Disruption (1)

Recursion (1)

WinCon (1)

Sac outlet (1)

Land (1)

Removal (1)

Card advantage (1)

Hello! and welcome to the reason I don't have any friends, and the reason everyone I know hates Child of Alara

So I had come across this deck How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People.. for $99, and since I had all the cards for it already I decided built it and start running it in my playgroup. But the more I played it the more I found myself wanting to increase the power level of the deck, and so here we are. The deck primarily controls the board state with Child of Alara through sacrifice effects (exclusively at instant speed!), and then we try to ramp out all our gates so we can go for the Maze's End win condition. I have been playing this deck now for many years and over time I've gotten significantly more consistent at running it, and I have been tweaking it little by little here and there to keep it current with my playgroup, and make sure people know their permanents are not safe.
This is going to be a brief overview of one of the core philosophies I keep in mind when building any deck I play, or when helping other's build their decks. This is none other than the 8x8 Theory. I won't go too in depth here because there's not much to the idea and is already explained on the 8x8 blog, but if you're lazy like me it's simply this: pick 8 things you want your deck to do, like card draw, removal, ramp, and maybe sac outlets etc. Then choose 8 cards for each of your 8 categories (for those counting that's 64), and finally through in a good selection of 35 lands and BINGPOT! You now have a generally consistent deck with all the effects you want/need!

I personally start with the 8x8 when I start a deck from scratch because choosing 99 cards is kind of tough for my ADHD brain to focus on. So splitting it up really helps me, and if you really want to get into the math involved as to why this is good enough to take into account when building a deck you can use a Hypergeometric population calculator to see that if you start with 99 cards in a population (your deck), set your sample size (your starting hand) to 7, and if you have 8 successes (1 of your 8x8 categories) you have a 45.6% chance of having 1 or more of those cards in your opening hand.

I would like to wrap up this section by stating that I am not associated with the 8x8 theory and I am not a mathematician, and I use the 8x8 as a starting point. A set of guidlines, and not a set of rules. But these tools help me and I have even set custom categories in the decklist so you can see all that the deck tries to accomplish, and which cards I think fit that category. Some cards can do more than one thing, and that's great. You might have noticed I run light on removal in the 99, and that's because generally things just blow up from child dying all the time anyways. This deck relies heavily on being able to out-ramp your opponents to gain advantage while also progressing towards our win condition. And so with essentially 16 ramp spells in the deck your odds of starting with at least 1 in your opening hand is 72.1% (not bad).

As with most decks, you're gonna want some lands in your opening hand. But this is a 5 color deck, so almost always you're going to be looking for a source to green mana to cast a ramp spell, or perhaps enough mana to cast one of our colorless ramp choices like Sad Robot, Burnished Hart, or Expedition Map so we can start building up our colors to cast Child.

If our colors are looking fine, you're going to want to start looking for a sac outlet, and preferably one that is present on our lands as we can use it repeatedly. However, if you're getting afraid of the board state don't feel bad resetting the board state with a spell, and preferably with a draw spell to refill our hand. Most of our spells have sacrifice as an additional cost, which leaves our opponents no opportunity to respond to us sacrificing Child, and in turn tends to keep our spells rather cheap since normally giving up a creature for a spell is considered a downside. But for us all of our spells tend to also say "destroy all nonland permanents, they cannot be regenerated"

Once you feel stabilized you have 2 routes to winning the game that you can take:

1) If we can get 10 different gates out we can win with a Maze's End activation. This can be done very efficiently with Scapeshift. If you have 9 other lands in play you can just tap all your lands to fill your mana pool, sacrifice however many lands you need to get at least 9 gates (Maze's end can grab the 10th), and then spend 3 of your mana from your mana pool for the Maze's End activation.

2) Commander damage is one of my favorite ways to win, and we have 2 ways to boost Childs strength. We can get out Xenagos, God of Revels and swing twice at each opponent. Child is a 6/6 with trample for only 5 mana, and with Xenagos' beginning of combat trigger it gives Child haste and turns them into a 12/12. Then it is just a matter of swinging with Child. The other source costs a little bit of mana, but with a surplus of that you can use Basilisk Gate to really cause some damage. In the deck there are 12 gates, so by itself Basilisk Gate can make Child an 18/18 with trample. if you get Xenagos out at the same time you can hit a max p/t of 36/36. It's pretty sweet.

So now you know a little bit more about the deck and some of the card choices, but if you scroll through some of the comments you can find some more questions and answers from me about different things. And if you find you have a new question or recommendation please drop a comment and let's talk about it! I am always open to new ideas and increasing my Knowledge Pool.


Updates Add

Hello! I have updated the list slightly, and changed some cards around in the maybeboard. Always welcome to discuss card choices and things ???? This deck is still my child, and people still continue to hate it.

The big thing I did was replace some of the lands with some more lands that matter, and with those new lands with channel (they care about being in the hand) I have added life from the loam since it can be used to filter through my stuff quickly, recur those channel lands, and maybe have some fun! just trying out the 3 that I think are worth it in this list.

Also added 2 gates, baldur's and basilisk. Not only will that help us with maze's end but it will also help with getting some big mana should I need it, or some fixing

adjusted some ramp slightly. I still really want to run animist's awakening because it seems really strong in this deck but that X cost really only seems to give a payoff later in the game, and I really want those lands sooner than later. That's why Explore the Underdark is making an appearance. Still unsure about the undercity, not really concerned with initiative (you can control combat fairly well with this deck), but it looks like it could be good/fun/oppressive while also getting us closer to a maze victory

all in all, a good update i think! We're down to 10 basics now, and I don't think I can reasonably go any lower. I have considered for awhile doing some rework with the ramp package and go very simic with it through cards like Growth spiral, that depend on me having lands in hand. That would require a bunch of different ramp spells, and I have no idea if this list is really in support of that style? not really sure!

Anyways, child still rocks the boat!


Top Ranked
  • Achieved #25 position overall 4 years ago
  • Achieved #1 position in Commander / EDH 4 days ago
Date added 5 years
Last updated 4 days
Splash colors WR

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

12 - 0 Mythic Rares

38 - 0 Rares

17 - 0 Uncommons

21 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.00
Tokens Dungeon: Undercity, The Initiative, Zombie 2/2 B
Folders EDH (No friends), All color, Good EDH Decks, Interesting Commander Decks, Uncategorized, Cool Decks, EDH Decks Favorited, decks i like, Folder 1, Cool Decks, See all 13
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