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Purphoros, God of Tokens (Multiplayer EDH Primer)

Commander / EDH Competitive Group Slug Pillow Fort Primer Red Deck Wins Tokens



Creature (1)


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 super simple deck is that new EDH players can use it easily and rack up some wins, too!

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...

Price of Glory/Defense Grid: Out of turn plays? Not without some consequences.

Fork/Reverberate/Dualcaster Mage: Copies their counter, to counter the counter. Or, use it on your Goblin Rally to ramp up the damage quickly!

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: Focuses dislikes towards non-basic lands. 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 if he's a creature. Go wild.

Blasphemous Act: Awesome board wipe that can be used as cheaply as .

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.


Good evening, everyone. Thanks to some advice from some of you and the people I play EDH with, I realized that I focused to much on sorceries to do my bidding! I have good creatures that can do the job AND add to Purphoros's 2 damage. (Also some of these creatures have great synergy with Panharmonicon and Feldon of the Third Path!)

Devastating Summons-> Wily Goblin

Vandalblast-> Ingot Chewer

Fault Line-> Spitebellows

Yes, some of the creatures may seem expensive, but remember that you will be using their evoke cost of (R) or 1(R)(R). And Wily Goblin will probably be killed off quickly after coming out to make sure I don't have Purphoros's devotion to 5.

Comments View Archive

Big fan of your purphoros deck. I built it, and played it last night in my play-group. I got paired up in a crazy 3-player game, with a buddy playing my Dark Alley w/ Mr. Rakdos and His Eldrazi deck (thanks for the upvote), me playing your Purphoros, God of Tokens deck, and another buddy playing Heartless Son of a Bitch (a waaaaay underrated deck, true monster......I've lost on turn zero twice to it. Check it out, you might like the build, it is soooo much fire).

Game 1: Hearless killed everyone, including himself, on turn 3

Game 2: Heartless won on turn 5, with 1 life left

Game 3: (a mere 9 minutes after game 1 started) Heartless died quick to a tag-team, ultimately Rakdos won with only 2 life left, I almost had him....1 damn creature short! Pretty epic game.

3 strait games of pure lava-throwing, fire-spitting, heat-flinging damage. Took probably 30-35 mins. Good times. Can't wait to play it more. Thanks again, sweet deck.

September 7, 2017 10:02 p.m.

ay.lobo says... #2

Hey, ticked-off-squirrel. Woah, lots of suggestions. So I did test out some of your ideas on our game day a few days ago. Let me find my notes:

Goblin Warrens- Great card, and I was lucky to had a Dragon Fodder the next turn. However, when my Goblins were killed, I ended up with Elemental and Human tokens for the rest of the game and that made this card not as useful as in the beginning.

Lich's Tomb was really nice. I have to say, it held off some big creatures for a bit. I need to figure out the synergy, because once my opponent had an infinite combo with Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and Triskelion, I couldn't do much. Good card though!

Massive Raid- I have tried cards like that and Mob Justice and Burn at the Stake, and it worked against non-Blue, non-White, non-Black decks. The reason why it didn't work as well against those decks is because when I played this kind of card, my opponents would have a instant-speed boardwipe that nullified this card. Sad face. Maybe I should try it again, with better results.

Sylvok Lifestaff- It was an interesting thing to be gaining life in this deck. I do like the combo with this and Ashnod's Altar. Not sure if I would use it, because I like the beatdown aspect before helping myself, but it was a nice way to stay afloat! Just a heads up, I was definitely more of a target when my opponents all had 15 life and I was still at 40 because of life gain. :D

Insult / Injury- Still testing. Love it so far.

Cards that don't work well with this deck, Foundry Street Denizen. Hmm, more for active attacking players. He doesn't have trample or anything, so he's just a big blockable beatstick. Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots, the thing is, I never make Purphoros a creature, so I wouldn't be able to attach it to him. He has enough of a protection as an indestructible enchantment.

Thank you for your thoughts, bro. I definitely appreciate it and will continue to consider some of them!

September 8, 2017 10:11 a.m.

ay.lobo says... #3

Good morning, EventuallyClassy. Woah, thank you for the props! This is definitely why I uploaded my deck. Simple, fast, fun. I'm going to check out the decks you mentioned again, and see where to go from there. I hope you continue to update us here on your games with the Purphoros, God of Tokens (Multiplayer EDH Primer) deck and see if we can figure out a better win/lose/fun game ratio. :D

September 8, 2017 10:17 a.m.

nakaosensei says... #4

Great deck bro!I have a Narset tokens deck with the exactly same idea of your deck! Summon tokens and deal direct damage, or kill everybody by attacking with an army of buffed tokens, i will let the link here:http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/narset-and-the-tokens-army-real-life-deck/

Also, i use two cards that might be useful to you, Outpost Siege(you can use as a draw or direct damage card) and Vicious Shadows

September 23, 2017 8:46 a.m.

ay.lobo says... #5

Good morning, nakaosensei. Thanks for the props. I do like Narset decks, especially the colors you get to access. Being mono-red really can limit you or make you shine. Thanks for the recommends, I already have Outpost Siege and it works great for me. Vicious Shadows is a bit more expensive, but it looks pretty fun too.

September 23, 2017 11:10 a.m.

Workman4137 says... #6

Since you're going to be casting spells and have lots of enter the battlefield triggers, I feel like Empty the Warrens would be a great addition if you cast a lot of spells this turn. Especially if you need more etb triggers.

Of course, since it has storm, you can cast cheep etb effects and get more tokens for free!! 83

October 10, 2017 1:04 p.m.

ay.lobo says... #7

Hey, Workman4137. That is a in interesting thought. I tend to play 1 or 2 spells during my turns, would that be enough for this card with the STORM ability? Also, what would you swap this with?

October 10, 2017 1:22 p.m.

Workman4137 says... #8

Still, if you have a storm count of two including empty the warrens, that's 6 tokens which if purpheros on the battlefield is 12 damage not including the panharmonicon, impact tremors, pandemonium, warstorm surge, etc effects adding more damage.

As for what to take out, I would say a ruby medallion or something not as impactful or very useful.

Speaking of mana, a Gauntlet of Might would help you out with mana and gives an anthem effect if you have the money for it.

Of course, it's just some food for thought. I haven't built something like this very often.

October 11, 2017 11:05 a.m.

Workman4137 says... #9

Sorry, my math is wrong but the point still stands. At worst it's another Krenko's Command

October 11, 2017 11:06 a.m.

ay.lobo says... #10

Thanks, Workman4137. I'm definitely not a math person myself when I try to count up all the damage added with Purphoros and the like. I'll go and consider it, especially something to mull over with combos like Grinning Ignus.

October 11, 2017 11:31 a.m.

Byuante says... #11

I'm going to make my comment for the sake of fairness, as KeroroLulu doesn't have the experience.

Vance's Blasting Cannons  Flip - You run enough cheap cards that this isn't hard to get to flip, once flipped, it can hasten the game even more

Sunbird's Invocation - Expensive, but can be very profitable

Makeshift Munitions - Another Goblin Bombardment

Rummaging Goblin - Pitch what you don't need, and draw

Pyromancer's Goggles - Copying stuff for lots of damage

October 11, 2017 5:24 p.m.

ay.lobo says... #12

Thanks, Byuante, I appreciate you helping us both out. I'll be looking forward to seeing if I can test some of those suggestions out in a future game!

October 11, 2017 5:32 p.m.

Bxbx says... #13

Hi, your deck looks like it's a lot of fun playing! I enjoy the power of Purphoros, God of the Forge in my own naya tokens deck.

You do not mention Goblin Rabblemaster, Hanweir Garrison and Young Pyromancer in your Budget section or alongside the cards that didn't make the cut, so I just want to suggest them because I like them.

Also Mercadia's Downfall is a nice alternative wincon against most decks, but maybe it's just not necessary in yours.


October 14, 2017 3:43 p.m.

Bxbx says... #14

Some more cards that I considered for my naya tokens deck back in the day:

Kyren Negotiations extracts additional damage out of your tokens.

Furystoke Giant is similar but lets you ping creatures as well.

Spawning Pit lets you recycle your tokens. Also good in response to sweepers.

Mana Echoes would generate a ton of colorless mana in your deck, even though you use different creature types. Hordeling Outburst for example would generate at least 9 mana in total.

October 14, 2017 4:04 p.m.

Bxbx says... #15

Aaand Stranglehold is great when you're playing tokens, because a lot of the opponents will try to search their library for their one-off anti-token-tool

October 14, 2017 4:07 p.m.

Bxbx says... #16

I'm sorry, but this really is the last comment. Stranglehold is also good in this deck, because it hinders the opponent from searching for Return to Dust or All Is Dust to remove your Purphoros, God of the Forge.

October 14, 2017 4:10 p.m.

ay.lobo says... #17

Good morning, Bxbx. You are right, I need to update the Budget list by starting with your recommendations.

The other thing I need to add is Stranglehold is not exactly a budget card (above $5), however, I will add it as a side-board. You are correct, as other colors have tutors and searches galore, we need to protect ourselves better. I'll switch it in with War's Toll if I find myself against many or Captain Sisay-like tutor players.


October 16, 2017 11:10 a.m.

xJonahSlayerx says... #18

I think you should use Krenko, Mob Boss as commander. What do you think? I am thinking about making my own commander deck like this myself. I would just add in Swiftfoot Boots and Lightning Greaves.

November 11, 2017 5:05 p.m.

JRaynor says... #19

xJonahSlayerx lol, doesn't changing commanders fundamentally alter the entire point of the deck?

November 11, 2017 5:33 p.m.

xJonahSlayerx says... #20

I know, just a thought. No one else responds to me lol

November 11, 2017 10:12 p.m.

ay.lobo says... #21

Hey, xJonahSlayerx. JRaynor is correct. If I swapped the commander for Krenko, I'd have to change a lot of the aspect of the deck. With Krenko, you'd want to spawn/attack with a lot of goblins. You'll be on the offensive a lot, and you would be very vulnerable to a creature boardwipe. Cards that make tokens other than goblins would have to go, because they wouldn't sync with Krenko. I prefer Purphoros, as he's more resilient and works with a lot of different strategies.

November 11, 2017 11:11 p.m.

xJonahSlayerx says... #22

I like Krenko, but I do have Purphoros already. I might just stick with his strategy because I have been testing him and he is harder to deal with than other red commanders. Thanks for the feedback and deck build.

November 13, 2017 6:29 p.m.

ay.lobo says... #23

Absolutely, xJonahSlayerx. I always have a blast with him. Just update us with your matches so we can see how good/bad Purphoros plays in your tables and if there's any improvements/combos to note.

November 14, 2017 1:49 p.m.

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91% Competitive

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

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.82
Tokens 1/1 Thopter, 1/1 Elemental, 1/1 Goblin, 3/3 Ogre, 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn, 6/6 Dragon, 1/1 Snake, 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 129
Top rank #4 on 2017-03-22
Views 30023

Revision 104 See all

5 days ago)

+1 Chandra's Spitfire maybe