Maybeboard


Description

Neheb, the Eternal, Summoner of Comets

This is my take on a Neheb, the Eternal Mono-Red deck. This is ultimately being converted from a big mana Grenzo, Havoc Raiser deck that just wasn't doing it for me. Most cards 10$ and under are up for consideration, but cards like Gauntlet of Power are ultimately out of my budget for this deck. I would say I'm looking for this to be a 75% deck.

Neheb acts as a combo-control commander, creating chaotic/safe board states and then ending with a big mana Fireball variant to the face. I like Neheb as the perfect commander for a Mono-Red burn shell, which didn't really exist prior to his arrival on the scene.

Mono-Red is a fantastic archetype in my opinion, because it offers a very unique under-powered design space that allows under-utilized cards to flourish. Also, from a gameplay perspective, Mono-Red players are widely viewed as the underdog against busted 4-5 color goodstuff decks that run rampant in the EDH metas across the world. Being an underdog is the place we want to be!

Comet Control

I basically have two themes I'm trying to focus on here, which are Burn and Red Control effects. The Burn is self-explanatory as your primary win con, and the Red Control is intended to off-set the self-flagellation or create a chaotic board-state. Mainboard is a work in progress, the Maybeboard were my hardest cuts in no particular order.

I think one of the more interesting/effective control elements for Mono-Red is the "Snow" package, Snow-Covered Mountain, Scrying Sheets, and Glacial Crevasses. I think those cards completely stop aggression from certain strategies, and I aim to create scenarios where I can use it as a political chip. I would like to find space for a Sunstone but I'm not sure where to make a cut.

A Brief Word about my Playgroup

It is important to put anything you see into the context of my own experience. I make these decklists and fleshed out explanations because I'm seeking feedback. If I can deliver some inspiration to you, dear reader, then all the better!

That being said, here are the contours of my group: we like to win and are competitive people, but we are fundamentally casuals. This means that things like infinite combos are no-nos for us. We have one unofficial house rule, that if you assemble and demonstrate an infinite loop you can utilize it no more than 5 times per turn. This keeps any wanna-be combo players in check and leads to longer developing games.

We do encourage aggro decks to keep the filthy control players like myself in check. As such, a lot of my deck building prioritizes curve very heavily. I typically don't like to play more than six-eight four-drops, and ideally no more than five 6+ drops. I have found that the sweet spot on the commander curve is really around three-four mana. If we prioritize this spot in our curve, we can almost always drop multiple spells in a turn later game, which can often change the board state significantly more than playing an eight drop that fishes out a board wipe in response.

Card Choices by Category

A brief note about my overall card selection philosophy. I am long-time listener of the Limited Resources Podcast, and one thing that really resonated with me is the idea of the Quadrant Theory. This theory states that a card should be evaluated in 4 different modes - from ahead, from behind, from parity, and in the early game. I think this applies to Commander games as much as it does to Limited games. This leads me to eschew some of the splashier cards in favor of reliable renditions of the same effect. It means that certain cards go down in value for me because they are "win-more". I think one of the biggest mistakes EDH players make is designing decks for win-more.

Every EDH player knows that the most surefire way to win a multiplayer match is by drawing the most cards. In Mono-Red, that is almost guaranteed not to happen. So how do we off-set this inherent disadvantage? Well, there are a few ways - Wheel effects, Group Hug, and of course the obvious answer for Neheb - mana sinks! While I will discuss the mana sinks later, below is a selection of some fine options on the "card parity" front.

Humble Defector - This little Mardu-turned-Jeskai defector is an absolutely incredible card for Mono-Red. I have always maintained that the best way for Mono-Red to win games is to aim for card parity, not card advantage, and the best way to accomplish that are group hug effects. Even better than group hug? Friend hug. Keep trading this bad boy back and forth with the frenemy of your choice until you have both established overwhelming card advantage. Profit.

Magus of the Wheel - With Masters 25 coming out I felt it reasonable to acquire a second copy of this fine wheel effect. This is a perfect inclusion for a Neheb deck, he wheels when we want him to, and he can swing in for 3 on a Neheb damage turn to generate some mana. Perfect draw spell, as Wheels are pretty much ideal in mono-red!

Faithless Looting - Looting effects are great. Looting effects with Flashback are great-er. In a deck with a 2 part combo (damage->big spells), the ability to loot away redundant pieces for more gas is key. This is our most efficient way to accomplish that.

Tormenting Voice - This card helps us recycle bad matchup cards at a more card-advantage-neutral rate than Faithless Looting. Quality inclusion in any Mono-Red deck.

Wild Guess - Tormenting Voice #2!

Reforge the Soul - The poor man's Wheel of Fortune. I really think an optimal Mono-Red deck plays both, but for now this is the only one I can afford. Excellent card parity effect - really embrace the Chaos! As an added bonus, once Neheb is in play emptying the hand is absurdly easy, making this an even more obvious auto-include for Neheb players.

Outpost Siege - This is an absolute staple for Mono-Red and Boros colored decks. This is essentially Red Phyrexian Arena with an alternate mode for aristocrat decks, which I really dig. There are very few situations where we would play this naming Dragons but I suppose the corner case is still there. Strong card that I hope they continue to print more of.

Vance's Blasting Cannons  Flip - Outpost Siege #2. This is certainly weaker than the Outpost is, because not being able to play lands really makes this closer to drawing 60% of a card each turn. That being said, there are other upsides as well - notably that the corner case for the flip side of this card is stronger than the corner case for Dragons mode on Siege. Being able to flip into a split ramp/recursive direct damage card is pretty legit. Mana Sink Bolts are pretty neat!

Howling Mine - As I've stated before, I believe that group hug effects are perfect for the Mono-Red archetype. The more that I play my different variations of Mono-Red the more it confirms it for me. Group Hug is really another variation of Chaos, and when multiple players have abundance of resources games get silly quickly. Notably, the Blue player's permission usually gets heavily taxed, resulting in various threats or engines slipping through the cracks. By virtue of being underestimated, it is likely that we will be one of those threats that slips through as that dangerous looking Scion player gets countered into oblivion. I can't speak to the virtues of Howling Mine enough, I encourage all of you to run it in your Mono-Red/Boros builds.

Azor's Gateway  Flip - I love this card for Mono-Red. This does it all for Neheb, in particular. As a loot effect, there are of course more powerful versions of the effect, but the combination of loot rock plus back-up big mana in case our Neheb plan is getting hated out makes this a stellar include.

Mind Stone - I think that 2 mana ramp spells are great. I think that 2 mana ramp spells that eventually recoup a card are even better. This should be a staple for just about any deck that is looking for incidental edges.

Hedron Archive - Mind Stone's older brother. The Archive is a great way to ramp into a huge turn 5 with multiple spells or Neheb + Protection, and it is also a great way to cash in late game to fuel up for a second round.

Chandra, Flamecaller - I love this version of Chandra. I think she does a ton for the build, and while both pricey and hate-drawing, I think she is worth it. On turns we go off she gets to help cycle into better mana sinks/win conditions, on turns we are behind she gets to wreck some token player's day, and on turns where she survives a turn or two she gets to ramp us by ~6 mana. An expensive but solid upside Wheel effect.

Scrying Sheets - While this may not be the flashiest or fastest source of card advantage, it does it's job with basically zero deck-building investment. Since we are running Snow-Covered Mountains it is an easy inclusion to dump mana in when we have no other play. Draws a card 25% of the time.

Geier Reach Sanitarium - I think this card is a bit stronger in this build than Scrying Sheets. The ability to loot away useless or redundant resources, be it excess land or combo pieces that don't fit the current needs, is a highly useful ability for a card that didn't take much to include.

Arch of Orazca - A fine printing in RIX that should make a lot of mono-red and Boros players very happy. Solid card draw with no downside out of the land slot. Little deckbuilding cost for the effect.

Mikokoro, Center of the Sea - Did I mention that I enjoy group hug in mono-red? With the price reducing effects of those previously rare Kamigawa card dropping this to under $2, I have added to multiple decks as a relatively free inclusion.

Notable Exclusions

You probably have ideas from other Neheb decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

Sin Prodder - Cut for Magus of the Wheel

Wheel of Fortune - The Wheel effect upon which all Wheel effects are judged. I want to acquire one of these and I plan to eventually.

Font of Mythos - Currently featured in my Norin the Wary deck, This may eventually port over to Neheb as well. This is Howling Mine on crack.

Temple Bell - I think this card is good, but positioned in a weird mana slot for drawing but 1 card per turn. If I really embrace the Group Hug more completely this may find it's way in.

Knollspine Dragon - I know a lot of people will disagree with this, but after a lot of thought I have excluded this card drawing beast. My reasoning is simple - it only plays well while we are ahead. If we successfully cast a Neheb, got a big damage spell or swing off, and had Neheb survive to the 2nd main phase, a lot has gone right for us. To then cast a 7-drop and draw a ba-jillion cards is all icing at that point and hopefully lets us win on the spot. But let's look at any other scenario of the Quadrant Theory - Early game - useless. Behind - useless. At parity (stalled board state) - at best Okay. I really prefer my card draw engines to do something when we are not having success - we need to be able to draw out bad spots, I really believe card draw is most important in two quadrants - At Parity and From Behind. This plays marginally in those slots. Wheel effects and Efficient Draw Engines play Amazingly in those slots, and Wheel Effects Also play well while ahead. Ergo, prioritize Wheel Effects and Efficient Draw Engines.

Mind's Eye - This card was sort of a mixed cut for me. For starters, I would have had to acquire the card, and it isn't necessarily expensive, but it also isn't cheap. Additionally, I just think that having to pay 6 mana before seeing the first card from this is a lot. 6-drop draw to me needs to immediately change the complexion of the game. A lot of people compare this card to something like the closest thing non-blue can get to Rhystic Study, but I couldn't disagree more. Rhystic Study's power is that it is a 3-drop. There is almost no opportunity cost to playing a turn 3 Study. Playing this on turn 5 is risky, because it is likely to get blown up, and palying it on Turn 6 will also very likely net us 1 card as people recognize the long-term threat it poses. If someone disagrees or can explain why I am wrong, please leave a comment but for now I think I will leave this out of my decks.

Seer's Sundial - This is actually a lot more interesting to me than Mind's Eye. 4 mana base investment is actually miles better than 5 in terms of opportunity cost, plus this flies under the radar as people throw a lot of shade at it as compared to the massive target that Mind's Eye is. Paying 2 mana per turn to draw a card isn't the most exciting thing ever, but it is a good rate for Mono-Red. Plus, it play nicely with fetch-lands. All-in-all, for now this does not make the cut, but I could see myself playing this as a draw engine in this build.

Sea Gate Wreckage - There is an argument to be made for packing the deck full of low opportunity cost value lands, but at some point we also need to consider our density of Snow lands. For now this does not make the cut over Scrying Sheets, Geier Reach Sanitarium, or Basic Snow lands.

Chandra, Torch of Defiance - I think that many people would argue that Chandra, the Mind Sculptor is simply the better walker over Big Chandra. While I won't argue that point at face value, I do think there is an argument to be made for The Flamecaller in Neheb builds. I think it basically boils down to the slots they fill. Chandra, the Mind Sculptor is really a mid game do everything spell, some combination of Outpost Siege, Flame Rift, and Hedron Archive, with a little kill spell sprinkled on top. Big Chandra is a late game spell with a personal Wheel+1 and Board Wipe mode plus a direct damage spell tacked on for Neheb synergy. I would absolutely include Chandra, Torch of Defiance if she was less expensive, but would consider running both, not either/or. That is a big concession for me, because I traditionally hate 'Walkers in EDH, but I just think they both do that much.

Rummaging Goblin - I absolutely love looting effects. Rummaging effects aren't much worse in my opinion, as there is usually something obviously dead in hand to drop to create some card velocity. In my Norin the Wary deck I run a slight goblin sub-theme, which is where this card really shines. Pairing this with a Squee, Goblin Nabob really gets my value-senses tingling. When we tutor them up with a Goblin Recruiter it starts to feel a little unfair. I may endeavor to add this combo down the line, plus adding a few nice utility goblins and Goblin Matron, but for now it is out of the picture.

Squee, Goblin Nabob - Seperate line for my boy Squee. First of all, Mercadian Masques was one of my fondest recollections of magic as a child. Not because the set was great, because it wasn't, but because it was just the right timing for my coming of age as a magic player. The Nostalgia feels, if you will. But more importantly, Squee is just a great value card. Whether you are perpetually chumping that Shu Yun player or value-training with Faithless Looting, Rummaging Goblin, and Tormenting Voice effects, the use cases for Squee are multitudinous. Icing on the cake - Squee is featured on all sorts of funny artwork and flavor texts from that era of magic.

Commune with Lava - Stroke of Inspiration is a solid little Draw X spell. It can set up some massive turns, or be used as a shot-in-the-dark on Neheb combo turns. I may add this eventually, it was one of my final cuts.

Every EDH deck worth it's salt needs to get ahead on mana some way or another. This deck largely uses stable mana-rock style ramp to accelerate into explosive Neheb damage based ramp. There is a cross-section of big mana doublers to enable some big plays when the Neheb plan gets derailed by repeated removal.

Solemn Simulacrum - Sad Robot is a value-lover's dream. I have moved away from this guy as an auto-include EDH staple, but he still features in probably 40% of my lists and anything light on value options like Mono-Red gets him as a staple.

Generator Servant - An amazing card that Suns_Champion clued me in on. I can't believe I missed it first time around, as this card is Absurd with Neheb. Does multiple things for us, but notably acts as both haste enabler and ramp spell in one neat package.

Sol Ring - Obvious staple, unless your group prohibits this you should just run it.

Wayfarer's Bauble - Criminally underplayed ramp card. Outside of green decks and artifact decks this card is often a superior option to other 2 mana ramp. Turn 1 is something of a gimme in a lot of Casual EDH games, and getting something close to a colorless Rampant Growth effect is the real deal.

Everflowing Chalice - This is a nice turn 2 play, a nice turn 4 play, a nice turn 6 play, and a nice Neheb mana sink. Very worthy inclusion in this deck.

Mind Stone - I spoke above about this card, but I just love it here as a value rock. Turn 2 ramp is the critical ramp turn, and this card delivers on the promise of value beyond.

Ruby Medallion - Close to an auto-include in Mono-red. Makes multiple mana per turn if we double spell or more, which Neheb often does.

Unstable Obelisk - Another 3 mana ramp spell breaking my rules. This gets the nod as a late game Scour from Existence in a deck sorely in need of ways to deal with non-artifacts and a preponderance of late game mana.

Hedron Archive - Double the Mind Stone, double the fun. Tturn 4 ramp isn't ideal, but fueling huge Turn 5s is still good, and cashing in for legitamate card advantage is also good.

Thran Dynamo - A recent inclusion as I acquired a few during Iconic Masters drafts. I love the card, it brings me way back to my formative years. Also ramping 3 for 4 mana is waaaaay above rate. his thing will fuel some of our most explosive draws, and somewhat acts as a Plan B is Neheb gets hated out of a game.

Pyromancer's Goggles - If you have caught on by now, I really get weird about 3+ mana ramp, and yet here I find myself with most of the cards in this ramp package in that ballpark. This card really fits more into the Doublers slot, as it allows us to do some cool things with anything from Tormenting Voice to Comet Storm. Still, at it's most base level it is an overpriced mana rock.

Mana Geyser - This one-shot ritual effect is insanely powerful. This oftentimes allows us to Neheb-Off without Neheb in play. Any deck featuring a lot of powerful X spells should consider running this card.

Extraplanar Lens - High-Risk, High-Reward mana doubler. This is one of the reasons to run Snow-Covered Mountains, although in many ways gifting some mana doulbing to other red players may actually save this from the primary artifact removal at the table. Still, in a deck hungry for alternates to Neheb this card fits perfectly, despite the danger of card disadvantage looming on the horizon.

Caged Sun - One of the few 6-drops in this deck. I think this card is miles better when it Costs 5 Mana, but that also costs mucho $$$. As an alternate to a table that hates out Neheb we could certainly do worse.

Azor's Gateway  Flip - A new backup Neheb! This obviously has some anti-synergy with our group damage effects, but it will still typically produce 10+ mana. Also, difficult and time consuming to flip, but the front side has enough use that we don't need it to be active immediately! More of a late game inevitability card than anything else.

Myriad Landscape - This card deserves play in any deck with 3 colors or fewer. It is a free Harrow with minimal deck-building cost besides running a clunky Comes Into Play Tapped (CIPT) land. I run this as a staple and I think you should too in all but the most competitive metas.

Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx - One of the reasons to run Mono-Colored decks. This card does so much work it isn't even funny. This card is practically a must-answer in my meta and just flat out wins games.

Notable Exclusions

You probably have ideas from other Neheb decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

Cryptolith Fragment  Flip - Cut for Ruby Medallion. Strong card but I was heavy on 3 mana ramp.

Gauntlet of Power - As described above, this card should be in the fully tuned version of this deck, either as a replacement for or in addition to Caged Sun. I'd like to own one eventually.

Gauntlet of Might - Obviously in the perfect world we run both Gauntlets. Running the OG Gauntlet is highly unlikely for most players, myself included.

Doubling Cube - I think that this card is basically a win-more doubler. I see it included in a lot of Neheb lists and I honestly just disagree. It really take production of over 6 mana to net positive, and it often plays clunky as it requires going all in on tapping out. Yes, it is strong on big Neheb turns, but so is Caged Sun, Thran Dynamo, Everflowing Chalice, etc. Can this card put us over the top? Yes. But I think it is important to try to reduce variance in our deck-building choices, and this card is like the ultimate variance ramp card. Very high-reward when it is doing it's thing, but the opportunity-cost is real as well.

Seething Song - I think one-shot ritual effects are actually really effective in the right decks. The right decks are typically glass cannon builds - think Dark Ritual in Skittles, or Lotus Petal in Shu Yun. This deck is that deck a lot of times, and I may pop this in as a way to cast Neheb for 3 mana + Card Disadvantage.

Worn Powerstone - I love Baby Dynamo, and it feels odd not including this card, but the other 3 mana rocks do different things for this deck that need doing.

Temple of the False God - A lot of people hate on this card, but just remember - this is a spell, not a land. As you are designing your build, include it in a ramp slot rather than a land slot. As you are considering keeping or mulling, consider it a spell, not a land. Your opinion will quickly improve, I think. Turns where we play this as land #5 are usually explosive and catch opponents unawares, which is a basic building block of any strategy game - do the thing your opponents do not expect. I cut this at some point because I had cuts to make.... Tough one because I really enjoy the card!

Mana sinks in this deck act as virtual card advantage. One advantage Neheb has over other Mono-Red decks is that he produces such massive mana swings that he can utilize some pretty nice mana sinks. These cards typically will still be useful without Neheb in play, he just turbo-charges them. Also, our win conditions are mana sinks (surprise surprise!)

Steel Hellkite - This is really just a fine card. His mana sinks don't play particularly amazingly with Neheb, but getting some free CMC wipes off of Nehebs mana isn't the worst. Plus this card plays just fine without Neheb. He is often a must-answer threat, and he does play very nicely with mana doublers and Mana Geyser. I am somewhat on the fence, but Red needs ways to remove problem enchantments and the like, and this fits the bill.

Release the Gremlins - I think this card is both hilarious and awesome. A solid mana sink with enough artifacts on the table, this will build us a gremlin army and cripple mana bases board wide when we get some big mana going. Also, it is just a 3 mana destroy target artifact and make a 2/2 spell, which ain't bad at all in a world of Sol Rings and Thran Dynamos.

Reiterate - A card very well positioned in this deck. With little else to use our mana on, this gets to copy something like a Tormenting Voice over and over and over. Also acts as a de facto doubler when we drop it on a Comet Storm. Finally, it gets to be Red Forbid and keep up a "counter wall" in the face of that blue player trying to make our life hell.

Aggravated Assault - The classic Neheb mana sink. Now, my playgroup only allows infinite loops to cycle 5 times, so this doesn't get to go off the same as in some metas, but even cycling this 5 times will often result in an easy victory. Additionally, the card is just good even without the Neheb shenanigans in play. Play the card in this commander and don't look back.

Staff of Domination - I love this card, and have been looking for a good commander shell for it for years. this is that shell. This plays well with or without Neheb, but emphasis on the with portion. With an active Neheb we will typically be able to draw into finishers and close the game in a turn or 2. This can also build us a life buffer to survive our game-ending Rolling Earthquake, tap down a scary Voltron player, or untap a surprise blocker. Lots of use cases, lots of versatility.

Unstable Obelisk - Described in the ramp section, this card gets to double as our remove anything for a price inclusion.

Rolling Earthquake - I love the flavor on this card, and until someone decides to make a Portals themed EDH deck in my meta this effectively just reads deal x to everything. One of our win conditions plus it's a variable board wipe. Gets the nod over the OG Earthquake due to our low flyer count.

Banefire - Screw you, blue players. This card kills someone, no questions asked. Glacial Chasm? No problem! Solitary Confinement? Screw you! Forbid lock? F off! A pet card of mine, an obvious inclusion for most metas, and a fun-police card for control lovers everywhere.

Comet Storm - The raison d'etre for this deck. I have had a strong affinity for this card since it was printed, and this commander was designed with this card in mind, I swear it. Fireball was always the cool ultimate trump card in original ABUR Magic, and this is just Fireball with all the versatility you ever wanted. I actually can't believe how much better this card is than every other variant. Why did they also make this isntant speed?!?

Molten Disaster - Another way to get around pesky blue players. Split Second is a great mechanic, and you should endeavor to play more of it in your decks. This is my nod to that. Also, this gets to be a variable board wipe just like Rolling Earthquake, which is a useful commodity.

Pyrohemia - This is like re-useable modular Rolling Earthquake that also gets to enable Neheb on the first main phase. Pestilence was one of my first decks, and this brings me back to those good ol' days when we didn't really understand how Regenerate worked...

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger - I couldn't help myself - I had to add an eldrazi to this deck. Maybe it should be Emrakul, the Promised End, maybe a Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, maybe some combination of them - I'm not 100% sure yet. But I acquired a Newlamog and I'm going with him for now. This gets to act as a remove anything spell, and if your meta is not running Swords to Plowshares or Anguished Unmaking effects he may actually stick around to get some swings in too!

Notable Exclusions

You probably have ideas from other Neheb decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

Dragon Whisperer - This card serves two functions. In the Early Game quadrant, this is a 2-drop bear that utilize some excess mana for a few extra points of damage and enable some beats on the turn we drop Neheb. Late game while Ahead or At Parity, he is a dope summoner of dragons that let's us go off for very little opportunity cost. A recent cut that felt bad, but after testing I felt that spending our mana on multiple dragons, while sometimes powerful, was a little bit of a waste of time and effort. As my land mana sinks ahve improved it feels less necessary.

Past in Flames - I am really on the fence on this card. I would love to include it - it plays especially well with Mana Geyser, Looting effects, and as a GY enabler for big Neheb turns. It can also be something of a dead card. I'll hopefully come to clarity on a spot for it over time.

Gemstone Array - This was a last minute cut for Thran Dynamo. I do like the card as something of an actually good Red Mana Battery, but it is somewhat circumstantial in its use cases. Thran Dynamo is just always good.

Hellkite Charger - I see many players running this card, and I can't really fault them. Problem is, as opposed to Aggravated Assault this trigger for the extra combat is at a pretty inopportune time. We don't get to use Neheb mana on it. Still, this is a big flyer with a good ability if you are playing fair. It can certainly help to generate big turns.

Indomitable Creativity - I love love love this card, and wish it was in the deck. This is a little more chaos than I'm looking for in my Neheb build for now, however.

Akroma, Angel of Fury - Akroma is a pet card of mine, and almost got the nod as my deck of choice over Neheb. Her mana sinks don't play at the right time for use with Neheb, however. =(.

Inferno Titan - See above regarding timing on the mana sinks. He does do a lot of damage, but 6 mana is a lot for a "good stuff" card.

Fall of the Titans - A lot of folks run this card, and I do think it is very good and efficient as a kill condition. I simply prefer the 5 "X" kill spells I have included above even more, and I don't think I want more than 5 for now.

Fanning the Flames - I see fewer people running this Fireball variant, but I think it is an equal consideration as Fall of the Titans is. Less efficient, more versatile. We can use this early to kill a utility creature and keep it for late game winning. Still, I prefer the other 5 for now.

Kozilek, Butcher of Truth - I like him, a lot. He gets to enable us to draw into other finishers and if he swings it is, um, pretty good. He dies really easily though, which is kind of a bummer for such a big investment.

Walking Ballista - I would definitely include this as a Fireball variant with Extreme versatility if he was a bit cheaper. He is slated to fit into about 4 of my decks, headlining that list is The Mimeoplasm, but Neheb is probably second on the list. Once he rotates maybe the price will drop with short term supply, and if it does I'll snag a few as this is likely to be a staple card for Modern/Legacy/Vintage decks for the foreseeable future.

Obsidian Fireheart - This guy is something of a pet card of mine. The artwork is absolutely stunning, the flavor is awesome, the Vanilla Test is passed with flying colors, and the effect is pretty damn cool. He is not the most Powerful mana sink, but I really like the effect and there are worse cards we could run. Gets the nod from me for the fun factor, but many others could and probably should choose other outlets. Hard cut, but I had to make it :(.

Kumano, Master Yamabushi - Something of a Fireball variant on a stick. Less appealing than Walking Ballista.

These cards are the lifeblood to our most explosive turns. These let us produce anywhere from 6-100 mana on our 2nd Main Phase with our old buddy Neheb in play. I have prioritized damage enabling effects that are cheap, efficient, and have easy conditions. Additionally, any cheap threat can act as a damage enabler, but for brevity I haven't double counted those cards from their primary function.

Firebrand Archer - A strong effect that achieves redundancy through the two options below. This is a great early play that can provide sweet sweet pings later in the game and get in there for pot-shots with his 2 power body.

Thermo-Alchemist - Enablers on a stick are good. This goes into over-drive with some instants to play, but he also does something without any enablers which is upside over Firebrand Archer.

Guttersnipe - I love Guttersnipe and feel great playing him in EDH. He can really wrack up the incidental damage, and offers further justification for playing rituals and Past in Flames for some mini storm-outs. Potentially adding more of that in the future.

Heartless Hidetsugu - If you activate the mac' Daddy with Neheb in play you are likely to win. Simple as that. I love this card and love that he plays so well with Neheb.

Flame Rift - Cheap, efficient, often can net us 10 mana on the investment. I think it belongs in Neheb decks and is something of an iconic staple for the Commander.

Price of Progress - Higher upside than Flame Rift, but in certain metas may not be as powerful. In my meta this does the lord's work. A classic red burn spell that ports better than most to EDH.

Acidic Soil - less discriminatory version of Price of Progress. This card may hurt us as well, but it is well worth it for the mana we will generate in gobs.

Slagstorm - A versatile little board wipe/damage enabler. I love the card, I love Koth of the Hammer on the artwork, and I love modal spells.

Fiery Confluence - The ultimate red modal spell. This card does a million things well, but the best use case if doming the table for 6 and generating net 14 mana in a 4 player pod. That is a Ton of mana for a card that can also be used in a million other ways.

Rolling Earthquake - Not ideal, but this card can be an enabler for some big damage to the dome. Typically can't be played for more than "X=5" for that use, as we need Neheb to survive the explosion.

Molten Disaster - Not ideal, but this card can be an enabler for some big damage to the dome. Typically can't be played for more than "X=5" for that use, as we need Neheb to survive the explosion.

Pyrohemia - This card does the Enabling a bit better than the two kill conditions above. Being able to use this in amounts of our choice at instant speed is quite powerful.

Chandra, Flamecaller - As described above, this card is a variable board wipe. Versatility is the spice of life.

Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle - A card that does work for basically no deck-building investment. I love the card, and would feature it in every Mono-Red deck possible.

Notable Exclusions

You probably have ideas from other Neheb decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

Flamebreak - I see many people playing this card. It is solid, but I prefer the inclusion I have made.

Sulfuric Vortex - A pet card of mine, I really like the idea of no life gain. The damage, unfortunately, does not trigger on our turn for the opponents, otherwise it would be a shoo-in.

Doublers can take many forms - mana doubling (included from ramp section to be thorough), combat doublers, spell doublers, or damage doublers. All of them accomplish some form of making additional mana with Neheb.

Extraplanar Lens - Doublers come in all shapes and sizes, but the most obvious is literal mana doublers. In a deck without Gauntlets this is the next best thing. Highly efficient, but very risky as well.

Caged Sun - In a deck without Gauntlets this is the second best next thing. 6 mana is a big ivnestment, so often we will not untap with this in play, but maybe if our opponent's removal has been overtaxed it will stick.

Pyromancer's Goggles - A less classic doubler, these goggles really do some cool things. Once in play and sticking they can do some nice work doubling up on draw spells or Fireballs.

Dictate of the Twin Gods - A different variation of a classic doubler, Furnace of Rath effects are quite powerful but quite risky. This one has slightly reduced risks as we get to play it when most opportune and allow ourselves the first crack at it. Also a sneaky play in response to battles between opponents otherwise not featuring us.

Insult / Injury - This card is insanely powerful and will likely earn more and more recognition moving forward. The GY side is just icing here, as this is another way to both double our damage and therefore mana, but also get around hosers like Glacial Chasm. Love this card!

Combat Celebrant - Possibly the doubler I am most on the fence about, this still serves a few unique purposes. First of all, extra combats act exponentially with other damage doublers doublers, but secondly this is an early play in a deck hungry for early plays that can produce big mana the turn we drop Neheb. Early board presence and creature beats are an under-rated way to enable Neheb.

Aggravated Assault - The classic Neheb doubler, even in a fair setting this does work.

Reverberate - The Fourth variant of doubler, literally doubling our spells is a highly efficient way to double on the doubles and basically quadruple our output.

Reiterate - Pricier Reverberate that has other utility.

Mirrorpool - something close to a free Doubler from the land slot. This can do a lot of random things very well, but base level it is another Fork variant.

Mirage Mirror - This can do some really cool things, notably doubling up on whatever doubler is most relevant. Caged Sun? Check. Dictate of the Twin Gods? Check. Combat Celebrant? Check. The uses don't end there - this card is more or less an EDH staple in my mind, and the more I play with it the more I realize I haven't even scratched the surface of the cool and powerful interactions this thing can pull off.

Notable Exclusions

You probably have ideas from other Neheb decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

Furnace of Rath - I would like to fit this, but without Flash the effect feels way scary.

Quest for Pure Flame - I actually think I prefer this to Furnace of Rath and this may find its way in eventually. It was a pretty late cut.

Fire Servant - A lot of folks play this card, but to be honest I find it lacking. It is somewhat pricey and paints a huge target. Having a body for this effect and being asymmetrical is really nice, however. I don't know, maybe it deserves a spot. TBD.

Hellkite Charger - Too pricey, basically. Clunky and inefficient for the effect.

Seize the Day - I want to include this, I really do. It plays awesome with loot effects, it is insanely powerful on "go-off" turns, and plus it is just a cool, old, unique card. May need to slip its way in here as I tune the deck.

Savage Beating - Another card I would love, this can do some quadrupling work all on its own. May need to be included as I explore the space available for this type of effect.

Doubling Cube - It has Double in the name! It should obviously be in here! Kidding aside, I already described above why I feel this is a win more card that doesn't belong in my Neheb build. Let's reduce variance, not increase it.

Strionic Resonator - I think this card may need to be included, I just haven't fully explored it yet. My main concern is similar to that of Doubling Cube - what does it do in the three quadrants other than Ahead? If there are enough uses outside of for only Neheb it could find its way in.

Gauntlet of Power - Budget Throttled

Gauntlet of Might - Budget Throttled

Every great EDH deck needs ways to disrupt the opposition, and Mono-Red is no different. These spells are ways to interact with the board state, or the stack, to prevent an opponent from playing their game.

Steel Hellkite - A little clunky in terms on interaction, at the very least this does usually force a spot removal or board wipe from someone that can get got by this.

Rolling Earthquake - As described above, this card is a variable board wipe. Versatility is the spice of life.

Banefire - While it is not ideal, this can pick off a threat if needed. Try to avoid that in all but the most dire situations.

Comet Storm - As described above, this card is a variable board wipe. Versatility is the spice of life.

Molten Disaster - As described above, this card is a variable board wipe. Versatility is the spice of life.

Pyrohemia - As described above, this card is a variable board wipe. Versatility is the spice of life.

Insult / Injury - The Turnt side of this card is a nice little way to pick off a utility creature.

Vandalblast - I think this card belongs in most decks featuring red. Red Cyclonic Rift is pretty broken.

Chaos Warp - Not ideal in that it can sometimes randomly turn that Sol Ring into an Eldrazi, but we have to take what we can get, and the ability to handle whatever is key here.

Release the Gremlins - Can often be just as effective as Vandalblast but also produces turkens!

Slagstorm - Ideally we are saving this to dome the opponents and produce mana, but in a pinch this serves to wipe an army of tokens or some utility duders.

Fiery Confluence - Highly versatile modal removal spell. This can act as a variable Slagstorm, a Vandalblast, or some combination, which is awesome!

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger - 10 mana remove 2 things. Profit.

Unstable Obelisk - Superior to Scour from Existence in my opinion due to the mana rock side A. Side B knocks off a pesky permanent.

Chandra, Flamecaller - As described above, this card is a variable board wipe. Versatility is the spice of life.

Staff of Domination - Pseudo-removal by virtue of repeatedly tapping down that Voltron commander who really wants you dead for some reason.

Strip Mine - Removing Glacial Chasm is key - that card is public enemy #1.

Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle - Repeated Bolts can get ugly quick for our opponents.

Notable Exclusions

You probably have ideas from other Neheb decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

Indomitable Creativity - I do enjoy this card, but as opposed to Chaos Warp it guarantees that they hit a replacement for the removed card. Can be scary against a lot of decks. Great to use on our own stuff, though.

Pyroblast - I love this card, and I do play a lot of 4/5 color and Mono-Blue commanders in my meta. I include this card in most decks featuring red but I can't find a cut for it here.... Suggestions welcome.

Red Elemental Blast - See above, I rarely include 2 but sometimes do.

Volcanic Offering - I like this card, it plays some interesting politics and just generally does work. It also removes Glacial Chasm. It is somewhat pricey, however. Maybe worth inclusion.

These are the various ways that we intend to control the board state. Many of these can be used as political chips, and others simply prevent Blue players from having fun. A worthy inclusion to further our Mono-Red goals. There is also a small "I can't die" package to turn away our own death-inducing Earthquakes.

Smoke - I love this card. I think it is super neat-o and really slows down a lot of decks. Our goal is not to create full lock states like a lot of blue decks, but more to use our control package to gently nudge. This mild stax piece does that splendidly, highly encouraging blocking over attacking.

Glacial Crevasses - What a fantastic card. This card and it's cousin Sunstone (not currently included. Halp!) really create situations where certain decks become totally disinterested in us. Often simply the threat of activation is enough - a concerted effort to force us to winnow down our lands is highly unlikely, as it takes multiple combat steps to make a dent and we have alternate ways of producing mana through our commander.

Price of Glory - I hate playing against Blue, although I love to play blue. I'm a hypocrite. Also, this card totally hoses blue decks and makes us much more difficult to interact with in general.

War's Toll - Another hoser for blue decks. This follows similar logic to a lot of the control elements, creating awkward situations for our opponents either whilst on the offensive or while they try to hold up mana for multiple spells. It forces people to think hard about how they want to interact since they basically get one shot at it per turn cycle.

Glacial Chasm - This card is one of the strongest against us, but it is also one of our strongest cards. With all the symmetrical damage effects things can get hairy for us as well, and likewise if we want to blast the table with a Molten Disaster this can help us do so with impunity.

Fortune Thief - Similarly to Glacial Chasm, this little morpher can save us from our own lethality. The way that state-based actions interact, even if we kill Fortune Thief along with lethal damage in the same spell we are still reduced to 1 life instead of <0.

Platinum Angel - The third of the trifecta of death-cheating plays. Again, in regards to state-based actions even if a Rolling Earthquake removes the Angel while simultaneously lowering everyone's life points to <0, we do not lose the game in that instant. If 1 other player is also living, we would subsequently perish, however.

Notable Exclusions

You probably have ideas from other Neheb decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

Sunstone - I reaaaaaaally want to find room for this. I just love the card and I think it belongs in most mono-color decks. highly versatile as a political chip, as well, and belongs in my control package. Help me find the cuts!

Winter Orb - I do enjoy some harder Stax pieces like ol' Winter Orb, but I chose not to go this route for this deck. May be worth considering with the number of mana rocks we run, but it is a non-bo with cards like Caged Sun that are trying to go big, and can leave us in as bad a spot as the opponents often enough. With no Counter-Magic to protect our rocks and our asymmetry it is a gamble.

Crawlspace - I honestly don't really like this card. 2 attackers is still a lot of attackers. If your meta consists primarily of token strategies it isn't bad, I suppose.

Stranglehold - I love me some Stranglehold, and if I owned another copy I'd add it in. On the short list.

Possibility Storm - Such an interesting card, but in a deck with this many X spells it just isn't what we want. Leave this to the Chaos decks.

Planar Chaos - I love love love this card in my Norin the Wary deck, but not the right type of control for this deck. Leave this to the Chaos decks.

Timesifter - I love love love this card in my Norin the Wary deck, but not the right type of control for this deck. Leave this to the Chaos decks.

Maze of Ith - I have like 4 copies of this card, and several decks slated for 1 over this deck. I think it is basically an EDH staple. Someday I hope to have a copy for each of my 12 decks.

Blood Moon - I don't own a copy, but I'd include it if I did!

Magus of the Moon - I have a single copy, currently in my Norin the Wary deck. I'd add him for sure if I get a 2nd copy.

Every deck needs those flex spots that just do useful things. I typically expand those slots heavily, although I try to make them dual-purpose to be more efficient.

Lightning Greaves - To properly function, we need an active Neheb. Therefore, we need to protect our Neheb. Adidtionally, haste is a particularly powerful tool in this deck. This enables us on two fronts! The best in the business at what it does, if this hadn't been printed 10 times it would easily be a $20+ card.

Swiftfoot Boots - Greaves lite. Hexproof is a slight upgrade, costing 1 to equip is a massive downgrade. Worth including for doubling down on this effect, and with all the looting we have we can surely pitch redundant copies.

Hanweir Battlements - Haste enabler out of the land slot. Worth playing. Possibly worth adding Hanweir Garrison for the C-C-C-COMBOOOOOO.

Mirage Mirror - I love this card, I mentioned that above. This thing does a million things. Threat of activation rattlesnake, Extra Valkut, extra Doubler, extra rando beater. I think you should start playing it all over the place.

Expedition Map - We have quite a few useful utility lands. This finds them. Tutors in red are hard to come by, so I encourage you to play this one.

Homeward Path - The combo with Humble Defector alone justifies the inclusion. It can be highly useful against certain (blue) decks as well.

Buried Ruin - A fine bit of recursion in a deck sorely lacking GY synergies.

Notable Exclusions

You probably have ideas from other Neheb decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

Crimson Wisps - I think that utility cantrips should be played more. Notably, the Haste cantrips in red and Scout's Warning in white get no respect. The surprise factor alone is well worth it, plus they help create some sort of velocity in the deck and make us more consistent. Think about it!

Expedite - I think that utility cantrips should be played more. Notably, the Haste cantrips in red and Scout's Warning in white get no respect. The surprise factor alone is well worth it, plus they help create some sort of velocity in the deck and make us more consistent. Think about it!

Akroma's Memorial - I see a lot of people playing this card, and I probably would too if it wasn't so pricey. I am not exactly thrilled with a 7 mana do nothing, but I do understand the power level and will add it if I acquire one.

Gamble - My copy is currently in my Licia, Sanguine Tribune storm deck (Licia, the Sanguine Storm). I'd add it if I acquire a third copy, because Norin the WWary is in line first.

Vedalken Orrery - I love the card, but honestly I've been moving away from this recently. It is just a big neon sign post that reads "I am up to no good!". My playgroup either hates you out of the game when you drop this or just removes it, and for a 4 mana investment that can be rough. Of course, that does tax their removal, so maybe I'm being a bit foolish. Also a non-bo with Price of Glory.

Winding Canyons - I have 1 copy currently, in my Dakkon Blackblade Miracles control deck Dakkon Smackblade). I'd add it if I had a second, as I think the deck-building cost is negligible for the more under the radar Vedalken Orrery type effect.

Forgotten Cave - I love cycling lands, and so should you! I have been cutting these for straight up card draw out of the land slot recently. not sure if taht's right, but I need to keep my snow-covered count high enough to support those spells so I had to make it.

Sword of X and Y - This is more of a budget call. Swords are probably quite good in this deck. I currently own none.

I hope you enjoyed my take on Neheb, the Eternal! I enjoyed sharing it with you! Leave a comment and let's have a discussion!

Suggestions

Updates Add

Hello!

Small addition of a change I actually made in paper awhile back, but had not reflected on my list.

-Snow-Covered Mountain +Drownyard Temple

Temple is a pet card of mine that I believe deserves play in any loot heavy deck. Notably, Mono-Red. The ability to create a 3 mana ramp spell out of thin air when paired with Faithless Looting, Tormenting Voice, or Wild Guess is quite strong, as this additionally generates card advantage in those scenarios.

Another two cuts I made:

-Dragon Whisperer +Generator Servant

I had intended to make this cut a long time ago after Suns_Champion suggested it. Just an absolute powerhouse of a card. Whisperer felt underpowered after playing with him a few times.

-Forgotten Cave +Mikokoro, Center of the Sea

With reprinting in m25, Mikokoro felt like an obvious inclusion in like 5 of my decks. Fits very very well into mono-red alongside Howling Mine and Humble Defector hug effects.

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Date added 1 year
Last updated 4 months
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.13
Tokens Copy Clone, 2/2 Gremlin, 1/1 Elemental
Folders Uncategorized, Red, Cool EDH, Neheb, Commander Decks, New Decks/Updates, Interesting Commander Decks, 1BURN
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