This is my Kiora deck devoted to MTG's only Merfolk Planeswalker, her powerful sea monster allies, and their Battlefield for Zendikar against the mighty Eldrazi Titans. Kiora is my favorite Planeswalker in the lore. She's a Merfolk. She's a trickster. She's a bit arrogant. And she is confident in her ability to protect her home and her loved ones.
A woman after my own heart, truly.

Along the way, she tricked a Plane into her worship, duped both Ajani Goldmane and Elspeth Tirel into helping her find the massive Kraken, Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle , stole the God-Weapon the Bident of Thassa , also known as Dekella, and faced-off against Thassa, God of the Sea , herself, Kozilek, Butcher of Truth , and, most recently, assisted the Gatewatch with defeating Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God on Ravnica.

“Long after the land has given up the last of its secrets, there will still be mysteries in the depths of the sea.” —Kiora

The early-game is almost always low impact. Playing lands and ramp spells are all you really care about during those first 3-4 turns. Always cast your Commander as soon as possible (the earliest is turn 2, with a Sol Ring on turn 1, but typically turn 3), allowing you early access to mid-game mana several turns before your opponents.

By the mid-game, you should have access to as much as 10-12 mana, while most people are sitting at 6-8. This is where you can begin deploying impactful monsters and/or interacting with the board to set up for an attack with Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle .

IMPORTANT: Keep in mind, when you cast a spell, you MAY remove a slumber counter. Sometimes, as a form of pseudo-protection, you may want to leave a slumber counter on your Commander until you can set up an attack into an opponent with no blockers/who cannot block, or some other high value spell.

Typically, you will be able to aim Commander damage at your biggest threat while sending other creatures after priority number two. The deck has a lot of flexibility in being able to wipe boards because you will be building up enough mana to replay your stuff very quickly. A lot of the times, the wipes will be one sided. Keep a watchful eye on other people's board states and manage their tempo to keep them even further behind.

In the mid-to-late stages of the game, digging for Stormtide Leviathan can set up an effective combat lock long enough for you to close out the game by pairing it with cards like, Chasm Skulker / Dark Depths / Emrakul, the Promised End / Hydroid Krasis / Merrow Levitator .
First thing is first, Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle is a land once it resolves, so it can be tapped for mana the same turn that it enters the battlefield (if you can untap it). To assist with this, and enable big mana for big spells, we have a generous and flavorful untapping package; Kiora's Follower , Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner , Kiora, Master of the Depths , and Voyaging Satyr will all untap your Commander/ Simic Growth Chamber / Temple of the False God . Once Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx is on the field with some devotion, you can transition to tapping your Shrine for even MORE mana each turn to cast multiple sea monsters per turn, or big 10+ mana spells. Alternatively, you can also utilize Lotus Field multiple times per turn if you lose the Shrine.

Next, slumber counters, Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle enters with five slumber counters on him, require you to cast spells to remove them. He is not a creature as long as he has slumber counters on him. This limitation can make the gathering wave easy to see coming, so waiting to remove the last counter can sometimes lead to huge advantage with proper timing. Spells like Prime Speaker Zegana / Rishkar's Expertise and Traverse the Outlands will see your Commander while removing the final counter, and combo very well with other cards in the deck, such as Chasm Skulker and Tatyova, Benthic Druid .
Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner : Cast the turn before your Commander to enable big mana with added benefit of turning your impactful creatures into cantrips. Can give a creature pseudo-vigilance or untap lands that make more than one mana -- very versatile.

Kiora, Master of the Depths : Similar to the previous Kiora, except she can untap Kiora's Follower and Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle at the same time, or you Commander once he's a creature and another ramp land, such as Lotus Field / Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx / Simic Growth Chamber / Temple of the False God . You will rarely use her minus ability. Her ult will win the game if it goes off, but most people will only let you get a few turns of value out of her.

Kiora, the Crashing Wave : Mostly for flavor, but her minus ability comes in very handy, and sometimes bubbling any permanent an opponent controls can be handy. Ult is purely flavor.
Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle : This is guaranteed ramp stapled onto your Commander. Access to this kind of ramp in the Command Zone is really what enables the high mana cost of this deck.
Explore : Sorcery speed put a land into play and cantrip, enables turn 3 Commander.
Farseek : Can grab Breeding Pool , enables turn 3 Commander.
Growth Spiral : Instant speed put a land into play and cantrip, perfect turn 2 card.
High Tide : Instant speed mana doubler for one turn. Hold this card until you are ready for an explosive play.
Kiora, the Crashing Wave : Her minus ability lets you play an extra land, and is usually the mode selected.
Nature's Lore : Another Farseek , enables a turn 3 Commander.
Rampant Growth : Puts a basic onto the battlefield, enables a turn 3 Commander.
Sapphire Medallion : Not land, but does enable turn 3 Commander, especially impactful late game when you are casting several blue spells per turn.
Sol Ring : This is the strongest card you can have in your opening hand. Enables a turn 2 Commander.
Tempt with Discovery : This ramp spell can grab between one and four nonbasic lands that really make this deck run. Popular options to grab; Alchemist's Refuge / Dark Depths / High Market / Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx / Temple of the False God / Thespian's Stage .
Thought Vessel : Enables turn 3 Commander, with added utility.
Traverse the Outlands : Putting 12 lands onto the battlefield will always give you an enormous advantage, pair it with Tatyova, Benthic Druid to also draw 12 cards and gain 12 life, or Island matters cards like Engulf the Shore / High Tide / Scourge of Fleets .
Zendikar Resurgent : Green staple for most EDH decks, perfect for a deck like this that needs big mana. Thematic value teaming up with the Gatewatch to protect Zendikar.
Bident of Thassa : Flavor add, but also can draw you 2-4 cards on your turn pretty easily.
Finale of Revelation : Very flexible draw spell that can shuffle your yard back into your deck and enable no hand limit.
Hydroid Krasis : Card draw and lifegain on cast trigger, so even if someone counters this spell, you will still gain some kind of advantage.
Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner : Play a juicy fish, do a splash, get a card. Cantrips keep your hand full.
Kiora, Master of the Depths : Her minus ability can put a land and creature into your hand, with a couple of ways of recycling your graveyard.
Kiora, the Crashing Wave : Her minus ability let's you Explore at least twice, helping you keep a full hand while ramping.
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth : Late game bomb that refills your hand, may be cast more than once per game.
Mystic Remora : Baby version of Nezahal, draw cards whenever your opponents cast noncreature spells, also a very cheap spell for removing counters from Arixmethes.
Nezahal, Primal Tide : This is probably the best draw spell that you can play. It's Mystic Remora all grown-up, with no upkeep costs, removes your hand limit, and has built in manaless, instant speed protection.
Prime Speaker Zegana : Possibly on-par with Rishkar's Expertise with her potential to be replayed off a bounce spell to draw cards more than once. This will usually draw you 13 cards and leave behind a beef 13/13 Merfolk body.
Rishkar's Expertise : Probably the second best draw spell because you get a free spell after the card draw and it can be the fifth spell cast to turn your Commander into a creature. The fact that you get to cheat something out after drawing so many cards is what always drowns the opponent in your advantage.
Stormsurge Kraken : Basically just Infiltration Lens , but with Hexproof on the back of a giant Kraken.
Tatyova, Benthic Druid : This card provides amazing incremental advantages, but she lacks the protection of cards like Nezahal, Primal Tide and the bounce potential of cards like Prime Speaker Zegana . Best paired with ramp spells like Traverse the Outlands .
Zendikar Resurgent : Doubles your mana, AND cantrips your creature spells. Keeps the waves coming.
Crush of Tentacles : A very useful board wipe for interrupting the table's tempo. It hits everything indiscriminately, if played in the early game when you've only been ramping, you can clear the board to get free Commander damage in on the opponent of your choice, hopefully leaving behind a nice 8/8 Octopus for you to block / interact with.
Cyclonic Rift : Blue EDH staple, hold this spell until you need it because it's one of the few instant speed board wipes, unless you have Alchemist's Refuge / Leyline of Anticipation .
Displacement Wave : This is a very flexible board wipe, most of your creatures are high cost, so you can clear the board without hurting your position and swing into open fields.
Engulf the Shore : Another instant speed board wipe, it checks Islands and toughness so it's perfect for this deck. Typically a one sided clear.
Kederekt Leviathan : Probably my favorite board wipe in the deck as it enables you to pick up and reuse board wipes / card draw on other creatures, even if the card is countered, thanks to Unearth.
River's Rebuke : An amazing political tool for multiplayer games that can also be used to just end the game for a single player.
Scourge of Fleets : Engulf the Shore on a creature, but it only hits your opponents.
Slinn Voda, the Rising Deep : Another one-sided board wipe on a creature.
Thing in the Ice  : A ticking time-bomb for others to watch. Play it early then proceed to cast instant and sorcery spells to remove counters from it and your Commander, time it right you will ramp into an open board for two large Leviathan to swing in to. Also pairs well with Chasm Skulker .
Whelming Wave : Another one-sided board wipe at sorcery speed.
Alchemist's Refuge : Enables flash on all your nonland cards, meaning you can cast more instant speed board wipes, or deploy your creatures before your turn starts to get around summoning sickness.
Angler Turtle : Taunts your opponents into swinging all their blockers. They will be hesitant to swing at you since your creatures are huge. It also opens up the field to easy Commander damage. Hexproof makes it difficult to remove.
Bident of Thassa : Opens avenues of attack when activated, providing you card advantage and easy targets for your behemoths. Overall great card, and flavor win.
Breaching Leviathan : Taps and locks down all nonblue creatures for a turn, typically clearing the way for massive swings. Not exactly a board wipe, but can combo well with mass bounce spells.
Counterspell : Blue EDH staple. Hold to counter spells that effect your immediate board position.
Elder Deep-Fiend : Tap down four permanents at instant speed. Typically used to clear blockers before the turn starts to get through for Commander damage.
Emrakul, the Promised End : This massive beater allows you to mindslave someone for a turn before giving them an extra turn if you manage to cast it from your hand.
Foil : There are 15 Islands in the deck, hold one for a free counter. Use to protect board position.
Ghost Quarter : Commander staple, take out a problematic land or another land that destroys lands so you can safely cast your Arixmethes.
Heroic Intervention : This is THE protection spell for this deck, giving all of your permanents indestructible and hexproof for the turn.
High Market : Use this sac outlet to prevent creatures from being exiled, or to kill Chasm Skulker for a ton of squids.
Imprisoned in the Moon : Flavorful entrapment of Emrakul, the Promised End (though Kiora was not involved in that), plus one of the best lockdown spells for problematic Commander creatures/Planeswalkers.
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth : Shuffles graveyard into the library and forces sacrifice on attack.
Krosan Grip : There is always at least one problematic Artifact/Enchantment. This removal spell will take out any combo piece, effectively preventing some players from winning the game that turn.
Leyline of Anticipation : Allows you to answer a lot more things at instant speed, pair with Wilderness Reclamation to basically have two turns each trip around the table.
Lorthos, the Tidemaker : Pay on attack to tap down eight permanents, clear out blockers for easy damage, or lock lands so the opponent is choked on mana.
Merrow Levitator : Enables creatures to attack easier, pairs with Stormtide Leviathan to prevent you from being locked out of attacking. Most of the deck is blue, so you can make several creatures fly.
Mosswort Bridge : Lets you easily cheat in a giant threat, or even a board wipe at instant speed. Condition easily met with a 12/12 for your Commander.
Muddle the Mixture : Versatile counter spell that can use to tutor some of the best cards in the deck; Counterspell / Cyclonic Rift / Displacement Wave / Finale of Revelation / Heroic Intervention / Hydroid Krasis / Thought Vessel .
Mystic Sanctuary : Basically Archaeomancer on a land. Pairs well with the other 15 Islands in the deck, and with the 12 Instant and 12 Sorcery spells in the deck. Draw more cards, ramp more, or just return countermagic and keep holding your board position.
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx : Makes large amounts of blue mana after your board position has been set up. This can be tapped 2-3 times per turn with the deck's untap package to make even larger amounts of blue mana.
Pact of Negation : Guaranteed to protect you from any spell that threatens the board/game, and with the ramp available in this deck you will always be able to pay the upkeep cost.
Plasm Capture : Use this counter to disrupt a player's tempo, and ramp for your next turn. Try to save for a spell that is 5+ CMC.
Reality Shift : One of the best single target removal spells in the game. Save to remove combo enabling creatures from the game.
Sanctum of Ugin : Sacrifice this land after casting any of the following to fetch any of the others; Elder Deep-Fiend / Emrakul, the Promised End / Kozilek, Butcher of Truth / Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
Stormtide Leviathan : Prevents most attacks and pairs well with Chasm Skulker / Dark Depths / Emrakul, the Promised End / Hydroid Krasis / Merrow Levitator . Can be used to both stall the game, or finish the game.
Thassa, God of the Sea : Provides card selection each turn while enabling your larger creatures to become unblockable.
Thespian's Stage : Mostly used to enable a two mana Marit Lage token, but can also copy other useful lands to help with ramp or color fixing or general utility. Can copy opponent's lands, as well.
Thought Vessel : Reliquary Tower but on a mana rock.
Tolaria West : Tutors out whatever nonbasic land you need, popular targets include Alchemist's Refuge / Dark Depths / Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx / Thespian's Stage . Also grabs Pact of Negation .
Wilderness Reclamation : Allows you to tap out on your turn, and still cast instants on other turns. Pairs very well with Alchemist's Refuge / Leyline of Anticipation , allowing you to tap out, pass and keep casting all your spells with refreshed mana, essentially taking two turns to everyone's one turn.
Kiora's Friends:

Deepchannel Mentor : This Merfolk will make almost all your creatures unblockable, swiftly ending games if the opponents do not have removal for this little swimmer.
Elvish Reclaimer : This Elf probably won't stick around for long once you start sacrificing basics for Alchemist's Refuge / Dark Depths / Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx / Sanctum of Ugin / Temple of the False God / Thespian's Stage .
Kiora's Follower : Tricked into worship! Used to tap your Commander multiple times for mana, or tap for mana, and attack in the same turn. Transitions into untapping Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx once in play.
Merrow Levitator : Kiora loves this guy, she summons the creatures, and this one let's them fly over the enemy defenses. Much joy whenever she encounters Levitators. Gets Commander damage through.
Prime Speaker Zegana : A perfect friend for Kiora and her creatures, Zegana draws strength from the strength of others and loves to assist fellow ocean-dwellers. Draws you tons of cards.
Tatyova, Benthic Druid : Here to accompany several Benthic sea creatures, is a pleasant druid that will reward Kiora for putting lands into play. Great engine card.
Voyaging Satyr : Drawn together by their desires to explore, this Druid helps to untap the Isle himself, as well as Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx .

Kiora's Foes:

Elder Deep-Fiend : Kiora and the Eldrazi do not get along, but this one is clearly an Octopus, maybe she can tame this one? Instant speed tap down permanents.
Emrakul, the Promised End : The boogeyman of the Titans, with this big baddie looming in the wings, Kiora will never forget the dangers these baddies brought to her homeland of Zendikar. Cause chaos by mindslaving opponents into open hostilities while you wait to crush your foes with this otherworldly Octopus.
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth : The original big nasty version of Kozilek from the first Zendikar block. Kiora faced off against this monster riding on the back of Lorthos, the Tidemaker . Card advantage on the back of one of Magic's most iconic beaters.
Thassa, God of the Sea : They fought for control over Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle . Thassa may have prevented the theft of her favorite Kraken, but not the theft of her God-Weapon, Dekella. Flavor add and unblockable utility.
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger : Rounding out the list of Kiora's rivals is the third Titan, Ulamog, previously thought to be a Merfolk deity by the name of Ula. This horrifying tentacle monster will remove some threats upon cast, and leave behind an even bigger threat.

Kiora's Confiscated Creatures:

Angler Turtle : A big scary turtle with Hexproof. Most decks don't want to attack or be forced to attack, this card makes them do that and is hard to remove.
Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle : As the centerpiece of Kiora's fight with Thassa, it is only fitting that this creature be the Commander for a Kiora tribal theme deck. Guaranteed ramp is not bad either.
Breaching Leviathan : This monsterous leviathan is one of the most expensive spells in the deck, but it will drown your opponents's creatures that sticks around on a 9/9 body.
Chasm Skulker : Tiny squid that gets bigger and bigger as time goes on. Can end games with the right board.
Dark Depths : Beneath the depths, frozen in ice, awaits our most fearsome sea creature, the infamous, Marit Lage.
Kederekt Leviathan : Extremely flexible for an 8 drop. Unearth makes this one of the most unsuspecting cards in the deck.
Hydroid Krasis : This creepy Ravnician mutation found its home in Kiora's arsenal due to its sheer terror and versatility. Draws cards, gains life, flies, big X spell.
Lorthos, the Tidemaker : Kiora and this Octopus fought together during the Battle of Zendikar, and he's back to help lockdown permanents and give you a clear channel to swim through.
Nezahal, Primal Tide : The only Dinosaur in the deck. This embodiment of mana will lead you to victory with the card advantage that it gives and the power level it provides.
Scourge of Fleets : One of the most reliable board wipes in the deck on the back of a good-sized creature.
Slinn Voda, the Rising Deep : Board wipe on one of the biggest creatures in the deck. Said to be as big as Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle .
Stormsurge Kraken : Hexproof makes him hard to remove. 5 CMC for a creature that almost always a 7/7 with card advantage on block.
Stormtide Leviathan : A classic big sea creature. Great for stalling your opponents while accelerating your board position.
Thing in the Ice  : Melt the ice, free the Avatar, watch him blow away the other (non-Horror) creatures.
While I have put a lot of time, effort, and, frankly, money, into this deck, I have tried to keep it "casually competitive" and on-theme. Meaning I purposely shy away from infinite combos like Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle + Pemmin's Aura / Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle + Freed from the Real , and from non-sea related ways to victory such as Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle + Overwhelming Stampede / Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle + Dragon Throne of Tarkir / Archetype of Imagination in favor of more flavorful evasion such as Deepchannel Mentor / Merrow Levitator / Thassa, God of the Sea and one-sided mass bounces/locks/freezes and the threat of Eldrazi Titan annihilation.

I enjoy playing this deck because it let's me play big splashy monsters while having the ability to interact with everyone's boards and swing through when I am ready to. You could easily make this super combo-y, or stomp-y and finish games very reliably and frequently, but this build is more about letting people start to get going and becoming the Archenemy. It challenges you and everyone else at the table to interact or lose the game.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my deck. Please upvote if you enjoyed it!

"I will never run out of new oceans to explore or new sea-dwellers to embrace as my own." —Kiora


Updates Add


65% Casual

35% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 10 months
Last updated 43 minutes

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 4.23
Tokens 1/1 Squid, Kiora, 8/8 Octopus, 9/9 Kraken, 20/20 Avatar, 2/2 Manifest
Folders Autumn's Decks, New Deck Ideas, Big Fish, Real Fun EDH, UB Sea Creatures, slime, I Wish i had this
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Revision 1 See all

43 minutes ago)

-1 Sanctum of Ugin acquire
-1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger acquire