Live well

It is the best revenge


Kaalia of the Vast is a fast paced, challenging general that can win with combo or combat and rewards players who enjoy high skill, tempo based plays.

These are the combos you are attempting to pull off. You don't always need them to win. But they help and are more time and card efficient than relying on combat damage.

Killing Combos:

Worldgorger Dragon + Animate Dead effect + win condition (ie. Bogardan Hellkite)

Leonin Relic-Warder + Animate Dead effect + Mayhem Devil

Dualcaster Mage + creature on board + Twinflame

Card Advantage Combos:

Leonin Relic-Warder + Animate Dead effect + Razaketh, the Foulblooded

Vilis, Broker of Blood + life loss effect (ie. Doom Whisperer) + Children of Korlis

Doom Whisperer + play from the grave effect (ie. Animate Dead, Yawgmoth's Will, etc.)

Necropotence + Children of Korlis

Underworld Breach + Wheel of Fortune + Lion's Eye Diamond

Dockside Extortionist + Phyrexian Reclamation + sacrifice outlet (ie. Razaketh, the Foulblooded + Children of Korlis)

You do not have the card draw in the command zone offered by other generals. What kaalia provides is dual nature with unparalleled tempo plays via the monsters she drops and in a sneaky way is essentially a one card combo with your any card search tutors. How the little lady does these things needs to be broken down and each examined on its own.

Under Construction

Under Construction

In her quest of revenge Kaalia must hunt for four demons. These dark souls constitute the deck's most powerful card advantage engines and when fed on the fuel of dragon fire they can easily subdue the table.

The First Demon

The first demon Kaalia conquered is Rune-Scarred Demon, a powerful enabler that on its own can function as a utility piece or as part of game winning combo with the right support cards in hand.


The plan is simple; with Entomb or an Animate Dead effect in hand get Rune-Scarred Demon into play and find Entomb or an Animate Dead effect, whatever is missing. Then, when you are ready, cast Entomb searching for Worldgorger Dragon, bring it back with the Animate Dead effect and proceed to tutor your library. The kill condition here is either Bogardan Hellkite, which can be cast mid loop because it has flash, to burn out the table, or you can transfer to Leonin Relic-Warder + Animate Dead + Mayhem Devil or Dualcaster Mage + Twinflame if the Hellkite has been exiled.

At first glance the Rune-Scarred Demon line appears to be one of the weaker ways to win in the deck, but do not be deceived by the power of this dark soul. If the animate effect used to go off is the card Necromancy this line can be activated at instant speed thanks to Bogardan Hellkite having flash, and the same is true when manually assembling the Worldgorger Dragon combo with Entomb. This ability to win at potentially any moment also makes cards like Plunge into Darkness and Tainted Pact potentially lethal as they can find the Hellkite mid loop and I have stolen many games while an opponent had his/ her combo on the stack. If, however, the Worldorger pieces are not available to you, Rune-Scarred Demon is an excellent way to find needed utility cards or one of the other demon engines. As the first combo incorporated into competitive Kaalia lists before the printing of Razaketh, Rune-Scarred Demon remains a powerful and concise line.

The Second Demon

The number of routes you can use to win with Razaketh, the Foulblooded could constitute a primer on their own, but for Kaalia the most fundamental ones to know are those revolving around only a single sacrifice. This is due to the fact that the most efficient way to summon Razaketh to your side is by cheating him into play with our general and at that point it is extremely likely that she will be the only creature we have to feed him. While sacrifice and blood are central to the path of revenge, doing so in a way that minimizes bloodshed is crucial to the end goal (and fits nicely for thematic motifs).


The Dead Cat Dance

The basic Razaketh line which to master before others requires Razaketh, one creature to sacrifice, and costs but can be short cut to or if you have a mana rock in play. Executing the line is as follows:

  1. Get Razaketh into play and sacrifice your creature (-2 life)

  2. Tutor up Leonin Relic-Warder and cast it, . If you have a mana rock you can exile it here as we will effectively flicker it. Otherwise target an opponent's artifact or enchantment.

  3. Sacrifice Leonin Relic-Warder (-2 life). If you exiled your rock it will come back untapped. If you targeted an opponent's card, sacrifice the Leonin in response to its enter the battlefield ability to remove the opponent's card from the game permanently.

  4. Tutor for Animate Dead and cast it, bringing back the Leonin, .

  5. When Leonin Relic-Warder comes into play, target Card:Animate Dead with its ability. This will cause the Leonin to die due to Animate Dead's leave the battlefield ability. When the Leonin exits the field, Animate Dead will return. If you re-target Leonin Relic-Warder you can create an infinite enter and leave the battlefield loop.

  6. At this point, in response to its leave the battlefield trigger, Leonin Relic-Warder can be sacrificed repeatedly to Razaketh for any number of tutors bound by half of your life total. Use those tutors to find fast mana and protection and pivot into one of the game winning combos illustrated earlier in the primer.

The Extortionist

A variant on the basic Razaketh route, this line has the same requirements as the one above but can be initiated at if your opponents have three artifacts or enchantments between them.

  1. Get Razaketh into play and sacrifice your creature (-2 life)

  2. Tutor for Dockside Extortionist and cast it, , generating three or more treasure tokens.

  3. Sacrifice Dockside Extortionist. (-2 life).

  4. Find Reanimate and cast it targeting Dockside Extortionist. (-2 life). This will lose one treasure token but will net you three or more, effectively bringing you to five + mana available to continue the line.

  5. Sacrifice Dockside Extortionist. (-2 life).

  6. Tutor Leonin Relic-Warder and pivot into the Leonin + Animate Dead line listed above.

The Rebirth Line

The requirements here are the same as the two paths listed above, however this one requires an artifact in play and costs only .

  1. Get Razaketh into play and sacrifice your creature (-2 life)

  2. Tutor and cast Kuldotha Rebirth, , sacrificing your artifact.

  3. Sacrifice two of the goblin tokens to find some combination of fast mana (-4 life) that allows you to...

  4. Sacrifice the third goblin to find either card:Dockside Extortionst or Leonin Relic-Warder depending on the combination of fast mana you found in step 3. Pivot into either the Extortionist or Dead Cat Dance to win.

There are many more ways to win the game with Razaketh that are not mentioned here but that is up for you, dear reader to discover on your own. In many ways the interaction between Kaalia and Razaketh constitutes the heart of the deck as this demon essentially creates a situation where Kaalia + Tutor = Victory. Study this section and learn. Keep your eyes and your mind open and many opportunities will present themselves naturally as you play.

The Third Demon

The third demon is Doom Whisperer, an Ad Nauseam to the grave. The power of Doom Whisperer is that so long as you have enough life it can enable combos all on its own.


At 6/6 with flying, trample, and surveil costing only 5 cmc, Doom Whisperer is an over statted monster. As a card advantage engine, however, the idea is to mill out combo pieces such as Worldgorger Dragon, Rune-Scarred Demon, Razaketh, the Foulblooded, Leonin Relic-Warder, or Dualcaster Mage and Twinflame and then stack a play from the grave enabler such as Animate Dead, Yawgmoth's Will, or a tutor to find such on top of your deck so that you can win when you draw into it. Used in conjunction with Children of Korlis it is possible to dig as many as 40 cards deep or more.

Doom Whisperer usually takes a turn to setup, as in order to protect the graveyard the best time to activate it is at the last opponent's end step, but the sheer number of options it enables are massive and it can function as anything from powerful value to the card that enables you to win the game.

The Fourth Demon

The fourth demon on Kaalia's hunt is Vilis, Broker of Blood. Like the other demonic forces in the scriptures above, this herald of darkness can function as a source of power alone or signal the end given the right support.


In the past, competitive Kaalia has been likened to the Red Black Reanimator of CEDH. But with the release of Vilis from the pits of R&D that likeness has become much more pronounced. An active Vilis, Broker of Blood combined with a life loss mechanic on cards like Doom Whisperer, Fire Covenant, or Kuro, Pitlord gives the list a near functional version of Griselbrand. Add Children of Korlis to the mix and it is possible to draw your entire deck. While not featured here, if a pilot should choose to run an eldrazi titan like Kozilek, Butcher of Truth it is possible to loop through the entire deck creating infinite mana, life, and storm allowing for kills with conditions as simple as Lightning Bolt.

The dark deal presented by Vilis isn't just limited to its combo potential, however. Tarnished Citadel becomes Ancestral Recall, Imperial Seal and Vampiric Tutor send cards to hand and draw one more, and the simple interaction of Entomb and Reanimateing cardf:Vilis, Broker of Blood will draw eight fresh cards. If you embrace the dark paths as you hunt down your demons there are very few foes who can stop you.

Information gleaned from almost two years of running in the competitive edh discord cockatrice meta

Under Construction

Stax and Mass Land Destruction

Kuma: Cabal Therapist Kaalia's infamy as a mass land destruction on the edge of competitive edh starts with the work done by Kuma: Cabal Therapist. This Armageddon build became the foundation for many Kaalia decks for years to come.

3drinks This list is next in chronology for important Kaalia landmarks. While it wasn't as polished as the earlier work by Kuma, what 3drinks really did was put serious effort into running Kaalia in competitive 1v1 leagues on mtgo and promoting the general via youtube. His deck adapted over time taking in ideas from the later Worldgorger players, and even some of mine over the years, but he certainly contributed to a large percentage of Kaalia's popularity.

NarejED 's I'll Kaalia Back Later follows in the lines of the two previous players and for a long time was one of the go to builds for stax styles with the general. Later lists of his brought in Insidious Dreams and Doomsday lines (possibly following work with those two) however, it should be noted that NarejED was one of the first players running the general seriously in the full competitive, online, multiplayer metas and for that the shout out here is well warranted.

Worldgorger Dragon

Worldgorger Dragon in Kaalia lists has it's own lineage extending all the way back to 2011 when the general was first released. The earliest attempt at taking this strategy competitively was a deck called Kaalia's Prophecy by Gaka, Krark's Middle Finger.

Later versions to make a splash were Kaalia The Worldgorger, by Johnny Ruriki, the infamous Kaalia Worldgorger Combo by JMCraig which was the first of these decks to run in full comp metas (and my introduction to the plan), my early splices of the strategy in conjunction with Kiki Jiki, and xAIFIBx 's Worldgorger Kaalia.

Razaketh

Razaketh, the Foulblooded is the dominant combo route in competitive Kaalia builds. But these would not have come to fruition without the observation by RiverMayCry that the demon can sacrifice infinitely with the Leonin Relic-Warder + Animate Dead combo. This was further expanded on by reversemermaid who noted that including Lion's Eye Diamond and Leonin Squire could reduce the mana and creature cost needed to start the chain.

ShaperSavant took the early observations of the two Finnish players above and combined them with many of his own ideas into what would become Razakats, the first fully dedicated Razaketh CEDH deck. This is an excellent resource for aspiring Razaketh players, and even though my early Kaalia Razaketh builds here technically stumbled on the Leonin Relic- Warder line independently, Shaper's list was invaluable for refining the combo.

After running Kaalia in a tournament in March of 2019 a variant of my list from that event was taken up by Flash_Andretti, deck:kaalias dab, who started playing it in the online playedh and cedhnexus communities. Despite the deck's win rates and my many games in the cedh cockatrice, up to that point Kaalia was still heavily stigmatized against outside of that setting. By taking the deck to the webcam games Flash finalized the commander's competitive reputation and massively popularized the deck.

Dockside Extortionist's printing allowed for a few major breakthroughs in Kaalia's Razaketh lines. It simplified the process for getting the demon chains going but also can act as a substitute for Lion's Eye Diamond and Leonin Squire in some cases. In a brew session with TabChomper , Clay, and myself to find ways to use Dockside to generate infinite mana that didn't require an Eldrazi Titan, Tab noticed that the same could be done by using Corpse Dance and a sac outlet with the goblin. More can be seen in Tab's thread Corpse Extortionist.

Other Shout-Outs

A sincere thank you to philgvt for making me be more public about the different Kaalia things. Philgvt's list can be found here Kaalia of the Vast prototype.

Finally, thank you to rockleemyhero for being one of the best brewing partners in the game. This deck would not exist without your insight and input over the years.

Link to CEDH Kaalia Discord

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Date added 1 year
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Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

13 - 0 Mythic Rares

55 - 0 Rares

16 - 0 Uncommons

13 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.46
Tokens None Treasure, None Copy Clone, 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Goblin
Folders Uncategorized, Kaalia (EDH), Follow, EDH Ideas, cEDH, My Favorite Things, Kaalia Decks, edh, Uncategorized, EDH, See all 22
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