I’ve seen Oloro, Ageless Ascetic, used in a great multitude of ways over the years and finally built a version that I’m fairly happy with. Yes, fairly because even with this list I’m not done with him. Oloro is truly a versatile commander as he offers one thing that the other’s don’t, Time. This can be the difference between death, surviving, or winning. At a 2 life gain per turn, regardless of where Oloro is, you can abuse life gain and lose triggers with little fear of opponents taking notice of their upcoming death. No matter what version of this Esper Commander you partake, you’ll likely never have a real reason to cast him from the command zone. He’ll sit upon his thrown and activate triggers on your board state without interruption. If I have casted hit, it is only to gain the card draw advantage that he offers. Personally, I have preferred to take this deck to a strict combo route with various avenues of approach. In the average game my life total never exceeds sixty, so if your looking to gain astronomical totals then you may want to look elsewhere.

I’ll start here as Doomsday Combo is always an eye catcher for those that have experienced it. Doomsday is not a combo piece in the combo, but is the catalyst to speed up the actual combo left within the remaining 5 cards of your deck, your board state, and whatever you have left in your hand. The approach is often the same, but you should always take in account your board state, your opponent’s abilities at that pivotal moment you decide to approach this combo, and especially your life total. Why? Because there is NO turning back once you pay that 3 black mana and it resolves.

I will be the first to admit that I am not a great Doomsday stacker, but I do have some go to stacks depending on what I have going on. You’ll need to create the stack, crack the stack, and then resolve everything with drawing 6 out of the 5 cards to win with Laboratory Maniac or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries on the field. Remember to have one dedicated cantrip in hand and if possible a counter spell in hand that is castable. You’ll need at least 4 mana available to complete this, and three of it should be an two islands and two other lands. FYI: I don’t use Lion's Eye Diamond so don’t suggest it.

Example for a Lab-Man Stack:

Frantic Search

Pact of Negation


Laboratory Maniac



Cast your cantrip to draw the first card and draw to crack the stack

Caste Frantic Search, draw two, discard two, and untap your three lands. You should have drawn into PON and Gush.

Tap those three lands to float the mana.

Cast Gush by returning two islands to draw Lab Man and Brainstorm (or other 1 cost cantrip).

Cast Lab Man

Cast last cantrip (assuming Brainstorm) with last mana

**Use counterspells to protect Lab-Man.

**Example of Jace, WM is identical, except that last mana used to cast Brainstorm in the Lab-Man stack was paid for by casting Jace, WM. Hold priority once he is casted and use his ability to draw.

Tainted Pact can be used as the first card on your stack or from the hand depending on its location and how many cantrips you have access to. It can allow you to skip most of the stack to decrease the draw count requirement. The point is be flexible.

I personally prefer to have Bolas's Citadel already on the field when completing this combo because I don’t have to worry about the all the cantrip requirements.

Jace, WM Stack will cost you 15 life total:

Azor, the Lawbringer

Doom Whisperer

Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

Arcane Denial

Pact of Negation

Azor acts as the testing of the water. They will either have to waste a counter spell or submit to defeat. Doom will be the next card. Then cast Jace, counter it with Denial, Counter the Denial with Pact. Resolve Jace, activate his first ability for the win.

Now for the rub, if Azor was countered then you should expect another spell coming your way to counter Jace. No one will counter Doom knowing that Jace or Lab man will hit next. Once Jace is on the stack you have two counterspells to make quick work of their counter spells. If not, Jace resolves, Activate his first ability for the draw, hold priority, activate Doom to Surveil the top two cards to the grave, and win on Jace’s resolution.

For Lab-Man you need a final cantrip so take out Denial and put a cantrip as the last card in the pile.

Now for a dirty play that is Tainted Pact (TP):

  1. Have Laboratory Maniac on the field with a cantrip, and hopefully a counterspell, in hand. Cast TP and put your library into exile. Cast the cantrip to for the win.

  2. Resolve Jace, Wielder of Mysteries and activate his first ability, hold priority and cast TP to put the library into exile. Fail to draw and win.

Bolas's Citadel, and Aetherflux Reservoir

Citadel is the most important piece of this combination as it can find the path into the other combo pieces while getting that caste count nice and high for Reservoir to offset the life lose and potentially kill at least one person or yourself if you don’t play wisely.

To make this much more effective you need one of three pieces that will help prevent those pesky dead cards from showing up on the top of the deck:

Sensei's Divining Top is the ultimate connection piece for this combo as you activate it and return it to the top of your library for recast. This will get you a high draw count as well and hopefully into come of those counter spells.

Mana Severance might not stack the deck from less likely to kill you to most, but it does streamline all your spells to begin casting.

Necropotence is not what many would often consider a benefit to this, but exiling those useless top cards for 1 life instead of paying a ton of life to cast high CMC cards that you wont benefit from casting with Citadel or those lands you cant drop is a blessing.

Doom Whisperer is a lot like Necropotence but for 2 life you’ll fill that grave.

Exquisite Blood (EB) is a wonderful card that flows straight into so many other cards in this deck.

  1. If your life total is 51 or higher and no fear of someone casting card:Gutshot, you can win the game quick with Aetherflux Reservoir and EB. Targeting each targetable person in the game to quickly remove them one by one. If for some reason they have shroud or hexproof, remove their targetable creatures in the same manner. The great thing about this is that its at instant speed.

  2. This next one requires that you to have a life gain trigger by either you gaining life or your opponent losing life. Sanguine Bond (SB) helps create a loop that drains one target opponent of life with each iteration of the loop.

  3. I also use Defiant Bloodlord as a great back up to SB that also targets an opponent.

  4. However, my preference is Vizkopa Guildmage. Often times I find that opponents leave him on the field because they are never concerned with him until his second ability is activated in response to Oloro’s upkeep trigger that initiates the combo. Both the activation and trigger are on stack and no one can do anything about it. EB has been on the field for a whole round at least, no one has removal in hand, no one runs Stifle, and no one can exile the stack in most games. The other importance of Guildmage over SB and BLoodlord is that he DOES NOT TARGET!

Sanguine Effects:

  1. SB, Bloodlord, and Guildmage will all stack, but do not amplify each other. So at your upkeep trigger for Oloro, you’ll gain 2 life and an opponent will lose 2 from SB, 2 life from Bloodlord, and each opponent will lose 2 life from Guildmage.

  2. Twilight Prophet, with ascend, will effectively double the life lose due to the “X” specification that you’ll gain, and each opponents loses.

Felidar Sovereign

I know a great many of people that all claim they wont this next card because they find it cheap, but will gladly play Lab-Man. This is a simple play, but the timing has to be right because you need to keep that life total up. Not impossible, but you’ll become enemy number one once he hits the field. If they can’t kill it on cast or after resolution, they will be swinging outright to drop your life total. You can have all the counterspell protection and board removal you want in you hand, but somethings you just can’t prevent. This is where card:Teferri’s Protection comes in handy if and only after the Sovereign makes it to the battlefield. On your next turn everything comes back in before Untap during the Untap step. Move on to Upkeep and stack your upkeep triggers so Sovereign will resolve first for the win. Test of Endurance can be used as a backup, but another enchantment is not what the deck needs. Sovereign at least gives you a strong body with lifelink to progress the board state even if he is just a deterrent to protect your next power play.

Although these are not win conditions, Serra Ascendant and Divinity of Pride have valued usefulness that is conditional on you life total.

My build is not at this time complete. By this I mean that there is room to grow and incorporate more combos to it.

One such route that I’m considering is Zombie Aristocrats. This will require what I consider a huge chunk of my creature base to change, but I know where the fluff is and just need to play test. The inclusion being considered at this time is:

Gravecrawler, Relentless Dead, Varina, Lich Queen, and Mutavault

Phyrexian Arena, or sac outlet with Rooftop Storm, or sac outlet with K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth

Cruel Celebrant, card:Blood artisit, Zulaport Cutthroat, and/or Corpse Knight

A variation of this would be Torment of Hailfire with a sac outlet (either Phyrexian Altar or card:Ashno’s Altar) with Rooftop Storm or K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth, but this is a one shot maneuver that will not synergize into anything else if need be. A variation of this would be Altar of the Brood instead of the Aristocrats and just mill out my opponents. This is the more feasible plan with K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth and a sac outlet (likely Phyrexian Arena) running as the engine. This would also filter into Aetherflux Reservoir by allowing enough life from casts to offset life lose as well as kill an opponent that can’t be milled.

Another addition for consideration is Serra Avatar with Rite of Consumption which feeds directly into Exquisite Blood, Sanguine Bond, Defiant Bloodlord, and Vizkopa Guildmage doubling the amount the totals based on my life total.

Lastly, there is Repay in Kind with Lich. I love the feel of this combination, but it kills a lot of other complexities in the deck. This still has not detoured me from considering it.

If you know of any other interesting combinations, please let me know.


Updates Add



92% Competitive

Date added 1 year
Last updated 3 months
Exclude colors RG

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

16 - 0 Mythic Rares

51 - 0 Rares

16 - 0 Uncommons

11 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.76
Tokens None Treasure, 1/1 City's Blessing
Folders EDH Decks
Ignored suggestions
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