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, Mana Echoes or 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 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. 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 (and can easily make Molten Disaster lethal, if you are at the highest life total).

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 casting Enter the Infinite 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).

The thing these two routes have in common is a high reliance on having a full hand. I am running ten of what I consider "strong draw" effects: Time Reversal, Diminishing Returns, Chandra, Flamecaller, Arjun, the Shifting Flame, Mindmoil, Wheel of Fortune, Windfall, Time Spiral, Recurring Insight, and of course Enter the Infinite.

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: T4 play a creature, T5 Murder of Crows, T6 The Locust God and combo-kill.
This is another oft-forgotten combo Breath of Fury+Bident of Thassa gives infinite combat steps, and consequently infinite damage.

It's also worth mentioning that the two pieces are both very strong on their own: Bident of Thassa doubles your Locusts each turn, while Breath of Fury essentially squares the amount of damage you can do with a given board of locusts.

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.
Unsurprisingly, Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind can win the game on his own paired with the combos above, or just with many wheels if life totals are already low. Psychosis Crawler and Chasm Skulker also fit into this gameplan, if you're building the budget version.
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.

Well, fear not! This deck can also win easily through token swarm strategies. Shared Animosity and Breath of Fury both 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 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

narshol says... #1

If you want to go to end deck damage, run curiosity. Put it on Niv-Mizzet and each damage, you draw a card. Make sure you run something like Elixir of immortality to recycle your graveyard.

July 31, 2017 9:18 p.m.

canderson107 says... #2

Daedalus19876 I have not been able to get my hands on a Sneak Attack yet.

August 2, 2017 1 a.m.

Daedalus19876 says... #3

narshol: I was running it for a while, but it's dead without Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, so out it went!

canderson107: Let me know how it is, once you do!

August 2, 2017 1:50 a.m.

narshol says... #4

@Daedalus, I have it in there as an alternate Win. I don't use it all the time, but if they come up near each other in the deck, it's not a bad way to go.

August 4, 2017 6:22 p.m.

LeoSushi says... #5

August 5, 2017 10:08 p.m.

Msg_magic says... #6

@deadalus I commented a lot of pages ago about combustible gearhulk should be in here. I've gone and built me a locust god deck, and I took him out. Too many other good cards out there.

August 7, 2017 8:48 p.m.

Daedalus19876 says... #7

Msg_magic: Yeah, that's my problem too. I'm even having trouble finding space for that new 1-card combo in C17...

August 9, 2017 12:56 a.m.

Klancik says... #8

Daedalus19876: if you're talking about Kindred Discovery I believe that combo would mill you out. Since it doesn't say you "May" draw a card.

August 9, 2017 10:46 p.m.

Daedalus19876 says... #9

Klancik: I'd need to play Snapback as well to be able to terminate the combo, even if I have no mana open.

August 9, 2017 11:35 p.m.

RazortoothMtg says... #10

Daedalus19876: Having a Laboratory Maniac out before works, or if you don't have it in hand a Leyline of Anticipation/Vedalken Orrery out means you can flash in Laboratory Maniac in response to the trigger when you have no more cards in your library. Although adding Snapback works, it just seems to feel bad when you don't have Kindred Discovery. You can also add some 1-mana removal spell like Pongify or Rapid Hybridization so you only have to leave up when you go off.

August 9, 2017 11:43 p.m.

TheRedGoat says... #11

Okay, so I have a possible card suggestion in regards to the "decking yourself" problem in the form of Words of War or also Words of Wind. Additional problem to this is I'm unable to begin guessing where you would make space for either one in addition to Laboratory Maniac (if you even found it worth it). Truthfully I'm more concerned about finding space for Leyline of Anticipation and/or Vedalken Orrery, but the above comments distracted me.

For the way you have your build set up, I'm personally curious how Breath of Fury is able to go infinite the way you describe when you have, as far as I can tell, no way to guarantee that the enchanted creature is getting damage in each time. I might also wonder if, in regards to Faithless Looting in particular, you might not be better off with more spell recursion effects like that of Mystic Retrieval or even Recoup? If nothing else, wouldn't Kozilek be able to be replaced by say Hostility or Guile in regards to the shuffle effect? "Butcher of Wallets" is just as apt a name for Kozilek in this instance.

Lastly, I noticed some people have suggested Curiosity, even though Ophidian Eye is better, to go with your Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, but with Purphorous possibly being a creature at the same time that you have the your commander, he can wield the enchantment/s just as effectively as the dragon (I think). As a side note, cause I got curious and distracted again, Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius + Illusionist's Bracers + The Locust God + Phyrexian Altar will win the game/clear the board. That also works if you had Mycosynth Lattice and Ashnod's Altar (or I guess Krark-Clan Ironworks at that point) instead of the bracer's and phyrexian altar.

Btw, I don't have it on the site yet, but I am trying to brew a more casual creature-centric locsut swarming deck. I'd love to get your opinion on it later if you're up to it by (estimated time who knows when).

August 10, 2017 3:25 a.m.

DarkEclipse18 says... #12

I have 2 suggestions I like in my Locust deck:

Aggravated Assault: with Neheb or infinite mana this is a win con with the swarm, other times the extra combat is just nice to have

Mind Over Matter: honestly I play this for the fact that it is a discard outlet, but the ability to untap helps as well. A little high on the curve but sometimes discarding that Eldrazi is all I need to save myself.

Love this commander, love this deck, looks amazing +1

August 11, 2017 6:55 p.m.

Daedalus19876 says... #13

I agree that having Laboratory Maniac in play beforehand (or Purphoros, God of the Forge, or a Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind) does the trick with the Kindred Discovery combo, but that's just ASKING for removal to kill me. I want an instant I can cast from hand that can terminate the loop, and I want to be able to cast it even when tapped out. This leaves me 3 options: Pyrokinesis, Snapback, or Simian Spirit Guide+Red Elemental Blast. Of those three, I like Snapback because it's also decent as an answer for a Blightsteel Colossus or Protean Hulk or what-have-you, even when I'm tapped out. I got to kill a Kaalia deck with Snapback yesterday, so I'm not unhappy with how it's playing so far haha.
Thanks for your continued thoughts on the deck haha! IN order:

I don't like Leyline of Anticipation much TBH. It's always a "cute" card that doesn't actually give me enough advantage to matter :(

Breath of Fury's combo works as long as at least one player has no flyers (very likely in 4-to-5-player), because I can keep hitting that player with the enchanted Locust while my other Locusts swing at other players.

With regards to Faithless Looting vs recursion, this deck is getting increasingly fast, to the point where I am consistently winning T4 or earlier. In that light, the mana needed for the recursion spells is too high.

With regards to Kozilek, Butcher of Truth vs Hostility - Hostility only works in half of the combos, I'm afraid. It won't let you go infinite with Skullclamp, and it cripples your combo with Kindred Discovery. The biggest effect, however, is that you can't use discarding him as a source of recursion. When I have infinite draw but no win-con left in my deck (which happens a LOT) I can discard Kozilek, Butcher of Truth to functionally put my GY into my hand. Hostility won't let you do that :( Finally, you can't cast Hostility off of Ashnod's Altar and/or Mana Echoes. All in all, I really suggest biting the bullet and buying a copy, I'm afraid. He's pretty central to the deck's strategies.

Curiosity (and by extension, Ophidian Eye) are too situational when I don't have Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind out. I love the idea of pairing them with Purphoros, but he's virtually never a creature :( I only have 17 devotion to red in the entire deck! I am, however, going to put in Mind Over Matter, which does combo with Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind ;)

And when you post your more creature-centric build, please link me! I'd love to take a look hahahaha.

DarkEclipse18: Thanks for both suggestions! I was actually planning on putting in Mind Over Matter already haha (hadn't finished the next update lol), and I'll definitely consider Aggravated Assault :) Mind re-clicking that upvote button, though? It didn't seem to have worked the first time.

August 12, 2017 1:15 p.m.

Micocoulier says... #14

I have finally played my version of this deck against my play group ... I know I already suggested this card to you but ... Rites of Initiation is insane in this deck !!!! Here is my deck list : The Loco Locust

August 12, 2017 9:13 p.m.

TheRedGoat says... #15

@Daedalus19876: Those are either some very fancy boxes for referencing Razortooth and me, or your response got lost in transit.

August 13, 2017 1:05 a.m.

Daedalus19876 says... #16

TheRedGoat: Shit.

August 13, 2017 1:10 a.m.

Daedalus19876 says... #17

Apparently I can't actually OPEN those accordion folders I created, because clicking them just hyperlinks to the users in question. Dammit.

Here's the gist of it, abbreviated (sorry):

RazortoothMtg: I felt I had a few options, but I needed to be able to use that combo even when holding up 0 mana. That leaves me 2 options: a free spell like Snapback or Pyrokinesis, or Simian Spirit Guide+Pyroblast. The former seemed better, and I got to kill a Kaalia deck with Snapback so I like it, hehe.

TheRedGoat: Sorry for how curt this is about to sound; I lost probably 700 words in those damnable spoiler boxes above :/ In short:

Words of War is inefficient and requires extra setup alas. I find Leyline of Anticipation to be subpar in this case, and slots are tight. Breath of Fury goes infinite with a draw outlet as long as I have any one undefended opponent, but I cut it anyway because it's too easy to disrupt. My deck is fast enough now (average T4 win) that Mystic Retrieval is too much mana. Hostility works for a couple combos in place of Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, but it's a very bad substitute because it won't save you from decking yourself if the effect in question draws more than 1 card. Also, you can't use Hostility as recursion to re-draw your GY. I would honestly try to get Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre if you want to cut a few $$s, but you do need an "Eldrazi shuffle" for the deck to function right. Purphoros, God of the Forge is virtually never a creature (barely have enough devotion in the deck to turn him on) so I'm not running Curiosity. I did add Mind Over Matter for the Niv-Mizzet combo tho. And when you do make that more casual Locust God deck, feel free to link me! :)

Again, sorry for the curtness. If you want more detail feel free to ask for clarification.

August 13, 2017 1:21 a.m.

Daedalus19876 says... #18

Micocoulier: I'm just worried about the random aspect of the discard :/ If I have enough Locusts/cards for it to work, I should just be able to storm for the win...

August 13, 2017 1:22 a.m.

TheRedGoat says... #19

If that is curt I'd hate to see you when you're really pissed. But in any case you actually made me realize the main point with Breath of Fury is not about ensuring the creature can get in to any given opponent regardless of their board, but rather just that you'll get to a single opponent that may have been behind.

I had the same lack of perspective about Purphorous not having enough devotion most of the time and about the graveyard shuffle being more important than just having a card to stop you from decking out.

I can further tell now that Retrieval and Leyline are more suited to value spell/probably control based interactive decks. Yours being so fast it just wants to get off the ground first, which feels very similar to some elf builds I've looked up, so I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Lastly, I feel I not only misjudged what kind of deck you were building here, but with Words of War I may have misunderstood that it is not meant to be in a draw mechanic focused deck is it? But rather it would be meant for a deck that tries to play off having no resources in hand? Like a Hazoret the Fervent to name a recent example put out by WotC. Or when you say inefficient did you just mean that because you personally are going for a fast paced build as opposed to something slower?

August 13, 2017 10:51 p.m.

Daedalus19876 says... #20

TheRedGoat: I hope that didn't sound angry! I just had very little time to (re)type a lot of information.

With regards to Words of War, it can stop the combo, but I am not willing to pay a card to get a Shock. After all, I want to draw everything I can in this deck! :)

Words of Wind is a bit better because it can act as a nonsymmetric stax piece (I bounce a Locust, they bounce something important), but even there it's simply too slow for how this deck currently functions.

Thanks again for your comments :)

August 14, 2017 10:57 p.m.

AngryToken says... #21

This is brilliant, and brilliantly written. I really, really love the idea of Fateful Showdown, as it just outright ends a dude if you Enter the Infinite, even without the big bug on field.

I would suggest maybe considering Impact Tremors as a nifty budget option to lay the hurt on fools when the commander is on the table. One good draw spell or puzzle box and the pings begin.

August 15, 2017 12:55 p.m.

bmorri9 says... #22

do you think Mind Stone might be better than one of the rock you are running?It enters untapped, and can become a locust if drawn too late. I would think that it's better than the Pyramid of the Pantheon. and equal but different to Coldsteel Heart and Fellwar Stone

August 16, 2017 12:14 a.m.

Daedalus19876 says... #23

AngryToken: Thank you! :D I really should build a budget version of this deck...I'll tag you if/when I start that project :)

bmorri9: I could see adding it, but the lack of colored mana is a big deal given that I'm trying to use it with Paradox Engine. Pyramid of the Pantheon is good when I have a few turns to setup, or draw into in the middle of Paradox Engine combo'ing (where it's much, much better than Gilded Lotus).

August 16, 2017 10:39 p.m.

Agieryna says... #24

Whats your primary goal for adding stifle in? Is if for Kindred discovery?

August 17, 2017 11:51 a.m.

rkjunior says... #25

Worthy adding a Timetwister into the deck, since I own one?

August 17, 2017 1:57 p.m.

rkjunior says... #26

Also, is Arcanis the Omnipotent just too expensive? Good way to mill yourself out with Mind Over Matter

August 17, 2017 2 p.m.

weiman says... #27

Daedalus19876 thanks for link , here for budget tag :D appreciate it

August 18, 2017 12:04 p.m.

Daedalus19876 says... #28

Agieryna: That is the primary reason, yes :) Two other reasons, however - I want to be able to interact with certain abilities (notably the cycling of Decree of Annihilation and the activated ability of Aetherflux Reservoir), and I want a card with a jackal on it in the deck (I'm an unashamed furry).

rkjunior: Absolutely. It's simply the best wheel in the game. I'd probably cut Time Reversal, Diminishing Returns, or Mystic Remora for it.

rkjunior: Yeah, the high mana cost, high blue devotion, and summoning sickness ruin the card for me in this build :( At least Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind does something when not able to tap, and still goes infinite with Mind Over Matter.

weiman: Will do! :)

August 18, 2017 12:20 p.m.

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Date added 1 month
Last updated 4 hours

This deck is not Commander / EDH legal.

Highlight illegal cards
Illegal cards Kindred Discovery
Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.28
Tokens 1/1 Insect, 1/1 Elemental, Dack
Folders EDH maybe, Nice, EDH decks, Cool ideas, Inspiration, Interesting decks, Great Ideas, EDH Decks to Build, Hour of Devastation, primer, See all 100
Top rank #1 on 2017-06-24
Views 22773

Revision 22 (4 hours ago)

+1 Mystic Confluence main
-1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep main
-1 Memory Jar maybe
-1 Pact of Negation maybe
-1 Breath of Fury maybe
+1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep maybe

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