|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Duel Decks: Blessed vs Cursed||Common|
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Creature — Zombie
Undying (When this creature dies, if it had no +1/+1 counter on it, return it to the battlefield under its owner's control with a +1/+1 counter on it.)
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Butcher Ghoul Discussion
1 week ago
I'm not really sure about Megrim or Liliana's Caress. They are both dependent on actually being in play as your opponent discards - unlike The Rack which you can play after you've put the game in top-deck mode, and because of the constant threat of damage, discourage your opponent from playing anything.
On top of that, you play Smallpox, which puts a predictable pressure on your lands, even in a monocolored deck. It just fits so well with the deck concept...
+2 Waste Not
PookandPie on Ghave
1 month ago
So you want to combo more and make the deck faster?
Well have I got the suggestions for you!
F'real, I've played Ghave for about 4 years now and my deck is nothing but combo nonsense. I'm not going to go too in depth in combo explanations here because, well, I did all of that in my deck's description: Ghave: Baby Makin' and Alimony. I've got a list of 40+ combos listed there I can do in my deck, and I'll probably mention a fair number of these.
The fastest Ghave combos are with Undying creatures. Young Wolf, Butcher Ghoul, Strangleroot Geist, Geralf's Messenger and the like. Messenger + Ghave + Ashnod's Altar = win, right there. Coincidentally, Undying creatures + Ghave allows you to produce 1/1 tokens with every 1 mana you have, making for an excellent source of token generation even if you cannot stick a sac outlet. What's true with Undying creatures, however, is true with most other cards that produce their own counters and with Cathars' Crusade: If Ghave has a source of counters he can pull from, you can make lots of tokens. Champion of Lambholt and Bloodspore Thrinax are two that I've found indispensable for this very reason. Champ of Lambholt goes infinite with Ashnod's Altar and Ghave, by the way (this produces infinite mana, and with infinite mana and a counters source, you have infinite tokens).
Earthcraft goes infinite with Ghave and most other cards. Ghave + Earthcraft + Champion of Lambholt, Bloodspore Thrinax (with at least 1 counter), Cathars' Crusade, Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, etc., all produce infinite 1/1 tokens.
You're running Juniper Order Ranger but only one of the Persist creatures that go infinite with him. Kitchen Finks, JOR, and a sac outlet of any kind gives you infinite life and an arbitrarily large JOR. Persist creatures are also great with Cathars' Crusade. Woodfall Primus destroys literally every nonland permanent on the battlefield and gives you a huge JOR, too.
Reveillark, Karmic Guide, and Saffi Eriksdotter are incredible lynchpins for recursion and also enable ridiculous combos of their own. Any two of these + a sac outlet allows you to repeat the sac outlet's effects to infinity and beyond- I like using it with Viscera Seer or Greater Good, as they allow me to filter/draw my whole library, and in the case of Reveillark/Guide, reanimate the whole thing and win on the spot.
Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest is just really good in a deck that likes to sacrifice things. He's at least better than Nath of the Gilt-Leaf.
A lot of your higher cost creatures could be substituted for cheaper ones. Vish Kal, for example, is a nice sac outlet that can kill things on the side, but Sadistic Hypnotist winds up being a much safer option (comes down two mana earlier and can eliminate someone's hand- preventing the cards from hitting the battlefield or interacting with you to begin with).
So, here's my suggested list of cuts:
Butcher of Malakir- nice, but slow. You're already running the superior Grave Pact, so I see no need to bother with a 7cmc spell that a 4cmc enchantment does better.
Gilded Lotus- You have access to much better ramp. One of my personal favorites is Devoted Druid- it produces infinite mana with Cathars' Crusade, and also enables third turn Ghave by itself. That's pretty big.
Hornet Queen- You can do better. Undying creatures will enable you to outproduce Hornet Queen in tokens easily. Their having deathtouch won't matter when you're one single card away from producing as many tokens as you want. If you're that worried about flying creatures or discouraging attacks, Eldrazi Monument is a much better card for that.
Nath of the Gilt Leaf- doesn't really have synergy here despite making a token. Sadistic Hypnotist does discard better, Mazirek is a valuable combo piece, etc.. At 5cmc, you have much better options.
Vish Kal- a very expensive sac outlet and honestly not worth the space. You could have a sac outlet like Viscera Seer or Sadistic Hypnotist much earlier than he so you can win before your opponent's creatures are even a problem.
Obzedat's Aid- Reveillark, Guide, or Saffi are all better than this card. I think you should run at least 2 of the 3, because then you can easily enable shenanigans.
Corpsejack Menace- Heresy, I know, but hear me out: Bloodspore Thrinax with 1 counter on him outperforms Menace, handily. 5 extra counters on Ghave is just okay, but going infinite with Earthcraft or Ashnod's Altar because all of your 1/1 tokens are entering with a +1/+1 counter is much, much better.
Yavimaya Elder- Lands to hand is just okay, though the card draw ability is nice. I dropped it a long time ago, as I think Smothering Abomination, Fecundity, Evolutionary Leap, etc., are all superior options.
Anyway, hope this helps. If you have any questions, let me know and I'll try to extrapolate as best I can.
2 months ago
I run a voltron deck as well and here is what I have learned from this play style:
Run a only the best utility creatures you have access to. Obviously this is subjective, but things that do nothing for Korlash like Butcher Ghoul (among other cards) should not be in the deck. An example of a good utility creature for Korlash would be something like Shadowborn Demon, Steel Hellkite, Soul of New Phyrexia.
Run very few planeswalkers. Planeswalkers very quickly become liabilities for voltron strategies as you should be swinging every turn. Thus you should only be running pw's that are amazing for your strategy. I believe the best pw's you have access to are Ob Nixilis Reignited and Liliana Vess.
Choose artifacts or equipments to suit up your commander. Black does not have access to great enchantments so this makes the choice easy. You want things to make Korlash indestructible, hexproof, and hit for more damage. Some things you will want in addition to what you have are pretty much every sword you can get your hands on (I.e. Sword of Fire and Ice, Sword of War and Peace, etc.), Batterskull, Darksteel Plate, and Lightning Greaves.
Keep your curve low. This is especially crucial when it comes to kill spells and board wipes as you want to do more each turn than just answer your opponent's cards. Things like Tidy Conclusion should not be in the deck, instead you should be looking for cards that have multiple applications or are low cmc like Hero's Downfall, Ruinous Path, Slaughter Pact, or Snuff Out.
Finally once you have the Korlash equipped and ready to start beating face, you need to make sure your opponents don't mess with your game plan. This entails running some lockdown cards. The choice of how mean you are with them is up to you, but they are pretty necessary nonetheless. An example of a mean lockdown would be Contamination + Reassembling Skeleton, while a not so mean one would be something with a Pox-like effect or Night of Souls' Betrayal.
Run an alternate win-con. Occasionally throwing your commander at players will not be enough to get the job done and in these situations you want to have a back-up plan. My suggestion would be Exsanguinate/Profane Command combined with something like Cabal Coffers and Deserted Temple.
Run as many decent tutors as your budget allows for. This one is kind of self explanatory. You have access to the best cards wizards has printed in this format, use them. Tutors you want to use are the low cmc ones like Demonic Tutor, Dark Petition, Cruel Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, and Diabolic Tutor.
3 months ago
Thank you TTT60, total_euphoria, and jestimusprime for your suggestions, and I will say that most of your suggestions crossed my mind during testing, so I'll try and convey why I excluded or included the cards I did.
First, Go for the Throat vs. Hero's Downfall. I chose Downfall over Throat for two reasons. First is that the majority of the 'walkers I'd want to deal immediately with have ways to defend themselves from creatures. (I.E. Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Liliana, the Last Hope. Second, while I personally don't many of the people in my playgroup use kaladesh cards. Like Torrential Gearhulk and Smuggler's Copter. I prefer the Downfall, just for the raw utility, though there are certainly situations where that one extra mana can screw me over, but _()_/.
Second, Butcher Ghoul. This card just underwhelms me a bit. Does it have a strong ability? Yeah, it does. Can it eat an Ultimate Price and not care? It sure can. But I know no situation in which I would use a removal spell on this, and that is kinda my point. It doesn't do much of anything besides being a chump blocker that recurs itself once. While Diregraf Ghoul cannot recur itself, it also costs less mana for an initally bigger body. It also lets me put an early blocker on the board that I can recur with Relentless Dead more easily.
Third, Death Baron. An amazing card in this deck? Yes. $64 dollars of good for a playset in a currently $80-ish deck? I don't think so.
Once again, I thank you for all of your feedback, and hope that , if you're planning to make a zombie deck, I at least gave you a little to thing about. :)
3 months ago
Ah, Ghave is one of my favorite decks. I built it at the same time as Roon of the Hidden Realm back in 2013 and have played them ever since- it is easily one of my favorite decks to play to this day.
I feel like you're going about this, "Protect Ashnod's Altar" thing the wrong way. You really just need other sac outlets; Ghave goes infinite in almost a literal ton of ways, and the sac outlets don't need to necessarily make mana in order to go infinite with him for benefit.
I have a list of various combos on my deck, here: (Ghave: Baby Makin' and Alimony), and I'm not going to make a super-long comment of just combos, so don't worry about that.
First: Yes, get a Phyrexian Altar. That'll help you a lot more than the absurdly expensive Darksteel Forge. Forge, most likely if you're able to cast it, will probably come down too late to actually help anything because when you have 9 mana another player will most likely have control of the game (IE, another combo or control deck will have stabilized and already be winning). I know it's expensive, but it's better to run 2x the Altars than it is to just not.
I feel like this deck is extremely greedy. You're avoiding the cards Ghave combos with the easiest (creatures with Undying, which provide the counter source he desperately needs) in order to form convoluted 4-5 card combos with Ghave that gain you life instead of just letting you make infinite tokens so you can win. Easiest example of greediness: You have Trostani listed in your group B for gaining infinite life when you combo, when you could just have Blood Artist or Zulaport Cutthroat to win you the game on the spot instead (or gain you life in an emergency, as well) since you primarily win with Ashnod's Altar. That's what I mean by greedy, just to clarify.
You should really look into adding Geralf's Messenger, Young Wolf, and either Butcher Ghoul or Strangleroot Geist (Ghoul would be easiest on your mana base). Ghave + an Altar + one of the above = infinite tokens (or in Messenger's case, you simply win. Right there). Quick, easy, and to the point. No need to muck around with Trostani who does very little for the deck otherwise, or Exquisite Blood and Sanguine Bond which are just extremely greedy additions in a deck with only one tutor that can get either enchantment. Adding these three would increase you pool of Group A cards significantly, which is what you need for this deck.
Bloodspore Thrinax > Corpsejack Menace. Menace is cute, but it only goes infinite with Ghave + Ashnod's Altar (it can't go infinite with Phyrexian Altar, for example, because you need an extra mana every few cycles to return counters to Ghave) or needs a fourth piece in the combo. Thrinax, on the other hand, goes infinite with Ghave + either Altar or Earthcraft so long as he has 1 counter (which is super easy to put on him). More flexible card; I removed Corpsejack Menace and haven't looked back.
Earthcraft is a very valuable card as well. It would result in infinite tokens with Ghave and an Undying creature not named Geralf's Messenger, as well, but also makes infinite tokens with Ghave + Cathars' Crusade/Bloodspore Thrinax/Doubling Season/Undying creatures. In a lot of card combinations, it serves the same role as either Altar.
Juniper Order Ranger is better than Requiem Angel in this deck. It goes infinite with Ghave and Altars by supplying a source of never-ending counters, but also goes infinite with a sac outlet and any Persist creature or Earthcraft and Ghave, as well. It's also 1 mana lower in cost- different ability, but fulfills the same purpose in this build but cheaper and with more flexibility if you choose to add a larger variety of cards later.
Additional sac outlets to abuse Undying creatures if you choose to add them: Sadistic Hypnotist, Viscera Seer, Greater Good, Blasting Station (typically wins with Undying creatures or Persist creatures + Ghave, absurd lol), Evolutionary Leap (uses mana though, so it only 'infinites' with Earthcraft on the board).
Want more draw power? Look no further:
Skullclamp is the best draw card available to you, and should absolutely be in this deck. I'm not exactly sure why it's not, but in case you hadn't seen it before, it's absolutely incredible in Ghave and worth it 100%.
Smothering Abomination is incredibly solid in this deck, and if you ever feel like you're drawing too many cards, just sacrifice it to itself.
Mentor of the Meek is reasonable card draw that can help during slow-rolling games to let you recover.
Fecundity is a powerhouse in a deck that likes to draw this many cards, and so long as your deck is built properly, you can practically guarantee you will be drawing more from it than anyone else.
Evolutionary Leap fits the bill, sort of, as draw power. Helps find your important creatures.
Suffer the Past: It's just not good. You don't need more lifegain- you need to win.
Slice in (Mark) Twain: I understand it lets you draw a card, but it's 4 mana- you could hit any permanent for 3 by using Beast Within (and 3/3s aren't a big deal in a format where your starting life is 40), and Beast at least can hit troublesome lands or Planeswalkers if it has to.
Jar of Eyeballs. You can do better than this card.
Greed- can easily be Skullclamp in this deck or some other, better, draw card.
Defiant Bloodlord- too expensive for what he offers- Blood Artist and Zulaport Cutthroat are 5 mana less and would do the same job for you in the same combos. Same goes for Sanguine Bond and Exquisite Blood, too, for whatever that's worth (though I can understand the allure of a 2 card infinite combo).
Realm Seekers- comes in with counters, but he costs a lot of mana and doesn't even put his lands into play if you use his ability (they go to hand). Undying creatures would be so much better.
Gleancrawler is greedy as they come. You should be running Reveillark, Karmic Guide, and/or Saffi Eriksdotter over this card and maybe some others. They enable completely new combos on top of helping you establish difficult-to-handle board states (and can bring back that Eternal Witness that'll let you bring back your Altars if they're destroyed!), 9 of the more common combos of which are listed on my Ghave deck's description.
Gurzigost is not a good card, even for putting your things back into your library. Eternal Witness or any of the above 3 recursion cards before running this.
A lot of your 'ramp' cards only actually put the card into your hand, like Sylvan Ranger. Perhaps Sakura-Tribe Elder or Wood Elves or Farhaven Elf might be a better call? I don't know if you're running it like that on purpose for the body, or not, so I'll recommend the whole group.
Whew. See why I didn't want to just paste the list of combos here now? I tend to be verbose about card choices for Ghave- my bad. Anyway, hope this helps.
3 months ago
Butcher Ghoul also has undying. Whilst it's not the best zombie out there, it survives another turn :)
3 months ago
adding to what Arakismo a good curve is topping off at cards with 4cc maybe have 1 or 2 5cc+ cards in your deck at max
there are a lot of neat zombies to be tried out Im just going to guess as a new player you are going budget route so my suggestions are going to be both casual, and fairly low price tag to acquire such cards.
I suggest going down the sac outlet value zombie deck
3 months ago
Vampiric Link = better than death touch defense - creature can attack OTHER opponents, damage them and heal us (or attack us and immediately heal us).
Pit Trap = Uncommon
There are a couple "exile card X in graveyard, get a 2/2 zombie" cards
My first deck is all extort white with life gain. Most of my creatures have big bottoms so they can withstand Pestilence plus there is some exile removal.