This grindy tempo deck is part Aristocrats & part Pod, but whatever you decide to call it, it's a ruthless killing machine that has no mercy for creatures on either side of the table. On one hand, Priest of the Forgotten Gods lays waste to 3 creatures per turn, while Simic mad-science like Neoform and Prime Speaker Vannifar turns corpses into creatures such as Plaguecrafter and Hostage Taker that only further the bloodshed. Although your opponent's creatures won't appreciate being subjected to the Priest's black magic or the Prime Speaker's experiments, there are luckily plenty of creatures in this deck that are indifferent towards death.


Gutterbones : Nice 2/1 beater for 1 that can be endlessly recycled to feed the sac outlets. Making the opponent lose life & having 2 mana to activate his recursion ability is cake with a Priest around, and he gives us a way to Neoform into a Priest as well if need be.

Orzhov Enforcer : Deathtouch & his Spirit trigger make him an annoying blocker for aggro decks to deal with until you decide it's time to feed his two bodies to the sac outlets.

Doomed Dissenter : The ideal tempo-minded sac fodder for early game, as it improves our board upon meeting its prescribed doom.

Reassembling Skeleton : Even better than Gutterbones in terms of being repeated sac fodder since he comes back straight to the battlefield & can be reassembled even during your opponent's turn.


Priest of Forgotten Gods : Sac outlet that does it all - removal, life, ramp, & card advantage - and is even better in multiples. Not many two-drops demand an answer like this one does.

Neoform : Due to the tight curve in this deck, this acts as basically a "whatever creature you want plus a +1/+1 counter for 2 mana" card. Removal, life gain, sac outlets, hexproof beaters & more are all at your fingertips.

Prime Speaker Vannifar : Slower than Neoform & without the extra counter, but being able to repeatedly tutor creatures every turn is worth the wait. Admire the big butt in the meantime.

Vraska, Golgari Queen : Turns the fodder into cards & life gain, and offers removal against a variety of threats. The ultimate can happen pretty quickly & is easily converted into a win given the mass creatures.


Plaguecrafter : Gives us a way to tutor into removal at 3 CMC, and its synergy as a sac outlet makes it great from the hand as well.

Plague Mare : If the opponent tries to go wide with tokens or weenies to get around the bevy of sac effects in this deck, our equestrian friend can be a nice tutoring option.

Midnight Reaper : Wears a lot of hats in this deck. He mostly serves as an anthem effect while the fodder are dutifully dying, but can also be used as sac fodder in a pinch, especially if you want to Neoform into a 4-drop. Also the best option for Neoforming into a 3-drop against control decks since he protects the board.

Deathgorge Scavenger : Feeds on the corpses from earlier bloodshed for repeatable life gain, putting the game out of reach for opposing aggro decks, and is the biggest body available at the 3-drop slot if there are some noncreature cards lying around.

Hostage Taker : Removal at the 4 CMC slot. If it's tutored into play, there's a pretty good chance that you'll have enough mana to cast the stolen card immediately, plus the Priest can help out as well.

Nightveil Predator : Since the rest of the deck can effectively muck up the ground, this covers defense against flyers or can rise above a stalemate. Hexproof makes this a nice option to tutor up against any deck, especially control.


Updates Add

I played my first Constructed tournament in almost 4 years tonight, sleeving up the boys in BUG. As expected after extensive playtesting, this deck was dominant against aggro decks & struggled a bit against removal-heavy midrange.

ROUND 1: Gruul Dinos ; W 2-0

In game 1, Priest did work early & often against a somewhat slow hand for my opponent, and an early Prime Speaker helped to lock his board down. In game 2, my opponent again had a slow hand with no plays until turn 3, and despite him removing my Priest & Prime Speaker, I had sideboarded in extra Hostage Takers, Plaguecrafters, and Chupacabras to keep his creatures off the board. When I swiped his Rekindling Phoenix with a Neoformed Hostage Taker, it was over.

ROUND 2: Boros Angels ; W 2-1

My opponent in this matchup went from being barely-familiar with the Priest to walking away on tilt, claiming that it is a completely broken card & no fun to play against. Guess that's a compliment? :) Anyways, in game 1, I again got an early Priest goin which locked down his board, and he had another slow hand with no plays until turn 3. I eventually stole his Lyra Dawnbringer to seal it. In game 2, he had a faster start and was able to get me down to 5 life, but I had stabilized with Vraska & had just Neoformed into a Priest to get my engine in place. However, i made a careless attack with a Spirit token, allowing him to flash in an Angel of Grace while the Priest had summoning sickness for the win. In game 3, I was able to fend off his early attack pretty easily thanks again to an early Priest, and he ended up scooping while I was still a few turns away from victory, frustrated by the lockdown system I had in place.

ROUND 3: Esper Hero ; L 2-0

In game 1, I curved out well early but he was able to remove my Priest before it did any damage, and my little creatures were unable to put enough pressure on him. He eventually won the sky battle against my Predator with Lyra due to her first strike, and I had just burned my last Hostage Taker. In game 2, I made a sideboard mistake & did not have any Plague Mares in my deck, which led to an awkward Neoform when I was hoping to wipe the tokens from Hero of Precinct One. I probably would have lost anyways, but that certainly didn't help.

All in all a fun & successful run for the deck. Think I need to retool the sideboard to have more answers against controlling decks, so any ideas on that are appreciated.

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Date added 6 years
Last updated 10 months

This deck is not Standard legal.

Rarity (main - side)

5 - 0 Mythic Rares

33 - 5 Rares

16 - 7 Uncommons

3 - 0 Commons

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.61
Tokens 2/2 Zombie, None Vraska, 1/1 Spirit
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