Last updated on November 2, 2022

Esika, God of the Tree / The Prismatic Bridge - Illustration by Johannes Voss

Esika, God of the Tree / The Prismatic Bridge | Illustration by Johannes Voss

Of the many tribal decks you could build in Magic, from goblins to humans to wizards and merfolk, no one thinks about building a god tribal deck. Sure, you can fill your deck with mythics and indestructible gods, but it would be a pile of good stuff. Right?

Enter Esika, God of the Tree and The World Tree. Suddenly you have good reasons to play god tribal EDH! The back side of Esika is very relevant to this deck, especially since it lets you play five colors. And all the gods themselves are usually legendary creatures, so a little legend matters won’t hurt.

Today I’m gonna dive deep into god tribal with an Esika, God of the Tree EDH deck guide, full five colors, and a sprinkle of legendary tribal mixed in. Ready? Let’s go!

The Deck

Kolvori, God of Kinship - Illustration by Grzegorz Rutkowski

Kolvori, God of Kinship | Illustration by Grzegorz Rutkowski

Commander (1)

Esika, God of the Tree

Creature (34)

Faeburrow Elder
Dryad of the Ilysian Grove
Birds of Paradise
Jodah, the Unifier
Dockside Extortionist
Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded
Xenagos, God of Revels
Karametra, God of Harvests
Kolvori, God of Kinship
Kruphix, God of Horizons
The Scarab God
The Locust God
Birgi, God of Storytelling
Cosima, God of the Voyage
God-Eternal Oketra
God-Eternal Rhonas
Heliod, God of the Sun
Thassa, God of the Sea
Purphoros, God of the Forge
Keranos, God of Storms
Iroas, God of Victory
Child of Alara
Erebos, Bleak-Hearted
Reidane, God of the Worthy
Sisay, Weatherlight Captain
Myrkul, Lord of Bones
Ephara, God of the Polis
Nylea, Keen-Eyed
Go-Shintai of Life’s Origin
Heliod, Sun-Crowned
Sythis, Harvest’s Hand
Realmwalker
Rhonas the Indomitable
Valki, God of Lies

Instant (9)

Path to Exile
Swords to Plowshares
Teferi’s Protection
Cyclonic Rift
Vampiric Tutor
Enlightened Tutor
Anguished Unmaking
Assassin’s Trophy
Crop Rotation

Sorcery (7)

Cultivate
Farseek
Supreme Verdict
Wrath of God
Primevals’ Glorious Rebirth
Damn
Urza’s Ruinous Blast

Enchantment (2)

Maelstrom Nexus
Smothering Tithe

Artifact (9)

Arcane Signet
Sol Ring
Chromatic Lantern
Altar of the Pantheon
Expedition Map
Timeless Lotus
Relic of Legends
Fellwar Stone
Mox Amber

Land (36)

Plaza of Heroes
Unclaimed Territory
Cavern of Souls
Field of the Dead
Vivid Marsh
Vivid Grove
Reflecting Pool
Command Tower
Bountiful Promenade
Luxury Suite
Morphic Pool
Sea of Clouds
Spire Garden
Breeding Pool
Godless Shrine
Sacred Foundry
Overgrown Tomb
Darkwater Catacombs
Mossfire Valley
Shadowblood Ridge
Skycloud Expanse
Sungrass Prairie
Forest x4
Plains x2
Island
Mountain
Swamp
Indatha Triome
Zagoth Triome
Ketria Triome
Savai Triome
Raugrin Triome

The Commander

Esika, God of the Tree

Esika, God of the Tree is good in this deck for a bunch of reasons. It lets you turn all other legendary creatures into vigilant Birds of Paradises. It lets you play five colors thanks to The Prismatic Bridge, which is difficult to remove and gives you card and mana advantage every turn.

You can also cast both sides of the MDFC from your command zone. This means that both halves are castable and the color identity is the sum of both halves’ colors.

You can play god tribal with other 5-color commanders, but Esika, God of the Tree is also a god which is more on theme. Three mana is a cheap commander that ramps you to five mana on turn 4 if all goes well, besides fixing.

When you can cast The Prismatic Bridge instead you get card and mana advantage and sweepers too since most of your gods are indestructible, and your commander is an enchantment.

Creatures

Most of the deck’s creatures are the gods themselves. You have a little selection from Theros gods, Amonkhet gods, and Kaldheim gods. And they’re all legendary, so creatures that benefit from legends are also fair game.

Jodah, the Unifier

Jodah, the Unifier is interesting here because it’s five colors, it’s a legendary lord, and you get more legends. If you cast a god chances are you’ll get another god, and so on.

Faeburrow Elder

Faeburrow Elder is there to add lots of mana, usually two or three.

Dryad of the Ilysian Grove

Dryad of the Ilysian Grove helps you with ramp and mana fixing.

Realmwalker

Realmwalker can give you card advantage in a deck full of gods.

Gods

There are currently 54 different gods in Magic. Gods are the main element of this deck so let’s go over a few and why they’re fun to play with. All the Theros gods are indestructible, and some of the Amonkhet ones are too. The exception is on the Kaldheim gods but that’s okay because they have another side that can be useful sometimes.

Karametra, God of Harvests

Karametra, God of Harvests adds ramp and land fetching.

Kolvori, God of Kinship

Kolvori, God of Kinship gets buffed the more legends you have and can find other legends.

Kruphix, God of Horizons

Kruphix, God of Horizons is here for the hand size and mana abilities.

Pharika, God of Affliction

Pharika, God of Affliction is a fun god to have because it’s cheap and you can mess with other players’ combat and graveyards, making 1/1 deathtouch snakes.

Birgi, God of Storytelling

Birgi, God of Storytelling gives you some mana and you don’t even need to spend on the same turn.

Cosima, God of the Voyage

Cosima, God of the Voyage gives you cards as the game goes on.

God-Eternal Oketra

God-Eternal Oketra adds some 4/4 creatures to the mix while being powerful itself.

Interaction

Cyclonic Rift

You want to have battlefield control so cards like Cyclonic Rift are perfect here.

Vampiric TutorEnlightened Tutor

Vampiric Tutor and Enlightened Tutor are there to help search for a key god if needed for The World Tree.

Supreme VerdictWrath of God

You can play some sweepers like Supreme Verdict and Wrath of God to deal with opposing creatures since a lot of your gods are indestructible or return to your hand.

Removal

Anguished UnmakingAssassin’s Trophy

Anguished Unmaking and Assassin’s Trophy are good catch-all removal spells.

You have access to spot removal like Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares, and Teferi’s Protection to protect your board if needed.

Tribal

The World Tree

There aren’t currently any cards that benefit all gods aside from The World Tree. That’s the card that puts all gods from your deck into play if you play 10 mana, and there will be at least 20.

Metallic Mimic

There are lots of generic tribal cards that can be played alongside legendary tribal since all the creatures in the deck are legendary. Metallic Mimic is a god low-drop that gets bigger with gods.

Heroes’ Podium

Heroes’ Podium buffs legends and is an important part of the deck.

A combination of Altar of the Pantheon, Prismatic Bridge, and Maelstrom Nexus ups your devotion in all five colors since your gods might require devotion.

The Mana Base

As with all 5-color commanders, you’re going to have trouble fixing your mana. One expensive way is to play some fetch lands alongside Triomes and shock lands.

Krosan Verge

Krosan Verge shines because it can find any Forest or Plains.

You have some staples like  Chromatic Lantern, vivid lands, and Reflecting Pool along with Command Tower and Arcane Signet, which are better the more colors you play.

Lands like Plaza of Heroes, Unclaimed Territory, and Cavern of Souls work too.

Birds of Paradise

Mana dorks like Birds of Paradise are very good in this situation since you need all five colors of mana.

Smothering TitheDockside Extortionist

Smothering Tithe and Dockside Extortionist both make Treasures, which act as ramp and fixing.

Relic of Legends

Relic of Legends is interesting because it allows legendary creatures to tap for any color of mana.

The Strategy

You play the game with this list as a combo control/ramp deck. Think of old decks that depend on casting expensive cards like Tooth and Nail, or recent decks like Emergent Ultimatum where you want lots of mana to cast a big spell and win from there.

The priority in the first five turns is to stay alive and ramp to fix your mana. Esika’s 1/4 body helps to survive the early game. You get a free creature every turn after casting The Prismatic Bridge, and that adds up. Your end game is to use mana to activate the ability of your gods, or to have them turned into creatures thanks to devotion. Field of the Dead can be a slow win condition.

You slowly build towards The World Tree, which can also be tutored by Expedition Map or Crop Rotation. A lot of your gods are win conditions too.

The Locust God makes you tokens and draws cards. The Scarab God gets cards back, while Keranos, God of Storms gives you cards and damage.

Combos and Interactions

It’s important that you play some cards that tutor for The World Tree since it’s an important part of your strategy. Crop Rotation and Expedition Map are important for that, especially if your land count is high enough that the land can be activated as soon as it hits.

Purphoros, Bronze-BloodedXenagos, God of Revels

Purphoros, Bronze-Blooded and Xenagos, God of Revels can give your creatures haste. They feed on each others’ devotion if you put lots of gods on the battlefield at the same time, so they’ll all be creatures.

Esika, God of the Tree

All gods can tap for mana if you have Esika, God of the Tree on the battlefield, so you get closer to activating The World Tree.

Rule 0 Violations Check

This is a casual deck. Aside from the World Tree combo putting lots of gods into play, there’s no violation of Rule 0 here.

There are few tutors, though so feel free to take them out if your group doesn’t like to play with them.

Budget Options

The fact that this deck is five colors and full of rares and mythics means that it’s not going to be a budget deck. 2-mana Commander decks have cheaper mana bases and can rely more on commons and uncommons. Although a lot of these god cards are cheap themselves and bulk rare, the popularity of Commander along with the age made some more expensive than they should be.

The budget alternative would be to change the god card or put some legendary creature in their place instead. The mana base can be reworked. I tried to mix some cycles of lands, like the filter and Triome lands alongside fetch and shock lands, so my advice is to make the best use of the mana base you already have.

There are a few cards that are currently very expensive, though. Here are some suggestions to replace them:

Other Builds

Esika, God of the Tree can be built in other ways.

You can go full 5-color legends and forget about the gods themselves since Esika lets them at least be mana dorks.

Or you can focus on the “cheat into play” aspect of The Prismatic Bridge by upping the count of your expensive targets like the Primordial cycle (Luminate Primordial, titans, or other expensive creatures with strong ETBs.

Superfriends also isn’t out of the question since the ability on The Prismatic Bridge works with planeswalkers too.

Commanding Conclusion

Erebos, Bleak-Hearted - Illustration by Chase Stone

Erebos, Bleak-Hearted | Illustration by Chase Stone

I hope you find god tribal as amusing as I find it. Commander can be a format that you want to play and have fun with, just to show off the cool combinations you’ve put together in 100 cards.

That’s all I have on god tribal for today. Don’t sleep on the legends synergy either! This is one of the themes that WotC can explore going forward, so there’s always going to be “legendary matters” stuff too.

What’s your favorite aspect of god tribal? Do you prefer legends matter? Do you have a different favorite commander for this kind of build? Let me know in the comments below or over on the Draftsim Twitter.

Thanks for reading, and stay safe!

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2 Comments

  • Avatar
    Max October 28, 2022 10:45 pm

    This deck looks really interesting, unfortunately the list is incomplete, there are two Nylea Keen-eyed, and 2 sacred foundry

    • Avatar
      Dan Troha October 31, 2022 2:24 pm

      Thanks, we’ll get this fixed.

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