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! 😀

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