This week’s dive into the cEDH meta takes us to the land of Esper and enchantments as we check out one of the classic boogeymen of casual EDH: Zur the Enchanter. The deckbuilding process that goes into making Zur work at the most powerful level is a far cry from the classic pillow fort builds prevalent within the casual world. Instead, we take Zur’s attack ability, and rather than protecting ourselves with it, look to break it in half with one of the most busted magic cards of all time: Necropotence. Because I play Demonic Consultation as the main win condition when I’m playing Kess, and I want to win in different ways with different decks, I’ve found Shimmer Myr storm with Consult as a backup wincon to be my ideal build of Zur. Let’s take a look at the process that goes into building a Zur deck in the most powerful version of Commander!

Zur the Enchanter.jpg


One of the reasons cEDH is so much more powerful than casual EDH is due to the large quantity of exceptionally broken mana rocks, and as such, one of the main ways that Zur takes advantage of this more than other commanders is through Shimmer Myr.

This seemingly innocent Myr is an absolute house in this list, and is really what makes the deck tick. Normally, Shimmer Myr gets flashed in on your end step after activating Necropotence for most of your life total. Unless there is an immediate threat such as The Gitrog Monster and a discard outlet, you’ll most likely be searching for Necropotence and then activating it for 30+ life to pick up a huge chunk of your deck. Going through a Shimmer line requires a good knowledge of sequencing as well as knowledge of your specific list. I used to run the Isochron Scepter and Dramatic Reversal combo as an easy reset button, but then realized that Scepter is a wasted deck spot as the card is dead on its own, and I’m not running Copy Artifact for infinite swans. If you want to keep Scepter in your list it is perfectly valid, but usually the deck is able to win without needing it.

Since Zur doesn’t have haste, you’ll always have your lands untapped on the turn you try to go off. Comboing with Shimmer Myr involves swinging with Zur, getting Necro and activating for X=as much as you can, going to endstep, picking up your Necropotence cards, and then flashing in Shimmer Myr and storming off with Aetherflux Reservoir and cheap mana rocks, along with cantrips to shotgun the table. This build also has the backup wincon of Scout’s Warning flashing in a Laboratory Maniac which can produce an instant speed while win going over the top of an opponents win.

Important Choices and Interactions

Some of the more interesting and powerful interactions present in the list are Narset and Notion Thief + wheels, and Ad Nauseam + Angel’s Grace. Being able to steal draws in cEDH is massive, as the resource imbalance created by this line is incredibly powerful when you consider the power level of the average card in this format. Notion Thief in response to a Windfall is one of the most disgusting and satisfying plays that is possible within a game of Magic.

Ad Nauseum and Angel’s Grace is the backbone of a modern deck and easily slots into this list as well. Putting your entire deck into your hand usually leads to winning the game, and given the right situation can also function as an instant speed win.

Another very strong card in the deck is Scroll Rack, as sometimes you have the cards to shimmer off, but not a win condition, and this allows you to throw back anything that doesn’t directly win the game or protect your win to dig deeper. When Shimmering, keeping your life total in mind is important, as you may have to pay for painlands, Vampiric Tutor, or Force of Will to protect a combo or Shimmer Myr cast, so instantly going down to 1 life is not the smartest play.

Another thing to keep in mind is that bounce spells can be used aggressively against opponents commanders and Lab Man when they’re trying to go off, but because you have to telegraph when you’re going to shimmer, many players will tutor for removal. While it isn’t ideal,  bouncing Zur in response to this does save you mana down the line, which can end up being crucial.

Now that we’ve gotten through the important interactions and win cons, let’s move on to my list for Shimmer Zur:

Shimmer Zur by CJ Gollogly

Commander: Zur the Enchanter

Creature (5)
1 Baral, Chief of Compliance
1 Dark Confidant
1 Gilded Drake
1 Laboratory Maniac
1 Notion Thief
1 Shimmer Myr

Instant (32)
1 Ad Nauseam
1 Angel’s Grace
1 Brainstorm
1 Cabal Ritual
1 Chain of Vapor
1 Counterspell
1 Cyclonic Rift
1 Dark Ritual
1 Demonic Consultation
1 Dispel
1 Dovin’s Veto
1 Dramatic Reversal
1 Drown in the Loch
1 Enlightened Tutor
1 Flusterstorm
1 Force of Negation
1 Force of Will
1 Into the Roil
1 Lim-Dul’s Vault
1 Mana Drain
1 Mental Misstep
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Opt
1 Pact of Negation
1 Quicken
1 Scout’s Warning
1 Silence
1 Spell Pierce
1 Swan Song
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Tainted Pact
1 Vampiric Tutor

Sorcery (9)
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Imperial Seal
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Ponder
1 Preordain
1 Toxic Deluge
1 Windfall
1 Yawgmoth’s Will

Artifact (18)
1 Aetherflux Reservoir
1 Arcane Signet
1 Azorius Signet
1 Chrome Mox
1 Dimir Signet
1 Fellwar Stone
1 Grim Monolith
1 Helm of Awakening
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mana Vault
1 Mox Diamond
1 Mox Opal
1 Scroll Rack
1 Sensei’s Divining Top
1 Sol Ring
1 Talisman of Dominance
1 Talisman of Progress

Enchantment (4)
1 Grasp of Fate
1 Mystic Remora
1 Necropotence
1 Rhystic Study

Planeswalker (1)
1 Narset, Parter of Veils

Land (30)
1 Adarkar Waste
1 Ancient Tomb
1 Arid Mesa
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 City of Brass
1 Command Tower
1 Emergence Zone
1 Exotic Orchard
1 Flooded Strand
1 Forbidden Orchard
1 Gemstone Caverns
1 Gemstone Mine
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island
1 Mana Confluence
1 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Morphic Pool
1 Polluted Delta
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Scrubland
1 Sea of Clouds
1 Snow-Covered Island
1 Snow-Covered Swamp
1 Tundra
1 Underground River
1 Underground Sea
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Watery Grave
1 Windswept Heath

Bringing it all together

Shimmer Zur is a very powerful meta cEDH list that plays on a different axis than most decks and includes fun lines that prey on opponents who don’t know when to use disruption. It also offers instant speed wins through Scout’s Warning and Emergence Zone, making the deck even more interesting and difficult to play. Tune in next week where we will examine another exciting cEDH commander. Can you Kess who it’ll be?


Interested in comboing out in a format where none of your opponents will expect it? If so, check out Jonah Gaynor’s article on 5-Color High Alert combo right here at

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