Baeloth Barrityl and Popular Entertainer: Battle Frenzy

Mikeal Basile
August 15, 2022
“Magictating” is defined as getting into the zone with your Magic the Gathering collection--thinking, planning, organizing, reminiscing about past games, and imagining future games. It is a combination of hard thinking about the game and calm meditation, reveling in the joy it brings you.

I suspect that this “fun” deck will help keep you entertained…while your opponents wallow in the misery you unleash on them. This is a deck that we should try to design in an attempt to go all-in on goading people and combat shenanigans. I really feel that Baeloth Barrityl, Entertainer is designed to be the most popular entertainer at any table he sits down to. Of course, that's also why we're doubling down on goading with the Popular Entertainer background as well. I'm not going to attempt to tell you every single card to include in your entertaining deck, but I will offer you some insight into the cards that you should strongly consider. By the end of this little article you should have an idea of how to go about building this entertaining brew to any power level and budget level you desire. You can spice your deck to taste, so just choose how many groans you want to hear when you pull out your dual mono-red commander pile.  

Let's begin with the obvious fact that we want to goad people into attacking each other, and leaving us alone. To that end we definitely need to include all of these goading creatures: Agitator Ant, Besmirch, Bloodboil Sorcerer, Bothersome Quasit, Coronation of Chaos, Death Kiss, Disrupt Decorum, Geode Rager, Goblin Racketeer, Grenzo, Havoc Raiser, Insufferable Balladeer, Komainu Battle Armor, Laurine, the Diversion, Life of the Party, Shiny Impetus, Spectacular Showdown, Taunting Kobold, and Vengeful Ancestor. Whew, that's quite a list of cards. That's 18 cards headed straight into this deck. Honestly, they really all just help you to get people attacking anyone but you.

Death Kiss (CLB)

Taking the initiative, entering dungeons, and gaining the monarchy are all excellent ways to help this deck grind out extra value while you are busy forcing people to attack anyone but you. Drawing extra cards, getting dungeon effects, and drawing extra cards from being the monarch are all amazingly powerful ways to keep yourself in power for as long as possible. Plus, if people happen to take it away from you, then they make themselves more desirable targets for other people's attacks. It's a great way to let other people keep attacking each other and keep themselves busy with anyone but you.

We should already be including Bloodboil Sorcerer for the goading effects, but it also allows you to start up the initiative as it enters the battlefield. It's a highly effective card. Pairing this with some of our temporary theft cards like Threaten and Frenzied Fugue is a blast. Caves of Chaos Adventurer snags the initiative on entry, gives us impulse draw, and gives us a huge payoff once we wrap up a single dungeon. Loot Dispute allows you to crank out some extra treasures to fuel your Bloodboil Sorcerer or bigger spells, and happens to have a big payoff for completing dungeons as well. The last piece of the initiative package is Stirring Bard; it also helps us sneak in for damage to take back the initiative or perhaps delve into another dungeon entirely. Perhaps that is why we should also consider running Kick in the Door to pop into an entirely different Dungeon from The Undercity.

Dungeoneer's Pack (CLB) Sarevok's Tome (CLB)

Additionally, Zalto, Fire Giant Duke is a fun way to keep venturing into the dungeon. This also works for the initiative dungeons as well, so being able to venture into a dungeon and take the initiative in a single turn is pretty powerful. When you combine Zalto with effects like Pyrohemia or Pyroclasm you get to crank out some sweet extra value. Additionally, using Dungeon Map and Fifty Feet of Rope, you get repeatable ways to crank out extra dungeon room triggers. Trailblazer's Torch snags the initiative and can be sacrificed to fuel Bloodboil Sorcerer's effects as well. Dungeoneer's Pack is an acceptable way to crank out similar value. Meanwhile, Sarevok's Tome is an initiative building card that helps crank out serious value once you've completed a dungeon. The payoff is seriously powerful.

Dungeon Descent (AFR)

Lands in a monored deck should probably include a copy of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, because why not? However, this deck benefits from other goodies that truly synergize with the deck like Dungeon Descent. Additionally, giving our opponents chump blockers is fun, so we should definitely run Forbidden Orchard. It really helps to feed our commander tons of cheap deaths. Also, you might want to consider tossing in one of my all-time favorite commander lands: Sorrow's Path. It makes blocking an absolute nightmare for opponents. It just switches blocking creatures, but they don't have to be blocking your creatures in order for you to use it. Throne of the High City is also a great include as it snags you the monarchy for the price of a land. Using a mono-colored deck is a real benefit in that we don't have to worry about not having enough of your color, so cutting a Mountain for Throne isn't something we actually have to worry about suddenly running thin on red sources. We're golden, or um, err…red!

Speaking of snagging the monarchy, Staunch Throneguard is a super easy little artifact creature to help us crank out extra value. Some people say that Court of Ire isn't great, but I beg to differ. Snagging the monarchy for five mana is usually worth it. Pinging small creatures for 2 is nice, but goading others against attacking you is a nasty way to keep the monarchy, and then destroy some of the larger threats on the board. Crimson Fleet Commodore helps you snag the monarchy as well, and it happens to attack well with 5 power and trample. Crown-Hunter Hireling is more niche for its attacks, but it just offers us another way to snag back the monarchy when it's perhaps too hard for us to get. Emberwilde Captain is another great way to discourage people from attacking us. The last monarch card I'll mention is the all-star Skyline Despot. Goading everything else and then dropping this is a brutal way to close out a game in a hurry.  

Some of the more salty effects you can include are ways to instantly steal other people's creatures. This allows you to combat the times people are actually able to swing at you. You can often use this to steal one of the aggressor's attacking creatures, or perhaps snag someone else's decent threat and hopefully kill both creatures with one spell. The top spells for doing this are Act of Aggression, Disharmony, Grab the Reins, and the catch-all Word of Seizing. Feel free to toss in a Goblin Bombardment to return those creatures to your opponent's graveyard rather than their control. Meanwhile, Captivating Crew gives a repeatable way to steal creatures. However, Frontier Warmonger is a pretty powerful way to pressure your opponents into attacking one another.

Now, forcing people to attack anyone else but the main threat is infuriating. However, it is super entertaining if you're the one watching all the attacking and subsequent blocking. However, you can mess with people's blocking as well with one of my all-time favorite spicy cards: War Cadence. You can activate to force people to finish off other opponents nearly at will. Also, you might want to include one of my other favorites: Blood Frenzy. This is such a wonderful card to cast on someone else's attacking creature that seems like it's just going to eat or get eaten. Suddenly, both of those pesky creatures your opponents' control are dead! Hurray! Well, I hope you have enough ideas to start piecing together a fun little deck to entertain your friends. I hope that the entertainment, the monarchy, the initiative, and the cards are ever in your favor!