Deck Concept

What started as a Skullbriar, the Walking Grave tribal zombie deck has turned into something much more sinister, and ultimately designed to keep up with or even exceed the pace of some of my playgroup's cEDH decks. This certainly isn't the type of deck to just pull out at the local game shop's Commander night, but it will definitely keep up with players who pull out the top Tier 1 and Tier 1.5 decks in competitive groups. Had I planned to build this deck in the first place, rather than by trial and error, I would have been well served to look at some of the original SBT competitive decks on the site, so I'll give what I think is the best among them a nod and refer you to check out SBT Combo as well.

With this Sultai-themed reanimator/dredge deck, the quicker you fill your graveyard, the faster your opponents will find themselves in one. With Sidisi, Brood Tyrant at the helm, the veritable swiss-army knife of complimentary creatures, zombie tokens, self-mill, dredge, and reanimation spells and abilities in the deck are designed to win the game by turn five, with fairly consistent results. As the deck's name implies, your only concern is making the deck go fast - so try not to concern yourself too much with what your opponents are doing when playing this deck...just find one of the killer-combo win conditions and go for the throat.

Combos and Play

There are several ways to kill your opponents quickly via combos and/or infinite loops with the deck, as well as multiple ways to find yourself reaching those win conditions. Even when you end up facing some graveyard hate, the multiple combo options available should give you plenty of flexibility to overcome one or two of the combos getting hosed. Below are some of the quickest and cleanest options to bring the game to an end.

A turn-one kill is possible, but requires specific starting hands, which include: Any land that produces or , Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, Sol Ring, Phyrexian Altar, Flash and Protean Hulk. The Dark Ritual and Sol Ring could also be exchanged for Mana Crypt and Cabal Ritual, as a total of five unused mana, with at least one and one is required. Once the mana is available after playing the artifacts and ritual, flash in the hulk to trigger his ability, and put Gravecrawler, Carrion Feeder, Blood Artist and Zulaport Cutthroat into play (totaling 6 CMC). Sacrifice the crawler to the altar for one mana, triggering both the artist's and cutthroat's abilities, then recast the crawler with the floating and repeat until all opponents are dead.

A similar but simplified turn-one kill possibility includes any land that produces or , Lotus Petal, Flash and Protean Hulk. Flash in the hulk to trigger his ability, and put Carrion Feeder and Phyrexian Delver into play, returning the Protean Hulk to play again, this time grabbing Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and Walking Ballista after sacrificing the hulk to the feeder. Sacrifice the ballista to the feeder, pinging an opponent with the +1/+1 counter first, thus triggering Mikaeus and looping the undying ability until all opponents are dead. Thanks to Mindslayer for pointing out this previously missing option via the Viscera Seer suggestion.

Another turn-one kill possibility can be completed with any mana sources totaling at least 4 mana, two of which must be , as it requires casting Buried Alive to drop Necrotic Ooze, Phyrexian Devourer, and Triskelion or Walking Ballista into your graveyard, then Reanimate necrotic ooze, resulting in an instant-speed counter-ping kill, which is limited to the remaining CMC of your library (current total CMC of the deck is 168 excluding the commander, so after using either 14 or 20 CMC for the combo, the maximum number of players for this turn-one kill would be three opponents). Obviously any reanimate spell option will work, so long as you have the additional mana to cast it. With all of the cheap draw and tutor spells available in the deck, this is the most consistent combo to find, as well as the most difficult to respond to by opponents, and is very consistently achieved on turns 3 through 5.

Another simple kill combo is achieved by getting Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and Triskelion into play, again using counters to ping your opponents while utilizing the undying ability to bring back the Triskelion once he kills himself with his last two counters. If Blood Artist or Zulaport Cutthroat is also in play, the same effect can be achieved with Walking Ballista by killing himself over and over, or with Carrion Feeder in play as noted above.

Even without an obvious game-winning combo piece in your starting hand, there are plenty of draw spells and dredge spells to help you find a win condition quickly. The early utilization of spells like Brainstorm, Careful Study, Preordain and Ponder can provide clarity on which combo-option to focus on developing.

In the absence of a clear win-combo option possibility, your fall back plan is to reanimate an early table threat that must be dealt with, such as Sheoldred, Whispering one or Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur, which can often be nearly as effective as one of the primary kill-combos, by essentially shutting down your opponents before hand or board state. Utilize the dredge spells/abilities available, while saving cards like Entomb and Buried Alive for the noted combos, and keep an eye out for your opponents with available blue and white mana, as control and exile spot removal are normally our worst enemy.

There are many other potential combos you'll run into while playing the deck, including the obligatory Laboratory Maniacfoil icon + Tainted Pact option, the Food Chain + Eternal Scourge option, and many more, which gives it plenty of versatility and flexibility, and makes it effective at setting the pace of the game, even in the scenario of a relatively weak opening hand. Something as simple as playing an early Stinkweed Imp can often stall your opponents potential early attacks, and is an excellent dredge source if killed - if he can avoid exile spot removal, he can often set up the win all by himself.

Overall, the deck is relatively simple and straight forward to play, consistently fast in achieving potential win conditions, and doesn't take a lot of strategy or concern about your opponents. I find when playing the deck, it's best to treat it like a sprint and race for the win. If you do, you should fairly quickly find the graves filled with what you need - plenty of potential winning combos.

Thanks for looking, and if you have an idea for the deck I've failed to include, feel free to add a comment/suggestion.


Updates Add



100% Competitive

Compare to inventory
Date added 2 years
Last updated 3 weeks
Exclude colors WR
Splash colors UG

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.51
Tokens 2/2 Zombie, 1/1 Spirit, Jace, 1/1 Bird
Folders Various Top Commander, EDH, Sample, Interesting Commander Decks, Competitive EDH Decks, Sweet decks, deck ideas, EDH Commanders
Top rank #15 on 2017-10-30
Ignored suggestions
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Revision 62 See all

3 weeks ago)

-1 Diregraf Captain main
+1 Buried Alive main
+1 Dispel main
-1 Ramunap Excavator main
-1 Life/Death main
+1 Exhume main
-1 Forbidden Orchard main
+1 Ancient Tomb main
-1 Exhume main
-1 Mystical Tutor main
-1 Snapcaster Mage main
-1 Golgari Thug main
+1 Forbidden Orchard main
+1 Mystical Tutor main
+1 Force of Will main
+1 Delay main
+1 Intuition main
+1 Swan Song main
+1 Death main
-1 Victimize main
and 27 other change(s)