Mathas, Fiend Seeker

By cryogen Created Dec 18, 2017 Updated Mar 19, 2019
Commander Fort
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Main Board (99)

Creature (8)

Enchantment (15)

Basic Land (38)

7 Plains
4 Swamp

Artifact (11)

Instant (19)

Sorcery (8)

Quick Info

This is my take on a political deck, although it also borrows elements of the Judo playstyle (aka "You Did This to Yourself").


The basic goal of the deck is to give the appearance of being nonthreatening by playing permanents that are rarely going to be as kill-on-sight as ones that other players might play, or are as expensive as they could be (checklands over shocks or duals, no fetches), or cards which benefit the opponents, such as Mathas. This visual appearance is balanced by encouraging attacks elsewhere, either from our board state (Sun Droplet, No Mercy, etc.), or from combat tricks like Reflect Damage and Pollen Lullaby.


Doing all this successfully will allow the deck to survive long enough to be able to leverage an opponent's resources against them, and/or being able to whittle them down with combat damage, the latter being  a last resort when you're heads up.


Early Game

In the early game is when you aren't too worried about attacks, so your primary goal is to establish a board state that will stop you from getting attacked later. Mana is key. You need all three colors but white is essential to the deck. In your opening hand your biggest priority is mana - try to be able to hit four mana in all colors. After that, look for deterrents like Ophiomancer or Ghostly Prison, and spot removal spells. Any combat trick spells your have are just bonuses. Ideally you'll draw into those later in the game.


Mid Game

As combat starts heating up you'll want to be prepared for taking advantage of an opportunity to influence it.  There are board wipes if you need to go that direction, Fog effects to save yourself in a pinch, and ways to use an opponent's attackers against them. Use these effects sparingly though. The highest impact ones (particularly Master Warcraft, but also Reflect Damage or Rakdos Charm) should be saved for when they will eliminate an opponent. Once your opponents understand how your deck works, they will either not attack you or do smaller incidental attacks, both of which the deck can mitigate to some degree. But obviously, the goal is for our opponents to eliminate each other without us wasting our own resources. We'll need those shortly.


Late Game

Congratulations, you've made it this far! At this point you need a way to close out the game. You might notice that there aren't many creatures in the deck.  Hopefully you saved some of those combat tricks, because you're going to need them.  if your opponents have been doing their jobs for you, then you don't need to do much damage and maybe a well-timed Rakdos Charm will finish them off. Or perhaps you can get them in a combo like Wall of Souls and Blaze of Glory. Your win won't come easy, but it can come.



Mathas has a unique ability in that he rewards your opponents for helping you out. Keep in mind that this isn't a may ability, so target generals if you don't want them drawing cards. I don't expect players to be my willing servants, so I generally don't load up one creature with the expectation that someone won't use a removal spell that they weren't going to use anyway. Instead, I try to get most of my value from putting the counters on ones I expect to die under normal circumstances, with a slight disproportion of targeting the player or creature that is the largest threat. If I don't single out one player then it makes it more likely that no one will try to target Mathas.

He also isn't critical to the deck, so you won't want to cast him unless you want the value. I like to play him once early in order to start restocking my hand later on, and then save him for later in the game when I might need him again. You don't want to find yourself in a situation where he costs too much to recast.


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