CheshirePlaysGames's picture
By: CheshirePlaysGames, Albert Caynes
Jun 25 2019 12:00pm

Ever since I took apart my Zur Tour De France deck, I have felt a strange longing to put it back together and play it more with an amped up power level. Sadly, there just wasn't anything in the last year that forced a strong upgrade enough to really dive back in. But then Astral Drift was spoiled (by jerks actually, not as an official spoiler) and I knew I had to try and rebuild Zur the Enchanter but with a higher level of power than before. Enter, TOKYO DRIFT!

Amping up the power level is good on a few levels, firstly it will make the deck a little more fun to play by having more lines to play and also it makes the deck more of a loose combo deck rather than a hard and slow cycling deck like it was before.


1x Angel of the God-Pharaoh
1x Archfiend of Ifnir
1x Curator of Mysteries
1x Hollow One
1x Horror of the Broken Lands
1x Lurching Rotbeast
1x Monk Idealist
1x Mulldrifter
1x Nimble Obstructionist
1x Oketra's Attendant
1x Psychosis Crawler
1x Shimmerscale Drake
1x Street Wraith
1x Striped Riverwinder
1x Sun Titan
1x Vile Manifestation
1x Vizier of Tumbling Sands
1x Ancient Excavation
1x Complicate
1x Counterspell
1x Countervailing Winds
1x Disallow
1x Djeru's Resolve
1x Expunge
1x Forsake the Worldly
1x Hieroglyphic Illumination
1x Imaginary Threats
1x Mortify
1x Pull from Tomorrow
1x Scarab Feast
1x Shadow of the Grave
1x Whir of Invention
1x Akroma's Vengeance
1x Approach of the Second Sun
1x Decree of Justice
1x Decree of Pain
1x Demonic Tutor
1x Floodwaters
1x Living Death
1x Razaketh's Rite
1x Supreme Verdict
1x Treasure Cruise
1x Unburden
1x Wander in Death
1x Windfall
1x Animate Dead
1x Cast Out
1x Curator's Ward
1x Drake Haven
1x Faith of the Devoted
1x Ghostly Prison
1x Imprisoned in the Moon
1x Lay Claim
1x New Perspectives
1x Propaganda
1x Psychic Corrosion
1x Rhystic Study
1x Sphinx's Tutelage
1x Abandoned Sarcophagus
1x Dimir Signet
1x Fluctuator
1x Orzhov Signet
1x Arcane Sanctum
1x Ash Barrens
1x Barren Moor
1x Blasted Landscape
1x Bojuka Bog
1x Buried Ruin
1x Caves of Koilos
1x Command Tower
1x Concealed Courtyard
1x Darkwater Catacombs
1x Desert of the Glorified
1x Desert of the Mindful
1x Desert of the True
1x Drifting Meadow
1x Drowned Catacomb
1x Evolving Wilds
1x Fetid Pools
1x Glacial Fortress
1x Irrigated Farmland
1x Lonely Sandbar
1x Nimbus Maze
1x Polluted Mire
1x Port Town
1x Reliquary Tower
1x Remote Isle
1x River of Tears
1x Secluded Steppe
1x Snow-Covered Island
3x Snow-Covered Plains
1x Snow-Covered Swamp
1x Terramorphic Expanse
1x Underground River
1x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1x Watery Grave
1x Astral Drift
Zur, The Enchanter


This deck is STILL about patience and "going off" at the right time. Math and percentage is key for success, but even I can't be bothered with that side of things. YOU WONT LIKE THIS DECK if you enjoy combat and smacking people in the face with big creatures. If you like combo killing out of NOWHERE, this deck is for YOU. 

Life's simple: You make choices and you don't look back.

Zur the Enchanter

To head up the deck, we have the commander in chief of Zur the Enchanter. A commander so utterly vile and renown for "lol soft lock the table" that I have to politely tell the table "this isn't a soft lock Zur deck" just to ensure I don't get killed in the first few combats. Sure, that gets a little frustrating and old, but Zur the Enchanter is in here for good reason. Being able to fetch one of three kill conditions in the deck.

When Zur the Enchanter attacks, it lets us dig into our deck and pull out an Enchantment of 3 CMC or less, and when it comes to Blue and White, they have some of the best Enchantments in history. With that in mind, what can we dig out to not only keep Zur alive, but also keep us alive and help us to further our game plan?

Curator's Ward helps not only protect Zur from targeted abilities, spells and removal, but also nets us two cards if Zur gets caught up in a Time Wipe or other mass board wipe. Also, Curator's Ward can be tossed on to ANY permanent we control, especially our Fluctuator or Psychic Corrosion.

For a soft lock (at least for a few turns) we have Ghostly Prison and Propaganda that makes attacking us VERY expensive at 2 generic mana per creature for thus 3 CMC, this means that if opponents want to attack you, they have to do so by not advancing their board state. Here's the kicker though, we aren't playing the Circle of Protection: X cards because we don't want to become a target of the entire table. This is why Zur is hated out of the format so fast, because some games you have ways of just locking out the entire table, this ISN'T that deck.

There's no "wax on wax off" with drifting.

I don't have a problem where I have to include Psychic Corrosion in every deck, I swear! But I have to include it in every deck where I draw a lot of cards. With New Perspectives out, we can cycle a good 43 Cycling cards included in the deck, we should have enough fuel to mill our opponents out or close enough. But that doesn't sound like solid math, right? 43 cycling cards at 2 cards per cycle is only 86 cards per opponent. Well than, that's why we also run a copy of Shadow of the Grave, because it allows us to not only get back everything we cycled that turn, but if we have our setup in place, we can mill 172 cards from our opponents as well. Add in Sphinx's Tutelage to also help us turbo mill and we can use it as a political weapon as it can only target one player per draw.

We also have good old Rhystic Study because we're playing blue and I never get tired of saying "are you paying the one?". Yeah, I'm evil in small ways. Studies is great because your opponents will either need to pay the tax, or let you draw into your deck further. Both are great for you and not for them.

As for Cycling, we have Drake Haven to make an army of geese to swan dive down and peck your opponent's faces off. Or I guess to use as chump blockers if you get desperate. We also can kill using Vile Manifestation in a pinch as well with some good old Lightning Greaves, as the Manifestation can get pretty big on the thumpy thump stat thanks to the cards we already cycled away.

Faith of the Devoted allows us to play the grind game when we need to and though we don't play any infinite mana combos, we really don't need to when we have New Perspectives and Fluctuator to cycle for free. Paying one to deal two damage to all opponents and net a gain of 2 life for us will keep us on the table longer than normal.

Astral Drift targets are few, but fairly powerful additions to the list. Astral Slide was an amazingly powerful deck in standard (type 2) back in the Onslaught era and while Drift isn't in Standard here, we can certainly take advantage of some great creatures to help us along. Sun Titan is repeatable so that we can get back cards like Fluctuator, Animate Dead or any of the other above named cards. Monk Idealist can help to recur discarded, cycled or destroyed Enchantments from our graveyard to our hand. Mulldrifter can keep drawing us cards each of our turns at the end step.

Don't forget that Astral Drift actually offers us protection, as we can cycle a card and also flicker out our opponents creatures. This is why I opted to not go heavy into ETB creatures. We're using it to keep ourselves alive so we can go off.

Fifty percent of something is better than a hundred percent of nothing.


Free cycling of cards via Fluctuator and New Perspectives. You see, Fluctuator reduces cycling costs by two generic mana meaning that the cycling cards in the deck become "discard this to draw a card". This means we can then take advantage of the many cards that allow us to do things when we draw or cycle cards. such as Psychic CorrosionSphinx's TutelageDrake HavenFaith of the DevotedAstral Drift, Archfiend of Ifnir and my good old buddy Psychosis Crawler.

Speaking of win more, I'm not sorry to my opponents who didn't suspect a thing until they lost to a same turn Approach of the Second Sun. Once games go on long enough where you can pool a cool 14 mana float and then cycling to your hearts content, you're on a winner. I have managed to hard cast this on turn seven and win on eight, it can be done.

This deck list is far from optimised at this stage and we still need to tinker with it and add fix that ugly mana base. But before we go breaking my heart, we have to find ways to get what we need, when we need it. So let's throw in some tutors, shall we?

Whir of Invention is one of the coolest tutors we have seen in a while and although it's been out for a while, I will always refer back to it as one of the most undervalued cards in EDH. It fetches out Fluctuator so that we can start cycling asap, if that's already out, we can fetch a mana rock like Sol Ring. Demonic Tutor is a mainstay of any EDH deck running black. Two mana to fetch any card? Sold! Razaketh's Rite is one mana more than Diabolic Tutor, but it has cycling, so there is no way we are going to skip out on it.

Things are getting out of hand, your opponent has a mass of stupid Zombie tokens but you have ZERO way to wipe them out in your hand. Suddenly, you see you have a massive amount of mana and an Abandoned Sarcophagus in your hand. You note that you cycled away your Decree of Pain earlier, what luck! Abandoned Sarcophagus is a life saver in so many different scenarios, allowing us to cast any non-land card with cycling from our graveyard. This means that if we do run into trouble, we can cycle cards to the graveyard and play them, netting a card drawn AND the spell to still cast from your graveyard.

You didn’t just play with fire, you soaked the matches in gasoline

This deck is cheap and a lot of fun to play for a budget option. Yes, it needs a tune up, but even right now I'm winning 4P commander pods. The deck is easy to understand and the choices in what to play are usually fairly easy.

The deck can be very slow to start and we should probably look to include some fetch lands to help thin the deck out. Trying to get Zur the Enchanter out on turn four isn't always an option, and though that doesn't exactly matter, some more aggressive decks will swarm and kill you pretty quickly. Zur the Enchanter is NOTORIOUS for disgusting decks, you will likely have to try and convince your play group that this isn't a gross lock down deck. No Stasis in here!

That's it from me today, I hope you liked this deck tech and please let me know what Commander you want me to look at for next month! I love brewing and I guess maybe Magic 2020?