Kaervek the Merciless
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Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Highlander Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Kaervek the Merciless

Legendary Creature — Human Shaman

Whenever an opponent casts a spell, Kaervek the Merciless deals damage equal to that spell's converted mana cost/mana value to any target (creature, player or planeswalker).

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legendofa on Fun commanders

2 weeks ago

Heartless Hidetsugu is a great choice. To pitch some other ideas, Isshin, Two Heavens as One (not really underrated, but versatile and budget-friendly), Kaervek the Merciless, Astarion, the Decadent, and Riku of Two Reflections (not underrated, but fun and because I'm only suggesting cards so far). You know what you want, though, so no hard feelings if these aren't what you're looking for.

DreadKhan on Why So Serious?

4 months ago

You might enjoy Agitator Ant, it is pretty funny in chaos decks, as is Angel's Trumpet. It's a weird card, but War Cadence is really useful to make blocking impossible. There is also War Tax, which is the opposite yet also very fun. If you aren't big on combos, Protection Racket can either give you non-lands or deal damage, extra juicy with Exquisite Blood obviously. He's clunky now, but Kaervek the Merciless deals a heap of damage, both him and Vial are good with Mask of Griselbrand, as is Rite of the Raging Storm.

Not quite sure it fits, but Fatespinner does a fair bit of work, adding a substantial cost to attacking for your opponents while doing nothing to you.

DreadKhan on unthinkable apocalypse

4 months ago

There is Kaervek the Merciless, this might work well with your fairly high MV. Also with the higher MV, you could look at Protection Racket, which is mostly a problem if your deck cares about specific cards, as long as your deck is just a bunch of cards that are all good together it's one of the best cards in Black, it can draw you more cards than Rhystic Study in some metas, or just drain everyone of life if they're really, really responsible and always pay. Finally, Timesifter is hilarious if your opponents have a deck with a noticeably lower MV, or a lot of lands compared to you. You could toss in some really high MV spells like Blasphemous Act and/or Reckless Endeavor, wipes are handy I find, even in a deck that usually is ahead, sometimes you face a faster deck, or a deck that has one sided wipes. I think if your MV is over 3.75 you probably could look at all but Timesifter, for that you might want to go even higher. Another way to raise your average MV is MDFs like Hagra Mauling  Flip, as a spell you would never run it, but in place of a land it is both versatile and has it's MV for any effect that cares about it, the only question is if you can afford a tapped land (or want to pay for the Mythics, can enter untapped in a pinch). Some of these cards are just incredible value IMHO, like Valakut Awakening  Flip, but some seem bad, afaik the best way to rate these is to consider if the effect is valuable period in Commander (is it worth a card in theory), not to worry as much about the cost because the alternative of hitting a land drop is almost never a terrible thing.

If you run a lot of creatures, I like Court of Cunning and Court of Ambition, both are annoying cards that can also draw you cards, and Cunning is a great source of repeated mill vs something like Glimpse. Also if you run a lot of creatures, Bident of Thassa is perhaps the best non-Frostfang version of this effect, the forced attack can be backbreaking to some decks. Another decent one is Reconnaissance Mission, the worst of the lot is Coastal Piracy. Grim Hireling and Professional Face-Breaker are also nice cards. Thalakos Deceiver and Thalakos Dreamsower are nice Blue Shadows, Dauthi Voidwalker is a really good Black one, each of these is really hard to block and comes with a substantial upside. It's a bit janky in Commander, but Sower of Temptation isn't a terrible card, you just can't count on stealing anything too game breaking, as long as you steal something not worth spending another card on you'll get an evasive 2/2 that can sneak damage in for triggers.

If you want a one-sided nearly-Wrath, you might consider Make an Example or Phyrexian Purge. Example is able to pinpoint remove the best creature of each opponent, by any metric, and it's almost impossible to get around with present day cards (it's a chosen, not targeted sacrifice effect), while Purge lets you clear out the best 4 or 5 creatures so you can just take over, Purge likes having access to some life gain, it's especially good with something like Sangromancer, but if you want life gain in Grixis it's hard to do better than Exquisite Blood, but I'm almost never unhappy with Mask of Griselbrand, I think that card is slept on somewhat in Commander.

If you do go with Kraum or some other beefy Commander for your deck, Agitator Ant is a pretty strong card, but you either need the biggest thing on board already or to be able to remove stuff as needed. Kraum having evasion means you'll usually be able to get in against someone, so +2 power is great, and you being Goaded wears off before your next attack step anyways, so it only matters if someone steals it I guess (at which point it can't attack you I suppose??), Agitator Ant also works with any super-evasive creatures, so if your deck has lots of Flying or Shadow it

Hope some of these ideas are helpful!

Fallerup on Rachel's Dihada | Game Knights #56

6 months ago

this list needs a Kaervek the Merciless, you will just decimate boards with the Dihada kaervek combo. give Kaervek lifelink, vigilence and indistructible, then shoot down people and things as they play stuff. O.G. Sheoldrid is also great in case they should remove your Kaervek, you can get it back.

amarthaler on EDH Rakdos Group Slug

6 months ago


Out: Avatar of Woe and Sulfuric Vortex

In: Kaervek the Merciless and Battle Strain

As much as I love the art by rk post on Avatar of Woe, it was a dead card in my hand far too often. We'll pull Kaervek back off the bench and give him another go. Sulfuric Vortex has turned off my own life gain just as much as my opponents, maybe more, haha. My buddy found Battle Strain in his bulk cards and suggested I try it out.

multimedia on Rakdos, Lord of Riots Demon Tribal

7 months ago

Hey, why Kaervek the Merciless as Commander? You have the start of a nice budget Demon deck, but Kaervek is out of place.

You're playing Demons and have Rakdos, Lord of Riots. He's a better Demon Commander since he's a Demon and he can reduce the mana cost of Demons which is really helpful because the best Demons are high mana cost creatures. Kaervek is out of place here since he's not a Demon and he's a high mana cost creature and you would rather spend 7 mana to cast a Demon. You want to punish your opponents with many cards in your deck before you can cast Kaervek then his repeatable damage trigger really matters.

Some advice to consider is switch to Rakdos as Commander, cut Kaervek and cut some creatures/other cards for more budget ramp and draw?

If you're interested in these suggestions then I offer more advice including changes to consider to use Rakdos as Commander. What you like more advice?

Good luck with your deck.

amarthaler on EDH Rakdos Group Slug

9 months ago

In order to make the new Commander + Background work, I've temporarily removed Kaervek the Merciless and Spinerock Knoll; although Spinerock Knoll likely won't ever get added back in :D

JosephStardust on amarthaler

10 months ago

Hey again, I did a rehaul of the deck considering both your and other advice I got from my play group at college. Firstly, I decided that Kaervek the Merciless would make a much more suitable commander for my burn-heavy playstyle. Second, I decided to re-focus the deck, to almost purely make it burn heavy. Since before, it was adding a few combos that I now feel were unneccesary and strayed away from the burn aspect (Darkest Hour + Spreading Plague ). And third, I think this time I am way more aggressive than I was previously. Thank you again for all the help :)

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