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My Commander, Sek'Kuar

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The letter I! used to be a devout casual Magic player. I spent most of junior high, high school, and college playing multiplayer games with friends, and while Commander didn't exist yet as a format, I played a lot of Magic with big decks.

These days, I don't get a lot of chances to play casual formats, but I have several Commander decks on MagicOnline and one physical Commander deck.

My commander, as you've probably guessed from the title, is Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper.

If you're familiar with the deck I've played in Legacy for most of the last year—a Zombie deck based on sacrificing creatures that return from my graveyard over and over—it probably won't surprise you that this is my favorite commander. Like the Edric deck I wrote about last week, the reason I like this deck so much is that it's less concerned with ramping and playing big spells than most Commander decks I build, and is instead based entirely around exploiting synergies, both with the commander and between the cards themselves. The deck doesn't win by playing a single big spell, it wins by adding more and more fitted gears to the synergistic machine it's creating.

Fans of long, drawn-out casual games will want to avoid infinite combos that win on the spot, and will probably want to remove Phyrexian Altar from this deck. An odd choice for the most unfair card, it's just too easy to form an infinite combo with Phyrexian Altar, Nether Traitor, and Sek'Kuar (or any of several other cards in the deck), and the card generally makes the deck extremely explosive.

Players who are looking to win as many games as possible will actually want to go in the exact opposite direction, focus on finding Phyrexian Altar, and add cards like Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, and Diabolic Intent. I don't play those cards because, while I like the games where I draw Phyrexian Altar because I enjoy the novelty of exploiting such a narrow card, I don't like to have all of my Commander games play out the same way. So I like to minimize my extremely efficient tutors.

As with all Commander decks, this middle ground I've chosen reflects my exact position on how competitive I want my deck to be, which is one of the most personal and customizable aspects of the format.

Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper Commander
Commander – Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper

Main Deck

99 cards

Commander
Arid Mesa
Badlands
Bayou
Blood Crypt
Bloodstained Mire
Dragonskull Summit
Forest
Forest
Forest
Forest
Gaea's Cradle
Golgari Rot Farm
Graven Cairns
Grove of the Burnwillows
Gruul Turf
Khalni Garden
Lavaclaw Reaches
Marsh Flats
Misty Rainforest
Mosswort Bridge
Mountain
Mountain
Mountain
Overgrown Tomb
Pendelhaven
Polluted Delta
Rakdos Carnarium
Savage Lands
Scalding Tarn
Stomping Ground
Swamp
Swamp
Swamp
Taiga
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills

37 lands

Acidic Slime
Blood Artist
Bloodbraid Elf
Bloodghast
Bloodthrone Vampire
Carrion Feeder
Deathbringer Thoctar
Deathrite Shaman
Diligent Farmhand
Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder
Eternal Witness
Farhaven Elf
Fauna Shaman
Fleshbag Marauder
Goblin Sharpshooter
Greater Gargadon
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Kozilek's Predator
Krovikan Horror
Mogg War Marshal
Necrotic Ooze
Nether Traitor
Pawn of Ulamog
Puppeteer Clique
Reassembling Skeleton
Sadistic Hypnotist
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Savra, Queen of the Golgari
Scarland Thrinax
Solemn Simulacrum
Sprouting Thrinax
Verdant Eidolon
Viscera Seer
Wood Elves

34 creatures

Awakening Zone
Buried Alive
Culling Dais
Culling the Weak
Dark Ritual
Death Cloud
Diabolic Servitude
Doubling Season
Dread Return
Entomb
Fecundity
Genesis Wave
Goblin Bombardment
Golgari Germination
Grave Pact
Jarad's Orders
Mana Crypt
Mana Vault
Mox Diamond
Oversold Cemetery
Parallel Lives
Perilous Forays
Phyrexian Altar
Skullclamp
Smokestack
Sol Ring
Spawning Pit
Sylvan Library

28 other spells

Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper

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