UPDATED: October 2013
Ah, Kaalia of the Vast. Since her arrival to the Magic EDH scene in the summer of 2011, it seems that no other EDH General has been so black & white – you either have a Kaalia EDH Deck or you despise her Human existance.
This article is part 1 of my 3 part Kaalia series. Although this article has already been published (as evidenced by your arrival here to MTGCasualPlay.com), be sure to check back in the near future as I transform this decklist into a full blown primer/strategy guide for Kaalia of the Vast.
Watch for my two future articles:
Part 2 of 3: Different Kaalia deckbuilding strategies and archeotypes
Part 3 of 3: Top 12 Kaalia Angels/Dragons/Demons
Part 1 of 3 (Again): After finishing all three articles, I fully plan to circle back around to upgrade this article into Primer status – Wally D. style.
But for now, let’s introduce you to my Kaalia of the Vast EDH Build: Sunforger Kaalia – Neapolitan Treats. I have designed this deck to withstand the vigors of multi-player and 1v1 Commander games without having to swap a bunch of cards in or out. My version of Kaalia revolves around a protection strategy and a bag of tricks to give Kaalia the element of surprise, protect our board state, and tilt the game in our favor. Most of our tricks are Boros Instants that can be cast from our hand or from our library by disconnecting Sunforger from one of our equpped creatures (hence the Kaalia archaeotype Sunforger).
Winning with Kaalia is simple in theory, but strategically challenging with each and every game. The “challenging” aspect comes from Kaalia’s reputation. Simply by placing Kaalia of the Vast on your playmat you have painted a huge target on your forehead. This EDH Deck has a simple win condition – take to the skies and apply the beatdown. In order to accomplish our victories we need to apply 4 phases: SETUP, CAST, PROTECT, FINISH. Your tools include a wide array of “Neapolitan Treats” (Black, White and/or Red Instants/Sorceries) at Kaalia’s disposal.
SETUP: Easy enough. We will need to get our mana base established and safety nets in place before casting Kaalia. By building a solid mana base and setting up protection shenanigans, like Lightning Greaves or Angelic Renewal, we can move onto the next phase.
CAST: Let’s get Kaalia onto the battlefield. Should spot removal become an issue, hopefully our setup phase will pay dividends and we get to keep our General on the battlefield until our next turn. Our before mentioned Greaves, Charm, or a simple mana available with Cloudshift in hand can make all the difference between offense next turn or full-fledge durdling.
PROTECT: Kaalia’s on the board. Keep her there. Our support spells are designed to keep our General and our Angels, Dragons and Demons on the field. Flicker like effects can be cast from our hand or searched out via Sunforger’s ability. Float like a butterfly, Sting like a Bee.
Our 1v1 Win Condition is primarily the same as above. Ramp to Kaalia, protect her, and then drop bombs into play. Once we have Kaalia on the board, we need to keep her protected to ensure that we are swinging and dropping an Angel/Dragon/Demon into play. The best way to do this is an early game Armageddon or Cataclysm. Kaalia is designed for explosive starts and by destroying an opponents resources, we like early, quick wins by swinging with unthreatened heavy hitters.
Yes, it is a bit silly to think that our single win condition for Kaalia of the Vast Neapolitan Treats is going to work everytime. As mentioned before, simply by playing Kaalia you will be drawing an extreme amount of hate. Therefore, when your plan gets disrupted, no need to fret. Tutor for some mass removal, put down a fatty for a blocker, or find other ways to sit back and assume the “non-threatening” role. Rebuild your resources & strategy then, try again!
Sunforger Kaalia – Neapolitan Treats
GENERAL: Kaalia of the Vast
Possible Swaps in a 1v1 Matchup
OUT: Angel of Serenity, IN: Sire of Insanity
OUT: Bathe in Light, IN: Legion’s Initiative
OUT: Aurelia’s Fury, IN: Magus of the Moat
OUT: Terminus, IN: Akroma’s Vengeance
OUT: Reanimate, IN: Grim Return
OUT: Jeweled Amulet, IN: Expedition Map
OUT: Day of Judgment[/card, IN: [card]Divine Reckoning
QUESTION & ANSWER
Kaalia’s Ability with Aurelia’s 2nd Atttack
QUESTION: Just checking that you know that Aurelia cheated in with Kaalia won’t give you the extra combat step. That said, I fall on the “she’s still good” side of the fence since she can be hardcast for a pretty big Kaalia turn.
ANSWER: Yes on knowing about Aurelia’s cheat and attack phase. And, like you, I believe she can still be on the “good side of the fence”. A double smack with Aurelia, Kaalia, and Gisela, Blade of Goldnight or Lord of the Void could equal really good times.
More Q & A
QUESTION: Assuming you considered Kokusho, the Evening Star, but she’s awfully fun.
ANSWER: Yes, I have considered Kokusho. But without a decent number of sac outlets and recursion engine, I feel there are better A/D/D (Angels, Dragons, Demons) for this slot.
ANSWER: Thank you for the comments! I am definitely a fan of Rakdos Charm but am just not sure what to take out to include it… Right now the playtesting is going to Orzhov Charm simply because I can return a creature to my hand and reuse its ETB effect or as creature removal.
ANSWER: I’ll take a look at Cauldron Dance if my other graveyard recursion proves unbeneficial… it just looks expensive to me at 4RW. Sneak Attack is a great card, but I’m gonna stick with Quicksilver Amulet for the time-being.
Check back in the future for card-by-card details on Kaalia of the Vast – Sunforger & Neapolitan Treats