Tuesday Night Takeover

Tesak, Judith’s Hellhound Dogs Brewed EDH

“Who’s that coming down the track?”

Art:Tesak, Judith's Hellhound by Anna Podedworna

In our infinite quest of finding cool and interesting commanders that don’t get enough love, we have landed on Tesak, a pretty cool commander from the MKM commander decks that has a measly one hundred decks according to EDHREC, Tesak is also very interesting because they support the dog creature type which outside of a few popular examples you don’t see a ton of. There is a shocking amount of mono-red dogs within EDH, and honestly, a lot of them are pretty great. There is no doubt that our commander is arguably the best card in our deck and provides a ton of utility and support. We have a ton of strong and awesome dogs throughout the deck that help us deal a ton of damage, like Bolt Hound and Komainu Battle Armor, which help us increase our damage and in the case of battle armor really screw up an opponents turn by goading all of their creatures. Tesak provides a ton of awesome utility for us and helps us get a lot of mana for strong finishers like Electrodominance and Fall of the Titans. With the errata of all hounds to have the creature type of dog, we have access to a ton of great creatures that were not typed as dogs before. While this deck does have some of the weaknesses that almost all aggressive decks have, it’s fun, on-theme, and just a blast to pilot. Without further aid, let’s get it!

The Deck:

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Tesak, Judith's Hellhound Dogs!

Commander (1)
Tesak, Judith’s Hellhound

Creatures (32)
Akoum Hellhound
Ashmouth Hound
Chandra’s Magmutt
Tilonalli’s Summoner
Underworld Rage-Hound
Arcbound Tracker
Blood Hound
Bolt Hound
Fiery Hellhound
Hellfire Mongrel
Komainu Battle Armor
Sterling Hound
Two-Headed Cerberus
Zodiac Dog
Edgewall Pack
Fanatic of Mogis
Hound of Griselbrand
Iron Mastiff
Lava Hounds
Leyline Tyrant
Lightning Hounds
Pyre Hound
Scrapyard Mongrel
Thundering Raiju
War-Spike Changeling
Neheb, the Eternal
Wildfire Cerberus
Akki Battle Squad
Hellkite Charger
Moonveil Dragon

Spells (16)
Balduvian Rage
Faithless Looting
Fall of the Titans
Great Train Heist
Battle Hymn
Comet Storm
Ambitious Assault
Chaos Warp
Big Score
Disrupt Decorum
Unexpected Windfall
Savage Beating
World at War
Kindred Charge

Artifacts (10)
Bloodforged Battle-Axe
Sol Ring
Arcane Signet
Dolmen Gate
Ruby Medallion
Heraldic Banner
Door of Destinies
Gauntlet of Power
Horizon Stone
Throne of Eldraine

Enchantments (6)
Aggravated Assault
Shared Animosity
War Cadence
Uncivil Unrest
Fiery Emancipation
City on Fire
Lands (35)
Castle Embereth
Cavern of Souls
Command Tower
Evolving Wilds
Madblind Mountain
Mines of Moria
25 Mountain
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Path of Ancestry
Terramorphic Expanse
Unclaimed Territory

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Why Tesak, Judith’s Hellhound?

Our commander is a huge part of our deck; giving all of our dogs haste allows us to be extremely aggressive and helps a ton, especially in the early game. While we aren’t huge on ramp since we are in mono-red, having a hand with Sol Ring can allow us to bring out our commander super early. One of the biggest benefits of our commander is the mana production, which allows us to get quite ahead once we stick our commander. The unleash is great as well; we typically don’t care that much about blocking anyway. While there are a lot of upsides to our commander, one of the biggest downsides is that they are a removal magnet, and without them, some of our less-than-remarkable dogs stay unremarkable, which can hurt the speed of the game plan. Being in mono-red, we don’t really have a way to fight through that.


Being in mono-red allows us to maintain a pretty aggressive game plan, especially with all of the mana production that we get out of our commander. We have a lot of amazing creatures in combat and want to attack as quickly and as much as we can. Our commander is a huge part of our deck and should be cast as soon as possible. We are fast and aggressive and can use the additional produced by our commander to either cast more and more creatures or cast some huge instants like Electrodominance or Fall of the Titans. The key to the gameplan of this deck is keeping strong, aggressive hands and being as aggressive as we possibly can be.

Deck Matchups:

Since this is EDH, there are an absolute ton of things that can tip a game in your favor or out of it. While an archetype may seem favorable, there are absolutely good and bad commanders for our deck to go up against; I have included both these, which were all played among my testing groups using various decks, and I have included the sample size for clarity purposes. This is just meant to be a guide after testing a bunch of games with this deck!

The information below is notes about specific decks that were featured in our testing pods and how we fared against them. Naturally, EDH is a multiplayer game, so these are just a summary of my notes against different commanders and strategies. When we test these decks we try to test to its strengths and weaknesses to give a full spectrum of what the deck has to offer. Various commanders and archetypes/strategies are used to get the most accurate information.

Commanders, we have a good matchup against:

Kyler, Sigardian Emissary Record against Kyler 6-2

I like this matchup a lot and find it to be decently favorable. We can often outrace them and out damage them in combat. A built-up Kyler is certainly scary, and it is correct at times to point one of our X spells at Kyler to keep them off the board. If you or your opponents can keep them off the board, you can easily steamroll Kyler.

Klothys, God of Destiny Record against Klothys 4-0

Klothys is a very cool commander that can be built in quite a few different ways, I played against a version that focused on land destruction, and while it did become a pain in the late-game we are able to use our commander to generate a lot of mana and once we have a decent board established we just really don’t care about much of what this deck does. In my games, I often kill the Klothys player first.

Holga, Relentless Rager Record against Holga 3-0

I like this matchup a lot; while they are quite aggressive like us, we are easily able to outrace them, and more importantly, their commander cant come out for a couple more turns in that time through cards like Shared Animosity or convoke-ing out a City on Fire we are easily able to conquer this deck. I like this matchup a lot, and it is quite favorable for us.

Commanders, we have a tough matchup against:

Krenko, Mob Boss Record against Krenko 2-5

While I would maintain that we are a decently aggressive deck, Krenko is just better at being aggressive; they have considerably cheaper creatures than us, and since they are in such a popular creature type, they absolutely have way more support. This is a tough matchup; keeping Krenko off the field and forcing them to blocks certainly helps, but it can be tough to keep them off the board since we are not heavy on removal within the deck.

Gandalf the White Record against Gandalf the White 0-5

I played against a combo version of Gandalf so all of my experiences are against that. This matchup is quite representative against pretty much combo strategy. Tesak is just not meant to stop somebody who can combo off rather quickly. We are a combat deck through and through; with the help of other players, we can assist them, but if they get the combo, there isn’t much we can do about it. A tough matchup but not really a deck ours was designed to beat.

Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer Record against Gwafa Hazid 0-3

Gwafa Hazid is a tough matchup in two out of these three games; the only two players left were Gwafa and Tesak; them locking down our commander and not allowing us to get the additional mana is horrible for the deck and pretty much stalls the gameplan. This is a very tough matchup for the deck.

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.


We have so many awesome hounds/dogs in the deck, so let’s check them all out! It’s worth noting that almost all of the hounds in the game have been errata’d to dogs, so we are able to play a ton of sweet cards like Blood Hound and Fiery Hellhound. Watchdog is by far one of my favorite dogs within the deck and is very strong against aggressive strategies, due to the high prevalence of creatures within the format we are easily able to get a ton of value out of non-aggressive strategies as well. Pyre Hound is another very sweet dog that gets better as the game goes on; we don’t have a whole lot of instants and sorceries, but from the buff on our commander and the spells we do have, this can get pretty big. Bolt Hound is another very strong card that helps us maximize our damage output and allows us to be even more aggressive and hit much harder for that turn, I typically don’t use this card until we have a very big board, but it can be great if needed even with a smaller board. Ashmouth Hound is a card that positions us very well against token strategies or any kind of small creatures in the early game. This can easily devastate token strategies. While we have a lot of cool dogs in the deck, we also have some very cool non-dogs like Leyline Tyrant is one of the best non-dogs in the deck, allowing us to keep all of the mana our commander generates and essentially being a giant X spell when they die, this card is awesome and I always prioritize hands with it. Akki Battle Squad is a pretty consistent source of extra combats for the deck, which allows us to dish out a ton of damage consistently.


Balduvian Rage is an X spell that is great for a one-shot and is also a great way to catch an opponent by surprise and make them make incorrect blocking decisions; on top of all of that, we get cheap card draw which is always nice. We are not super heavy on card-draw within the deck, but we do have Unexpected Windfall and Big Score, which are great sources of mana and card draw, while we do have to discard a card this typically doesn’t matter all that much and these are some of the best card draw sources we have. Battle Hymn is another great card that can produce us an absolute ton of mana when our board is full and in the early game can be a great way to ramp out some of our more expensive cards. Battle Hymn can often be huge and flashy, but even at its worst, with only a few creatures, it can still be great. Falter is a very cool card that doesn’t get enough play, in my opinion, and while against decks that have a ton of flyers, it can be bad, against a lot of decks, it can be extremely strong and basically make our creatures unblockable.


Disrupt Decorum is an absolutely busted card and can disrupt an opponent an absolute ton; this is especially good against other combat-focused decks and is great to use when that opponent starts getting out of hand if they don’t have vigilance this typically opens a free attack for us. When an opponent’s protection is down, that’s also a great time to cast Kindred Charge. One of the big benefits of this is our commander and their mana production, allowing us to generate a ton of mana and casting a ridiculously big X spell. World at War is a very good extra combat spell that is a ton of mana value for the deck since we get two free combats for only five mana, while splitting them between the turns can be bad because opponents know they are coming its still a great asset for the deck to have.


Dolmen Gate is by far my favorite artifact in the deck. We are quite aggressive, and many of our creatures look a lot better in power as opposed to their toughness. Because of this, Dolmen Gate is just straight-up crazy. Being able to attack freely allows us to be more wild in our attacks and can help us keep our board very strong. A card I love to drop early and use in conjunction with Dolmen Gate is Bloodforged Battle-Axe. Just after a couple of combats, we can have a bunch of copies on the board, allowing us to maximize our damage and snowball like crazy. Throne of Eldraine, Ruby Medallion and Heraldic Banner are all amazing benefits of being mono-color that provide a ton of utility, whether we use these together or just have one of the pieces they utility they provide helps the gameplan in every way.


War Cadence is a card I feel like no one talks about in EDH, and that’s a shame because this card is very strong and on a turn with multiple combats, especially ones with Aggravated Assault we can easily make our creatures unblockable and guarantee some damage. Guaranteeing some damage works especially well with City on Fire and Fiery Emancipation. Even just one or two combats with these two out can mark the end for our opponents; they are a little mana-intensive, but we can typically get them out pretty early. Since we are all in on Dogs as a creature type Shared Animosity is a natural auto-include that allows us to maximize our damage and easily one-shot an opponent, just a great cheap enchantment to drop right before a huge combat.

Land Base:

We have a lot of very cool non-basics, including Madblind Mountain, I had honestly never heard of this card before I saw it on scryfall, and I think it’s pretty awesome; sometimes a quick shuffle is a great way to get out of a land drought or just switch up the top of our deck if things get bounced there. Cavern of Souls is another great card and an amazing way to stick our creatures, especially against heavy-control strategies; having this option is great. While we do get a lot of mana production from our commander getting a little bit extra from Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx is a great way to get extra mana and cast some of our huge X spells. I like this landbase a lot. It’s quite simple since it is mono-red, but I think it works well. Even though we have a lot of low-cost creatures, I still think that thirty-five lands is the way to go. I have tested many different land counts and found thirty-five to be the most consistent.

Strengths of the Deck:

  • Our commander makes pretty much every creature in our deck better and is a great mana producer.
  • We are great at getting extra combats, which can give us a lot of extra damage; two of my favorites are Savage Beating and Great Train Heist.
  • We have a ton of creatures that snowball a lot, like Pyre Hound and Thundering Raiju

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • Our commander is a huge part of our deck and is often a removal magnet.
  • We are extremely weak against combo strategies.
  • We typically unleash almost all of our dogs, so not blocking can be bad in certain situations; in that instance, we just don’t give it the counter.
  • We are extremely weak against stax or any strategy that focuses on wiping the board.

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

Main Win Conditions:

We are a decently aggressive deck that primarily wins the game through combat. We have a lot of creatures with double strikes and have quite a few sources of damage doubling, and big mana spells that we can use to deal a lot of damage from our opponents. Being able to generate a ton of mana and cast a Fall of the Titans can be an amazing way to end the game. Our commander lends themselves pretty well to big mana spells and letting us be quite aggressive with our dogs. We do have one infinite combo in the deck. Tesak actually lends itself quite well to infinite combos, but we only have one, and it requires a decent amount of setup. This deck is not trying to be competitive and is just an out for us.

Tesak, Judith's Hellhound + Hellkite Charger


Tesak, Judith’s Hellhound must be on the battlefield. Hellkite Charger must be on the battlefield. You control at least five other creatures that can attack this turn. Tesak does not have summoning sickness. An opponent cannot block and kill creatures you control.


  1. Declare Tesak, Hellkite Charger and at least five other creatures you control as attackers.
  2. Tesak and Hellkite Charger trigger.
  3. Resolve the Tesak trigger, adding at least seven R.
  4. Resolve the Hellkite Charger trigger, causing you to pay 5RR to untap all attacking creatures and to get an additional combat phase after this one.
  5. Repeat each combat phase.


Infinite combat damage. Infinite combat phases.


Tesak is a lot of fun; I love mono-red and think it deserves a lot more love in EDH; this deck is an absolute blast and a great and fun experience for a new player as it is decently simple but has some small elements of more complex sequencing and gameplay. I hope you all enjoyed this one as much as I did. If you have a list for Tesak, I would love to check it out! Thanks for reading to the end and for all of your support!