No-Cash Commander – Kruphix, God of Horizons

Commander, No-Cash Commander

Hi there – Crazy’s back with a request hot off the presses that I just couldn’t resist.

So I was just minding my own business the other night when Unmistakable and I received a direct massage from a fan with a request for us here at Rain of Salt. Those of you who know me might know that I heavily subscribe to the “Timmy” magic philosophy, that being “Cast big stuff and punch good with lots of mana” – So when this request says “Kruphix Hydra Tribal” I was immediately sold. Without any further ado – at $48.72 here is Kruphix, God of Horizons.

Tappedout list available here

The Plan

As I’m assuming you read above – You already know that this is a hydra tribal deck. The primary plan, of course, is to summon the biggest and angriest Hydra we possibly can. Admittedly though this is less of a tribal deck than I’d like, the biggest restriction being priced out of the bigger threats like Kalonian Hydra – I’m still pretty happy with where we’re at though. For example – We still managed to get:

The Good, the Bad and the Hydra

Clockwork Hydra – Probably the weakest Hydra in the deck, but does have a pretty nice upside even still, being able to pick off mana dorks with reckless abandon.

Domesticated Hydra – A fine early game play that can be made huge in the late game, it’s pretty good considering the budget.

Feral Hydra – Who remembers the mechanic “Join Forces”? Because here’s a Hydra that’ll let your opponent’s pitch in to your efforts to slay the archenemy at the table. And even if they don’t, this is one of the more mana-efficient Hydras in the deck that can even get bigger after it lands – A pretty great ability considering Kruphix.

Genesis Hydra – I managed to use this thing a while back in Standard and it’s still pretty good now – If we’re casting this for 10+ we should be able to cast something else out of the considerable support network of this deck to go with it. Just don’t cast any “X” Hydras off it – They’ll die on entry from having 0 counters.

Heroes’ Bane – Another blast from my personal Magic past – It’s one of the ones that can come down and then grow while still on the board, and considerably at that. Damn shame it doesn’t have Trample naturally but I guess you can’t have everything.

Hooded Hydra – This Hydra brings friends. With enough mana – LOTS of friends. The morph is a nice touch but not one I expect to see used often in this deck.

Hydra Broodmaster – You’ve probably seen me mention this big momma in other Green no-cash techs, and I’m going to keep doing it until she gets expensive – Her base body smashes the vanilla test and then that ability of hers lets you pump the field full of even more hydras. This goes especially well if you’ve been saving a lot of mana, as well you should with someone like Kruphix.

Managorger Hydra – Comes down early and just keeps getting bigger. Which is nice to go with that natural Trample.

Mistcutter Hydra– This is how you trash a player before they know what just happened, and why nobody should really leave you with that much mana in the first place. The fact it can’t be countered or blocked by blue players is a pretty nice touch.

Oran-Rief Hydra – Included mostly due to budgetary concerns but there’s nothing to say it can’t still be a pretty strong midrange threat.

Polukranos, World Eater – A classic from Theros standard that’s still pretty good now – This hydra can double up as a boardwipe with enough mana, and mana shouldn’t be a problem.

Protean Hydra – This is a pretty prime way to keep people from attacking you – unless they WANT to grow they hydra for whatever reason. On the other hand you can pretty much attack recklessly with this as long as it’s the biggest thing on the board since if they block it’ll just get bigger.

Scourge of Skola Vale – Also the scourge of anyone who likes their spot removal too much, since this guy can just turn the removal going at your other creatures into a tasty power boost for himself.

Ulvenwald Hydra A pretty beefy creature that both ramps and benefits from ramp. It’s pretty fine.

You may be following the list and wondering what those other creatures that aren’t big and agry are there for – Well let me tell you:

Honorary Hydras

Altered Ego – A clone that, handily, can impersonate our Hydra creatures quite well since he brings some +1/+1 counters of his own to the party!

Brass Herald– Draws us Hydras and makes them bigger – What’s not to like?

Chameleon Colossus – The not-a-hydra that is secretly also a hydra! Especially with that incredible pump ability.

Crowned Ceratok – Gives our Hydras trample. Believe it or not, a lot of them don’t already have it for whatever reason, so this is pretty okay.

Gyre Sage – Ramp that gets Rampier as long as we’re consistently playing massive threats. (Spoilers – We are).

Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix – It’s worth bearing in mind with her that we’re playing a good few “Draw X Cards” spells. With her down she makes them practically free. There is, of course, a combo piece in the deck for her because I think we’d be silly not to play something for her to go infinite with considering all the “X” costs in the deck and the fact that we can just keep the infinite mana for later.

Prime Speaker Zegana – Speaking of things that draw lots of cards, check out this one. She’s the primary non-hydra threat in this deck and boy does she show it by swinging around a massive booty and drawing a good chunk of deck – Which you’ll be able to keep due to Kruphix’s other ability.

Sapphire Drake – 2 words: Flying Hydras. As if they weren’t scary enough.

Thrasios, Triton Hero – Lets you turn all that mana from Kruphix into card draw, if that’s your sort of thing. And the scry is pretty nice too.

Trygon Predator – Eats Artifacts and Enchantments for breakfast. Probably literally.

And that’s all the bodies. But of course every deck has other things in it – And the most important thing in this deck is, as you may have guessed:


Everflowing Chalice – It’s no secret that this is one of my favourite cards, this being both a mana sink and a massive ramp card at the same time.

Simic Signet – It’s a signet. It’s fine.

Sword of the Paruns – It’s a pretty nice anthem effect if I say so myself. “But Crazy!” I hear you think – “Why is this under Ramp”. Answer – Kydele. If she’s currently tapping for at least 4 then her equipped with this makes infinite mana, and who doesn’t like just a bit of potential for creatures with infinite power?

Harrow – A favourite of mine for decks with a lot of instant-speed interactions since if they don’t do anything you need to interact with you can just ramp instead – It’s pretty great.

Animist’s Awakening – Turn the mana you’ve been holding onto into a massive influx of land. And if you’ve got Spell Mastery up at the time you should even be able to cast more things off the land that comes into play.

Boundless Realms – The biggest ramp spell in the deck – Cast this at a high enough count and you can empty your deck of land onto the board and be drawing nothing but gas for the rest of the game.

Explore – It’s pretty fine, Cantrips and provides a one-time Exploration effect.

Explosive Vegetation, Kodama’s Reach, Nissa’s Expedition, Rampant Growth – All quite generic ramp cards, they give you an amount of land for your mana.

Urban Evolution – Literally the card Explore but with an extra Divination stapled to it. It’s pretty fine.

Dictate of Karametra– A pretty powerful mana doubler – Symmetrical, but since we can drop it at the end of the previous player’s turn we can be the first to benefit from it.

Khalni Heart Expedition – An enchantment that does a pretty decent impersonation of an Explosive Vegetation, even if it takes a couple turns to go off.

Ordeal of Nylea – Combined with pretty much any of our Hydra creatures this is basically a cheaper Explosive Vegetation that also buffs our creatures.

Rites of Flourishing – Downside – Symmetrical. Upside – Lets us pop out more lands and draw more cards, which is basically fine.

Zendikar Resurgent – A mana doubler that only works for us is already good – but the fact it also turns all of our creatures into cantrips makes this a pretty top-tier card in my opinion.

Temple of the False God – The one nonbasic in the deck, mostly because it pumps out bonus mana as long as we’re at 5+ land. Which by my maths should be around turn 3 most games.

So that’s one of Kruphix’s main tricks covered – but what about the other? I think we need to make it rain…

Card Advantage

Apart from the things already mentioned in the ramp section:

Lifecrafter’s Bestiary – Scry forever and cantrip your creatures. This is one I’ve been meaning to try out for a while since there’s been a lot of comments telling me this is an absolute house in creature decks.

Blue Sun’s Zenith, Stroke of Genius, Mind Spring – Pretty much the same card, let’s us use all that mana we’ve been holding on to to draw all the cards. If we have Kydele down we can recover all of that mana straight away. If we have Kydele and the Sword down we can just draw ALL the cards, or, better yet, make an opponent draw all the cards and then some with Stroke or Zenith.

Rishkar’s Expertise – Draw a bunch of cards from our biggest creature and then follow it up with another spell for free? Sounds like my kind of party.

Wildest Dreams – Is your opponent playing some kind of control deck? Would you like to have more threats than they have answers? Try “Wildest Dreams” to bring back every card you care about!

Ordeal of Thassa – A bit like the other Ordeal we’ve already seen, but this one gives us a slightly cheaper Divination rather than a cheaper Explosive Vegetation.

And then there’s what’s left – This is how we’re going to clear the path for our monsters to wreck face:


Beast Within – “Destroy a thing”. The 3/3 is pretty irrelevant to us and our board of X/Xs.

Dissipate – Counter a spell and make sure it doesn’t come back.

Evacuation – Because sometimes you just need a boardwipe but can’t afford a Cyclonic Rift.

Lifecrafter’s Gift– This being an instant is basically great, because it makes it a Combat trick as well as a hydra Anthem.

Naturalize – You probably know this card, it destroys a thing on the cheap.

Plasm Capture – Let’s you take the mana they tried to use for their spell and keep it for later, especially good in a Kruphix deck.

Rapid Hybridization – 1 mana to pop a creature in blue at instant speed is super good. Even if it does leave a 3/3 behind.

Reality Shift – Another favourite of mine, 2 mana to exile a creature in blue is also great.

Rewind – A counterspell that is simultaneously 4 mana and free at the same time. With a doubler down this actually gains you mana.

Simic Charm – A surprising amount of flexibility for only 2 mana. It can buff your things, protet your things or just bounce an opponent’s thing if you need a breather – Or your Prime Speaker Zegana if you need the draw power.

Solidarity of Heroes – Doubling your counters as a combat trick can be equivalent to a death sentence in some games, and unlike the other decks I’ve put this in, the strive might even be relevant here.

Curse of the Swine – With enough mana saved up this can be a straight-up asymmetrical boardwipe. Excellent card.

Gravity Well – We do have some trouble interacting with flyers. This solves that issue quite handily.

Lignify – Helpful for those problems that just won’t go away, and can provide a very creative solution to answering an opponent’s problem commander since this won’t allow them to force it back to command zone.

And there it is – And while I assume you’ll have a lot of fun trampling through your opponent’s boardstates as-is, there’s a lot more you could be doing:

Turbo-Charged Ramp Oracle of Mul Daya, Mana Reflection, Doubling Cube, Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

Because we’re playing Kruphix. We just want more and more mana all the time. The cube in particular is very effective since our mana passes between turns, so we can just continue doubling it constantly.

Better HydrasPrimordial Hydra, Kalonian Hydra

Two of my favourite creatures in Magic – Both utterly colossal threats if left unchecked for even one turn. And since this is a Hydra deck, we also want…

Counter DoublersDoubling Season, Primal Vigor

Gets you a whole lot more bang for your buck. All of your hydras come in with more counters, get more counters every time they get bigger, and in the case of the ones that do other things, get you more cards or tokens too.

And that, there, is the full list with extras! I’ve enjoyed letting the Timmy run rampant in this one, might try something similar myself. If you have any comments on the deck or suggestions for future entries in this (or any) series then feel free, as always, to drop us a message via facebook or reddit or even just a comment below.

This article was suggested in a private message to myself and unmistakable on reddit.

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