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Aglophobia (Kaalia Toolbox EDH)

Commander / EDH Angels Demons Dragons RBW (Mardu)



Stuff to know

Sooo, another generic Kaalia deck? Seriously?!?

Not at all my friend, this here is rather a finely tuned version that has it all: beatdown, interaction and an aweful load of fun attached to it.

Let's dive into it:

I'll be honest with you. This isn't exactly the most complicated deck to play. You'll basically want to have Kaalia out as soon as possible, starting an endless sequence of ever growing attacks. Giving your favorite demon-angel some haste helps a lot over here, so watch out for cards like Hall of the Bandit Lord or Lightning Greaves .

It might take some practice to find out about the right timing when to hold back and when to go for it though.

Once Kaalia hits the table you might just as well put your blinking red "deliver damage here" cap on. People just get jealous when they see big fat creatures around by turn three to five.

Therefore you should not simply rely on Kaalias power to win but rather analyse the exact situation. Can you protect her to attack often enough to gain you some value? Which player do you have to take out first? Do you have a backup plan for opposing counterattacks?

Psychology and mind games go a long way here.

Since Kaalia is going to get us a lot of attention once she gets going, you need a plan on how to defend yourself or you might almost certainly get destroyed by the opposing alliance.

Also Kaalia herself will be assassinated quite often. Luckily, both white and red provide an array of useful tricks to dodge removal and prevent or even redict damage.

Though it might seem contradictory to put those defensive cards in here at first glance, once I tried them out I never looked back.

You can even double the sweetness when you happen to get a Sunforger on the table. Suddenly an open represents all the mentionend effects above and thus turns figuring out what to do into a rather nightmarish task for opposing generals.

Complete List of Targets:

Shining Shoal is obviously not a very clever target to get with Sunforger but servers an important role as "Force of Will"-effect, often saving Kaalia during her crucial first attack step.

To outline the inner structure of the deck I put everything into ten categories. However, most cards serve double purpose. Swiftfoot Boots enables a hasty attack of Kaalia while also protecting her. Shunt could be used not only for protection but also for redicting an opposing carddraw to ourselves. Yosei, the Morning Star does not only disrupt our opponents, but also kills them if unanswered... - you get the idea. In the end I decided to put each card into the category that I think is most important for the deck's performance.

Ok, so this section is here to explain why I don't run a few cards most Kaalia decks are.
  • a) Mass-Land-Destruction Catastrophe, Armageddon, Cataclysm

Of course it is tempting to throw in some monsters via Kaalia, then blow all lands up and slowly grind your opponents to a frustrating death. Tempting, but utterly boring as well. The games I enjoy most are the ones where you don't really know who is going to make it in the end. Where advantage goes back and forth between players. Mass land destruction just isn't fun to me, even when it almost assures a win every time.

  • b) One-Hit-Kills / mean stuff Rakdos, Master of cruelties, resolute

Pretty much the same here, all three are game-winning most of the times but I feel like they put me too much ahead for other players to compete. And competition - remind you - is a good thing since it makes games interesting.

While Rakdos just cuts people from half of their resources, Resolute Archangel basically doubles our life total. Even though this seems kinda week in comparism, it truly isn't when you command an army of dragons, demons and what not at the same time. And for Master of Cruelties , well, he just seems like he never understood what "fair play" is about. I'd bet the other demon-kids didn't let him join in back in the days...

  • c) "Demonic" Tutors & Tutors in general "Demonic" Tutors & Tutors in general

Like mentioned with the mass land destruction above, I always felt like Commander is best at being a mildly-competitive format (Multiplayer-Commander that is, nothing against Duel-Commander here). Manipulating your draws will result in more consistency and therefore in the end in less epic topdeck stories and more repetitive interaction patterns. Thus I decided that tutoring is something I'll highly limit myself to, with Sunforger being the max in here.

  • d) Attacking twice per turn Aurelia, Avvageraged assault

Often suggested and pretty obvious inclusions on first sight, I've tested both for quite a long time and found them rather unimpressive. Aurelia is a little difficult to cast, her stats prevent her from being a decent Kaalia target and the vigilance rarely matters. Here Scourge of the Throne just seems way superior to me. Aggravated Assault gave room to Waves of Aggression , since it can be disenchanted, bounced, enchanted with Faith's Fetters and so on while Waves is actually just vulnerable to graveyard removal. Seems legit to me.

Now that you mention it, I'm using a personally 3d altered Kaalia to lead my troops here.

I always felt that Fallen Angel hat quite a lot in common with Kaalia flavorwise so i put her in the main spot and added one mighty dragon taken from the alternate art Seething Song .

In the end, I spiced up the background with a foil Quest for Pure Flame and added some asian rules text for style reasons.

Altogether there's a whooping 19 layers and around 5 hours of cursing involved, enjoy!

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Updates Add

[card]Iona, Shield of Emeria[/card] got hit by the banhammer and thus has to leave the team. Poor Iona, we hardly knew you. Well, ok - our opponents got to know her quite well during the last years. At least that's why I'm assuming because of all those sighs of relief I'm hearing in my playgroup... ;)

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