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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Set Review Commander 2015 – Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest

July 10, 2016 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

As we move on with the Commander review for the Commander 2015 set, we come to the other Golgari Commander of the set. Residing deep under the Ravnica undercity lives the kraul, a race of Insects who has their own caste system not aligned with any guilds. Today featured Commander is one such leader of the secretive kraul.

Kraul Warrior

Living the Great Life in the Undercity.

 

The Great Wheel of Life and Death

As mentioned earlier, the Kraul are a race of insectile who inhabit the undercity, far below the main streets of Ravnica. While many of them feel a sense of loyalty and kinship towards the Golgari Swarm; there are those who reject the guilds and organize themselves according to their own mysterious caste system. Today featured Commander is one such individual who holds the high position of Death Priest among the rigid caste system of the Kraul. He leads the buzzing chants of the kraul rites and invoke essence of decay to keep the great wheel of life and death turning. Little as of now is known of them but as his stats implies, it seems the Death Priest is able to use the death and decay of other things to enhance the strength of the whole race. Below are said stats of the Death Priest.

Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest

Card Name: Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest

CMC: 3BG

Types: Legendary Creature – Insect Shaman

Card Text: Flying

Whenever a player sacrifices another permanent, put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.

P/T: 2/2

Golgari color combination is well known for its many sacrificial abilities. Mazirek although not officially from the guild itself, also thrives on the guild’s sacrificial activities. What I really like about Mazirek is how it not only just grow itself but grow the entire army too. If your deck is pack with enough sacrifice effects, Mazirek itself can already take down an opponent with its grown size, needless to say the potential danger it poses when you have an army to back it up. The major plus point of Mazirek is that his pumping ability trigger on all sacrifice except for itself from everyone. On top of that, the sacrifice includes all permanents instead of just one type of permanent. Mazirek is a very good political tool in that your allies can help you to pump up your army by sacrificing things on their side should you need it. All good being said, Mazirek does has a weak point to it despite being an awesome army pumper, it has no sacrificial means of its own. That means it cannot trigger its own ability and therefore require external help in order for its trigger to happen. That may had been the balance designed into it or else we may have an even higher cc for it. While we are talking about its cc, it should be noted that its cc is also quite high for its stats; 5cc for a Flying 2/2. Without anything to help with sacrificing things, Mazirek is in fact a really over cost Creature. Thus it is very much the theme support Commander which in this case is sacrificing things.

brood of cockroaches

Attack of the Brood.

 

For the Community

Birthing Pod

Be Rebirth.

As mentioned earlier, Mazirek requires outsource for its sacrificial means. Although it thrives on sacrifices made from everyone, it is still better to have some of such ways yourself so you can sacrifice things as and when you want. Below are various sacrificial outlets for various purposes. Besides playing below ways, you can also play things which can sacrifice themselves to trigger Mazirek too whichever suits you better.

 

Arcbound Ravager / Extruder

Sacrifice Artifacts to pump up +1/+1 counters.

Altar of Dementia / Undercity Informer

Sacrifice Creatures for milling.

Ashnod’s Altar / Phyrexian Altar / Soldevi Adnate

Sacrifice Creatures for mana.

Attrition / Stronghold Assassin

Sacrifice Creatures for killing nonblack Creature threats.

Birthing Pod

Ultimate Creature sacrificing outlet which double as tutor. Toolbox material.

Blasting Station / Fodder Cannon / Krovikan Horror / Skull Catapult

Sacrifice Creatures for damage.

Blood Bairn / Blood Host / Bloodflow Connoisseur / Bloodthrone Vampire / Carrion Feeder / Devouring Swarm / Fallen Angel / Flesh Carver / Flesh-Eater Imp / Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet / Nantuko Husk / Phyrexian Broodlings / Phyrexian Ghoul / Scourge of Skola Vale / Vampire Aristocrat

Sacrifice Creatures to pump itself.

Brood Butcher / Cabal Patriarch / Fell Shepherd / Phyrexian Plaguelord / Plagued Rusalka

Sacrifice Creatures to kill Creatures with till end of turn minus to the toughness.

Bubbling Cauldron / Disciple of Griselbrand / Gutless Ghoul / Kheru Dreadmaw / Life Chisel / Starved Rusalka

Sacrifice Creatures for life gain.

Carnage Altar / Culling Dais / Greater Good / Phyrexian Vault

Sacrifice Creatures for card draw.

Champion of Stray Souls

Sacrifice Creatures for selective Living Death.

Claws of Gix

Sacrifice permanents for life gain.

Corpse Harvester

Sacrifice Creatures to tutor for Zombie and Swamp.

Corpse Traders / Mind Slash / Nezumi Bone-Reader / Sadistic Hypnotist

Sacrifice Creatures to disrupt opponent’s hand.

Evolutionary Leap

Sacrifice Creatures to get a Creature from your library top.

Gate to Phyrexia

Sacrifice Creatures to destroy Artifact.

Ghoulcaller Gisa / Feed the Pack / Korozda Guildmage / Ooze Garden / Spawning Pit

Sacrifice Creatures for tokens.

Gnawing Zombie

Sacrifice Creatures to kill opponent with life loss and gain life.

Golgari Guildmage

Sacrifice Creatures to retrieve Creature.

Golgari Rotwurm / Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord

Sacrifice Creatures to kill opponent with life loss.

Hell’s Caretaker

Sacrifice Creatures to reanimate Creature.

Helm of Possession

Sacrifice Creatures for stealing Creature.

Infernal Tribute

Sacrifice nontoken permanents for card draw.

Jinxed Idol / Jinxed Ring

Sacrifice Creatures to pass it around. Fun card to disrupt everyone.

Krark-Clan Ironworks

Sacrifice Artifacts for mana.

Kuldotha Forgemaster

Sacrifice Artifacts to tutor for Artifact to battlefield.

Kheru Bloodsucker

Sacrifice Creatures to self-pump plus kill opponents with life loss and gain life if sacrificed Creature toughness is 4 or greater.

Malevolent Awakening

Sacrifice Creatures for retrieving Creature from graveyard to hand.

Perilous Forays

Sacrifice Creatures for Land ramp.

Plaguemaw Beast / Throne of Geth

Sacrifice Artifacts to Proliferate.

Sunstone

Sacrifice Snow Lands to prevent combat damage.

Vampiric Rites

Sacrifice Creatures for life gain and card draw.

Wand of the Elements

Sacrifice Island or Mountain to make Elemental tokens.

Zuran Orb

Sacrifice Lands for life gain.

 

Evolutionary Leap

“Evolution never skip a leap. They said.”

 

With the benefit gained, you can either beat down your opponents with your army of pumped up Creatures or use those +1/+1 counters gained for other stuff. There are some Creatures or ways which can use those +1/+1 counters on them for their abilities. With those Creatures, you might not even need to attack and be able to win the game there. Below are examples of some of such Creatures.

 

Arcbound Reclaimer

Use +1/+1 counters to retrieve Artifacts to library top.

Aquastrand Spider

Graft 2.

G: Gives Creatures with +1/+1 counters on them Reach till end of turn.

Bramblewood Paragon

Gives +1/+1 counter to your other Warriors when they entered the battlefield.

Gives Trample to all your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them.

Crowned Ceratok

Trample.

Gives Trample to all your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them.

Cytoplast Root-Kin

Graft 4.

Gives a +1/+1 counter to other Creatures with +1/+1 counters on them when it enters the battlefield.

2: Move +1/+1 counters from your Creatures onto Root-Kin.

Cytospawn Shambler

Graft 6.

G: Give target Creature with +1/+1 counter on it trample till end of turn.

Drakestown Forgotten / Korozda Gorgon / Retribution of the Ancients

Use +1/+1 counter to give target Creatures -1/-1 till end of turn.

Etched Oracle / Mindless Automaton

Use +1/+1 counters to draw cards.

Fertilid

Use +1/+1 counter to tutor for basic Land onto battlefield for target player. Political tool.

Gyre Sage

Evolve.

Add G for each +1/+1 counter on it.

Longshot Squad

Outlast.

Gives Reach to all your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them.

Mer-Ek Nightblade

Outlast.

Gives Deathtouch to all your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them.

Mindwarper

Use +1/+1 counter to force target player to discard a card.

Oona’s Blackguard

Flying.

Gives +1/+1 counter to your other Rogue when they entered the battlefield.

Whenever your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them deal combat damage to a player, that player discards a card.

Ooze Flux

Change +1/+1 counters into Ooze tokens.

Pentavus / Spike Breeder / Tetravus / Thopter Squadron / Triskelavus

Change +1/+1 counters into tokens.

Phantom Centaur / Phantom Nantuko / Phantom Tiger / Phantom Wurm

+1/+1 counter auto prevent damage dealt to it.

Realm Seekers

Use +1/+1 counter to tutor for Land.

Sekki, Seasons’ Guide

Auto prevent damage with +1/+1 counters and change them into Spirit tokens.

Simic Basilisk

Graft 3.

1G: Give target Creature with +1/+1 counter on it gains “Whenever this Creature deals combat damage to a Creature, destroy that Creature at end of combat.”

Spike Feeder

Change +1/+1 counters into life gain.

Spike Tiller

Use +1/+1 counters to animate Lands.

Spike Weaver

Use +1/+1 counters to prevent all combat damage.

Sporeback Troll

Graft 2.

1G: Regenerate target Creature with +1/+1 counter on it.

Triskelion

Use +1/+1 counters to deal damage to target.

Tuskguard Captain

Outlast.

Gives Trample to all your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them.

Workhorse

Use +1/+1 counter for colorless mana.

 

Sporeback Troll

Using whatever resources available.

 

And how can any EDH be without some form of combo in it. The most common interaction of Mazirek is with the Persist Creatures. Since Mazirek put +1/+1 counter on all Creatures every time a permanent is sacrificed, that will effective negate the -1/-1 counter the Persist Creatures get after they come back. Mazirek can combo with the Persist Creature and a sacrificial outlet to create an infinite loop of sacrifice. And from there how you win is up to your imagination. For quick reference, the few Persist Creatures within Mazirek color identity are as follow: Aerie Ouphes; Lingering Tormentor; Puppeteer Clique; Rendclaw Trow; Woodfall Primus. Below are some more combos you may consider to use.

 

Necrogenesis + Ashnod’s Altar

Infinite exile of Creatures from graveyards. Mazirek in the mix will mean an infinite big army.

Nether Traitor + Phyrexian Altar + Golgari Germination

Infinite mana of any color. Sacrifice Traitor to Altar to get a B; trigger Germination get a Saproling; Sacrifice Saproling for any color mana; Trigger Traitor with floating B; Rinse and Repeat. Mazirek in the mix will mean an infinite big army.

Mazirek + Puppeteer Clique + Sacrificial Outlet

Infinite stealing Creatures from opponents’ graveyards and exiling them afterwards.

Mazirek + Woodfall Primus + Sacrificial Outlet

Infinite destroying nonCreature permanents.

Mazirek + Persist Creature + Altar of Dementia

Infinite milling.

Mazirek + Persist Creature + Ashnod’s Altar / Phyrexian Altar

Infinite mana.

 

Ashnod’s Altar

“Your sacrifice shall not be wasted.”

 

Conclusion

Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest

For the Community.

In my opinion, although Mazirek can be a strong combo deck when built with right support cards, it is not really a must to make it the Commander. Its color identity has the right tutors to ensure you get the respective combo pieces when you need it. Making it the Commander will help to get it on the battlefield as and when you need it as it will always be in the Commander waiting for your call. Mazirek is also a good support Creature in a deck which is pack with many sacrifice abilities.

How will you use it in your deck? Will you center your deck around it or use him to support your Commander? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below. And with that, I shall end it here for today article. Do stay tune for more reviews on the other upcoming Commanders from Commander 2015. Till then.

 

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

:D~

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