|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Shadows over Innistrad (SOI)||Rare|
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Creature — Zombie Giant
Diregraf Colossus enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it for each Zombie card in your graveyard.
Whenever you cast a Zombie spell, put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token onto the battlefield tapped.
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Diregraf Colossus Discussion
1 day ago
Thanks for the suggestions, magicsheep. The first thing that jumps out at me is that 6/24 lands that definitely come into play tapped is not good. As I transition this to modern I'll fix the mana base by adding in pain lands, tainted lands, and more check lands. If I continue to enjoy playing the deck I'll get a few fetches and shocks as budget permits.
One suggestion that was made on reddit that sounds interesting is to get rid of the red and go UB zombies. That would make the mana base easier, and much cheaper, to fix well: 4xUnderground River, 4xDrowned Catacomb, 4xTainted Isle, and some basics. I like the 1 CMC suggestions you made and they would fit in well here. I could still keep my zombie creatures, but could add in Diregraf Captain, Diregraf Colossus, or Cryptbreaker (maybe all three). I would likely want to add another The Scarab God and take out River's Rebuke in favor of one or more Cyclonic Rift. Thoughts on this idea of going Blue/Black?
3 days ago
I'm glad my comment was helpful TKDbeast! :) I've never seen Unclaimed Territory , but its essentially Cavern of Souls without the "cannot be countered" ability. For that reason I wouldn't run it over Cavern of Souls. If I cut white altogether, it will be much harder to deal with artifacts and enchantments and I'll have to rely on discard like Thoughtseize. If I were to run both the Caverns and the Territories it would double the odds of casting Diregraf Captain and other multicolored zombies, but it would also make it harder to cast non-creature spells.
It would be interesting to set up a giant combo with Gravecrawler + Diregraf Colossus + Wayward Servant + Nantuko Husk + Diregraf Captain! Hmm...Maybe I'll swap out the Death Barons for the Captains and stick in a Watery Grave or two. The Aether Vials may help as well. I'll think about it.
4 days ago
TKDbeast, thank you for your detailed suggestions! I'm really happy that you like it :) I've tried to streamline it as much as possible.
The deck has several objectives - first, the goal is to generate as many zombies as possible in as little time as possible. Second, I've kept mana costs as low as possible so I can dump my entire hand within the first few turns and draw more cards with Blood Scrivener and Sign in Blood. Third, I want to get a combo going with Gravecrawler, Nantuko Husk, and other zombies if possible.
That's where the Aether Vials come in. They allow me to play additional zombies and dedicate my limited mana to reviving Gravecrawler if possible. The vials also help with Blood Moon, although I haven't gone up against a deck running it. That's something I need to consider more.
I chose Death Baron over other zombie lords because it gives my horde death touch for no additional activation cost, which makes every zombie an immediate threat. Other lords like Lord of the Undead require mana to activate their abilities and manipulate my graveyard. I don't want to bring zombies back from the graveyard except for Gravecrawler, because the more zombies in my graveyard, the bigger Diregraf Colossus becomes.
I've chosen to make the mana base as black-heavy as possible to improve the odds of starting with a black mana for Gravecrawler and Fatal Push. This is why I'm not running any Plains and I do not run Path to Exile - plus the latter helps the opponent too much, especially against ramp. Yes, Fatal Push definitely is more synergistic. Cavern of Souls helps against control and ensures that I can produce the white mana for zombies, so I'm not worried about additional white mana sources.
Regarding the sideboard, I chose Revoke Existence because it exiles the target and the deck is designed to spend mana on my turn and not my opponent's, so there is no incentive to run an instant like Disenchant. Withered Wretch is an old favorite of mine and it synergizes with Aether Vial. I want to target the opponent's graveyard and leave mine alone.
Other cards like Stillmoon Cavalier and Lifebane Zombie are too easy to kill at 1 toughness. Plus Stillmoon Cavalier consumes too much mana for this deck. I avoid expensive enchantments, planeswalkers, or non-zombies to maximize synergy. I have considered Plague Belcher due to its life-loss ability, but there is no room for it.
As far as blue cards go, I like Diregraf Captain, but I like white more as a splash color because of Tidehollow Sculler, which really helps against control, and I prefer having access to artifact and enchantment destruction.
Oops, I got a little carried away with this comment lol
3 weeks ago
Really like this build. Very good and the cards work well together. Why only one Diregraf Colossus? With sack outlets and grave crawler as well as other small creatures he can get out of control.
3 weeks ago
2 Diregraf Colossus seems about right, rather than 4, since you don't want to play it on turn 3 - you want to play it, when there's a bunch of zombies already in the graveyard. but it's so much of a game-ending threat, that you should definitely include it (the fact that it dies to Path to Exile isn't really a factor - most creatures die to that, really, and that's why path is such a good removal spell).
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago
So first of all, you aren't running enough creatures. 12 is less than what a midrange deck like Jund runs. You need to hit the critical mass to make your lords good and stuff. Even with Sarco and Salvation it is only 17 which is way too low.
Diregraf Colossus is probably too slow. It just eats a path, and when you play in on turn 3 it will be a 2/2 ideally. Door of Destiny also fails by the same hurdle. Obelisk of Urd doesn't shore up any match up, and the time spent tapping out for it is generally equal to 1 attack which you could of made if you didn't tap out for it. Endless Ranks requires a board to be decent and doesn't shore up any of the decks issues.
As for lords, Lord of the Accursed is your best bet in mono black. Gravecrawler/Dread return themselves. Relentless Dead returns everything else. Lord lets you force through damage a lot better. Cemetery Reaper is also worth a consideration as it eats graveyard stuff to turn off reanimator style decks, while also making 3/3 tokens.
Damnation could go in the sideboard, as mainboard you want everything to feed into your beat down plan.
Liliana's Reaver fails the bolt test and isn't that good really for a 4 drop that needs to connect. Lingering Souls sees too much play as well. Plague Belcher might be a better option. a 5/4 menace if you let, say, gravecrawler eat the -1/-1 counters and it makes board wipes and removal painful.
1 month ago
There are many ways to build mono black, and there aren't many different cards that I can suggest that haven't been included in your maybe list. Typical builds of mono black that has had some success in modern include Zombies or Vampires. The deck formula is usually the same. ~22 lands, ~26 creatures (8 1-drops, 8 2-drops, 6 3-drop, 4 4+ drops), and ~12 disruption spells consisting of discard and removal. Some problems I see with your current deck is that the curve doesn't flow as your lowest creature CMC is 3 and you would only have about a 17% chance to have one in hand by turn three. Another problem with mono black is that it runs out of gas compared to other colors, your current build has only 2 draw spells (and not a great one at that).
If i was to build i would try out something like this: Creatures (in order or preference):
Shadow Alley Denizen - makes other creatures difficult to block (worse against other black deck matchups)
Typhoid Rats - unfavorable to block, trades favorably on defense late game
Hex Parasite - Usual for removing counters / killing plainswalkers (Meta Choice)
Gifted Aetherborn - Vampires - difficult to block, gains life, good on defense
3 - drops (6): Vampire Nighthawk is the best option in the three spot and should be a 4x of.
if building zombies you have other options, usually they use the 3 spot for lords DeathBaron ($), Diregraf Colossus, or Lord of the Accursed (budget) pumps and makes blocking harder.
Geralf's Messenger can remove 4 life without even attacking, trades favorably once and gets bigger - downside is the coming into play tapped. or Plague Belcher which is good if you have a gravecrawler to target the negative counters.
4+ Drops (4): These are you finishers, if budget is not an option than Phyrexian Obliterator is the choice.
Vampires the choice is Vampire Nocturnus
For your removal package you need to think about a balance that supports your deck. If you are playing aggro with creatures that have recursion than hand disruption that targets instants and sorceries are weak. I would focus on creature removal with high kill spells and Harsh Scrutiny. If your creatures are weak to removal or have high amounts of evasion then the protect package Duress would be better. Obviously cards like Thoughtseize which targets both is better, but stick to one type that best suites the deck you build and place the other type in the sideboard.
For lands I would cut to 22, they can be all swamps but you can try out cards like Leechridden Swamp/Piranha Marsh/Desert of the Glorified/Ifnir Deadlands/Scavenger Grounds (meta choice) or Terramorphic Expanse/Canyon Slough/Fetid Pools if speed isn't too important