Earlier this week, The command zone did a live reveal of their preview card for the upcoming commander legends set, battle for Balder’s gate. Zevlor Elturel Exile. The live show will be available to watch back on YouTube soon which you should definitely check out.
Zevlor is a 1 and grixis for a 4/2 with haste. It also has a day zero errata due to a missed word in the oracle text. So it should read 2 and tap: when you next cast an instant or socery spell that ONLY targets a single opponent or single permanent an opponent controls this turn, for each other opponent, choose that player or a permanent they control, copy that spell and the copy targets the chosen player or permanent
If you find that confusing, you’re not alone. In a nut shell, when you next cast an instant or sorcery that only targets a single permanent or a single player (not both) then you can copy it and select new targets with Zevlors ability. With that said let’s get into it
Mana that’s alot of mana!
The thing to take note of in the deck is that, in most cases your getting Zevlor out on turn 4, turn 3 is you can get some mana rocks out but it’s very unlikely to be earlier then that. On top of that, you need to add 2 more mana on top of the casting cost of any additional spells. So we need to ramp out as much as possible. We want as many low costed mana rocks so that we can get them out as soon as possible. So we have the full suit of available 2 drop rocks and Wayfarers bauble
We also have cost reducers, a one time investment that will pay off later, we have these in the form of creatures like vadrik, enchantments like jaces sanctum and artifacts from the medallions
We also have sorcerer class, which often gets overlooked. This enchantment gives us some early looting, we can then turn any creatures we have into mana dorks and finally we can kill our opponents by casting spells in a similar way that aethurflux reservoir gains life.
Zevlor wants us to copy spells but we can also duplicate his activated ability with rings of bright hearth and lithoform engine. We also have twinning staff for incedental value whenever we copy spells. Because twinning staff only copies a spell it won’t hit other players an additional time, unlike rings of brighthearth and lithoform engine, which will actually hit the other opponents disproportionately over the original target. This gives us some political power.
Target on our back
With a deck like this, Zevlor needs to be out to get the most out of our spells. As such he will he getting targeted by our opponents. We have a whole range of counter magic in the deck to protect Zevlor and we also have the usual protection in the form of lightning greaves and swiftfoot boots. The haste isnt going to be relevant but the shroud and hexproof will be worth the investment
Counter magic needs to be cheap and efficient, we can only afford 2 mana spells for this slot considering how expensive the top end is. I haven’t included free counter spells in this list because they tend to be pricey. If you have them include them.
Narsets reversal is actually a sneaky good card in this deck, we can use it to bounce our own spells back to hand, like Jeska’s will as well as acting as protection.
Spell it out
Unsurprisingly in a spell slinger deck we have access to 16 sorceries and 19 instants. Alot of these are control based cards such as snap, which when this is copied we are untapping 6 lands, that refunds us the cost of the spell and the activation of Zevlor and a bit more we also have deadly rollick from ikoria, a free exile spell out with Zevlor out, so now you paying 2 and exiling 3 things, thats incredible value. That’s not all, we also have some pretty mean cards. This deck is not going to make you any friends.
We have a suit of cards that lets us take cards from our opponents, we have praetors grasp, 1 and 2 black for a sorcery that lets us search an opponent’s deck for any card, exile it, and we can cast it any time. Doing that to everyone will stuff up their plans and can get us ahead. Similarly we have Bribery and Acquire. Bribery lets us get a creature from our opponents decks whilst acquire lets us get artifacts. Acquire is probably a little better because we can use this as a form of ramp to cast some of the big spells in this deck.
One of the all stars from the Original commander legends Jeska’s will shines harder in this deck, generating so much red mana and giving us 9 additonal cards to play with
This next section I think we can just call salt inducers, because they are very mean but very powerful in this deck.
First we have worst fears, a very expensive card for 7 and a black we take control of our opponents next turns, so we can demolish their plans, make some bad attacks and sabotage their hands
Next we have gitaxian probe and exhaustion. Gitaxian probe lets us look at everyone’s hands and also draw 3 cards and exhaustion keeps everyone’s permanents tapped during their next turn
Finally, one of my favourites in the deck we have curse of the cabal, 9 and a black that makes target opponent sacrifice half of their permanents. Not non land, just permanents. This also has suspend for 2 and 2 black. Players can sacrifice permanents to delay this but that could be enough to control the board