For Great Revelry

Posted in Command Tower on May 1, 2014

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

It's all the rage these days to kill a God.

Deicide | Art by Jason Chan


Who needs an indestructible enchantment that can turn into an opponent-slaying personification of a mortal attribute?"

I do.

From the first taste I saw of the pantheon of TherosErebos, God of the Dead—to the mana machinations of Karametra, God of Harvests and Kruphix, God of Horizons, I've been in love with the power of the gods of Theros in Commander.


They've been exciting for you, too.

The pantheon is in on full display now, and these are the decks you created to contain them.

God is in the TV

One of my favorite new Gods is Pharika, God of Affliction, and her handy ability to transform creatures in graveyards into annoying little Snakes with deathtouch.

Andrew felt the same way:

Players can't seem to decide if Pharika, God of Affliction is good or not. I'm not answering that question at all, because this is a flavor-packed Pharika deck that features Gorgons and Snakes. I looked for all the cards representative of Pharika, Vraska, and the venomous side of the Golgari.

Andrew's Pharika

Download Arena Decklist
COMMANDER: Pharika, God of Affliction
Planeswalker (1)
1 Vraska the Unseen
99 Cards

Some familiar faces are here: Deadbridge Chant, Grave Betrayal, Gaze of Granite, Reaper of the Wilds. Some not so familiar faces, like Snake Pit (super-fun in the right matchups). I like that this deck can sort of play a Group Hug role; Pharika can give other players instant-speed deathtouchy blockers, and there are plenty of other, "Hey, you, have some deathtouch!" cards. Otherwise, it's a pretty standard "kill everything until you win" style of deck.


Notice the lack of Gorgon Flail and Gorgon's Head. This may be a BG "kill things" deck, but that's just in bad taste. You don't feed chickens barbeque wings, and you don't make Gorgons fight with the decapitated heads of their kin.


Mike, too, decided to follow the flavor of the God of Affliction:

I've been playing off-and-on since Antiquities. My first well-tuned deck featured Verduran Enchantress, Fastbond, and Contract from Below. I could churn through over half of my (forty-card) deck in a single turn! I've loved green-black ever since.

My favorite commander is Sliver Queen, not because I build a Sliver deck, but because I use her super-cheap creature generation as an engine for all kinds of combos.


That means that Pharika, God of Affliction is an absolute must for me. She's easier to cast, indestructible, and her children have deathtouch! Her drawbacks compared to Sliver Queen are two-fold: fewer colors means fewer/weaker combos for which to act as an engine (i.e., no Purphoros, Rage Thrower, Stalking Vengeance); and she's much less likely to score a win with commander damage.

Fewer combos doesn't mean none, though. I believe that Pharika and Savra will be good friends, for example. Probably the most complicated combo in the submitted deck is Pharika + Life Chisel + Dark Prophecy + Cadaverous Bloom + Grim Guardian + one colored mana = win the game.


The other notable thing about Pharika is her hug factor. She'll happily share the deathtouch pain with anyone being attacked by ground-pounders, thereby giving you more time to pull together your combos.

My first build will probably feature a lot of Journey into Nyx cards, just to try them out, but there's a lot of potential!


Mike's Pharika

Download Arena Decklist
COMMANDER: Pharika, God of Affliction
Other (12)
12   Swamp
99 Cards

Another God I favor for my own deck building is Iroas, God of Victory. Last week, I started a decidedly creature-focused look at building a Commander deck. Archie, quite the contrarian, looked in the opposite direction:

The God I'm most excited to build a deck around is Iroas, God of Victory but not for the reasons you might expect. The twist—no creature spells, not a single one.

I started looking at red and white enchantments, looking at what would be good for devotion, and came across a few beauties I hadn't seen before, namely Burning Sands, Æther Flash, and Powerstone Minefield. So the idea for the deck was born. There are a couple of creature producers in the deck: Sigil of the Empty Throne is too good to pass up and plays well with the 2-damage enchantments; Elspeth, Sun's Champion is good devotion and the -3 ability is very useful; and, technically, Ajani, Caller of the Pride is also a token producer.


The coolest thing about creating this deck was finding a lot of cards I just didn't know existed. Serra's Liturgy is a cool card with good devotion and a potential to be very powerful, Repercussion is an old standby and plays very well with Pyrohemia.

I'm very much looking forward to playing this deck and seeing if it's even possible to win with it, but I know it will be a lot of fun to play, regardless.


Archie's Iroas

Download Arena Decklist
COMMANDER: Iroas, God of Victory

Trying things off the wall is something Commander leaves plenty of room to do, but sticking to tried, true, potent strategies is just as common. Matt's look at Kruphix, God of Horizons is exactly what I'd expect:

One that I'm tempted to build a deck around is Kruphix, God of Horizons. My most recent commander is Momir Vig, and my love for Simic is probably what made me want to build this. Kruphix's ability to retain mana is most likely what the core of the deck will be built around, and he'll run somewhat similar to an Omnath, but with more things to use and a lower inclination to keep the mana there.


It is entirely likely, however, with this Commander deck that many games will end up with you trying to Blue Sun's Zenith someone out of the game, which is part of the reason I enjoy Commander—fun interactions that completely change everything, which essentially encompasses green-blue entirely.


Matt's Kruphix

Download Arena Decklist
COMMANDER: Kruphix, God of Horizons

Of course, those of you lucky enough at a Prerelease may have found an all-God pack of Journey into Nyx.


Adam Styborski @the_stybs

Excited for the full Theros pantheon with ? I'm looking for which God (and why) you're building in ! 

@the_stybs If anyone pulls a God pack, my play group has planned out a God tribal deck.


Alex Szeto @Alexckszeto

@the_stybs Athreos, because I need an excuse to get 30 Shadowborn Apostle in

@Alexckszeto @the_stybs All of them, for Karona Gods Tribal!

If you had any doubts about the right way to handle this after your event, Andrew also had the perfect solution:

Don't be fooled by the commander, this deck is as God-centric as they come. Although the commander is Child of Alara, the deck was built because I wanted to put ALL THE GODS into one deck. The indisputable core of the deck are the fifteen Gods and the five weapons. Then I stuff in as many multicolor-weight cards as I can to turn on devotion. Plus some necessary mana assistance and card drawing. I've been receiving lots of help on this deck in the Wizards forums (shout out to niheloim!) and it's changed a lot from what I first picked as the card selection. I even strayed away from Child for a bit before niheloim informed me that Child's boom trigger doesn't go off if I send it to the command zone, so I don't have to wipe the field if I don't want to. There is a one-card combo in the deck that was suggested to me by SeveredAngel: Defense of the Heart. If I use DotH to fetch up both Progenitus and Nicol Bolas, I can automatically turn on any god except for Karametra, Nylea, and Heliod. I love it.


Honestly, I still don't know if this deck will function. Five-Color Devotion is a tricky monster and I'm impressed I've gotten the color balance that I have.

White: 21 permanents, 27 symbols on permanents
Blue: 20 permanents, 25 symbols on permanents
Black: 20 permanents, 28 symbols on permanents
Red: 18 permanents, 26 symbols on permanents
Green: 24 permanents, 30 symbols on permanents

If I need to, at the cost of some card quality, I can go more devotion-heavy with the Lorwyn Block Lieges and Spirit Avatars. If that what it takes to get my devotion count up, then I'll go there, but for now this is my currently intended list.


Andrew's Child of Alara

Download Arena Decklist
COMMANDER: Child of Alara
99 Cards