Master of Cruelties

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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
Pioneer Legal
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Master of Cruelties

Creature — Demon

First strike, deathtouch

Master of Cruelties can only attack alone.

Whenever Master of Cruelties attacks a player and isn't blocked, that player's life total becomes 1. Master of Cruelties assigns no combat damage this combat.

Crow_Umbra on

4 weeks ago

Hi there Nezkul, generally speaking, I think Myriad is right at home in Isshin. Battle Angels of Tyr and Hammers of Moradin are both a couple of my favorite cards in my Isshin deck. Hammers of Moradin puts in lots of work clearing up lanes for aggro swings.

The combo you mentioned does have some nasty potential, but I do think it leans a bit more towards being telegraphed and mana intensive. I have used Master of Cruelties (MoC) to finish off someone before, but that was in my old Alesha, Who Smiles at Death deck, before I converted her into Isshin. I think MoC has a bit more viability in Reanimator decks, than in Isshin, because Reanimator decks can discard and reanimate MoC in the same turn. Without a Haste anthem of some kind, MoC will have to sit around a turn and be vulnerable to removal. The one time I pulled off a MoC kill, everyone else still left proceeded to rightfully focus me and finished me off next. Every game after, people suspected me of being able to set up MoC again, so I removed it from the deck.

As mentioned before Master of Cruelties (5 cmc) + Blade of Selves (6 mana to cast & equip) + Response / Resurgence (5 cmc) is fairly mana intensive to pull off over 1-2 turns at 16 total mana to pull off.

All of that being said, I do think that Myriad has a lot of viability when combined with Enter the Battlefield group-slug effects like Corpse Knight, Impact Tremors, Witty Roastmaster, and Purphoros, God of the Forge. Another potential heavy hitter in Myriad and token Isshin decks in general, is Devilish Valet. Its power can get out of hand with a couple of Myriad creatures swinging away.

If you want to check out some Myriad-focused Isshin decks, I'd recommend checking out some of the following:

If you do want to incorporate Blade of Selves in an extra combat combo, you can slap it on Aurelia, the Warleader. She's already strong on her own, that much more pushed with Isshin on the table, and nutty if you can get Blade of Selves on her with Isshin out. Even without Blade of Selves, she can act as a finisher for Isshin token decks.

Hope this helps!

TheRevelator on Kaalia’s Kombos cEDH

4 months ago

Azoth2099 I do just want to clarify that Master of Cruelties's ability is triggered during the declare blockers step according to Gatherer:

"An ability that triggers when something “attacks and isn't blocked” triggers in the declare blockers step after blockers are declared if (1) that creature is attacking and (2) no creatures are declared to block it. It will trigger even if that creature was put onto the battlefield attacking rather than having been declared as an attacker in the declare attackers step."


4 months ago

Azoth2099 I see that you have Hoarding Broodlord in your list!

As far as cards to cut for Master of Cruelties, I don't see that you're playing Bomberman combo, so what is the Disciple of the Vault for exactly? Just a hate piece against treasures?

I'm always of the mindset that it's better to build your deck to prioritize and protect your own win condition(s), rather than try and just use cards as hate bears or 1-for-1 removal.

I'd suggest to cut Disciple for Master as a way to further advance your gameplan of killing the table lol

I do have a question about the include of Ashnod's Altar - your smaller creatures seem very impactful for either card advantage or disrupting your opponents in some way, so what exactly are you sacrificing to the Altar? Is it just to generate more mana to get to the top of the curve faster?

Another card you could add to ensure that Master gets through more often is Access Tunnel

I wound up cutting it from my list for more colored mana sources, but I'm not seeing you playing any infinite combos so if Master becomes your game-plan to quickly eliminate opponents, it could be helpful!

Azoth2099 on Kaalia’s Kombos cEDH

4 months ago

TheRevelator Oh man, that's great news, I'm gonna have to slot Master of Cruelties into my own build then. I remember it being a major point of contention for Kaalia players for a bit, but if it triggers on the declare blockers step instead of the declare attackers step like I thought...that's amazing lol.

I've been trying to find room for Hoarding Broodlord since it's release, but I can't quite decide what to cut. Would you be willing to give my list a look and give some recommendations?


TheRevelator on Kaalia’s Kombos cEDH

4 months ago

Azoth2099 thanks for checking it out! Master of Cruelties does trigger with Kaalia thankfully! If unblocked, Master of Cruelties (due to First Strike) will "hit" the opponent first, setting their life total to 1. Then normal combat damage will happen from Kaalia which will kill them!

Restoration Angel is great as it's the primary combo piece with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and can also help flicker my tutor creatures like Rune-Scarred Demon & Hoarding Broodlord.

And I am playing Karmic Guide - it's part of the combo with Buried Alive & Reanimate :)

Azoth2099 on Kaalia’s Kombos cEDH

4 months ago

Great list TheRevelator! I am confused as to why you're running Master of Cruelties though, as it's ability doesn't trigger when cheated out via Kaalia. Restoration Angel is an amazing include, how has it playtested? Also, have you considered Karmic Guide?

plakjekaas on My cognitive dissonance around multicolor …

6 months ago

I feel like the dissonance also stems a bit from bottom-up vs. top-down design.

Scrolling through cards with Deathtouch in green, there's almost always a reason the creature pictured, needs to have deathtouch to describe how it would behave, and most of the time that reason is poison. So you design a venomous snake, it makes sense that it's green and needs to have deathtouch to kill whatever it bites.

I suppose that makes deathtouch a green ability, but that's somehow not the same as starting a creature with deathtouch, and then later in the process making it green, because green can have deathtouch.

Deathtouch as an ability is powerful enough that it grinds most combat to a halt, that gets worse if you add first strike in the mix. There's balance to consider too, on top of the color pie. The only creatures that have both as innate keywords, are both Glissas and Master of Cruelties. So it's a very rare occurrence in general.

From my point of view, even though the color pie should be able to allow it, that doesn't mean it's a good thing to exist in the game. I'm glad they have been careful with "Deathstrike" as a keyword combination, because I like combat as a wincon.

Although if we ever get a MtG version of a creature that's both very fast and poisonous/venomous in real life, for which it makes sense to be both red and green, I wouldn't be surprised if it would be printed in the future.

Though I'm still convinced that ways to explain deathtouch in MtG, are philosophically not tied to passion and impulse, which are the core Red virtues, which is why red should be an inhibitor for deathtouch more than green is an enabler for it.

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