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EDH – Oloro, King of the Pillow Fort


If you’ve played EDH, you know you will sometimes encounter a player who likes to build a pillow fort. What I mean by Pillow Fort is someone who likes to have a lot of enchantments, artifacts, creatures out that make it impossible for someone to attack them. Now that doesn’t sound like fun right? Well for your opponents it will not be fun but when you’re the King/Queen of your Pillow Fort and overlooking the walls and watching the others kill themselves while you amass your army and assortment of powerful spells, you’ll just be giddy with excitement.

If stopping everyone from even attacking you does not sound like your cup of tea, stop reading now. This sort of Commander build is for those who think participating in the foray of fighting is above them and they would rather have everyone else do their dirty work for them. Think of it as being like a Prius owner. Once you own a Prius you automatically become too smug to do your own work. So running Oloro is the equivalent of being a Prius Owner.

So let’s first discuss what the commander actually does. Oloro, Ageless Ascetic can be seen below:
So first, when Oloro is out on the field you will gain 2 life during your upkeep. Not bad right? The plus to that is, whenever you gain life you may pay 1 mana and draw a card and each opponent loses 1 life. Ah, another plus! Card drawing is always! Make note though, that ability only triggers for each time you gain life not how much life you gain.
So for example:
You have two creatures with lifelink and they attack and you get two separate life gain triggers from them thus triggering Oloro’s ability to draw cards twice. Understand? Good, cause I didn’t at first!
Lastly, Oloro allows you to gain 2 life even if it is in the Command Zone. This would not trigger his card draw ability though since it is not technically in play.
So not a bad commander right? You can see where his pillow fortiness comes from. Gain a lot of life, draw a lot of cards (potentially) and sit back and relax. Life gain in the early game of EDH is always nice but if you don’t keep control of the board and let your other opponents go crazy and out of control that life gain will not matter. This is where being a King/Queen comes in handy and sometimes you have to smite the peasants down or keep them from revolting. Before we get into how to play the deck let’s discuss the spells and creatures:
Academy Rector:  An oldie but goodie. This 1/2 Cleric allows you to exile the card if it were to go into the graveyard and search for an enchantment of your choosing and put it into play. A very good early game card to be sure but be sure you have the utility to protect that enchantment of your choosing.
Ajani’s Pridemate: Whenever you gain life you may put a 1/1 counter on this? Sign me up! Since you’ll be gaining life left and right, this is a good creature for you to take care of!
Archangel of Tithes: A very good Pillow Fort creature to have in your arsenal. A 3/5 body as well as not allowing creatures your opponents control to attack unless they pay 1 or block as well.
Burnished Hart: The main reason to have this creature in this deck is purely for mana fixing. It’s nice to have in the early game so you can get that third color or extra color you need for whatever you have in store.
Defiant Bloodlord: A pretty basic 4/5 flyer but with the added bonus of having a target opponent lose life whenever you gain that much life.
Drana’s Emissary: This creature is useful for giving you another life gain trigger for Oloro’s draw ability while slowing draining your opponent’s life force.
Erebos, God of the Dead: Maybe you have another Oloro player in your midst? Shut them down with Erebos, heck shut all your opponents down with Erebos so they can no longer gain any life. They’ll enjoy that right?
Felidar Sovereign: Want the win the game quickly? Get this bad boy out on the field. Only problem is, can it survive a whole turn before your next upkeep if you have over 40 life? Be sure to have plenty of utility backing you up!
Obzedat, Ghost Council: Another good creature that not only gives you another life gain trigger for Oloro’s ability but also blinks every turn draining your opponent constantly and consistently.
Serra Avatar: So you have about over 100 life now. What can you play that will scare people? This card right here. Know this, it will not survive long if at all if it resolves onto the battlefield.
Sun Titan: A good creature to allow you to keep getting back a particular cheap enchantment or artifact back onto the battlefield for you.
Sunscorch Regent: A card very similar to Managorger Hydra but it gains you life as well and counts as a trigger for Oloro’s card draw. Plus it has Flying? Count me in!
Treasury Thrull: It’s exploit is nice as well as it’s ability to get you back an artifact, enchantment or creature of your choice from the graveyard!
Vizkopa Guildmage: A very good card that could help you win early enough if you also managed to get Exquisite Blood on the field as well. You can tap for it’s second ability on the upkeep in response to Oloro’s life gain and thus cause you to win. See? You didn’t even need to attack to win!
Windborn Muse: Another Pillow Forty creature similar to Archangel of Tithes.
For the sake of ease of reading and instead of lumping all spells under one like I normally do for other deck techs I will separate these out by their type. Sorcery, Instant, Artifact etc…
Dark Petition: The poor man’s Demonic Tutor. This card is in here for budget reasons as I don’t normally spend a whole lot on EDH deck’s, it’s usually a culmination of what I have laying around and may be buying some cheaper cards as well.
Debt to the Deathless: A good way to have opponent’s lose a lot of life if you get to late game and have a lot of potential mana on the field.
Diabolic Tutor: The other poor man’s Demonic Tutor. Same deal as above, this is a budget piece.
Merciless Eviction: Are your opponents flooding the field with creatures, artifacts, enchantments or planeswalkers? Exile one of them now with Merciless Eviction! Only 1 easy payment of 6 CMC!
Read the Bones: Simple and easy draw spell. Scry 2 and if you like them draw them, if not draw 2 and see what you get!
Supreme Verdict: The King/Queen has read their decree. All soldiers on the battlefield must die. You cannot stop this!
Toxic Deluge: Got some pesky indestructible creatures bothering you? Drain some of your own life to get rid of them, life comes easy to you anyway!
Wrath of God: As a King/Queen your subjects look up to you for answers but who do you look up too when you need answers yourself? You pray to God and pray he strikes down these pesky enemies and their minions! Let them feel God’s Wrath!
Aetherspouts: Also known as, how to make someone who plays tokens in EDH very very angry.
Cyclonic Rift: Also known as, how to make the whole table gang up against you.
Dissipate: NO!!!!
Dissolve: Holy crap, I said no! Ohh lemme Scry!
Lim-Dul’s Vault: An easy way to constantly look through your entire library and get the cards you want/need.
Memory Plunder: Probably one of my favorite cards in the deck. Oh, your opponent played that awesome instant/sorcery spell? Cool! I want to play it too! Thanks!
Mystical Tutor: Search for that possible No you will need!
Path to Exile: While it doesn’t say No when they try and cast a big creature it does give you the satisfaction of saying No when it resolves.
Psychic Strike: Tell them No without saying it.
Render Silent: Just shake your head at them.
Utter End: Similar to Path to Exile but not just for creatures!
Narset Transcendent: This is a very good planeswalker for this deck. Since you run hardly any creatures you have a good chance of being able to dig for something here. Her second ability of giving spells rebound doesn’t do much for us except for the tutor cards or cards like Debt to the Deathless. If you manage to get the 3rd ability off, it’s practically game over for your table.
Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath: Ob’s first ability is good for Oloro card draw trigger. The second ability, I could see it being useful if you need a body on the field. His third ability isn’t bad if you have something worth sacrificing so you can draw some cards!
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon: Need another board wipe? Here you go! His first ability isn’t that great in EDH but can be useful. The last ability can be a hit or miss for us. I mainly keep him around for the board wipes.
Alhammaret’s Archive: If you would gain life, you gain twice that much life instead. Ok, you’ve intrigued me go on….If you draw a card, except the first one you draw in your draw step, you draw two cards instead. Ok, you’ve sold me. Take my money!
Armillary Sphere: Basic mana fixing/mana ramp card.
Chromatic Lantern: You ever wish that Swamp you just played was a Plains instead? Well this artifact grants you that wish!
Commander’s Sphere: Add any one mana color you need of your commander’s colors or sac it and draw a card! Win win!
Crawlspace: To only aid you in your dreams of a nice pillow fort. Think of this card as building a draw bridge to your pillow fort and only two soldiers at a time can cross it to come at you.
Darksteel Ingot: Basic mana rock
Everflowing Chalice: Another basic mana rock
Norn’s Annex: Not only is this an excellent Pillow Fort card but if your opponent is not playing white, that have to pay 2 life for each of their creatures just to attack you!
Obelisk of Esper: Another basic mana rock….again!
Orbs of Warding: Not only is giving you hexproof good but it also prevents creatures from doing damage to you by 1. Not much in the grand scheme of things but something to annoy your opponents with.
Pristine Talisman: A great mana rock that can trigger Oloro’s card draw ability!
Sol Ring: Why wouldn’t you run this again?
Swiftboot Boots: I recommend putting this on Oloro or Serra Avatar ASAP if you can find this.
Well of Lost Dreams: Want to draw cards? This is how you draw cards!
Baneful Omen: While not the most ideal enchantment to have out it is a decent one to get your opponent’s to lose life.
Exquisite Blood: This card and Sanguine Bond can just have you win games as soon as Oloro’s life gain trigger happens.
Ghostly Prison: One of the more popular Pillow Fort cards. Very good indeed.
Greed: Since you’ll be gaining so much life, paying 2 and a black to draw a card means nothing to you!
Palace Siege: Always choose Dragons. I’ve never had a reason to ever choose Khans. This card was meant to have Dragons chosen for you in this deck.
Phyrexian Arena: You lose a life in your upkeep only to gain it back from Oloro and you get to draw another card? Yes please!
Phyrexian Reclamation: Allows you to return a creature of your choice. Not bad since you don’t run many creatures in here and could be useful for you.
Propaganda: Another sweet pillow fort card at your disposal. Use it well!
Sanguine Bond: As mentioned above with Exquisite Blood. These two cards can cause you to win early if played correctly.
So that’s a lot of cards yeah? Now, how do we play this deck? I don’t recommend you play this sort of deck 1 on 1 as it is very slow and has a clunky start. It’s not meant to win fast but win in the long game. The early life gain ability will help you a lot if your opponents decide to come after you first.
A good opening hand may contain a few lands, some mana ramping/fixing abilities and some enchantments or creatures to help you search your deck or slow your opponents down long enough to get what you need. Since you have a decent amount of counters and board wipes it’s important to get these when you can to help clear the board. If your board wipe affects you as well make sure you have the ability to come back out stronger than before.
Just as in any EDH group, politics will be involved so try not to be an early threat and let others take that role instead. Slowly build up your pillow fort if you can and then when your opponents least expect it, start unleashing some wipes or life gain combos to help you win. As you can tell there are not a lot of creatures so you’ll need to rely on your spells instead.
This deck is not for impatient people or for people who prefer to have a really big board presence with a lot of creatures. It’s for people who enjoy everyone else fighting it out while you sit back in your fort and sip some wine and then WHAM! You drain their life and win.
Thanks for taking the time and read this! I’m hoping to do a few more EDH deck write ups! These are pretty lengthy I know but I like to go over all the cards in the deck and what they could potentially be used for.
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