Empty the Pits

Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Penny Dreadful Legal
Pioneer Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Frontier Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Khans of Tarkir (KTK) Mythic Rare

Combos Browse all

Tokens

Empty the Pits

Instant

Delve (Each card you exile from your graveyard while casting the spell pays for {1}.)

Put X 2/2 black Zombie creature tokens onto the battlefield tapped.

Empty the Pits Discussion

x12721 on Pioneering the Underworld

1 month ago

For starters, Cryptbreaker is one of the best 1cmc zombies ever. Definitely worth running a playset of them. Liliana's Reaver isn't great, given that it needs to both attack and deal damage to an opponent to get any value. You've also got access to an amazing finisher that is both in-tribe and synergistic with everything else: Gray Merchant of Asphodel . It does everything you want in a deck like this, both keeping you in the game and winning it for you. As for removal, you should play Fatal Push , as it is one of the best removal spells in the format. I would cut Empty the Pits and possibly Murderous Cut for them. Also consider Collective Brutality in both boards. For the landbase, I would only say adding Field of Ruin and possibly Witch's Cottage .


As for the sideboard: Dreadhorde Invasion is great against control, so I really like seeing that in here. You do need a playset of Leyline of the Void to stop any graveyard shenanigans. Also, Thoughtseize is playable, and should definitely be run in place of Specter's Shriek (As a playset). The only other suggestions I have would be relating to card advantage, however that may be just personal preference. I hope these help!

TitaniumTP on K'rrick Kobain and his Monster Mash

1 month ago

Let's get down to business, shall we?

DELETE THIS

Venser's Journal , Mindcrank , Armillary Sphere , Dash Hopes , Doomblade, Street Wraith , Leshrac's Sigil ,

QUESTIONABLE

Noosegraf Mob , Phyrexian Reclamation , Kaya's Ghostform , Blood Tribute , Whip of Erebos , Armillary Sphere , Reiver Demon , Pestilence Demon , Magus of the Mirror , Endling , Bloodthirsty Aerialist

At first glance these are what I think you should delete and think about deleting.


COMBO TIME

I notice that you have combo potential with Mikaeus, the Unhallowed . The only 2 card combo with him is Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and Triskelion . All other combos with him require 4 pieces.

  1. The man (zombie?) himself: Mikaeus, the Unhallowed

  2. Sac outlet - Viscera Seer , - Ashnod's Altar , - Carrion Feeder ,

  3. The Sacrifice (something with persist, or that can somehow remove the +1/+1 counter from Mikaeus, the Unhallowed ) - Lesser Masticore , - Putrid Goblin , - Skinrender if you put the 3 -1/-1 counters on itself each time it enters, - Puppeteer Clique , - Lingering Tormentor ,

  4. ALL THESE TRIGGERS - Bitter Ordeal for infinite exiling of decks, - Falkenrath Noble for infinite damage, - Vindictive Vampire for infinite damage, - Zulaport Cutthroat for infinite damage, - Vengeful Dead for infinite damage, only if sacrificed creature is a zombie, - Blood Artist for infinite damage, - Pitiless Plunderer for infinite mana, - Pawn of Ulamog for infinite colorless mana, - Deathgreeter for infinite life, - Smothering Abomination for infinite card draw,

MORE COMBO

You also have the 3 piece combo of

  1. Sanguine Bond
  2. Exquisite Blood
  3. Anything that either causes you to gain life, or an opponent to lose life - Leechridden Swamp , - Ebony Charm , - Death Cultist , - Nightmare's Thirst

I recommend using instant speed interaction for the 3rd piece of the combo, so you can respond to removal by winning

If you decide to follow The Way of The Combo, you should also add library searching effectz to help make sure you always find your pieces.


LIBRARY SEARCHIN EFFECTZ

Expedition Map for finding lands for ramp, or combo pieces if you go for the aforementioned Leechridden Swamp combo Scheming Symmetry , Behold the Beyond , Demonic Collusion , Diabolic Tutor , Final Parting , Mastermind's Acquisition , Doomsday , Demonic Collusion , Dark Petition

The more combo and storm heavy your deck is, the more search library cards you will want to add.

EXTORT OP

Basilica Screecher , Thrull Parasite , Syndicate Enforcer

Nothing much to add here, but extort is so broken in this deck. Extort will be extra powerful in storm builds.


Okay, it's Mana Time

Caged Sun

COOL LANDS

Castle Locthwain , swamp with benefits, Thespian's Stage , can become a copy of other dank lands like Temple of the False God and Cabal Stronghold , Crystal Vein , pop it on the turn where you're going to try and win, Westvale Abbey  Flip, potential wincon, Leechridden Swamp , potential combo piece and also fun to use with leftover mana, Bottomless Vault , probably sucks but you could use it in a storm deck, Memorial to Folly , Mortuary Mire , Temple of the False God , Myriad Landscape , ramp that looks like a land

Mana Rocks

Cryptolith Fragment  Flip probably not good, Thran Dynamo , super epic, Hedron Archive , Prismatic Lens , Fractured Powerstone , you know you want this for the planeschase ability, Sisay's Ring , Ur-Golem's Eye , Liliana of the Dark Realms , Nirkana Revenant , Paradise Plume , Magus of the Coffers , Black Market

For mana rocks you want the best bang for your buck, since you can just pay life instead of {B}. I like the mana rocks that cost {4} but tap for {2}, and the ones that cost {2} and tap for {1}. The more control heavy your deck is, the more rocks you want.

Ramp

Wayfarer's Bauble , Burnished Hart

Lots of Mana Fast

Cabal Ritual , Bubbling Muck , Spoils of Evil , Culling the Weak , Sacrifice , Dark Ritual , Songs of the Damned

Getting giant bursts of mana is good in any mono Black deck, but you should invest more heavily the more combo and storm themed your deck is, since you want to pop off in a single turn and cast 1,000 spells.

Investments

Basal Sliver , Blood Pet , Bog Witch , Overeager Apprentice , Basal Thrull , Priest of Yawgmoth , Blood Vassal , Soldevi Adnate

A lot of these cards that are single time use mana sources would be great in a storm deck where you would just build up your load until you bust damage all over the faces of those unfortunate enough to be within 50m of you. They're also good in reanimation decks, which could utilize Phyrexian Reclamation to keep getting them back.

Summary:

The more control heavy your deck is, the more mana rocks you want. If you're going for combos then you want more quick mana. The only land I'm gonna have to 100% recommend is Thespian's Stage . Keep in mind that the more nonbasic lands you have in your deck, the less useful cards like Crypt Ghast and Cabal Stronghold will be.


TRIBAL

Zombie Tribal

Corpse Harvester , library search, Cemetery Reaper , lord, Undead Warchief , epic lord, Josu Vess, Lich Knight , wincon, Endless Ranks of the Dead , wincon, Death Baron , lord, Liliana's Mastery , lord, Graveborn Muse , card draw, Zombie Master , protection, Graf Harvest , team evasion, Fleshbag Marauder , saccy, Phyrexian Delver , recovery, Cryptbreaker , card draw, Lord of the Accursed , lord, Shepherd of Rot , hurty everyone, Stronghold Assassin , funny removal, Loyal Subordinate , Liliana, Death's Majesty , potential finisher, Grave Titan , Open the Graves , board wipe protection, especially good if you're going all in on creature aggro, Curse of Disturbance , Awaken the Erstwhile , once you're in an advantageous position just cast this and watch your opponents cry, Tombstone Stairwell , this would be especially epic if you have cards to buff your boys, Risen Executioner , lord

Some cards that could be spicy in zombie tribal. Epic combos would be lords such as Cemetery Reaper and Lord of the Accursed , and fatties such as Army of the Damned and Josu Vess, Lich Knight . Having tons of zombies also combos with Pontiff of Blight . I think that Eldrazi Monument in a zombie build is nightmare fuel.

Vampire Tribal

Sanctum Seeker , Kalastria Highborn , Blade of the Bloodchief , Bloodlord of Vaasgoth , Malakir Bloodwitch , Bloodline Keeper  Flip, Gatekeeper of Malakir , Nirkana Revenant , Drana, Liberator of Malakir , Sadistic Skymarcher , Defiant Bloodlord , Yahenni, Undying Partisan , Butcher of Malakir , Cordial Vampire , Bloodtracker ,

If you decide vampire tribal is better, here are some options. I would only play cards like Blood Tribute if you're going vampire tribal, I don't think it's worth to play unless you can get more value than just chopping 1 player's life in half.

To Go with Your Creature Spam, Sir...

Dowsing Dagger  Flip, Mask of Memory , Necropolis Regent , Bloodforged Battle-Axe , Explorer's Scope , Throne of the God-Pharaoh , Whip of Erebos

Buff My Team!

Sword of the Paruns , Intimidation , Death Pit Offering , Eldrazi Monument , Obelisk of Urd

Summary:

The more of one tribe you have, the more synergy you have. Only include lords if you're all in on that tribe.


REMOVAL

Targeted Removal

Hero's Downfall , Vraska's Contempt , Murder , Murderous Rider , Noxious Gearhulk , Malicious Affliction , New Blood , Ruinous Path , Tendrils of Corruption , Bone Splinters , Liturgy of Blood

Epic Board Wipes

Decree of Pain , Crux of Fate , Kindred Dominance , Bontu's Last Reckoning , Do or Die , Hellfire , Necromantic Selection

Summary: Use more board wipes the more control heavy you want your deck to be. Try to choose targeted removal such that the end cost will only be {1} and some life, so that it will be as cheap as possible. This is especially important in storm builds. Since we play multiplayer quite a bit, you'll probably want to add extra board wipes, especially the ones that draw you cards or come bundled with reanimation.


Wow, I Hate Minorities

Wow, I hate tokens

Ritual of Soot , Force of Despair

Wow, Green is Cancer

Perish

Wow, I hate when other people play spells

Painful Quandary

Wow, I hate when other people attack me

No Mercy , Dread , Koskun Falls

Wow, I hate myself

Season of the Witch (okay, maybe not that much Revenge of Ravens )

Wow, I hate lifegain

Tainted Remedy , False Cure

Wow, I hate real board wipes

Sudden Spoiling , Mutilate , Languish , Massacre Girl , Golden Demise

Wow, I hate burst damage

Palace Siege , Polluted Bonds

Wow, I hate my opponents having creatures

Dictate of Erebos , Grave Pact , Butcher of Malakir

Wow, I hate this one person in particular

Curse of Vengeance , Trespasser's Curse , Curse of Fool's Wisdom


Lifegain

Profane Memento , Crypt Incursion , Vampiric Link , Loxodon Warhammer , Kokusho, the Evening Star , Cavalier of Night , Whip of Erebos

Protection

Rush of Vitality

Benefit from Death

Ogre Slumlord , Shadows of the Past

Cool Card Draw

Moonlight Bargain , Promise of Power , Succumb to Temptation , Ransack the Lab , Infernal Contract , Necrologia , Carnival of Souls , Grim Haruspex , Night's Whisper , Succumb to Temptation , Phyrexian Etchings , Cruel Bargain , Dark Deal , Foreboding Fruit , Live Fast , Painful Lesson , Necropotence

Add more card draw the more stormy you want your deck to be. Also try to add ones that will cost the least amount of mana if you take your commander's ability into account.

Card Draw Requiring Sacrifice

Altar's Reap , Costly Plunder , Morbid Curiosity , Bankrupt in Blood , Skulltap , Merciless Resolve

These will be better in decks where you're sure you'll have tons of creatures. So adding these into zombie tribal would probably be a good idea, since you have things like Army of the Damned and Josu Vess, Lich Knight that produce a million tokens.


Storm Build Cards

Aphotic Wisps , Cremate , Succumb to Temptation , Yawgmoth's Will , Ill-Gotten Gains , Priest of Forgotten Gods , Skirge Familiar , Rain of Filth , Dredge , Gravebind , Nighthaze , Street Wraith

The idea of a storm deck is to cast as many spells in one turn as possible, building up a fat storm counter to execute all who oppose us with our 3 finishers, which are Aetherflux Reservoir , Tendrils of Agony and perhaps Empty the Pits . You'll want lots of cheap spells that only cost {B} mana and replace themselves, such as Aphotic Wisps . One time use mana is also dank here, such as Dark Ritual and Cabal Ritual , and creatures like Basal Thrull and Soldevi Adnate .


Win Cons to think about

MrLizard on What is dead may never die

2 months ago

So, Some cute tricks, I did a playtest and really enjoyed morality shift, swapping my deck and burning opponents for 26. Not quite enough to get me there. I had hoped to flashback dread return off the zombies I had made, but I found out too late it wasn't in the deck. So I recommend Dread Return and Sutured Ghoul . That should win the game pretty easily. I would also suggest Gravepurge over return from extinction. and since you have the option, I've always liked Empty the Pits as a finisher, but in this deck it could kill without even attacking with the zombies.

SideBae on Vial Smashes Affinity

6 months ago

So my first thought is that you should run a LOT of instants, rather than just 2. Vial smasher can trigger on ANY turn, not just one, so running something like Dig Through Time would be... really good. Generally, you'll want these instants to draw you more cards, so Fact or Fiction and Glimmer of Genius are also fine choices. Cards with alternate casting costs also tend to have high CMCs: for example, Force of Will is a Lava Axe in this deck, as well as a counter spell. While Force may be a pricey card, other cards from the same cycle aren't. Contagion is well under a dollar, and can potentially also 2-for-1 with opposing creatures, while Pyrokinesis is even stronger. Misdirection and Commandeer also come to mind. If you want to get REAL spicy, Mind's Dilation is another good way to cast spell on your opponents' turns, but bear in mind this card tends to be killed pretty fast.

Flash creatures like Torrential Gearhulk also seem like pretty good ideas.

I suggest replacing Vedalken Orrery with Leyline of Anticipation . It's (very) slightly harder to remove an enchantment than an artifact, but more importantly if Leyline is in your opening 7, you avoid having to pay its cost. I can see a world where you play both, though.

I see you're running a few mana rocks, but I advise more. Two mana rocks tend to be far superior to 3 mana rocks, so Dimir Signet and Rakdos Signet are likely better than Thought Vessel or Worn Powerstone . Talisman of Dominance and Talisman of Indulgence also come to mind. Being in green means you have access to a whole host of dorks, like Llanowar Elves , Fyndhorn Elves , Arbor Elf , and Elves of Deep Shadow . These 1-drops may not look like much, but being able to accelerate you into quickly casting your general and then the following high-cost cards is a good thing. Orcish Lumberjack is a personal favorite in any red-green deck. However, if you choose to go via artifact ramp and not dork-ramp, this opens you to using effects like Pyroclasm or Volcanic Fallout to keep opponents' creatures in check. Ancient Tomb tends to be REAL nice for powering out turn-one 2-drop rocks. Depending on how blue-heavy your meta is, Carpet of Flowers can range from good to a straight-up powerhouse. If you take this part of my advice, your curve will drop significantly and you will be able to run 32-ish lands with no real problem.

You'll also probably want a good card-draw package, if you're planning to cast a lot of spells. Azra Oddsmaker is a goldmine if you have an open opponent to attack, and black has access to enchantments like Phyrexian Arena . Night's Whisper and Ambition's Cost are also good, and work well with Kydele.

Delve spells will act sort of like X-cost spells, but be easier to cast late-game and harder early-game. Empty the Pits may be interesting, but you should also consider Logic Knot , Treasure Cruise and Tasigur, the Golden Fang . Tasigur will give you an out later in the game for excess mana, and will allow you a level of recursion. In order to make these cards powerful, you need cards in the graveyard. For that, I recommend Faithless Looting , Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip and Dack Fayden . While these last two are pricier cards, I think looting is the best here of the three, as you can cast it turn one to filter out a hand that may be too heavy in lands or spells. The flashback is also very significant. Jace is a powerful card in that he allows more card filtration on a permanent, and allows you to snap back a spell if you want. Dack Fayden is a boss in EDH, where stealing a Sol Ring is very common. So even if you don't need to filter your draws, stealing a rock should be an option about 98% of the time.

Speaking of card filtration, Ponder , Preordain and Brainstorm are all potent cards in any blue deck. While they may not work particularly well with Vial Smasher, they all work rather well with Kydele while also giving you a cantrip to cast turn 1. A lot of times, these are the cards that make a boarderline-keep hand into a keep hand for me, as they are extremely good at finding lands and/or spells as need be.

With Kydele, cards like Windfall , Wheel of Fortune and Winds of Change all become rituals in addition to their usual effects. Running Notion Thief in conjunction with these 'everyone draws' spells is... good. Similarly, targeting an opponent with Dack Fayden 's +1 while Notion Thief is on the field is a pretty good way to tip the card-advantage scales in your favor.

I like Whip of Erebos . You should consider running some Entomb or Buried Alive effects with it, as that would allow you to get some one-shots in with powerful creatures when hitting an opponent or just when entering the battlefield. Nicol Bolas and Massacre Wurm comes to mind.

Good luck with deck building!

Sloanan on "Grimgrin Want to Play!"

8 months ago

Happy to help! Fair enough on Empty the Pits . I'm somewhat partial to Enhanced Surveillance from the last Ravnica set, but that's also a permanent so it'll be pretty televised (though that by itself is a solid deterrent). There's also Crypt Incursion if you're looking for some instant speed shenanigans. Not great but I played it one time in an older build and went from like ten to 40ish for only three mana.

As far as your land count, I think reducing the overall average CMC of the deck will be fine. You can work with 35 (I've got more than my fair share of decks with that many lands), but I wouldn't lean too heavily into anything above 5 CMC if you do so. Otherwise I'd add least one land (though another bit of artifact ramp oughtta do the trick as well).

For enablers for Grimgrin, I'm somewhat fond of Faces of the Past , as it doesn't just untap Grimgrin but also any other zombie that you attacked with. Midnight Reaper gets you some card draw if you're saccing nontokens. Dreadhorde Invasion will give you sac fodder AND some nice lifegain when it releases with War of the Spark. If you're going with a self-mill style, Stitcher's Supplier isn't a bad choice.

RePTiLE on "Grimgrin Want to Play!"

8 months ago

Thanks for the dump of info!

I'll definitely look at grabbing a lot of these. I 100% agree on Butcher of Malakir he's just a stand-in pact effect until I grab a Dictate of Erebos (although I might just get a Grave Pact instead as the deck is insanely 5-drop heavy)

When it comes to the replacements the only card I'll really come to the defense of is Empty the Pits for no other reason than I like having the option to empty my graveyard (with what mana I have) at instant speed if someone decides to Bojuka Bog me or something similarly upsetting. If there are any other cards that serve as better "bog emergency" options I'm all ears. I just really like having that base covered when possible. Also I 100% agree on Army of the Damned and will more than likely replace it. Its just really funny haha.

Also the Rot Hulk and Flash combo is outrageous lol. How is that even legal? Seems hard to find Rot Hulk anywhere but I'll definitely keep my eyes open.

Lastly, I have 2 questions.

  1. Is my land count an emergency? Like will reducing the higher cmcs fix it or should I make other adjustments?

  2. Do I need more enablers for Grimgrin (untaps/meat)? Like I'll certainly have plenty of tokens I just don't know every card, obviously, so if there is more I can do for his consistency I'd like to take advantage of it.

Thanks again for all of the suggestions and, if you have time/are feeling generous feel free to look at the other EDH decks on my profile, if you have anything to say. I'm always looking for feedback and advice!

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