Commander Deck Work In Progress - Pandemic aka Karona-virus Deck

behemoth sledge coronavirus covid19 demonspine whip dual land false god karona nephilim pox purphoros tainted strike theros triumph of the hordes wrath of god

As we head into the end of the year and California goes back into lockdown due to rising cases of Covid19, it seems like the right time to revisit a commander deck I put together when the novel coronavirus first began spreading around the world at the beginning of 2020.

Being stuck at home and unable to play Magic in person, I focused on deck building instead.  Having recently ordered the Theros Stargazing Secret Lair that featured the Gods from the Theros plane, the idea came to me to throw them all into a deck led by Karona, False God as their commander.  As you might have guessed, this was a terrible idea - trying to manage devotion in a five color deck is as difficult as it sounds.  But I didn’t care, the seed had been planted and I wanted to see it through.
Karona, False God   Purphoros, God of the Forge


The basic framework of the deck was going to be God tribal with the goal of bringing out Karona at the last minute to overrun the opponent.  But as I mulled over how to build around Karona’s drawback, it dawned on me how each player gaining control of her during their upkeeps seemed like she was being transferred like a virus - so I decided to add infect elements to the deck to lean into this theme.

Tainted Strike  Triumph of the Hordes


Including this element allowed me to bring out Karona earlier, for the times when the Gods were being difficult with their devotion (pretty much every game I’ve played with this deck), and I could instead focus on a tron build around Karona and threaten lethal with a tainted strike.  Equipment with colored mana such as Behemoth Sledge and Demonspine Whip were added to support the tron build, as well as increase devotion for the Gods.



Knowing how challenging it was going to be to get this deck going, I opted to include the full set of dual lands and fetch lands.  You might get some raised eyebrows when playing with duals in casual games, so it’s a good idea to talk to your group in advance.

This was meant to be a very casual deck designed more for its theme than for winning.  It is probably not a surprise that I’ve never won a single game with this deck, but as it is a deck themed around coronavirus, that’s something I’m perfectly okay with.

That said, I will continue to tinker with it to add in cards that either fit the theme or help it run more smoothly.  There are many directions that this deck can be taken - adding moar masks, to including other disease cards like Pox.  To support devotion for the God's I also considered adding in some of the Nephilim, which by some interpretations would fit the God theme.

Are there any cards that might fit well with this deck?  Leave a comment and let us know!

Karona, False God

Purphoros, God of the Forge
Athreos, God of Passage
Ephara, God of the Polis
Erebos, God of the Dead
God-Eternal Bontu
God-Eternal Oketra
God-Eternal Rhonas
Heliod, God of the Sun
Iroas, God of Victory
Karametra, God of Harvests
Keranos, God of Storms
Klothys, God of Destiny
Kruphix, God of Horizons
Mogis, God of Slaughter
Nylea, Keen-Eyed
Oketra the True
Pharika, God of Affliction
Rhonas the Indomitable
Thassa, God of the Sea
The Locust God
The Scarab God
The Scorpion God
Xenagos, God of Revels
Anax, Hardened in the Forge
Callaphe, Beloved of the Sea
Daxos, Blessed by the Sun
Renata, Called to the Hunt
Maelstrom Archangel
Golos, Tireless Pilgrim
Baleful Strix
Eidolon of Blossoms
Rhystic Study

Triumph of the Hordes
Tainted Strike
Wrath of God
Demonic Tutor
Beast Within
Generous Gift
Swords to Plowshares
Akroma's Vengeance

Behemoth Sledge
Shield of the Righteous
Mask of Riddles
Demonspine Whip
Steelclaw Lance
Mage Slayer
Bow of Nylea
Hammer of Purphoros
Whip of Erebos
Bident of Thassa
Spear of Heliod

Assault Suit
Etherwrought Page
Unbender Tine
Tainted Sigil

Firewild Borderpost
Wildfield Borderpost
Fieldmist Borderpost
Mistvein Borderpost
Veinfire Borderpost
Altar of the Pantheon

Tropical Island
Underground Sea
Volcanic Island
Arid Mesa
Bloodstained Mire
Flooded Strand
Marsh Flats
Misty Rainforest
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Verdant Catacombs
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
Blood Crypt
Breeding Pool
Godless Shrine
Hallowed Fountain
Overgrown Tomb
Sacred Foundry
Steam Vents
Stomping Ground
Temple Garden
Watery Grave
Command Tower

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