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.

Okay, breaking kayfabe...

This is an optimized, multi-faceted combo deck around The Locust God. The goal is to win most games T3-5, hopefully with counterspell backup. The deck relies on a strong package of mana rocks and draw spells to power out early ramp, then moving into any one of several combos to win the game.

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. In general, people often include Mindmoil or Arjun, the Shifting Flame, which give this effect repeatedly, but they turned out to be too much mana to work in this deck, so they got cut.

However, unlike any other Izzet commander, The Locust God brings along his personal army of minions. When this commander was released, there was no other Izzet commander suited to a token swarm effect (heh - swarm strategy), so the deck is in completely uncharted territory here.

This also means we can play many powerful cards that are somewhat atypical for a spellslinger deck, such as Purphoros, God of the Forge or Skullclamp (which in this deck 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. Bident of Thassa also eventually got cut as the deck transitioned to being a more explicit combo deck, but still are good in a slower/budget build.

While my list mostly focuses on big draw and combo, it is worth mentioning that all of our tokens (and our commander) have flying, so we can play Earthquake effects without worrying about repercussions - our removal of choice in early versions of the deck. Other variants of the deck - such as the first drafts of my list - 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. Once you have infinite mana/creatures/draw, you can win with Purphoros, God of the Forge or Firestorm (or any other wincon). 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). Trophy Mage has been in this deck at various points to find the other half of the combo. Despite being a three-card combo, this is one of my most frequent paths to victory.

The other major infinite mana combo is Isochron Scepter + Dramatic Reversal, or Isochron Scepter + Paradox Engine, or Paradox Engine + Mystic Speculation. This requires at least 3 mana worth of mana rocks to pull off, so it is less frequent, but it's also one of the only ways to win on T1 (and one of the only ways to win without The Locust God being on the field). Once you have infinite colored mana, you can cast The Locust God and use his looting ability to draw infinite cards, make infinite power, get infinite Purphoros triggers, etc. If you are using the Mystic Speculation line of play, you will need 4 mana of rocks to go infinite, but this isn't hard (because even if you don't net mana, infinite Scry 3s allow you to rearrange your deck).

(This is the fastest combo in the deck, able to be pulled off on T1 with a hand such as Dramatic Reversal, Isochron Scepter, Mana Crypt, Mox Opal, land, and counterspell backup.)

Muddle the Mixture can transmute to find Isochron Scepter, Dramatic Reversal, Grim Monolith, or Mana Drain, depending on what else you have in hand. Spellseeker can also find counterspells backup or Dramatic Reversal (or, if you're really in a bind, Muddle the Mixture to search for Isochron Scepter), or Mystic Speculation if you have Paradox Engine out.

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 12 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. As explained above, it also goes properly infinite with several cards in the deck. But even without "proper" infinite combos, this lets you dig until you find another combo or simply have enough insects to swing for lethal.

Dream Halls: This is the second-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, which means that the ideal Dream Halls setup will include Defense Grid. This is a very fast and strong combo, but it is somewhat vulnerable to disruption. It eventually got cut to focus on less disruptable combos.

The thing these two routes have in common is a high reliance on having a full hand. I am running eleven of what I consider "strong draw" effects: Time Reversal, Diminishing Returns, Wheel of Fortune, Windfall, Time Spiral, Recurring Insight, Consecrated Sphinx, Magus of the Wheel, Jace's Archivist, Reforge the Soul, 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 hasn't 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 don't have a way to terminate the loop...

Most decks run Laboratory Maniac and plan to win when they run out of cards. While he was in earlier versions of this 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 Firestorm to win in response to the final draw trigger, if you have available. Finally, if you started the loop with a single draw instance, you can also use Stifle to terminate the combo.

It's worth mentioning that Snapback also works wonderfully to perma-remove a creature right before you Wheel of Fortune, and that you can put Snapback/Firestorm back in your hand from the GY 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.
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 15 Locusts lethal in a 5-player pod, and you only have to generate 20 Locusts to kill all of 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 - there are a thousand viable strategies! :)

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!

A lot of people, upon visiting this page, freak out seeing the ~$4000+ price tag that TappedOut generated for this deck. Let me reassure you that you will not need to decide between building this deck and buying a car: it is absolutely possible to build this deck on a budget.

Let's analyze what makes this deck so expensive, and how we can build it on a budget. I've also constructed a $125 budget version of this deck, which can definitely compete at many tables and can be seen here:

$125 Budget Locust God EDH

Commander / EDH Daedalus19876


My personal build of this deck does not have a Timetwister or a Volcanic Island. But even beyond that, if you cut out the 12 most expensive cards (Timetwister, Mox Diamond, Force of Will, Mindbreak Trap, Mox Opal, Phyrexian Altar, Grim Monolith, Time Spiral, Wheel of Fortune, Mana Drain, Mana Crypt, Kozilek, Butcher of Truth) and change to a more affordable landbase, the deck is under $250 on TCGPlayer, without losing too much power (using non-foil versions of the cards).

What it does lose is speed. Cheap mana rocks are some of the most expensive cards in Magic for a reason, and it hurts to have a 6-mana commander without them. For this reason, I would suggest making the deck somewhat more control-based if you can't shoot for fast combo, with cards like Counterspell and Swan Song and Propaganda to slow down opponents until you can reach the mid-game where the deck will still shine. Furthermore, cards like Sky Diamond and Fire Diamond and Prismatic Lens can have a slot in these slower builds, to make up for the ramp power lost with staples such as Mana Crypt.

Beyond that, the deck really does need an original Eldrazi Titan to function, but you could substitute Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre over Kozilek, Butcher of Truth to save $20 and get some colorless removal.

My personal substitutions would be Azor's Gateway  , Counterspell, Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, Chandra, Flamecaller, Memory Jar, Bident of Thassa, Trophy Mage, Sky Diamond, Fire Diamond, Swan Song, Propaganda, and Chaos Warp over the 12 cards listed above. This should keep the price of the deck below $300, and still make the list a powerful threat in most metas.

If you build the budget list then decide to upgrade later, the most vital cards to acquire would be Time Spiral, Phyrexian Altar, Force of Will, and Wheel of Fortune.

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.

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 (doubly so if the removal exiles or counters).

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, and Alhammarret's Archive usually solves this problem, but it's still something to be aware of.

Many powerful warriors from many planes have tried to stand up to the Horned One.

The multiverse is littered with their bones. Look upon their remains, ye mighty, and despair:

Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, Anafenza, the Foremost, Animar, Soul of Elements (optimized combo version), Archangel Avacyn  , Arcum Dagsson (LabManiacs cEDH build), Atraxa, Praetors' Voice (superfriends), Avacyn, Angel of Hope, Ayesha Tanaka, Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim, Azami, Lady of Scrolls, Baral, Chief of Compliance (optimized 1v1 polydrazi build), Brago, King Eternal (hard stax), Breya, Etherium Shaper, Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer, Captain Sisay, Celestial Kirin, Child of Alara, Cromat, Damia, Sage of Stone, Daretti, Scrap Savant (optimized combo/stax), Darien, King of Kjeldor, Daxos the Returned, Derevi, Empyrial Tactician (stax, superfriends, combo), Edgar Markov, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, Emrakul, the Promised End, Ezuri, Renegade Leader, Gahiji, Honored One, General Tazri, Geth, Lord of the Vault, Ghoulcaller Gisa, Gishath, Sun's Avatar, Gonti, Lord of Luxury, Grand Arbiter Augustin IV, Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons (optimized combo/stax), Hazoret the Fervent, Hope of Ghirapur, Horde of Notions, Inalla, Archmage Ritualist, Ishai, Ojutai Dragonspeaker, Ishkanah, Grafwidow, Jeleva, Nephalia's Scourge, Kaalia of the Vast, Kalemne, Disciple of Iroas, Kambal, Consul of Allocation, Karador, Ghost Chieftan, Karametra, God of Harvests, Karlov of the Ghost Council, Kestia, the Cultivator, Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, Kraum, Ludevic's Opus, Krenko, Mob Boss, Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix, Lord Windgrace, Marath, Will of the Wild, Marrow-Gnawer, Mayael the Anima, Meren of Clan Nel Toth, Merieke Ri Berit, Mizzix of the Izmagnus, Neheb, the Eternal, Nekusar, the Mindrazer (so many times), Nicol Bolas, the Ravager  , Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind (optimized $8000 build), O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami, Oloro, Ageless Ascetic, Omnath, Locus of Mana, Omnath, Locus of Rage, Oona, Queen of the Fae, Phelddagrif, Prossh, Skyraider of Kher (optimized combo version; many times), Ramos, Dragon Engine, Rashmi, Eternities Crafter, Ravos, Soultender, Razaketh, the Foulblooded, Rhys the Redeemed, Rosheen Meanderer, Ruric Thar, the Unbowed, Saskia the Unyielding, Selvala, Explorer Returned, Sen Triplets, Sharuum the Hegemon, Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker, Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa, Sidisi, Brood Tyrant, Sliver Overlord, Szadek, Lord of Secrets, Taigam, Ojutai Master, Tana, the Bloodsower, Teferi, Temporal Archmage, Teysa, Envoy of Ghosts, Teysa, Orzhov Scion, The Gitrog Monster, The Mimeoplasm, The Scarab God, The Ur-Dragon, Thrasios, Triton Hero, Titania, Protector of Argoth, Tymna the Weaver, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, Vendilion Clique, Wasitora, Nekoru Queen, Yahenni, Undying Partisan, Yidris, Maelstrom Wielder, Zada, Hedron Grinder, Zo-Zu the Punisher, Zur the Enchanter, and my own doppelgänger: The Locust God (many times).

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


Updates Add

Hello again everyone! Quite a few notes on the current status of this deck :)

First, I took this deck to the EDH events at Grand Prix Los Angeles, and dominated with it. It won (or controlled) most games before T5, and only lost 3 games in the weekend. I also traded for a BUNCH of new foil copies of cards in the deck (worth $250+), and have updated the list online with them. It's so gorgeous in real life.

Second, we've finally reached +500 upvotes! There are only 12 EDH decks on this site that have that degree of visibility, for context (and another of them is mine). Thanks to everyone who's given me advice and support and thoughts so far; I could never have made this deck as strong without your help :)

And as before, I still have a budget version of the deck for people interested in sharing the gospel of The Horned One, but without ludicrous amounts of money to throw at it.

$125 Budget Locust God EDH

Commander / EDH Daedalus19876


Have a great day, and happy deckbuilding!

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Date added 1 year
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This deck is not Commander / EDH legal.

Highlight illegal cards
Illegal cards Thousand-Year Storm
Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.71
Tokens 0/1 Insect, 1/1 Spirit, Dack, 1/1 Bird
Folders EDH Try, Nice, EDH decks, Cool ideas, Inspiration, Interesting decks, Great Ideas, EDH Decks to Build, Hour of Devastation, primer, See all 182
Top rank #1 on 2017-06-24
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22 minutes ago)

+1 Thousand-Year Storm main
+1 Everflowing Chalice main
-1 Everflowing Chalice main
-1 Niv-Mizzet, Parun main
+1 Niv-Mizzet, Parun maybe