Hey all, Z here again to talk to you about another one of my favorite commanders: Rashmi, Eternities Crafter.
Rashmi lets me get free value off of the first spell I cast each turn. That means that I want to be casting spells during my turn, but also during my opponents turns as well. While there are several options of how to do this, I decided to go with a hardcore, tuned control list. That means counterspells, that means cantrips (cards that draw more cards but don’t do much else), that means tutors, and that means an easy-to-assemble win condition.
Prevent your opponents from winning long enough to get Rashmi on the board. Use Rashmi to get more counterspells and removal, stop your opponents from winning, then eventually win yourself via combo.
I’ll again skip over the lands for this deck tech. Since Rashmi is only two colors, the goal would be to get as many duals that enter untapped as possible, but it’s not as important as it is with three or four-color decks. I run one land that doesn’t get colors, and that is Reliquary Tower, since we’ll be drawing a LOT of cards over the course of a game.
I run fifteen pieces of ramp in my Rashmi deck. I run this many partially because I love ramp, but I also cannot understate just how important it is for this deck to get on the ground running. Additionally, because of how Rashmi works, you avoid the usual downfall of decks that are heavy on ramp. Later on in the game, once Rashmi is online, these ramp spells are no longer dead draws, since they become at the worst, cantrips, and at best, a better, free spell from your library. Lastly, having nonland permanents that provide mana is necessary for our win condition, which means that mana rocks are good early, good midgame, and good late. That is also why we aren’t running the land tutors such as farseek, rampant growth, and sakura-tribe elder – they don’t help us win as much.
Cantrips are an enormous part of what makes this deck run smoothly. If you’re running out of action, most of these will find you something. If your opponents pass and you kept mana up to stop them from doing anything too degenerate, these provide an outlet. Peek and Gitaxian Probe both give you information about your opponents’ hands, which you can use to dole out your counterspells with a lighter touch.
Any Magic: The Gathering player who has played or played against a blue deck can tell you how strong free spells are. Heck, two of my favorite decks revolve entirely around getting spells for free, including this one. Being able to tap out and cast something on your turn and still have answers up for whatever your opponents play is huge. These cards let you play Rashmi on turn four (or earlier with ramp), which means you’re getting card advantage over your opponents from the very beginning of the game.
Ah, counterspells. Counterspells, counterspells, counterspells. Counterspells make up a majority of this deck, with a grand total of sixteen (the rest are in the decklist, link at the bottom). You can’t stop your opponent from winning without counterspells. Well, you can, but it won’t be as fun.
The next largest category of cards are cards that bounce, destroy, or exile our opponents’ creatures and other permanents. Pictured above are three of the strongest removal spells in the deck, with Cyclonic Rift being well-deserving of a special shout-out. Cyclonic Rift is one of my favorite spells in the entire game. Being modal, it’s never dead in hand, and it can be used in a pinch to bounce a troublesome permanent. However, if you ever manage to Overload Cyclonic Rift, especially on an opponent’s end step, you’ve nearly always won the game. It is just so absurdly powerful to bounce everything but lands, and keep your own.
The other removal spells in the deck operate similarly to most of these. The suite is also varied greatly, in order to be able to deal with the widest possible array of threats. We have bounce spells to deal with creatures, artifact destruction, and a few spells that deal with all nonland permanents.
Tutors are great. All three of these tutors search for half of this deck’s combo, and can also be used in a pinch to find an answer to any threat.
Long-Term Plans is special in that it can search up either half of the combo, but also has extra synergy with Rashmi. Due to her ability and how it stacks, putting your combo piece on top of your deck can allow you to cast a more expensive spell, and get your combo piece into play for free at instant speed. You should NOT do this if you don’t have the other half, or if your opponent can answer your spell.
Muddle the Mixture can also search up both parts of your combo, and in a pinch can be used to counter a spell. It’s fantastic in either case, and I cannot imagine playing this deck without Muddle the Mixture in it. Any spell that can be used in a variety of ways is stronger than a spell that only does one thing, and Muddle the Mixture is excellent in that regard.
These either draw you a spell or force your opponents to pay more for all of their spells. It’s a win-win situation for you. If they don’t pay, draw a card and counter their spell. If they do pay, use Mana Leak to counter their spell because now they don’t have enough mana open. It should be noted that Mystic Remora is almost impossible to pay for, so you’re very likely to draw at least one or two cards off of it, and if you are worried about your opponent playing something hard to deal with, drawing one card for one mana is more than okay, and you should not feel obligated to keep paying Mystic Remora’s Cumulative Upkeep.
Draw many cards for one card. After you and your opponents have exhausted all of your collective resources, refill your hand with these and keep on countering.
Rashmi makes it so that being able to mess with the top card of your library is actively beneficial to you. While these cards are both fantastic in a regular deck, Rashmi makes them excellent. Draw two off of Sylvan Library then put the last card back. Play an extra spell and cast that third card for free.
It should also be noted that once you have infinite mana with your combo, you can also utilize Sensei’s Divining Top to draw your entire deck.
If you’ve played Competitive Commander before, you know of the Dramatic Scepter combo. These two cards plus any non-land mana sources that tap for three mana gets you infinite mana. Even if you only have two mana from non-lands, if you have Sensei’s Divining Top, you can tap it to put on top of your deck and draw a card, untap it with Isochron Scepter, tap it again, and do that for however many cards you want to draw from your deck, since putting Sensei’s Divining Top on top is part of the resolution of the ability instead of being a cost.
When you have your combo online, these two cards let you draw your entire deck, along with Sensei’s Divining Top. Thrasios also gets all of your lands into play, though they will be tapped. Once you have your whole deck, there are two main ways to win, both of which require graveyard recursion.
If your opponent has a creature, great! You don’t need Beast Within for anything. If they don’t then use Beast Within on any one of their permanents. After that, you simply use Reality Shift on the beast token, and your opponent manifests their top card. Then you cast Seasons Past targeting Reality Shift and a cantrip (and any counterspells that are more expensive if you want to be really careful). Use the cantrip to draw Seasons Past again, and Reality Shift the manifested card, causing them to manifest another card. Run through this loop until your opponent has no cards in their library, then pass the turn. They die on their draw step. This is the more complicated, weirder, and in my opinion more fun way to win the game.
You have infinite mana. Have an opponent draw more cards than they have in their library with Stroke of Genius. Use Seasons Past to get back Stroke of Genius and a cantrip (and another counterspell if you’d like). Stroke of Genius your next opponent. Do it a third time if you have three opponents, and bada-bing, bada-boom! Victory!
Once again, thank you all for visiting Mystical Teachings and reading these articles. Here’s a link to my Rashmi decklist, and I look forward to seeing you at the next Let’s Talk About article.