Zedruu - The Path to Enlightenment

Zedruu the Greathearted always had a special place in my heart: I do remember as if it was yesterday, when I looked into her trustworthy, loving eyes for the first time, falling in love with her immediately! It's been about four years ago, when me and my playgroup started getting into commander. Back then I browsed the whole internet for a legendary creature I could build around. While some creatures surely where quite powerful and interesting, I've been looking for something special, something so unique and extraordinary that it would make for a complex and interesting deck like no other. With Zedruu the Greathearted I found what I had been looking for. Her Unique and odd ability combined with her strange but lovely design and the fact that she can generate value in her very own, somewhat stupid but funny and original way made her the perfect leader for the opus of madness I would spend the next years working on.

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The lovely goat-lady was the first commander I have built a deck around and will most certainly always be the one I like playing with the most. It has been a few years and still I'm sitting here, working on this deck, cutting cards and replacing them with new ones to try something new. It is a never ending process, as new ideas keep coming to my mind how to improve the deck to ensure the most ridiculous gaming experience possible! It has been a long way and the deck went through many changes over the past few years: I've built the "Bad-gifts-Zedruu", the "Evil-control-Zedruu" , the "Infinite-Combo-Zedruu" and the "Ultimate-chaos-Zedruu", each of which are fun to play with in their own way. Still I was searching for the ultimate gameplay-experience, something that combines the best aspects of every single deck-version mentioned above, to unite them into something without equal - The ultimate Zedruu-Deck! This decklist is what I came up with so far and I can tell you: I had so much fun playing this deck! Whenever I think back about the funniest, most interesting and entertaining commander-games I ever had, Zedruu was involved almost every single time.

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This deck is far from being competitive and this is intentional as it is build around the fun-aspect of the game and only so. If there's one thing I've learned, following the teachings of Zedruu the Greathearted , it's that the fun in playing games of magic is not in the winning-part, but in playing the game itself: It's the flashy, weird and unique game-scenarios I keep in memory and talk about with my friends the most and oh my god is this deck flashy and weird by all means! You haven't seen some flashy and unnecessary complex lines of play, if you haven't witnessed resolving a Mirrorweave targeting Goblin Cadets , followed by a Master Warcraft causing every single creature to attack or block... The Chaos that enfolds is just too precious to describe with words only... If you consider yourself worthy to follow the path of Zedruu and unravel its secrets, take a seat and grab some snacks, because oh boy, there is a lot to discover here! This is the Path to Enlightenment...

You'll probably love this deck if:

  • You enjoy politics and multiplayergames
  • You want to fly under the radar, being underestimated rather than being the archenemy
  • You hate attacking people because it's rude
  • You like long (the longer the better) but very diverse games with many up and downs
  • You want your opponents to be able to play the game, seeing their deck in action while still staying alive in the process...
  • You don't mind your opponents to throw rotten vegetables at you when you successfully resolve a Warp World for the third time in one game...
  • You're playing the game for fun, even if that means not being able to win all the time...

You won't like this deck if:

  • You want to set up your gameplan straight from the start
  • You want to play big threads/ being feared by the table
  • You like creatures... the bigger the better
  • You want to win at every cost...
  • You prefer short games

Why Zedruu?

When my playgroup decided that everyone should build a commander-deck to try out this more unique and casual format, I spent a lot of time browsing the internet for every commander-option possible. As someone who counts himself rather among the Johnny-players, I wanted to build my deck around a special commander, with an incomparable ability and unique card-design. My first choice was Phelddagrif : a purple Hippo, providing your enemies with their very own Hippo-army, lifegain and card-draw was as well unique as irritating... As a former "Standard" and "Modern" -player "Group Hug" was something I've never thought of before. So I started searching for cards that might fit in the deck and was blown away by the possibilities you've got in commander, like the idea of building a pillow fort rather than having creatures to block. It was during this research, that I first saw her: Zedruu the Greathearted . I looked into her beautiful, trustworthy eyes and saw the path to wisdom, the enlightenment within them... It was in this moment I knew that she was the one and only right choice to lead my commander-deck - and I didn't even read her ability yet... After taking a look at the card-text, I was completely delighted! This card had everything I ever wished for: Unique, weird and absolute lovely design and an ability so incomparable and insane, that I needed to read it twice to understand it at all: Donating your permanents to your opponents to generate value? I was sold on the spot! My friends laughed at me, telling me that she was a bad commander and I should rather play Narset, Enlightened Master , as she'd be way more powerful, but this only intensified my love for this marvelous goat-monk-lady! And so began my journey with Zedruu, my journey to teach my opponents the way of Zedruu, my journey to reach enlightenment...

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Her Weakness be her Strength!

Zedruu isn't exactly the kind of commander that scares your opponents. There are many people avoiding to play her, because her ability is mana-intensive and not competitive at all. At the same time usually no one's frightened if you put her on the table. They might be irritated ("What does she do again?") and might find her funny, but there will sure be other threats they are watching with care, while they let Zedruu do her weird shenanigans. What evil can come from someone, who's game plan it is to gift away his permanents, right? A 2/4 for in combination with such a weird ability simply won't make you the target of anyone - until they notice how many cards you draw and that your life-total breaks the life counter... Zedruu won't enable you any game-winning combos nor deal 21 points of commander-damage any time soon. She might be able do generate value, but this is process is slow, very mana-intensive and also easily disruptable. This is something we will use to our advantage, transforming her weaknesses into her greatest strength! While everyone else is becoming more and more of a threat as the game progresses, Zedruu doesn't do much over the first half of the game. Zedruu only sits there, builds up her mana and donates some unnoteworthy permanents. Maybe she's even helping someone out by gifting him a needed land or sharing the Humble Defector for card-draw. When your opponents notice that you're drawing 4-5 extra-cards a turn and the Illusions of Grandeur make their first appereance, they usually have fired most of their shots and are struggling to deal with the value-engine you've build up while they've been busy bashing each others heads in. When the late-game has come, it's the time for Zedruu to shine!

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The Mother Goats Role:

When building commander-decks I always want my commander to play an irreplaceable key-role in the deck's strategy. This means, that this deck won't function very well when Zedruu isn't out on the battlefield, teaching your opponents the way of the goat. Some people keep telling that your deck needs to work even if your commander isn't on the battlefield - that you should be able to win, even if you haven't cast your commander once... They are right about that to a certain degree. Of course it would be better to not completely rely on a single card and have something like a backup plan in mind. The more competitive you want to play, the more this is true, but as I've mentioned before, this deck isn't meant to actually win games consistently, even if it is trying very hard to accomplish this goal. It's absolutely casual, a deck I'm playing for fun and an enjoyable gameplay-experience. If I want to win I put Kami of the Crescent Moon on the table, Zedruu is reserved for the purpose of fun alone! Long story short - this deck is heavily relying on the commander being on the field. Our whole game plan evolves around donating away permanents to draw cards and gain life, thus our commander's ability gives the deck its spirit. Zedruu the Greathearted will be the main-draw-engine of the deck, while being the one to donate our permanents at the same time. This ability can be used for different purposes, besides the convenience of generating value over the time the game progresses. Having the ability to gift away permanents of course can be used for different diplomatic reasons: So you can donate lands or cards like Humble Defector to forge alliances. On the other hand you can use cards like Statecraft or Illusions of Grandeur to punish those working against you. Zedruu can be a versatile toolbox for different circumstances and we can use her ability in many different ways to change the game to our advantage... "So you want to attack me with all your creatures? Please, have this Statecraft , I want you to have it! Really, take it... I insist... I'll be sitting here drawing cards and gaining life..."

1.: Gathering Ressources:

The first 2-3 turns we'll spend building up our mana base. The deck runs a tremendous number of 2-mana-rocks, like the signets, Thought Vessel or Fellwar Stone . I like to ramp early on in game - cards like Thran Dynamo or Hedron Archive I usually can't play earlier than turn 4-5, turns I want to start gifting away permanents and generating value with Zedruu. Casting mana-rocks on turn 1 or 2 allows us to play Zedruu as early as turn 3, giving us the opportunity to start our donation-shenanigans on turn 4 already. Our perfect starting-hand should contain 2-3 lands and 1-2 of our mana-rocks or other mana-generators. We also need to make sure we have all of our colors available, allowing us to cast Zedruu and activating her donation-ability. The rest of our hand isn't of to much importance honestly... Mana-sources mean everything in this deck. With Zedruu being our main draw-engine, the only thing we need to make sure early on in the game is to put her on the battlefield and being able to activate her ability. Donating lands early on allows us to draw into more cards - that's everything we need, as the deck is peppered with value-generating cards like Scroll Rack , Paradox Haze and Strionic Resonator which we will draw sooner or later. Still there are some cards which might be helpful early on: Oath of Lieges allows us to put extra-lands into play, which we can donate to our opponents, granting us to be able to use its trigger again on our next turn. Smothering Tithe is just a formidable card, generating more mana than you could possibly need over the cause of a few turns. Bazaar Trader helps us donating permanents without the need to pay for Zedruu's ability , while Humble Defector helps us forging alliances, drawing us extra cards while being able to donate himself. Any of these cards will be a perfect addition to our starting hand.

Early ramp-options include: Oath of Lieges , Knight of the White Orchid , Walking Atlas , Boros Signet , Azorius Signet , Izzet Signet , Pentad Prism , Sol Ring , Sphere of the Suns , Surveyor's Scope , Mana Crypt , Springleaf Drum , Thought Vessel , Fellwar Stone

I am not running the talisman-circle as of card-variety-reasons. Surely the talismans might be considered the better choice in comparison with the signets, yet I do like the signets more as they've been a part of the deck since the first day.

Smothering Tithe and Keeper of the Accord can be very explosive in the midgame while Coveted Jewel isn't exactly considered early-game ramp as for its high mana-cost. Mana Flare has to be handled with caution, as it allows for very explosive turns but enables our opponents at the same time.

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2.: Protecting the Goat:

Zedruu the Greathearted is the fundamental heartpiece of her own deck-tech. If we want the deck to work properly, the Goat of Enlightenment needs to be on the battlefield. As soon as we're drawing 4+ cards a turn, our opponents start to feel uncomfortable though and it will not take long for them to try and remove our commander to deny us the ressources. Since we truly do love our beloved goat, we don't want this to happen (we also want to keep drawing these cards too). The deck comes equipped with an whole arsenal of safety-services to protect our commander from any harm: So we have Clout of the Dominus , an amazing card in this deck, granting Zedruu a +2/+2 -buff, aswell as the keywords "Haste" and "Shroud"(the later one being the most important of them all), all of this for the formidable price of only one mana! Robe of Mirrors serves a similar purpose. Karmic Justice punishes people if they try to touch the Goat (unless they exile her...) while Tyrite Sanctum allows Zedruu to reach true enlightenment and become an indestructible god. Finally Mother of Runes can give Zedruu protection from any color, making her mostly immune to targeted removal.

List of protection-spells: Clout of the Dominus , Robe of Mirrors , Karmic Justice , Tyrite Sanctum , Mother of Runes

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3.: Getting the Donations started:

So, we've got a lot of mana, Zedruu the Greathearted is on the battlefield and protected so no one can harm her. "What now?" you ask, well, I will explain it to you right away: As I've mentioned many times before already, Zedruu can be a very powerful value-engine, as long as there are some of our permanents under the control of our opponents. Of course we want to use this ability, hence the next part of our game revolves around helping those in need by gifting them some of our permanents. Most of these permanents will be lands, if you believe it or not. Equipped with artifact-ramp, as well as cards like Oath of Lieges and Surveyor's Scope we make sure to always have enough mana at our hands. Exspecially the Scope is a very underrated card, which allowed me to ramp into 3 more lands for many times (Donating lands away for having a lower landcount while increasing your opponents landcount at the same time is the strategy here! Lands make for a perfect donation target, as your enemies usually want to keep them around while it is very difficult to get rid of them at the same time. No one wants to use his strip mine to destroy some basic land... Cards like Vedalken Plotter (_which can also be donated after use), Political Trickery and Role Reversal are helping in this regard, as swapping lands is ways better than just donating them. Most of the time your opponents have some very valuable lands in stock, which we can trade for one of our basics. Extra value is best value, always do remember that! Besides lands, the deck also runs a lot of other donation-targets, some of which I'll mention below: Oath of Lieges is a global enchantment, so we don't care who's in control of it. Pentad Prism and Sphere of the Suns grant us mana early on, to be donated as an useless piece of metal afterwards. Aura-enchantments like Clout of the Dominus don't care about who is in control of them, as it's still your creature they're enchanting. Humble Defector is an amazing card, which I put in every red deck of mine, as it is excellent card-draw while being a powerful, political tool at the same time. Gilded Drake on the other hand is simply outstanding in its ability to steal your opponent's best creature... Sure, they'll most of the time swing at you for 3 in the air the turn after, but who cares if you can swing back with their precious Blightsteel Colossus ? Puca's Mischief grants us at least one free permanent-exchange every turn, probably more if we got multiple upkeeps. Confusion in the Ranks can cause absolute mayhem all on its own while Sudden Substitution is a very unique spell which I used with great success many times, for example by exchanging control of an opponent's Smothering Tithe with my own Vedalken Plotter . If there should be some sort of a precarious situation requiring you to gain back control of all of your permanents, there's Brand , a spell that's probably played nowhere else than in Zedruu. For similar reasons we have Venser, the Sojourner . Venser's +2-ability allows us to flicker a permanent we own, bringing it back under our own control in the end step. The fun-part is, that we don't need to be in control of the permanent we want to flicker, it just needs to be a part of our deck. This is especially useful with cards like Gilded Drake , allowing us to use it repeatedly, stealing away all of our opponents creatures. Then there's Homeward Path , a land we can tap to regain control of all our creatures. This whatsoever does affect our opponents creatures as well.

Donation-Enablers: Bazaar Trader , Gilded Drake , Humble Defector , Vedalken Plotter , Sudden Substitution , Coveted Jewel , Political Trickery , Role Reversal , Puca's Mischief , Confusion in the Ranks , Goblin Cadets , Perplexing Chimera , Wrong Turn , Rainbow Vale

Donation-Targets: Clout of the Dominus , Illusions of Grandeur , Nine Lives , Oath of Lieges , Paradox Haze , Robe of Mirrors , Statecraft , Knight of the White Orchid , Vedalken Plotter , Pentad Prism , Sphere of the Suns , Confusion in the Ranks , Mana Flare , Rhystic Cave and most lands in the deck.

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4.: Now it's getting serious:

It should be somewhere in between turn 6 and 8: We have set up our mana, Zedruu is on the battlefield and protected so no one can harm her and we're drawing a bunch of cards every turn because of all the permanents we donated away. The time has come to start some wild shenanigans, slowly but surely helping us to pave our way to victory.

One way getting ahead of your opponents would be to double up on ressources: Using one or more of your copy-enchantment-spells, you can copy cards like Smothering Tithe to great effect. One, or maybe two turns with two or more Tithes in play will surely grant you enough mana to win the game. Paradox Haze is beyond amazing in this deck, doubling our upkeep as well as Zedruu's trigger with it. Being an enchantment the Haze can also be copied to generate even more value. The Strionic Resonator works in a similar way, being able to copy Zedruu's trigger on the stack. Lithoform Engine is just a more versatile version of the Resonator, allowing for even more shenanigans. Sphinx of the Second Sun might just be the most powerful card in the deck: Combining the effects of Sword of Fest and Famine (affecting all permanents) and Paradox Haze all in one card, The Sphinx let's us double up on everything this deck wants to do. Alhammarret's Archive and Teferi's Ageless Insight will both double all the cards we draw with Zedruu, possibly even quadruple it, if both cards are in play at the same time. What's better than one Zedruu the Greathearted on the battlefield, you ask? Sakashima the Impostor is the answer, as he allows us to have not only one but two goats in the game! Double the goats, double the value! To keep all these precious cards in your hand, Thought Vessel and Reliquary Tower can help you out.

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While this deck serves as a very complex and efficient toolbox to generate value, this is at the expense of answers and spot-removal, of which the deck is lacking a lot. When I play my Zedruu-deck, I mostly do rely on my opponent's removal-spells: If someone's playing a card that might probably be dangerous, I'm doing my best convincing the rest of the table that this is a threat to be dealt with. Usually this strategy works very well for me, not only getting rid of one of my opponent's on-board-threats, but also of one of their removal-spells, which they surely won't be able to use against myself anymore. Being the guy who doesn't have a lot of answers in the deck, letting everyone play their game and just playing a bunch of funny cards, most people don't even know about, I usually don't draw to much hate. If there should be a player though who's trying to harass you anyhow, trying to interrupt your value-engine, the deck does have a few ways to deal with that situation: Statecraft is one of these cards you'll most certainly never see outside of a Zedruu-decklist. Donated to an aggro-player this card completely shuts off his game plan, leaving him and his rude creatures to stay on his side of the bord for as long as the enchantment stays in play. As with every other enchantment this can also be copied and donated to a different opponent if it should be necessary. If things are getting way to dangerous you have Glacial Chasm and Solitary Confinement in the deck, both of which are negating every damage dealt to you, the latter one even giving you shroud so you can't be targeted by your opponent's spells and abilities any more. Both cards come with their build-in costs, which should be compensated by Zedruu's triggered ability entirely though. If this still shouldn't be enough somehow, there's Teferi's Protection , an absolute All-Star, which saved my life many times. Nine Lives can protect us for a while. Later we can donate the enchantment to an opponent, most certainly causing him to die shortly after. Another funny note about the Nine Lives : As it's controller will loose the game when it leaves the battlefield, you can force one of your opponents to be your ally: If the chosen opponent would kill you, the enchantment would vanish, causing him to loose the game as well... To entirely reset the bord we have Warp World and Tragic Arrogance . While Warp World creates an entirely new bordstate, the Tragic Arrogance is especially useful in this deck, as it allows us to choose our very own permanents we donated away to our opponents to stay on the battlefield. So we'll still be drawing cards and gaining life while our opponents have a bunch of useless junk on their side of the bord, that we generously have gifted them earlier in the game.

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While this deck doesn't run your usual Swords to Plowshares , Path to Exile and other auto-includes, I've settled for some very unique and probably more versatile interaction-pieces than you normally see in a game of commander: Wrong Turn isn't just on theme with the deck, but can also be used to get rid of an opponents attacking creature, probably even turning it into a threat against him if donated to the right player... Sudden Substitution can exchange your useless Goblin Cadets with an opponents Rhystic Study . Master Warcraft can turn a harmless attack into a deadly swing, while it might be used as a very expensive fog-spell at the same time. Mirrorweave is also very versatile, as it can turn all creatures into useless 1/1's to turn an otherwise deadly attack into a friendly push, while it can turn all of your creatures into Sun Titan , to bring back some cards from your graveyard. Fractured Identity can either be used to provide every opponent with his very own Statecraft , or to get rid of target opponents value-piece, giving it to everyone else. Fairness needs to be guaranteed after all... Then there's Perplexing Chimera , a single card with the power to shut down the entire game. As soon as the Chimera hits the battlefield, suddenly no one wants to cast valuable spells anymore. Funny enough: We don't even care to much about the chimera being under our own control, as there aren't to many cards we need to play which are valuable enough to be worth stealing them with the chimera. However, the real fun starts when we copy the chimera with one of our many copy-spells... With the table staring down at 3 chimeras, the game might come to an entire standstill. As soon as we put the Homeward Path into play, we pretty much have the table in an opressive lockdown, atleast until someone wipes the bord off all creatures, getting rid of the chimeras in the process.

~~

! Due to the current situation Thieves' Auction has been cut out of the deck, as it's impossible to resolve it in a game of webcam-magic !

Finally there's Thieves' Auction , which is probably one of the most chaotic and most hated cards in all of magic's history. While I do conform to this opinion to a certain degree, I think there are absolutely valid ways to play this card: The problem with chaos-cards doesn't lie in their chaotic nature itself, but in the way they're played. There are many players building chaos-themed decks for the purpose of chaos only. They're not just only not trying to win the game - most of the time they're just not able to do so. A card like Thieves' Auction can prolong a game by quite a lot of time, especially when the caster isn't getting any value out of the cast and plays the card just because of his opinion, that chaos is a funny thing... In this deck we're using the card in a different way, as we're actually trying to win the game, or atleast paving our path to victory by casting it. Casting and resolving a Thieves' Auction is both time consuming an a little bit risky. Before casting the spell you need to make sure to tap all of your mana sources, as all permanents will re-enter the battlefield tapped, after the Auction is resolved. Tapping your lands in advance allows you to still use your excess mana afterwards. The most important thing is that we get to choose first and our first choice will always be Zedruu the Greathearted . After that we'll focus on our opponents permanents, forcing them to be taking our stuff when everything they owned is taken. Untapping in our next upkeep we'll most certainly draw most of our library, as all of our permanents are controlled by our opponents. While this will be gaining us a lot of value, casting Brand afterwards will rebuild our entire bordstate at instant speed, adding all of the cards we own to the cards we've stolen with the Auction. Casting a Cyclonic Rift afterwards will leave your opponents with close to nothing, no motivation to continue with the game, probably not going to play magic any time soon again... Even if they don't surrender, pulling off a victory should be more than easy at this point, as you most certainly will draw into one of our many wincons with the massive card-draw we gained with the Thieves' Auction .

1.: Victory is just an Illusion:

While most certainly being the jankiest wincon in the deck, it surely is one of my absolute favourite wincon of all times. There probably is no other card, representing the spirit of Zedruu more than the Illusions of Grandeur . This card has been a key-piece in the very first version of this deck and stayed within all the years past. The Illusions surely are an amazing card in every Zedruu-List all on their own - Gaining you 20 life while having an opponent to loose that many lifepoints for a total of 7 Mana is a neat effect to have. Yet it probably isn't enough to be a wincon all on it's own. Sure, you can recur it with cards like Replenish , Open the Vaults or Hall of Heliod's Generosity , nonetheless this just wouldn't be enough consistency to pull of a game-win out of it. To accomplish the goal of winning with the Illusions of Grandeur nevertheless, the deck runs a huge bunch of copy-enchantment effects: Why just have one Illusion when you can have 2, 3 or even more than that? Copy Enchantment , Mirrormade , Clever Impersonator and Estrid's Invocation will make sure, that you can donate as many versions of the Illusions of Grandeur as you like. Then there's also Lithoform Engine which you can use to create a copy of the Illusions on cast. A repeatable way to regain control of the Illusions would be with Venser, the Sojourner , whose +2-ability can flicker a permanent you own, causing it to come back under your control regardless of who's been in control of it before.

Yet another fun way to accomplish this goal is by filling up your graveyard with the Illusions, as well as the copy-effects over the course of the game (It's easier than it sounds, as you'll probably have to discard quite a few cards due to the limited handsize). Then you can cast Replenish or Open the Vaults to bring them back all at one time, gaining about 80 life and donating them away to your opponents in one go.

2.: Nine Lives or No Live:

Nine Lives is a very fun card and being able to donate it can make for some very nice shenanigans: While Nine Lives only works as a protection piece at first glance, this card holds the power to bind one of your opponents to your bidding, as well as the ability to even killing him...

If an opponent is in the possession of Nine Lives , it's nearly impossible for him to kill you, without losing the game himself in the process. When you die, every card you own ceases to exist, causing Nine Lives to vanish. As the controller of Nine Lives loses the game as soon as it leaves the battlefield, he dies as well. It is advisable to keep the enchantment on your side of the field for some time to prevent some damage done to you otherwise. When the enchantment has accumulated some counters, you can always donate it at instant speed with Zedruus ability.

With all the copy-effects the deck is running, it isn't to difficult to provide every opponent with his very own copy of Nine Lives . As long as every opponent is in possession of a copy of Nine Lives you only need to cast either Warp World or Tragic Arrogance to kill them all in one swing.

~~

OUTDATED WINCONS:

1.: Generating infinite Mana:

The one thing that's really important when playing this deck, is generating as much mana as possible. While the decklist runs quite a few mana-rocks, aswell as various mana-accelerants like Smothering Tithe or Knight of the White Orchid , you'll reach a certain point in the game when these won't be enough any more. The only thing that's even better than a lot of mana, is an endless amount of mana! To accomplish this goal, the deck consists of many different combo pieces, many of which working together in many different ways. While there might be some combinations I don't know about yet, I'll list the ones I know below:

1.1: Build your own Paradox Engine :

One of the core-pieces of many combos in this deck is Jeskai Ascendancy . This card is just far beyond amazing and if it wouldn't be for the color-restrictions I'd bet you'd see that card more often! The pure value this card generates all on it's own is impressive on its own, so it should be of no surprise to you that it's even better when combined with something else. If we're adding March of the Machines to the mix, things will go nuts in no time... As mentioned before, the deck runs a ton of mana-rocks. While not being creatures, they will sure be as soon as the march hits the field (It should be noted though that mana-rocks will suffer from summoning-sickness as well as any other creature would - playing them in advance a few turns earlier adresses this problem though) . While this combination already is pretty potent on its own, there still might be the possibility to run out of noncreature-spells to cast, resulting in quite a lot of mana - but not in infinite mana after all. As soon as we add a Strionic Resonator though, things are looking even better again:

Jeskai Ascendancy + March of the Machines + Strionic Resonator + Coveted Jewel or any combination of mana-rocks able to generate 3 or more mana result in infinite mana, infinite large creatures and infinite looting as well if you want.

The only thing you need to do is copying the trigger of the Ascendancy with the Resonator, tapping all your rocks in response and using the mana to copy the trigger again, as soon as the first resolved. Repeat this process as long as you like and geenerate infinite mana on the way!

Another Variant of that same setup cloncludes the 3 "untappers": Fatestitcher , Vizier of Tumbling Sands and Unbender Tine . While the former 2 of them are allready creatures and hence don't require the March of the Machines to be on the field (Being untapped by the Ascendancy they can tap to untap your lands or mana-rocks - working in a similar way), the Unbender Tine is more or less just another mana-rock in this scenario. Walking Atlas can be pretty fun in this setup too, allowing you to put all the lands you draw directly on the battlefield!

If you're lacking certain parts of the combo to finish the game, Alhammarret's Archive and Teferi's Ageless Insight will double (or quadruple, if both are on the battlefield at the same time) the number of cards you'll draw with the Jeskai Ascendancy . This setup might even cause you to draw your entire deck in the process - winning you the game with Jace, Wielder of Mysteries on the field!

1.2: Tap to Win:

Another way to generate an infinite amount of mana is provided by the card Pemmin's Aura : The Aura attached to either Fatestitcher or Vizier of Tumbling Sands in combination with any mana-source that taps for atleast Mana, one of which must be , allows us to go infinite again. To achieve this goal the deck contains 3 sources that tap for 3 Mana of any color each: Coveted Jewel , Lotus Field and Lotus Vale . As with the mana-rocks your "untappers" will suffer from summoning-sickness as well - don't assemble your combo before being able to use it, as your enemies most certainly will find a way to interrupt it, if you give them a whole turn each to do so. Having Leyline of Anticipation in play and using Flash helps in the matter.

While this surely won't win you the game on the spot it sets you in a really superior position: With all the cards you'll draw with Zedruu, you'll be able to cast your whole hand every turn, not allowing your opponents to catch up at any time soon.

As soon as you add an Otherworld Atlas , you'll be able to draw your entire library, using your infinite amount of mana to infinitely untap either Fatestitcher or Vizier of Tumbling Sands , then tapping them again to tap and untap the Atlas as much as you like. With Jace, Wielder of Mysteries in play, you'll win the game in the process.

Another variant of this requires you to have March of the Machines and Unbender Tine in play. Being transformed into a creature by the march, you can enchant the Tine with Pemmin's Aura as you would with the Visier or Fatestitcher for the same effect.

~~

2.: Wild Library of Fate:

Very often it requires you to have more than a single turn to win a game. Unfortunately you have to wait an entire turn-cycle every time, before you can continue with your vile shenanigans. Something that would be very helpful in the matter might be taking an extra-turn with Nexus of Fate . Sure, it will cost you a big heap of 7 Mana to do so, yet it might allow you to set up all of your combo-pieces like Fatestitcher in one go. How many times have you thought: Just one more turn and I would have won the game on the spot!?

The only thing that would be better than taking an extra-turn would be to take an unlimited amount of extra-turns! Luckily our deck comes equipped with just the right tools to accomplish that goal: Wild Research is a very unique and absolutely amazing card which serves as one of our main-tools in the deck. On one side this card can Gamble all of our utility enchantments, as well as some much needed answers in dire situations repeatedly. If Library of Leng is in play, there isn't even the risk of discarding something valuable, or even worse, the card we just tutored for from our hand. With both cards in play and atleast 9 Mana available, we are able to loop the Nexus of Fate by tutoring it with Wild Research and casting it again and again, as it always shuffles itself back into our library as it resolves. Using the Wild Research the same turn we cast the Nexus ensures we can cast it again during our next turn, as the Library of Leng ensures it'll sit on the top of our library at worst case, ready to be drawn at the beginning of our next turn. While taking an infinite amount of turns, we'll sooner or later stumbleupon Jace, Wielder of Mysteries , who'll ensure that we win the game - sooner or later...

~~

3.: Ultimate Brain Desecration:

Yeah, I know it sounds painful, and it probably would be if it were a real thing... Just look at the wizards face who's depicted on Mindmoil and you know what I mean... Mindmoil is a strange card and belongs to the type of cards players usually try to avoid when building their decks. On the other hand most players have a certain game plan in mind when building their decks - looking at my version of Zedruu though... that's just not the case. This deck doesn't follow a plan, it just takes the things as they are, trying to generate any form of value with what it can find. That is exactly what Mindmoil does. It offers new possibilities, new options with every single spell you cast. This is enormously useful, as it helps finding all the combo-pieces you need, very fast. Even better, Mindmoil offers us another way to win the game:

As long as Alhammarret's Archive or alternatively Teferi's Ageless Insight are on the battlefield, the cards you'll draw with every single Mindmoil-trigger will be doubled, causing you to draw your entire library in the matter of just a few spells. While this surely might be dangerous and cause us to kill ourselves, you can donate away either of those cards with Zedruu's activated ability at the right moment to save us from impending deckout. With Jace, Wielder of Mysteries in play though, this combination will surely lead us to victory!

~~

That should wrap up all the wincons I know about at the moment. Surely there's always the possibility you'll draw your entire deck with Zedruu's triggered ability in combination with cards like Paradox Haze , Alhammarret's Archive and Teferi's Ageless Insight . I had games playing this deck where I drew about 30 cards a turn with Zedruu, winning the game in 2-3 turns with Jace, Wielder of Mysteries . While not being complex enough to call it a built in wincon, I think this reserves at least an honourable mention here.

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Updates Add

Again quite some time has passed and the deck has evolved a lot: New cards have been printed, new cards have been added to the list, while others needed to go... Sometimes I wish you could play 150, maybe even 200 cards in my deck and I think that's a place where most certainly every commander-player has been before. Yet the cuts have been made and I proudly present to you a new, refined version of my beloved Zedruu-deck!

As a first big change I cut down most of the combos and wincons. In the last update I went a little wild on all the infinite loops and combo-shenanigans so much that assembling these weird card combinations was everything the deck was doing after all... While this has been fun for a while, I ultimately decided that I want more interaction and donation-shenanigans again and rebuild the deck in its entirety... 4-5 times...

At the end of this months-long process stands the current version of the deck, which I already have played a few games with and I can happily say that it works even better than I had imagined!

Due to the current situation I sadly had to cut Thieves' Auction from the deck, as its impossible to resolve that spell in a game of webcam-magic. Wild Research has also been cut, as I wanted to get rid of all of the tutors to allow for more randomness and variety in our games.

Finally I just want to thank your all for your suggestions, ideas, critiques and overall interest in the deck. I hope you like the new changes and additions and I am always keen to read your feedback in the comments.

Have a nice day and keep brewing everyone!

Comments View Archive

85% Casual

Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 2 years
Last updated 2 months
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

18 - 0 Mythic Rares

48 - 0 Rares

15 - 0 Uncommons

9 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.16
Tokens 1/1 Soldier, 1/1 Spirit, Copy Clone, Treasure, Venser
Folders Zedruu, Liked decks, Cool Deck Ideas, Deck ideas, Group hug testing, Interesting Deck Ideas, EDH inspirations, Favorites, Commander, Cool Decks to Try, See all 18
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