I thought about naming this deck "Deck Full of Creatures That Die And Then Come Back," but I figured it would be a bit too long.

Basically, though, that's what we have here. I made this to be an EDH mashup between two casual decks I have; Cemetery Smash, and Recycled Poop Brigade. The basic idea of those decks, and subsequently this one as well, is to get creatures into my graveyard at an alarming pace, while still being able to overwhelm the board with creatures.

The concept that makes Recycled Poop Brigade work is that all of the creatures in it are self-reanimating. Such a build allows freedom in the design of the rest of the deck, because classic reanimation spells like Victimize or Animate Dead are unnecessary. Such a build is a lot more difficult in EDH, but I incorporated the concept here as best I could. Nether Shadow, Nether Traitor, Ashen Ghoul, Bloodghast, Undead Gladiator, Bloodsoaked Champion, Golgari Grave-Troll, Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord and Woe Strider. That makes 9 creatures that can return from the graveyard without assistance. I realized quickly that spells with Escape hurt the deck in the long run (I want those cards in my graveyard), so the Strider is the only one I left in the deck. Of the other reanimation spells, most are also creatures. Again, this was a choice in design, meant to keep it an extremely creature heavy deck, so that the many sac outlets never lack in fuel. Furthermore, the reanimating creatures are mostly reusable, which includes the commander, Karador, Ghost Chieftain, and also, Athreos, God of Passage, Athreos, Shroud-Veiled and Meren of Clan Nel Toth. The rest of the list of reanimation is Acolyte of Affliction, Apprentice Necromancer, Doomed Necromancer, Cavalier of Night, Lim-Dul the Necromancer, Loyal Retainers, Brought Back, Liliana Vess, Liliana, Dreadhorde General, Journey to Eternity   and Yawgmoth's Will. That brings the total reanimation related spells to a whopping 24, or nearly a quarter of the deck. Not shabby, especially considering how many of them are reusable or autoreanimating.
The title of this panel implies the usage of Defense of the Heart, but that's just the easiest way to pull any of them off. The point of this panel is to illustrate the many synergies that exist, and subsequently the many paths to victory. This is not a combo deck, and no one card is more important than any other.

  • Syr Konrad, the Grim + Priest of Forgotten Gods = 5 damage every time you activate the priest. Especially effective when you control a Nether Traitor, because you can then spend one of the mana produced by the Priest to bring it immediately back, thus setting off Syr Konrad once more.
  • Syr Konrad, the Grim + Teysa Karlov = massive amounts of damage. Especially if you're considering the previous synergy. Of course, this synergy could easily be rewritten as Teysa + any number of things, I just feel like her interaction with Syr and his lil sis Cruel Celebrant are amongst the best. However...
  • Teysa Karlov + Grave Pact = kill everything. Seriously, with all of the sac outlets here, how could anyone still have creatures in play with this combo rolling? "I scullclamp my Shadow, you sac two creatures." "I activate Priest, you sac 5 creatures." And so forth. Absolutely dirty. Replace Grave Pact in this synergy with Butcher of Malakir, and you have the most likely candidates for targets of Defense of the Heart.
  • Bog Witch + Golgari Grave-Troll. Not the flashiest synergy on its own, but consider the benefits of throwing the Troll into the yard before you're able to cast it. Dredge 6 is reason enough to have Trollenstein in here, and spellshaping is the quickest way to get it there. Plus, you can do it every turn, until you're satisfied with the size of the yard, and hey, get 3 black every time as well.
  • Ghoulcaller Gisa or Kessig Cagebreakers + Dark Triumph = winning. Seriously. There are many, many creatures that can end up huge for Gisa (my personal favorite to use is Ghoultree), so her capacity to pump out mass amounts of tokens is uncanny. To that end, even the Cagebreakers can't produce faster. On the other hand, Cagebreakers' tokens enter attacking, which has its own advantages. In either case, it is almost never a problem to cast Dark Triumph for free, and +2 power to all those tokens is likely game when it occurs. All of this without even mentioning...
  • Ghoulcaller Gisa + Corpse Knight. Gisa creates a literal ton of creatures, and every time one zombie hits the field, the Knight fires. It's pretty sick when it goes down. Etc. Etc. Etc.
If you read the comments below, you'll find that the immediate concern most people have about the deck is mana production. It seems like most people consider having only 32 lands in the deck to be unthinkable. I promise you, though, it works. And not only does it work, but it lessens the possibility of drawing lands late-game. However, I conceded to the point that resources are incredibly important, and to that end, I added a helluva lot in nonland ramp, trying to do so while also staying north of 40 creatures and without taking away from the theme. So I put together what I think of as an acceleration package, not all of which is mana ramp related, but all of which speed things along.
  • Blood Pet, Bog Witch, Pitiless Plunderer, Ruthless Knave, Sifter of Skulls, Arcane Signet, Sol Ring, Black Market, Cryptolith Rite, Journey to Eternity  , Land Tax, Liliana of the Dark Realms, Smothering Tithe, Explosive Vegetation and Harrow all are specifically mana acceleration. That's 15 spells. With the 32 lands, that makes 47 cards dedicated to mana production. Nearly half of the deck.
  • Card draw coming from Beast Whisperer, Grim Haruspex,Priest of Forgotten Gods, Skullmulcher and Skullclamp. Not an incredibly long list, but very much effective. Each of these are capable of granting copious draw, and all of them synergize with the rest of the deck.
  • Defense of the Heart and Birthing Pod to cheat out creatures, not only basically tutoring them from the library, but also potentially putting them on the field faster than I could have cast them were they in my hand. These are the two most likely targets for Demonic Tutor.
  • As I've already mentioned, this is not a combo deck. There are a huge number of paths that the deck can take to a victory. One of which is simply the deck doing what it does; creating an imbalance of creatures, having really big creatures, and causing life loss at a rapid pace. It is essentially a reanimator agro deck, with the agro part somewhat unconventional. There's very little cheaters and tutors, because no cards are substantially more important than the rest. However, there are a few cards that usually ensure victory better than others.
  • Liliana Vess and Liliana, Dreadhorde General. At the moment that either of them ult, the game is over.
  • Dark Triumph + Centaur Chieftain. Sometimes just the Chief alone is enough to win, especially if Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest has been rolling for a few turns.
  • Syr Konrad, the Grim. I've already mentioned how powerful he can be in conjunction with a few other cards, but honestly he's a wincon just on his own. Creatures are entering and leaving the yard constantly in this deck. When you add in the various synergies that boost his effectiveness, he's a bad damn man.
  • I'm open to ideas about how to make this deck flow faster, or if there are creatures I shouldn't be ignoring.

    Thank you. Enjoy!


    Updates Add

    I will update the deck description when I find the time to do so, but I have made a few updates to the deck from the Ikoria set, and it seems to flow way better than before. Honestly, at this point Karador is more an added bonus than a classic commander, so if anyone has suggestions for someone different - as long as it remains Abzan - I'm open to ideas.

    Also, Mothra is my favorite new card in a very, very long time.

    Give it a look, and keep the suggestions coming!



    91% Competitive

    Top Ranked
    Date added 3 months
    Last updated 1 month

    This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

    Rarity (main - side)

    9 - 0 Mythic Rares

    49 - 0 Rares

    20 - 0 Uncommons

    9 - 0 Commons

    Cards 100
    Avg. CMC 3.21
    Tokens 0/1 Goat, 2/2 Wolf, None Treasure, Liliana, 2/2 Morph, Companion, 2/2 Zombie, Experience
    Folders Uncategorized, ideas commander, ideas for edh, edh, deck ideas, mtg, favorites, EDH, Cool decks, Interesting Decks, See all 11
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