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Dec 21 2014

Kaalia of the Vast EDH Sunforger/Scepter Commander Deck

Kaalia of the Vast EDH DeckWell, it’s official. I have now published my second article about the same commander. Truth be told, I felt that I had made enough changes to my 2013 version of Kaalia of the Vast to warrant a fresh slate. It has been about 15 months since I built my Kaalia deck and one thing still runs true: you either have a Kaalia EDH Deck or you despise her Human existence.

So why the second article? Honestly, I didn’t play Kaalia a whole lot. On the rare occasion I wanted to be competitive or break a losing streak I would crack open the pink dragon sleeved beauty and go to work. Other than that, she was near the bottom of my favorite decks to play. I believe that it was mainly a morale issue. I did not like playing land destruction and there were a few angels/dragons/demons that made me feel like a bully for using them.

Amiable Kaalia EDH Deck

So after a complete rebuild I am proud to announce my newest version of Kaalia of the Vast. I like to call this my Amiable Kaalia EDH Deck. Amiable means friendly or agreeable. By being amiable, this version of Kaalia can still be competitive without going over the top with all of the nastiness that players hate her for. Don’t get me wrong, the Angels/Dragons/Demons in this decklist are still quite effective and can pack quite a punch when cheated into play on turn 4, but the heavy hitters have found a seat on the sidelines.

What has been left out to make this decklist playgroup friendly? First, and foremost, Land Destruction. No ‘geddon, no [card]Cataclysm[/card], no popping land. It’s unfun. We are also missing [card]Rakdos the Defiler[/card] and [card]Master of Cruelties[/card]. These cards are nasty and designed to take a single player out of a multiplayer game. [card]Sire of Insanity[/card] is also missing. Wrecking hands leads to top decking mode for everyone… slow, boring, and unfun. Plus, he doesn’t fly. Stupid demon. [card]Iona, Shield of Emeria[/card], **sigh**, No longer in the deck. [card]Avacyn, Angel of Hope[/card]? Um, hey, I’m not that crazy. Kaalia isn’t Kaalia without her best friend. 🙂

Kaalia EDH Sunforger and Isochron Scepter

In addition to land destruction, I have removed most of the graveyard recursion. The new civil version of Kaalia revolves around a protection strategy and a bag of tricks to give Kaalia the element of surprise, protection, provide answers and tilt the game in our favor. Most of our tricks are Instants that can be cast from our hand or from our library by disconnecting [card]Sunforger[/card] from one of our equipped creatures (hence the Kaalia archaeotype Sunforger). I have also added an [card]Isochron Scepter[/card] as the secondary theme. There are over a dozen targets in my Kaalia EDH Deck that can be imprinted on the Isochron Stick.

Win Condition

In addition to building around Scepter and Sunforger, I have also reduced the mana cost of Kaalia’s Angels/Dragons/Demons. To prepare for future battles of Kaalia being tucked, stolen, countered or costing too much to cast, I want to be able to have other creatures that can be cast and sent into battle. Therefore I have included a decent list of 4 and 5 mana cost flying A/D/D to help us stay in the game.

Winning with Kaalia is simple in theory, but strategically challenging with each and every game. The “challenging” aspect comes from Kaalia’s reputation. By simply announcing Kaalia of the Vast as our commander we have painted a huge target on our forehead. This EDH Deck has a simple win condition – take to the skies and utilize the attack phase. Aiding us in achieving this goal will be a slew of tricks, cheaper Angels/Dragons/Demons and our two main Artifacts – Sunforger and Scepter. With no land destruction, hand disruption and very little recursion a playgroup friendly version of Kaalia will be vulnerable, yet competitive. This version of the deck will have boom or bust type matches, provide more interaction and become a fun deck to play again.

Have I hit the mark on this lighter version of Kaalia of the Vast? Since we took out some of the nastiness that she is known for, does this make her more acceptable at the kitchen table? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Decklist

[deck title=Kaalia of the Vast Sunforger Scepter EDH Deck]
[Commander]
*1 Kaalia of the Vast
[/Commander]

[Angels]
*1 Baneslayer Angel
*1 Archangel of Thune
*1 Blinding Angel
*1 Karmic Guide
*1 Aurelia, the Warleader
*1 Angel of Despair
*1 Gisela, Blade of Goldnight
*1 Angelic Arbiter
*1 Avacyn, Angel of Hope
[/Angels]

[Dragons]
*1 Thundermaw Hellkite
*1 Steel Hellkite
*1 Hellkite Tyrant
*1 Hoard-Smelter Dragon
*1 Balefire Dragon
*1 Dragon Mage
[/Dragons]

[Demons]
*1 Butcher of the Horde
*1 Archfiend of Depravity
*1 Indulgent Tormentor
*1 Demon of Wailing Agonies
*1 Bloodgift Demon
*1 Ob Nixilis, Unshackled
*1 Lord of the Void
*1 Rune-Scarred Demon
[/Demons]

[Supporting Cast]
*1 Mother of Runes
*1 Stoneforge Mystic
*1 Grand Abolisher
*1 Disciple of Bolas
[/Supporting Cast]

[Equipment]
*1 Lightning Greaves
*1 Whispersilk Cloak
*1 Sunforger
[/Equipment]

[Artifacts/Enchantments]
*1 Expedition Map
*1 Isochron Scepter
*1 Phyrexian Arena
[/Artifacts]

[Sunforger/Isochron Targets]
*1 Tithe
*1 Abeyance
*1 Path to Exile
*1 Swords to Plowshares
*1 Cloudshift
*1 Shelter
*1 Valorous Stance
*1 Terminate
*1 Dawn Charm
*1 Boros Charm
*1 Wear // Tear
*1 Dead // Gone
*1 Hide // Seek
[/Sunforger/Isochron Targets]

[More Isochron Imprints]
*1 Vampiric Tutor
*1 Unexpectedly Absent
[/More Isochron Imprints]

[More Sunforger Targets]
*1 Ghostway
*1 Utter End
[/More Sunforger Targets]

[Sorcery]
*1 Demonic Tutor
[/Sorcery]

[Board Wipes]
*1 Nevinyrall’s Disk
*1 Merciless Eviction
*1 Akroma’s Vengeance
[/Board Wipes]

[Mana Rocks]
*1 Sol Ring
*1 Coldsteel Heart
*1 Fellwar Stone
*1 Marble Diamond
*1 Boros Signet
*1 Orzhov Signet
*1 Rakdos Signet
*1 Chromatic Lantern
[/Mana Rocks]

[Fetch Lands]
*1 Arid Mesa
*1 Bloodstained Mire
*1 Marsh Flats
*1 Evolving Wilds
[/Fetch Lands]

[Dual Lands]
*1 Badlands
*1 Plateau
*1 Scrubland
*1 Blood Crypt
*1 Godless Shrine
*1 Sacred Foundry
*1 Clifftop Retreat
*1 Dragonskull Summit
*1 Isolated Chapel
*1 Graven Cairns
[/Dual Lands]

[Tri-Color Lands]
*1 City of Brass
*1 Command Tower
*1 Exotic Orchard
*1 Nomad Outpost
*1 Reflecting Pool
[/Tri-Color Lands]

[Black Mana]
*2 Swamp
*1 Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
*1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
[/Black Mana]

[Red Mana]
*3 Mountain
*1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep
[/Red Mana]

[White Mana]
*3 Plains
*1 Eiganjo Castle
*1 Mistveil Plains
[/White Mana]

[Utility Lands]
*1 Cavern of Souls
*1 Hall of the Bandit Lord
*1 Homeward Path
*1 Vault of the Archangel
*1 Volrath’s Stronghold
[/Utility Lands]
[/deck]

Thank you for reading! As always, please comment below with thoughts and questions!

For further reading I recommend the following:
Kaalia Decklist Database on MagicEDH.com
Video Gameplay of this Kaalia Deck

On to the next!
—wallyd


7 comments

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  1. Kuchisama

    Isochron Scepter in Commander? Can’t say I’ve seen that before. However, I really love that card and since there are sooo many cool instants to imprint, it’s actually weird that the scepter doesn’t seem to get much love. Especially because it is so similar to Sunforger – and that one is a staple if you’re playing red and white.
    I’ll have to try that out now!

    1. Wally D.

      Definitely give it a whirl! I have already had fun with the two of them combined in Kaalia. In the versus video we posted I used Demonic Tutor to get the [card]Isochron Scepter[/card] and then imprinted it with [card]Shelter[/card]. Helped give me the win!

    2. Tom Dawson

      Isochron Scepter is the worst. Just, like, the absolute worst. I hate sitting down against someone when I know they run it in their deck because it’s so god damn overpowered.

      Probably the worst usage I’ve gone up against was in duel, where the opponent imprinted [card]Silence[/card] and popped it at the beginning of my turn, every turn. Talk about un-fun. I’ve had games where I or another player is the beatdown and had things totally stall because someone has imprinted [card]Fog[/card] on the scepter, drawing it out into an uber-grindy process where the Scepter player gradually drew their entire deck looking for a win condition. It’s not that the scepter is a bad idea per se, just that it enables some stupidly broken shit that can make the game less fun for everyone but the player using it to lock out the rest of the table.

      1. Wally D.

        Hey there Tom! Thank you for your comment! I honestly have never played [card]Isochron Scepter[/card] (or played against it) until rebuilding this deck so this is new territory for me. I can see in a 1v1 Duel where Isochron can be unfun, but, IMO, it becomes a bit less powerful in multiplayer.

        Don’t worry my friend, I assure you that I will not abuse my new found power. 🙂 Let me address a couple of the scenarios you have outlined here. You see, I believe in the Uncle Ben theory that “With great power comes great responsibility”. An example of this is my inclusion of [card]Abeyance[/card] over [card]Silence[/card]. Abeyance will be used primarily on my turn to keep counterspells and instant speed combat tricks from ruining my plan… and, it’s a cantrip. 🙂

        I have played Kaalia a couple of times already and found that the Scepter was powerful but nothing my playgroup couldn’t handle. My playgroup commonly uses [card]Return to Dust[/card], [card]Acidic Slime[/card], [card]Counterspell[/card] and other removal. We also do really good at focusing on whichever player seems to have power shifted their way. If I put a [card]Dawn Charm[/card] on my Scepter (Fog), I can expect to have the rest of the table gunning for me. But, again, my group does really well with answers, so not too many worries. Also… in Kaalia, it doesn’t grind out a game looking for a win condition. In fact, the right spell on a stick may accelerate the win if not answered right away.

        Hope all is well Tom! Thanx again!

        1. Hamish Clarkson

          I love isochron sceptre in commander. Blue white artifacts. Imprint silence, unwinding clock and a vedelken orrery for shenanigans.

  2. Zane L.

    I’m a fairly new player so this may sound silly, but I don’t understand, what is Volrath? Is that a short name for a card I’m not familiar with?

    1. Wally D.

      Hi Zane, thank you for visiting MTGCasualPlay.com! The “Volrath” in my deck is actually a [card]Volrath’s Stronghold[/card]. I have fixed the error on my decklist above.

      Thanx again for the comment! Stop by again soon!

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