The War Report: Izzet Chaos Brew

For the first time in this column, I’m going to write about a brew that I came up with that I might not ever build. Most of the time I don’t bother writing about a decklist unless it’s something that I have already built or something that I’m looking forward to building and have some of the pieces for. As I’ve written about in the past, I’m attempting to not only create decklists that are differing color schemes, but I’m trying to build at least one deck of each archetype. There are a bunch of different archetypes depending on who you ask, but some of the main ones are Aggro, Mid Range, Control, Combo Group Hug, and Chaos. I have a few aggro decks, most of them having tribal sub-themes. I’d say some of my decks fall under the mid range theme, but I wouldn’t label any of them as such. I have several decks that rely on combos to win. I’m building an Azorius control deck with Stax and Tax themes, have a group hug deck under construction, and now I’d like to talk about this current brew, which is a chaos deck.

Chaos tends to hold true to its name: it aims to create chaos. Having looked around for ideas for this brew, it seems that most don’t have a true win condition, they just like to create fucked up situations for the board and then hope for the best. The same is true for control decks, they want to make the board state annoying for everyone and try to eek out a win when no one is looking. Coin flips are something that have existed in Magic since the early days, and what better way to create chaos than to allow a coin to determine the outcome of certain actions? The recent Battlebond set provided a bunch of new partner cards that can be paired up as Commanders, and one of the pairs was a shoo-in for this particular build type:


I saw the potential for these two as leaders of an EDH deck first hand at GP Vegas. The lone Battlebond draft I participated in had them in the mix, and our opponents used them to great effect. Okaun gets double power/toughness for each coin flip you win, and Zndrsplit draws you cards for those coin flip wins. With both on the board, you get a large beater and card draw for each coin flip one, but not just your own — if anyone else has to flip a coin for any reason and wins, you’ll still get the bonus to Okaun and an extra card in hand. As such, these two are essentially your win condition, as you can probably get to 21 commander damage pretty easily given enough coin flip wins in a turn, and you’ll get quite a few cards drawn if you win as well. Given the history of coin flips in Magic, we want to be flipping them as much as possible, so here’s some additional ways to do so:

Are you Flipping kidding me?

Bear with me, there is a lot to take in here. You can read the individual cards for descriptions as to what they do, and in some cases you can reap plenty of benefits if you’re lucky enough to win some of your coin flips — but the real value here is having one or both of your commanders on the field so that you can reap additional benefits from them as well. Some cards will force your opponents to flip coins, and those wins will also help you out. Ideally, you’ll get your commanders out onto the board and then start playing some of these spells or creatures and utilize their coin flipping to buff up Okaun and draw more cards with Zndrsplit. I won’t go into specifics because for the most part these cards are being used for two purposes — value off of your commanders, and to create chaos in the game. One card I would like to highlight though is Chance Encounter. This enchantment is one of our alternate wincons; it states that for each time you flip a coin you put a luck counter on the enchantment. Get 10 of those counters and during your next upkeep you win the game. Hopefully you’re causing enough chaos that it slips by your opponents!

Other Chaos:

This is the part of the deck that isn’t reliant on coin flips, rather the part that aims to create chaos. From stealing opponents stuff, to taking extra turns, to copying spells or warping permanents into something else, these cards should help to create a chaotic board state and keep your opponents on their toes. No two games of EDH are ever alike, but this should make it to where no one can predict any sort of outcome whatsoever.

That’s all I have to share for now. I’m still unsure if I’ll ever actually build this deck but it was fun to brew and I’m sure it would provide a different EDH experience from the norm.