Mono-red has a handful of unorthodox and fun commanders that picking from a pool of power houses like Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Norin the Wary, Zada, Hedron Grinder, or Godo, Bandit Warlord means that choosing a commander to represent your take on a mono-red deck that will make it both unique and efficient is difficult, but Varchild, Betrayer of Kjeldor is by far the most interesting mono-red commander to be printed in a while that I believe has a ton of untapped potential that can only make her stronger as more cards are printed.

I had no idea what to make of this card when it was released in Commander 2018 but it seemed almost too gimmicky to work with, so I ignored it for a while before coming back to it with an idea revolving around politics.

From what I saw on EDHREC, most people choose to go the voltron route and while that is a very minor focus in this deck, having that as the main focus of a Varchild deck is way too linear and after a few games, opponents will just start saving kill spells for her and you'll realize that mono-color voltron decks that aren't Sram, Senior Edificer fail to keep up when their single win con gets hated out so I ended up not going in that direction after my first draft with that idea didn't perform as expected.

I wanted my deck to be both fun for my opponents and offer some sort of flexibility in the way that the deck can operate, so different people could potentially play this same deck with different results.

The Deck

First things first, this deck is a politics / stax deck with the stax cards being able to be turned off at will with interactions between artifacts that give effects when untapped like Winter Orb, Blinkmoth Urn and tappers like Clock of Omens to give friends treats in the form of extra cards or mana and slowing down the player in the lead by not letting them untap with Static Orb effects. This interaction has a lot of cross synergy in the deck with things like Liquimetal Coating that offer incidental value by tapping down any permanent with Relic Barrier or stealing big mana dorks with Treasure Nabber by turning them into artifacts on upkeep.

Using this style of artifact stax, the obvious choice of commander would be Daretti, Scrap Savant, but he can get hated out fairly easily and I wanted a commander that is more interactive by making opponents want to get attacked to get around effects like Tangle Wire

Another reason to be attacked might be to get an untap step unaffected by Winter Orb by doing us a favor and send the tokens given to them to the player in the lead with a helpful boost from Coat of Arms or take the decision out of their hands entirely with Goblin Spymaster or Disrupt Decorum and incite madness and big damage to your opponenets while they desperately search for a board wipe. Once the survivors have made themselves useful, Varchild can take them back with Ashnod's Altar, Erratic Portal, Fatal Frenzy or just leave them with the opponents and keep them from playing anymore creatures with Ward of Bones it's honestly up to you.

Card Draw

A way to pass the time is to set up some card draw engines like Mind's Eye or Howling Mine or big bursts of card draw if we take back the survivors Varchild loaned out with Skullclamp, Dark-Dweller Oracle, and Slate of Ancestry.

Win Cons

There are a fair number of wincons in the deck, most of which become much easier to pull off if no one can interact since there is a decent stax "lock" on board.

Grafted Exoskeleton is great as a wincon that isn't unfair and can go on either Varchild or Rampaging Ferocidon to get a kill in one or two hits.

Repercussion with all of the tokens being given out with Varchild are great fodder for Blasphemous Act or Chain Reaction but will obviously not work if someone has a repeatable free sac outlet so Phyrexian Revoker and Pithing Needle can be solid includes if there are lot of Ashnod's/Phyrexian Altars in your playgroup.

Stealing other people's wincons with Blades of Velis Vel or taking the survivors back and swinging out with either Coat of Arms and/or Shared Animosity should be enough to get the job done.

Cards to Consider

This deck still needs to be tweaked and playtested to see what improvements can be made but I think the general gameplan works out pretty well and is fun to play but can definitely be changed around to make room for other cards such as Smokestack, Pithing Needle, Trinisphere, or Possessed Portal.


Updates Add


Date added 1 year
Last updated 2 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

8 - 0 Mythic Rares

45 - 0 Rares

23 - 0 Uncommons

6 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.31
Tokens 1/1 Dwarf, Gold, 2/2 Spawn, 1/1 Goblin, 1/1 Spirit, 1/1 Survivor, Daretti, 0/1 Goat
Folders Completed Decks
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