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Sneaky Purphy B. [Primer I guess]

Commander / EDH* Dragons God Haste Mono-Red Primer


Welcome to my take on Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded. For new readers, have a look at the following list of what this deck has to offer. Veterans, just skip this part.

Reasons to play Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded

  • Versatile and unique gameplay due to its activated ability to instantly cheat red or artifact creatures into play while giving all your creatures haste
  • Very resilient commander which gets hardly removed
  • You can play the greatest and beefiest creatures red and brown (artifact) has to offer. A treat for your inner Timmy.
  • Artifact and graveyard shenanigans
  • You like explosive turns and going out with a bang while politicking prior turns to properly set up
  • You like attacking with several copies of hasty (insert your favorite fatty here) (mine is Blightsteel Colossus )

Reasons not to play this deck:

  • You dislike monored and all the half true clichés about that (you know, mono red has bad card advantage, can only really deal with artifacts, some of its strong points - dealing direct damage, hasty aggro cards - are underwhelming against 120 life points, etc...)
  • You dislike staring at an almost empty board only to see your beefy creatures usually die at end of turn
  • You don't like combat based decks
  • You like to have more than one path to victory
  • You don't like waiting and playing your limited cards at the right time, instead you want to live the mono red spirit and go all in every turn

Before going into detail about the game plan and card discussions you should check out the philosophy of this deck.

Being a mono red deck and having mostly limited resources, which most of the time get thrown at our opponents and then straight to the graveyard (when you cannot prevent the sacrifice effect), leads to a certain playstyle in order to compete. Once Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded (Purphy B.) hits the battlefield, it is crucial to properly read the politic dynamics of the table so that this deck does not become the archenemy of the table (again, monored means having less card advantage at hand compared to our opposing friends and will thus lead to a hard time dealing with the whole table). This may seem obvious (which deck wants to become archenemy anyway). However, Purphy B. is especially prone to becoming the most feared/hated deck since you can deal a huge amount of damage out of nowhere which leads to grudges against you. This is why this deck should be played more politically than you might expect and that plays best by looking weak/non threatening to circumvent the hate of the opponents only to then explosively sling the right creatures in the right situations to create an insane amount of damage.

It is not difficult to be seen as the underdog since our board is usually pretty empty and not directly threatening (we might have fatties to cheat in or we might not), so do not play upfront, do not overplay your hand by throwing creatures aggressively as we have only so much ressources. Even with all the wheel effects, it is nearly impossible to play against the whole table. The abilitiy of Purphy B. not needing to cast the creatures and having the thread of activation (for blocking) naturally lead to the following best case scenario: Our opponents mainly use their resources/attacks directed against each other and not at you. Opposing counterspells are less effective as we generally use the mana and cards in the activation of Purphy B. This alone leads to more counterspells of our opponents targeted at spells of our opponents. The same is mainly true for any creature removal spells as our creatures die anyway most of the time.

Against combo decks you should play differently. Combo decks are our weakness because this deck lacks (like any other monored deck) proper interaction when it comes to the comboing turn (except for the staple Deflecting Swat ). I play pretty aggressively against any combodeck because the more turns they get the more likely they win.

The overall gameplan is to cheat creatures into play and to have cards which circumvent the sacrifice clause directly or indirectly by using the graveyard all while preventing of becoming the archenemy of the table (see Philosophy). In the early turns play cheap cards like Goblin Welder or Goblin Engineer and ramp with manarocks to play Purphy B. one turn earlier. From then on, do not play hyper-aggressively unless you can take out one opponent, which you should always go for as this deck becomes stronger the less opponents you have (less opponents means more concentrated fatty activations per opponent and less interaction).

Instead, set up your board with utility cards (e.g. Neheb, the Eternal , Terror of the Peaks , Fires of Invention , Mirror March , Flameshadow Conjuring ) or recursion engines (e.g. Sundial of the Infinite , Erratic Portal , Mimic Vat ). While doing so, it might be necessary to leave up 3 mana so that you can potentially activate Purphy B. on your opponents turn to block very aggressive decks. If the thread of activation works it won't mean you just wasted which you could have spent on your turn. You can and should in those situations cheat a creature into play at end of turn just before your turn starts (your creature get sacrificed at the beginning of next end step which would be your EoT). By doing so, you have untapped mana and a creature to attack. This play pattern (activating Purphy B. right before your turn starts) is usually better compared to the activation on your own turn as it allows a combined attack of your creatures instead of having one creature attack per turn.

Always take this play pattern into account (cheating creatures at EoT just before your turn starts) when you evaluate high cmc cards for this deck like Fiery Emancipation . Do not fall into the trap of thinking "I need to have 6 mana for Fiery Emancipation and also 6 mana so that I have two creatures cheated into play to get the trippled damage on the same turn?. Unplayable in this deck. Dropping Fiery Emancipation first and hope to untap with that is wishful thinking!" Cheat your creatures at EoT just before your turn, then drop fiery emancipation and go ham :)

If you have any of the wheel effects in hand (e.g. Magus of the Wheel , Wheel of Fate , Wheel of Fortune , Wheel of Misfortune ) you usually should empty your hand and deal damage with your fatties. If you cannot take a player out, talk to the table who is more threatening and deliver the beef to that player. This makes it more unlikely that the whole table will hate you as you side with at least one player (again, remember to not become the archenemy). Siding with the table to go for one player is always desirable and this should happen more often than you might think if you position yourself succesfully as the underdog (see philosophy).

Essentially, this deck profits the longer the game goes: As more damage is distributed to your opponents (partially by you but preferentially by your opponents) the more efficient the fatties become. In those moments, Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded delivers. Choose the right battles as the damage of this deck can be very explosive and try to navigate around the hate of your opponents. As the saying goes: "Play your cards right"

The inclusion of cards is obviously meta dependant. My meta is rather creature heavy and contains all kind of decks ranging from gruul stompy and elf ball beatdown to grouphug or hatebears to blue control and combo solitaire style decks.
When talking about ramp it is important to distinguish two different approaches for Purphy B. There is the turboramp approach which utilizes ritual effects like Seething Song or Generator Servant to super ramp Purphy B. as early as turn 3. And then there is the more traditional appraoch of playing with mana rocks to get Purphy B. on turn 4. I strongly prefer the latter one for the following reasons:

Getting Purphy B. one turn earlier on turn 3 compared to the manarock approach is in my experience not worth the inclusion of one time effect ritual cards. I do not see a strong advantage of having Purphy B. on turn 3 and starting to throw fatties one turn earlier since this deck cannot play upfront and beat the whole table from the start. Ok, you might not want to activate Purphy B on turn 4. What else can you do on turn 4 now that Purphy B. is already on the board? You can now play on turn 4 Fires of Invention so you have both Purphy B. and Fires on the board on turn 4. With a manarock on turn 2 you also end up with Fires (turn 3) and Purphy B. on turn 4. However, you end up with a better boardstate (one additional manarock compared to the ritual now in the grave) as manarocks continuously create mana for later turns (e.g. more mana after refilling the hand with all the wheel effects) and are usable with cards like Goblin Welder , Daretti, Scrap Savant , Trading Post , Goblin Engineer . The rocks are sources for value, something which monored decks desperateley need. Rituals do not provide any of that and they do not really accelerate your board presence in a meaningful way in commander. Furthermore, you might intimidate your opponents by turboramping and you either end up with your commander removed (imagine your opponent have Mystic Repeal , Swan Song , Song of the Dryads and the likes and nothing else to play on turn 2-3, you most likely get that removal) or you end up getting unnecessary attention of the whole table.

Irencrag Feat especially is a trap card (looks good on paper, plays bad though), even though many decks have included this card (40% on EDHrec). This card allows you to play Purphy B. on turn 4, wasting the remaining two and wasting a card slot since a manarock would accomplish the same. Or you play Irencrag Feat with Purphy B. on the board. But then again, you most likely use the 7 red mana for cheating out creatures. This, however, is not advisable (that is being proactive and cheating stuff on your own turn). See game plan, it is usually always better to cheat stuff right before your turn starts and with Irencrag Feat being a sorcery, this play is just not possible. Granted, you could just hardcast a creature with the 7 red mana. This would feel bad though: You just wasted a card slot for turboramping a creature into play in a format, in which a single creature has a hard time dealing with the whole table (you play against 120 life and three decks with interaction). I tried Irencrag Feat and this card just did not deliver for the reasons mentioned here. But I am more than open to have my mind changed :)

With that out of the way, let's talk first about non-artifact and artifact ramp inclusions:

Dockside Extortionist Easy include, can be bounced back with Erratic Portal to create more value, which we monored brothers desperetaly need. The treasure token can also be used with the likes of Goblin Welder , Daretti, Scrap Savant , Trading Post , Goblin Engineer

Dragon's Hoard is another sweet example of getting small amounts of extra value of your cards. It also allows a turn 4 Purphy B. and might act as a one sided Temple Bell for future turns when you don't need that extra mana. Even with only 9 dragons in my list the gold token still triggers from time to time especially when dragon token or copies of dragons enter the battlefield ( Mimic Vat , Flameshadow Conjuring and the likes).

Neheb, the Eternal Cheating him into play just before your turn followed up by one or two additional Purphy B. activations during your turn will net you a ton of mana. This mana is usually spend to bring out the big enchantments like Mirror March or Fiery Emancipation or to dump your hand in general by also hardcasting your remaining fatties. This will skyrocket your position on the table, so do that with care. Having a wheel effect available after dumping your hand obviously helps. Costing only 5 mana, Neheb can be hardcasted if the situation allows for it.

Jeska's Will is just insane. It combines ramp in the early turns where your opponents usually have at ~ 5 cards in hands while the impulse draw is excellent in the lategame. With Purphoros almost always on the board you get both modes and thus the mana to cast the exiled cards. Unlike ritual cards, this card has an additional mode and the ritual effect has a way higher ceiling.

Sol Ring is just Sol Ring, Mind Stone replaces itself in the lategame, Arcane Signet and Coldsteel Heart give access to colored mana which proved to be important (opponent had once Contamination which almost prevented me from ever using Purphy B. again)

Wayfarer's Bauble A slow ramppiece for sure but it still allows for a turn 4 Purphy B when played on turn 1 or 2. It also synergizes nicely with the two landfall cards in this deck: Valakut Exploration and Moraug, Fury of Akoum . Recurring the bauble gives even more landfall triggers. Another sweet example of trying to squeeze every bit of value of this monored shell.

Cursed Mirror will always be a relevant card and just copying the best creature on the board is awesome for 3 mana. Purphy B. costing 5 cmc makes the normal use of Cursed Mirror still relevant as it allows us to play Purphy B. on turn 4. Currently testing, I expect much :)

Hedron Archive and Lavabrink Floodgates allow for a turn 4 Purphy B. if you have only two lands and a mana rock by casting either of both on turn 3. Apart from that scenario both cards obviously do not ramp Purphy B. when played on curve. However, I do think both cards are worthy inclusions for different reasons. While Hedron Archive provides desperately needed value in the lategame by netting 2 cards, Lavabrink Floodgates is just super fun. This might suprise you, but we do play this game for its fun. Hear me out: I tested the card and I was pleasantly suprised. It is a nice political tool which might drastically change the way your opponents play. Any deck that runs creatures is hesitant to further develop the board because they cannot be sure if the other 3 people will put a counter on it or not. Granted, your friends can and will talk about it and they might find a way to never let it blow up (which is also fine, it still nets you ). However, if the board gets wiped by some other card you will lose the floodgates very fast. Nevertheless, I really do like this card as it is so much fun dropping this and seeing how your opponents play around or with it. And your board almost always will be unaffected by the 6 damage since our board is very creature light. Give it a chance if you feel this inclusion might fit into your meta. Do note, that you can tap it in response to its own trigger for mana if there are 2 counter on it and you want to blow it up. Let the 6 damage resolve and then use the in any way you like during your upkeep. For example cheating a creature into play with just one additional mana.

Liquimetal Torque Rock with upside, synergizes well with Goblin Engineer , Goblin Welder , Vandalblast , Dockside Extortionist , Hellkite Tyrant , Daretti, Scrap Savant .

Noteworthy Exclusions

Mana Vault on turn 1 allows for a turn 3 Blightsteel Colossus kill. After using the vault once it can be used it as fodder for the several artifact matter effects I mentioned above twice. Paying to untap it feels rarely good as it also usually hinders your instant activations of Purphy B. during opponents turns. It is essentially a ritual like effect with upside though.

Jeweled Lotus Although being an artifact can provide value, it is still a ritual like card which looks even worse than Mana Vault . Both cards can turboramp Purphy B. the earliest on turn 2. However, Mana Vault can be used as artifcat fodder and can untap, while Lotus cannot. If you like swinging 11 infect damage on turn 3, go grab this card! Apart from that, I am really interested in your opinions on Jeweled Lotus , maybe I am missing something.

Mana Crypt I probably would play that card if I had one.

Thought Vessel , Fire Diamond and the likes are mostly interchangable. Please let me know if I missed a rock, which provides additional value.

Worn Powerstone Regarding the ramp pieces, I found Worn Powerstone to be a nice inclusion but I had to cut this card for Lavabrink Floodgates .

Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge I saw some lists with this card as a pay off for your creatures that die anyway. Getting a treasure token is certainly nice and you even get those treasure tokens for opponents creatures hitting the graveyard. However, it does not reliably ramp in the early turns / the setup cost is too high to get a treasure token in turn 3/4 so that you can ramp into Purphy B which is why I would dismiss this card for ramp purposes. So, is this card worth an inclusion just for those treasure tokens in the mid to lategame? Maybe. Those tokens are artifacts and can thus be used for all the graveyard-artifact shenanigans. Since this deck plays a lot of wheel cards, having extra treasure tokens would certainly help to play your fresh hand. Gadrak does not work with boardwipes though and this list includes several of them which is why I am ultimately not running him.

Before going into detail I want to mention that my creature count is relatively low compared to other lists. This is due to some lategame cards and all the wheel effects in my list, which usually refill my hand to make sure that I always have a creature to throw around. Also, notice that this deck aims to wins in the lategame due to its philosophy, needing less creatures as my opponents usually already lost life. This allows me to play more utility cards. Just give it a try if you are sceptical =)

Ancient Stone Idol Usually a top performer, 12 trample damage is huge especially when combined with cards like Moraug, Fury of Akoum , Mirror March , Flameshadow Conjuring . He is also tutorable with Goblin Engineer if you have graveyard recursion ( Trading Post , Goblin Welder , Daretti, Scrap Savant , Feldon of the Third Path , Buried Ruin ) or directly into your hand with Hoarding Dragon . Leaving behind a 6/12 trample artifact body proved to be very relevant and is just the cherry on the top as it fuels its own recursion with Goblin Welder and Daretti while also blocking almost anything on the ground or beating with 6 trample damage. You can even hardcast him if for example an elfball deck swings to you or even at your opponents. Love this card. So good.

Avatar of Slaughter Currently testing together with Terror of Mount Velus to make Homura, Human Ascendant   more worthwile while also being a sound inclusion on its own since giving doublestrike is a real game changer for your explosive turns. The avatar lacks any kind of evasion which limits its usage though. I can also see him potentially being used as a goading tool during your opponents turns which, however, seems like a complete waste most of the time because you will lose the avatar on their endstep. Still, you should keep that interaction in mind.

Blightsteel Colossus Top finisher, I once had a game with 9 additional copies with Mirror March killing the whole table. Good times. Also one of the best targets for Mirage Mirror , Mirrorpool and Flameshadow Conjuring for when you need 22 infect trample damage.

Bloodfire Colossus is a boardwipe on a stick for just 4 mana. The 6 damage on each player also provides much needed range in the lategame, it scales nicely with copies and graveyard recursion. It always performs good (12 damage in total to one player) while also impacting the board.

Combustible Gearhulk Although giving your opponent a choice usually leads to the worst outcome for you (never give an opponent a choice like Browbeat ) they normally do not have a choice at all. Just choose the player with the lowest life and they will most likely let you draw three cards, which is incredibly good in monored. Bonus points for being an artifact (you know, recursion and stuff).

Crater Hellion Purely included because of my creature heavy meta. Swap it for other fatties if your meta calls for it.

Drakuseth, Maw of Flames Being legendary is a drawback because you cannot really copy this big boy. However, it represents 11 damage to the face and 6 damage to other faces or creatures or in any way you can imagine. The versatility and the multi target effect make this card a more than a worthwile inclusion.

Etali, Primal Storm Legendary as well but copying this guy would be really unfair (it would be so much fun, though). Etali always performs and is responsible for the most game changing swings in any commander round. Great design, I enjoy this card very much.

Hellkite Tyrant Stealing all the artifacts from your opponent is just good. The last mode will rarely be relevant, maybe if you are looping Dockside Extortionist .

Homura, Human Ascendant   Currently testing. Not really a fatty but cheating this guy in will leave you with a pretty strong enchantment, giving all your creatures flying, +2/+2 and the shivan breath ability. I would'nt consider this card in the "fatty" slot since dealing 4 damage without any immediate effects is pretty bad in terms of what the fatties in this deck can usually do. The question you need to ask yourself is if your fatties need the evasion and/or the buff. If yes, this card might be a worthy inclusion in your list, it synergizes well with all the different token generator fatties like Myr Battlesphere , Wurmcoil Engine or Phyrexian Triniform or doublestrike fatties because of the shivan breath ability and the extra +2 power ( Dragon Tyrant , Terror of Mount Velus , Avatar of Slaughter )

Ilharg, the Raze-Boar This guy should obviously always come down with one additional fatty, which then gets bounced back to your hand at end of combat. Having this "free" cheating effect provides incredible amount of damage and value as you can use the same fatty an additional time (for example at EoT of your right opponent if you happen to have 6 mana). Erratic Portal synergizes nicely with Ilharg. You can bounce him back post-combat ending up with Ilharg and the other fatty in your hand again so that you have the same attack available on next turn. In that case, you never run out of gas. Having 2 red pips () will also most likely turn Purphy B. into a creature if the fatty cheated in with Ilharg also has 2 red pips (or only 1 red pip and you also have another permanent with one red pip on the board). This can be advantageous as Purphy B. can also deal damage but it renders your commander also vulnerable towards Path to Exile and the likes. So be aware of that.

Meteor Golem Artifact and can blow up every non-land permanent ? Sign me in. This guy allows this mono red deck to handle things red usually cannot handle (especially pesky enchantments). Obviously works great with copies and the likes.

Moraug, Fury of Akoum This seems like a suboptimal inclusion because "we are not playing green, which is a prerequisite for landfall to be good bla bla". That is not true at all. I tested Moraug and he delivers. Even if you have only one (fetch-)land to play, this extra combat steps can lead to an explosive turn out of nowhere. You can and should always set him up properly. If you do not really need the mana, wait for your fetchland activations for the turn in which you drop Moraug. This is why I included almost all fetchlands. Myriad Landscape is obviously the best land for that purpose. You might think that playing slower cards like Evolving Wild (EW) and Terramorphic Expanse (TE) just for more landfall trigger seems bad, however it fits perfectly with the gameplan of being the underdog, of being non-threatening when you happen to not curve out because you happen to drew that evolving wild. This is not cEDH here, so not curving out for one turn is acceptable if the inclusion of EW/TE allows for an explosive turn with Moraug. Usually two landfall trigger (that is 3 combat steps) are enough to take 1-2 player out and it's easily doable. Just have one fetchland on the board and drop your land for the turn and go ham or in case of EW/TE hold it and play and activate it once Moraug is on the battlefield (with a fetchland already on the battlefield this play would net 3!! extra combat steps, four in total). If you are more budget just play Naya Panorama , Grixis Panorama , Jund Panorama instead of the expensive fetchlands. There is an argument to be made to play the panaroma cards instead of EW/TE as the Panorama lands can still tap for without loss of tempo. However, their fetching requires which might prevent one more activation of Purphy B. in the deciding, Moraug dropping turn (you want to have as much fatties on the board as possible to really deliver during those extra combat steps). Inclusion of both EW/TE and the panoramas is possible but I decided against it as the mountain count is already quite low. Important Note: I also play Valakut Exploration (see below for details on that card) which also profits from the inclusion of fetchlands.

Myr Battlesphere It performs just great. Leaves Myr tokens for all sort of artifact shenanigans behind and can deal a huge amount of damage. Scales terrifyingly good with copies of itself or turn for turn recursion (more and more Myrs are joining your forces)

Phyrexian Triniform Currently testing. It sadly lacks any kind of evasion and the encore is a rather useless text for this deck. But in long, grindy games, I was actually able to pull the encore off and once you do, you are a in good position. Leaving behind 3 3/3 artifact tokens seems underwhelming at first but the tokens do some real work. First of all, they can be used for artifacts shenanigans (this is also true for the Triniform itself!). They also protect your life as they represent 9 blocking power distributed over 3 creatures. Furthermore, there will be games in which you hardcast the Triniform which then acts as a pseudo "boardwipe ensurance". You will end up with the tokens and 3 3/3 tokens on an empty board in the lategame, where the life totals are generally low, and apply some serious pressure. Hidden synergies with Terror of the Peaks on the board: Dropping the Triniform will lead to 18 damage just from its ETB and LTB trigger. Those token also go very well with Homura, Human Ascendant  .

Scourge of the Throne Like Moraug, this card usually finishes the game due to the extra combat step. Note that you get more combat steps when you attack with copies of itself as each copy triggers seperately.

Terror of Mount Velus Currently testing together with Avatar of Slaughter to make Homura, Human Ascendant   more worthwile while also being a sound inclusion on its own since giving doublestrike is a real game changer for your explosive turns. Being a dragon has its merits compared to Avatar of Slaughter : Terror of Mount Velus has evasion and it counts for Dragon's Hoard .

Terror of the Peaks I was not able to properly see this card in action yet. My plan is to either hardcast or to cheat him in right before my turn starts to get the most value out of it. His triggered ability scales also nicely with copies and recursion or with token generators like Myr Battlesphere , Utvara Hellkite , Wurmcoil Engine and Ancient Stone Idol .

Triplicate Titan currently testing but this card will probably never leave the deck. Strictly better than Phyrexian Triniform except for the very late game in which the encore ability of the triniform might become relevant.

Utvara Hellkite If this goes unanswered the chances of winning the game are very high. The scaling is insane (especially with extra combat steps as the generated tokens also trigger) and it triggers itself.

Wurmcoil Engine Just pure value while also delivering a decent amount of beef. The lifegain helps you reaching the lategame. Works excellent with Goblin Welder and co.

Noteworthy Exclusions

There are too many to list and discuss them all here (and I haven't played many of them, so I cannot really give my insights on them, only my thoughts). Hopefully the comment section will be all about alternative fatties and their performances ;)

Worldgorger Dragon and Bearer of the Heaven Combo: For those who see the combo for the first time, it is all about cheating Bearer of the Heaven at opponents turn just before your turn (not at their EoT! Bearer needs to die during their turn so that the board gets wiped at your endstep. Then on your endstep, you activate Purphy B. to cheat in Worldgorger Dragon in response to the delayed trigger of the Bearer. The dragon enters the battlefield exiling all your stuff. Then the Bearer trigger resolves and everything is destroyed including your Worldgorger Dragon triggering its leaving the battlefield effect. You get all your stuff back while your opponents are left with nothing. If your opponents can destroy the dragon before the bearer trigger resolves you get your stuff back which then also gets destroyed by the bearer. So do it with caution. I decided against that combo as both combopieces don't accomplish much on their own. Although, Worldgorger Dragon can be cheated in in response to cards like Jokulhaups or Apocalypse ruining the day of your fellow Jhoira of the Ghitu player. Bearer of the Heaven needs more cards to work on its own. Cards like Darksteel Ingot , Skyclave Relic and Soul of New Phyrexia can be added.

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker Could be a nice inclusion to have another copying effect in your deck. If you slot that card, you might also slot Zealous Conscripts for the infamous combo. The conscript is on its own a decent card to cheat in. Stealing any permanent for one turn might come in handy (huge creatures or planeswalker). However, playing Kiki-Jiki just for copying stuff is too vulnerable towards removal compared to enchantment and artifact based copy effects ( Flameshadow Conjuring , Mirage Mirror ). It also usually creates a lot of hate/attention after dropping it. I am unsure if it is worth it.

Inferno Titan Honestly, I do think that Inferno Titan has reached its peak long time ago. However, he still delivers beef with 12 damage total (without pumping) while 6 of the damage can be distributed freely. But the lack of evasion kind of sucks (unlike Drakuseth, Maw of Flames ). He was always a solid performer but I just got tired of him so I replaced him.

Feldon of the Third Path A real workhouse. I used to play him as the commander before changing the deck to Purphy B. And one thing was always bugging me: Feldon needs to have haste to have an immediate impact on the board. Dropping him and hoping that you can untap with him was rarely working. In the 99 Feldon gets haste from Purphy B and thus can immediatly do his work. The copies he makes are also artifacts which can be used for further shenanigans. He creates so much value of your gloriously died creatures that I usually win the game if he goes unanswered.

Goblin Engineer Not every list has this card included which is wrong in my humble opinion. Tutoring any artifact to put into the graveyard is just good in combination with Feldon of the Third Path , Trading Post , Goblin Welder or Daretti, Scrap Savant . Granted, there aren't many worthwhile targets for his own recursion ability, the best one is surely Mirage Mirror which is usually the card I am tutoring for. The mirror is just bonkers. Apart from that, worthy targets are Sundial of the Infinite , Mind Stone (there are enough artifact tokens generated in this list that I sometimes end up looping the Mind Stone to dig deeper) and Wayfarer's Bauble (setting up landfall). Do not forget that Purphy B. gives haste, so that dropping this guy in the later turns provides immediate value. It is actually a nice play pattern: If you are lacking recursion effects just drop him with Purphy B. on the board and get that Sundial of the Infinite for just and a ramppiece or something similar to sacrifice.

Goblin Welder The O.G. artifact recurring card. It gets back all your juicy artifact in exchance for one of your spare artifact tokens or for ramp pieces or even lands ( Darksteel Citadel , Great Furnace ). Recurring Hedron Archive over several turns won me a round so look out for less obvious targets. Also, consider that you can exchange opponents artifacts on the board with one of their artifacts in the graveyard! A nice way of getting rid of pesky artifacts like Lightning Greaves or Sword of the Animist . I usually don't drop him unless I can immediately create some value with him (the hasty part of Purphy B. helps here) as he otherwise might die in a boardwipe or something similar. • Buried Ruin For the cost of having a non- producing land we get one additional recurring effect for artifacts. Nice.

Endless Sands Same reasoning as for Buried Ruin . You can circumvent the seemingly extra needed setup costs of and this land ( for its own activation and for Purphy B.) if you cheat in the fatty right before your turn starts. On the brightside, Endless Sands can recur multiple fatties in one activation with no timing restriction directly onto the battlefield.

Daretti, Scrap Savant provides so much value. He filters your draw and recurs the artifact based fatties. Protecting him though is a bit troublesome as our board is usually creatureless, so do not expect many activations of him. More often than not you "just" play him for his minus ability which is still great for . Dropping him in the lategame helps protecting him with the threat of activation of Purphy B. Playing Daretti after a boardwipe is obviously great. Having Daretti and Goblin Welder on the board is just so much fun and reminds of the good ol' days with Daretti as the commander :)

Erratic Portal is a little bit slow in comparison to Sundial of the Infinite . However, it has some hidden synergies, for example with Ilharg (see above) and it circumvents the graveyard based recursion with Feldon and the likes which are susceptible towards graveyard exile. You can also technically tax your opponent by which happened to be essential in some games. Unfortunetaly, there are no worthy fatties with an LTB-trigger which would get triggered by bouncing them back to our hand. The only one is Sundering Titan which is banned, sadly. The titan would be such a nice fit. Recurrable, hits at max only one of our mountains while wrecking havoc on our opponents side :D

Mimic Vat is just good although a bit costy. We can't really use some of the dying trigger as the token gets exiled. Note, that you can imprint creatures of your opponents as well. Tutorable with Goblin Engineer .

Sundial of the Infinite is not really a recursion tool but it helps keeping our fatties alive by just ending our turn in response to the sacrifice trigger at end of our turn. It has also hidden uses. It onces saved me indefinitely against the upkeep trigger of Sulfuring Vortex by ending my turn in response to the upkeep trigger. With the ETB effect of Inferno Titan I killed the Torbran player on the opponents turn. Note that your cheated fatties will die on the next end step (that is your left opponent's endstep) if you for some reason decide to end the turn with cheated creatures on the board before your endstep. This might be reasonable when an opponent casts Force of Despair during your beginning of combat after you cheated in several fatties. The Force of Despair gets exiled, you don't get an attack and your turn ends. However, you do have blockers during the turn of your left opponent since your creatures will get sacrificed on his end step. My point is: Look out for those niche, wierd interactions. Bonus points for also being able to negate the end of turn trigger of Valakut Exploration to keep those cards in exile until the end of your next turn.

Trading Post A slow card for sure but it is so damn versatile and provides always value no matter the board and game state. It nets you life, creates chump blocker, returns artifact to your hand and lets you draw a card. Returning artifact fatties is the best mode for sure, you will often sacrifice a creature which was brought into play with Purphy B. as it would die anyway.

Noteworthy Exclusions

Conjurer's Closet Probably works fine but I never tested it as I only own one copy which is slotted in my Derevi-Blink-Deck. It provides additional value though by enabling ETB-trigger which Sundial of the Infinite does not.

Cauldron of Souls I do not own this card, it probably works essentialy the same as Conjurer's Closet . I think it also represents a nice board wipe insurance if you get to the point where you do not need to activate it to save your creatures (e.g. you are hardcasting your creatures or have already Sundial of the Infinite ). Otherwise it might be a nice political tool for saving opponents creatures. I may have convinced myself, I should test this card.

Lifeline received an errata. Check the oracle text of this card as this effect works for every player. I tried it and was not convinced as it gives my opponents the chance to create even more value.

Nim Deathmantle I tried that card and it performed ok. is, however, costly. Like with Endless Sands , activating Purphy B. on your right opponents EoT distributes the costs. There is combo potential with token generating ETB-effects like on Myr Battlesphere if you also include Ashnod's Altar (which might be reasonable on its own to safe your creatures from instant exile effects and the likes). You sac one Myr and then the Battlesphere, netting to your mana pool. The Deathmantle triggers and you pay those to return the Battlesphere on the battlefield netting you 3 Myr token. You end up with infinite hasty Myr tokens. Just equipping to give a creature +2/+2 and menace once won me a game as I equipped Blightsteel Colossus . If you include that card don't sleep on the equipping-for-combat part ;)

Fitting with my rather low creature count I aim to include many of the wheel effects to always have access to new fatties while also disrupting the plans of those pesky control/combo decks when they need to discard their hand. In general, I feel that this deck almost always profits the most of any wheel effect since mono red deck struggle with card advantage and drawing cards. Most of the time I have not much cards left in my hand when a wheel card is cast. This compensates for some of the drawbacks those different wheel cards bring with them.

Dragon Mage The only drawback is that this card needs to connect to have a wheel effect. As a dragon it also fuels Dragon's Hoard , the are also nice regarding the devotion count of Purphy B.

Magus of the Wheel Slow for sure but I like the fact that I can activate him at the end of turn just before my turn starts. This way, I am the first to really use the fresh new hand with full mana to its fullest potential.

Knollspine Dragon I was never really convinced of that card's inclusion as it won't draw you new cards on its own. You either need to have a second creature you can attack with and then drop this dragon after combat (which can be awkward getting a new hand after combat) or you drop him on any opponents turn for when they beat eachother in the face. I am currently testing him as he still provides needed carddraw in monored. Being a 7/5 flying dragon is also reasonable and he ups the count for Dragon's Hoard .

Ruin Grinder currently under testing. On first glance, this dude seems good, especially because of its versatility with mountain cycling. And it's an artifact. Having an optional wheel though is kind of a bummer. Forcing a new hand for the opponents is always better. Having the wheel effect as a die-trigger can be troublesome, though. It is not that unlikely, that you need a new hand and that you also have the mana to hardcast Ruin Grinder but hardcasting him won't trigger the wheel. Also, in the rare case that you really need a new hand on your own turn, you can only profit partially from the wheel the turn you play Ruin Grinder, because you would get the new hand earliest at your endstep. My point is: it is hard to wheel before you start your own turn to maximize the impact of your new hand. The only way to do so with Ruin Grinder is to cheat this card into play in the second main of your right opponent so that it will die on their endstep. But then you miss out the damage and you actually played an instant, optional wheel for 2R, which seems.... still good? considering all the other aspects of the card. Definitely needs testing.

Wheel of Fate Its effect is obviously predictable but like with Magus of the Wheel I really appreciate to get a new hand with all my mana available. I also like the fact that you can nicely plan your future plays while knowing that in exact X turns your hand gets wheeled.

Wheel of Fortune Solid performer. Probably the best of all the Wheels. Not budget friendly though.

Wheel of Misfortune A new inclusion from Commander Legends. At first glance, this card is confusing, so let me break it down for you. There are 3 different outcomes possible. You chose the highest number: You wheel your hand and take damage = chosen number. You chose the lowest number: You don't wheel and take no damage. You chose a number which is neither the highest nor the lowest (that is a number in between): You wheel and take no damage. I like funny cards like this. It is also a nice political tool since the players can essentially decide if they want to wheel or not. By chosing 0 they always have the lowest number and thus do not need to wheel. Our deck wants to wheel obviously, so what is a safe number to chose here? I do think it is +/- 4. Sometimes, someone choses a higher number as they also desperately need a new hand and then you don't take damage. But don't feel bad. Red decks are happy to get a new hand, even if it comes with a cost of 4 life. Great addition. Extra funny with Fiery Emancipation .

Noteworthy Exclusions Sandstone Oracle Not a wheel effect but it usually refills our hand very reliable. Bonus points for being an artifact, allowing multiple ETB during the later turns with graveyard shenanigans.

Reforge the Soul is the clunkiest of them all. Casting it for is really expensive. Without top-of-the-library-manipulation the miracle is indeed a miracle which happens very rarely.

Runehorn Hellkite Just providing a wheel effect for only from the graveyard is a tough selling point. I want my creatures to be more impactful. Granted, you can use its ability just before your turn begins.

Memory Jar as a "temporary" wheel effect is certainly interesting. It essentially allows only me to properly use the new hand as I would activate the Memory Jar at opponents end of turn before my turn starts. I get a new hand, cheat all the fatties into play while my opponents can only really use the instants from their new hand if they have the mana for it. Ending the turn brings back the old hands. Seems good. Has anyone have any experience with it?

Copying your best creatures helps to deliver the most damage and to get the most out of every single activation of Purphy B.

Flameshadow Conjuring Ideally you want to play this card before dropping Purphy B. on the board. It is always a good card to have on the board as it essentially doubles your damage output and value for a single red mana almost unconditionally (non-token clause)

Mirrorpool Entering the battlefield tappend and only providing is a tough sale. The last ability of this lands compensates for that. You get a token of any creature you control (even tokens from cards like Mimic Vat ) permanently. It is one time effect though and very costly. But the cost for its inclusion in the deck is very low being a land. The first mode might come in handy for when you need to copy Deflecting Swat , Chaos Warp or Jeska's Will . Depending on the handsize of your opponents, copying Jeska's Will can net you a huge amount of mana to cast those juicy 6 extra cards.

Mirage Mirror is so versatile. It copies your fatties for just . Note that you need to play the mirror a turn before you want to copy one of your creatures cheated in with Purphy B. since the mirror will otherweise have summoning sickness once it becomes a creature. Most often it just becomes the best card on the board or the best card for your specific situation: I once activated it during my upkeep to copy Sylvan Library since I needed to refill my hand. It is usally my first target to tutor for with Goblin Engineer

Noteworthy Exclusions

Minion Reflector Essentialy the same like Flameshadow Conjuring . It only costs more both in its casting and activation costs. I don't own a copy, I probably would play the card otherwise since having redundancy on crucial deck elements is always good. Do note, that the token creature gets sacrificied at end of turn, triggering dying trigger effects of cards like Wurmcoil Engine , Triplicate Titan . This is not the case for the copies of Flameshadow Conjuring which get exiled. This is an argument worth considering when deciding which of both cards you should run.

Flamerush Rider works as creature version that copies attacking creatures. Seems very clunky on the first sight. You either get a one time copy effect by cheating him out with Purphy B. or you use its dash ability so that it returns to your hand, however it costs pricy .

God-Pharaoh's Gift Being an artifact has its upsides making it easier to circumvent the hefty casting costs of by cheating this card onto the battlefield. It needs creatures in the graveyard (which is not a problem in this deck), however, turning them to 4/4 creatures might not be desirable. There are creatures creating value with ETB or attack triggers which are unaffected by their stats, so that would work. But if you mainly deal damage with huge hitters like Blightsteel Colossus or Ancient Stone Idol then God-Pharao's Gift is not a card for you. It also exiles the creatures in your graveyard, disrupting any shenanigans with Goblin Welder , Daretti, Scrap Savant and the likes.

Heat Shimmer and similar cards should not end in your list. Having only a one time effect is just bad.

Molten Echoes If you predominantly play a certain creature type, like dragons, then this card is a card for you! It is a better version than Flameshadow Conjuring as copying this way doesn't require mana.

Mirror March I used to run this card as it created so many memorable situations (I once got 9 succesful trigger to attack with 10 Blightsteel Colossus ) and this is what EDH should be about, right? Playing otherwise unplayable cards to see them peak-performing. However, I needed to cut that card at some point, because my meta just naturally got better and better and spending one whole turn to play Mirror March which is not guaranteed to do anything was not a justifiable option anymore. You should ask yourself the question if and one cardslot from the 99 for a rolldice on a copy but with an infinitely high ceiling of getting multiple copies is worth the inclusion.

Tilonalli's Skinshifter looks interesting. Its low mana cost allows it to be played before Purphy B. so that it is ready to copy once the first fatty joins the battlefield. Being a creature however makes it vulnerable and thus unreliable compared to the enchantment or artifact based copy cards (at least in my list, I play more sweeper than usual). But I can see this card being a worthwhile budget inclusion, however, copying creatures with ETB-effects will be a "feels bad" moment. Someone should test that card though :D

There aren't many tutor cards to chose from in red though, so this list will be short.

Goblin Engineer I talked about him in the "Recursion" category.

Hoarding Dragon is a dragon for Dragon's Hoard and gets us any artifact from the deck while also dealing evasive 4 damage. Good. It doesn't work unfortunately with Erratic Portal or Ilharg, the Raze-Boar

Gamble Gets any card in the deck for the cost of having one card getting randomly discarded after tutoring. Best played in the early turns or after a wheel effect to increase the chance of not discarding the card you tutored for. It may be a tough decision what to tutor for when you cast Gamble in the early turns as you cannot really predict how the future turns will pan out. That's why tutoring for copying cards or other utility cards is my usual way to go as they provide value no matter what. Or just grab Blightsteel Colossus and smash someones face with it (optimally at turn 5 with Purphy B played on turn 4 as there is a chance that an opponent won't have a blocker by that turn). Removing potential blocker with a board wipe is obviously effective as well (e.g. Blasphemous Act ). So if you have both a board wipe and Gamble in your hand, you can strongly consider tutoring for Blighty Steel.

Noteworthy Exclusions

Inventors' Fair The cost of playing this card is not high being a land. I need to track my artifact count in future games to see if the requirement of having 3 artifact can be reliably fulfilled. Myr Battlesphere , Ancient Stone Idol , Wurmcoil Engine , Dockside Extortionist certainly help.

Zirilan of the Claw and Sarkhan's Triumph are nice inclusions if you play more dragons than I do. Zirilan looks clunky though.

Here I talk about interacting cards and remaining cards which don't fit in any of the other categories.

Abrade and Lightning Bolt I recently added those two spells to have more early game interaction in my creature heavy meta. Abrade's second mode is also very strong. Both of these cards can be easily exchanged if your meta doesn't require it.

Deflecting Swat Very strong performer. Almost always for free and it can lead to huge blow outs (e.g. Counterspell war with a huge stack, Changing a few targets to ALL available targets of an opposing Command the Dreadhorde etc..). Mostly this card is used to protect your explosive turns against targeted interaction or counterspells though.

Chaos Warp Monored Staple, next.

Tibalt's Trickery Monored Staple, Polymorphing/Chaos Warping for the stack is just wonderful. You should use this unconditional counterspell only against truly high impacting cards (opponent flips Craterhoof Behemoth after you countered their Guardian Project feels very bad) . The downside is, however, negligible when you counter their gamewinning spell as almost every card they can possibly hit will be worse. It actually will mostly likely not matter what they flip as long as you prevent them from winning on the spot so that you can swing for lethal on your next turn. You can even hit your own spells, which might be your last out in some games since this deck is packed with heavy hitters. The milling part can also be benificial for you when you have Feldon of the Third Path or any other artifact-graveyard shenanigan card on the board. Do not dismiss this line of play.

Blood Moon Auto-include in every monored deck. Punishes greedy manabases and stops monoblack decks from generating a ton of mana with Cabal Coffers and the likes. Do note that your fetchlands lose their fetch ability which makes Moraug, Fury of Akoum and Valakut Exploration less effective when you drop the moon.

Blasphemous Act and Hour of Devastation I needed more boardwipes for my rather creature heavy meta. I chose Hour of Devastation as more and more decks are running Flawless Maneuver and Heroic Intervention . It also sometimes kills a Planeswalker or two. Performed very well.

Fiery Emancipation Lategame card that usually wins the game if it goes unanswered. Just cheat your fatties at EoT of your right opponent and play this enchantment on your turn and go ham. It is far from an auto include and surely interchangable. But it graps the spirit of monored so perfectly.

Sneak Attack Redundancy helps in cases where Purphy B. gets handled even though he is quite resilient. Needing only is also way better than . Don't forget that unlike Purphy B. Sneak Attack gives haste only to creatures that were put into play with its effect.

Valakut Exploration I included many fetchlands to makes this card work even better (for more details on that, see my comment on Moraug, Fury of Akoum . The most often counterargument against this card I heard was: "You cannot even play lands from the top" If you can wait one turn with your activation of your freshly played fetchland, you will fetch for a land on the subsequent turn so that you can even play a revealed land from the top. You rarely curve out with this deck, so it happens quite often that I do not need to fetch right away allowing me the play pattern I just described. Even without fetchlands this card provides desperately needed value in monored. It also synergizes nicely with Fires of Invention as you have one more card to play (optimally for free) while spending the mana for Purphy B. Furthermore, the cards do not stay in exile like with the usual impulse draws but rather end up in the graveyard while also pinging your opponents. Granted, the ping is negligible (not with Fiery Emancipation though, that was a funny game), however with all the graveyard shenanigans we have continiuing access to those cards! It is card advantage either by casting the cards or by using them when they are in the graveyard. You can copy it with Mirage Mirror to double the cards you are seeing. With only one landfall trigger, this does not sound that good but with two trigger you dig 4! cards deep. With Sundial of the Infinite you can leave the cards in exile for one whole turn cycle artifically creating a second hand you can play cards with. Don't sleep on that one just because we are not playing green.

Miren, the Moaning Well Provides additional value by sacrificing the creatures that are about to die anyway. Can be used to sacrifice an opponents creature after gaining control of it with Song-Mad Treachery  , the mana requirements are pretty high though, so this scenario will probably only happen in the very lategame.

War Room Additional card draw on a land which costs only 1 life and . Bonders' Enclave works similar to War Room but I found that the requirements for the activation can usually only be fulfilled when I activated Purphy B. at least once. Most of the time there was no mana left to draw a card with Bonders' Enclave so I swapped it out for War Room which provides unconditional card draw.

Stripmine and Wasteland Being a monocolored deck makes the inclusion of both cards less punishing. There are usually always targets on the board ( Gaea's Cradle , Cabal Coffers , Cabal Stronghold , Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx etc...)

Skullclamp Equipping your cheated creatures to draw more gas once they hit the graveyard. Together with Myr Battlesphere insanely good. Skullclamp always performs, not only because it nets you 2!! cards but also because of its low setup cost.

• Modal Double Faced Cards (MDFC's) Shatterskull Smashing  , Song-Mad Treachery  , Kazuul's Fury  , Valakut Awakening  , Spikefield Hazard  : The obvious drawback is them always entering the battlefield tapped (except for the "bolt" (?) land Shatterskull Smashing  ), when you want to curve out. That is not a big deal in this deck however as the game on turn 4 to 6 is usually still open for everyone when you want to curve into your Purphy B.. Not drawing the right land and thus not being able to curve out actually helps to navigate around potential hate against you (you look weak, cry to your friends for a better effect) and maybe your friends spend their ressources against eachother.

Having established that the drawbacks are mostly negligible, let's talk about the upsides. The MDFC's allow the mono red decks to have situational spells for "free" regarding deck construction. Red decks need every tiny bit of value and let's be honest here: Valakut Awakening   is just good and potentially an auto include for future red decks besides Jeska's Will , Kazuul's Fury   fits perfectly in this deck as an additional way of using your fatties when they would die anyway, Song-Mad Treachery   can be devastating (what you would expect from a highly situational spell like this) and it actually won me a game, Spikefield Hazard   prevents graveyard shenanigans of highly important creatures of your opponents by just pinging the creature in response to a board wipe or something similar. Shatterskull Smashing   provides an additional source of damage based, targeted removal and there are usually always targets on the board (at least in my meta, my condolences if your meta consists of solitaire style combo decks like extra turns Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow , or Urza, Lord High Artificer or Narset, Enlightened Master decks).

Noteworthy Exclusions

Fires of Invention helps you by casting stuff for free while leaving mana open for Purphy B. activations. It is kind of bad when you wheeled your hand and you want to play more than just 2 spells from your freshly drawn hand. Also, not being able to play spells on opponents turn can be a bummer with cards like Deflecting Swat , Chaos Warp , Abrade , Tibalt's Trickery , Lightning Bolt . However, Chaos Warp , Lightning Bolt and Abrade are still good when casted on your turn. Tibalt's Trickery is the card that loses the most value when Fires of Invention is on the battlefield. However, you can still cast Tibalt's Trickery on your turn which is how you would use this card quite often anyway by protecting your gamewinning swing against cards like Cyclonic Rift , Force of Despair , Teferi's Protection etc. I played Fires a lot and it performed reasonably good. I excluded that card the more interaction in form of spells I had in my deck. If you are running like 35 creatures (I run 31) and those creatures are your way of interacting with opponents (like Balefire Dragon or Steel Hellkite ) then I would recommend Fires of Invention .

Keldon Firebombers is highly underrated in this deck (it is not even mentioned on EDHrec). It punishes all the green based ramp decks and you often end up in a better position afterwards since Purphoros requires only 3 mana to further have an impact on the game by throwing fatties into play, while your opponents usually struggle. I read many times that a lot of playgroups dislike blowing up lands... while constantly getting crushed by green mages who have 10 mana on turn 5. Blowing up lands may be conceived as "anti-fun" while commander should be all about fun but it is also no fun when the green player explodes on turn 5 taking the game while you only played 3 cards so far. We are playing monored and one strength of red is mass land destruction (MLD), don't cripple yourself even further (playing monored by itself is disadvantageous) by not playing the color to its fullest potential. The Firebombers are not like Bust as you leave every player with 3 lands which is still fine considering that everyone has usually one to two mana rocks. So talk to your playgroup if they are ok with this inclusion. Treat this card more like Balance but just for lands (evening the land count that is) with the nice sideeffect that we handle the aftermath probably the best. I had to cut it for Triplicate Titan and because the setback is kind of counterbalanced by all the wheel effects in this deck (opponents get a new hand with lands to play). If you are playing less wheel effects, I would strongly recommend this gem of a card :)

If you liked my take on Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded or if this "guide" helped you in any way consider leaving an upvote :) +1 Upvote


Updates Add


72% Casual

28% Competitive

Date added 2 years
Last updated 2 weeks

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

20 - 0 Mythic Rares

46 - 0 Rares

16 - 0 Uncommons

5 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 4.41
Tokens 3/3 C Token Artifact Creature Golem, Treasure, 6/6 R Token Creature Dragon, Myr 1/1 C, Copy Clone, 6/12 C Token Artifact Creature Construct, C Emblem Daretti, Wurm 3/3 C w/ Lifelink, Wurm 3/3 C w/ Deathtouch, 0/1 W Token Creature Goat
Folders Red Decks
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