In this, the last part of the 8×8 with Wydwen series, we’re finishing off our Wydwen, the Biting Gale Commander deck by adding one last set of cards. This set of cards, however, doesn’t share an effect. Instead, they combine to support one.
This is Wydwen’s Doomsday Pile.
The basic gist is that, after casting Doomsday, your library becomes five cards that combine to produce an instantaneous win. Provided you have enough mana, and your opponents don’t have enough interaction, you can cast Doomsday, draw your deck, and win off of Laboratory Maniac’s alternate win condition.
Including a game-winning combo in your deck is a solid plan for snatching Commander victories from the jaws of defeat, especially when playing a “fair” deck (see also: including the Splinter Twin combo in Riku). Anything can happen in Magic‘s wackiest format, and sometimes, giving yourself the ability to “just have it” via a card like Doomsday is your only out to winning games.
But Commander isn’t Vintage, and our Wydwen deck’s going to have to stretch a bit to include enough cards to convert Doomsday into an instant win. Below are the cards I plan to include in my Wydwen Doomsday piles, to ensure Laboratory Maniac’s grand plans (bless that little guy’s heart) succeed.
Wydwen’s Doomsday Pile:
- Doomsday. While obviously not part of the Doomsday pile itself, Doomsday is the one card combo that makes the rest of these cards worth including. We’ve already included a bunch of tutors in our deck that can find our lone copy of Doomsday, so we should be able have it on hand when needed.
- Laboratory Maniac. The other essential piece of our instant-win puzzle. We need to cast Laboratory Maniac and then draw the (slim remainder) of our deck in order to win with Doomsday.
- Gitaxian Probe and Street Wraith. These cards serve semi-identical functions; they let us draw a card from our deck for no mana. We can chain these free draw spells into Laboratory Maniac and/or the other cards on this list or, if we’ve already exhausted our five card library, use them to draw the “final” card from our deck and win the game. (It’s also worth noting that Street Wraith’s ability is just that, an activated ability, meaning we can dodge potentially fatal counterspells by using it as our final draw effect.)
- Gush and Frantic Search. More “free” draw spells, Gush and Frantic Search allow us to draw more than one card from our Doomsday pile, setting us up to either chain through the remainder or cast and protect our Laboratory Maniac. Speaking of which …
- Pact of Negation. Pact of Negation almost made our deck during the first part of this series, but fell just short. However, alongside Laboratory Maniac’s instant-win effect, Pact’s downside (the “pay mana during your upkeep or lose the game” effect) becomes meaningless.
So how do these seven cards actually combine to win us the game, you might ask? Let me walk you through an example Doomsday turn, starting with casting the card itself.
How to Win with Doomsday, for Dummies Like Me
- Cast Doomsday with the following available:
- An in-hand or on-board way to draw a card.
- At least three additional mana.
- Six life.
- Assemble a five-card pile consisting of (in order):
- Frantic Search.
- Pact of Negation.
- Gitaxian Probe.
- Laboratory Maniac.
- Cast a draw spell to draw Gush.
- Cast Gush; draw Frantic Search and Pact of Negation.
- Cast Frantic Search; draw Gitaxian Probe and Laboratory Maniac.
- Cast Laboratory Maniac.
- Cast Gitaxian Probe; win the game.
It’s that easy! Of course, you might find yourself assembling weird, contraption-like Doomsday piles depending on specific, in-game scenarios. But in most cases, the above guide should be enough to win you the game (or at least help you lose in style).
And with our Doomsday pile(s) assembled, our Wydwen Commander deck is finally complete. The 8×8 Theory ended up being a bit hard to follow, both in terms of finding enough effects to include and including the proper amount of lands in our deck. But with just some small tweaks, we were able to build an actual, factual Commander deck using 8×8.
You can find the full, finished decklist here, and in case you missed any of the other parts in this series, I’ve linked them below:
- Part 1: Counterspells
- Parts 2 & 3: Card Draw & Removal
- Parts 4 & 5: Stealing & Bouncing Stuff
- Parts 6 & 7: Tutors/Recursion & Win Conditions
Next time, we’ll definitely be focusing on a format other than Commander, but don’t worry. I’m sure to write up my experiences playing this Wydwen deck – just as soon as I get the chance to bust it out.
Until then, may your own Commander decks treat you well.