Commander Top 10: Kaza, Roil Chaser

Bennie Smith continues building Commander decks around Zendikar Rising’s legendary creatures with Kaza, Roil Chaser.

Kaza, Roil Chaser, illustrated by Ekaterina Burmak

I just want to take a moment to high-five the R&D department of Wizards of the Coast (WotC) for the legendary creatures from Zendikar Rising.  All of them are really high on the cool factor and anywhere from medium to high as far as card power. Each of them has a distinct flavor and carry you down specific paths when building decks around them.

On Magic Arena, I’ve built Brawl decks around nearly all of them and while some are more powerful than others in a two-player game, each of them is fun and cohesive with just the Standard card pool.  Which means when you brew around them for multiplayer with the Commander card pool available, there are all sorts of fun things you can do.

If you haven’t read them already, be sure to check out my archives for the write-ups I’ve done for these legendary creatures so far:

Omnath, Locus of Creation Charix, the Raging Isle Ashaya, Soul of the Wild Orah, Skyclave Hierophant

And the hits keep coming—this week I’m diving in with Kaza, Roil Chaser!

Kaza, Roil Chaser

From the Zendikar Rising Release Notes, a couple things to keep in mind when building around and playing Kaza:

To determine the total cost of a spell, start with the mana cost or alternative cost you’re paying, add any cost increases, then apply any cost reductions (such as that of Kaza’s activated ability). The converted mana cost of the spell is determined only by its mana cost, no matter what the total cost to cast the spell was.

Kaza’s cost reduction can reduce only generic mana in a spell’s cost. It can’t reduce colored mana requirements.

I think Kaza’s design nails the sweet spot for Commander.  While it’s not a tribal “lord” per se, it does want you to play a bunch of Wizards in your deck so that Kaza’s activated ability gets better and better—cost reduction mechanics are powerful in Magic and Kaza is no exception!  Being able to cast big instants or sorceries ahead of time is going to lead to some big, splashy haymaker turns and that’s exactly the sort of game we sign up for when we play Commander.

But I do like that Kaza’s ability is held somewhat in check—it’s a tap ability, so you only get the discount for the next spell you cast; we’re not going into storm territory here. We’re just going to dabble a bit with Wizard tribal synergies and cast one big spell each turn if we can.  Sounds like fun to me!

Okay, let’s get brewing!

1. Baral, Chief of Compliance

Baral, Chief of Compliance

The first thing I wanted to dig up were cards that mentioned either instant and sorcery spells or noncreature spells, and one of the best that popped up was Baral, Chief of Compliance. Baral is a cheap Wizard that contributes to Kaza’s ability while also providing an extra discount on instant and sorcery spells. But that’s not all—you also get to draw a card and discard a card if you counter a spell.  Since we’re playing blue, odds are pretty good we’ll be countering a spell or two along the way.

Here are some other cards that play well with instant and sorcery spells:

Stormchaser Mage Goblin Electromancer Umara Mystic Archaeomancer Talrand, Sky Summoner Shipwreck Dowser

I particularly like Archaeomancer and Shipwreck Dowser since they can get back a spell you’ve burned off early to use again.

2. Docent of Perfection

Docent of Perfection

Since we’re also going to be playing a fair number of Wizards, I also went searching for cards that said “Wizard” in its text box, and one of the coolest ones I ran across was Docent of Perfection. 

While this is not a Wizard creature, it spits out Wizard token creatures each time you cast an instant or sorcery spell.  If you set off the triggered ability and have three or more Wizards on the battlefield, it transforms into Final Iteration, which pumps all your Wizards by +2/+1 and gives them all flying!  And it still churns out a Wizard token creature each time you cast an instant or sorcery.

I’ve included a handful of other cards that care about Wizards:

Path of Ancestry Riptide Laboratory Stonybrook Banneret Adeliz, the Cinder Wind Sage of Fables Diviner's Wand Galecaster Colossus

I really like being able to make good use of Diviner’s Wand in this deck. While we won’t necessarily be attacking with Kaza much, there are a fair number of cheap Wizards that fly and equipping them with the Wand can help turn up the aggressive side of the deck.

3. Electrodominance


The entire reason for playing Kaza is for those big spell moments that crack the game wide open, and one of the best of them is Electrodominance. With enough Wizards on the battlefield, you can cast Electrodominance for a large enough X where you could also cast a big sorcery spell that costs X or less at instant speed while dealing X damage.  If you’ve been looking for a deck where Electrodominance can really shine, here you go!

The big, fun splashy spells keep coming too:

Commit Rite of Replication Discontinuity Flood of Tears Mob Rule Sea Gate Restoration Volcanic Vision Insurrection Expansion

Kicking Rite of Replication in the late-game copying something huge is one of the best feelings in Commander, so just imagine getting to do that way ahead of schedule! 

4. Sigil Tracer

Sigil Tracer

What’s better than casting one big spell ahead of schedule with Kaza?  How about copying that big spell!  Sigil Tracer is perfect for this since it provides a Wizard on the battlefield to discount the spell with Kaza. 

I’ve included several other ways to copy those big spells, and I’m particularly glad that a couple of them are also Wizards:

Dualcaster Mage Naru Meha, Master Wizard Primal Amulet Pyromancer's Goggles

Naru Meha, Master Wizard is particularly awesome since she also functions as a Wizard “lord.”

6. Rayne, Academy Chancellor

Rayne, Academy Chancellor

When choosing Wizards to round out the decklist, I looked particularly hard for cheap Wizards I can deploy early enough in the game to help power up Kaza’s activated ability, and one of the best is Rayne, Academy Chancellor.  Once your opponents witness a big spell cast early with Kaza they’re going to be pointing removal spells at your commander and other Wizards, so Rayne’s trigger provides a nice source of card draw that might help you find a way to stop that removal spell.

Here are some of the other cheap Wizards I’ve made room for:

Cursecatcher Mistcaller Siren Stormtamer Soul-Scar Mage Lightning Stormkin Mystic Archaeologist Nin, the Pain Artist Izzet Staticaster

6. Azami, Lady of Scrolls

Azami, Lady of Scrolls

I also wanted to include some other ways to draw cards in the deck, and one of the best in a Wizard deck is Azami, Lady of Scrolls.  Azami’s ability can be used immediately, which is amazing!

I’ve included some other ways to keep the cards flowing freely:

Forgotten Cave Desert of the Fervent Desert of the Mindful Lonely Sandbar Skullclamp Blue Sun's Zenith

7. Paradoxical Outcome

Paradoxical Outcome

You’ll always want to have ways to interact with your opponents’ plans, especially if it involves foiling your own plans, and one thing in particular that’s going to hurt a tribal deck is a battlefield sweeper like Supreme Verdict.  I stumbled across Paradoxical Outcome as the perfect answer to something like that—it’s pretty easy to discount this to only costing one blue mana and at instant speed you can return all the cards that might be getting destroyed by the spell back to your hand, and draw you extra cards for your trouble.

Here are some other great ways to interact with your opponents:

Scavenger Grounds Dust Bowl Shadowspear Soul-Guide Lantern Deflecting Swat Venser, Shaper Savant

Venser, Shaper Savant is particularly nice here since it can interact with spells on the stack – even ones that can’t be countered – or bounce a problematic permanent, and he’s a Wizard too!

8. Mogg Infestation

Mogg Infestation

Izzet has some good removal options, but I’m kind of eager to try Mogg Infestation in this deck. Invariably you’ll have at least one opponent with creatures that you’d gladly trade away for two 1/1 Goblins apiece, and if you’ve got a way to copy it you can hit two of your opponents. I’ve even got Izzet Staticaster in the deck, which can easily mow down those little Goblins.

Vandalblast Shattering Pulse Reality Shift Fumble Burn Away Blasphemous Act

9. Sublime Epiphany

Sublime Epiphany

We are playing blue, so I’ll want to include some good old-fashioned countermagic, and one of the best for this deck is also one of the newest—Sublime Epiphany!  The ultimate modal blue spell, it usually costs a whopping six mana, but with Kaza on the battlefield it might be as cheap as UU. I’m particularly looking forward to choosing to copy Shipwreck Dowser as one of the modes so that I can bring Sublime Epiphany back from the graveyard for more backbreaking shenanigans!

Here are some other counterspells to keep ’em honest:

Swan Song Arcane Denial Fierce Guardianship

10. Mana Geyser

Mana Geyser

While we’ve already got some cards that discount Wizards or instant and sorcery spells—including our commander—I wanted to include some other forms of mana ramp too.  One card that jumped out to me is Mana Geyser, which is just an infusion of temporary mana but one that can potentially provide a ton of mana.  Add that to Kaza’s ability and you could potentially cast a really huge X-spell to draw a ton of cards or deal a bunch of damage.

Myriad Landscape Sol Ring Arcane Signet Talisman of Creativity

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

Kaza, Roil Chaser
Bennie Smith
Test deck on 10-10-2020

Here’s how the deck looks graphically, thanks to our friends at Archidekt:

What do you think?  Are there any cards I’ve overlooked?  If you see any new cards from Zendikar Rising that should find a home here, let me know! 

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!  I’d also love it if you followed my Twitch channel TheCompleteCommander, where I do a deckbuilding stream every Monday evening, and pepper in some other Commander-related streams when I can.  If you can join me live, the videos are available on demand for a few weeks on Twitch, but I also upload them to my YouTube channel.

And lastly, I just want to say: let us love each other and stay healthy and happy. 

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