Welcome back to the ReCycling Bin, a series in which I look back at theorycrafted Magic decks that never saw the light of day. This installment features a dragon I’ve never had the stones to Stone Rain people with.
Numot, the Devastator was the only dragon to survive my Scion of the Ur-Dragon purge. The rest of the Scion deck hit eBay, but I swapped a different dragon in for Numot before posting, selling, and shipping the deck out.
Why, you might ask? Well, I had plans for Numot … plans to build him his own EDH deck.
Why’d I Build It?
I am one of the few Commander players I know who embraces land destruction.
I’ll continue after you stop booing.
We good? Great. Land destruction has a place in Commander. It can punish people who do not play enough lands. It can counteract ramp strategies and provide a safeguard against BAH-ROKEN lands. Land destruction is terrible when used as a way to stall games indefinitely. It is fine when used as spot removal or an actual win condition.
At the time I decided to keep Numot, I was interested in moving my brief flirtations with land destruction to their extreme. I was also interested in building a hard control deck that could lock down and then quickly win a multi-player game – something I had yet to do in Commander.
Also, Numot himself is sweet. Did you look at that Dan Dos Santos art above? Did you read his ability? His attacks are so powerful that he shatters lands. Numot is fantastic.
What Was the Deck Supposed to Do?
My hypothetical Numot gameplan was pretty simple:
- Spend turns 1 – 3(ish) ramping via Sol Ring, Izzet Signet, Commander’s Sphere and the like. I planned to play roughly 11 mana rocks in my Numot deck, along with 40 lands. This would hopefully leave me with loads of mana (comparatively) after enacting step 2 …
- Cast an Armageddon, Wildfire, Global Ruin, Sunder, etc. to destroy as many lands as possible. With any luck, this would set my opponents back long enough for me to play more lands, cast some controlling spells, and then …
- Lock up the game with Numot or another win condition. I planned to play Keranos, Ajani Vengeant, Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, and (my personal favorite) Assemble the Legion, among others.
I have theorycrafted this deck many times. I first did it nearly two and a half years ago, while farming in New Zealand. I did it again just the other week, in my living room in Fresno, CA (which is what prompted this blog post).
No matter what side of the world I live on, the idea for this deck won’t leave my head. My subconscious wants to blow up lands, cast dragons, and win games. This deck wants to exist.
But I won’t let it. I’ve never even finished theorycrafting the mana base. And I’m pretty sure it’s all Sol Ring’s fault.
Why’d It Never See Play?
Each time I write up a Numot, the Devastator decklist, the same problem emerges:
- I have to play Sol Ring, as it’s too good to exclude – especially given the deck’s land destruction strategy.
- If I’m playing Sol Ring, I should probably play Trinket Mage to find it.
- If I’m playing Trinket Mage, I should probably play Expedition Map and Sensei’s Divining Top as well (as additional Trinket targets).
- If I’m playing that many artifacts, I should probably play Tezzeret the Seeker.
- If I’m playing Tezzeret, I should probably play Oblivion Stone, which means I should probably play Academy Ruins …
I play Commander because it allows me the chance to play lots of different cards. So I’m not going to spend a $100 building a deck that’s similar to one of my other decks. That’s the primary reason why Numot’s never taken flight.
But if I’m being honest, I also don’t hate my friends quite enough to blow up all their lands multiple times throughout the same Commander session. I know they would hate it. And Commander (especially when played between friends) is not entirely about winning. It’s about making sure everyone’s having a decent time. Whatever my feelings about land destruction may be, I also have to take my playgroup’s into account.
So that’s the story of Numot – the land destruction dragon who never was and may never be. I am sure I will theorycraft another Numot list in the future, so feel free to leave some suggestions for when I do. With your help, maybe I’ll finally be able to build a Numot deck that I like.