Tuesday Night Takeover

Volo, Guide to Monsters Copies Brewed EDH

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life, its that any empire that rises will fall, they all come crashing down

Art:Volo, Guide to Monsters by Zoltan Boros

Volo is a really fun simic commander that does a bunch of Simic things! Being able to copy a creature spell on cast not only lets us play a deck with many unique creature types it also has a bunch of combo potential! Volo is an underrated commander that I normally don’t see too often at playgroups or LGS’s it is a ton of of fun to pilot and is an interesting take on the familiar combo-based play styles a lot of EDH decks follow. While a lot of the combos are similar to others there is combos that use unique cards! Volo is a ton of fun to pilot and sweet deck to bring to the table!

The Deck:

Volos Copies!

Commander (1)
Volo, Guide to Monsters

Creatures (33)
Birds of Paradise
Kiora’s Follower
Lotus Cobra
Maraleaf Pixie
Ornithopter of Paradise
Prosperous Innkeeper
Scavenging Ooze
Sylvan Caryatid
Augmenter Pugilist
Scute Swarm
Uktabi Orangutan
Volo, Itinerant Scholar
Yavimaya Dryad
Amphin Mutineer
Beast Whisperer
Solemn Simulacrum
Temur Sabertooth
Thought Sponge
Wickerbough Elder
Acidic Slime
Defiler of Vigor
Loyal Guardian
Murkfiend Liege
Peregrine Drake
Consecrated Sphinx
Deadeye Navigator
Junk Winder
Craterhoof Behemoth

Spells (20)
Mental Misstep
Swan Song
Whispers of the Muse
Cyclonic Rift
Finale of Devastation
Heroic Intervention
Mana Drain
Nature’s Lore
Three Visits
Beast Within
Fierce Guardianship
Kodama’s Reach
Incubation // Incongruity
Rite of Replication
Skyshroud Claim
Triumph of the Hordes

Artifacts (5)
Mana Crypt
Sol Ring
Arcane Signet
Twinning Staff

Enchantments (9)
Concordant Crossroads
Wild Growth
Witness Protection
Growing Rites of Itlimoc
Rhystic Study
Tribute to the World Tree
Parallel Lives
Doubling Season
Lands (32)
Barkchannel Pathway
Botanical Sanctum
Breeding Pool
Command Tower
Dreamroot Cascade
12 Forest
Hinterland Harbor
11 Island
Rejuvenating Springs
Temple of Mystery
Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth

Why Volo, Guide to Monsters?

The main reason we chose Volo is that he allows us to play a toolbox style deck with a bunch of uncommon creatures that are typically not seen in EDH. Combined with the fact that we can easily copy some of our bomb creatures, Volo is just a sweet commander all around!

Deck Overview:

The Deck Overview section features highlighted cards from the deck.


Since Volo cares about unique and different creatures types to what we control the deck is packed full of some unique cards that you wouldn’t see in many other commander decks like Amphin Mutineer who is really good exchanging an opponents big threat or creature for a salamander! The best part of Volo is that even though we play non-standard creatures for EDH since we can copy them we can get two for 1 value on pretty much every creature we cast!

Our early game consists or mostly just mana creatures we typically don’t get Volo triggers off of these but either way they assist us with getting Volo out which in many ways is the main goal of our deck. Birds of Paradise is just a simple efficient mana dork that can be good early or late. We don’t really have ways to make mass landfall triggers but Lotus Cobra can be a great source of extra mana. Sylvan Caryatid is a great mana dork that has built in protection while it typically isnt a target for removal there is nothing wrong with more protection.

Augmenter Pugilist // Echoing Equation and Biovisionary are both integral combo pieces for our deck that while we typically hold them until we are ready to fully combo off, specifically Biovisionary which with Volo the game end really quickly!

Our top end creatures have some real bombs like Consecrated Sphinx which when can copy it with Volo allows us to draw a ridiculous amount of cards. Since we make so many copies of cards Craterhoof Behemoth can be a very easy way for us to end the game! One of our bigger creatures that is really deck specific is Junk Winder which can come out very early after we get Volo out and can be a great way to lock down an opponents annoying creature!


We are a blue deck so of course we have counterspells! Some of our most impactful are Mental Misstep and Swan Song. Both of these are really early counterspells that can very easily disrupt our opponents early plays but can also be effective at any stage of the game!

Some of our bigger counterspells include Fierce Guardianship, Counterspell and Mana Drain. These counterspells are really good, specifically mana drain which can generate us a ton of mana! All of these counterspells are really good in pretty much any situation and are great additions that make the deck much stronger!

Cyclonic Rift is a blue EDH staple and is really great in our deck since we can very easy overload and bounce all of our opponents permanents! Another great Instant is Whispers of the Muse with all of our mana production we can very easily continue to buyback this spell and consistently cast it!


We are a deck that wants a lot of mana so our sorcery package has EDH staples like Kodama's Reach and Cultivate while these are functionally the same card there is nothing wrong with more mana!

One of the most impactful sorceries is Rite of Replication whether this targets a Biovisonary for the win or a Consecrated Sphinx to draw a bunch of cards it is an amazing card that is really never bad in our deck and with all of our mana production we can kick it very early.

Triumph of the Hordes is another one of the best sorceries in our deck, you will not make any friends casting this one but it is a really effective way to end the games, and in testing I was easily able to kill 3 opponents with the creature swarm + triumph.

Finale of Devastation is a sweet spell that we can mana dump into for very good results not only can we use this to tutor a key creature we can also buff, in testing I had mana games where I put 10-15 mana into it and tutored craterhoof and gave all of my creatures +20/+20!


Our artifact package typically focuses on mana production highlighted by cards like Mana Crypt, Sol Ring and Arcane Signet which are all great fast mana options that allow us to cast Volo and all of our other permanents early!

Our other two artifacts are Twinning Staff and Panharmonicon, both of these cards are part of our combo package. While these are both primarily used for combos they can absolutely used outside of it and have a great effect!


Since we are very much a creature deck Concordant Crossroads is a great way to give all of our creatures haste, the downside of this card is that it gives all creatures haste including our opponents so it may not be best to cast it early before we are going for a win!

Wild Growth and Growing Rites of Itlimoc // Itlimoc, Cradle of the Sun are both great ways to increase our mana production and allow us to ramp to our bigger spells pretty early. Growing Rites is basically a Gaea's Cradle once we flip it and wild growth can come out super early and produce extra mana the whole game!

Parallel Lives and Doubling Season are both absolute houses that increase our token production, expect all eyes to be on you when you play either of these absolute bombs onto the field!

Rhystic Study needs no introduction and is just an amazing way to draw a ton of cards and find our combos faster. Propaganda really shines in games where we have a slow start and need to slow our opponents down. Tribute to the World Tree makes our smaller creatures bigger and our bigger creatures draw us cards. Not only can tribute come down relatively early it is almost immediately impactful especially with Volo on the field!

Land Base:

You may think we are running a little light on lands at 32 but since we are able to produce lands through other cards in our deck we found in testing that 32 was the perfect number! Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth is a highlight land in our deck that provides the ultimate piece of fixing.

Other than that our land base is overall pretty simple comprised mostly of basics and simic dual lands!

All-Stars of the Deck:

These cards are some of the best in the deck and the gameplan is slower / worse without them!

Strengths of the Deck:

  • Easy to amass a bunch of impactful creatures
  • Easy to combo off
  • Strong against aggressive strategies, never usually afraid of dying through combat

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • Weak to targeted creature hate
  • Deck is noticeably weaker without Volo
  • Control decks can be bad matchups for us

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

Volos Hand:
Parallel Lives
Witness Protection
Sylvan Caryatid
Acidic Slime
Rejuvenating Springs
Prosperous Innkeepers
Whispers of the Muse
Hinterland Harbor
Tribute to the world Tree

Main Win Conditions:

We can almost always win through a big Craterhoof Behemoth with all of our tokens and creatures on the field but we have a ton of ways to make infinite mana and end the game from going infinite!

Infinite Combos explained below:

Volo, Guide to Monsters + Temur Sabertooth + Peregrine Drake


Peregrine Drake in hand. All other permanents on the battlefield. You control up to five lands that can tap to produce at least 2GU. You have no other Drakes on the battlefield or in your graveyard. 1 available.


  1. Activate up to five lands by tapping them, adding at least 2GU.
  2. Cast Peregrine Drake by paying 4U.
  3. Volo triggers, creating a token copy of Peregrine Drake.
  4. The token Peregrine Drake enters the battlefield, untapping up to five lands.
  5. Activate up to five lands by tapping them, adding at least 2GU.
  6. The nontoken Peregrine Drake enters the battlefield, untapping up to five lands.
  7. Activate Temur Sabertooth twice by paying 2GG, returning the token and nontoken Peregrine Drake from the battlefield to your hand.
  8. Repeat.


Infinite mana lands you control can produce. Infinite ETB. Infinite LTB. Infinite storm count.

Peregrine Drake + Man-o'-War + Panharmonicon


Panharmonicon on the battlefield. Peregrine Drake and Man-o’-War in hand. Lands that can produce 7UU. 4U available to begin with.


  1. Pay 4U to cast Peregrine Drake.
  2. On ETB, Panharmonicon triggers and Peregrine Drake untaps 10 lands.
  3. Tap the lands to for at least 7UU.
  4. Pay 2U to cast Man-o’-War.
  5. On ETB, Panharmonicon triggers and Man-o’-War returns itself and Peregrine Drake to hand.


Infinite colored mana. Infinite ETB. Infinite LTB.

Deadeye Navigator + Peregrine Drake


All permanents on the battlefield. Deadeye Navigator is paired with Peregrine Drake. You control up to five lands that can tap to produce 2U. 1U available.


  1. Activate Peregrine Drake by paying 1U, blinking itself.
  2. Peregrine Drake enters the battlefield, triggering itself and Deadeye Navigator.
  3. Resolve the Peregrine Drake trigger, untapping up to five lands you control.
  4. Resolve the Deadeye Navigator trigger, repairing Deadeye Navigator and Peregrine Drake.
  5. Activate up to five lands you control by tapping them, adding at least 2U.
  6. Repeat.
  7. Once you have infinite mana, you may use Deadeye Navigator’s abilities to blink any number of creatures you control any number of times.


Infinite mana lands you control can produce. Infinite ETB. Infinite LTB. Infinite blinking.

Biovisionary + Rite of Replication


Biovisionary on the battlefield. Rite of Replication in hand. 7UU available.


  1. Cast Rite of Replication with kicker by paying 7UU, creating five token copies of Biovisionary.
  2. At the beginning of your end step, each Biovisionary triggers.
  3. Resolve the first Biovisionary trigger, causing you to win the game.


Win the game.

Biovisionary + Augmenter Pugilist // Echoing Equation


Echoing Equation in hand. Biovisionary on the battlefield. You control at least three other creatures. 3UU available.


  1. Cast Echoing Equation by paying 3UU, causing all creatures you control to become copies of Biovisionary until end of turn.
  2. At the beginning of your end step, each Biovisionary you control triggers.
  3. Resolve the first Biovisionary trigger, causing you to win the game.


Win the game.


I think from all of the above information, you can see how fun and complex Volo is as a deck. Volo is just a ton of fun to play, whether you lean into more of a combo strategy like we did or towards more of a stompy creature style deck Volo is a super sweet commander!

Thanks for reading to the end!