Hello everyone and welcome to my deck!

I really, really enjoy pretty strict tribal decks, and I tend to gravitate towards the under-used ones. I am trying to make this as competitive as possible, while also staying on theme wherever I can. With that said, I am pretty new to the game, so if you have any critiques, criticisms, or questions please comment!


Artwork by Charles Lister

Rat Bastards

  • Marrow-Gnawer: All rats having Fear is really strong when I only have 4 non-rats total. His tap ability is amazing token generation, as long as you have at least 3 rats out already (including Marrow-Gnawer), otherwise you are trading 1 for 1, and the one you sac'd is probably a better rat on its own.
  • Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni: A 5/4 for 6 with Ninjutsu, regenerate, AND recursion to the battlefield from an opposing player's graveyard? Yes please.
  • Nezumi Graverobber: A low cost 2/1 that can consistently exile cards, that when brought out early has a very high chance to flip on the next turn. Another recursion of an opponent's graveyard, although at a pretty high cost.
  • Ogre Slumlord: Just a great card. Giving Deathtouch to all but 4 of my creatures is brutal. Also, when you use Attrition to destroy another player's nontoken creature, if you sacrifice a rat token, you get a rat token right back (because what you are killing is a nontoken creature!). Attrition then becomes a spammable removal for the low, low price of .
  • Okiba-Gang Shinobi: More Ninjutsu for those double attacks, which can really punish opponents for not declaring a blocker for one of your creatures. Another card that can guarantee a flip for Nezumi Shortfang. Very punishing if you attack somewhere every turn, especially early game.
  • Pack Rat: This creature can get really insane a few turns after Marrow-Gnawer gets on the board. I will often save a non-vital card just so I have something to discard for it.
  • Pestilence Rats: Another solid Pack Rat-like (his toughness doesn't scale) that benefits from any rat on the table. That doesn't make much sense, until you factor in any rats other players created through Plague of Vermin. Even if they don't want to make any, you can still put out as many tokens as your health can handle.

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  • Rancid Rats: Skulk AND Deathtouch out of a 1/1 for 2 makes this my second best chump blocker.
  • Ratcatcher: Not only does he have Fear himself, but he also may tutor for any rat on each upkeep, guaranteeing I get the creature state that I want. Most often this would be one of the * / * rats, as they tend to be the most potent for the price.
  • Scrib Nibblers: I almost didn't include this rat in the deck, but after I realized that I could tap it for exile, bring a land into play, and then tap it again, I really needed to keep it in. The heal is a nice added benefit, even if it is small and subject to chance.
  • Skullsnatcher: Even more Ninjutsu (4 total double attacks for 3 if I have all the Ninja rats out), plus a double graveyard exile on every attack. Can help Nezumi Graverobber flip.
  • Throat Slitter: The last of the Ninja rats. Ninjutsu with an incredibly strong removal. As long as it has fear, this is almost guaranteed free creature removal every turn. Even more powerful combo'd with Attrition.
  • Tree of Perdition: I've included this tree for a few reasons. I like to tie my decks together by carrying over at least one creature or key card from each deck I make to the next, whenever possible. The deck I built before this is my Treefolk Tribal deck, so this was an easy inclusion. Not only that, it is an amazing defender, on top of having an overpowered tap mechanic that can be used just before an attack to help guarantee a finisher.
  • Typhoid Rats: Quite possibly the best chump blocker in the game, it's a 1/1 Deathtouch for . This is so strong I quite often will not sac it for Marrow-Gnawer, unless I already have Ogre Slumlord out.

Rat Combos

Here is my mini-voltron for Marrow-Gnawer that will spread his buffs to all the other rats.

  • Darksteel Plate: Protect him during the Voltron.

  • Dragon Throne of Tarkir: Makes him a Defender, but allows a cheap Overwhelming Stampede that transfers his full Power to every other rat. Not only does this make tokens into monsters, it makes all the * / * rats very scary.

  • Illusionist's Bracers: Strictly for Marrow-Gnawer to get double rat tokens for every sac.

  • Nightmare Lash: One half of Hulk Mode for Marrow-Gnawer. Can be added before Dragon Throne to spread it around, or without the Throne if I want to swing with him instead.

  • Stoneforge Masterwork: Second half of Hulk Mode. If I have both pieces on, sometimes I don't even need to swing with the other rats to demolish people.

We need to get our rats swole, so this is how we do it.

  • Coat of Arms: Yes it can end up benefitting your opponents just as much, but this is incredibly unlikely in most playgroups I have ever seen. This is a HUGE buff to every Rat you control, and it happens as soon as it hits the table. I prefer this over Door, but I have included Door anyway.

  • Door of Destinies: As long as this comes down early, it can provide a huge benefit, and only to you and your rat babies.

  • Konda's Banner: Potentially a 1/1 buff to an opposing black player, but a 2/2 buff to you, so overall a net positive. This of course only goes on Marrow-Gnawer.

  • Obelisk of Urd: Great early play to make all your tokens strong enough to avoid quite a bit of removal, but tapers off later in the game. Still worth the include. Convoke really saves this card.

  • Akroma's Memorial + Eldrazi Monument : Currently I don't run either one of these cards because flying rats is called pigeons.

The Rat Hole

Where does all this fighting take place? In the Crawlspace of course! Such a fun card, and on theme as well. The flavor text is also great.

Well, that's it. Eventually I will elaborate on the combos more, but that is the jist of it.

Thank you for visiting, and let me know what you think!


The deck is running pretty smoothly right now, with only a few awkward spots here and there that I haven't figured out how to tighten up.

I had a bunch of fantastic draws lategame during a Forge playtest, and decided to run with the deck to see just how ridiculous I could get it to go. I ended up getting a trophy for my best Mythic Overkill and best Life Total, at -722k and 722k. Three rounds of Illusionist's Bracers and Rings of Brighthearth, with Door of Destinies, Coat of Arms, and Whip of Erebos out made for the largest swing yet. All of it was made possible by a Crawlspace that the AI wasn't drawing an answer to, so I could sit back for a few turns and build up a huge swarm of rats (~450).

This deck is definitely the one I am the most proud of, and it is still a lot of fun to play every time. I am always looking for suggestions, whether they are for theme, or power, or just consistency.


dereknvo says... #1

Just want to say this is a really well put-together deck with a lot of thought put into it for just 3 months of playing EDH! My first few decks were disasters compared to this. I love the idea of using underplayed commanders/tribes so I'm seriously looking into building this for myself. Keep up the good work!

October 14, 2016 12:54 p.m.

Rats seem small, so Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker may not work on all of them but will make board wipes easier to recover from.

November 1, 2016 3:16 p.m.

This is the best rat deck I've seen yet, good job!

November 1, 2016 3:16 p.m.

Liquidbeaver says... #4

Thank you so much for your feedback! I'm glad I could make a deck that other people enjoyed.

I've played this deck a few times now and it is so much fun. With its current balance I always survive in games a really long time before I lose, or I win by a ridiculously huge margin. None of them have really been close games, but even losing with this deck is a lot of fun.

Simon, I like the effect on Shirei, but I really want to stick with strictly rats (give or take the few I have that aren't). I do, however, want to get more wipe prevention or recovery in there. Currently the cards that are pulling the most weight in that regard are Ogre Slumlord (some recovery, unless I am token heavy) and Tsabo's Decree (punishment for wipes). The recursion I have is still a little wonky, so I will be looking for more graveyard spells that give a similar benefit that Shirei would, without having to go with a non-rat creature.

November 28, 2016 8:39 p.m.

Liquidbeaver says... #5

Patriarch's Bidding seems like it would be a very welcome edition to the deck, and one solution to the lack of heavy recursion. Even playing with other tribal decks, it would be a lot of fun.

November 28, 2016 8:50 p.m.

Liquidbeaver says... #6

Considering dropping Liliana of the Dark Realms in favor of either Akroma's Memorial or Eldrazi Monument. I never get to use Liliana for more than her +1, or at best her +3, before she dies, and 4 CMC for removal just isn't worth it in monoblack.

Looking for any suggestions on how to tighten up and strengthen the deck some more. This has become my primary EDH deck right now, so I am going to start switching out things like the tutors for the better, more expensive versions. It'd be nice to cut the CMC down a little bit, but I may just have to increase the number of lands instead.

December 28, 2016 9:39 p.m.

Liquidbeaver says... #7

January 7, 2017 5:04 p.m.

Liquidbeaver says... #8

Whip of Erebos going back in until I can afford a Rings of Brighthearth. It's almost doubled in price recently.

January 14, 2017 2:33 p.m.

Liquidbeaver says... #9

No longer trying to run Gauntlet of Power. It just helps my opponents too much to warrant including.

Not running a planeswalker for now. I just don't see one that jumps out at me that just really has to be in this deck. If you disagree, feel free to comment and let me know!

January 26, 2017 4:11 p.m.

Liquidbeaver says... #10

Cutting 4 cards to make room for Rings of Brighthearth, Skullclamp, and a few more lands.

January 26, 2017 5:08 p.m.

kampfy_wampfy says... #11

January 27, 2017 3:49 p.m.

Nice deck I have been working on mine for ages!

As you have tree of perdition..have you considered adding triskadekaphobia? It's a fun synergy if anything and a win condition too :)Not sure what you would cut for it though haha its a solid deck.

January 28, 2017 9:15 a.m.

Liquidbeaver says... #13

Rings of Brighthearth (when I can trade up for one) will be replacing In Garruk's Wake. Still trying to find a spot for Skullclamp, but it may take the place of one of my underperforming draw cards, as I can abuse Skullclamp with Ashnod's Altar.

January 30, 2017 5:29 p.m.

Liquidbeaver says... #14

Skullclamp will be taking the place of Vampiric Rites. I will have a much better draw mechanic, plus I already have a number of cards with Lifegain, so I am comfortable losing some.

January 30, 2017 5:41 p.m.

Liquidbeaver says... #15

kampfy_wampfy - I wanted to do something different with this deck, as 95% of the Rat decks out there for EDH, are packed with 40+ relentless rats. While they are powerful decks, they play the exact same way every time. Get out Thrumming Stone > Cast Relentless Rats > Cast all your Relentless Rats.

I would run one of them just to say I was close to running one of every rat, but it would only be a 1/1, and most of the other 1/1's I have in there have Deathtouch.

February 3, 2017 3:24 p.m.

kampfy_wampfy says... #16

@Liquidbeaver: Got it! Totally makes sense. Kudos for trying something different.

February 3, 2017 3:26 p.m.

Liquidbeaver says... #17

TeamVelvetPanda - I did actually think about running Triskaidekaphobia for a while, but ultimately decided against it as it isn't the kind of win condition that I prefer. I wanted this to be more of a brute force deck, rather than a win-by-technicality sort that I feel Triskaidekaphobia falls into.

February 3, 2017 3:28 p.m.

NV_1980 says... #18

Love this deck! Solid +1. Have you considered Hecatomb? Not sure if it would fit the theme or whether it would really add to your overall strategy, but I thought I'd give it a shout-out because I've used this card to great effect in black EDH token decks.

June 7, 2017 1:18 a.m.

Liquidbeaver says... #19

Played this deck for the first time in a long time, and I will be making a lot of balance, speed, CMC, and subtheme changes.

Trying to cut 10 cards at the moment. Should be settled on a new setup to playtest in a few days.

August 2, 2017 12:03 a.m.

RecklessN7 says... #20

Excellent deck! +1 from me.

I have been trying to find a great candidate for my first edh attempt and I think this might be what I'm looking for! As I'm on a bit of a tight budget I'll have to hold off on some of the more spendy cards for now. Gotta say though you make some pretty inspired decks. Your ib halfheart looks awesome too!

October 17, 2017 2:36 p.m.

crowned says... #21

I do have a Krenko, Mob Boss-Deck and was pretty unsatisfied how it performed in my regular playgroup (lacking recursion - no comeback at all, less to no interaction with the board, no removal, no draw). Even though Ixalan and C17 brought new and interesting tribal cards for everybody, I feel it's time to move on. Marrow-Gnawer seems to be the right choice, since I love playing with Thornbite Staff and Rings of Brighthearth alot! Great Deck Teck. I enjoyed your Ib aswell!

November 11, 2017 3:07 p.m.

Liquidbeaver says... #22

crowned Thanks for the compliments!

Marrow-Gnawer is a LOT of fun, and I actually never made a Krenko deck because this is basically black Krenko that is easier to go infinite with. Mono-black has a lot more to offer as far as consistency compared to mono-red. The draw alone is a nice breath of fresh air coming from Ib and all other mono-red decks except for Zada. The recursion packages available are also great of course. I would definitely suggest giving it a try, it is tied with my Ninja deck as the most requested deck that people want to play against, because they are fun for the whole table.

I'm actually going to revisit this deck soon to scale it up to my playgroup, that goes up in power pretty steadily all the time. Stay tuned!

November 17, 2017 11:31 a.m.

Liquidbeaver says... #23

NV_1980: It only took me like half a year to get back to you, but here we are!

I've never seen Hecatomb before, but I really like it, especially because of the high basic land count of this deck, and how it compliments Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

I'm actually in the middle of a small rebuild of this deck, and I am definitely going to playtest with Hecatomb in it for some added pinging. It will be especially nice later game or when I have no cards in hand and have no use for the land that turn.

Great suggestion!

November 17, 2017 11:48 a.m.

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Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 day
Key combos

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.08
Tokens 1/1 Rat
Folders Black, rats, Finders, Edh, Commander / EDH, EDH, Eventually, Printed, Themed EDH Decks
Views 3632

Revision 14 See all

1 day ago)

-1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx main
-1 Nezumi Ronin main
+1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx main
+1 Nezumi Ronin main
+1 Hecatomb side
-1 Hecatomb maybe
-1 Hecatomb maybe