Commander Focus: Tivit, Seller of Secrets

There are a lot of new interesting choose mechanics coming out in recent sets where Wizards has been creating cards to cater to the multiplayer environment. New effects that have you “choose two opponents” or cards like Jolene, the Plunder Queen, which is more or less an improved “targets-all-opponents” Curse of Opulence stapled onto a Xorn.

She’s a solid commander, and the concept itself is solid. White for a long time has had a horrifying amount of “group hug” type cards, though other colors each have a few. There’ve been a few decks that try to leverage group hug cards for advantage, like Zedruu, the Greathearted, giving cards to your opponents that help everyone, but since they have the card it helps you even more.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

White cards like Smuggler’s Share really benefit from a strategy like this, if opponents are drawing more you are drawing more. It’s a tough line to ride though because you’re investing in card draw down the line, and if your opponents’ decks are cutthroat and efficient giving them resources now that they’ll instantly exploit to end the game will cost you. Depending on your meta that may mean your other opponents will then be wasting resources to stop them, but I find it’s tough to rely on your opponents having enough control cards.

This is a deck away from that vein though, and focused on another one, making choices and voting. There’s a fair number of “vote to do stuff” cards and now there’s a vote commander: Tivit, Seller of Secrets, Tivit creates a vote whenever he enters the battlefield or attacks, to generate either clues or treasures for you. He also gives you an additional vote every time you vote. This means he’ll generate 2 treasures each time he attacks or ETBs, and 3 clues, generally. This means, at a minimum, you can draw 1 extra card per turn.

There are quite a few powerful votes, though the real boogeyman is Expropriate which exiles itself, unfortunately. You could use Narset’s Reversal and Isochron Scepter to create a loop of infinite turns, but that seems kind of ridiculous. But playing a bunch of big swingy sorceries that cause votes, making people sacrifice creatures or give you stuff, gaining treasure and draw, seems fun. There are also the new white draw triggers like Bennie Bracks, Zoologist and its fun interaction with Smothering Tithe and Smuggler’s Share.

The big problem with Tivit is the problem that most Sphinxes have, they have big swingy effects and tend to be on decent bodies, 4+/4+ and flying, but they cost a lot of mana. Tivit comes in at 6 MV, which means you can either slow play till 6 or try to ramp him out.

Can you imagine what I’m going to say now?

You’ll want to dump out some 2-cost mana rocks and try to get Tivit onto the field as fast as possible. On his own he’s something of a threat, as a 6/6 flier he can kill an opponent off in 4 turns (which isn’t great) but there are a few extra turn spells in the game. So you’ll probably want to focus your commander damage on the opponent that has the highest life total, planning to kill that person off last. Tivit’s ability is triggered off of opponents votes, so once someone dies you’ll go from getting 5 artifacts for attacking to 4, and then 3, and finally 2.

There are some game-ending combos in the deck:

Displacer + KCI + Tivit + Damage source

Eldrazi Displacer + Krark-Clan Ironworks + Tivit, Seller of Secrets + Disciple of the Vault

Eldrazi Displacer + Krark-Clan Ironworks + Tivit, Seller of Secrets + Marionette Master

Eldrazi Displacer + Krark-Clan Ironworks + Tivit, Seller of Secrets + Agent of the Iron Throne

Eldrazi Displacer + Krark-Clan Ironworks + Tivit, Seller of Secrets + Thorough Investigation – this requires you to chose a dungeon that deals damage.

Eldrazi Displacer + Krark-Clan Ironworks + Marionette Master also works (just fabricate for servo, sac them for mana, and keep blinking the master).

If you don’t want infinite combos, just remove the Displacer.

Since there aren’t really that many vote cards, and blue has the option to return everything in your graveyard to your library, with Timetwister and other cards like Timetwister, that don’t cost more than a brand new sedan.

Anyhow this deck is meant for proxies. The game plan is fairly linear – rush out Tivit, then start using his Treasure/Clue generating ability to cycle through your deck. Get out cards that let you vote even more, hurt your opponents for voting against you, and punish your opponents when your artifacts leave the field.

Ballot Broker

Brago’s Representative

Tivit, Seller of Secrets

All give you an additional vote.

Grudge Keeper

Hurts your opponents for voting against you, which, if you have multiple votes, means you can vote for both sides of something, and that way your opponents are always voting against you.

Once you get one or more of those things out your deck should start to spiral, generating value and hurting your opponents. If you get out the right pieces you can just combo off and end the game, but the punishing rate of damage loss from all those clues being generated and eaten should be dealing a lot of damage.

If you can get out some protection for Tivit that should help a lot, so try to drop an early Lightning Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots. There are a ton of rocks and big fun artifacts so that you have colorless mana to get out Tivit sooner and so later you can use your Eldrazi Displacer to do stuff.

Here’s the deck, “I vote that you lose”.

There’s a significant sideboard of cards if you want to tweak the deck. Cutting some of the “fun” vote cards and focusing on that infinite combo, and running more interaction in the form of counterspells (particularly free ones) would be the route to go to make the deck more competitive.

Next week, or this week, or sometime soon will be the Commander Legends previews or um, Double Commander Masters, or something. We now reside in a fresh hell where products are coming out non-stop and being previewed and “leaked” non-stop.

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