The newest deck: Sek’Kuar, Deathkeeper

02 Jan

(or perhaps that should be “Sek’Kuar, killing my own guys for fun and profit” 😉 )

Kicking off this new year with a new deck; deck number 16 of 27 in my Challenge of Doom! Sek’Kuar, Deathkeeper is a happy little soul, who is as happy with killing off his own minions as he is dealing with the oppositions… after all those Graveborn tokens aren’t going to make themselves…

The Deck

Rather than list the whole deck here, I’ll provide a handy dandy link to it: Click for the DeckStats analysis. What follows here are the main strategies of the deck, and some synergies that I’ve attempted to put in, and some thoughts on why I’ve done what I’ve done.

The Theory

EDH is a game where creatures die all the time. Although our playgroup isn’t quite as focussed on board sweepers as they used to be, it’s simply a fact of life that sometimes the board needs to be reset or someone dies. With that in mind, Ol’ Sek doesn’t mind when you wipe, as he leaves a whole bunch of angry buddies behind. Even better, I can wipe the board myself, and then swing in with the hasty remains of my team 🙂 The list isn’t all about wipes though; there are other ways Sek’s ability can be used.

Sacrifice effects

Cards which already kill themselves – Sakura Tribe Elder, Doomed Necromancer and so on – now pull double duty with Sek’Kuar on the board. Likewise cards which sacrifice your own dudes for some effect like Nantuko Husk, Spawning Pit, or Hellkite Hatchling provide twice the effect when Sek’Kuar is around. I have only included effects that can take place at instant speed in this version of the deck – I did consider things like Sadistic Hypnotist, but for this first version I’m going with the instant speed only so that I can respond to a Threaten or Path to Exile type threat when it’s convenient to do so.

Not-quite-symmetrical symmetrical effects

Most notably in this list: Innocent Blood. You guys can all sacrifice a creature; I’ll have a 3/1. Even better if I have Grave Pact in play. Likewise with Bone Splinters which, if Sek’Kuar is on the battlefield reads B: Destroy target creature, put a 3/1 Haste into play.

Comes into play triggers

I didn’t push this much, pretty much only including Warstorm Surge here (since it only triggers on my creatures and doesn’t cost anything to activate) but Electropotence was considered for this as well. Pandemonium was never really an option, as most of the dudes I’ll end up with are x/1’s and any creature coming into play would kill them just fine. The dream here is to have Warstorm Surge, Spawning Pit and Sek’Kuar in play all at the same time, which handily turns any “real” creature I have into x+5 damage, where x is the creature’s power. (It comes into play, deals x damage. Sac it to Spawning Pit, making a 3/1, dealing 3 damage. Sac the token to Spawning Pit – it doesn’t say “Sacrifice a non-token creature”! – to put a second counter on it, spend 1 to put a 2/2 into play and deal another 2 damage. All at instant speed, whenever I want to do it.)

Leaves play triggers

Grave Pact. Deathgreeter. Pattern of Rebirth. When stuff dies, other stuff happens. (To add to this list as soon as I get some: Vicious Shadows and Deathbringer Thoctar). What I haven’t put in this list is the other “growing” creatures like Rockslide Elemental, Lumberknot, or Scavenger Drake. I don’t think they do quite enough by themselves, or will get killed when I don’t want them to (“You’ll die on my terms dammit!”). I’ve considered adding Lumberknot and/or Algae Gharial though, as they do protect themselves. However, they “just” become large, and don’t help themselves get through, so they’re on the sidelines for now. What is your opinion on them?

Other bits

This being a Black/Red/Green deck, it seems somewhat inevitable to have some of the best creature destruction spells in the game in the deck. Putrefy. Terminate. Wrecking Ball. Blasphemous Act. Savage Twister. I’ve also got Gleancrawler in here; I try and put him in any G/B deck as he’s one of my favourite creatures, but in this deck he has the potential to be absolutely gold – sac all my creatures, get them all back at end of turn? Yes please! 😀

As always with my decks, I’ve put in a few out and out experiments just to see how they perform; things like Weatherseed Totem (I must try and get a Weatherseed Treefolk to replace it), Aerie Ouphes (persist seems like a good fit for the deck, and these guys sac themselves to boot), Kuon (if there’s a deck where he can flip immmediately, this should be it!), Demonmail Hauberk, and Anthem of Rakdos are all on the watchlist to see how they perform.

I’ve also put one dirty dirty combo in here; if you can see what it is (it’ll make me pretty unpopular, probably, and I’ll more than likely take it out) post in the comments – unless you already know what it is (Jock, Sam, looking at you!)

Cards I’m looking for

Aside from Vicious Shadows and Deathbringer Thoctar, there are some cards I’m looking for to go into this deck. Some of them are:

  • Tombstone Stairwell (I’ve been looking for a deck that can abuse this; this one certainly does!) RTFC!! Sek’Kuar does say non-token… still it works nicely with Deathgreeter, Grave Pact, Warstorm Surge, etc etc. I just don’t get an army of Graveborn tokens out of it…
  • Damnation (I have two; they’re currently in Ghost Council and Kaalia, but I think would be better in here than in Kaalia)
  • Decree of Pain
  • Lavalanche
  • Kresh

So, that’s my latest. Comments welcome!


Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Challenge of Doom, EDH/Commander



5 responses to “The newest deck: Sek’Kuar, Deathkeeper

  1. Sam

    January 2, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    I dont know man I see few things which are nasty.

    Stealing everyones lands with a Natural Affinity -> Insurrection -> then sacking them to any one of your sac outlets = GG.

    • Viperion

      January 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Not exactly the combo I was thinking of but close… in response to someone else’s Wrath, Natural Affinity… wipe the board, leave me with a bunch of 3/1’s to kill people with. It fits with my personal opinion of mass land D – if you can win quickly afterwards it’s fine, if not, I’m coming after you with a the biggest stick I can find. But I’m not sure how the rest of the table would feel about it as it’s a pretty devastating way to win.

  2. Thaumaturge

    January 4, 2012 at 6:47 am

    I obviously can’t tell from just looking at your list, but when I tried my hand at Sek’kuar, i found that the deck was pretty bad at winning – or doing anything, really – without Grave Pact. I didn’t mean for that to happen, or expect it, but the deck just flat out hinged on Grave Pact to such an extent that it wasn’t really fun or good. I had several ways to tutor it up and get it back if it was killed, thanks to Black and Green, but games where I was unsuccessful in finding and/or sticking Grave Pact were universally abysmal experiences.

    I probably could have fiddled with the deck a bit to lessen that problem, but I ultimately decided it wasn’t worth the effort. Anyway, I sincerely hope you have a different experience of the deck, but I just wanted to mention this as something to be on the lookout for when you do play it. I find that EDH decks that rely so intrinsically on one specific spell or permanent to be both boring to play and too easy to disrupt.

    • Viperion

      January 4, 2012 at 11:25 am

      Had a couple of games with it last night, both of which were a bit on the unusual side (game reports to come, but in short one of them turned very quickly into 3 on 1 against my Omnath deck which went crazy, and the other was Emperor), didn’t get Grave Pact into play in either game, and both went fine (I lost them both, but not the deck’s fault)

      • Thaumaturge

        January 5, 2012 at 4:27 am

        Glad to hear it! I considered giving Sek’kuar another go, but I finally just realized that I’d rather try out Karrthus or Kresh first. Oh well. Best of luck to you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: