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: Add to your mana pool.
, : Put target Zombie card from your graveyard on top of your library.
Unholy Grotto Discussion
2 months ago
So the first card that comes to mind is Mindslicer . In Rakdos decks, you can typically tune your 99 to make you the king of top-decks; this is part of the reason reanimating Sire Of Insanity is such a brutal play in decks like Xantcha, Sleeper Agent .
You're likely to be sacrificing a whole butt-ton of creatures. I advise ways to exploit your guys dying: Dictate of Erebos or Grave Pact come readily to mind. Skullclamp is pretty busted if you're going to be sacrificing creatures anyways, and its especially good seeing as you're running Gravecrawler already.
Zombies is one of the oldest archetypes, and thus it has access to a LOT of tribal effects. Cemetery Reaper , Death Baron , Zombie Master , Undead Warchief , Lord of the Accursed and Lord of the Undead are all good ways to pump your team and/or give them extra abilities. (Depending on the meta, you may want to run Bad Moon as well.) Call to the Grave is really good if you can tune the deck to have 2 or fewer non-zombie creatures. Dark Salvation and Liliana's Mastery are both viable cards in this deck. Graveborn Muse is another good card draw engine next to Phyrexian Arena , which I see you're already running. Unholy Grotto gives you a measure of recursion over your zombies. Noxious Ghoul also comes to mind, as does Withered Wretch as a form of one-sided graveyard hate.
One common issue I've seen in a lot of EDH decks is the prevalence of 1-for-1 instant and sorceries. In a majority of EDH games, you're going to have 2-3 opponents, rather than just one; this means you are facing roughly 2-3 times as many cards as you yourself have access to. Cards like Dreadbore and Terminate are good in 1-on-1 formats like Modern, but in EDH I have frequently found them to just not be good enough. I advise you run cards like Fire Covenant , Ashes to Ashes , Volcanic Fallout or Toxic Deluge instead. These have the potential to take out several creatures at the cost of one card, leaving you up that many cards over your opponents.
On a related note, since most games of EDH are decided by card advantage, anything you can do to draw cards will always be welcome. Ambition's Cost , Night's Whisper and the like are good ways to refill your hand. Wheel of Fortune is another good card, but it's about $100 now, so... consider carefully. Light Up the Stage is another one to consider. While Rakdos is good at topdecking, managing to draw extra cards means it is more likely to hit.
Looting effects tend to be very good in zombie decks, which have access to graveyard recursion. Faithless Looting is essentially card advantage in your deck, because you can discard things like Gravecrawler at no cost. Similarly, I advise running a bigger reanimation package (supplementing your Animate Dead ) to get back fatties your opponents may have killed or you may have discarded. Reanimate , and Necromancy are good cards -- if you want to get spicy, Dance of the Dead is a card most people have never played against before, mostly because it isn't nearly as good as the other three. But I figured I'd mention it. Also, a bigger reanimation package means things like Entomb or Buried Alive become exponentially better.
With regard to planeswalkers, Liliana, Death's Majesty is a good card for any zombie deck.
With regard to your lands: I don't think Blighted Fen is very good, and Temple of the False God should be replaced with Ancient Tomb if at all possible. If you want good utility lands that can kill pesky creatures, I advise Blast Zone . If you are able, I advise running Bloodstained Mire and/or the off-color fetches in order to grab your Blood Crypt or Smoldering Marsh . These fetches are in effect extra dual lands.
If you have a lot of recursion, which I see you do in things like Phyrexian Reclamation , you may have luck with pox-style cards. Pox is one of the most brutal cards to resolve in EDH, and Smallpox and Innocent Blood also can be played to great effect. Note that these get around hexproof, shroud and indestructible.
Depending on how hateful your meta is, you may want to consider some pretty mean red cards. Changing your land base slightly will give you access to Blood Moon , Magus of the Moon and Ruination , while Price of Glory will make people think twice about casting counter-magic. If your meta is as blue-heavy as mine, Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast are also fine considerations. If you end up running a lot of lord effects, you may want to consider Pyroclasm or Anger of the Gods , as your guys won't die if they're big enough. Possibility Storm is a good way to disrupt combo players -- I should know, as I play Storm in cEDH.
Because black has literally only one card designed to destroy artifacts ( Gate to Phyrexia ), red is a welcome addition to the team. By Force is a favorite of mine, but Shattering Spree , Vandalblast and Shatterstorm are also good ideas.
Rocks are great in EDH, especially if they're only 1 or 2 mana. I advise Talisman of Indulgence to replace Rakdos Locket and Mind Stone to replace Commander's Sphere . Coldsteel Heart is good as well, though it enters tapped, just like Charcoal Diamond and Fire Diamond . Thought Vessel is also worth considering.
Good luck with deck building!
2 months ago
As a general rule, adding things to slow your opponents down is a good way to start taking a deck to the next level. Idk how much search your meta has, but Ashiok, Dream Render works wonders against enemy tutors while also providing a level of graveyard hate.
Liliana, Death's Majesty is well under $10 and should be strongly considered for any zombie deck.
Unholy Grotto is a utility land you might be interested in, as it provides some recursion for your zombies.
You also seem to be relatively light on card draw or selection. Ponder , Preordain and Brainstorm are all good cantrips, especially if conjoined with shuffle effects like Evolving Wilds or Terramorphic Expanse . Personally, I like Night's Whisper and Chart a Course as two-for-ones, but I see you're running Phyrexian Arena ; that is a solid permanent which produces card advantage. Graveborn Muse is also a similar consideration, although the life loss may need to be countered by a Whip of Erebos or the like. In a similar vein, something like Slate of Ancestry may work well with the token-producers you have; Curse of Disturbance seems a good consideration to add to the token-package. It's worth noting that a large majority of EDH games are decided by card advantage.
I'm not sure how well Crypt of Agadeem works; I've had poor results with it. You may want to just run a basic land instead.
The Undermine slot is likely better served with Sinister Sabotage . In a format with 40 life, making an opponent lose 3 life is equivalent to draining them 1.5 life in a 20 life format. In all likelihood, you may just want the ability to filter your draws or (ideally) to bin a zombie, then cast it from the graveyard with Gisa and Geralf without needing to worry about wasting a draw on it.
I've also not had good experience with 3-mana artifact mana-producers. I suggest Dimir Signet and Talisman of Dominance instead of Mana Geode and Chromatic Lantern . Chromatic Lantern really only becomes strictly necessary in 4- or 5-color decks, and since you're 2, it seems superfluous.
I always like seeing a list with Exquisite Blood in it; you should run Sanguine Bond as well, as these two together produce an auto-win. Also, if you put a way to grant lifelink (such as the aforementioned Whip of Erebos ), Sanguine Bond begins to act as a pseudo damage-doubler.
Depending on your meta and whether there are other creature-based black decks, Bad Moon may be a good insert as an anthem effect. Similarly, barring an over-abundance of artifact decks, you may want to include Ashes to Ashes as a two-for-one removal spell.
Since UMA came out, Entomb is only a few dollars; Buried Alive acts similarly. So I advise adding that, as well as reanimation effects like Animate Dead , Necromancy or Reanimate . Being able to produce a Grave Titan turn two is always a massive plus. But don't feel limited to just Grave Titan , though; things like Helldozer are good reanimation targets as well. If you just want big, black fatties, Massacre Wurm and Phyrexian Obliterator are two of my favorites (though they're relatively expensive).
Good luck with the zombies. The living dead are bosses.
7 months ago
@hkhssweiss: I definitely would like to go consinder more the route of reanimation based cards. Thank you for the list of suggestions, there are definitely some cards that I would like to use for the deck.
@xaarvaxus: Cryptbreakeris in the deck now. Apparently I forgot to update that one on the list. I like the combo with Carrion Feeder and going to add Unholy Grotto for sure. Didn't know that card existed, so thank you! :)
Thank you once more all for the suggestions, I'm planning to update the deck this week and have some playrounds on the weekend. Can't wait to overwhelm with zombies. as it's way more impactful.
7 months ago
Cryptbreaker is great cheap card draw for a zombie deck.
7 months ago
For this deck I would think 40 lands is still a bit high. You've got way more islands than you need to cast the handful of you have in the deck. Perhaps cut 3 islands but add in Unholy Grotto?
No Buried Alive? For my Grimgrin, Corpse-Born deck I use it to get Gravecrawler, Prized Amalgam and Wonder [Woot! Flying zombies] into the graveyard. You could alternately consider Filth as Urborg would make the swampwalk useful.
Possible counterspells if you were to go that route: Negate as you probably don't care much about any creatures your opponents may cast & Stubborn Denial as with a commander that is 4+ power this is probably always a hard counter for . If someone removes him at instant speed you could always eternalize a new pleb at 4+ with his ability in response.
Other potential mill: Altar of the Brood, you already have Gravecrawler and Phyrexian Altar so this would add an infinite mill wincon to the deck. Sac crawler to P Altar and produce , recast it, Brood mills everyone for one, rinse/repeat.
Hopefully my ramblings can provide some food for thought.
7 months ago
I'd say that any zombie-centric EDH deck should try and run Corpse Harvester - he can repeatedly tutor for what you need as well as ensure you get land drops. Likewise, you might appreciate Unholy Grotto as a way to bring back your key zombies that's very tricky to remove.
Due to Varina's looting ability, you might also like running Wonder as a free way to give all of your creatures flying. Filth is great as well if you know you're going up against black decks, but he might be harder to organize unless you have Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth in there as well.
9 months 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!
1 year ago
Hey there fellow necromancer! I am also running the Lich Queen (long may she reign) and she truly is the pinnacle of all things undead. I like the deck you've got going on but I do have a few suggestions for you based on my own experience running zombie tribal for a while. First off, you are missing the best piece of zombie tech ever: Rooftop Storm. It's just plain unfair (for everyone else) and lets you cast Varina for free from the command zone (or at least cheaper since you have to pay command tax still). While I'm still figuring out my own configuration for my deck, I've found that Debtors' Knell is an interesting card and can be quite useful in reanimating targets you may have milled. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is not a zombie but boy oh boy does she make me happy to be running white now. A super buff AND a mini-board wipe is something to be feared. I would recommend adding in Cabal Coffers if you can as you can generate insane amounts of black mana and that's what the deck is hungry for (well that and brains). I know that some folks don't like him but I think it's always worth running Risen Executioner to get another lord buff. Mikaeus, the Unhallowed is another powerful zombie I would consider running too. A few pet cards for me personally are Prized Amalgam and Scourge of Nel Toth as they are constantly recurring threats or solid sac fodder. I would also suggest adding in Unholy Grotto to get back any zombie you may need again or save a key zombie from a Bojuka Bog. Vault of the Archangel is another utility land I'm exploring right now in my own deck but with a go-wide style deck like ours, it seems like it could be a nice inclusion. While Varina herself is card advantage, I would consider adding in some additional card draw effects like Painful Truths, Read the Bones, Necropotence, Rhystic Study, or Phyrexian Arena. If you would like a another win-con option, white does open up Approach of the Second Sun and Varina's ability can help dig you faster to that second casting. I hope this all helps!
Unholy Grotto occurrence in decks from the last year
Commander / EDH:
All decks: 0.01%