As you move into the next room, everything is silent. There is no movement other than you and your companions. You’re smart enough to step carefully. There is likely a trap set at any point in this room. You check each stone before you step on it, and search diligently for trip wires. Despite all your precautions, you suddenly hear the grinding of stone on stone behind you. As you turn around, you see a swinging turnstile suspended from the ceiling, obscuring the path you came from. It quickly spins toward you and your fellow party members. Looks like the time for caution is over. Now it’s time to run.
Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is Magic’s newest set. It strives to incorporate the beloved elements of Dungeons and Dragons into this card game that we all love. One of those elements is obviously crawling through dungeons. In order to capture the magic of winning boss battles and collecting loot, Wizards released this pre-constructed Commander deck: Dungeons of Death. The deck is build around the legendary creature Sefris of the Hidden Ways and utilizes the new mechanic, Venture into the Dungeon.
In this Dungeons of Death Upgrade Guide, I will offer ideas for cards to include, as well as cards to remove from the precon. Additionally, I will highlight new cards that are coming out with Adventures in the Forgotten Realms.
A Brief Note on Budget
Before we get started, I want to be clear about these purpose of these articles. They are not designed to be a primer. I’m not trying to outline every card you should run and why you should run them. Rather, I am Brainstorming a bunch of ideas to try to inspire you to build a deck you will love.
As a result, you should know that there are way too many recommendations in any of these upgrade paths to go into any one deck. As you read, pick out which of these ideas are your favorite and use those to make your deck.
I also want to be transparent about how I am not going to be using any budget restrictions for these articles. Some of the cards I mention might be outside of some people’s price range. I will do my best to recommend budget alternatives whenever possible.
Regardless of your budget or play style, this article will have a ton of great suggestions for powering up your Dungeons of Death deck. If you would like to purchase the deck, you can order it on Amazon.
Dungeons of Death Decklist
New cards might not be in the database yet. In that case, you can find all new Forgotten Realms Commander cards here.
Dungeons of Death – General Upgrades
There are a couple of strategy-independent upgrades that I want to go over quickly before we get to the individual upgrade paths. These are just things like how to make the mana base better and if there are any cards that go with the commander rather than the strategy. I will also briefly go over the filler cards in the precon that you can take out before upgrading anything.
The Mana Base
The lands in the Dungeons of Death deck are exceptionally average. There seem to be just enough dual lands to give you access to your colors most of the time, even if most of them enter the battlefield tapped. First things first: you can make this deck more powerful simply by improving the quality of your mana base. Replacing the lands that enter tapped with ones that can come in untapped will make a big difference, as well as including a few more dual lands in general.
Here are some good ones:
Lands that tap for mana of any color are also really valuable for three-color decks. This one has Command Tower and Exotic Orchard, but it could use some more for consistency. You could also include:
Some of these can get pretty expensive, and not all of them are necessary. I would recommend maybe replacing as many of the ETB tapped lands as you can with what you have or can get your hands on, then call it good. Even a few of these lands can make a big difference to these precons.
Another thing to consider is that lands that synergize with your deck’s strategy are free value. For example, later in the article we will talk about an Aristocrats upgrade path. The precon comes with High Market, but Phyrexian Tower is another great sac outlet on a land. These lands require next to no opportunity cost to include in the Dungeons of Death deck, and have the potential to contribute a lot to your deck’s strategy.
General Commander Synergies
Sefris is pretty straightforward. This is a great thing, but she doesn’t really have a lot of cards that synergize especially well with her. The only cards I can think of are kind of generic: Strionic Resonator and Lithoform Engine. I try to avoid cards like these when making these recommendations. I feel like these cards are obviously powerful, and don’t offer any amount of uniqueness to a commander. Basically, if a commander has a triggered ability, these cards can get you extra value from it.
What to Take Out
For this round of precons, I have been recommending that every deck (except the red/green one, obviously) takes out the dice-rolling cards. Those cards are too random to be a reliable threat or answer. If your deck doesn’t specifically care about rolling dice, don’t run those cards.
Along with that, there are definitely better ways to wipe the board than Cataclysmic Gearhulk. I don’t care much for that card, but personal biases aside, it doesn’t contribute much to your game plan besides being a reanimateable board wipe. Replace it with any other board wipe.
I also think that Merfolk Looter and Murder of Crows are weak forms of card advantage. I’m sure you can find a better card draw spell to replace these with. Even ones that come on a creature to enable you to reanimate them later.
Necrotic Sliver seems like an odd include to me. Sure, it sacrifices itself and gets value from it, but it feels weird to only have. a single sliver. I say cut it.
Lastly, I don’t think Dungeons of Death deck needs Propaganda. None of the upgrade paths that I do through in this article include dissuading your opponents from attacking you or building a pillow fort of any kind. If you want to build that kind of deck around Sefris, be my guest. Otherwise, slot Propaganda into a different deck.
5 Ways to Upgrade Dungeons of Death
These are the five directions I thought of taking this deck:
- Venture Into The Dungeon
- Stealing Things
These are not the only ways to upgrade this deck, just the ones I came up with. If you think of another cool idea, let me know in the comments below.
At the beginning of each of the next sections, I included a range of numbers. That range is what I expect this deck to be able to perform at on a 1-10 power scale (Based on the power scale established by the Command Zone Podcast). For more information on the Commander power scale, you can take a look at the table below.
|1-2||Jank||Very little synergy among cards. No Commander staples. Under powered on purpose.|
|3-4||Casual||Some synergies, but lacking the strong ones. The deck still lacks focus. Mana curves mostly neglected. A deck that a new player would build.|
|4-6||Focused||Synergy exists, the deck has a focused gameplan, although it doesn't always win in the exact same way, usually after turn 13. Includes staples and a small amount of tutors. On the same power level as most Commander precons.|
|7-8||Optimized||Powerful and varied synergies between the cards. A decent number of good tutors. Good mana curve. Has an efficient and consistent way to win on turns 10-12 (level 7) or 7-9 (level 8). Some social rules — like no mass land destruction, no consistent combo wins — still exist.|
|9-10||Competitive||The most powerful decks, on competitive EDH level. Quick and explosive, can win on turns 4-6 (level 9) or 1-3 (level 10). No social rules, no jank cards. Only the most powerful commanders and strategies can reach this level.|
Actual power levels may vary, but let those numbers be a guide when considering upgrading this deck in those ways.
1. Venture Into The Dungeon (4-7)
This version of the Dungeons of Death deck is based off of utilizing the new mechanic from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. There are three Dungeon cards that exist outside the game. When an ability causes you to Venture into a Dungeon, you choose one of those Dungeons, put it in your Command Zone, and enter the first room.
Every subsequent Venture causes you to choose how to advance through that Dungeon until you complete the whole thing. When you finish one Dungeon, you can choose another Dungeon to move through the next time you venture. You can choose a new Dungeon or keep repeating the one.
In order to understand how good Dungeons are, let’s look at what they do:
Tomb of Annihilation
The shortest of the Dungeons is Tomb of Annihilation. If you really need to power through a Dungeon quickly, you can get from beginning to end of that one in three Ventures. When you finish it, you make a 4/4 creature with Deathtouch. Along the way, you are forced to lose life and sacrifice permanents. If you take the slightly longer path, you can also make your opponents sacrifice things, but you will have to either way.
Dungeon of the Mad Mage
On the other hand, the longest Dungeon is Dungeon of the Mad Mage. This one takes seven Ventures to finish, but it also offers you the most value. Throughout the different rooms, you are able to gain life, create Treasure tokens, make creatures, Scry, draw cards, and stop an opponent’s creature from attacking. The whole thing culminates to the final ability: Draw three cards and cast one of them for free. If you have the ability to repeatably Venture, this one definitely gains you the most.
Lost Mine of Phandelver
The third Dungeon is the Lost Mine of Phandelver. This Dungeon takes four Ventures to complete and offers a decent amount of value. Everything in this Dungeon has a little less impact than the abilities in Dungeon of the Mad Mage, but has the same variety.
Due to the fact that you have to move all the way through a Dungeon to get any one ability, it is difficult to rely on a single room ability. Fortunately, each ability is icing on the cake, since the cards that ventured have additional utility beyond activating a basically random room.
Here are some of those cards:
- Bar the Gate
- Delver’s Torch
- Dungeon Descent
- Fate’s Reversal
- Triumphant Investigator
- Yuan-Ti Fang-Blade
- Yuan-Ti Malison
- Zombie Ogre
The most important part about these venture cards is if the payoffs are worth it. The deck’s commander lets you reanimate creatures when you complete a Dungeon. This can really come in handy, especially if you are bringing back creatures that can Venture back into the Dungeons.
Here are a couple of other cards that reward you for finishing Dungeons:
- Acererak the Archlich
- Barrowin of Clan Undurr
- Eccentric Apprentice
- Nadaar, Selfless Paladin
- Precipitous Drop
I also want to mention the potential to go infinite with Acererak, the Archlich. Since Acererak bounces itself, if you can reduce its cost to zero or cast it without paying its mana cost, you can continuously Venture into the Dungeon. If you never choose to finish Tomb of Annihilation, you get infinite damage, life gain, draw, scry, tokens, and whatever else the other Dungeons can give you. Cards that combo with this effect are Omniscience and Rooftop Storm.
Overall, if you like the Dungeon mechanic, this is probably the best upgrade path for you. There are plenty of Venture cards to ensure you explore this new mechanic to your heart’s content. If you don’t like it, though, I would probably choose one of the other upgrade paths.
New Forgotten Realms Cards
Nearly all the cards in this section are already from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, since Dungeons didn’t exist before this set. There are not really any cards that we didn’t go over above that are not in the precon that should have a place in this version of the Dungeons of Death deck.
What to Take Out
Most of the creatures can probably come out of the precon to make room for the creatures that can venture. Other than that, this deck comes with the skeletal structure to make this build pretty easy to upgrade.
2. Aristocrats (5-8)
You will find that, other than Venturing into the Dungeon, exploring a new take on an old archetype is going to be a popular theme in this article. First up to that effect we have Aristocrats. This archetype is named after the creatures Falkenrath Aristocrat and Cartel Aristocrat. They were in a deck together during Return to Ravnica Standard, where the goal was to sacrifice your own things for value while pressuring your opponent’s life total.
This strategy has expanded into several formats, including gaining a ton of popularity in Commander. Most decks stick to some combination of red, black, and white color identities, but there are powerful Aristocrats decks in red/black/green, white/black/green, and black/green as well. Very few, if any, Aristocrats decks include blue. This is mostly because blue does not typically have a critical mass of the necessary elements of an Aristocrats deck.
What Makes Up Aristocrats Decks?
Aristocrats decks create a delicate balance. In order for it to work right, you need three things: Something that sacrifices things, something that you can sacrifice, and something that cares that you sacrificed the second thing. If one or more of these pieces are missing, the deck likely doesn’t do too much.
Unfortunately for blue, it is probably the color with the least amount of any of those things. If that is the case, what could blue add to the equation? Lets look at each category individually:
This category is the one that doesn’t need to be a creature. Even in decks with lots of creature sac outlets, often times Artifacts like Phyrexian Altar or Ashod’s Altar are the best option. This is good for blue, since it’s the color that is the worst at sacrificing creatures.
There are only two creatures I want to bring up here. One of them is Jalira, Master Polymorphist. Jalira might be the only blue sac outlet on a stick, and is perfect for this kind of deck.
The other one is Kels, Fight Fixer. Kels works as both a sac outlet and a payoff, and is not playable in a lot of other Aristocrats decks, since it has blue in it’s textbox.
Talking about Kels brings up an interesting point, though. One way to assemble all the pieces of the puzzle a little easier is to play cards that serve multiple functions. Creatures like Kels can both sacrifice a creature for you and reward you for doing so. This leads me to our next section:
Most Aristocrats decks don’t care what creature you are sacrificing. Feel free to sacrifice whatever creature you want. Whether it’s a 1/1 Human or a 20/20 Avatar, it still only counts as one.
Since blue is a color in Magic, it has creatures. There is a subset of blue creatures, though, that can be very valuable to a self-sacrifice strategy. These particular creatures can serve double duty in our Aristocrats equation, as they are both sac outlets and sac fodder.
These are creatures that have the ability to sacrifice themselves:
- Crystalline Nautilus
- Departed Deckhand
- Glen Elendra Archmage
- Impaler Shrike
- Magus of the Jar
- Merfolk Windrobber
- Siren Stormtamer
The Commander for this deck, Sefris of the Hidden Ways, can continually bring back creatures with abilities like this. They can then sacrifice themselves again and again, generating the engine that you need for a deck like this.
There is even a tribe of creatures that has this kind of ability as part of their tribal identity. Illusions will usually sacrifice themselves when they become the target of a spell or ability.
- Phantasmal Abomination
- Gossamar Phantasm
- Phantasmal Bear
- Dream Strix
- Phantasmal Dragon
- Illusory Servant
- Phantasmal Dreadmaw
- Labyrinth Guardian
- Phantom Beast
The designers for this precon certainly knew this, too. They included a few Illusions among the creatures, as well as Minn, Wily Illusionist and Phantom Steed.
Speaking of Minn, Wily Illusionist, they are the only blue sacrifice payoff worth mentioning. You can obviously still fill your Dungeons of Death deck with payoffs like Blood Artist or Zulaport Cutthroat, though. You will have to in order to round out the three necessary categories for an Aristocrats deck.
New Forgotten Realms Cards
There is a card in the new set that makes an Illusion token, but it doesn’t sacrifice itself. The card is called Mordenkainen. He probably doesn’t go into this version of the Dungeons of Death deck, but I thought I would bring him up in case you wanted to look a little farther into that Illusion deck.
Other than that, Ebondeath, Dracolich is good sacrifice fodder since it can reanimate itself. Sepulcher Ghoul is a sac outlet. Clattering Skeletons is a good fit because it cares about dying. Other than these, I don’t think that very many new cards from the set can find a home in this deck.
What to Take Out
For the rest of the upgrade paths in this article, assume that I recommend taking out the Venture cards. These cards are not relevant again unless they happen to tie the commander to the theme.
Other than that, you probably don’t need Baleful Strix, Cloudblazer, Curator of Mysteries, Sunblast Angel, Ashen Rider, or Meteor Golem. Those cards would probably be a better fit in the next section that cares about cheating bit things out of the graveyard. I understand that making these cuts means removing a few card draw and removal cards from the deck. I would recommend finding more things like Mulldrifter and Shriekmaw, that fill those roles as well as contribute to the theme of the deck.
3. Reanimator (5-8)
This strategy is pretty similar to the previous one. The main difference is that Aristocrats decks focus on killing your creatures, while Reanimator decks focus on bringing them back. Typically, you want your reanimation targets to stick around after you get them back, rather than immediately sacrificing them again.
However, there are some important pieces to this puzzle as well. You need creatures to put into graveyards, to be able to put those creatures into the graveyards, and to be able to bring them back to the battlefield. Here are a few examples from each of those categories:
These are basically trying to mill yourself, tutor things straight to the graveyard, or choose chunks of cards from your hand/deck to put there.
- Altar of Dementia
- Buried Alive
- Gravebreaker Lamia
- Corpse Connoisseur
- Unmarked Grave
- Doom Whisperer
- Deranged Assistant
- Stinkweed Imp
- Fact or Fiction
The precon comes with a handful of these, but in order to be consistent you should probably add a few more. You don’t need all of the ones on this list. Five or six more will probably do.
- Animate Dead
- Dread Return
- Phyrexian Delver
- Sepulchral Primordial
- Emeria Shepherd
- Rakshasa Debaser
This is what it’s all about. You can choose any of your favorite cards reanimate, but these are pretty common. Gray Merchant of Asphodel and Kokusho, the Evening Star are popular options if you can loop them over and over again. They usually win games by themselves.
Otherwise, Reanimator players often choose expensive creatures like Eldrazi or Praetors. This is because reanimating them tends to be significantly cheaper than hardcasting them.
- Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
- Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
- Sheoldred, Whispering One
- It That Betrays
- Archon of Cruelty
- Myojin of Cleansing Fire
- Blightsteel Colossus
- Myojin of Night’s Reach
- Avacyn, Angel of Hope
- Myojin of Seeing Winds
- Razaketh, the Foulblooded
- Sphinx of the Second Sun
- Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
- Void Winnower
New Forgotten Realms Cards
When scouring the new sets looking good reanimation targets, an important criteria is that it has a high mana cost. If the thing you reanimate has a mana value equal to or less than the mana you spend to reanimate it, you did it wrong. Reanimator is typically about cheating on mana by spending a little and getting a lot.
In Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, there are not really any creatures that fit this criteria. The most expensive creature in these colors costs seven mana, and it doesn’t have an ability that you care to work for.
I will say, though, that I could see the Warlock Class coming in handy sometime.
What to Take Out
This version of the Dungeons of Death deck wants you to play fewer sac outlets and more big creatures. This time, hang on to the Ashen Rider and Meteor Golem and cut Mila, Wily Illusionist, Phantom Steed, Phantasmal Image, and Reassembling Skeleton. There’s a lot of overlap between these two strategies, so there might even be an Aristocrats card that you find useful to Reanimator.
4. Tribal (3-7)
You might have noticed that Sefris of the Hidden Ways does not have any tribal synergies printed on her card. This trivial fact is not going to stop us from brewing up some fun ideas for tribal decks around her, though. Just keep in mind, if you do decide to upgrade you Dungeons of Death precon in a tribal direction, most of the heavy lifting is going to have to be done by the individual tribe members, rather than the commander. Be sure to choose your tribe members carefully.
In addition to that, you will want to play some non-creature cards that say “Choose a creature type” on them. For example:
- Cavern of Souls
- Unclaimed Territory
- Etchings of the Chosen
- Haunting Voyage
- Pyre of Heroes
- Herald’s Horn
- Kindred Discovery
- Kindred Dominance
- Patriarch’s Bidding
- Species Specialist
- Vanquisher’s Banner
Almost every set since their premier in Mirrodin has had Humans in it. Innistrad was the first set that care about them mechanically, but there have since been several other sets that provide plenty of support to the tribe since then. Nearly every set has some, and they show up in all colors.
Last year, one of the Ikoria Commander decks had a Humans theme. The deck’s colors were red/black/white, or Mardu. Black and red provided a little bit of support, especially in contributing to that deck’s Aristocrats theme. However, Humans are predominantly white.
They mostly try to pump up other Humans with anthems or deal with threats by tapping/sacrificing each other. For example:
- Bastion of Remembrance
- Zulaport Cutthroat
- Champion of the Parish
- Courageous Outrider
- Devout Chaplain
- Gallows at Willow Hill
- General Kudro of Drannith
- Repel the Abominable
- Spare from Evil
- Thalia’s Lieutenant
What Does Blue Add?
Most Humans are base white, so switching out red for blue is not a huge blow to the tribe. Plus, blue is better at drawing cards than red is, so you can plan on having plenty of gas. Some blue Humans care about gaining control of your opponents’ creatures, so that might be a direction you go with the deck.
- Chromium, the Mutable
- Mass Appeal
- Agent of Treachery
- Apprentice Wizard
- Archmage Emeritus
- Dreamscape Artist
- Kindred Discovery
- Distant Melody
- Reflections of Littjara
Since Sefris cares about this dying and coming back, a Humans deck with her at the helm will probably lean a little harder into the Humans that care about sacrificing themselves or others. This strategy synergizes with stealing your opponents’ things. Maybe you turn them into Humans with Arcane Adaptation or Xenograft, then sacrifice them when you’re done with them. This deck will probably look more similar to the Aristocrats upgrade path than anything else.
You can find best MTG Human cards here.
Similar Humans, Wizards are an established tribe that have been around for a long time. There are a lot of known Wizard combos and synergies. There was also a Commander precon that came out a couple of years ago, built around tribal Wizards. Most often, Wizards are a blue/red tribe, with black sometimes thrown in. They usually draw a bunch of cards and care about casting spells. Some black Wizards care about sacrificing or reanimating creatures.
Here are some examples of various useful Wizards:
- Azami, Lady of Scrolls
- Thassa’s Oracle
- Venser, Shaper Savant
- Watcher for Tomorrow
- Glen Elendra Archmage
- Stonybrook Banneret
- Vedalken Aethermage
- Bloodline Necromancer
What Does White Add?
Wizards rarely show up in white. If we use Sedris as a Wizards commander, we should look at what white Wizards do and how the tribe interacts with Sedris’s abilities.
Most white Wizards are Hatebears, creatures that stop your opponent from doing a specific thing. They can increase the amount of control you run in the Dungeons of Death deck, slowing down your opponents’ game plans while you build up your win condition.
In addition to some cool creatures, white also gives us a few tribal anthems. Specifically, Radiant Destiny and Rally the Ranks benefit a chosen creature type, obviously Wizards in this case. This makes it possible to build up a big Wizard army and overwhelm your opponents. Docent of Perfection, Stonybrook Schoolmaster, and Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor can help increase your Wizard army.
Esper Wizards probably tries to run a lot of interaction spells like other Wizards decks do. But again, like the Humans build discussed previously, you probably want to lean into Sedris’s ability to Venture when things die. In other words, be sure to run plenty of Vindictive Liches and Apprentice Necromancers along with your Hatebears and interaction.
You can find out more about best Wizards in MTG here.
There are two legendary creatures in Esper colors for this deck. The second one is Nihiloor.
This commander has an interesting ability that we will talk about in the next section, but first I wanted to Brainstorm around its creature type: Horror. There are a handful of other Legendary Horrors in the game, but the only ones that people ever try to build around are Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice and Morophon, the Boundless.
These are obviously the best, since they have so many colors available to them. However, neither of them are nearly as Lovecraftian as Nihiloor.
So if we restrict ourselves to Esper colors and decide to build a tribal Horrors deck, there are some of the creatures we have access to:
You will notice two things right away. One, almost all of the creatures are black. Two, many of them have a pretty high mana value. For this reason, I would probably recommend running a Cabal Coffers + Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth combo. Cabal Coffers was recently reprinted, so hopefully it is a little bit more accessible for most players now.
What Do Horrors Do?
Their abilities are pretty varied, but there are a few dots we can connect.
First, a good handful of these creatures double as removal spells. Either they outright destroy creatures, exile them, force their controllers to sacrifice them, or, in Awoken Horror‘s case, bounce them all to your opponent’s hands.
Second, a few of them make your opponents discard cards. Basically, this is just valuable by assisting the removal packing in filling the graveyard.
This is because, third, a bunch of these Horrors want to Mill your opponents.
Then, finally, most of the rest of them want to reanimate things from your own or your opponents’ graveyards.
In summary, the goal is to fill up everyone’s graveyards, then reanimate whatever the scariest thing is. If it’s a Horror, that’s even better. This is especially powerful with Nihiloor‘s ability, which cares about gaining control of your opponents’ creatures. Like I said before, the next section is all about that specific strategy. This one is for if your deck exclusively uses Horrors.
Before we move on, I also want to mention that there are several unique flavors of Horror in Magic’s history. Many Phyrexian monstrosities are Horrors. Thematically, they are organic creatures with mechanical components; a truly horrifying creation.
In Shadows Over Innistrad block, Wizards decided to reimagine the setting of Innistrad with a Cosmic Horror theme. Basically, this meant taking the old characteristics of the plane and adding a lot of tentacles. A lot of the creatures are Horrors on one side or the other, and can transform.
- Bruna, the Fading Light
- Extricator of Sin
- Gisela, the Broken Blade
- Graf Rats
- Midnight Scavengers
- Voldaren Pariah
- Wharf Infiltrator
Life Manipulation Horrors
Lastly, if you don’t really want to play a Horror reanimation deck, there is also a life manipulation version that you can build. Check out these cards, and consider leaning into Nihiloor‘s theft ability a little stronger in order to take advantage of the life drain. Then, other life loss/gain cards can help you weaponize your high life total against your opponents.
New Forgotten Realms Cards
There are plenty of Humans in Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, but few of them contribute to a tribal strategy. There are a few, namely Shortcut Seeker, Triumphant Adventurer, and Veteran Dungeoneer, that synergize with Sefris. Other than those, there are not any Humans from the new set that I would consider for this upgrade path.
While there are not any tribal Wizards synergies in this set, there are a couple of interesting Wizards. Just like with Humans, there is a Wizard that lets you Venture into the Dungeon and therefore works well with Sefris. That creature is Eccentric Apprentice. Other than that, Demilich is an interesting Wizard, especially if your deck has a lot of Instants and Sorceries. It is also worth mentioning that Acererak, the Archlich whom I mentioned in the first section, is also a Wizard and can go infinite with Omniscience or Rooftop Storm just as easily in this version of the Dungeons of Death deck.
Lastly, there are two Horrors in this set: Grazilaxx, Illithid Scholar and Mind Flayer. Uniquely, these probably contribute in a meaningful way to what the rest of their tribe is trying to do.
What to Take Out
For the most part, this version doesn’t need any of the Dungeon synergies. You can cut as many of those as you want. Additionally, if a creature is not a member of the appropriate tribe, it’s function in the deck is likely replaceable. Find an Instant, Sorcery, Artifact, or Enchantment that does the same thing and play that instead. This way, you maintain the integrity of the tribal theme and don’t sacrifice utility.
5. Stealing Things (4-8)
This upgrade path will also use Nihiloor as the commander. The idea is pretty simple: rather than creating your own threats to combat your opponents’, just employ theirs against themselves. There are similar Esper decks built around this idea (usually around Sen Triplets and Merieke Li Berit) and this one will probably play pretty similarly.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of cards that let you take control of your opponents’ creatures:
There’s not much to say about this version of Dungeons of Death deck, since its power level is largely dependent on the power level of your opponents. If they play powerful creatures, this deck has access to powerful creatures. Nihiloor‘s life drain ability gives you added incentive to turn your opponents’ creatures against them.
New Forgotten Realms Cards
The best new card for this strategy is Xanathar, Guild Kingpin. It is just like a Sen Triplets, except it lets you cast off the top of a player’s library rather than their hand. It fits exactly into what this deck wants to do. Rogue Class is also decent.
What to Take Out
This is one of those strategies that you can remove most of the precon in order to make room for the cards you want to include. Rod of Absorption, Extract Brain, Hostage Taker, and Necromantic Selection are the only cards in the Dungeons of Death deck that actively contribute to the theme, so almost anything else can go. Make sure you have plenty of card draw and ramp. You will probably even need more ramp than normal, in case you need to cast a bunch of your opponent’s spells.
Exit the Dungeon
I hope you enjoyed crawling through this Dungeon with me. Thank you so much for making it to the end of the article. Let me know which one of these builds you like best or are going to build. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to leave them below or find me on Instagram or Twitter. You can also find me on my podcast, Gathering: My Thoughts. That show is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
More Adventures in the Forgotten Realms
If you want to open some of the new Strixhaven cards, to upgrade your Dungeons of Death deck with, you can purchase a Set booster box on Amazon.
If you want the shiniest and the rarest card, then you’ll probably like Collector boosters. You can check the Forgotten Realms Collector Booster contents here.
Check out the upgrade articles for the other Commander decks from this set as well:
However, if none of these precons suit you, you can find all Commander precons here.
Until next time, enjoy Magic and have fun with your upgraded Dungeons of Death Commander deck!