Wayward Servant


Format Legality
Standard Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Vintage Legal
Legacy Legal
Modern Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
Amonkhet Uncommon

Combos Browse all

Wayward Servant

Creature — Zombie

Whenever another Zombie enters the battlefield under your control, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.

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Cardhoarder (MTGO)

0.01 TIX $0.2 Foil


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Wayward Servant Discussion

casmiel on 3-Color Dead Stuff

4 days ago

Thanks a lot, I really appreciate the effort. When it comes to curves and manabases I'm still learning a lot, this kind of feedback was exactly what I was looking for.

I agree on your assessment of the discard spells, it's only something I want out of the sideboard. If I side those in for relevant matchups, I can have up to 11 discard effects in my deck, which should be more than enough to turn the tides if I get outpaced by combos in game 1.

Collective Brutality is very tempting here, it might even push me to consider Relentless Dead as 1 mana to recur a discard Cryptbreaker is very affordable, while Gravecrawler is always a free discard. My burn matchup is a bit of a mixed bag, an unchecked Wayward Servant can often slowly drain 3-5 Life or eat a Bolt for me, Tidehollow Sculler can eat a spell and Cryptbreaker can create blockers for days without triggering Eidolons. If I don't get to stick those though, Gravecrawler, Dread Wanderer and Geralf's Messenger don't exactly make for amazing blockers. It depends on which half of my deck I draw into. Collective Brutality could tip that into my favor.

On the other hand, Fatal Push is really nice to knock down a Thought-Knot Seer, Gavony Township pumps or Scavenging Ooze in addition to the Goyfs and Shadows. It's a tough decision to get right and depends on what I run into. For now, I think I'll keep the Brutality in the sideboard as a silver bullet for matches where it really shines. But I will definitely try them in the maindeck to get a feel for it. If I ever maindeck Relentless Dead, I'll probably make the switch as I'll have a better chance to get more value out of the discard.

Don't play sideboard cards because they're good, but rather play them because they replace cards that you remove.

That was a real eye-opener to be honest, I was struggling a bit with keeping my company hits high. I'll try moving some of the hate over to sticks like Kataki, War's Wage to not dilute my Company hits too often. I took some inspiration from Abzan Company and Counters Company in that regard, Selfless Spirit against boardwipes and Qasali Pridemage for Bridge, Chalice and Blood Moon. I will have to spend more time on that topic in general as I tend to just slam cards that hose stuff without considering how they play with my deck, I guess sideboards are things you spend more time with the more you play and learn the Modern format.

As for graveyard hate, I'm not too worried. It only really hurts my Gravecrawler and Geralf's Messenger, Dread Wanderer only becomes relevant in grindy matches and even then a late 2/1 is nothing esciting. I do definitely want ways to exile Past in Flames, Delve creatures, Goyfs, Snap targets and the usual Dredge suspects. Nihil Spellbomb is good enough for that and I like the cantrip function. A CoCo deck can reasonably operate even with 24 creatures, the minimum that people have calculated for CoCo to be still acceptable is 22. So I can take a bit of a hit on creatures after sideboarding, though not too much.

I think 4 Thoughtseize might be too high, my manabase can be a bit tricky (painful) and many of my creatures come tapped or can't block, so I have to be more careful than others. The edge it has over Inquisition of Kozilek is pretty substantial though, so I have gone up to 3 of them and an Inquisition for Burn or Affinity.

I'm still pretty weak at building sideboards so you made some great points.

As for the manabase, I totally agree with everything you have said. I was maybe too afraid of Blood Moon and Ghost Quarter and neglected the complications that would arise. I'm still a bit afraid of playing just 1 fetchable White source though, if that gets Spreading Seas or anything else happens to it, I suddenly lose 9 White sources at once and only have 4 lands to cast my Path to Exile. I might go 3-2 on Courtyard/Shrine but I'll have to see how it plays out. Definitely taking over all the other changes though!

That was some great feedback and I really appreciate the time it took you to think about and write it. The deck is a lot of fun and with the current diversity in the game it can really have a couple of good games, even though it is such an underplayed tribe. It might not be the best tribe around, but it is enjoyable and has its strong points.

casmiel on 3-Color Dead Stuff

4 days ago

Hey Toolmaster, thanks a lot for your comment, very insightful.

I was wrecking my mind a lot about the curve and that was a very helpful example. I've gone down to to 10 1-drops, 10 because I run 1 or 2 more creatures in total than Big Zoo because of the CoCo deckbuilding restrictions, I also miss out on mana dorks unfortunately. Finding good 2-drops in Zombie is a bit tricky unfortunately, the power level is not great at that cost. I basically can choose from Relentless Dead, Putrid Leech, Wayward Servant and Tidehollow Sculler. Now the Tidehollow is obviously a clear winner here, but the others are tricky, as they are not that powerful as Thalia & Arbiter are or Ooze, Voice and Goyf, and they all have full colored mana cost to complicate my mana situation. The 3-drop spot however is pretty amazing all around, all of them are very impactful plays. Considering I'm running CoCo, I've gone heavier on the 3-drop here with 10 creatures while making a cut at 2 CMC for 8 creatures total. So far I haven't had many problems curving out, and my CoCompanies are almost always fire. So my final split (for now) is 10-8-10. Do you think that's a good place to be or does something like 9-9-10 or 9-10-9 make more sense to you?

I'm on 3 Push 3 Path at the moment and have to admit I haven't given it too much thought. I'm basically a bit worried about Death Shadow and Goyf ruining my day, with my limited space I wanted spells that can kill those 2 reliably. I will change it to 4 Path 2 Push now to have more game against Reality Smasher and Tasigur. What's your rationale for mainbord Brutality? I have it in my sideboard for Burn, Combo and Control primarily, since I don't expect to see them as often as Eldrazi Tron and Death's Shadow.

Thanks again for your tips, it was really helpful.

cyclinggamer on cyclinggamer

5 days ago

Lots of people say great things about him. My Wayward Servant does plenty of work for me. I'm sure it has a place at the table, just not really in my deck. It won't be bad to put him in though.

Hagdorm on Pauper EDH Primer

1 week ago

This is such a great resource. I've started building decks around Woolly Thoctar and Wayward Servant, and I'll probably be building a ton more!

cyclinggamer on BW Zombies w/ lots of zombie tokens

1 week ago

Changed out SB for mirror match, adding in Fumigate board wipe and Plague Belcher, replacing Declaration in Stone and Cast Out. Figure me in for taking your life when zombies are coming and going. Sure, kill me. Pick your poison: Plague Belcher first before you kill the rest of them, Wayward Servant before I bring too many zombies into the battlefield. Or any of my other zombie threats you don't want to stay.


cyclinggamer on Apocalypse Now

1 week ago

If you're willing to splash white, Wayward Servant does a bunch of life loss for opponents and life gain for you. Opponents usually kill it first when it hits the field, and if they don't, they wish they had.

Zingano on Zombie tap dance

1 week ago

Cryptbreaker, Relentless Dead, Wayward Servant, Diregraf Colossus, Dread Wanderer, Plague Belcher, here's most of the best zombies. I'm not sure about your game plan but maybe you can use some of these

casmiel on 3-Color Dead Stuff

2 weeks ago

Draining is a way, but leads to a significantly slower kill on average. The reasons I don't go further down the drain route start with Collected Company. For Diregraf Captain, which is a perfectly fine card on its own, I have to go into Blue, which puts even more strain on an already very strained manabase (Geralf's Messenger). I could move away from White, but losing Path and Tidehollow really hurts the deck a lot. Furthermore, even in a CoCo deck, you'd want a maximum of maybe ~10 3-drops, we don't have Zombie manadorks to accelerate. The 3-drop slot is already a nightmare to fill in a Mono Black Zombie deck, there are just way too many strong options. The drain plan kind of requires Diregraf Captain and Plague Belcher, which I don't think is that great of a card without everything coming together at the right time. He just doesn't have the raw power and blowout potential of Death Baron, and if you are not lucky, is just a 3/2 Menace for 3, which is bad.

As for Diregraf Colossus, he is just not good enough in a CoCo deck, we miss on a lot of cast triggers. He is also a removal magnet and does nothing when he comes down, I fear he is just too slow in a format full of Fatal Push and Path to Exile. Geralf's Messenger almost always deals 4 and can come back, Death Baron can lead to huge blowouts with Collected Company. When I commit 3 Mana in Modern, I kind of want to see at least some benefits immediately. That's also why Wayward Servant is probably the worst card in the deck, which hurts to say, because I really love the design itself. You want to play the thing on Turn 2, but Tidehollow Sculler is just so much stronger. The good thing is that most people undererstimate or even ignore the card, so over the course of a game you can speed up your clock with maybe 3-6 additional damage, which is good enough.

I think Drain leads to good supplemental damage in the deck, but the cards we have don't feel impactful enough to build around it I believe. We'd need a decent 2-drop Blood Artist-style Zombie that can bash and drain to get towards a critical mass of drain creatures. With all the good stuff happening at 3 Mana, it's just too slow to keep up I believe. While Wayward Servant and Diregraf Captain are somewhat good enough to splash in regular Zombie decks, Plague Belcher and Diregraf Colossus just don't make the cut for me in Modern. When they are good, they can be really good, but they are also just not very reliable.

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