Ironic, isn’t it, that the ogre who dishes out half-life damage to everyone, including his owner, would somehow survive 2,000 years? One would think that a creature with such a cavalier attitude about where it sent pain and suffering would have met his own demise in the ensuing years between the original Kamigawa block and the new Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. But here we are with a new Hidetsugu card. And not only has he turned from a shaman into a demon, he’s also gained a color. So for our first foray into this new set, we’re going to build a deck around the new
Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos. Let’s eat.
First, we’ll take a look at what exactly this new legend does, and why we’d want to build a deck with him. Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos is a 4/4 ogre demon with two activated abilities. For one black mana, you can sacrifice a creature to Scry 2. Not too bad, but not amazing either. But it will make sense once we read the second ability and see why we’d want to Scry rather than draw. For 3 mana, a red and 2 generic, and tapping old Hidetsugu, we exile the top card of our library and can play it this turn. Also, and here’s the important part, we get to deal damage equal to that card’s mana value to any target.
In some ways, it’s a dialed back version of
Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow. Yuriko’s ability is a combat damage trigger rather than an activated ability, and it hurts all opponents’ life totals rather than damaging a single target. Yuriko can also have multiple triggers in a turn if you manage to connect with multiple ninjas, or with a ninja with Double Strike. Hidetsugu is just once per round, unless we wanted to run some untap effects. The other downside with Hidetsugu is that if we can’t cast the spell this turn, that card is lost to the aether. Yuriko puts the card in your hand.
So why would we want to play this new Hidetsugu over Yuriko then? There are several reasons we can mention, the most important of which is that with red instead of blue, we can run damage enhancers like:
Dictate of the Twin Gods,
Furnace of Rath, and
Gratuitous Violence. Also, with Hidetsugu, we have creature or planeswalker removal in the command zone, since that damage hits any target. Throw some Deathtouch dealers into the mix, namely
Archetype of Finality and
Zagras, Thief of Heartbeats, and the smallest spell can take out the biggest creature
Hidetsugu’s 2,000 year makeover can never have enough mana. First we need a black mana to sacrifice a creature so we can finesse our top card into a big spell if possible. Then we need the 3 mana to activate the exile ability (sadly we’re not in the right colors for
Training Grounds or
Zirda, the Dawnwaker). And then we need mana to cast that spell so we don’t lose it forever. Because of this demon’s hunger, we’re going heavy on the ramp, with 15 total cards.
Crypt Ghast and
Nirkana Revenant will double our Swamp mana, with
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth and
Cabal Coffers in tow. We’ve got rocks aplenty, with
Talisman of Indulgence, and
Wayfarer’s Bauble fetches up a basic, and
Solemn Simulacrum pulls double duty as a land fetcher and food for our commander. Some rituals with
Jeska’s Will, and
Mana Geyser. The ubiquitous
Dockside Extortionist makes an appearance, and can keep coming back with a well-timed
Underworld Breach in the late game. And
Prosper, Tome-Bound works wonders with the deck’s exile hustle.
Because this Hidetsugu is so insatiable, a few good cards have to be left behind so we have room to fuel the fire. So we’re not running our untappers,
Thousand-Year Elixir and
Magewright’s Stone, or the ability doublers like
Illusionist’s Bracers and
Rings of Brighthearth. Sorry fam.
Our demon daddy needs dudes to eat, so we’ve got some token makers with:
Liliana, Dreadhorde General,
Rite of the Raging Storm, and
Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools. The two planeswalkers also provide much-needed card draw. And let’s not forget our dear friend
Squee, Goblin Nabob. Because you just can’t keep a good Squee down.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t really add up to that many critters created, so we’ll want other ways to manipulate the top of our deck.
Scroll Rack can toss our expensive cards from our hand back into our deck,
Sensei’s Divining Top can mix up the top 3, and
Bolas’s Citadel can let us see the top card at any time. The Citadel will also let us play out the cheap cards to make way for the big heaters. Then we’ll throw in a
Vampiric Tutor for fun.
Some Kind of Monster
And now, what you’ve all been waiting for. Here are the big spells of the deck. These are the deadly masterpieces that will dish out the biggest damage. First up are the board wipes:
Blasphemous Act and
In Garruk’s Wake. Obviously Blasphemous Act is never going to actually cost 9 mana, but it’s great for zapping an opponent’s face for 9, or more, when we exile it with Hidetsugu. Next up is
Fevered Suspicion, which gets us a free spell out of each opponent’s library, and then does it again the next turn.
Kaervek the Merciless is an easy include with everything we’ve got going on in this deck. And
Profane Transfusion, one of my favorite big-mana spells, can turn the game around at just the right moment.
Here’s the full decklist. You can also playtest the deck on Archidekt here (keep in mind this deck was brewed before full Neon Dynasty previews began).
1 Ancient Craving 1 Ancient Tomb 1 Arcane Signet 1 Archetype of Finality 1 Birgi, God of Storytelling // Harnfel, Horn of Bounty 1 Bitterblossom 1 Blasphemous Act 1 Blightstep Pathway // Searstep Pathway 1 Blood Crypt 1 Bojuka Bog 1 Bolas's Citadel 1 Cabal Coffers 1 Command Beacon 1 Command Tower 1 Crypt Ghast 1 Dark Ritual 1 Deflecting Swat 1 Demonic Tutor 1 Dictate of the Twin Gods 1 Dockside Extortionist 1 Dragonskull Summit 1 Dreadhorde Invasion 1 Etali, Primal Storm 1 Expedition Map 1 Faithless Looting 1 Fevered Suspicion 1 Fiery Emancipation 1 Furnace of Rath 1 Ghost Quarter 1 Gratuitous Violence 1 Graven Cairns 1 Haunted Crossroads 1 Haunted Ridge 1 Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos 1 Hurl Through Hell 1 Imp's Mischief 1 In Garruk's Wake 1 Infernal Grasp 1 Jeska's Will 1 Kaervek the Merciless 1 Lightning Greaves 1 Liliana, Dreadhorde General 1 Luxury Suite 1 Mana Geyser 1 Mind Stone 10 Mountain 1 Night's Whisper 1 Nirkana Revenant 1 Profane Transfusion 1 Prosper, Tome-Bound 1 Pyroblast 1 Rakdos Charm 1 Rakdos Signet 1 Rakdos, the Showstopper 1 Red Elemental Blast 1 Rite of the Raging Storm 1 Scroll Rack 1 Sensei's Divining Top 1 Sign in Blood 1 Sol Ring 1 Solemn Simulacrum 1 Squee, Goblin Nabob 1 Sulfurous Springs 10 Swamp 1 Swiftfoot Boots 1 Tainted Peak 1 Talisman of Indulgence 1 Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools 1 Thran Dynamo 1 Thrill of Possibility 1 Tibalt's Trickery 1 Underworld Breach 1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth 1 Urza's Saga 1 Valakut Awakening // Valakut Stoneforge 1 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle 1 Vampiric Tutor 1 Vial Smasher the Fierce 1 Wayfarer's Bauble 1 Wheel of Misfortune 1 Wild-Magic Sorcerer 1 Zagras, Thief of Heartbeats
Carpe Diem Baby
The deck is a lot of work, and it won’t always pay off. But when it does, it’ll feel great. This deck will be great if you're looking for a mid-power deck that slings lots of damage without worrying about combat.
So what do you think of Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos? Anything I missed that should have some time to shine here? Hit me up on Twitter at @AndyZupke and let me know. You can also catch me streaming budget Commander every Sunday at 7:30PM Central over at twitch.tv/scraptrawlers.
Make sure to check back in two weeks for more tasty Commander treats. Until then, take care. And play lots of games!