WARNING: THE FOLLOWING COMMANDER, ZUR THE ENCHANTER, CAN EASILY BE BUILT IN A WAY THAT IS OPPRESSIVE AND NOT FUN TO PLAY AGAINST. THIS WEBSITE AND THOSE WHO MAINTAIN IT ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY CONSEQUENCES AS A RESULT OF PLAYING A DECK LIKE THIS INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOST FRIENDSHIPS, GRUDGES, PERSONAL INJURIES, FLIPPED TABLES OR OTHER PROPERTY DAMAGE. PLAYER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Do you want to lose the friends in your play group? Do you want to see an opponent rage quit at Magic: The Gathering? Zur the Enchanter might be the commander you’ve been looking for. Zur the Enchanter is a 1/4 Human Wizard with flying that costs 1 generic, 1 white, 1 blue, and 1 black. His ability reads, “Whenever Zur the Enchanter attacks, you may search your library for an enchantment card with converted mana cost 3 or less and put it onto the battlefield.” There are over 1000 cards that fit into those parameters (enchantments with CMC 3 or less that are legal in commander and are either white, blue, black, or a combination of those three). There are 2 things to note in the wording of Zur’s ability. The first is that this ability triggers when Zur attacks, not when he deals damage. This means that you can search for an enchantment that buffs Zur’s power, gives him more evasion, or you can search for an enchantment that stops an opposing creature from blocking. The second thing to note about Zur’s ability is that the enchantment is placed on the battlefield, not cast, therefore the enchantment does not use the stack and if it must be attached to something like a creature, it gets around hexproof, shroud, and protection. It;s easy to see why this is already broken and I haven’t even gotten to any other cards in the deck yet.
One of the first cards you will want to tutor for with Zur is Flickerform. Flickerform allows Zur to leave the battlefield at instant speed for 2 generic and 2 white. It also allows Zur to keep any auras that are also attached to him when he enters exile. This is the best way to protect Zur as it gets around spot removal as well as board wipes. The only problem is having enough mana to dodge each opponent’s efforts to remove Zur. This is actually not that hard to do since you don’t even need mana to get the rest of the enchantments out. You can attack, get Zur’s trigger, and leave your mana open. You also have Felidar Umbra and Eel Umbra to serve as additional protection with totem armor. The quickest way to win is just by giving Zur enough enchantments that he gets big enough to deal an absurd amount of commander damage. Abzan Runemark, and Sultai Runemark each give +2/+2 as well as vigilance and deathtouch, respectively since Zur is black and blue. Daybreak Coronet gives +3/+3 as well as vigilance, first strike and lifelink. And finally, Aqueous Form just makes Zur unblockable.
There are other enchantments that can be used to buff Zur, but he can’t tutor for them. Eidolon of Countless Battles and Ghostblade Eidolon are enchantment creatures and while they do cost 3 mana each, they must be cast for their bestow cost to buff Zur. Eidolon of Countless Battles gives the enchanted creature +1/+1 for each creature and each aura you control, while Ghostblade Eidolon grants double strike. Auramancer’s Guise gives the enchanted creature +2/+2 for each aura attached to it which can really put Zur over the top. Celestial Mantle is icing on the cake as not only does it grant +3/+3, but whenever the enchanted creature attacks, its controller’s life total doubles.
Now the other side of Zur is all about oppression, stopping your opponents from hurting you. Aegis of the Gods just flat out gives you hexproof. Eidolon of Rhetoric only allows players to cast 1 spell per turn. Since the enchantments fetched with Zur are not cast, you are essentially still playing 2 spells on your turn. Propaganda and Ghostly Prison require your opponents to pay a total of 4 mana per creature if they want to attack you. Let’s not forget about all of the pacifism-like enchantments out there for locking down individual threats.
Now for the ultimate pillow fort 2 card combo. Solitary Confinement gives you shroud and prevents all damage that would be dealt to you. This basically stops everyone from interacting with you. This level of protection comes with the downside of having to discard a card every turn to keep it active and you skip your draw step. In a vacuum, this was not meant to last, but when combined with Necropotence, it is nearly unstoppable. Like Solitary Confinement, Necropotence also requires you to skip your draw step. It also forces any cards that you discard into exile. Oh, big deal. Most of the time that’s going to be a land. The ability that you care about is being able to pay 1 life and exile the top card of your library and then add it to your hand at the beginning of your next end step. This allows you to just fill your hand back up to 7 cards at the end of your turn. And since you skip your draw step, you wont deck yourself if you decide to pick up your whole library, although I still wouldn’t recommend doing that because then Zur won’t have any enchantments to target. Also since Zur will probably have lifelink, paying 1 life per card is no issue.
Very few commander decks run counter spells, but I think a deck like this can make great use out of them since protecting Zur is paramount to winning. Now there are hundreds of counter spells out there and not all of them are good in commander so I want to establish some rules when selecting your counter spells for this deck. First, they should cost no more than 3 mana; second, they must be a hard counter, no escape clause like Mana Leak; and third, they must be able to counter any type of spell. Cancel is the first that comes to mind and it is the perfect example for what you are after for counter spells. Costs 3 mana or less, check; hard counter, check; can target any spell, check. Undermine and Absorb are a nice pair. You can also use the original counter spell Counterspell and its newer cousin Wizard’s Retort so unless Zur stops being a Wizard this will be cast for 2 blue rather than 1 generic and 2 blue, not that it really makes a difference with the amount of mana you can produce in commander.
Zur can tutor for quite a few cards in this deck, but there are some that he can’t get because they are too expensive for him to grab and I mentioned a few earlier. To help mitigate this there are several tutor cards that you can run to help bring out these costlier cards. Some of these can be expensive but you don’t have to break the bank for them, just use what you can afford. Vampiric Tutor and Demonic Tutor are 2 of the best ever printed. Diabolic Tutor has the highest mana cost of all of these cards, but this is commander after all so it’s not that big of a deal. Enlightened Tutor and Idyllic Tutor are specific to enchantments but that is okay since most of the deck is enchantments and most of the time all of these tutors will be used on enchantments.
Let’s cover some other utility cards for this deck. Tainted Remedy is good against any life gain decks, and there’s Copy Enchantment, because why not have a second copy of anything you already own or if you see something an opponent owns that you would like to have on your side? Although Zur cannot tutor for these next cards, the Exquisite Blood and Sanguine Bond infinite life drain combo can serve as an alternate win condition. Sanguine Bond also works great by itself with Celestial Mantle. The only card that really threatens a deck like this is Aura Shards so be sure to have some cards that can remove it if you see a creature heavy green white deck at the table. Mortify or Vindicate will work.
Zur the Enchanter is one of the most broken cards for commander and his color identity is made up of the best colors for a control strategy. While there are quite a few win conditions that can be used in a deck like this, Zur the Enchanter is the main one. If I was to cover every single card and combo that can go into a Zur deck, we would be here for hours. Unlike most decks in this series, I actually have a Zur deck and I put hours of researching, building, and fine tuning into that deck and it is one of the decks I’m most proud of. I don’t play it too often because it is so powerful and I would caution you to do the same if you decide to build a deck, competitive or casual, around Zur the Enchanter. Which commander do you want to see next? Let me know in the comments below.