Leviathan's picture
By: Leviathan, Mike Morales
May 07 2010 2:20am
Login to post comments

I.  Introduction

Sometimes you just want to destroy stuff.  Bust out the biggest spells, the most bad-ass creatures, and occasionally blow up the board.  Red and Black are colors that are generally good at this, using dragons and demons, but White brings a lot to the table in this department.  Aside from things like Wrath of God and Planar Cleansing, White brings angels to the table.  Despite typically being depicted as benevolent beings that watch over and protect us, in Magic they are usually large beat sticks that can bring the pain.

Akroma, Angel of Wrath
She will break you.

So, what do you say that we mash the concepts of destruction and big, powerful creatures together in a Commander deck?  Demons, dragons and angels working together!  There is only one legendary creature that fits the bill, but I'm sure he is up to the task.

II.  The Deck:  Hulk Smash (with no Green)!

First, let's take a look at our Commander:

Oros, the Avenger

Isn't he awesome?  One of the things I like the most about the Planar Chaos dragons is that they wear jewelry.  It just seems perfect for these large, vain creatures, something that seems to fit into their character so well but is almost never depicted.  I just wish we could see his bling a little better.  I also like the white birds flying by giving a sense of scale.  And he definitely looks like he's been working out.  I wonder what a dragon can curl?

Oros has a cool ability:  When he hits, you can have him do damage to non-White critters.  This is cool for keeping token hordes in check, as well as getting rid of utility creatures.  You can actually make a deck based around his damaging ability, by focusing on equipment that gives Oros deathtouch, lifelink, or removes creatures from the game.  This includes stuff like Basilisk Collar, Quietus Spike, Loxodon Warhammer, and one of my personal favorites, Sword of Kaldra.  This deck would include ways to search up equipment like Stoneforge Mystic and Stonehewer Giant, but would typically exclude you from playing non-White creatures.  Although this deck sounds like fun, it's not the route we are going to take.

Instead, we are going the dragon, angel and destruction route.  This means big splashy creatures, and mass destruction effects.  Let's take a look at the deck.

Oros, the Avenger
A Commander Deck
1 Adarkar Valkyrie
1 Akroma, Angel of Fury
1 Akroma, Angel of Wrath
1 Angel of Despair
1 Archon of Justice
1 Bogardan Hellkite
1 Capricious Efreet
1 Dread
1 Duplicant
1 Exalted Angel
1 Flameblast Dragon
1 Graveborn Muse
1 Havoc Demon
1 Kaervek the Merciless
1 Kagemaro, First to Suffer
1 Oros, the Avenger
1 Razia, Boros Archangel
1 Solemn Simulacrum
1 Weathered Wayfarer
1 World Queller
1 Yosei, the Morning Star
21 cards

Other Spells
1 Boros Signet
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Journeyer's Kite
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Mind's Eye
1 Oblivion Stone
1 Orzhov Signet
1 Rakdos Signet
1 Sunforger
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
1 Whispersilk Cloak
1 Debtors' Knell
1 Land Tax
1 Phyrexian Arena
1 Vicious Shadows
1 Condemn
1 Ghostway
1 Hide/Seek
1 Master Warcraft
1 Mortify
1 Necrologia
1 Return to Dust
1 Terminate
1 Unmake
1 Wild Ricochet
1 Wrecking Ball
1 Austere Command
1 Beacon of Unrest
1 Damnation
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Diabolic Tutor
1 Evangelize
1 Hallowed Burial
1 Insurrection
1 Living Death
1 Martial Coup
1 Planar Cleansing
1 Profane Command
1 Promise of Power
1 Void
42 cards

1 Blood Crypt
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Boros Garrison
1 Cabal Coffers
1 Godless Shrine
1 Miren, the Moaning Well
1 Mistveil Plains
4 Mountain
1 Orzhov Basilica
8 Plains
1 Rakdos Carnarium
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Rupture Spire
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Shizo, Death's Storehouse
1 Spinerock Knoll
1 Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
1 Thawing Glaciers
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Vivid Crag
1 Vivid Marsh
1 Vivid Meadow
1 Volrath's Stronghold
37 cards


Akroma, Angel of Fury


After inputting this deck, I was sad to see that there were not more demons on the list.  I guess Pestilence Demon could fit in there somewhere.  So let's go over some of the other card choices:

Weathered Wayfarer
Mana Help

Land TaxJourneyer's KiteWeathered WayfarerSolemn SimulacrumThawing Glaciers Land Tax, Journeyer's Kite Weathered Wayfarer, Solemn Simulacrum, Thawing Glaciers:  You don't want to miss land drops with this deck.  Many of the creatures and big spells obviously cost a lot in terms of mana.  You are going to be mana hungry throughout the game.  If you can use your Wayfarer, get Glaciers first.  Then later you can try for something like Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and Cabal Coffers.

Gilded Lotus

Boros SignetDarksteel IngotGilded LotusOrzhov SignetRakdos Signet Boros Signet, Darksteel Ingot, Gilded Lotus, Orzhov Signet, Rakdos Signet:  Helps you play your big spells quicker.  Pretty self-explanatory.  The one nuance is that if you get out your Darksteel Ingot with your Capricious Efreet, you don't risk losing any permanents, since Ingot is indestructible.

Angel of Despair

Adarkar ValkyrieAkroma, Angel of WrathAkroma, Angel of FuryAngel of DespairExalted AngelRazia, Boros Archangel Adarkar Valkyrie, Akroma, Angel of Wrath, Akroma, Angel of Fury, Angel of Despair, Exalted Angel, Razia, Boros Archangel:  Your angels.  There are a lot of them, actually.  Adarkar Valkyrie combos with a bunch of stuff if you have a sac outlet like Miren, the Moaning Well.  Use it with Angel of Despair to destroy permanents, with Yosei, the Morning Star to lock someone down (not fun, but sometimes you have to do it), and Bogardan Hellkite to hit people for 5 a turn.  This isn't the most fun in my purely subjective opinion, but if you like to use this more I would squeeze one more sacrifice outlet in there.  The Akromas are massive beatsticks with relevant protection abilities.  Razia holds a special place in my heart, not just for holding her flaming sword.  She is able to mess with combat math, which can catch some opponents off guard.  And she's pretty angry, which fits the deck fine.

Flameblast Dragon

Bogardan HellkiteFlameblast DragonYosei, the Morning Star Bogardan Hellkite, Flameblast Dragon, Yosei, the Morning Star:  Your dragons.  I like Hellkite for his flash ability, and Flameblast can pick off random creatures or just send more damage to an opponent.  Yosei can slow down a threatening opponent for a turn.  These guys team up nicely with your Commander.  Good times.

Kagemaro, First to Suffer

Kagemaro, First to SufferHavoc Demon Kagemaro, First to Suffer, Havoc Demon:  Your demons.  Good for their board clearing effects.  Nice to see them working hand in hand with dragons and angels.  As I mentioned, Pestilence Demon may have a place in this deck as well.

Kaervek the Merciless
Other Beaters

DreadKaervek the MercilessWorld QuellerArchon of Justice Dread, Kaervek the Merciless, World Queller, Archon of Justice:  Large creatures that fit into the destruction theme.  People really tend to freak out when Kaervek hits the table.  So if you can, drop Whispersilk Cloak or Lightning Greaves on him as soon as possible, and enjoy the carnage.

Planar Cleansing

Austere CommandDamnationHallowed BurialLiving DeathPlanar CleansingVoidMartial CoupOblivion Stone Austere Command, Damnation, Hallowed Burial, Living Death, Planar Cleansing, Void, Martial Coup, Oblivion Stone:  Destroying things is fun!  Living Death is sort of an experiment in this deck, as it makes people sacrifice their creatures, so you don't have to worry about regeneration and indestructibility.  The same goes for Hallowed Burial, which also gets rid of Commanders for a while.  Austere Command gives you choices, and Planar Cleansing just blows everything up.  Don't forget that Void does not hit enchantments.  I've cast it before, thinking it does.  It pays to read the card.


Sunforger Sunforger:  Although there are several pieces of equipment in this deck (I really love my Swords), Sunforger deserves special mention.  The ability to tutor up specific instants is invaluable.  Some people don't realize how powerful this equipment is until they see it in action.  Being able to destroy creatures, enchantments, artifacts, and lands when you want is awesome.  Tucking attacking generals can be useful.  You can save your creatures from mass destruction with Ghostway, and even effect how other people attack and block with Master Warcraft.  Overall a very useful piece of equipment.

Master Warcraft
Sunforger Targets

CondemnGhostwayHide/SeekMaster WarcraftMortifyReturn to DustUnmakeWild RicochetWrecking Ball Condemn, Ghostway, Hide/Seek, Master Warcraft, Mortify, Return to Dust, Unmake, Wild Ricochet, Wrecking Ball:  These are all your Sunforger targets.  Master Warcraft deserves special mention here, because I rarely see it played.  If there is a creature stand-off, you can send all of one opponents' creatures into the fray, and either kill some with blockers, or just let them through.  This also means that the same opponent will be left open for a counter attack by you or someone else.  Tons of fun.  Wild Ricochet is another fun card to search up.  If you are lucky enough to have Mistveil Plains out with two White permanents, you can keep searching up the same instant multiple times.  I tried to use a variety of answers here, but this section can always be updated or changed.

Phyrexian Arena
Card Draw

Graveborn MuseNecrologiaMind's EyeSword of Fire and IcePhyrexian ArenaPromise of Power Graveborn Muse, Necrologia, Mind's Eye, Sword of Fire and Ice, Phyrexian Arena, Promise of Power:  Card draw.  Having access to Black really helps you here, where card draw is notoriously difficult for red/white decks.  I have sort of a love/hate relationship with Necrologia at the moment, so I dunno if I'm going to keep it.  Most of these draw spell cause life loss, so Exalted Angel, Sword of Light and Shadow and Miren, the Moaning Well can help you recover there.  And Promise of Power can give you another demon!

Debtors' Knell

Sword of Light and ShadowDebtors' KnellBeacon of UnrestProfane Command Sword of Light and Shadow, Debtors' Knell, Beacon of Unrest, Profane Command:  Recursion.  With the amount of destruction that you run, as well as your opponents, you are going to want to get stuff back from your graveyard.  Obviously these cards help out there.  Knell and the Beacon have the benefit of hitting any graveyard, so when you blow up the world, you can get your opponent's best creature back the next turn.  Profane Command has a variety of uses, each of which can be helpful.  For a while I had Reya Dawnbringer in the deck as well, but she didn't quite make the cut.


EvangelizeInsurrection Evangelize, Insurrection:  Sure, I'd love to use your creatures.  Evangelize is a beating.  People don't typically expect Persuasion effects from a deck that isn't playing Blue.  If you can buy it back, it's even better.  I had Preacher in this deck for a little while, but it just never lasted that long.  Insurrection is sort of hit or miss, and I'm thinking about replacing it with something else.  But when it's good, it is very, very good. 

So this is another slow deck that can have mana problems.  You never want to keep a hand with less than 3 lands, unless one of the lands is Thawing Glaciers, and 4 lands is pretty ideal.  There will be games where you don't do anything for the first couple of turns, but that's typical of most decks in Commander.  Usually you will have a couple of cheap instants early on that will help you out before you start to bring out the big guns.  Luckily, as this deck has access to White, you have answers to enchantments and artifacts. You have plenty of sweepers, so if you can hold out for the first 5 or 6 turns while making your land drops, you should be pretty good to go.

III:  The Game:  Fight!

My opponents:

Scion of the Ur-DragonHorde of NotionsMomir Vig, Simic Visionary

Scion wins the roll.  Momir Vig typically indicates some sort of combo type deck.  The ability to tutor up creatures and draw them at the same time can be overwhelming for opponents, grabbing what you need whenever you need it.  Meanwhile we have two more 5 color decks to worry about as well.  However, until I see the 5 color guys drop threatening stuff, Momir is going to be my focus.  Unless he gets mana screwed.  Which, as you will see, he does.  My hand:  

Vicious ShadowsPlainsBoros GarrisonPlainsHide/SeekPlainsYosei, the Morning Star
Vicious Shadows, Plains, Boros Garrison, Plains, Hide/Seek, Plains, Yosei, the Morning Star

Even with no black mana, a land heavy hand is good with this deck.  Plus we have a little bit of early removal in Hide/Seek that can come in handy.  I keep.

As usual, S = Scion player, H = Horde player, and M = Momir player.

Round 1
S:  Jungle Shrine.
H:  Forest.
Me:  Draw Insurrection, play Plains.
M:  Forest.

Round 2
S:  Swamp, Oversold Cemetery.
H:  Island.
Me:  Draw Plains, play Plains.
M:  Plays Esper Panorama, and sacs it.  But experiences lag, so doesn’t actually get a land.  This basically puts him behind two turns.  Sad times.

Round 3
S:  Plains.
H:  Swamp.
Me:  Draw Thawing Glaciers, play it.
M:  Forest.

Round 4
S:  Swamp, Honden of Cleansing Fire.  To me, this signifies that he isn't the most threatening 5 color player.  I guess we will see.
H:  Mountain, Solemn Simulacrum, getting Plains.  He now has all 5 basic land types.
Me:  Draw Mountain, play it.
M:  Cast Nostalgic Dreams, discarding Acidic Slime to get back the Panorama and play it.  He's really hurting for land.

Cloudstone Curio
Combo piece.  Works with Elves, Momir, etc.

Round 5
S:  Gains two from Honden (42)
H:  Forest, then plays Godo, Bandit Warlord.  He searches up Sword of Light and Shadow.  Attacks S with Simulacrum (40).  I play the Hide part of Hide/Seek on the Sword because I’m going to have to discard soon due to using Glaciers, and it seems like a good enough target as it nullifies 2/3 of my colors.  I search up a Swamp with Galciers.  At this point, S becomes unresponsive.  Doesn't respond to pm's, just nothing.  We eject him after 6 minutes or so.
Me:  Draw Rupture Spire and play it.
M:  Cloudstone Curio.

Round 6
H:  Plays Island.  Attacks me with Simulacrum once, and Godo twice (32).  Plays Etched Oracle with Sunburst 4.
Me:  Draw Bogardan Hellkite, play Plains and Yosei, the Morning Star.
M:  Mind Stone, sacs Panorama for Island.  H pops the Oracle to draw 3.

Etched Oracle
Just don’t see people playing this guy anymore.  Still good.

Round 7  
H:  Loxodon Warhammer.  Equips Godo.  Attacks M with Godo, taking M to (34) and H to (46).  Then attacks me with Godo and Simulacrum.  I block Godo with Yosei.  I go to (29), killing Godo, while H goes to (52).  I tap down H with Yosei, the Morning Star's triggered ability.  Izzet Boilerworks.
Me:  Draw Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.  Play Glaciers.  I forget to cast Oros, which is dumb, since I had no other play and I could bash for 6 next turn.
M:  Coiling Oracle, revealing Sakura-Tribe Elder.  Plays STE, bouncing the Oracle with Curio.

Round 8 
H:  Skips untap phase.
Me:  Draw Duplicant.  Cast Oros, play Plains.  M sacs STE for Island.
M:  Plays Carven Caryatid.  I search up a Mountain with Glaciers.  M discards Kederekt Leviathan to drop his hand to 7 at end of turn.  At least he'll only be able to use the Leviathan once...

Round 9
H:  Equips Simulacrum with Warhammer and attacks M.  M blocks with Caryatid, killing both, and bringing H to (57).  Plays Mosswort Bridge.

Me:  Draw Graveborn Muse.  Play Thawing Glaciers.  Attack H with Oros.  He casts Invulnerability with buyback, taking no damage.  Play Graveborn Muse.

Interesting card.  Good against Uril, the Miststalker since it doesn't target.

M:  Coiling Oracle, revealing Forest.  Trygon Predator, bouncing Oracle with Curio.

Round 10
H:  Mulldrifter, drawing two.  Attaches Warhammer.  Weathered Wayfarer.
Me:  Draw Unmake from Graveborn Muse (28) and Sunforger.  Play Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.  Attack H with Muse (54) and M with Oros (28).
M:  Forest, then Duplicant targeting Oros.  

Great card, but not so good for dealing with Commanders.

Aside about Duplicant:  Duplicant is a great card, and one of those EDH staples that I put in pretty much every deck.  The ability to remove an annoying creature from the game is pretty good, especially against decks that like to recur things.  However, keep in mind that Duplicant puts your Commander in the exile zone, even though under the current system it is partially hidden under the Duplicant.  Since the Commander is exiled, all you have to do is click on it, and you can cast it again from the exile zone.  This will return the Commander to play, and reduce Duplicant to its base stats.  So it's just a temporary fix against Commanders, but great against everything else.

Round 11
H:  Uses Wayfarer to search up a Plains and play it.  Armillary Sphere.  I flash in Bogardan Hellkite at the end of his turn, taking out Wayfarer, Mulldrifter, and hitting M for 2 (26).  I use Glaciers to find a Mountain.

Me:  Draw Orzhov Basilica off of Muse (27) and Angel of Despair.  Play Glaciers.  Attack M with Hellkite, who blocks with Trygon Predator, and H with Muse (51).  Cast Angel of Despair targeting Cloudstone Curio.  
M:  Plays Lonely Sandbar.  Coiling Oracle, revealing Forest, and Seedborn Muse.  Attacks me with the 6/6 Duplicant (21).  I Unmake the Muse.  H cracks Armillary Sphere for Swamp and Plains.

Seedborn Muse
Unless it's yours, kill it as fast as you can.

Round 12
H:  Beacon of Unrest, targeting the Yosei, the Morning Star in my graveyard.  Equips Warhammer.  Plays Rupture Spire.
Me:  Draw Cabal Coffers off Muse (20) and Phyrexian Arena.  Coffers is going to help me a ton, giving me a lot of mana at this point.  I don't have a lot of ways to search this combo up, but when I draw these cards together they are gold.  Play Coffers.  Play Vicious Shadows.  Both of my opponents have at least 4 cards in hand, so this is good.  Cast Duplicant, targeting Yosei.  Cast Sunforger and equip Hellkite.  Attack H with Angel of Despair, Hellkite and Muse (34)
M:  Momir Vig, Simic Visionary.

Round 13
H: Casts Horde of Notions. Plays Forest, equips Horde with Warhammer.
Me: Draw Plains from Muse (19) and Swamp. Play Plains. Cast Oros, making M’s Duplicant a 2/4 again. Unattach Sunforger, getting Return to Dust, taking out M’s Duplicant and H’s Warhammer. I try to attach Sunforger to my Hellkite, but H plays Shattering Pulse with buyback, destroying it. I attack M with Graveborn Muse and Hellkite, and H with Angel of Despair. M blocks Muse with Coiling Oracle and drops to (21). H drops to (29). Oracle death triggers Vicious Shadows, and I hit H for 7 (22) when I mean to target M. I’m more worried about Momir pulling his player back into the game right now. I then play Phyrexian Arena.
M: Plays Island. Casts Plaxcaster Frogling. Momir triggers, and he searches up and draws Body Double. Then plays Body Double, targeting the Kederekt Leviathan in his graveyard. Everything returns to hand, but Leviathan gets a graft counter from the Frog before it leaves. Casts Mind Stone.
Round 14
H: Casts Horde of Notions, Hoofprints of the Stag. I search up a Mountain with Glaciers. Attacks me with Horde (14).
Me: Draw Mortify. Play Swamp. H uses Hordes ability to play Mulldrifter from his graveyard, drawing two and putting two counters on Hoofprints. I play Hellkite, and hit H for 5 (17). Again, this is a mistake, I meant to hit M, especially as he still has a Kederekt Leviathan in his graveyard. Play Oros, and Duplicant targeting the Body Double/Kederekt Leviathan, killing both. Play Graveborn Muse. Discard Orzhov Basilica at end of turn.
M: Plays Plaxcaster Frogling, then Meloku the Clouded Mirror, grafting a counter onto Meloku.
Round 15
H: Plays Miren, the Moaning Well and (Mind’s Eye).
Me: Draw Master Warcraft from Muse (13) and Austere Command. H draws two. Play Thawing Glaciers, Vicious Shadows, and Angel of Despair, targeting the Frogling. M protects the Frog, leaving one land untapped. I attack M with Oros and Hellkite. M makes an Illusion token, blocking Hellkite (16). Vicious Shadows triggers, and I hit M for 5 (11). I then Austere Command away the board, and Shadows has enough triggers to kill both other players.

IV.  Conclusion

So in Round 14 of this game I pm'd the Horde player to let him know that the Momir player was my focus, and that I was hitting him with Hellkite damage by accident.  I was hoping M would make a bunch of Illusions with Meloku, increasing his hand size, then block with them triggering Vicious Shadows and killing him.  The Horde player seemed fine with our new alliance.  However, the next turn I drew Austere Command, which allowed me to take them both out at the same time.  So I sounded a little disingenuous after that happened.

The Momir player being mana screwed definitely helped me out, as I didn't have to worry about him combo'ing out as much.  I also managed to have an answer to Seedborn Muse on hand when he played it.  The Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth/Cabal Coffers combo also helped me out a ton.  Insurrection sat in my hand the whole game, so I think it's going to get chopped for something.  Any suggestions for cool cards I missed that fit the theme are welcomed!

Finally, this was my first game where I didn't use the "Big Card" board format.  I changed formats so that we would see my screencaps a little bit better.  Unfortunately, the new format messed with me a little and I ended up screwing upu my targets when targeting the wrong players occasionally.  In the current format displayed here, if you want to target a player that doesn't have his avatar depicted in the upper left corner, you have to click on your target's playing field.  His avatar will pop up in the upper left, and you click on that to target him.  Just something to keep in mind.

Thank again for reading.  Until next time, when I use a deck with Sakashima the Impostor!

Leviathan, aka Tarasco on MTGO


A solid article about a solid by Paul Leicht at Fri, 05/07/2010 - 07:35
Paul Leicht's picture

A solid article about a solid deck. RWB has a lot going for it without being the full 5c gamut. I personally love Oros's ability though I hate that it only hits nonwhite creatures.

Thanks man. I think that the by Leviathan at Mon, 05/10/2010 - 14:32
Leviathan's picture

Thanks man. I think that the card draw provided by black really pushes the deck over the edge. The recursion by black helps as well.

Oros' ability is cool, and has come in handy several times. You can definitely build around the effect, but it would be interesting if it hit all creatures.

DirtyDeeds's picture

Im still missing 15 cards, but I have fillers in there right now, but the deck is very very strong. I would love to see an updated version of this deck and article soon.

I still need Urborg, Volraths Stonghold, Coffers, Miren, the Swords, Angel of Despair, Demonic Tutor, and some other fairly expensive cards, but the deck is still strong.

Glad you like the deck! For by Leviathan at Fri, 05/14/2010 - 19:53
Leviathan's picture

Glad you like the deck!

For some replacements, Diabolic Tutor can easily replace Demonic. If you're worried about casting cost, go for Grim Tutor instead. (oops, forgot Diabolic was already in there.)

The Swords are tough to replace, as they provide protection with useful abilities. But Light and Shadow was mainly used for it's recursion. You could probably replace that with Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni or Reya, Dawnbringer. Fire and Ice was mainly for draw, with the benefit of damage, so that may be replaced by Ambition's Cost or Sign in Blood or something similar. But if you want another piece of equipment, Jitte and Warhammer are usually pretty good as well.

The other cards are tougher to replace, but it sounds like you are doing well so far!

I'll be honest, I haven't picked up this deck since I finished the article. I already have the next 4 articles planned out, but if you have more questions, give me a holler here, or find me in game. Username: Tarasco.