Correcting The Chromatic: Two Builds Of Kaalia

Take a look at Sheldon’s two builds of Kaalia of the Vast and tell him which one you want him to sleeve up in the comments!

Oros, the Avenger, perched on the shelf with 26 other decks, stares at me, its eyes ready to tear up at any moment. Its plaintive question is always "why do you ignore me so often?" 

I respond from the heart. "Because you suck. You really and truly suck. One of these days I promise I’ll rebuild you into something worthwhile."

Today is that day, but it’s not good news for Oros. He’s getting replaced by Kaalia of the Vast. One of the major issues with the color combination is mana production. Oros never helped with that, and Kaalia will after a fashion, getting around paying the cost to cast some creatures.

I have two different ideas for Kaalia. One is slightly outside the box, and one is more traditional. Neither explores what I think is the meanest of the directions I’ve seen players take the commander, namely Kaalia-Geddon. Yes, it’s effective. It’s just not the deck I want to play.

Deck #1: Kaalia and Her Demons

Demons of Kaalia
Sheldon Menery
0th Place at Test deck on 01-08-2014

With so many Angel and Dragon Kaalia builds running around out there, I wanted to build one with Demons—and not just the ones that are good for you like Bloodgift Demon and Rune-Scarred Demon. I wanted to build a deck with the dangerous ones, especially with the ones that make you sacrifice creatures if you don’t want bad stuff to happen to you. I’ve put some things in to mitigate the downsides, but I can definitely see running the razor’s edge quite frequently. Let’s get to the cards:


There are four that need discussing, as the rest are just mana rocks. I vastly prefer getting additional lands into play, but this wedge’s colors simply don’t do that well.

Druidic Satchel: This can help in that regard as well as create creatures to sacrifice to the ever-hungry Demons.

Lightning Greaves: I don’t think I’m playing this in too many other decks, mostly because I’m bored with seeing it. I figured I’d play it to see what all the fuss is. It’s there to protect Kaalia as well as on the odd occasion be able to attack with her the turn she comes down.

Elbrus, the Binding Blade: A little jank to go with the Demon theme.

Whip of Erebos: All my creatures having lifelink is good under normal circumstances. With creatures that damage me sometimes, it’s probably a lifesaver.

Artifact Creatures

Platinum Angel: The deck doesn’t have too much defense, so making killing me a two-step process is reasonable protection.

Solemn Simulacrum: This is especially important to have in nongreen decks. I wish that I also had room for Burnished Hart.

Steel Hellkite: My favorite use for this is paying zero mana to wipe out a horde of tokens. This slot was Ravenous Demon until I realized that I didn’t have too much stuff making Humans. I figured that a little self-preservation is preferable to more jank.


Abhorrent Overlord: With a heavy commitment to black, Abhorrent Overlord provides free food for the Demons.

Abyssal Persecutor: I originally had Bazaar Trader in the deck to be able to give this away (as well as Immortal Coil), but dialed back from that. It’s still a cheap 6/6 flyer, and it may make someone think twice about casting Telemin Performance on me or casting Rise from the Dark Realms if this is in my graveyard. Eventually I can just sacrifice it to one of the other Demons.

Angel of Despair: Stuff needs to get blown up. I’m just sorry Ashen Rider isn’t an Angel too.

Archdemon of Unx: The Archdemon might not be able to eat Zombies, but the other Demons can.

Blood Artist: One of the few non-Demons, Blood Artist will help the life total situation since so much stuff is going to the graveyard.

Bloodgift Demon: The card draw is a little weak, and Bloodgift Demon is an inexpensive way to help.

Carnifex Demon: I don’t have too many small creatures, so this defensive gem works out nicely.

Crypt Ghast: With the heavy amount of black, Crypt Ghast should pay some dividends. Extort doesn’t hurt in the least.

Deathpact Angel: We’ll see if this does what I hope it will do, which is create a repeatable loop of creatures to sacrifice to the Demons.

Emeria Angel: An inexpensive Angel that creates Demon chow.

Fallen Angel: Regular readers know that I love free sacrifice outlets to help prevent people from stealing my stuff. Fallen Angel can also deal a fair amount of damage under the right circumstances.

Harvester of Souls: It’s a Demon, and it draws cards. It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.

Havoc Demon: This is one that I’m slightly on the fence about, but I need a little protection from swarms. With a few six-plus toughness creatures, I can see myself doing a few one-sided sweeps, but the downside is that it also kills Kaalia.

Karmic Guide: The best of all the Angels, it’s agreed to help out the Demons this time.

Liege of the Pit: I like the flexibility of casting it as a morph early or just chunking it into play with Kaalia. The good news is that if I can’t sacrifice a creature, it doesn’t tap; it just deals damage, just like . . .

Lord of the Pit: Oh, you old classic.

Lord of the Void: Lord of the Void is one of those new-generation Demons that’s all upside. I wanted a few of those in here.

Luminous Angel: Solid but unspectacular, it’s here just for the creatures. I can stack upkeep triggers so that the Spirit gets created first and then sacrificed to whatever Demon is demanding tribute.

Minion of Leshrac: A little board control—especially for zero mana—seems like good times. There are plenty of creatures that I would pay five life to kill. With the Minion’s trigger on the stack, I can activate its ability if I know I’m not going to sacrifice a creature. Having some lifelink in the deck means that the life isn’t that big of a deal.

Pestilence Demon: Pestilence that doesn’t go away once there are no other creatures out is full of win. If there’s a swarm on the other side of the table and Pestilence Demon has lifelink, even winnier.

Requiem Angel: Making more Demon (not to mention Teysa) fodder since 2011.

Sun Titan: One of a very few nods to things I can’t use with Kaalia, the utility of Sun Titan is worth the slot. There isn’t that much to get back, but what there is can be game changing, like Aura of Silence.

Weathered Wayfarer: A little more functionality and help making land drops, I see this as a somewhat-underplayed creature in the format, especially since it can get any land.

Legendary Creatures

Erebos, God of the Dead: Given the devotion to black in the deck, he’ll be a creature more often than not, but the primary purpose is to have some repeatable card draw.

Darien, King of Kjeldor: Darien is a great rattlesnake, especially with Fallen Angel around, and is the reason there are pain lands in the deck.

Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder: There are two synergies going on here. The first is that Endrek Sahr creates things for the Demons to eat. The second is that the Demons eating them keeps down their numbers so that he doesn’t go away.

Mikaeus, the Unhallowed: Being able to bring back the creatures I sacrifice is a positive. Not playing Mikaeus in any kind of broken fashion is another upside.

Rakdos the Defiler: I’m going to play him in the deck until get him into play with Kaalia at just the right time (since his "attacks" ability doesn’t trigger), swinging an otherwise lost cause, and then take him out for something different.

Tariel, Reckoner of Souls: I’m not playing Tariel in any other decks, and I thought it might be fun to regrow other people’s creatures to offer them up to the Demons.

Teysa, Orzhov Scion: The synergy between Teysa and the rest of the deck is pretty obvious—eat black creatures (especially piles of Thrulls made by Endrek Sahr) and exile stuff that can hurt me.


Aura of Silence: A little defense in keeping people from too many artifacts or enchantments too fast and nice recursive destruction with Sun Titan.

Necromancy: This is another one that I’m hoping to run back with Sun Titan.

Exquisite Blood: No infinite combos here, but solid life gain in a deck that likes to attack.

Goblin Assault: Another upkeep trigger that I can stack in the right order to feed the always hungry Demons.

Grave Pact: If I’m sacrificing creatures, it’s only fair that you do too.

Land Tax: Keep an opening hand with Land Tax, Weathered Wayfarer, and a Plains. Just hope you don’t win the die roll.

Martyr’s Bond: Grave Pact for all stuff, I just realized that if I take the last counter off of a planeswalker everyone else will sacrifice one.

Phyrexian Reclamation: A little life payment to put a creature back in my hand—with Kaalia’s trigger on the stack—is a path to victory.


Boros Charm: I really only see playing this for the indestructible mode, but you never know.

Makeshift Mannequin: Sometimes I’m going to have to sacrifice my bigger creatures to satisfy Demonic urges, so I want a way to get them back.

Miraculous Recovery: Ditto, although Debt of Loyalty was also a strong applicant for this slot.

Return to Dust: Fast becoming one of my favorite cards, it’s as close to an auto-include as I get.


Elspeth, Knight-Errant: Create tokens for both Demons and Teysa and maybe makes all my stuff indestructible.

Sorin, Lord of Innistrad: I swear that I’ll only ever make tokens with this. Scout’s honor.


Akroma’s Vengeance: I have one of these in the stack, and I don’t have an Austere Command. I think I like the flexibility of the latter slightly better but not so much as to not play Akroma’s Vengeance.

From the Ashes: I want to punish greedy mana bases. With nearly twice as many basics as nonbasics in the deck, this is a pretty safe call.

Kirtar’s Wrath: Sometimes the board needs to get wiped. To get a few creatures out of it as well is a bonus.

Martial Coup: To get lots of creatures out of it is a super-bonus.

Merciless Eviction: Since I have a fair amount of other board control, this will probably most often get used against artifacts or enchantments—unless someone else has Avacyn, Angel of Hope out, in which case I’ll consider my creatures a cost well paid.

The deck should hum along quite well with Kaalia around, but it won’t roll over without her. It should be reasonably fun to play and capable of hanging with most of the decks that I’m used to seeing.

Deck #2: Kaalia, Forger of the Sun

Oros originally had a Sunforger package in it, and I wanted to run it again. I cut one or two of the spells (and by the way, I’m aware that Batwing Brume doesn’t work well when Sunforged up) but maintained the heart of the list. Flexibility is the key to any Sunforger package, as is the ability to get things back into the deck, hence the Elixir of Immortality and Mistveil Plains. I still might try to find room for an Eldrazi for more shuffling back stuff.

Since it’s a straightforward Kaalia creature base, I won’t go into too much detail discussing it. I will however talk about some of the creatures that didn’t make it into the mix. I decided against Kokusho, the Evening Star because I’m playing it in so many other decks and this deck doesn’t have so many sacrifice outlets. KokoPuffs might be a nice addition to the Demons deck though. Withered Wretch was in the original deck but came out because it’s not on theme and I’m hoping that Angel of Finality can do the heavy lifting on graveyard hate. I left off Rune-Scarred Demon and Stoneforge Mystic to be a little less tutory. Sure, I’m tutoring with Sunforger, but I don’t want to go overboard.

Viashino Heretic is off theme despite being one of my favorite creatures in the format. Abhorrent Overlord is out because didn’t want to go with sacrifice-creature theme (although it’s another reason to toss Kokusho in that first build). Angelic Skirmisher got cut because it’s in my Trostani deck, but I kept Victory’s Herald. Restoration Angel isn’t there because there are so few enters-the-battlefield triggers in the deck. Crypt Ghast would be a little help for the mana but without a large number of Swamps can be left off (same with Cabal Coffers by the way). I don’t like playing Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth because I don’t want to turn on someone else’s Coffers.

There are two builds of Kaalia of the Vast for your consideration. Let me know in the comments which one you prefer. Whichever is the more popular choice is the one I’ll sleeve up. As a final FYI, I’ll be attaching without comment decklists of my existing decks to upcoming articles so that the current version of the list is in the SCG database. As always, your comments are welcome.

Embracing the Chaos,


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Kresh the Bloodbraided
Sheldon Menery
0th Place at Test deck on 01-08-2014
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