Last updated on August 16, 2023
Toralf, God of Fury | Illustration by Tyler Jacobson
I had a very simple idea. What if I took every good damage doubler effect in Magic and packed them into the same deck? It didn’t take me long to realize that this idea would be pretty obscene with specifically Toralf, God of Fury. And now here we are.
Let’s dive into this Commander deck featuring MTG’s very own answer to the Norse god Thor!
Birgi, God of Storytelling | Illustration by Eric Deschamps
Birgi, God of Storytelling
Defiler of Instinct
Solphim, Mayhem Dominus
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell
Neheb, the Eternal
Etali, Primal Storm
End the Festivities
Light Up the Stage
Insult // Injury
Seize the Spoils
Your commander is the god of thunder himself, Toralf. Toralf has a very specific role in this deck, and that’s to go crazy when combined with any burn spell and any damage doubler effect. The damage doubler applies its ability to the burn spell and to the excess damage that Toralf splits off. Toralf then triggers again if that amount of damage has excess, and it keeps on going.
Consider the following situation. One of your opponents has made a pile of tokens. Let’s say they have ten 2/2 creatures. This is what happens if you simply have a Furnace of Rath in play and cast a simple Lightning Bolt on one of those creatures:
- The 1st creature takes 6 damage. Excess damage is 4, doubled to 8.
- The 2nd creature takes 8 damage. Excess damage is 6, doubled to 12.
- The 3rd creature takes 12 damage. Excess damage is 10, doubled to 20.
- The 4th creature takes 20 damage. Excess damage is 18, doubled to 36.
- The 5th creature takes 36 damage. Excess damage is 34, doubled to 68.
- The 6th creature takes 68 damage. Excess damage is 66, doubled to 132.
- The 7th creature takes 132 damage. Excess damage is 130, doubled to 260.
- The 8th creature takes 260 damage. Excess damage is 258, doubled to 516.
- The 9th creature takes 516 damage. Excess damage is 514, doubled to 1028.
- The 10th creature takes 1028 damage. Excess damage is 1026, doubled to 2052.
Suddenly, you get to deal over 2000 damage to an opponent and you only combined a couple of cards with a ton of redundant versions. Throw in a pile of damage doublers and spells that can deal a lot more damage and you should be able to reach some truly obscene amounts of damage in no time.
This same scenario but with Fiery Emancipation over Furnace of Rath results in 118,101 damage to the tenth creature and 354,297 to any other target. I’m looking forward to making some very silly numbers.
I recently assembled a ranking list of the best damage doublers in MTG. Many of them are in this deck to stack up as many damage multipliers as you can find. Fiery Emancipation and City on Fire are the clear frontrunners. Having both in play multiplies all your damage by nine, which is awesome.
You also have a variety of other standouts for this category, including Solphim, Mayhem Dominus, Dictate of the Twin Gods, Fiendish Duo, and the classic Furnace of Rath. The more of these you can get out at once, the more your deck literally explodes in a game.
The other key piece of your deck is some good burn spells. I’ve included a variety of different burn spells, from simple spot removal like Lightning Bolt and Flame Slash to more explosive spells like Delayed Blast Fireball and Blasphemous Act.
You also have some flexible spells that have multiple uses, like Abrade and Nahiri's Warcrafting, and the modal double-faced burn spells, Spikefield Hazard and Shatterskull Smashing, to give you some extra land slots for when you need them.
An interesting card I want to highlight is End the Festivities. This doesn’t look like your average Commander card, but your damage multiplier effects should work very well with it. The objective is to turn this into essentially an In Garruk's Wake for just one mana. If it doesn’t look like it’ll work out that way, you have plenty of ways to discard it and turn it into other cards. The cost of putting this card in the deck seems pretty low.
Goblin Chainwhirler also does this while giving you a sizable creature to brawl with at the same time.
The biggest difficulty with this deck is that all the damage doublers cost a ton of mana, so you need lots of acceleration to help them come together.
There also happens to be a variety of great mono-red mana rocks that you can take full advantage of. I particularly like Cursed Mirror, which can enter as a Mulldrifter or something similar to get some nice advantage.
Lavabrink Floodgates is also awesome since not many mana rocks can also become a big damage sweeper at some point.
Another thing to note about this deck is that since you’re red, you have access to a variety of ritual spells, some of which are incredible. Jeska's Will and Mana Geyser are Commander staples that you’re definitely happy to play here.
There are some powerful creatures that can help you with your mana. Defiler of Instinct doubles up as a damage source but also a card that can make your red spells a bit cheaper at the same time.
While you’re only a red deck, you still have a few options left over. You need to prioritize cards that allow you to draw more cards, so I’ve chosen a few simple draw spells like Light Up the Stage, Wrenn's Resolve, and Reckless Impulse. These are cheap, so they pair really well with some of your good mana ramp cards.
I’m also a big fan of Wild Ricochet in Commander. It’s a card that I have always tried to fit into any red-heavy decks I’ve built for the format.
I’ve rounded out the deck with a couple of generically good cards. Etali, Primal Storm is one of my favorite Commander cards, and I simply haven’t had a deck that it can fit into recently, so I’m excited to get to play with it.
Since you’re dealing a bunch of damage to creatures on the battlefield, everyone’s favorite damage sponges Brash Taunter and Stuffy Doll are perfect for this deck. You can also play Ill-Tempered Loner for the same reason.
This deck has an incredibly simple mana base. You’re mono-red, so you can just play a pile of mountains. There are a few very good utility lands that work in your deck, so you can jam a few of those alongside a lot of mountains.
Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and Spinerock Knoll work perfectly with the damage theme that’s going on. Myriad Landscape and Temple of the False God help you to include some mana acceleration pretty much for free.
Tyrite Sanctum and Plaza of Heroes offer some much-needed protection for Toralf itself. Arcane Lighthouse helps you get around annoying untargetable permanents and Witch's Clinic is a weird card that I’ve never seen before that will potentially allow you to gain thousands of life, something that a mono red deck would otherwise be lacking in.
Fundamentally, this is a combo deck. Your early turns are spent accelerating your mana and ideally trying not to piss anyone off around the table. Then you can hopefully start laying down a damage doubler or two and build up to one silly and explosive turn when you can start chaining spells together and ramp up the damage that Toralf is doing. My aim when I first start playing this deck is to get up to about a million damage with one spell. I hope I can pull it off.
It’s a combo deck, and I’ve outlined the main combo of the deck. You want to combine Toralf with anything that doubles damage and a burn spell, which often allow you to wipe the board and probably kill a player.
You do have one other very funny combo in any damage doubler plus Heartless Hidetsugu. This kills any player on an even life total and drops anyone on an odd life total to just one. Very much like Bruvac, the Grandiloquent with Traumatize cards, but in totally different colors.
Rule 0 Violations Check
If you have Rule Zero discussions in your playgroup, this is a big offender of that rule. This is after all, a combo deck. It’s very linear and one-minded: you’re just trying to burn people out with your combos.
Like a lot of my Commander builds, the key pieces are extremely cheap and affordable. Many damage doublers are pretty cheap to pick up with Fiery Emancipation being the only one that is particularly pricey.
I’ve included a few slightly expensive cards like the Ruby Medallion and Jeska's Will, but these are by no means necessary to make the deck work. You can definitely replace them with other cards that you have and the deck would still function well.
This build is focused primarily on non-creature spells to deal damage, but you could definitely have a more creature-centric approach to it.
Red is one of the best colors for making lots of tokens and is the naturally most aggressive color, so I think this would work well. It also makes the best use of the cheaper damage doublers, like Mechanized Warfare and Torbran, Thane of Red Fell. Though also, Torbran might end up being the better commander for this approach.
Fiendish Duo | Illustration by Lucas Graciano
I hope you enjoyed this. I’ve had this idea in my head for a while and even bought a couple of cards to put towards it, so writing this out has helped me to finally put a decklist together that I can now go and build!
What do you think of the deck? How would you make it your own? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this article, please follow us on Twitter and join our Discord server. Share the article with your friends and help drive the conversation further.
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