The Great EDH Challenge: Izzet – Aegar’s Giant Burn


Power Level: 4

I’d always wanted a Giant deck, but none of the Giant commanders really moved me. Then Aegar appeared recently, and I fell in love. I used to have a Keranos burn deck, but it felt clunky, and the commander wasn’t all that synergistic with what I wanted to do. Aegar incentivizes all my damage-based removal, and even synergizes with the X-based removal scaling over the course of the game. I didn’t have to make that many changes to the original UR burn deck; I just added a bunch of Giants!

Every nonland card in this deck can deal damage, whether it be the bird from Swan Song , the birds from Alrund’s Epiphany , the creatures, or from a classic Lightning Bolt . Being a damage-dealing deck, aka Burn, we can win through direct damage to our opponents. Spells like Comet Storm and Giant’s Ire usually end up finishing off low-life opponents. However, we put the most pressure on life totals by attacking with our high-powered Giants (and a few useful Wizards, too).

Our Giants have a lot of synergy. Calamity Bearer is a damage-doubler for a third of our deck, even for our upkeep-pinging Quakebringer Sunrise Sovereign remedies the problem of our powerful Giants not having trample, while Cyclone Summoner can clear the board of blockers completely (most of the time). Giants like Hammerfist Giant Magma Giant and Thundercloud Shaman double as removal, potentially being one-sided boardwipes. This includes my favorite Giant, Bloodfire Colossus , who sacs himself to deal 6 to everything!

We refill our hand pretty easily in this deck. For 3+ mana, we play Aegar, and then wipe the board with spells like Blasphemous Act . For each of our opponents’ creatures we deal excess damage to, we draw a card. It is important to save our high-damage boardwipes for boards full of creatures, so that we aren’t killing Aegar just to draw a few cards. Yup, most of these boardwipes will result in Aegar dying, so be mindful of that. Think of Aegar as “Sac, 5 mana (For the Board Wipe): Draw 7 cards”. There will be times when we are picking off our opponents’ commanders every other turn and drawing a card each time, but that doesn’t happen as often as you might hope.

This is a fun, yet powerful casual deck that swings big creatures while burning our opponents and their creatures. We find it difficult to remove non-creature threats, so save the few counterspells we have to deal with powerful enchantments and game-winning instants and/or sorceries. If your friends only have precons, this deck is a great choice to offer them a challenge while not overwhelming them. Quite an accomplishment for a Johnny like me. 🙂

The Great EDH Challenge: Azorius – Time & Space ~ Teferi x Venser


Power Level: 6.5

So err…I ship Teferi and Venser. Yes, yes, I know…it is a remnant of my LiveJournal days. 😀

This deck is a love letter to my favorite Planeswalkers, Teferi and Venser. This is a theme deck that revolves around these 2 characters, that tells a fanfiction love story, haha. I use Raff because he is what I’d imagine their son would look like. This deck has been through a lot of changes; from a combo deck, to a superfriends deck, to a control deck. I feel that UW control is where both Teferi and Venser work best, so that is the final archetype I have decided on.

This is a control deck that seeks to use card draw, removal, and a few planeswalkers to help us survive into the late game. In the late game, we usually win with Approach of the Second Sun , sometimes taking an extra turn with Nexus of Fate to allow us to dig for Approach and cast it again. The deck is modeled a bit after the Dominaria-Standard deck that also used Approach to win. Planeswalkers like Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and Karn, Scion of Urza generate value for us as we control the mid-game, while Venser, the Sojourner flickers powerful permanents like Coveted Jewel and Elspeth Conquers Death for even more value.

Counterbalance is a pet card that usually just puts a bit of pressure on our opponents. We can tutor for it with Muddle the Mixture , and it works very well with Sensei’s Divining Top and Scroll Rack . I have had opponents scoop from me randomly revealing and successfully countering a game-winning play they were going to make. it is a card I like more in Legacy, but it has its uses here. Venser’s Journal is also a pet card in the deck. It serves the purpose of unifying the theme of the deck with my seedy origins as a LiveJournaler…hehe!

There is one combo in the deck, involving all lands. It fits the theme of Time and Space, as it allows for infinite turns (time) using lands (space).

Nesting Grounds Karn’s Bastion Magosi, the Waterveil = Infinite Turns

This combo is a bit convoluted, and Magosi is the only piece that doesn’t synergize with anything else in my deck. It starts by putting an eon counter on Magosi, requiring us to skip our next turn. We then move that eon counter onto another land with Nesting Grounds, and then use Karn’s Bastion to proliferate that counter. Now that we have 2 eon counters, we can use Nesting Grounds to move an eon counter back onto Magosi on our next turn. On each subsequent turn, we then activate Magosi to take an extra turn by removing that counter, returning Magosi to our hand, playing it as our land for turn, then proliferating the eon counter we still have on another land. During the extra turn, we move one of the eon counters on Magosi again, allowing us to repeat the previous steps to take infinite turns. Probably best to do this combo when we have a good planeswalker out, like Teferi, Hero of Dominaria , hehe.

This is a typical UW control deck, that is sure to prolong any game it is a part of. I can desperately cling to life for several turns, and oftentimes end up grabbing victory from the jaws of imminent defeat. However, this is a very grindy deck, and requires a great deal of “try-harding” to not just win, but to survive. If that playstyle appeals to you, then give this deck a try! You can just dismiss the cringey slash undertones that the deck has!