The Scarab God raids graveyards to create a host of zombies! This deck is more focused on the reanimation effect of the Scarab God than the zombie synergy. My Gisa and Geralf deck is more zombie tribal. This deck is more of a classic Blue/Black control deck that slowly wins through repeated value of reanimating creatures. Like most control decks, it tries to hold up mana until the last opponent's end step. This gives maximum flexible for counterspells, kill spells, draw spells, or reanimating from the grave with the Scarab God. Some powerful zombie cards are included of course.

Please upvote me if you like and give me feedback!

Even though this isn't a zombie tribal deck, it's useful to have some cards that synergize with our God's upkeep trigger.

Graveborn Muse: She works extremely well with our God. Our opponents will be losing as much life as we are on our upkeep. However, we will be able to scry and then draw with her trigger.

Grave Titan: Efficient zombie token producer on a beater.

Overseer of the Damned: The deck runs a large number of kill spells (including this demon). Every time an opponent's creature dies we get another zombie for the upkeep trigger.

Gray Merchant of Asphodel: Doesn't really need an introduction. A staple win condition in back reanimator decks and a zombie.

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 creatures with ETB kill effects, counterspells, and instant-speed kill spells.


Toxic Deluge: Solid black boardwipe that gets around indestructible creatures.

Black Sun's Zenith: Also gets around indestructible creatures and can be set to X=3 or less to protect our eternalized zombies.

Life's Finale: Synergizes with theme of the deck by filling an opponent's grave with their best creatures to steal.

Deadly Tempest: Penalizes larger armies with life loss

Damnation: Cheap boardwipe.

ETB Kill Creatures

Fleshbag Marauder + Merciless Executioner: Both get around hexproof and indestructible creatures.

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

Noxious Gearhulk: Another unconditional kill ETB creature.

Massacre Wurm: A mini boardwipe that can cause a ton of life loss.

Shriekmaw: Usually casted for its cheap evoke cost so that it immediately goes to the grave for reanimation.

Big Game Hunter : Cheap creature that can take down mid to large threats.

Other Removal Spells

Venser, Shaper Savant: Not a kill spell but can slow down an opponent's tempo. Takes care of permanents that Black can't kill.

Dragonlord Silumgar: Steals any creature or planeswalker. Can create large swings if reanimated at instant speed from the grave during combat.

Hostage Taker: Has the potential to steal an artifact or creature. At the very least it does an Oblivion Ring impression and exiles them for a while.

Curtains' Call, Rapid Hybridization, 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.

Rewind: Our God's Eternalize ability is a bit mana intensive. Rewind allows us to counter something and then have exactly enough mana to Eternalize

Negate: Another classic counterspell. It doesn't target creatures but the deck has so many ways to handle those anyway.

Psychic Strike: Synergizes with our God's desire to fill graves with more creatures.

Swan Song: This can't hit creatures but it's so damn cheap. Usually means we have enough mana to eternalize a creature.

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

Mesmeric Orb: For 2 mana this artifact puts in work. Our God will have lots of reanimation targets in just a couple turns.

Entomb + Buried Alive: Throws our best ETB creatures into the grave.

Fact or Fiction, Windfall and Frantic Search: Blue draw spells that also help us throw creatures into the grave for reanimation.

Hedron Crab: Very cheap and can either mill ourselves or opponents if they are running creature-heavy decks.

Memory Erosion : Even if this enchantment is only out for a few turns, it can do a lot of work filling opponents' graves with juicy targets.

Champion of Wits: Great ETB card selection. When eternalized she gives a lot of value, drawing 4 and discarding 2.

Dreamborn Muse: Another milling machine. She populates graveyards rapidly.

Forgotten Creation: A zombie that allows you to "Windfall" yourself each turn if you wish.

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

This is a control deck that tends to win in the late game. Removal keeps you safe while you reanimate for value.

1) Continuously reanimate your own or others' creatures and keep swinging.

2) Life draining with the Scarab God's upkeep trigger or Gray Merchant of Asphodel.

3) Westvale Abbey  Flip: If you're a Timmy, you'll love finishing with this card. Sacrifice some zombies (or its own tokens) to create a massive flying, indestructible, haste, lifelink monster. He's very tough to stop after transformed.

Comments View Archive

MegaMatt13 says... #1

Thanks for the suggestion i24. Endless ranks of the dead is certainly on theme with the deck but I worry about it running too slowly. You need quite a few zombies on the field at any given time to make it worthwhile and I don't know how often this deck will go wide enough. I'll consider it though!

July 5, 2017 2:41 p.m.

Emzed says... #2

I feel Endless Ranks of the Dead falls squarely into the "win more" camp. It's great if your plan is going well already, but even then it takes at least a full turn to do anything at all. It's not able to help you convert an advantage into a win in a short time, so your opponents still get a good deal of time to stop you. But if you are in a bad spot, the card is basically a blank. So, it's both slow and bad if you are behind. If it were really, really powerful, it might still be okay (Praetor's Counsel is an example of such a card), but getting a couple of tokens just isn't an insane effect.

July 5, 2017 4:53 p.m.

Podma101 says... #3

How well does this commander work with the eternalize? When they spoiled this I was concerned about how the 4/4 deal would go since some creatures come back smaller, and EDH tends to have a lot of hefty creatures

July 8, 2017 8:47 p.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #4

Podma101 I am reanimating creatures more for their ETB effects than their bodies. I'm also using them to trigger the God's upkeep ability. If this deck was more focused on attacking, I could see how the 4/4 body could be a problem. However in this deck their size doesn't really matter.

July 8, 2017 11:05 p.m.

Delta-117 says... #5

I just got a pack foil The Scarab God, which I must definitely find a use for in edh!

July 8, 2017 11:09 p.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #6

Delta-117 congrats! That's a very good catch. I'm still using a proxy until release day lol

July 8, 2017 11:31 p.m.

Sgtpopnfreash says... #7

Preordain and Ponder along with Brainstorm in most decks allow you to play far fewer lands. The other thing I would say is try to get your average CMC below 3.

July 14, 2017 10:53 p.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #8

Sgtpopnfreash, thanks for your feedback.

If my playgroup was more competitive, I would definitely be looking at reducing my CMC below 3. My group is pretty casual so most of my decks are kinda casual too. I enjoy playing some of the big, splashy spells you can't in other formats.

Having said that, the next revision will be bringing down the CMC slightly and will be adding some more instant-speed card draw as you suggest.

Thanks :)

July 15, 2017 10:46 a.m.

Finally, a Dimir commander I can get behind! How about Exotic Orchard to trigger abilities on your opponents' stolen creatures?

July 19, 2017 1:22 a.m.

Endulaz says... #10

Have you considered adding Quicksilver Amulet ?

July 19, 2017 5:23 a.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #11

Endulaz, thanks for the suggestion. My experience with the amulet is that it's really good in decks with tons of creatures above 4 CMC (as its activation cost is 4). My deck doesn't have that many above 4 so often I wouldn't be benefiting from its cost reduction. It would be great in Xenagos or Mayael decks though.

Doran_The_ButtFighter, I hadn't thought of that! I often reanimate creatures for their ETB effects. I hadn't considered their other activated abilities. My exotic orchards are currently in other decks but I'll look at picking another.

July 19, 2017 2:42 p.m.

Emzed says... #12

Fellwar Stone is the mana rock counterpart to Exotic Orchard, if you are interested in a thing like that.

July 19, 2017 3:54 p.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #13

Emzed, thanks for the reminder on that. Added Fellwar Stone to the deck :)

July 20, 2017 2:22 p.m.

zandl says... #14

I ran a Scarab God deck in an episode of the TappedOut Commander Series a few weeks back, and it was pretty sweet. Check it out. One thing I'd mentioned is that I feel Memory Erosion is going to serve you better than Hedron Crab. You'll hit more cards and it's much harder to remove than a 0/2.

July 22, 2017 6:48 p.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #15

zandl hadn't heard of that card... Thanks for the tip! I will check out your episode.

I like the hedron crab because I can choose who to mill (including myself). The Enchantment can't mill me and sometimes I want that. I could see myself including both though :)

July 22, 2017 7:24 p.m.

SpookyToe says... #16

Rooftop Storm and Gravecrawler are essential for any zombie deck, especially in EDH as they go infinite with any sac outlet such as the Altar of Dementia that you run. I recommend cutting Venser, Shaper Savant and the Big Game Hunter as they don't really help your strategy of zombies. Endless Ranks of the Dead is also broken in any zombie deck.

July 23, 2017 5:40 p.m.

Sgtpopnfreash says... #17

You need another zombie on the field as well for Rooftop Storm Gravecrawler sac outlet. Thats a 4 card combo with 0 parts in the command zone. Its not an effective primary win condition. I would not say Rooftop storm is an "auto include" in any zombie tribal deck but thats like my opinion.

July 23, 2017 11:27 p.m.

Sgtpopnfreash says... #18

OK real talk for a second. Here is why I hate janky infinite combos like that Rooftop Storm-Gravecrawler or any 4 card infinite instant win combo in non CEDH decks like this one.

If your gonna try to infinite combo there is no reason to NOT use the best options available to you. The Rooftop Storm combo would be a little more viable if it didnt require 2 effects already in play. Requiring both a sac outlet and a zombie on the field is too much, and creatures are too easy to remove at instant speed. If it only needed 1 of these effects it would be a viable combo because you could overload the deck with that type of card either zombies or free sac outlets. If you want to play The instant win/tutor deck then play competitive EDH and use the best combos available to you. This doesnt mean you need to spend 40 dollars on a card like Food Chain. There are plenty of 3 card instant speed win combos in all colors that you can buy for under $20 total.

You can only play 4 card combos at super casual tables and then you end up ruining that game for everyone else trying to play the flashy huge spell style EDH that casual magic players like. Your gonna upset some people when you win instantly after they hard cast a Lorthos, the Tidemaker and that combo will never beat any half decent tier 3-4 sudo competitive deck. Rooftop Storm is a 6 drop as well which is just silly for that plan. If you want to play super grindy 1-2 hour games of EDH dont play instant combos. Its a dick move. Play the cards you wish were viable but just arn't, like Army of the Damned.

The Rooftop Storm combo would even be a little more viable if you had access to a zombie in the command zone but it would be really bad in this.

July 24, 2017 12:03 a.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #19

SpookyToe, I appreciate your suggestion but this isn't really a zombie tribal deck or a combo deck. It's more control/reanimation. Only a few zombie synergies are included. Rooftop Storm would be great if I was playing with lots of zombies or I was trying to combo off. I tend to purposely avoid infinite combos in my decks as I get bored with them quickly. Venser and big game hunter help with my control strategy. I appreciate you taking the time to check my deck out and offer feedback :)

Sgtpopnfreash, I hear you. I switched over to commander cuz I love the more casual atmosphere and being able to play big, janky spells you can't in other formats. Infinite combos aren't in that spirit IMHO. Every time I've built a combo deck, I've gotten bored with it and moved on. Ive learned just to avoid combos. My Ayli deck has become far more enjoyable since I took out Karmic Guide and Revellark. I don't judge others if they like combos though. To each their own. Some in my playgroup play with them. I do find it interesting they tend to take apart their decks a few times after "comboing off" though :)

July 24, 2017 1:27 a.m.

bushido_man96 says... #20

The thing about playing with a combo like that, though, is that you don't absolutely have to combo off if you don't want to. Its just another win condition to have. I've got a zombie tribal I play with Gisa and Geralf as the commanders, and I run the Gravecrawler and Rooftop Storm combo in it. I don't think I've pulled it off yet, though, but it can win with a horde, too. Aside from that combo, its got plenty of other fun synergies, too, which is what makes the deck fun to play.

Combos are ok, and its ok to gauge how the game is going, and not play the combo.

July 24, 2017 7:04 p.m.

shame says... #21

Compulsion is an allstar discard outlet in my scarb god deck

July 24, 2017 7:33 p.m.

Sgtpopnfreash says... #22

oh this deck should deff have Smuggler's Copter

July 25, 2017 4:08 a.m.

Looks solid! +1

August 1, 2017 5:23 a.m.

Sgtpopnfreash says... #24

I am fairly certain Westvale Abbey  Flip's color identity is black and white because of the token it creates so it is not a legal card to run in this deck.

August 1, 2017 12:43 p.m.

RingoDingo92 says... #25

Interesting take on The Scarab God! I've been brewing up a zombies list, but I might incorporate some elements here too.

August 1, 2017 1:12 p.m.

JokeEmperor says... #26

Sgtpopnfreash it's just black. If the card has a named color it's not that color. If it has the color orb (like if it showed white and black mana symbols on it) then it would classify that color.

August 2, 2017 1:57 p.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #27

Sgtpopnfreash and JokeEmperor: yup, Westvale Abbey only has black colour identity because of Ormendahl. The colour of the tokens that a card creates does not impact the colour identity.

RingoDingo92, thanks for checking out the deck. Zombie tribal is certainly one direction you can take it. I already had a Gisa and Geralf zombie deck so I chose to go reanimator/control for something different.

August 2, 2017 2:27 p.m.

Sgtpopnfreash says... #28

I mean I had a judge call on this but ok if your sure.

August 3, 2017 3:33 a.m.

Hipparchos says... #29

MegaMatt13: Imo you are wrong. Westvale Abbey  Flip creates no token, it flips into a black creature and therefore it has got black color identity. Explanation

August 3, 2017 6:37 a.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #30

Hipparchos, yes that is exactly what I said :) it is black and only black because it flips into ormendahl.

August 3, 2017 10:21 a.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #31

Sgtpopnfreash, I don't know what else to say about it. Every ruling I come across online (and the judge I've spoken to) state that westvale abbey is black and only black.

August 3, 2017 10:30 a.m.

Hipparchos says... #32

MegaMatt13: Haha sry my bad. I totally forgot that The Scrab God is your commander. :D

August 3, 2017 3:28 p.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #33

Hipparchos no worries :)

August 3, 2017 9:34 p.m.

delusiions says... #34

August 3, 2017 11:12 p.m.

VexenX says... #35

Love the off-tribal variant of the deck!!! The mill and control element make it extremely versatile! Do you find yourself winning several games with The Scarab God's drain ability? I can see this type of thing happening here. Has mill been a wincon for you? I actually won a game with week vs The Locust God (and two others) because we has massive hand sizes, so I just kicked Rite of Replication on my own Dreamborn Muse lol! Undead Alchemist in play was just an added bonus haha!

August 10, 2017 10:21 p.m.

VexenX says... #36

That being said, I recommend both Dreamborn Muse and Undead Alchemist!!!

August 10, 2017 10:23 p.m.

Sikening says... #37

I made your deck, with a couple substitutions where I didn't have the cards. I found while playing that I was missing some of my favourite cards for the colour combo, such as Necropotence, Living Death, Cyclonic Rift, Notion Thief, Consecrated Sphinx, Polluted Delta, Rhystic Study, Dictate of Erebos, Nightveil Specter, Butcher of Malakir, Lightning Greaves and Grave Pact.

Do you see any way to put some of these in? What would you remove?

August 11, 2017 9:44 p.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #38

VexenX, thanks for checking out the deck. Yeah, draining is the usual win con in the end. It does this slowly by out-valuing opponents by stealing their dead creatures. I'm considering Dreamborn Muse. She looks like a great mill engine. I'm less sure about Undead Alchemist. I rarely attack with my creatures so I'm not sure that I'd get a lot of value with him.

Sikening, thanks for trying out the deck :) Two of the cards you mentioned are banned in my playgroup: Cyclonic Rift and Consecrated Sphinx. I'd play with them if they weren't banned though. I had previously tried Grave Pact and the other edict effects. They were ok but I found I'm not running enough sac outlets to make them activate consistently. I found targeted removal or boardwipes to be more useful in here. If you love them though, they certainly on theme with the control direction of the deck.

Notion Thief, Necropotence, and Rhystic Study are all great cards that I use in different decks. I just wanted to run different card advanatage effects in here and find milling to be a very effect pseudo card draw that fuels the Scarab God.

I personally wouldn't do Nightveil Specter since it's an attack trigger. I find I rarely attack with my creatures. That's why I like Gonti. Similar effect but triggers at ETB.

Puppeteer Clique, Sepulchral Primordial, Murder, Wonder and maybe one counterspell are cards that are on the cusp of getting cut for me so those may be where you want to look to cut :)

August 11, 2017 10:48 p.m.

spottedorc says... #39

I see our deck lists for Scarab are decently different. Which is a good thing. I like to see other people's take on it. I would recommend putting the a small suite of clones in the deck. Clever Imposter, Phantasmal Image, and maybe stunt double. They would excellent with carrying, draining more and more with each one and its cool to animate the Imposter as another valuable perm. Like being a 4/4 Zombie Necropotence or something.

August 19, 2017 1:54 p.m.

SpookyToe says... #40

Panharmonicon to get more out of the ETB triggers from your zombie tokens, and Illusionist's Bracers to get two zombies for the price of one

August 21, 2017 6:37 p.m.

atomic_moose says... #41

Bloodchief Ascension + Duskmantle Guildmage + Mindcrank

Cheap combo pieces for your colors. Mindcrank alone with your commander is brutal.

August 30, 2017 3:38 p.m.

Sikening says... #42

This may have been addressed before, but one thing I've noticed while playing is that this deck has a real problem against Rest in Peace and Leyline of the Void. It's happened a few times where these have come out, and the only way of removing them is bounce with Venser, Shaper Savant and counter when it's played again. The UB combo isn't very good on enchantment removal, but is there anything you can think to throw in to deal with these problems?

September 2, 2017 10:08 p.m.

Sikening says... #43

Also, any black deck should be running Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth (which this one is), as well as Cabal Coffers in my opinion.

September 2, 2017 10:09 p.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #44

Sikening, thanks for your feedback. Those enchantments are indeed a pain. Sometimes with UB decks I run Unstable Obelisk or Scour from Existence. They are very mana-intensive but if your meta is filled with problematic enchantments or artifacts, they may be helpful. If it's on budget for you, Cryptic Command is another way to bounce them. That at least gives you another chance to counterspell them if you have another counter in hand. None of the solutions are ideal but may be better than nothing.

In terms of Cabal Coffers, I only have one copy and it's sitting in my Ayli deck where it is more necessary. She is doing some big mana stuff.

September 5, 2017 11:57 a.m.

MegaMatt13 says... #45

SpookyToe, thanks for your suggestions. I had Panharmonicon in here for a while and found it got hated out before generating much value. Illusionist's Bracers is worth a try though! I will give it a shot.

atomic_moose, those are indeed powerful combo pieces. I tend to try to avoid combos in my decks to keep them a bit more casual. I think those combos may be a bit too vicious for my playgroup lol :)

September 5, 2017 12:07 p.m.

Sikening says... #46

I was also going through my commons and uncommons and remembered a card; Taigam's Scheming. Seems perfect for filtering and getting stuff to reanimate.

September 6, 2017 10:50 a.m.

slambamwam says... #47

Grisly Spectacle is great removal in this deck.

September 22, 2017 3:41 p.m.

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Revision 91 (4 days ago)

-1 Puppeteer Clique main
+1 Go for the Throat main
-1 Forgotten Creation main
+1 Fellwar Stone main
+1 Psychic Strike main
-1 Psychic Strike main
-1 Fellwar Stone maybe
+1 Ancient Excavation maybe
-1 Go for the Throat maybe

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