Divine Reckoning

Divine Reckoning

Sorcery

Each player chooses a creature they control. Destroy the rest.

Flashback (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

Latest Decks as Commander

Divine Reckoning Discussion

Mana_Mythic_Legendary on Pursuing Perfection, Part 12: Orzhov …

4 weeks ago

I have built five different orzhov commander decks in my time playing magic. Whenever dipping into standard, I generally find myself running this pairing. There are a number of reasons for that. Orzhov ties the White life total surplus with the Black propensity to use life as a resource, essentially minting your own money. Adding White widens Black’s tight focus on creature removal to cover almost everything. It gives you access to creature tokens that you can either use with White or abuse with Black. Perhaps most importantly, it offers a profound level of synergy between all three relationships. There is a lot on offer here, and the commanders illustrate that.

I may well be discussing more powerhouse commanders here than in any article to date. Orzhov has delightful themes to it, and almost too obvious. There are ten commanders in this pairing that create or boost creature tokens in some way, nearly twenty that have lifelink or an interaction with life. This, out of only 33 valid Orzhov commanders: believe me, there's a fantastic roster that didn't make the article. However, I’ll not be discussing these themes directly: they’re so intrinsic to the pairing that discussing them is nigh redundant. Instead, let’s get a little more granular and talk about interactions that are specific to these pairings, which I’ve fondly titled Death, Taxes, and Vindication. As always, please bear in mind that our focus here is not necessarily competitive but rather on thematic, archetypical commanders.

Death

For those of you who don’t follow the lore, Orzhov is also called the Guild of Deals: essentially, a bank specializing in the harvest of souls as collateral for their predatory lending practices. Two of the keywords on Orzhov cards reflect that: Afterlife gives you souls after death, and Haunt, well, lives up to its name. Thematically, every time something dies the Orzhov player should be getting their cut, and these generals are experts at seeing you make bank.

Athreos, shroud-veiled

Starting this theme with a bang, Second Athreos is a favorite of mine. Yes, you can steal your opponent’s critters, but there are so many fun things you can bring to the party yourself. Consider the consequences of repeatedly sacrificing your own Kokusho, the Evening Star, Sun Titan, or Ashen Rider. The counter ability goes on the stack, so it pairs beautifully with things like the Whip of Erebos. Dig up some ways to cheaply recur your guys for a turn, only to have Athreos cheat the deal? That’s making the system work for you!

Elenda, the Dusk Rose

For those of you inclined toward commander damage but still keen on killing stuff, I submit to you Elenda. There is a fair collection of cards like Divine Reckoning in White that will turbocharge the lady while leaving her intact, and once you reach that point killing her becomes a frightening prospect for your opponents. Don’t believe me? Consider the cost of killing her, only to see the pilot drop a Sanctum Seeker.

Teysa Karlov

We can’t discuss this theme without talking about at least one version of Teysa, and it's a doozy. All the death triggers you can pack into an Orzhov deck, and there are a lot of them, get turbocharged when Teysa is out. Grave Pact effects, Blood Artist and that entire collection of pain, Bishop of Wings and all the accompanying angelic bullshitery. This is TERRIBLE. I love it.

Taxes

There are a lot of ways to death-by-a-thousand-cuts someone. Goblin Bombardment, Ayara, First of Locthwain, Walking Ballista. White doesn’t have the option of itself, but does lead in forcing opponents to pay extra to play the game. In a word, Staxs. Black has the unique attribute of stealing life from opponents. Combining these is where things get both hilarious and hateful, by which I mean that you force opponents to pay life for the pleasure of playing with you. Whether your favorite approach to the game is predatory capitalism, you’re on a quest to micromanage the table’s life total, or seek to win via “stop hitting yourself,” Orzhov is the safe bet.

Athreos, God of Passage

Shame on you. Fie, and shame (I don’t really mean it: I love the tactics here). I don’t think I need to go into detail in making this work: the bastard all but sings of forcing opponents to make bad, bad choices. The worst part is wording on the final line: target opponent. Screw you in particular, chosen target.

Kambal, consul of allocation

Both less and far more direct than Athreos. Creature-heavy decks won’t mind so much, but Blue players are going to weep tears of blood if they can’t get this guy off the board. The lifegain is a very nice touch, giving players who lean toward lifegames more material to work with.

Liesa, Shroud of Dusk

Ok, real talk. When I read the lore behind Liesa, the already smoldering dislike I had for Avacyn went up like a bonfire: I had to wait years for this luminous beast to hit the roster just because the archangel of Innistrad doesn’t approve of getting one’s hands dirty, the hypocritical vampire barbie. Paying life instead of commander tax would be a joke to either color in the right context. With both, it’s beneath notice, as is dealing with Liesa’s triggered effect. Other decks, though, will not be happy at all.

I’m going to be quiet now, because I adore this card and you don’t need to hear about it.

Vindication

The oldest card with the text “Destroy target permanent” isn’t Vindicate, it’s actually Desert Twister (if my five minutes of research is correct). There are only twenty-two legal cards with those exact words, and they are all more convoluted, expensive, or both. Vindicate, though, has served as a paragon of cheap, efficient removal for twenty years. Three mana to knock absolutely anything off the board is a great deal, and even knock-off, caveated parallels like Beast Within or Anguished Unmaking are staples in the game. Orzhov has stood by its trendsetter and even set up a few commanders with parallel effects on a stick, though even the meanest justifiably added the condition “non-land.”

Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim

Here’s another example of the intrinsic relationship between Orzhov, creature tokens, and lifegain. Spam tokens and token embiggeners like Ghoulcaller Gisa, Coat of Arms, and Cathars' Crusade. If you don’t slaughter the board by going wide with your piebald weenies, exile the board instead. And, at two mana for a 2/3 deathtouch creature, Ayli’s wonderfully accessible.

Karlov of the Ghost council

Karl is a little too mean and repetitive for my taste. I built him, but I didn’t like it. To be just, compared to other decks I put through that process he had a frightening winning streak. The profusion of recuring tiny lifegains in Orzhov can quickly turn Karl into a monster, and a sprinkling of evasion ends games right quick. The removal is almost unnecessary. Almost. Like Ayli, he only costs two mana, but unlike Ayli nobody will see Karl hit the field and handle it with anything like grace.

Vona, Butcher of Magan

This guy’s a little calmer, costing more than twice the others and requiring a tap AND seven life to blow up something. However, he’s also immediately usable, lack of haste notwithstanding, and paying life won’t hurt an Orzhov player nearly so much as their opponents keeping lynchpin cards. Also, you don’t have to pay mana, so if you can take repeated use on the chin you can absolutely wreck house with the Thornbite Staff, some tokens, and an aristocrat of some sort.

And, for my personal favorite…

Triad of Fates This is a departure from my usual favorites: I love the mythology behind the card but disdain the card itself. I want this to work, but have trouble seeing a way forward that would satisfy me as a player: you can only say “thornbite staff” so many times before it starts getting stale. Crunchwise, the tap attached to all three abilities is ruinous. Maybe if the first ability was a boardwide ETB effect, or triggered boardwide at the beginning of your upkeep? They measure the fates of ALL THINGS, and keeping the second two tap effects would keep it reasonable, right? Maybe parallel Zacama, Primal Calamity/Shattergang Brothers and raise the costs of the second abilities, or go hard into flavor and make the first triple partner legends: one to spin, one to measure, and one to cut, just like the myths. I like that idea! could even make some sort of assembly line, like the station cycle!

Station

But with old, warty women... Eh, I’m no designer, but I can comfortably say they didn’t do the fates justice here.

Whinging about rules text aside, building this solely for flavor’s sake would be a fantastic bit of fun and, as I’ve said, I’ve always enjoyed the multicultural mythos behind three women knitting humanity’s fate into being.

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

Simic

Selesnya

Gruul

Rakdos

Dimir

Azorius

Green, with links to the other mono-colors

HelixSnapHelix on Ruhan of the Fomori

2 months ago

I used to play Ruhan in duel commander a ton, so maybe some of what I suggest isn't translatable to regular edh,but some I know would be great additions:

I'd used Cryptic Command as an obvious great card as it is, but more specifically to tap the opponent's creatures that you're forced to attack. Either to save Ruhan or to swing big.

The Royal Scions was a great walker that worked well with the deck and Ruhan.

Clout of the Dominus is so sick with Ruhan.

Divine Reckoning obviously.

Minamo, School at Water's Edge to untap Ruhan as needed (saved my butt to block when I absolutely needed it multiple times).

On the Cataclysmic Gearhulk route, you could take it a step further and just play Cataclysm. Almost guaranteed to come out on top unless you're playing against a lot of combo.

seshiro_of_the_orochi on Kalemne, Sitter of Faces

3 months ago

I like this. I just build a rough version of Drizzt Do'Urden, and it seems to have a somewhat similar strategy: I mainly focus on equipment, but also added some +1/+1 counter shenanigans. A card I really like in there is Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist. It's just so easy to put everything on Kalemne with him. Two great wipes in Voltron are Single Combat and Divine Reckoning. Another cool voltron card I play in my Moraug, Fury of Akoum is Boots of Speed. It's an easy and cheap way to have your voltron online again. One final thing: Maybe try Odric, Lunarch Marshal. Even if Kalemne somehow becomes unable to attack, Odric can use her presence to give your remaining board Double Strike and Vigilance out of nowhere.

Last_Laugh on Help with Voltron protection and …

3 months ago

You have a LOT of creatures for a voltron deck. Most take advantage of cards like Divine Reckoning and Smoke

RinceRaven on fck my playgroup

6 months ago

Hey, looking at your list I have a bunch of opinions. I'mma drop those for later reference. This comment will be a mess, I'm sorry, I'm not gonna write a cohesive essay with a proper layout.

TL;DR: More boardwipes , less pillowfort , less creatures , +1 or 2 wincons .

Vryn Wingmare : taxing yes, but also taxes like 70% of your spells which I just can't see being worth it. At that stage, maybe run Sphere of Resistance . At least that hurts opposing creature decks too.

I don't love cards like Ghostly Prison because even though it does stop a bunch of random damage and everything it still won't stop the Voltron coming your way if they want to. On top of that your Magus of the Tabernacle will be an issue with your high creature count. So I'd consider getting rid of Baird, Steward of Argive and friends.

You only have three boardwipes, you're better off running more of those than pillowfort effects in my opinion. Consider Cleansing Nova , Rout , Time Wipe , Divine Reckoning . I like the last two a lot for this deck. Also where's your Cyclonic Rift do you not have more copies?

I'm very double on Isperia, Supreme Judge as a card. It's only 4 mana here which might make it good enough, but you're relying on opponents doing something which is usually not where you want to be. Mangara, the Diplomat in contrast, at least has muliple triggered abilities which does get triggered a lot, although with your taxing probably still a bad include, especially for it's $ cost. In the same wake I think Fatespinner , even though annoying for sure, gives opponents more options than you would like.

Nitpick, but Brainstorm becomes considerably worse if you don't have a bunch of fetches or other shuffle effects. Same goes for Mox Opal and your low artifact count. Though that one might still be good enough, albeit a little inconsistent with the current artifact count.

For counterspells, consider Memory Lapse or maybe even Essence Scatter or False Summoning . Also get Swan Song back in, a 1 mana counterspell that doesn't have a pay x out is probably still worth it's spot. Maaaybe on a super tight 100, but it's not like you're at that stage right now. And get rid of Render Silent three mana isn't worth it for the added silence in my opinion. Just keep the cheapest counterspells so you yourself can be more efficient with your own mana.

For ramp: Your commander is 4 mana, and getting him out is really good for you. Your ramp, for this reason, should be cmc 2 and below if possible. On top of that, due to Augustin's cost reducing abilities, you prefer your ramp to generate colored mana. So imo get rid of Azorius Locket and Azorius Cluestone . Instead look towards Coldsteel Heart and Talisman of Progress , maybe even a Sapphire Medallion , Pearl Medallion , Wayfarer's Bauble , Knight of the White Orchid . Or maybe Mind Stone , Walking Atlas , Everflowing Chalice . Maybe don't fix colors but at least curve out augustin. Finally please at least play Commander's Sphere over the Cluestone .

Also, please for the sake of our group, play an additional wincon. Right now you have Expropriate , Approach of the Second Sun and Smothering Tithe + Stasis lock. I know control decks don't traditionally run too many wincons, but keeping a lock on the board long enough is difficult and we won't usually feel like sitting through you trying to contain us for that long. Also where's Dramatic Reversal to go with your Isochron Scepter ?

A card like Lightning Greaves might just be worth it considering how much Augustin will be hated.

budlaorf on Jeska, Thrice commander damage

9 months ago

Omniscience_is_life- Thanks for the input. I've decided to try a lot of the changes you mentioned. I have added Charging Tuskodon , Fiendish Duo , Halvar, God of Battle  Flip, Reyav, Master Smith , Mind Stone , and Teferi's Protection .

I decided to drop Godsend , Toolcraft Exemplar , Tajic, Blade of the Legion , Worn Powerstone , Commander's Sphere , Ajani, Strength of the Pride , and finally Talisman of Conviction .

I have added some cards to my maybeboard that I may try to add in at some point.

My deck's boardwipes already have Austere Command , Blasphemous Act , Divine Reckoning , Single Combat and my personal favorite Tragic Arrogance .

Thanks again for your wonderful suggestions!

ArrestedSnow on Fort Kickass

9 months ago

I like those suggestions!

My particular meta isn't too artifact/enchantment heavy, but Krosan Grip is still a great card!

Personally I'll keep Divine Reckoning over Hour of Revelation for now, I'm still testing. But I play in big groups and a three mana "screw you" is definitely a thing! Unfortunately it hits my permanents as well, so that puts it as a maybe for me.

Rites of Flourishing and Font of Mythos are great, and I can definitely see using the Font over Temple Bell . If there's one thing this deck loves, it's redundancy!

BlackoutX on Rog and Ardenn's Arms Race

11 months ago

Seize the Day, Open the Armory and Jeska's Will

I sometimes will also board wipe with Wrath of God (although Divine Reckoning is arguably better)

Load more