The commander for this deck was originally supposed to be Exava, Rakdos Bloodwitch, but I find for what this deck is trying to do, Olivia is much better, and cheaper to cast which is sorely needed as I feel she will probably die a lot. Olivia, Mobilized for War is a 3/3 Flying Vampire Knight for 1BR with the ability to discard a card when a creature enters under you control, if you do, that creature gets a +1/+1 counter, Haste and becomes a vampire in addition to its other types. I am going to try to make this deck as aggressive as possible.
Look, No Hand.
I’ve tried to include as many cards that rely on us having no hand as possible. Cards with Hellbent get bonuses when you have no hand. These include cards like Anthem of Rakdos, Nihilistic Glee and Jagged Poppet. Amonkhet’s Hazoret the Fervent also relies on you having no hand in order to attack. Hellbent turns on certain effects on these cards that can mean more damage, extra card draw or general misfortune for your opponents, which is always good. I have found that Murderous Redcap goes quite well with this version of Olivia too as the +1/+1 counters cancel out the Persist and allow it to deal consistent damage.
How did you lose your hand?
So how do we lose our hand? We can’t rely on Olivia’s ability alone because we need to play creatures to trigger it. Certain creatures allow you to discard cards in order to enter play or activate certain abilities. Bloodrage Brawler is a relatively new creature that costs 1R for a 4/3 that forces you to discard a card so that he can enter play. Sire of Insanity forces each player to discard their hand each end step. Sarkhan the Dragonspeaker’s Emblem also says you get to draw two additional cards in your draw step but you discard your hand in the end step, which should help us get more creatures onto the field and keep our hand empty. I also like Dangerous Wager in this deck because you can discard your hand and draw two cards instead.
These creatures aren’t very large, so we need a way to get all these creatures through. Spells that render a certain amount of creatures unable to block both allow us to empty our hands quickly and potentially allow our creatures through. Awe For the Guilds is a great way to do this as it renders monocolored creatures unable to block for that turn. Barrage of Boulders, Concussive Bolt, Ember Gale and Destructive Tampering are some other ways of making sure that a large number of creatures can’t prevent an onslaught, as well as maybe dealing some damage to some smaller creatures or players. Creatures with Afflict such as Neheb, the Eternal may deter blocking too.
This Damage Adds Up.
A few ways to deal some extra damage then. I thought maybe things like Trumpet Blast and/or Path of Anger’s Flame to have your creatures get a +2/+0 boost until end of turn. Anthem of Rakdos gives your creatures +2/+0 when they attack, it also deals 1 damage to you, but they deal double damage if you have hellbent. I’ve also added ways to make goblins with Goblin Assault, Goblin Rabblemaster and Krenko, Mob Boss with other cards like Purphoros, God of the Forge and Impact Tremors to deal more damage when creatures enter under your control.
This deck may not do so well in a multiplayer setting as aggro decks generally don’t. A Geier Reach Sanitarium may be useful but beyond that I can’t think of any lands that may help us beyond the ordinary. I do hope you find this both helpful and fun and until next time, Happy Deck Building.