Commander Focus: Watch Your Step! (Iroas, God of Victory)

You find yourself in a field. You don’t know how you got there, where the field is, or what day it is. You see barbed wire and the backs of signs in the distance and start to panic. There are strange lumps on the ground all around you. They aren’t gopher mounds. You have entered: The Minefield Zone.

Welcome back to Commander Focus. Today we will be looking at my rather wacky build of Iroas, God of Victory.

Credit: Wizards of the Coast

When I started playing Magic the first deck I owned was Saskia the Unyielding from the Commander 2016 precons. I loved the way that deck played. However, there was one card in the precon that drew my attention again and again: Iroas, God of Victory.

Every time I cast him I felt powerful. The big centaur man with the Spartan armor and huge hero pose. He’s huge at 7/4 and his ability is similarly powerful. Giving all of my creatures menace meant I immediately wanted a go-wide strategy, so I was bound to put token generation in the deck. His next line of text gives all of those tokens pseudo-indestructible that even dodges wither!

Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Now for the all important token generators. First to the plate is Brimaz, King of Oreskos. His token generation is probably the best in the deck. He swings in for free, dodging all incoming damage, and creates an attacking Cat Soldier on declaration. Next up is Darien, King of Kjeldor. He isn’t exactly the most powerful legendary creature, and at CMV 6 is actually pretty bad, but if I get him out I either take one big swing and create a mountain of Soldiers, or my opponents avoid attacking me until he’s gone. The same goes for Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs. Just two large combat deterrents. The last token generator I want to talk about is Heliod, God of the Sun. He, along with Kazuul, allows the deck to create tokens on my opponent’s turns. This is important. We are running Bennie Bracks, Zoologist as part of our card draw engine, which brings me to the cash money part of the article.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

The price of this deck starts to increase from here. Iroas being a Boros Commander means we have to work pretty hard to get ramp and card draw to keep up with the rest of the table. Thankfully white has been getting better card draw and ramp in recent years. I splurge here and add Smothering Tithe, a copy of Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx that I pilfered from another one of my decks, and Dockside Extortionist. On the cheaper end I’ve added Skullclamp and Mentor of the Meek to abuse the tokens dropping in.

Credit: Wizards of the Coast

At this point the article title and introduction might seem completely irrelevant. That’s because I was lulling you into a false sense of security. The real MEAT of this deck is all of the cards that punish swinging out. Like some sort of deranged monster I am running Lightmine Field, Powerstone Minefield, and Caltrops. These cards don’t see much Commander play. This is because they are almost always dogwater. Not here. With Iroas at the helm we can abuse the shit out of these cards. Combine them with Repercussion and every attack an opponent makes becomes an explosion of damage to their face. Especially when they are forced to attack after I Disrupt Decorum. On top of this I of course have to add Pyrohemia in the deck. It’s the most natural combo piece to play with Repercussion and I intend to burn my foes to the ground with it.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Now you might be saying to yourself “Sure, Iroas protects your creatures from taking damage from the minefields and Repercussion, but what happens when you block?” Well, dear reader, we have a couple of contingencies in place for such things. Notice the card I put at the start of this paragraph. We cast Runed Halo and name Repercussion. Now we are forever safe from our own creatures getting burned during our opponents’ combat steps. To further protect those idiots I’ve added Flawless Maneuver, Boros Charm, and Gisela, Blade of Goldnight (who also conveniently acts as a wincon herself).

Yes, I know this is like a 58 card combo or something. Even with tutors like Plea for Guidance how could I ever hope to get it all together. That’s the beauty of the deck. I don’t necessarily care. If I don’t ever touch the minefield portion of the deck I’m still playing a relatively competent go-wide strategy.

Some other interesting creature choices I’d like to talk about are Varchild, Betrayer of Kjeldor and Fireflux Squad. Varchild is a really neat creature in that she gives my opponents tokens with that they can’t swing at me. The intent here being to give my opponents more creatures to take damage to burn them from Pyrohemia and Repercussion combos and as a bonus I get to take those tokens when Varchild bites it. Fireflux Squad is a great addition to this deck. Getting to Chaos Warp a token whenever I attack is one of the best effects I could ask for. On a good day I can trade a 1/1 Soldier for Sun Titan, on a bad day I get Reinforced Ronin. At least the Ronin flees back to my hand at the end of the turn I guess.

Here’s the decklist:

The only upgrades I would make from here is to replace some of the weaker cards with just better cards. Merchant of the Vale and Reinforced Ronin in particular I would like to replace, but figured they were decent loots with creatures stapled on. I may also one day replace Alpha Brawl with a proper board wipe or Blasphemous Act. As it stands I like Alpha Brawl as a single player board wipe that also interacts with Repercussion. The deck could also stand to have it’s mana curve significantly reduced. I have a lot of creatures sitting at the high end of the curve. Specifically Darien, Bloodthirster, and possibly Torbran, Thane of Red Fell could be swapped out for cheap hatebears or cards like Swiftblade Vindicator. Just good cheap creatures that would really like the benefit of hanging out under Iroas’ buffs. I also endeavor to make the creature choices a little less eclectic in general. When I look at the list of creatures I see all decent cards that I’d be happy to put onto the battlefield, but it feels disjointed. For instance Ken, Burning Brawler isn’t here because he has inherent synergies with the deck’s goals, but more because the deck’s commander has synergy with his goals. He can swing in without fear of getting knocked out. His trigger, interestingly enough, is a simple combat damage trigger. The only way to stop me from casting a free sorcery from my hand is to bounce, kill, or exile him. That being said, he is only here because I wanted to give him a home in a deck.

All that to say this deck is something of a pet project of mine. I happy where it currently is, but I am excited to see how it evolves and improves over time. Who knows? Maybe a month from now the cards I mention in this article will be missing from the deck preview.


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