Artisan of Kozilek

Artisan of Kozilek

Creature — Eldrazi

When you cast this spell, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield.

Annihilator 2 (Whenever this creature attacks, defending player sacrifices two permanents.)

Latest Decks as Commander

Artisan of Kozilek Discussion

Mana_Mythic_Legendary on Pursuing Perfection, Part 8: Rakdos …

3 weeks ago

Brothers, sisters, and assorted non-binary siblings, welcome to the riot! You like throwing waves of frothing, hasty lunatics at your opponent AND profiting when said lunatics die? We got you! You like watching the world burn and don’t mind getting caught in the flames? We got you! You like anarchy? The purge movies? Gender reveal parties? We got you! Rakdos is the proud home of those who take pleasure at the expense of others, the sort of people who like to mix Skittles and M&Ms in the same party bowl. If that sounds fun, then just you wait: in the house of red and black, that sort of misbehavior is only the appetizer.

Haste and sacrifice. Vampirism and burn. Discard in both barrels. This is a beautifully synergistic color pairing that belongs in the same league as peanut butter and chocolate. Heath Ledger’s joker undoutably played a rakdos deck: things like Havoc Festival, Last One Standing, and Sire Of Insanity are all up the clown’s alley. There are a number of themes we can cover here, but as usual we’re settling for three: Discard, WAAAAGH, and Pain. As always, please bear in mind that the point isn’t a discussion of the competitive but rather as a celebration of the thematic.

Discard

This is both red’s primary draw resource and a uniquely black removal technique. Combining those aspects makes for a deck that both ruins opponent’s hands and digs through your own cards at shocking speed. Granted, you won’t have a big hand, but who cares? Suddenly you've got an overpacked graveyard at your black-hearted beck and call. Red self-mill and black reanimation, people, with just a naughty touch of haste. Discard a pile of hate and then pitch said pile straight into combat. You won’t be sorry.

Chainer, Nightmare Adept

A regular teddy bear, Chainer’s second coming is a real treat for anyone who left their graveyard hate at home. Haste on a stick is only a perk: suddenly your graveyard is only as full as you want it to be, and probably full of friendly, group-huggy things like Ravenous Chupacabra or Combustible Gearhulk. Yes, the table will certainly love you and your unending, undying deck of unbearable hellbeasts. Undoubtably.

Malfegor

Ok, this guy is horrifying, as you would expect of the king of Grixis. Anyone not running tokens is going to be mighty twitchy about seeing this guy hit the field, and who needs a hand anyway? Rakdos evidently loves empty hands, and rewards you for ensuring that particular misery has company. Consider, if you will, the fulsome, vicious suite of cards tied to poking those who discard. Consider Experimental Frenzy. Consider all the madness cards you could play (or, you know, just play Anje Falkenrath instead). And, if you get tired of the simple gains synergy can win you, you can always Demonfire someone.

Blim, Comedic Genius

THIS. This is neat. Leave aside the look on the face of that certain someone who steals everything on the board. Pay no mind that Seize the Day and all it’s red cousins can make Blim an unholy terror. Forget that you can pass off Demonic Pact, Grid Monitor, and whatever other obnoxiousness you can think of. None of that matters, no. This, for all you glorious nutters out there, is an excuse to finally play Nuisance Engine. That’s the takeaway here.

WAAAGH

Anyone can run tokens or big creatures, but only in Rakdos do you find the conjunction of boardwide haste and sacrifice. Harnessing right, proper WAAGH energy means not just drowning opponents in a tide of zippy little shits but also capitalizing on all that death to cause even more mayhem. Did you ever want to hold a bundle of fireworks, light them all at once, and watch whatever you point them at turn into a smoking, shredded pile of giblets? Here’s the lighter, fellas.

Juri, Master of the Revue

Treasure tokens. Nuff said.

Garna, the Bloodflame

There are a number of nasty combos here that I’d rather not spread. I’ll just say that long ago, I played many, many depressing games against a Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund deck. There was self-milling involved, and Living Death. Evidently, someone decided what the deck needed, rather than burning, was fewer moving parts. That someone deserves a long, interesting life in all the worst ways.

Kardur, the Doomscourge

This guy makes me laugh. The idea of ruining the table’s carefully laid plans to off you and instead throwing them into combat with each other is absolutely hilarious. It’s like a Fog designed by someone with pyromania-by-proxy syndrome, and that second block of text the equivalent of throwing gasoline on an already burning house. Get a Conjurer's Closet in there and watch the fun.

Pain

Forget destroy effects. Those are too easy. Direct damage. -X/-X. -1/-1 counters. Life loss. All of the nastiness you can fling at opponents and creatures is under the umbrella of this color pairing. If you like blasting the unholy hell out of your opponents and their minions, this is the arsenal you’re looking to plunder. Stuff like Blasphemous Act, Toxic Deluge, or Orcus, Prince of Undeath will leave a smoldering crater of a battlefield, across which you’ll doubtless be stepping with appropriate gribbliness. Or launching that demonfire we talked about. Whatever works.

Kaervek the Merciless

Ah, the original Mr. Stop-Hitting-Yourself. I’ve had my eye on this guy for over a decade. Do I own the deck? No. Do I intend to? Again, no. But the prospect here is so, soooo satisfying to think about. To hell with infinite combo fruitwaffles. Damned be those green jackasses ramming X cost spells down the table’s collective throat. Kaervek’s mean, but keeps it clean. Like, nuclear fire sterile clean, and the best part? It’s all self-inflicted!

Rakdos, Lord of Riots

We really can’t talk red-black without discussing demon himself (hehehe). This guy’s been piloting one of my decks for years, and for good reason. The lord of riots likes to pass out rewards for smacking people. Do you like to be rewarded for smacking people? I do. Rewarded with free things... Eldrazi things. Eldrazi things that tutor more things (Conduit of Ruin), reanimate more things (Artisan of Kozilek), or… well, you can always go for broke and just ruin someone else's things (Void Winnower). Run artifacts, like Hangarback Walker. Run X drops, like Maga, Traitor to Mortals. Run anything you like. Run everything you like. Just have fun running them for next to nothing.

The Scorpion God
-1/-1 counters, magic’s analogue for injury and agony. We really shouldn’t talk red-black without talking about Wither, the Everlasting Torment of a keyword that was a precursor to the dark days of Infect. It’s safe to say we all have opinions, for good or ill, about Infect’s place in commander. That said, if you want to play with -1/-1 counters and aren’t fond of green or dealing with those opinions, Scorpy’s first line of text makes this guy an overwhelmingly safe bet. Rocking crap like Black Sun's Zenith is the easy answer: let’s make this fun, discard a crapload of cards, and watch your opponent’s boards melt into obscene card advantage while your Archfiend of Ifnir giggles in the corner.

And for my personal favorite...

Xantcha, sleeper agent

There is an unfortunate element of “screw you in particular” to Xantcha: declaring open season on somebody’s life total sends a particularly unpleasant message. This is another commander that, laying aside the card advantage, doesn’t bolster your deck, which makes for an interesting challenge. I’ve said it before, one hallmark of a good deck is the capability of functioning without its commander… though if you build this hateful beast, I suggest you pack lots and lots of ramp. Just ‘cause.

That's it for this round. Thoughts and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed it, and will come back next week for Gruul!

Prior Articles:

Dimir

Azorius

Green, with links to the other mono-colors

linksdeity on Help with Voltron protection and …

2 months ago

Hello,

Let's begin with evasion - because answers run out and might not even be there.

My favorite way to make Volrath unblockable is discarding Filth with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth in play. I also love Rime Transfusion and having Snow Covered Swamps. Manifold Key does double duty by also untapping big mana rocks or other toys like Quicksilver Amulet. Dragon Shadow is a decent option, and helps most of the other big creatures. Whispersilk Cloak is obvious, as is Rogue's Passage.

Some less obvious plays are using instant speed board wipes via Vedalken Orrery to clear the field right before your turn so nothing is left to block - or similar instant speed board wipe effects like cycling a Decree of Pain. Things like Pestilence/Pestilence Demon can clear the field with little threat to a pumped up Volrath. You could include a Breaker of Armies, which would absorb all of your opponents blocking creatures or also be discarded to Volrath for 8.

Ok, then you have protection. Normal stuff like Swiftfoot Boots and Lightning Greaves. Volrath gains a lot of protection and evasion from the swords of X and Y. Light and Shadow is a must play. Feast and Famine is a very high recommend followed by Fire and Ice. Imp's Mischief is invaluable in redirecting removal or countering a counterspell. You can run Not of This World for a good counter. Veilstone Amulet is a good option for protection as well.

Really you want some protection but if you focus more on ramping, haste, evasion, and other ways to continue putting pressure and threats out then the odds are that you will find a way through. Command Beacon and Netherborn Altar can help Volrath be cheaper, or even cheated into play. Have some reanimation effects, preferably those you can use repeatedly like Strands of Night and Sheoldred, Whispering One. Artisan of Kozilek is amazing when you can hit 9 and bring another major threat out. If they "deal" with Volrath it just means they have less answers for Phage the Untouchable or Blightsteel Colossus, or the next time Volrath lands and swings.

Romer on The Ceaseless Eldrazi Horde

2 months ago

Ziabo: Thanks man, glad you like it! It's pretty damn fun to play. Morophon could be a decent commander for 5-colour Eldrazi, too, but I really like Golos . Easy to cast without caring about which colours I have, an ETB effect that helps solve my colour problems and an activated ability to cheat amazing, expensive spells into play. Add Morophon to the 99 instead.

Wicker: If money wasn't a concern, I would immediately add a bunch of fetch lands, Expropriate and Sylvan Library .

DivineKhaos: Artifact ramp is really strong and super fast, so it was tempting. I focused on more land-based ramp to help solve my colour needs, since nearly 40% of my spells require coloured mana, including a number that need or . Omg and I'm running Ruinous Ultimatum ?? What was I thinking! I'm also trying to be more resistant to artifact destruction. This deck scares my playgroup so they toss a lot of removal at it and it can feel pretty bad when all your mana rocks get taken out and you're now behind everyone else at the table.

Hustleberry: Lots of good suggestions, thank you! It's just really hard to make cuts to fit in more at this point. That's the biggest difficulty in 5 colour decks, I could run anything and there are hundreds of amazing cards that could work, but I can only fit 99.

hkhssweiss: Cloud Key and Semblance Anvil are good, but my card types are so spread out that their effect becomes pretty limited and I do already run things like Urza's Incubator and Herald's Horn , the latter of which which does more than just reduce the cost. Don't think I want to invest too much into just reducing creature costs, when that only accounts for 20% of my deck. Having said that, Cloud Key and Semblance Anvil are fantastic in my artifact decks :D

CommanderOfTheDanceFloor on Squirrel Twins.Oh Wait Triplets.Oh Wait.A Lot

4 months ago

Think Overgrown Battlement or Axebane Guardian fit with the defenders and would let you sub out the hierarchs. With a decent mana ramp you could put out an Artisan of Kozilek or one of the assorted hydras with a cost of "X" as a backup win condition.

twechsler on Insane ramp idea - please help

5 months ago

Okay, quick update. I decided not to get Seedborn Muse because I would rather get some other cheaper cards instead. Maybe I will get it in a few months because it can work in almost any green deck I feel like. Still waiting to get Ghalta, Primal Hunger Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma and 4 Utopia Sprawl . Ive just been adding in a bunch of high mana stuff in the meantime because it fun with all of the mana generated. Also, I changed the sideboard to all of the cards I actually have that I think could work well and the maybeboard for wishful cards. Even when I do get those other cards, there are still 3 open spots because I feel like the Prowling Serpopard aren't always necessary. Currently, I put Artisan of Kozilek Elvish Piper and Vivien, Monsters' Advocate just to promote putting out creatures and getting one back if needed. Im not sure about keeping these 3 though so I was wondering if anyone thinks there are better options among my sideboard. I like the idea of using non tap activated abilities because of the excess mana so because those 6 cards arent here yet, I have been playing Ant Queen and Scavenging Ooze , also I just found a Savageborn Hydra that follows the same concept of using massive mana. Also could swap Silklash Spider with one of those so I can ease the flying in some cases. Polis Crusher Ruric Thar, the Unbowed are kind of more defensive cards for preventing the scary instants/enchantments/sorceries my friends have. The only thing holding me up about this is that annihilator will get rid of this stuff anyways eventually but polis targets it faster and ruric makes them doubt using it at all. Ulamog's Crusher Breaker of Armies are just other huge things but not sure they beat out the other 8+ mana creatures in the deck already. Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig is another one I am on the fence about because it could be huge if I get it early but its unlikely that will happen and I would almost always rather get a different legendary with Time of Need . Endbringer is kind of a nice one because of the constant damage and/or draw ability. Toski, Bearer of Secrets can also be used for drawing cards but I think I may have that covered at this point. ALSO, thinking of either trying to throw together a pauper or edh deck. Never tried edh but it seems really fun with the extra life and just having more variety because of the diversity of cards. Pauper also just seems like a fun and cheap way to balance the playing field so you never know what's going to happen. Also, I feel like it would eliminate really overpowered stuff so that would extend games too. Im sure Ill need help again so look out for that! Thank you guys again for the feedback :)

twechsler on Insane ramp idea - please help

5 months ago

libraryjoy I was wondering how you would use Toralf, God of Fury  Flip effectively in this deck because its ability only affects non-combat damage. It seems like it may be better to get a cheap eldrazi like Ulamog's Crusher or Artisan of Kozilek . If I do that then Fierce Empath will have more creatures to pull as well. Im just not sure how to use toralf really so if you can explain that would be great. I was also looking at Ruric Thar, the Unbowed . Seems like a good option against a flying counter deck but also fits both time of need and fierce empath.

TheVectornaut on Insane ramp idea - please help

5 months ago

Yeah, if you are running Fierce Empath , you do want most of your bombs to be at or above that 6 CMC threshold. For instance, that's why I run Greenwarden of Murasa over the usually far superior Eternal Witness and Cyclops of Eternal Fury over say Urabrask the Hidden or Fires of Yavimaya . Running both the Empath and Time of Need will require careful balancing so you don't end up in situations where you need to find one thing and the tutor you draw isn't the one that can search for it. Hypothetically, you can get around that by just running creatures that satisfy both conditions. It is true though that such creatures will often be quite pricey like the Eldrazi titans and Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger . If you do go the Eldrazi route, Artisan of Kozilek and It That Betrays would be some other guys to keep an eye out for, with one being obviously more budget than the other. As for the appropriate numbers of land untappers and land enchantments, you'll just have to goldfish and hopefully also get some real games in to test what ratio works for you. If there is a lot of enchantment destruction being played early, for example, I think running 12 Overgrowth effects would be more worthwhile. Or if creature removal is more of an issue, working in Hope Tender or Sculptor of Winter could be an option.

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