Disclaimer: The descriptions below are out of date because I'm lazy, but the deck list itself is the current version.

"I don't know why people say a double-edged sword is bad. It's a sword. With two edges."

-Kamahl, pit fighter

Hello and welcome to my deck tech for my first and favorite commander: Mogis, God of Slaughter! Feel free to share your thoughts and +1 if you liked it!

I see a lot of Mogis deck lists out there that primarily use creature cards to lay down the hurt, which is cool and can be very effective. However, I like to focus more on funny enchantments and dirty sorceries, since it's still an effective strategy and hilarious to play. Not much makes me giggle more than watching my opponents become increasingly frustrated as their life total burns away while I just sit back and enjoy the show.

Now let's get started. Below are drop-downs explaining my thought process when playing, explanations for cards and when to use them, and some other useful tips.

Things to Take Note Of

One thing worth mentioning is that this deck is not top-tier. It is more of a casual, fun deck (at least for you). Can it win games? Absolutely. This is still a competitive deck and does especially well in group pods. Just don't expect to win any major tournaments with it. It simply isn't consistent enough for high-level play, and Rakdos has a harder time protecting itself than, say, blue. That being said, this deck is still nothing to sneeze at, and is a lot of fun to play. Also, be sure to keep note of when Mogis is a creature. It's useful to have a 7/5 indestructible for attacking and blocking, but making him a creature makes him easier to remove via sacrifice and exile. Whenever Mogis is a creature, I rarely attack with him anyway. Yes, commander damage wins and you would only have to hit someone 3 times, but I have found it much more useful as a blocker for fatties that would otherwise be an issue.

Primary Strategy

Like most commanders, your main focus is to get Mogis on the field as soon as you can so you can start pinging your opponents early on. Fortunately, that isn't too difficult since Mogis only costs 4 mana. You can usually get him down turn 3, or even turn 2 if you get Sol Ring in your opening hand. After he's on the field, your next objective is to lay down the pain. What kind? It depends on the game, and I'll go into it more when talking about individual cards. Usually though, you want to play enchantments that burn everyone to ashes and sorceries that make them wonder why they agreed to play with you in the first place.

The Mindset

Looking through a lot of these cards may make you wonder why they're even there since they hurt you too - cards like Sire Of Insanity, Manabarbs, Spellshock, and Sulfuric Vortex may seem counterproductive. Here's the thing though: with Mogis, you really don't care. As long as you don't go overboard with self-harm, if you're hurting everyone else more than yourself, go for it. And that's a part of why this deck is so fun - like, "Yeah, this hurts me too, but you're still dead." This is very much a passive-aggressive deck, so play dirty stuff and try to refrain from focusing anyone unless they are an immediate threat.


  • Mogis is cheap and easy to get out quickly
  • You hurt everybody; no need to worry about who to hit and make enemies with
  • You get to use fun cards that'll be sure to make you chuckle as you draw your cards
  • God creatures are more difficult to get rid of than other commanders
  • The deck itself is hilarious to play
  • There's lots of room for flavor, and it's really fun to experiment with
  • The deck isn't too difficult to pick up and play with
  • Rakdos ha access to some of the best tutors and board wipes in the game, as I will explain later
  • Players unfamiliar with Mogis are not likely to focus you as long as you don't target them. Two damage every turn doesn't seem that strong... yet


  • It's too slow to be highly competitive
  • It doesn't have access to a lot of protection or reliable countermagic
  • Going against mill decks make you very sad
  • You might lose some of your friends for playing it
Everyone knows that a good opening hand can be what determines who wins. Aside from obvious cards like lands and mana rocks (go for 3 or 4), there are some cards that are good to have from the beginning. You typically don't want to have more than a couple to begin with, but here are some that are great to start out with.


It should be no surprise that having a tutor right off the bat is a good thing, and Vampiric Tutor and Demonic Tutor are excellent to start off with. I'll get more into tutors later.


Terminate, Hero's Downfall, Chaos Warp, and even Dreadbore are nice to have in case your opponents dish out anything scary early on.

Card Draw

Phyrexian Arena is pretty much a black staple since it's cheap and gets you cards. While more expensive, Erebos, God of the Dead still does the job. Just keep in mind that you want to get Mogis out first. If I have a tutor early, I often grab Phyrexian Arena for early card advantage.

Other Creatures

Harsh Mentor - New to the scene and a nice addition here. Only costing 2 mana, he's nice and cheap and makes your opponents think twice before trying anything funny.

Vial Smasher the Fierce - Easy to get out yet still powerful. Dishing out damage from big sorceries to a random player is awesome and should not be underestimated.


Sulfuric Vortex - Loads of fun to get out early-game, and usually the first sign to your opponents that you give zero f*cks. Again, yes it hurts you too, but you're going to be hurting them a lot more. Plus this card tends to be targeted quickly, so it can be used as a Counterspell bait while you have something much scarier in your hand. However, this should not be the main strategy for this card.

Spellshock - Much like Sulfuric Vortex, this is a card that hurts everyone, including yourself. Don't hesitate to get this down early since everyone likes casting spells (usually), and once you get Mogis down you don't really have to play a lot of spells if you don't want to. Let it do the work for you.

Price of Glory - Pretty simple concept: are you sure you want to play that instant? Didn't think so.

Lethal Vapors - A powerful card and one of my personal favorites, this shuts down creature decks that don't utilize their graveyards. And since Mogis is the only creature you really care about and this doesn't affect him, this can be pivotal to play early-on. As a bonus, you opponents are likely to be the ones to destroy it with its ability instead of you, costing them a turn. This can be worth tutoring for.

Bloodchief Ascension - This card works very well with this deck and is even part of a fun combo. Costing only 1 black mana, it's as cheap as it is powerful. However, do not play this immediately. This should be played alongside Mogis if possible as it usually gets enough quest counters in 1 rotation. Also be aware that this card is a high-priority target as it can get out of hand very quickly. I like to tutor for this for the combo that I'll mention later.

I have 13 Swamps and 7 Mountains because this deck has many more black spells than red, but feel free to adjust to accommodate any changes you wish to make. As for the other lands, they're pretty standard considering it's a two-color deck. I'll cover budget options later. This deck also incorporates Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, Cabal Coffers and Crypt Ghast for lots of black mana ramp.

Mana rocks are obvious, but I personally like Jet Medallion and Ruby Medallion to make casting big stuff easier. Several people aren't huge fans of the Medallion cards, but it's up to you.

Black has the luxury of having some of the best tutors in the business, so it's crucial to include them in your deck. Think of it as having a copy of any card from your deck in your hand. Cards that I typically tutor for will have a note saying so as I go over them.

Demonic Tutor and Vampiric Tutor are great for obvious reasons. Just remember to use Vampiric Tutor on the end step before your turn so you have a better idea of what to get and so you're less susceptible to mill.

Diabolic Tutor is a nice budget option for Demonic Tutor, but it costs twice as much mana. I still like to run it for the sake of having another tutor. Dark Petition fills a similar role, with the added bonus of some black mana given that you have some stuff in your graveyard. My reason for not including it in my deck is because Diabolic Tutor costs less and I don't want to have to rely on the state of my graveyard.

Increasing Ambition is another great choice due to it's flashback ability. It isn't cheap, but you do get to have your pick of two cards, making getting a combo together simple.

14 Board wipes here. Oh yeah. Blowing everything up is fun, and considering Mogis is indestructible this isn't much of an issue. Be wary of enchantment destruction as it's pretty detrimental here.

Obliterate and Jokulhaups - Blow up everything, 'nuff said. They don't destroy enchantments, so we're good on that front. Just be sure that you have some board state first. Then nuke everyone and remain the only player with a smile on their face. One thing to note is that, while they have the same effect, Obliterate isn't counterable for just 2 extra mana. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

Vandalblast - Whether someone has a bothersome artifact or you're tired of looking at everyone's Sol Ring, Vandalblast remains a red staple and for good reason.

Blasphemous Act - Speaking of red staples, this card is essentially a way to destroy all creatures for 1 red mana. Most creatures without buffs can't take 13 damage to the face and you probably won't use this unless there are a bunch of creatures on the field anyway, so the mana cost is rarely an issue.

Chain Reaction - Similarly good for large opposing board states, Chain Reaction is great and only gets better when there's more stuff on the board.

Archfiend of Depravity - While technically not a board wipe, this does a great job at keeping your opponent's board state from getting too out of hand.

Pox - One of my personal favorites, Pox is a cheap way to lay down the pain. Clean up the board and make everyone lose life in the process. Delicious.

Massacre Wurm - Nice token deck, dude. Also pairs nicely with Sudden Spoiling.

Death Cloud - Yet another funny and effective way to turn a game around. What's great is that you can do as much or as little damage to everyone as you like, provided that you have the mana for it.

Killing Wave - Do you REALLY need that creature? Let's see...

Deadly Tempest - Another painful board wipe that might not even affect you due to Mogis. Highly recommended.

Decree of Pain - Kill everything, they can't come back, and draw more stuff. Good deal. A little expensive at 8 mana, but the cycling effect can come in pretty clutch if needed.

Decree of Annihilation - This is one hell of a board wipe, with a cycling cost that is still useful. The fact that it exiles and not just destroys makes it especially powerful. Just remember that this affects Mogis too.

Damnation - Last, and certainly not least, is the infamous Damnation. Kill everything without them coming back for 4 mana. Everyone knows about it for a reason and should absolutely be a part of this deck.

Most of the artifacts here are typical mana rocks, but there are a few extras.

Vedalken Orrery - Simply a way to cast everything that isn't a land at any time. Considering this deck doesn't have a lot of instants and relies heavily on sorceries and enchantments, this comes in handy.

Mindcrank - Both a part of a combo in this deck and a good way to mill out your opponents, Mindcrank does very well in any deck with consistent damage. I may tutor for this if I feel like it would be useful.

Winter Orb - While not a win con, this is still a part of a combo stated later on. Also, everyone will hate your guts. But can you blame them? I will warn not to play this too early. Have a board state first and then make sure no one can do anything.

Sire Of Insanity - One of my favorite cards because of how much people hate it. No one gets to keep their hand. Do you care that you don't have cards? No. Just be sure to have some burn on the table first and then feed on everyone's hatred toward you. I occasionally tutor for this if my opponents are drawing a lot with Consecrated Sphinx or something, but not too often.

Kaervek the Merciless - A very powerful card for obvious reasons. Your opponents will surely think twice before playing anything big. He costs a lot of mana, but it's usually worth it.

Embermaw Hellion - I mostly use this to buff Mogis' damage, but it works for other stuff too. The fact that it has trample can be pretty handy too.

Heartless Hidetsugu - Dude, just read it. Read it and tell me it isn't hilarious. But seriously, this guy can speed up a game pretty quickly and it will likely put a target on your head.

Ob Nixilis, Unshackled - A great counter for tutors, and a 4/4 flyer with trample and a way to buff itself is strong all on its own.

Here we go. Make them cry. Make them suffer. NO MERCY!!!

Dictate of the Twin Gods, Furnace of Rath and Gratuitous Violence - Double damage each for up to 8x damage on everything. Keep in mind that this is damage and not loss of life, and it can be pretty risky considering someone could swing out at you for lethal. It's also handy that Dictate of the Twin Gods has flash, so play it right before someone is about to get nailed.

Smoke - A cheap and easy way to slow down creature decks.

Rain of Gore - Are you tired of white decks gaining so much life? Look no further! For just two mana you can really piss someone off. If you're running life gain in your deck, run Tainted Remedy so you don't hurt yourself too. I only tutor for these if an opponent's life gain is evident, and it's also funny to see the reaction of players with an Oloro, Ageless Ascetic deck.

Tainted AEther and Burning Sands - Costs a decent chunk of mana, but can be really annoying for your opponents.

Painful Quandary - The name says it all. Players like casting spells, but hate discarding cards and losing life. Pick your poison. This also pairs nicely with Sire Of Insanity.

Underworld Dreams - Players also like drawing cards. Let's change their minds. I like to tutor for this vs blue decks.

War's Toll - Put this down alongside Smoke and Winter Orb and proceed to lose all of your friends. I typically play Winter Orb last using Sol Ring to save some mana.

Grip of Chaos - This card is another favorite of mine. Having all single-target spells and abilities have random targets is great and causes a lot of wasted Counterspells too.

Manabarbs - Most players like casting spells. We can change that with this gem. Try to save this for later in the game when everyone has a lot of mana, little life, and big spells they want to play.

Phyresis - Whenever Mogis is a creature, I like to slap this on him to make things go quicker. I tutor for this pretty often if I have a nice board state and Mogis is already a creature.

Havoc Festival - One of my favorite cards in all of MtG. Pick up the pace of any game with just this spell. It's also a part of one of my favorite combos ever. I tutor for this a lot.

Wound Reflection - The other half of said combo, this card is great. It also does really well on it's own since it only affects your opponents. I tutor for this often if I have the mana for it and some other pain on the table.

There isn't a whole lot here. Single target removal, Chaos Warp, and Vampiric Tutor have already been mentioned and are pretty self-explanatory. Sudden Spoiling can really save your ass when someone is going to full swing at you, and split-second makes sure they don't have an answer. Rakdos Charm is another great add and not a bad idea to put in your deck if you wish.
Most of the sorceries were already mentioned in the board wipes section, but there are a couple others that I like to have.

Dreadbore - Some nice target removal that unfortunately is only sorcery speed. Still, it's cheap and gets the job done.

Chandra, Torch of Defiance - A planeswalker made famous because she's just that strong. I almost always +1 for exile to pump damage unless there's something I really want to play. I also exile before I hard cast anything just in case. Be warned that she has a big target on her head because of her ult, so don't be surprised if you get focused after she hits the field. I tutor for her a lot.

Liliana Vess - I almost exclusively use her for her Vampiric Tutor effect. I find much more use out of her this way.

Win Conditions

Havoc Festival + Wound Reflection - My personal favorite combo in this deck. Can you win within a turn? Bummer. Also keep in mind that Wound Reflection only affects your opponents, so if a full rotation manages to happen it still won't kill you. And while this doesn't happen very often due to the high total mana cost, if you can pull it off I recommend floating all of your mana, play Obliterate first so no one has an answer, then play Havoc Festival and Wound Reflection so there is no possibility that your opponents can have an answer.

Bloodchief Ascension + Mindcrank - Cheaper in mana cost, but somewhat less reliable than the previous one because it requires at least 3 turns to take effect. The basic idea is this: have Bloodchief Ascension out for a full rotation as it is likely to get enough quest counters to activate due to Mogis damage, then play Mindcrank on your turn - Mogis (or another source, he's just the main example) deals 2 damage to a player, Mindcrank trigger to mill 2 cards, Bloodchief Ascension trigger so they loose 4 life and you gain 4 life, then they mill 4 etc and this happens infinitely, essentially sapping each opponent for all of their remaining life. Remember that Mindcrank triggers for ANY loss of life from your opponents and Bloodchief Ascension triggers for cards put into your opponents graveyard from ANYWHERE. If your opponents don't have removal, you basically win from there.

While this list is how I personally like to run my deck, there are still a number of cards that are still very effective here. Add them however you like to better fit your playstyle. These are in no particular order.

Blood Moon - More situational depending on your opponents colors, so don't run this if you're against a lot of red already. There's plenty of basic swamps, so this shouldn't detriment you too much.

Polluted Bonds - This card is great, especially vs heavy ramp like in green. Just be sure to swap Rain of Gore for Tainted Remedy so you don't screw yourself over.

Exquisite Blood - This is a very, very strong card in black. Any time your opponents lose life from ANYWHERE, you gain life. Like with Polluted Bonds, use Tainted Remedy so you don't hurt yourself. If you really want, you can also run Sanguine Bond for the combo, but I don't find it as reliable as other options. Plus Exquisite Blood is already very powerful by itself.

Leyline of the Void - Great vs graveyard decks. If you run this, be sure to take out Bloodchief Ascension since it would make it useless. I will note that Bloodchief Ascension is usually the stronger choice in this deck, but it's up to you.

Grave Betrayal - Speaking of graveyards, this is a great way to take advantage of those who are keen on sacrificing non-token creatures for Mogis. This lets you get all of the creatures they sac onto the field under your control. This can be devastating after a board wipe, but that usually costs a ton of mana. Your best bet for a win condition is to play this when the battlefield is flooded with creatures, then play Blasphemous Act for just 1 mana. As you might expect, Bloodchief Ascension works very well with this, but Leyline of the Void doesn't.

Rakdos Charm - Great vs graveyard decks or decks with a bunch of creatures. This should absolutely be at least considered when building your deck.

Temporal Extortion - An extra turn spell? Sure! This card is pure flavor, and it's also usually a win-win since an opponent can pay half of their life to counter it and adds some neat politics to the game. Be sure that you don't have too many things to hurt yourself on the board like Havoc Festival since it'll probably hurt more than help.

Master of Cruelties - A powerful creature without a doubt. Being able to bring someone down to 1 health with Mogis on the field can easily kill someone. I have him in my deck often, but I usually focus more on enchantments. If you do run this, be sure to also run Rogue's Passage to ensure the hit.

Gray Merchant of Asphodel - Another powerful creature, and considering our black devotion, playing it can be devastating.

Stranglehold - I usually don't run this unless the meta is centered around taking extra turns, but making opponents unable to search their libraries is still very useful. Especially with the presence of tutors and fetch lands.

Zo-Zu the Punisher - Yet another way to make your foes hate playing lands. Running this with Polluted Bonds is particularly effective, especially vs green.

Rune-Scarred Demon A little expensive for mana, but getting a bonus 6/6 flyer with your Demonic Tutor is pretty sweet.

Bottomless Pit and Oppression - Classic discard strategy from black. This can be incredibly frustrating for your opponents to deal with. Just be sure you don't have anything you're too fond of in your hand before playing them.

Cut / Ribbons - New to the scene, this card can be quite effective. The first sorcery isn't anything special, but the aftermath ability can finish off anyone who's pretty low on life.

Emrakul, the Promised End - Why not add some flavor with a huge Eldrazi? I wouldn't recommend running this if you don't know how your opponent's decks work, but it can easily remove someone from the game if you can take full advantage of it.

Spiteful Visions - A very popular card in Mogis, this can make drawing cards a hassle, especially vs blue. I personally don't run it because I don't like giving my opponents card draw if I can't punish them enough for it. This runs much better in a Nekusar, the Mindrazer deck as it focuses around hurting players by drawing cards.

Fate Unraveler - Another way to make players hate drawing cards. This can be run in tandem with Underworld Dreams, but enchantments aren't as easy to get rid of as creatures (comparatively), so I only run Underworld Dreams in my deck.

Liliana of the Dark Realms - She can be useful if you're low on mana and need to grab some lands. She's only really useful if you get her ult off, but that isn't likely to happen. Still, I have found use for her in my deck before and it isn't a bad consideration.

Palace Siege - Passive life loss for your opponents goes very well with this deck. However, since it is only limited to your upkeep, I am hesitant to run it myself.

Tree of Perdition - A funny way to make someone drop their life total in an instant. If you want more silliness, run this with Triskaidekaphobia.

Rakdos, Lord of Riots - If making this deck more creature-centered, then this is your guy. A popular commander on his own and with good reason.

Crypt Ghast - Great if you need some mana ramp, but I haven't had much trouble playing without it.

Sin Prodder - Since our deck is full of big bombs, this guy adds some extra damage to the mix against people who don't want you to play them. Can you really blame them?

In Garruk's Wake - First off, yes, it's 9 mana. Which is why I don't main board it. But it doesn't affect you and it also does well vs planeswalker decks. It can seriously come in handy.

Exsanguinate - It goes without saying that this has the potential to win the game for you. No doubt that this should cross your mind when building your deck.

Toxic Deluge - Another excellent board wipe. Just be aware that this can easily backfire too.

Curse of the Cabal - Yet another card sure to make you giggle. If you can't pay the mana cost or want to add some politics, suspend it instead.

Ankh of Mishra - Has the same effect as Zo-Zu the Punisher but in artifact form. Running this with him and Polluted Bonds can be very strong indeed.

Smokestack - This is just plain obnoxious to deal with. Forcing everyone to sacrifice their stuff is great, just don't go too crazy and screw yourself over.

While Mogis shines more in group pods, he can also do well 1v1. If you plan on doing this, be sure to at least take out Grip of Chaos since it is much less useful and Blood Moon if you're going against red.

Sorin Markov - The infamous black planeswalker that can immediately bring down an opponent's life to just 10. You can still easily run him in pods, but lowering someone to just 1/4 of their staring life total can easily ensure you win a 1v1.

Rakdos's Return - While still useful in pods, I find this much more useful 1v1. Make X = 7 to make them discard their hand and lose a chunk of life, or kill them outright. A great card no matter how you look at it.

Curse of Bloodletting - Another way to double damage, but just for a single player. It can make things awkward in pods since you don't really want to focus anyone, but an auto-include for 1v1 matches.

Trespasser's Curse - This would be much more powerful if it didn't just affect 1 player, but it only costs 2 mana and is very strong vs creature and token decks.

Cruel Reality - It's Mogis, but an enchantment! It even makes them lose more than double the life right off the bat. There are two things to note: this enchants only 1 player so it isn't that great in pods, and it makes them lose life instead of dealing damage. That means that Dictate of the Twin Gods, Furnace of Rath and Curse of Bloodletting do not affect how much this hurts. It also costs a decent chunk of mana, but it gives your foes the option to sacrifice planeswalkers as well.

If some of these cards are out of your price range, fear not! You can still play this deck and win with some cheaper alternatives.

When it comes to mana, it's no secret that lands can take up the majority of the cost to build the deck. For fetch lands, Terramorphic Expanse and Evolving Wilds can still do nicely. For mana fixing, Rakdos Carnarium and Shadowblood Ridge are budget options for Graven Cairns. For dual lands, Rakdos Guildgate, Bloodfell Caves, Akoum Refuge, and Cinder Barrens are adequate replacements.

Aside from lands, most of the cost comes from tutors. Diabolic Tutor and Dark Petition can take the place of Demonic Tutor if you'd prefer.

If you have too much money, no need to fret! There are some ways to blow your cash here.

Badlands - Having an original dual land for your colors is a great way to boost your mana for a nice chunk of change.

The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale - If you really don't know what to do with your money, try using this. It may not give you any mana, but it will frustrate your opponents by making them choose between keeping their precious creatures or playing spells. Best of all, you don't have to worry about paying the upkeep costs as Mogis is indestructible and he's the only creature we really care about anyway. Be sure to cut Blood Moon if you want to run this as it will become useless.

If you feel like you need more tutors, you can throw in Cruel Tutor, Grim Tutor, and/or Imperial Seal


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