Orcus, Prince of Undeath

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Alchemy Legal
Arena Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Brawl Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Gladiator Legal
Highlander Legal
Historic Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Pioneer Legal
Pre-release Legal
Standard Legal
Vintage Legal

Orcus, Prince of Undeath

Legendary Creature — Demon

Flying, trample

When this enters the battlefield, choose one —

  • Each other creature gets -X/-X until end of turn. You lose X life.
  • Return up to X target creature cards with total converted mana cost/mana value X or less from your graveyard to the battlefield. They gain haste until end of turn.

Recommendations View more recommendations

Rmclean09 on Be'lakor / Gyruda (Companion)

1 month ago

I'm considering swapping out Orcus, Prince of Undeath for Archfiend of Despair as it's a card you prefer to have in your hand to bring back your board, and that's less likely to occur if it's been milled to the graveyard. Thoughts?

multimedia on Rakdos, Lord of Riots Demon Tribal

3 months ago

In my last comment suggested a lot of cards to add, now here's some cards to consider cutting. For cards to consider cutting I would start with all the lower mana cost nonDemon creatures. I would simply replace these with other lower mana cost cards that can better enable Rakdos without attacking and reduce creature mana costs without attacking.

Rather than playing a lot of single creature removal spells, rely more on Demons who can destroy or remove creatures? Especially Demons who have repeatable removal effects. You could cut many creature removal spells and replace them with more draw.

Searing Spear, Shock, Disintegrate can target a player to make them lose life, but you have Lightning Bolt for that and you can make opponent lose life better ways then playing single burn spells. Some budget single removal spells are helpful such as Chaos Warp and Feed the Swarm because these spells can remove an enchantment, Warp any permanent. When attacking is important to your game plan these can remove Ghostly Prison, Propaganda and others.


Rakdos can only reduce the mana cost of creatures therefore play very few noncreature high mana cost spells or spells that require a lot of mana to be useful. Spells that need a lot mana paid to make them decent is not really what you want when playing many high mana cost creatures. Could cut these for more draw and ramp.

Rolling Earthquake is a budget spell like this that's worth playing because you can control how much damage each creature is going to take, most Demons including Rakdos have high toughness. You could cut a few of the lesser Demons.

Master of the Feast is really bad card in multiplayer Commander because only your opponents draw. Awaken the Sky Tyrant, Wretched Confluence and Seal of the Guildpact are subpar for the mana costs.


In my last comment I recommended adding a lot of loot effects for draw. Loot is excellent with Blood Speaker and Speaker is a good reason to play Demon tribal since it's a tribal tutor that can be repeatable, return to your hand from your graveyard. Rakdos can reduce Speaker's mana cost to only 1 mana, making it a mana efficient way to repeatedly tutor for Demons.

Loot can be an enabler for reanimation and recursion which are helpful effects to have with Demons. Reanimation is a way to get Demons onto the battlefield without having to cast them, a backup for when Rakdos is disrupted. Recursion is getting Demons back into your hand or casting them from your graveyard. Patriarch's Bidding can reanimate all Demons in your graveyard. Persist and Exhume can reanimate for only two mana.

Chainer, Nightmare Adept has interaction with looting, getting Demons into your graveyard to cast them using Rakdos mana cost reduction. If you discard a Demon using Chainer's ability you can cast that same Demon giving it haste to attack. Rakdos also gains haste from Chainer when he's cast from the Command Zone. Any creature you reanimate gains haste from Chainer.

Chainer has excellent interaction with creatures who can sac themselves for value such as Magus of the Wheel and Doomed Necromancer. With Chainer these creatures gain haste when cast from your graveyard allowing them to tap and activate their abilities right away. Doomed Necromancer can reanimate even at instant speed. Chainer is good with Blood Speaker as discard outlet that can keep coming back to your hand.


Some more budget Demons to consider adding:

Some budget land upgrades to consider:

Temple of the False God is not a good land when you have no land ramp. It will not tap for mana until at least turn five and that's if you make all your land drops. Even if playing green and land ramp such as Cultivate I still wouldn't play Temple of the False God, it's just not a good enough land in the early turns of a game.

Rocketman988 on Demon Till Your Dreams Come True

4 months ago

MightyPox, for sure- Pestilence Demon is such a constant threat to the table. It is SO good at wiping out pesky utility creatures and acting as a free mana sink. People hesitate to commit things to table as long as he's around, which slows their game plans down and lets Rakdos lean into even more aggression. Also great at wiping out enemy boards to prevent retaliation swings.

I need to play around with Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos but I think he may get a spot. He's partly card advantage, partly targeted removal, so I really like him. I'm worried about exiling cards that I would want to be able to tutor for later, but that may be worth the risk for the constant value and early turn blocking. The deck is really vulnerable to early turn aggression. Having useful early turn plays is really nice, and we can even get critical land drops off this engine. I think this is a likely permanent include.

I don't love Orcus, Prince of Undeath. He does nothing when reanimated, which is really disappointing. With the mana cost required to bring high CMC demons back, Rise of the Dark Realms just seems scarier and more effective.

Balor is great and I think I may test him out. The random discard is incredibly powerful because the best way to Rakdos IMO is to force everyone to throw away their plans and be reactionary at all times. He creates so much mischief that he'll probably be a lighting rod for removal, which is actually a good thing! We play way scarier demons, so them "wasting" removal on him is probably a win. That he does it a final time as he dies is icing on the cake.

Vrock- I agree, is just too small a body and too weak an effect for the deck. "For each' would have been super tasty.

MightyPox on Demon Till Your Dreams Come True

5 months ago

Ok, ignore my previous comment.

After a two year hiatus I recently started to play Magic more regularly and got more experience with my Rakdos deck.

I replaced Sower of Discord with Pestilence Demon and was quite impressed how good it is against my opponents' creatures in general.

I added Chrome Mox instead of Mox Diamond because I need the land card to come back after a Rakdos attack.

Did you take a look at some of the newer demons:

  • Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos - nice cmc, could help filtering and smoothen our draws.

  • Orcus, Prince of Undeath - needs to be cast so reanimating him is not good. We need a lot of mana for his second ability because of the high cmc of the creatures in our deck. But if we have 11+ mana available (maybe from Sacrifice, Burnt Offering or Treasonous Ogre) he becomes a mass reanimation spell. The haste is also nice with our extra combat step effects.

  • Balor - some kind of disruption on a demon. I like it but don't know if his effect is strong enough to run him. Great art though!

  • Vrock - if it said "for each permanent" it would have nice synergies with a Rakdos swing but as it is it does not do enough.

  • Nalfeshnee - normally we don't cast spells from exile.

Demons I might test:

Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos and Balor are interesting but they don't really add something to our general game plan.

Orcus, Prince of Undeath could be a finisher but with the high mana requirement it is a bit situational.

Mana_Mythic_Legendary on Pursuing Perfection, Part 8: Rakdos …

1 year 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

Ascarmillion on i need suggestions for a …

1 year ago

RNR_Gaming thank you, you can recomend cards from any format, im building this casually I just want to see how good a deck i can make for Deathbonnet Sprout  Flip Heirloom Mirror  Flip without any ban lists or formats in mind. In my play group we don't really have a format we just build 60 card decks with any cards we want in them, trying to make the must optimized deck possible

Btw Orcus, Prince of Undeath is not a good example, is to slow and needs to much mana, im going to make the deck in golgari colors.

wallisface on Golgari deatbonnet heirloom mirror

1 year ago

Some thoughts:

  • your build-around creatures of Deathbonnet Sprout  Flip and Heirloom Mirror  Flip are both incredibly slow cards to get running, so I think you want to be aiming this deck to be something more midrange-orientated than aggro (as a lot of decks will outspeed this interaction). Luckily you're in the right colour-pair for a very interactive and midrange style deck (more on suggestions around this below).

  • Both Jadelight Ranger and Merfolk Branchwalker seem like really bad options here, as they don't particularly help enable anything you're doing. Some better options could be as so: Eternal Scourge feels strong here in that your build-around creatures can exile it, but then it can still be cast, and the process can be repeated, helping you in long grindy matchups. Creatures like Demon's Disciple, Fleshbag Marauder, Abyssal Gatekeeper and Plaguecrafter all seem useful too, for both providing needed interaction to slow down the opponent, while also filling your graveyard with their juicy corpses ready for consumption.

  • I would really, strongly, suggest against you trying to run Orcus, Prince of Undeath in this deck. Him being red is going to push you into three colours, and trying to build a 3-colour deck on a budget while still having it function isn't easy. Secondly, it just demands an insane quantity of mana. For 5 mana he'll get you back a single 1cmc creature... that's pretty lame - without dedicated ramp he's just not going to perform well. I think you have a better chance of making something viable by keeping your plan simple, and that means ditching this guy.

  • I think Call of the Death-Dweller is a decent card to include in the deck, but don't bother with Gruesome Menagerie. It's a LOT of mana and is probably going to cause more deck building restrictions than actually help you out.

Just brainstorming here, but something like the below feels viable to me. Your meta and/or tastes may vary (the list I've built here is with Modern-legality in mind, just because that's the format I know best. Also tried to stay with budget cards) It centralizes around the Sprout and Mirror, but also abuses creature sacrifice with Glissa to accelerate your gameplan, and get Mirrors back if needed:

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