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Commanding Lorcan and Friends


Hello happy people! I hope that your day is gong very well! Today I want to build around another leader from the Commander set that released at the same time as the D&D set. This is my sixth build in a row around leaders just released!

Which Commanders have I built around?

  1. Volo, Guide to Monsters - Firstly, I grabbed and built a Simic deck around this unique Human and Wizard. Every creature in the deck has a unique creature type and I built it around my token Shapeshifter - Riptide Shapshifter who you can sacrifice for the perfect creature in this creature-based build. I hope you enjoy it!
  2. Minsc, Beloved Ranger - I loved the idea of a Giant Boo so much that I tossed together a fun ramp deck that wants a big X effect for your Minsc. I also tossed in a bunch of buddies in the vein of Minsc and Boo like Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves and his legendary token Voja or Jiang Yanggu and his buddy Mowu, Loyal Companion. Enjoy the flavor of making a buddy big to swing and win the game with!
  3. Nihiloor - Then I turned to this Esper Commander that wants you to steal and then swing for a lot of triggers with your stolen stuff! I tossed in a ton of cards like Desertion, Ray of Command and Preacher. Enjoy it here!
  4. Targ Nar, Demon-Fang Gnoll. After building around a controlling deck in Esper the previous week I went full Gruul aggro . I built around the attack and combat damage triggers that are big in these colors, like Avenging Druid and Sunder Shaman. It's a lot of fun! You can check out my pack tactics deck here.
  5. Prosper, Tome-Bound - In this build I create a Rakdos deck that cares about exiling things and casting them like Chandra, Pyromaster or Uba Mask from your library or things like suspend's Profane Tutor and forecast's Poison the Cup. Loads of exiling and casting here! You can grab it and look see here.

And there we are!

What mono-Black Devil inspired my build today?

Lorcan, Warlock Collector

Lorcan did! Check a look at this 6/6 flyer for seven mana. It can kill in four Commander hits. As you can see, when a creature card is put into foes' graveyards from anywhere, you can (it's a may effect) pay some life and then put it onto the battlefield under your control, and it becomes a Warlock, and when it dies you exile it. It's pretty saucy!

Now what do I want to do with Lorcan?

  1. Destruction Removal - The first thing I want to do with Lorcan is to run him with destruction-based removal like Murders to kill and then recur.
  2. Discard - As a supplement to the removal we'll run some lighter discarding elements to help encourage your foes to discard dorks.
  3. Life Gain - We'll need to gain life so we can spend it in mass form to reanimate our Warlock horde.
  4. Mono-Black Milling - There are a handful of mono-Black cards that will force an opponent to mill a card and we'll look at adding some in!
  5. Mono-Black Ramp - I'll lean on traditional mono-Black tools to mana ramp Lorcan.
  6. Support - Card drawing for the win!

And there we go! Now let's turn to the deep dive into my decklist! Since we are going in a different direction from Lorcan on EDHREC.com, I only see a handful of duplications. I did add around 6 cards that were suggested from that list.

Burglar Rat

The first place I dug down into was discard that would hit all opponents like Unnerve, Liliana's Specter and this great two-drop Rat that I adore here as a key path to card advantage city. It's the same as the card it is copying, Relentless Rats, in duels, but the ability to hit all opponents for discard and before they have set up can really help is great in Commander. It's run in a massive 4,774 decks over at EDHREC.com and that's good.

Ravenous Chupacabra

The next place I dug into were creatures with destruction on their body like Nekrataal, et all. The Chupacabra is a classic powerhouse, and I ran them to great power in my Rakdos Midrange Standard deck on Arena a while ago. I love it here as they have no targeting restrictions unlike Nekrataal or the Elemental above. As you can see, this duo is very powerful for the deck.

We still have an issue with my destruction removal. It targets and can't get past hexproof and can't destroy indestructible creatures. I could add in exiling removal that Black has, but then they wouldn't be Lorcan-able. What do I want to do?

Slum Reaper

To deal with these issues, I added every creature to my deck that forces every player to sacrifice a creature on arrival. Everyone, like the Reaper above. This gets around hexproof, indestructible, and lets you trigger Lorcan's graveyard trigger. You can always sacrifice them to your own trigger so you can save what you need. They'll always sacrifice their worst creature, but if you have hit their Birds of Paradise with a Nekrataal, then all they have left is powerful stuff to beat with that you can get under your control. Have you seen Goremand? It's a six drop 5/5 flying and trample which is good, and on arrival forces each foe to sacrifice a dork. But it costs an extra creature - a cost you are willing to pay considering how good this Standard legal uncommon is.

Liliana Vess
Liliana, Waker of the Dead

Let's turn to some planeswalkers named Liliana. I don't have that many planeswalkers in the brew, but I am running almost exclusively Lilianas save for Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath, which is here for his +2 to drain foes of life and act as a backup player killer and life gain machine. The first Liliana is here for her +1 to force a discard, which will hopefully trigger Lorcan if they discard a dork. Please note that I am not running any Tutors as this deck is pretty dense with synergy, so you may just want to -2 her twice and move on. The second Liliana is here for that +1 to force everyone to discard and you are usually okay to do so if you have any cards in your hand. If foes dropped their hand or were discarded out, then her +1 to force the loss of 3 life per opponent can be a quick clock. You can also -3 to kill an indestructible creature that cannot be answered with Diabolic Edicts. Both are great here!

Liliana of the Dark Realms
Liliana's Shade

How about another Liliana and her Shade? The Dark Realms Liliana is pretty cool. She's great in a mono-Black shell like this one where you can +1 her to fetch out a Swamp from your library and put it into your hand. Her Shade also fetches a Swamp on arrival to the battlefield and is also a game winner with all of that mana. We need mana sinks in a deck like this one and that'll do!

Bloodrite Invoker
Archon of Cruelty

Another mana sink is the Invoker. As you can see, this is a three-drop 3/1 that you can invest 8 mana into and drain life from someone which helps with your life gain, as well as to help kill your foes. I added in a few others that activate for life loss and serve as mana sinks.

I love the Archon in this build. It's a flyer than can win the game. When it enters the party, or attacks, you can net its nasty trigger which is...

  • Your targeted foe sacrifices a creature or a planeswalker. Was it a dork? Lorcan trigger.
  • Your foe discards a card. Was it a dork? Lorcan trigger.
  • Your foe losses 3 life. Nice bonus there.
  • You draw a card - free Archon!
  • You gain 3 life - help break the life loss of the double Lorcan trigger.

It's amazing here!

Next let's turn to some milling cards.

Geth, Lord of the Vault
Syr Konrad, the Grim

Check out this 5-powered legendary duo. Geth is awesome here as a backup Lorcan. He has 6 mana for a 5/5 intimidate, which could matter. You can activate repeatedly, as it doesn't tap. You can return an artifact or creature from a foe's graveyard under your control tapped, and you can do it at the end of the turn. Then they mill cards equal to the X. Did they mill a dork? Well, you know what will happen then! Check out Syr Konrad here. At first, I ran him for the activated ability to mill everyone for a card. Multiple mill triggers could happen very quickly. But then I realized that I also like his death trigger and graveyard trigger alongside the milling and the sacrificing and the destruction and the discarding. Love those triggers here!

Vicious Rumors

This is my favorite card that I found on Lorcan's EDHREC.com page. Check out this one-drop common! When you cast this spell a lot of stuff happens!

A. Each opponent is pinged for 1 damage. Okay.

B. Each opponent discards a card. Nice card advantage and Lorcan triggers.

C. Each opponent mills a card. More options for Lorcan.

D. You gain a life. Okay!

Another awesome card for this build that does a lot of yeoman's work!

Thieving Amalgam

I wish this card were on the EDHREC.com page since it's so synergetic with our Warlock Collector. Let's look at why! Thieving Amalgam is a fun seven-drop 6/7 without any major evasive abilities, a bit weak in Commander, but this Ape Snake makes up for it! At the beginning of each foe's upkeep, you manifest their top card into a 2/2, so in a four-player game you make THREE 2/2 each round, and you can morph them up for their mana cost if you grabbed a dork that's Black or colorless. When a creature you control, but don't own dies, then you gain two life, and the owner loses two. Nice life drain. All your manifests will help when they die, and Lorcan is grabbing creatures you'll control but not own from death, discard, and milling en masse! Think of those triggers together!

Polluted Bonds
Palace Siege

I wanted push the life drain into a bunch of places. Check out this enchantment twosome. The former will drain foes of two life each time they drop a land under their control. Without facing ramp, that could be 6 life for you each turn in a four-way game, or else they'll stop dropping lands altogether, which is another way to win. Will they cast cards like Cultivate? If not, you won as they have dead cards, and if so, you won as you get more Bonds triggers to gain life to brake the life loss of Lorcan and to kill foes. The latter card is pretty slick as well, and you'll likely want to choose Dragons, so you can drain everyone of two life in your upkeep, although we have a lot of creatures in the build so you may just want to lean on Khans so you can get a free Raise Dead each upkeep, so its flexible here.

Suffer the Past

You want to run some graveyard abuse answers since you'll have the normal graveyard-literate decks as well as giving them milled cards. One way to answer that is Bojuka Bog. This is another. This is a fun instant X spell that will exile X cards from a library and then it will also have them lose X life and you gain it back. This is a great mana sink, player killer, life gainer, and graveyard-ender in one card. Love it lots!

Twilight Prophet

Check out the Prophet in this brew. Why is it here? It's a flying four-drop 2/4, but it has ascend and with the big creature population we could have, that's very doable. Note that you only need to get to it once so a mass removal spell after you are blessed won't change your blessing. Then the Prophet will trigger in your upkeep and your reveal the top card of your library and draw it. Card draw. And then your foes will lose life and you'll gain Iin equal to its mana cost. Pretty nasty right? If you reveal a medium sized four-drop, you'll gain four life for Lorcan's trigger, drain your foes of four life each, and draw a card. Nasty!

Let's look at another pair of cards and call it.

Font of Agonies
Vilis, Broker of Blood

Each of these will net you triggers for your life lost. The Font will let you toss blood counters on this one drop you can drop and collect them on as early at turn 1. As you lose life, that many counters are tossed on the Font. Pay four life for a four drop from your Lorcan trigger? Four blood counters arrive! Then you can spend two mana and pull four blood counters from the Font to destroy a dork, and that will trigger Lorcan for more life lost and more counters... Nasty here!

Check out Vilis. As you can see, he is a game winning 8/8 flying for 8 mana, doable in this ramp build. As you lose life, you'll draw that many cards! With Lorcan netting you a big life loss on its trigger? That's a powerful intoxicant here. You can also pay 2 life to -1/-1 something and draw two cards. It's a powerful threat at the kitchen table.

And that's it! Let's check out my decklist proper! I think this will play out as Mono-Black Control before Lorcan arrives with a bunch or discard, removal, and sacrifice. And then after Lorcan arrives to the party it plays well with him. And if Lorcan is answered and unable to be cast with Commander Tax or something like Imprisoned in the Moon, you can still fall back on MBC.

And there you go! What did you think of my brew? Anything in here that I missed or that you love? Just let me know!

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