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Kalemne is Best Girl [EDH Primer] v1.9

Commander / EDH Midrange Multiplayer Primer RW (Boros)


v1.9 Theros Beyond Death Update!

--There really isn't a whole lot for this deck from the new set, just Purphoros.--

Upon announcement of the second Commander Anthology, I was pleasantly surprised to meet my first Commander joining the ranks of decks worthy enough to see a reprint this time around. I feel like most people who veer towards the competitive side of the game, or have just been playing EDH long enough to know that Boros is a color pair that struggles at the fundamentals of the format, will not put much time or thought into Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas. I'm here to share what I have learned from playing this deck since its initial release in Commander 2015, and try to shine some light on the fun that can be obtained with her at the Helm.

Play 5 or greater CMC creatures to trigger Kalemnes' experience counter ability after shes hit the field. Not very complicated. Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas gets +1/+1 for each experience counter she has. You get experience counters by casting or higher CMC creatures while she is in play. The stat boost she gets aren't counters themselves, they're always equal to the ammount of experience counters and she always gets the buff as long as she's in play. So its Wizards telling you to play Big Dumb Boros creatures, and yeah, that's sort of what's happening here, but I would describe them as Big Smart Boros creatures. The inherent weaknesses of Boros colors in Commander are lack of ramp, and lack of card draw. We have the ability to make up for this by getting the most out of our 5 and greater CMC creatures. So the creatures you play have to provide specific things for you to want to run them and not lose out on card advantage. Also we're running many, many, mana rocks.

(Conduit of Ruin): It makes the first creature you play each turn cost less, which is great in a deck running so many large creatures. He tutors for your colorless card advantage options; Kozilek, the Great Distortion and Sandstone Oracle, whichever you prefer to run, or both. Kozi is better late game and when your opponent has fewer cards than you, but does have the requirement and is also a -drop, while Sandy is cheaper to cast but is situational. (v1.8 Note: Removed Kozi to try different cards, he is really expensive and double colorless is a chore)

(Godo, Bandit Warlord): This man is all an round MVP in the deck. Tutors for any equipment in the deck and puts it into play. That would be good enough on its own, but it gets better. When he attacks, after combat untap all Samurai and there is an additional combat step? Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas has Vigilance, so she gets in on the additional combat step too. BUT IT GETS BETTER "How does it get better Dream my man?" Well did I mention he goes infinite with Helm of the Host? Well he does. He's a good guy. play him.

(Thalia's Lancers): These fine ladies come down the turn after Kalemne, provide a respectable First-striking body, and tutor up whatever legendary card we need most.

(Stonehewer Giant): This guy has a tool for everything, and that's why we love him. CMC for our experience counter requirement, Tutors for all our equipment. Realistically he's probably finding only one before getting blown up, my choice 95% of the time is Sunforger. Oh look, that's up next!

To say this is a Sunforger deck wouldn't be exactly correct, but it is consistently the best card in the deck. You always want to draw it in your games and here's why; It is card advantage, tutoring, and provides answers and can protect our board. Its a mind game machine, people will be hesitant to attack you, either with creatures or spells, in fear of retribution. Its also just +4/+0 which equates to 8 additional damage when paired with our double-striking Commander. I've rode the back of Sunforger to so many victories, you could say its the Boros Craterhoof Behemoth, it's a little less immediate, but it does win games. Packages may change, remember its any , , or instant under . You still have to adhere to rules printed in the text of the card, for example; you need to pay the , and unattach Sunforger before attackers are declared if you wanted to Master Warcraft on an opponents turn. Similarly upsides on cards like Return to Dust work if cast during your main phase. -spells are tricky, because if you're playing them for free that means has to =0, additional costs however can be paid, meaning you can play spells that qualify for Sunforger's requirement that have kicker and still play the kicker cost. Orim's Thunder for example. My package is a reactive one, here's why each one is included and their uses:

(Boros Charm): 95% of the time its for making the team indestructible. Can be used to give a creature surprise double-strike and possibly kill an opponent, doesn't even need to be your creature. Worth remembering is it can deal 4 to an opponent.

(Chaos Warp): Just a red catch all, would be in the deck even without Sunforger.

(Comeuppance): This one is funny. Treat it like a Deflecting Palm+Fog.

(Master Warcraft): Was voted most likely to win you the game off a single Sunforger activation. Oh you have infinite tokens? ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°)

(Oblation): Similar to Chaos Warp with different downside. Can be used as card draw in a pinch.

(Path to Exile): Goodbye combo creature.

(Swords to Plowshares): Goodbye combo creature. Can be used to gain life if desperate.

(Teferi's Protection): This one requires forethought. On one hand it keeps you safe for one turn cycle, on the other hand you can literally do nothing until your next turn which sometimes isn't a good thing. Also knowing when to use this versus simply removing a few permanents that are threatening is key. This is sometimes a last resort. I'd say if you're being targeted by the player whos turn comes right after yours late in a game, use it. If its about to be your turn and say someone is attacking all out at you, fire off Comeuppance instead.

(Tithe): Tithe is a real gem. Its a plains tutor that most times is also card advantage. On top of being a decent fixer and assuring you hit land drops, you can tutor Mistveil Plains that also combos with Sunforger. You always like hitting land drops in this deck.

Useful Land: (Mistveil Plains): This allows up to reuse spells that aren't exiled with Sunforger by putting them on the bottom, getting extra mileage out of usually one-shot spells

This list is volatile, packages are prone to change with local metas and our personal collections, Would Sword of Fire and Ice be amazing in the deck? Yes, I dont have one though, (ecks dee). The swords of X & Y should be great with our Giant Double-striking Solider lady because most of them trigger twice. However I find them a little bit overrated, and Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas is one of the best Commanders for them. Since we have a minor equipment tutoring theme thanks to Stonehewer Giant and Godo, Bandit Warlord you can run utility or combo equipment and not feel too silly.

(Sword of Feast and Famine): Only SoX&Y currently in the deck and everyone knows why. Makes an opponent discard 2 cards, deal 4 additional commander damage, untaps lands and gives relevant protection colors.

(Sword of the Animist): Ramps, is an early drop, a good team player. We're probably losing if we're at the point of tutoring for this for ramp, but its great it on curve.

(Helm of the Host): I alluded to this beautiful card in the beginning, and boy, I'm in LOVE. Already mentioned going infinite with Godo, Bandit Warlord, who we were playing anyways, but did I mention we also play Aurelia, the Warleader? Who also combos similarly while just being good in the deck. This card is such a boon. <3 Dominaria. Even just making copies of our thicc value creatures is insane. Copy Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas and the copies get the Experience counters too. I'm in heaven.

(Loxodon Warhammer): Also fine to tutor up if you have the important equipment already or the time isn't right. This one is better on curve. Gains a lot of life and makes Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas a good blocker too.

(Lightning Greaves): Gotta go fast!

(Sunforger): You had your own section.

The creatures that can make an appearance in Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas decks can vary greatly, originally I went Giant Tribal, tried Angel tribal for awhile too, but I felt the pains of playing Boros a little too often. Whether you go Wide or Tall, you will lose if there are more than a few board wipes or you fall behind. This mentality is why I want my creatures to pack value and utility, rather than simply jamming every Nobilis of War whackitty-smackitty-attackitty Boros type cards. Here's a few creatures I would like to explain.

(Balefire Liege): Okay okay I said I was veering towards not playing "whackitty-smackitty-attackitty Boros type cards", but this guy I feel has a place. He makes Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas a 6/6 on its own, regardless of whether its attacking or not. Some additional triggers when playing spells are also nice. C-c-c-combos with Assemble the Legion.

(Solemn Simulacrum): I'll be honest, I hate playing anything other than our Commander when we have 4 mana, but you just have to play this guy. He does what Boros sucks at, Ramping and Drawing. Wish he was 5 mana so we could trigger Experience, but what can you do.

This section looks pretty whimpy and there's a reason for that. If one of the themes of the deck is playing expensive creatures, then our 5+ drops should probably be creatures. Similarly any targeted answers should be instants for Sunforger, hence why there's only a few Sorceries and Enchantments to be found.

(Austere Command): Is a good board wipe with selection, kills things smaller than our stuff. Flexible.

(Vandalblast): Is the Commander ? Okay we're playing this.

(Assemble the Legion): Just a good card, lots of value and can win games on its own if left unchecked.

(Outpost Siege): Provides that red exile card advantage we need. I prefer to play it later when I can cast the spells exiled off it.

(Land Tax): It's whites' Ancestral Recall. No really drawing lands in this deck is great, even if that's all you draw. Good luck triggering it more than once though.

(Stolen Strategy): Just card advantage, play with your opponents bombs and can lead to wacky boardstates.

Here's some lands, not a lot going on here.

(Ancient Amphitheater): This land is sometimes an untapped dual land. We do have a small Giant theme since a lot of good Boros cards are Giants, otherwise its just a tapland, replaceable with any dual land that comes out in the future.

Ancient Tomb A great land that helps play our heavy cards.

(Battlefield Forge): Pain lands are good in EDH, this one also allows us to pay the costs of our Eldrazi spells.

(Clifftop Retreat): Just a dual land 80% of the time.

(Command Tower): Why not?

(Forgotten Cave): Cycling lands are always good in EDH, even better when you have trouble drawing cards by nature.

(Homeward Path): Being a 2 color deck has some benefits, one is having more space in the manabase for utility lands. This spot is flexible, I have had Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas suited-up with Sunforger and Sword of Feast and Famine get Switcheroo'd with a Steel Golem once. I figured I had lost until I looked down at my lands and realized I had the Homeward Path and could activate it on my opponents end step. Glorious.

(Mistveil Plains): This has a section in the Sunforger Tab.

(Needle Spires): Dual land that has fine upside with equipment.

(Opal Palace): Good land in the deck if you are trying to kill with Commander Damage, more of the same as Experience counters. Provides .

(Rogue's Passage): Also great for knocking someone out with Commander Damage and provides .

(Rugged Prairie): Great filtering land that provides .

(Secluded Steppe): Same as Forgotten Cave.

(Scrying Sheets): This and Snow lands aren't essential, but I have retracted my prior statement that they "probably weren't that good." They're great, specifically because of this card. It's a great effect because half the time its also just a land, if it was an actual card taking up an action slot, it would be terrible. It gives you something to do on the end of your opponents turn, or when you're holding up Sunforger mana but didn't need to use it. Activate it on your upkeep if you have mana to spare to make sure you draw action. It's in the category of little cuts that help make the deck much better. It's still a large financial investment for something very narrow, but it simply is an A+.

(Snow-Covered Mountain): In total there are 23 basic and 1 non-basic snow lands in the deck, that comes out to nearly 25% of the deck. Exactly 25% if you count Coldsteel Heart, which is a snow artifact and does get hit off of Scrying Sheets.

(Snow-Covered Plains): There are a few other snow permanents that could be considered, Adarkar Valkyrie and Mouth of Ronom are next in line to test.

(Temple of the False God): Great in every Commander deck but really really nice in Boros with many 6-drops.

Optimal starting hand: 3 Lands, 1 2-mana mana rock, 1-2 creatures to play after your Commander.

There are a lot of people who scoff at Commander Damage, probably thinking "Well, only casual play groups would lose to that." But I'm here to tell you Commander Damage is alive and well. There is rarely a game of 4 players where Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas doesn't knock someone out on her own, it's not even that much of a commitment. Its easy to swing at someone, and depending on ramp, get 8 Commander Damage on someone turn 4-5. All it takes from there is a hit with a good equipment and someones gonzo, usually whoever has better late game.

Choose your targets based on what you can and cant answer, the short answer is value based late game strategies should be your primary concern unless someone is comboing off. Can you deal with graveyard shenanigans? Do you care about mill? Can you kill that person with Commander Damage? Do you need to leverage Master Warcraft or Comeuppance in order to have a chance at the kill?

Thanks for reading if you made it this far! Let me know if you have thoughts or you too have a soft spot for Kalemne in 2018!

Where I'm putting the descriptions of cards that get replaced, for the sake of keeping the thoughts behind them around and not needing to re type them if they get put back in.

(Cataclysmic Gearhulk): This one is basically only great the turn after you drop Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas if you didn't play a mana rock. Otherwise, its a fine board wipe that lets you keep 1 creature and artifact, usually Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas and itself. Can help to stave off early development.

(Endbringer): Seems out of place, but it is a creature we can play that has the almighty "draw a card" printed on it. Also combat tricky.

(Wild Ricochet): This one is very situational, think of it like a weird Redirect+Fork that sometimes acts as a Counterspell sometimes doesn't work quite that well, and sometimes you redirect and copy a Time Warp.

(Hall of the Bandit Lord): A very powerful land, can sometimes make casting Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas on 4 tough, but being able to attack the turn she's played increases the odds that someone will die to Commander damage much greater. Also giving a Stonehewer Giant haste isnt bad at all.

(Warstorm Surge): You have not felt true joy until you've played this card as one of your first few plays in a deck like this. It may seem underwhelming and expensive, but if you get a couple activation's off of this in a game your opinion will quickly change.

(Knight of the White Orchid): He ramps, is sorta card draw, holds equipment well. I often find it hard to get the trigger off him, but he seems good on paper. Reserving judgement till another 10 games have past.

(Whispersilk Cloak): Fine tutor target if you have your heavy-hitters already. Ends close games.

(Quarantine Field): My choice for targeted grandé removal. One fun thing to do is exile a few enormous threats, everyone kinda forgets about them because they've been taken care of, then late in the game pop out a destroy spell on it and then Teferi's Protection and watch the turmoil from safety.

6/8/2018--Spent an unreasonable amount of money to make the deck 0.5% better AKA added Snow manabase.

In: Scrying Sheets, Snow-Covered Plainsx11, Snow-Covered Mountainx12

Out: Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion, Plainsx11, Mountainx12

6/11/2018--Battlebond came out and made a lot of nice cards cheaper.

In: Mind's Eye, Land Tax, Stolen Strategy

Out: Ingot Chewer, Fiery Confluence, Protector of the Crown

6/25/2018- I came to my senses and realized I needed to add a few things from Ixilan.

In: Etali, Primal Storm, Sunbird's Invocation

Out: Knight of the White Orchid, Warstorm Surge

8/2/2018--Updated descriptions + Thoughts on cards

Scrying Sheets is bomb, read the description.

Stolen Strategy Has allowed me to do the impossible, MELD into Brisela, Voice of Nightmares. This was accomplished by exiling Gisela, the Broken Blade and casting it, then the next turn exiling Bribery from another player to get Bruna, the Fading Light from my white opponents deck. Was a very good time. Also, having Stolen Strategy out on turn 2 helps a lot. A+

9/4/2018- Adding a powerful mythic from Ixilan Block that I overlooked, Again.

In: The Immortal Sun

Out: Staff of Nin

Don't get me wrong, I love Staff, but somewhere along the line I picked up a copy of The Immortal Sun, read it for the first time, and realized its just 85% better in every way. It is about 10x more spendy and shuts down our ability to play walkers if we wanted, but currently I didn't have any in the deck so I don't mind.

9/12/2018- Making Mana and Sunforger Better

In: Mistveil Plains, Tithe

Out: Quarantine Field, Whispersilk Cloak

Tithe and Mistveil were always intended to be in the deck, its just finally time to add them.

1/14/2019- Adding Ultimate Masters Cards

In: Ancient Tomb, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

Out: Hall of the Bandit Lord, Sun Titan

I've been very unimpressed with Hall of the Bandit Lord, In theory it should be great but for me it's a tap land that doesn't fix and pains me a ton, Ancient Tomb is amazing in the deck, and now I could afford one. Sun Titan similarly has been very unimpressive in this deck, there are very few targets for his ability and even less of them are great ones. So in place of a 6 mana 6/6 vigilance, I add Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, which I consider I huge upgrade.

10/18/2019- Half a dozen sets worth of changes

In: Talisman of Conviction, Ilharg, the Raze-Boar, Cavalier of Dawn, Cavalier of Flame, Bastion Protector, Emeria Shepherd, Razia, Boros Archangel, Realm-Cloaked Giant, Anya, Merciless Angel and a land I cant remember

Out: Angel of Sanctions , Avacyn, Angel of Hope , Commander's Sphere , Endbringer , Gilded Lotus , Karmic Guide , Kozilek, the Great Distortion , Return to Dust , Wild Ricochet , Cataclysmic Gearhulk

Basically this update can be boiled down between two things; New cards coming out, and wanting to give some older cards a try. Some of the main points I tried to cover where better 5-drop options that weren't situational. Ilharg, the Raze-Boar , Cavalier of Dawn , Cavalier of Flame vs Karmic Guide for example. I also wanted to lower the curve and slightly though it ended up about the same.

Another point was the number of non-creature spells in the deck. Basically I was too gun-ho about Sunforger when the deck really isn't that well equipt to use it outside of Stonehewer Giant. Its still good, though I cut Return to Dust and Wild Ricochet to lower the number of bricks drawn during the game. Admittedly Return to Dust is very good and probably should remain in and a card like Comeuppance should probably be the one to get the axe, but there are a few other ways to deal with Artifacts and Enchantments so I'm making the rough choice in the name of fun.

A few top end creatures got flopped around to other decks, thats why Avacyn, Angel of Hope is out, no real reason she cant be in but in this case I'll cite powerlevel is too high for my playgroup.

Last note is Realm-Cloaked Giant is just better than Cataclysmic Gearhulk I think and can't wait to try out a 1-sided boardwipe.

11/4/2019- Small change

In: Smothering Tithe

Out: Archangel Avacyn  

Basically I've been looking for a way to fit in Smothering Tithe and Avacyn has routinely under-preformed in my experience. (You really dont ever want to be leaving mana up in a deck like this except in corner cases. Plus, her flip trigger is hard to get in this deck.)

More mana seems better.

3/1/2020- Purphoros Baby!

In: Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded

Out: Anya, Merciless Angel

Haste is an awesome effect, the angel is underwhelming and punishes you for being ahead.





Updates Add


41% Casual

59% Competitive

Top Ranked
  • Achieved #25 position overall 1 year ago
Date added 2 years
Last updated 3 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

17 - 3 Mythic Rares

38 - 4 Rares

17 - 1 Uncommons

5 - 1 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 4.11
Tokens None Copy Clone, 3/3 Golem, 1/1 Human, None Treasure, 3/3 Golem, 1/1 Soldier, Experience
Folders Commander, Anthology Deckgoals, Unsorted, Commander, commander, Interesting Decks, Online decks, Usefull decks, edh stuff, oscar, See all 27
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