Hello all, Griffin popping in today for our Monday deck tech continuing on our Jumpstart roll. Today we are building a deck around Kels, Fight Fixer, the Dimir Aristocrats powerhouse that is undeniably strong. We don’t normally run the aristocrats strategies in Dimir; however, Kels gives us a perfect engine to cycle through our deck while sacrificing creatures for value.
Kels has some of the best attributes to make an efficient Commander, and these attributes are what landed her on my personal top tier. First, she has the ability to draw cards when you sacrifice a creature, and second, she is a sacrifice outlet on her own. The perfect engine! An ability to reward you from doing something and a way to do that something to get that reward! So, the question becomes how are we going to use and abuse her abilities? Let’s jump in.
The way we are going to win with this deck is mainly through the aforementioned Aristocrats strategy. Of course, in order to play Aristocrats, we need to be able to sacrifice stuff for value. We can essentially read Kels as pay two mana, sac a creature, and draw a card. The first thing we want in aristocrats is creatures that we can recur easily or that bring more than one body on to the battlefield.
These are all the cards that will give us fodder to sac to either Kels or another one of our sac outlets–which we will get to in just a moment. Nadir Kraken is unique as well because whenever we draw a card we can pay one to make a token from Nadir Kraken, then we can sac it to Kels for one generic and pay the blue/black hybrid to draw a card, triggering Nadir Kraken and we start the process all over again. Its really just pay four mana to draw one card but hey its value!
So now that we know what we have to sacrifice, let’s go over how we can take advantage of the sacrifice strategy. Here are our other sac outlets in this deck:
As with almost every strategy, we will always want redundancy–especially since the free sac outlets let Kels draw a card for one mana instead of two. However, we want to be getting extra payoffs from sacrificing our creatures, enough to win us the game. So let’s go over the payoffs we have in the deck from sacrificing creatures!
Just as you would expect, we have the drainers:
You could also add in Vindictive Vampire, Bastion of Remembrance, and/or Syr Konrad, the Grim if you wanted; however, I’ve found three of these effects to be plenty, especially with the number of cards we can draw.
We’ve also got Grim Haruspex, Midnight Reaper, and Liliana, Dreahorde General that draw us cards whenever creatures we control dies–as well as Smothering Abomination which has flying and forces you to sacrifice a creature on your upkeep but you also draw a card any time you sac a creature. For three generic and one black we’ve also go the insanely good uncommon, Pitiless Plunderer. Other payoffs include Grave Pact and Dictate of Erebos that forces our opponents to sacrifice a creature each time one of our creatures die.
Before we talk about how to end the game let’s quickly talk about the ramp and card draw in this deck. Because we are in Dimir, we don’t really have a lot of ways that we could ramp outside of mana rocks so we’ve got:
We also have the Pitiless Plunderer and Pawn of Ulamog style cards that create tokens that give us more mana by sacrificing them when other creatures we control die.
Even though Kels can draw us plenty of cards and we can reasonably assume she is going to stick around–because she is not our win condition but our engine and we can make her indestructible–we’re going to want to include some extra card advantage/draw to get through as many cards in our deck as possible. Here are the cards I’ve included in this section:
I haven’t included a lot in my initial build, and if you are testing and find that you still want a little extra card advantage, some other cards you can run in the deck include Night’s Whisper, Ambition’s Cost, Read the Bones, etc.
Alright, now that we’ve covered the basic strategy of the deck we can talk about our win conditions. For the Aristocrats strategy, we’ve got the same old Blood Artist, Falkenrath Noble, Zulaport Cutthroat strategy of sacrifice, drain, get more value, repeat. Our second win condition involves Nim Deathmantle. The part of Nim Deathmantle we really care about is the part that says, “Whenever a nontoken creature is put into your graveyard from the battlefield, you may pay four generic mana. If you do, return that card to the battlefield and attach Nim Deathmantle to it.
So the way we use this is a combo with Ashnod’s Altar and any of our creatures that create at least two other tokens whenever they ETB, such as Sengir Autocrat. The way the combo works is you have Ashnod’s Altar and Nimdeathmantle on the field and you play your Sengir Autocrat creating three tokens. You sacrifice Sengir Autocrat and the tokens to add eight mana to your mana pool. Then, activate Nim Deathmantle’s ability to return your Sengir Autocrat to the field, making three more tokens, netting you four colorless mana in the process. You can now proceed to make infinite tokens and/or infinite colorless mana by sacrificing as many tokens as you want to the Ashnod’s Altar.
With any of our drainers out we immediately win the game by draining out opponents. You can also dump that mana into huge X spells such as Torment of Hailfire or Exsanguinate. Even though we are drawing lots of cards and have some good card advantage, you’ll want to run some tutors to be able to grab pieces of your combo such as Sidisi, Undead Vizier (which works great with our sacrifice strategy anyway). Tribute Mage can find us Nim Deathmantle and Trophy Mage can tutor for our Ashnod’s Altar. Grim Tutor and/or Demonic Tutor will, of course, find us any of the cards we need for our combo.
Alright, thanks so much for reading this article and I hope you’ve enjoyed my take on Kels. Be sure to head to our YouTube channel and subscribe so you can see all of our deck techs, set reviews, and gameplay videos. We love being a part of this community and sharing and creating decks with you all so please feel free to comment on our videos and let us know what else you would include in the decks we talk about. Have a great week and stay safe out there!
Full Deck List: