A.K.A. "Stupid Idiot Bitch Baby Brain Blasts Himself To Summon Forgotten Horrors From The Depths Of Insanity"

Ayo, welcome to my pet project! This is a deck featuring targeting shenanigans, tap synergies, life loss, and piggybacking off of all of that, a good bit of graveyard play. Much effort has been put in to ensuring individual card quality is high, despite much of the list being focused on interactions between two or three pieces. The deck as a whole is not reliant on it's commander, Zur the Enchanter, though he is still immensely powerful when he sticks.

palz 4 life

Pictured above: Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor and Zur the Enchanter shaking on a dastardly, diabolical deal!! With their only kinship being an endless desire for power, what sort of awful things could they have in store? With their moral compasses long dismissed, no amount of sacrifice is too great, no monstrosity too volatile for summoning...

This is a list that's focused on a few things. Firstly, it is very heavy on the keyword "target". Targeting is what spearheads the absurd turns this deck can pull out -- with a card as unassuming as Spatial Binding, (Horobi, Death's Wail and Cowardice) become instant-speed, asymmetrical & repeatable boardwipes. You may have noticed a lack of the usual boardwipe staples like Farewell or Cyclonic Rift; simply put, the aforementioned combos are the boardwipes (along with the always hilarious Out of Time). There's also Kuro, Pitlord and his galpal Resolute Archangel. But how do you get those out? Well...

Self-mill! The second focus of the list, and arguably the more important one. You know about the deck label "breakfast", yeah? Well, historically, it's a type of deck centered around Nomads en-Kor and anything that likes to be spam targeted like Daru Spiritualist, generally resulting in an infinite or instant win. This deck is technically a breakfast list because one of it's strongest cards is Cephalid Illusionist. Remember how Spatial Binding can target anything for 1 life? Well, it's the primary breakfast enabler along-side Lightning Greaves. Milling as many cards as you like is pretty good when you're running a commander that can find Animate Dead! Mill most of your deck, attack with Zur the Enchanter, tutor whichever reanimation enchantment is left, get Sun Titan who gets another reanimation enchantment back, get Resolute Archangel or some other huge threat. This is essentially the core gameplan; create a massive, threatening boardstate that can infinitely recur pieces of itself; the dead, reviving the dead, on, and on, down the years... forever.

The third focus (and primary way of winning) is last: life loss, a bargain for power -- paid in blood! Spend life to tether fools with Spatial Binding, spend life to feed Doom Whisperer, life for knowledge with Vilis, Broker of Blood, life for destruction with Kuro, Pitlord... then cheat death with Resolute Archangel or Near-Death Experience. Life for power, power for life... anyways, Near-Death Experience, or NDE shorthanded, is usually how I win outside of combat damage. It is INCREDIBLY important to have protection against interaction when going for a NDE win. My preferred method is playing it with Teferi, Time Raveler, but Forbid on a Lightning Bolt will do just as well, since instant-speed burn spells aren't very common these days. Even with that layer of protection, it's best to wait until the beginning of the upkeep when NDE triggers to drain yourself to 1 life if you can. Once the stack clears, NDE will win the game.

So yeah! Spatial Binding is the primary cog in the weird machine that is this list. It is the backbone, the meat, the very foundation the deck was built upon. The list can work without it, but you'll have to work a bit harder; after all, the closest card to it is Unspeakable Symbol which costs 3x the life per activation.

And lastly -- what of the commander, the whacky wizard, the paragon of power, the bargaining bastard who won't stop reanimating treachous demons and forgotten emperors oh god please calm down Zur the Enchanter? Well, thematically, he is an old & probably stinky floating wizard with knowledge of forgotten spells, enchantments and Artifacts. In his endless quest for perfection, he has repurposed many of these things to have unexpected and devastating results when paired with his "allies". Functionally, he acts as a fill-in piece to many combos, with the primary targets being Animate Dead, Verity Circle, Attunement and Spatial Binding. He's not directly a part of any of the list's win-conditions, but rather there to aid in setting them up by fetching pieces like Spatial Binding and Attunement to get the ball rolling. Getting off a single swing is usually enough -- this is intentional as to avoid the usual (and warranted) hate coming his way from shutting the list out of playing entirely.

Here's a concise, non-exhaustive list of some of the interactions this list features. Many individual cards in this list increase exponentially in potency when paired with synergistic pieces, though there are so many little interactions that it's futile to try and list them all. So here's just the major ones that come up a lot... and some fun corner cases.

Here I'll explain my reasoning for why some cards which would make sense to include aren't present.

Warning: profanity and excessive bitching ahead

  • Second Chance // So this is probably the first card that comes to mind whenever I think of swapping stuff in/out. It makes complete sense to include since thematically it plays off of what the deck wants to do -- spending a controlled amount of life, 3cmc enchantments and recurring permanents over and over. Buuuuut tabling it always just felt kinda bad -- not in the sense that I couldn't get a turn with it, but that it paints a MASSIVE target on my head. A full turn cycle of people making you out to be a huge threat since you telegraphed an extra turn is an easy way to lose. Also the timing for it is pretty strict since while the deck does want to pay life, it wants to do it as a trade-off for some kind of advantage. The only reason to ever be dropping that low is for Near-Death Experience or to min/max value before resetting with Resolute Archangel. So yeah, on paper it should work, in theory it should work, but there's a lot more going on that stop it from being good, or really even playable. Anyways, with Repository Skaab existing and how good generic 5 mana extra turn spells are Second Chance just pales in comparison, even with how easily it goes infinite.

  • Necropotence // Few reasons on this one. Primary one is that discarding large threats to be further reanimated plays such a large role in this list, as the card selection it brings in comparison to mill is infinitely more important than just large sums of mill. Cards like Attunement play a massive role in keeping this list afloat, and Necropotence, despite being another way to set yourself to 1 life for Near-Death Experience, is just too good in all of the situations this deck doesn't want to be in. Also, people really hate seeing Zur the Enchanter and it's fun to subvert expectations of those expecting "necro" by tutoring Necromancy instead...

  • Mana Crypt // it's too good. very similar effect to a Pot of Greed in which the fella who draws it is just ahead without much effort. sol ring is enough and doesn't cost $100. additionally, the conscious decision to exclude most fast mana was made to help keep the deck's strength in check.

  • Thassa's Oracle (or labman/jace) // Oracle is incredible. With Narcomoeba and Dread Return it's easy to win even without Demonic Consultation. That said, it's extremely easy to win with her. That isn't the goal of the deck! I've been building this list to be bizarre yet synergistic, obtuse yet devastating -- a truly unorthodox deck that plays spells and summons creatures forgotten by time to awesome results. Spatial Binding and Cephalid Illusionist grant surgical precision over your graveyard, so why not take full advantage of it? The deck can play around graveyard hate by only milling so much at a time, play around burn through life reset shenanigans and outdraw even the most degenerate Simic decks! With Oracle in the deck, everything ends with Oracle, works towards Oracle, and is warped around Oracle -- a notion that invalidates going for any combo or boardstate that doesn't eventually lead into Oracle.

  • Fierce Guardianship and Deadly Rollick // Not building for cEDH, not including these.

  • Teferi's Protection // Zero synergy with the list outside of... stalling for Near-Death Experience, I suppose? Not the worst interaction, but I'd much rather have Forbid or another way to stop Farewell from exiling my graveyard, which Teferi's does not do.

  • Cyclonic Rift // I've been of the opinion for a long while now that this card should be banned. I don't want to rant about this since my rants always spiral off and ruin my mood, but the gist of it is that there aren't any other cards even remotely close to Cyclonic Rift. Nothing. 7 mana, instant speed asymmetrical board bounce. Difficult boardstate? Nothing to worry about since this shit ignores hexproof, shroud, indestructible, deathrattle effects and god knows what else -- without touching you whatsoever!! Heinous design that wasn't meant for commander and shouldn't be in commander. I could abuse it and probably have it as a wincon thanks to Repository Skaab, but, like... no. Fuck cyc rift.

  • Rhystic Study // Goodstuff, it draws stuff, woah! Nahh sorry, I don't like being an obnoxious little bitch who forgets half their triggers then asks 3 minutes later if they can still draw after finally closing reddit on their phone. I would be happy if it was banned -- not just because it's a braindead, zero input top tier staple, but because it gives the whole table the hiccups in a way. I'm gonna cast this.... find this... 30 seconds later, "oh, did you pay the 1 for that?" Shut up and stop playing obnoxious shit, and if you "apologize" to me again about forgetting your may triggers and still asking to draw I'm gonna unsleeve your damn cheeto covered rhystic and eat it before handing you its market value in cash. Stay on top of your shit or don't play that shit. Assholes.

  • Smothering Tithe // Same as above, but arguably worse for the game since drawing happens so much, and generally as a byproduct of other effects. Gets one guy insanely ahead while also just pissing everyone off with constant reminders or lack there-of. Fuck cards like these!

  • Kederekt Leviathan // This list ran the leviathan for a very long time. Over time, though, as this list has consistently been able to compete at higher power tables, the ability to repeatedly bounce the table became less and less useful. Lower CMC's and cards like Mana Crypt being acceptable mean that the bounce more often than not hurt me more than anyone else, since I'd frequently be bouncing other high CMC permanents of my own. That... ended up being really bad, actually; consider that my best options for discard right now are two creatures which have to tap and Attunement. It sucked lol! Also, much of the time... I just didn't need a board wipe. It's always better to try and play to get ahead than recover from behind, tbh, and this guy was a goddamn tempo-killing brick in the hand.

  • Angel of the Ruins // Just not enough impact, really. Seems ideal on paper, but usually hits the board proceeds to change very little.

  • Bazaar of Baghdad // I've playtested with this one a few times and it taking up a land drop is the main backbreaker. It messes with the deck's tempo and usually doesn't provide enough when activated to be worth that. It's also an inherent -2, and in those early stages of the game the deck doesn't have access to engines powerful enough to offset that. The deck only begins to snowball after a bit of setup and ~5 mana. Lack of goodstuff will do that to ya, but it does raise the ceiling for how much bullshit can be done.

  • Mother of Runes // She's good if you can get 2+ activations off, but tbh having to tap makes her a horrible draw anywhere outside of very niche situations. Benevolent Bodyguard tends to be much better and helps both Zur and large reanimation targets stick around so they can get the value they need to. Stave Off is also included, and lemme tell ya, being able to target anyone's creature is OP. It's unique for a protection effect to be able to target creatures other than your own like that and the instant you play against enchantments or any sort of combat trick list it's easy to see why.

More soon once I think of them..

Zur the Enchanter isn't liked by the average joe. Main reason for that being the stereotype that he's a stax or voltron commander with a lame gameplan. A commander as malleable and unique as Zur is molded around the players that play him, and I think that says more about the community than it says about Zur. After all, he gives you command zone access to somewhere around 1700 cards, including a myriad of old janky pieces that have come into existence in the last 20+ years. This was my reasoning after finding Spatial Binding; I wanted a commander that let me play it, and Zur the Enchanter was the best one to do it.

Zur doesn't force you to build around Necropotence, Vanishing, Diplomatic Immunity, Propaganda and copies -- that's entirely up to the discretion of the player. There is literally not a single rule in existence which says "you have to put X and Y into your deck". While it's a shame that that's what most folks tend to shoot for, a few lame builds shouldn't take away from his beautiful evergreen design. Any past, present, or future enchantments are up for consideration with this build, all thanks to Zur, and that makes the future all that much more exciting for Zur lists.

I'll stand by Zur the Enchanter as one of the most fun and flexible commanders 'til the day I die. Fun players will make fun decks, obnoxious players will make obnoxious decks.

Fuckin' love this stinky, floating wizard.

Thanks again to u/Syndelfeniks for producing the featured alters of Zur the Enchanter and Spatial Binding!


Updates Add

Lots of changes. Too many to list here. List's feeling good though.

I wanted to write here about Sun Titan's new pal, Harnessed Snubhorn. Big ol' dinosaur. I was looking for a way outside of Emeria Shepherd and hard-casting to get out Near-Death Experience and I think this guy is a fantastic solution. Not so linear as so that's all they can do, but they can also bring back Lotus Bloom, Gilded Lotus, Chromatic Orrery for ramp, Animate Dead and co. for reanimation, and so by extension every creature in the deck. Having to connect is a minor roadblock that all of the tapping the deck does should be able to overcome. Ofc they go infinite with Repository Skaab but half the reanimation cards in the deck do by this point so lol

Anyways, just happy to see mr snubs. Definitely gonna get their halo foil since it + the alt printing's border looks great in white.


38% Casual

62% Competitive

Revision 71 See all

(3 months ago)

+1 Scroll of Isildur main
-1 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage main
Top Ranked
Date added 3 years
Last updated 2 months
Key combos

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

8 - 0 Mythic Rares

49 - 0 Rares

26 - 0 Uncommons

9 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.37
Tokens Emblem Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, Morph 2/2 C
Folders Mill Deck, Interesting decks, interesting, Found on Tapped Out, fun decks, Cool Decks that Inspire Me, EDH, Uncategorized, builds
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