In 2016, Iwan Fournier got top 4 in a Duel Commander tournament with this deck (http://mtgtop8.com/event?e=12487&d=271928&f=EDH).

Commander (1)

  • 1 Zurgo Bellstriker

Lands (37)

  • 37 Mountain

Creatures (35)

  • 1 Abbot of Keral Keep
  • 1 Ash Zealot
  • 1 Ball Lightning
  • 1 Blistering Firecat
  • 1 Chandra’s Phoenix
  • 1 Eidolon of the Great Revel
  • 1 Ember Hauler
  • 1 Flametounge Kavu
  • 1 Flamewake Phoenix
  • 1 Goblin Guide
  • 1 Goblin Rabblemaster
  • 1 Goblin Wardriver
  • 1 Gore-House Chainwalker
  • 1 Hell’s Thunder
  • 1 Hellrider
  • 1 Hero of Oxid Ridge
  • 1 Ire Shaman
  • 1 Keldon Champion
  • 1 Keldon Marauders
  • 1 Lava Hounds
  • 1 Mardu Scout
  • 1 Mindsparker
  • 1 Minotaur Skullcleaver
  • 1 Mudbrawler Cohort
  • 1 Phyrexian Revoker
  • 1 Reckless Reveler
  • 1 Scab-Clan Berserker
  • 1 Slith Firewalker
  • 1 Stigma Lasher
  • 1 Stormblood Berserker
  • 1 Thunderbreak Regent
  • 1 Torch Fiend
  • 1 Valley Dasher
  • 1 War-Name Aspirant
  • 1 Zo-Zu the Punisher

Planeswalkers (1)

  • 1 Koth of the Hammer

Spells (26)

  • 1 Ankh of Mishra
  • 1 Bonesplitter
  • 1 Brimstone Volley
  • 1 Brute Force
  • 1 Burst Lightning
  • 1 Chain Lightning
  • 1 Char
  • 1 Exquisite Firecraft
  • 1 Fiery Confluence
  • 1 Fireblast
  • 1 Flame Javelin
  • 1 Genju of the Spires
  • 1 Incinerate
  • 1 Lightning Bolt
  • 1 Lightning Strike
  • 1 Manabarbs
  • 1 Price of Progress
  • 1 Pyrostatic Pillar
  • 1 Rift Bolt
  • 1 Searing Spear
  • 1 Spellshock
  • 1 Staggershock
  • 1 Sulfuric Vortex
  • 1 Tangle Wire
  • 1 Titan’s Strength
  • 1 Volcanic Hammer

Zurgo Bellstriker is a great aggro commander that always provides you with a turn one play. Notably, you can cheat the commander tax with his 2 mana dash ability. After dashing from either your hand or the command zone, he will bounce to your hand where he will always cost 1 mana.  

There are a handful of creatures that die on end step. Generally, it’s best to play other creatures first because they stick, having the potential to attack in for damage more than once. Creatures like Ball Lightning, Blistering Firecat, and Hell’s Thunder should be treated as direct damage spells, so they should only be played to close out the game or if there are no better ways to use up your mana.  

The strategy is simple: play low cost creatures and attack. Use burn spells to remove blockers or to finish off the opponent. There are few late game cards with that much reach, so if the opponent stabilizes the board, this deck relies on direct burn damage to finish. That’s pretty much it. Grind out a lot of matches, watch Patrick Sullivan’s masterful Legacy game against Ross Merriam (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pJyOtEzLWo), and topdeck like Craig Jones.

You don’t have to follow Fournier’s list precisely. There are several other lists on mtgtop8.com that are very similar but have some differences. Wasteland, Barbarian Ring, and manlands can replace a few mountains. Silver bullets can always be added. For example, I imagine Ruination would be strong in many metas. Creatures can be substituted for other aggressive creatures without too much impact, and I’m sure a lot of us have a good number of these cards lying around already.

As a singleton deck, you are forced to play some suboptimal cards like Volcanic Hammer, though the overall consistency and linear strategy of the deck compensates for that. Every other deck is also singleton, and therefore also runs some suboptimal cards. The decks that don’t are likely greedy, multicolor decks, and red aggro tends to snuff out greed. This is a solid, inexpensive deck that is great if you want to try out the format.

 

Advertisements