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To Infinity & Beyond! - Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion

Commander / EDH* Aggro Combo Competitive Infinite Combo Midrange Mono-Red

DragonLordJippy


Join the team over on The 99 as we discuss the deck. Let's make a better Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion!

The 99 - Part One - Core Strategy & Mono Red Combos

The 99 - Part Two - Inclusions/Exclusions & Is Neheb Competitive?

How to Win in Three Easy Steps!

  1. Cast Neheb
  2. Attack w/Neheb
  3. Begin the Assault

Yes, Aggravated Assault is one win condition for the deck - and By Gnome Means the only one - but that's not precisely what I mean by "Assault." No, as a matter of fact, we're going to engage in many combat phases with this deck, through various methods, but with Aggravated Assault and at least five cards in hand, we win the game (barring Neheb isn't taken out by a bunch of dorks, which we have counter measures for). Let's break down these steps further to look at how we win with "the worthy" one.

There are varying combinations of cards that accomplish this, but to help you immediately see them as you go about playing hands...

Obviously, these are the agents that help accelerate any deck. Be certain to look for two available Red Mana sources when seeing if your hand will yield a Turn 2/3 Neheb. Obvious cards aside, let's look at the most noteworthy methods to play Neheb out...

Generator Servant - Not only will a Turn 1 Servant set up a Turn 2 Neheb, it will do so with the added function of providing our Minotaur with Haste. This is one of the most compact methods of producing a Turn 2 Neheb, allowing us to start the "Assault" a turn earlier than planned, with a good five-to-six cards in hand. Also, bear in mind, this Mana does not need to be spent on a "Creature" spell. Equally important to note is that any amount of this Mana (either just one or both generic produced here) will provide any Creature Haste. This card was made for this deck. Run it.

Captain Lannery Storm - I know this seems like an odd include... Yup. Not going to disagree with you. However, I strongly feel that she is one of the best forms of ramp in any color. During Extra Combats, she'll be netting multiple Treasures to help play out our spells and early game taking out chump blockers (should our opponents be so foolish). Often times, her ability to sac treasures and buff is forgotten (love when this happens). She's secret tech for the deck and a worthwhile play off a Turn 1 Mountain + Mana Crypt. I cannot put this girl in enough decks.

Vessel of Volatility - This piggy bank not only gives us the Mana sufficient to cast Neheb, it does so in an extremely tight package. We want to cast Neheb with as many cards in hand as possible. Why this is should be fairly obvious, but our strategy here relies on both the Mana gained from Neheb's on Damage ability as well as the amount of cards we will get to draw from it. Less is more here.

Now that we've established just how easy it is to get our Minotaur & Savior Neheb onto the Battlefield, let's discuss the things we'll be doing to our opponents from here on out. Here are all of the cards you should be looking for when commencing the attack...

Do not play a Land this Turn. At least, not off the bat. We want to Discard anything and everything that is unnecessary on this Turn. Let's start with what you should absolutely keep in hand before Neheb's Triggered Ability hits the stack...

This will require a bit of knowledge on your end as to what your Opponents may have in hand with their available Mana, but always stay on your toes. Aside from these, if you have an Extra Combat or Wheel cards in hand, keep those as well. The Wheel should be Cast before the Attack and the Extra Combat spell should (generally) be held until after. Here's what we're digging for...

That's a fairly long list. Let me explain through these... Ideally, you'll have both the ability to Wheel and also cast an Extra Combat. We have a multitude of spells that allow us to recast cards from our Graveyard, duplicate the effects of spells, recur them, so on and so forth baked in. It's up to you to notice these synergies as we continually attack our opponents. Also, sometime's we just whiff. Extra Turns are there for these instances. If we notice that we're slow rolling without a means to Loot for more options, gain an additional Combat Phase or simply Wheel into more solutions, we hold what we can from our last attack and say, "I'll take one more swing at this" with an Extra Turn card. In some cases, we don't need to go infinite to beat our opponents. Cards like Reckless Charge & Uncaged Fury give us the additional damage to simply "Command" someone out and after enough swings, the whole board.

So we know what to Loot for when attacking with Neheb and have a basic idea of how the deck's main strategy works: Attack, Rinse, Repeat... We're ultimately working towards infinite combat steps. Again, this isn't always necessary. However, it is plan A...

As stated, we can win with either infinite combat steps or an arbitrary amount of Damage. Let's go over the methods to accomplish this:

This set up costs us 8 (12) Mana total and is a two-card combo with Neheb. The activated ability of Aggravated Assault allows us to cast this before and/or after our initial Combat and continue with further Combats. This is Plan A. If you're fearful of Milling yourself out, add a Kozilek, Butcher of Truth to the mix for insurance.

This combo can be established for just 5-to-6 Mana and if done before Combat on your Turn, you'll win with a billion+ Mages. What's nice about this combo is that all cards are effective in the deck outside of this strategy! Also, should you have Dualcaster and Recoup / Finale of Promise , you can still accomplish this combo (although slightly more Mana intensive) even with Heat Shimmer & Twinflame in the grave. Lastly, Imperial Recruiter finds our Dualcaster Mage. Sometimes our Plan B will be more viable than A, so go for it.

Our goal is to execute on one of these plans. If one falters, resort to the next plan. We are usually looking to execute "Plan A" as that's the cleanest method to victory, but we cannot always rely on Aggravated Assault to come up during our Looting or for it to stick once cast.

NOTE: You can switch Dualcaster Mage + Heat Shimmer / Twinflame for Godo, Bandit Warlord + Helm of the Host or Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Breath of Fury . As to which is most effective? I prefer the former, as Dualcaster and Heat Shimmer/Twinflame have value outside of combos. These backup options are entirely up to you.

The Mana Requirement is high, but Godo + Helm is a compact combo in and of itself.

Also Mana intensive, fragile and both halves of the formula hold little value outside of this combo. It played part in an initial strategy I had for the deck, but as the list reshaped has since been removed.

*Infinite Combat - You do not actually go "Infinite" here. Neheb will inflict 21+ Commander Damage in most cases before the Opponent loses from Life Loss.

The plan for this deck is simple and completely unpredictable and I absolutely love it. It's hard for your Opponents to get a read on what will happen next as you yourself don't know until the cards are drawn. This is easily the most fun I have had playing Mono-Red in a long time. Is it cEDH worthy? I think so, but I'll let you be the judge. If you were looking to play the Dreadhorde Champion, give this list a try and let me know your thoughts. I intend to improve upon this deck as more and more sets roll out. Also, expect to see Neheb over on The 99 very soon! Be well and stay tuned for some video based primers further explaining the strategy behind Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion .

Patrick Marlett, The 99

July 13th, 2019 - Bag of Holding , Glint-Horn Buccaneer & Sword of Feast and Famine for Spawning Breath , Grinning Ignus & Obsidian Battle-Axe - Along comes M20, a set that's far more than just a handful of solid reprints. With M20, we trade utilities for utilities. Though I love utilizing Spawning Breath to disallow my Food Chain foes and ramp into Neheb, Bag of Holding is an auto-include to this list and an effect I didn't even know I was waiting for. On Combo Turns, we can now throw Cards into our Bag for access later, with the pay offs being infinitely variable. All that truly matters here is that we can create an over-flowing Hand of Cards that we can use to Loot and generate Mana with. Bag of Holding increases our success rate on Combo Turns and is a must in any Neheb, Dreadehorde Champion list. Neheb's brethren, the Buccaneer is equally suited for this list: while we Discard, we damage our Opponents. All of our Wheel effects, all of our Combats and any/every instance in-between as we "Discard" along the route to Victory, Glint-Horn Buccaneer helps us go wide with our Damage. Now, imagine ending a Turn with a giant Knollspine Dragon and the Buccaneer out: how fun will that Clean Up step be and how Damaging? Now, the last addition is something I should've done long ago... After having placed the Goblins in. Sword of Feast and Famine has long been a success story with Aggravated Assault. It's in the list for the Battle-Axe, an even trade and now a must include for increasing the success rate of our list.

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Casual

96% Competitive