Adam_the_Mentat's picture
Feb 19 2014 1:00pm
Login to post comments

“O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else? And shall I couple Hell?” ― William Shakespeare, Hamlet


It's Heaven and Hell theme week here on PureMTGO. I've got a Commander deck for you that combines many elements of Judeo-Christian concepts of the afterlife, including the 7 deadly sins/heavenly virtues and extensively referencing Dante's Divine Comedy. Kaalia of the Vast plays the part of Virgil/Beatrice!  

DISCLAIMER: This is a famous work. I have read it twice. I am not religious. I am not condoning or aligning myself with anything in the analysis or subject of Dante's Divine Comedy. I mean no disrespect to anyone and value everyone's opinions and choices. Please do not be offended if Jesus or God is mentioned in the discussion of this famous work as it is translated over to a commander deck.

Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious, cosmological or transcendent place from which heavenly beings (such as a God, angels, the jinn, and sky deities like King or Queen of Heaven, Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother, Son of Heaven, heavenly saints or venerated ancestors) originate, are enthroned or inhabit. It is commonly believed that heavenly beings can descend to earth or incarnate and that earthly beings can ascend to Heaven in the afterlife or, in exceptional cases, enter Heaven alive. That's right, jinn, or djinns, live there.

Heaven is often described as a "higher place", the holiest place, a Paradise, in contrast to Hell or the Underworld or the "low places", and universally or conditionally accessible by earthly beings according to various standards of divinity, goodness, piety, faith, or other virtues or right beliefs or simply the Will of God. Some believe in the possibility of a Heaven on Earth in a World to Come. Another belief is in an Axis mundi or World tree which connects the heavens, the world, and the underworld. In Indian religions, Heaven is considered as Svarga loka, and soul is again subjected to rebirth in different living forms according to its karma. This cycle can be broken after a soul achieves Moksha or Nirvana.

In many mythological, folklore and religious traditions, hell is a place of eternal torment in an afterlife, often after resurrection. It is viewed by most Abrahamic traditions as a place of punishment. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations. Typically these traditions locate hell in another dimension or under the Earth's external surface and often include entrances to Hell from the land of the living. Other afterlife destinations include Heaven, Purgatory, Paradise, and Limbo.

Other traditions, which do not conceive of the afterlife as a place of punishment or reward, merely describe hell as an abode of the dead, a neutral place located under the surface of Earth (for example, see sheol and Hades). Modern understandings of hells often depict them abstractly, as a state of loss rather than as fiery torture literally underground, but this view of the concept of a hell can, in fact, be traced back into the ancient and medieval periods as well. Hell is sometimes portrayed as populated with demons that torment those dwelling there. Many are ruled by a death god such as Nergal, Hades, Hel, Enma or the Devil.

7: Deadly Sins + Heavenly Virtues


Chastity & Lust:

Chastity, at its core, is purity and abstaining from temptation.

Lust does not only have to be sexual, but extreme lusting over anything (such as Lust for War). However, this chick who looks like Marvel Comics' Elektra, looks like she enjoying that weird wall of fleshy blood a lil' too much. Thanks for creeping us out, as always, Anson Maddocks.

Blood Lust
Decree of Justice

Temperance & Gluttony:

Temperance is very easily translated into Justice.

Gluttony is very easily translated into over-indulgence.

Talisman of Indulgence
Benevolent Bodyguard

Charity & Greed:

Charity is both benevolence and sacrifice, which makes Benevolent Bodyguard the absolute perfect choice.

Greed couldn't be more appropriate.

Concerted Effort

Diligence & Sloth:

Diligence is great Effort.

Sloth is Sluggishness.

Angel of Mercy

Patience & Wrath:

Patience is Mercy.

Wrath of God is a perfect representation of Wrath.

Debt of Loyalty

Kindness & Envy:

Kindness can be translated into Loyalty.

Envy: the hardest sin to find a Magic representation of. I wanted to choose Covetous Dragon, because being Covetous is very close to the sin of envy, which should not be translated directly to jealously. Upon much research, Envy can be conveyed as an extreme craving to have something or be someone, thus the card choice.

Ancient Craving

Humility & Pride:

While there is a Humility in Magic, it does not fit in this deck in order to be useful. Reverence is a form of Humility.

Divinity of Pride serves as our sin of Pride.

It's an awesome card because in Commander you start out at 40 life, but the Spirit Avatar is not as cheesified as Serra Ascendant.

Divinity of Pride

Dante's Divine Inspiration

The Divine Comedy is an epic poem written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321.It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem's imaginative and allegorical vision of the afterlife is a culmination of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church. It helped establish the Tuscan dialect, in which it is written, as the standardized Italian language. It is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise).

Virgil is Dante's guide through the three aspects of the afterlife. Virgil knows his way around angels, demons and so on. I know it's a stretch, but Kaalia of the Vast obviously knows her way around demons and angels.


Before entering Hell completely, Dante and his guide see the Uncommitted, souls of people who in life did nothing, neither for good nor evil: represented by Pacifism, I recommend 7th edition for aesthetic purposes.

These souls are neither in Hell nor out of it, but reside on the shores of the Acheron, their punishment to eternally pursue a banner (i.e. self-interest) while pursued by wasps and hornets that continually sting them as maggots and other such insects drink their blood and tears. This symbolizes the sting of their conscience and the repugnance of sin. Cards represented here:Banewasp Affliction, Sin Collector.

9 Circles of Hell:

  1. Limbo: In Limbo reside the unbaptized and the virtuous pagans. Without baptism, they lacked the hope for something greater than rational minds can conceive. Limbo includes green fields and a castle with seven gates to represent the seven virtues. Represented here by Vivid Meadow --- originally thought to represent this by Field of Souls and Castle, but these two cards aren't very practical considering all the other slots we've filled with under-used cards.
  2. Lust: For letting their appetites sway their reason, these souls are the first ones to be truly punished in Hell -- blown back and forth by the terrible winds of a violent storm, without rest. This symbolizes the power of lust to blow one about needlessly and aimlessly. Winds of Rath.
  3. Gluttony: The "great worm" Underworld Cerberus guards the gluttons.
  4. Greed: Two groups, those who hoarded and those who squandered, joust using as weapons great dead weights which they push with their chests.
  5. Anger: In the swamplike river Styx, the wrathful fight each other on the surface, and the sullen lie gurgling beneath the water, withdrawn "into a black sulkiness which can find no joy in God or man or the universe." Drown in Sorrow.
  6. Heresy: Umm, ya know heretics. Viashino Heretic.
  7. Violence: The seventh circle houses the violent. Its entry is guarded by the Minotaur, and it is divided into three rings:
    Outer ring: This ring houses the violent against people and property Smash to Smithereens. Sinners are immersed in Phlegethon, a river of boiling blood and fire.
    Middle ring: In this ring are suicides and profligates. The suicides – the violent against self – are transformed into gnarled thorny bushes and trees and then fed upon by Harpies. Abhorrent Overlord.
    Inner ring: Here are the violent against God (blasphemers) and the violent against nature (sodomites and, as explained in the sixth circle, usurers). All reside in a Desert of flaming sand with fiery flakes raining from the sky, a fate similar to Sodom and Gomorrah.
  8. Oh man. Ok. This circle has like 10 sub-circles. This one is all about fraudulent. They all have terrible things happen to them: Here are some of Dante's Fraudulent: Panderers, Seducers, Flatterers, Sorcerors, Astrologers, False Prophets, Corrupt Politicians, Hypocrites, Thieves, Fraudulent Advisors, Evil Counsellors, Sowers of Discord, Alchemists, Counterfeiters, Perjurers, and Imposters. Conspiracy.
  9. Circle 9 is all sorts of crazy train, with "rounds" named after tons of betrayers, like Brutus, Ptolemy, Judas, etc. I'll just sort of take a moment here to pop in some misc devils and demons, and Chains of Mephistopheles; Mephistopheles a demon featured in German folklore. He originally appeared in literature as the demon in the Faust legend, and he has since appeared in other works as a stock character version of the Devil. Also, Circle 9 is ringed with Giants: so what the heck: Inferno Titan.

The last two circles of Hell punish sins that involve conscious fraud or treachery. These circles can be reached only by descending a vast cliff, which Dante and Virgil do on the back of Geryon, a winged monster traditionally represented as having three heads or three conjoined bodies. However, Dante describes Geryon as having three mixed natures: human, bestial, and reptilian. Dante's Geryon is an image of fraud, having the face of an honest man on the body of a beautifully colored wyvern, with the furry paws of a lion and a poisonous sting in the pointy scorpion-like tail (Canto XVII).


The lower parts of Hell are contained within the walls of the city of Dis, which is itself surrounded by the Stygian marsh flats. The walls of Dis are guarded by fallen angels.


Ok, so we aren't going to go as in depth here because Purgatory, according to Dante, is made up of 7 terraces. Each terrace represents one of the seven deadly sins. Christians who were repentant, but had sinned, awaited final judgment and departing for heaven. We have most of this poem covered with the seven deadly sins portion up above.

File:Purgatory Plan.png

Looks like we need an excommunicate and a repentance.

Undiscovered Paradise:

Paradiso (Italian for "Paradise" or "Heaven") is the third and final part of Dante's Divine Comedy, following the Inferno and the Purgatorio. It is an allegory telling of Dante's journey through Heaven, guided by Beatrice, who symbolizes theology. In the poem, Paradise is depicted as a series of concentric spheres surrounding the Earth, consisting of the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Fixed Stars, the Primum Mobile and finally, the Empyrean. It was written in the early 14th century. Allegorically, the poem represents the soul's ascent to God.

There's a whole bunch of allegory vis-a-vis 14th century astrology malarkey.


  1. The Moon: Inconsistency -- Moonsilver Spear
  2. Mercury: The Ambitious -- Ambition's Cost
  3. Venus: The Lovers -- Guardians of Meletis
  4. The Sun: The Wise -- Heliod, God of the Sun
  5. Mars: The Warriors of the Faith -- Decree of Justice doubles to represent this sphere. The Kicker can provide faithful warriors in soldier form, or casting it outright brings faithful warrior angels.
  6. Jupiter: The Just Rulers -- Darien, King of Kjeldor
  7. Saturn: The Contemplatives -- Contemplation normally would be my choice, but it isn't useful here; Bear with me, I am stretching things here but to contemplate something is to reflect upon it. Now while this isn't probably the intended definition of it, I chose Reflecting Pool to represent this sphere.
  8. The Fixed Stars: Faith, Hope, and Love -- Yosei, the Morning Star
  9. The Primum Mobile: The Angels -- whole bunch of angels in this deck.
  10. God's digs -- Undiscovered Paradise
Heaven's Gate

Oh Man, I sure wish this was online because thematically it fits-- wait a minute---

This card is horrible. It's useless. Nevermind. Carry on...

The Rest:

Angels, Demons, Devils:
Angel of Mercy, Abhorrent Overlord, Angel of Despair, Tariel, Reckoner of Souls, Fallen Angel, Akroma, Angel of Wrath, Akroma, Angel of Fury, Baneslayer Angel, Bloodgift Demon, Seizan, Perverter of Truth, Rune-Scarred Demon, Ob Nixilis, the Fallen, Master of Cruelties, Adarkar Valkyrie, Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Hellrider, Torch Fiend.

The rest o' the Rest:
Damnation: This thematically fits, as those who are in Hell are damned; God's Damnation sends one to Hell.
Demonic Tutor, Enlightened Tutor: While not quite demonic, per se, Virgil is the guide and tutor of Dante through Hell and half of Purgatory, while Beatrice is the Enlightened Tutor/guide for Dante through the other half of Purgatory and all of Heaven.
Erebos, God of the Dead: Whilst Heliod serves as the representation of a Judeo-Christian manifestation of a humanoid God, Erebos could serve as Lucifer/Satan/"The Devil." He could also represent Hades and Hel, who, while not Judeo-Christian, are also the keepers of the underworld.
Adarkar Valkyrie: I particularly chose to include this angel because as a Valkyrie, it represents a norse mythos about Heaven/Valhalla.
Condemn: An amazing opposing commander hoser or any creature pestering you, it also thematically fits as one is condemned to Hell.

The Deck:

Boosh's Divine Comedy
Heaven & Hell Theme Week
1 Purity
1 Benevolent Bodyguard
1 Angel of Mercy
1 Divinity of Pride
1 Sin Collector
1 Underworld Cerberus
1 Anger
1 Viashino Heretic
1 Abhorrent Overlord
1 Tariel, Reckoner of Souls
1 Tahngarth, Talruum Hero
1 False Prophet
1 Angel of Despair
1 Inferno Titan
1 Conquering Manticore
1 Fallen Angel
1 Yosei, the Morning Star
1 Guardians of Meletis
1 Heliod, God of the Sun
1 Darien, King of Kjeldor
1 Erebos, God of the Dead
1 Hellrider
1 Torch Fiend
1 Akroma, Angel of Wrath
1 Akroma, Angel of Fury
1 Baneslayer Angel
1 Bloodgift Demon
1 Seizan, Perverter of Truth
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Ob Nixilis, the Fallen
1 Master of Cruelties
1 Adarkar Valkyrie
Avacyn, Angel of Hope 
33 cards

Other Spells
1 Blood Lust
1 Decree of Justice
1 Talisman of Indulgence
1 Greed
1 Concerted Effort
1 Sluggishness
1 Wrath of God
1 Debt of Loyalty
1 Ancient Craving
1 Reverence
1 Inferno
1 Purgatory
1 Afterlife
1 Pacifism
1 Banewasp Affliction
1 Winds of Rath
1 Dead Weight
1 Drown in Sorrow
1 Smash to Smithereens
1 Conspiracy
1 Chains of Mephistopheles
1 Excommunicate
1 Repentance
1 Moonsilver Spear
1 Ambition's Cost
1 Damnation
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Final Judgment
1 Condemn
30 cards
6 Plains
6 Mountain
5 Swamp
1 Undiscovered Paradise
1 Vivid Meadow
1 Desert
1 Marsh Flats
1 Reflecting Pool
1 Godless Shrine
1 Scrubland
1 Badlands
1 Blood Crypt
1 Plateau
1 Sacred Foundry
1 City of Brass
1 Command Tower
1 Hall of the Bandit Lord
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Grand Coliseum
1 Rogue's Passage
1 Haunted Fengraf
36 cards

Virgil / Beatrice (Commander)
1 Kaalia of the Vast
1 cards
Dante's Divine Comedy

Divine Comedy Break-Down

Commander Johnny-Boosh Break-Down

7 Deadly Sins:
Blood Lust, Talisman of Indulgence, Greed, Sluggishness, Wrath of God, Ancient Craving, Divinity of Pride

7 Heavenly Virtues:
Purity, Angel of Mercy, Benevolent Bodyguard, Decree of Justice, Concerted Effort, Debt of Loyalty, Reverence.

Verse Representations:
Afterlife: Inferno, Purgatory, Undiscovered Paradise

Circles of Hell representations:
Pacifism, Banewasp Affliction, Sin Collector, Vivid Meadow, Winds of Rath, Underworld Cerberus, Dead Weight, Anger, Viashino Heretic
Drown in Sorrow, Tahngarth, Talruum Hero, Smash to Smithereens, Abhorrent Overlord, Desert, False Prophet, Inferno Titan, ConspiracyChains of Mephistopheles, Marsh Flats, Fallen Angel, Conquering Manticore.

Tiers of Purgatory:
Blood Lust, Talisman of Indulgence, Greed, Sluggishness, Wrath of God, Ancient Craving, Divinity of Pride, Excommunicate, Repentance.

Spheres of Heaven:
Moonsilver Spear, Ambition's Cost, Heliod, God of the Sun, Decree of Justice, Guardians of Meletis, Darien, King of Kjeldor, Reflecting Pool, Yosei, the Morning Star, Tons of Angels, Undiscovered Paradise.

Angel of Despair, Angel of Mercy, Tariel, Reckoner of Souls, Akroma, Angel of Wrath, Akroma, Angel of Fury, Baneslayer Angel, Adarkar Valkyrie, Avacyn, Angel of Hope.

Demons, Devils, Etc:
Abhorrent Overlord, Fallen Angel, Bloodgift Demon, Seizan, Perverter of Truth, Rune-Scarred Demon, Ob Nixilis, the Fallen, Master of Cruelties, Hellrider, Torch Fiend, (Underworld Cerebus), Erebos, God of the Dead.

Heaven/Hell Themed Misc:
Damnation, Demonic Tutor, Enlightened Tutor, Condemn.

Kaalia of the Vast Cheatables:
Angel of Despair, Angel of Mercy, Abhorrent Overlord, Tariel, Reckoner of Souls, Fallen Angel, Akroma, Angel of Wrath, Akroma, Angel of Fury, Baneslayer Angel, Bloodgift Demon, Seizan, Perverter of Truth, Rune-Scarred Demon, Ob Nixilis, the Fallen, Master of Cruelties, Adarkar Valkyrie, Avacyn, Angel of HopeYosei, the Morning Star &

Kaalia doesn't have as many choices as you would normally see in her deck. Many players will note she is hosed quite often, because she is so effective. If that happens with the Divine Comedy deck, it will not break your hopes of winning.

Mass Removal:
Drown in Sorrow (potentially killing a lot of creatures if not all of them), Inferno, Wrath of God, Winds of Rath, Damnation, False Prophet, Final Judgment.

Angel of Despair, Sin Collector, Viashino Heretic, Tahngarth, Talruum Hero, Inferno Titan, Torch Fiend, Afterlife, Pacifism, Dead Weight, Smash to Smithereens, Excommunicate, Repentance, Condemn.

Card-Draw & Tutors:
Erebos, God of the Dead, Bloodgift Demon, Seizan, Perverter of Truth, Greed, Ancient Craving, Ambition's Cost, Demonic Tutor, Enlightened Tutor, Rune-Scarred Demon, Decree of Justice cycles for a card.

Heliod, God of the Sun, Abhorrent Overlord, Decree of Justice, Moonsilver Spear.

Tariel, Reckoner of Souls, Adarkar Valkyrie, Underworld Cerberus, Haunted Fengraf, Purgatory.

Purity, Angel of Mercy, Divinity of Pride, Baneslayer Angel

Yosei, the Morning Star, Sluggishness, Conquering Manticore, Reverence 


Combos & Synergy:

§  Chains of Mephistopheles + Excommunicate.

§  Concerted Effort + Benevolent Bodyguard.

§  Benevolent Bodyguard + Adarkar Valkyrie

§  Adarkar Valkyrie + Any Wrath effect, barring ones that exile.

§  Underworld Cerberus  + Any Wrath effect, barring ones that exile, or Repentance.

§  Kaalia of the Vast + Master of Cruelties: READ THISKaalia of the Vast and Master of Cruelties — yes, it works.

§  Fallen Angel + Conquering Manticore.

§  Fallen Angel + Conquering Manticore + Adarkar Valkyrie.

§  Fallen Angel + various token makers.

§  Fallen AngelUnderworld Cerberus 

§  Fallen Angel + Yosei, the Morning Star, or Fallen Angel + Yosei, the Morning Star + Adarkar Valkyrie.

§  Yosei, the Morning Star + Repentance.

§  Bojuka Bog, prior to Underworld Cerberus 

§  False ProphetDrown in Sorrow, or Dead Weight, or Fallen Angel, or Repentance.


§  There's more, I'm sure I'm missing some.


“The mind which is created quick to love, is responsive to everything that is pleasing, soon as by pleasure it is awakened into activity. Your apprehensive faculty draws an impression from a real object, and unfolds it within you, so that it makes the mind turn thereto. And if, being turned, it inclines towards it, that inclination is love; that is nature, which through pleasure is bound anew within you.”
― Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy This deck is an allegorical representation of a 14th century classical work. As you can see from actual breakdown in the right column, it has all the trappings of a successful deck, with one or two cards that are sort of crappy like Chains and Sluggishness. Enjoy explaining this deck to others. Happy Heaven and Hell Week. Thanks for Reading!

~ BOOSH   adam_the_mentat -
atomicboosh - MTGO client   


Beautiful. Surprised you by AJ_Impy at Wed, 02/19/2014 - 14:31
AJ_Impy's picture

Beautiful. Surprised you didn't go with Maga, Traitor to Mortals in the ninth circle, though.

I am so offended by Jesus or by greyes3 at Wed, 02/19/2014 - 20:33
greyes3's picture

I am so offended by Jesus or God being mentioned in this article.

La Comedìa by Kumagoro42 at Wed, 02/19/2014 - 21:45
Kumagoro42's picture

Too bad that, due to Kaalia's colors, you couldn't use Deadeye Navigator as Caronte.
I also don't agree on Erebos as Lucifer, since Erebos is just a caretaker (he should have been Minosse, the infernal judge, that you omitted, but is kind of important), and both him and Hades are actually kind of good guys in their mythologies, while Lucifer in both the Comedìa and the Christian belief is the Enemy, the father of sin, the opposite of holiness. There's not a single figure like that in Magic, but I would have gone with a big kahuna Demon, like maybe Griselbrand. I also miss Hell's Caretaker.
Theros contributes a lot to this theme anyway, due to the Greek-Roman undercurrent in Dante's work (you might have mentioned that Virgil is the Roman poet of the Aeneid, but maybe everybody knows that). You could have even put Harpies in there, and Centaurs, and whatnot.

It's weird to me to see Dante discussed in English, but nice, too. In Italy we don't just study the entire Comedìa in literary classes. In high school we have a class that's outright called "Dante" (usually held by your literature teacher, but getting a separate schedule). That's right, it's a topic of its own. For 5 years we make our way through Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso week by week. We even have to memorize selected parts of the poem. And it's still one of the best learning experiences you get to do in high school, then in human studies. It's part poetry, part theological debate, part conspiracy theory (there still are so many mysteries in those pages! And mysticism and numerology), part cultural identity. And the technical feat is just majestic: almost 5,000 "terzine dantesche", enchained tercets in hendecasyllabic verses with structure ABA, BCB, CDC, and so on, for more than 14,000 times. It's seriously super-human. Also the reason it can't really translate in other languages, it loses rhythm, cadence.

From memory (so probably not entirely accurate, it's been 25 years!), one of my favorite passages, the famous warning on the door of the Gate of Hell (Door to Nothingness?), where it's the gate itself that talks:

Per me si va ne la città dolente,
per me si va ne l'etterno dolore,
per me si va tra la perduta gente.

Giustizia mosse il mio alto fattore,
fecemi la divina potestate,
la somma sapienza e il primo amore.

Dinanzi a me non fuor cose create
se non etterne, e io etterna duro:
Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate.

Still chilling after all these years.

Minosse and other concerns by Adam_the_Mentat at Wed, 02/19/2014 - 23:36
Adam_the_Mentat's picture

Kumagoro: There's like, so much to mention about Dante's work here that I felt I had to omit some stuff. Minosse if I am not mistaken, is actually Minos of greek legend, mythos and antiquity. He is in Hell as are many prominent figures from classical history and from greek and roman legend. In fact Dante meets numerous real-life personas who are trapped in the three afterlives, and he also meets fictional chracters! If you notice I really didn't mention any of them by name, except in the last circle of hell where I name off some of the betrayers. My goal was to make a functioning deck that also heavily referenced and was inspired by this famous work. I felt trying to find card representations of everyone he encounters, from Semiramis, Dido, Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Achilles, Paris, Tristan to the Furies (consisting of Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone) and Medusa to Betran de Born to Henry II to Pope Boniface VIII and Pope Clement V----- I mean he just meets so many people. I chose to omit them all, Minos included, thought I understand as a scholar of the work for 5 years you may take offense to some of the stuff I glazed over.
I am sure the english translation is no where near as in depth as the Italian version.
It's sort of like Camus' The Stranger. It's epic in English but even more Epic in french. translating always makes a work lose a certain amount of flow.
AJ: I totally should have included Maga
Greyes3: I'm a news reporter by trade and people do get offended off the darnedest things. I mean I'm not trying to get socio-political here but I'm an atheist. I know plenty of atheists who take offense to the mere mention of Jesus or God, though I am not counted among them.

Also Abhorrent Overlord totally drops harpies onto the field :) As for the centuars-- not enough green in the deck! I totally wanted to include door to nothingness but color restrictions say no dice.
I also know the heaven/hell theme week was meant to be geared toward angels and demons, but Hell as a concept is often literally translated just to "underworld" which is why I made reference to Erebos also being a representation potentially of Hades and so forth. The main crux of this article is a Dante allegory, but it contains elements of other heaven/hell references as well. As for Erebos potentially not being Lucifer: while Dante's 3-faced devil by no means points to Erebos-- Erebos requires life and mana for card advantage, a very translatable version of a deal with the devil. Lucifer was at one point an angel, not all depictions of him are all Malbolgea from Spawn comics -- just look at Preacher comics and so on.. He's got a whip for flaying underworld subordinates, he's got horns.. he's in the most evil magic color. just my justifications... Thanks for thoroughly digesting the article and providing feedback!!

Minos and Lucifer by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 02/20/2014 - 05:39
Kumagoro42's picture

It's just that Minos isn't merely a Hell resident Dante meets (yeah, la Comedìa is a political pamphlet first and foremost, Dante put there a lot of political figures of contemporary Italy and Europe to criticize them – he was in exile at the time. If it was done today, you would see Berlusconi, Renzi, Grillo, Merkel and Obama there). Minos is an engine of damnation, the one that establishes where every soul goes. It's part of the scenery.

As for Lucifer, Dante's Lucifer isn't a revisionist figure, he's a draconian concept, the embodiment of all evil and corruption. Erebos doesn't deserve that! (I always glad when MTG successfully conveys that white doesn't necessarily equal good and black doesn't necessarily equal evil. They're philosophical approaches to the world. For instance, Bin Laden is white, while Picasso is black.) (Of course, evilness thrives more in black because black enables it).

But it's all good, I get the need for a functional deck. I'd like to organize a Commander table with all thematic decks!

That Commander table would be by AJ_Impy at Thu, 02/20/2014 - 06:57
AJ_Impy's picture

That Commander table would be amazing. Maybe la Comedia versus Milton's Paradise Lost versus John of Patmos' Revelations?

Vs. Melville's moby dick? :P by Adam_the_Mentat at Thu, 02/20/2014 - 08:48
Adam_the_Mentat's picture

Vs. Melville's moby dick? :P

If you settle for something by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 02/20/2014 - 19:22
Kumagoro42's picture

If you settle for something lower, I think you can do an excellent theme deck for A Song of Ice and Fire (probably The Lords of the Rings too, but that's just too obvious).

An awesome idea with an even by laughinman at Thu, 02/20/2014 - 04:24
laughinman's picture

An awesome idea with an even awesomer execution.

And black is by no means the most evil colour.

And now i wonder, since for me, a decklist is only a static list of cards, how does it play?

Evil by Adam_the_Mentat at Thu, 02/20/2014 - 08:45
Adam_the_Mentat's picture

Black is associated with demons, murder, torture and heinousness. You my find red's burn or blue's counters the most evil but the word EVIL, only appears on black cards, a white card called "spare from evil," black's enemy in the color pie, and a black and blue card.

Black thematically is the most evil. :)

Black is EQUIPPED for by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 02/20/2014 - 19:31
Kumagoro42's picture

Black is EQUIPPED for evilness. It's not inherently evil, though. It's the great thing about the color wheel, nothing has an inherent moral connotation. All those who devour other people's hearts are selfish and unruly, but not all those who are selfish and unruly devour other people's hearts. Whereas you can respect order and law even when the law says you're the supreme race and the others are infidels and must die (we have cards that testify that in MTG racism is white). (Okay, no pun intended!)

Isn't Fallen Empires where by Paul Leicht at Thu, 02/20/2014 - 20:05
Paul Leicht's picture

Isn't Fallen Empires where White shows it propensity for evil in the guise of order?

Its been ages for me since I by Paul Leicht at Thu, 02/20/2014 - 07:48
Paul Leicht's picture

Its been ages for me since I read the Great Books version of Dante's Comedies. The erudition here is superb. Well done. I did have one quibble in that Id expect Ragemonger or the like to be a better fit flavorwise than Wrath of God which while the epitomy of the idea of Wrath doesn't really fit the Sin of Wrath, since theologically God is infallible and his wrath can't be wrong. At least in the Christian sense.