Tuesday Night Takeover

Godo, Bandit Warlord Helm Combo Brewed CEDH

“A mastered weapon needs no haft.”

Art:Godo, Bandit Warlord by Paolo Parente

Wanna skip the primer? Here is a link to the Moxfield deck

A friend who got into EDH a couple of months ago wanted to break into the CEDH scene but wasn’t looking to play an extremely intricate and complicated combo deck, so he asked if I had any suggestions for a beginner in the format. My mind instantly went to Godo as a fun and decently strong deck that doesn’t have a huge barrier to entry and is a great introduction to the format. I looked back at my Godo list and found it was very outdated, so I went through, revamped, and tested Godo, and honestly, I don’t know why I ever took this deck apart. It is an absolute blast to play and has only gotten better since I last played it a couple years ago. Through some online research, I found that Godo performed well at some tournaments this year. This deck is related to the environment I play in, which is Stax and artifact-heavy, which is why we run a ton of artifact hate and single-target removal. Without further adieu, let’s get it!

The Deck:

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Godo, Bandit Warlord Helm Combo!

Commander (1)
Godo, Bandit Warlord

Creatures (12)
Cryptic Trilobite
Goblin Welder
Dockside Extortionist
Goblin Engineer
Anje’s Ravager
Dualcaster Mage
Imperial Recruiter
Simian Spirit Guide
Jaxis, the Troublemaker
Treasonous Ogre

Planeswalkers (1)
Karn, the Great Creator

Instants (15)
Chaos Warp
Deflecting Swat
Final Fortune
Lightning Bolt
Magnetic Theft
Mine Collapse
Mogg Salvage
Red Elemental Blast
Ricochet Trap
Tibalt’s Trickery
Zoyowa’s Justice

Sorceries (10)
Blasphemous Act
Heat Shimmer
Jeska’s Will
Last Chance
Shatterskull Smashing
Warrior’s Oath
Wheel of Fortune

Artifacts (28)
Chalice of the Void
Chrome Mox
Jeweled Lotus
Lotus Petal
Mana Crypt
Mox Diamond
Mox Opal
Mana Vault
Sol Ring
Voltaic Key
Arcane Signet
Conqueror’s Flail
Defense Grid
Fellwar Stone
Grim Monolith
Mind Stone
Moonsilver Key
Ruby Medallion
Sting, the Glinting Dagger
Strionic Resonator
Cursed Mirror
Honor-Worn Shaku
Sculpting Steel
Hammer of Nazahn
Helm of the Host
The One Ring
Thran Dynamo
Argentum Armor

Enchantments (2)
Blood Moon
Lands (31)
Ancient Tomb
Barbarian Ring
Buried Ruin
Cavern of Souls
City of Traitors
Command Beacon
Dwarven Ruins
Gemstone Caverns
Great Furnace
Inventors’ Fair
18 Mountain
Plaza of Heroes
Sandstone Needle
Urza’s Saga

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Why Godo, Bandit Warlord?

Godo is one half of a combo in the command zone, in addition they have the added benefit of costing 4R, which means we can artifact ramp into them with relative ease and get quite an early Godo cast, while we typically go for the Helm combo ASAP there are many times where it is correct to grab either Argentum Armor or Hammer of Nazahn for extra value or clearing the ways for our attacks by killing Stax pieces that actively stop us / slow us down. Godo is the main combo in our deck, and having him always available in the command zone is a huge advantage for us. Command Beacon is another sweet tech card we run in case Godo keeps getting killed or we need to play around Drannith Magistrate.

Deck Overview:

This section contains information about cards in the deck and how they function within the deck! I also highlighted some of my favorite cards in the deck! The infinite combos and loops in the deck are listed below in the “Main Win Conditions” Section.


This is a bit controversial, but I love Metalworker in this deck. While sometimes it feels bad, it can be an amazing way to speed out our hand or Godo. Cryptic Trilobite is an amazing card for the deck and a great way to get some extra mana if we need to equip or get out Godo. Fury is an awesome way to deal with an opponent’s creature for the cost of a card, I have before, but it is quite rare that we actually let this stay on the field. Goblin Engineer and Goblin Welder are awesome ways to sacrifice and recur our artifacts. Treasonous Ogre and Simian Spirit Guide are free mana for the deck, and Treasonous Ogre is extremely strong and can help us get out Godo and get all the mana we need with ease and some life. Dockside Extortionist is a very strong card that needs no introduction, and since we are in Red, we basically have to play it, but it is individually strong in the deck.


Karn, the Great Creator is an amazing planeswalker for the deck. Not only does it allow us to shut down our opponent’s activated abilities on artifacts, but this Null Rod effect being one-sided towards our opponents can help us thrive while our opponents slow down a ton. We almost never use Karn’s Plus but it can be a great option if the game is going grindy and we need an attacker or blocker. Karn’s minus is a great way to return an exiled artifact to our hand.


Our instant package is where we take care of artifacts and creatures that typically pose a large threat to us, especially in a heavy Stax environment; we have Abrade, which is the best of both worlds for only two mana. In the face of single-target removal, we can use cards like Deflecting Swat and Ricochet Trap to point that removal away from Godo. Magnetic Theft is an amazing card that allows us to attach equipment for only one mana. I typically use this on Helm, but it can be great on any high-cost equipment. We also have cards that can be free if we sacrifice mountains or cards like Pyrokinesis, Mogg Salvage and Thunderclap just as is the case in pretty much every CEDH deck free cards are very good and can be great ways to surprise opponents especially cause we are in Mono-Red. Tibalt's Trickery is an awesome counterspell and the only counterspell that we have, I typically hold this until we are about to combo off.


If we fall behind or there are a lot of pesky creatures on the battlefield Blasphemous Act can be a strong and pretty cheap way to clear the board. Last Chance and Warrior's Oath are very cheap and act as Time Walks often in this deck since we frequently only need one more turn to combo. Vandalblast is definitely a tech card; we run into a lot of artifact-based Stax and general artifact strategies in our meta, so Vandalblast is very strong in our specific meta. Wheel of Fortune is the strongest draw spell in our deck and is a great way to cycle through the deck. Jeska's Will can be a strong card draw engine and a great way to turbo out Godo.


Defense Grid and Conqueror's Flail are great ways to stop opponents or at least slow them down from interacting on our turn, leaving us to freely combo and do what we need to do. Argentum Armor, Helm of the Host, and Hammer of Nazahn are the three most important artifacts in our deck since Helm is our main combo piece, Hammer allows us to free equip, and Argentum allows us to take out key permanents of our opponents. We have a ton of mana rocks which help us speed out Godo and cast more and more spells. Some of my favorite rocks are Mana Crypt, Lotus Petal, and Mox Opal. The nice thing about Godo is that with rocks that produce colorless, like Crypt and Vault, we can speed out Godo very quickly. Strionic Resonator is a card I like in the deck since we can get two pieces of equipment off of Godo’s ETB trigger.


Blood Moon barely affects our deck and can be a great way to shut down a variety of strategies. Even if we don’t completely shut down a strategy, we will slow them down, and slowing opponents down can be a great way to get ahead and setup for a win. Ruining the opponent’s mana bases and the colors they need can make many staples hard to cast as well. Stranglehold is another amazing card that prevents fetching and tutoring, which is something we aren’t good at, and now our opponents will know how we feel! Stranglehold’s extra turn ability doesn’t usually matter in most games but stopping searching is an amazing way to slow down opponents.

Land Base:

Command Beacon is one of my favorite lands in the deck since it allows us to play through Drannith Magistrate, which can hurt us an absolute ton when we want to cast Godo. Cavern of Souls is a card we run to guarantee Godo can hit the field, and it is one of our few ways to fight back against the counterspell-heavy decks in the format. We are a majority artifact deck, so Ancient Tomb and City of Traitors are great ways to speed out Godo or get some mana rocks committed to the field. Urza's Saga is an amazing land and a great way to grab a key mana rock like Mox Opal or Mox Diamond. Beyond that, we have a bunch of red sources, a few more artifact payoffs, and a bunch of basics. We are much heavier on basics than other decks, and since we are in mono-red and run Blood Moon, there is a lot of incentive to be basic heavy since most of our fast mana comes from our artifacts.

Strengths of the Deck:

  • We can often assemble wins pretty early with Godo, we often have protection specifically against blue with cards like Red Elemental Blast
  • We have some Stax effects of our own like Stranglehold and Blood Moon which can devastate a variety of strategies and make the game slow to our pace
  • We have a decent amount of ways to deal with opponents creatures like Fury, whether we take them out to stop a commander or a creature that is stopping us from going off these effects are very valuable and why we run cards like Lightning Bolt

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • We can struggle greatly with Stax effects that hard stop us, like Blind Obedience and Cursed Totem, we do have ways to deal with these, but they can be problematic due to the lack of tutors/card selection beyond a few cards
  • We need to mulligan pretty aggressively. We don’t have advantages like many decks have in the form of card draw and a lot of tutors/selection, so keeping a strong six over a mediocre seven is something we need to do. I list this as a weakness only because sometimes, if we don’t get a great hand, we can be starting on five or six, which can put us at an inherent disadvantage
  • We have limited card selection, with cards like Gamble and Imperial Recruiter being basically all we have. We do have some sweeping draws like Wheel of Fortune and Jeska's Will, but we very rarely tutor for what we want outside of Godo grabbing equipment

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

Main Win Conditions:

We are primarily a Helm of the Host combo deck looking to combo with Godo as soon as possible, we while are not super combo heavy we do have two additional combos utilizing Dualcaster Mage as alternative win conditions incase our helm falls victim to a Praetor's Grasp. Below are all of the combos in the deck explained.

Godo, Bandit Warlord + Helm of the Host


Godo, Bandit Warlord must be on the battlefield. Helm of the Host must be on the battlefield. Helm of the Host attached to Godo.


  1. At the beginning of your combat phase, Helm of the Host triggers, creating a nonlegendary token copy of Godo with haste.
  2. The token Godo enters the battlefield, causing you to search your library for an Equipment card and put it onto the battlefield.
  3. Declare the token Godo as an attacker.
  4. The token Godo triggers, untapping it and all Samurai you control and causing you to get an additional combat phase after this one.
  5. Repeat each combat phase.


Infinite combat phases. Infinite death triggers. Infinite ETB. Infinite LTB. Infinite sacrifice triggers. Put all Equipment from your library onto the battlefield.

Dualcaster Mage + Twinflame


Dualcaster Mage must be in hand. Twinflame must be in hand. At least one creature on the battlefield. Mana needed: 2RRR


  1. Cast Twinflame by paying 1R.
  2. Holding priority, cast Dualcaster Mage by paying 1RR.
  3. Dualcaster Mage enters the battlefield, copying Twinflame.
  4. Resolve the Twinflame copy, creating a token copy of Dualcaster Mage.
  5. Repeat from step 3.


Infinite creature tokens with haste. Infinite ETB. Infinite magecraft triggers.

Dualcaster Mage + Heat Shimmer


Dualcaster Mage must be in hand. Heat Shimmer must be in hand. You control at least one creature. Mana needed: 3RRR


  1. Cast Heat Shimmer by paying 2R.
  2. Holding priority, cast Dualcaster Mage by paying 1RR.
  3. Dualcaster Mage enters the battlefield, copying Heat Shimmer.
  4. Resolve the copied Heat Shimmer, creating a token copy of Dualcaster Mage.
  5. Repeat from step 3.


Infinite creature tokens with haste. Infinite ETB. Infinite magecraft triggers.


Godo is a very fun and, in my opinion, still a very viable CEDH option. There is a ton of support for mono-red these days, including a pretty sweet counterspell in Tibalt's Trickery. Godo is a very fun combo deck that can be decently fast and has a lot of ways to play around effects that our opponents use to stop us and our combos. My friend and I have been enjoying this list, and for him, it has been a wonderful introduction to the format. Thanks for reading to the end and for all of your support!