Updated April 17th, 2019

90/92 Foiled


"Perfection through Knowledge, Satisfaction through Ruthlessness, Harmony through Acceptance"

I'm the guy who loves playing decks that aren't that popular and will spends thousands of dollars refining them until I deem them complete, yes I am that type of person. I been introduced to Magic the Gathering back in middle school in the year of 2003, the block that I started in was the Kamigawa block and I found it very interesting. During that time I played a constructed deck on and off and eventually life happened and I stopped playing, flash forward almost exactly ten years later and I joined an anime/otaku club. Here I met people playing MTG and I also started getting back into it. Currently I am an avid competitive EDH player who has a tendency to play combo/control decks, I absolutely hate to lose but I enjoy a great match. I've been known in my group as always being threatening and able to win out of the blue so they love to make my life hard and deny me all of my resources, as you will see the reason a lot of my decks are built to win either with flair or questionable commanders. Now enough about me, go read further below that's what you actually came here for!

Teneb, Teneb, Teneb, where do I start? This is my main competitive deck that I play for serious games, my second EDH deck that I have built, and refined for the past four years. Made right after I have constructed my Intet EDH deck, this deck has an entirely different style of play as compared to my other main decks. Teneb had humble beginnings, it all started with a simple good stuff deck with a slight recursion theme, bash people's head in with creatures that every Timmy would like to see on the battlefield. Now with the latest iteration of Teneb after years of editing and play-testing, it came a long way from where it was before and became a full out combo machine and toolbox utility suite to deal with any threats. Teneb has been my stalwart companion over my entire career playing EDH and has never yet failed to disappoint me, I have many fond memories of Teneb and now I wish to share them with you. I present you, Tenebu's Gravedigging Tendencies!

Deck Breakdown

Teneb, the Harvester

There are other commanders in the Abzan wedge that would be better at the helm of this deck. However there are a few legitimate reasons aside from flavor why I choose to run Teneb.

  1. Teneb can be an outlet to a win via Birthing Pod straight into Protean Hulk , in addition there are other spells such as Eldritch Evolution and Natural Order that does the same effect.
  2. Teneb has a built in evasion along with being a 6/6 beatstick with a relevant ability. Against certain decks such as Blood Pod or Ad Naus decks, 6 damage is quite substantial and they won't be able to keep up with that kind of pressure.
  3. Teneb can reanimate from *any* graveyard for a small price of . This can lead for quite a few deceptive plays, such as Entomb ing right before a reanimation. Or taking that tasty Protean Hulk from another mirror match up. All in all it is a less restrictive ability since we don't target our graveyard as much.

Plus he is a dragon, a badass dragon, how could you not like that?

The reason why we we don't use Karador, Ghost Chieftain our primary contender when compared to Teneb as a commander is essentially due to the deck list itself and CMC as well. Karador based decks are typically filled with 36-38 creatures and involves using the graveyard more than Teneb does (at least in this deck build). Weaknesses in these type of deck are that they are prone to graveyard hate and essentially once two lines are removed from the game you S.O.L. and left to alpha strike with your creatures. Of course Karador is strong, but in terms of resiliency in graveyard hate and toolbox utility, Teneb outperforms Karador.

The other two commanders that also can contend with Teneb are Anafenza, the Foremost and Ghave, Guru of Spores . Starting with the former, this is the anti-graveyard deck commander, she is great but she is atypically a hate bear commander. Yes she can work at the helm of this deck but she provides no benefits what so ever aside from being an accessible hate piece, she can pod into Academy Rector into a win but that is too many moving pieces already. The latter, Ghave just doesn't fit with the build of this deck as well. Having a sac outlet in the command zone is good but the 5 cmc is too awkward to make any use of it, he just doesn't work in this build.

If you want to see the card types by function click the custom categories option!

Academy Rector : Versatile card used for the protected Protean Hulk lines to grab that Animate Dead . Other than that, there are other options Rector can grab i.e. Survival of the Fittest , Pattern of Rebirth , or Necropotence .

Avacyn's Pilgrim : Another mana dork, this one provides us as we do have a couple white spells in our arsenal and also gives us a bit more versatility against decks that run Blood Moon .

Birds of Paradise : We are running all of the one drop mana dorks we can use. This is one of the better ones as it can tap for any color. In addition they can be sacrificed to Diabolic Intent , Natural Order , or a sac outlet with Pattern of Rebirth enchanting it.

Blood Artist : Our main avenue to a win con, prevents other graveyard decks from going off through recursion. Great card all around, also hates on other mirror grave decks that uses reanimation loops to win.

Carrion Feeder : One of the two creature sac outlets that makes the cut for versatility, speed, efficiency, and cost.

Dark Confidant : Constant source of gas, reliable way to get it, low casting cost, the damage taken is negligible with the low cmc curve. One of the best card advantage available to us.

Deathrite Shaman : Amazing utility creature that allows denial on other peoples deck, especially if they use spell recursion or up against someone who enjoys the graveyard as much as you do. Useful in the competitive metas as almost every deck will use fetches.

Elves of Deep Shadow : Mana Dork. Need I to explain more? Can be sac for value and ramp to accelerate.

Elvish Mystic : See Elves of Deep Shadow .

Eternal Witness : In general, this card is a must in any green decks. In recursion decks however the potential of this card is exploited thoroughly, used to practically bring out every card put in the graveyard through looping.

Fyndhorn Elves : See Elves of Deep Shadow .

Grand Abolisher : The best protection you have available to you in these colors. With Abolisher on the field you have pretty much a guaranteed no response from your opponents. Birthing pod any of your dorks to pull Abolisher out or just hard cast Abolisher if they counter it that's one spell less against your combo. Win/Win :3

Karmic Guide : The core combo piece of my deck, this card is one of the only ways to win indisputably. Brings back ANY creature card to the battlefield.

Leonin Relic-Warder : Recently re-added back in. Another line to go infinite with, also good for removal of certain pesky artifact or enchantment when the need arises.

Llanowar Elves : See Elves of Deep Shadow .

Protean Hulk : With the unbanning of Protean Hulk, Teneb got extremely happy. Our go to target to win on the spot. We have plenty of different lines to wins, all lines are listed below. This pretty much made Boonweaver Giant obsolete in this deck.

Putrid Imp : Rather recent inclusion, due to sometimes drawing your winning pieces in hand due to Ad Nauseam or just naturally we need a cheap outlet for it when we decide to combo out.

Renegade Rallier : This card is a hidden gem, with all the fetches we run and sac effects it's almost too easy to trigger Revolt. At worse this is a land ramp, at best it can combo out and win. Primary second win condition.

Reveillark : The other half of my core combo, without Karmic Guide this card wouldn't be as useful as it is currently. By itself though it still works wonders to bring back my ETB/LTB creatures.

Riftsweeper : Recently re-added in as graveyard hate is a bit more predominant in my meta. Good to use and abuse when certain cards are left in exile.

Saffi Eriksdotter : Used to break the power 2 limit of Reveillark and get any creature back to the battlefield. Also goes infinite with Renegade Rallier .

Sylvan Safekeeper : Mainly used for protection when combo-ing off. But great utility in case of emergencies.

Tymna the Weaver Stellar inclusion and card draw engine. With the amount of low creatures we run, that means more card advantage for us. The more cards we have over our opponents, the more likely our probability to combo and win the game.

Viscera Seer : Another one of my better sac engines, with this at least you can filter through your whole deck and fix your card draws whenever you sac a creature.

Zulaport Cutthroat : Another back up win condition when Blood Artist is unavailable. Or also in the scenario where we are unable to target a player.

All mana rock cards are self explanatory.

Birthing Pod : Leads to many lines of winning. 0cmc-> Sac Outlet, 1cmc-> Grand Abolisher , 2cmc-> Renegade Rallier , 3cmc-> Academy Rector , 4cmc-> Karmic Guide / Reveillark , 6cmc-> Protean Hulk. As you can see there are lines all across the board.

Animate Dead : The classic reanimation spell. Low cmc and little to no detrimental effect when recurring any creatures. Makes the cut for having this as one of the premier recursion spell. Be warned however due to the wording of the oracle text, they can choose to pop the enchantment in response to the ETB trigger leading it to fizzle and not being able to reanimate your target.

Carpet of Flowers : Made the cut over Exploration as it gave out much more value far faster than Exploration ever did.

Dance of the Dead : The back up recursion spell, just as great as the one listed previously. On the plus side it is another spell that can take creatures from my opponents graves.

Necromancy : One of the most viable targets for pulling with Academy Rector if I have all my combos in the graveyard and just need a single reanimation to get it started. Otherwise it is also a great drop for recursion that targets the grave. The key aspect is that this can also be used at instant speed and when used especially at our end step.

Necropotence : Swapped this over Phyrexian Arena , as the latter was just too slow. The instant hand refill does so much better, plus with such a fast deck burst refill is a godsend when we drop our hand in one turn.

Pattern of Rebirth : Amazing tutor to rip out Protean Hulk early game or worse case scenario Grand Abolisher . All in all it's one of the best enchantments we can run in the deck.

Survival of the Fittest : A super laxative that dumps all your combo pieces in the yard. Great to have at any point of the game. Definitely an all star in the deck.

Sylvan Library : The card drawing staple in green decks. The sheer ability to grab 3 cards per turn is too good not to abuse. The filtering that Sylvan gives us the edge that we need to not whiff on our draws.

Abrupt Decay : One of the finest spot removals, the can't be countered clause is especially relevant against my meta.

Ad Nauseam : With the addition to lower cmc cards, we can justify running Ad Naus.

Assassin's Trophy : More removal doesn't hurt and with the recent addition of newer threats in the meta it's been shifting to more targeted removal.

Autumn's Veil : Gives protection over most black kill spells and Fire Covenant , however the main reason of inclusion is that your spells can't be targeted by blue spells. In for the low cost on combo turns.

Crop Rotation : In this deck, Crop Rotation is akin to, "Hey free sac outlet!" Used mainly to tutor High Market or Phyrexian Tower , very rarely it's used to tutor for Cavern of Souls , but can come in clutch as well.

Culling the Weak : One of the best card for hard ramp and as a sac outlet as well. Highly unpredictable and can lead for many lines when needed. Definitely apart of core cards now.

Dark Ritual : Good for the early plays and that fast ramp. Useful when you don't have enough black mana as well.

Eladamri's Call : I also don't have to explain the usefulness of this card, Instant speed tutor for key combo pieces in hand at will? Yeah pretty dang good.

Enlightened Tutor : We run at least 15 cards that can be grabbed from this tutor. And all of them are useful in any situation. Although it's more selective it's great when you need that Necromancy or Sylvan Library .

Entomb : Instant speed card in grave? And any type of card? This is what I'm talking about! Depending on the situation you can go grab your win con.

Krosan Grip : Split-second removal is always prime to have. Stops people from having their win-cons and also helps you in removing Oblivion Stone or those Relic of Progenitus .

Nature's Claim : Premiere one drop removal, used for sheer efficiency and low cost.

Noxious Revival : This card has many uses. I absolutely love this card as it can deny other people as well as reusing your cards for more value.

Silence : This card is absolutely lit. One of the best protection spells you can use before combo-ing out on your turn. On the additional side you can even use this card to break tempo on opponents as well.

Swords to Plowshares : The classic staple removal, there should be no other reason to explain this card.

Vampiric Tutor : Instant speed? Tutor for any card? One cmc? Yes please.

Worldly Tutor : Any type of tutors are always good. Can lead you to winning lines or when you need that extra dork.

Buried Alive : This made it back into the deck as a back up win condition, another Entomb effect, and a great card all around.

Cabal Therapy : This card is versatile, can be used to peek at people's hand flashback to sac our Protean Hulk or to even get that kill trigger for Academy Rector. A free kill spell and can be used in a variety of ways. Hidden deck tech to even target ourselves to force a discard.

Demonic Tutor : I don't even have to explain the awesomeness of this card. Only thing that would make this better is making this instant speed, but I guess that is why Vampiric Tutor is here for.

Diabolic Intent : Another tutor, plus sacrificing a creature is no downfall for us with all the one drop mana dorks we run.

Green Sun's Zenith : Can be used for T1 accelerated ramp, mid game multi-use tutor, or late game into Protean Hulk when it ever gets to that situation.

Imperial Seal : Another one drop tutor, we run it for the consistency and redundancy. Powerful for the early game plays. Completely worth running.

Life / Death : Another Reanimate for one more mana? Hell yeah I'm totally down for that.

Natural Order : Makes the cut to get Hulk straight to the battlefield after sacrificing your dork xD

Reanimate : Life means little to you in this game when you want to combo out as soon as possible. So for a one drop for possible losing at most 7 life? That's nothing.

Toxic Deluge : The only board wipe that gets around Gaddock Teeg . Plus all around great board wipe.

Cavern of Souls : I really don't like being stopped. This tells all the control players to f*** themselves.

Dryad Arbor : Honorable mention that it can be used to sac for a variety of uses as well as fast ramp.

High Market : Highly useful utility land. Prevents creatures from being exiled as well as priority sac engine in response to other opponents. Honestly I tutor for these types of lands more often than an actual sac outlet.

Phyrexian Tower : See High Market . As well as addition to sacrificing your creatures, it produces . Great when you need the extra mana to do more shenanigans.

The cards in this list has been tested already, unless there is a compelling reason to include back in the deck list please let me know. Thanks!

  • Altar of Dementia : Too slow, and too easily removed.
  • Apprentice Necromancer : Too slow, while the cost is great, there are better alternatives. Was in the deck for a long time but never entirely happy to see it in the hand, and rarely works out.
  • Ashnod's Altar : Too slow, high cmc, easy to remove.
  • Auriok Salvagers : Doesn't do anything for us in this deck.
  • Aven Mindcensor : We aren't going for the Hate Bears route and dilutes the deck too much. Otherwise it would go in as it's an amazing card.
  • Beast Within : Too high on curve, better alternative removal.
  • Boonweaver Giant : Outclassed by Protean Hulk in the current standards.
  • Crucible of Worlds : We run plenty of fetches and it could definitely help, but it dilutes from the game plan too much, good if it goes towards the mid-game route.
  • Damnation : Too slow, hurts Ad Naus curve.
  • Eldritch Evolution : Still one of the card I would add back in a heartbeat, but atm, it has been a fairly dead card. Most times I prefer a different card so it was swapped out.
  • Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite : Doesn't fit in the build and not going Hate Bears route, although it does stop a lot of deck, can consider one day going back to main deck.
  • Exploration : Was really hard to cut this out of the deck, but in the end it was deemed too slow and didn't make much of an impact unless you are consistently having a full hand.
  • Hokori, Dust Drinker : We aren't running stax variant and this actually hinders us more so than other decks.
  • Hope of Ghirapur : In originally but after many testing, was deemed to slow and the reliance on sacrificing after the combat step was too inefficient and unreliable.
  • Kambal, Consul of Allocation : Not running stax variant, however I really like this card, hurts the Ad Naus curve as well.
  • Kataki, War's Wage : Not going the stax route.
  • Life from the Loam : My meta is super grave hate oriented and it's also a bit too slow, plus I dislike putting options for them to exile my pieces in the grave.
  • Linvala, Keeper of Silence : Not running Hate Bear route, but great card and auto include if I was.
  • Lion's Eye Diamond : Doesn't do anything for us.
  • Living Death : Too slow, at 5 CMC I need something that can win me the game.
  • Maelstrom Pulse : Too slow and now we have better alternatives.
  • Mikaeus, the Unhallowed : Doesn't provide much benefits, we aren't running a value build. Plus it hurts our Ad Naus curve.
  • Mindslicer : Hurts us more as we only want things in our grave during combo turns.
  • Phyrexian Altar : Too slow, high cmc, easy to remove.
  • Ramunap Excavator : We run plenty of fetches and it could definitely help, but it dilutes from the game plan too much, good if it goes towards the mid-game route.
  • Recruiter of the Guard : Outclassed by better tutors since we have access to black, and most of the time we don't want our creatures in our hand but more into the grave. Can be considered though since the addition of Leonin Relic-Warder .
  • Sensei's Divining Top : Should be in all decks ever created unless your running a specific build, the card fixing advantage is too strong to not put this in your deck. However due to current efficiency, this didn't make the cut as it dilutes the game plan.
  • Sun Titan : Too high CMC, although there are plenty of ways to abuse Sun Titan, it's not fast enough.
  • Thalia, Heretic Cathar : Not running Hate Bears variant.
  • Vryn Wingmare : Not running Hate Bears variant.
  • Walking Ballista : Without Mike it's too many moving pieces, and no additional benefit except for infinite mana, but we don't run infinite mana here.
  • Wrath of God : Too slow, hurts Ad Naus curve, and running too much double white sucks.
  • Yawgmoth's Will : Not great on combo turns, mostly used for set up, cut out for efficient cards.

The main pros are listed over here:

  • Low Curve
  • Flexibility
  • Synergy
  • Resilience

This deck is a fast combo deck with protection, we are going for speed over interaction. That's not to say we aren't inflexible to stop other threats. Our toolbox utility package deals with most troublesome permanents and chosen for the cost and interactability, Abrupt Decay and Nature's Claim deals with most permanents that hamper us early game, Krosan Grip when you really need that split second. We can consistently find lines to win by T2-3 and T4 execute them in a ideal condition. Almost if not all cards can be used between each other and can be led to a combo win on the spot. Ex. any mana dorks can be sac via Natural Order to tutor out Protean Hulk which can be sac through Viscera Seer / Phyrexian Tower et.al.

The one biggest strength for this deck build is the resiliency. Graveyard hate does not shut us down if you see a Rest in Piece or Leyline of the Void , coupled with a Relic of Progenitus or Tormod's Crypt . We have the answers to deal with them and still win after that. Even exiling a couple cards when it comes out does not impede the deck much. We also have protection in the form of Silence and Autumn's Veil which can lead to an infinite combo undisturbed. That should sum up the main points. :P

The main weaknesses include:

  • Interaction
  • Hate Bears/Resource Denial
  • Control

The biggest flaw for this type of deck is that since we are running speed, we give up a lot of interactions. If the game progress long enough before you can combo out, the lesser your probability of winning. The key point in stopping this type of deck is resource denial, once you run out of gas or having all your resource engines destroyed your pretty much shit out of luck. Luckily there are several ways out of that, but the main point is that they were able to slow you down where they can gather more resources. This lead to the next point, we can fight though hate bears and stax, but only at the first couple pieces of resistance, once they have 3+ pieces on board it will be hard to fight them all through. Our worse hate piece is either Humility , Sphere of Resistance , or Trinisphere .

Lastly, control, because we are running no blue/red we have minimal interaction against hard counters. In return we only have two ways to win against them. One which is to not cast anything on our turns, so cards like Grand Abolisher , Silence , and Autumn's Veil do wonders. Or two, which is to combo out so blistering fast and run them out of options, we can persistently drop down threats after threats until they run out of resources but when there are two other control players you need to plan for the protection approach. If it goes to late game we will lose without a doubt.

There is only one main combo in this deck but it is the most versatile one I run. Basically it is composed of Reveillark , Karmic Guide , a sac engine of your choice, and a creature with a power of 2 or less with an ETB or LTB effect.

How it goes is have Karmic Guide or Reveillark in your graveyard and a creature with ETB/LTB effects such as Reclamation Sage also in your graveyard. On your battlefield you will have a sac engine for example Viscera Seer . If Karmic Guide is in your graveyard and Reveillark is in your hand, evoke Reveillark and have it target Karmic Guide and Reclamation Sage. Once that resolves Reveillark should be in the graveyard and Karmic Guide and Reclamation Sage will be out, ETB effects will now commence and have Reclamtion Sage pop target artifact or enchantment, Karmic Guide will target Reveillark and bring it back from the grave.

Now all three creatures are on the battlefield, to start the looping you will sac your Reclamation Sage and Karmic Guide to the grave, then sac Reveillark targeting Karmic Guide and Reclamation Sage and the loop will start all over.

If you have Reveillark in the grave and Karmic Guide in hand, cast Karmic Guide targeting Reveillark, bring it from the grave and then sac Karmic Guide. From there its the same as above, sac Reveillark and target Karmic Guide and your ETB/LTB creature of choice.

This combo will also give you infinite loops of your sac engine.

Sac Engines:

Carrion Feeder

Viscera Seer

Recursion Combos

Karmic Guide + Reclamation Sage + Reveillark = Artifact and Enchantment Board Destruction

Eternal Witness + Karmic Guide + Reveillark = Graveyard Recursion

Karmic Guide + Reveillark + Zulaport Cutthroat = Drain Triggers

Karmic Guide + Reveillark + Saffi Eriksdotter = Recur Target Creature

Karmic Guide + Reveillark + Riftsweeper = Recur Target Card from Exile

Karmic Guide + Renegade Rallier + Reveillark = Recur Target Permanent 2 CMC

The other part of the combo for >2 creature shenanigans includes using Saffi Eriksdotter or Fiend Hunter in conjunction with the Karmic Guide and Reveillark Combo.

Saffi Eriksdotter Combo

Basically you sacrifice Saffi targeting Reveillark and have Karmic Guide in the graveyard. Once Reveillark is sacrificed it will be brought back to the battlefield via Saffi's ability, it will trigger Reveillark's LTB effect and bring back Saffi and Karmic Guide. With Karmic Guide, target one of your more powerful creatures to recur. From there you will have Karmic Guide, Reveillark, Saffi Eriksdotter, and the recurred creature on the battlefield.

Fiend Hunter Combo

This way is almost exactly the same way as the Saffi Eriksdotter combo, only difference is your exiling Reveillark. Have Reveillark on the battlefield and Karmic Guide in the graveyard, when Fiend Hunter ETB exile Reveillark which will trigger its LTB trigger. In response to Fiend Hunter's ETB trigger, sacrifice Fiend Hunter which will bring back Reveillark and the LTB trigger on the stack will target Fiend Hunter and Karmic Guide. Karmic Guide will recur your choice target and Fiend Hunter will ETB again, which in response you will sac all your creatures again which will result in an infinite loop of recursion.

More Recursion Combos

Karmic Guide + Reveillark + Saffi Eriksdotter + Boonweaver Giant = Creatures to the battlefield.

Karmic Guide + Reveillark + Saffi Eriksdotter + Protean Hulk : Creatures 6 cmc or below to battlefield.

(All cards using Saffi Eriksdotter can be replaced with Fiend Hunter )

Our other combo in the situation where Karmic Guide/Reveillark has been exiled along with Riftsweeper.

How it works is that you have to have a permanent leave the battlefield first which is as simple as activating a fetchland. You will have to have Saffi either in the graveyard or on the battlefield when Renegade Rallier ETB as well as a sac outlet on the field. With Renegade Rallier Revolt trigger on the stack, sacrifice Saffi using her ability to target Renegade Rallier. Resolve the trigger and target Saffi. Saffi re-enters the battlefield, now you have all three of them on the battlefield, to start the loop just sacrifice Renegade Rallier and sac Saffi targeting Rallier. After everything resolves you will have two death triggers, repeat ad infinitum. With Blood Artist or Zulaport Cutthroat this will lead to drain.

This combo is not currently in used for this iteration of the deck due to the unbanning of Protean Hulk

This combo is an acceleration combo to get into your Karmic Guide/Reveillark combo. The two key cards you need are Boonweaver Giant and Pattern of Rebirth . Here is how it works:

-> Boonweaver Giant ETB. Trigger ETB ability, Grab Pattern of Rebirth. Attach Pattern of Rebirth onto Boonweaver.

-> Sac Boonweaver, Pattern of Rebirth ability triggers. Search for Karmic Guide . Karmic Guide ETB trigger, bring back Boonweaver which brings back Pattern of Rebirth.

-> Sac Boonweaver, Pattern of Rebirth ability triggers. Search for Fiend Hunter (or Saffi Eriksdotter ). Fiend Hunter ETB trigger exiles Karmic Guide.

-> Sac Fiend Hunter, Karmic Guide ETB and triggers its ability. Bring back Boonweaver which brings back Pattern of Rebirth.

-> Sac Boonweaver, Pattern of Rebirth ability triggers. Search for Reveillark , Reveillark ETB.

By now you should have Reveillark, Karmic Guide, and a sac outlet on the battlefield. From here you can proceed to go infinite if you have the pieces in your graveyard for the Karmic Guide/Reveillark infinite combo. If not you have infinite creature tutors in the form of Boonweaver Giant.

This is another acceleration combo to get your main combo onto the battlefield, it is more versatile than the Boonweaver Combo but more tricky as there are many variations on what you could grab. You will need Protean Hulk and a sac engine on the battlefield. This is how it works:

-> Sac Protean Hulk. When Protean Hulk enters the graveyard you now have a choice of creatures that equal to 6 cmc or less to ETB.


-> Academy Rector + Viscera Seer / Carrion Feeder + Sylvan Safekeeper , this is your usual go to line with protection from targeted removal.

-> Academy Rector + Grand Abolisher , this is the line you would go for if your opponent's run's tricks like Faerie Macabre . Provided that you already have a sac outlet, you would proceed as usual to either Protean Hulk or Boonweaver lines.

-> Renegade Rallier + Saffi Eriksdotter + Sylvan Safekeeper , this is the line to go for if Karmic/Reveillark ends up being exiled or Praetor's Grasp . Goes ad infinitum with a sac outlet on the field, plus a free 2 cmc permanent back to the battlefield upon ETB. With Zulaport Cutthroat on the battlefield you automatically win.

Deck Piloting

Now if you read the previous section you will now know what cards to expect and how our combos work. The next question is to decide what hands we can keep as our openers decide the course of action our game play will take. Optimally what we want to see in our starting hand is something like this:

That would be the basic hand we will want to keep if it hits at least 3 of those benchmarks. However it does get a little bit more tricky as there are plenty of synergy in the deck as with all the cards. In the next section below I will list all the basic lines that can happen from determining your beginning hand.

An Ad Nauseam hand would look like something like:

Silence , Imperial Seal , Verdant Catacombs , Fyndhorn Elves , Mox Diamond , Reflecting Pool , Mana Vault

Your goal here is to cast Ad Nauseam (protected if possible) as soon as possible, and in best case scenario, right before your turn so you have access to full range during your turn. In your Ad Naus pile you are looking for any ways to grab your combo pieces cheaply, as well as trying to net positive on as many fast mana ramp, the absolute lowest you can hit for your life total is 8. Unless you are running Angel's Grace that should be the lowest unless you want to chance it.

A Natural Order hand would look like something like:

Elvish Mystic , Command Tower , Nature's Claim , Reanimate , Natural Order , Phyrexian Tower , Mana Crypt

Your goal with this type of line is to sacrifice your dork to fetch Protean Hulk as soon as possible and kill Hulk with any one of your kill switches, Phyrexian Tower being point and case in this scenario. The same can be swapped with Pattern of Rebirth provided you have a reusable sac outlet so you can chain through Protean Hulk. This is one of the faster way to combo out and one of the more easily accessible ones.

The other frequent hand you will most likely see is the reanimation line hand. This happens when you are dealt with cards like Entomb , Buried Alive , Reanimate , and such. An hand that would look like this would be as follows:

Dark Ritual , Culling the Weak , Bayou , City of Brass , Carrion Feeder , Reanimate , Entomb

The hand above has all the pieces you need to win. The tutor ( Entomb ) to put Protean Hulk into your grave, the reanimation spell to bring it back to the battlefield ( Reanimate ), and the sac outlet/kill switch to start your loop ( Carrion Feeder / Culling the Weak . To further show this is how you will play it out.

T1 Play your land ( Bayou ), tap to cast Dark Ritual float , cast Entomb fetching Protean Hulk, cast Reanimate targeting Hulk, Hulk enters battlefield either cast Culling the Weak or Carrion Feeder to kill off Hulk to start combo.

As you can see the hands you take are essential to your game plan for the course of the game. The main goal is how fast can you win and if you can't win fast enough gain incremental resources with CA and utility spells to combo out. Our main advantage is that we are super synergistic and all cards work together to produce an overwhelming result.

Example 1:

This hand is an average hand, it has interaction and a way to get to your win condition. However it is too slow, at most you would be going for Ad Nauseam on T4. I would mulligan this hand for your next seven.

Hell yeah definitely better. With this hand you are guaranteed card advantage (CA) in the form of Dark Confidant have a T1 play and ramp in Carpet of Flowers and a definite line with going for Academy Rector / Culling the Weak . You also have some leeway in what to play with Green Sun's Zenith . Snap keep this hand.

Example 2:

Terrible hand, it's playable but you would shoot yourself in the foot with it and screw yourself over. You have a combo piece stuck in your hand, your only land produces , and colorless ramp with Mana Vault , you would waste your Enlightened Tutor fetching for Sylvan Library to try dig for pieces.

Ugh, this mulligan is alright, if that Worldly Tutor was any black tutor you would keep. I would actually chance mulligan again for a better start. What makes this hand alright is the fact that you can tutor into a Dark Confidant and gain CA, plus you have a sac outlet in the hand.

...this here people is what you call the shaft. This hand is completely unplayable, and no you will not bank on drawing a land as the mana base is 1:3 ratio you will draw a land. Well time to mull.

Wow...this is actually a solid hand. In a normal situation if you are going at 5 cards to start the game your best option is to pray for two colored lands and a tutor. This is a stellar start as you can T1 Dark Ritual into a Necropotence to fully refresh your hand. You also have an sac outlet with High Market so this has a lot of the pieces you will need to go for broke. You will keep this hand. (Well you kinda have to because going less than 5 cards put you at a severe disadvantage)

Example 3:

Awesome hand, would definitely keep. You have access to a tutor (although only creature), ramp, CA, and if someone decides to be an asshat and pop your Sylvan Library , you have a way to do it again next turn ( Noxious Revival ). Renegade Rallier also helps in a multitude of ways whether it be ramp or combo.

Example 4

This is as close as you can in having an optimal hand. With this hand your going for the reanimation line and can win with protection on T3 or can go balls deep and attempt to win on T2. Snap keep hand.


I would like to thank my playgroup for dealing with my shenanigans and helping me develop this degenerate version of Teneb. Without them I probably wouldn't have came back to playing MTG and go down this wonderful rabbit hole. These group of people are the ones who help me personally made this homebrew version of this deck and all of it's iterations.

Thank you peeps, I know you hate Teneb now, but that's what you get for curbstomping me when I was a newbie! ^^

Here are all the people who helped me out on T/O that really gave me new perspective and pushed Teneb further! Thank you so much you wonderful people!

  • caantpayrent - Thanks for giving advice on the primer, really helped organize it and made it easier for people to understand what I'm going for. Appreciate it buddy!
  • Matrixxx999 - Almost all your suggestions made it into my mainboard and have won me several games because of it, your recommendation of Culling the Weak has been an invaluable core piece in my builds! Love you buddy!
  • Abzkaban - Thanks for all your support and for being a fellow Abzan player as well! Bouncing ideas with you has been a great boon and full of valuable information!
  • SynergyBuild - Your perspective has allowed me to gain a better grasp on the competitive scene, I thank you for all your valuable input!
  • scotchtapedsleeves - Dude thank you so much for helping me with the CSS styling and page, I appreciate it all the work you done buddy!

Once again major thanks to the people here on tappedout and whoever upvoted the deck, I seriously am proud of this deck and glad I can share them with you all!

If there are any comments on how I can improve my deck more, please let me know!!

+1 Upvote If ya like all the work done in Teneb!!!


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