Endless Ranks of the Dead

Endless Ranks of the Dead

Enchantment

At the beginning of your upkeep, put X 2/2 black Zombie creature tokens onto the battlefield, where X is half the number of Zombies you control, rounded down.

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Set Rarity
Innistrad (ISD) Rare

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Tokens

Legality

Format Legality
Modern Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
2019-10-04 Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Vintage Legal
Leviathan Legal
Legacy Legal
Limited Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Highlander Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Tiny Leaders Legal
Unformat Legal

Latest Decks as Commander

Endless Ranks of the Dead Discussion

slashdotdash on Golos attempt II

1 week ago

Hey there Kronhamilton,

First of all, I like the improvements you’ve made to your deck. It’s already looking a lot slicker and I can see you’ve made some very fun looking changes to how the deck plays.

You’ve got a nice array of threats (I always love to see the Bringers and Ur-Dragon) and a decent amount of ramp which are both a big plus. Additionally, you’ve got the beginnings of some nasty graveyard synergy shaping up, which looks really, really cool as a sort of plan B.

That being said, I’d like to make a few suggestions to help guide you toward a more consistent and powerful Golos deck. Please remember that these suggestions are just my informed opinion, and that I totally respect whatever deck choices you decide to make. I really just want to help you get comfortable with deck building and learning what to look for in a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ card.

Broad Suggestions

I would encourage you to add 2 Lands, 3 Removal cards, and 8 Draw cards. I’d also think about adding 2 more Ramp cards, but that is less critical to the overall health of the deck. Your Threats look great and I think your Sweepers are also appropriate. Anything that synergizes with your graveyard backup plan is great.

There are a couple of things to think about as you play this deck; 1. “Am I happy or sad to be holding this card in my hand or drawing it off the top of my deck?” – If a card seems to constantly be ‘the wrong card’ for the situation, or you can never seem to cast it, or you always play other cards instead, or you tend to die while holding a certain card, then you probably want to think about how well that card fits in your deck and whether or not you should cut it or modify the deck to support it. 2. “What ongoing advantage does this card give me?” – Some cards seem like a decent card based on having decent power/toughness, a fair cost, and some neat keywords or abilities. Just having those upsides alone though doesn’t make a card truly powerful. Instead, try to think about what ways a card can synergize with your deck to create crazy effects or otherwise how it will become more dangerous as the game progresses (like a Quartzwood Crasher, Scute Swarm, or Giant Adephage). Additionally, try to find cards that do multiple things such as Chasm Skulker which gets bigger when you draw cards and also explodes into tokens when it dies, or even Ravenous Chupacabra which deals with a threat and also acts as a blocker when you are facing pressure. The key is finding a way to levarage the most amount of value in each individual card – even a 2 mana ramp spell will set you up to play all of your future spells 1 turn earlier than normal for the rest of the game, which can be an insane advantage when you think about it. 3. “Am I out of options?” – If you can’t seem to find a solution to a problem or you’re ‘running out of steam’, then it is likely that you need more card draw and more ways to create ‘engines’ that accrue value. An example of an engine would be Fertilid + Evolution Sage or Rampaging Baloths + Elemental Bond or Kruphix, God of Horizons + Victory Chimes or Atraxa, Praetors' Voice + Ajani, the Greathearted or Anointed Procession + Endless Ranks of the Dead or Search for Azcanta  Flip or Deadbridge Chant or Mind Unbound, etc.

Ramp

Your ramp looks pretty good with 10 dedicated Ramp cards. I’d suggest adding 2 more Ramp spells to really help speed things up early. Examples would be Kodama's Reach, Llanowar Elves, Wild Growth, Farseek, Rampant Growth, Springbloom Druid, etc.

Ramp - 10

Not Ramp

Draw

Overall, I think your card draw package needs a little bit of love. I want to note I see a lot of ‘looting’ effects like the ones on Teferi, Master of Time or Obsessive Stitcher and while these cards are great for a graveyard strategy they still don’t count as card draw. I’d keep most of these ‘looting’ type cards, but try to find cards that get you about 2 or 3 cards such as Harmonize, Concentrate, Escape to the Wilds, Urban Evolution, Moldervine Reclamation, Deathreap Ritual, Recurring Insight, Mind Unbound, Underworld Connections, Cloudblazer, Mulldrifter, Drawn from Dreams, Return of the Wildspeaker, Harvester of Souls, Momentous Fall, Dream Trawler, Keeper of Fables etc.

Draw - 2

Not Draw

  • Barrin, Tolarian Archmage – drawing 1 card does not really count. If anything, Barrin is like slow, bad removal for dealing with your opponents’ stuff temporarily. If you’re interested in reusing Golos’s land finding ability I would recommend playing Soulherder instead.

  • Solemn Simulacrum – He has sort of ‘incidental value’ with his death trigger but doesn’t actively net you a bunch of cards like Keruga, the Macrosage or Beast Whisperer. Sad Robot is still great though.

  • Titanoth Rex – still keep this guy because he is a threat that isn’t dead in your hand on turn 5.

  • Void Beckoner – same story as the Rex

  • Teferi, Master of Time – Teferi’s great, but he is really at his best when you’ve got 4-7 card in hand so that you can throw a bunch of big threats to the graveyard and hopefully draw a reanimation spell. Other than that, Teferi isn’t going to refill your hand so he doesn’t count as true draw.

Removal

Your removal package looks like it needs a couple more additions to keep your deck responsive and able to handle imminent-doom type threats. It is worth noting that cards like Blatant Thievery or Mythos of Illuna can save you in certain situations, but be wary of their crazy mana costs and the fact that they are not instant-speed answers. Examples include Mythos of Nethroi, Beast Within, Price of Fame, Reality Shift, Terminate, Return to Nature, Putrefy, Utter End, Eat to Extinction, Murderous Rider, etc.

Removal – 4 (aim for 7)

Cuts

There are several cards that I would consider cutting first when modifying the deck.

  • Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast - he relies very heavily on luck and only interacts with creatures. This makes him good with only 30% of your deck. Additionally, Lukka can’t ‘protect’ himself like Garruk can (making tokens to block for him), nor does he have an immediately accessible removal ability like Teferi. Overall, Lukka is interesting but a little lacking in consistency, defensibility, and power.

Azusa, Lost but Seeking – you don’t have enough land + card draw to really capitalize on Asuza’s ability. Yes, you can use the double lands (like Gruul Turf) to bounce a land to hand and then play that land with Asuza, but realistically that’s such a narrow and relatively tame synergy (in this non-landfall deck, that is) that you would be better off playing a Farseek or a Rampant Growth or even a Fertile Ground.

  • Sparkhunter Masticore - This little fellow has a major drawback and no seriously crazy abilities that make him worthwhile. Yes he can deal with planeswalkers, but so can a Murderous Rider or an Eat to Extinction. Yes he can be an indestructible 3/4, but you have to pay 3 mana just to make him indestructible. Under normal circumstances that’s 6 mana for a 3/4 that dodges death one time - a 3/4 just isn’t fantastic. The biggest bad news about this robocat is its “additional cost to cast” ability which means that even if you hit it with Golos’s ‘Rainbow Wheel of Death’ ability, you still have to discard a card for a 3/4. I just honestly think you’d rather have a removal spell (Beast Within, Mythos of Nethroi) instead of this cat any day.

  • Pursued Whale - While this whale is kinda cool and he does force combat, he is just sorta expensive for what he does. 7 mana for an 8/8 is pretty standard and giving your opponents tokens (that they could just attack you with or sacrifice to an effect) can be a bad idea in some situations, such as when they have an Beastmaster Ascension or a similar effect on the field. While his semi-hexproof ability (3 more mana to target) seems nifty, that is one of the only really powerful highlight abilities of this card, meaning that ability is protecting a relatively low-powered card. A couple immediate alternatives come to mind for me; Geode Rager to force combat AND keep you safe, and Dream Trawler for a flying, hexproof, lifelinking, card drawing threat.

  • Renata, Called to the Hunt - She just isn’t fantastic. You aren’t playing a devotion centric deck in which she might become a 10/10, and your strategy doesn’t really care about 1/1 counters either. I would consider replacing her with a Harmonize or another 3 or 4 drop with more impactful abilities. Heck, even another reanimation spell could be nice like Unburial Rites or Grave Upheaval since your deck seems to have some tendency to but things in the graveyard for later.

  • Lorescale Coatl - Cards like this (or his bigger cousin Chasm Skulker) are really designed for “wheel decks” that play “wheel effects” like Windfall or Reforge the Soul. He is fine, but really not much better than that. If you want a threat that can grow faster and do more important things, try Managorger Hydra or even Scute Mob.

  • Colossification - This aura is too expensive, taps your creature down, and worst of all is an aura. Auras are generally quite bad because your opponent can destroy your creature and the aura attached to them with one spell – and odds are they’ll do that because it is usually too juicy not to. The fact that you can’t attach Colossification and attack immediately means that your opponents will have a full turn to deal with it before you get a chance to use it (and keep in mind your Colossified creature needs to survive 3 opponents’ turns!). This means you’ll most likely run out of cards in a hurry without accomplishing anything.

  • Door to Nothingness - Unlike Progenitus, you can’t reanimate the Door, nor can you get its full value off of the Rainbow Wheel of Death. The only time this card does anything at all is when you literally have 10 mana of the exact color combination necessary to use it. It’s still your call, and I know some people make it a goal to Door their opponents, but be warned: you probably don’t have as much ramp as you need to make this work well. I’d consider supporting this crazy cards (and your many expensive threats for that matter) with a few more ramp spells – Boundless Realms, Migration Path, Circuitous Route, Kodama's Reach, Explosive Vegetation, Zendikar Resurgent

  • Azor's Gateway  Flip – This card belongs in a very specific variant of Golos. That variant is the Minamo, School at Water's Edge Golos deck which also runs stuff like Vizier of Tumbling Sands, Fatestitcher, Kiora's Follower, and other payoffs like Jegantha, the Wellspring, or Captain Sisay. Especially considering that Sanctum of the Sun (the flip side) adds X mana of only 1 color, I think this card is just rarely going to work like you want it to unfortunately.

  • Lathliss, Dragon Queen - Basically, you only have 3 other dragons in the deck so I would either exchange a bunch of cards for more dragons or cut Lathliss, since she will rarely be able to use her best ability (5/5 tokens). Keep in mind, you could also run a bunch of cards with the ‘changeling’ keyword if you wanted to get really funky, in which case you may as well also play stuff like Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow, Reaper King, Crested Sunmare, The First Sliver but that’s a very slippery and insane slope that I’m not sure you want to get sucked into.

Summary

Nice changes Kronhamilton, I can see that your deck is really starting to shape up as a rampy graveyard-mingling Golos deck, and that’s really cool. I encourage you to try and pay attention to what situations you find yourself in, as that’s often the best way to tell what cards you need to cut or add to the deck for it to work best. As a default, I’d consider making a few of the changes I mentioned in the Broad Suggestion section, as those changes should just generally help with your deck’s consistency.

Please do let me know how you decide to tune your deck – it’s really fun to watch honestly, and I’m always down to help advise you. Other than that, take care and enjoy Golos!

Best,

-Slashdotdash

Optimator on Gisa and Geralf EDH V.2.2

1 week ago

I have a guide/repository for card-draw cards if you want to peruse it. You may find some cards with more synergies that you like. Weight of Memory can be decent for self-mill strategies, etc. EDH Card-Draw Master List


As for cuts... let's see...

I don't love Forgotten Creation, personally. I always felt like I had non-creatures I wanted to keep in my hand all the time. Your deck is a bit more creature-heavy than mine, so perhaps it's pulling its weight.

You have the necessary components for Gravecrawler combos, but not a ton of tutors to make them reliable to get out. As such, perhaps one of the weaker payoffs for that can go, such as Vengeful Dead or Plague Belcher. If you're using Buried Alive to find the pieces then you'll only ever need one, and Diregraf Captain is an excellent choice. That said, your deck is fairly token-heavy so perhaps the incidental groupslug is being underappreciated by me.

I don't really love Ancient Excavation or Compelling Deterrence.

Personally I think Endless Ranks of the Dead is a bit of a trap unless you're all-in on the token strategy, such as a Ghoulcaller Gisa or Sidisi, Brood Tyrant zombie deck. Very fun, but a bit win-more unless you can really make it pop off. I've never been satisfied with it's performance in my deck, but you're going wider than I do so perhaps it's fine. Something to think about though.

It all kind of depends on how much you're self-milling. You have a decent amount, but you aren't exactly going all-in. As such, Grimoire of the Dead may be a liability. I have played around with that card in some of my decks and it just seems to get removed before it works. When it did I usually won the game, though. It's fun, but unreliable. Rise of the Dark Realms is obviously more reliable but it's very pricey.

I never found the self-mill in my deck as useful as regular card-draw. There's not a ton of point to have 15 zombies in the graveyard if you only want to cast one or two of them over and over. There are payoffs, of course, but to me it feels like being in the middle-ground is way worse than being all-in or having minimal self-mill. I just hate milling over answers or Rooftop Storm!

I don't think you're running enough to make Nightscape Familiar worth it.

Honestly, I don't love Havengul Lich a ton. The color restriction makes it hard to use and you have lots of ways to bring out your own zombies already. He's better in a more mill-your-opponents strategy IMO.

Tymaret Calls the Dead is a bit of a weaker card. Exiling your own zombies is a bit of a non-bo (unless your self-mill strategy is really rolling). The lifegain can be nice but I'd rather run Whip of Erebos if that's the goal, or a better card-draw card if that's the goal.

FounderX on Scarab God [Focused]

1 month ago

Hi There! Strionic Resonator is a great cheap card to add, it copies The Scarab God, Paradox Haze and Endless Ranks of the Dead triggers, see my deck scarabaeus-invaders-of-the-lost-tomb for the indepth explanation.

DeinoStinkus on Zombie +1/+1, deathtouch and menace

2 months ago

I can kind of see Sheoldred, but isn't Endless Ranks of the Dead better? Field of the Dead could be decent if you get a bunch of different types of land. Depending on how much you want to spend, Liliana, the Last Hope is amazing.

MrFuzzykenz on Graveyard Havok

3 months ago

maybe consider Endless Ranks of the Dead instead of Empty the Pits.

BrandonO97 on Wrexial, the Risen Deep Revamp

3 months ago

Endless Ranks of the Dead would be amazing too but like you said with enchantment removal and everything

5dollarMTG on $5 Zombie Tokens

3 months ago

Nothing jumped out to me on this one ConstantVigilance, but I'd be interested to hear what other people think. Maybe Cemetery Reaper for Diregraf Captain? Endless Ranks of the Dead and Liliana's Mastery would also be great additions.

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