Commander Lazav Dimir Control

Posted in Daily Deck on July 21, 2015

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

Lazav, Dimir Mastermind is the commander of choice for Robert Schuster. Robert started working at Wizards in 2011 after ending a ten-year career in the mental health care field. He started out in game support and worked his way up the ranks until he finally earned a position in Magic Online R&D.

When Gatecrash was released, there was a small amount of hype for Lazav but he never really worked in Standard. On the other hand, Lazav fits perfectly into Commander, as there are creatures dying and entering graveyards constantly. Here's what Robert had to say about his deck:

My Lazav, Dimir Mastermind deck is quite possibly the most fun I've had playing Commander. What's better than the best creature on the table? A hexproof version of the best creature on the table that can continue becoming even better creatures. The first and most obvious path to getting the best creature is just to play Lazav and then set into motion a series of events that kills something you want him to become. This strategy is known the Dimir Protection Racket. "That's a fine Inferno Titan you have there. It would be terrible a shame if something were to happen to it."

Another way to find value for your Lazav is to mill. What's that you say? Milling in Commander is a fool's errand? In the land of the shuffle-triggering Eldrazi and decks engineered to take excellent advantage of full graveyards, how can you hope to mill enough to do something impactful? The answer is that you pack a few handy surprises. Crypt Incursion is my favorite under-played Commander trick. Your friends will never look at you the same again after you respond to their Patriarch's Bidding by exiling dozens of Dragons from Scion's of the Ur-Dragon's value-packed graveyard. Lazav is also a creature who appreciates mill of many types. Big mills (Phenax), small mills (Jace's Mindseeker), and even repeatable multi-opponent crazy mills (Mesmeric Orb). Some even on huge bodies (Consuming Aberration). All of them serve the purpose of finding the best creature in your opponents' decks and having your commander take their shape.

But we haven't forgotten about swingy draw and discard effects. There's only one piece of the Power Nine playable in Commander, so why not put it in here to help save you from your own splashy mill effects. Should there be some type of Colossus or Eldrazi in here to keep you even safer from your own horrible machinations? Maybe a commander from one of the lesser guilds that has no confidence in the inevitability of his evil schemes would think something like that is necessary. Lazav has no need of such things and, in fact, finds your lack of faith disturbing. Since Lazav can also trigger off of opponents' discards, he's going to make sure they have ample opportunity to do so. With Whispering Madness and Memory Jar on the list, you've finally reached critical mass, which means you can't avoid having Notion Thief appear in your list. Trust me. I tried and tried to keep him out but he loves it here. There are just so many notions that he can be stealing. He's a great play in concert with any of the effects after you've made your commander significantly scary. Lazav hates getting interrupted when he's monologue-ing as Elesh Norn or doing his best Kozilek impression.

Wow, I hadn't realized how evil Lazav, Dimir Mastermind actually is. Thanks for sharing your decklist, Robert!

Robert Schuster’s Lazav Dimir Control

Download Arena Decklist
COMMANDER: Lazav, Dimir Mastermind
99 Cards

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