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Random Commander #17: Creatureless Kaervek


Hello folks! I hope that you are having a great day today! Are you staying safe? I hope so!

Today I am cheating. I spent an hour trying to figure out what to write about and I couldn't! So instead I am just going to go ahead and do the next entry in my Random Commander series. What's that and how does it work?

Great questions!

It's a great tool to deal with blasť in your Commander gaming or to get you out of your Commander funk. How do you decide which Commander to build around? According to Gatherer there are 1,018 legendary creatures eligible for leading a Commander deck! How could you ever choose one of those to lead a team? You'd spend hours looking for inspiration!

But what if you could choose one randomly?

Enter EDHREC.com

At the top of its page is a button that looks like the random shuffle button on my iTunes player. It's in the upper right-hand side of the site. This will give you a randomly selected leader to build around!

Here's my goal - to find something fun to build around and smash folks with the power.

Now I do have a few rules.

  1. It has to be legal as a Commander. Some folks build around illegal leaders and I won't. If I randomly get Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary I'll move elsewhere.
  2. It has to be something I haven't gotten in this series. If I have gotten it, then I'll let you know and then we'll do it again.
  3. It cannot be a leader I have used. This is true for my articles as well as my real-life decks. If I flip over Mangara, the Diplomat whom I built a deck around last week, no thanks. I also grabbed a leader I run in real life in my last Random Commander article.
  4. I reserve the right to refuse a heavily played leader. My goal is to test myself not to make Kaalia of the Vast 3.0. Unless I can come up with a unique take on said leader, and if so, I will push myself further in that direction.

Ready for the Randomizer circuit?

The Randomizer is a circuit that is used in the TARDIS when they are being chased by the powerful and evil Black Guardian during the 4th Doctor's run. This would make the TARDIS impossible to track by normal means. If the Doctor didn't know where he was going, then his enemies couldn't be waiting on him. You can read more about it here.

In a similar way, the MTG Randomizer circuit does the same thing. Your foes cannot use your trends to predict what you'll play next when you are using a randomly determined card, right? Right!

All right, so let's hit the random button and see where I wind up!

Kaervek, the Spiteful

Kaervek, the Spiteful! Huh. I don't know that I've ever had a random choice from the most recent legal set before. Usually they go back a long time! I've have multiple ones from the first Legends ranomdly selected in this series alone!

How am I going to build around this guy? Kaervek, the Merciless would be much better, right?



Well I suppose it depends on how you play it, and I have the right idea -

Well, right for you. So wrong for your foes!

What if Kaervek, the Spiteful is the only creature in your deck? What if you had a classic Mono-Black control deck only with no other cards? You could build the strongest and nastiest anti-creature deck imaginable.

Where does it start?

Tainted Aether...

Never heard of it?

Take a look!

Tainted Aether

Whenever a dork arrives to the battlefield, its leader sacrifices a dork or a land. That's a pricey tax! Who would wanna play it? You have to as well! But you don't even need to resolve Kaervek to win if you don't want to. Plus, you only have the one dork. This is a break on a lot of decks at the kitchen table. Note that this also works on tokens making them a bad thing to bring to the party.

Spreading Plague
Death Match

We also have a few other cards that hurt everyone when dorks arrive to the aforementioned party. Spreading Plague kills folks very fast. You can keep someone from dropping their leader when it's out as it'll kill their entire group of everything that's not colorless. I have one in my real life Zur the Enchanter deck and it shuts down a lot of creatures. Folks get scared to run dorks out there and the battlefield looks downright naked. Death Match is a weaker version of this effect. Your foes will usually aim it at each other, but you can aim it similarly if you drop Kaervek, although you'll not likely want to as its not big enough to liv a Death Match back. Punch above your weight with this card. Both of these cards have a powerful way to ebb the flow of creatures at the table.

Speaking of which...


Portcullis is one of my favorite cards as it is so flexible. The creature arrives to the battlefield and then looks around and puts any triggers it may have on the stack. Too many dorks? It'll head into the exile zone and then when the Portcullis heads to the great graveyard in the sky those dorks come back and give you another set of triggers. I like killing it myself with something like Acidic Slime and then getting all of my stored goods back in one go. This is another break on dorks. No! You cannot drop a dork and keep it out if there are too many creatures on the battlefield, you'll have to wait your turn!

And there's another such artifact that hates on creatures we can run!

Ward of Bones

Ward of Bones is another nasty take on this artifact hosing of creatures. In a creatureless battlefield, no one can cast one. Sorry. That's the breaks. Note that will likely have enough of the other permanents to allow decks to run those. I have a lot of artifacts and enchantments in lieu of what my foe is running, so this won't normally act as a break on them, just on my creatures. But that's enough!

I will also run all of the tools of classic Mono-Black control here as well from Cabal Coffers to Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

Scour from Existence

I have the mana! We are running the colorless Desert Twister that can answer anything. Note that Black cannot normally answer most things not named creatures or planeswalkers, so here we can add in enchantment and artifact removal and land removal too should you need it. Just like tossing in Desert Twister into a ramp deck is fine since you have the mana, we do too! I am also running Ugin, the Spirit Dragon and Karn Liberated to give more colorless answers to any permanent problem.

Planar Void
Torpor Orb

Because I have the extra space, I am running some hosers that hurt everyone including myself, such as Planar Void. Sure, I'm exiling my things when they hit the graveyard as well, but it won't matter much as I'm not running anything that cares. Leyline of the Void is here to shut that down as well. They are great first turn drops. Torpor Orb shuts down the popular enters-the-battlefield of most Commander decks. You can shut them down too! You've got this! Their Mulldrifter is just a Wind Drake and their Rambunctious Mutt just a vanilla creature.

Guardian Idol

Another theme of this deck is to turn lands and artifacts into swingers. As you kill with the opposite of kindness you will drop foes to low life, and you can swing over with a Guardian Idol or Mishra's Factory for a little bit of damage. Every bit helps! These cards avoid all of the hijinks of cards in the deck like Spreading Plague, Death Match, and Tainted Aether!

Chimeric Mass
Xanthic Statue

I am also running a few more of these in the artifact section of my deck. Chimeric Mass is a colorless Hydra that requires you to spend a mana to activate it. Again - my ramp deck has that mana, and this is bigger than something like Ivy Elemental which requires a mana to start. Xanthic Statue can turn into a powerful 8/8 beater with trample. These can both win the game! And that's what I want.

Haunted Plate Mail

Do you control Kaervek? Then equip it and turn it into a 7/6 that can kill in three Commander hits with Haunted Plate Mail on a likely empty board. Otherwise it's a 4/4 artifact dork that can punch above its weight! Either way it works here.

The Abyss
The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

I also added in two powerful money cards for this build. If you have them, use them. If not, you can find replacements or just use something else for these slots.

And there we have it! Take a look see at my deck...

Creatureless Kaervek | Commande | Abe Sargent

And there we are! What did you think of my creatureless take on Kaervek? Are you inspired similarly? Just let me know and have an awesome day!

If you enjoyed this random challenge, why not check out more before in the Appendix below.

Appendix - Random Commander Challenges

Did you enjoy today's deck and want to check out all the random chaos from the previous editions? Great! Here they are.

  1. For my first challenge, I hit on Random Gatherer Gwendlyn di Corci from the set that introduced legendary permanents. I create a discard-matters deck around her.
  2. I flip over one of the original Elder Dragon Legends that the format was initially named after - Arcades Sabboth. I decide to build around a non-Red and non-Black Dragon theme. Get ready!
  3. The Random Fairy Strikes Again! This time it lands on Toshiro Umezawa, one of the major protagonists of the Kamigawa Block storyline. Check out my spell-based fun time deck!
  4. My submission of the random button finds the vanilla The Lady of the Mountain. Inspired by one of the few Commander options legally printed as a common, I decide to create a Pauper EDH deck for you! Let me know what you think!
  5. I hit the random button and got Kefnet the Mindful. I turned him into a budget build for fewer than $33 as part of my Budget Commander series. Enjoy!
  6. Random Gatherer hits Nissa, Vastwood Seer for a fun, mono-Green Forests-matter deck! Check it out!
  7. This time, we hit 1-drop Vanilla Isamaru, Hound of Konda. What do I do with him? How about Isamaru Ultron? Let's give our pet some pants.
  8. Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle - This build wants to build a fun challenge around the historic recursions of Teshar's potential. You can check it out here.
  9. I randomly uncover Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind from way back and build a fun damage-matters and card-drawing matters build for your consideration! Let me know what you think!
  10. What happens when Gatherer give me Palladia-Mors, the Ruiner? I make one of the most fun EDH decks in this series, that's what! Check it out!
  11. I flip over Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient that loves to fork artifact abilities. Want to check out this odd take on Mono-Red artifacts?
  12. Gatherer gives me Selvala, Heart of the Wilds. I use it to build a fun power-matters synergetic build. Check it out!
  13. I randomly hit Lady Zhurong, and I decide to build a Mono-Green deck around her and her husband Meng Huo, Barbarian King. Check it out!
  14. I randomly open with Seasinger, and I decide to build around that rather than a legendary leader. Check out my Mono-Blue Merfolk deck!
  15. I use the EDHREC Random Commander option and dial up Anya, Merciless Angel, which is the wrong colors as she feels more Rakdos to me. I lean into fun times around dropping everyone's life! Wanna check it out?
  16. I use the Random Commander button and get Balthor the Defiled a Zombie Dwarf who brings back all dead Red and Black dorks over and over again. It's a fun build, check it out!

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