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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Demon of Dark Schemes
Creature — Demon
When Demon of Dark Schemes enters the battlefield, all other creatures get -2/-2 until the end of turn.
Whenever another creature dies, get E (an energy counter).
, Pay EEEE: Put target creature card from a graveyard onto the battlefiend under your control tapped.
DreadKhan on EDH Merens Reanimator
3 weeks ago
If you're interested in playing fair, then you might like Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest. This can take a board full of utility creatures and make them very formidable very quickly. Hell's Caretaker is a card I find useful that doesn't go infinite with anything I know of, it just lets you sneak stuff in once per turn. If you don't include anything like Pitiless Plunderer you can set up repeatable sacrifice loops to generate XP for Meren, probably to reanimate a Protean Hulk or someting else juicy. For this you might use Gravecrawler or Haakon, Stromgald Scourge and probably a 1 drop Knight to have something you can keep killing over and over. Any card that cares about creatures dying will go off, so some stuff that draws on death might be nice, Liliana, Dreadhorde General is a versatile card that fits the bill.
In my experience, the best thing you can tutor up is usually Protean Hulk, Sidisi, or Razaketh, any of these tends to spiral out of control in a deck that can reanimate them on the end step or sooner. Hulk can find various creatures to solve whatever problems you have, but you probably need a sac outlet to ensure it dies right away, the others are more generous. Razaketh notoriously likes abusing Life / Death to set up a pretty quick win when you're ready, you can find stuff like rituals to generate enough mana to go off.
If you want another reanimator that isn't picky, there is Demon of Dark Schemes that helps clear the board of weenies, and as long as you don't have cards that generate mana the Demon won't go infinite with something like Mitotic Slime or Underworld Hermit, they'll just give you lots of triggers for your extra mana. Demon also likes Merciless Executioner type creatures, they can easily generate Energy. Another reanimator I often forget reanimates stuff is Liliana, Death's Majesty, this brings back stuff as a Zombie if you don't want the ultimate, and she survives some wipes as a PW that can make 2/2s while milling you. Some people don't like PWs so ymmv.
I suspect that if you're not sure if you need more wipes, you might want to try one or two more. In Black there is Make an Example that is very brutal as you always hit your priority target for each opponent. It won't clear the board, but it can help manage it, and you can follow it up with a bunch of forced sacrifice. One card that likes seeing a wipe happen (that makes running extra feel less problematic) is Ogre Slumlord, if you run enough 'pay life'effects you might want Sangromancer, and if you think you can kill enough of your opponent's permenants then Kothophed, Soul Hoarder might work out, that can turn a Damnation into a big draw spell.
If your deck is finding it hard to stay alive, you can use Dawnstrider to save you on needing to reanimate a Spore Frog, though I use both as I find Meren can be annoying to certain players.
If you like Phyrexian Arena and aren't using 'win on the spot combos', have you considered Protection Racket? This can draw plenty of non-land cards or deal damage to your opponents, both seem good as long as you don't care if you lose some random 1-3 drops. There is also Black Market Connections, this can provide various resources without being as busted/all-or-nothing as Necropotence.
Hope some of this is helpful! Any Commander that requires a lot of tutoring is very frustrating to learn to play, Commander is incredibly hard to master, but it's easy to get better with practice!
DreadKhan on Meren of Clan Nel Toth
5 months ago
I usually recommend people try out Diligent Farmhand and Dawntreader Elk as creatures for Meren to reanimate and ramp you because they are sacrificed. This makes these play better than Wood Elves in a lot of situations, but you can certainly run both (I only run 30 lands in my Meren deck, and no mana rocks, I usually end up with a ton of lands by the time the game is done).
If you use creatures that make a bunch of tokens upon entering the battlefield, you might like Demon of Dark Schemes, which can be used as a tiny wipe and as a repeatable source of reanimation? It combos fairly well, using Phyrexian Altar, Ashnod's Altar or Pitiless Plunderer, another card very good with the Demon or in Meren in general is Mitotic Slime, which is a ton of bodies for 5 mana. Another solid card in Meren is Callous Bloodmage, a very versatile creature to reanimate for sure, it also doesn't exile your graveyard when it exiles an opponent's. Dauthi Voidwalker is a really good card if you play against people who use a lot of spells, especially powerful ones, the ability is amazing in Meren because the cards that are exiled stay that way even if you recur Voidwalker it can still see all of those exiled cards, including any an opponent's Voidwalker exiled from your opponents. Helm of Possession is a really off-colour ability for Golgari, and you probably can pay the creature. When you want a new creature you can just sac the old one and steal a new one. Midnight Reaper is another Grim Haruspex, not sure how many you necessarily want, but I rarely mind having two out.
I don't love spells in Meren, but I make an exception for Jarad's Orders, Final Parting and Ritual of the Machine. Graveyard tutors are good in Meren, and tutoring cards into hand is also good. Ritual's ability to steal most creatures can really save you if people run certain kinds of decks. Another good tutor to consider is Fiend Artisan, digging out a Sidisi feels pretty good if Meren is out, I can usually recur her right away for a second tutor.
I'm not really sure if your creature count is high enough at 38, but I absolutely adore Lurking Predators, it can put out multiple creatures per cycle for me, which will usually put me ahead quickly. I run 55 creatures IIRC, so technically I should get a creature a little more often than every other spell, which is obviously absurd if someone else can't combo off. It's just hilarious when you pull something like Plaguecrafter or Ravenous Chupacabra.
It's pretty pushed so you might not want to run it, but Protean Hulk can find 6 MV worth of bodies, so it can find Walking Ballista and Mikaeus in one go, which is pretty solid. If you use something like Activated Sleeper you can get an extra 3 MV worth of creature, which can mean a Blood Artist and Carrion Feeder or Viscera Seer to just win on the spot.
If you are using Mazirek, I feel like I have to mention One with the Kami, this very easily goes infinite with Mazirek, giving you infinite deaths and enters as well as infinitely large tokens for something like Altar of Dementia, or even swinging.
Your deck looks great as is, just throwing a few ideas out there for you, hope some are helpful!
IHATENAMES on Meren, currently
6 months ago
Demon of Dark Schemes reanimation and a boardwipe
Any number of sac ramp creatures. A few examples Neverwinter Dryad Diligent Farmhand
Fog on a creature Spore Frog
Dread Return reanimation
Free sac outlet on cheap creatures Viscera Seer Carrion Feeder
Puppeteer Clique reanimation of an opponents threat (also works with persist combos if you choose to do that)
Midnight Reaper Grim Haruspex card draw upon death of a creature Liliana's Standard Bearer situational card draw
Mindslicer hate on blue players. Everyone discard their hand.
Mausoleum Secrets instant speed tutor
Victimize sac a creature return 2. Very good reanimation
For a few additional ideas take a look at My golgari deck it has a lifegain theme that won't translate but many off the cards beyond that might be good includes.
DreadKhan on Discarded Treachery
6 months ago
I always like effects like Bottomless Pit and Necrogen Mists when I'm building a discard deck, these clear out a ton of cards over time, and even one will quickly make it very hard to keep any cards in hand past upkeeps. There is also Cunning Lethemancer, Necrogoyf, Stronghold Rats and maybe Raiders' Wake if you think you can count on being able to swing at someone. I like these effects more as a way to keep opponent's hands extremely small, they play more like a Stax effect in many ways. They play well with the 'cares about hand size' effects as well as 'cares about discard' effects, and as noted, make it very hard for people to store cards. Other than stuff like Mind Twist and Hymn to Tourach, I don't find single target discard is reliable at keeping hands small, 'engine' enchantments always felt really good.
Have you considered Helm of Possession and Ritual of the Machine, both can do great work in a sacrifice deck that can afford to lose a creature to steal something much juicier. I think Helm is usually the stronger card if people can't blow it up right away, but Ritual is Reserved List and prone to spiking when someone realizes it's potential. Both are a tad pricey, just thought I'd mention them.
Final point, if people are going to be discarding a bunch of creatures potentially, you might like Coffin Queen as a way to reanimate those pitched bodies, especially your opponent's stuff, as it gets exiled when it dies again. Demon of Dark Schemes can also work, not sure if you can generate enough energy to make it viable, but with stuff like Pitiless Plunderer it can go infinite reasonably easily.
ThatWeirdPerson on It's Just a Flesh Wound (Budget Meren)
10 months ago
DreadKhan, I noticed that you have a Meren deck of your own that includes Demon of Dark Schemes. I personally have never seen this card before and I am wondering how its worked for you?
DreadKhan on It's Just a Flesh Wound (Budget Meren)
11 months ago
If you like Avenger of Zendikar, Mitotic Slime comes out earlier and will make an astounding number of bodies for you to sacrifice. Underworld Hermit might work as well. You might want to take a look at Demon of Dark Schemes, which can reanimate whatever you want for mana and energy, making it not infinite (you'd need something like Phyrexian Altar or Pitiless Plunderer probably) but very good with a decent amount of lands. I use it as an infinite reanimation source in my Meren deck, where it's -2/-2 effect is also sometimes relevant.
If you want a 'win con' that doesn't involve your Graveyard and only requires you to run a bajillion creatures in your deck, Lurking Predators might be interesting. Even if people only play 1 spell each, that can easily be 1 or 2 creatures for free, and you can scry away chaff. If this sticks around, people can't reasonably play small spells and will struggle to deal with your growing board, and you just keep playing as normal with a free creature or 2 each cycle. I run it with well over 50 creatures, and sometimes all it takes is one player ignoring it to win you the game via free bodies.
Yavimaya Granger is decent, dying the turn after it's cast normally, and will net you a land. It's available to reanimate (to get another land), and it can technically chump for you. Wood Elves is pretty good, but it doesn't die on it's own.
Callous Bloodmage is pretty good value, offering a way to hate on an opponent's graveyard that can alternatively draw you a card or make a Pest, sneakily good card. Nether Traitor is a nice way to get an extra body to sacrifice, it can recur itself.
Neat to see Budget Meren, her decks tend to be pretty pricey, so many people love building Meren.
DrukenReaps on More cards like Phyrexian Reclamation
11 months ago
Strands of Night, Haunted Crossroads, and Demon of Dark Schemes may also work for you. Each has their downs and ups.
If you are interested in comboing or almost comboing Whisper, Blood Liturgist with Thornbite Staff will continue as long as you can keep sacrificing. It doesn't have to be done all at once but it will be a huge target once folks see it lol.
DreadKhan on Sheoldred, Whispering One (Commander) Mono-Black
11 months ago
Coffin Queen is pretty good reanimation that can hit any graveyard, so you can use it to exile stuff from opponent's graveyard. Ophiomancer is a source of bodies you can use to block or to sacrifice, with potentially one per upkeep. Ayara, First of Locthwain is a nice lower-budget Yawgmoth, Thran Physician, clearly worse but still relevant.
Have you thought about Gravecrawler as a repeatable reanimation effect? Wins with an Aristocrats payoff, even if you're not infinite (you do have Black Market, which isn't quite infintie but is probably close enough after a turn or 2). If you don't mind ending up infinite, Phyrexian Altar or Pitiless Plunderer very easily go infinite with Gravecrawler, and your Rider can generate bodies off it, since it's not a token. Something like Midnight Reaper can draw off the deaths, as can Grim Haruspex.
Ashnod's Altar is a very good card to look at, even if it's just generating mana. Demon of Dark Schemes can do some crazy stuff with a creature like Underworld Hermit, especially with some sacrifice driven mana generation this can be a mana/energy positive transaction, so it can go infinite potentially.
If you're not against tutoring, you could look at Expedition Map to help find Cabal Coffers or Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. Black has lots of other good tutors, but not everyone likes playing with them.
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