Commander (EDH) allows players to experiment with cards across Magic: The Gathering's rich history. The massive card pool enables players to build diverse decks with exciting synergies. When creating an EDH deck, one deckbuilding consideration is how to win a game. While it is plausible to play a deck without a win condition, it is probably a better idea to include at least one route to victory. There are multiple win conditions to consider, such as combo finishers, playing cards that say "you win the game," and other cards with dominant effects.
I want to focus on cards with dominant effects—specifically, game-ending sorceries. High-impact sorceries deserve recognition just as much as infinite mana and damage. Their impact on the game can be as crushing as Walking Ballista and Heliod, Sun-Crowned. I find satisfaction in winning an EDH game with powerful, high casting cost cards.
Leovold's face in the Expropriate artwork is how I look when casting it. Even at nine mana, Expropriate deals a devastating blow to opponents while showering you in great fortune.
At its floor, Expropriate grants you an extra turn and takes your opponents' best card. Receiving two additional turns is usually enough to win. Mana-reducing effects from Mizzix of the Izmagnus or Saheeli, the Gifted can assist with casting Expropriate. It is even more brutal for your opponents if you can copy Expropriate with Twincast or Lithoform Engine.
Sometimes it is challenging to decide which creature to copy with Rite of Replication. Fortunately, you can formulate a plan that allows Rite of Replication to win upon resolution.
One candidate is the legendary black creature Kokusho, the Evening Star. This majestic Dragon drains each opponent for 5 life upon its death. When you create five copies of Kokusho, the Evening Star, the legendary rule causes four to become sacrificed, thus draining each opponent for 20 life. If the life loss does not kill your opponents, you will be in a stronger position by gaining upwards of 60 life.
But there is another black creature that works even better with Rite of Replication.
Creating five tokens of "Gray Merchant of Asphodel" causes devastating results. Each opponent is drained for 50 life when five copies of Gary enter the battlefield (total of 10 black devotion). I cannot think of many situations where an opponent survives losing 50 life in a turn. The fact that you gain whatever amount of life is lost is icing on the cake.
Lilliana wants you to win by raising the dead from all graveyards. By the time Rise of the Dark Realms is cast in a four-player game, there should be plenty of creatures to fill the battlefield.
Rise of the Dark Realms synergies with multiple mono-black commanders. Liliana, Heretical Healer, Sheoldred, Whispering One, and Geth, Lord of the Vault are three graveyard-matters commanders that could play Rise of the Dark Realms. Commanders that focus on discarding cards, such as Tinybones, Trinket Thief or The Haunt of Hightower, may want to include Rise of the Dark Realms. Opponents discarding cards throughout a game will inevitably fill graveyards with creatures.
Unfortunately, there are a few ways for your opponents to reduce Rise of the Dark Realms potential. Removing cards from graveyards, exiling creatures in play, and playing creature-light decks can negatively affect Rise of the Dark Realms. While opponents can hinder Rise of the Dark Realms, it is still a worthwhile inclusion for some black decks.
Mizzix's Mastery is an incredible card with a ton of upside. The ability to overload Mizzix's Mastery puts it over the top. Before we get too excited about copying each instant and sorcery in our graveyard, we should look at casting Mizzix's Mastery for four mana.
The ability to cast even one instant or sorcery spell in your graveyard is enough to win an EDH game. You may recall two potent blue sorceries discussed earlier. If Expropriate ends up in your graveyard due to discarding or other means, Mizzix's Mastery can copy it. Resolving Expropriate for four mana is an alluring win condition.
Not to be outclassed, Rite of Replication works with Mizzix's Mastery because of the kicker cost. As part of copying Rite of Replication, you may pay the kicker cost to create five creature tokens. This sequence of spells costs the same amount of mana as hard casting Rite with kicker.
Another blue spell worth targeting is Enter the Infinite. It does not get much better than copying a twelve mana spell with Mizzix's Mastery. You might be wondering why Enter the Infinite was absent earlier with the other blue sorceries. The answer is because casting Enter the Infinite for 12 mana is unappealing. Enter the Infinite is a card I want to avoid hard casting.
Enter the Infinite can win the game by drawing your deck and casting Firestorm for one red mana. Another route to victory is casting Inner Fire and Comet Storm after resolving Enter the Infinite. A third option is merely casting Thassa's Oracle with one card left in your library from Enter the Infinite.
After discussing options for four mana, we can now move on to overloading Mizzix's Mastery. Paying the overload cost for Mastery is an excellent finisher for spellslinger decks. A mix of copying cards that grant extra turns, additional mana, and duplicate spells is likely enough to win. If you are more interested in copying only red spells, the next sorcery is an acceptable target for Mizzix's Mastery.
Insurrection is the pinnacle of all Threaten effects in MTG. This eight-mana sorcery will surely kill one opponent, if not all of them, in one combat step. Having Fiery Emancipation or Dictate of the Twin Gods in play helps as well. Watch out for Fog effects, as the mighty Spore Frog may ruin your day.
Insurrection also synergies with sacrifice outlets. For example, you can sacrifice stolen creatures to Altar of Dementia to mill opponents or produce extra mana with Ashnod's Altar. Removing all creature threats and receiving bonus value will either end the game or put you far ahead.
Players of green EDH decks may be familiar with Tooth and Nail. The real power of Tooth and Nail is paying the entwine cost. You should win the game by putting any two creature cards from your deck onto the battlefield. Let's walk through a few scenarios that maximize the effect of Tooth and Nail.
My favorite creature combination with Tooth and Nail is Palinchron and Deadeye Navigator. Each time Palinchron enters the battlefield, you can untap up to seven lands. Deadeye Navigator soulbond ability allows you to flicker Palinchron continuously. The two creatures provide an infinite mana loop for you to cast spells like Exsanguinate or Mind Grind. You may substitute Palinchron with Great Whale or Peregrine Drake to obtain similar results.
A second two-creature combination is Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, and Zealous Conscripts. This popular creature combo creates infinite copies of Zealous Conscripts to attack opponents. While commonly found in mono-red decks, this combo finisher may also work in Gruul and Naya EDH decks.
In green creature-centric decks, finding Craterhoof Behemoth and End-Raze Forerunners will typically end the game. As long as you have enough creatures on the battlefield, the board effects of Craterhoof Behemoth and End-Raze Forerunners provide a crushing blow.
Another creature combination you can try is Blightsteel Colossus and Surrak, the Hunt Caller. Giving Blightsteel Colossus haste from Surrak, the Hunt Caller can kill an opponent with infect damage.
A final creature combination to find with Tooth and Nail is It That Betrays and Cataclysmic Gearhulk. By leaving It That Betrays in play, you will gain control of all nontoken permanents sacrificed by opponents. Any commanders sacrificed by opponents also come under your control. Unless your opponents have a way to clear the board, you will undoubtedly be in a winning position.
As far as white sorceries, Approach of the Second Sun is likely your best shot. While you only need to cast it the first time, the second Approach of the Second Sun must resolve. Also, your opponents will see it coming. Any player can hold back countermagic or try to mill you. If you plan to include Approach of the Second Sun in a white deck, consider running Silence, Orim's Chant, and Abeyance for protection.
While these sorceries might not be the most efficient or fastest win condition, they can serve as an acceptable alternative in EDH decks. I hope some of these sorceries prove useful to you in future EDH games.