Improvements to be made:

I think I'm going to pull the dual scry lands and replace them with Shizo, Death's Storehouse, Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep, and Eiganjo Castle


I got a lot of inspiration for this deck from 3drinks' Kaalia Primer but I tailored the list more for an angels build. I also tossed in a lot of lore-based cards for fun.

Explanation by Category

Kaalia needs to get out and swing before your opponent's can react. Mass Hysteria,Dragon Tempest, Hall of the Bandit Lord, Swiftfoot Boots, and Lightning Greaves make it happen. If you're playing opponents who probably have a lot of counters or destructions ready for the instant you drop Kaalia, sometimes it's worth it to wait the extra turn to have answers or defenses ready.

Kaalia of the Vast

Avacyn, Angel of Hope is one of the most powerful angels in the game. Giving your own permanents protections from your own board wipes and any destruction spells your opponents cast can be game-changing. Attacking without tapping (except the turn you cheat her out - Kaalia says to tap anything we cheat out...sorry Aurelia) lets her protect your board too. I also really like her link to the planeswalker Sorin Markov and the Eldrazi story.

Gisela, Blade of Goldnight is insane both in multiplayer and in 1v1. In multiplayer, Gisela gives real incentive for your opponents to kill each other rather than you due to the double/halve damage effect. If you are the only one with board state and need to end another player's rampage quick before they run away with the game, Gisela is your girl. Doing the math, if you drop Kaalia and cheat out Avacyn one turn, hitting for 10 damage, then follow up the next turn by cheating out Gisela, you will deal 15 x 2 = 30 to finish them off then and there. Your remaining opponents will be heavily dissuaded from targeting you after that due to your multiple layers of protection.

If you hard cast Aurelia, the Warleader or cheated her out on the previous turn, you can trigger Kaalia twice now. Did I mention, she has haste? Have fun!

The original powerhouses: Akroma, Angel of Fury and Akroma, Angel of Wrath are a couple more heavy hitters.

Having trouble with dragons or demons? Baneslayer Angel is the card for you. Is Urza giving you lip? Quiet him down with Linvala, Keeper of Silence (This is the only real relevant example I've recently encountered). Sephara, Sky's Blade is mini-Avacyn.

Boasting passive, continuous effects that are often just strong enough to be a game-winning problem, but not so strong as to make them the major target of most removal, Angelic Arbiter and Archangel of Tithes let you set up while tripping up your opponents.

Angel of Serenity and Angel of Despair provide nice spot removal. Angel of Serenity hits graveyard based strategies as well which comes in handy. Angel of Despair is better the earlier in the game you get her. I've recently discovered these two cards provide a new application for Cloudshift other than dodging a targeted removal.

Avacyn Restored

Grand Abolisher and Mother of Runes are great for protecting Kaalia and letting you do your plays unhindered. Defense Grid keeps the players off your back during the early game.

I use Cloudshift more as an offensive card with ETB effects but flickering out of a targeted removal certainly has its uses.

Orim's Chant and Aurelia's Fury can outright win you games. Especially 1-v-1. Losing a turn while Kaalia combos off is deadly.

Teferi's Protection is arguably the best protection spell in the game. I've been saved by it more times than I can count.


Nothing too radical in here. These cards get rid of your opponent's stuff. Liliana of the Veil can bypass shroud and hexproof if the card you want gone is their only creature. However, she's excellent bait for counters that would otherwise be aimed at Kaalia.

Anguished Unmaking

Most of the tutors in this deck are rather generic. Running Tainted Pact effectively means no one card in the deck can be the same. Also, to be any sort of effective, you need to play lands that don't tap. In a 3 colour deck, this is expensive. This also leaves you very vulnerable to stuff that hates on non-basic blood moon. Fortunately, there are signets to help bypass this problem.

Demonic Tutor

From recent playtests, particularly those involving "group hug" strategies, I have learned one very real truth:

NEVER let the Kaalia player draw extra cards. EVER.

When Kaalia draws more than once per turn, it will get oppressive regardless of what is drawn. More lands? Thanks, now I can hard cast angels alongside the ones I'm cheating out. More angels? Hello board. More protection? Dope. More removal? Good thing I have lots of land to reserve for these now that Kaalia's on board. It becomes terrifying even to the one piloting the deck. Unfortunately, this also reveals one of the major weak points of the deck: Mardu is low on good draw power. If you can outlast Kaalia's initial barrage of angels, they will run out of resources fast. At that point the worst you might expect from them is the occasional board wipe or one angel per turn which is not very threatening to a deck with a board presence.

Phyrexian Arena

As a self imposed restriction, every deck I build must have an Eldrazi in it somewhere. That's why I have Gisela, the Broken Blade and Bruna, the Fading Light to make (this is such a cool mechanic) Brisela, Voice of Nightmares. Bruna's ability to regen an angel comes in clutch in the mid to late game.

Brisela Voice of Nightmares

Serra the Benevolent has me perplexed. She looks really cool and fits the angel theme, which is the only reason she's stayed in the list this long. Compared to what the deck usually does, she seems pretty underwhelming. Yet, somehow, I've won games where I opened her as my only viable option. Most of them were 1-v-1 games mind you. There's got to be something about creating that 4/4 angel and stabbing at my opponent for 5 damage each turn that has them shaking in their boots. I still don't get it.

Finally, we have Single Combat. Now this card is epic. I love the Nahiri, Sorin, Avacyn, Eldrazi lore and this card is sick. Not only that but it fits the deck so well. Sack everything except Kaalia of the Vast, force your opponents to do the same. No one can cast creature or planeswalker spells for an ENTIRE turn! But they never said you can't cheat them out. ;) This card basically gives you two free turns of swinging out at your opponents while cheating out angels.

Single Combat

The folks at my locals gave me some good advice. It's good to have a backup commander that you can switch to when you want to play a more casual and relaxed game. Maybe the folks you're playing with can't afford big knock out decks that can handle Kaalia of the Vast.

Kaalia, Zenith Seeker fills this role quite nicely. The deck still ramps hard enough that you can hard cast your scary angels, but it delays the onset of your angels for a few extra turns to give slower decks a chance to keep up. You can and I have won games with this handicap. In the end, it increases the fun for everyone at the table and then everyone wins.

Kaalia Zenith Seeker

Kaalia needs to get out and swinging as fast as possible or you will fall behind and be out-answered by your opponents. This means that having land come in tapped is absolutely unacceptable. Being a 3 colour deck, it is absolutely critical that you have all 3 colours covered or you can't cast Kaalia. If you fail to put on the pressure fast and keep it up, you will almost certainly lose.

This was the first Magic the Gathering Deck I ever built that had to worry about colour. I learned a lot of lessons about building multicolour decks in the process that may not be completely obvious to a new player. So with new players in mind, I'll lay those lessons out here explicitly in order of usefullness. An excellent resource for choosing the appropriate dual lands for your deck can be found at Mana Gathering.

Unless you're Bane of Zendikar, if you're not running Command Tower, are you even playing commander? Nomad Outpost is one of the few lands that comes in tapped but it gives us any one of the Mardu colours. With the release of Ikoria in 2020, Savai Triome quickly replaced this card since it does the same thing, has cycling, and is fetchable.

Vintage Dual Lands: Plateau, card:Scrublands, Badlands. These are the true dual lands. They can be retrieved with fetch lands since they are treated as Plains, Mountains, and/or Swamps. This allows you to easily fix your mana colours. They are on the reserved list and are exceptionally expensive.

Shock Lands: Blood Crypt, Godless Shrine, Sacred Foundry. The budget alternatives, or in this case compliments, to vintage dual lands. These cards fulfill all the same roles as dual lands except they have a cost of 2 life if you have them come in untapped. In Kaalia, this is well worth it. However, ideally you will be fetching the vintage duals first. Shock lands and Vintage Duals are the only dual lands I am aware of that explicitly take on the name of swamp, mountain, and plains, making them fetchable.

Fetch Lands: Arid Mesa, Bloodstained Mire, Marsh Flats, Polluted Delta, Wooded Foothills. Each of these cards has no colour identity because they do not explicitly contain any of the symbols. So technically, you could run 10/11 existing fetch lands. Misty Rainforest is the only one that does not work in this deck. However, each one we use pings us for 1 damage which we want to keep to a minimum. Use these cards to get the dual lands you need to fix your colours. These cards can get a little pricey but once you have a playset (commander playset: one of each), you can proxy them across your decks for casual play.

Fast Lands: Blackcleave Cliffs, Concealed Courtyard, Inspiring Vantage. These cards should come out within your first three turns. After that, they will probably come in tapped and slow you down.

Check Lands: Clifftop Retreat, Isolated Chapel, Dragonskull Summit. Once you have at least one of your shock or vintage duals, you are guaranteed to bring these lands in untapped. Save these for after you fast lands.

Filter Lands: Fetid Heath, Graven Cairns, Rugged Prairie. These cards offer you a bit a flexibility with your coloured mana in case you really need to double down on a certain colour.

Odyssey Filter Lands Shadowblood Ridge These cards were only released in allied colours and do not give you the flexibility that regular filter lands do.

Basic lands: Plains, Mountain, Swamp, Snow-Covered Plains, Snow-Covered Mountain, Snow-Covered Swamp. Remember, we're playing Tainted Pact as a cheap tutor for the deck, so we need to keep our basic land count at 1 of each name. These cards can be fetched. Thankfully snow-covered lands are also basic, bringing our basic land count to 6.

Scry Lands Temple of Malice, Temple of Silence, Temple of Triumph. These cards are the only tapping dual lands in the deck. We ran out of lands that come in untapped. I realize Pain lands exist but we're already taking enough damage from our fetch and shock lands to be running those. So I compromised with these. Of the dual lands that come in tapped, I deemed these ones the most useful. Kaalia is not a draw heavy deck but really relies on the cards that are drawn. These lands help to remove a dead draw from the top of our deck.

Mana Rocks: Arcane Signet, Boros Signet, Orzhov Signet, Rakdos Signet, Lotus Blossom, Talisman of Indulgence, Sol Ring. Think of these like playing extra lands each turn in the early game. These cards are what enable us to cast Kaalia by turn 3.

Seraph Sanctuary


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92% Competitive

Date added 8 months
Last updated 2 weeks

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

19 - 0 Mythic Rares

52 - 0 Rares

16 - 0 Uncommons

7 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.61
Tokens Serra, 4/4 Angel, 2/2 Morph
Folders First Commander Decks, pp, Awesome Decks
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Revision 7 See all

2 weeks ago)

+1 Bloodgift Demon main
-1 Xantcha, Sleeper Agent main