|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Printings View all
|Commander Anthology (CM1)||None|
|Commander 2015 (C15)||Mythic Rare|
|Born of the Gods (BNG)||Mythic Rare|
Combos Browse all
Champion of Stray Souls
Creature — Skeleton Warrior
, , Sacrifice X other creatures: Return X target creatures from your graveyard to the battlefield.
: Put Champion of Stray Souls on top of your library from your graveyard.
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Champion of Stray Souls Discussion
2 weeks ago
I like Undying Evil for this kind of deck. Does great things with Gary, Tree of Perdition, etc. Also, since you can sac at instant speed, Mesmeric Fiend permanently exiles, since you can sac it in response to the ETB trigger, making it better than Kitesail Freebooter and other newer cards that have been worded to avoid that interaction. I agree that Grave Pact is a must-have. Some more ramp and card draw wouldn't hurt. I'm partial to Jet Medallion , Charcoal Diamond , Mind Stone , and Thought Vessel for rocks, and Syphon Mind is my favorite mono-black draw spell.
As for lands, Crypt of Agadeem would be good here. Phyrexian Tower just got reprinted. It's a bit pricey, but it is VERY good, and having been $60 just a few months ago with no likely reprint in the near future, pick it up now. Temple of the False God is a bad card, full stop. It is never correct to include it. Ever. That's not just me talking, but virtually every EDH content creator out there.
I'm not sure how you feel about the budget issue with Mikaeus, the Unhallowed , but it would be a very good addition, even before taking the combo with Walking Ballista or Triskelion into account. It's a solid addition to a black deck, and there are some affordable tutors that can get both pieces like Beseech the Queen , Diabolic Intent (on theme, so maybe add it regardless), Sidisi, Undead Vizier (also on theme!), and Netherborn Phalanx .
As for reanimation, Rise from the Grave is pretty inefficient, and upgrading to Animate Dead , Victimize (on theme!), Dread Return (apparently there's a lot of sac'ing in black, who knew?), Sepulchral Primordial (great with repeatable ETB effects), Rise of the Dark Realms (expensive, but a black staple in EDH), Necromancy , Thrilling Encore (great if you can sac with Dictate of Erebos or Grave Pact ), Ever After (one more mana for twice the value), Whisper, Blood Liturgist , Champion of Stray Souls (so much sac'ing), Hell's Caretaker (again, so much sac'ing), Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni , Rescue from the Underworld (on-theme), Infernal Offering (sac!), Necromantic Summons (strictly better than Rise), Zombify , and Footsteps of the Goryo (...sac).
3 weeks ago
goldlion, I like the idea of including something in the deck to help with mana, but I feel like Pitiless Plunderer would be too circumstantial to be counted on. I could for sure see Black Market going in the sideboard, in case anyone else is playing a graveyard-ish deck, but it would take too long to get going by itself, and would be removed before it could really start helping.
Plague Wind , Garruk's Wake, etc., sound good in theory, but I can usually pull off the same effect with Ashnod's Altar and Grave Pact , or a similar combo. If I'm in luck, all of my board wipes are one-sided, if I have a +1/+1 engine up and running!
Thank you for all the suggestions! I'll be sure to check out your Marchesa, the Black Rose deck to see how it's going. I'm terribly sorry it took me so long to reply to your comment! Thank you again for the cards to ponder!
1 month ago
1 month ago
1 month ago
If this were my deck and I needed to make cuts from the list I would trim the following:
Oashra Cultivator seems a little slow but does have the advantage of being something your opponents will likely leave alone.
Champion of Stray Souls expensive and was a bit clunky when I used it. Would need haste for it to be worth it.
Deadbridge Chant the 'at random' part seems unreliable in a deck where your graveyard will be pretty big. YMMV.
Svogthos, the Restless Tomb is another card I tried hard to make work but it really needs trample to be useful. I'd sub in Geier Reach Sanitarium here though so this isn't really bringing the deck down to size.
Nyx Weaver just not a fan personally, it does fill the task of priming the graveyard.
Jarad's Orders good card and I use it in my Meren deck but since it only ends up putting one card into the yard maybe it doesn't make the cut here. It does draw you a creature too but I'm working on the assumption you're trying to turbo as many creatures into the yard as possible so this doesn't do enough on that front.
You may want to consider Command Beacon so you can cut down on the cost of recurring Izoni [though that might give you reason to keep the Excavator, etc]
Hopefully this might help you in making some decisions on what to cut.
2 months ago
This is actually a pretty cool list - a lot of it synergizes well with the sacrifice theme and there's a strong Meren shell here.
Some potential additions:
Plaguecrafter is an insane uncommon from GRN - strictly better than others with the same effect. I'd have as many of the effects as possible, so a third doesn't hurt.
Board wipes in general. I don't think I see any, and board wipes are the "Get Out of Jail Free" cards of Commander. If you're behind, they let you catch up with opponents. Some ideas: Living Death (solid card - we've already seen what this can do, and in your deck, a deck with lots of ETB and sac value, this is just good), Decree of Pain (hefty CMC, but the card advantage this gives you is insane), Black Sun's Zenith (gets around indestructibility, -1/-1 counters are a pain for everyone). You do have some dictate effects (i.e. Dictate of Erebos) which can function as indirect board wipes, but it's a win-more type of board wipe. Dictate effects are still amazing - don't get me wrong.
Spore Frog. Oh god. It's Spore Frog. The single most frustrating card for most decks facing Meren. It's one CMC, gets you a free counter on Meren each turn, saves you from combat, and then is revived for further use. Somebody tries to exile it? Sacrifice it in response. They still get fogged. Just make sure to save it for instant speed - that is, wait until their turn to use it.
Viscera Seer. One of the most important things for sacrfice decks is ways to sacrifice creatures. Viscera Seer is amazing at this. Just like Spore Frog, it gets you a counter on Meren each turn and a free scry. Not only this, but it gives you ways to sac creatures at instant speed for no cost - just a great effect!
Buried Alive fetches you anything you want. Want a Spore Frog? Sure. Want to fetch out Protean Hulk to pull out an infinite combo win? You betcha.
Speaking of Protean Hulk, I don't think newer players realize how utterly insane this card is. There was a time when this thing was banned in commander - it's a seriously broken card. There's a whole list on r/CompetitiveEDH about this card's infinite combos: https://www.reddit.com/r/CompetitiveEDH/comments/67czr7/protean_hulk_combos_by_color/. Considering including one in the deck. Though a little out of your price range for now, one of the most reliable and flexible is Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and Walking Ballista. They both enter play at the same time (since X = 0 for Walking Ballista if you pull it out of your deck with Hulk, you can pull it and Mikeaus [whose cmc = 6] at the same time, since 6 + 0 = 6) , and since X = 0, Walking Ballista immediately dies due to state based effects, which then brings it back with a +1/+1 counter from undying. Remove the counter, deal 1 damage to a player, return the ballista, repeat forever! You win by pinging your opponents to death! Well actually it doesn't work. Since Mikeaus gives non-humans +1/+1 in addition to undying, Walking Ballista will still be a 1/1 after the counter is removed. If you have a sac outlet out (such as Viscera Seer), you can sac Walking Ballista after removing the counter to fuel the combo, and have it go infinite. This is one of the Protean Hulk combos, and is probably the most fair one (and I'm using 'fair' losely here - Protean Hulk is still fetching a win nearly every time it dies). Plus, a Hulk combo gives you a reliable win condition to defeat your opponent with.
Fecundity. I don't know why I don't see this card played more. Despite the symmetrical effect (that is - both you and your opponents drawing cards), you'll be making the most advantage off of it. Spore Frog now draws you an extra card each turn - so does Viscera Seer! Not to mention that it just helps the sacrifice player overall more than others.
Black Market. Oh boy. So much mana. 'Nuff said. I love this card. Mana is super valuable in Commander, as in all formats, and this card gives it in the bucketload.
Beast Within or Krosan Grip or Nature's Claim. Beast Within is probably the one I would use, but I just think you might want a spot removal for enchantments. I don't see any other way besides Golgari Charm, which is meh for it at best, in your deck to deal with them, and they are an important card to be able to destroy. Plus, the versatility of Beast Within is just really good - destroy target permanent.
Birthing Pod. Yeah, this is on the pricier side, which is why I added it at the end. It's another broken card, and is banned in modern but still has a pricetag because of its commander play. It tutors for things, which is a great effect in Magic.
Diabolic Intent. Dunno. Just seems pretty good. Never really used it.
Some potential cuts:
Champion of Stray Souls offers a Living Death impression, but not a good one at that. It's really expensive to use and I don't think it's in your best interests to keep it, as it's a six CMC fattie that doesn't really contribute to your plan.
Cloudthresher. Damnation and Wrath of God and Toxic Deluge and Evacuation and Blasphemous Act and Merciless Eviction all do more than just touch flying creatures, and cost the same or less. They might not be in your colors, but as you're in Black, you have access to the single best board wipes in the game. One that touches only flyers and only does 2 damage (a low amount in commander) is pretty underwhelming.
Caller of the Pack. Generic big dumb green fatty. Dunno. Guess it's fine? It's more or less Vanilla, despite having myriad, and contributes nothing to your plan as the tokens it creates aren't even sacrificed - they go into exile.
Banshee of the Dread Choir has the same problem as with Caller of the Pack. Just a semi-vanilla card that doesn't really do anything for you.
Dread Summons feels more like a mill card? Doesn't really have much in the way of sacrifice, besides the 2/2 bodies. I think there are much better cards for this slot.
Golgari Charm. It's fine, but not great. Beast Within is better.
Wretched Confluence. Again, it's fine, but there are better cards for this slot.
Hope this helps. The deck seems pretty solid - you've got a good Meren shell, and I look forward to seeing the finished deck!
3 months ago
Just found out how powerful the Underrealm Lich + The Gitrog Monster combo is. I was down to 2 life, I had flashed in Champion of Stray Souls at their end step. Used the ability to sac three brought back lab man, gitrog, and underrealm lich. Played, Tapped and sacrificed evolving wilds to mill out with gitrog triggers.
3 months ago
Wow, Expropriate is wild! That'd go nicely in my Lazav, Dimir Mastermind deck. Definitely expensive though. I might prefer Insurrection in your deck, for the fact it needs creativity to permanently steal their creatures (I like that challenge) - but they are both nuts in there. I see what you mean about Razaketh, the Foulblooded, and the lag to play one of those other two after you search for them...
...If that's the win-con package, maybe some passive ramping could help? A couple examples of what I mean would be Pitiless Plunderer and Black Market. I run both those in my Ghave, Guru of Spores to great effect. A Ruthless Knave, rather than the plunderer, offers a sac engine while creating two treasure tokens. Not efficient enough for this deck I think, but more for inspiration :). He offers a mana sink if you find yourself with extra mana in the first 5-6 turns and helps you position yourself for 1 big turn.
Maybe, after playing this version a bit, swapping your high cmc for Grave Betrayal and some one sided board wipes like Plague Wind could be an interesting take to try out?
I put an Unspeakable Symbol in mine as well. Seems like it was made for her, taking your life below your opponents while putting on the counters. I dream of having it out in this "Steal Yo Gurl!" style, with a Champion of Stray Souls on the battlefield. If the sequencing and mana could work... Value town.
In regards to the version I'm working on: We have a lower level player in our playgroup who doesn't quite have the cards or the know-how for stronger deck building. I wanted to make something less powerful than Kresh and Ghave, for playing him while still enjoying myself. Madness is a really fun mechanic I'm building around with a lot of trigger opportunities through the draw, discard to cast, and different recursion. Such great value, just not the power. Madness fits naturally with the Innistrad vampires that get +1/+1 counters for dealing damage. Great synergy with Marchesa and it's letting me play interesting cards, including some sweet old commons, that I probably wouldn't play otherwise (ex: Bog Witch). Cards like Archfiend of Ifnir and Squee, Goblin Nabob become elite. I'll let you know when a version is online.
Champion of Stray Souls occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.02%