Relentless Dead

Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Heirloom Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Frontier Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Shadows over Innistrad (SOI) Mythic Rare

Combos Browse all

Relentless Dead

Creature — Zombie

Menace (This creature can't be blocked except by two or more creatures.)

When Relentless Dead dies, you may pay . If you do, return it to its owner's hand.

When Relentless Dead dies, you may pay . If you do, return another target Zombie creature card with converted mana cost X from your graveyard to the battlefield.

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Relentless Dead Discussion

Ragamander on Blue/Black

1 week ago

The first thing I'll say is that with 21 lands, you probably can't expect to get the mana to launch Army of the Damned or a really powerful Mind Grind or Torment of Hailfire. Well, at least without Organ Harvest, of which you're only sporting one copy. (If you don't play with teammates, or if you don't play with silver-bordered cards, you might replace it with Culling the Weak.) For reference, the math on Army of the Damned is that about 1/3 of your cards are lands = 8/24, meaning you need to survive to turn 17-18 (have seen a total of 24 cards between your opening hand and your draws each turn) to hit that 8th land. That’s a long time in a Magic game.

Second, Mind Grind, while fun, is questionable here, since none of your other cards will mill your opponent. Many people play with 4 copies of many of their cards, so milling them might not cut them off from their game plan unless you mill them so much they might die. And for that, you would need more support for the mill plan or a LOT more mana. (This is possible, but a big change. Look for cards like Glimpse the Unthinkable and Mind Funeral. Otherwise, I'd cut it for cards that affect board-state or life-totals.)

Third, your overall game plan appears to be to stall in the early game for more powerful plays late, since your low cost cards are generally defensive. This means you'll want more lands in your deck so that you don't stumble on your way to those big plays. I'd remove Coral Atoll and put in four Dimir Aqueducts. It's not the ideal play, but it's cheap and there's a lot of upside if your opponent doesn't Ghost Quarter it or something. Anyways, that will take you up to 24 lands AND increase your average mana output a little more, letting you rely on 4CMC, 5CMC, and 6CMC plays to dominate the game.

Finally, on to individual cards:

Kraken Hatchling, Mausoleum Wanderer, Pharika's Chosen, and Will-o'-the-Wisp are all fine defensive one-drops, but they all do something a little different. Thornbow Archer is a little more aggressive than the rest of your deck wants, so maybe drop it and pick your favorite of those first four and add a second.

Fogwalker is okay on defense, though it's not the best two-drop out there. I'm not a fan of Olivia's Dragon, especially outside of madness/reanimator decks. Rancid Rats just doesn't offer enough oomph for the mana (skulk is not typically a very useful ability). Graf Rats is bad unless you have Midnight Scavengers, so it's really about how much you personally want to meld them. Ultimately, I'd rather replace them with better blockers like Wall of Tears, Wall of Souls, Contraband Kingpin, Dragon's Eye Savants, Gifted Aetherborn, or the absolute top-tier Baleful Strix. Other value options include Omenspeaker, Sigiled Starfish, and Augur of Bolas. Other fun options here are Surge Mare, Riptide Mangler, Lazav, the Multifarious, Fathom Feeder, and Ludevic's Test Subject  Flip. Choose your favorites. Alternately, spot-removal like Doom Blade, Victim of Night, Cast Down, Go for the Throat, and sometimes Dimir Charm are pretty effective.

Wharf Infiltrator can be good sometimes. You can leave it in for fun or replace it.

Eternal Scourge has its uses, but I don't think this deck is optimized for it. Ideally you'd want a few things that can exile it from graveyard or hand, such as Gurmag Angler, Soulflayer, Tombstalker, Scavenging Ooze, Grim Lavamancer), Azor's Gateway  Flip (from hand), or the most hilarious option, Serum Powder. As it stands, it's just difficult to kill outside of combat, like a bad shroud or hexproof. Honestly, I don't think you need a 3/3 to be immune to removal. Replace with a finisher, which I'll discuss in a bit. Alternately, one of my favorite defensive 3CMC creatures is Graveblade Marauder, since its offensive capabilities can rapidly increase.

Markov Crusader isn't actually very good even in the rare case when you do have another vampire, and you only have one other one. Compare to 4CMC utility wunderkind Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, 5CMC finishers (like Archfiend of Depravity, Glyph Keeper, Ob Nixilis, the Fallen, Vengeful Pharaoh, and maybe even Serra Sphinx), and 6CMC game-winners (like Noxious Gearhulk, Dread, Kokusho, the Evening Star, Wurmcoil Engine, Grave Titan, or even Vengeant Vampire, though that last one is much worse than the others). Sure, none do exactly what Markov Crusader does, but some are close and they all have incredible upsides. Even something like Shriekmaw might ultimately gain you more life by just killing something outright, plus it's super-flexible. Heck, Soul Ransom and Mind Control are strong cards too, at least against creature decks. Anyways, Markov Crusader is a card to replace.

Midnight Scavengers is okay, especially if you have a lot of disposable deathtouchers to bring back, but it still doesn't compare favorably to the above finishers unless you really want to meld it with Graf Rats. Remember, doing things you want to do is an important part of MTG. But if you don't care to meld, I'd look to replace it.

Ob Nixilis, Unshackled is fine. In most cases it doesn't compare favorably to the 6CMC critters above, but it has its uses. If you've got a lot of little deathtouchers (Pharika's Chosen, Typhoid Rats, Dire Fleet Poisoner, it can grow really out of hand. Also, Field of Ruin forces a library search.

Elder Deep Fiend is fine. Usually you play it in a deck that has plenty of creatures you don't mind (or are better off) sacrificing (for example, Priest of the Blood Rite, Relentless Dead, Doomed Dissenter, Stormbound Geist/Geralf's Messenger), then you emerge it early and tap down lands. That's not really your plan here, so it's probably not the best choice. Some good choices for replacements are above, but within the category of emerge creatures, I think Distended Mindbender fits your deck better.

Organ Harvest is a powerful card, but has some drawbacks. Most importantly, a lot of people don't play with or against silver-bordered cards. They're not legal in any official tournaments. Tournament legal variations are Dark Ritual, Culling the Weak, and Ashnod's Altar. Other than that, it's a card that is useless in many situations and completely changes what you're able to do when you actually can make use of it, and that can be awkward from a strategy perspective. If you don't have creatures, you can't cast it. If you don't have a big spell in your hand, you don't need to cast it and you'd rather have almost any other card. So it wants your deck to be full of disposable creatures and big spells, like an emerge deck or a zombie deck really making use of Army of the Damned and From Under the Floorboards. But for the most part that is not this deck, so unless you want to build around the card, I'd remove it, either replacing it with Dark Ritual which is always useful when drawn early, or something else that's cheap and effective: Dead Weight, Apathy, Doom Blade, Pharika's Chosen, or whatever.

Sorcerous Sight is worse than Peek and Gitaxian Probe, but I don't think any of those are particularly good in your deck. If you want to know what's in your opponent's hand, play Telepathy. Otherwise, there's better card draw: Preordain and Ponder are the best cheap spells, but it might be worth spending more mana for more effect with Sign in Blood or Chart a Course.

Cemetery Recruitment isn't particularly good with so few zombies. You can add more zombies, or switch to Ghoulcaller's Chant/Find / Finality/Recover/Disturbed Burial/Death Denied to simulate the effect, or just do card advantage the old-fashioned way, with stuff like Sign in Blood/Consult the Necrosages/Read the Bones/Notion Rain/Secrets of the Golden City. Alternately, shred your opponent's hand (and lose friends) with Hymn to Tourach or punch your opponent for cards with Shadowmage Infiltrator. If you're committed to bringing creatures back from the dead, look to Zombify, Extract from Darkness, or Isareth the Awakener, which can randomly run away with the game if your opponent doesn't have an answer. The most efficient reanimation spell is Unburial Rites, but you'd need to splash white for it to be better than the above options.

Contingency Plan doesn't actually net you any cards in hand; you just control what you are going to draw later. Since you're not very graveyard-focused, there's little benefit. The more flexible version is Dimir Charm, and the more powerful version is Lim-Dul's Vault. If you want to stack the top of your deck for 2CMC without wasting a card to do it, there's Diabolic Vision, but the 1CMC Preordain and Ponder are worthy as well. Alternately, raw card advantage is an option. Any of the options I've already listed are fine, but here are some more: Chemister's Insight, Foresee, Deep Analysis.

Mind Grind attacks on an irrelevant axis. Recommend replacing it with a finisher unless you add more mill. If you want a non-creature finisher, Ob Nixilis Reignited is pretty cool. If you just want something that can't get Murdered, there's Sphinx of Jwar Isle.

Torment of Hailfire is possibly workable if you go to 24 lands with Dimir Aqueducts. X=3 is pretty much the bare minimum, and if they have cards in hand even that might not be enough. This is a possible swap for a finisher, as above.

Army of the Damned is hard to cast at 8CMC. Recommend replacing it with a cheaper finisher unless you're all about Organ Harvest.

Apathy is pretty decent at 1CMC. Probably not as good as just casting Doom Blade/Go for the Throat to kill the thing, but definitely more interesting and fun. It can stay in, though swapping it for something more reliable is technically the correct decision.

Strange Augmentation is bad in your deck. While +3/+3 for 1CMC is fine in a very aggressive deck, that doesn't seem like your game plan. Ideally, your finishers are big enough to win without the extra P/T. If they're not, these could be replaced with kill spells to make sure they are.

Tormod's Crypt is useless unless you frequently play against graveyard-based decks. Even then, with only one in the deck, you're in bad shape. I'd swap it for Relic of Progenitus or Sentinel Totem if you really need graveyard hate. If a creature is reliable against those graveyard decks, Deadeye Tracker, Nezumi Graverobber, or Withered Wretch can do some work. Agent of Erebos is another option. If the only things you need to exile are creatures, then Cemetery Reaper, Dimir Doppelganger, and the powerful Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet are options. Otherwise, cheap kill spells, counterspells, or even more expensive exiling removal (e.g. Sever the Bloodline, Silence the Believers) are options. Phyrexian Scriptures is another card I'll mention, just 'cause it does lots of stuff.

Nevinyrral's Disk is pretty good. Go ahead and keep that in there.

Gridlock is okay, but it's basically a Darkness you can use aggressively. I think Sleep is generally better at that. Alternately, if you want a mass-defense spell, Yahenni's Expertise, Languish, and Damnation are the go-to sweepers.

Outwit is way too narrow; most decks don't target players. (The primary exceptions are burn and mill, so if you play against them a lot, it might be fine.) If you want a dollar-cost-effective counterspell in that slot, play Counterspell or MAYBE Dimir Charm for flexibility.

Turn Aside is okay, but mostly outclassed by Dive Down or Counterspell.

Murder is fine. (Card-wise, not morally!) Technically Hero's Downfall is better if you can get one.

Liliana Vess is fine, but she's a little slow. I'm not sure whether she's better or worse in this deck than Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, Ob Nixilis Reignited, Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath, or even Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver. My inclination is that those are stronger as you increase the median quality of the cards in your deck (making Vess's -2 less important).

Here's one inexpensive, somewhat-boring take:

4x Pharika's Chosen

4x Baleful Strix

4x Graveblade Marauder

2x Archfiend of Depravity

2x Glyph Keeper

1x Noxious Gearhulk

1x Ob Nixilis, Unshackled

1x Tetzimoc, Primal Death

1x Silumgar, the Drifting Death

1x Liliana Vess

1x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets

1x Ob Nixilis Reignited

2x Dimir Charm

2x Doom Blade

2x Agony Warp

3x Notion Rain

1x Extract from Darkness

1x Silumgar's Command

1x Profane Command

1x Nevinyrral's Disk

2x Field of Ruin

4x Dimir Aqueduct

9x Island

9x Swamp

That's just one take on the general strategy. Ultimately, (I think) you're playing Dimir Midrange, and so you're looking for about 40% (24) lands, 30% (18) things that keep you alive until you have 4-6 mana, 20% (12) things that kill your opponent and are themselves hard to kill, and 10% (6) things that put you ahead on cards just in case you're not drawing the right part of your deck.

DrowZgam3r on Scarab Zombies 2.0

2 weeks ago

Very impressive first deck, you have lots of powerful toys here. But I think I may be of some assistance in helping you make it even stronger.

Since your deck is only at $189.9 I'm going to make the assumption you have a bit of a budget so I'll try and keep my suggestions fairly cheap.

Right away I notice you have most of the pieces for game ending combo's already in your deck. Mikaeus, the Unhallowed + Triskelion and similarly Phyrexian Devourer + Triskelion + Necrotic Ooze + Buried Alive make game ending combo's that are super reliable. With the Mikaeus + Triskelion combo, all you need to do is let the triskelion shoot a opponent twice while Mikaeus is on the field then kill itself with its last counter. The Triskelion will then come back onto the field due to Mikaeus, repeat this process an infinite amount of times and the game is all yours. Similarly, if you cast Buried Alive to put Triskelion and Phyrexian Devourer into the graveyard while a Necrotic Ooze is on the field you can use the phyrexian devourer ability to mill your entire deck while the Triskelion ability pings all your opponents to death.

And if you do decide to run that combo, I'd also recommend running Walking Ballista for added redundancy.

In more general deck building terms I think there are also a few upgrades you could easily do.

Mana Ramp is super important in EDH. Games are often won and lost based off of who ramped hardest. So with that in Mind I HIGHLY recommend adding more mana rocks to your deck. As a rule of thumb I'd like to say that 10ish mana rocks are best for your average deck. So since you have five I'd say aim for at least four more. Some decent ones you may want to consider would be:

I also think that some of your choices for zombies could be a little stronger for EDH

What I would cut and why:

  • Wight of Precinct Six This card seems like it would be good in EDH with there being six different graveyards, But unless you were to run a heavier mill package this card only ends up being a slightly larger than average beater that doesnt even have trample
  • Gempalm Polluter This is a very good card in 1v1 games, but if you are playing three other players then just targeting a single player isn't worth much
  • Vindictive Lich This is honestly a fine card, I just think that since you aren't abusing his death triggers that this spot might be better spent on a different zombie
  • Twisted Abomination I just dont like this card very much

What you may want to consider adding:

And I personally like running at least two or three counterspells when I play in blue. Counterspell and Swan Song are probably the best if you're not looking to spend tons of money but there are tons to choose from.

And finally I think I would be doing you a great disservice if I didn't suggest you consider Cyclonic Rift.This card is absolutely bonkers in EDH and probably the single best blue spell in the game for EDH.

Sorry if it seems like I'm insulting your deck building capabilities. You really do have a pretty good core to work with here but as with any deck there were a few places I felt could be improved upon. But when it comes right down to it these are just my opinions and there are no hard rules for what makes a deck good or fun.

Hope all this helps!

David_H18 on Zombie

3 weeks ago

Hey Nick123. I hate to tell you this, but you have this mislabeled. This would be legal in modern, but there are several cards (Cryptbreaker, Diregraf Colossus, Gravecrawler, Gray Merchant of Asphodel, Plague Belcher, Relentless Dead, Unbreathing Horde and Liliana's Mastery) that are illegal in standard. I do not know if you are wanting to play standard, or if this is just casual, but if you are looking to play standard, you will have to make quite a few changes. Either way have fun!

captainamerica on Aristocrats

4 weeks ago

Rather than Stitcher's Supplier and a whole bunch of Rally the Ancestors why not play Perilous Myr, Deathgreeter, Festering Mummy, Tenacious Dead, Doomed Dissenter, Relentless Dead, Gravecrawler, Bloodghast, or Dread Wanderer. These all allow for more of an "aristocrats strategy" rather than a reanimator-esque strategy. Repeatable affects or payoffs for sacrificing creatures is what you want in aristocrats. Stitcher's Supplier is better in decks like bridgevine or Dredge

Saljen on DIMIR Zombies

1 month ago

I've been playing The Scarab God Zombie EDH deck for a long while now. He's a great combo commander because his passive ability is aggressive and helps you hit combos while his active ability perfectly plays along with the zombie theme.

That being said, you've made some weird card choices, especially among your creatures.

Here's some Zombie's that I'd suggest to replace the many non-Zombie creatures you're running:

Balthor the Defiled, Cryptbreaker, Ghoulcaller Gisa, Grave Titan, Graveborn Muse, Gravecrawler (this is the most important combo piece in the deck), Gray Merchant of Asphodel, Havengul Lich, Lazav, the Multifarious (as a shapeshifter, he is a Zombie), Lich Lord of Unx, Lord of the Accursed, Lord of the Undead, Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, Noxious Ghoul, Razaketh, the Foulblooded (can pull all combo pieces in 1 turn, and play all 4 for 6 mana), Relentless Dead, Risen Executioner, Sidisi, Undead Vizier, Taigam, Sidisi's Hand (not a zombie, but fills your graveyard with them and has built in removal). These guys would go a long way to improving the consistency and power level of your deck.

Here's a few non-zombie cards that synergize with them very well:

Attrition (repeatable removal and sac engine), Dictate of Erebos+Grave Pact (combos well with Gravecrawler+sac outlet), Secrets of the Dead (works with all the ways we can play zombies from our graveyard and combos with Gravecrawler), Herald's Horn (draw + ramp), Urza's Incubator (ramp), Vanquisher's Banner (pump + draw), Whip of Erebos (lifelink zombies + graveyard play), Buried Alive (use this to put Gravecrawler, Wonder, and Risen Executioner into your graveyard for a great little combo that instantly gives you access to 3 cards), Search like Diabolic Tutor, Demonic Tutor, and Diabolic Intent helps to get out combo pieces.

The main combo I keep talking about is Rooftop Storm + Gravecrawler + a sac outlet, usually Grimgrin, Corpse-Born, and something to abuse like Grave Pact/Dictate of Erebos, Diregraf Captain/Plague Belcher/Noxious Ghoul/Bontu's Monument. These are all pieces that are individually good, but when put together will instantly win you the game in one way or another. Razaketh, the Foulblooded can be used to grab all 4 combo pieces, then you only need to play Rooftop Storms and you can play the rest of the combo for free! It's a really great card in black combo decks like this.

Anyways, feel free to take a look at my deck if you want any ideas. Zombies are my favorite tribal and are always a blast to play. I love that they can be so combo heavy, yet still be an unstoppable horde if you can't combo out thanks to all the +1/+1 anthems that Zombies get. Good luck with your deck!

Lavidicus on Help me out? Mono-black Zombie

1 month ago

I need some help deciding to remove some cards to make it 100 cards commander legal, it’s 105 right now.

Throw me some ideas to add or replace cards too. Feel free to criticize me, tell me if there should be changes. First time really trying to put a deck together. I think I’m having mana and creature cost issues? I’m not sure? Thanks!

From Dust

el_mao on Naked Lunch

1 month ago

I really like the zombie subtheme in here. what do you think about Relentless Dead ? Fleshbag Marauder i liked too because of Gravecrawler interactions

Sparky41 on Zombies

2 months ago

As someone who put together a modern zombies list, I'd say it's a bit of a meta call. By that I mean in a vacuum it may not be the "best" option, especially not against fast combo (although that could be mitigated by maindeck discard and/or splashing white for Tidehollow Sculler) or unfair aggro decks like bridgevine. But I play it as a fun and original choice that just so happens to be a sweet foil to all of the attrition-style decks played at my FNM. The selling point of Zombies is that they are recursive, so they play out like slower merfolk, but also have enough card advantage to keep up with any UWx control deck, any GBx midrange deck, Grixis Death's Shadow, Mardu Pyromancer, the list goes on. Notice the comparison to merfolk, as I feel the best build of zombies looks quite a lot like thetanman91's list, but includes lands that almost always come in untapped (fetch, shock, fastlands, basics), and also mutavault and aether vial to provide the aggressive pressuring stance any creature deck in modern should provide. My personal color splash choice is green, which is for maindeck Lotleth Troll and sideboard abrupt decay/maelstrom pulse, though blue and white each have their merits. The coolest thing about the deck is that you can tune the numbers of your specific zombies to face the kinds of decks you expect to see-add more lords (especially Death Baron) if your meta is heavy on humans, CoCo, or other creature decks; add more value zombies like Relentless Dead or Cryptbreaker if you expect midrange; add interactive zombies if you expect combo, like the aforementioned Tidehollow Sculler or my personal favorite, a few copies of collective brutality, which synergizes quite well with Dread Wanderer and Gravecrawler. And that isn't even covering the untapped potential of the new cards like Assassin's Trophy when they come out!

The most important thing to remember-never write a deck or archetype off as unplayable in modern, there are always ways to make decks viable. Such is the fun of a wide open format.

:)

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