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Serial Killer [Primer Included]

Commander / EDH*




Mono-black spellslinger. This is a deck that performs far better than I expected it to when I first built it. Originally, I was just looking for fun, but I've won most of the games I've played with Toshiro Umezawa. He's an easy commander to underestimate, and he absolutely destroys creature based decks. If you enjoy controlling the board, and flashy, come-from-behind, clutch finishes, this deck is for you.


So here's the plan. Let everyone think you aren't a threat. Play politics if you have to, and kill creatures whenever it becomes necessary, but don't waste resources. Kill creatures that swing at you, or in response to Lightning Greaves equipping, but don't just hit every creature that hits the board, or you'll run out of gas. Convince everyone that you're not worth the investment to attack - they'll lose creatures, and really, what are you doing to them anyway?

Meanwhile, don't miss land drops. Build up as much mana as you can, because in the late game, you'll need it to chain kill spells together, and you'll need it for Exsanguinate/Torment of Hailfire. Be on the lookout for creatures that you can resurrect to fight for you, and don't be afraid to pay life to get more cards in hand.

Well, we're mono black. Turns out we've got a lot of swamps. I'm really liking Geier Reach Sanitarium for its ability to dig, and fill my graveyard with extra kill spells. If it's in your budget, Cabal Coffers is obviously a must. I'm also running Magus of the Coffers for an extra punch, and he works as a budget version of the coffers if needed. Arcane Lighthouse is also amazing here, since hexproof and shroud can be a real problem for us. I'm a huge fan of Liliana of the Dark Realms - worst case scenario, she kills a creature for us. Best case, she grabs us a bunch of lands, then ults to make them all tap for four. I'm running Crypt Ghast for extra mana - if one were so inclined, one could also run Nirkana Revenant, which has the added bonus of doubling as a win condition. Solemn Simulacrum is, of course, just a commander staple in general.

Gauntlet of Power is fantastic, and one could opt for Caged Sun and/or Extraplanar Lens instead of or in addition to it. I'm rarely tempted to tap out for these extra mana producers, however, typically preferring to play then either while the coast is clear (no creatures that threaten me), or with some mana open to continue threatening kill spells.

I've seen lists that run lands like Shizo, Death's Storehouse and Rogue's Passage and Reliquary Tower. None of these really appeal to me here - in most cases, I don't care about discarding, since I can reuse my instants, and the two unblockable lands are really only good if Plan A is to kill people with solitary, large creatures. I've been trying out Shizo lately, and I'm not impressed - most of the time, it's just a swamp that doesn't benefit from my extra-mana effects. If you do choose to run these lands, you should also run things like Runechanter's Pike for loads of extra damage (going in a more voltron direction, typically), and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to keep your Cabal Coffers functioning well.

I'm currently trying out Deserted Temple, and I'm liking it - it can give me an extra Cabal Coffers activation, or geier reach sanitarum activation, or even just untap a basic swamp after Liliana of the Dark Realms has ult'd, plus I can play politics to untap other people's lands if necessary.

Resurrection is a key part of this strategy. I include two kinds of necromancy - creature based, and non-creature based.

The resurrection creatures are designed to help us steal the creatures we kill, or to reanimate the creatures we lose. The only two I'm presently running are Chainer, Dementia Master and Demon of Dark Schemes, since either can represent a lot of extra creatures in a very short amount of time. In the past, I've also run Sepulchral Primordial and Liliana, Heretical Healer  Flip, and both were fine additions for a time. If you run Liliana, be sure you have enough creatures to reliably flip her. In this list, she more often than not, just ended up being a 2/3 lifelink for three.

For non-creature resurrection, I'm running a very limited list. Grim Return is nice because although it limits us by only being able to get things that died that turn, it's also an instant, allowing us to use if for maximum effect with Toshiro. Animate Dead is fantastic, and belongs in every Toshiro list. Rise of the Dark Realms is an alternate way to end the game. Spilling entire graveyards back onto the battlefield makes for a truly terrifying spell, and in the late game, it can give you a board that's simple unsurmountable. Other options that I'm not running include Reanimate or Necromancy, Phyrexian Delver, Phyrexian Reclamation, Beacon of Unrest, Rise from the Grave, and many more. Look for cards that can reanimate creatures from any graveyard, not just your own!

Do not underestimate these kinds of effects. When your job is to put things in graveyards, the ability to turn opponent's lost resources into fuel for your cause is invaluable. I've killed people with their own Void Winnowers and Gisela, Blade of Goldnights and Sun Titans and even one Sphinx of the Final Word because these cards just win games, plain and simple. That said, it's more important to be able to kill things than it is to revive them, so let's get on to the meat of the deck...

Well, resurrection's not much use if we aren't killing things, is it? The options here are really almost endless, so feel free to play around with the list. Some key options I'd definitely not go without are:
Malicious Affliction. One shot, two kills.
Bile Blight. Goodbye token decks.
Hour of Glory, Dismember, Silence the Believers . All three get around indestructible, and are fantastic. Grasp of Darkness and Death Wind are alright for the same reasons, although they're much less powerful.
Hero's Demise . Did you know that almost every deck you face is going to have at least one legendary creature? Some of those legends might even be important.
Doom Blade, Ultimate Price, Go for the Throat. The quintessential kill spells.
Slaughter . Did you know, you can pay the buyback when you cast it from your graveyard? Toshiro does NOT give actual flashback- he just says IF the card you cast goes to graveyard, exile it instead.
Killing Wave. Good as a board wipe in a pinch, but more frequently, it just starts a chain of kill spells. Our opponents will frequently pay life for some creatures, allow others to die, and then be shocked when we use those deaths to kill the creatures they paid to keep.

I HIGHLY recommend Hero's Downfall, To the Slaughter , Vraska's Contempt, and Ruinous Path for dealing with planeswalkers. There are a number of fantastic options for edicts, including Geth's Verdict and Diabolic Edict, but the versatility in To the Slaughter should not be underestimated.

I'm separating these last two, because I cannot overstate how absolutely necessary they are for EVERY deck helmed by Toshiro Umezawa. When Iona, Shield of Emeria or Akroma, Angel of Wrath hit the field, these are your answers. When the artifact deck drops Mycosynth Lattice and Darksteel Forge, one of these is your way out. For planeswalkers, Doubling Seasons, Asceticisms, and Omnisciences, these are your saviors.

You MUST run Scour from Existence .
You MUST run Spine of Ish Sah.

Oblivion Strike and Grip of Desolation are also fantastic options for the same reasons, although not as effective. Karn Liberated is a reasonable option as well, but I tend not to run him because the goal is to make attacking me NOT a good idea.

Ok, look. We're in mono black. Card advantage is kind of our thing. As with kill spells, there are a lot of options to choose from. Before I get into the options though, I want to talk about the importance of this section. This deck spends a lot of time trading one-for-one with our opponents. Usually, that's not a good thing, because if we run out of answers before they run out of threats, we lose. Toshiro's recycling certainly helps, but we need to be able to refill our hand reliably. I run 10 cards whose sole or primary purpose is drawing more cards, plus gier reach sanitarium for a bit of looting. Don't run fewer than 7.

Personally, I like both Ob Nixilis Reignited and Wretched Confluence because they double as kills in a pinch.

Succumb to Temptation, Skeletal Scrying, and Moonlight Bargain are all instant speed for extra value.

And who could forget Harvester of Souls. So many cards. So... many... cards...

In general, don't be afraid to pay life to get cards. After all, who's going to attack YOU? Things like Erebos, God of the Dead, Phyrexian Arena, Read the Bones, Sign in Blood, Ancient Craving, and Ambition's Cost are all wonderful options.

Two overlooked options that I like are Moonlight Bargain - yes please, I'll look at the top five an fill them into my hand and graveyard as I see fit - and Scarab Feast - it draws a card when you don't need it, and it ruins that pesky G/B player's day when you do.

I have five paths I consider win conditions. While any creature CAN win the game, these are the cards I'm looking for to kill quickly. They are, in order of Plan A to Plan E:
Torment of Hailfire. "Clear your board and hand or die. Wait how much is X? Clear your board and hand AND die."
Exsanguinate. Get lots of mana, drain the life from your foes.
Empty the Pits . End of an opponent's turn, dump a bunch of zombies into play, then untap and hit people.
Rise of the Dark Realms . Take all the things.
Gray Merchant of Asphodel/Kokusho, the Evening Star. The less-reliable Exsanguinates. May take more than one application to be lethal. Best when they can be repeatedly killed and reanimated via Chainer, Dementia Master.
A few non-kill spells to consider.

Withering Boon. Because no one likes Avacyn, Angel of Hope.
Sudden Spoiling. Good both as a last line of defense, and as a way to strip opposing creatures of pesky abilities like hexproof, protection, and indestructible.
Darkness. Like Sudden Spoiling, darkness buys us one turn. Toshiro makes it two.
Dash Hopes. Doesn't seem very good, does it? Sure, it won't stop someone from casting their game winning Genesis Wave. But it will cost them ten crucial life to resolve a spell that they probably want, but don't necessarily need to win immediately. The trick is learning when your opponent is right on the line about whether or not they'll pay. Or, waiting till they're under 10 life before using it. Be careful though - ANY player may pay the five life, not just the player casting the spell. More reasons to not make yourself into a target.
Glaring Spotlight. I like being able to target things. Do you like being able to target things?
Skeleton Key . Hilarious with Toshiro. Everyone forgets about the Bushido. With this equipment, Toshiro survives every attack (well, as long as there's no deathtouch).
Sangromancer is fantastic - it pays for the life we spend on card advantage, and keeps us alive through tough attacks.Silent Arbiter is a way to keep too many creatures from coming at us at once. Crawlspace is also an option.
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet is a bit of a nonbo, since he does prevent us from being able to use Toshiro's ability. That said, the raw number of bodies he can provide, plus the permanent removal of our opponent's threats can be a huge benefit, even if I'm only casting each kill spell once. He usually does a huge amount of damage, or my opponents remove him so I can use my graveyard again - either way, I win.
Ogre Slumlord. Further disincentive for our opponents to attack. He provides a cheap line of expendable deathtouch blockers, and even if our opponent sends more creatures at us than we have kill spells, the extra deathtouch blockers tip the attack even further in our favor. Also, worth noting that each rat that has to block will usually kill the creature it's blocking... making another rat.
Torpor Orb. ETB effects can be really difficult to deal with, since this deck doesn't have many options for stopping a threat before it hits the field. Usually most useful against Ephara, God of the Polis, Roon of the Hidden Realm, or Brago, King Eternal make sure it's necessary before deploying, since it does shut down some of your creatures too.
Brain in a Jar . It's both a discount on spells, and a way to scry in desperation. What's not to like?
No Mercy. The best defense is a promise of swift and terrible death.

Anything that runs on Plan A - Play Creatures and Attack With Them. Generals like Kaalia of the Vast, Saskia the Unyielding, Mayael the Anima, and Derevi, Empyrial Tactician will struggle greatly against this deck, as they typically cannot keep up with the steady stream of removal we can provide. Voltron commanders are easy pickings, but make sure you find your anti-hexproof/shroud pieces, or have a couple of edicts ready to get around those Lightning Greaves.

For the most part, we play well against combo decks as well. Most (not all!) combo decks require a creature or two for the combo to go off - whether that's Melira, Sylvok Outcast or Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, playing against these decks just requires recognizing the threatening piece, and keeping it off the board.

Some matchups are good for us, but require a slight alteration to the gameplan. Because of Mayael the Anima's ability to drop Avacyn, Angel of Hope or worse Iona, Shield of Emeria, we typically want to kill her as soon as possible, rather than waiting for her to try to do something to us. The same goes for Kaalia of the Vast. This has the added benefit of really hampering these decks development, since they usually rely on their generals to play overcosted creatures for a discount.

Similarly, while Animar, Soul of Elements and Akroma, Angel of Wrath play nicely into our hands with every creature they cast, the protection from black makes these two a bit tougher - running several edicts ( To the Slaughter , Diabolic Edict, Geth's Verdict, Tribute to Hunger ), and the devoid removal ( Grip of Desolation , Oblivion Strike, Scour from Existence , Spine of Ish Sah, maybe Complete Disregard ) is a good way to handle the commander him/herself.

Reanimators and Flickerers can be a challenge, but can be overcome. These decks rely on creatures, but are either efficient at dodging our removal, or reusing the same creatures. These are decks like Karador, Ghost Chieftain, Meren of Clan Nel Toth (or her golgari friends Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord, Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest, and Savra, Queen of the Golgari), or Ephara, God of the Polis, Brago, King Eternal, and Roon of the Hidden Realm.

To deal with flicker decks, Torpor Orb should be priority #1. The ETB effects are by far the most challenging aspect of this matchup. Next, don't be afraid to spend resources against the flicker deck. Even if several of our kill spells fizzle because of flickering, we will outlast them. There are far more kill spells than flicker spells available. Kill things like Deadeye Navigator in response to the soulbond trigger, or Mistmeadow Witch before the actually threatening creatures they intend to flicker. Keep Roon of the Hidden Realm off the battlefield for as much time as you can. If possible, NEVER let the Roon player untap with Roon in play. Often, against flicker decks, the game comes down to a pivotal moment in which we stack kills spells three to five deep on one or more of their crucial creatures, while they respond to each one with an attempt to flicker - whoever wins that fight usually wins the game. Pick your moment to fight carefully.

For the Graveyard decks, it's a bit easier. Meren is very good, but struggles against effects like Ogre Slumlord and Archfiend of Depravity, which keep her board limited while expanding ours. Nevertheless, I tend to want to remove Meren quickly, to keep her value low. Savra and Jarad are a bit easier, since they tend towards combo-esque kills, rather than raw goodstuff. Karador can go either way. In general, they make keeping up with our one-for-one removal difficult, so things like Demon of Dark Schemes or Massacre Wurm can be good against them, and the Demon, as well as Chainer, Dementia Master and Nezumi Graverobber can attack their graveyards. If you want, a Bojuka Bog could be added, but I tend not to find it necessary.

Superfriends. Well, we just don't have too much spot removal for planeswalkers, nor do we really have enough of our own creatures to deal with them. To the Slaughter is fantastic, as are Hero's Downfall, Vraska's Contempt and Ruinous Path. In general, you'll need to play politics with the other players at the table - convince them to attack the planeswalkers (not usually hard to do), or, if they won't, then kill their creatures and reanimate them to do it yourself. Either way, in a 1-on-1 matchup, we tend to lose HARD.

Sigarda, Host of Herons and Narset, Enlightened Master can both be brutally difficult. Against Sigarda, you've really got no hope without landing either Arcane Lighthouse or Glaring Spotlight or both. Both of these are also effective against Narset, although with Narset you also have the option of using edicts, ( To the Slaughter , Diabolic Edict, Geth's Verdict, Tribute to Hunger ) since Narset builds typically are light on other creatures. Withering Boon, Sudden Spoiling, and Darkness can all be invaluable for the extra turns they buy you (although it's important to note that Sudden Spoiling does not remove the +X/+X effects of enchantments or equipment, even though it DOES remove hexproof/indestructible/lifelink etc that comes from enchantments/equipment.). However, a well-placed Sudden Spoiling can remove sigarda's abilities, allowing you to force a sacrifice or target a kill spell.

Updated: 9/25/17
Cards to be tested:
Revel in Riches
Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Primal Amulet  Flip
Phyrexian Obliterator



Comments View Archive

gdm1989 says... #1

September 23, 2017 1:03 a.m.

gdm1989: Boneyard Parley is probably a little too much for too little in this deck, but I'm definitely looking at adding it to my G/B recursion deck. The other two will almost certainly find homes here. Thanks for the suggestions!

September 23, 2017 1:11 a.m.

gdm1989 says... #3

think Dire Fleet Ravager would be useful too?

September 23, 2017 9:27 a.m.

gdm1989 says... #4

September 24, 2017 10:51 p.m.

Dire Fleet Ravager in this deck would be a worse Gray Merchant of Asphodel, and even if it were better/the same, that's not really an effect I need more of. I can't reliably win with him, since I have to have more life than all my opponents for him to not be lethal to me, and I'm usually paying a lot of life to draw cards. Even if I'm able to reliably kill/reanimate him (probably via Chainer, Dementia Master) he's less effective than Gray Merchant, needing 8 ETB's to kill a player at 40, where Gray Merchant needs only 7 (making a not-unreasonable assumption that I have 6 devotion). As a player's life total gets lower, Gray Merchant kills even faster, while Ravager doesn't. For example, if I have six devotion, Gray Merchant kills a player at five life when it ETBs, where Ravager takes FOUR triggers to kill that player (5->3->2->1->0).

Karn Liberated is... unnecessary. Sure, he's a reusable Scour from Existence, but the target he paints on himself and on me by extension really isn't worth the trouble. He's a great card, but the politics of how this deck needs to operate really wants to keep planeswalkers to a minimum. I make exceptions for Ob Nixilis and Liliana because they facilitate card draw and mana ramp, which are the two main necessities in this deck.

Ugin, the Spirit Dragon doesn't really fit here. I don't need his damage dealing ability, and I have relatively few permanents to put into play with his ult. His -X is fine, but it exiles, which means I can't reanimate those things later for my own use, and it's a board clear, which this deck should make unnecessary if spot removal is used properly.

September 25, 2017 4:25 a.m.

gdm1989 says... #6

Yeah I reason I karn would be good is there will be decks that have enchantments same with a few planeswalkers. I been thinking of ways to be more well rounded in a multiplayer game against these cards. Plus also trying to steal the cards onto your battlefield.

Gonti, Lord of Luxury we can abuse via reanimation triggers

Kozilek, the Great Distortion for us to discard instants to counter cards and set up our spells

Bane of Bala Ged to keep exiling lands, enchantments, and other problematic things

Sheoldred, Whispering One can keep on triggering toshiro's ability

Primal Amulet to reduce our instants cost and also copy the spells

Sorin Markov I've seen a video with someone using him in a toshiro edh deck and won 4 times. While he may not be able to kill things he can take care of annoying life gain decks

Phyrexian Obliterator for defense and another way of dealing with permaments

Kor Dirge to redirect damage

Lim-Dul the Necromancer to steal your opponents creatures

Boseiju, Who Shelters All your instants cant be countered

September 25, 2017 9:46 a.m.

Focusing on creatures such as Bane of Bala Ged, Sheoldred, Whispering One, and Kozilek, the Great Distortion, would turn this deck in a different direction than it currently goes, becoming more reanimator than control. Putting those creatures onto the battlefield makes me a target, and that's the opposite of what I want to do when I'm playing this deck. The idea is to discourage people from trying to interact with me by promising that they will lose more than I do. If I slam Sheoldred, suddenly A) they are losing value if they DON'T interact with me, and B) I have something important to lose, so the interaction's no longer one-sided in my favor.

Lim-Dul the Necromancer is certainly an option, though I tend to find him too expensive for his effect. I'd recommend trying out Geth, Lord of the Vault over Lim-Dul, since he not only can res creatures without waiting for a death trigger, but can grab artifacts too, all while doubling as another win-con should we get enough mana.

Phyrexian Obliterator is... interesting. My gut instinct is to say that it falls into the same category as Kozilek, the Great Distortion, in that it paints too much of a target on me. That said, if I were to use it properly (that is, mainly on defense), it could certainly be quite effective as a deterrent. I'll play around with it and let you know how it performs.

Gonti, Lord of Luxury is an odd one for sure. The variance on him seems really high - for every time I rip someone's eldrazi titan off the top of their library, there are going to be moments I hit three lands and an Emerald Medallion. If I were killing/reanimating him consistently, he'd be pretty sweet, but I don't know how frequently I'd end up doing that over reanimating Gray Merchant or things from my opponent's graveyards.

Boseiju, Who Shelters All seems like a good addition, and so does Primal Amulet - I'll test them and see how they do.

Kor Dirge is cute, but I dunno how effective it would be. If someone's actually attacking me, they're likely going for the kill, expecting that I'll interact by removing a lot of their attacking creatures. Dirge doesn't seem any better than any particular kill spell in that instance, and would be weaker in moments when I need a kill, but am not being actively targeted.

Sorin Markov runs afoul of the same limitations as Karn. As a terrifying planeswalker, he's going to draw more attention than he's worth. In addition, it's rare that I'm attacking with small enough amounts of damage that setting someone's life to 10 will be relevant. Either I'm swinging with a huge board courtesy of Rise of the Dark Realms, or I'm not usually swinging at all. Similarly, when casting the game-ending X-cost spells, it doesn't usually matter what life someone's at - either I have loads more mana than I could ever need, or I'm not likely going for the kill. Thus, life-gain strategies tend not to be an issue for me (doubly so since most of them rely on lifelinking creatures, which are easy for me to remove).

September 25, 2017 4:49 p.m.

gdm1989 says... #8

You make some valid points on avoiding putting a bullseye on your head obliterator will still make a good defense. As for the others they were more of a last resort just in case toshiro have problems coming to the field. I'll do some more testing and see if there is a better alternative :)

September 25, 2017 5:57 p.m.

gdm1989 says... #9

September 27, 2017 12:12 a.m.

Ad Nauseam is a card that should not be cast unless a player intends to win the game on the spot with it - I frequently see people cast it as a source of card advantage, but that's really not what it's useful for. I'd rather stick to the guaranteed 1 life = 1 card from Phyrexian Arena and similar sources than risk 6 life for a Harvester of Souls that doesn't win me the game. In short, that's a card that fits in low-to-the-ground combo decks, not so much low-to-the-ground control decks. Remember, if all is going as planned, the number of turns it takes me to win is irrelevant. I've got control of the game, and eventually I will find my win-con. Ad Nauseam is far more likely to lose me the game than win it.

Arguel's Blood Fast is fine. Greed is better, and Erebos, God of the Dead is better than both. The only advantage Blood Fast has is that it comes down earlier, but in the early stages of the game I don't usually want to tap out for card advantage - I've still got 5-7 cards in hand!

Temporal Extortion runs into a similar problem as Ad Nauseam. How often will one extra turn win me the game? Not frequently. Either I've got the cards to kill a player, or I've got the cards to control a player, or I don't, and one extra draw step isn't likely to save me. Meanwhile, showing the table that card, and NOT winning, demonstrates to everyone that winning is in my immediate interests, and therefore that they should be trying to kill me as quickly as possible.

Dingus Staff encourages people to kill me, since they know I'll be killing their creatures, and if they swing at other players and lose creatures, they're still losing life, so they may as well dedicate resources to stop me from pinging them. Meanwhile, again, if I'm ready to go for the win, the Staff doesn't get me there - either I've got Exsanguinate for lethal, or I don't. Small amounts of damage here and there aren't likely to help.

Isochron Scepter shows people what I'm working with. If I put Doom Blade on it, suddenly instead of threatening "I probably have removal if you attack me," I'm promising "I'm going to kill every non-black creature I see." It's a very powerful card, and I wouldn't fault someone at all for putting it in their list (hence its inclusion on my "Maybeboard"), but I don't like it myself.

Spellbinder runs into the same problems, with the additional issue that I'm not running many creatures, and that if an opponent is making a decision on whether or not to block, seeing the card I'm going to cast should they let me connect better helps them make an informed decision. Where Scepter could be good in the right hands, I don't think Spellbinder's good in this archetype.

Similarly, without many creatures of our own, Urborg Justice won't really do a whole lot.

Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed brings back the question of how much I want to be a target. That's a card that traditionally represents very quick combo kills, and could easily begin drawing a lot of hate from the table. Meanwhile, most of what he's going to do... Toshiro Umezawa already does. With the exception of Exsanguinate, Torment of Hailfire, and Rise of the Dark Realms, I don't really see myself using his ability at all, and even if all three are in my grave, Empty the Pits is still a viable wincon that Toshiro can recollect.

September 27, 2017 2:24 a.m.

gdm1989 says... #11

I didnt know that about Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed I rarely see him in my play groups

Atm I'm still tweaking my version of toshiro umezawa but I was thinking along with Primal Amulet

Mirari and Mirrorpool would be useful if you're looking to copy spells I'm still looking for more cards similar to those 2.I don't know if these others cards would fit your play style but thought of running Lord of the Void, Corrupt, Maze of Ith, or Fleshbag Marauder?

September 28, 2017 2:03 a.m.

Yeah, Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed isn't a very common card to see, mostly because he's a Portal Three Kingdoms card, and that whole set's basically impossible to find (hence his nearly 90$ price tag). The trick with him, is that in black, he's really easy to reanimate, so a super-popular strategy with him is cast Demonic Tutor, grab Dread Return, then sac him to get DT back, then reanimate him Dread Return, then DT again, sac him again to get DT back, DT again, flashback Dread Return to reanimate him again, sac him again, get back DT again, DT again, and hey look, you've now got the three pieces of your combo in hand and you win. He's just very abusable - like if Eternal Witness were in blue/white where flickering to keep getting extra ETB's was a thing, PLUS having access to the best tutors in the game.

I'd be more inclined to run Mirari than Mirrorpool, since MP requires colorless mana to activate, and I don't want to weaken the manabase by adding too many non-black producers. If your list already has a number of ways to produce colorless mana, then sure, go for it. Mirari seems pretty cool, though I'd caution against using it to copy your killspells (most of the time) since the spells will frequently be cheaper than the price to copy.

Corrupt is a great spell - the only reason I'm not running it is because it's not an instant, so I can't get it back with Toshiro. Notice that it's effectively a slower, more costly Tendrils of Corruption, unless I'm aiming it at a player - in which case, I want them dead, not just stung for a bit. Still, running it as a possible way to finish out a game, or just to pick off that one problem player isn't a mistake.

Maze of Ith and Fleshbag Marauder both seem like solid additions. I'm shying away from Marauder (and his twin, Merciless Executioner), just because I like my removal instant-speed, but particularly if you're looking to go in a more creature-based direction, he's a solid card that triggers Toshiro usually more than once.

From these cards, Lord of the Void is the only one I don't really think belongs. Again, this is a really strong card that you can use to devastating effect... but everyone at the table will know it. Also, people tend to be very incentivized to remove things like Lord that steal cards out of their library. In my superfriends list, I specifically run Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver not because it's that great in EDH, but because people will swing at them again and again and again even to the point of ignoring my much more dangerous planeswalkers, because it's actively ripping resources away from them, and the other walkers are ticking up much more subtly - towards much more devastating ults.

In short, run Lord if you like, but be prepared to have him removed, and to draw the ire of the table if he sticks around.

September 28, 2017 4:43 a.m.

gdm1989 says... #13

Also sorry for all these comments. I also want to thank you about your suggestions as well. As far as getting attacked. My play group don't trust whatever deck I use even if I use Isamaru, Hound of Konda they'll want me dead as soon as possible. XD

Here's my attempt at the deck. I'm still working out the kinks to it

September 28, 2017 9:52 a.m.

gdm1989 says... #14

September 29, 2017 11:02 a.m.

Ensnaring Bridge is at its best when this deck is functioning poorly - we want to have cards in our hand, because that's the best way to threaten other players with the unknown. That said, if we're struggling to get our card draw off the ground, it could buy us time. Perhaps worth trying out, but I'm not sure how effective it would end up being.

Aphotic Wisps is fine - I'd prefer Cremate, since it'll be relevant more often to exile a card than to give a creature fear.

Liliana, Heretical Healer  Flip was in this deck for a while. She's good, especially if we can get her to flip. I'm not running enough creatures to reliably flip her, however, so more often than not she's just a 2/3 lifelink for three. Sometimes that's fine, because we often need to gain life to offset a lot of our card draw mechanics. I ended up taking her out because more often than not, she just wasn't performing to her maximum in this deck.

Wall of Souls and Stuffy Doll could be quite good, if you choose to move in a more creature-based direction. Both threaten opponents out of attacking us, which is the point of the deck. But unlike our kill spells, they can be removed. I'd therefore rarely be tempted to tap out to cast one of these, but if I could cast one and keep three or four mana open as well, they could be good defenders.

September 29, 2017 11:54 p.m.

gdm1989 says... #16

I've just discovered a good card to filter the graveyard full of instants but it kinda runs in the creature based direction Deadeye Tracker

I dont even know if Meekstone would be useful either on account of using Rise of the Dark Realms

September 29, 2017 11:59 p.m.

gdm1989 says... #18

Scuttlemutt could help with the mono black situation with non black spells

Priest of Yawgmoth with Thornbite Staff to use the spine multiple times or the staff on magus to ramp up mana

October 8, 2017 9:35 a.m.

Leumas says... #19

Love Toshiro Umezawa and your deck is great! One glaring omission that you might want to add is Bojuka Bog.

Archfiend of Depravity is another pretty neat card that has been an all-star whenever I play it.

November 8, 2017 3 p.m.

gdm1989 says... #20

You were right about obliterator while powerful for defense he's just...there :( same with mirari and unfortunately Revel in Riches as well a few discard spells may be effective due to toshiro's flashback ability. Some cantips like Cremate or Lose Hope could provide card advantage

November 9, 2017 8:42 p.m.

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Date added 1 year
Last updated 1 month

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.45
Tokens 2/2 Zombie, Liliana, Nixilis
Folders Good ideas, Other People's Decks, Decks I Like, Commander, Interesting Commander Decks, primer, EDH ideas, Cool Decks, Mono Black Liliana Commander, black serial killer, See all 15
Views 4052

Revision 19 See all

1 month ago)

-1 Kokusho, the Evening Star main
+1 Caged Sun main
+1 Primal Amulet  Flip main
-1 Ruinous Path main
-1 Fatal Push main
+1 Revel in Riches main