Tuesday Night Takeover

Xathrid Slyblade Voltron Pauper EDH

“Is that fear I smell?”

Art:Xathrid Slyblade by Steve Prescott

Xathrid Slyblade is an awesome commander but not a very popular one! I was unable to find a single other deck on Moxfield; this may be the Pauper EDH one-on-one here. Mono-Black is one of my favorite color combos for Voltron since you get a ton of draw and removal, as well as our commander, who can be defensive or offensive, and the built-in protection in the form of hexproof is awesome. I have been having an absolute blast with this one, and I feel like this card needs to be way more popular. I am very excited to show you all this one today, without further adieu lets get it!

The Deck:

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Xathrid Slyblade Voltron!

Commander (1)
Xathrid Slyblade

Creatures (14)
Changeling Outcast
Blood Seeker
Creeping Bloodsucker
Cuombajj Witches
Dusk Legion Zealot
Leaden Myr
Audacious Thief
Chainflail Centipede
Crypt Rats
Undercity Scrounger
Venomous Changeling
Cabal Paladin
Thorn of the Black Rose
Bleak Coven Vampires

Instants (11)
Blood Curdle
Blood Pact
Cast Down
Doom Blade
Fake Your Own Death
Feign Death
Go for the Throat
Grasp of Darkness
Professor’s Warning
Supernatural Stamina

Sorceries (4)
Arms of Hadar
Dirge of Dread
Feed the Swarm
Night’s Whisper

Artifacts (26)
Cathar’s Shield
Bronze Sword
Ceremonial Knife
Cliffhaven Kitesail
Darksteel Axe
Golem-Skin Gauntlets
Honed Khopesh
Hunter’s Blowgun
Leather Armor
Amorphous Axe
Armory of Iroas
Charcoal Diamond
Cloak of the Bat
Cranial Plating
Goldvein Pick
Heart-Piercer Bow
Vorrac Battlehorns
Wedding Invitation
Bonder’s Ornament
Haunted Cloak
Vulshok Battlegear
Whispersilk Cloak
Brass Knuckles
Trailblazer’s Torch

Enchantments (9)
Clawing Torment
Dead Weight
Demonic Vigor
Kaya’s Ghostform
Molting Snakeskin
Eternal Thirst
Midnight Covenant
Unholy Indenture
Lands (35)
Barren Moor
Cave of Temptation
Desert of the Glorified
Evolving Wilds
Forge of Heroes
Hidden Necropolis
Mortuary Mire
Polluted Mire
23 Swamp
Terramorphic Expanse
The Dross Pits
Tocasia’s Dig Site
Witch’s Cottage

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Why Xathrid Slyblade?

Xathrid Slyblade is cheap to cast, comes with built-in protection in hexproof and can switch that hexproof to first strike and deathtouch which can be very relevant in combat. When you combine all of this with a well-stated three-mana creature and a ton of equipment, you have a true recipe for success here, and I have really been enjoying this one. With even a few pieces of equipments attached and if we are able to switch to first strike and deathtouch, there is not much that can beat us in combat; we can also have huge commander damage swings to close out games.

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!


Changeling Outcast is a very cool card that is one of the best secondary Voltron targets for our deck since they are evasive. The same is true for Venomous Changeling.Cabal Paladin is a very cool card for Voltron decks and can be an awesome way to deal a ton of additional damage to our opponents. Crypt Rats is a card I always put in mono-black decks since it can be a strong effective board clear or a great way to finish off an opponent. Bleak Coven Vampires is another great card that is a great way to damage an opponent and get some life back. Chainflail Centipede is an awesome creature but an even better equipment once we use its reconfigure.


Blood Curdle is a very cool card that turns our commander into keyword soup and makes them even more evasive. Beyond that, we have a ton of removal like Grasp of Darkness, Murder, and Cast Down, which are all strong pieces of removal and can hit and target a variety of creatures. We also have some additional removal/sacrifice protection in the form of Feign Death and Supernatural Stamina.


Night's Whisper is a strong and cheap draw spell that allows us to keep the equipment engine going. We also have Arms of Hadar, which can shut down an opponent entirely and is super effective against aggressive strategies and token strategies but can do work against pretty much any strategy. Feed the Swarm is one of the few ways we have to deal with enchantments, and typically, the life loss almost never matters. Dirge of Dread is a card I have started loving since, against a lot of decks, it makes our creatures unblockable.


We have an absolute ton of equipment, so for this, we are going to focus on some of my favorites, with my personal favorite being Brass Knuckles, which is a great artifact that can give two creatures double strike. Cathar's Shield is very strong as well since we can give some additional toughness to Xathrid Slyblade, which can make us even better in combat. Since we are so heavy on artifacts Cranial Plating is extremely broken in this deck and can easily allow for one-shots. The same is true for Golem-Skin Gauntlets, another huge damage equipment for the deck. Since we have all of this damage, we need evasiveness and a way to hit our opponents in the face of blockers, so we have Cloak of the Bat, Vorrac Battlehorns and Haunted Cloak which are great ways to make our creatures/commander much more evasive.


We are a Voltron deck primarily focusing on equipment, but there are a ton of strong auras in mono-black that we take advantage of, like Kaya's Ghostform and Demonic Vigor, which are great ways to recur our commander/creature if they die. Dead Weight is an awesome early-game removal spell and strong against aggressive strategies, and even if we just weaken a bigger creature, it can be helpful. Midnight Covenant is another one of my favorite auras; in the mid-late game, you can easily dump a ton of mana into this and make your commander a huge threat.

Land Base:

Our land base is quite simple, as most mono-colored decks tend to be, but we do have some strong recursion in our land base like Mortuary Mire and Witch's Cottage. We also have some supplemental card draw like The Dross Pits and Desert of the Glorified. Beyond that, we have some cycling lands as well as some basics and “fetches” like Evolving Wilds and Terramorphic Expanse, which I like to get a shuffle of the deck in.

Strengths of the Deck:

  • We do have built-in protection on our commander in the form of hexproof that allows us to be stronger against single-target removal with the caveat that we are weaker to sacrifice effects.
  • We have a decent amount of well-stated creatures we can equip and get some big damage in.
  • We have a decent amount of removal, which can help us stop opponents’ threats inside and outside of combat.

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • Like most Voltron / Equipment style decks, we are quite weak to artifact hate.
  • We can be slow-going since we need to equip all of our equipment after casting, so we are naturally weak to aggressive strategies.
  • While our commander is a great creature with protection we are still quite weak to common sacrifice effects in the format like Fleshbag Marauder.

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

Main Win Conditions:

There are no infinite combos or loops in the deck. We win the game through combat as well as various abilities on our creatures that can deal some additional damage like Bleak Coven Vampires. We typically buff up Xathrid Slyblade, switch their hexproof from first strike and death touch, and swing in for the sweet commander damage win.


Xathrid Slyblade is a very cool commander that no one knows about! I tried and tried but couldn’t find a single other deck on Moxfield using this commander. I was surprised because when I first saw them on scryfall I thought they were perfect for Voltron. This deck is as mono-black as it comes with all of the strong on-theme draws as well as a ton of removal. And our Slyblade certainly uses more than a dagger to attack! I enjoyed this one a ton, and I think you can shock your next Pauper EDH night by bringing this one out. Thanks for reading to the end and for all of your support!