pie chart

Google Ghave and The Search Engine of Doom

Commander / EDH* BGW (Abzan, Junk) Jank



This deck uses dark, sinister, and surprising manipulation turning what would usually be a bonus for opponents into pain.

Hello there! Both the deck and the write-up are currently a work in progress - gotta cleanup/re-organize the different sections, complete the explanations and make more of a primer for it. I look forward to hearing your input though! I’m definitely looking for help honing the pathways to the combo and I always enjoy bouncing ideas off you fantastic folks

A friend and I started playing MTG in January 2018. When we raided the free/trading boxes at our local stores there was a good amount of +1/+1 counter based cards we were using to build 60 card decks. When we got into EDH, I naturally gravitated towards Kresh the Bloodbraided and Ghave, Guru of Spores . I found Ob Nixilis, Unshackled in a store on a road trip through New Mexico, ordered Fertilid for my Ghave build and opened field of ruin in a box of Ixalan. I originally saw Obs first ability as a little bit of value until I noticed the "target player" non-optional "searches their library" on Fertilid and Field and got excited. A few games after building the deck, I had Fertilid on the field, enchanted a saproling with Pattern of Rebirth then, before my text turn sacrificed it into Ob for a one turn (almost) kill, taking an opponent from around 40 life. It was an “almost”, cause I felt bad taking them out of the game so early... I felt so bad about that idea of it it seems, that I went on a mission to build a deck fully devoted to this combo.

It's been a great community process and is a fun little challenge to play for a newb - I'm just figuring out the pathways now. It's not that complex at all, just enough to be interesting for beginners, and can be quite powerful.

Most notably on playing the deck I’ve tried to setup for one turn wins. Once I’ve gotten to know EDH and these cards more, I’ll likely start to explore if it can grind (just a little), though I don’t believe it’s setup for that...?

All together though, I'm excited with what we've come up with!

Some folks have even started to build their own versions. They are linked later on here. If you create a version, I'm happy to cross link it so we create a bit of a network of resources on building Doom Google decks. After all isn’t that a big part of why this site exists?

Meet your true leader

This is not a Ghave, Guru of Spores deck (that's just a front so people save their removals for the Cathars' Crusade and Doubling Season that never come). Ghave has been mind controlled, used for his alignments and his abilities, serving a much more sinister purpose.

This is a merciless, demonic deck, with a deep desire to dish out death, lead by...

A.K.A. General Ob "always-read-the-fineprint" Nixilis

 Commander Ob Nixilis

This is an Ob Nixilis, Unshackled deck dedicated to forcing people to search their library... to death.

This is an incredibly powerful ability, one that can win the game in a turn even if people are at 40-50 life. And yet, unless they’ve seen this deck before, even with him out on the board, nobody ever expects this sadistic strategy.

Meet the Search Engines

These are all the ways to force searches on people so they trigger punishment from Ob Nixilis, Unshackled .

"Who wants to ramp?"

 ETB Search Engine

Avatar of Growth

If there are 3 opponents, Avatar of Growth is basically a 3cmc 4/4 trampler with an ETB that triggers 3 creatures sacrificed and 30 life lost! What creature has more value than that? He's got so much value infact that Tappedout.net lists him as being banned in EDH when he actually isn't.

Re-ETB Triggers

Mikaeus, the Unhallowed - Eerie Interlude - Second Sunrise - Faith's Reward - Flicker

Sneak In

Eldritch Evolution or Birthing Pod , sacrificing Ghave - Protean Hulk - Pattern of Rebirth

"I said, who wants land?"

 the cheapest search engine

Collective Voyage

A 2 cmc mandatory "search engine" that hits everyone.


Eternal Witness

"Anyone want land?"

 +1/+1 machine gun search engine


The master blaster with rapid fire searches whose ammunition is only limited by mana and Ghave fuel.

Reset counters

Eerie Interlude Second Sunrise - Faith's Reward , and of course Mikaeus, the Unhallowed and Ghave! With the last two only limited by mana.


Eldritch Evolution - Birthing Pod - Protean Hulk - Pattern of Rebirth

"I'm SURE you all want land, go on and get some! But screw YOUR Nykthos Shrine to Nyx"

 Most accessible search engine

Field of Ruin

It destroys a land, kills 3 creatures and deals 30 damage to the face. It's pretty much an nuke.


Hour of Promise - Knight of the Reliquary


Eternal Witness

"...go on, go get any card you want..."

 the make-things-interesting search engine

Maralen of the Mornsong

This girl is pretty damn sexy, or at least appealing to everyone when you see what's she's offering. She's the "make-things-interesting" search engine.. Too bad she has a boyfriend, Aven Mindcensor . So really, she's just a big tease.

_"... from the top 3 cards of your library."

People can't be mad, even when combined with Mindcensor this is pretty much a Mirri's Guile plus draw a card!... COUGHlose10life,sacacreatureCOUGH


Recruiter of the Guard - Protean Hulk gets both Maralen and Mr. Mindcensor

"Who wants to be my friend? Wait, don't answer that... You're all my friends"

 the friendliest little search engine

Pir's Whim

Hits everyone for 4, and extra points for the "friend" flavour :D. It usually inspires the shaking of some heads.


Eternal Witness

"it's okay, we'll do it together"

Meren of Clan NelToth, Karador, Ghost Chieftan, The Gitrog Monster , Muldrotha, the Gravetide each have the to make this work, as well as other benefits that synergize.

Reason's I chose Ghave:

  1. As well as the essential for the core strategy, he has which is great for exile recursion, protection.... and Aven Mindcensor .

  2. He's got a built in sac engine to activate Deathrender - Pattern of Rebirth - Protean Hulk - Dark Prophecy - Fecundity - Mikaeus, the Unhallowed

  3. On board token creation to make targets for: Skullclamp , Pattern of Rebirth , Deathrender , card draws with death triggers... and maybe even a Settle the Wreckage on myself for mana ramp?

  4. Ghave's counter interaction: combos with Mikaeus, the Unhallowed providing multiple ETB (or exit the battlefield) triggers in a turn such as Protean Hulk , Fertilid , Fierce Empath and "protection" for key creatures through undying instant recursion.

  5. He has the 5 CMC needed to be sacrificed by Eldritch Evolution and Birthing Pod into key pieces such as Ob Nixilis, Unshackled , Avatar of Growth , or Mikaeus, the Unhallowed . He can produce a green token for to target by Natural Order or Deathrender .

  6. A great value engine to get things rolling, for reasons mentioned above and in combination with: Young Wolf , Ivy Lane Denizen , the altars, card draw with death triggers, Mikaeus, the Unhallowed , the +1/+1's being produced by Ob Nixilis.

After publishing the idea on here, I got plenty of great feedback, with the most notable ideas coming from AkaAkuma, NeverCloud, Kamerot, hkhssweiss, Abzkaban, PopeAwesome, Hi_diddly_ho_neighbor, SynergyBuild and Dasbasdo.

While I think focusing on Ob Nixilis, Unshackled 's ability as a wincon is a pretty fresh idea, there's so many different ways to go with this, and probably approaches that'd make it far more competitive than this. hkhssweiss and SynergyBuild both explored their own more focused Doom Google versions.

Other Builds

hkhssweiss created a more lands focused Ghave

Google Ghave (Lands Matter Route)

Commander / EDH hkhssweiss


SynergyBuild explore a more cut to the chase Meren build, focusing on using Field of Ruin and Avatar of Growth for the triggers.

Doom Google

Commander / EDH* SynergyBuild


If you do a Search Engine of Doom, aka Doom Google build, let me know and I'll include it here!

Ob Nixilis Pain Tribal

Both Ob Nixilis commanders are very effective and efficient pain commanders. If I wanted to make a less competitive derpy version, I'd go Ob Nixilis Pain Tribal and make this half Search Engine of Doom and half Death by Land. This would increase support for Field of Ruin and make it a little jankier... But still powerful for slow and casual metas, I think.

Pain Theme

Considering the abilities and flavour of both Ob Nixilis, the Fallen and Ob Nixilis, Unshackled , you could look at cards like: - Exquisite Blood does me good from both Ob Nixilis triggers, Painful Quandary , etc. though it makes me think people would then want to attack this deck rather than its opponents. - Painful Quandary keeps the Ob Nixilis "Pain" theme going.. though it'll likely attract heat from everyone - Wound Reflection a nice piece to double up on the "pain", especially with Ob Nixilis, Unshackled and a mass trigger from Avatar of Growth , Collective Voyage and Field of Ruin on the burner.

Lands Matter

The Lands Matter strategy overlaps nicely with the Search Engine strategy as there are many land related cards that power/support the Search Engine strategy. This, and the fact the mana-ramp is always good. I do feel fitting in something like kodoma's reach would help the deck ramp early on and keep fueling the landfall in small ways when durdling.

Landfall Commander

Ob Nixilis, the Fallen

 Commander Ob Nixilis

Support: Fierce Empath - Deathrender - Birthing Pod - Eldritch Evolution - Protean Hulk - Pattern of Rebirth


Besides the landfall pain from Ob Nixilis, the Fallen , there's some other landfall benefits to work with the mass landfall effects.

Boundless Realms - big ramp turn and landfall token trigger, thins the deck, creates big opportunities in combination with Scapeshift , Sylvan Safekeeper World Shaper & Splendid Reclamation .

Retreat to Kazandu - produces fuel for Ghave, Guru of Spores or keeps you in the game. Rude Awakening - sets up for a big turn, especially after activating Realms Uncharted , World Shaper or Splendid Reclamation , or Boundless Realms.

Large Land ETB

Scapeshift - mana fixing, or mana ramp with World Shaper & Splendid Reclamation

World Shaper or Splendid Reclamation - recurs Field of Ruin , mana ramps with Scapeshift , works on protection while holding value and triggering landfalls with Sylvan Safekeeper or Reprocess , brings back Glacial Chasm or provides STAX type control with Natural Balance .

Sylvan Safekeeper protection while holding value with Crucible of Worlds , Ramunap Excavator and can feed a big landfall turn with Splendid Reclamation , if I have enough creatures to shroud and enough forests. Fortitude is a great option though, as is Squandered Resources .

Glacial Chasm that doesn't harm me with Crucible of Worlds or Ramunap Excavator .

Perilous Forays fuels the landfall and utilizes the creatures created from landfall to keep ramping.


Emeria Shepherd can use the consistent land interaction to trigger her landfall ability for mass recursion of Ob Nixilis, Unshackled , Avatar of Growth , Fertilid , Wound Reflection or other strong pieces, depending on context.

Landfall Triggers and fuel for Ghave's sacs:

Emeria Angel - Sporemound - maybe another one can be added if the CMC is right.

These provide fuel for Ghave, Skullclamp , Phyrexian Altar , Ashnod's Altar , Deathreap Ritual , Bloodspore Thrinax , Reprocess , and prepping my battlefield for big life total on Biorhythm / Shaman of Forgotten Ways turn. I have Ivy Lane Denizen to trigger of the tokens as more fuel for Ghave, as well as Retreat to Kazandu


Updates Add

Comments View Archive


100% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 11 months
Last updated 2 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 104
Avg. CMC 2.79
Tokens 2/2 Zombie, None Treasure, 1/1 Saproling
Folders Uncategorized, Really Cool, Ghave
Ignored suggestions
Shared with

Revision 35 See all

2 months ago)

+1 Scheming Symmetry main