Remember Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter ?

He's a great commander, and this deck is focused on doing huge amounts of commander damage with him.

Why "Too Many Cooks"? Because this deck will spoil the B.R.o.t.H.

Deck Mechanics

  • Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter is all about sacrificing creatures to help him do major commander damage. This deck focuses on creating lots of sac fodder, usually with abilities that trigger when they enter or leave the battlefield, to make Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter one of the meanest commanders out there.

  • Thornbite Staff combos with a number of creature cards that produce sac fodder with a simple tap, such as Thraben Doomsayer and Bloodline Keeper  Flip. It also lets Vish Kal feed on your opponents' creatures repeatedly when equipped to Preacher .

  • Vish Kal is all about counters. Thankfully, Khans of Tarkir gave us plenty of cards that benefit creatures for having counters on them, such as Mer-Ek Nightblade and Abzan Battle Priest. Paired with cards like Cathars' Crusade, Mikaeus, the Lunarch, and Archangel of Thune, creatures you don't sacrifice become meaner and meaner.

  • Don't want to remove all of Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter 's counters to get rid of a creature? Retribution of the Ancients lets you remove just as many as you need, and can be used multiple times per turn. It also lets you wipe counters off of creatures with undying from Mikaeus, the Unhallowed so they can come back again.

  • Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and Cauldron of Souls interact in some very interesting ways, potentially letting your creatures bounce back from the graveyard twice per turn. Since both persist and undying are on the stack, you can choose which applies first and the other will fizzle since the creature will not be in the graveyard for the other effect to apply to. By alternating persist and undying effects, you can continue getting triggers from creatures dying without them staying in your graveyard.

  • While Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds aren't usually the greatest mana fixing cards, they work well not only to thin out the deck, pulling out two lands instead of just one, but for landfall triggers for Bloodghast. And with Chromatic Lantern or Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, you can actually tap them for mana!

Further description of deck mechanics and card synergies to come.

Please don't suggest Exquisite Blood and Sanguine Bond. Like pretty much everyone, I am aware the combo exists and I am choosing not to use it. I am also choosing to not use Grave Pact or Dictate of Erebos in this deck as I am trying to go with a different strategy, despite their obvious synergy.

This is a work in progress, so any suggestions are greatly appreciated, and give us an upvote if you like the deck!

Key Combos and Synergies

Deathrender + Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter / Retribution of the Ancients + Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter / Sunbond + Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter / Ophiomancer + Vish Kal, Blood Arbiter / Ophiomancer + Teysa, Orzhov Scion / Cathars' Crusade + Ophiomancer / Cauldron of Souls + Mikaeus, the Unhallowed / Mikaeus, the Unhallowed + Retribution of the Ancients


Updates Add

So, I didn't want to make this one of those "combo off and kill everybody" decks, but I think Vish Kal is just too high of a mana cost, and too slow, to win games without some dirty tricks. Added Preacher and Thraben Doomsayer to combo with Thornbite Staff to feed him quickly and efficiently. Also added Commander's Sphere as I think mana rocks are going to be the best way of ramping and mana fixing in this build. Thanks to everyone for your helpful advice.

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