So with Oathbreaker being endorsed by many members of the Commander community, I decided I'd give it a shot as well. This decklist is meant to push Legacy style Tempo plays on the table with an extremely low curve. Since I am a competitive person by heart, many of the card choices here reflect my preferred playstyle and are built from a cEDH mindset. It doesn't have any broken I-Win combos but instead seeks to control the table and get there via combat damage, focusing on the largest threat first.
Sword of Sinew and Steel is particularly awesome for this format since you can destroy a player's Commander while continuing to pressure their life total. There are enough utility Artifacts that I imagine are present that the Sword's trigger will always be relevant.
Otherwise, this list plays out very similarly to a Legacy Delver list. Dovin was chosen as the Commander because he makes bodies to hold the equipment and gains life with his minus ability, can recover loyalty and stick around longer with his plus ability (so I don't have to recast him as often), and generates massive card draw when his ultimate is activated, furthering the Tempo Control game plan. His ability to make evasive bodies is relevant since Dovin can directly pressure other Oathbreakers with his ability and, with enough time, can ensure that any Planeswalker can be easily dealt with. He also creates blockers so that you can get Luminarch Ascension online as fast as possible.
Gush was chosen as the Signature spell because I can immediately cast it after getting Dovin into play while also providing fuel for the deck. Its uses as a card are massive, and it can be used to help supplement the low CMC of the deck by letting you pay its alternate cost in your main phase to get a land drop and cheat an extra mana. The tax will eventually add up, but it will only cost an additional 2 for each time it's recast rather than the full mana cost. The Signature Spell could easily be Enlightened Tutor since the Equipment package is so important to the deck's strategy.
I readily admit that this is probably totally against the idea of Oathbreaker, but this is how I would choose to build a list for Oathbreaker if it ever becomes a thing supported by MTGSal/new site.
EDIT: I cut the two Moxen for lands for consistency.
EDIT 2: There's another cool Signature Spell I recently considered that is fantastic with Dovin: Polymorph. I'll be brewing up another list here just so I have a compendium of Dovin lists I can switch between when I want.
I think 16 lands will likely turn out to too light. You'll probably want to be at 19 or so. I especially think you're going to have a hard time reliably paying the alt cost on Gush. I'd probably go like +1 Island, +1 Plains, +1 Scalding Tarn, since I don't see it listed there.
No Daze? Seems like exactly what you want to be doing.
If not in the command zone, I do think that Enlightened Tutor should at least make an appearance here, especially given how you admit that the equipment is key to victory.
Speaking of equipment, Skullclamp seems like a good inclusion here, to turn your thopters into cards when needed. I also think that, given the smaller life totals and the need to survive two+ opponents, Sword of War and Peace may be worth another look. Not to mention that it gives you pro two of the three best removal colours (especially in a format where Lightning Bolt is playable again). And as for Sword of Sinew and Steel, I think that the incidental artifact removal is going to fall off in usefulness as the dust starts to settle on this format and people stop trying to build it like 60 card Commander.
Pithing Needle is sort of an auto include in this format, so you may want to consider that.
I could be crazy, but I've never been a big fan of Luminarch Ascension in multiplayer. I've never had much luck with it, but mileage may vary, I suppose.
Personally, I'd probably put an Ancient Tomb in here, but I put one in basically every single deck I can.
I probably have more thoughts, but that's enough for now.
Yeah, I probably should add in some extra lands to the deck just for consistency's sake. I just don't know what to cut at this point. Since the curve is so low for the deck, it can reliably run on 1-3 lands over the course of a game, but that dynamic may be different when playing against multiple opponents.
Daze doesn't scale quite as well into the mid/late game as I want it to. Mana Leak does, although barely.
I went back and forth between Enlightened Tutor and Gush for a very long time. I'll probably end up going with the Tutor instead since the Equipment are so important to the deck.
Good idea with Skullclamp. Sword of War and Peace will definitely find a place in the deck since it shortens the clock so substantially. I still really like Sinew and Steel because I think Artifacts are going to be a part of the format in every decklist.
I really do think that this format is going to be more akin to singleton Vintage than a 60 card Commander format, which is why I took my cues from the Legacy Delver lists I've seen.
I think that cutting Thing in the Ice would be a mistake. With 24 instants and sorceries in the deck, there's a very high probability of flipping it into Awoken Horror which both simultaneously clears the battlefield and puts a large clock into play. It's run in Modern Delver and Arclight decks and it's power is very clear in these formats.
I'm curious as to how much removal is necessary for the deck. Jitte and Sword of Fire and Ice act as pseudo removal effects, particularly Jitte. So I think it could be ok to cut Blink.
The cantrips are in there to ensure that I can find the land drops that I need on a consistent basis without clogging the deck. Again, I'd refer you to Modern and Legacy Tempo decks to get an idea of the general basis of this deck's strategy.
I think I'll be cutting Blink and change the Signature spell to [CARD}Enlightened Tutor[/CARD]. Additionally, I will be cutting Mana Leak for Sword of War and Peace. Player removal is just as effective as countering spells, amiright?
Highly agreed. Back to Basics is probably a legitimate bomb in this format. I've seen a Teferi, Time Raveler list that includes some of the best Stax/Hate pieces in the format backed by a hard lock with Knowledge Pool.
I get what you're going for, I just don't think it's going to work as well as you hope it will. But, either way...
The value of Gitaxian Probe is heavily reduced in a multiplayer format, and is neither card advantage nor card selection. Skullclamp would serve you better in that slot. Impulse gives okay card selection, but you could be playing something more impactful in that slot.
As for Dig Through Time, without intentionally filling your yard, you're not going to be able to cast it for 2 as often as you'd like, but even at 3 or 4 it's still fine, so I can understand keeping it.
You're right about G. Probe losing value in a Multi-Player format, but that's not the function of the Probe. It's simply a cantrip spell to ensure that the deck hits its land drops on time. That's one of the reasons that Legacy and Modern decks run as many cantrips as possible. It helps reduce the variance of the deck while ensuring consistent land drops. Combined with fetch-lands, and can trips can then become powerful draw spells in the Mid/Late game. However, I realized that Scour all Possibilities could be better for the deck in the long run. With an 18 land count in the deck, opening hands should usually include 1-2 lands in the opening hand with a reasonable chance of drawing into another one within the first 2 turns, which is what the deck is looking for.
I figured if Dig Through Time was banned from Legacy for being too strong than I should probably try it here. With a decent suite of fetchlands, the cantrips, and the high counterspell count, I believe I'll be able to cast it for 4 CMC or under by T3 or T4 on a consistent basis, which is good enough for the deck's strategy.
The reason I think that this kind of strategy will work is because many people will try and build their decks with a similar kind of mindset that Commander entails; a curve that's above 3 CMC with higher quality card advantage cards in their deck. This deck and its strategy aims to get underneath these kinds of decks and attack their ability to cast their Oathbreaker through cheap, high-impact creatures and controlling the board through judicious use of Counterspells. The Equipment package was chosen to make those cheap CMC creatures into legitimate threats while also providing card advantage when they connect. Sinew and Steel kills Oathbreakers without having the equipped creature redirect its combat damage away from the opponent. Fire and Ice can hit any target, allowing me to keep smaller creatures off the board, add more damage in with the equipped creature's attack, or deal the last points of damage to get an Oathbreaker off the board and strand their Signature spell in the Command Zone. War and Peace nearly doubles the damage that the equipped creature can deal on a regular basis while also gaining life for the deck which in turn buys more time for the deck to execute its strategy. Jitte is the perfect card for this deck, honestly, since it does board control, tempo gain through the life gain, and damage bursts to eliminate players or their Oathbreakers.
And if this deck is going up against optimized Combo lists like Flash Hulk variants, then I welcome them to experience a true Tempo strategy. Tempo preys on Combo decks and that's what this decklist is primarily aiming to do.
Gitaxian Probe doesn't help with consistency any more than by simple virtue of being essentially a non-card. People play Probe for the advantage of knowing your opponent's hand WHILE being a non-card. The cantrips that give you the real consistency boosts are the ones that offer card selection. If you want consistency and selection, play Opt instead, since you've already got all the other decent 1 mana cantrips.
Tempo can absolutely work in this format, you just need to adjust for being a singleton multiplayer format.