The first and only Haakon, Stromgald Scourge EDH deck designed seriously to contend in a strong meta. This song by Dio expresses what I've come to feel about this deck: it's a Rainbow in the DAAAAARK! Meaning, it can do so many things generally ascribed to the other colors in Magic and unlooked for in a monoblack deck: ramp, control, tempo-shifting, beatdown, combo, etc. It does it all.

Show them something they've never seen before

This is a combo deck with some extraordinarily unique combos, previously (to 2017) never possible in EDH. It is possible to loop some things infinitely, which is inevitable given a critical mass of cards in most decks, but many of the loops can be executed in a finite by significant number of iterations dictated by the amount of mana available. For those who aren't familiar with Haakon, there's only one way currently to play him. You need to get Command Beacon out as early as possible to get access to Haakon at all, and then discard him to any number of discard outlets like Tortured Existence.

Note on the name: Korlash, Heir to Blackblade is like a secondary or alternate commander for this deck. Together Haakon and Korlash remind me of Gregor "The Mountain that Rides" Clegane and his brother Sandor "The Hound" Clegane from Game of Thrones, respectively. The Mountain actually dies in the story and is reanimated as a zombie knight (Haakon is a Zombie Knight), and the Hound is a warrior whose fate is unknown in the books, but nearly dies in the show and looks pretty rough anyways from having most of his face burned off as a child (Korlash is a Zombie Warrior). Furthermore, The Mountain is literally a scourge on the Riverlands where he raids and pillages, sowing destruction and chaos in his wake. So I had the idea that this deck would sort of thematically reflect what is known amongst fan conspiracy theorists as...


What is hype may never die!

Why play Haakon, Stromgald Scourge over Korlash, Heir to Blackblade as the commander?

Honestly, I'm testing both as the general for this deck and haven't decided on which to make the final commander. Haakon enables permanent recursion late game once you can get him out which is really nice to have, in addition to enabling combos involving playing and killing creatures repeatedly. Korlash, is mainly here for the one awesome combo below to ramp the deck really hard and get into the late game as fast as possible and then be a huge beater. In short, either one could be a great general for this deck, but currently I find Haakon's long-game possibilities more attractive.

Key combos

  • Korlash, Heir to Blackblade+Mirage Mirror + either Phyrexian Reclamation or Tortured Existence. With both Korlash and the Mirror in play, make the Mirror a copy of Korlash and put the real Korlash in the graveyard due to the Legend rule. Then return Korlash to your hand with either of the enchantments and discard him to the Grandeur ability on the Mirage Mirror copy of Korlash. Rinse and repeat for as many times as you have the resources to complete.

  • Decaying Soil + Deathrender + any sac outlet, preferably Phyrexian Altar let's you cycle a creature into play as many times as you have to pay for Decaying Soil's trigger by sacing the creature that has Deathrender equipped, stacking the triggers from Deathrender and Decaying Soil so the same creature dies, goes back to your hand, and then back into play. You can also just put any other creature from your hand into play and cycle every creature from your hand into play, then the yard and on and on. It's only infinite if you have Phyrexian Altar, otherwise it's limited by the amount of mana you have, and of course you need Threshold. Gonti, Lord of Luxury will be able to exile each opponent's entire library with this combo and is the main wincon for the deck, Massacre Wurm will wipe everybody's fields, Abhorrent Overlord can make infinite creatures, and Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed can return all your black cards to your hand to be re-cast infinitely.

  • Archfiend of Ifnir combos with all of the discard outlets, including the Tortured Existence+Korlash, Heir to Blackblade Grandeur loop to drop a ton of -1/-1 counters on all your opponents' creatures.

  • A lot of combos and sub-themes were removed from this deck in Spring 2018 to more finely tune it to do the main themes better, have more flexibility to respond to a diverse range of threats, and really focus on the discard theme. To that end, combos like the Nemesis Mask + Phyrexian Obliterator combo have been moved to my forthcoming Phage the Untouchable deck and others.

Harvest the Dead, Make them Work

As should be obvious from looking at this list and Haakon, there are not any knights in the deck; they're all terrible and unplayable except for Josu Vess, Lich Knight, but his kicker ability makes him worthless. There are two ways to get around this: Ashes of the Fallen and Conspiracy. Since you only need your creatures to be Knights in the graveyard, the Ashes takes care of that. Conspiracy essentially does the same thing, as creature types are less significant elsewhere, except in the case of Cryptbreaker. On the other hand, naming Knights for Conspiracy makes Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder amazing as he no longer makes thrulls, and therefore can make creatures indefinitely.

The key piece of removal in this deck is the coolest (and best known) bit of tech with Haakon: Nameless Inversion. At instant speed, with Haakon on the field, you can remove all your opponents' targetable creatures according to how much mana you have. Harvest them all to make rats with Ogre Slumlord and draw cards off of Harvester of Souls.

Korlash has gotta have a Blackblade right?

Sword of Feast and Famine seems like the perfect Blackblade for Korlash (and Haakon too if you look at his art), and is an excellent addition to any EDH deck. Actual Blackblade Reforged hadn't been printed when I initially built this deck and it doesn't serve much purpose in the deck as is, so I haven't added it.

Please remember to upvote if you like this deck and think that cool and unique decks should get more notice! Let's spread the word that innovation in EDH is the soul of the format! Lastly, please don't add this or any of my decks to your personal folders without upvoting. This is my creation and if you can't show your appreciation for it by upvoting then you have no right to be using it for your own purposes afterwards. Always upvote before you save a deck to a folder as a courtesy to the brewer; anything else is selfish and self-absorbed.


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88% Competitive

Compare to inventory
Date added 11 months
Last updated 2 days
Exclude colors WURG

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.51
Tokens 2/2 Zombie, 1/1 Harpy, Monarch, Liliana, 20/20 Avatar, 1/1 Thrull, 1/1 Rat
Folders EDH Decks, primer, EDH, DEcks, New deck, Flavor Town, 1, Player Decks - (Not mine), Possible EDH Decks to use, EDH, See all 40
Top rank #1 on 2017-08-17
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Revision 22 See all

3 weeks ago)

+1 Graveborn Muse main
-1 Tombstone Stairwell main
+1 Razaketh, the Foulblooded main
-1 Sword of Feast and Famine main
-1 Necrotic Ooze main
+1 Myriad Landscape main
-2 Snow-Covered Swamp main
+1 Phyrexian Arena main
-1 Martyr of Bones main
-1 Living Death main
+1 Yawgmoth's Will main
+1 Harvester of Souls main
-1 Nirkana Revenant main
-1 Thespian's Stage main
-1 Haakon, Stromgald Scourge main
-1 Crypt Rats main
+2 Snow-Covered SwampDE main
-1 Mindslicer main
+1 Mindslicer main
-1 Grave Titan main
and 118 other change(s)