Unstable Mutation: Cabaretti Cacophony

This deck has the wrong commander. Jetmir, Nexus of Revels is the exciting new Naya token commander, this is a Naya token creature deck so the whole thing is just kind of confusing to me.

Nonetheless, the deck exists and we’ll make it work (get Jetmir).


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Kitt Kanto, Mayhem Diva

BPhillipYork: These political “lieutenant” type abilities are kind of interesting, and they support some forcing your opponents to interact with each other, but the cost on Kitt Kanto is pretty high, especially given you can’t use this ability to force something to attack that is tapped. If the creature of your opponents you were buffing got untapped that would be a whole other ball game. As it is, an ETB that makes one citizen and can goad by tapping 2 creatures doesn’t really cut it for me.

PrinceofBielTan: Kitt Kanto is an interesting card, that is likely at the helm of the wrong deck. Everything about Naya or Cabaretti wants us to go wide and there’s a natural conclusion that comes with that kind of effect. A go wide, pump up our team with a Craterhoof-esque effect to wipe out our opponents. Kitt wants us to use that same board to goad our opponent’s creatures into killing each other, which to me seems like the traditional Naya combat win but with extra steps. I think I’m not alone in saying I believe Jetmir wants to be at the head of this deck.

FromTheShire: I’m going to disagree slightly and say that I think Kitt offers some neat protection while building up your board to be lethal. Only being able to activate at the beginning of combat and having to target are definite downsides, but in a Commander game being able to point one persons Blightsteel Colossus at another one of your opponents rather than you can absolutely steal you games, and forcing utility creatures to attack into blockers is a useful political tool. Making a Citizen when it enters means you will always have at least one activation up which is nice as well. Not hugely powerful but I think you’ll be surprised how useful they are.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Phabine, Boss’s Confidant

BPhillipYork: Parley abilities are decent but kind of group huggy, but white has recently gotten a lot of abilities that benefit from group hug, so I think there’s a place for something like Phabine. The real headline here is creature tokens having haste, which potentially lets you create some infinite combos that didn’t exist before, think Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker but every other card that taps to create tokens or do various things. That being said I think this card is still outclassed by the cat demon, Jetmir.

PrinceofBielTan: Phabine grants a nice creature tokens you control have haste, and her parley ability allows us a free way to start buffing our board with +1/+1 triggers. We’re offering our opponents cards as a way of overlooking our amassing army, so your mileage may vary on this one depending on how your group are with politics.

FromTheShire: The haste is nice but 6 is a lot to pay for it, and I prefer my anthem effects to be both more consistent and not giving my opponents value. It’s fine if you’re playing approximately precon power level games but I think this is an easy cut for me if I’m upgrading the deck.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Boss’s Chauffeur

BPhillipYork: I appreciate that this chauffeur at least has something to do with Mysterious Limousine from the same set, but bizarrely it’s a dies effect instead of a leaves the battlefield trigger. Anyway, 5 is a lot of mana especially when you then need a way to sacrifice him to really get the payoff. There are really stronger Naya token cards hanging around.

PrinceofBielTan: Boss’s Chauffeur is a nice payoff for that board we’re amassing and acts as removal insurance. If it’s destroyed we get a creature token for each counter on it which allows us to recover nicely after a board wipe. Pair this with a Cathars’ Crusade and you’re onto a winner.

FromTheShire: Potentially a nice way to rebuild after a board wipe but I’m always wary of cards like this and find they tend to underperform. More often than not if this actually grows enough to be threatening it all but ensures two of your opponents working together to hit it with spot removal before the wrath drops.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Grand Crescendo

BPhillipYork: This is the chase card of the deck, WW for indestructible at instant speed is quite strong, and generating X tokens on top of that is phenomenal.

PrinceofBielTan: Grand Crescendo I like. Where ‘X’ is zero, its two mana give our creatures indestructible. Sometimes this is all you need, it’s two mana to protect our board from a wipe. With a small amount of mana, it’ll make a couple of indestructible blockers to surprise blowout your opponent’s vulnerable attackers and at most, it’s a great Secure the Wastes effect. I think flexibility is key here and I’m a big fan of this one.

FromTheShire: Big yes here from me as well, if you’re playing a creature heavy deck I believe that wrath protection like this is mandatory and I’m always happy to see a new variant. Far too often you dump your entire hand on to the board only to get blown out with no cards in hand to recover with, and this will be the difference between winning and twiddling your thumbs until someone puts you out of your misery. The potential mass token generation right before you untap and drop a massive pump for the win offers even more upside than say a Rootborn Defenses.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Master of Ceremonies

BPhillipYork: Another group hug benefitting white card. I think this card is definitely okay for slower type games, since most of the time everyone is going to choose secrets, and you’re going to get to draw a lot off of this card.

PrinceofBielTan: Master of Ceremonies confuses me, first of all, that this isn’t a voting card. It provides an opportunity for each player at the table to choose the benefit that they get. This is an interesting political card. Each player has to choose something, so it’s not an option for players to opt-out. A lot of political cards rely on your group’s cooperation for you to get maximum value and I don’t think that’s an issue here. Neat design.

FromTheShire: The card draw really saves this – nobody except the Skullclamp player is ever choosing friends, and money is like….fine but probably not worth a slot. Draw 3 each turn is fantastic though, especially for white decks, and fortunately that is virtually always what you’ll get.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Indulge // Excess

BPhillipYork: Solid card, given how much rummage red has now, the aftermath ability is totally reasonable on its own. Generating a ton of tokens could be interesting, especially for decks that want to create extra combat steps. Potentially also a way to go infinite with Underworld Breach, and an extra combats spell.

PrinceofBielTan: Indulge // Excess is a card that basically telegraphs your turn if your immense token army already didn’t. In these colours you’re probably attacking where you can so a card like this makes sense. Indulge ensures that even if your creatures are blocked you replace them and Excess means that each creature that connected with your opponent ramps you into bigger spells. You can cast these in the same turn, or you can cast Excess from the graveyard later when you feel you’ll get the most value out of it.

FromTheShire: Combined with the plethora of token doubling cards that this kind of deck already wants to run, this can generate some absolutely insane value. It’s a board in a box, what’s not to like?


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Life of the Party

BPhilllipYork: This card is baffling. Funny for Naya token decks, though really dangerous if your opponents have lot of creatures. Again potentially quite a beater if you can generate extra attack steps.

PrinceofBielTan: Life of the Party gives each of your opponents a blocker. While it has trample and you’ll likely be dealing a lot of damage if your board is set up correctly your opponent blocking with theirs or sacrificing it means you’re not always getting as much value from the goaded copies hitting your opponents. This card is only as strong as the number of creatures you have. So in decks that have a low creature count, you can’t quite rely on getting a lot of damage out of the copies.

FromTheShire: In fairness, they’re only going to be able to block between when you cast this and when they take their turns, after that the ones you give them should always be tapped since they are perpetually goaded. First strike and trample makes these a pain for your opponents to deal with, forcing them to either take a decent amount of chip damage or use actual cards to deal with the incidental tokens. Not amazing but fun.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Rose Room Treasurer

BPhillipYork: It’s a way to end the game with Mana Echoes and various creature generators, or with creature generators and altars or various other loops. Tokens for creature generators is decent, and things like Chatterfang, Squirrel General will trigger essentially automatically.

PrinceofBielTan: Rose Room Treasurer feels quite fair. You want to be making creatures every turn to get that Treasure token. If you’ve got free ways to generate tokens your Treasure count is only going up. If you’re spending mana and cards each player turn to make Treasure, it may be likely you’re going mana even and down on cards. Interesting card but watch out for the card disadvantage.

FromTheShire: Nice mana generation in a token deck, with the potential to sling some serious damage around as well.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Seize the Spotlight

BPhillipYork: I kind of love that this card might as well be called “tempt with badness” so, especially for opponents who only have their commanders out they are almost certain to give you a ton of cards and treasures, which is brutal. I think this card gets worse as your pod get’s stronger and closer to cEDH, but at battlecruiser tables it should be really solid, especially if you can sacrifice creatures for value.

PrinceofBielTan: Seize the Spotlight is probably going to get you either your opponent’s worst creature or the amazing deal of a card and a treasure. If we compare this to somewhere between Big Score where four mana gets you two cards and two treasures or Act of Treason where three mana gets you to control of one creature. This one could very well pay for itself in treasures and card advantage but your opponents would have to be very precious about their creatures for them to choose that option.

FromTheShire: This is something you don’t fire off on curve, but rather wait until the heavy hitters have started dropping. Regardless of whether you get to steal their best creature, beat down with it, and then sacrifice it to an Ashnod’s Altar you’re definitely running because you’re a token deck, or draw three for essentially no mana, you’re going to be happy.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Crash the Party

BPhillipYork: Too expensive.

PrinceofBielTan: Crash the Party has a very high ceiling. You’ll double the number of creatures you have, these ones will be likely bigger and seeing as the tokens enter tapped it provides a nice sneaky win if you’re going for the Halo Fountain victory. In practice, this card is quite similar to Second Harvest, and which is better depends on the creature tokens you already had. I think it’s worth it for the chance of winning with Halo Fountain, but it’s thoughts like that which make me come second! 

FromTheShire: Definitely expensive, in the right kind of deck like a Rhys the Redeemed where you can tap down a ton of mana producing elves and fire this off to untap and win I can see it. Better the more Doubling Season effects you have.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Killer Service

BPhillipYork: These new “ETB” enchantments (okay not that new) are solid. I like this one a lot, if the game goes long it lets you turn clues or other tokens you don’t really want into decent-sized beaters, but if you just need a lot of food for some reason, it’s right there.

PrinceofBielTan: Killer Service allows you to spend your excess mana on a 4/4 body rather than 3 life. That’s a pretty nice mana sink if you’re holding up a combat trick or board wipe protection and don’t end up needing it. Life isn’t bad either if you’re wanting to take a couple of hits to make sure your token army amasses at the right speed.

FromTheShire: Only triggering on your end step makes this a no for me. Too much mana and too slow.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Scepter of Celebration

BPhillipYork: Cool but too pricy. Maybe if your deck is based on generating and sacrifice tokens, like with Impact Tremors and Goblin Bombardment, then suddenly becomes brutal.

PrinceofBielTan: Scepter of Celebration gives your Boss’s Chauffer trample, this card is neat but we’re gonna need a big bruiser to attach it to. Our stock commander isn’t quite going for that win or attacking at all, to be honest. This one, like any equipment, depends on how reliably you can connect with it. You’re going to want a lot of those tokens for the three mana to cast and then three to equip. Otherwise, I think we’ve got better options.

FromTheShire: Obviously great if you can connect with it, but it’s so in your face it’s definitely going to make itself and whatever you attach it to a big removal target. If they can’t deal with it right away though, look out.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Vivien’s Stampede

BPhillipYork: This is a pretty solid new Overrun style card, in some ways if you win the game then it’s over, you don’t need to draw later, but I kind of like that it gives you some recovery for using it if say you only kill one or two people. It also costs more than Overrun and other cards of that ilk, which is an important downside, though green can often create a lot of mana.

PrinceofBielTan – Vivien’s Stampede is a nice overrun win that comes with the deck, it would once again be better paired with a commander like Jetmir where this combination of keywords could utterly finish your opponents off.

FromTheShire: Solid precon finisher, and the vigilance is always nice. In general Commander we have enough better ways to end the game between Craterhoof Behemoth, Coat of Arms, Triumph of the Hordes, etc, that I think this will usually be a cut outside of budget builds.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Bess, Soul Nourisher

BPhillipYork: Super solid for some kind of humans / token deck that generates a lot of tokens and then makes them really big, pairs well with a lot of the cards that came out for Green and White in the Innistrad sets.

PrinceofBielTan – Bess is a favourite of mine, she looks to combo nicely with Boss’s Chauffer. She’ll also combo with Hazezon Tamar if you’re so inclined. She comes down early grows with the game and can swing for a win. Yep, I’m going back for seconds.

FromTheShire: Not quite as out of nowhere as I prefer my win the game anthems, but still very good and can absolutely be a ‘you have one turn to deal with this or everyone dies’ kind of card. Definite include in token lists.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Cabaretti Confluence

BPhillipYork: Pretty solid, especially if you have ways to create token copies of things.  The nightmare scenario is copying Dockside Extortionist and having like 15 treasures to do what you want with.

PrinceofBielTan: Cabaretti Confluence. Here we’ve got six mana for a modal card where we get to choose three effects. Choosing the last option three times is another good opportunity to swing for the win. The removal isn’t bad too, there are likely going to be three problematic permanents we want to get rid of. The populate is quite situational, we need a board to copy something, which we’re likely going to use for combat so I’d say just choose the last option and go for the throat.

FromTheShire: Three relevant modes, mix and match as you see fit and go to town. Very playable.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Prosperous Partnership

BPhillipYork: So yeah… I like this a lot. If you have creature tokens you can’t use tapping them down to create treasures is pretty great. Cost is right too, and lots of token decks need to get started with tokens to keep populating.

PrinceofBielTan: Prosperous Partnership is such a sweet card. I love its flavour and I love its effect. Three mana for two 1/1s is a little much for a Dragon Fodder. But introduce a third and this card can make you at least one treasure a turn. I love it.

FromTheShire: Great use for your tokens before you can start swinging with them, also benefits from the same token doublers your already want for your creature tokens. This would be playable as hell even if it didn’t come with bonus Citizens.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

False Floor

BPhillipYork: Thematically I don’t like this card. It is kind of interesting in terms of trying to goad your opponents into attack so their creatures are attacked since you can just go all out on someone then use it after your combat phase, though presumably, your opponents will blow it up once you’re in your combat step. Though pretty funny with things like Prosperous Partnership so you can tap down your own creatures in response.

PrinceofBielTan: Finally, False Floor is an interesting tempo-based board wipe we have to activate at sorcery speed. If we’re only after the first ability, swapping this card with Authority of the Consuls will get us the same effect plus 1 life for each creature that enters the battlefield. This change means our creatures won’t enter tapped too. Unless you’re going for that Halo Fountain win, I feel like we want to be using our massive amounts of creatures to attack and block, and we don’t necessarily want them to come in tapped for that.

FromTheShire: Artifact based mass exile that can go in any deck is nice on paper, in practice this is slow, telegraphs your intentions, is dodged by the attacking creatures that are likely what you actually want to hit, and negates any haste effects you have. Hard pass.


Out of the box Cabaretti Cacophony is an unfocused Naya token generating deck. For green there’s a nearly excessive amount of land, 38, and yet so many of them enter the battlefield tapped or conditionally tapped, but of the cards in the deck, only 12 require double pips. There’s way too much mana fixing, and not nearly enough ramp or mana fetching. Meaning it’s really important to get 1 mana of each color, but beyond that not a big deal to focus so much on mana fixing. Running 22 non-basic lands in a deck makes you vulnerable to things like Price of Progress and Back to Basics and there’s very little upside.


There are 8 artifacts, 6 of which are lackluster. Green and white have ways to lock out artifacts easily and do a lot of damage to opposing decks. There are a bunch of mediocre highly expensive spells, some decent token generators but a lot of really lackluster token generators. There’s definitely not enough “good” card draw or consistent token generators, and no real way to benefit from all these tokens aside from going wide.

It’s basically a bad go-wide and go-tall tokens deck, with some weird political and goad subtheme that gives your opponents +1/+1 counters in a way that is really dangerous since it will allow them to get some big fatties to protect themselves from you.

This is the “vanilla” deck:

Streamlining and rebuilding the deck requires a lot of cuts (40 cards), rebuilding the mana base, and focusing on token generating activated abilities, with play well with white’s staxy Smothering Tithe; Monologue Tax; new draw triggers like Bennie Bracks, Zoologist; and Rumor Gatherer cards like Mentor of the Meek and Welcoming Vampire. All these abilities require a lot of mana, so even though the mana base has been trimmed quite a bit, we’ve added a significant number of green’s powerful land fetching sorceries to ramp up to a place where the deck can afford to do its thing. All the triggered card drawing abilities will let you replenish your hand.

Cut these:

1 Duelist’s Heritage
1 Fell the Mighty
1 Martial Coup
1 Agitator Ant
1 Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs
1 Magus of the Wheel
1 Awakening Zone
1 Sandwurm Convergence
1 Scute Swarm
1 Shamanic Revelation
1 Sylvan Offering
1 Thunderfoot Baloth
1 Gahiji, Honored One
1 Castle Embereth
1 Mossfire Valley
1 Rugged Prairie
1 Sungrass Prairie
1 Temple of Triumph
1 Sizzling Soloist
1 Orzhov Advokist
1 Harmonize
1 Leafkin Druid
1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
1 Wood Elves
1 Bloodthirsty Blade
1 Commander’s Sphere
1 Ash Barrens
1 Myriad Landscape
1 Naya Panorama
1 Path of Ancestry
1 Thriving Bluff
1 Thriving Grove
1 Thriving Heath
4 Mountain
8 Forest
4 Plains
1 Jungle Shrine
1 Phabine, Boss’s Confidant
1 Boss’s Chauffeur
1 Life of the Party
1 Killer Service
1 Scepter of Celebration
1 False Floor

Rather than swinging at people with tenuously buffed little token creatures, this deck punishes your opponents when you make creatures. Impact Tremors; Witty Roastmaster; and Purphoros, God of the Forge will damage your opponents whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control. This ought to get your opponents low. There are a few finisher cards in the deck, as well as ways to protect your creatures from the inevitable Wrath of God.

This is also a fundamental rebuild of what the deck sort of does. Rather than being a go-wide deck, this is a trigger deck, letting you make creatures on your opponent’s turns to get even more value. Jetmir, Nexus of Revels is great for go-wide token decks, but I frankly kind of find Wizards making a Naya token deck that basically sucks and has to be re-helmed by a card that isn’t in the precon beyond baffling into the insulting category. They printed a much better commander for the deck, in the set. But they’re demanding you buy packs or singles to get that commander, rather than just like, including him.

Add these:

1 Aura Shards
1 Goblin Bombardment
1 Rhys the Redeemed
1 Ohran Frostfang
1 Stomping Ground
1 Kher Keep
1 Smothering Tithe
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Into the North
1 Chord of Calling
1 Oblation
1 Impact Tremors
1 Secure the Wastes
1 Luminarch Ascension
1 Legion’s Landing // Adanto, the First Fort
1 Purphoros, God of the Forge
1 Three Visits
1 Prava of the Steel Legion
1 Unbreakable Formation
1 White Sun’s Zenith
1 Toski, Bearer of Secrets
9 Snow-Covered Forest
4 Snow-Covered Mountain
4 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Monologue Tax
1 Temple Garden
1 Esper Sentinel
1 Torens, Fist of the Angels
1 Welcoming Vampire
1 Mentor of the Meek
1 Jetmir’s Garden
1 Halo Fountain
1 Professional Face-Breaker
1 Rob the Archives
1 Rabble Rousing
1 Witty Roastmaster
1 Bennie Bracks, Zoologist
1 Generous Gift
1 Farseek
1 Rampant Growth
1 Kodama’s Reach
1 Boros Charm

You’ll end up with a deck that ramps out pretty quickly and starts generating triggers quickly, which will allow you to outvalue your opponents and more or less grind them in to the dust.


That wraps up our look at the Cabaretti Cacophony precon. Join us next time as we do a rebuild on Riveteers Rampage! In the meantime, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.