Conditions Allow - Lagomos, Hand of Hatred EDH

Ben Doolittle • November 30, 2022

(Lagomos, Hand of Hatred | Art by Tuan Duong Chu)

Cult of the Dragon

Hello, and welcome back to Conditions Allow. In this series, I take a legendary creature with a drawback, and turn it into a strength.

The Brothers' War may be upon us, but I'm not finished with the legends of Dominaria United quite yet. This week on the show we've got former cultist of Belzenlok, current minion of Braids, Lagomos, Hand of Hatred.

Lagomos, Hand of Hatred has the powerful ability to search for any card in your deck. Similar to Sidisi, Undead Vizier, this has the potential to enable highly consistent (albeit linear) combo decks since you can always search for a particular card. Unlike Sidisi, however, Lagomos has a condition attached to his tutor ability: at least five creatures must die before you can activate it.

In Commander, this condition isn't hard to meet, but it does require some setup to use. Perhaps more importantly, it suggests a particular kind of combo for you to set up. Whether you use Yawgmoth, Thran Physician and a couple of Undying creatures, or Nim Deathmantle and Ashnod's Altar, you'll want your combo to involve creatures dying.

I don't want to build a straightforward aristocrats deck, though. That would make using Lagomos, Hand of Hatred's effect too simple. Instead, I'm going to make a Storm deck, utilizing Sacrifice-like spells to power out Dragonstorm.

Dragons Demand Sacrifice

Magic has a long history of Dragons demanding sacrifices and tributes, and Lagomos is happy to carry on this tradition. He helps himself, by providing an Elemental token every turn, but we're going to need more fodder than that to summon any Dragons.

Creatures that easily come back from the graveyard will form the core of this deck's strategy. While they're not great for sacrificing to Sacrifice, they make great fodder for Ashnod's Altar, and they ensure you always have fodder for Deadly Dispute. Bloodghast is the best of these three because it returns to play for free, as long as you hit your land drop, but don't underestimate the other two either. The goal isn't to cast Dragonstorm quickly, but to gradually sculpt your hand and field until the perfect moment. Reassembling Skeleton and Cult Conscript make sure you can do that.

I'm also including a number of payoffs for sacrificing these small creatures. Altar's Reap is a great draw spell, but Grim Haruspex is a card advantage engine. Morbid Opportunist and Dark Prophecy even trigger when your tokens die. This also means they work great alongside Pawn of Ulamog and Sifter of Skulls, both of which make tokens that can be sacrificed for mana. Dragonstorm costs nine mana, and a spare Eldrazi Spawn or Scion can be the difference between casting it and not.

Of course, Sacrifice and its cousin Burnt Offering work best with creatures that cost a lot of mana. Dargo, the Shipwrecker may be a seven-mana creature, but you can easily cast it for just a single mana with a few disposable creatures lying around. Scourge of Nel Toth works similarly from your graveyard, and because you actually cast them, they each contribute to your Storm count on the turn you cast Dragonstorm. Ebondeath, Dracolich and Atsushi, the Blazing Sky aren't as efficient, but can contribute to a big turn with the right setup.

Going Big

Every Storm deck needs rituals to keep its mana pool full, and this deck leans on Sacrifice and Burnt Offering. These, along with Infernal Plunge, help get to the five creature deaths needed for Lagomos, Hand of Hatred to search for Dragonstorm while also generating the mana to cast it. To make sure we have enough similar effects, I'm also including Ashnod's Altar, Blood Pet, and Reckless Barbarian. Soldevi Adnate and Illuminor Szeras are great substitutes for Sacrifice, but they require a little more time to get going. If you need to take a little longer, Ruthless Technomancer can also generate a lot of Treasure tokens to drive a big turn.

The other important half of a Storm deck is card draw. To keep casting spells, you need to see a lot of cards. For this deck, I'm leaning on the black spells that require you to sacrifice creatures. Once again, this helps you get to the five creature count for Lagomos, while digging through your deck to find your other key spells. The real powerhouse in this category is Plumb the Forbidden, which can draw you a card for every creature you control. Combine it with Dark Prophecy and Grim Haruspex to see a ton of cards, and you'll almost always set up a Dragonstorm.

Dragon's Approach

Once you kill five creatures and get up to nine mana, you're ready to use Lagomos, Hand of Hatred to put Dragonstorm in your hand. Ideally, you'll have a Storm count of three or four, which is enough to get you all the Dragons you need to close the game.

With the first copy of Dragonstorm, you'll grab Lathliss, Dragon Queen. Then, when you put Terror of the Peaks into play, you'll get a 5/5 token and deal five damage to an opponent. Utvara Hellkite enters next, alongside a token for another eleven damage.

Finally, get Dragonlord Kolaghan. She gives all your creatures haste, so you can attack and create eight more 6/6 Dragons from Utvara Hellkite's triggered ability. If you had to discard any of these to Thrill of Possibility or Frantic Search earlier on, you can grab Bladewing the Risen to pull it out of the graveyard, and if you have an extra Storm or two, you can also put Scourge of Valkas into play to deal even more damage.

I've selected these Dragons to deal as much damage as possible with a relatively low Storm count. With just four copies of Dragonstorm, this setup can take out two players easily, and all three opponents if life totals have shrunk a little bit. If you'd can find space for it, I'd love to add Terror of Mount Velus to make it even more likely you can take out three players at once with a Storm count of five or six. Let me know what you might swap for the Terror from the decklist.

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Lagomos, Hand of Hatred has an undeniably powerful ability that points you towards a certain style of play. I've done my best to expand outside of that style as much as I can without making it even harder to activate his effect. I do like that casting Dragonstorm isn't enough to end the game on its own. You have to attack to get the full value of your Dragons, which gives your opponents lots of opportunities to interact. This means you have to pick your moment carefully, which should stop this deck from feeling too linear as well.

But let me know what you think. How have you built Lagomos, Hand of Hatred? Did I overlook any key synergies? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!

Ben was introduced to Magic during Seventh Edition and has played on and off ever since. A Simic mage at heart, he loves being given a problem to solve. When not shuffling cards, Ben can be found lost in a book or skiing in the mountains of Vermont.