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The Scarab God, Grave Defiler

Commander / EDH Reanimator UB (Dimir) Zombie



The Scarab God raids graveyards to create a host of zombies! The decks attempts to either go wide with a massive zombie army or drain people out with The Scarab God and other zombie life drainers.

Our God had control issues. He likes to be in charge of who is allowed to live on the battlefield. This is done through boardwipes, zombies with ETB kill effects, counterspells, and instant-speed kill spells. It can take a while to build up a critical mass of zombies to drain opponents out and removal helps protect our God while he summons his army.


Kindred Dominance : Expensive but acts as a one-sided boardwipe.

Damnation : Cheap boardwipe.

Living Death : Mass edict effect that also reanimates our zombie horde.

ETB Kill Creatures

Fleshbag Marauder : Gets around hexproof and indestructible creatures.

Overseer of the Damned : Expensive but produces zombies as well as killing any threat.

Meteor Golem : Expensive but we will rarely be paying full cost. He can take care of permanents that Dimir struggles with.

Go for the Throat and Hero's Downfall : Efficiently costed instant-speed removal.


Counterspell : The original is still one of the best budget options.

Arcane Denial : Probably the least annoying counterspell as it gives the spell caster a bit of card advantage. Also helps to negate our own card disadvantage by replacing itself with another card.

Swan Song : Dirt cheap counterspell that allows us to still have enough mana to Eternalize.

Countersquall : Another cheap counterspell that also drains an opponent which is on theme with the deck.

The most efficient way to fill graveyards for our God is to mill ourselves and opponents. The following cards help us achieve this:

Gisa and Geralf : Mills and then allows us to cast zombies from our grave.

Entomb , Buried Alive , and Corpse Connoisseur : Throws our best ETB creatures into the grave.

Compulsive Research , Thirst for Knowledge , Monastery Siege , Forbidden Alchemy , Notion Rain , Fact or Fiction , and Frantic Search : Blue draw spells that also help us throw creatures into the grave for us.

Altar of Dementia : Someone about to kill our zombies? No problem! Sac them to fill the grave with 4 more cards each.

Stitcher's Supplier : Self-mills and then self-mills some more when he dies!

As well as alpha striking with his Zombies, the Scarab God can drain opponents out for the win. His own life drain ability, but other zombies can help speed up the process.

Plague Belcher , Diregraf Captain , and Vengeful Dead all drain opponents when our zombies die.

Shepherd of Rot drains out everyone quickly.

Carrion Feeder , Grimgrin, Corpse-Born , and Altar of Dementia provide sacrifice outlets to trigger the life draining zombies listed above.

Mikaeus, the Unhallowed is another enabler allowing us to sacrifice our zombies a second time due to the undying ability bringing them back.

Gray Merchant of Asphodel is an obvious life drain choice for the deck.


Updates Add

Decided to take the deck in a completely different direction. I had all of these great zombie cards in my binder without a home. I've decided to change things up and make this more of a zombie tribal build. I've made my new Animatou deck more of an ETB control deck and so a lot of the strong ETB creatures that were in here have been moved there. I've actually found that this deck performs more consistently now as a lot of zombies have life draining abilities that synergize with The Scarab God's life drain

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34% Casual

66% Competitive

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Top Ranked
Date added 3 years
Last updated 1 month

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.31
Tokens 1/1 Zombie Wizard, None Copy Clone, 2/2 Zombie, 2/2 Zombie Knight, 1/1 Bird
Folders Miscellaneous/Utility, Decks, EDH to build, commander, EDH, EDH (Sac), Decks to Play, Compare to.... , Cool decks, Good black decks, See all 70
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Revision 149 See all

1 month ago)

+1 Compulsive Research main
-1 Windfall main
-1 Ancient Excavation main
+1 Thirst for Knowledge main