Wombo Combo - Best Orzhov Combo Cards in EDH

(Teysa Karlov | Art by Magali Villeneuve)

Monochrome Madness

Welcome back to the premier combo experience that is Wombo Combo, where we explore the best combo cards for Commander in each distinct color identity, with help from EDHREC and Commander Spellbook. In this edition, we will focus on a color combination that was at the center of the latest set Murders at Karlov Manor; this, of course, would be the combination of white and black, commonly referred to as Orzhov.

Orzhov is an example of two enemy colors working together. White typically represents law, order, and justice in Magic, while Black represents the opposite, with things such as chaos, death, and demons. When you pair both colors together, you get a unique mix of both, with main focuses of abilities that trigger on creatures dying and life alteration, in the form of lifegain, lifeloss, and life payments. Lets deluge into the monochrome waters of Orzhov and see what combo treasures await us!


#10: Daxos the Returned

Number of Combos: 10

Deck Inclusions: 1,733 decks as commander (#572); 6,786 decks as card (0.843%)

Daxos the Returned is the reincarnation of Daxos of Meletis, and has a unique effect taking advantage of experience counters. For three mana, you get a Spirit enchantment creature token with power and toughness equal to the experience counters you have. It also has an affinity for enchantments, giving you an experiment counter for each enchantment you cast. Daxos is easily combo-able using cards such as Mana Echoes and Archon of Sun's Grace to get infinite creature tokens and generally mana, alongside infinite enchantments.

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#9: Kaya the Inexorable

Number of Combos: 14

Deck Inclusions: 21,807 decks (2.708%)

Kaya the Inexorable largely focuses around recursion in two distinct ways. Kaya's first loyalty ability causes a creature to return to its owner's hand when it dies or is exiled, and also creates a 1/1 Spirit creature token as compensation. Kaya's third loyalty ability gives you an emblem that allows you to cast a legendary spell from your hand, graveyard, or exile during your upkeep without paying its cost. The easiest combo with Kaya is to repeatedly cast Karn's Temporal Sundering while you have the emblem. The first ability can also be used with cards like Felidar Guardian and Pitiless Plunderer to infinitely recur Felidar Guardian, blinking Kaya infinitely.


#8: Teysa, Orzhov Scion

Number of Combos: 18

Deck Inclusions: 1,949 decks as commander (#508); 13,696 decks as card (1.7%)

Teysa, Orzhov Scion features a character that was at the center of the recently release Murders of Karlov Manor, but before the perilous events at Karlov Manor, Teysa was sacrificing white creatures to exile other creatures. Because Teysa's triggered ability creates a 1/1 white Spirit whenever a black creature dies, if you sacrifice three white and black creatures to Teysa's ability, you will get the three creatures back. This opens up for some creature lock possibilities with cards such as Darkest Hour and Painter's Servant. If you want a more unique way to accomplish this, you can use Alter Reality and change all instances of "black" to "white", causing the triggered ability to trigger whenever a white creature dies.


#7: Lurrus of the Dream-Den

Number of Combos: 18

Deck Inclusions: 2,204 decks as commander (#453); 1,512 decks as companion; 25,119 decks as card (3.119%)

Lurrus of the Dream-Den comes from the infamous Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Companion cycle, and is the favorite card of fellow Commander Spellbook moderator (and EDHREC author) Goldshot. Lurrus has a similar, more limited effect to Muldrotha, the Gravetide, allowing you to cast a permanent spell with mana value two or less from your graveyard once per turn. This is a great value ability to get from a Companion, and allows you to run an aggro-style deck with cheap creatures and continuously recur them. This also has lots of combo potential, with cards like Kaya's Ghostform, Animate Dead, Saffi Eriksdotter and Displacer Kitten. After all, who doesn't want to win the game due to two cats creating an infinite combo?


#6: Priest of Fell Rites

Number of Combos: 24

Deck Inclusions: 24,493 decks (3.041%)

Priest of Fell Rites is another recursion piece that sacrifices itself, along with some of your life total, to return a creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield. Priest of Fell Rites can be combo'd with a clone effect, such as Body Double, or Necrotic Ooze who can inherit Priest's ability. With an additional way to counteract the life payments and a haste enabler, you can exchange Priest for Ooze, and then Ooze for Priest infinitely in a truly sinister game of peek-a-boo.


#5: Vizkopa Guildmage

Number of Combos: 32

Deck Inclusions: 23,810 decks (2.956%)

Vizkopa Guildmage's second ability allows it to gain a Sanguine Bond or Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose effect until end of turn. This allows you to execute the classic Sanguine Bond and Exquisite Blood combo using an Orzhov creature alternative. You can also cast Beacon of Immortality to double your life total while simultaneously causing catastrophic lifeloss to your opponents. There are also unique opportunities using Tainted Sigil and a life payment ability, such as that of Necropotence.

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#4: Teysa Karlov

Number of Combos: 33

Deck Inclusions: 12,160 decks as commander (#29); 36,635 as card (4.549%)

Teysa Karlov is the most popular Orzhov commander according to EDHREC, and it is easy to see why looking at its ability. Teysa doubles any triggers you get from a creature dying, perfect for combos that revolve around repeated sacrifices. Teysa allows you to get additional Treasures from Pitiless Plunderer, return two artifacts with Scrap Trawler, and get two Blood Artist triggers. Teysa is an instrumental part of many Orzhov combos, or in increasing your benefits from said combos.


#3: Athreos, Shroud-Veiled

Number of Combos: 35

Deck Inclusions: 1,317 decks as commander (#691); 18,265 decks as card (2.268%)

If you like Theros gods and unique counters, then Athreos, Shroud-Veiled is a great pick for your next deck. Athreos puts a coin counter on a creature, which allows you to put that creature onto the battlefield under your control when it dies or is exiled. This allows for a repeated Kaya's Ghostform effect on any creature you choose. The most popular combo uses Resourceful Defense to continually move the counter around, or putting the coin counter on Skullbriar, the Walking Grave. You can also put the coin counter on Enduring Bondwarden to save it instead.


#2: Orzhov Basilica

Number of Combos: 41

Deck Inclusions: 127,848 decks (15.874%)

As with every other dual-colored Wombo Combo we've done so far, Orzhov's resident bounceland, Orzhov Basilica, makes it towards the top of the Top 10. Bouncelands are great combo pieces for landfall decks, as they can return themselves to your hand. All you need is a way to play it repeatedly, with the help of cards such as Walking Atlas and Retreat to Coralhelm. Even if you can't combo with it, Orzhov Basilica is a perfectly reasonable include for Orzhov+ mana bases.


#1: Ratadrabik of Urborg

Number of Combos: 41

Deck Inclusions: 4,389 as commander (#225); 21,982 decks as card (3.31%)

Being Orzhov's favorite Zombie is an easy job for Ratadrabik of Urborg, who is very equipped for recursion combos. Ratadrabik creates a nonlegendary token copy of any legendary creature you control that dies, which opens up some infinite and some extremely large combo lines. One such line involves Mondrak, Glory Dominus, which creates so many Mondrak and Ratadrabik tokens that we couldn't even put the number on the site. You can also use Boromir, Warden of the Tower to make a token of it, and then make the token your Ring-bearer, thus making the token legendary. Alternatively, you can use the tokens to return Samwise the Stouthearted and/or Gollum, Patient Plotter to your hand and cast them over and over again. Ratadrabik is an excellent card to include in either a Zombie deck or in a legendary matters deck.

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Honorable Mentions

It isn't always black and white on what makes a good combo card, and just because the bottom cards did not make our Top 10, that doesn't mean they can't pack a punch in your next deck:

  1. Frodo, Sauron's Bane: While Frodo takes a bit to set up, it can easily spell a sudden demise for your opponents.
  2. Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim: The first ability is most commonly used in combos, and works great with creatures like Serra Avatar or the token created by Body of Research.
  3. Cruel Celebrant: Cruel Celebrant is mainly used to counteract life payments, from cards like Carnival of Souls.
  4. Elenda, the Dusk Rose: A mass token generator that can be used for combos with cards such as Nim Deathmantle.
  5. Pious Evangel: A soul-sister effect on the front, with a Blood Artist on the backside. Useful for counteracting life payments and draining opponents.

This concludes this edition of Wombo Combo! Be sure to look out for the next one, and visit Commander Spellbook for more EDH combos, or to submit your own! We also conduct voting on the Commander Spellbook Discord for the next edition of Wombo Combo, where the users decide what color identity I cover next!

Read more:

Wombo Combo - Azorius Edition

Reconstruct History — Orzhov Removal

Ethan has been an avid EDH player since 2014 with the release of Core Set 2015. In 2021, he joined the Commander Spellbook project as an editor, and later a head-editor and moderator, and has assisted in the curation, updating and/or uploading of over 10,000 unique EDH combos. In his spare time, Ethan loves coming up with new jank EDH lines, playing video games, and going for long walks.

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