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Lights, Camera, Commander: Moraug, Fury of Akoum

 

Zendikar Rising has given us a lot of exciting things in the Commander format – a set name that’s easy to confuse with the name of the card Zendikar Resurgent, the inscrutable acronym “MDFC” (modal double-faced cards,) and of course, awesome new Commanders. Let’s take a look at one of my personal favorites, which I loved so much when I first read it that I temporarily lost the ability to finish reading the card after I started reading it. Upon re-reading, it’s not an infinite combo monster the way I thought it was, but it is a ton of fun, and I think it’ll be great for webcam Commander. Let’s build around Moraug, Fury of Akoum!

Moraug, Fury of Akoum

Moraug’s whole deal is encapsulated in his landfall ability – He wants to create extra combat phases, but he’ll be doing so without generating extra main phases to go with them. That’s why it’s much harder to go infinite with him than I initially thought, or at least, that’s part of it. The other part is that the lands have to enter during your main phase to do what Moraug wants them to do.

Still, it’s easy enough to get a bunch of lands to enter all at once in your main phase and really stack up some combats. Once you’ve done that, Moraug’s first ability sounds a lot more enticing – the more your creatures attack in a single turn, the more power they get, making each subsequent attack even more devastating.

With that in mind, one could stack up a bunch more additional combat steps, maybe even comboing Aggravated Assault with something like Sword of Feast and Famine, and structure a deck that way. I’m going to take things in a little bit of a different direction – Moraug will be the only way to generate additional combats, and I’ll therefore be focusing on other Landfall triggers, more ways to put additional lands onto the battlefield, and creatures with abilities that trigger whenever they attack. Let’s see what that looks like!

Akoum HellkiteGeode RagerNesting Dragon

These three are all about their landfall triggers. Geode Rager is new in the Zendikar Commander decks, and the effect of goading other players’ creatures should leave them wide open for a Moraug-fueled multiattack. It’s a perfect combination. Akoum Hellkite and Nesting Dragon are slightly less perfect, but they still provide fantastic landfall value.

Alpine GuideBurnished HartOblivion SowerSolemn SimulacrumWalking Atlas

These five help us get some land on the battlefield. Burnished Hart and Solemn Simulacrum are in tons of Commander decks, but Alpine Guide doesn’t get quite as much love, partially because it’s red and partially because you lose a Mountain when it dies. Oblivion Sower is very swingy, but if you hit multiple lands, you can really power up your team with Moraug combats. Walking Atlas, the artifact that didn’t know it was an artifact, can help make extra land drops – just make sure to activate it in your main phase to trigger your furious Minotaur Commander.

Captain Lannery StormConduit of StormsDrakuseth, Maw of FlamesEtali, Primal StormHanweir GarrisonHellriderIlharg, the Raze-BoarInferno TitanKrenko, Tin Street KingpinPatron of the AkkiTectonic GiantTyrant's Familiar

Here’s our top twelve team of tenacious toughs. They all do something extra when they attack, so they’re all poised to take advantage of the additional attacks afforded to them by Moraug. Conduit of Storms is one you probably don’t see much, but imagine attacking with it (or the Eldrazi Werewolf on the reverse side) multiple times and generating a bunch of mana for your second main phase. It’s like Neheb, but you had to do a lot of work for it! Okay, it’s really here because it’s cool, and there’s equity in playing sweet cards in Commander. Patron of the Akki also doesn’t show up a lot, but since it’s on “The List” for low-probability reprints in Set Boosters I was reminded of it – the +2/+0 trigger gets a lot better in multiples. The rest should be more familiar to Commander veterans, but I encourage you to bask in the glory of each of these cards and enjoy how sweet they are when they get to attack multiple times per turn. I can’t wait to get weird with Hanweir, the Writhing Township and a pile of 3/2 Eldrazi Horror tokens.

Archetype of AggressionBalefire DragonDragonmaster OutcastLeyline TyrantNeheb, the EternalOgre BattledriverUrabrask the Hidden

These are our utility creatures. I know they don’t look like utility creatures, but that’s the only way I can really categorize them all. Archetype of Aggression gives our team trample, which is a huge boon in a deck that pumps the power of its creatures up as much as this one. Balefire Dragon can clear out blockers for a second attack (or third, or fourth…) so that you can really crash in with a Moraug-fueled team. Dragonmaster Outcast isn’t exactly a landfall creature, but we’ll have enough land to get some tokens, so I’m optimistic about it. Leyline Tyrant lets us use extra mana from cards like Conduit of Storms or Neheb, the Eternal to really go off, and honestly, it’s a cool new card that I want to try out. Ogre Battledriver and Urabrask the Hidden both provide haste to the team, which is really important in a deck that has a really small window to make things happen.

Kazuul's Fury // Kazuul's CliffsShatterskull Smashing // Shatterskull, the Hammer PassValakut Awakening // Valakut Stoneforge

These might not seem like the best spells in the world, but they’re all decent, and better yet, they all have lands on the other side. It’s great to be able to flex these as needed, and we have some tools that allow us to return these to our hand and cast the spell halves if necessary.

 

Valakut Exploration

I’m not full of amazing landfall triggers in the spell section, but Valakut Exploration is wonderful. It’s a great way to effectively draw cards and either use those cards to affect the battlefield or bash opponents for huge amounts of damage if they end up just getting exiled.

Cleansing WildfireGeomancer's GambitNahiri's LithoformingWayfarer's Bauble

When you saw Cleansing Wildfire, did you remember its older, crappier clone, Geomancer’s Gambit? I bet you didn’t. That said, both cards do something great in this deck – they create a landfall trigger and replace themselves. Nahiri’s Lithoforming takes that to another level as long as you have more lands to play. Wayfarer’s Bauble would normally go in my “mana rocks” section, but in a deck so focused around Moraug, it ends up in this more descriptive category with other landfall enablers.

Crucible of Worlds

This card is already great with Nahiri’s Lithoforming and the two Ghost Quarter spells, and it’ll make even more sense when you see this deck’s ridiculous manabase. If this card gets boring, I’ll cut it for Fervor, but for now, I want to see the silly outcomes. It makes Moraug more consistent, and this deck is anything but in its current state.

Argentum ArmorMoonsilver SpearSigiled Sword of ValeronSkysovereign, Consul FlagshipSlab Hammer

More attack triggers! Make Angels and Knights, which don’t make a ton of flavor sense unless you imagine that Moraug looted these bits of equipment from previous opponents. Bounce lands to your hand with Slab Hammer, then put them back on the battlefield in your second main phase or cast them if they’re MDFCs. Destroy permanents with Argentum Armor, or fire blasts of damage with a crewed Skysovereign. (Bonus: during extra combat, the creature you crewed Skysovereign with will untap, and so will Skysovereign!)

BedlamBlackblade ReforgedDolmen GateHammer of Purphoros

These don’t have attack triggers, but they’re a big help in combat. Bedlam is for the turn you want to win the game – lock opponents out of blocking, crack some fetchlands, and start crushing their life totals into dust. Blackblade Reforged trades on our large land count to give one of our creatures a massive advantage. Dolmen Gate makes blocking a terrible proposition for opponents, while Hammer of Purphoros speeds up this deck’s critical turns in the same way as other haste effects.

Darksteel PlateDeflecting SwatLightning GreavesSwiftfoot BootsPyroblast

Moraug is going to be a target, so let’s protect him. The usual suite of equipment shows up to make him hard to kill, while Deflecting Swat and Pyroblast are here to fend off the occasional spell and keep your opponents guessing. Eventually, though, Moraug will die, so be prepared to recast him once or twice.

Endless AtlasOutpost Siege

Along with Valakut Exploration, these two provide some extra cards to keep the engine running.

Blasphemous ActRelic of ProgenitusTormod's CryptVandalblast

I know I’m very focused on the game plan in this deck, but I’ve dedicated a few slots to utility effects that might slow down other players’ plans.

Arcane SignetCaged SunFellwar StoneRuby MedallionSol Ring

As I mentioned before, we’ll need to cast Moraug quickly and recast him just as fast after he is inevitably killed, and although we have some decent ramp, these artifacts will help us stay consistent.

Arid MesaBloodstained MireEvolving WildsFabled PassageGrixis PanoramaJund PanoramaMyriad LandscapeNaya PanoramaPrismatic VistaScalding TarnTerminal MoraineTerramorphic ExpanseThawing GlaciersWarped LandscapeWooded Foothills

I said this deck had a wild manabase – this is what I meant. Fifteen fetchlands keep Moraug happy and allow you to store up energy for a Dragonball Z style explosion of extra combats. The Panoramas narrowly beat out cards like Rocky Tar Pit for the last fetchland spots by virtue of entering the battlefield untapped. I don’t think I’ve brought my Judge promo Thawing Glaciers out of the binder for a while, but if there was ever a deck for it, it’s this one.

Dormant Volcano

It returns a Mountain to your hand to play later. That’s the only good thing about this card.

 

Field of RuinGhost Quarter

You can totally Ghost Quarter yourself in this deck if you really need a Landfall trigger. Don’t target Ghost Quarter with itself if you want a land, though. Field of Ruin does a little bit better of a job replacing itself without taking out one of your other lands, but both are useful.

Hanweir Battlements

This is here to meld with Hanweir Garrison and occasionally give something haste. Maybe it’s not good, but it’s hilarious story equity if you get the meld off.

Rogue's Passage

This is the easiest way to help Moraug sneak through for a Commander damage kill, which can be necessary if someone in your playgroup likes to gain arbitrarily large amounts of life (or even just 3-400.)

Terrain Generator

Putting an extra Mountain onto the battlefield can make the difference in this deck, and while I don’t usually advocate for this card, I’m here for it now.

Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

With 16 Mountains, Valakut has a little less material to work with than normal, but with all these fetchlands and the upside of Crucible, I’m willing to give it a shot. If it ends up being terrible, cut it for a basic Mountain.

Okay! As I said, round things out with 16 basic Mountains and you’ve got a full decklist. Let me know what you think of Moraug here in the comments or on Twitter at @RagingLevine. Now’s a great time to get Moraug and other Zendikar Rising cards – the set comes out on September 25th, so place your orders now so you can get what you need. See you next time! Oh, and here’s the decklist.

Commander Moraug Deck List - Eric Levine

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