"This Deck List is about Self-Reflection... Finding a Purpose within our Cards. If this 99 be a Temple, Worship is our Reward." -Patrick, The 99

The 99 - Part One - Core Strategy & Infinite Combos

The 99 - Part Two - Excludes, Includes & How to Play Teshar

How to Play Worship's Reward

  • Your starting hand should consist of: One White Mana Source, One place of Worship & (Ideally) One Reward or Divinity
  • Get your place of Worship out ASAP, Milling & Shepherding necessary resources along the way
  • With an Apostle in the Grave or on Battlefield, a place of Worship in the Grave (if Creature) or on Battlefield and Answers in Hand or on Battlefield: Cast Teshar and Find Your Purpose

Explaining this list is easily the biggest undertaking I've had to do in Deck Building up to this point, as Worship's Reward has several moving parts: Six (6) Win Conditions, multiple methods of interaction, numerous forms of recovery & oddities that you have likely never played or heard of. I assure you, Despotic Scepter and Tireless Tribe hold a valuable place in this list and all work to help this Deck function as highly as it does. There are multiple redundancies featured here to help mitigate the lack of tutors Mono-White suffers from and each card is built around manipulating our Commander's ability to its fullest: Hard Casting is not what this deck does. There is no Creature over Three CMC here for a reason and outside of our Commander & Krark-Clan Ironworks anything that is Four CMC. At it's Core, Worship's Reward is a Self-Mill, Combo Deck relying heavily on ETB/LTB's, Triggers and Activated Abilities to be used in a precise order to Win out over our Opponents. It is a Master Class in MTG Solitaire, up until our praise of Serra the Benevolent pays off. To begin, let's look at the analogous structure of the Deck.

"An Apostle goes to a place of Worship seeking an Answer..."

Our Apostles: Junk Diver, Leonin Squire, Myr Retriever, Restoration Specialist+, Salvage Scout+, Scrap Trawler, Treasure Hunter, Trusty Packbeast & Workshop Assistant

Place of Worship: Altar of Dementia, Arcbound Ravager, Ashnod's Altar, Blasting Station, Grinding Station, Krark-Clan Ironworks, Phyrexian Altar, Spawning Pit & Thermal Navigator

Answers: Lotus Petal, Memnite, Mishra's Bauble, Mox Diamond, Ornithopter, Tormod's Crypt & Urza's Bauble

Answers?: Lion's Eye Diamond, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, Mox Amber, Mox Opal & Sol Ring

You'll notice that the Deck lists Six "Answer?"'s. These are situationally beneficial. I will be pointing out all situations where they can be used within a Combo.

"If an Apostle 'tends a place of Worship, they may find an Answer and if that reply is understood, they will be Rewarded."

Now, none of the Combos+ we will be discussing work without Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle on Battlefield. With that understood, let's discuss every place of Worship and how to manipulate it for a win...

Cast Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle:

  • Arcbound Ravager/Thermal Navigator in Grave or on Battlefield: Cast Any Answer/Historic Spell, Teshar Triggered Ability on Stack, Revive Any Artifact Creature Apostle, Sacrifice an Answer (Listed Below) to place of Worship, Sacrifice Apostle to place of Worship, Recover Answer, Cast Any Answer/Historic Spell... = Infinite Mana, w/Lotus Petal, Mana Crypt, Mana Vault, Mox Amber, Mox Opal & Sol Ring (Can also use Grim Monolith)

  • Spawning Pit on Battlefield: Cast Any Answer/Historic Spell, Teshar Triggered Ability on Stack, Revive Any Apostle, Sacrifice an Answer (Listed Below) to itself, Sacrifice Apostle to place of Worship, Recover Answer, Cast Any Answer/Historic Spell... = Infinite Mana, w/Lotus Petal or Infinite Counters, w/Memnite, Mishra's Bauble, Mox Diamond, Ornithopter, Tormod's Crypt & Urza's Bauble or (Next Turn) Mass Card Draw, w/Mishra's Bauble & Urza's Bauble - ETB Apostle effects Cast/Sac/Recover Order

"Sometimes... Worship is it's own Reward."

Cast Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle:

+These two Apostles only work situationally in some of the listed Combos. +All Combos illustrated using LTB Artifact Recovery Effects

The sequence in which these Cards are Cast may vary. We may need to play out a Historic Spell to recover our Arcbound Ravager or Thermal Navigator before going off or Hard Cast our Krark-Clan Ironworks and Sacrifice numerous Artifacts before getting the ball rolling. However it is accomplished, the Combos as listed are a starting point to get you closer to understanding how they work. There are further Combos that open up with Cards like Helm of Awakening, but I will leave you to explore those yourself. For the most part, these Apostles, places of Worship and Answers are what you should be seeking during gameplay to further yourself towards victory. However, you may have noticed I've neglected speaking on our Rewards...

"If you've interpreted Her word correctly, you will be Rewarded."

Your Reward: Chromatic Sphere, Chromatic Star, Codex Shredder, Conch Horn, Conjurer's Bauble & Shriekhorn

Situational Reward: Ghoulcaller's Bell, Perpetual Timepiece & Wand of Vertebrae

Grand Reward: Walking Ballista

You notice any similarity between our Rewards? They're all used early game for short-term value. They all share the effect of Milling or Drawing, aside from our Walking Ballista. However, and most importantly, they are all Artifacts. Many of our places of Worship deal a felling blow to our Opponents, but what about the ones that don't? Using our Apostles to net Infinite Mana, we can then recover and Combo out any one of these cards to...

Draw the Deck: Chromatic Sphere, Chromatic Star, Conch Horn & Conjurer's Bauble

Mill our Opponents Out: Codex Shredder & Shriekhorn

Mill ourself for a Win Condition: Ghoulcaller's Bell, Perpetual Timepiece & Wand of Vertebrae

Damage our Opponents Out: Walking Ballista

These Rewards don't slot into every Combo, so be sure to look at which Combos Sacrifice Artifacts, allow for Self-Sacrificing Artifacts to slot in or should a Winning Combo not be made available, Mill yourself into a Reward or place of Worship that will allow you to Mill or Damage out your Opponents.

It's a hard path to tread, that of the righteous Mono-White. However, there has never been a Commander more capable or worthy than Teshar. You can win as early as Turn Two, but Teshar is looking to play the long game. With our various forms of Divinity to stave off those unholy, we can ensure our game goes as planned. Effects like Grafdigger's Cage, Silent Gravestone & Torpor Orb can shut down our strategy, so if you run in a meta that uses numerous Stax pieces of the likes, be sure to throw in as much removal as possible. Isolate is brilliant at saying goodbye to our greatest offenders, but there should be enough removal here to clear the board of any threats that may reel their ugly heads. Lastly, I want to point out a few cards and combos that deserve mention.

"The Ancestor saved us for a purpose."

  • Restoration Specialist/Salvage Scout + Lion's Eye Diamond + Teshar = Infinite Mana/Recovery of Any Artifact or Enchantment - This is one of the most compact Combos the deck offers. It does require the Specialist/Scout be on the Battlefield/Grave prior, but with the right Answers/Worships in our Graveyard, this will seal the deal for us in many cases.

  • Basalt Monolith + Mesmeric Orb = Unlimited Mill - Need a solution? Bury however many Cards necessary until a variety of Answers/Rewards/Worships become available to you, then use the 3 Generic from Basalt Monolith and a Plains (better yet, Cavern of Souls) to play out Teshar and commence a Combo. This is one of the only lists where this particular Combo is game ending.

  • Claws of Gix - This is a pseudo-Worship Card. It does not function alone, but when combined with other places of Worship provides new play lines. For instance: Spawning Pit + Myr Retriever + Mana Crypt + Claws of Gix = Infinite Generic Mana & Life Gain, which means we can in turn create a swarm of Spawn Tokens, recover a Reward that offers us a Mill victory and any number of utility with a means to break it (as Spawning Pit only Sacrifices Creatures). Most importantly, it's a Zero cost Artifact, which provides a free Teshar Cast Trigger. One Combo of note is: Claws of Gix + Helm of Awakening + Any Apostle + Mana Vault = Infinite Generic Mana, here we have a Combo that does not require another place of Worship, just a Cost Reducer on Battlefield. (An ETB Apostle would require another Card in Grave that's "0" to Cast, but that shouldn't be an issue).

  • Tireless Tribe - Seems like an odd inclusion... However, consider the fact that this Creature can allow you to Discard any Apostle into your Grave before a Combo turn or be Recovered with Teshar's Ability and THEN allow you to bin the Apostle stuck in your Hand to begin Combo'ing out. For 1 White Mana, this is an excellent inclusion to ensure your Hand is never holding something your Grave wants.

  • Millikin - You'll rarely see Millikin in a cEDH list. This may be the only one decent for the doll. Not only does it allow you to Mill, it ramps you into your next Cast. It also acts as a reoccurring, under 3 CMC Creature for Teshar to bring back and allow a place of Worship to Sacrifice for value (generally, Milling ourself for an Answer/Reward). Millikin is a must include in this low CMC Avg. Deck, allowing us to Mill through Turns and Ramp out Spells while being a relevant "Artifact" Creature.

  • Gustha's Scepter - Is important for a multitude of reasons. 1. It's a 0 CMC "Historic Spell," providing a Trigger for Teshar; 2. Acts as Protection against the variety of "Wheel" effects seen in cEDH, pending we have something in our Hand that we need to keep (generally Divinity/Worship); 3. When this Artifact is Destroyed, it Buries whatever was under it. This last note is most important. It acts as storage from Turn to Turn, but can also be Sacrificed to allow an Apostle to hit our Graveyard before a Combo Turn begins, saving us the Cost of Casting said Card. It is incredibly valuable in this list and a must include for those looking to implement a similar Deck strategy.

  • Despotic Scepter - Games do not always go as planned. That can't be helped. Our place of Worship was just Destroyed by a savvy Opponent who's faced down Teshar too many times to know letting those lie is bad news. If Teshar is in Play, we can Cast Scepter to bring back an Apostle to recover any Artifact from our Grave, whether that Apostle has an ETB or LTB effect. If Helm of Awakening is out, Scepter acts just like Mox Diamond or any other self-Sacrificing Artifact to allow a new line of Combos to be enacted. It is a general purpose utility with multiple roles in the Deck. Bury an Apostle, strike down Gustha's Scepter or even smite that most foul Gilded Drake to spite thine enemy before arising victorious. There's no wrong option here.

  • Mishra's Factory - Is it a Land or a 2/2 Artifact Creature? Truth is, it's both. Well, when you need it to be. Often times, we'll get stuck with little value in our Hand and Graveyard. To help push a Win, Tap & Sacrifice this Artifact Creature to Altar of Dementia or Grinding Station to Burying as many Cards as possible to help initiate a Combo. Again, synergy is the name of the game. In a Deck that can operate with little to no Mana, what's one less Land? A Mishra's Factory on the Battlefield is worth Two-to-Three in the Bush. Err, Graveyard.

The Ancestor was kind to spare for us Teshar. This Commander is one of the most dynamic, devastating and difficult Decks to pilot; and I absolutely love it. This is easily my favorite Commander list and likely will be for some time to come. It took a while to Brew this list for you, but doing so has made me a better Player. White barely does anything to help support the self-mill archetype of this list, but still it functions brilliantly. I look forward to updating this list as future sets release and hope this Primer serves you well in constructing your own Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle.

Patrick Marlett, The 99

September 4th, 2019 - Sevinne's Reclamation for Helm of Awakening - Though I love the Helm, Sevinne's Reclamation helps us stick with Plan A. Helm previously reduced the Cost of certain 1cmc Cards to 0, making it possible to use them in Combos. Sevinne's, much like Brought Back (but better in many ways), allows us to recover multiple Combo pieces despite when or how they got Buried. Strengthens are self-mill, aids in recovery and is an overall bomb for this list.

July 13, 2019 - Salvager of Ruin & Brought Back for Restoration Specialist & Despotic Scepter - WHOA! Yeahhh, M20 was goooodddd for Teshar. Okay, let's start with our most recent Apostle, the Salvager of Ruin. This is a Combo Card that does not need a Sac Outlet to go off. It's one catch: the Permanent(!) it recovers needs to have been placed in the Graveyard from the Battlefield that same Turn. Makes me wonder if Argivian Find will find a home here... That's a different conversation topic though. For now, the Specialist is out for the superior Salvager. I love the Scepter, but our latest utility Brought Back is magnificent in this list. Similarly to Salvager, the Permanents(!) it brings back need to have left the Battlefield on that same Turn, but come on! Excellent recovery utility and something this Deck sorely needed. Super happy with these latest additions as they make Teshar that much more resilient.

June 9, 2019 - Ranger-Captain of Eos, Generous Gift & Scrapyard Recombiner for Conch Horn, Aven Mindcensor & Tithe - For now, Conch will be removed in place of Ranger-Captain. Conch does function within our Infinite Mana Combos to Draw the Deck, but Ranger-Captain enables them. The list can use as many Tutors as it can get and a repeatable one like the 3cmc Ranger-Captain is an auto-include. I am currently testing Generous Gift over Aven Mindcensor. Generally speaking, it's the Tutored for Card and not the Tutor that needs to be stopped. Most opponents will have several means to Tutor and fewer ways to Recover. Theory: save the Mana and stop the Tutored Win Cons. Hulk/Razaketh lists, Zur & Godo are the greatest offenders and they can all be put down with Generous Gift. Secondly, the ability to stop anything that may disrupt our game plan is huge. Now we have both Unexpectedly Absent and Gift to deal with those situations. 50/50 here... More play/testing will help come to a decision or an alternative swap. The Recombiner was another tough one. The list utilizes a mid-range strategy and Recombiner helps us pull pieces that allow us to win. Again, anything to heighten our chances of winning is integral.

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91% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 10 months
Last updated 15 hours

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

7 - 1 Mythic Rares

46 - 2 Rares

23 - 2 Uncommons

13 - 1 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 1.60
Tokens 3/3 Elephant, Gideon
Folders Decks, Finders, Mono-White, Follow, Take Note, Fun, combo decks, White, Competitive Multiplayer, Good decks, See all 19
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