pie chart

Just Froggin' Around - The Gitrog Monster Primer

Commander / EDH BG (Golgari) Competitive Infinite Combo Primer

kiebitzen

Maybeboard


Description

The Gitrog Monster Combo is a complex series of quasi-infinite loops utilizing The Gitrog Monster herself, a free discard outlet, and Dakmor Salvage, along with a few other cards to create a reliable and hard to disrupt instant-speed win against any number of opponents.

In this primer I will break down the individual phases of the combo and different variations based on what resources you have available.

The story of the Gitrog Monster: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/magic-story/sacrifice-2016-03-23
"You are a fool. You cannot kill the Gitrog. There is only one thing to do...Sacrifice."


The Combo

Phase 1: Draw your deck Show

Once you have the basic combo pieces set up, the first step is to draw your deck. There are two different loops described here, one to use if you need to play the combo out manually and the other for when you can shortcut it. The reason for this is that the Manual Loop is not quite deternimistic, so it cannot be shortcut, but the Shortcut Loop, while it is deterministic sacrifices some of the combo protection that the Manual Loop provides. I recommend explaining the Shortcut Loop and asking if people are okay with you moving to the end state of that loop (entire deck in hand) and if they want to interact with the loop at some point or want you to play it out, just explain that you are manually going to use a slightly different loop.

NOTE: If Gaea's Blessing is your ONLY discard outlet, you cannot use the Shortcut Loop because you might draw it and lose the ability to shuffle.

1 - Discard Dakmor generating a TGM draw trigger
2 - Resolve TGM's trigger by replacing the draw with Dakmor's Dredge ability
3a - If a land is one of the two cards dredged, resolve the trigger and draw a card
3b - If the Shuffle Effect is one of the two cards dredged, put the shuffle trigger on the stack (before the draw trigger if you also dredged a land) and continue in response
4 - If you drew the Shuffle Effect, discard it and continue in response to the trigger. If you drew a land and you have more than three lands in hand, discard it and draw another card
5 - If there are only one or two cards left in your library, discard lands to draw them
6 - If you already have the shuffle trigger on the stack, resolve it now and return to step 1
7 - If you drew the Shuffle Effect in one of the last two cards, discard it and resolve the shuffle trigger and return to step 1

Repeat this loop until your deck contains an odd number of lands and the Shuffle Effect with no other non-land cards. From there, you can skip straight to the Phase 2 loop to draw the rest of your deck and generate any number of draw triggers.

1 - Discard Dakmor generating a TGM draw trigger
2 - Resolve TGM's trigger by replacing the draw with Dakmor's Dredge ability
3a - If the Shuffle Effect and another non-land card are put into the graveyard, resolve the shuffle trigger. Return to step 1 and repeat
3b - If a land is put into the graveyard by the dredge ability and produces another TGM trigger, with that trigger on the stack, return to step 1 and repeat
3c - If both a land and the Shuffle Effect are put in the graveyard, you put the draw trigger on the stack first, then the shuffle trigger. Resolve the shuffle and return to step 1 and repeat

  • Stack: Returns to starting state
  • Hand: Contains all non-exiled cards not on the battlefield
  • Battlefield: TGM and Discard Outlet
  • Library: Empty

Phase 2: Infinite Draw Triggers Show

If you have made it here to phase two, it is incredibly difficult for anyone to stop you regardless of what they have. Like most combo decks, if you have drawn your deck, its simply a matter of correct sequencing from there.

NOTE: You can skip this phase if you plan to use a sorcery speed loop to generate infinite black mana. The sorcery speed loops don't require infinite draw triggers as they generate the triggers as part of the loop so they can maintain an empty stack.

NOTE: Gaea's Blessing doesn't work as a Shuffle Effect for this part because it only triggers on going from library to graveyard and not when discarded.

Setup - If you used the Shortcut Loop in Phase 1, its End State is identical to this Starting State. If you used the Manual Loop, to get to this Starting State from the Manual Loop End State simply discard a non-dakmor land and in response to the draw trigger, discard the Shuffle Effect and resolve the shuffle.

1 - Discard Dakmor, add a TGM trigger to the stack
2 - Resolve the TGM trigger to dredge two cards
3a - If you dredge two lands, put the TGM trigger on the stack and in response repeat from step 1
3b - If you dredge the Shuffle Effect, put the TGM trigger on the stack first, then the Shuffle Effect trigger, resolve the shuffle trigger and repeat from step 1

Cleanup - Once you have your "infinite" draw triggers, resolve two of them to draw the non-Dakmor land and the Shuffle Effect.

  • Stack: "Infinite" draw triggers on the stack
  • Hand: Contains all non-exiled cards not on the battlefield
  • Battlefield: TGM and Discard Outlet
  • Library: Empty

Phase 3: Infinite Black Mana Show

Easy mode: If you have Skirge Familiar as your discard outlet, you already have "infinite" black mana on accident just from creating "infinite" draw triggers.

Instant Speed Mana Sources:
1. Dark Ritual
2. Cabal Ritual

Sorcery Speed Mana Sources:
1. Lotus Petal
2. Culling the Weak+(Deathrite Shaman, Putrid Imp, or Dark Confidant)
3. Lion's Eye Diamond

NOTE: Putrid Imp can not be both your Discard Outlet AND part of your mana source, but if you have another outlet in play you can use it for Culling the Weak.

  • Stack: Any state for Instant Speed Loop, Empty stack for Sorcery Speed Loops
  • Hand: Contains deck including Shuffle Effect and Mana Source
  • Battlefield: TGM and any Discard Outlet
  • Library: Empty

Each Mana Source has different requirements to begin the loop:

Dark Ritual
Start cost:
Loop to use: Instant Speed Loop
When to use: This is the optimal Mana Source if you need to go off at instant speed

Lotus Petal
Start cost:
Loop to use: Sorcery Speed Loop
When to use: This is the optimal option if you have no mana but are able to do sorcery speed

Cabal Ritual
Start cost:
Loop to use: Instant Speed Loop
When to use: If you somehow don't have Dark Ritual anymore and need to go off at instant speed

Culling the Weak
Start cost: + Cost of creature (None if the creature is already in play)
Loop to use: Sorcery Speed Loop
When to use: Almost never, but if all your other options are exiled it is an option

Lion's Eye Diamond
Start cost:
Loop to use: Sorcery Speed Loop
When to use: Works like Lotus Petal, but WAY more work, so only when desperate

This loop converts two draw triggers to one black mana at instant speed allowing you to turn "infinite" draw triggers to "infinite" black mana at instant speed.

Setup - To prepare for this loop from the starting state, put "infinite" draw triggers on the stack using the loop from Phase 2

1 - Cast the Dark Ritual or Cabal Ritual
2 - Discard the Shuffle Effect and resolve its trigger
3 - Resolve two draw triggers and repeat from step 1

These sorcery speed loops don't use the infinite draw triggers the way the instant speed loops do, but rather use a more limited draw as part of a bigger loop that can be shortcut to give you "infinite" mana.

Lotus Petal/Culling the Weak Loop
1a - Cast Lotus Petal and activate it, then discard a non-land card
1b - Cast a creature (Deathrite Shaman, Putrid Imp, or Dark Confidant) then cast Culling the Weak sacrificing it
2 - Discard Shuffle Effect and resolve the shuffle trigger
3 - Discard three non-dakmor lands and resolve the draws
4 - Discard Shuffle Effect and resolve the shuffle trigger
5 - Use the Instant Speed Draw loop from Phase 2 to generate generate four draw triggers
6 - Resolve the draw triggers to draw your library and repeat from step 1

Lion's Eye Diamond Loop
1 - Discard a nonland card and the Shuffle Effect and resolve the shuffle trigger.
2 - Cast Lion's Eye Diamond and activate it discarding hand
3 - Resolve the TGM trigger to dredge Dakmor putting the Shuffle Effect into the Graveyard and then resolve the shuffle trigger
4 - Use the Manual Loop from Phase 1 to draw your deck again and repeat from step 1

  • Stack: Returned to starting state
  • Hand: Contains deck
  • Battlefield: TGM and any Discard Outlet
  • Library: Empty
  • Mana: "Infinite" Black Mana

Phase 4: Infinite Green Mana Show

NOTE: You can skip this phase if you intend to win at sorcery speed with Praetor's Grasp, as it does not require any green mana.

There are three ways to do this depending on which cards you have available. Two are instant speed and one is sorcery speed. Use whichever you prefer if both instant speed options are available. One method uses Elvish Spirit Guide to make the mana, the other uses lands to do it. If those are unavailable the sorcery speed method is there as a backup.

This is the simplest loop to generate "infinite" green mana. It converts five draw triggers and four black mana to one green mana and four black mana allowing you to turn "infinite" draw triggers into "infinite" green mana.

  • Stack: "Infinite" draw triggers
  • Hand: Contains deck including Required Cards
  • Library: Empty
  • Mana: At least

1 - Exile ESG from your hand to add
2 - Discard Riftsweeper
3 - Cast Necromancy targeting Riftsweeper
4 - Resolve Riftsweeper's etb trigger targeting ESG
5 - Cast Culling the Weak sacrificing Riftsweeper
6 - Discard the Shuffle Effect to shuffle back in ESG, Riftsweeper, Culling the Weak, Necromancy and the Shuffle Effect
7 - Resolve five draw triggers to draw your library and repeat from step 1

  • Stack: "Infinite" draw triggers
  • Hand: Contains deck
  • Library: Empty
  • Mana: "Infinite" green mana and at least

This loop provides another option if you are missing a piece of the Elvish Spirit Guide Loop, but requires a single green mana to start. This loop converts two draw triggers, one green mana and (with Twilight Mire) one black mana to two green mana allowing you to convert your "infinite" draw triggers and "infinite" black mana to "infinite" green mana at instant speed.

Setup: If your Double-green Land is not in play yet and you do not have any more land drops for the turn (or are comboing at instant speed), look at the "TRICK: Land Swapping" in the Extra Tips and Tricks section for an explanation of how to get it into play.

  • Stack: "Infinite" draw triggers
  • Hand: Contains deck including Required Cards
  • Battlefield: Double-green Land
  • Library: Empty
  • Mana: and if using Twilight Mire, "Infinite" black mana

1 - Discard Shuffle Effect and resolve the shuffle trigger
2 - Cast Crop Rotation sacrificing your Double-green Land
3 - Resolve the draw trigger from the Crop Rotation sac to draw the Shuffle Effect
4 - With Crop Rotation still on the stack, discard the Shuffle Effect
5 - Resolve the shuffle trigger to shuffle the Shuffle Effect and the Double-green Land into the library
6 - Resolve Crop Rotation by searching your library for the Double-green Land and putting it onto the battlefield
7 - Tap the land to add at least two green mana to your mana pool
8 - Resolve a draw triggers to draw the Shuffle Effect
9 - Discard the Shuffle Effect and resolve the shuffle trigger
10 - Resolve two draw triggers to return to the Starting State and repeat from step 1

  • Stack: "Infinite" draw triggers
  • Hand: Contains deck
  • Library: Empty
  • Mana: "Infinite" Green Mana

You only need to use one of these loops if you are forced to go off at sorcery speed but don't have Praetor's Grasp for the black mana only combo (described in Phase 5), or if you don't have access to the necessary pieces for either the Crop Rotation Loop or the ESG loop.

Use the exact loops described in Phase 3 under "Sorcery Speed Loops". The loops that utilize the mana sources Lotus Petal or Lion's Eye Diamond can both be used to create green mana in addition to black.

Phase 5: Winning the Game Show

There are two "wincons" in this deck, one aimed for a sorcery speed win and the other capable of working at instant speed. They both use "infinite" loops to kill all your enemies at once, one by exiling all of their decks, the other by dealing damage to them.

This is the optimal loop for winning the game. Having an instant speed wincon means you can do things like win in your endstep or in response to removal on one of your combo pieces.

Setup: If your Rath's Edge and/or Dryad Arbor are not in play yet, look at the "TRICK: Land Swapping" in the Extra Tips and Tricks section for an explanation of how to get it into play.

1 - Discard the Shuffle Effect and shuffle
2 - Cast Crop Rotation sacrificing Rath's Edge
3 - Draw the Shuffle Effect from the TGM trigger and discard the Shuffle Effect with Crop Rotation still on the stack
4 - Resolve the shuffle and then resolve Crop Rotation to put Rath's Edge back onto the battlefield
5 - Activate Rath's Edge, sacrificing Dryad Arbor, to deal one damage to an opponent and draw the Shuffle Effect from the draw trigger
6 - If Necromancy was not enchanting Dryad Arbor, discard it
7 - Discard the Shuffle Effect and resolve four draw triggers
8 - Discard Dryad Arbor and in response to the draw trigger cast Necromancy targeting Dryad Arbor and repeat from step 1

You Win! Congratulations!

If you have the luxury of doing your combo at sorcery speed (or are forced to because you don't have the pieces necessary for the instant speed win), you can win directly after producing infinite black mana by simply using the same loop as you did for the sorcery speed mana but with Praetor's Grasp instead. This will allow you to exile all your opponents decks face down so that they lose as soon as they draw for their next turn.

  • Stack: Empty
  • Hand: Contains deck including Required Cards
  • Battlefield: TGM and any Discard Outlet
  • Library: Empty
  • Mana: "Infinite" black mana

1 - Cast Praetor's Grasp targeting an opponent with cards still in their library
2 - Discard a non-land card, then discard the Shuffle Effect and resolve the shuffle trigger
3 - Discard three non-dakmor lands and resolve the draw triggers
4 - Discard the Shuffle Effect and resolve the shuffle trigger
5 - Use the Instant Speed Draw loop from Phase 2 to generate four draw triggers
6 - Resolve the draw triggers to draw your library and repeat from step 1

You Win! Congratulations!


Tips and Tricks Show

This trick helps you get the combo piece lands into play in order to set up their respective "infinite" loops. It is most often used to put Twilight Mire, Gaea's Cradle or Rath's Edge into play, but you could use it to swap any two lands between your hand and the battlefield.

Setup: If you have zero lands in play you can get to this starting state at instant speed by doing the following: Discard Shuffle Effect and shuffle. Discard Dryad Arbor and draw. Cast Necromancy targeting Dryad Arbor.

NOTE: If got here with no lands in play, and thought "Oh that is convenient, but I already have Necromancy in play enchanting my Discard Outlet, how can I use it again??", just check out the TIP: "But I already used my Necromancy!".

1 - Discard a non-land and then the Shuffle Effect and resolve the shuffle trigger
2 - Discard the Desired Land and resolve the draw trigger
3 - Cast Crop Rotation sacrificing any land in play and draw from the trigger
4 - With Crop Rotation still on the stack, discard the Shuffle Effect and resolve the shuffle trigger
5 - Resolve Crop Rotation putting the Desired Land into play
6 - Resolve two draw triggers to draw your library
7 - Discard the Shuffle Effect and resolve another two draw triggers to return to the starting state but with the Desired Land now in play

If your Necromancy is already in play enchanting your Discard Outlet, but you need it to put a land into play for the instant speed win combo because all your lands got Armageddoned away, or more likely, because you sacrificed them all to get to this point, you can use this simple trick to get access to Necromancy once more.

1 - Cast Nature's Claim (or anything similar) on Necromancy
2 - In response to the Necromancy trigger, use your extensive loop knowledge to generate "infinite" draws and "infinite" mana again, and finish off all the combos with the Necromancy trigger still on the stack.

NOTE: This does not work for the sorcery speed loops, but you don't need lands in play for the sorcery speed loops, so don't worry about it.

Special thanks to Razzliox for this tip.

Your endstep can be used as a discard outlet to filter through your deck and set up your instant speed combo. We will look at two different loops you can use in your endstep to filter to a winning hand.

NOTE: These loops work even through Necropotence (perhaps the most common way to end the turn with more than seven cards in hand) by simply putting the Necropotence trigger on the stack first and resolving the draw (dredge actually) first so Dakmor or the Dredger never get exiled. Be extra careful using the Dredge Tutoring loop with Necropotence out though because you will lose anything you discard that is not a Dredger. Don't discard anything you will need later.

First lets look at how you get Dakmor Salvage to your hand if you don't have it already. This loop filters through your deck and allows you to replace any lands in your hand with non-lands from your deck as well as potentially putting Dakmor Salvage into your graveyard (and then to hand). It is not infinite in any sense as it only works once for each land you have to be able to discard and can fizzle if you ever don't hit a land on your dredge.

  • Turn Phase: Cleanup Step
  • Hand: 8+ cards (including at least one land)
  • Battlefield: TGM
  • Graveyard: Dredger

NOTE: The Dredger can start in your hand instead of graveyard, you just need to have 9+ cards in hand so you can discard both the Dredger and a land.

1 - Discard a land (and Dredger if it is in hand) to cleanup
2 - Replace the TGM trigger with dredge
3a - Dredge X cards hitting Dakmor and dredge Dakmor back with the draw trigger - Congratulations you did it!
3b - Dredge X cards hitting zero lands - Oh no! You fizzled
3c - Dredge X cards hitting one or more lands and resolve the draw
4c - Once the stack clears, the game creates a new Cleanup Step bringing you back to step 1

Next we will look at the loop once you have Dakmor Salvage in your hand. This loop allows you to actually filter through your entire library and choose the hand you want. While you can do this and just pass with the "perfect" hand, the next section will look at what hands can win immediately in the endstep so you don't have to pass the turn.

NOTE: This has to be done manually and can take a while but should not be considered slow play because you are continually changing the cards in your hand.

  • Turn Phase: Cleanup Step
  • Hand: 8+ cards (including Dakmor)
  • Battlefield: TGM

NOTE: Dakmor can be in the graveyard instead of your hand, you just need to discard a different land in the first cleanup step to dredge it back to hand.

1 - Discard Dakmor and your least important other cards to cleanup
2 - Replace the TGM trigger with dredge
3 - If the dredge hits a land, draw a card
4 - The stack clears and you enter a new cleanup step with one more card in your hand bringing you back to step 1

Eventually you will end up with a hand of nine cards that you want to keep because you discard down to seven cards, then dredge back Dakmor and draw the ninth card you want off the dredge. You then enter your final cleanup step where you can choose to either discard your two extra cards and pass the turn or try to go for an endstep win. This will usually just depend on if you have the cards needed for your instant speed win left in the deck. If you need to use the sorcery speed win, you will have to pass and wait for your next turn.

NOTE: First you may be wondering why these are nine card hands. This is because the way you get to these hands is the Dakmor Filtering Loop above. While it starts with 8 cards (so you can discard Dakmor), when you hit a land with Dakmor it gives you another draw bumping your hand size to 9 which is why you are able to filter while still discarding Dakmor over and over. Each of the play instructions in this section will start with which two cards you discard and then a response to those discards so that you can combo in that end step. Don't forget to respond to the triggers because if your opponents pass priority and the stack clears your turn will end and you can't do anything about it.

When filtering your hand in your endstep or looking to win at instant speed via an Ad Nauseam or something, you have to know what you actually want in your hand to set up the win. You can use the Dakmor Filtering Loop above to set up your hand in the following ways to enable a win. All of these assume you have Dakmor Salvage in hand and The Gitrog Monster in play. They are instant speed so you can use them even in your cleanup step right after filtering the hand.

Most of your options depend on how much available mana you have. We will start assuming you have zero available mana and work up from there to show some more options with more available resources.

NOTE: Remember that you can't float mana into the cleanup step so these must be untapped land/creature/artifact sources.

Elvish Spirit Guide (ESG)
Crop Rotation
Dark Ritual
Cabal Ritual
Necromancy
Discard Outlet (preferably Skirge Familiar)
Oblivion Crown
Non-dakmor Land
Dakmor Salvage

How to play:
Discard your Discard Outlet and the Non-dakmor Land
In response to the TGM trigger, exile ESG for and cast Crop Rotation.
Tutor for an untapped black land and tap it to add .
Cast Dark Ritual to go to .
Cast Cabal Ritual to get .
Cast Necromancy targeting you Discard Outlet.

Now you have all the pieces to combo out using the Manual Loop in Phase 1.

NOTE: This hand "loses" to counterspells but can play around a single removal spell if they cast the removal any time after you cast your rituals. If someone uses removal on TGM in response to Necromancy, cast Oblivion Crown and go off in response. This hand also protects Dakmor by not discarding it until you have your combo ready.

Elvish Spirit Guide (ESG)
Crop Rotation
Dark Ritual
Necromancy
Discard Outlet (preferably Skirge Familiar)
Oblivion Crown
Dakmor Salvage
Choose 2: Autumn's Veil, Cabal Ritual, Non-dakmor land

How to play:
Same as above except now you get to choose two of the three protections based on what you think your opponents have. Autumn Veil protects you against blue/black counterspells and removal, non-dakmor land protects you against graveyard hate, Cabal Ritual gives you the mana to use the backup Discard Outlet.

Starting with black mana allows you to remove ESG and Crop Rotation from the hand freeing up more space. Enough mana give you the ability to take out Dark Ritual and Cabal Ritual as well. There are a variety of different things you can do with those extra spaces depending on what you need or what kind of interaction you are expecting.

You can use Necromancy to put Sylvan Safekeeper or Dosan the Falling Leaf into play first to protect your combo and then use Oblivion Crown as the outlet. *Careful you don't give shroud to the creature you wanted to put Oblivion Crown on!

You can use Noxious Revival with Entomb (or Crop Rotation or even Culling the Weak if you have Dryad Arbor out) to return a spell to your hand after it gets countered. Entomb first and respond to the TGM trigger with Noxious Revival.

You can add removal if there is something stopping a later part of your combo.

If you aren't sure what you need to defend against, you can put Vampiric Tutor and Entomb to be able to grab anything you missed.


Coming Soon -
Chains of Mephistopheles Tips and Tricks
Resolving Ad Nauseam Tips
How to Necro (potence, not threads) Tips
Doomsday Guide
Coping with Haters: How to dodge the hate cards that stop the combo


Credits

Thanks to the following redditors for their work on this deck and their help discovering some of the various tips, tricks and loops that make this beautiful deck operate so fluidly.
/u/razzliox
/u/mazeTemporal
/u/Leptys207

Suggestions

Updates Add

Comments

Casual

100% Competitive





Compare to inventory
Date added 9 months
Last updated 7 hours
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 1.73
Tokens 3/3 Beast
Folders CMD Decks to build, Cool Stuff, EDH Decks, cound be goood, EDH, Commander w/ the guys, primer, Decks, EDH, Gitrog Monster, See all 24
Top rank #40 on 2017-08-16
Votes
Ignored suggestions
Shared with
Views