The Great EDH Challenge: Orzhov – Vish Kal, Cruel Daddy

Decklist: https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/vish-kal-cruel-daddy/?cb=1613523785


Power Level: 5.55

I hope you guys had a Happy Valentine’s Day! I will be sharing a real heart-throb with you folks today; a Cruel Daddy that really gets the blood pumping!

Vish Kal is the ultimate B/W commander. He combines both sacrifice outlet, removal, and powerful creature into one amazing package. Every creature in the deck can be thought of as both a pump spell and removal, when he is on the battlefield. Instead of a vampire build, I focused my deck’s creature base around etb and sacrifice effects, to synergize with Vish Kal and my recursion. I included plenty of recursion, so that I can get the most value out of my creatures. This is an Aristocrats deck first, and a Midrange Combo deck second.

This deck’s creatures act as a sort of toolbox of utility, providing crucial interaction as I either attempt to assemble a combo, or simply kill with commander damage. This is a pretty slow deck, and I learned over the years that it is necessary to disrupt my opponents during the early and mid-game so that I’m not just being beat down while I wait to play Vish Kal. Cards like Mesmeric Fiend and Tidehollow Sculler knock powerful opponents off kilter by messing with their hands, and therefore their plans. Mindslicer is especially brutal, more so when I have an engine like Phyrexian Reclamation or Bolas’s Citadel out. Ravenous Chupacabra has been a joy since he was released, dispatching even the most powerful creatures on a recur-able body. Ashen Rider is the overkill removal creature in this deck, as recurring it repeatedly with something like Nim Deathmantle usually ends up causing opponents to scoop.

This deck heavily revolves around Vish Kal, despite playing many combos that don’t require him being out. He simply does everything an Orzhov player wants. Vish Kal can kill someone out of nowhere, especially when I have a board full of creatures, or a Hatred in hand. Hatred is a very fun card to win with, but I’d recommend having a Grand Abolisher out if you plan on using it on Vish kal.

Vish Kal is amazingly useful, and puts a heck of pressure on my opponents when they realize he can pump himself as well as kill their creatures at instant speed. He is oftentimes confused with Oloro, Ageless Ascetic , as the art can appear similar. This mistake has gotten people killed, as they realize the Cruel Daddy flies and eats creatures. Many turns with him on the battlefield turn into me calculating how much power I have to have him eat in order to kill a dangerous opponent. The recursion in my deck oftentimes has Vish Kal eating the same creatures multiple times in a single turn, leading me to victory in quick order.

There are numerous combos in this deck, more than most would realize. I will list the best ones:

Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter Mikaeus, the Unhallowed = Infinite Sac of Vish Kal, Infinite -1/-1 of all creatures

Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter Mikaeus, the Unhallowed Cruel Celebrant / Zulaport Cutthroat / Blood Artist = Drain your opponents of their life totals

Leonin Relic-Warder Animate Dead Cruel Celebrant / Zulaport Cutthroat / Blood Artist = Drain your opponents of their life totals

Reveillark Karmic Guide + Sac Outlet = Infinite recursion of Reveillark, Karmic Guide, and another creature with power 2 or less

Ashnod’s Altar Wurmcoil Engine Nim Deathmantle = Infinite Colorless Mana / Infinite Wurmcoil Engine Tokens

Ah yes, and a “funny” combo that infuriated me years ago when my Teysa-playing friend revealed it to me in an especially toxic EDH game:

False Prophet Phyrexian Tower Volrath’s Stronghold to put him back on top of your library with the floating black mana = Exile all Creatures, at instant speed, over and over again…

This deck is a lot of fun, and can be played in numerous ways to fit your own playstyle. Its only big drawback is that it is usually pretty slow, and many of the creatures aren’t much of a threat on their own. But hey, EDH is a format that is all about synergy! πŸ˜€

The Great EDH Challenge: Gruul – Gallia the Party Girl!

Decklist: https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/gallia-the-party-girl/


Power Level: 3.71

Yo, Gallia is lit! She’s got haste, and I love commanders with haste! She’s a lord for one of my favorite tribes, Satyrs! She even has inherent card advantage built into her, synergizing with her aggro strategy! Man, this card just oozes synergy, and I truly realized that when I built this deck. Most Satyrs are 2 mana, making it easy to have a bunch of small hasty bodies to put pressure on my opponents. The only downside is that most Satyrs are pretty bad, especially in a high-power format like EDH. But who cares, let’s party!

The gameplan is to play Gallia as early as possible, alongside as many Satyrs as you can. When you have three attacking creatures, always utilize her triggered ability to discard a card at random and draw two. This ability is really what makes Gallia shine, as she lets you replace Satyrs as your opponents increasingly chump-block and board-wipe the annoying hasty party animals. You will oftentimes discard a useful removal or buffing card, but it is best not to lament what you’ve lost, but instead be happy for the 2 new cards that you’ve gained!

Choosing one opponent and focusing them is usually the best course of action when playing aggro, but it is okay to change targets if your chosen opponent starts playing fat-bootied blockers, or has pillow fort up. The biggest problem with Gallia and the Satyrs is that they are so small. We get around this by playing anthem effects like Door of Destinies Shared Animosity , and an actual anthem, Gaea’s Anthem Eldrazi Monument is amazing in this deck, as Gallia’s triggered ability usually lets us get more Satyrs to sac to the monument. We have a few more evasive measures to help us out during combat, such as Goblin War Drums to give our boys and girls menace, and Dolmen Gate to help them survive uneven combats. We also protect our team with Heroic Intervention of course, and the card I played before that one came out, Wrap in Vigor .

And of course, winning with a top-decked Triumph of the Hordes is always funny!

There is plenty of interaction in the deck, because sometimes you have to blow stuff up to win. Star of Extinction is always funny, and does a good job getting rid of a battlefield full of too many blockers. There are many Satyrs that destroy artifacts, so I usually don’t have a problem against those sorts of decks. Decimate is probably my favorite RG spell, as it usually decimates my opponents in the early game, haha.

There is one infinite combo in the deck that I’m aware of. This is a classic RG one, and I’ve always wanted to run it:

Druids’ Repository + at least 5 attacking creatures + Aggravated Assault = Infinite Combat phases and Main phases

I have a habit of calling Druids’ Repository -> Druids’ Suppository , so yeah, it’s always fun to play that card. I think it is a busted card in go wide decks, to be honest.

All in all, this is a very fun deck to play, even if most of my playgroup laughs at low-power decks such as this. This goes up great against a precon, and I enjoy having a fun, chaotic deck to play a table of new players. One thing is for certain; I’m always doing something when I’m playing this deck, even if it’s just playing my party girl for the third time. πŸ˜€

The Great EDH Challenge: Selesnya – Saffi’s Sacrifice

Saffi Eriksdotter

Decklist: https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/saffis-sacrifice-4/?cb=1612205283


Power Level: 8.21

Little Miss Saffi just loves sacrificing herself for theΒ Greater Good…if only she could tutor that card up all by herself!

This is a combo deck masquerading as a value deck, plain and simple. I think there are over 10 infinite combos in this deck…pretty strong eh? Yeah, this deck tends to win out of nowhere, especially if the game drags on. This deck is known to prolong the game until it wins using its wide selection of “combat denial” strategies, and it’s many forms of interaction. The sheer amount of interaction in the deck makes it a pleasure to play, as I’m always making an impact on the game.

What further pushes this deck’s power level is the sheer amount of tutors I run. Finale of DevastationWoodland Bellower, and Eldritch Evolution are some of the best, as they put the tutored creature right onto the battlefield. The funny thing is that I could put even better tutors into the deck to further augment it’s power. Amongst all the other strengths that Green has, tutoring for creatures is one of it’s best.

The primary strategy of the deck is to play Saffi on turn two, and deal with opponents while you slowly assemble combo pieces utilizing tutors/draw. The deck has a mix of removal, hatebears, and fog-effects, to deal with the assortment of deck archetypes that one can expect to encounter in EDH. Peacekeeper laughs at aggro decks, stopping them from even getting attack triggers. Gaddock Teeg laughs at control and combo decks, denying them boardwipes and various infinite mana win conditions. Scavenging Ooze laughs at graveyard decks, as it eats their win conditions. Stopping your opponents from winning is merely half of the winning equation, as we must win ourselves. We do that using the numerous infinite combos in this deck.

Saffi can infinitely recur multiple creatures in this deck, with the help of a sac outlet like Altar of Dementia:

Renegade RallierSun TitanReveillarkTimely HordemateShepherd of the Cosmos and Karmic Guide

Saffi + any of these cards + a free sac outlet = Mass or infinite effects from the sac outlet you are using, e.g. Altar of Dementia allows you to mill all of your opponents out, while Phyrexian Altar gives you infinite mana.

The primary struggle in this deck is getting to a free sac outlet. Green/White doesn’t have many options for free sac outlets on creatures, only having Reaper of Flight Moonsilver if you have delirium. I tend to tutor for cheaper, non-free sac outlets such as Starved Rusalka if I have a recursive creature early on, as getting delirium tends to be a bit difficult in this creature-heavy deck.

Other combos utilizing sac outlets include:

Sun Titan + Angelic Renewal

Sun Titan + Fiend Hunter

Renegade Rallier + Angelic Renewal

Shepherd of the Cosmos + Angelic Renewal

Reveillark + Karmic Guide

Luminous Broodmoth + Solemnity + A creature without Flying

Vizier of Remedies + Woodfall Primus = Destroy all non-creature permanents!! (I sure do love destroying all of my opponents’ lands!)

And here are a few other fun combos:

Vizier of Remedies + Devoted Druid = Infinite Green Mana

Vizier of Remedies + Devoted Druid + Finale of Devastation = Any creature in your deck onto the battlefield + Infinitely Big Hasty Creatures

Boonweaver Giant getting Pattern of Rebirth + Boonweaver’s death = Tutor for any creature in this deck and put it into play.

So, all in all, this deck is all about sacrifice. Will you sacrifice your creatures just for value, or to win it all? Only time will tell. πŸ˜€