A Vial Smasher, The Fierce Deck Tech For Magic: The Gathering

Magic: The Gathering‘s new concept of a Companion creature is an interesting one to consider, especially in the context of the Commander format. There are ten Companions, each of a distinct color combination and each lending itself to a certain archetype. Between Lurrus of the Dream-Den and Lutri, the Spellchaser, though, it’s not exactly clear that Companions are here to stay in the context of the current design paradigm for Magic.

All of that being said, today we are going to look at a commander with a Companion paired alongside it. This commander needs very little introduction to seasoned players of competitive Commander, but for those who don’t know, today we are going over a deck tech for Vial Smasher, the Fierce.

The art for Vial Smasher, the Fierce, from Magic: The Gathering's Commander 2016 expansion. Illustrated by Deruchenko Alexander.
The art for Vial Smasher, the Fierce, from Magic: The Gathering‘s Commander 2016 expansion. Illustrated by Deruchenko Alexander.

But what about the Companion? Why is Vial Smasher not alongside a Partner commander as well? Put simply, we wanted to keep this deck rather focused, and as such, we felt that two commanders and a Companion might be a bit much. Wanting to showcase the new card from Magic: The Gathering‘s newest set, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, we went with Obosh, the Preypiercer.

Obosh, the Preypiercer, a new card from Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.
Obosh, the Preypiercer, a new card from Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths for Magic: The Gathering.

The decklist in full, for those of you who wish to follow along, can be found here. With this deck, we want to follow a standard black-red theme of razing, destroying, and pillaging. As such, a lot of the cards in here aim to deal direct damage to opponents… In one way, or another. It’s also worth noting that the Companion restriction for Obosh dictates that the deck cannot have any nonland cards with even converted mana costs. With that, let’s go into the odd inclusions in this deck!

The artwork for Dictate of the Twin Gods, a card from Magic: The Gathering's Journey Into Nyx expansion. Illustrated by Jaime Jones.
The artwork for Dictate of the Twin Gods, a card from Magic: The Gathering‘s Journey Into Nyx expansion. Illustrated by Jaime Jones.

Notable Inclusions for a Vial Smasher, the Fierce Deck

Damage Doublers: It’s a good call to be running damage-doubling cards beyond Obosh. Cards like Dictate of the Twin Gods, Angrath’s Marauders, or Bitter Feud are great examples of cards with odd mana costs that double damage as necessary.

Curse of Thirst, a card from the Dark Ascension set for Magic: The Gathering.
Curse of Thirst, a card from the Dark Ascension set for Magic: The Gathering.

Curses: Surprisingly, there are a great number of Curses in black and red that have odd converted mana costs, so why not include them? A fair amount of them deal damage rather than cause life loss outright, meaning Obosh and your other damage doublers will affect their output. There’s even a Curse that can double damage in this deck!

Control: The amount of aggression in this deck is staggeringly high. Therefore, there’s a pressing need to instill a control aspect in this deck. Fortunately, cards like Kaervek the Merciless and Void Winnower are there to make sure the opposition has to either think twice about casting spells or, better yet, can’t cast spells at all.

The artwork for Void Winnower, a card from Magic: The Gathering's Battle For Zendikar set. Illustrated by Chase Stone.
The artwork for Void Winnower, a card from Magic: The Gathering‘s Battle For Zendikar set. Illustrated by Chase Stone.

Wrapping Up This Deck Tech

Vial Smasher and Obosh is a deck that we have lovingly called “Fierce and Pierce” because of its name, but also because of its clearly aggressive strategy. While Vial Smasher lacks a Partner commander in this deck, the inclusion of a third or even fourth color feels like it would hinder this deck a lot. Therefore, it’s encouraged that if you want to try this deck out, you try it as is. If you have, leave a message in the comments! Let us know what you think of how the deck handles.

Vial Smasher, the Fierce, a card from the Commander 2016 set for Magic: The Gathering.
Vial Smasher, the Fierce, a card from the Commander 2016 set for Magic: The Gathering.

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