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In the end, all belong to the God of the Dead

Commander / EDH* Cruel Control Discard Lifegain Mono-Black



Erebos himself is a lifegain hoser, card advantage generator, and a great mana sink. I've found that using all available mana every turn cycle is fantastically powerful, so I love Commanders with an attached mana sink. Eerebos is also very hard to remove, being a creature only some of the time, and Indestructible all the time.

This is an early prototype for a deck I'm going to start playtesting tonight. Erebos was my very first commander when I entered the format a few years ago, so this deck is just filled with nostalgia for me. The theme is the inevitability of death - main win conditions are things like a big Exsanguinate or cumulative Pestilence activations. Alternatives I'm considering would be removing the creatures and adding the creature-hate enchantments in the maybeboard, but this would also remove some of the big mana creatures. It would also eliminate the need for Grave Pact, Dictate of Erebos, Attrition, Contamination, Mind Slash, Whip of Erebos, and maybe some others, but this really hurts the thematic feel for the God of the Dead.

Overall I want to leverage the facts that:

Erebos is extremely resilient to removal.

Erebos is a mana sink and card advantage in the command zone.

Erebos asymmetrically hoses lifegain, meaning I can gain life, but nobody else can.

Key interactions under consideration (not all in the first revision):

Erebos, God of the Dead + Words of Waste - pay {2}{B} and 2 life: each opponent discards a card.

This can be used with Geth's Grimoire to also draw a card for each card opponents just discarded, which could potentially be draw 3. Massive card advantage.

It can also be used with Waste Not to generate mana, more cards, and zombie tokens. Since this can be used on my turn, I'm more likely to be able to use those cards and mana, but I can also use it on opponents' turns to make possible zombies.

Pestilence Demon + Whip of Erebos will create massive lifegain and life drain. Assuming a usual 4-player pod, each {B} will cause me to gain 5 life and lose 1, and that assumes no other creatures exist. With nothing else, I could do this multiple times per turn cycle, up to 5 times per player's turn if I have the mana. Again, mana sinks are great. This will keep the board mostly clear of creatures, drain out all my opponents, and gain me an absolute ton of life. If Erebos is out, I'll gain another life for each activation.

Pestilence Demon + Basilisk Collar + Darksteel Plate makes the Demon a repeatable, instant speed board wipe for {B} that doesn't affect my commander, and still gains me a ton of life and drains out my opponents. Without the Plate, the Demon will kill himself...but I can maintain priority and put repeated activations on the stack to gain a huge amount of life and kill all the things. Black has enough reanimation that the Demon is never really gone forever unless exiled.

Season of the Witch + Crawlspace or Glacial Chasm provides some pillowfort and an excellent permanent Goad-like effect with removal baked in. Erebos can attack easily because he's Indestructible, but this will force opponents' utility creatures to attack whenever able, both stopping blocks and hopefully eliminating those utility creatures. Crawlspace does not say "cannot attack", so in a hypothetical 1v1 scenario, opponent can attack with 2 creatures, and any other untapped creatures without summoning sickness are destroyed. Add No Mercy or Dread and it's likely opponents will just attack each other, since coming at me is guaranteed death for their creatures...and I can gain life back, while they cannot. This is under consideration, but may not make the cut due to problematic interactions with my own utility creatures like Crypt Ghast. Glacial Chasm makes this pretty crazy, since none of my creatures can attack (dodging Season), and I can't take combat damage, which means opponents will be forced to just attack each other.

Pestilence + Stuffy Doll makes one player have a very bad day. Add Basilisk Collar or Whip of Erebos and I'll be life-neutral while killing my opponents, who cannot gain life back.

Contamination + Bitterblossom or Reassembling Skeleton or Ophiomancer hoses most other decks pretty hard. Add Dictate of Erebos or Grave Pact and the world becomes a very difficult place for creatures. Blood Artist or Falkenrath Noble provide more means of draining opponents if I'm sacrificing repeatedly. Reaper from the Abyss becomes repeated removal. This is currently a maybe, because I'm not sure I have enough token/self-recurring creature support to get it online reliably, but benefiting from continual death is very on-point for flavor and is super effective.

Grave Betrayal plus any board wipe or other removal means what dies becomes mine...as is appropriate for the God of the Dead.

Erebos, God of the Dead + The Abyss or Magus of the Abyss becomes an interesting targeted Destroy (not sacrifice) effect. I can target Erebos, who will live due to Indestructible, making the effect more easily maintained and asymmetric. I just purchased The Abyss in Italian in paper, and this was the main inspiration for the deck.

Nether Void + Mana Web + Defense Grid makes life super difficult for other control decks. It slows down the whole game, allowing Erebos to develop into a force of inevitability.

I'm considering Chains of Mephistopheles, but that effect hurts me as much as my opponents. I love it in my Nath of the Gilt-Leaf deck, but here it feels iffy. It can synergize with Necropotence well, but it kills my commander's draw engine.


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Date added 9 months
Last updated 3 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 147
Avg. CMC 3.75
Tokens 0/1 Goat, 5/5 Demon, 2/2 Zombie, Liliana, 1/1 Saproling, 20/20 Avatar, 1/1 Faerie Rogue, 1/1 Human Cleric, */* Generic, Nixilis
Folders Uncategorized
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Revision 14 See all

3 months ago)

-1 Coldsteel Heart main
+1 Pox main
+1 Arterial Flow main
+1 Underworld Dreams main
-1 Arterial Flow main
-1 Dark Petition main
+1 Journeyer's Kite main
+1 Death Cloud main
-1 Honden of Night's Reach main
+1 Trading Post main
-1 Liliana Vess main
-1 Journeyer's Kite main
+1 Black Sun's Zenith main
+1 Gravestorm main
-1 Gravestorm main
+1 Dark Petition main
-1 Killing Wave main
-1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth main
-1 Underworld Dreams main
+1 Liliana Vess main
and 26 other change(s)