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Jaya Ballard, Fiery Control [Primer]

Commander / EDH Artifact Burn Control Mono-Red Primer



Jaya Ballard Control

"Of course you should fight fire with fire. You should fight everything with fire."
—Jaya Ballard, task mage

Decklist Choices

The Commander

Jaya Ballard, Task Mage

  • The commander herself that the deck is built to utilize. She allows all the cards in your deck to have 4 modes, pyroblast a permanent, Incinerate anything, Inferno the board and players for 6 or just cast the card. Most of the time you will use pyroblast for a rhystic study or something small that keeps opponents card advantage even with yourself. Incinerate is not used too much but is quite useful and even more so when you have a basilisk collar on her. Finally, dealing 6 to everything and everyone is huge. Unfortunately she hits herself with this ability. Using Protection from Red or Indestructible we avoid this, when we cannot, giving her lifelink will give you a huge amount of life.

  • Generally she is not a general that is cast early on, blue mages are always countering her but eventually will need her for the board wipe. Her abilities allow you to have a huge bargaining chip, you can wipe a board, kill pesky permanents or help out people as needed. Now we can't use the ability too much as it does cost you a card each time. Wheels and cards that return to hand help with this. Her strength comes from utility and the ability to help others when it suits you. Use that to your advantage.


Ancient Stone Idol

  • One of my favorites from its commander set. This big boy plays really well with Daretti and Welder. He can come down pretty early to block or hit face. He survives inferno and plays well with holding up Jaya's ability. If the board is wrathed he also sticks around to save you. Overall a very solid creature I was glad to give a shot.


  • Easy to discard to looting or your commander to give your creatures haste. Most important part is usually the commander will have haste at a later time which can let you board wipe easily as needed. Fairly self explanatory card as this deck lets it hit the grave easier than most red decks.

Deal Broker

  • Great looter as it draws then discards. Low cost early play or can be used to switch with artifacts in the grave for a low cost. This card comes in and out a bunch but usually ends up back in.

Dire Fleet Daredevil

  • A new card I am trying out, so far has been quite good despite the anti synergy with Torpor Orb. At worst if that is in play you just loot it or use it with Jaya. Its upside is too large to ignore though.

Goblin Welder

  • One of the most powerful creatures in the deck, it offers a ton of utility with both your grave and your opponents. Bringing back swords, card draw, or gravehate, it gets back whatever you need at the time. Try not playing it too early as you usually only get 1-2 uses out of it.

Godo, Bandit Warlord

  • Red Stoneforge Mystic, it grabs what you need when you need it. Batterskull for a body and lifelink, Basilisk Collar for a threatening commander or lifegain, or either sword which are always useful. He also is one of the easier ways to do some burst damage to opponents. Just him and Batterskull is 14 damage alone.

Hoarding Dragon

  • Artifact tutor stapled to a 4/4 flying body at a reasonable cost. The card is good when it dies but with exile becoming more and more common this card is very close to being cut. Just grab things that aren't too powerful with it but can get you more powerful turns. Expedition map is a good example.

Jaya Ballard, Task Mage

  • The commander herself I have already gone through in the commander section.

Karn, Silver Golem

  • One of my favourite recent additions. The card is incredible, it gives you chump blockers, attackers to close out a game and another way to hit opponents artifacts during a board wipe or make equipment useless. Be careful of clones or it being stolen as it is just as powerful against you as when you use it yourself.

Kozilek, the Great Distortion

  • A card I will never cut. It protects itself, closes games out, has evasion, draws cards and is one of my top end cards of choice. The double colourless is fairly easy to hit and this card is terrifying to face as you don't know what will resolve any more

Kumano, Master Yamabushi

  • Grave hate, removal, finisher and mana dump. It is another card that could be cut in a much faster meta, but is good most of the time. It has impressed me more than once and stays. It fills your mid game needs and is a great card to draw late in the game while having a size-able body.

Magus of the Moon

  • A much easier to remove Blood Moon, the effect is very potent and is easy for you to remove as well to make allies or unlock your large suite of utility lands. Discard to Jaya often in a more casual environment where your opponents might not even have fun if they are newer to the game. This card can be backbreaking to some decks and worth losing your utility lands. Generally punished more polished mana bases.

Skarrgan Firebird

  • I like keeping one Squee/Phoenix effect in the deck. I started around guildpact so I chose this one for nostalgia reasons as well as its massive body in the air and low cost to return to hand. Another notable one to try is Original Squee, Goblin Nabob or Magma Phoenix preference being the utility of the Phoenix.

Solemn Simulacrum

  • Ramp, Draw, is an artifact, and chump blocks. This is everything this deck wants and red needs. Everyone knows the power of the sad robot but he does extra work in this deck as every mode on him are what we want.

Steel Hellkite

  • A very powerful finisher or midrange card with evasion that is another artifact to recur. This card always feels weak until you realize it always gets removed because people are so afraid of what it can do, not what it has done. I do not often connect with it but whenever I do it gets rid of things red struggles with. The card is only as powerful as your opponents give it credit. I don't know how much I like this card, it is a love/hate card for me.

Stuffy Doll

  • A slow card that leads to interesting board states and rattle snakes one opponent while giving you political power to get damage on someone who had bunkered up in a pillowfort. It can easily kill one opponent and rarely is a bad draw as it offers so much protection.


Akroma's Memorial

  • One of the higher cost cards that protects your board from your own board wipes, as well as Jaya from herself. It remains in because I have a soft place for it, but can be too slow sometimes. Other times it's game breaking for you to have. Much stronger if you go more creature heavy.

Basilisk Collar

  • The cheapest equipment in the deck, it gives you a ton of life when paired with Jaya and her final mode. It also turns her into a removal stick.


  • A resilient blocker, attacker and lifegain tool all rolled into one. A slow card but it will keep you in the game until you fully stabilize or will protect your walkers. Treat it as a creature more than an equipment because that's where it really shines. In a pinch though, it will gain you a ton of life as a very slow basilisk collar replacement.

Caged Sun

  • Our first mana doubler, feel free to just run them out as they can be recurred and there are multiple copies. It ramps you very far in this basic heavy deck and sets you up to play your large haymakers.

Coercive Portal

  • This card revolves around how you play with it, if you set yourself up for minimal loss it can draw you a ton of cards. Sometimes it cuts off early aggression as in a 4 player game you need only one person to agree with you to draw a card but still threatens to wipe. It prevents others from over extending too fast with the constant threat. Realistically it just draws but sometimes everyone needs a board wipe but one person, its a fun multiplayer tool overall.

Commander's Sphere

  • Cheap ramp that can draw you a card instantly with no cost. It is quite powerful as you sometimes need that one extra card to discard to Jaya after your hand has been emptied.

Crucible of Worlds

  • We run every fetch available as well as sac lands for value. It lets you hit every land drop and recur Valakut and other utility lands with ease. One of the strongest cards in the deck.

Expedition Map

  • Simple land tutor on a cheap artifact, everything this deck wants. The deck is full of utility lands that are always worth getting. It also gives a shuffle if you have Scroll Rack or Top.

Gauntlet of Might

  • Our second mana doubler, this one effects opponents too so be careful. Notably this one doesn't care about basics like Gauntlet of Power.

Journeyer's Kite

  • This switches with Thaumatic Compass  Flip often, but I find you do not need the Maze of Ith effect as much as land drops past your 7th land. It continually fuels the Commander and Valakut while also letting you hit each land drop that is very important to this deck.

Lightning Greaves

  • Protection and haste on a cheap artifact, self explanatory card. I prefer the low equip cost over hexproof from Swiftfoot Boots as this deck doesn't target it's own creatures very often.

Memory Jar

  • A temporary wheel that can be activated at any time. Being attached to an artifact makes it even more useful but having full mana when you crack it is what makes the card so strong. In niche situations you can use it to interrupt a combo players turn.

Mind Stone

  • A fast mana rock that replaces itself eventually. Simple and easy.

Mind's Eye

  • The slowest card draw engine the deck has, I like and hate it at the same time. It can draw a ton of cards but the speed and mana cost to do so is huge. Up to you to use it or not but I find the investment is usually worth it.

Rings of Brighthearth

  • Apart from the commander the deck is full of activated abilities, planeswalkers, artifacts and lands. Very versatile card and another one of the strongest cards in the deck.

Scroll Rack

  • It is only good if you have enough shuffle effects to draw new hands. If the deck doesn't have enough of them this can be an easy cut.

Chaos Warp

  • Red's catch-all instant, it hits anything any everything. This hits all the permanents red struggles with and gives you instant speed interaction with all permanents. It almost always reveals something less terrifying when used. If you are far behind you can roll the dice and try to get something good for yourself.

Comet Storm

  • Instant speed finisher that uses all your mana doubler's to good effect. In a pinch it can wipe almost the entire board or just remove one problematic permanent. The strongest finisher of choice for the deck as it comes out of nowhere to cleanly finish off players and creatures sometimes.

Commune with Lava

  • The closest red has ever gotten to mass card draw that isn't a wheel effect. It can be used on end step to lead into a very explosive turn. It is more of a late game card in this deck, due to the high cmc of everything in the deck. A strong card I do not expect to ever cut for the sheer amount of card advantage it provides as well as options.

All Is Dust

  • A colourless board wipe that hits everything red struggles to deal with. It gets past indestructibility and hexproof. Basically a second Ugin in this deck. It rarely hits anything in this deck that matters as it is almost a colourless permanent deck so it usually is a one sided board wipe.

Blasphemous Act

  • The cheapest board wipe in red available. Not too much can be said on this card as it has cemented itself as a red staple in EDH. We do get the bonus of pro red already being used to save our creatures from Jaya that prevents this. As well as Stuffy Doll being a small combo with it as well as Repercussion.

Faithless Looting

  • Early filtering that can be used later for additional "draw". An easy to pitch card to Jaya, or a way to get big artifacts in the bin for Goblin Welder to cheat out early.


  • The only tutor in the deck, the catch on this one is you have to discard at random after the tutor. Be careful with what you keep in hand and how many are in hand when cast. This powerful of an effect can have its downsides. Sometimes it's correct to grab a card with flashback or an artifact you wish to return.

Past in Flames

  • Often this will be a double Recoup, which is perfectly fine. Sometimes you just need another shatter and a wheel. The deck has a low amount of spells so it uses this as a value play rather than a game winner as it usually is used.

Reforge the Soul

  • A cheap or expensive wheel effect depending when used. The most important part of it is that it doesn't give your opponents time to prepare for it. Wheel of Fate is not a card that is good for this deck. The wheel effects look to refuel you while interrupting your opponent.

Scrap Mastery

  • A way to refill your board after it as been inevitably Vandalblasted. Another value based card that isn't meant to win the game on the spot as it usually does. The tricky part of this one is when to use it, you don't only get the effect so try to manipulate graves or set it up to give you the most amount of value among all players.

Shattering Spree

  • Mass artifact removal that doesn't hurt you. The trick to this one, is to fire a few extra shots at the control players artifacts if possible. Each replicate copy counts as a new spell on the stack so it has an almost uncounterable clause to it if you really want.


  • Another mass removal for artifacts that doesn't hit you. Unlike shattering spree when cast from the grave, it is only singular removal. That's just how overload works as it isn't cast from hand.

Wheel of Fortune

  • Red's signature wheel effect, a cheap way to interrupt your opponents plans out of nowhere while giving you plenty of new cards. Sometimes you use it for new cards only, sometimes you use it to get the person with 20 cards in hand down to your level.

Blood Moon

  • Similar to Magus of the Moon, only much harder to remove. This is meant to punish decks with a greedier manabase than you. It will often be removed if played very early, however that's fine. It helps you stabilize often and eventually your useful nonbasics get unlocked. In a more casual setting just discard it to Jaya as it can ruin the game for some newer players. A necessary evil in this deck.


  • This is why you have Akroma's memorial and all the pro red cards. It will win you the game most of the time when played. It makes each creature Jaya hits, hit the opponent as well. Purely there for mass damage and a game finisher.

Chandra Ablaze

  • One of the cards that gets questioned the most. It is basically a 6 mana mini wheel with high loyalty. It interrupts other players and lets you draw a new hand. The ult on it isnt great and the plus is sometimes used as removal. Not too often though. I would like it a bit more if I had one more Phoenix but it does enough as a wheel alone.

Chandra, Flamecaller

  • Self wheel plus card draw, win con, and board wipe all put into one card. This is one of the better planeswalkers in the deck for utility alone.

Daretti, Scrap Savant

  • A powerful card that is often at the helm of his own deck. However, we are a mix of burn plus artifacts. He fills the roles of a single artifact exchange often. If he lives he keeps a high loyalty and filters your draws.

Karn Liberated

  • Almost always a single removal spell for anything. That's usually enough, but with Rings of Brighthearth it can be more which is one of the reasons it is played over other removal. If you work with others to protect it and keep your word, you can sometimes remove two things. If he ever is alone on a board he has a huge loyalty to get through.

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

  • A planeswalker that wipes the board then threatens to close out a game. If you have ever played against Ugin, you know how back breaking he can be for some decks. The bonus is that he doesn't hit anything of yours you really care about.

Arid Mesa,Bloodstained Mire,Scalding Tarn,Wooded Foothills

  • Fetchlands so we can shuffle for Top and Scroll Rack. They work nicely with Crucible and Rings of Brighthearth to get more lands drops and find 2 lands at once. Finally they trigger Valakut on your opponents turn for extra value and removal whenever.

Buried Ruin

  • A simple re-buy of any artifact, usually crabs back crucible for extra value.

Inventors' Fair

  • The small amount of lifegain adds up sometimes, but most importantly it can start a tutor chain with crucible of worlds.

Kher Keep

  • It can act as a way to get Jaya through Edict effect, chump block, provide bodies to hold a sword or with enough Gauntlets make small guys to attack with. The card has proven very versatile and useful at all times.

Myriad Landscape,Terrain Generator,Thawing Glaciers

-The slow ramp lands or lands that let us always hit land drops. Similar to the fetches, they also let us trigger valakut on opponents turns to give us instant speed interaction. Myriad and Rings ramps you a ton as well.

Strip Mine,Tectonic Edge,Wasteland

  • Non-Basic Land removal. Every deck should run some number of these, with crucible we have a highish count to use them multiple times.

Thespian's Stage,Vesuva,Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

  • Clone lands and our land based win-con, often people will let this go unchecked before they realize how huge it is in your deck. You aren't looking to combo with them, just overwhelm your opponents with damage, removal and value.


  • I like to have 20 mountains at all times to keep Valakut online and it seems like the right amount. The wastes is to cast Kozilek as the deck has a number of basic land tutors and only usually struggles to get the second colourless. Adding the single Wastes has really helped improve casting him on curve.

Work in Progress below - To be added, wincons, game plan, categorize cards. Card considerations that have been tried and cut. (Will add the explanations I have in the comments already that people have asked about here.) Other versions of the deck.

Why Play The Deck

Commander Choice
Mid Game
End Game

Omitted Card Choices

Cards That Didn't Make the Cut

Kozilek, Butcher of Truth

  • I ran him for a while as my group is a bit slower and more value oriented he was a redundant draw power and win-con. He got cut for the more efficient Ancient Stone Idol to beat down and protect my life total. Just was too slow and devastating when stolen and the card draw wasn't that needed.
Other Commanders

If you like the deck feel free to upvote or not, I'm not your parents.


Inspired by Weebo's List and Primer and made my own version, thank you for starting me on this deck :)


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