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.

Commander (1)

1x Kaalia of the Vast

Lands (38)

1x Arid Mesa

1x Battlefield Forge

1x Blood Crypt

1x Bloodstained Mire

1x Bojuka Bog

1x Cavern of Souls

1x Clifftop Retreat

1x Command Beacon

1x Command Tower

1x Dragonskull Summit

1x Fetid Heath

1x Flooded Strand

1x Foreboding Ruins

1x Godless Shrine

1x Graven Cairns

1x Hall of the Bandit Lord

1x Isolated Chapel

1x Marsh Flats

3x Mountain

3x Plains

1x Plateau

1x Polluted Delta

1x Reflecting Pool

1x Rugged Prairie

1x Sacred Foundry

1x Shizo, Death’s Storehouse

3x Swamp

1x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

1x Vesuva

1x Volrath’s Stronghold

1x Windswept Heath

1x Wooded Foothills

Creatures (17)

1x Akroma, Angel of Wrath

1x Angel of Despair

1x Avacyn, Angel of Hope

1x Balefire Dragon

1x Fulminator Mage

1x Gisela, Blade of Goldnight

1x Griselbrand

1x Iona, Shield of Emeria

1x Lightning Mauler

1x Lord of the Void

1x Master of Cruelties

1x Mother of Runes

1x Olivia, Mobilized for War

1x Rune-Scarred Demon

1x Sin Collector

1x Vampire Hexmage

1x Weathered Wayfarer

Planeswalkers (1)

1x Ob Nixilis Reignited

Artifacts and Enchantments (10)

1x Boros Signet

1x Coldsteel Heart

1x Expedition Map

1x Fervor

1x Hammer of Purphoros

1x Lightning Greaves

1x Orzhov Signet

1x Phyrexian Arena

1x Rakdos Signet

1x Swiftfoot Boots

Instants and Sorceries (33)

1x Anguished Unmaking

1x Armageddon

1x Castigate

1x Cataclysm

1x Damnation

1x Dark Petition

1x Day of Judgment

1x Demonic Tutor

1x Despise

1x Diabolic Edict

1x Dismember

1x Dreadbore

1x Gamble

1x Geth’s Verdict

1x Hymn to Tourach

1x Inquisition of Kozilek

1x Kolaghan’s Command

1x Languish

1x Magmaquake

1x Mortify

1x Night’s Whisper

1x Path to Exile

1x Rakdos’s Return

1x Read the Bones

1x Sign in Blood

1x Swords to Plowshares

1x Terminate

1x Thoughtseize

1x Toxic Deluge

1x Unmake

1x Vindicate

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.

Read this article for the Conspiracy: Take the Crown cards that I think will have a big impact on Commander.

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