The Great EDH Challenge: Simic – Kumena, Merfolk Tyrant

Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca

Decklist: https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/04-01-21-kumena-merfolk-tyrant/


Power Level: 6

Ah yes, Kumena. My smexy, strong, brash Kumena. Ixalan sure did give us a lot of beautiful and buff merfolk, and Kumena is the tyrant of them all. Well, at least he is in this deck. I try not to think about how pointless he was in the lore…

Kumena is a weird lord that allows his merfolk team to permanently increase their strength with +1/+1 counters, requiring five merfolk to be tapped to do so. This is why I call him the Merfolk Tyrant, as he is not a lord in the traditional sense. He taps a merfolk to make himself unblockable, which usually surprises opponents for some reason. I imagine him deriving strength from lesser merfolk bowing to him.

Anyway, this is a Simic merfolk deck, featuring some of the most synergistic blue/green merfolk in commander. This deck plods along, playing one merfolk per turn for the first few turns as we slowly assemble our value engine. Once we have three or more merfolk with Kumena out, we are usually drawing three cards a turn while assembling a lethal board of merfolk. It is a bit grindy, but this deck can overrun all of my opponents in about 10 turns if it doesn’t have to deal with an un-countered board wipe. I tend to avoid swinging out until I have at least 5 merfolk, so that I can avoid being focused and unprotected as I build up my boardstate.

Being a Simic deck, this list has many moving parts that keep things interesting, and has that signature Simic ability to overwhelm opponents with sheer card advantage and mana. Cards such as Merrow CommerceSeedborn Muse, and Curse of Bounty allow us to tap our merfolk multiple times to draw and give +1/+1 counters to the whole tea, while staying aggressive. A value combo that I adore in this deck is Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and Merrow Reejerey. Merrow Reejerey untaps the Nykthos each time we cast a merfolk, leading to absurd amounts of mana being generated in the late game. There have been games where I cast 10+ merfolk in a turn with this combo, constantly tapping the new merfolk to draw into others. Kindred Discovery drowns us in cards for simply playing and attacking with our merfolk. The hard-bodied Seafloor Oracle also draws me plenty of cards when my merfolk hit my opponents.

The downfall for any go-wide decks are board-wipes, such as Wrath of God and even Cyclonic Rift. Fish decks are known to run counterspells, and this fish deck is no different. Counterspells, such as Counterspell and even Negate allow us to avoid having to rebuild our boards by stopping board-wipes from resolving. I tend to hold on to my precious few counterspells exclusively for board-wipes. Heroic Intervention is a staple for the same reason, and serves the same function as my counterspells. Lullmage Mentor is a fun one to have on the field for similar reasons, though I’m usually winning already by the time I have seven merfolk to hold up for his ability.

Now at the end of the day, this deck’s primary win condition is combat damage, so we have plenty of ways to bring the hurt. Deepchannel Mentor and Herald of Secret Streams make the team unblockable, acting as finishers. Hadana’s Climb   has often buffed Kumena enough to kill one opponent, since its flipped land form doubles his power as well. Beastmaster Ascension is a classic way to swing for lethal out of nowhere if you play it on a board full of merfolk. Quicksilver Fountain is in the deck to open all my opponents up to being killed by islandwalking merfolk. And lest we forget, it isn’t a Fish deck unless you are using the power of math to kill with multiple merfolk lords.

This deck tends to be very fun, and it shines at mid-powered tables. It’s never fun to be focused aggressively in the early-game, like this deck usually is by my wise playgroup, but I have found that this deck is capable of rebuilding given a few turns. I still have yet to win with Simic Ascendancy, and I will probably take it out for Cryptolith Rite when I get another one.

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