Hello! I’m Daniel, an avid MTG player, and a big fan of Commander. In this Blame Guide Upgrade Guide I’m going to share some of my ideas on how you can improve the red-white commander precon. You’ll also find suggestions on which cards to cut, as well as an example upgraded decklist.
Through the whole article, I’ll assume that you’re using Nelly Borca, Impulsive Accuser as your main commander.
Blame Game Overview
When we started seeing first Karlov Manor spoilers, I wasn’t that interested in cards with suspect mechanic. But the introduction of Nelly Borca changed that. The ability to goad all of suspected creatures can make for fun, chaotic games. (You can learn more about suspect mechanic rules here.)
The combination of menace and inability to block is perfect for a goad deck. Your opponents will have a harder time blocking, thus taking more damage. Both from you and from other players.
Nevertheless, I don’t recommend to include a ton of other suspect cards, as most of them aren’t that good. Additionally, there are enough cards to goad your opponents’ creatures.
The point of the deck is to make sure your opponents are always attacking each other instead of you. They will be rewarded for doing so. Nelly Borca doesn’t just goad creatures, but allows your opponents to draw cards when they attack another opponent. Therfore, they’ll be tempted to attack even with non-goaded creatures.
Upgrading the Plan
In order to upgrade that plan, you want to include more rewards for players attacking other opponents. Hopefully, you can then swoop in and take everyone out at the end.
I’d also suggest including cards that reward you whenever an opponent does a specific action. A new card that comes in the deck, Trouble in Pairs, is a perfect example of such a card. It has multiple triggers that will draw you a card. Even better, you can potentially draw 3 extra cards per turn if my opponent performs specific actions.
If everything goes according to plan, you won’t even need to attack at first. You’ll be able to sit back and prepare while goading everyone else into attacking. In the meantime, you build up resources so you can finish the game in one fell swoop.
Blame Game Decklist
Best 3 Cards to Upgrade Blame Game
I’m going to start with three main cards you should focus on getting first. Each of these will have a large positive impact on your win rate. While I’ll cover both budget and higher cost additions these three cards are the first ones you should save up for.
Already a staple white enchantment, but it’s further enhanced since your commander is going to help your opponents draw cards.
If your opponents are drawing 2+ cards per turn, odds are they won’t have 4 mana to waste on preventing you from drawing. They’re going to want to use that mana to play the cards they draw.
Sword of Feast and Famine
Nelly Borca needs to attack each turn for her abilities to work, but you don’t want her to be blocked and die. There are ten similar swords that give your creature protection from two colors and trigger two abilities when they deal combat damage an opponent.
Sword of Feast and Famine is my personally favorite since your commander will draw you cards when you attack, and you then untap your lands to cast your new cards.
The discard trigger is also good since your opponents are going to draw cards from Nelly’s ability, so this can keep them from getting too many cards in hand.
Iroas, God of Victory
Iroas, God of Victory is a great card to make sure your commander doesn’t die when she attacks. It also protects all of your other creatures and eventually become a creature to attack.
This deck is amazing at goading your opponents but you’ll eventually have one opponent left, meaning you need a way to finish them. Iroas allows you to aggressively attack them while saving blockers to make sure they don’t take you out.
While Death Kiss does cost six mana, it’s still a perfect for a goad deck. The fact it only doubles the power if they’re attacking an opponent instead of you is such a great addition.
A creature with lower mana cost would be Bothersome Quasit, which also allows you to goad your opponents’ creatures. Its ability to prevent goading creatures from blocking isn’t as useful given your commander prevents blocking with the suspect ability, although he is still a wonderful card to add.
Life of the Party is also a powerful addition since it’s a strong creature and also gives goaded copies to your opponents. Really useful in this shell.
Making your commander big with Blackblade Reforged allows it to survive combat more frequently. On top of that, the card is cheaper than a lot of equally powerful cards.
A card from the main set, Agrus Kos, Spirit of Justice would work well with your commander. On one hand, you can suspect two creatures per turn to goad more creatures. Or instead you can have Nelly Borca suspect a creature and then Agrus will immediately exile it if you stack the triggers correctly. Double strike will also make him extremely powerful if you use the right auras or equipment.
Baeloth Barrityl, Entertainer is a card that is perfect for a goad deck. Most cards will goad one creature at a time, so you aim those at the strongest creatures. Baeloth then takes care of all the weaker creatures at the same time. This is amazing at first and then you make him stronger with enchantments or equipment so you can goad even more creatures. And he makes treasure tokens. You know, as a fun treat. You could even switch to have Baeloth be your commander if you use a white background like Noble Heritage.
I mentioned Sword of Feast and Famine, and my other two picks would be Sword of Hearth and Home and Sword of Fire and Ice. For decks like this I try to have at least 3 of the swords so I can cover all 5 colors. For Hearth and Home this deck has a good number of creatures with enter the battlefield abilities, and land searching is also a plus. And for Fire and Ice dealing damage and drawing cards is always nice. You can also select the ones you want, based on your play group
Ancient Copper Dragon is a powerful addition to keep attacking and ramp the mana you need to goad everyone to protect yourself.
Archangel Elspeth is a strong planeswalker for this deck because her -2 ability can give your commander flying permanently and make her stronger. Then after that she can start making creature tokens so you have blockers. Her emblem doesn’t work that well for this deck given the average mana cost of your creatures, but you can focus on the other two abilities. Her 4 CMC also means you can hopefully get her out early to start making creatures.
Card Advantage through Taxation
Monologue Tax is a great enchantment that lets you draw cards. A more budget version of Smothering Tithe, it actually has some positives in that your opponent can’t pay mana to make you not draw. Smothering Tithe will trigger more frequently, but late game when your opponents have extra mana to burn you’ll stop drawing cards.
It’s also great that it was reprinted on The List for Karlov Manor, so the supply should be greater than usual.
It’s no wonder Esper Sentinel is a staple in many decks. It costs only a single mana and it can draw you tons of cards. While Smothering Tithe is going to be harder to destroy, Sentinel can be buffed with an equipment or auras to force your opponent’s to pay more mana if they don’t want you to draw cards.
Aurelia, the Law Above draws you cards when your opponents attack with 3 or more creatures. The fact that she just triggers by attacking and not dealing damage to an opponent is a big bonus.
In this section, we’re going to look at the lands in your deck, and how you can upgrade them. Of course, I also included some non-land cards that can make mana.
For lands, this deck has a pretty solid mana base out of the box. There are six lands that can tap for more than one color mana, which is a great start for a two color deck. There are also built in fixes to help you get more of a color you need, like Ash Barrens and Myriad Landscape.
I would use Forbidden Orchard instead to replace one of those two, preferably Castle Ardenvale because Kher Keep can make tokens for cheaper. Giving your opponents creatures works for a deck designed to goad them into attacking.
Minas Tirith is a strong land, that draws you cards when you attack with two or more creatures. If this deck works as it should, that should happen most turns when it’s later in the game and you need to refill your hand.
If you don’t mind using a Doctor Who card, Laser Screwdriver would be a pwerful mana generating artifact. The fact that it can also goad creatures is a great fit for this deck too.
Here are some lands you can use, possibly replacing basic lands or lands that you don’t like the abilities of.
Dockside Extortionist is also a great fit to ramp mana since so many of your cards let your opponents draw and play more cards. So you’ll hopefully have a full board of artifacts and enchantments to profit from.
Cards to Remove
I’ve already mentioned some cards to remove, but I feel I should also list more here before showing my personal decklist.
Feather, Radiant Arbiter is the alternative commander and while powerful she is not a good fit for this deck. You don’t have that many spells that target creatures. You have auras but many goad the creature or prevent them from attacking you, so you’ll want them on your opponents’ creatures.
Stalking Leonin is a great card for exiling, but I find it annoying having to keep track of the player you secretly picked. Also once it uses the ability, it stops being helpful outside of a 2/2 body.
The problem with Sun Titan is there is not enough 3 or less CMC creatures for him. There are tons of enchantments for you to bring back so it’s not too bad. So it depends on how you rebuild the deck.
Otherworldly Escort is awesome since it comes back from the dead once, but I feel there are other cards that work better for this deck. Selfless Squire is similar in that it can be extremely powerful but you have to wait for someone to attack you with enough damage to be worth it.
Mob Verdict is such a fun card. On one hand, it can wipe out weaker creatures so you can focus on goading the stronger survivors. On the other hand, if my opponent cast Mob Verdict I would rather damage another opponent than let them draw, and I might be tempted to aim at opponents with stronger creatures so there are more creatures to attack the goad deck. It’s a better fit for a deck focusing on noncombat damage.
In an enchantment deck, Winds of Rath can be quite good. However, given how you want to put most of your auras on opponents creatures to goad them, it doesn’t make a lot of sense here. Farewell is a much better card that can also exile other permanents if you want to keep the current creatures on the board.
Spectacular Showdown is a potent card to help you finish a game. But if someone prevents combat damage or stops the attacking, you’ll end up with a bunch of creatures with double strike that can attack you the next turn.
Prisoner’s Dilemma seems like an amusing card, but I feel it doesn’t fit the deck. It works better for a deck focused on noncombat damage.
Blame Game Upgraded Decklist
Here is my full deck list if I reasonable budget or collection – without going too crazy. At the time of writing this Dockside Extortionist is the most expensive card so if you want to avoid spending too much money that’d be the first card to remove.
How would you rebuild this deck? Do you have any cards you’d like to recommend for this Blame Game Upgrade Guide? Please comment and let us know!
Also let us know what commander articles you’d like to see in the future. Like would you want a budget decklist? Or an article on the alternate commander, Feather, Radiant Arbiter?
If you want to read more of my content, check this article about most fun Commanders from Karlov Manor. In that one, I focused on legendaries from the main set, as well as the upcoming Clue Edition. There are some great ideas if you’re looking to build a deck from scratch.
Last but not least, if you’re interested about the other precons, learn more about Karlov Manor Commander decks here.
Until next time, enjoy Magic, and have lots of fun with your upgraded Blame Game precon!