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Skullbriar, Oh Lawd He Comin’

Commander / EDH Aggro BG (Golgari) Counters Voltron



This deck is always in-progress because there’s no sure-fire combo or way to play. I’m currently pushing for more aggro, but wouldn’t consider this 100% aggro.

I start every deck with these ideas(where I end is questionable):

  • Affordable(100-300$)
  • Avoid Shoehorned/infinite combos
  • Fun to revisit play-styles
Skullbriar, the Walking Grave interaction with 2015 rule:

If a commander would go to any non-battlefield zone from any other zone, its owner may instead return it to the command zone.

Negating the fear of tucking and hand return makes Skullbriar viable.

: turn 1/2 play with the use of Elvish Spirit Guide . Add Chrome Mox or Lotus Petal for turn 1 aggro

Artwork: Nils Hamm, sikk af

Zombie Elemental: plenty of zombie-tribal. Zombie Master is fantastic buff/evasion addition. Golgari elemental is lackluster.

Haste: perfect against board-wipes.

Acquire +1 counters: This ability is slow. Much of the deck is built around making this land or build quicker. Swampwalk, trample, high power, and unblockable are the only ways to get this rolling.

Maintaining +1 counters: this is the pride and joy of this card/deck. CMDR tax sucks, but this still gives you freedom to play frivolously with him. The key is deciding whether to send him back to the CMD zone or reanimate him to avoid CMDR tax.

Downfall: Skullbriar is missing key inherent abilities. Trample, swamp/forest-walk, and/or fear would fix what you search for the whole game. A +1 counter trigger from attacking or damage in general for more consistently. +1 counter for each damage dealt would be insane. Even +2 counters for landing damage would suffice. (Ignoring serious balance issues.)

Anti-Tron: Skullbriar will die, but those sweet sweet +1 stick around. People waste their precious wipes and removal on this basic dude only to have you bust him out immediately after. Playing Skullbriar super aggro is key.

CMDR DMG: Alternative routes of adding counters to Skullbriar are a must. Moving up +1 counter a turn under the circumstance that one person couldn’t block is weak. Instant gratification from Instants, Sorceries, and creatures like Rishkar, Peema Renegade gouge away at opponent’s CMDR DMG.

Evasion: Unblockable, trample, swampwalk, and fear aren’t there for the +1 counter. Beneficial Hardened Scales -like cards are just a guide for the larger picture. Hitting hard with massive damage is the point of evasion.

Kamikaze: Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord and/or Reyhan, Last of the Abzan combo. Build Skullbriar up with counters, sac him to does massive amounts of damage, repeat. Delicate combo. Doesn’t hit CMDR DMG.

Scavenge: Varolz, the Scar-Striped combo. Put creatures with big toughness and low cmc in the graveyard. Skullbriar’s counters count as his power/toughness in grave, scavenge him to beef up other stuff. Delicate combo. Doesn’t hit CMDR DMG if combo’d with Skullbriar.

Zombie: Playing off Skullbriar’s subtype, utilize regenerative and graveyard play, zombie tribal benefits. Skullbriar’s inherent abilities don’t combo with Zombie tactics as much.

There’s no definitive combo for this deck. Playing strengths of Golgari net me the most fun. Cheating big cmc creatures out of the grave, abusing swampwalk, regen, and discard. By no means is Skullbriar a competitive deck. Slick artwork, combo-lite friendly play-style, and leftover +1 counter cards from my recently dismantled Animar deck fueled this deck.

Turn 1 is important to me and should be to you. I don’t care if it’s part of a combo or basic land fixing. Play something, don’t just play a land and pass. I noticed I wasn’t landing enough turn one cards and am currently working on adding in more. - Ideally Hardened Scales to push counters, Crop Rotation to search for Urborg, or Entomb to get my graveyard cooking. - If needed, Elvish Spirit Guide can push out Skullbriar or Collector Ouphe - A few ramp cards for mana fix - Mirri's Guile with the eventual add of card:sensei’s diving top for better game flow

Turn 2+ is up to the game. Hear me out: this is CMDR and this isn’t a competitive deck or CMDR. So whats the game plan? Skullbriar really isn’t much on his own. Toss a bunch of beef-up cards on him for +1 counters. Decide whether to reanimate him or send back to CMD zone on death/whatever. Use evasion cards to knock down opponent’s CMDR life.

Stax stax stax: since Skullbriar is slow and I don’t like most Golgari card-draw, I play off card disadvantage. Force opponents to keep their hands light and graves full. The synergies two ways: being able to reanimate opponent’s creatures and more importantly discarding hand anchors.

Under construction

Gonna delete all my old changes and comments and move the general consensus here.

With no intention of playing this deck competitively, certain cards don’t make the cut. Til I invest more or these cards are reprinted, here is where they remain:

Updates Add

Skullbriar landing damage for additional +1 is weak in comparison to the counters sticking with him. The deck is seeing some changes in more of a control/stax base with the idea of building him up into an anti-hero voltron build that doesn’t care if he dies.

Corpsejack Menace out, Increasing Savagery in

CM works if cheated in early. Otherwise, it’s a long game card that often serves as a 4cmc Hardened Scales .

IS isn’t great, but pumping Skullbriar is more important. Once something more viable comes out, I’ll trade this out. For now, I prefer instant gratification of counters.

Ramp past turn three isn’t necessary anymore

Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter & Wood Elves out, Liliana, Heretical Healer  Flip & Bottomless Pit in

JYW isn’t a game changer for 3 cmc. card:rishkar, preema renegade gives instant counters and creature synergy.

Forge of Heroes out, Geier Reach Sanitarium in

FoH relies on playing Skullbriar a turn later or using up precious late game mana on top of CMDR tax

card:temple of false god out, Swamp in

ToFG doesn’t combo with this deck

Cave of Temptation out, Nurturing Peatland in

CoT is slow with little payoff

Asceticism out, Mirri's Guile in

Too high cmc

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88% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 4 months
Last updated 1 week
Exclude colors WUR

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.62
Tokens 2/2 Zombie, None Vraska, None Vivien, 3/3 Beast, Liliana
Folders Uncategorized, good stoof, Buildspiration
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