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Kaalia, born in Heaven for Hell on Earth

Duel Commander* Aggro Angels Demons Dragons RBW (Mardu)

BlackWitch


Description

Need help.

This is my current favourite deck. I love dragons so the idea of having Kaalia as my commander was just way too tempting. Although I need help. I know I have an issue with sticking stubbornly to my favourite, but quite useless cards until someone explains their complete uselessness to me.

So my first request is to point out some of those useless cards that one can see here, and what should I add instead.

My second request is to help me find something against control decks, counter spells and removals. My biggest problem is to cast Kaalia or keep her safe on the battlefield. That is why I have cards like:

Additionally I think I need some cards with draw, although I have no idea which of them are good.

I am open to all propositions and critique.

Remember this is Duel Commander and You start with 20 life.
Useful cards I don't run in this deck:

  1. Phyrexian Arena, Anguished Unmaking, Bloodgift Demon, Dark Confidant // Losing life while starting at 20 is just to painful.
  2. Necropotence // Too slow
  3. Angelic Skirmisher, Basandra, Battle Seraph, Siege Dragon, Hellkite Charger, Rakdos, Lord of Riots // No ETB effects.
  4. Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon // Deals no actual DMG. Can't wait 4 turns to kill with infect

Suggestions

Comments

Spirits says... #1

Hey, Fellow Kaalia of the Vast player Kaalia, the Purifier EDH Decklist. I have lots of research and ideas in my deck if your interested.

I have an issue with loving card too, every deck needs it's own flavor as well!

Is this a Duel Commander Banlist deck? I would not that, helps making evaluation and suggestion. The obvious one that's missing which makes me think it's Duel Commander is Sol Ring if it's using the Mtgcommander.net Banlist

Rune-Scarred Demon is pretty epic, he replaces himself in the hand with someone nastier like Avacyn, Angel of Hope or a Master of Cruelties. Demonic Tutor is good too.

Blood Crypt, Godless Shrine, and Sacred Foundry would be nice land upgrades.

Bloodgift Demon is a reasonable Kaalia of the Vast draw engine. Phyrexian Arena you see commonly as well. I prefer a Dark Confidant.

Path to Exile is great for CMC 1. I'm not sure something like Searing Blood is that useful, most things are bigger in commander format, and is an off color, unless it interacts with another card in here.

Mizzium Mortars sorcery speed, and the overload is so expensive.

Not sure Spirit Mantle is right either, are your Dragons/Other getting killed by creatures frequently? You should be the biggest and baddest out there most of the time.

For me a Steelshaper's Gift is a better way to get a CMC 3 Lightning Greaves than a Whispersilk Cloak (noted you don't run it mainboard), but Steelshaper's Gift a good way to protect Kaalia of the Vast

Serra Ascendant is pretty good, just based on how much low cost, early damage your running, like Vexing Devil for example.

Rupture Spire is not a playable card, remove that.

Overall very nice. You won't be blazingly fast, but I think you can be somewhat controlling early on long enough to get there. +1

February 2, 2017 5:57 p.m.

Warxuaroz says... #2

@Spirits: I need to ask this -why do you prefer Dark Confidant? Does the draw wording hurt you enough to pay a, most probably, high CMC life cost? Ok Phyrexian Arena costs B more, but gives you a draw for only one point of life instead of potential 5-7 (25% cards are over 4 CMC).

I bet Spirit Mantle is to be cast on Kaalia to let her attack every combat not minding the blockers.

Serra Ascendant seems not worth a place of another card since it's dueal commander format and you start with 20 life instead of 30. That's most likely why there's no Phyrexian Arena or such.

I aggree Mizzium Mortars and Searing Blood are somewhat weaker spots on the list. So is Rupture Spire.

I think eg. a Flickering Ward could replace one of the red cards and help you protect Kaalia.
Also, Slayers' Stronghold and Spinerock Knoll or maybe even Windbrisk Heights?

February 3, 2017 9:33 a.m.

Spirits says... #3

Dark Confidant can be a pain, but less often then you would guess.

37% is a 0-drop (Better than a Phyrexian Arena

9% is a 1-drop (Same as a Phyrexian Arena

46% of the time you'll be better than or same.

Only 16% will be CMC 6 or greater, although, in Duel Commander with Sensei's Divining Top on the banlist, It's not as valuable as mtgcommander.net rules.

I play both Dark Confidant and Phyrexian Arena. I've considered Necropotence but the is tougher in my build, I'm heavy . The speed benefit of the Dark Confidant outweighs his potential damage offset, I've found anyway.

Serra Ascendant won't be good in a Duel Commander format.

I gave up on Slayers' Stronghold, the CMC 3 ( and itself) is just too much, never found it useful. Hanweir Battlements has been more effective for me. I also don't like waiting for lands like Spinerock Knoll or Windbrisk Heights, too slow.

Flickering Ward would be a better protection card, and it can be used on other situational creatures with ETB's as well to double the benefit if they have to be returned.

February 4, 2017 2:06 a.m.

BlackWitch says... #4

Hi Spirits!

Yeah I know your deck very well. I've been studying it for about two days ;) Your descriptions helped me a lot. I found out about combos I've never thought they work out so good with Kaalia of the Vast. So I'm very happy that You commented my deck.

Yes, it is duel commander that is why I can't add Sol Ring or Sensei's Divining Top. I am trying to make Kaalia of the Vast work well at FNMs.

I'm not running any fetch or shock lands cause I can't afford to buy them at this moment. I intend to, but after I buy other cards I need. Such as Demonic Tutor you mentioned here, or Rune-Scarred Demon. I believe they are more crucial in this deck than shocks or fetches. Although I have a question about Rune-Scarred Demon. Is it worth to keep both: him and Demonic Tutor in the deck at the same time?

I know I need some draws but I am really against Bloodgift Demon or Phyrexian Arena. In Duel commander one has only 20 life. And almost every player runs aggro deck. It is really to risky to loose 1 life each turn just for one draw. So, do you know what else could I use to get some draw without losing much life?

Path to Exile is a must-have some day, yet it is to0 expensive for me atm.

Spirit Mantle is here helping me protect Kaalia of the Vast, so I can attack with her each turn safely.

Are Searing Blood and Mizzium Mortars that bad? I'm considering removing them from my deck, yet I still think I need some red burning cards.

And at last, it is true that I need to get rid of some tap lands. They slow me down.

February 5, 2017 9:54 a.m.

Spirits says... #5

Rune-Scarred Demon can be cheated into play with Kaalia of the Vast and then depending on board position, I usually search for a Master of Cruelties or an Avacyn, Angel of Hope. So he is VERY effective, as well as a 6/6 flying, he's no slouch. If I need a control card, I can pull a Wrath of God or an Anguished Unmaking etc. Must have both Rune-Scarred Demon and Demonic Tutor

There really isn't too much draw in that doesn't cost life unfortunately. Perhaps offset some aggro with some lifelink? Whip of Erebos or Gisela, the Broken Blade or Baneslayer Angel or Archangel of Thune or Nearheath Pilgrim.

Searing Blood is not that great, if you're playing lots of small toughness aggro creatures, it might work out well. Usually 2 damage to a creature either doesn't kill it, or it wasn't that big of a threat that it required killing. Sometimes this is not the case. Also later in the game (turn 5+) I feel it would normally be a dead draw?

Mizzium Mortars is ok, but the Sorcery makes it useless compared to something like Path to Exile. The overload is good, but way too much mana. I'd opt for something that pushes my damage up instead like Silverblade Paladin. Or Lightning Helix maybe?

February 6, 2017 6:57 p.m.

BlackWitch says... #6

I wanted to say thank You Spirits

I play-tested Rune-Scarred Demon and Demonic Tutor and that works great. I really underestimated those cards. I just need to get them.

And yeah, lifelink is a good idea. What do You think: shall I put Gisela, the Broken Blade alongside with Bruna, the Fading Light ? Or is this opportunity to have Brisela, Voice of Nightmares not worth having them both in this deck ?

Also I decided I will not add anything with life loss to my deck. No pain lands, no Phyrexian Arena, Bloodgift Demon or Anguished Unmaking, etc. I know they are useful, but they just don't work in Duel Commander. Usually I play against hard aggro decks. 20 life is really to little to pay life for anything.

But I need some draw. That is why I decided to add Farsight Mask, and keep Sorin, Grim Nemesis. Although I am not sure about Sorin. He is pretty expensive, yet he gives me draw and deals damage. Considering my high CMC cards, he might be useful. What do You think ? Or maybe You can think of other useful artefacts that give draw?

February 8, 2017 1:33 p.m.

Spirits says... #7

I like Gisela, the Broken Blade she is as good as Baneslayer Angel. Bruna, the Fading Light is just too awful for me to include, Brisela, Voice of Nightmares is pretty awesome and what I want, but not worth the uselessness of drawing a Bruna, the Fading Light. If only Bruna, the Fading Light was an ETB trigger! She would be superstar!

Maybe Archfiend of Depravity, not sure what the aggro looks like? If it's creatures he could be good. If it's tokens a Sever the Bloodline might work. Blind Obedience or Imposing Sovereign might slow them down?

Harvester of Souls gives you no pain drawing, and free cast with Kaalia of the Vast. I feel Farsight Mask CMC 5, and Sorin, Grim Nemesis CMC 6 will be too slow to help vs. an aggro deck, by the time they resolve and activate the game might be over. Indulgent Tormentor is great, does he net you many draws?

There's always the cycling draws, Dragon Mage, Wheel of Fortune, Reforge the Soul. I use Maralen of the Mornsong and Stranglehold to eliminate my opponents draw lol.

Archangel of Thune can block, lifelink to mitigate the aggro damage, and then get bigger and out of control as well. There's just isn't useful drawing in these colors that doesn't cause pain, and maybe even give those advantages, but not Mardu.

February 8, 2017 2:11 p.m.

BlackWitch says... #8

@Spirits

Oh, yes... Bruna, the Fading Light has cast effect. Yeah. It is pointless to add her to Kaalia of the Vast decks.

You might be right. I will add Gisela, the Broken Blade and Archangel of Thune. But I don't know what shall I remove instead... Aurelia, the Warleader and Angelic Skirmisher ? Angelic Skirmisher gives me good sustain, but his ability will trigger next combat. He might not survive opponent's turn. And I must hard cast Aurelia, the Warleader, for her to be effective... Other way she probably won't survive until my next turn. And she is only 3/4. Yet I really like those cards and I think they are useful despite no ETB trigger. What do You think ?

I used to play Harvester of Souls, but still, he is very high CMC and if I can't cheat him in with Kaalia of the Vast I don't think he is reliable draw card. Indulgent Tormentor is great. He is relatively cheap and in Duel Commander might be a real threat. Either way - I draw a card for free or opponent loses 3 life out of 20.

Cycling draws are too risky for me. Yet Maralen of the Mornsong and Stranglehold is extremely tempting option.

February 8, 2017 2:43 p.m.

Spirits says... #9

Angelic Skirmisher is too slow, plus most of the creatures have some or all of those abilities anyway. I don't play her. I'd probably choose lifelink anyway, so would rather have a Whip of Erebos for CMC 4, than a 4/4 flying delayed trigger for CMC 6. Plus Whip of Erebos gives me recursion.

Aurelia, the Warleader is tempting to drop, I've thought about him, and if he's in my hand with others, I honestly usually drop the others. Tough call on him, I would say he has vigilance and haste, if you do hard cast him, hes very effective. Even if he's dropped in, he's an immediate threat. His synergy with Gisela, Blade of Goldnight is impressive too. Not sure about him.

Harvester of Souls is way too high CMC, and waiting for triggers to draw. He's one of the only pain free ones though, thought I would mention. I agree he's pretty terrible, especially since you're relying on your opponents creatures to be dying frequently because Angels/Demons/Dragons don't in the type of numbers needed to make him useful. Really good synergy with a Wrath of God or a Damnation though.

Let me know if the extra lifelink helps slow the aggro curve against you.

February 8, 2017 3:56 p.m.

BlackWitch says... #10

Hi Spirits

I just wanted to tell you, that this little bit of lifelink works just great in my deck. It helps me survive all the aggro crap of my opponents, till I can cast Kaalia of the Vast or attack with her safely.

Archangel of Thune not only gives me sustain, but also helps me much with keeping Kaalia of the Vast safe onto the battlefield from spells like Shock, Lightning Bolt or Umezawa's Jitte etc, which are real pain. It's a shame that I have never thought of this card earlier. I was convinced that it works only in decs with life gain.

And what is new. Now I find Griselbrand one of my favourite creatures. I was afraid of his high CMC but realized that Kaalia of the Vast is the best way to sneak him in ! Now he is all I need. Some lifegain and optional draw if needed. Better than Whip of Erebos

Vault of the Archangel also helps me a lot. Used to think that this 5CMC is a bit to much, but once I have Kaalia onto the battlefield I don't care about mana that much, so I can use it to activate this ability.

February 17, 2017 1:03 p.m.

Spirits says... #11

Awesome BlackWitch, glad that it's working.

Griselbrand is my favorite Demons as well, it's awesome that he is not on the Duel Commander Banlist. Unfortunately for me he's on the Mtgcommander.com Banlist. Just watch out for Mindslaver.

Vault of the Archangel is awesome, I found I wasn't utilizing it that often, 1 out of every 3 or 4 games, plus it slowed me down through turns 1 through 6. Once Kaalia of the Vast is on the field, you always have your mana untapped, which is why I like Restoration Angel and Archangel Avacyn  Flip (I know she kills Kaalia of the Vast too but usually flips the same turn that Kaalia of the Vast is indestructible anyway. Boros Charm too.

Your Kaalia of the Vast is a beast, people must not like coming up against you.

February 17, 2017 2:23 p.m.

Warxuaroz says... #12

Hello there, BlackWitch!

So I've been wondering how can you, with all the awesomeness and kickassness you already have, become more resilient.
I've found some interesting pieces that might suit your needs and wills.

Artifacts/auras to stick to Kaalia and lean back relaxed while she reaks the havoc she was born to dwell in:
Champion's Helm -looks good on on sadistic flying cleric chicks imo.
General's Kabuto -shroud and no damage is just what Kaalia needs! The only thing still that could break her is a wipe.
Ward of Lights/Cho-Manno's Blessing -are both similar with the exception of Cho-Manno's Blessing being much better. Maybe a little costly but certainly worth a thought or even two.
Righteous War -it's a two-colour Earnest Fellowship.
Reconnaissance -that would be nice if you wanted a Dolmen Gate effect. Not if Kaalia has shroud but still a valid ability. Maze of Ith can help you with that, as well as making opponent's creatures do no damage.

Instants:
Stave Off is just a Gods Willing with no extra effect. Simply a reliable one-drop.
Otherworldly Journey can both protect your commander from being destroyed and make her more beefy with the counter. Same can be done with Ajani's Presence or Undying Evil.
Bathe in Light can be used on Kaalia and grant protection to all the other creatures you control at the same time. To be used at a tougher than expected combat phase or in order to make your attack go through.
If you are facing an incoming Wrath of God or such, you can always use a Ghostway! Similar effect can be achieved with Cauldron Haze or even Cauldron of Souls only with -1/-1 penalty.
If you want a protection against every spell AND not just as a counterspell but with until-end-of-turn effect, there's always the old friend waiting: Silence. Very powerful imo. I need to get one as well! I wonder why doesn't it cost much more.

Now for more proactive play:
Go for the Throat is a really nice spot removal which black can provide.
Aurelia's Fury -this card I am always biased about. It can be costly, it can be cheap. It can be useless if you want pure damage of pure control. But if you need to just tap the creatures or if you just need to counter that creature spell it is the one you go for. AND it does damage!

I see you like discards and no wonder -it's a very efficient and honestly -tilting activity. If you want maximum salt, I propose Hymn to Tourach. No targeted discard can tilt as much as random shot at two lands in opponent's 2nd turn, or even before that. Pure cruelty and immorality. But that's what you aim for, right?

As to the creatures I've found:

Ending the topic of discards: Mesmeric Fiend. Not OP, but hell, it might be just what you want.
And while at two-drop creatures, Benevolent Bodyguard, Obsidian Acolyte, Daru Spiritualist, Selfless Spirit and Standard Bearer can all help you with the Bearer being far superior to others imo. If killed/discarded, you can also bring them all back with the Reveillark! Same can be done to one-drops (like the Mother) with Ranger of Eos.
Last, but not least: Deathless Angel. I know it's not the omni-potent killing machine you'd like to drop with Kaalia, but it's really nice when comes to protecting her mother or any sibling actually.

Now the tricky part: I have one thing I don't really know if it works and some that I know you won't like, but I still want you to know them.
Illusionist's Bracers can potentially let you put two fatties on board at once. I'm not sure if it really is so, sadly.

And all the life-loss cards:
Phyrexian Arena -come on! It's supernice! Who cares about 1 life if you draw a protection you'll need or a demon that will win you the game!
Same goes for Night's Whisper and Skeletal Scrying.
Toxic Deluge just annihilates the board. You usually control more beefy ones so you can get rid of anything to the threshold you choose.
Grim Tutor is just another one to get what you need.
Both Thoughtseize and Mind Twist look good. Mind Twist can really vegetablify the opponent at almost any time of the game.

And the last one: Hall of the Bandit Lord. I know 3 is a lot of life. But considering you might take far more from the opponent I believe it can be neglected. The card is very powerful if used correctly. I believe it could make the deck more aggressive, just another brick in your wall of hatred in the wrath castle of Kaalia.

I hope you will take as much as you can from it and that it will help you somehow in making this damn good deck a masterpiece.

February 24, 2017 12:56 p.m.

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Date added 6 months
Last updated 3 days
Legality

This deck is Duel Commander legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.60
Tokens 1/1 Vampire Knight
Views 953