Today I’m here with another EDH deck. This time it isn’t one of my Commander Exercise series but one of my personal decks instead. I’m going to talk about my Kenrith, the Returned King deck.
The deck started as a political deck but it didn’t last much; Kenrith in the Command Zone made the other players insecure to strike deals with me and so I switched game-plan and decided to focus more on using Kenrith’s abilities for my own advantage more than as a political tool.
Kenrith is a powerful engine in the Command Zone. He has five different abilities that can get you advantage in a way or another; he has a five-color identity so you can play all the goodness available in Commander; and he isn’t linked to a particular theme so there are plenty of ways to build a deck around him.
My Kenrith deck is a combo-control deck that focuses on ETBs and creatures that sacrifice themselves to bring some effect, supported by blink effects or Kenrith’s reanimation ability.
The main plan of the deck is to keep ahead of the other players thanks to the general advantage produced by Kenrith and the other cards, until we can assemble one of our combos to win.
It’s a powerful deck that can win out of nowhere with one of its combos or slowly by continuously getting ahead.
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Some general classical pieces for the more powerful decks; it can certainly work well without Moxes and Mana Crypt but they are surely a nice boost.
Chromatic Lantern and Dryad of the Ilysian Groove can give us a bit of ramp but surely they are fundamental for their fixing ability. Farseek and Nature’s Lore are two other cards that can really fix our mana base while also ramping thanks to their ability of getting the Ikoria Triomes.
Kenrith’s abilities can get us really tons of advantage and they can be used at instant speed, so having mana available in our opponents turn can be a great way to get ahead. We run cards like Seedborn Muse and Wilderness Reclamation to untap multiple times and have extra mana to abuse from the abilities.
It’s really rare to found a meta where blue isn’t played and usually it is one of the most common colors, so Carpet of Flowers can give us some nice extra-mana to use; once I got in a game against a mono-blue deck and I could get 9 extra manas per turn.
Incubation Druid is one of the combo pieces we are going to use to produce infinite mana; with Kenrith on the field we don’t even have to use the Adapt as we can simply pay 1(G) to give it a counter.
These are not properly ramp cards, but they still reduce the price of activation of Kenrith’s abilities giving us the possibility to use them more.
I choose to go with Biomancer’s Familiar and Zirda because, despite being easier to remove for our opponents, it is simpler to get them back from the graveyard with Kenrith.
Kiki-Jiki can easily produce infinite tokens together with one of our Blinkers, giving us the possibility of a win out of nowhere.
Vito transforms the life gain from Kenrith in a rocket launcher that can end the game in an infinite mana condition.
Willbreaker lets us steal all of our opponents creatures by simply targeting them with the +1/+1 counter ability of Kenrith.
These are all cards that blink our creatures or create a pseudo blink effect by creating copies of them.
Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian can end the game with the infamous combo that terrorized Aether Revolt’s standard.
Various classical removals, giving priority to the one on creatures to abuse their effect with the blinkers and Kenrith.
Cataclysmic Gearhulk can become a constant wrath if we let him die with its own effect and then reanimate it each turn with Kenrith; this can really buy us some time against more battlecruising decks.
Some control elements to slow down our opponents or protect us when we are going to combo off.
Rule of Law can slow down our opponents without touching us much as most of the time we will cast a single spell and then use Kenrith’s abilities, but be aware that it could turn against us if we wanted to combo off in a single turn with it on the field.
A few tutors to get our combo pieces. Scheming Symmetry is a remainder from the Political build but it is also really useful to get a friend during the game, maybe helping out the player that really couldn’t start due to bad luck.
Being most of our combo composed by two creatures, Shared Summons is the best one to get both of them at the same time.
Some creatures and cards to get some extra card advantage to add to what Kenrith already gives us.
Llanowar Visionary is a great way to get that extra card (or more if you blink it) while also doubling up as a Mana dork. Mulldrifter is awesome to cast with Evoke and then reanimate with Kenrith to get a total of four cards and a 2/2 flying body.
The only card I’m unsure of here is Eerie Ultimatum; its effect is awesome but is really hard to pull it off due to the mana cost and the fact that it is extremely situational. I’m thinking of changing it with another “blinking” effect like Splinter Twin.
Being heavily creature based is important to protect our board from the various removals and attacks from our opponents.
In my opinion, the best cards here are Spore Frog, Kami of False Hope and Linvala, Shield of Gate as they can be sacrificed to get an effect and then we can reanimate them with Kenrith.
Agent of Treachery and Gonti are two cards that let us play with our opponents resources and that can also abuse the blinking theme.
Vigean Graftmage is the other piece of our infinite mana combo with Incubation Druid, letting us produce infinite mana of every color we need to draw cards from our deck with Kenrith until we find our win conditions.
Nothing special about the mana base as they are only lands to get the colored mana for our spells. The only utility one is Maze of Ith that is useful to get some protection from the attacks of our opponents.
I hope you enjoyed the post and that this could be useful to someone looking for a way to build King Kenrith!
Great post. I recently got Kenrith, so I’ll try something with it soon, but it was good reading your plan with this deck. Cheers
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Glad that you like it! I hope you will find it useful for your deck building! 😀
Love the article this is such a neat way of using Kenrith. Zirda and biomancers can really turn the deck on !
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Yes! Using cards like them can really make Kenrith’s abilities cost only 1 colored mana and you can constantly use them!
If you are looking for other cards that does the same effect there are Training Ground (even if it’s a bit pricey at the moment) and Heartstone