99 Lands and a Commander

The rule I set for this deck was that every non-token card aside from the commander must be a land in it's default state. This means that cards that enter as non-lands, but transform into lands, are not allowed. For example, Ormendahl, Profane Prince is allowed, because it must first enter the battlefield as, and transform from, Westvale Abbey   which is considered to be a land when in the library or hand. Atzal, Cave of Eternity is not allowed, because it must first enter the battlefield as Journey to Eternity  .

This deck uses utility lands to stay alive until you eventually ping the enemy down, or manage to put together one (or a couple) big combos. Turtle using lands that reduce attack power, prevent damage from a source, tap creatures, and exile creatures. Chump with tokens ideally, and man-lands as a last resort.

This deck survives throughout the game, primarily, by setting up a combo that allows you to use Child of Alara to board wipe as often as you need. You do this by casting Child of Alara from anywhere, sacrificing (or otherwise destroying) her when you need a board wipe, and, finally, retrieving her from the graveyard.

Casting Child of Alara explains itself, and there are a few mana fixer lands that enable this; reliably killing and retrieving Child of Alara is another story.

The best way to kill Child of Alara is using an ability which sacrifices a creature as a cost. These can happen at any time, and they are un-counterable.

The best cards for this are:

Each of these cards gives you a way to consistently sacrifice Child of Alara, as well as giving you some extra value.

Some backup cards that can destroy Child of Alara in a pinch:

  • The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale : Tabernacle will allow you to kill Child of Alara by not paying the 1 mana, but this is far from ideal since you can only do this on upkeep, leaving Child of Alara vulnerable.
  • Arena : Arena let's you swing Alara against a bigger foe for the greater good. A true space baby and Goliath story.
  • Mirrorpool : Mirrorpool has some special value to this deck. If you use Mirrorpool to copy Child of Alara, the legendary rule will force you to sacrifice one Child of Alara, and the resulting board wipe will kill the second Child of Alara. This means that you have a way with which to easily board wipe twice in a single turn to deal with things like Gift of Immortality or other potential death trigger problems.
Getting this space baby out of the graveyard is harder than it is to put them in there. This deck has a few options to do this, but only a couple that are reusable and sustainable. Our objective is to get Child of Alara back onto the battlefield as often, consistently, and cheaply as possible. To do this consistently we just need ways to make creatures in our graveyard change zones, and then we can use the replacement effect to send Child of Alara to the command zone instead of wherever she was going instead. The often and cheap portions of this goal, however, lead us to try to avoid the command zone, since the extra casting costs can get expensive.

The Best cards for this purpose:

  • Volrath's Stronghold : This is probably the most important card because it is cheap and easy to setup. The fact that it puts Child of Alara on top of your library leaves the potential that Child of Alara could be shuffled away, so be careful. You can use this to your advantage to stall your draw if you need to.
  • Emeria, The Sky Ruin : This card is also great at getting Child of Alara back, and putting them directly onto the battlefield is a huge bonus. The downside, of course, is that you need to control 7 plains, so this card is significantly harder to setup. I go into more detail about setting up Emeria further down.

Backup cards:

  • Moorland Haunt : This card is almost good enough to be in the previous section. It has a cheap reusable ability that also has a nice side effect. The trouble is that using this ability puts Child of Alara into the command zone. Mana is usually pretty tight (barring a couple combos), so it can get really expensive to keep playing Child of Alara from the command zone.
  • Mistveil Plains : The ability on this card says to put the card onto the bottom of your library, but you'll very likely use the nifty replacement effect to move child of Alara from your graveyard to your command zone.
  • Bojuka Bog : Again, this card is useful here because it will exile Child of Alara. Some extra value makes this card a niche decision against certain decks, or at the least a "free" way to get Child of Alara back if you needed to board wipe before you had better combo pieces.
  • Mortuary Mire : This is singe use Volrath's Stronghold.

Once you can kill and retrieve Child of Alara consistently, congratulations, your game just got significantly more frustrating for your opponent.

Making this deck work means finding everything you need to lock down the board before your opponents realize they can take advantage of your exceptionally slow response rate. to to this you will need to utilize a couple options to get what you need.
Useful tutor effects for us are exceptionally rare on land cards, fetchlands tend to have a lot of restrictions that generally stop you from grabbing any utility lands directly. But non of this means that we've foregone tutors.

Tolaria West

What it can grab: This card is the only true tutor in the deck. Transmute with CMC of 0 means that you can grab any card in the deck (Unless Child of Alara got shuffled in somehow).

Use: Generally, try to use this to get a solution for retrieving Child of Alara since this is the most important mechanic with the least amount of support.

Thawing Glaciers

What it can grab: Thawing glaciers can get any basic land. In this deck, that means one of the seven Snow-Covered Plains

Use: The primary use of this card is to get plains onto the battlefield to get Emeria, The Sky Ruin online. It also thins the deck for better chances of drawing useful utility, gets a target to sacrifice for Kjeldoran Outpost , can shuffle your library on command, and it can be used for minor ramp as detailed later.

Krosan Verge & Grasslands

What it can grab: These fetchlands can grab any Plains or Forest, not just basic Plains or Forests. That means they can get any of the following

Snow-Covered Plains , Mistveil Plains , Tundra , Irrigated Farmland , Dryad Arbor

Use: Use these searches for a variety of reasons.

Grab one (or two, or three) of the three colors available to you that you need to cast Child of Alara or a useful land ability.

Grab an Island or a Plains to be sacrificed to play Soldevi Excavations or Kjeldoran Outpost .

Grab Mistveil Plains for graveyard retrieval.

And, of course, thin the deck a little bit more.

Options for drawing and draw fixes are also quite limited on lands, but we still have some options.

Arch of Orazca

The most obvious card in the deck for its use. Just be wary that you likely won't be able to use it for the draw until turn 10

Grim Backwoods

This card is great value since it can sacrifice Child of Alara and it lets you draw a card. It also works great with Volrath's Stronghold :

  1. Pay costs to use Grim Backwoods ability, including sacrificing Child of Alara
  2. Hold priority while the ability is on the stack to activate Volrath's Stronghold ability, and target Child of Alara

First, Volrath's Stronghold will resolve, putting Child of Alara on top of your library, then you'll draw, drawing Child of Alara

Soldevi Excavations

The scry ability of this card is ridiculous and is not too hard to enable. All you need to do is draw this card and either of the two two dual lands, or either of the two fetchlands that can grab them.

Path of Ancestry

This will let you scry whenever you cast Child of Alara . It's not great, but the deck needs 5 color mana fixers anyway so there's nothing lost by having it in. Just decent value.

Getting Child of Alara from our graveyard was our primary concern, but getting lands out of there as well would be ideal.

Petrified Field

This is pretty versatile. Sacrifice it to get any one land out of your graveyard. Grab a tutor card to get another specific card from your library, or grab an important land, that your opponent forced into the graveyard.

Mistveil Plains

Put any card from your graveyard onto the bottom of your library. It's not perfect, but you can use this ability in combination with a shuffle from any tutor abilities to have a chance to draw useful cards that got put into the graveyard.

Control is the name of the game with this deck. The previously mention Child of Alara combo is your bread and butter for this, but you don't always have that option. Many of the cards in this deck can help you with control but here are a few specific scenarios to look for.

Early Game

Before you can setup Child of Alara, you'll need to rely on utility lands and manlands to defend you. Try to start with cheap manlands for this purpose; Forbidding Watchtower is perfect, due to it's 5 toughness, cheap animation cost, and the large amount of white mana in the deck.


Indestructible is a keyword that gets pretty annoying when playing this deck. Indestructible creatures are immune to Child of Alara's board wipe as well as Tabernacle's ability, and so they'll need to be dealt with otherwise. The only real way to kill these creatures is using infect. Animating Inkmoth Nexus gives you the only source of -1/-1 counters that you have. You can use Arena to make sure your Inkmoth gets to fight the indestructible creature and +1/+1 counters or Yavimaya Hollow to protect them. Even if the fight doesn't kill immediately, you can use Karn's Bastion 's proliferate to find the killing blow.

Hexproof (and Shroud)

Hexproof isn't an issue unless the hexproof creature isn't killable with Child of Alara. If that is the case, you have Detection Tower and Arcane Lighthouse to allow you to use your defensive utility lands however you need to.

This section points out each powerful or unique interaction that I designed into the deck or realized while playing, it's not necessarily every good interaction and synergy.


Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth + Cabal Coffers

This is a classic combination, and it's even stronger when you drop a land every turn. Use this to make a lot of mana fast. Unfortunately Cabal Coffers is absolutely useless without Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.


I know proliferate is more of a keyword than an interaction, but work with me.

Karn's Bastion + City of Shadows + Gavony Township

City of shadow's counters aren't removed when tapping for mana. Get one storage counter to kick it off, and in three more turns that mana will pay for itself and more.

Combine this with Gavony Township , and the tendency to have a lot of tokens and manlands (including an infect creature), and you've got a pretty strong board presence.

As a bonus if you animate a manland to put a +1/+1 counter on it using Gavony Township , you can use Karn's Bastion to keep pumping that manland up, without needing to animate it again.


Admittedly, this isn't so much an interaction, as it is making a card work.

Emeria, The Sky Ruin + Various Plains

Just do what the card says, get 7 plain's into play and Emeria, and you've got yourself a pretty powerful recursion ability.

Mistveil Plains , Tundra , and Irrigated Farmland all count as plains cards.

Thawing Glaciers Weirdness

Thawing Glaciers + card:Derserted Temple

Thawing Glaciers lets you search your deck for basic land cards and put them onto the battlefield.

If you use thawing Glaciers normally for every plains, and you do it every chance you get, it will take 14 turns, 7 of which require you to drop Thawing Glaciers to get the 7 plains you need for Emeria, The Sky Ruin to work.

If you use Deserted Temple you can reduce that cost to 7 turns and only three times re-dropping Thawing Glaciers .

As a note, if you play Thawing Glaciers and immediately untap it with Deserted Temple to use it's ability, you will get the required 7 lands in 7 turns, but you will also need to re-drop Thawing Glaciers every turn.

Instead, what you should do if you have both of these cards is drop Thawing Glaciers and wait to untap it in your next untap step. Then you can play whatever land you want for the turn, and use Thawing Glaciers twice to get two Snow-Covered Plains onto the battlefield in addition to your land drop for the turn.

Doing the math we can realize that this gives us land ramp. 1.5 lands per turn(for a maximum of 7 turns)! And we can increase that number if we use Thespian's Stage and/or Vesuva to copy Deserted Temple for more untaps.

Mirrorpool Double Wipe

In a pinch I you could use Mirrorpool to copy an animated manland and get another color producing land, which could potentially give you the fifth color you needed to cast Child of Alara , but that's not the true reason for Mirrorpool being included here. Mirrorpool 's intention is to be used for board wipes in specific scenarios. Specifically, Mirrorpool was added to deal with Gift of Immortality . This card will undo all of Child of Alara 's work, unless you somehow managed to wipe the board twice in a single turn, which can get very expensive. Luckily, Mirrorpool gives us a chance to do it once on the cheap. By using Mirrorpool to copy Child of Alara and, therefore, gaining control of a second Legendary Child of Alara , you are forced to choose one and sacrifice it. When you do sacrifice one of these cards, Child of Alara 's ability will trigger wiping the board. The second Child of Alara will be included in this board wipe, triggering a second board wipe immediately after all other on death effects resolve. This works wonder's against stuff like Gift of Immortality , Afterlife, etc.

Thespian's Stage Extra Value

This card is in the deck for it's extreme versatility. Having a second Deserted Temple can be massive for the amount of work that can be done each turn. There are some copy targets that give some extra value that isn't immediately obvious.

ETB Costs

When you use Thespian's Stage to copy a card, it does't enter the battlefield, and so costs or effects that trigger when it would enter he battlefield don't happen. The classic combo that uses this interaction is with Dark Depths . The Thespian's Stage copy never gets the ice counters so it is immediately sacrificed for Marit Lage as soon as you solve the Legendary conflict.

Some less classic, but potentially more useful evasion is with Kjeldoran Outpost and Soldevi Excavations . Copying these lands give you their super efficient abilities without needing to sacrifice another Plains or Island.

Protecting Legendary Lands

Another interesting thing Thespian's Stage can do is protect your legendary lands from being exiled. When a legendary land is targeted by spell or ability to be exiled, you can copy it with Thespian's Stage . Before the exiling ability resolves, you will have to sacrifice one of the legendary lands. By choosing the original land to be sacrificed you are able to send it to the graveyard where you can retrieve it with Petrified Field or Mistveil Plains .

Unfortunately, the majority of the important cards in this deck are non-lengendary, so this interaction isn't as useful as it could be.

The win con for this deck can be elusive. The best win con is commander damage from Child of Alara . Keep swinging with her, and force your opponents to deal with her or be destroyed by your mighty 6/6 baby with trample. Secondary win conditions in case they manage to make Child of Alara worse somehow involve a mid to late game beat down, or by generating a lot of mana and then swinging in hard.
Your manlands are pretty weak to begin with, but they have a lot of potential to get big. Use Gavony Township and Karn's Bastion to send all of your manlands to the gym. Use your army of reasonably sized creatures that don't care about Child of Alara constantly exploding, to hit your opponents hard. Even without the extra counters, your manlands (and Child of Alara ) have a lot of swing potential, considering your opponent, hopefully, never has a board.

In addition to your manlands, you can also get Dark Depths 's Marit Lage and Westvale Abbey  's Ormendahl, Profane Prince . Luckily these two big fellas are indestructible and so they'll stay with you despite Child of Alara .

If you can get City of Shadow's storage counters built up pretty high, or you manage to setup the swamps combo, then you probably have more than enough mana for the big swing and win. Lavaclaw Reaches or Kessig Wolf Run can make particularly good use of a big boost in mana.

The big swingers like Child of Alara , Ormendahl, Profane Prince , and Marit Lage are the obvious targets for Kessig Wolf Run , but difficult to block manlands are also good targets. Special mention to Creeping Tar Pit for this scenario.

If you can't get all of your creatures through your opponents' defenses then maybe you can just sneak Inkmoth Nexus through. Use your buff lands to increase the poison counters delivered, and use Karn's Bastion to put your opponents on a tight clock.
If somehow all else fails, and yet your opponent refuses to win, you technically have one more trick. Use Volrath's Stronghold and Mistveil Plains to put two cards from your graveyard into your library every turn. Keep drawing playing and sacrificing Child of Alara (and Dryad Arbor if you need another card that you can continuously sacrifice and re-draw) until your opponent draw every card in their deck.

Hurray! You technically won I guess.

The sideboard mostly contains combos and individual cards that are underutilized against the average opponent, but might be helpful against specific opponents.

Nantuko Monastery

This is a really awesome cheap manland...if you have 7 cards in your graveyard. Otherwise it's junk. And I've never had 7 or more cards in my graveyard while playing this deck. (It doesn't help that my normal playgroup does not play land destruction) If you want to play very aggressive with your manlands or your opponent is running a lot of discard or land destruction, you might be able to get value from this card.

PS: The maybeboard is my sideboard. The actual sideboard doesn't separate cards into categories like the mainboard and maybeboard do, so I let the sideboard sit over there and be a little better organized.

Thanks for Reading

DISCLAIMER: This deck is a meme.

It's not really good at winning or doing anything, but it is really fun to brew and pilot. I want to make it as good as it can be while sticking to the one cardinal rule. As a result, it is in a constant state of re-evaluation and change. Any and all help from individual card suggestions, to deck overhauls are greatly appreciated.

I really like making EDH decks with really tight restrictions and themes, so if you have any cool ideas or if you've got suggestions or other thoughts about this deck let me know.


Updates Add

I was able to play a few games of multiplayer this weekend. I won once and lost a few times. Some games were lost due to misplays and not respecting cards in my hand. Specifically, I lost the game by discarding Detection Tower because I thought I was safe, and I wanted to hold onto more punchy cards. Eventually I lost to a hexproof, commander Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts that I had no way of controlling, since I was never able to play my own commander.

The rest of the games, I just wasn't able to get my answers and pieces together in time.

To me this highlighted the need to try to get more consistency in the deck's ability to find the cards that it needs.


I hate to see the artifact lands go. I think they're very interesting and cool mechanically and flavor-wise, but in all of my games I haven't once done any of the things I intended for them. So far, all they've been is easier to remove colored mana producers.


Cascading Cataracts and Crystal Quarry go in as excellent mana fixers to allow me to more consistently cast Child of Alara when I need her. Originally, these cards weren't in because I was concerned about mana availability, but recently mana usage hasn't been as tight as it has been historically.

Slayers' Stronghold and Flamekin Village go in to give me more punch and more control over Child of Alara . By giving Child of Alara haste, I can get in a swing of commander damage, and sac for a board wipe every turn, rather than once every other turn.

Soldevi Excavations , Irrigated Farmland , and Tundra go in to allow me to find the cards that I need. Even before removing Seat of the Synod , the deck was at a blue mana deficit that made it really hard to transmute Tolaria West . Irrigated Farmland and Tundra give two new sources of blue mana that can be tutored for by two of the fetchlands already in the deck ( Grasslands and Krosan Verge ). They also provide more wiggle room to enable Emeria, The Sky Ruin as well as allowing the introduction of Soldevi Excavations .

It's still far from consistent thanks to every card and strategy being very situational. And not having many redundant abilities certainly doesn't help. But, the addition of more tutor-able lands and a new scry will hopefully help to get to the answers faster.


Forgot to mention I also replaced Sea Gate Wreckage with Frostwalk Bastion , and all of the Plains with Snow-Covered Plains .

I have almost never been in a scenario where I don't have a hand.

Frostwalk Bastion is a neat manland and it costs nothing to switch to snow basics, so it was an easy add. (If I have card:Urborg, Tomb of Yagmoth and Dark Depths on the field that's even one more snow mana I can produce btw)

Also, I know Frostwalk Bastion isn't out yet. My playgroup is okay with me running proxies and technically not legal yet cards. And I get way too excited about making changes to wait until Modern Horizons drops.


51% Casual

49% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 10 months
Last updated 1 month

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 5.00
Tokens None Copy Clone, 2/2 Assembly-Worker, 0/1 Kobold, 2/2 Zombie, 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Saproling, 1/1 City's Blessing, 1/1 Soldier, 1/1 Human Cleric, 2/2 Morph, 0/1 Goat, 20/20 Avatar
Folders To play test, Useful Ideas, EDH, decks I love, EDH, EDH Try, Meme Decks I Made, Inspo, Fun Deck Ideas, Stuff i like, See all 14
Ignored suggestions
Shared with