Hello! Welcome to a new version of my series A Seat at the Table I’ve decided to not-so cleverly call Upgrading the Table, where we take a preconstructed Commander deck and talk about inclusions and exclusions I would make.
Chaos Incarnate is helmed by Kardur, Doomscourge, who loves the combat step. When he enters, your opponents’ creatures are goaded and each attacking creature that dies while Kardur is in play drains your opponents for one life. Each opponent gets dinged for one and you gain a life. Not a bad deal.
This deck seems a little all over the place, but one thing is clear: it wants to ping your opponents down. There are spellslinger staples in here, but I don’t think this is the right way to go.
Here are five cards to include and five to take out of the deck.
Cards to Add
Something I don’t like about this deck is that there is a bunch of ways to remove creatures, but not many at instant speed which got me thinking: maybe we need to pivot. Enter one of my favourite cards from Dominaria United, Garna, Bloodfist of Keld.
She puts the onus on you to attack en masse or to have ways to kill your creatures on your turn so that you may get either a card, or ping each of your opponents. I think this is a solid game plan. Creating a ton of tokens is a great way to build Kardur and then you can take advantage of Garna without relying on your opponents to have creatures.
BONUS PICK: Something like Burn Down the House can be a board wipe when you need it, or create little Devils that can swing and make a ton of damage fly everywhere.
Okay, so I’m having a hard time keeping to five cards to add. I also had a hard time with how split this deck is. Let’s lean in the way that allows you to be aggressive and in control at the same time.
Be aggressive with some token makers. Hanweir Garrison on attack gives you two more creatures that are also attacking, so if they die during combat, they will hit every opponent for one. If the tokens stick around, you can swing with them again next time, and hell, you might even get some extra value (hint: next section and also Garna).
Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder gives you Thrulls equal to a creature you cast’s mana value. Play a six mana creature, get six Thrulls. Endrek goes away if you have seven or more, but there’s a fun balancing act to be had (hint: next section).
Sling-Gang Lieutenant comes in with two Goblins and a way to sacrifice them baked in. Do it during combat! Did the Goblins make it to combat damage but you still want to sacrifice them? Do it at the end of combat while you’re still in combat and Kardur still counts that! Also, this is on an enters the battlefield trigger (hint: section five).
Goblin Bombardment + Altars
Come on. We’re playing black! Sacrifice your creatures to Ashnod’s Altar and Phyrexian Altar for mana! Sacrifice them to Altar of Dementia for mill! Sacrifice them to Viscera Seer or Woe Strider to scry!
Or, in keeping with the theme of the deck, sacrifice your creatures to ping for one. The most important part to all of these is that they are free sacrifice outlets and they can be done at instant-speed. Huge advantage.
I am absolutely shocked this isn’t in the deck already. Disrupt Decorum is Kardur’s enter the battlefield ability, essentially, but it is also a sorcery. It can surprise opponents who stop you from triggering Kardur’s ETB by killing him over and over or using Darksteel Mutation. Four mana to mass goad was fantastic when it came out and it’s still fantastic.
It’s not the best card for the deck, but at the very least, you can target Kardur, which makes this a repeatable makeshift Disrupt Decorum. There are some solid ETBs in the 99: Solemn Simulacrum comes down on four, getting you to five mana and you can follow up with the Closet to go fetch another land, Wildfire Devils nabs spells in the yard, Combustible Gearhulk will likely regularly be a draw three when it hits. With all of those creatures your opponents’ control dying, Sepulchral Primordial is going to be a mighty juicy target for Conjurer’s Closet and will likely get you to close out the game.
Bonus: Forbidden Orchard
It taps for any colour and gives an opponent a token. It can be done at instant speed (or faster even) and can be used for political favour or to give someone something to goad and die in combat.
Cards to Remove
The spellslinger subtheme to this precon misses me completely. Firebrand Archer would have been a good inclusion too to proc off of artifacts, but generally, I’m not into spell slinging with this deck in its iteration.
In precons, when upgrading, this immediately gets the cut for something like Night’s Whisper or more thematic draw. It’s four mana for three draws and lose three life. Is that bad? Not reeeeally, but is it good? Nah.
Unless this deck went the damage doubling and spell doubling route with like Double Vision and Fiery Emancipation (tripling even), I don’t think this has a great slot in the deck. Yes, five mana for 15 damage is pretty cool, but it’s not how this deck does things.
With Kardur, you want creatures dying in combat so the minus two is fine, just not ideal. The ultimate never happens, and the card draw is expensive at five mana when you’re encouraging and aggressive game. I would avoid planeswalkers in this altogether.
The nontoken creatures you have are not really ones you’d want to sacrifice, so it’s more than likely you’ll pay six mana and consider sacrificing a token or Indulgent Tormentor and your opponents might have key creatures to sack, but if they have a 1/1 token or a Dockside Extortionist they’re done with, all you’ve really got is a big flying token that gets removed easily. In the right games, this can be a big swing, but with the remove going around, you’ll have spent six mana for an 8/8 flyer who goes to attacks and gets Terminated. No, thanks.
That does it for another Upgrading the Table! If there’s a precon or commander you’d like covered here or at A Seat at the Table, message me @mikecarrozza on Twitter and Instagram!