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The Black Knight Always Triumphs (Syr Konrad EDH)

Commander / EDH Combo Competitive Mono-Black Reanimator

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"None Shall Pass."

Welcome to my take on Syr Konrad, the Grim , lord of the mono-black commanders (at least, in my humble opinion). I've tried a lot of them and not been very impressed, so when our friend the Black Knight here was spoiled, not only did I go off the deep end with Monty Python jokes, but also with possibilities for deck-building. Think of Syr Konrad as a Blood Artist on some major steroids, in your command zone. Anytime another creature A) dies, B) is put into a graveyard from anywhere, or C) leaves YOUR graveyard, he pings each of your opponents. Plus, in a pinch, he's his own mana sink and feeds his own ability, and his stats aren't half bad, either. As another MTG player I overheard once said, "Anytime a creature even THINKS about the graveyard, take 1."

Not sold yet? Well, read on!

"Have At You!"

Syr Konrad is unique among mono-black commanders in that he doesn't just focus on one thing, but literally EVERYTHING black is good at: creature kill, discard, and mill. This gives you room for a lot of deck-building options and variation, so I'm by no means claiming this version is the end-all be-all. But having so many options means you can attack people from multiple axises at once, constantly keeping them off-balance while draining their resources and, eventually, their life.

How does this deck attack people? Well, it usually starts by assembling some kind of value engine and then waiting for Syr Konrad to hit the field. From there, all your mini-engines and combos start to not only benefit you, but cost your opponents.

"'Tis But A Scratch."

So let's be real for a second: in a 40-life game like commander, getting pinged for 1 every once in a while doesn't seem very scary. Well, it's not--until it is. The sheer number of ways Syr Konrad can trigger means it's not uncommon, with the proper setup, to have everyone at the table taking 10+ damage a turn.

Altar of the Brood is always deceptively powerful, but even more so here, where mill 1 often equals 1 damage, or more depending on how many people are at the table. Ayara, First of Locthwain has really impressed me as she draws you cards to trigger Syr Konrad's ability, but also doubles up on his pinging with damage of her own. Mind Slash is a great discard machine that feeds on your creatures and allows you to get rid of the best card from your opponent's hand, potentially triggering Syr Konrad twice in one move.

"Just A Flesh Wound."

If you're ramping up the aggression and looking to get a little more serious, there are four--count 'em--FOUR pseudo- Fleshbag Marauder creatures in this deck, an excellent way to get a leg up on voltron decks or just slow-moving creature builds. Attrition is one of the best removal cards black has, period. Altar of Dementia can mill in ever-increasing amounts and serve as a great sac outlet to target yourself or others. Of course Grave Pact and Dictate of Erebos do a lot of work here too, as they do in any deck that sacrifices creatures a lot. So you've got plenty of ways to control the board and weaken your opponents' positions.

"You Fight With The Strength of Many Men..."

In any deck that sacrifices creatures a lot, you need some ways to profit off it. Fortunately, mono-black has you covered there, too. Grim Haruspex and Midnight Reaper let you draw cards to get insane value. Cryptbreaker can pump out armies of tokens to feed your sacrifice engines. Pawn of Ulamog and Sifter of Skulls also create tokens, but when other things die, with the added bonus of also triggering Syr Konrad with their tokens. And if you want more ramp, Pitiless Plunderer is just amazing in a deck like this. One of my favorite cards in the deck is Liliana, Heretical Healer  --all of her flip-side abilities play well with Syr Konrad and his tactics. In addition, Sangromancer and Waste Not are fantastic payoffs for your discard and kill strategy.

"Oh, Had Enough, Eh?"

When you serve Syr Konrad, death is no excuse to stop working, so this deck has a heavy reanimator component, too--remember, he pings people when our creatures leave the graveyard by any means. Bloodghast and Reassembling Skeleton are especially good as recurring sources of damage and value, but there are bigger ones too, like Sheoldred, Whispering One and Phyrexian Delver . Chainer, Dementia Master and Geth, Lord of the Vault contribute to Syr Konrad's game plan while also allowing you to steal your opponents' best creatures, too (sadly, the Black Knight doesn't care about other people's creatures leaving graveyards). Cauldron of Souls and Mikaeus, the Unhallowed ensure nothing ever stays dead for long, and Whip of Erebos doubles as a reanimation machine AND a way to give Syr Konrad lifelink, meaning every time your opponents get pinged, you gain a bunch of life, too. Another of my pet cards, Living Death , can give you big triggers from Syr Konrad as it exiles creatures from your grave and can be a one-sided board wipe--just be careful because odds are you'll lose Syr Konrad by playing it with him on the field.

"I've Had Worse."

You lie! But okay, let's get nasty. Tortured Existence forms a powerful combo with Syr Konrad based on how much black mana you have--for each one, if you discard a creature, you return a creature from your grave to your hand, triggering the Black Knight. Do it again and again for as much damage as you want. Mindcrank can potentially be a game-winning combo piece depending on how lucky you get and how many creatures your opponents play. Grafted Exoskeleton gives Syr Konrad infect and makes games a fourth as long. Hilariously, Bojuka Bog or Scavenger Grounds can win you the game by nuking your own graveyard, provided you've accumulated enough dead creatures. Doom Whisperer and his constant surveiling can mean a TON of damage triggers. Cards like Torment of Hailfire , Gray Merchant of Asphodel , and Bolas's Citadel are just silly and can steal games. Mesmeric Orb is probably the best mill card in the game, and odds are you'll get enough of it to stack some BIG damage on your opponents. And finally, Necropotence once again proves its worth--if you pay a lot of life to draw a ton of cards and discard a ton of creatures, Syr Konrad will ping for each one. But then, Necro's exiling effect kicks in and removes the creatures from your graveyard, giving you another damage trigger for each one.

"All Right, We'll Call It A Draw."

As you can see, I've opted not to build any infinite combos into this deck--some like Mindcrank are semi-infinite, but largely depend on luck to go off completely, and that's really fine with me. If you want a more competitive version of this deck, feel free to add things like Basalt Monolith or Walking Ballista .

Syr Konrad is powerful, but far from perfect--he preys on creature-based strategies, but if you're playing against a combo deck like storm or spellslinger, it's going to be tough on you. Mono-black doesn't have the greatest options for dealing with problem permanents that aren't creatures, and while a few exist like Unstable Obelisk , it's far from a sure thing. However, this is definitely one of the most fun decks I've ever played, and I hope it brings you enjoyment as well!

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Top Ranked
Date added 3 months
Last updated 3 days
Legality

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

10 - 0 Mythic Rares

36 - 0 Rares

24 - 0 Uncommons

7 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.49
Tokens None Copy Clone, 2/2 Zombie, Liliana, 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn, 1/1 Eldrazi Scion, None Treasure
Folders Kyle's EDH Decks, Syr Konrad the grim EDH, Must Build
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