|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Dragon's Maze (DGM)||Mythic Rare|
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Master of Cruelties
Creature — Demon
First strike, deathtouch
Master of Cruelties can only attack alone.
Whenever Master of Cruelties attacks a player and isn't blocked, that player's life total becomes 1. Master of Cruelties assigns no combat damage this combat.
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Master of Cruelties Discussion
3 hours ago
1 day ago
I'm working on one of these now. If everybody has to attack there won't be many blockers so... creatures like Raving Dead, Virtus the Veiled and Master of Cruelties will be deadly. Master of Cruelties will usually have to block since he can't attack with other creatures but he's a pretty intimidating blocker.
Red has tons of "steal a creature for one round" spells to add to damage and remove what few blockers are left.
Not sure what i'll end up with but those are my first thoughts.
2 weeks ago
How often does urza tron become relevant? would those slots be better served with different utility lands like say Hall of the Bandit Lord, Hanweir Battlements, and Slayers' Stronghold, more ways to give a kaalia haste seems a bit more useful than the chance for a late game extra mana.
And your thoughts on using Master of Cruelties, or similarly, Rakdos the Defiler as the one hit kill an opponent? I know some groups don't like those wincons but iona usually gets the same amount of hate so I figured I'd bring those two up.
I also usually suggest more lands in a commander deck, but here I see land tax and top and plenty of ways to tutor them so sounds good (Quicksilver Amulet can also act as a kaalia #2). Here I link my kaalia which has ran into quite a few multiplayer playgroups (so some of the card choices are to survive more than one opponent's hate or to not draw "kill him first" rules) Heavenly Rakdos
2 weeks ago
Master of Cruelties to one shot people.
Your commander ability gets around him having to attack a alone
2 weeks ago
Kaalia wants to get out there fast, I would suggest cutting out any land that enters tapped that doesn't tap for 2 mana, can't enter play untapped, or doesn't do something good. A kaalia deck is also very hungry for land, even with how many mana rocks you have I'd suggest making room for more land, if you don't make it to cast her turn 3-4 kaalia often is too slow to stay in a game as her small rear has a massive target (especially since you run the one hit kill Master of Cruelties).
There are a lot of cards I could suggest, many under a dollar, but it might be easier to send you to look at my kaalia list I've been running since she came out, Heavenly Rakdos.
3 weeks ago
Thanks for the kind comment.
Here's a rough guide / thought process I use when evaluating cards / combos / synergies:
1) Assumption: One player (possibly myself), will try and Combo on Turn 3/4, and generally by 5 at least
Realization: I don't have a lot of disruption, so will rely on Commanders built to prevent others and take advantage
A Teferi's Protection might buy me another turn to try and Combo or Eliminate the issue player.
2) Assumption: I'm Tier 3 (I truly believe Kaalia of the Vast is tier 2.5 built like this), yet seem to be a threat
Realization: Use their bias against them, they think I'm just Aggro/Pub Brawl, might leave me open here and there.
Yes, I'll still Master of Cruelties a Stax or Disruption or Tier 1 Commander, but...
3) Assumption: I'm not a Stax player, I'm trying to go fast too, don't be that guy
Realization: I have some Stax type plays, but I'm not a Stax player, whenever possible go for the win, often you win
4) Assumption: Razaketh, the Foulblooded almost always wins me the game.
Realization: Don't let others (like Animar, Soul of Elements) use him against me. Resolve and Win.
5) Assumption: I'm not going to output 40 x 3 (4-player pod assumed) = 120 by Turn 5
Realization: If I can do 40 damage by turn 5 and eliminate a player, and rely on others disruption, I can Combo on Turn 6/7
6) Evaluation: Does this card help me win the game by Turn 7? If no, then I usually exclude it
Is this card good, WITHOUT the other combo pieces? Example: Stranglehold is good on it's own, prevents win-cons and can stax (no searching) a Fetch land or Tutor. Maralen of the Mornsong provides an effective and lasting Synergy (won't say Combo, No more drawing for others), BUT Maralen of the Mornsong without a Stranglehold is not good WITHOUT the other combo piece. Maralen of the Mornsong can in fact give the win to the next player in turn.
Adarkar Valkyrie Evaluation:
1) She doesn't trigger with Kaalia of the Vast, because Adarkar Valkyrie enters tapped, also doesn't have haste, and requires to use. What that means is I have to wait 1 whole turn before she can be used vs. something like a Razaketh, the Foulblooded or Rune-Scarred Demon.
3) What are the other combo cards, and do they meet the test that they are good without Adarkar Valkyrie
Took me a long time to take Aurelia, the Warleader, can get into that discussion later.
Zealous Conscripts on it's own is also pretty good, he has Haste built in, can take an opponents permanents, can untap your permanents (like Adarkar Valkyrie or Sol Ring etc). He's not an A/D/D is his only down side, so with a CMC5 am I going to play him before Turn 5? Tough to say.
I'm probably going to tutor Restoration Angel because I can 1) Free cast with Kaalia of the Vast, 2) She is Instant speed (Flash), 3) She is CMC4 vs. Zealous Conscripts. So it becomes, do i need Zealous Conscripts. If I'm running Adarkar Valkyrie as well, then yes. Honestly Zealous Conscripts has been on the cusp for a long time, he is VERY good, probably better than Reveillark (who I almost never combo with), the only benefit to Reveillark is he brings back Grand Abolisher so I can actually pull off the combo without Disruption.
I'd almost always rather tutor Buried Alive or Reanimate or a missing piece, than a Adarkar Valkyrie. He really provides the same combo structure, but slower, same with Zealous Conscripts. If I'm hoping to just have a higher probability of drawing into a Zealous Conscripts to complete my combo I'm starting with an Assumption that isn't going to make my Turn 5 window usually. I need to Tutor/Win.
Combat Celebrant, Felidar Guardian, Sparring Mummy, Thornbite Staff, Village Bell-Ringer, Zealous Conscripts, Fiend Hunter, Karmic Guide, Lightning Crafter, Restoration Angel, Reveillark, Changeling Hero, Changeling Berserker all work with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, some need Sac, many don't.
Not sure if I answered your Zealous Conscripts question, but the best answer I can give is, I don't need him, I don't want to draw him, and he just does the job of Restoration Angel. Certainly you need alternatives, incase of Exile or Removal, I decided on Reveillark because he has other upside (downside is needs a Sac outlet), but Zealous Conscripts is quite reasonable and has utility on his own so I like him probably will make his way back in, at a higher CMC than someone like Village Bell-Ringer though who has no utility on his own, but IS turn 5 probable, but without Buried Alive probably neither works anyway, so why not just Restoration Angel and win?
The truth is any of them are viable options, it's about the supporting cards, the "wheel of support" you put around each of them, if there's multiple synergies then it's always good to have. Remember though, you only need to Combo once to win, the reality is, if your Disrupted, someone else will likely combo before you get a second chance anyway in cEDH. In standard EDH, you may have the time to draw cards into a Zealous Conscripts or hard cast a Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker but probably not in cEDH.
Adarkar Valkyrie was in, she didn't work with Kaalia of the Vast and I never tutored Adarkar Valkyrie, and it needed Haste (Lightning Greaves/Dragon Tempest) and in most cases needed a Sac Outlet, so it ended up getting cut when Aurelia, the Warleader left. Adarkar Valkyrie I just found too difficult to manage, and 1 turn too slow.
I will say, if you are running Adarkar Valkyrie and Zealous Conscripts, definitely run Faithless Looting, maybe even Gamble. This differs than something like a Reanimator, If i could have more Reanimate (also use Animate Dead, Yawgmoth's Will which I view as CMC2 because I usually have a Fetch land to recur) then I LIKE drawing into those. When I draw a Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker in my opening hand, I always Mulligan, and when I draw him in play I really really really regret having Faithless Looting out of the deck because I can't tutor it, and now I'm hoping to tutor a Goblin Bombardment and Reanimate a Buried Alive | Karmic Guide + Reveillark. In this situation a Zealous Conscripts isn't helping you anyway. On occasion I draw Restoration Angel but then I Buried Alive : Grand Abolisher and then Reanimate Karmic Guide then Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker then Grand Abolisher then Flash cast Restoration Angel and have the Grand Abolisher pretty much guaranteeing me the win. It's definetely higher CMC to hard was him, but still less than Zealous Conscripts.
My deck is still a work in progress though, I wish I had more time to play and really advance it with playtesting, but In theory, MOST of the time I would prefer a Tutor to another instance of a card I can tutor that is worse. Like Anguished Unmaking and Utter End are the same but CMC1 more, but I don't run Utter End because instead I draw a tutor, and search for Anguished Unmaking if that's what I really need, otherwise I tutor Reanimate or Buried Alive and go for the win.
I'm always testing the new guys too, sometimes they roar, sometimes they fail. Razaketh, the Foulblooded for sure, is the best (sometimes Iona, Shield of Emeria) in a while, If I could have all Razaketh, the Foulblooded that would be very cool.
Another thing I've learned, I built Kaalia of the Vast because I liked Gisela, Blade of Goldnight and Griselbrand (I really miss him, pretty angry about that one), but try not to be attached to certain cards, even if you like it, make sure it properly synergies. Stranglehold + Maralen of the Mornsong was my favorite for so long, I would always Tutor a Baneslayer Angel first to counter the damage (Lyra Dawnbringer would probably be the target now), but had to let it go because Maralen of the Mornsong couldn't keep up. Same with Liliana Vess. Even Aurelia, the Warleader, I won a draft event with him, so valued him highly, but I just didn't have the right supporting cards in there for him.
The next A/D/D I'm going to try is Archfiend of Despair, I just don't know how to take advantage of his second ability properly, I mean him and a Gisela, Blade of Goldnight obviously, he does double my damage, meaning 120 damage is now 60 damage so makes that a potential strategy, but still not sure how to do 60 by turn 5/6 to 3 different targets, but perhaps, have to test him. I feel Archfiend of Despair has more upside than Sower of Discord because of his Lifegain prevention, but together the 2 are ok, I'm just not sure, he reduces 120 to 80 where Archfiend of Despair reduces it to 60. I will note, if you build other Loss of Life into the deck, like Liliana's Caress and Dragon Mage and Wheel of Fortune type abilities, both Sower of Discord and Archfiend of Despair, but even then Sower of Discord is "Damage", remember, "Damage" causes "Loss of Life" but doesn't work the other way, "Loss of Life" isn't "Damage". Hmm probably will not even test Sower of Discord, CMC6 for 6/6, no Flample, and no immediate threat/ETB off Kaalia of the Vast other than potentially 8 damage (Sower of Discord 6 + Kaalia of the Vast 2) is outside my current strategy too much.
I can win on Turn 1: Swamp + Mana Crypt + Buried Alive and a Chrome Mox (and a card to Imprint) + Reanimate, is an example, but it rarely happens. There are some other Janky ways with Sol Ring and Ancient Tomb and stuff too, but not consistently. Always looking for ways to improve here. (CMC1 Reanimate or High Mana Conversion Stones)
Turn 2, there's quite a few different ways to get there, including Kaalia of the Vast attacking, usually needs a Razaketh, the Foulblooded in hand to pull the combo pieces, mana rocks, and Goblin Bombardment because usually Combo AFTER the combat phase, so the Infinite Haste Angels don't really help me out that much.
Turn 3/4 is really where I want to combo, and am looking to build further consistency, like Gamble or Beseech the Queen (maybe but it only tutors Reanimate usually for , so where does the for Reanimate come from). Does Zealous Conscripts or Adarkar Valkyrie check this box? Not really, which is probably why they are out. But honestly, I still have a bunch of junk, like Reveillark, Gisela, the Broken Blade maybe, Lord of the Void, Teferi's Protection it's really dumb this card doesn't have Split Second, Boros Charm too situational, see lots of stuff that could be Zealous Conscripts.
What I really wish for, 1) A good A/D/D that has Goblin Bombardment built-into it, like a Murderous Redcap of A/D/D, 2) More CMC1 Reanimate, 3) More CMC1 or CMC2 Tutors, I'll checkout your deck but if you don't have Tainted Pact it is CRITICAL to finding solutions, although means your lands are $1,000,000 but luckily no so HEY still cheaper than a Volcanic Island. 4) More effective mana rocks. I've looked at Mox Diamond a million times, can't decide if it helps/hurts in the average case (not just the Turn 1 case), like as a before Turn 5.
Rakdos the Defiler has been my friend, when I'm not doing well he often helps me out lol. Dance of the Dead is a possiblity, because it doesn't matter that Karmic Guide is tapped, but Karmic Guide is pro black so the interaction sucks even more (already sucks with Animate Dead but the triggers work).
I'll check out your deck a little later, and provide any feedback I can.
Hopefully, somewhere in this rambling I answered your questions.
PS: I hate that Kess, Dissident Mage (and some others) can win on Turn 0, win before it's even their turn, that sucks!
3 weeks ago
Quick update with some evolution of the deck, even though I need to update my decklist. I went to a LGS that I had never been to today. Was in a 4 player pod and over two games I faced Sidisi BUG Dredge Zombies, Food Chain Prossh, the same Jhoira Paradox Storm, the same Kambal Combo Control, and a janky Azusa Lanndfall deck. I had made a few changes before going, knowing that I would face storm combo and likely other combo in a competitive environment. I won both games I played. It took some serious threat assessment, some serious surgical excision of specific threats, and some changes in my deck list to log both wins.
Highlights of Game 1 were:
- Exiling Aetherflux Reservoir on turn two from Jhoira's deck with Hide // Seek because Jhoira already had Paradox Engine in hand. She subsequently cast it as soon as possible on turn 3 to avoid my other ways to dismantle her deck. She would have stormed off the next turn, but I Anguished Unmaking'd it. Jhoira was hamstrung for the moment.
- I beat Sidisi shortly after this with a Merit Lage token created with a Vesuva. Bring the Aggro when you can.
- Kambal was taken down when I Backlash'd his 68/68 Serra Avatar. Turn their strengths against them.
Highlights of Game 2 were:
- I dropped a Rule of Law that basically killed the game plan of both Prossh and Jhoira, delaying the game as I assembled an unbreakable fortress.
- Prossh's face when I Burning Wish'd for Slaughter Games and exiled the Food Chain from his hand before he could assemble a winning combo.
- Prossh's comment about my deck playing so many silver bullets against their decks.
- Riding an unblockable Master of Cruelties to beatdowns of both Prossh and Jhoira, despite both going off and going through most of their decks before they fizzled without finding an answer.
- Both Prossh's and Jhoira's faces when I offered to draw with the super janky Azusa deck who had played about 30 lands and not much else that game. Azusa took the draw, leaving both the combo players feeling totally ripped off. Golden.
I will update the decklist with some changes, but suffice it to say that I swung slightly stax against combo. Seemed to work pretty well.