How They Brew It - Devotion to Everything

Michael Celani • May 8, 2023

Omnath, Locus of All | Illustrated by Bryan Sola

Nothing's scarier than the Ancient Ones, Those Who Rule the Realms In Between Consciousness and Unconsciousness. These abominations assume forms mere mortals can't comprehend, and they influence everything from who we see to what we eat to which functionally identical brand of scented plug-in to purchase. Of course, you've heard of Cthulhu, you've heard of Azathoth, you've heard of Nyarlathotep, Kassogtha, Dagon, Y'golonac, and Aslan, but that just raises the question: with so many Ones and so little time, how do you choose your object of worship? Who do you devote your entire being to resurrecting and ultimately ushering in the end of days and the destruction of all reality as we know it?

Cult-ure Shock

Greetings, followers! The Whisperers call me Michael Celani, and I'm here to tell you that if you're looking to dress up in creepy robes and hawk fanatic dogma at unsuspecting people, you no longer have to attend Star Wars conventions. That's right: I have been chosen to be your new leader after the previous one died in an unfortunate sloth incident, and yes, I'm talking about the animal, not the sin. There's going to be some changes around here. First, No Cult Meeting Wednesdays are back on. Second, the phrase "going to mass" no longer means seeing your mom. Third and most importantly, we worship every god all the time now.

Omnath, Locus of All is a five-color commander that turns all the unspent mana you would lose at the end of a phase into black mana instead. He also has a long-winded static ability that's basically a posh way of saying "draw a card, but you gain some mana if it's got a lot of pips in it." With the fixing and card advantage Omnath provides us, and a carefully crafted library, we'll raise our devotion to multiple colors at once and simultaneously obtain the favor of every god in the multiverse. Being loved by every deity is, according to independent research, objectively good, so let's light our torches and go burn down a hatchery in the name of the Rooster King!

Devoted Druids

The Ancient Ones -- Those Who Rule the Realms In Between Light and Shadow -- are not a force to be played with. Like an aging refrigerator, they are cold, power-hungry, and full of harmful chlorofluorocarbons. That's why we must appease them by increasing our devotion, and the easiest way to do that with Omnath as our deacon is to play a bunch of black-aligned hybrid mana cards. A card like Ghastlord of Fugue can be cast with only the black mana Omnath makes, but it adds five devotion to both black and blue, meaning our deck can be very greedy with its payoffs. Let's look at some winning worshipers now:

  • The Lorwyn Lieges are all you need to instill a strong sense of hierarchy in your cult. Not only do Ashenmoor Liege, Creakwood Liege, Glen Elendra Liege, and Deathbringer Liege each give other creatures of their colors +1/+1, they also have thematically appropriate and often relevant abilities. Keep an eye on Deathbringer Liege in particular; it turns all your black and white spells into a free Murder, which doctrine says thou shalt commit.
  • No fanatic fervor is complete without enforcers; Deathless Knight will be hard to keep down for good with the incidental lifegain the deck has, and Elite Headhunter can sacrifice artifacts and creatures to shock pesky opposing dorks.
  • Divinity of Pride and Ghastlord of Fugue are not only both excellent metal album names, but they're also both evasive beaters with relevant abilities that add five devotion to two different colors.
  • Spoiler alert, the best rewards for being devoted to white and black involve recruiting more into the flock, which is why we believe in an apocalyptic Dramatic Finale. The additional fliers it creates just mark a decent denouement for any unbeliever's continued existence.
  • Dire Undercurrents lets you draw a card whenever a blue creature enters the battlefield under your control and makes an opponent discard a card whenever a black creature enters under your control. Not only is this an incredible source of card advantage, it's also really weird that blue cares about creatures.
  • Altar of the Pantheon is a better Manalith, which is a bar so low even an ant can step over it. It increases our devotion to all colors by one, which is pretty small, but it's also ramp, so why not?

Of course, not all spells can be as multifaceted as we'd like them to be. We'll need to introduce a few choice mono-black cards as well just to push some of our payoffs over the edge:

  • Ayara, First of Locthwain cares about black creatures entering the battlefield, and boy, do we have a lot of them. She's also a source of incidental card advantage, and if you can recur Deathless Knight, you'll keep your hand stocked.
  • K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth is the go'enq'wo jni-pl krnnnn fople of our deck, so to speak in tongues. He turns any black mana symbol Phyrexian, and since so many of our cards are just a cavalcade of black pips, we end up able to cast lots of expensive spells for free.
  • Bolas's Citadel is just an amazing card in general, but that three additional devotion doesn't hurt. Side note, independent research has shown that God-Pharaohs do count, so make sure to include Bolas in the rotation too.
  • Gravestorm is laser-focused against decks that play too many spells, since their graveyards are usually pretty clean. You can also use Bojuka Bog to guarantee your draw.

Prayer Points

Our flock is now so devoted it makes rabid Homestuck fans look as wishy-washy as modern Magic: the Gathering fans. The Ancient Ones -- Those Who Rule the Realms In Between Peanut Butter and Jelly -- are as pleased as the punch we're all drinking after this meetup. Now, they shall bestow their wonderful gifts upon us like Santa Claus, except that, unlike Santa Claus, they're real! These payoffs turn worship into wine, and the effect on our board state is transubstantial.

Paint It Black

While we are equally devoted to all colors, there is one unequivocal truth about our deck's construction: we'll always end up more equally devoted to black. If only we could trick the gods into interpreting worship for one of them into worship for all of them, then we could cut down on total time spent praying and get to other cult activities like ritual sacrifice and [DATA EXPUNGED]. Luckily, I have a double major in blasphemy and art history, so I feel like I can easily forge classic works that can convince each of the Ancient Ones -- Those Who Rule the Realms In Between Coke and Pepsi -- that we've always been with them, specifically.

Cards like Sleight of Mind, Alter Reality, and Glamerdye can change the text of a given permanent to replace all instances of one color word with another. Normally, this would be useless to us, because if something like Master of Waves entered the battlefield and we attempted to Glamerdye it, the triggered ability on the stack would still care about our devotion to blue. Luckily, cards like Alter Reality don't just target permanents; they target spells, too. If we cast it targeting Master of Waves as it's on the stack, the text change on the spell persists as it becomes a permanent, meaning it will now create 1/0 black Elemental creature tokens equal to your devotion to black. Of course, you could skip any and all confusion by playing Swirl the Mists, but that's not as huh? What? as Sleight of Mind.

But it's not just the devotion payoffs that benefit from our deluge of deities. We can hack any color words on cards like Creakwood Liege or Dire Undercurrents to double up the buff to creatures of a single color, and since the vast majority of creatures and even tokens we create are black, just one of these can turn an Abhorrent Overlord into a Ragnarok-level threat.

And if you combine a Glamerdye with our head priest, Teysa, Orzhov Scion, you'll get the glow-up of the century. Just change white to black and watch as nobody gets to have creatures anymore. Add in a Goblin Bombardment or an Elas il-Kor, Sadistic Pilgrim and watch as nobody gets to have lives anymore, either. Ah, the sacrifices you make to put in a hard day's work!

Call of the Gods

Do you hear them? The Ancient Ones! They whisper to me! Can you not hear them? You must inspect your soul, inspect the cosmos, inspect this page! You better be twice as introspective by our next meeting! Anyway, here comes the donation till...

If you enjoy How They Brew It, please check out the Discord and my other projects at my website. You can vote on what article you want to see next, and check out the other cool stuff I do. Check out some of the other articles by our talented writers here on Commander's Herald, too, and don't forget to stay devoted, followers!

Devotion to Everything (Omnath, Locus of All EDH)

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Commander (1)
Creatures (27)
Sorceries (3)
Instants (15)
Artifacts (9)
Enchantments (9)
Lands (36)

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Newly appointed member of the FDIC and insured up to $150,000 per account, Michael Celani is the member of your playgroup that makes you go "oh no, it's that guy again." He's made a Twitter account @GamesfreakSA as well as other mistakes, and his decks have been featured on places like MTGMuddstah. You can join his Discord at and vote on which decks you want to see next. In addition to writing, he has a job, other hobbies, and friends.