Commander Top Ten For Korvold, Fae-Cursed King

Our resident Commander expert is back with another ten cards to best support this week’s commander – Korvold, Fae-Cursed King! Find out what cards best support this Throne of Eldraine “Brawlstar”!

Despite their scarcity, the commanders from the Throne of Eldraine
Brawl decks remain among the most popular new legends to build around. Last
week I featured a Commander deck built around the most popular of the four
according to EDHREC— Alela, Artful Provocateur. Today I’m excited to dig
the second most popular— Korvold, Fae-Cursed King!

Curse …or Blessing?

When the card was first previewed, I think a lot of people underestimated
its power due to its drawback—whenever it enters the battlefield or
attacks, you’ve got to sacrifice another permanent. But often the benefit
of drawing a card and growing Korvold by +1/+1 more than outweighs the

For the Brawl event at local game stores a couple weekends back, I built a
Korvold deck from scratch rather than customizing the preconstructed deck,
with a mind towards taking advantage of Korvold’s upside while mitigating
the drawback. Turns out it’s easy to do both in the Standard card pool! As
an example, I was playing a game against a Chulane player, and he had just
stolen my Garruk, Cursed Huntsman that I’d added a loyalty to by
sacrificing one of his Wolf tokens with Agent of Treachery. Naturally, he
cashed it in for the emblem to give all his creatures +3/+3 and trample.
With the newly cast Agent, he had a formidable force and was set to start
pounding on me the next turn. On my turn I drew God-Eternal Bontu and
realized since my opponent was tapped out, I could probably just kill him
on the spot. I had Mayhem Devil on the battlefield, so I cast God-Eternal
Bontu to sacrifice all my lands and most of my creatures, generating enough
damage with the Devil to kill the lone flying blocker – a Gilded Goose with
a whopping five toughness thanks to the Garruk emblem – and enough left
over to hit my opponent directly with the remaining damage. Between that
and the size of Korvold from all the extra +1/+1 counters, I was able to
kill my opponent from 24 life.

Another game I battled past not one Oko, Thief of Crowns but two of them
thanks to Spark Double, and was poised to win my next turn but I’d drawn so
many cards my opponent was able to kill enough of my creatures that I ended
up decking myself.

The power of Korvold with just the Standard card pool was impressive, so
with the Commander card pool? Get ready for insanity, people!

So, let’s get into it: the Top 10 cards for a Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
Commander deck!

1: God-Eternal Bontu

God-Eternal Bontu has so much synergy with Korvold that it’s got to come in
at #1. When it enters the battlefield, you can mass-sacrifice as many
permanents as you want, drawing double the cards from Korvold and loading
up the +1/+1 counters. And its ability to go back to library when it dies
or is exiled means you can easily sacrifice it to Korvold attacking, draw
it and do it all over again. Putting it third card from the top of your
library means almost nothing in a Korvold deck that is drawing so many
cards anyway.

I’m including other cards either sacrifice themselves for some good effect
or give you benefits from the sacrificing you’re going to be doing in a
Korvold deck:

One thing to keep in mind—Korvold, and great cards like Grim Haruspex and
Moldervine Reclamation don’t have “may” in front of “draw a card” so the
draw isn’t optional. I learned the hard way that you can definitely end up
drawing way too many cards, so deploy with care.

2: Pawn of Ulamog

Pawn of Ulamog generates a token creature whenever a nontoken creature you
control dies, which you can then use as sacrificial fodder too. What’s
really cool about the Eldrazi Spawn tokens is that they can sacrifice
themselves to make mana. So, with enough of them out alongside Korvold, you
can make mana and draw cards. Seems good, right?

I’m also including other cards that sacrifice to generate mana:

Ashnod’s Altar does a pretty good job of turning any of your
creatures—tokens or no—into super-mana generators to help cast the infusion
of cards from Korvold. I also like that Ashnod’s Altar can make it much
easier to pay any commander tax that might have accumulated.

3: Brass’s Bounty

Treasure tokens are particularly great in a Korvold deck, and Brass’s
Bounty is the best of the bunch. Sure, it’s a bit expensive, but oh so
worth it! Assuming you’re at least getting six Treasure tokens, if you
sacrifice them with Korvold on the battlefield that’s six fresh cards and
six mana of any color, and six +1/+1 counters on Korvold. Wowsa!

I’m including some other ways to make Treasure tokens:

Revel in Riches can potentially be a win condition, but really the
Treasures you get are going to be cashed in for more cards and mana.

4: Sylvan Safekeeper

We’re going to want to include ways to sacrifice cards for profit, and one
of the best of the bunch for this deck is Sylvan Safekeeper. Opponents are
going to want to stop the Korvold party whenever they can, and Sylvan
Safekeeper can keep any sort of pinpoint removal away. A lot of the time
just the threat of using Sylvan Safekeeper will hold back those spells and
effects, but you can also just use it on demand to cycle away a land to
draw a card if you need it.

I’ve got a fair number of other cards that sacrifice for profit:

I’m super-excited about World Shaper here, which can be sacrificed to bring
back any lands that have ended up in the graveyard (such as to fuel
Korvold). Brawn is another great thing to sacrifice to give all your
creatures trample, which is particularly nice when you’ve got a Dragon
that’s accumulating a bunch a +1/+1 counters.

5: Aetherworks Marvel

Aetherworks Marvel is a very powerful card in energy decks, but it also has
a hidden super-power: it’s also darn good in any deck that sacrifices a
bunch of permanents. Like Korvold decks! Each time you sacrifice six
permanents Aetherworks Marvel gives you enough energy to activate, digging
six cards deep into your library and letting you cast a card for free.

I’m also including one other energy-producing card:

Demon of Dark Schemes functions similarly as Aetherworks Marvel but gathers
energy whenever any other creature dies. And rather than digging into your
library for value, you can cash in the energy and a little mana to bring a
creature back to the battlefield under your control from any graveyard. Not
too shabby in a deck that sacrifices creatures!

6: Wave of Vitriol

Wave of Vitriol is a card I always strongly consider for any green deck,
but I rarely pull the trigger on it since I always love playing my own
artifacts, enchantments, and nonbasic lands and don’t really want to blow
them up alongside everyone else’s. But I think a Korvold deck is the
perfect home for this powerful card. Not only will you disrupt many of your
opponents’ plans, but you’ll get a ton of +1/+1 counters and draw a bunch
of cards with Korvold for your troubles. Even better, if anyone is playing
Maze of Ith to stop Korvold from effectively attacking them, Wave of
Vitriol answers that quite handily.

Here are some other cards that sacrifice for benefit outside of Korvold

After my experience battling against Oko in Brawl, I’m thrilled to have
Vampire Hexmage in the deck. This gem is a fantastic planeswalker assassin!

7: Mayhem Devil

Mayhem Devil doesn’t care what sort of permanent is sacrificed or what
player is sacrificing, it’s going to deal a point of damage to
something—anything. Even though it’s only a point a pop, that can really be
clutch when you need one final point of damage to finish off a threat. And
of course, there is combo potential—just imagine the triggers if you cast
Wave of Vitriol with Mayhem Devil on the battlefield!

I’m including some ways to convert creatures dying to extra damage:

Syr Konrad is a very interesting card for Commander because it deals a
point of damage for a wide variety of reasons: when another creature dies
(which happens a lot, especially with Korvold around), or whenever a
creature is put into a graveyard from anywhere other than the battlefield
(such as discarding or milling), or whenever a creature card leaves my
graveyard (such as some form of recursion). But there’s a secret ability
tied into that last clause: exiling someone’s graveyard counts as all those
creatures leaving that graveyard. So, if someone tries to deal with your
graveyard shenanigans by exiling your graveyard, each opponent could take a
significant amount of damage.

8: Cauldron of Souls

Cauldron of Souls is just a fantastic card for any deck that plays a
significant number of creatures, but it’s particularly awesome in Korvold
since you’ll want to be sacrificing permanents and sometimes that will be
creatures. Keep in mind that Cauldron gives any number of creatures persist
until the end of the turn, so you can give all your creatures persist and
then sacrifice at whim throughout the course of the turn.

Another awesome thing about Cauldron of Souls in this deck: if you give
Korvold persist and it dies, it comes back to the graveyard with a -1/-1
counter which would ordinarily prevent it from gaining benefitting from
persist again. But since Korvold’s ability adds a +1/+1 counter then both
counters would be removed, allowing Korvold to persist again.

I’ve got some other recursion cards that will help pay sacrifice costs
without losing too many resources:

Bloodsoaked Champion is particularly nice because all it cares about is
whether something attacked this turn to satisfy the raid ability. So you
could potentially sacrifice Bloodsoaked Champion when you cast Korvold, and
then next turn when Korvold attacks, put its attack trigger on the stack,
activate the Champion’s raid ability to put it on the battlefield, then
sacrifice it to Korvold’s ability, and if you still had mana left over you
could bring Champion back again the same turn.

9: Deathrender

Deathrender is a card I love in theory, but it always seems a little clunky
in practice. But I think Korvold’s attack trigger enables Deathrender to
truly shine, especially since you’re drawing cards odds are pretty good you
can just drop creatures onto the battlefield equipped to Deathrender all
over the place.

I’m including a bunch of other cards that are already good but are often
even better in a Korvold deck:

I decided to add Ulamog, the Infinite Grye to the deck mainly for its
ability to shuffle my graveyard into my deck. When Korvold gets going you
draw a ton of cards, and I don’t want to accidentally deck myself again.

10: Anger

My experience with Oko has shown that giving creatures haste is of vital
importance, and Anger is a fantastic way to do it in a Korvold deck since
you can so easily sacrifice it to get it into the graveyard.

I’m also playing another way to give creatures haste:

Rhythm of the Wild gives nontoken creatures haste but the other mode for
riot +1/+1 counters can be quite helpful too especially with Cauldron of

Okay, so here’s how the deck ended up:

Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
Bennie Smith
Test deck on 11-04-2019
Magic Card Back

And here are two handy charts courtesy of Archidekt, including that sweet, sweet
mana curve broken out by color.

What do you think? Are there any cards I’ve overlooked? If you see any new
cards from Throne of Eldraine that should find a home here, let me

Do me a solid and follow me on Twitter! I run polls and get conversations
started about Commander all the time, so get in on the fun!

Also, come play Commander with me! Coming up November 8th is Magic Fest Richmond
right here in my hometown, and I’m planning on hitting the Command Zone
there at least one of the days. The following weekend

November 14-17 is the always spectacular SCGCON

! Their

Commander Celebration

has set the standard for incredible Commander experiences and I’ll be
returning as a special guest so I’ll be in the Command Zone all weekend
playing Commander!

But that’s not all! Star City Games will be putting on #CommandFestDC
December 13-15th and I’m thrilled to be one of the special
guests there. Be sure to check out the website for all the
exciting details!

Deck Database

I’ve been writing about the Commander format and Magic: The Gathering in general for nearly two decades. Visit the Star City Games article archives for tons of content dating back to January 2000!

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Emry, Lurker of the Loch

Two-Color Decks

Ultimate Golgari Commander Deck

Tymna and Ravos

Three-Color Decks

Zur the Enchanter (Mummy’s Curse)

Four-Color Decks

Five-Color Decks

Karona, False God (All the Deserts)

Atogatog (Cartouches & Trials)

Commander Compare & Contrast

Zedruu, the Greathearted