"Feel like making a deal with the Devil?"

After the Jumpstart spoilers were released, I began toying with the idea of using Zurzoth, Chaos Rider as a new deck commander. I used to have a Krenko, Mob Boss deck that made goblin tokens, but I found it to be somewhat boring to play. Devil tokens seemed much more interesting, especially since the ways to make them with Zurzoth is atypical compared to other token generation methods. It also seemed more challenging since red lacks some of the tools that other colors have for token strategies.

The basic plan of the deck is to get Zurzoth out fast since he is the linchpin to the entire strategy. Once I have him out, the primary strategy is to force card draw on everyone to trigger Zurzoth’s first line of text to create devil tokens. Most of the time I will do so on my turn to maximize the total number of tokens I can make since Zurzoth cares about people drawing when it is not their turn. To facilitate everyone drawing cards, we have a few options.

Making Mana

Like every commander deck, we need to ramp to get our big splashy spells out faster and have mana to spend on all the cards we will be cycling through with this deck. This is perhaps the most boring section of the deck, but very important. This deck runs about 11 or 12 ramp cards depending on how you slice it, but the important thing about each piece is that most of them can be dropped on turn 2 so that we can get them out before Zurzoth and so they don’t compete with him as a turn 3 drop. This will include cards like Wayfarer's Bauble to help get a mountain into play, Ruby Medallion to make each red spell cheaper, and Fire Diamond. We also have some interesting pieces that cross over into other roles, my favorite being Heraldic Banner. This will act as a mana rock, but also a small anthem effect to make each devil that much scarier.

Everyone Draws!

My favorite way to force everyone to draw is from lands. This is repeatable so that we can have a consistent way to do it every turn, and if we have enough mana and other draw effects, we can space them out across other people’s turns to get as many devils on the board. These lands include Geier Reach Sanitarium and Mikokoro, Center of the Sea.

Lands aren’t the only way to force card draw though. The way most players think of is wheel effects. Named after Wheel of Fortune (which I don’t run, who has that kind of money laying around for one card?), these effects will force everyone to dump their hand and draw new cards. This is great for me as it can really mess with peoples plans as well as trigger the creation of more devil tokens. A few examples in this deck include Wheel of Fate, Wheel of Misfortune, Winds of Change, and Magus of the Wheel. These also are helpful to get new cards in our own hand to keep the value train rolling.

Finally, we have card draw artifacts. These just force everyone to draw a card with no other effect. These are great to help get card draw going across other peoples turns, similar to the use of the draw lands. The two cards I use are Temple Bell and Otherworld Atlas. Both are very simple, we want to tap them to make everyone draw, though in the case of the Atlas, we have to put a counter on it first.

Now Only I Draw

As great as everyone drawing is, we also need to get more cards for ourselves to keep up the pressure on people. This is where some of my overall favorite cards come into play. Cards like Endless Atlas let us draw a card for 2 mana and tapping it if we have enough mountains (which is pretty easy in mono-red). Far better is Idol of Oblivion which we can tap to draw a card if we made a token this turn. With as many ways as we have to make devils, this is never an issue and is just a great way to draw without extra mana investment.

Finally, we have a card that is the most nutty card in the deck, and every time I have played it, it has been hilariously effective. Geth's Grimoire will let us draw a card whenever an opponent discards a card. This gets CRAZY! If we attack each opponent with a devil to trigger Zurzoth’s second line of text, we get to draw 3 extra cards! Even crazier is when we play a wheel effect! With 3 opponents discarding their entire hands so often, we can draw huge amounts of cards! We don’t even have to worry about accidentally drawing our whole deck since the grimoire says the word “may” so we can choose not to if our deck is starting to look anemic!

Devil Tokens

Devil tokens. These are the payoff for making everyone draw when it isn’t their turn. These are what we will use to win the game. People don’t think much of them since they are small 1/1 creatures, but they also tend to not block or kill them much since upon death I have them deal 1 damage to any target I want. A lot of times people know I will kill a valuable low toughness creature they don’t want to lose, so they just leave them alone. This is great because devils attacking will trigger Zurzoth’s second line of text and cause me and the people we attack to draw a card and discard a card at random. This further messes with people’s plans to respond as well can help make more devil’s in a pinch if we are lacking in other methods or to spread them across multiple turns.

Now that we have made these small tokens, now comes the challenge of how to win with them. While people won’t typically block them, they are just 1/1 and really not going to close out a game on their own. This is where the enabling cards come into play that allow us to get more value out of each devil.

DAMAGE!!!

We have a variety of ways to maximize our devils damage. The first and simplest way is to add to and multiply the damage they do when attacking or dying. This is accomplished with cards such as Furnace of Rath, Torbran, Thane of Red Fell, as well as a new favorite, Fiery Emancipation. These will increase the amount of damage each devil does, which can make each one a very real problem for people as they don’t want to be hit with them at that point, and they don’t want them to die either.

People don’t often get a choice if the devils die though. Through cards like Skullclamp, I can kill my own devils and get card advantage. We can also sacrifice devils to Goblin Bombardment to not only get the damage from the devil’s death triggers, but also from the Goblin Bombardment itself to double dip on damage.

We can also get damage in other ways when devils either are created or die. Cards like Purphoros, God of the Forge, Terror of the Peaks, Warstorm Surge, and Impact Tremors all will cause people to take damage whenever our devils hit the table causing each devil to be even more impactful. We also have ways to make the devils deal more damage on death with cards like Outpost Siege which we can also choose to give us impulsive card draw in a pinch instead, and a personal favorite card in this deck, Vicious Shadows. This card can do amazing amounts of damage when devils die because we are forcing card draw on people to make the very devils that are now exploding in their faces!

Messing with Plans

The final part of the deck revolves around manipulating the board, either to keep our own board safe, get rid of other peoples threats, or to just throw a wrench into the works to wreck peoples plans. To that end, we run cards like Chaos Warp to remove big problems, Deflecting Swat to redirect spells that would get rid of Zurzoth or other key parts of our board, Pyroblast to counter and destroy pesky blue cards, and Tibalt's Trickery to stop big problems as well as sow additional chaos!

Blasphemous Act can clear the board to start fresh or in some cases, it can be the nuclear button to make some crazy devil explosions! We can also put cards like Gorgon's Head on devils so that they have deathtouch. This way, the game will see them with deathtouch on death and will mean we can have our devil’s dying act as single target removal to much larger creatures.

Last, but certainly not least, it’s everyone's favorite card, Blood Moon!*(Side effects include table flipping, player scooping, loss of friends and family, as well as a stigma for being THAT guy) Many people absolutely HATE this card, but I have found that most people that feel that way are running way too few basic lands in their decks. It can also really level the playing field in some hilarious ways. There have been many games when one player in the pod starts dropping the OG dual lands, for their expensive 3+ color deck, and with one card we can make their thousand dollar card just like my penny basics. The look of regret and sad acceptance as they realize their expensive toys just blew up in their face is worth it every time!

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63% Casual

37% Competitive

Revision 58 See all

(3 days ago)

-1 Anger main
Top Ranked
Date added 2 years
Last updated 3 days
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

8 - 0 Mythic Rares

47 - 0 Rares

14 - 0 Uncommons

6 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.24
Tokens Devil 1/1 R, Eldrazi 10/10 C, Emblem Zariel, Archduke of Avernus, Goblin 1/1 R, Spirit 1/1 C
Folders Deck Inspiration, EDH Gauntlet, Commander, awesome decks i stole from oth, Reference, Ideas, fun decks, Deck Inspiration, Decks to try, MTG Commander Deck Ideas, See all 27
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