Dear Azami,

Ever since Magic Origins, I’ve been searching for a fun and smashy half-tribal-half-synergy deck. I eventually settled on the badass barbarian warlord Lovisa Coldeyes. Ever since her not-so-beautiful reprint in the Mind Vs. Might Duel Deck, I’ve been finding things outside of the Human subtype to put in.

While I don’t want to change it all that much from how it’s been playing so far, and I’m also on a budget, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

My playgroup consists of two Breyas, a Mizzix, a Jarad, and a Triad of Fates deck.

Here is my current decklist!

Read Her Flavor Text

Subthemes: Extra Combats, Card Draw, Treason effects

General: Lovisa Coldeyes

Creatures: 30 (Non-Human: 10 and Non-Warrior: 4)

Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs, Bloodmark MentorEternal ScourgeCombustible Gearhulk, Brighthearth BanneretUlamog, the Infinite GyreDuplicantMarkov BlademasterNimble-Blade KhenraBoldwyr IntimidatorKessig MalcontentsKolaghan AspirantScab-Clan BerserkerKamahl, Pit-FighterBorderland Marauder, Archetype of AggressionFlamerush RiderMetallic MimicHumble DefectorEnraged RevolutionaryGodo, Bandit WarlordKolaghan ForerunnersSandstone WarriorGodo’s IrregularsMage-Ring BullyParagon of Fierce DefianceManic VandalWar-Name Aspirant, Zealous Conscripts, Kargan Dragonlord

Artifacts: 12

Fire DiamondSol RingCaged SunCoat of Arms, Stoneforge MasterworkDolmen GateDoor of DestiniesRuby MedallionQuietus SpikeLightning GreavesConqueror’s FlailObsidian Battle-Axe

Enchantments: 2

Gratuitous ViolenceBerserkers’ Onslaught

Instants: 3

Price of ProgressBlades of Velis VelBeacon of Destruction

Sorceries: 8

Seize the DayVandalblastInsult // Injury, Portent of BetrayalLose CalmReforge the Soul, Act of TreasonBrowbeat

Planeswalkers: 2

Daretti, Scrap SavantChandra, Torch of Defiance

Lands: 6 Nonbasic, 35 Basic

Maze of IthHomeward PathSandstone NeedleTeetering Peaks, Dormant VolcanoGhitu Encampment

Thank you,


I have some fond memories of Lovisa Coldeyes, as well as the dubious honor of dying three times in a row to a list a friend of mine threw together at 4am the previous morning while completely drunk. Lovisa Coldeyes is one of those decks that’s never going to be competitive; but it’s cheap to make, a lot of fun to play, and turns cards that are normally draft fodder into lethal threats.

Ben’s list has a few minor issues: at 41 the land count is significantly higher than I would like, the curve is a little too high, and there’s a few too many support cards but not enough bodies.



Eternal Scourge, Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre, Combustible Gearhulk, Godo, Bandit Warlord, Nimble-Blade Khenra, Mage-Ring Bully, Kessig Malcontents, Kohlaghan Aspirant, Sandstone Warrior, Godo’s Irregulars

Eternal Scourge is out of place here, as it’s off-tribe and the effect is far from powerful. Ulamog seems similarly out of place, but I actually like the idea of an absurd curve-topper to close out longer games. There’s just a much better candidate out there.

Combustible Gearhulk is a fine card, but you want it to use it to draw cards, and with a curve this low all but the most desperate opponents can afford to take the damage.

Godo, Bandit Warlord isn’t a card that I like here, as you have a very limited selection of equipment and his extra attack clause only works with Samurai, a creature type that you aren’t running at all.

With the creature count rising Prowess gets much worse, so I’m happy to get rid of Nimble-Blade Khenra and Mage-Ring Bully. The rest of the cuts in this section are simply marginal beaters that I’m upgrading.


Ahn-Crop Crasher, Earthshaker Khenra, Frenzied Goblin, Goblin Heelcutter, Combat Celebrant, Blood Ogre, Gorehorn Minotaurs, Stormblood Berserker, Bloodshot Trainee, Cyclops Gladiator, Gore-House Chainwalker, Inner-Flame Igniter, Goblin Bushwhacker, Goblin Wardriver, Ogre Battledriver, Countryside Crusher, Falkenrath Marauders, Hamletback Goliath, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

My first priority when looking at the creatures I wanted in this deck was to ensure that you always had ways to force damage through. The best tool red has in that regard is preventing creatures from blocking, and when that effect is repeatable it can get out of hand. The team of Frenzied Goblin, Goblin Heelcutter, Ahn-Crop Crasher, and Earthshaker Khenra will make it exceptionally hard for your opponents to gauge how many blockers they need to leave back on a given turn, and even if they choose to go full defensive you can still remove their best blocker(s) from combat.

Combat Celebrant, while lacking the full absurdity of the Kiki-Jiki combo, still pulls its weight by giving you an extra attack phase every other turn. It’s worth noting that this also lets you double up on attack triggers like Goblin Heelcutter, something that’s easy for opponents to miss amid a cluttered battlefield.

The next chunk of additions are simply undercosted beaters. Bloodthrist is easy to enable between your early attackers and the likelihood of at least one opponent not having a blocker on turns two through four. Once enabled it gives you bodies that are well above the curve on their own and become monstrous when Lovisa Coldeyes come into play. Gore-House Chainwalker follows similar logic, as it’s essentially a two mana 5/4 that can’t block. That’s more than good enough for this deck.

Inner-Flame Igniter, Goblin Wardriver, Goblin Bushwhacker, and Ogre Battledriver give you cheap (sometimes repeatable) ways to pump up your team, a tactic that’s especially powerful when your primary plan is swarming the battlefield.

Countryside Crusher gives red something it almost never has: card filtering. The fact it grows bigger is nice, but the real prize here is never drawing a land again, preventing flood in the late stages of the game. The tradeoff is that it should never be cast on turn three, but that’s easy to work around. Crusher and Falkenrath Marauders both also provide more expensive threats that can snowball out of control on their own. Crusher is obvious, but Falkenrath Marauders is an oft-forgotten gem, and your commander buffs it past that awkward stage where you’re trying to force a 2/2 flyer through for damage.

And then we come to Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. He’s replacing his older self for a number of reasons. At ten mana he comes down a few turns sooner, he deals with two threats upon being cast, and exile is infinitely more powerful than destroy in a format where Avacyn and company run rampant. But most importantly (in my estimation) Is that Newlamog’s ability to exile the library provides both more inevitability and less frustration that annihilator.



Caged SunStoneforge Masterwork

Caged Sun might just be my favorite card of all time, but it really doesn’t belong here. The only card that it helps ramp you to is Ulamog, and if you don’t have that in hand this is just a six-mana Glorious Anthem.

As for Stoneforge Masterwork, it’s not really a bad card, but with Lovisa and therefore your deck being split between three creature types I can’t really count on this to deliver.



Blades of Velis VelSeize the DayPortent of BetrayalLose CalmBrowbeat

Blades of Velis Vel does a bit to counteract the problem of having three supported tribes in the deck, but it only lasts for a turn and there aren’t many cards that specifically care about one tribe without the others.

Seize the Day is fantastic in a Voltron deck like Uril, but in a go-wide tribal deck you really want your entire team to untap for the new combat instead of just one creature.

Portent of Betrayal and Lose Calm more or less fill the same role as Goblin Heelcutter and its ilk, but the repeatability of the latter edged out the one-shot power of the former.

And finally we have Browbeat. Just no. I won’t go into it now because the punisher discussion has been done to death by people much more talented than me, but this card isn’t good. It’s not even close.


Savage BeatingMob Rule

Only two spells coming back in, and both can be game enders. Savage Beating can double or even quadruple your damage output out of nowhere. Instant-speed double strike is particularly brutal.

Mob Rule isn’t quite the “I win” button that Insurrection is, but the “power four or greater” mode should nab 90% of the creatures on most boards. Even if it doesn’t end the game on the spot you should definitely be able to take one or two players out.



Daretti, Scrap Savant

I’ll admit that Daretti’s inclusion confused me. The looting ability is nice, but his second two abilities are next to useless due to the lack of artifacts in the deck. If you want a card engine that badly, use Outpost Siege.



3 Mountain, Sandstone Needle

Even with Maze of Ith not really counting since it doen’t produce mana, your land count was far too high. I only use a 40-land build in extremely mana-hungry decks, and this one just isn’t. Cutting three lands put you much closer to where I want this to be. As for Sandstone Needle, this deck is fast, but not quite so explosive you can afford to be throwing lands away after only two uses.


Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

I’ve yet to see a mono-red deck that didn’t want Valakut. The utility to turn late-game land drops into Lightning Bolts is just so good, it’s well worth the cost of coming into play tapped.

Putting it all together, here’s the finished decklist:

Commander: Lovisa Coldeyes

Creatures: 38

Falkenrath Maurauders, Ahn-Crop CrasherArchetype of AggressionBlood OgreBloodmark MentorBloodshot TraineeBoldwyr IntimidatorBorderland MarauderBrighthearth BanneretCombat CelebrantCountryside CrusherCyclops GladiatorDuplicantEarthshaker KhenraEnraged Revolutionary, Flamerush RiderFrenzied GoblinGoblin BushwhackerGoblin HeelcutterGoblin WardriverGorehorn MinotaursGore-House ChainwalkerHamletback Goliath, Humble DefectorInner-Flame IgniterKamahl, Pit-FighterKargan DragonlordKazuul, Tyrant of the CliffsKolaghan ForerunnersManic VandalMarkov BlademasterMetallic MimicParagon of Fierce Defiance, Scab-Clan BerserkerStormblood Berserker, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, War-Name Aspirant, Zealous Conscripts, Ogre Battledriver

Artifacts: 10

Fire Diamond, Sol RingCoat of ArmsDolmen GateDoor of DestiniesRuby MedallionQuietus Spike, Lightning GreavesConqueror’s FlailObsidian Battle-Axe

Enchantments: 2

Gratuitous Violence, Berserkers’ Onslaught

Instants: 3

Price of ProgressSavage BeatingBeacon of Destruction

Sorceries: 5

Mob RuleVandalblastInsult // InjuryReforge the SoulAct of Treason

Planeswalkers: 1

Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Lands: 38

32 Mountain, Maze of IthHomeward PathValakut, the Molten PinnacleTeetering PeaksDormant VolcanoGhitu Encampment

Additions, sorted by price:

Gore-house Chainwalker    0.15
Blood Ogre    0.15
Gorehorn Minotaurs    0.15
Frenzied Goblin    0.25
Stormblood Berserker    0.25
Inner-Flame Ignighter    0.25
Bloodshot Trainee    0.25
Goblin Heelcutter    0.25
Goblin Wardriver    0.29
Ahn-Crop Crasher    0.49
Cyclops Gladiator    0.49
Falkenrath Maurauders    0.49
Ogre Battledriver    0.49
Mob Rule    0.49
Hamletback Goliath    0.49
Countryside Crusher    0.89
Goblin Bushwhacker    1.49
Combat Celebrant    2.49
Earthshaker Khenra    3.49
Savage Beating    7.99
Valakut, The Molten Pinacle    8.99
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger    12.99
Total    43.26

The changes add up to $43.26, extremely reasonable given that this was a twenty-two card overhaul and I added an Eldrazi Titan and a few other cards near the ten dollar line. That’s really the strength of Lovisa Coldeyes: taking cards that would normally be unplayable and uniting them into a fun deck. Or a bloodthirsty hoard. Either way.

Levi Byrne has been with the game since Worldwake and has a rabid love for fantasy writing that goes back decades. Despite some forays into Legacy he plays Commander almost exclusively, and has a love for the crazy plays and huge games that make Magic what it is. He was the go-to advisor of his playgroup on deck construction for more than five years before joining Dear Azami.

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