Welcome back,

For most of his life, Anowon, the Ruin Sage has been searching for one thing, the Eye of Ugin. He used his reputation of being a master of the ancient languages, ruins, and runes to his advantage. He created a following, as adventurers would seek him out for his wisdom. In order to gain this reputation, he had to hide his vampiric heritage. Anowon is known to stoop to violence to get what he wants. Many vampires on Malakir know that he is a ruthless murderer and is hungry for power. He wasn’t always this way though.

In his early life, Anowon belonged to the House of Ghet. His parents are unknown, but he took to the bloodchief, Tenihas, and saw him as a father figure. Tenihas also was fond of the young boy. During his childhood, Anowon spent most of his time in Tenihas’s library. He was fascinated with the ancient world. This world was described as “a world in which vampires were enslaved by famished gods.” Tenihas didn’t want him to unearth anything that had to do with the old world, but Anowon disagreed. This created tension between the two.

One night Tenihas was found murdered in his chambers, and all of his treasures were missing. A witness stated that it was Anowon himself that killed the bloodchief. In a fit of rage, he left the House of Ghet.

For many years he wandered and went on many expeditions. Eventually. he went to the Lighthouse at Sea Gate, disguised as a man named Kejahar. He dazzled the scholars with his knowledge of the ancient world, as well as with the many relics he possessed. He successfully integrated himself among the scholars, and decided to spend his time there for a while. During his stay, he went on many expeditions with the local merfolk. He also spent a great deal of time in the Lighthouse’s library, as it was the largest collection of works in all of Zendikar. It was there that he discovered a connection between the Eye of Ugin and the vampires of the old world.

After this discovery, a Kor woman was found in an alleyway, brutally murdered. Anowon was blamed for her death, as she was friends with him at the time. During the interrogations about this murder, it was revealed that Anowon was a vampire. They immediatly kicked him out of the Lighthouse and savagely beat him within an inch of his life. They then threw him hundreds of feet off a cliff, into the Halimar.

He managed to survive, and went on a quest for the Eye of Ugin. Using his reputation, he created a following. Many adventurers would seek him out, and he would use their relics to help him find the Eye. It was during this time that Chandra Nalaar appeared. She seeked him out for his knowledge of the ancient world, as she was also searching for the Eye. She claimed that she memorized a map that would take them to the Eye. Anowon agreed to venture with her, and set off. Anowon later discovered that she had a physical map, and tried to kill her. Out of nowhere, Sarkhan Vol showed up and knocked him out.

When he awoke, he found a man by the name of Jace Beleren. He attacked Jace, but Jace disabled him. Jace read his mind, and convinced Anowon to lead him to the Eye.

When the Eldrazi were released, they found Anowon and enslaved him like all of the other vampires. He followed their code for many months, until he was freed by Sorin Markov and Nissa Revane. They went back to the Eye, and Anowon divulged all he knew about the ancient world to them.

Nissa then freed the Eldrazi Titans. She, along with Anowon, fled to Afta. Anowon was last seen stalking her.

Anowon, the Ruin Sage is a complex character. He is a vital piece to the story of Zendikar. The type of decks he lends himself too, however, is much more straight-forward. His ability is powerful, and can easily swing the game to your favor, as he helps clear the board, and allows for your swath of vampires to go in for the kill. Let’s take a look at what the Ruin Sage can do for us today.


A vampire obsessed with the ancient world. In the end, I guess he did get what he wanted

Anowon, the Ruin Sage (EDH)

Commander (1)
Anowon, the Ruin Sage
Lands (37)
Barren Moor
Bojuka Bog
Cabal Coffers
Cavern of Souls
Crypt of Agadeem
Deserted Temple
Lake of the Dead
Leechridden Swamp
Myriad Landscape
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Polluted Mire
Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
23 Swamp

Creatures (24)
Adaptive Automaton
Ascendant Evincar
Blood Artist
Bloodhusk Ritualist
Bloodline Keeper
Bloodlord of Vassgoth
Butcher of Malakir
Captivating Vampire
Dark Impostor
Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
Falkenrath Noble
Gatekeeper of Malakir
Guul Draz Assassin
Kalastria Highborn
Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet
Malakir Bloodwitch
Mirri the Cursed
Necropolis Regent
Nirkana Revenant
Vampire Hexmage
Vampire Nighthawk
Vampire Nocturnus
Instants (5)
Doom Blade
Hero’s Downfall
Sudden Death
Tragic Slip

Sorceries (12)
Beseech the Queen
Blood Tribute
Chainer’s Edict
Demonic Tutor
Night’s Whisper
Overwhelming Forces
Patriarch’s Bidding
Profane Command
Sign in Blood
Yagmoth’s Will
Enchantments (6)
Black Market
Dictate of Erebos
Grave Pact
No Mercy
Phyrexian Arena

Artifacts (13)
Blade of the Bloodchief
Caged Sun
Charcoal Diamond
Darksteel Ingot
Door of Destinies
Expedition Map
Gauntlet of Power
Gilded Lotus
Lightning Greaves
Mimic Vat
Mind Stone
Sol Ring
Worn Powerstone

Planeswalkers (2)
Liliana Vess
Sorin Markov

Price: MTGO = 87.10 TIX | Paper = $493.14

Price will vary greatly if you get the Overwhelming Forces Promo instead of the Portal 3K one. This is the price with the Promo.

This deck is rather straightforward, but powerful. Its primary focus is to just keep the board clear of creatures so yours can freely attack through. Easy as that. It works more like a monoblack control deck, slowly grinding your opponents down until you’re the only one left with things to do. It’s simple, yet effective.

The main way to win, like almost all tribes, is to just beat down. Just about all of your creatures are capable of applying a solid amount of pressure. Creatures like Captivating Vampire, Adaptive Automaton, and Vampire Nocturnus will buff your entire team and just make things easier for you. Your finishers usually involve Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief or Butcher of Malakir, and a handful of others, as they will end the game almost immediatly. Especially Drana. I have yet to loose when she stuck around for a few turns.

The only real function Anowon serves in here is to keep the board clear. He does this extremely well though. In order for them to have anything on the board, they have to at least have two creatures to be able to block anything. If it’s late in the game, Anowon will pretty much just lock an opponent out of creatures. He will grind your opponent down, generating you value every turn until your opponent has nothing left.

If your opponent is playing a token strategy, things get a bit harder for you. Anowon becomes much less effective if they can sacrifice one of their more useless tokens. We do have ways to mitigate this though. The handful of board sweeps will be able to keep the tokens at bay. Overwhelming Forces is hands down the best out of the bunch, as it will pull us ahead so far that it will be difficult for them to come back. As long as you can get to its astronomical mana cost, that is. Besides that, we have No Mercy which isn’t at its best here, but gets the job done nonetheless.

Overall, this deck is a good amount of fun, though it’s super grind-heavy. If you really like a tribal theme in black, I can easily recommend giving this a shot. It’s rather straight forward and to the point. This deck wants nothing more than your opponent to be dead, one way or another.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments below. See you soon, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby


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