Korlash, Heir to Blackblade Grandeur - they said it couldn't be done...

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

Grandeur is kind of an insane ability when you look at it. The power level of some of the effects is pretty damn high, and they don't even have a mana cost. In korlash's case, spellshaping a card into a free instant speed Explosive Vegetation is nutty.

Of course, it's not really feasible in commander since you can only have a single copy. Sure, it's POSSIBLE, but it's really hard. First you have to clone your commander (something anyone not blue will have a hard time with) and then you have to get it into your hand somehow...by that point, it can't possibly be worth the effort, right?

Well, probably, but I want to do it anyway.

So there's three steps to the combo:

Step 1: clone Korlash and bin the original.
Step 2: return Korlash to hand from grave.
Step 3: Grandeur! Mission accomplished!

That might not sound super exciting for a glorified explosive veggies. What makes this worthwhile, though, is that if you've got a way to do step 2 repeatedly, you can easily enable grandeur not once, but over and over. For this reason, the MVP of the deck is Phyrexian Reclamation. For 2 mana, you can get 2 tapped swamps, as often as you can pay for it. You can see how this might get out of hand pretty easily.

How it wins, ultimately, is a little boring - mostly via Exsanguinate or Torment of Hailfire. But there are other more fun options! Dread Presence, Ob Nixilis, the Fallen, or a big lifelinky tramply korlash clone can all be some good clean fun.

Anyway, here's the list:
The Grandeur of Korlash

Commander (1)


Approximate Total Cost:

I spent a bunch of time thinking through the other grandeur commanders, and I think the only other one that would work at all would be Baru, Fist of Krosa, almost entirely thanks to Paleoloth which goes infinite with him. I opted to go with Korlash instead, though, because I think Baru will be a lot less interesting to play - you tutor for paleoloth (and probably Mirrorpool since the other clone options are hard for green to tutor) and then you win if you pull it off, there's no real middle ground. With Korlash you might end up just getting 2-4 free swamps a turn, or Exsanguinating for a large, nonlethal amount, so it seemed more interesting.

EDIT: just had an amazing brainstorm - Field of the Dead is absurd with Korlash! It sounds hard to enable, but Korlash can tutor nonbasic swamps like leech-ridden and cottage, plus you've got the snow and non-snow versions of swamp. Plus field itself, you only need 2 other land names and Korlash gives you everything else on a silver platter. From then on, every cycle of Korlash nets you 2 zombies for free! Insane!
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

weltkrieg
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Post by weltkrieg » 1 year ago

It seems an interesting concept, one clone effect you have missed is Helm of the Host . I understand that the copy isn't legendary, but there are other ways to get rid of the original as necessary. This copy is permanent sans removal, as well.

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 1 year ago

I really don't ever want to tell someone to look at another commander when approaching a concept butttttt Gisa and Geralf are a nice way to play Korlash in the 99 and have access to clones. Also, discarding Korlash is more reasonable with them as your commander as you can recover him to play from them.
[EDH] Sram (auras) | Bruna | Heliod | Sai | Naban | Anje

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

weltkrieg wrote:
1 year ago
It seems an interesting concept, one clone effect you have missed is Helm of the Host . I understand that the copy isn't legendary, but there are other ways to get rid of the original as necessary. This copy is permanent sans removal, as well.
I didn't miss it, I just don't think it quite fits. I'd need to run sac outlets (which reduces my swamp count), plus 9 mana is a ton to get a copy, and the costs are clunky with my commander's cmc. Not having a copy permanently is a little bit of a bummer for the non-mirrorpool clones, but after a turn of korlashing up swamps, the cost to replay korlash to repeat the cycle shouldn't be a big deal.

I'm running a lot of tutors, so realistically I don't need that many clone effects. I'll just tutor for the best one.
ISBPathfinder wrote:
1 year ago
I really don't ever want to tell someone to look at another commander when approaching a concept butttttt Gisa and Geralf are a nice way to play Korlash in the 99 and have access to clones. Also, discarding Korlash is more reasonable with them as your commander as you can recover him to play from them.
But I don't want to put him into play, I want to return him to my hand. And I have no interest in zombie tribal. So they don't really do anything except provide CI. And adding another color means I can't realistically run so many swamps, which is kind of the point of the deck (although it is nice to be able to activate field of the dead off dual swamps).

While the lack of clones is a limiting factor for the deck, mirrorpool is a pretty reasonable tax to pay for the effect. And there are plenty of tutors to find it. The other options are a little clunkier but they still do a pretty good job with reclamation.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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ISBPathfinder
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 1 year ago

DirkGently wrote:
1 year ago
ISBPathfinder wrote:
1 year ago
I really don't ever want to tell someone to look at another commander when approaching a concept butttttt Gisa and Geralf are a nice way to play Korlash in the 99 and have access to clones. Also, discarding Korlash is more reasonable with them as your commander as you can recover him to play from them.
But I don't want to put him into play, I want to return him to my hand. And I have no interest in zombie tribal. So they don't really do anything except provide CI. And adding another color means I can't realistically run so many swamps, which is kind of the point of the deck (although it is nice to be able to activate field of the dead off dual swamps).

While the lack of clones is a limiting factor for the deck, mirrorpool is a pretty reasonable tax to pay for the effect. And there are plenty of tutors to find it. The other options are a little clunkier but they still do a pretty good job with reclamation.
Back when I ran G&G I ran the 4 fetchable duals and fetchlands then I ran like 10+ swamps. I ended up building it as a coffers splash blue deck and it seemed to be fine. I understand that it isn't really a cheap way to do it, but its viable. I also only ran something like 10-14 or so zombies as mine was more of a control deck than a tribal zombie deck.

EDIT: its all good though, I don't like to go in and recommend other commanders (which I just did). I just thought I would bring it up as an option for a clone optional setup.
[EDH] Sram (auras) | Bruna | Heliod | Sai | Naban | Anje

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DirkGently
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Post by DirkGently » 1 year ago

ISBPathfinder wrote:
1 year ago
Back when I ran G&G I ran the 4 fetchable duals and fetchlands then I ran like 10+ swamps. I ended up building it as a coffers splash blue deck and it seemed to be fine. I understand that it isn't really a cheap way to do it, but its viable. I also only ran something like 10-14 or so zombies as mine was more of a control deck than a tribal zombie deck.

EDIT: its all good though, I don't like to go in and recommend other commanders (which I just did). I just thought I would bring it up as an option for a clone optional setup.
Fetchlands are obviously a great way to fix (cost is irrelevant since I'm building from my collection), but they do cut down on how many lands I can pull with Korlash. Especially with Amulet of Vigor I can potentially pull every swamp in the deck into play in a single turn. The whole fun of the build is in how ridiculous the top end is. Only having 14 swamps to hit (some of which would already be fetched into play) would be kind of lame imo. At that point it'd be easier to just play a normal ramp deck with Boundless Realms or something.

I'm not really a fan of running an "unofficial" commander that needs to be tutored every game to do whatever thing I'm trying to do. And it makes it more vulnerable to exile and whatnot. I'm not saying you couldn't conceivably do G&G with korlash but it seems like a pretty weak synergy which doesn't really justify kicking him into the 99. If I was going to do a non-grandeur-commander grandeur deck, it'd probably be 5c with all 5 of them. The main reason to go black is that black has most of the recursion, and phyrexian rec in particular.
Perm Decks
Phelddagrif - Kaervek - Golos - Zirilan

Flux Decks
Lukka - Sefris - Ebondeath - Rokiric - Garth - Nixilis - Grist - Mavinda - Kumano - Nezahal - Mavinda - Plargg - Plargg - Extus - Plargg - Oracle - Kardur - Halvar - Tergrid - Egon - Cosima - Halana+Livio - Jeska+Falthis+Obosh - Yeva - Akiri+Zirda - Lady Sun - Nahiri - Korlash - Overlord+Zirda - Chisei - Athreos2 - Akim - Cazur+Ukkima - Otrimi - Otrimi - Kalamax - Ayli+Lurrus - Clamilton - Gonti - Heliod2 - Ayula - Thassa2 - Gallia - Purphoros2 - Rankle - Uro - Rayami - Gargos - Thrasios+Bruse - Pang - Sasaya - Wydwen - Feather - Rona - Toshiro - Sylvia+Khorvath - Geth - QMarchesa - Firesong - Athreos - Arixmethes - Isperia - Etali - Silas+Sidar - Saskia - Virtus+Gorm - Kynaios - Naban - Aryel - Mizzix - Kazuul - Tymna+Kraum - Sidar+Tymna - Ayli - Gwendlyn - Phelddagrif - Liliana - Kaervek - Phelddagrif - Mairsil - Scarab - Child - Phenax - Shirei - Thada - Depala - Circu - Kytheon - GrenzoHR - Phelddagrif - Reyhan+Kraum - Toshiro - Varolz - Nin - Ojutai - Tasigur - Zedruu - Uril - Edric - Wort - Zurgo - Nahiri - Grenzo - Kozilek - Yisan - Ink-Treader - Yisan - Brago - Sidisi - Toshiro - Alexi - Sygg - Brimaz - Sek'Kuar - Marchesa - Vish Kal - Iroas - Phelddagrif - Ephara - Derevi - Glissa - Wanderer - Saffi - Melek - Xiahou Dun - Lazav - Lin Sivvi - Zirilan - Glissa - Ashling1 - Angus - Arcum - Talrand - Chainer - Higure - Kumano - Scion - Teferi1 - Uyo - Sisters
PDH - Drake - Graverobber - Izzet GM - Tallowisp - Symbiote
Brawl - Feather - Ugin - Jace - Scarab - Angrath - Vraska - Kumena
Oathbreaker - Wrenn&6

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 1 year ago

No problem, I get you on the unofficial commander thing. I was just running a G&G deck and happened to run Korlash as a beater. It really wasn't a focus on him so much as me thinking a deck full of swamps was a fine place to put him in.
[EDH] Sram (auras) | Bruna | Heliod | Sai | Naban | Anje

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Post by umtiger » 1 year ago

This is a neat build!

When I get to play paper MTG again, I might finally have a spot for the foil Diabolic Revelation that I have.

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