Kaalia of the Vast was one of the star commanders printed in the first Commander set. Her effect is flashy and especially appealing to Timmy players. Angels, Demons, and Dragons are creatures types known for their high cost bombs. Here is Florent Dubrana’s Kaalia list.
1x Arid Mesa
1x Blood Crypt
1x Bojuka Bog
1x Fetid Heath
1x Marsh Flats
Artifacts and Enchantments (10)
1x Boros Signet
Instants and Sorceries (33)
1x Toxic Deluge
1x Wear // Tear
1x Wrath of God
This deck avoids the temptation to run a lot of huge Angels, Demons, and Dragons. It does not primarily focus on ramping out its finishers. In fact, there are only 10 creatures that Kaalia can cheat into play. That leaves a lot of room for disruption. Between its kill spells and hand disruption, this deck can clear a safe path for Kaalia to attack, and if she’s able to put something into play, it’s often game over for the opponent.
A lot of the Angels, Demons, and Dragons in this deck are obviously powerful, especially when cheated out early. Some decks can’t deal with Iona or Avacyn. Those hitting the board will effectively win the game. Master of Cruelties, however, can win on the spot. Kaalia can allow Master of Cruelties to bypass its “can only attack alone” restriction. If Master of Cruelties is not blocked, the opponent will go to 1 life before damage calculation, so Kaalia can deal the finishing damage. Since Kaalia is so important, there are several cards that give her haste. Without her, the deck can still control the game until a finisher can be hard cast.
The deck has ample ways to kill creatures and disrupt the opponent, the most extreme of which is land destruction. Armageddon requires some preparation so that you come out ahead, although it can be used just as a reset button if you are in even a slightly worse position. A resolved mass land destruction card will most often favor the player with the bigger board presence.
This deck is only running one original dual land out of a possible three. They are very expensive and a lot of players don’t have access to them. Fortunately, Commander is not too punishing when it comes to this kind of thing. It is not necessary to have every dual land, but of course they do make decks a little better. Over the years, the pool of good dual lands has only increased. Each Standard requires some cycle of dual lands. Sometimes they’re reprints, but a lot of the time they’re new. It all supplies Commander, and Commander makes good use of them because it’s a singleton format.
The deck runs Castigate and Despise, two cards not seen in other formats. Obviously, you can only have one Thoughtseize and one Inquisition of Kozilek. This requires you to run some suboptimal cards, but you’re not punished for playing these cards that are not seen in other formats. That’s not to say that Commander is a low power format. The singleton rule reduces consistency and density of some of the best cards, but as an eternal format, it has a huge card pool. With this deck, we get to use some of the biggest and baddest creatures of all time.
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