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Purphoros, God of Tokens (Multiplayer EDH Primer)

Commander / EDH Competitive Control Group Slug Multiplayer Pillow Fort Primer



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Want to destroy all of your opponents quickly and simultaneously without attacking? With tokens, here's how.

I decided to do a spawn-the-field (with a small Goblin theme) Commander deck, because no one wanted to play with my Modern Goblin deck. (Also, I really love Krenko, Mob Boss, and he was awesome in Modern format!) But I ended up changing that idea to involve awesome non-Goblins. Yes, there are creature cards of all sorts that bring out more than just Goblins, but they are the best within the Red color format that keeps this deck alive and kicking (hard!) not just in 1v1 games, but also within multiplayer games!

After lots of research, testing, and changes, this whole thing is finally a good Purphoros EDH primer to start with. This is a very competitive Purphoros deck, and there's been lots of changes to make this deck last longer, protect itself from disruptions, and covers its weaknesses. It's a pretty fun deck to play. Best thing about this simple deck is that new EDH players can use it easily and rack up some wins, too! (Proven this fact a lot!)

To begin with, Purphoros is used as the commander instead of Krenko, because of a few reasons:

  1. He can attack several opponents at once with his ability just by sitting there as an indestructible enchantment. Literal God status.
  2. You can tutor for Krenko with multiple cards ("target Goblin card", etc), but you can't tutor for Purphoros with pure red decks.
  3. He is an Indestructible enchantment first, which protects him from most board wipes and anything targeting creatures.
  4. Speeds up the game. Seriously, a Commander that deals 2 DMG to every opponent for every creature will speed up games like nothing you've seen before.
  5. Planeswalker annihilator. His ability can be redirected to a planeswalker that player controls. Goodbye, pesky super friends Atraxa, Praetors' Voice Decks.

What makes this deck good? Several points:

1. It's Cheap Show

That's a super important factor to many Magic players, especially those that are new into Commander. Haha, you may laugh at that, but most of the cards in this deck can be bought cheaply. The more expensive cards can be replaced for cheaper, but less competitive cards too, and the deck could still work pretty good. Honestly, the most expensive cards here were a lot cheaper when I bought them (EBAY). Overall, a deck like this without the over $20 cards (which I think are 5 of them) could deck you about $200.

2. Deck Cycling/Drawing/Tutoring Show

I've played many red decks before, and I've always noted how tough they are in going through decks, looking for things, or having less than a card or two in my hand... for several turns. This deck has changed a lot in terms of draw power and the like. Cards like Scroll Rack and the Wheels are essential with this deck. I have more than 10% of my deck here that can fix up my hand, or lack of.

3. (Unexpectedly Great) Mana Ramp Show

Now Red decks have to get their mana in the unusual manner, because mana-ramping is more of a Green deck style. I was able to find a few good cards that works well with this deck. Most of these cards are used to bring out Purphoros out faster and out again if he somehow leaves the field. However, these cards can also be used to focus on the heavy mana cards for Mid to Late game WinCons like Firecat Blitz, Tempt with Vengeance and Snake Basket.

4. Control Show

There's surprisingly a good amount of control in this deck. Where to start...

Defense Grid: Counter spells are now 4 or 5 mana to cast!

Fork/Reverberate/Dualcaster Mage: Copies their counter, to counter the counter. Or, use it on your cards to ramp up the damage quickly! I've even copied a player's extra turn; fun games.

Glacial Chasm: Tough card to explain. You will easily be seen as the biggest threat. Think of all the Voltron decks or infinite combo decks (like that Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind guy). They will try to stop you unless you put out a beastly emergency card like this. Yeah, you'll lose a bit of life, but your opponents are losing a lot more life quickly. Did I mention that this deck hasten games? Yeah, it does.

Goblin Welder: One of the most underrated Magic cards, he can disrupt boards with just a tap. You can even target yourself. Done with Sol Ring, yeah, I can replace it for Panharmonicon.

Blood Moon/Magus of the Moon/Price of Progress: Hate on non-mono decks. Makes me laugh when they bring out their pricey land cards like Savannah and Gaea's Cradle only to be made into simple mountains. Greed has a price.

Chaos Warp: One of my most favorite cards here. Can be used to replace yours or an opponents card. A deadly card could be replaced for something meek, or maybe even deadlier. Still, its a great card that lives up to its name.

Warping Wail: One of the newer additions to them deck, it's pretty awesome as you can use any of it's modes. Gets rid of their cheap creatures like Deathrite Shaman, or counter sorceries like Temporal Mastery, or even bring out a little mana-bringing token that sets off Purphoros's ability.

Ensnaring Bridge: Prevents my opponents from trying to damage me for the most part. Bonus: 's general weakness to hand size is now my biggest strength.

5. Destruction Show

Big Sidenote None of these cards damage Purphoros. Even as an Indestructible creature. Go wild.

Mogg Infestation: Doubles the # of guys on your field. Better yet, they're goblins, so they sync beautifully with Krenko.

Descent of the Dragons: Similar to the previous card, however you can CHOOSE what creatures to die across the field. Oh, a 4/4 vanilla text dragon is better than an infinite power Animar, Soul of Elements or a Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind. Also you can turn all your sweet 1/1 goblins into many 4/4 dragons.

Nevinyrral's Disk: I love/hate this card. Hate that it comes out tapped, LOVE that it destroys everything on the field. Even ENCHANTMENTS! decks normally can't touch enchantments at all, so this becomes a great addition here.

Ruination: Only Land-Destruction card I have, but it's justified as it's towards non-basic lands. You gotta admit, it's still funny watching the entire table put their beautiful dual and utility lands into their graveyards. Use this card especially when you're near your WinCon or you're going to generate extra hate until the end of the game as your opponents try to build up again.

Shattering Spree: Kills artifacts quickly. The best part is that it's kind of uncounterable.

How to Play: Show

Early game (Turns 1-4):

  1. Ramp. Try to have a hand of 2-3 lands/ramping cards. Opening hand should have a cheap ramp to bring out Purphoros by turn 3-4.

  2. Set up field: If you have a control or ramp card, put it out. You want to protect your Commander a bit, and you want to set up for a good fight. Also, try not to bring out any token ramp cards until Purphoros is out, pretty simple.

  3. Bring out Purphoros.

Mid-Game (5-12):

  1. Tokens, tokens, tokens.

  2. Should be winning. You just need Purphoros's ability to set off 20 times (in a 40 life game). If opponents try to ramp ahead or put out a boardwipe, you have plenty of cards to stop them.

Late Game (+13):

  1. Huh. Probably Purphoros died once or something, and that's why you're here. Anyways, it's a very simple deck: just keep building up your protection, Purphoros comes out again, and tokens.

Speeds up WinCon: Show

-Furnace of Rath or Curse of Bloodletting or Quest for Pure Flame: Cards that essentially double Purphoros's ability. So far the way I am using it is have the Bloodletting card for 1v1 games and the Pure Flame or Rath card for multiplayer games. Hilarious and unintentional combo with Browbeat where it can hit for 10 instead of 5 damage.

-Impact Tremors: Another Purphoros-type ability. Instead of 2 damage for every opponent, now it is 3! Or if Purphoros is somehow not on the field, it continues to bite at the opponents.

-Panharmonicon: Beautiful new addition. Affects Purphoros, affects ETB creatures, affects Impact Tremors. Makes the game end faster, with Purphoros on top.

Goblin Bombardment: If you don't need your tokens as chump blockers, or a board wipe is on the stack, then you can use them to fight back indirectly. Your opponent has an annoying big creature? Well, the small guys can band together to get rid of it.

Infinite Combos and Other Win Conditions Show

Notice that I took out the infinite combos out of my deck, but I listed them so that you know what other options you have. There are some really fun and nasty red combos to play with when Purphoros, God of the Forge is in the field:

-Purphoros, God of the Forge+Krenko, Mob Boss: Best dream team in the world, of Magic, the Gathering. When Krenko comes out, he's the biggest target because he signals a quick win. Try to have Lightning Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots out to protect Krenko as he doubles your field every turn.

-Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker+Zealous Conscripts: Kiki makes a copy of the Conscripts which untaps Kiki to make another copy of Conscripts...

-Zealous Conscripts+Splinter Twin: Tap Conscripts to make a copy of itself and tap the next Conscript and make a copy and Tap that one...

-Dualcaster Mage+Heat Shimmer: Make Heat Shimmer target Dualcaster Mage. In turn the Mage will make a copy of Shimmer which makes copy of Mage...

-Lightning Crafter+Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + sacrifice outlet= infinite damage. Useful if Purphoros isn't out. Overkill if he's in play.

-Grinning Ignus+Ruby Medallion: Not an infinite combo, but lasts a good amount as long as you have to play. Also can set you up with a deadly combo with Empty the Warrens.

-Basilisk Collar+Goblin Sharpshooter: Amazing Board wipe combo.

-Ashnod's Altar+Nim Deathmantle+ETB creature with at least one token: infinite ETB triggers, and if the ETB creature produces more than one, you also have infinite mana!

-Extraplanar Lens+Snow-Covered Mountains: Use only Snow-Covered Mountains in your deck and get it "Imprinted" by the Lens, now only you can benefit for twice the amount of land on turn 3. The catch? Price. Each Snow-Covered Mountain is $2, and I'm going to wait a bit before buying these bad boys. Until then, they will stay in my "maybe" side. So far, without this combo, I can still ride ahead of the opponents without too much fear of being mana-screwed.

Cards that didn't make the cut (and why): Show

-Door of Destinies and similar Tribal-heavy cards: This deck focuses more on activating Purphoros's ability rather than fighting back with buffed up creatures. I pretty much expect the tokens that are generated to be chump blockers or sacrifices for amazing things.

-Empty the Warrens: Great card, and can combo beautifully with Grinning Ignus. However I find that needing to have 4 cards on the field for it to work (Purphoros + Grinning Ignus + Ruby Medallion + Empty the Warrens) is too much of a stack for me without an infinite combo.

-Sensation Gorger/Goblin Chirurgeon: Sadly, I do not have enough Goblin cards to satisfy this little guy. Otherwise he would be a great addition for any Goblin-heavy deck.

-Thopter Assembly: Great card. It can damage your opponents for 2 on turn 1, and 10 on turn 2. I was debating on putting it in the deck, but it's not an ETB effect, so I know that this card would be targeted first and easily.

-Insurrection: It's such a beautiful card, and normally a staple in heavy-red decks. However, I would hold this card for a good few turns without having enough mana to play it or there's nothing good on the table (board wipe!!) or someone would counter the card. Ugh...

-Furnace of Rath/ Gratuitous Violence: Reading through other people's red decks, these card seems pretty useful as it speeds up the game. However, User sonnet666 makes a good point. When Purphoros is out, he is the biggest target on the field, the "archenemy" as the user phrased it. When he has enough devotion, he becomes a creature, which is something that other opponents wait with anticipation and cards like Toxic Deluge.

-Cavern of Souls: Great card, but this deck isn't as centered around goblin creature cards as it used to. If you can afford to buy it, go for it. The same goes for Boseiju, Who Shelters All. Great lands against blue decks but they are pretty pricey.

-Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker: Amazing goblin. Only problem is he only works with like 8 cards in the deck. Also, I don't do the infinite combo, so... He's been sacked.

-Zealous Conscripts: "Fun" infinite combos. But as Red does not have a great way to tutor for him, I would just have him sit in my hand for long periods of time if I didn't have the other part of his combo.

-Goblin Offensive- Hilarious flavor text. Really wanted it. But... 4 mana for 1 little goblin? 5 mana for 2? 6 mana for 3- I'm just gonna stop there. It just... doesn't even add up to be worth it, sadly.

-Hellion Eruption: 6 mana to sacrifice all my little guys to make them bigger. What if I accidentally have too much devotion to Purphoros and I'd have to sacrifice him too... or what if I didn't want to sacrifice all of them? Or worse. Nothing to sacrifice. Tends to be a dead card for me.

Thran Dynamo/Gilded Lotus: both are amazing ramp cards. Honestly, you can't go wrong with having either in your deck. I took mine out because they were late game mana, and I want earlier ones to bring out Purphoros faster.

Meekstone: Only affects one guy in my deck and it's Krenko. Great staller if anything. But it tends to be unhelpful, as most players like to attack rather than tap. Also, I want Krenko to untap.

Modest Budget? Substitute! Show

I realize that not everyone has a heavy wallet, so I'll put down some ideas of cards that would still be awesome in this deck. Also, if you feel like you're missing something, check here. I'll keep them under $5:

Mob Justice/Massive Raid/Burn at the Stake- Possible great additional damage for little mana

Battle Hymn- Mana

Chancellor of the Forge or Myr Battlesphere or Pentavus- Heavy token generators

Shivan Harvest- Non-basic land destruction

Beetleback Chief- Token generator (like Pia and Kiran Nalaar)

Tooth and Claw- Sacrifice outlet

Fire Diamond- Mana (like Coldsteel Heart)

Wheel of Fate- Draw

Goblin Recruiter- goblin (Krenko) tutor

Dangerous Wager- Draw

Pyromancer's Goggles- Mana and copies your sorceries/instants

Spawning Breath- Spot removal/Damage and mana-making token

Commune with Lava- draw (be sure to use it at your opponent's end step for best results)

Madblind Mountain- mountain that is especially useful with Scroll Rack or Sensei's Divining Top

Forgotten Cave/Smoldering Crater- draw power in a pinch

Heartless Hidetsugu- game ender as early as turn 6

Lightning Berserker/Glitterfang- another Norin the Wary type

Spawning Pit- helps recover after a board wipe

I'm always looking forward to any comments and/or improvements. Please also suggest what to exchange for said improvements. I enjoy any suggestions, and I try to put much thought about them. I tend to update often thanks to good reminders. If you like any of my decks, don't forget to give ol' Lobo here some love.


Updates Add

Opening the new set and I finally got obtained of the fewest (and previously around $150) tutors in red! This has been a long wish coming, and now I really pity the opponents with the speed in which I can bring out Norin the Wary or the Goblin Matron (just to name a few). Nothing else to say other than:

Wily Goblin -> Imperial Recruiter

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Compare to inventory
Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 minute
Exclude colors WUBG
Splash colors R

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.71
Tokens 1/1 Thopter, 1/1 Elemental, 1/1 Goblin, 1/1 Snake, 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn, 6/6 Dragon, 0/1 Kobold, */* Generic, 1/1 Eldrazi Scion, 1/1 Elemental Cat, Chandra
Folders Awesome Decks, Goblins, Tagged - EDH, EDH ideas, Welcome to Nilbog, EDH, Possibly Build, Decks to play, EDH, Commander, See all 148
Top rank #4 on 2017-03-22
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Revision 114 See all

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-1 Torch Fiend main
+1 Abrade main
-1 Abrade maybe