The commander deck we are focusing on today is Zacama, Primal Calamity. The idea for this deck started out as a joke in my playgroup. I would ramp as much as possible to play my commander early. The other players would say that it was like a countdown each time a ramp spell is cast but there was no boom.
“The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.” –David Ogilvy
It was fun and we all had a laugh but I could not get the thought of having a countdown without a boom out of my head. After arriving home, I started searching for other Zacama deck builds to get some ideas. Several minutes later I found what I needed in EDHREC, Sanctum of Eternity.
The Concept For This Commander
This commander deck is by no means original since it focuses on “ramping”. A ramp is a common strategy in some commander decks and this one is not all that different.
The focus is to ramp as much as possible in the early turns. The difference from before is that the goal should be to get 11 or 12 mana (more on this in a bit) as early as possible before casting Zacama.
When reaching your mana goal, the combo might either explode or get diffused, hence the deck name Zacama Time Bomb.
The idea is to have a combo finish as a primary win condition by utilizing the commander’s enters the battlefield trigger. When Zacama comes into play, you get to untap your lands. Once that happens, you just tap all lands for mana, activate Sanctum of Eternity to return Zacama back to your hand, and repeat the process.
There are 2 options once you hit the mana goals.
Option 1: 11 Mana – Storm Count with your Commander
With 11 mana and Sanctum of Eternity, you have a loop where you can cast and recast Zacama for an infinite storm count then finish the table off with Grapeshot.
Option 2: 12 Mana – Storm and Mana
With 12 mana and Sanctum of Eternity, you have a loop where you can cast and recast Zacama to gain infinite mana as well as an infinite storm count. From there, you can use the finisher of your choice.
Grapeshot is still the most efficient spell but other options include Empty the Warrens or Recruit the Worthy + Flame-Kin Zealot. Direct damage cards like Aurelia’s Fury, Avacyn’s Judgment, Comet Storm, Conflagrate, or Fireball are also great choices.
There may be more that were not mentioned so feel free to use whatever fits your play style. Do not forget to use Zacama’s life gain ability before using spells that hit all players like Earthquake, Hurricane, or Squall Line.
Ramp spells make up the majority of this commander deck. The release of Kaldheim made it even better by introducing snow dual lands that are accessible to all players.
Farseek, Ranger’s Path, Skyshroud Claim, and Krosan Verge make up the core ramp cards. Three Visits is also good but a bit pricy. The difference between these specific cards is that they do not have the word “basic” on the text and because of that, searching for dual lands is possible.
The core ramp spells are not limited to this deck alone and can be used in most multicolor commander decks with green. The common snow dual lands fix the mana base without breaking the bank.
Once the core pieces are in the deck, feel free to add more ramp spells as you see fit.
Green has access to spells that can tutor for lands and creatures. This will make assembling the combo easier and win as early as possible.
There are a few cards that you can add to help with the combo. Beast Whisperer is a great budget option because you can draw your entire deck and find a win condition.
If you can afford it or already have them, adding Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, The Great Henge, Garruk’s Uprising, and Staff of Domination would be great additions to the deck.
Remember not to deck yourself when going off! You can always use Zacama’s ability to destroy the enchantment if you already found the cards you need or if you are close to drawing the entire deck.
The Rest Of The Commander Deck
Whatever is missing from the 99 is up to you. You can assemble and adjust the commander deck as you see fit once the core is assembled. You can take the concept and the combo then build around it.
Do you want more control before you combo off?
Do you want to play with aggressive creatures then combo out of nowhere?
Do you want to add pieces that accelerate the combo?
Build around whatever fits your playstyle. Do not let other people dictate what fun is for you and go HAM!
If you liked reading this, check out our other article about commander.