Demon Week: Seizan, Perverter of Truth Deck

Normally I wouldn’t put EDH decks on here, because, well, they are quite long lists and there’s a lot of art to it, so this is going to be more about how I make a deck than about Seizan himself.

My favorite demon in MtG and one of my favorite commanders, Seizan, Perverter of Truth.

This card just works on so many levels. Its a 6/5 for five mana and therefore very affordable. It also has a very good ability. People are greedy and therefore they won’t touch Seizan. So, it generally stays on board, although often the player on my left will just kill it after getting the benefit himself. Anyhow, let’s design a deck with him as the commander.

Having researched this somewhat, it appears many people do this wrong. They attempt to control their opponents hands with discard, but that’s not what you want. You don’t want to work against yourself. I guess there’s some sort of intuitive jump which makes it feel attractive, but just don’t do it. Its generally not a powerful strategy in EDH anyhow and Seizan just makes it worse.

So, how do we proceed? Well, what I do is basically four steps. This is the usual order, but there are times I go with a different approach and start with some other step instead.

1. Choose a commander. Well, this time this has been done already. My usual process of doing this is quite arbitrary. I like to try out a new commander quite often (and I have tried over forty in just over a year), but I also like to go back to old ones now that my collection of cards has more depth.

2. Go through cards with a lot of synergy with the commander and dismiss nonbos. Also add cards which support our strategy. In this case, I’m going with making attacking me seem unattractive. For this purpose, I’ll put in Dread, No Mercy, Grave Pact, Butcher of Malakir, Oblivion Stone, Kokusho, the Evening Star and Sudden Spoiling, although I don’t really advertise the last one, so its not as good in this regard.

Life gain is also nice in a Seizan deck, but I don’t like to use life gain just for that. Usually, the card needs to do something else too. Exsanguinate is often considered a staple, but I don’t. In this deck it definitely has a place. Sorin Markov is a card I’ve owned for a while now, but haven’t played yet. This is probably the deck for him. Sword of War and Peace is great in this regard. Also protects Seizan from many cards.

Punishing opponents for drawing cards is one more thing the deck likes to to. Underworld Dreams is one choice, as well as Psychosis Crawler. Temporal Extortion is probably better than usual, as the other players will have better places to invest their life.

3. Put some staples and roleplayers in. Who can say no to Damnation? In a black deck this generally means a suite of cards for tutoring, for sweeping the board, for spot removal, for ramp, for utility and so on. Also, grave hate package is important in our current meta. I was thinking Cremate (a very underrated card in my opinion), Withered Wretch, Nihil Spellbomb, Leyline of the Void and Vile Rebirth, but chose to change the last one into Crypt Incursion, which probably works better with Seizan despite higher casting cost.

This part also includes some generally good creatures, because you usually need some. This deck is lighter on creatures than most of my decks, but I did make room for the usual suspects.

4. Find some cards I’ve never used or haven’t used in a while and put them in the deck. Well, much of this was actually covered already, since I’ve never had some of the aforementioned cards in my deck before. Still, this feels like an important part of the process for me, since I like to learn new things. Finding ways to use these new cards is part of

First one to make it was Pontiff of Blight. The deck might not have enough creatures to make him truly effective, but he does work well with Seizan (and thus probably should have been in the second category.

Second came Tendrils of Corruption. This card should probably be in my decks quite often, but for some reason it hasn’t been. Ever. I do play a lot of monoblack, though, so maybe I should remember this card in the future. Also works great with Seizan as most players will have less life than usual.

Phthisis is a card that’s been floating close to my decks for a while, but has never quite made it. The suspend is probably great for creating stalls as most people won’t be willing to put anything into play when this is ticking down, waiting.

Xathrid Gorgon seems powerful, but for some reason not very popular.

So, the end result. The cmc is pretty high. The curve has a hole in the fifth column, but that’s not a problem, since I’ll often cast Seizan as soon as possible, taking that slot in the early game.

Sadly, only a couple of demons, horrors and clerics, so doesn’t really work thematically.

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