Sometimes the best unions are made with the most diametrically opposed allies, and thanks to Teysa, Orzhov Scion , 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 directly, you just need to make sacrifices with the right pieces in place to gain infinite life and/or drain infinite life 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 life-taxing team.

There are just so many options to be used in this deck concept, which can have the initial feel of a stax deck, but truly has ulterior motives with the commander's infinite creature sacrificing, leading to the life gain and drain 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 life gain and killer combos led to the current iteration of this fairly straightforward build. With Teysa, Orzhov Scion at the helm, gaining life from creatures (ETB) should be fairly straightforward. She doesn't exactly scream of an early-game threat either, so keeping some smaller white creatures on the board with the threat of exiling your opponent's biggest threat is usually a pretty safe bet to preserve your board state. Once Darkest Hour hits the board, though, comboing off should happen very quickly.


The most important card in the deck is Darkest Hour , as your ability to combo to a win with it usually happens at instant speed, and is very difficult to interact with if it resolves. Depending on your board state, playing it without the ability to sacrifice your creatures is a recipe for disaster, so make sure it's the final piece to the puzzle before putting it in play. If it gets exiled, your ability to combo is dramatically reduced. Using a free sacrifice outlet like Blasting Station , Phyrexian Altar , Ashnod's Altar , Altar of Dementia or Viscera Seer gives you the ability to respond to any instants played, and so long as you have more creatures available to sacrifice than your opponents have instants to cast, they won't be able to stop the outcome you've set up.

The other important pieces for the available combos include any of the creature ETB life gain options partnered with Blood Artist , Zulaport Cutthroat , Vizkopa Guildmage , Cliffhaven Vampire or Vindictive Vampire , which are the best options to drain or nuke your opponents. The deck is otherwise designed to slow the initial board state of all players, mildly taxing opponents early with tapped ETB creatures, limiting attacks, limiting tutors to prevent their combos, limiting playing during your turn, and includes 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 Tainted Sigil also serve as potential game changers as well, allowing you to gain significant amounts of life to potentially complete your primary win combos even if Darkest Hour gets hosed.

The deck has been designed specifically with low CMC and 2 or less power/toughness creatures to get enough bodies on board to combo off once the parts are in place, while Meekstone , Authority of the Consuls and Magus of the Moat work as stall tactics, which often require our opponents to use their early responses to clear the path for Darkest Hour and our combos. Even if we're hit with targeted creature removal or a board wipe, reanimation options like Unearth , Victimize , Animate Dead , Phyrexian Reclamation and Volrath's Stronghold become effective ways of recycling our most important creatures, which depend on timing and board state. If all else fails, Safe Passage , Angel's Grace and Teferi's Protection are available to give us one last gasp at a reversal of fortune.

Some of the lowest-cost creatures can ultimately become our most important, like Soul's Attendant , Soul Warden , Suture Priest and Auriok Champion which gain the life we need while just sitting on the board. Tainted Sigil , Children of Korlis and Martyr of Sands combo amazingly with Ad Nauseam to give us as many cards in hand as we need, typically without a net decline to our life total. Finally, the unsung hero in the right moment is always Academy Rector , who can cheat Darkest Hour onto the board without fear of it being countered.

Take a look and feel free to provide suggestions if I'm missing some other strong options, especially white cards, as 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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  • Achieved #22 position overall 1 year ago
Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 month
Exclude colors URG

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.13
Jetons 1/1 Faerie Rogue, 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Monk
Folders XD, Inspiration / Reference EDH, Maybe, LifeGainDecks, Interesting Commander Decks, other ideas, commander, Deck Ideas, stuff for later, commander
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