Geralf's Messenger

Geralf's Messenger


Creature — Zombie

Geralf's Messenger enters the battlefield tapped.

When Geralf's Messenger enters the battlefield, target opponent loses 2 life.

Undying (When this creature dies, if it had no +1/+1 counters on it, return it to the battlefield under its owner's control with a +1/+1 counter on it.)

Price & Acquistion Set Price Alerts Price Cardhoarder (MTGO) Price
Low Avg High Foil Normal Foil
$1.91 $3.03 $7.78 $5.38 1.07 TIX 0.86 TIX

Geralf's Messenger Discussion

Lack on Zombie Ramp

17 hours ago

Geralf's Messenger, Grave Pact and Gray Merchant of Asphodel works well in zombie decks :) maybe remove Army of the Damned and Moan of the Unhallowed.

-Logician on Rats

1 day ago

I recommend trying to convert this deck to modern. Being completely honest, as much as I like rats (I built a rat deck before, and loved it), it's not competitive enough to compete with legacy decks.

If you truly insist on making a rat deck for legacy, I recommend a few changes in how you conceptualize your strategy. For starters, you have to understand that while Ogre Slumlord is a powerful card, it also costs 5 mana. Try to understand that players pay less mana than that to commit a Jace, the Mind Sculptor to the battlefield, not to mention you have TWO other competing five-drops in the form of Dictate of Erebos and Liliana Vess.

Also understand that Dark Ritual is not a good card in this deck. Dark Ritual is strong in storm combo decks and can be argued in any deck that plans on literally shutting your opponent down (and I mean really shutting them down) on turn 1 and that plan requires dark ritual. Dark Ritual looks like it creates advantage because you can play cards that cost 3 mana on turn one. What if you play something like a Geralf's Messenger on turn one? Your opponent's response of Swords to Plowshares not only completely defeats Geralf's Messenger, but now it also defeated your dark ritual, and I would absolutely consider that a 2 for 1. You can eliminate the need for Dark Ritual by playing more mana-appropriate spells. For example, instead of playing Hero's Downfall for 3 mana, you could play Disfigure or Dismember for 1 mana, or just play Thoughtseize.

How do you really feel about Bog Rats, Sewer Rats, and Skullsnatcher in a format where it's possible for your opponent to drop a Griselbrand down on turn 1 or 2 consistently? This is a format about mechanical exploitation. There's almost always something "unfair" happening, like Show and Tell cheating in Omniscience, or having Counterbalance in play with Sensei's Divining Top, or abusing Stoneforge Mystic to cheat Batterskull into play, or abusing AEther Vial to play your creatures while your lands aren't casting spells and instead are taxing the opponent's mana base in the form of Wasteland and Rishadan Port, or getting absurd amounts of mana with Cloudpost (playing a deck that can consistently get that land to tap for over 5 mana alone, with multiple copies of those lands in play) and easily hard-casting eldrazis in as early as turn 4, or abusing the dumb power of Entomb + Reanimate to drop any reanimateable creature super early in the game, or burning you our with very painful burn spells like Price of Progress in a burn deck capable of decimating you as early as turn 3 depending on your land-base, or relentlessly utilizing the power of Dark Depths making a new 20/20 flying indestructible every single time you manage to actually answer it every single turn starting as early as turn 2... I hope you understand my point, as that list easily continues. This is not a format where you can often get away with playing rats for about 5 turns, finally play an Ogre Slumlord and hope you can start killing off some creatures to get some Ogre Slumlord triggers. As I read back this paragraph in my head, I realize that I'm being a little harsh. After all, this is a theme deck. For all I know, this could all be information you're already aware of, and if that's the case, I apologize.

In light of that, I will make a few reasonable suggestions.

  • Phyrexian Arena: Your strategy doesn't seem to allow you to hold back. It seems like this is a dump your hand quickly playstyle, and that makes something like this a necessity. I would suggest Dark Confidant, but he's a little expensive.
  • Rotting Rats: If you find that there's a rat in your deck that just isn't strong enough, try this one. The fact that it makes you discard too doesn't have to be a bad thing. Make some synergy. Making your opponent discard is actually a great gameplan, and even in very unfavorable matchups, this strategy can squeeze a victory if you can manage to make them discard enough.
  • Hymn to Tourach: This card is exceptional at giving you a competitive edge. In a mono black deck such as this, it's practically mandatory.
  • Toxic Deluge: Probably the most powerful board wipe in mono black currently, at just three mana. Its competition includes Damnation, Languish, and Mutilate, all of which are at four mana as you can see.
  • Perish: Defeats Deathrite Shaman, Tarmogoyf, and Nimble Mongoose.
  • The Rack: This card, if you discard enough, is basically an entire deck on its own called 8-rack, and uses this card + Shrieking Affliction both as four-ofs to essentially have (as the namesake suggests), 8 racks. Then they stall the game our with cards like Ensnaring Bridge usually, but you could just play rats and not care.
  • Necromancer's Stockpile: Could be valuable if your ending strategy is to bring them back with Immortal Servitude or something like that (Rotting Rats is a zombie and a rat!). This would imply you design the entire deck with a graveyard-matters-a-lot premise though, and that's a lot to swallow.
  • Countersquall: If you were at all interested in playing a counterspell with that small bit of blue splash, I'd recommend this one.
  • Thoughtseize: It's a good card.
  • Chalice of the Void: Not a bad sideboard choice against storm. Just drop it for X=1, and watch them stumble.
  • Phyrexian Obliterator: Maybe he's kind of pricey, but if you insist on playing Dark Ritual, at least do something this badass with that mana.
  • Mutavault: They're only like $10 now. Way better than the $40 they were last year, and it's a really good card if you want to be aggressive.

Literally nothing in the deck uses red. What's up with the one Temple of Malice? Please don't say because you wanted a fifth scry land. You should be playing non-tapped lands anyway. In this format especially, you cannot underestimate the value of casting your spells on time. Scry lands are hardly even usable in modern, and I would wholeheartedly argue that they are more harm that good in a legacy setting.

Again, sorry for being a little harsh.

Poseyhead on UB Control

3 days ago

I was testing this, and noticed a couple things. 1) Spell Snare is not overly useful. It would be better off replaced with other counters that were more versatile, even things like Negate. 2) Surgical Extraction is only good against certain decks. When playing against a deck that focuses less on playsets and combos, it becomes almost obsolete. 3) This deck doesn't really have a solid win condition. The Geralf's Messenger seems to be the only creature I ever draw, and it takes too long to kill them, especially if it gets killed, or if they have flying. So I believe that Spell Snare should be replaced or sideboarded, and Surgical Extraction should either have two copies, or 2 main board and 2 side board, or all 4 sideboard, as well as adding some additional creatures, probably either Cemetery Puca or Nightveil Specter.

Killkow on Lights Out

4 days ago

bassrockn, yep, that's what Geralf's Messenger is for :) Same devotion, comparable power level, with no real downside.

Killkow on Lights Out

4 days ago

-3 Doom Blade

+3 Dismember (Hits basically everything in the format)

-4 Phylactery Lich

+4 Geralf's Messenger (Packs serious punch)

-4 Vault Skirge

+4 Pack Rat (Single-handedly takes over a game if your opponent doesn't kill him immediately)

-4 Darksteel Axe

-3 Darksteel Citadel

+5 Swamp (hitting land drops is always important, and excess lands can be discarded to Pack Rat)

+2 Duress (Hand control is a crucial part of black's strategy. Seriously punishes opponents who keep questionable hands)

-2 Mogis's Marauder

+2 Gatekeeper of Malakir (Removal, and a devotion-full body. What more do you want?)

Hope this helps. I understand if you're attached to the lich, but his power doesn't justify putting so many other mediocre cards in the deck. Plus, the awkwardness with Darksteel Citadel and not being able to cast him til a turn later is very real.


Sam_I_am on Junk Reanimator

6 days ago

have you considered maybe trying more of a humanimator combo build? which combos with [c]angel of glory's rize[/c], [c]fiend hunter[/c], and [c]cartel aristocrat[/c], allowing you to get as many ETB and dies triggers from as many humans as you want?

You can also replace Fiend Hunter with Saffi Eriksdotter and get a similar combo to work.

just a couple options off the top of my head for ETB abilities

Killkow on Mono Black Devoted Control

6 days ago

Yeah, Skinrender was in before Geralf's Messenger, but I found myself in the awkward situation where my opponent has no creatures and my only creature in hand is Skinrender far too many times. Messenger feels better in the spot because he's a more oppressive card. He comes down, takes a chunk out of their life, and is something they don't want to deal with, but have to.

As for Gatekeeper of Malakir, he's good for sure, but enough of my deck is removal that he's a bit overkill, and he's almost always gonna be a 3 drop. That being said, my 3 drop slot is getting a bit crowded with the shift to Geralf's Messenger. He got some play being a substitute Pack Rat, and I still have 1 in while I'm acquiring the last rat.

I think what I'm going for with this deck is maximum oppression on all fronts. Shred the hand, kill every creature, and play very dense threats that can win the game all by themselves.

Thanks for your comment!

APPLE01DOJ on Modern mono black devotion 1.5

6 days ago

Lashwrithe Whip of Erebos or Sword of Light and Shadow ...cut arena down to 2 and add the 4th Lilly. Gatekeeper should probably be Geralf's Messenger and gatekeeper isn't really worth running. I'd advise the 4th Bloodghast

I run a similar deck sometimes Funeral Shroud

Power / Toughness 3/2
Color(s) Black
Cost BBB
Converted cost 3
Avg. draft pick 1.43
Avg. cube pick 10.57


Format Legality
Legacy Legal
Vintage Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Modern Legal
Duel Commander Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Dark Ascension Rare


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