but I’m going to spend a bit more time talking about Aggravated Assault. This card is a combo machine, and I didn’t realize when I was putting this deck together just how many things it combos with. Sword of Feast and Famine and Bear Umbra both let you end the game immediately if there are no blockers, and Aggravated Assault is the best mana sink for the other combo I have in my deck (which I’ll go over later).
These are the current extra turn spells I’m running in Yidris. Casting one with Yidris on the field after a hit usually wins the game. Cascading an extra turn spell (especially Temporal Trespass if you cast it for cheap) into another extra turn spell is one of the most compelling reasons to play this deck. It’s a wonderful feeling. Additionally, while these cards are quite expensive, they are easily castable considering the multitude of mana rocks in the deck.
These two cards… these two cards are a thing of beauty. By themselves, they both generate inordinate amounts of value. Getting Grinning Ignus out on the field after a Yidris attack turns your turns into ‘how much red mana can I get?’ If you have a couple mana rocks or dorks on the field, along with Grinning Ignus and Paradox Engine, you start generating mana in between casts. You bounce the Ignus and recast it with the mana from its ability. Untap your mana dorks/rocks and retap them, floating all of your mana. Cascade into a 2 mana spell (usually a mana rock or dork), and untap your mana dorks/rocks again. You’ve net some mana, and you’ve gotten a free spell. Do that until you have all of your cards that cost two or less out of your deck, and win with Sol Ring, or Aggravated Assault, or any number of cards.
These cards are all great in Yidris because they either give you free cascades and color fixing (Peregrine Drake), or they can be cast for cheaper than their Converted Mana Cost. Since cascade operates off of CMC, you can cast Treasure Cruise for a single blue mana and cascade into a 7-drop. Getting Nexus of Fate for free alongside three cards sounds sweet to me.
Draw three cards for free. Nice.
With Paradox Engine, this draws your deck, and sets up the top to allow you to keep going unless you get to three lands on top. It’s excellent.
I’m running these two pieces of the Expertise Cycle because they do a lot on their face, even without cascade. With cascade, these cards net you many, many more cards than you deserve. Rishkar’s Expertise will draw you 5 cards, cascade into another free card, let you cast one of the cards you’ve drawn for free, and then cascade again off of that card. It also leads to ridiculous tangles of the stack, which are a real pleasure to disentangle.
I hope you all enjoyed reading, and I look forward to writing many more Let’s Talk articles. Lastly, here’s a link to my current decklist.