Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim just loves sacrificing victims for her religious rituals. This deck weaponizes her life gain. She reanimates her victims just so she can sacrifice them all over again. Multiple boardwipes and ETB exile/destroy creatures keep the board clear of threats. Please offer feedback and upvote. Please do not suggest Reveillark. It was purposely removed to avoid infinite combo loops

The Orzhov guild offers some of the best removal in the game. Combined black and white can take care of any type of permanent, often exiling them. The deck uses boardwipes, instants, and creatures (which can be reanimated) to control the board.


Decree of Pain: Gives tons of value with being able to draw a lot of cards.

Fumigate: On theme with the lifegain theme. This can net a lot of life.

Catacylsmic Gearhulk: Boardwipe on a stick! It gets around indestructible as it forces players to sacrifice their permanents. Great reanimation target.

Toxic Deluge: Gets around indestructible creatures. With all the lifegain in the deck, you won't miss the loss of life.

Merciless Eviction: An incredibly flexible boardwipe which gets rid of threats for good.

Wrath of God: Standard, efficiently costed white boardwipe.


Ashen Rider: Expensive to cast but can ruin board states when a reanimation engine gets going.

Archon of Justice: Mini Ashen Rider. Not quite as powerful but cheaper to cast.

Angel of Despair: Doesn't exile like the previous two, but still a flexible removal creature on a respectable body.

Noxious Gearhulk: Destroys any creature and fits into lifegain theme.

Merciless Executioner: Cheap edict effect creature that can be the bane of voltron decks.


Anguished Unmaking, Mortify, and Utter End: Flexible and efficiently costed removal spells.

The deck uses a combination of one-time reanimators with repeatable engines.

Sun Titan: The deck has a lot of creatures, enchantments, artifacts, and lands that can be targeted by his ability.

Emeria Shepherd: Quickly turns into a reanimation machine when paired with Terramorphic Expanse, Evolving Wilds, Solemn Simulacrum or Knight of the White Orchid

Whip of Erebos: Synergizes with the lifegain theme. Brings back creatures for another ETB effect and a swing to the face.

Mimic Vat: only 3 mana activation cost for a repeatable Ashen Rider, Angel of Despair, or Gray Merchant of Asphodel, among others.

Reanimate: One mana to bring back a creature! The life lost is negligible in a lifegain deck.

Animate Dead and Necromancy: Incredibly well costed reanimation spell that also adds devotion to black.

Victimize: Can get a death trigger and two ETB triggers at once.

Unburial Rites and Dread Return: The flashback on these cards gives you good value and bringing back juicy ETB creatures.

The win condition of the deck is weaponizing life gain effects. It can do this incrementally or through one big hit.

Blood Artist, Zulaport Cutthroat, Kambal, Consul of Allocation, Soul Warden and Suture Priest: All weenies that can accrue life gain value over time.

Blind Obedience and Authority of the Consuls: weenie enchantments that slow down opponents and can slowly accrue life gain value.

Exsanguinate and Debt to the Deathless: Massive life drain finishers, especially when Crypt Ghast is out.

Gray Merchant of Asphodel, Kokusho, the Evening Star: Standard, repeatable life drain creatures.

Sanguine Bond and Vizkopa Guildmage: Weaponizes life gain whether it be incremental or one big hit.

Aetherflux Reservoir: A giant bomb that can kill people at instant speed. It can also be used politically, threatening an opponent with instant death if they mess with you.


Constantly fine tuning this deck as it's a lot of fun to play. Overall these changes bring down my mana curve, making the deck more nimble. Made the following changes:

Mortify ---> Merciless Executioner: I felt like the deck needed a low CMC recursion target. My other ETB removal creatures are high CMC (Angel of Despair, Ashen Rider, Noxious Gearhulk)

Defiant Bloodlord ---> Vizkopa Guildmage: 7 mana just felt too much for the Bloodlord's ability. Vizkopa Guildmage is much cheaper and her ability hits each opponent, not just one.

Day of Judgment --->Cataclysmic Gearhulk: I wanted one of my boardwipes to be a reanimation target. It's also nice that it hits other types of permanents too

Debtors' Knell ---> Whip of Erebos: Too often Debtor's Knell would get destroyed before even bringing back one creature. Other times it would only survive long enough to bring back one creature. That's not nearly a powerful enough effect for 7 mana. It has the same problem that I have with Ravos, Soul Tender, it makes me wait too long to reanimate. Whip of Erebos grants lifelink which this deck wants and allows me to bring back a creature the turn it drops (if I have enough mana)

Coffin Queen --->Reanimate: Similar to Debtors' Knell, Coffin Queen made me wait too long to bring back a creature and would often get destroyed with a boardwipe. Reanimate was expensive to purchase but I felt it was worth it in this deck. 1 mana to reanimate a creature is crazy good value.


If you didn't want to do infinite combos why do you have Fiend Hunter + Sun Titan in here with Ashnod's Altar? That makes infinite mana, which means you can sac Kokusho, the Evening Star or Gray Merchant of Asphodel infinitely to win with Nim Deathmantle. My point is, you can choose to not play 4+ black tutors and instead play fun synergistic combos including cards like Karmic Guide (I did read your request to not suggest it so I'm not, just mentioning it as an example) that may happen as a result of the rest of the deck working but you don't have to tutor for every game. Also, why no Cabal Coffers + Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth ?

November 7, 2016 2:07 p.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #2

EternalBrewmaster, thanks for your feedback. I wasn't even aware of that infinite combo you mentioned haha. Thanks for pointing it out. I had actually taken out Nim Deathmantle as well but forgot to replace it in the decklist.

I like your suggestion about reducing the number of tutors. It would create space for more fun interactions.

Only reason Cabal Coffers isn't in there is because I only own one copy and it's sitting in another deck. Just a personal preference but I prefer not to switch out cards between decks. Urborg could definitely go into my deck though. It still synergizes with Crypt Ghast even without Cabal Coffers.

November 7, 2016 2:26 p.m.

I'm glad it was helpful. It's actually pretty hard to build a fun synergistic without infinite combos because so many of the cards just do that. For more ideas, check out my deck Vish Kal, I am the Sword in the Darkness.

November 7, 2016 3:17 p.m.

Ruffigan says... #4

Dance of the Dead and Necromancy would be cheap, effective additions. You could also add Heliod's Pilgrim to search for Animate Dead/Dance of the Dead, and Sun Titan can bring them back for more reanimator goodness. Two other good cards for reanimation are Strands of Night and Chainer, Dementia Master. The life cost is obviously negligible but the Swamp sacrifice can hurt. The good thing about them are that you can do it at instant speed.

For more reanimation targets I'd add Angel of Despair, Sepulchral Primordial, and War Priest of Thune.

November 8, 2016 11:47 a.m.

thijmnesoy says... #5

very, very, very nice deck.Sol Ring? just for mana bonus. most Commander decks have a Sol Ringand Command Beacon? most Commander decks also have a Command Beacon

November 8, 2016 12:18 p.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #6

thijmnesoy, thanks for the suggestions. Sol Ring is actually banned in my playgroup for being TOO fast when it comes to mana ramp. Command Beacon is a great card and is in a few of my other decks. Ayli is so cheap to cast though that I don't usually experience being "priced out" of casting her. Command Beacon is great for commanders that are expensive to cast or tend to get hated out of play a lot.

Ruffigan, appreciate the feedback. I could definitely see a spot for Necromancy in here. Chainer is awesome. He's in my mono-black Erebos deck. My only concern with him in here is the triple black activation cost. That can be a bit trickier in a 2-colour deck. Heliod's Pilgrim is as interesting choice! I think if anything though I'm going to cut back on the number of tutors I have in here just to make the deck more variable.

November 8, 2016 12:31 p.m.

Caves of Koilos and Concealed Courtyard to further shore up your mana base.

Grave Pact and Skeletal Scrying to squeeze extra value out of your sacrifice shenanigans.

Swords to Plowshares and Vindicate for added utility.

November 8, 2016 2:28 p.m.

This is a brilliant deck. I like the dynamic in this deck and I think I could be happy being defeated to a deck like this. It is cruel but ultimately fair. A little bit more fair than mine and a little bit less flawed as well. Sliver Craze (Remastered) <- #Shamelesspromotion

November 11, 2016 11:42 p.m.

Aww man I LOVE Ayli lists. My current main deck is an Ayli combo list which is in the process of being fully foiled! I'd like to make a more durdly list too once I have the cash, when I was brewing I discovered that Tree of Perdition is a must for the list. Just imagine your opponent's face when you drop the tree, switch it's toughness for your opponent's 40 life and then sac it to ayli to double your own!

I wish I could say I came up with it by myself but Command Zone recently did a deck doctors with it that I highly recommend. Give it a listen if you're into detailed podcasts. I believe it's available on youtube as well.

November 16, 2016 8:09 p.m.

BlueGuildKnight I just wanted to say that's a dope comment and you seem like a kickass human being. Also Orzhov is the best of all guilds. Keep draining your enemies' lives.

November 16, 2016 8:41 p.m.


Thanks for the kind words! You seem really awesome yourself! Happy deckbuilding, and keep rocking the Orzhov lists!

November 18, 2016 1:40 p.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #12

BlueGuildKnight, thanks so much for your supportive feedback. I agree that Tree of Perdition would be great in here. Unfortunately my playgroup bans cards that swap life totals (like Sorin Markov). Otherwise it would totally be in here.

EternalBrewmaster, thanks for your positive engagement on here. I love seeing people treating others with respect.

SliverKing_HateMeGuts, I really like your list too! Thanks for checking me out.

November 18, 2016 3:49 p.m.

:) this is a good thread and a good deck. feel free to check out my plethora of EDH decks if you're ever looking for a new idea. there's lots of unique goodies in there.

November 18, 2016 4:41 p.m.

BalkanDS says... #14

Since all of your reanimation targets are pretty expensive what are our doing the first four or so turns before they're out?

December 3, 2016 12:25 a.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #15

BalkanDS, the first few turns are casting Ayli, ramping, and dropping pillow fort enchantments like ghostly prison, authority of the consuls, and blind obedience. I usually find there is plenty to do before casting larger reanimation targets

December 11, 2016 4:58 p.m.

So, you've got enough low-cost cards that Sram's Expertise might find a good home here. It'll give you some sac fodder, while also letting you deploy another threat for free.

Call for Unity could also be really powerful. So could Hidden Stockpile

January 27, 2017 7:43 a.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #17

PhotogenicParasympathetic, thanks for your Suggestions. Those are great cards but I think they are better suited to a token deck. My deck doesn't really have a token theme. Thanks though :)

January 29, 2017 5:42 p.m.

Ares666 says... #18

Hell's Caretaker would be a great reanimator since you sac creatures anyways and play on that

January 31, 2017 4:42 p.m.

NecroPony says... #19

I'm honestly surprised to see a lack of both Path to Exile and Swords to Plowshares. I know Ayli deals with creatures, but she's not going to be available to you.

February 6, 2017 3:29 p.m.

HezTheGod says... #20

February 14, 2017 2:17 p.m.

scatteredsun says... #21

I really liked Gift of Immortality in my Ayli deck. I would sacrifice the creature (usually Sun Titan) during each opponents second main. With Sun Titan, I would get Gift back with its ETB. I could loop it for as much mana as I had. At 6 life a sac with Ayli, it added up fast.

I could see it getting really dumb with Kokusho. Get a Kokusho trigger during each opponents turn?

February 15, 2017 2:03 p.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #22

scatteredsun, nice suggestion. I see that working very nicely...especially with something like Ashen Rider

HezTheGod, Reanimate is an awesome card. I don't own it though and it's become a little pricey. If I pick one up, it would go in here.

NecroPony, Swords to Plowshares and Path to Exile are great and I put them in basically every white deck...except when I'm playing Orzhov. Orzhov has cards like Utter End, Anguished Unmaking, Ashen Rider, Angel of Despair, and Mortify which can target multiple types of permanents. I would throw in Swords if I needed another removal spell on top of those, but I think the deck is good for removal.

February 15, 2017 3:29 p.m.

Opifex says... #23

Maybe you will find something that helps you with your Ayli deck in mine, I am going for grave/flicker ETB combos, I also have Liliana, Heretical Healer  Flip and Kytheon, Hero of Akros  Flip which are great because Planeswalkers that return from the grave and they both play well with Ayli.

Psychopomp Tribal

Commander / EDH Opifex


February 18, 2017 9:57 p.m.

Alookeva says... #24

I saw that Tree of Perdition is banned but, add Triskaidekaphobia to a deck running tree, it's just funny.

February 28, 2017 10:24 a.m.

Alookeva says... #25

PhotogenicParasympathetic is right, Hidden Stockpile is very strong once you can get it going. I run it over Viscera Seer

February 28, 2017 10:29 a.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #26

Alookeva, I'll definitely give Hidden Stockpile some consideration. I don't own a copy but I'll goldfish with a proxy and test it out :)

February 28, 2017 12:01 p.m.

hunter9000 says... #27

Mikaeus, the Unhallowed seems like a good addition

March 8, 2017 7:15 p.m.

wylie says... #28

What about replacing Succumb to Temptation with Grim Haruspex?

March 9, 2017 1:45 a.m.

wylie says... #29

Also given how many enters the battlefield effects you have, Panharmonicon could add a lot of value.

March 9, 2017 2:19 a.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #30

wylie I've thrown in Grim Haruspex. Good call :) Panharmonicon I've thought about. It's a little overplayed in my playgroup and I'm reluctant to jump on the bandwagon lol

March 12, 2017 3:40 a.m.

NV_1980 says... #31

Well done MegaMatt13; love this list! If you don't mind, I'm going to copy it; I have all the required cards :) I was just wondering whether you've considered adding Athreos, God of Passage? Either get something back, or strip someone of some life; sounds like a good deal to me!

April 12, 2017 2:58 a.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #32

NV_1980, glad you like :) it's one of my favourite decks to play.

I had Athreos in earlier on. I actually found he moved a little slowly. I prefer spells that bring creatures back to the battlefield as opposed to hand since you save a lot on mana.

April 12, 2017 11:16 a.m.

Lutachris23 says... #33

Did you consider switching Wayfarer's Bauble for Expedition Map? You have a lot of non-basic lands, but I could see how the bauble can have its benefits. Just wondering your thinking for it over the map. Otherwise, I love the deck, I'm using it as a guideline for my Ayli deck :)

April 14, 2017 8:10 a.m.

Please login to comment

Compare to inventory

Revision 37 (3 days ago)

+1 Gift of Immortality main
-1 Zulaport Cutthroat main

See all