Why use Zur the Enchanter?

I usually only play commander that have some sort of card advantage or other form of value attached to them. I wanted to build a voltron style deck, however all the voltron commanders didn't have any card advantage or value attached to them. For awhile I thought the only voltron commander that any sort of value attached to them was Sapling of Colfenor, however the tree was a terrible voltron commander, only having 2 power, and it's value generation is based on creatures, something voltron decks have very little of. I soon realized that Zur was the commander that I was looking for. I always dismissed Zur as just an uber competitive Necropotence Ad Nauseam Doomsday deck, however Zur has a couple strategies, as a cycling tribal deck thanks to a few enchantments from Amonkhet, or he can be a voltron/control deck, something only Zur is capable of doing. So I decided to build him.

PROS

  1. Can very quickly kill players w/ commander damage

  2. Zur searches through your library when he attacks allowing you to always grab the perfect enchantment for the current situation, a very powerful effect.

  3. Zur has built in evasion

  4. The deck is in esper colors , making the best color combination for control

CONS

  1. Zur has to attack to get his ability to trigger

  2. If he dies 2 or 3 times while he's suited up w/ enchantments, you might just run out of powering up enchantments in the deck.

  3. Zur draws a lot of aggro from other players, similarly to Kaalia of the Vast since your opponents have to expect the worst (Kaalia killing a player off w/ Master of Cruelties compared to Zur getting enchanted up and hitting for a ton of damage)

INSTANTS

Anguished Unmaking- The deck wants to prioritize instant speed removal, since you don't get the cards off of Necropotence until the end of your turn, and the card is one less mana than Utter End at the cost of 3 life, which I think is well worth it.

Arcane Denial- I put this card in every deck that has , it is especially critical in this deck where keeping Zur alive is a top priority, and you need counterspells to do that. Arcane Denial doesn't have the single target removal problem that most counterspells have, which is when you remove a card, you are down a card and your opponent is down a card, however the other two players didn't have to use or loose anything, so they end up winning in the transaction, all Arcane Denial does is put one opponent up 1 card.

Brainstorm- This card is only good if you are able to shuffle away the cards in your hand that you don't want w/ something like a fetch land, however in this deck Zur is able to shuffle the library every time he attacks unlocking the full potential of Brainstorm.

Counterspell- A solid reliable card that does what it needs to do, one of the best removal spells in commander.

Countersquall & Negate- In my years of playing commander, I have came to realize something, about 90% of the time you want to counter a non-creature spell, creature spells just aren't as good as non-creature spells in eternal formats plus creature spells can be removed fairly easy w/ a board wipe, however instants and sorceries can only be dealt w/ using counterspells (something I think is actually a bit of on oversight in MTG that makes a much better color than the others, since that color is the only one that has access to counterspells).

Cyclonic Rift- Goes in every deck that has , it's a powerful and unique effect that can be used at instant speed. It's really good at setting up wins and preventing your opponents from winning.

Delay- A solid counterspell, can make spells irrelevant or delay them enough, so the game is finished before the opponent gets to cast it again.

Enlightened Tutor- Normally just a great card that goes in every deck, however it's really good in this deck, since the deck is so enchantment focused.

Forbid- One of the most powerful cards in the deck, this w/ Necropotence is just brutal, since you can just keep filling up your hand for the buyback cost.

Muddle the Mixture- For a while I didn't have this card on the decklist, however I felt as though I needed at least one more counterspell, so I grabbed this one. Not only does this card deal w/ the two types of cards that this deck worries about the most, it also can transmute into a Counterspell if we do need to counter something that isn't an instant or sorcery.

Mystical Tutor- Goes in every deck, this deck as a ton of great instants and sorceries, so grab the one that you need the most for the current situation.

Path to Exile & Swords to Plowshares- Auto-includes in every deck that runs , they are incredibly efficient and effective at what they do, they are the best single target removal spells in commander.

Vampiric Tutor- An Auto-include in every deck that runs , although the card is starting to get really expensive price wise, but it is still worth it for one of the most powerful cards in commander.

SORCERIES

Damnation & Wrath of God- Solid board wipes, every control deck needs a good chunk of board wipes, especially in this one, since you can make Zur indestructible using Shielded by Faith.

Demonic Tutor- Goes in every deck using , it's the best card in commander.

Fabricate- The deck has a decent amount of interesting artifacts to chose from, the most common choices are Swiftfoot Boots to give Zur some much needed haste or Helm of Obedience if you what to start killing off players w/ the Helm + Rest in Peace combo.

Retether- If Zur dies when you have a ton of enchantments on him, this card allows you to get those auras back.

Supreme Verdict- A great board wipe w/ a very relevant "can't be countered" clause.

Toxic Deluge- One of the lowest CMC board wipes in commander that also gets around indestructible, the card is incredibly effective in this deck, since the deck gains a ton of life and if Zur is pumped up w/ enchantments, he should have enough toughness to survive the -x/-x.

Winds of Rath- This should be a one sided board wipe since aura's aren't used too often in commander except by other enchantment based voltron decks like Uril, the Miststalker.

ENCHANTMENTS

Animate Dead- Allows you to grab a powerful creature out of an opponent's graveyard, since we run only 1 other creature in the deck that really isn't even worth reanimating.

Aura of Silence- The deck has a bit of a stax sub-theme, and this is one of the best pieces since it does double duty as a stax piece and a removal spell.

Battle Mastery- Get Zur to 11 power, then attach this aura to him and you can start killing players off using commander damage.

Blind Obedience- Great at stopping quick hasty decks like Krenko, Mob Boss and great at giving the deck some life gain for Necropotence.

Copy Artifact- Gives the deck a way to copy a powerful artifacts on board like Blightsteel Colossus.

Copy Enchantment- Gives some redundancy to the enchantments in the deck, it should be used to copy an aura on Zur like Empyrial Armor.

Darksteel Mutation- Used to turn your opponent's commanders into a 0/1, one of the few ways to permanently get rid of a commander since they changed the tuck rule a few years back.

Daybreak Coronet- Usually my go to enchantment when Zur is already enchanted to start gaining a bunch of life and start dealing a good chunk of damage, it also will give vigilance to Zur, although he won't be untapped when you attack, than attach this card to him when using Zur's ability.

Detention Sphere- One of the better Oblivion Ring effects, since it can deal w/ armies of tokens.

Diplomatic Immunity- A way to give shroud to Zur using an enchantment, I'd only recommend using this card once Zur is suited up and you just want a way to protect him since you won't be able to enchant him w/ anymore auras after you enchant him w/ this card.

Empyrial Armor- One of the more powerful auras, just down right broken when you have Reliquary Tower + Necropotence on the battlefield, you can draw cards until you have 20 in hand then swing in for 21 commander damage on your next turn w/ just this aura and Zur.

Ethereal Armor- An aura w/ an incredibly efficient CMC of 1, this deck obviously runs a ton of enchantments, so this will power up Zur like crazy, usually between 5-10 power.

Ghostly Prison & Propaganda- Since this deck runs almost no creatures, you have to use these two cards to discourage opponents from attacking you, these two are usually my most popular picks to get when I attack w/ Zur especially in the mid and early game where players don't have 2 mana just laying around, and these two cards just plain old stop token decks from swarming you.

Grasp of Fate- The best Oblivion Ring effect, because its able to hit each opponent, although that also means you just pissed off each opponent too, so the enchantment has a higher chance to be removed.

Land Tax- An auto-include in any deck running , insures land drops and gets rid of those pesky basics in your deck.

Mystic Remora- An auto-include in any deck running , this card may be even better than Ancestral Recall since commander is a multiplayer format.

Necropotence- One of the most powerful card draw engines in commander, and your commander can grab it whenever he attacks, this card is just ridiculous in the deck, in competitive commander when you are playing Zur, you are basically playing Necropotence in the command zone.

Phyrexian Arena- The baby version of Necropotence, it's in the deck when you don't want to go all in w/ Necropotence and draw a ton of agro from your opponents.

Rest in Peace- Gives the deck a way to deal w/ graveyard shenanigans, also a part of a secondary win condition of Helm of Obedience + Rest in Peace.

Rhystic Study- Is an auto-include in any deck w/ , it also works as a decent stax piece.

Shielded by Faith- This card is one of the best ways to protect Zur and it enables you to board wipe without worrying about Zur dying (and ignore the text after "Indestructible", you'll never want to attach the aura to another creature.)

Solitary Confinement- A great way to turtle up, also Necropotence says skip your draw step too, so you don't need to worry about discarding, you'll have plenty of cards in hand thanks to Necropotence.

Steel of the Godhead- Gives lifelink to Zur and unblockable, so he can get through those pesky flyers that your opponents thought would be able to save them from Zur's wrath.

ARTIFACT

Azorius Signet, Dimir Signet, & Orzhov Signet- Signets are some of the best ramp for non-green decks, and two mana is right where this deck wants it's ramp, so you can cast Zur on turn 3.

Fellwar Stone- The best 2 CMC mana rock, since it's one of the few 2 CMC mana rocks that come into play untapped, and it will usually tap for all the colors you need.

Helm of Obedience- It's only purpose in the deck is has a secondary win condition w/ using the combo of Helm of Obedience + Rest in Peace.

Prismatic Lens- Another 2 CMC mana rock that comes into play untapped, although not as good as Fellwar Stone, it's still a soild mana rock.

Scroll Rack- This card follows the same logic as Brainstorm, this card isn't very good unless you can shuffle your deck, however Zur gets that job done nicely.

Sensei's Divining Top- Another card that gets better if you can shuffle your deck regularly to get rid of the crap cards on top of your deck.

Sol Ring- It's commander, PLAY THIS CARD!

Swiftfoot Boots- Giving haste and protection to Zur is exactly what this deck wants, unforutanly Lightning Greaves isn't very good in the deck, since you can't attach any auras to Zur, because of shroud.

Talisman of Dominance & Talisman of Progress- More great 2 CMC mana rocks that just about guarantee a turn 3 Zur, and again the deck gains a ton of life, so use your life liberally.

Thought Vessel- Another 2 CMC mana rock, this one works especially well in this deck, because of it's synergey w/ Necropotence allowing you to draw as many cards as you'd like.

Torpor Orb- There are no enter the battlefield effects for creatures in the deck, so this is a one-sided effect that can really hurt your opponents.

CREATURE

Spirit of the Labyrinth- The only creature other than Zur that I run in the deck, it is an enchantment too, so you can grab it w/ Zur, it works well w/ Necropotence, since you actually don't draw off of Necropotence, you just put the cards in your hand.

LANDS

Adarkar Wastes, Caves of Koilos, & Underground River- The pain lands for esper, the 1 damage is well worth it in commander, since you start at 40 life plus this deck gains life like crazy.

City of Brass & Mana Confluence- Should be played in every multicolored deck, the 1 life payment is well worth it for a land that comes into play untapped and produces any color of mana.

Command Tower- The best land for any multicolored deck.

Drowned Catacomb, Glacial Fortress, & Isolated Chapel- The check lands for esper, they are pretty solid lands that usually come into play untapped and are pretty cheap price wise.

Exotic Orchard- Should be played in every deck running 3 or more colors, most of the time it's a multicolored land that comes into play untapped.

Flooded Strand, Marsh Flats, & Polluted Delta- The fetch lands for esper, the fetch lands are some of the best lands in MTG, there ability to grab dual lands is simply amazing.

Godless Shrine, Hallowed Fountain, & Watery Grave- The shock lands for esper, these are the dual lands that you will grab w/ your fetch lands, they are just really solid lands on their own too.

Hall of the Bandit Lord- Giving haste to Zur makes your deck so much quicker, basically giving you another enchantment that you wouldn't have otherwise.

4x Islands, 9x Plains, & 2x Swamps- The basics round out the rest of the deck's land base.

Morphic Pool, & Sea of Clouds- these lands are basically just dual lands that aren't fetchable, auto-includes in any deck (as long as you're playing in multiplayer).

Reflecting Pool- Usually just another Command Tower.

Reliquary Tower- The card is just a good card normally, but it is especially good in this deck, because of it's synergy w/ Necropotence which allows you to draw as many cards as you'd like.

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth- Goes in every multicolored deck running , just makes your mana a little more consistent, it's basically just a slightly better swamp that isn't fetchable.

Zur is an unique and powerful commander, since he enables you to search through your library for the perfect enchantment for the current moment, however that is a ton of cards to chose from, so how do you know what is the best enchantment for the current situation? The following is my attempt at setting up a loose guideline for a player of this deck to follow when choosing which enchantment to grab.

The 1st question you should ask yourself is at what stage of the game are you in?

1st stage: ~Turns 1-4, the calm before the storm

This stage entails playing lands, ramping, and little disruption from other players. You'll usually only get one search trigger off of Zur which will be on turn 4 (since you hopefully will ramp into him using the butt ton of 2 CMC mana rocks that are in the deck). You have basically two choices of cards to get, either a card advantage enchantment if you have mediocre cards in hand (don't grab Necropotence already, players will likely have a ton of removal in hand for it and they will use it on Necro, a much better choice will be Rhystic Study or Mystic Remora if you want to slow down your opponents, or Phyrexian Arena if you want absolutely no agro towards you), your other choice if you have half decent cards in hand will be an enchantment that will help you survive through stage 2, and that will be one of these enchantments, Aura of Silence will slow down enchantment/artifact heavy decks, Blind Obedience will severely handicap any hasty decks, Ghostly Prison, & Propaganda will discourage attacks towards you, especially in stage 2 of the game where players need to use every bit of mana on useful cards not paying mana just to attack you.

2nd stage: ~Turns 5-x, the spell slinging truly begins

This stage is the meat of the game, where removal is heavy, the game swings from player to player, and damage starts being dealt. You have two choices when entering this stage of the game, 1st is turtle up, so you can survive until the end of the game and the 2nd choice is become the aggressor and start trying to kill off opponents using commander damage. Turtling up should be your default strategy, however there are many reasons not to do this, first off if other players aren't being aggressive and turtling up, you may have to be the aggressor, this deck can usually win a card advantage war, but the card quality isn't very good in this deck since we run mostly 3 CMC & less cards, so if an opponent starts playing 6 or higher CMC cards there is a decent chance that we will not be able to handle everything that they start playing, so we won't be able to win in stage 3. Another reason to not turtle up is if an opponent is so far ahead and the only way to take them out will be Zur commander damage as quickly as possible, maybe they're planning on comboing out, and you won't have enough counterspells to prevent it. The final reason to not turtle up is if your opponent(s) aren't doing well, maybe they missed some land drops or maybe they are getting land flooded, there is no reason to go on the defense when they have no offense, take them out before they're able to bounce back from their bad luck.

3rd stage: The last 2 turns of the match, closing out the game

Hopefully at this point in the game you are either drowning in card advantage or you have a Zur that is suited up. Basically in this stage of the game you do the opposite of what you did in the 2nd stage. If you turtled up in stage 2, then start enchanting Zur w/ the most powerful auras in the deck and go all in, you should have enough counter magic to protect Zur. If you suited up Zur during stage 2, then start drawing cards, so you can get enough counterspells to protect Zur, since he will most likely be target number 1 for your opponent(s) to kill.

Hopefully this guideline will help you chose the correct enchantments when playing this deck.

Replaced Gift of Immortality for Delay, Gift's performance was abysmal, it never did what I wanted it to do, and I felt the deck needed more counter magic and Delay was the next best counterspell at a reasonable cmc.

Replaced Arcane Sanctum & 1x Island w/ Morphic Pool & Sea of Clouds, I really have started to despise ETB tapped lands, so Arcane Sanctum got replaced and I took out an Island since Morphic Pool & Sea of Clouds tap for . The Battlebond lands are fantastic and are going in all my multicolored decks that can play them.

Took out Imprisoned in the Moon, since the deck already has enough removal & Darksteel Mutation does a better job at removing commanders. Added Battle Mastery to allow for easier commander damage kills. Replaced Karmic Justice for Retether, since I'd rather get the destroyed auras back rather than just punish our opponents for destroying our non-creature permanents (I'd rather use Replenish, however it's too expensive $ wise).

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Casual

97% Competitive

Date added 2 years
Last updated 10 months
Exclude colors RG
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.35
Folders Uncategorized, Major investments
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