Hello loyal readers! It's been a bit of a while since I last showcased any Magic: The Gathering Commander deck techs for you, but today I will be returning to this with a new deck that is a great example of inspiration on my part.
A lot of decks in Commander nowadays are built with optimization in mind. Maybe this is because of the proliferation of better and better cards, or the emergence of the Competitive Commander (or "cEDH") scene. I've been making decks for years at this stage of the game, and while I've always wanted to make thematic and/or fun, "janky" decks, lately I've been making decks that require a more competitive approach to win with.
Well, I say to heck with that for the time being! I'm hungry for a fun deck, and so is my commander for today's deck tech. Folks, meet Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger.
I've lovingly dubbed this deck "Raise Dead Tribal" because it runs all three functional printings of Raise Dead. I will discuss this at greater length in the Notable Inclusions section of this tech. At its heart, Raise Dead Tribal is a discard deck, a sacrifice deck, and a combo deck all at once. For a better look at how the discard works, see my deck tech for Oathbreaker that revolves around Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage, as it uses many of the same cards. This can be found here. Additionally, you can look into my Oathbreaker tech featuring a list by Paul Toal regarding Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded for more red discard tech information. This can be be found here.
Now then, on to the notables!
- Raise Dead, Disentomb, Return To Battle – These cards make up the bulk of what I've been calling "Raise Dead Tribal". They are fantastic at recurring Kroxa from the grave so that you can capitalize even further than normal on his enters-the-battlefield triggers, and beyond that fills the graveyard with these very spells so that Kroxa can make his eventual, yet inevitable escape. If you don't want to run Raise Dead and its ilk, you can always run Unearth, Claim//Fame, and other such cards and save yourself about two mana per cast to achieve the same overall effect.
- Living Death – Living Death is a wonderful card because it doubles as a board wipe and a massive reanimation spell. You can nuke someone's creature base while bringing back a bunch of your own creatures from a potentially-empty board. Because the deck only runs seventeen creatures besides Kroxa, it's important to note that in all likelihood, it won't make as large an impact on your board as it will your opponents' boards. However, a board wipe is always useful.
- Leyline of the Void – In order to deal with the new Escape mechanic shenanigans that will certainly pervade all formats in which it is legal (and to mess with rival reanimator decks!), we are running Leyline of the Void. This card will most definitely get removed by a Meren of Clan Nel Toth player but before that, it will make them seethe. Try it out!
- Worldgorger Dragon and Animate Dead effects – This deck is red and black, and being that it's a reanimator deck this means that Worldgorger Dragon is a huge win condition for the build. As such, we have included all three Animate Dead variants – the original, Necromancy, and Dance of the Dead. This level of redundancy will likely ensure a faster rate of win via Worldgorger Dragon than having only, say, one or two of the reanimation enchantments.
- For those unfamiliar with this win condition, you need Worldgorger Dragon in your graveyard along with another different creature in any graveyard. Animate the Worldgorger and tap mana in response to it removing everything. When the enchantment goes, it goes. Everything comes back, untapped unless otherwise noted. tap all of your mana and reanimate the Worldgorger again. We are back at step one with more mana than before. Repeat Ad Infinitum, and reanimate one other creature to end the loop, or else you draw the game. With infinite mana, cast Kroxa (or whatever else) from the Command Zone (and always return him there!) until your opponents are at zero life.
- Under normal circumstances (seven cards in each opponent's hand, 40 life per opponent, and two counterspells in each opponent's hand to try and disrupt the Kroxa post-combo), I did a bit of calculation and 1,984 mana would get you 31 casts of Kroxa, which ought to be enough for you to win with.
This deck is a bit of a doozy. I have only played with it in two games so far, and in those games, I drew the game once and lost the other to a finely-tuned Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath deck. I still had a blast with it, though, so I'm not upset at all.
The deck is finesse-y. I would recommend this to an especially experienced player but not to someone new at the game or to the style of deck. But to those I'd recommend it to, those people will have a great time playing with it.
What do you think of this deck? Are there any recommendations for cuts and inclusions to the build? Let us know!