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Queen of the Orzhov [[Teysa Karlov Combo Build]]

Commander / EDH*



Welcome to Teysa Karlov, Queen of Aristocrats!

She is born to rule and rules with iron elegance and noble rigor. She will build herself a mansion while making her enemies pay for it.

This is my first draft of this deck, the one I could come up with now in a hurry. Anyway I would be very thankful for further suggestions and perspectives on Teysa, so feel free to leave a comment! Looking forward to refining this list.

Detailed Description in Construction!!!

The Winning Strategies

This is the strategy that comes to mind immediately when you consider Teysa Karlov first ability. And it's this ability that makes her such a potent, maybe even the most potent Aristocrats commander. Below I will go through the important cards for this strategy, explain why and in which way they are important and how they interact with Teysa Karlov .

Blood Artist , Falkenrath Noble , Zulaport Cutthroat : Their function in this deck is obvious. They will net you a ton of life while draining your opponents. And the best of it: With Teysa Karlov on the field each and everyone of them will not only gain you a ton of life but also kill your opponents on double speed! We are talking on 6 lifegain/lifeloss each turn with each one of them out. That's a 12 point difference and 18 points of damage each turn in a 4-player game. Definitely nothing to look down at.

Dictate of Erebos , Grave Pact : What could be better than life drain? Well... making your opponents sacrfice all their beloved creatures! This does not only get around indestructible and hexproof/shroud but will be a two for one with Teysa Karlov out. Two triggers for one creature will clear the board of you enemies within the blink of an eye!

Black Market , Pitiless Plunderer : A little ramp is always nice, isn't it? Well, then this pirate is the man for you! Two mana for each creature or token of you dying seems a nice trade to me. And if you don't need mana? Then there is stil Revel in Riches to sweeten you your small useless treasure tokens ;)

Dark Prophecy , Smothering Abomination : Who doesn't love drawing cards? With Teysa Karlov on the field, these guys will net you two cards for every creature or creature token dying on your side of the table. More cards, higher probability to find answers or win your win condition.

Elenda, the Dusk Rose , Hidden Stockpile , Jar of Eyeballs , Twilight Drover , Wurmcoil Engine : These will be your consolation money for your beloved deceased bretheren who lost their lives on the battlefield. With Teysa Karlov out most of them will compensate you even double.

Anointed Procession , Bitterblossom , Elenda, the Dusk Rose , Elspeth, Knight-Errant , Elspeth, Sun's Champion , Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder , Grave Titan , Hidden Stockpile , Liliana, Death's Majesty , Martial Coup , Secure the Wastes , Spawning Pit , Teysa, Orzhov Scion , Twilight Drover , Westvale Abbey  Flip: This is your army-generating army. What else is there to say? You play them, you pay them, you kill them and they will provide reinforcement which you in turn can sacrifice on the battlefield to obtain your goals. Their composition and setup might change but their purpose will always rest the same.

Altar of Dementia , Ashnod's Altar , Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim , Blasting Station , Hell's Caretaker , Hidden Stockpile , High Market , , Phyrexian Altar , Phyrexian Tower , Sadistic Hypnotist , Skullclamp , Teysa, Orzhov Scion , Viscera Seer , Westvale Abbey  Flip, Yahenni, Undying Partisan : Welcome to the Assissted Suicide Squad! Their task is to help some of your more stubborn soldiers finding their way to the rainbow brigde. Their members might be subject to change but sooner or later they will help you remove unwanted members from your military ;)
This might be the less obvious but still a very viable strategy. Next to Aristocrats Teysa Karlov is also a very good token commander. Her second ability is a great way to pump up your token army with vigilance and lifelink. So this will be your main goal: Build up an huge army, pump them and win through masses. This list runs a few supporting cards for this strategy. If you want to go all-in on that you'll find tons of other token producers and pump spells in black and white. But for this build the tokens will remain a secondary strategy.

Anointed Procession , Bitterblossom , Elenda, the Dusk Rose , Elspeth, Knight-Errant , Elspeth, Sun's Champion , Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder , Grave Titan , Hidden Stockpile , Liliana, Death's Majesty , Martial Coup , Secure the Wastes , Spawning Pit , Teysa, Orzhov Scion , Twilight Drover , Westvale Abbey  Flip: Even though it's a repitition, I added in the following section another time for the people who are particulary interested in the token strategy. If you read it earlier, you can just skip. This is your army-generating army. What else is there to say? You play them, you pay them, you kill them and they will provide reinforcement which you in turn can sacrifice on the battlefield to obtain your goals. Their composition and setup might change but their purpose will always rest the same.

Divine Visitation : This card will upgrade all your pesky 1/1 soldiers, vampires etc. into an army of beefy, flying angels ready to execute divine justice and serve the sentence of Your Majesty. Together with Anointed Procession and its token doubling power you'll soon enough have a legion of winged justicars ready to exterminate all the infidels at your table. Deus Vult!

True Conviction : Once you have recruited your massive army it's time to equip them with some heavy weapons and card:True Convition is such a weapon. Your soldiers will strike twice and gain you life which is especially nice if you have trouble keeping Teysa Karlov around.

Lifegain is out!

But is still a strategy you could pursue with Teysa Karlov . Obvious includes are Aetherflux Reservoir and True Conviction . Sanguine Bond and Exquisite Blood together or all by themselves will be of great help as well. Soul Warden , Soul's Attendant and Suture Priest will help your aristocrats to gain you some more life. If you want to go deep on this strategy you can include cards like Felidar Sovereign , card:Alhammeret's Archive, Rhox Faithmender etc. Kambal, Consul of Allocation , Fumigate and the new Kaya's Wrath might also be considered.

This is your emergency plan. Even though combo might be the most boring way to win for some of you it is still a way to win. It's flashy, it's quick and it's unstoppable if you get your pieces to resolve. Personally, I will treat the combos in here as an emergency plan in case all other ways of winning have been impeded by my opponents.

Exquisite Blood + Sanguine Bond : By far the most flashy/immediate/boring way to end the game. All you need is something to gain you one life such as Blood Artist , High Market or Soul Warden and the interaction of Exquisite Blood and Sanguine Bond will do the rest. Your opponent will die quickly and bloodless.

Pitiless Plunderer + Revel in Riches : Sacrifce creatures until you have gathered ten treasures, protect Revel in Riches and on your next upkeep the game is yours. It is harder to pull off than it might seem at first glance. My advice is to get your opponents into using answers on your other stuff and declare yourself a pirate afterwards.

Teysa, Orzhov Scion Combos

Blasting Station + Darkest Hour + Teysa, Orzhov Scion : This combo will kill your opponents through infinite damage. Since Darkest Hour makes any creature black card:Teysa, Orzhov's second ability will be triggered infinte times which will infintely untap Blasting Station so you can tap it for infinite damage. All you need is a creature to sacrifice with Blasting Station to start the chain.

Darkest Hour + Grave Pact + Teysa, Orzhov Scion or Darkest Hour + Dictate of Erebos + Teysa, Orzhov Scion : The procedure is the same as before. Find yourself a sac outlet, sacrifice a creature and Teysa, Orzhov Scion will trigger thanks to Darkest Hour . The creatures dying will cause your opponents to sacrifice all their creatures to Grave Pact or Dictate of Erebos .

Darkest Hour + Phyrexian Altar + Teysa, Orzhov Scion or Ashnod's Altar + Darkest Hour + Teysa, Orzhov Scion : This is an infinite mana combo. Either colored or colorless. All you need again is a creature to sacrifice to start the chain.

Darkest Hour + Teysa, Orzhov Scion + Viscera Seer : An infinite scry combo. Sacrifice a creature with Viscera Seer then Teysa, Orzhov Scion triggers. The scry basically allows you to search for a certain card and put it on top of you library. This way you can search for some kind of win condition or an answer you desperately need.

Darkest Hour + Sadistic Hypnotist + Teysa, Orzhov Scion This is a crippling combo for your opponents since it basically empties their hands. The mechanism is always the same, prior you need a creature to sacrifice and then starts the chain.

Altar of Dementia + Darkest Hour + Teysa, Orzhov Scion : The infinite mill combo. Sacrifice a creature with Altar of Dementia , choose an opponent as target, get the Teysa, Orzhov Scion trigger and repeat until your opponents are left without cards.

Blood Artist + Darkest Hour + Teysa, Orzhov Scion or Darkest Hour + Falkenrath Noble + Teysa, Orzhov Scion or Darkest Hour + Teysa, Orzhov Scion + Zulaport Cutthroat : An infinite drain combo. Sacrifice a creature with some kind of sac outlet and then all the spirits Teysa, Orzhov Scion creates. This way your aristocrats will drain all your opponents to death.

Requiem Angel Combos

Blood Artist + Divine Visitation + Requiem Angel or Divine Visitation + Requiem Angel + Zulaport Cutthroat or Divine Visitation + Falkenrath Noble + Requiem Angel : The infinite Angel-Spirit-combo. Sacrifice a non-spirit and Requiem Angel will trigger. As the spirit token enters Divine Visitation will trigger and turn your spirit into an angel. Sacrifice your angel to one of your outlets and the chain will restart. Adding in one of your aristocrats you will drain to death the whole table.

Ashnod's Altar + Divine Visitation + Requiem Angel or Divine Visitation + Phyrexian Altar + Requiem Angel : Same logic as the combo above. Sac a non-spirit with Ashnod's Altar or Phyrexian Altar , Requiem Angel will trigger which in turn will trigger Divine Visitation . Rince and repeat. This will generate you infinite mana to spend as you want.

Altar of Dementia + Divine Visitation + Requiem Angel : An infinite mill combo. Sac a non-spirit with Altar of Dementia , then Requiem Angel will trigger leading to a Divine Visitation -trigger. Sacrifice the newly made angel and sacrifice it to Altar of Dementia to repeat the chain. This will make all of your opponents mill out.

Blasting Station + Divine Visitation + Requiem Angel : An infinite damage combo. Sacrifice a non-spirit and get the Requiem Angel -trigger. Divine Visitation will trigger and turn it into an angel. Meanwhile your Blasting Station will have untapped, so just tap it, sacrifice your angel token and Requiem Angel will trigger again. Repeat the chain to kill all your opponents.

Phyrexian Altar + Reassembling Skeleton + Requiem Angel : This will net you infinite drain combined with Blood Artist , Falkenrath Noble , Zulaport Cutthroat . Sacrifice Reassembling Skeleton to Phyrexian Altar to generate one black mana. As it dies Requiem Angel will trigger and get you a spirit token. Sacrifice it to Phyrexian Altar to get another black mana and use that mana to return Reassembling Skeleton from your graveyard to play. Repeat the chain andenjoy yourself all the nice little drain triggers. Switch the aristocrats for Grave Pact / Dictate of Erebos or Smothering Abomination / Dark Prophecy or Black Market for infinite removal, draw and ramp.

Nim Deathmantle Combos

Ashnod's Altar + Grave Titan + Nim Deathmantle : This combo will net you infinte tokens and colorless mana. Play Grave Titan who will give you two zombie tokens. Sacrifice one of the tokens and Grave Titan to create four colorless. As he dies, Nim Deathmantle will trigger. Pay the four colorless with the mana you just created and Grave Titan will re-enter the battlefield creating you two more tokens. Repeat that process and you will always be one token ahead creating you an infinite army of zombies. Combine them with some of your aristocrats, Blasting Station , Altar of Dementia and other ETBs to kill or cripple your opponents.

Ashnod's Altar + Geist-Honored Monk + Nim Deathmantle : Same logic. Sacrifice the monk and one of his tokens to Ashnod's Altar and Nim Deathmantle will trigger. Pay the trigger with the the mana from the altar and make Geist-Honored Monk re-enter. You will create infinite spirits which can be used for attacking or other sac outlets. As the combo above it'll net you also infinite ETBs and death triggers giving you the opportunity to kill or cripple your opponents.

Abhorrent Overlord + Ashnod's Altar + Nim Deathmantle : This combo will create you an infinetly large Harpy army. It may grow even more rapidly than with Grave Titan and Geist-Honored Monk our badboy Abhorrent Overlord cares also about your devotion to black. Combine with ETB and death triggers to take the game.

A Word of Warning

Take the combos around Darkest Hour and Teysa, Orzhov Scion with a grain of salt. Since you can continue them into infinity, you have to beware of your own board state otherwise you will end up killing yourself. Always pay attention to Dark Prophecy since they will force you to draw out your own library if there are too many triggers. Since milling kills on your own next upkeep you might be fine but keep in mind that there are cards like Elixir of Immortality and Teferi's Protection that might cost you the win if used by your opponents. Proceed with caution!

Consider another point. Winning through combo is cool, flashy and feels reeeeaaaal gooood... for the one pulling it off. For the ones falling victim to the combo the experience might be less fun. So make sure to communicate the power level of this deck BEFORE you get to play. A commander match should be fun for everyone involved and not an unpleasant experience.

Other Cards

This is the section where will discuss all cards I haven't mentioned earlier. I'll explain how to use them and why I chose them.

Anguished Unmaking , Path to Exile , Return to Dust , Swords to Plowshares , Utter End : These are your emergency cards. Some of them might have somewhat specific targets, but all of them will make sure that your opponent's nuisances are taken out of the game completely, so that they might never use them again. Be careful though! Don't use them too much and too quickly otherwise you might find yourself against a serious threat you might not be able to stop. So, think well before you use them.

Fumigate : This is one of your emergency weapons of mass destruction. It wipes the board and will gain you back a bunch of life if used well. Be cautious though, don't let the temptation of gaining some sweet life let dissuade you from using Fumigate when necessary. First and foremost this is a board wipe and its task is to get you out of tight situations and impede the victory of your opponents.

Martial Coup : This is a two for one in this deck. Obviously, the optimal moment to use this card is when you have AT LEAST 7 mana open to get the boardwipe and the token army. Martial Coup is an optimal target for your mana from Ashnod's Altar or Cathodion . Use it in an opportune moment and your opponents will lose everything while you'll pull yourself ahead with a bunch of soldiers.
Now we will take a look at the royal guard of Our Highness . Here you will find everything that will grant her protection or might bring her back from the dead. Let's jump right into it.

Athreos, God of Passage : Although unlikely, he might save Teysa in some cases. If you find someone with a low enough life total on the table just choose them for the trigger and your commander will bounce back to your hand.

Lightning Greaves , Swiftfoot Boots : The standard package. Basically any commander deck has one pair of these and it's obvious why. They make your commander faster, they make them basically immune to targeted removal or other crippling target effects. Even though not very fancy, they are optimal protection for a Queen.

Gift of Immortality : The name says it all. A gift from the Gods granting Our Highness eternal life! Well, an extra-life at least. Gift of Immortality will protect your commander (and other creatures) from removal and best of all, it will return to protect them at the end of your turn. It won't protect you from anything but it will definitely add a layer of protection.

Lifeline : This card is amazing! It allows your team to die just to be reborn again (at least your non-token team). Lifeline will create extreme value and might not only save your creatures from the grave but also Teysa Karlov . It's another layer of protection for your commander and will help you to keep a sacrifice-chain going. Definitely a worthy inclusion.

Nim Deathmantle : Even though it's in here mainly for its combo potential, it might save Teysa Karlov from being removed some time as well. All you need is and Our Highness will be reawoken from her potentially eternal sleep.


Updates Add

Revel in Riches and Smothering Tithe are out, Torment of Hailfire and Hangarback Walker are in!

I feel like the Revel in Riches -package is nice but too slow and not a reliable win condition. If you get to your ten treasures at some point (and that's not very hard in this deck), Revel in Riches has to stay around until your next upkeep. That's very hard to pull off, so I felt like it would be better to replace with another win condition. Since Smothering Tithe is only in here for Revel in Riches it felt only natural to cut it as well, since the ramp it provides really doesn't have that much of an impact in my opinion.

So, our win condition to replace Revel in Riches will be Torment of Hailfire ! This is an optimal inclusion for this list and synergizes well with the rest of the deck since it is a great target to pour your infinite mana into from your Ashnod's Altar combos. Even if you don't have the mana to instakill the table Torment of Hailfire is a pretty crippling spell for your opponents. So it is definitely worth the include!

Our second edition is Hangarback Walker . While also an amazing target for infinite mana when casting it, we also have a very reliable way to create tokens here. All in all a very synergistic card that deserves a spot in here as well!



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Date added 2 months
Last updated 1 month
Key combos

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.88
Tokens 1/1 Servo, */* Horror, 1/1 Spirit, 2/2 Spawn, 2/2 Vampire, 2/2 Zombie, 1/1 Harpy, 1/1 Warrior, 1/1 Thopter, 1/1 Soldier, 4/4 Angel, 3/3 Wurm, 1/1 Human Cleric, 1/1 Faerie Rogue, 1/1 Thrull, None Treasure
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