Sometimes the best unions are made with the most diametrically opposed allies, and thanks to Kambal, now you can turn every day into April 15th and celebrate as if you were the IRS. The old adage that speed kills has never been so true, and the reality is you don't need to kill anything, you just need to gain as much life as possible and combo to a win. Just like life and death, black and white are in perfect harmony in this deck, which makes for an awfully successful tax team.

There are just so many options to be used in this deck concept, which has the feel of a stax deck, but truly has ulterior motives with the life gain combos. I've done my best to come up with a fairly quick and complimentary build that will lull players into thinking it has a long, grindy, stax-like game plan, instead of the various combos available. I will freely admit my knowledge of white is somewhat limited, as I play it pretty sparingly otherwise, but the concepts of speed, life gain, opponent taxes, and killer combos led to the current iteration of this fairly straightforward build. With Kambal, Consul of Allocation at the helm, gaining life should be fairly straightforward. He doesn't exactly scream of an early-game threat either, so gaining some life off of his ability is usually a pretty safe bet. Once you hit 50 life, comboing out can happen very quickly.


One of the more important cards in the deck is Academy Rector, as your ability to combo to a win with it happens at instant speed, and is very difficult to counter. Depending on your life total and board state, the ability to sacrifice the Rector into enchantments like Test of Endurance, Sanguine Bond or Exquisite Blood (especially if the other is in play), often leads to immediate wins. Using a cheap sacrifice outlet like Phyrexian Tower, Ashnod's Altar or Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim also gives you the ability to make the sacrifice at the end of the untap step, leading to an instant win with Test of Endurance at your upkeep if you have at least 50 life.

Other straightforward combos and/or auto-win options like Mindcrank and an activated Bloodchief Ascension, as well as Felidar Sovereign are also included. The deck otherwise is built to semi-control the board state, taxing opponents early with tapped ETB lands, artifacts and creatures, limiting activated abilities and attacks, lots of tutors to find the answers needed for any given situation, and dozens of ways to gain life or drain life, with instant speed spells to exile primary threats as needed. Children of Korlis, Martyr of Sands and Cliffhaven Vampire serve as potential game changers as well, allowing you to then play off your primary win combos.

The deck has been designed specifically with low CMC and 2 or less power/toughness creatures to outpace your opponents early, while cards like Meekstone, Kismet, Authority of the Consuls, Blind Obedience, Magus of the Moat, Thalia, Heretic Cathar and others work as stall tactics, which become board state threats that require opponents to use their early answers/responses to clear the path for our combos. Teysa, Orzhov Scion + Darkest Hour + Zulaport Cutthroat is an especially fun combo, and that is really just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many combos to be created based on both our life gain and opponent life loss that your opponents will have a tough time coming up with enough responses to hose them effectively. Even when a creature-specific combo is hosed, cards like Unearth, Animate Dead, Phyrexian Reclamation, Volrath's Stronghold and Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle become effective ways of recycling your low CMC creature value, while additional low-cost creatures like Lone Missionary, Soul's Attendant, Soul Warden, Suture Priest and Auriok Champion gain the life you need while just existing on the board. Ivory Tower, Children of Korlis and Martyr of Sands combo amazingly with Necropotence and Ad Nauseam to give you as many cards in hand as you need, typically without a net decline to your life total.

Take a look and feel free to provide suggestions on additional options you think might fit the deck well, as there were many other cards in my maybe pile that almost made the cut, but were left out for one reason or another. That said, if I'm missing some other strong options, especially white cards, I'm always interested in improving the deck's function, although it is not my intention to create a true stax deck. As always, thanks for looking, and happy brewing.


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86% Competitive

Compare to inventory
Date added 11 months
Last updated 1 week
Exclude colors URG

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.29
Tokens 1/1 Spirit
Folders XD, Inspiration / Reference EDH, Maybe, LifeGainDecks, Interesting Commander Decks, other ideas, commander, Kambal, Deck Ideas, stuff for later
Top rank #22 on 2018-03-11
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Revision 34 See all

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-2 Vizkopa Guildmage main
+2 Vizkopa Guildmage main