Power Level: 8.05
This is the deck you pull out when you want to win in a shocking and unexpected way. This deck is a glass cannon, winning pretty consistently, pretty early, but only when playing it for the first time against unsuspecting prey. This deck can win subsequent games, but it will become increasingly difficult. What makes this deck this way? It wins with a single card: Ad Nauseam
Ad Nauseam is an instant that allows us to draw our entire deck, for the low cost of 5 mana and 35 life. Yes, the total CMC of our deck (minus Ad Nauseam) is around 35. Keeping our life total above 20 is important before casting Ad Nauseam, so that we can utilize our all-or-nothing package to win without dying to our own win condition.
In order to win, we first get Ad Nauseam by casting and exploiting Sidisi, Undead Vizier to herself. We will try and avoid casting any spells other than Sidisi if we can help it before we cast Ad Nauseam, unless we are ramping up to an early Sidisi/Ad Nauseam. We then cast Ad Nauseam on our turn, at sorcery speed. Draw as many cards as you can, as long as your life total is above 5. Ensure that you at least have Skirge Familiar, Dark Ritual, Lotus Petal, Mana Crypt, Exsanguinate, and 40+ cards in your hand. This is the easiest combo to win with, that doesn’t also kill you. Many first-time observers/opponents of this deck will be amazed at how you use Skirge Familiar to generate 40+ mana, or how you draw your deck (or most of it) while still being alive afterwards.
Other ways you can win include storming-off with zero-drops and one-drops, casting Tendrils of Agony to kill someone and gaining 40+ life, using Conjurer’s Bauble to put Tendrils back into your empty library, draw it, then cast it again to kill someone else, then cast Sickening Dreams to kill off the last remaining players while still surviving with your padded life total. Or, you could just draw your deck, play Glacial Chasm, then cast Sickening Dreams, discarding 60+ cards to deal 60+ damage to each creature and player other than yourself. There are…multiple options once you draw your deck. 😀
This is a deck I wanted to build for years, and finally did so thanks to my recommitment to completing The Great EDH Challenge. This deck is very fun to play, especially when you get a turn 3 Ad Nauseam using Lake of the Dead shenanigans combined with fast mana. It’s always funny to see people’s response to this weird deck, ranging from salt to genuine amazement. This deck really highlights how crazy powerful EDH can be, or perhaps just how busted Ad Nauseam is when you have a tutor for it in the command zone.