The Kitchen Table #318 – My EDH Deck

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Wednesday, December 30th – I love EDH as much as the next casual guy. It’s a great casual format. I usually don’t write about it much because so many other writers do, so I generally stay out. But occasionally, I want to talk about it…

Hello folks, and welcome back to the series that sticks its casual thumb in the competitive dyke in order to stave off the flood. Today, I want to talk about a deck I built recently for EDH.

Now, I love EDH as much as the next casual guy. It’s a great casual format. I usually don’t write about it much because so many other writers do, so I generally stay out. There are lots of great casual formats out there, so I will often write about Five Color or Peasant or other formats instead. There is a lot of need in the small number of casual articles being written for people to write about other things.

But occasionally, I want to talk about it. I haven’t played real life EDH for a little over a year until a few weeks ago, although I’ve played Commander online. However, as a birthday celebration a few weeks ago, I headed back to my old stomping grounds in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor to play a little EDH, attend a Legacy tournament (where I played Pox), and then went to a friend’s house for some gaming.

Since I was heading out for a new EDH time, I decided to build a quick EDH deck from the cards sticking around. I knew we were going to rock some multiplayer, so I built my deck with multiplayer in mind. Later I was asked for a few duels between rounds of the tournament, and I lost very quickly.

Anyway, I thought that it would be a fun little article if I gave you my EDH deck. It’s not tuned or anything, and I am missing some cards I would normally like to play, like Damnation and Kor Haven. However, here is the deck in all of its Orosian glory.

Oros, the Avenger EDH

Oros, the Avenger — General

Wrath of God
Akroma, Angel of Wrath
Akroma’s Vengeance
Commander Eesha
Pristine Angel
Eternal Dragon
Kor Cartographer
Decree of Justice
Martial Coup
Vengeful Dreams
Wing Shards
Orim’s Thunder
Lieutenant Kirtar
Exalted Angel
Dawn Charm
Yosei, the Morning Star
World Queller
Terashi’s Grasp
Bogardan Hellkite
Avatar of Fury
Urza’s Rage
Punishing Fire
Grab the Reins
Wheel of Fortune
Desolation Giant
Akroma, Angel of Fury
Burning Wish
Flametongue Kavu
Living Death
Avatar of Woe
Diabolic Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Mind’s Eye
Goblin Charbelcher
Solemn Simulacrum
Sol Ring
Sensei’s Divining Top
Veldaken Orrery
Captain’s Maneuver
Death Grasp
Angel of Despair
Fight to the Death
Deepfire Elemental
Kaervek the Merciless
Thawing Glaciers
Orzhov Basilica
Boros Garrison
Rakdos Carnarium
Ancient Amphitheater
Tresserhorn Sinks
Urborg Volcano
Akoum Refuge
Volrath’s Stronghold
Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
Dust Bowl
Crypt of Agadeem
Mistveil Plains
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Blood Crypt
Godless Shrine
Sacred Foundry
Marsh Flats
Arid Mesa
6 Mountain
6 Swamp
7 Plains

40 lands, 60 non-lands.

One of the things I wanted to do with this deck was to generally stay away from the 1:1 cards like Swords to Plowshares or Terminate. I still have a few of them, like Terashi’s Grasp, Urza’s Rage, Unmake, Mortify, and Vindicate, but I’d prefer not to run them. I also have a trio of cards that are technically card disadvantage in Firestorm, Oblation, and Vengeful Dreams.

I would have preferred to have found better ones for many of them, but my card stock isn’t that great these days after culling it pre-London. I would much rather be playing Return to Dust over Terashi’s Grasp, but that card is not to be found in my collection outside of Abedraft and Abe’s Deck of Happiness and Joy. Cards like Kor Haven, Stigma Lasher and Damnation are similarly missing (Damnation was in my sideboard for the Legacy tournament).

The playgroup really didn’t have rules for wishes, so I used Burning Wish to get Ambition’s Cost once because I wanted some cards. I didn’t have to show a copy or anything. Several players had or mentioned land destruction cards like Obliterate and someone played Desolation one game and Detritivore the next. If I had known that, I would have played Desolation Angel, which is a multiplayer friendly form of ‘Geddon. Unlike other ‘Geddons which sloooow the game down, it speeds it up.

I rocked Oros because this is my favorite tri-color combination for multiplayer, and this is the only way to get those three colors in a General unless you played a five color General and ignored two colors. My General was just a creature, whereas most of my opponents built around their General.

Without knowing the metagame, I erred on the side of creature removal, and was not disappointed. You’ll note that my deck has little enchantment and artifact hate, but zounds of creature hate. Even Orim’s Thunder is a creature kill spell too, and stuff like World Queller and Angel of Despair and Oblation and Vindicate and Deepfire Elemental and Mortify can go after creatures if needed. I felt if artifacts or enchantments got out of hand, I could just tutor for Akroma’s Vengeance, or Burning Wish for something like Shatterstorm or Purify. I also could get Morningtide if people were being too ornery with the graveyards.

I like having a surprise or two up my sleeve. Dawn Charm and Captain’s Maneuver are great ones to have. Dawn Charm’s use as a surprise counter, surprise Fog, or surprise Regenerate is really great. You don’t expect any of those from me normally. I also love Captain’s Maneuver, which often comes out of nowhere. Another choice would have been Reflect Damage. It’s easier on the mana and its money against someone who uses Pyroclasm, Slice and Dice or Earthquake. However, Captain’s Maneuver can kill a creature, and dealing damage back to the controller is not as good in a format where everybody starts with 40 life. That makes Captain’s Maneuver card advantage (I send your Searing Wind into your Shivan Dragon. You spent two cards, I spent one), which is what you want in multiplayer.

There are a few classic “Go Away” cards, but not many. I chose to kill creatures instead of playing things like No Mercy. However, I did rock Windborn Muse and Dread because they are creatures too, so I didn’t have to waste a slot on an enchantment.

Mass removal is my friend, with Starstorm, Wing Shards, Vengeful Dreams, Firestorm, Wrath of God, Akroma’s Vengeance, Rout, Living Death, Martial Coup, Desolation Giant, Fight to the Death and Void all being able to take out multiple creatures. That does not include things like Captain’s Maneuver, Flametongue Kavu and the other enters-the-battlefield creatures, Punishing Fire, Deepfire Elemental, Kaervek the Merciless, or Grab the Reins which can take out one or more creatures as well as have another effect.

In this deck, I love Punishing Fire. Drop it early on any smaller creature in order to keep it off you, then bring it back again and again for more Shocks. It is great fuel for a Vengeful Dreams or Firestorm, and gives you opportunities for card advantage. A lot of my removal spells cost more mana, take out more things, and perhaps cost too many specific mana to be played early (like Unmake for specific mana or Void for price). Thus, having a few cheap removal spells in the early deck to play cheaply and easily can really add to your defense. However I don’t want those Swords and stuff normally because of the lack of card advantage, so instead Punishing Fire is a great alternate.

I had set out to play a Big Creature deck, but I ended up not doing so, therefore there was not enough fuel for Crypt of Agadeem. I’d pull the Crypt of Agadeem for the Kor Haven when I find an extra.

Looking back on the deck, I think overall its fine, but it could have used a bit more card drawing. Perhaps Memory Jar if it’s not banned, or Ambition’s Cost or Necrologia or something. Oh, Graveborn Muse perhaps. There should be something here.

Many of the creatures here are on my Greatest Hits List of creatures for multiplayer, like Exalted Angel, Akroma x2, Commander Eesha, Avatar of Fury, Avatar of Woe, Kaervek, Pristine Angel, Lieutenant Kirtar, Eternal Dragon, Glory, Guiltfeeder, Mortivore, etc. They need no introduction. In fact, the only cards that are not on that list are smaller creatures with CIP abilities that the deck needs, like mana fetching, creature kill, and Deepfire Elemental is not on my list either.

Remember that Oblation is a cute trick to end General shenanigans. Instead of killing or exiling it, which can allow it to be replayed from the Command Zone, or bouncing it which allows replay from the hand, you can send it away for good. It gets shuffled away, and they draw two cards. It can be used on other stuff too, but it shines as General removal.

When I played this, a few cool plays:

I dealt a ton of damage from Red Akroma, pumped, and given Double Strike from Sunhome.

I hit 16 cards before a land with my Goblin Charbelcher, but flipped a Red duel, and actually dealt 32 to a guy who had 27 life.

I cast Void for 8, and hit two cards in play, and then hit four cards in someone’s hand of five cards.

I was a playing against a guy with 4 life and had no way to win, until he killed my Bogardan Hellkite. In my hand was a Living Death. I had just a few creatures in my yard, including the Desolation Giant. I played the Living Death, dealing him 5 from the Hellkite. He was unable to draw some life gain, and died, but if he had survived I would have handed him the game. In retrospect, Living Death and Deso. Giant in the same deck is not a combo, and I’d pull the Death for another card.

I had intended on being Dropper of Big Beats but instead I missed and ended up as Removal McGee. I don’t know how that happened. I just kept prioritizing other cards over creatures. Here are the cards I considered but did not play:

Shard Phoenix
Visara the Dreadful
Expunge, Swords, Path, Terminate, Agonizing Demise, Wrecking ball, Bituminous Blast, Sudden Death
Shivan Dragon
Fireball, Rolling Thunder
Tainted Pact
Bone Shredder
Order/Chaos, Chastise, Exile
Ancient Hydra
Flaming Gambit
Fiery Fall, Igneous Pouncer, etc
Aven Mindcensor
Gift of Estates, Tithe, Land Tax
Necromancer’s Covenant
Night Dealings
Oblivion Stone, Final Judgment, Wave of Reckoning, Planar Cleansing
Magus of the Disk, Nevinyrral’s Wunderscheibe (A German Disk)
Reiterate, Mirari
Blazing Archon
Phyrexian Plaguelord
Tsabo’s Decree
Avenger en-Dal, Soul Sculptor
Academy Rector
Fledgling Dragon
Powder Keg
Hammer of Bogardan, Rekindled Flame
Sedge Troll
Plague Sliver
False Cure
Vampiric Tutor
Plague Wind

That shows you a few of the cards I was also looking at. I had Visara, Magus of the Disk, Plague Wind, Anger, and Shard Phoenix as the next five cards in my stack that I almost played.

Anyway, I thought you would enjoy a looksee at my EDH deck for multiplayer fearing Oros. I hope you did. See you next week!

Until later…

Abe Sargent