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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Commander Review: Theros – Winning without Attacking, Purphoros, God of the Forge

October 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

Hello fellow EDH-ers and welcome back to another Theros set review. Today article we will be moving on with the rest of the high and almighty gods of Theros. Today we shall introduce and review Purphoros the Red god of Theros, who I must admit am pretty impressed with his stats. What is so impressive about him you ask? Shall we proceed to see what I mean.


Purphoros, God of the Forge

Today review Commander is Red part of one of the five main Gods. Let’s have a look at the stats.

Purphoros, God of the Forge

Card Name: Purphoros, God of the Forge


Types: Legendary Enchantment Creature – God

Card Text: Indestructible

As long as your devotion to red is less than five, Purphoros isn’t a Creature.

Whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control, Purphoros deals 2 damage to each opponent.

2R: Creatures you control get +1/+0 until end of turn.

P/T: 6/5

Following the God template, Purphoros also gets the new mechanic “devotion to color” and won’t be a Creature when your devotion to his color is less than five. Now comes the impressive part in my opinion is the best among the five Gods, for EDH-wise, his static ability. Purphoros will deal 2 damage to each of your opponents whenever you have a Creature enters the battlefield under your control. A mini Pandemonium, not as devastating and ONLY applies to you. To me the activated +1/+0 pump on all your Creatures is an added bonus if you ask me. The static ability can easily win you games if left unattended.


Commander Potential

As with all Gods, the standard is same for Purphoros. Indestructible protects him from most removal and his Devotion to Red trigger protects him from sacrifice and exile type removal as long as your devotion to his color is not reached. Both are pretty standard for the Gods if you had been following our reviews on them. Now the mini-Pandemonium ability is the killer. Pandemonium is the Enchantment which allows every Creature’s controller to deal damage equals to their power to target Creature or player when they enter the battlefield. Whoever has the biggest power Creature entering the battlefield can deal tons of damage to any target. Imagine if you combine it with ways to bounce and recast a Creature or blink a Creature. Now take that power and put it here in Purphoros. Purphoros takes Pandemonium ability but makes it with smaller damage but ONLY applies that ability to his controller exclusively. Purphoros’ mini-Pandemonium only targets each opponents, which may seemed a bit limited but by no means weaker. Putting a tons of Creatures onto the battlefield could now means death to all opponents. As Purphoros deals 2 damage for each Creature, unlike Pandemonium which deals according to power, it doesn’t matters whether the Creature has a power of 4, 3, 2, 1 or even 0. Purphoros only cares that a Creature enters your battlefield. Even if those Creatures have 0 power, Purphoros can pump them all up too should you have the need to finish off an opponent after the Pandemonium. Talk about combo all in one.


When the party starts, no one shall be left alone. When the party ends, no one shall be left standing.


Worshipping the God of the Forge

A Commander with indestructibility is a great bonus. Thus with Purphoros it becomes even so with his devotion to Red ability making him much harder to deal with like the other Gods. The Red God’s power lies clearly to me in the mini-Pandemonium it has which allows one to win the game without even attacking with all those Creatures. Just by repeatedly putting Creatures onto the battlefield is actually enough to kill your opponents. So in order to abuse that ability you will need a lot of Creatures and what better way to do that with tokens. Using the tokens way is also a good combination with Purphoros’ weapon, Akmon the Hammer of Purphoros, as it grants Haste to your army, allowing you to deals tons of damage all those tokens entering the battlefield and then follow by attacking with all those tokens to kill off the weakest after the carnage. Below are some ways and combos which to abuse Purphoros’ mini-Pandemonium. ability. As Purphoros is a mono Red Creature, so naturally all the ways and combos mentioned below will be either mono Red or colorless.

Akroan Horse

A political tool. Give an opponent a Defender while it provides you with tokens. Come to think of it… That’s more like trolling that opponent since the tokens will trigger Purphoros on him or her too….. opppss :X

Brood Birthing / Emrakul’s Hatcher / Goblin Marshal / Hearthcage Giant / Hellion Eruption / Siege-Gang Commander / Mogg Infestation / Mogg War Marshal / Myr Battlesphere / Precursor Golem

Various Creatures and spells which bring a number of tokens as they enter or leave the battlefield or being casted. Do remember to count the Creatures together with the tokens they bring along as they enter the battlefield and count towards the damage too.

Diamond Kaleidoscope / Dragon Roost / Dragonmaster Outcast / Empty the Warrens / Genesis Chamber / Goblin Assault / Goblin Scouts / Goblin Warrens / Golem Foundry / Ib Halfheart, Goblin Tactician / Krenko, Mob Boss / Lightning Coils / Metrognome / Mimic Vat / Minion Reflector / Myr Incubator / Myr Matrix / Myr Propagator / Rakka Mar / Nuisance Engine / Orochi Hatchery / Pentavus / Phyrexian Processor / Riptide Replicator / Sarpadian Empires, Vol. VII / Serpent Generator / Sliversmith / Snake Basket / Sparkspitter / Spawnsire of Ulamog / Tetravus / The Hive / Thopter Squadron / Tooth and Claw / Triskelavus / Volrath’s Laboratory

Various permanent ways to pump out tokens one a time or group of them for every activation or trigger.

Elemental Mastery + high power Creatures

Combine with high power Creatures, this Aura could dish out some pretty decent damage. Any Creature with power of 5 or above means 10 or more damage. If Purphoros is available as Creature, that would be 12 damage to all opponents. A good thing about this Aura is that it does not require mana to activate the ability thus leaving you mana to use Purphoros army pumping ability as you attack with all those Elementals produced by the Aura. Although on a side note, it is not that advisable to put this Aura on Purphoros as the Aura will drop off should your devotion to Red drop to below five.

Firecat Blitz / Goblin Offensive

Like a Fireball, these spells may single-handedly just finish off all your opponents. Every token is 2 damage to all opponents; follow by attacking with the tokens on any opponents who are near death after the “Pandemonium”. If needed, you could also leave some mana   open when casting the spells and use that mana to pump the tokens as they attack.


Double or even triple all damage with all your spell damage dealt to your opponents. This is especially deadly since the tokens are 3/1 with Haste. For example, a 3 damage Lightning Bolt would become three Elemental Shaman tokens; which would means 6 damage to all opponents from Purphoros and the tokens are also ready to attack too.

Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs

A good way to troll your opponents. To attack you, opponents have to decide to pay 3 or just let everyone, except you, takes 2 damage.

Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Zealous Conscripts

An infinite combo mentioned to me by Ervin’s brother which let you kill all opponents. How, you ask? Kiki will tap to copy the Conscripts; next target KiKi with Conscripts token which will cause Kiki to untaps; use Kiki ability again on the Conscripts; rinse and repeat and you will be the only one left standing. Combo can also be achieved by replacing Kiki with Splinter Twin. In this case, Splinter Twin will enchant the Conscripts and the copy tokens will untap the Conscripts for more   copy tokens; rinse and repeat and all opponents are dead.

Monkey Cage

Put this in and let the next person who wants to put a Creature onto the battlefield decides how much damage everyone else except you shall take. Or you could just drop a huge power Creature if no one wants to commit.

Norin the Wary

Since the cowardly warrior formed a good combo with Pandemonium, he is also naturally a good combo with Purphoros. Let everyone decide if they want everyone else, except you of   course, to take 2 damage at every end step, or do nothing for their turn.

Rapacious One

A successful attack on an open opponent would mean 10 more damage for every opponent, more damage if Rapacious One has enhancement to its power.


Commoner Path

Of course you may not think the same way as me about the Red God and would like to use him more as a normal Creature in your deck. There are a couple of benefits to this path.

  • Opens up more options to other colors depending on what is the Commander’s color identity, allowing you to deal with threats.
  • More options in other colors for tokens production. For eg. mass blinking cards like Ghostway and Sudden Disappearance

Taking the token production path mentioned above, there are actually a pretty huge amount of Creatures or spells outside of Red which could produce more than one token. Below are the various Creatures and spells in the other colors which are available.


Battle Screech / Belfry Spirit / Captain of the Watch / Cenn’s Enlistment / Cloudgoat Ranger / Conqueror’s Pledge / Darien, King of Kjeldor / Decree of Justice / Elspeth Tirel / Elspeth, Sun’s Champion / Even the Odds / Icatian Crier / Join the Ranks / Knight-Captain of Eos / Martial Coup / Promise of Bunrei / Storm Herd / Summon the School / Twilight Drover


Benthicore / Day of the Dragons / Homarid Spawning Bed / Notorious Throng


Dread Drone / Carrion / Corpsehatch / Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder / Essence Feed / Grave Titan / Infernal Genesis / Marrow-Gnawer / Marsh Flitter / Sengir Autocrat / Skeletal Vampire /Tombstone Stairwell / Weirding Shaman


Acorn Harvest / Bramble Elemental / Broodhatch Nantuko / Carrion Call / Cobra Trap / Crush of Wurms / Deranged Hermit / Druid’s Call / Fertile Imagination / Fists of Ironwood / Guardian of Cloverdell / Gelatinous Genesis / Gilt-Leaf Ambush / Grizzly Fate / Kazandu Tuskcaller / Kozilek’s Predator / Liege of the Hollows / Living Hive / Midsummer Revel / Mitotic Slime / Mongrel Pack / Nacatl War-Pride / One Dozen Eyes / Saber Ants / Saproling Burst / Scatter the Seeds / Sosuke’s Summons / Sekki, Seasons’ Guide / Squirrel Wrangler / Symbiotic Beast / Symbiotic Elf / Symbiotic Wurm / Thelonite Hermit / Verdeloth the Ancient


AEther Mutation / Artifact Mutation / Aura Mutation / Death Mutation / Goblin Trenches / Hazezon Tamar / Kathari Bomber / Morbid Bloom / Patagia Viper / Pollenbright Wings / Repel Intruders / Rise of the Hobgoblins / Rith’s Charm / Sarkhan Vol / Seed Spark / Spectral Procession / Sprouting Thrinax / Supply // Demand / Wort, the Raidmother


Leader or Leaded

Purphoros, God of the Forge

“With me around, everyone shall be your weapon.”

There is no hard and fast way to play with Purphoros. Using him as the Commander certainly restricts the color of the deck for his color identity is Red, so only Red, Artifact or colorless cards are allowed. Red usually does not have that much of a good mid or late game power and tends to run out of steam easily if not built correctly. Using him as a support Creature would provide diversity and allows for more options to the deck. That being said, it is still not very hard really to make Purphoros the Commander as Red has its own board sweep for Creatures, in form of damage, and Artifacts. Some Artifacts also fill up the board sweep for other permanents, especially Enchantments which Red could not deal with. If things get too ugly, Red also has access to super board sweepers like Apocalypse; Decree of Annihilation; Jokulhaups; Obliterate; all of which would really annoy your opponents, and probably makes you the main target of future games. An honorable mention of the above mentioned super sweepers are Jokulhaups and Obliterate. Both are, in my opinion, the two best game sealers as both spare Enchantments. When playing Purphoros as a support Creature, you could combo Purphoros with an Enchantment token producer, like Awakening Zone; Bitterblossom; or Honden of Life’s Web, and just cast either of the super sweepers. The following turns after that would be a race of time for your opponents as they try to recoup and break the combo before they die, while you recoup with the tokens and damage from Purphoros to kill them.

Of course all these are just my opinions on Purphoros. Do enlighten and share with us your ideas or any points which I had missed out in the comments below. For now, that would be all I have for the Red God. Till next article…..


This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.



5 Responses to “Commander Review: Theros – Winning without Attacking, Purphoros, God of the Forge”
  1. Bernardo says:

    I’d love to play that in a token-centered deck with both pandemonium and warstorm surge for maximun damage for every token…

    • Edward says:

      Thank you Bernardo for your comment.

      That is a good option too. As EDH is built with only one per card, it will be good to have an extra way to win when Plan A fails.

  2. Jack says:

    Very good write up!
    However, I run into the issue of people claiming I cannot use “Gods” as commander. What is the current ruling citation and text so I can claim the usage of this card?

  3. admin says:

    Hi Jack, thanks for asking.

    There is no hard and fast rule that what u can or cannot use.

    However you can look at wizards’ website for the banned list.

    however, everyone has their ‘house’ rules. you can ask them what is their ‘house rules’ to play.

  4. Edward says:

    Hi Jack,

    To add on to my partner’s reply. Our group allows the use of “Gods” as Commander as they are Creatures by default. The reasoning behind this is that “Gods” are Creature spells when you cast them. They only stop being Creatures when you do not have the devotion.

    Since they are Creatures and Legendary, we allow them to be Commanders in our play group. Since EDH is a fan made format, house rules can be implemented by your group or ask the play group what is their house rules.

    Cheers & Thank you for reading the article again.