Commander Focus: Zada, Face Grinder

Spring boarding off of my previous go-wide tokens deck with Rhys the Redeemed, today we’re pivoting in a much different direction with an all-in mono red Storm style deck, everyone’s favorite! We’re here to make friends and take 30 minute turns, and for some odd reason we’re all out of friends.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

The Commander: Zada, Hedron Grinder

Zada is a very unique and fun spellslinging commander that wants to go wide with creatures and then copy an array of cheap buffs across those creatures by targeting Zada. We are primarily hoping to win through combat with a table full of hasty, double striking, trampling 30/1’s, but we do have a decent number of backup plans for those rude mages who want to prevent all combat damage or make us unable to attack them with cards like Propaganda, including a few infinite combos whose pieces all further our game plan even if we aren’t using them to combo off.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

The Creature Creation

Zada really, really wants us to have a bunch of creatures in play, otherwise we’re spending a couple of mana to draw one card or give one creature +3/+1 which is uhhhhh…..not going to get it done in Commander. Not to fear though, we can create a bunch of tokens with cards like Dragon Fodder, Krenko’s Command, Hordeling Outburst, Goblin Rally, Tempt with Vengeance, Firecat Blitz, and Empty the Warrens. Many of our creature cards like Goblin Instigator and Beetleback Chief also bring tokens with them to give us multiple bodies with one card, and we can repeatedly make more as we storm off with Young Pyromancer, or get big bursts from Krenko, Mob Boss, Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin, and Chancellor of the Forge. Chancellor specifically can get us a free token if we start with it in our hand, and then later can either double us up or be a fantastic pitch for Blazing Shoal. Mogg Infestation can serve as either a board wipe or a weird token doubler. Finally we can get our combo win on with Dualcaster Mage and either Heat Shimmer or Twinflame, or Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Zealous Conscripts to make infinite tokens.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

The Ramp

Since we really want to storm off and win in one turn, it’s extremely important for us to find ways to fuel our big turn, so we only have a few pieces of traditional fast mana with cards like Sol Ring, Mana Crypt, Arcane Signet, and Extraplanar Lens. However, we offset that with a whole bunch of ritual-like effects such as Runaway Steam-Kin, Storm-Kiln Artist, Inner Fire, Involuntary Fire, Battle Hymn, and Sudden Breathrough. Ruby Medallion offers us a discount on all of our spells, Mana Echoes gives us big bursts, and Mana Geyser and Reiterate offer us a way to gain infinite mana.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

The Card Draw

Once we are underway, we are going to make Ancestral Recall WEEP with how inefficient it is, so much so that we DO need to be cognizant of how many cards we have in our deck so as not to accidentally deck ourselves and lose. Any instant or sorcery that targets and cantrips will be a powerhouse for us, and I have gone with cards like Ancestral Anger and Fists of Flame that offer power boosts wherever possible, as well as ones like Accelerate and Expedite that grant the all important haste. There are also some cards like Crimson Wisps and Stun that are so cost efficient they are completely worth it even though we’re just using them for draw. These allow us to to have turns where we’re drawing 5, 10, 15 cards or more for 1 mana which will let us find the next draw spell to keep digging and ramping and giving us great inevitability.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

The Protection

Since the deck is very all or nothing and it will be immediately obvious to your opponents when they are in danger on our big turn, it’s important to protect Zada and save ourselves from being blown out by cards like Cyclonic Rift. For this we have Swiftfoot Boots, Pyroblast, Deflecting Swat, Tibalt’s Trickery, and Red Elemental Blast. Mirrorwing Dragon also offers us some much needed redundancy.


Credit: Wizards of the Coast

The Game Enders

Finally, we need to close this sucker out. We have a bunch of cards like Titan’s Strength, Fists of the Anvil, Temur Battle Rage and Brute Strength that boost our creatures to lethal levels and give them ways to punch through which is our primary game plan. When we can’t, we rely on Purphoros, God of the Forge, Impact Tremors, and Goblin Bombardment for less direct damage, or the ultimate flex with Fiery Gambit. If we stop after 2 flips, by the time we hit 30 creatures it’s something like an 80% chance that we will have done 40 damage to each opponent.



Thanks for joining us for our latest kitchen table Commander deck! Make sure to keep an eye out for the other decks in the series! If you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at