This is The Locust God. He brings his friends to the party. His many, many friends.

By the grace of the God-Pharaoh, Death remains a stranger to our Commander. It will continue to rain down the God-Pharaoh's blessings upon the unworthy masses. And through the artifices and ingenuities of other worlds, the Locust Inquisition shall triumph!

Arjun, the Shifting Flame possesses Teferi's Puzzle Box, and gazes into the depths of Alhammarret's Archive. Wielding the Bident of Thassa, the genius of Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind has been called to our cause. The dark power of Ashnod's Altar, abhorrent to all, has been bent to the desires of The Horned One. No force in the universe shall stand before our righteous insectile horde.

And with the greatest power and knowledge of all the planes at our disposal, we shall conquer the multiverse in the name of the holy Lord Bolas! The unbelievers who stand in our path shall have their flesh riven by locusts, and their minds melted in the righteous light of our God-Pharaoh.

The core of this deck is similar to many Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind decks: strong reliance on Wheel of Fortune and Winds of Change style effects. The former are better when trying to refill your hand, and the latter are better when you already have a large number of cards. The best of all are cards like Mindmoil or Arjun, the Shifting Flame, which give this effect repeatedly.

However, unlike any other Izzet commander, The Locust God brings along his personal army of minions. There is no other Izzet commander who is suited to a token swarm effect (heh - swarm strategy), so we're in completely uncharted territory here.

This also means we can play many powerful but atypical cards here, such as Purphoros, God of the Forge or Skullclamp (which here reads ": Draw two cards, then create a 1/1 hasty flying Locust"). Other generally-marginal cards, like Bident of Thassa-style effects, suddenly become much scarier when they instantaneously create a hasty flying army.

Beyond that, all of our tokens (and our commander) have flying, so we can play Earthquake effects without worrying about repercussions - our removal of choice.

The deck can also act in a "big mana" mode, particularly when Mana Echoes or Ashnod's Altar are out. Suddenly, it becomes viable to kill an opponent with Stroke of Genius (like Combo Winter of old).

Overall, this deck has many interlinked lines of play, and represents a unique take on the classic Izzet "cardslinger" approach.

This deck runs seven (!) major win-cons, including several combos with redundancy and protection. Remember that the deck contains Kozilek, Butcher of Truth as a method to reshuffle the library, to allow for truly infinite draw.

The combos are listed below:

This is the primary win-con of this deck: control a Skullclamp and Ashnod's Altar/Mana Echoes/Phyrexian Altar (while The Locust God is in play). Each Locust will generate mana, allowing you to repeatedly sacrifice them to Skullclamp. If you're not disrupted, you will generate infinite mana, creatures, and draw.

Technically, Ashnod's Altar only create infinite colorless mana and draw. However, you can draw until you find Phyrexian Altar to pay the colored costs as necessary (or, if that has been disrupted somehow, mana rocks that can produce colored mana). Conversely, Phyrexian Altar "only" creates infinite draw, but it's easy to find 0-mana mana rocks and play Ashnod's Altar to generate infinite Locusts.

To start this combo, it's very easy to tutor/draw Skullclamp (with wheels or Trinket Mage), which allows you to draw 2 cards per 1 mana repeatedly when The Locust God is out (making it very easy to find the rest of the combo). I'm also considering adding Trophy Mage to find the other half of the combo. Despite being a three-card combo, this is one of my most frequent paths to victory.

This deck has two "spellslinger" win-cons, where you win by casting your entire hand repeatedly, while using wheels to refill your hand. The two engines are both vital cards, and your line of play will often center around them if you draw them:

Paradox Engine: This is one of the strongest combo cards in recent memory, in the right deck. This is the right deck. I am playing a total of 11 mana rocks and several creatures with abilities. With the number of times the deck refills its hand, you frequently will draw into 4 or more mana rocks. It's also worth mentioning that it's easier to cast high-colorless-cost spells with this route, which can make spells like Kozilek, Butcher of Truth very easy to cast. I used to be able to cast Molten Disaster for lethal damage as well, although that got cut as the deck evolved.

Dream Halls: This is the fastest combo in the deck, and it also allows you to cast your commander for free. With a good hand, it's even possible to combo-kill the table on Turn 1, by chaining Wheel of Fortune effects for free! Contrary to the Paradox Engine combo, this combo can only cast colored spells, and effectively costs you half of your hand. However, if you draw into a wheel or two, it becomes easy to empty your hand, then refill it to repeat the process. Just remember: if you cast Dream Halls, plan to win on that same turn to avoid giving equal benefit to your opponents (since Dream Halls is symmetric) - notably, all of their counterspells become Force of Wills. This is a very fast and strong combo, but it is somewhat vulnerable to disruption.

The thing these two routes have in common is a high reliance on having a full hand. I am running twelve of what I consider "strong draw" effects: Time Reversal, Diminishing Returns, Chandra, Flamecaller, Wheel of Fortune, Windfall, Time Spiral, Recurring Insight, Timetwister, Consecrated Sphinx, Magus of the Wheel, Memory Jar, and Timetwister. Bonus points for the combination of casting Consecrated Sphinx followed by a Windfall effect.

And now we come to the classic 1-card combo! I built this deck before Kindred Discovery was spoiled, but I was ecstatic when it was revealed because it was exactly what I needed to kick the deck into the stratosphere.

For anyone who hasnt seen this combo before, this is how it works: name Insect on Kindred Discovery while The Locust God is on the field, and as soon as any Locust ETBs or attacks, you draw infinite cards. Now, this is a problem if you dont have a way to terminate the loop

Most decks run Laboratory Maniac and plan to win when they run out of cards. While he is in the deck, I find this to be an insufficient solution because an opponent can kill you with a Doom Blade. I chose to instead go an unorthodox route: using Snapback to bounce The Locust God when your library is almost empty. This allows you to terminate the loop even if you have zero mana available, then win with any one of a thousand sorcery-speed win-cons (or just with many, many hasty Locusts). There is also the option of using Chaos Warp if you have the mana available.

Its worth mentioning that Snapback works wonderfully to perma-remove a creature right before you Wheel of Fortune, and that you can put Snapback back in your hand from the GU by discarding Kozilek, Butcher of Truth at instant speed in the middle of the combo.

This combo is not one I've seen elsewhere, and I've stolen several games with it. Murder of Crows goes directly infinite with The Locust God, if you have a free sac outlet (such as Ashnod's Altar or Phyrexian Altar. It's also a very smooth curve: T3 play an Altar, T4 play a creature, T5 Murder of Crows, T6 The Locust God and combo-kill.
Speaking of this guy! Its very easy to draw more than 100 cards in this deck, doubly so if youre using any of the infinite combos above. Its also easy to draw the magic 100 cards if youve cast an Alhammarret's Archive or Consecrated Sphinx, followed by a Wheel of Fortune or two.

Fair warning, however, that its easy for your opponents to remove your Laboratory Maniac at instant speed, leaving you SOL when you draw dead. Be careful when using this win-con without counterspell backup or a Defense Grid.

There is one card in the deck that can win the game singlehandedly through debilitating stax: Opposition. With this card, a single Locust can lock down an opponent's Blightsteel Colossus, or their access to a given color in a manabase. Overall, Opposition has proven to be one of the strongest cards in the deck, and my opponents shiver when I cast it. Bonus points if you pair this with Paradox Engine!
Often, your opponents will have disruption or effects that prevent you from comboing (such as Rule of Law). Or perhaps your playgroup decided to ban infinite combos (curses be upon them).

Well, fear not! This deck can also win easily through token swarm strategies. Shared Animosity can make 13 Locusts lethal in a 5-player pod, and you only have to generate 20 Locusts to kill your opponents with Purphoros, God of the Forge.

This is what separates this deck from every other Izzet spellslinger deck when our combo is disrupted or destroyed, we can easily compete with aggro or midrange decks on an equal footing. It's also what makes this deck so fun! :)

UR is a color combination somewhat lacking in tutors, but the many Wheel of Fortune/Windfall-style effects make it easy to draw into the pieces you need.

That being said, it's often hard to decide if you should toss half of one combo in order to dig for the next, which is the hardest part of mastering this deck ;) Feel free to ask for my opinion, if you want to get a feel for the kinds of decisions the deck requires!

My personal build of this deck is on a budget, and I thought it might be worth sharing the substitutions I used.

I included Diminishing Returns over Time Spiral, Windfall over Wheel of Fortune, a basic land over Cascade Bluffs, Gemstone Array over Phyrexian Altar, and Tidings over Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

The only mostly-necessary expensive cards are Consecrated Sphinx, Mana Echoes, and Kozilek, Butcher of Truth.

Playtesting this deck, I have found one of the largest problems to be drawing dead. Kozilek, Butcher of Truth helps with that, and Laboratory Maniac turns it into a win-con, but it's still something to be careful of.

Particularly, Alhammarret's Archive + Mindmoil/Arjun, the Shifting Flame can very quickly leave you with many spells in hand but unable to cast any of them (because you'll empty your library). Don't fall into this trap - and if you do, Cephalid Coliseum or Geier Reach Sanitarium can let you discard Kozilek, Butcher of Truth without casting a spell.

Other than that, beware of the deck's dependance on its commander. It comes back to your hand when it dies, true, but you still have to pay 6 mana before it returns to the field. The cost is high, if you face consistent and powerful removal.

And finally, sometimes the Dream Halls/Paradox Engine combos simply fizzle, if you wheel and draw a hand full of lands. The deck uses as many wheel effects as possible to avert this, but it's still something to be aware of.

Upvote...or Bolas will come to your plane next!


Comments View Archive

Oh Rip, I didn't notice that my bad man....

The only thing I could think of was maybe Chain of Vapor instead of Chaos Warp?

October 12, 2017 11:38 a.m.

Iquasi says... #2

@ Daedalus19876 (how to properly tag someone? I don't often post here :S)

Thanks for the clarification on your reasoning! I admit that while comboing (chaining wheels) minor selection doesn't offer a gigantic benefit, but I still think that Ponder and Preordain should be here: in early turns they provide invaluable... value by helping one find the stuff you need, be it ramp for the general, removal for Notion thief or counterspell to protect the combo. By shaving one or two combo pieces and adding the cantrips the deck would gain some consistency. Tbh, without fetchlands I'd cut Brainstorm for Ponder even if the former has more synergy with the general. Sensei's Divining Top is awesome but doesn't shine without fetchlands or repeatable shuffle effects so maybe it has no place in this deck.

First cuts you could try in my opinion could be Chandra, Flamecaller and Pyramid of the Pantheon, to me the former seems really clunky and the latter very slow.

In my own version of The Locust God I just have one combo win in addition to the insect beatdown: draw deck with Kindred Discovery, draw trigger with empty library on the stack cast Flash into Laboratory Maniac. Requires some mana but after drawing the deck I'll have Misdirection, Force of Will and Pact of Negation all in hand to protect the combo.

October 12, 2017 3:37 p.m.

Tosk says... #3

Do you think that a card like The Chain Veil would fit in this deck? It has the benefit of allowing you to power up your Planeswalkers at twice the rate.

October 13, 2017 5:36 p.m.

Daedalus19876 says... #4

WalkingIllusion: Ooh, that's tempting. I could try that, and it would let me get more value from Paradox Engine...on the other hand, if I try to use it during my combo, it lets them bounce The Locust God...

Iquasi: Tagging people is done with double brackets around their name :) I'll definitely consider the Ponder and/or Preordain, yeah. Other than that, I think I am going to keep Brainstorm in the deck. And I too am running the Kindred Discovery combo, but I decided to terminate it with Snapback since I don't need to keep open 3 mana for the Flash cost.

Tosk: I don't think it would be helpful, to be honest. I have very few planeswalkers, the card doesn't help my combo at all, and 4 mana is pretty steep. Thanks for the comment though! :)

October 15, 2017 1:11 p.m.

rkjunior says... #5

Any thoughts on Keranos, God of Storms?

October 18, 2017 11:28 a.m.

Daedalus19876 says... #6

rkjunior: Probably too slow, I'm afraid (most things over 4 mana are). He's more suited towards a long-game control deck where he can accrue passive value over time.

October 18, 2017 11:31 a.m.

rkjunior says... #7

What did you remove for Stifle and Chart a Course ? Also, wouldn't Cyclonic Rift be better than Chaos Warp given it's Overload ability?

Firestorm is the real deal. Proceeded to draw my deck and deal 85 to 5 players and 80 creatures. It was glorious.

October 20, 2017 10:14 a.m.

I'm curious Daedalus19876, is there any cards that haven't been recommended that you're thinking of adding?

October 20, 2017 12:16 p.m.

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80% Casual

20% Competitive

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Date added 4 months
Last updated 4 days

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.97
Tokens 1/1 Insect, Dack
Folders EDH maybe, Nice, EDH decks, Cool ideas, Inspiration, Interesting decks, Great Ideas, EDH Decks to Build, Hour of Devastation, primer, See all 114
Top rank #1 on 2017-06-24
Views 32799

Revision 27 (4 days ago)

-1 Chandra, Flamecaller main
+1 Polluted Delta main
+1 Scalding Tarn main
-1 Evolving Wilds main
+1 Mana Confluence main
-1 Bident of ThassaRS main
-1 Island main
-1 Strip Mine main
-3 Mountain main
+1 Mox Diamond main
+1 Volcanic Island main
-1 Terramorphic Expanse main
+1 Flooded Strand main
+1 Stifle main
+1 Firestorm main
+1 Misty Rainforest main
+1 Mindbreak Trap main
-1 Forgotten Creation main
+1 Strip Mine maybe
+1 Terramorphic Expanse maybe
and 23 other change(s)

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