Meren Reanimator Toolbox

Hello, and welcome to my Golgari on-board Control deck. This deck started from the pre-constructed deck and eventually became my pet project. As it stands, the goal of the deck is to win via Bitter Ordeal and answer almost any threat along the way. This will be a basic primer detailing how the deck functions and discussing almost each individual card choice. This list isn't hyper competitive or super casual, but it's honestly my favorite deck to play so I thought I'd spend some time writing a primer.

Foil Count: 96/96 All cards are in the printing shown.

Why Golgari?

Golgari is one of the most powerful color schemes in Magic. It contains two of the best colors, lacking only Blue, and can quite literally answer almost anything your opponents throw at you. Black can deal with creatures, and Green can deal with pretty much anything else. Also, the lore behind the Ravnican guild is quite cool.

Why Meren?

This deck started from the pre-constructed Commander 2015 deck, so it started with Meren at the helm. I have considered changing the commander several times, most namely to Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord, but realized I would be taking the deck in a different direction than I wanted. Meren is such a powerful recursion engine that if you’re looking for raw value based on dumping cards into your graveyard and sacrificing creatures, there is no other commander that can compete with her, at least not in these colors. She comes down early and is high-impact even with few experience counters. Meren in no way helps me combo, but she is the conductor on the value train from your first draw all the way to victory.

The card draw section may seem a little lacking, but the deck makes up for it with self-mill and plenty of tutors.
  • Golgari Grave-Troll, Stinkweed Imp, Life from the Loam, Golgari Thug - dredge cards aren't as good to use if your hand is especially empty, but they do get you deeper into your deck than a standard single draw and protect against Nekusar
  • Grim Haruspex - extremely on theme and very efficient card draw if you can get it going
  • Skullclamp - slap this onto anything with one toughness and you'll be drawing everything you need in no time
Tutors are not hard to explain. They find what you need when you need them, and in G/B, there are tutors galore. If you can't draw what you need, just go get it straight out of the deck.
  • Buried Alive - our graveyard is kind of like our second hand in this deck, so why not get any three creatures we need right there for easy access at the end of turn with Meren or at instant speed with Demon of Dark Schemes
  • Demonic Tutor - arguably the best card in the game; becomes any card in your deck for a small price of two mana; we're in black, there's no reason not to run this
  • Diabolic Intent - sacrifice a creature, oh no, what a downside; see Demonic Tutor
  • Fauna Shaman - it's Survival of the Fittest on a creature; discarding creatures really isn't a downside for us, and it helps us find the answers we need
  • Final Parting - Diabolic Tutor and Entomb stapled together; I couldn’t really justify Entomb by itself in the list, but now that I get to do two things for one spell, it’s worth having the effect
  • Imperial Seal - see Vampiric Tutor
  • Protean Hulk - when this dies, you tutor for six mana's worth of creatures directly into play; so happy they unbanned this beauty
  • Razaketh, the Foulblooded - for the small cost of sacrificing a creature and paying two life, we get to find any card out of our deck at instant speed; this card is bonkers and you generally win if it hits the field
  • Sidisi, Undead Vizier - this card doesn't seem great at first, but Diabolic Intent attached to a body, even at a higher mana cost, is always good value for us
  • Vampiric Tutor - a classic black tutor that can come down early and is still relevant late game
We're in green, so we're ramping. More mana means more fun for us.
  • Arbor Elf, Deathrite Shaman, Birds of Paradise, and Elves of Deep Shadow - mana dorks, plain and simple
  • Cabal Coffers - early game this card isn't an allstar, but late game this card alone can essentially give you an extra turn's worth of mana; with Urborg, this gets stupid
  • Sakura-Tribe Elder - the second best card in the entire deck, second only to Spore Frog; seriously though, this card gets out of control really fast and takes you miles ahead of the rest of the table
  • Wood Elves - untapped lands into play always feels nice, especially when you can recur the effect
  • World Shaper - seems like the card I’ve been looking for to slam all those dredged lands in my graveyard into play; now part of the win condition
Now for this section I decided to lump together all of my spot removal, board wipes, and all the random cards that are in here to answer specific situations or strategies. This was the most exciting part about upgrading this deck for me personally, because I found that I could answer almost anything in the game (literally).
  • Agent of Erebos - this is simply in here for hating other graveyard decks with more force than Faerie Macabre
  • Bane of Progress - this is just for wiping artifacts and enchantments; doesn’t hurt me because the only ones in the entire deck are Skullclamp and Pernicious Deed
  • Bitter Ordeal - this card is my favorite card in the deck for several reasons: it is the only card ever printed with gravestorm, it's the win condition, it's hilarious, unexpected, and in a pinch it's Extract with storm. This is just an excellent card in my opinion.
  • Black Sun's Zenith - a board wipe that doesn't say destroy, works great when you've got a lot of mana and a lot of creatures to kill
  • Brutalizer Exarch - removes problem non-land permanents from the board without destroying them
  • Butcher of Malakir - Fleshbag Marauder on steroids; this is essentially a board wipe if it hits the field
  • Caustic Caterpillar - Naturalize on a stick; absolutely perfect for this deck
  • Damnation - black Wrath of God; if you're playing black, you're playing Damnation
  • Deathgreeter - gaining a life whenever anything dies, not just ours, is a perfect solution to aggro decks and regaining health lost from Razaketh or Glacial Chasm
  • Deathrite Shaman - aside from being a mana dork, can also function as targeted graveyard hate
  • Demon of Dark Schemes - part of the win condition because it lets us reanimate out of any Graveyard for three mana at instant speed; also a mini boardwipe
  • Destructor Dragon - a slightly worse Woodfall Primus, but it is a death trigger and not an ETB; plus it’s two mana less
  • Faerie Macabre - now I realize that Leyline of the Void is probably better for graveyard hate, but your opponents see that coming and don't particularly like it; this card comes out of nowhere, doesn't cost mana, and 99/100 times people don't have an answer to this
  • Fleshbag Marauder - great against Voltron strategies or anything extremely commander reliant; also good against hexproof and/or indestructible creatures
  • Glacial Chasm - for stopping aggro strategies or anything under the sun that deals damage; can be sacrificed on upkeep and played from the yard with Ramunap Excavator or you can reset the counters each turn by recurring Vampire Hexmage
  • Homeward Path - for dealing with Mind Control effects or other aggravating ways people try to steal our creatures
  • Karn Liberated - Karn is just straight value; he exiles permanents, disrupts people’s hands, and his ultimate can remove planeswalker emblems and also verbatim reads, “-14: All your opponents will now scoop.”
  • Maelstrom Pulse - probably the best spot removal in these colors; deals with tokens, gets around Gaddock Teeg, and will hit any non-land permanent
  • Mindslicer - great for causing opponents to go into top-deck mode; makes you discard your own hand as well, but honestly this is not necessarily always a bad thing
  • Ouphe Vandals - for stopping cards like Relic of Progenitus or Memnarch at instant speed
  • Pernicious Deed - this is an all around board clear; isn’t an ETB trigger and can be used at instant speed whenever you need it
  • Phyrexian Plaguelord - functions as a sacrifice outlet and a form of targeted removal against indestructible creatures at instant speed; a very good card
  • Prowling Serpopard - for when you're worried about your creatures being countered; we have a heavy lean towards creatures, so this makes a good chunk the deck unable to be countered
  • Ravenous Chupacabra - I found that Shriekmaw was too narrow too much of the time and that it was a dead card in my hand, so I found something more all-encompassing
  • Reclamation Sage - every green deck plays this spell, and it's not hard to see why; we can abuse this by recurring it, which makes it even better
  • Repopulate - for people who try to exile my graveyard; it doesn't save all of it, but it saves the important part
  • Riftsweeper - for shuffling exiled cards back into the library; as long as this is not exiled, you can always recover from a Rest in Peace
  • Sadistic Hypnotist - if this card wasn't limited to sorcery speed it would definitely be banned; it's insanely good and one sided unlike Mindslicer
  • Scavenging Ooze - just some more targeted graveyard hate and life gain
  • Spore Frog - the best card in the deck; this card is extremely difficult to remove and protects you against all combat strategies for at least a turn and can also be used politically to stop the threat of the table from killing anyone else
  • Sylvan Safekeeper - helps protect key creatures at a small cost and also part of the win condition
  • Terastodon - destroy three non-creature permanents on ETB sounds really great
  • Thief of Blood - this is a Vampire Hexmage on steroids, really good card
  • Toxic Deluge - very similar to BSZ, except it costs life instead of mana; I've always had this in, but later decided to put BSZ in because of situations where you have a lot of mana but not a lot of life and need to wipe the board
  • Vampire Hexmage - this wrecks planeswalkers and the most annoying card in magic history or other creatures that use level up; hoses +1/+1 counter strategies and can sometimes do other neat things like reset someone's As Foretold
  • Woodfall Primus - destroys a non-creature permanent with persist; two shots of destruction per life
  • World Breaker - exiles problem artifacts and enchantments on cast and can be recurred to my hand from the graveyard
This section is going to be all the cards I felt warranted explaining but didn't fit into any of the other categories.
  • Bitter Ordeal - this card is my favorite card in the deck for several reasons: it is the only card ever printed with gravestorm, it's the win condition, it's hilarious and unexpected, and in a pinch it's Extract with storm. This is just an excellent card in my opinion.
  • Necrotic Ooze - becomes any creature with an activated ability in the yard; works wonders with Buried Alive
  • Pawn of Ulamog - this is your token generator; this is what enables us to create enough colorless mana and energy to fuel our (not infinite) Demon of Dark Schemes loops
  • Phyrexian Plaguelord, Viscera Seer, Razaketh, the Foulblooded - sacrifice outlets; these let your things die at instant speed
  • Putrid Imp - this is in here for a few very specific situations; to discard dredge cards or to pitch your hand in reponse to Karn's +1 or some other "your opponent exiles a card from your hand" type of effects; extremely niche use, but I like it
  • RIP Svogthos, the Restless Tomb - okay, I saw this card originally and just jammed it in; it's honestly not that good, but killing someone with a 36/36 land is both hilarious and extremely satisfying (this card is no longer in the list but it lives on in my heart)
  • Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth - I've mentioned this card a lot so far, and this is just an auto include in most B/Bx decks; it helps with color fixing and synergizes extremely well with Cabal Coffers

Actually Winning

Now that we've gone over all the individual cards, let's talk about actually winning the game and how convoluted the way I manage to do this is.

The deck wins by the following process:
  1. Have all your lands either in play or in your graveyard; basically none are in your deck (ideally). Have Sylvan Safekeeper, Demon of Dark Schemes, Worldshaper, Dryad Arbor, and Pawn of Ulamog on board.
  2. Tap all your lands for mana, floating as much Black mana as you possibly can.
  3. Sacrifice all your lands with Sylvan Safekeeper. Produce one Eldrazi Spawn and gain one Energy from Dryad Arbor dying. Begin counting Gravestorm.
  4. Sacrifice World Shaper. This returns all of your lands to play tapped and produces a second Eldrazi Spawn and a second Energy.
  5. Sacrifice both Eldrazi Spawns for colorless mana and generate two more energy, for a total of four.
  6. Use the Demon of Dark Schemes ability to put World Shaper back into play, spending the four energy and two colorless mana from before.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6, losing one black mana each time, until your gravestorm count is enough to wipe everyone's libraries.
  8. Cast Bitter Ordeal, using your final black mana.
  9. Laugh as your opponents weep.

Note: This does not go infinite. It easily could, but I don't want it to. If you want it to go infinite, simply add in Amulet of Vigor to make your lands come in untapped from World Shaper.

Thanks for stopping by and reading this. Any feedback is always welcome, and if you liked the list, please upvote!




100% Competitive

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Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 week
Exclude colors WUR

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.41
Tokens 3/3 Elephant, 1/1 Spirit, 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn, Experience
Folders edh, Graveyarding, Golgari - EDH, Stuff I like or intrested in, Reference decks, Interesting Commander Decks, Commander Decks, Community Meren EDH Decks, Ideas, Reference, See all 19
Top rank #33 on 2018-03-23
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