Endless Ranks of the Dead

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Archenemy Legal
Arena Legal
Block Constructed Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Gladiator Legal
Highlander Legal
Historic Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Modern Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Planechase Legal
Quest Magic Legal
Vanguard Legal
Vintage Legal

Endless Ranks of the Dead

Enchantment

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

ZebW98 on Gisa and Geralf - Modified/In Progress

9 months ago

The Scarab God’s Zombie Mania. This is my zombie deck, also based off of Gisa and Gralf precon, but heavily modified. I recommend that you take out some of your non land cards that won’t add much to the game I.e. Fleshbag Marauder. You need to have around 40 lands. 39 won’t kill you, but 36 is way too little. With Gisa and geralf, you are going to mill lands. It is a fact. So you have to have lands to spare. Also, cards to check out: Rooftop Storm, Endless Ranks of the Dead, Liliana, the Last Hope, Fact or Fiction, Dark Ritual, and any of the zombies or other cards on my deck. If you want, I would 10000% recommend The Scarab God who is my commander. If you can, put a tutor or two in. I have Illicit Shipment as one of mine. And for goodness sakes put Murder back in. That’s all. Good luck!

jarncards on Dead WOMan Walking

1 year ago

Fiend Artisan is green

I think Sidisi, Undead Vizier is awful unless you use a lot of reanimate effects, it's just so expensive to tutor. Geth, Lord of the Vault is crazy strong, but he's a totally different deck most of the time. I'd dump Liliana's Steward too. You and one other player go down a card, putting the rest of the table ahead of you by one card, but they also get to choose, so you're never going to get the card you want out of their hand.

Hobbling Zombie and other cards like it, like Putrid Goblin are excellent at keeping attacks away from you while you build up your board. and the pseudo revival effects let you abuse a lot of other zombie mechanics. Butcher Ghoul, and Geralf's Messenger or Doomed Dissenter are ok too. i wouldnt use Sightless Ghoul though. They are all better than Reassembling Skeleton though. Keep Relentless Dead. Im not sure if they make the cut, but they arent scary, but that means they are good at keeping a target off your back til youre readyfor one.

Magus of the Bridge is great for a non-zombie. Probably use it over Tainted Adversary, i feel like that one just costs way too much before its good. Dreadhorde Invasion is incredibly good, as is Mikaeus, the Unhallowed. i'd put those in for sure.Tormod, the Desecrator is still really good. Zombie Trailblazer is devastating to the person sitting to your left in particular or anyone playing five colors/ not black. When you REALLY need someone to not cast a spell. make all their lands swamps during the upkeep. almost every board wipe is a sorcery.

I think you might want to dump Thought Vessel for Mind Stone or even Blood Pet. In many cases discarding is beneficial to zombies. If you want to keep infinite hand size, Zombie Infestation and discard at will cards are pretty helpful.

I think Noxious Ghoul is the single best zombie card in the game, in this deck it basically says, tap your commander, wipe everyone else's boards. Use it.

Sutured Ghoul is runner up. If you include it and other high power zombies like Rotting Regisaur you can put him out as a 20+/xx easily, and then get 2/2s. HE doesnt play nice with mass reanimate, but he's an alternate win condition on his own. also its a great tool since youre probably gonna sac the dino and Phyrexian Soulgorger pretty quickly. If you sacrifice him on the end step before your turn i think you will almost always have a game ending horde.

Gray Merchant of Asphodel is utterly stupid. The absolute best reanimate target you could hope for. and since your card draw is gonna cost a ton of life, hes always going to be valuable. Whip of Erebos is probably the only other reasonable lifegain choice.That one makes aggressive attacking suddenly super safe

Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia is really cheap at making zombies if you dont have any other sources of decayed zombs. they cant block, but you get so many death triggers

Graveborn Muse is great card draw.

Hatred is usually better than Endless Scream

I think Gempalm Polluter is fantastic. its card draw, puts a big zombie into your graveyard, and hurts a player if things are going well.

I don't think Endless Ranks of the Dead is that great, but it certainly is cool. Wand of Orcus is really cool too. I'm not sure if its good though.

Board wipes will shut you down as you have things right now. Crowded Crypt and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, that way, even if there's a board wipe you still have a whole army of zombs to multiply even after everything is dead. Rise of the Dread Marn is another fantastic option that you can abuse if you run things like Carrion Feeder too. Run Carrion Feeder, period. It lets you loop gravecrawler and saves yourself from control magic and exile spells.

Consider Toxic Deluge and STRONGLY CONSIDER Nevinyrral's Disk. Single target removal like tragic slip is ok because you can choose when things die, but other cards like Malicious Affliction are going to miss a lot of key targets. And you absolutely need to have a way to clear artifacts and especially enchantments.

Dark Salvation is pretty cool. not sure if it is good enough, but i'd use it rather than some of your spot removal.

Liliana, Dreadhorde General is really absurdly strong if you can get it out, and even if it dies the next turn you can draw a bunch off of it. Liliana, Heretical Healer  Flip you already know is great.

If you diversify your black lands, Field of the Dead is the best land. its silly how good it is. I'll start you off with the autoinclude Unholy Grotto. Malakir Rebirth  Flip is too.

I'll see what you make and see if i find anything else. later

thefiresoflurve on Grimgrin - Needs your Help

1 year ago

Yylon Thanks for the info, graveyard dimir zombies sounds fun.

A few potential cuts, subject to your playtesting experience:

Dread Summons - sorcery speed, and the zombies come in tapped, so right away I'm not horribly impressed. I'd cut this unless your table runs incredibly heavy creature decks and you get upwards of 6 zombies from it consistently.

Similarly, Dark Salvation seems a bit too mana intensive for what it does, although I will admit I am biased because I like board wipes more than targeted removal (Esper gang).

All of your enchantments look really amazing. Open the Graves may be able to be cut, since it's a strictly worse version of Headless Rider in this deck.

Endless Ranks of the Dead is another maybe-cut, crazy as it sounds. I think this card is a bit win-more. It is really fun, though...

Similarly, Empty the Laboratory. If you have enough zombies on the field to make it impactful, you're probably already winning. It's also sorcery speed in a deck that sucks at giving haste.

Champion of the Perished can be cut. It isn't bad, but a vanilla 110/110 is just as easy to block as a 2/2.

All of this is, of course, barring any idiosyncrasies of your playgroups - maybe Champion of the Perished singlehandedly wins games for you. I think you have a really solid deck here, and just need to play some more and figure out what works in practice and what doesn't.

Happy building!

Metroid_Hybrid on Fully Loaded Zombie Throwing Caution to the Wind

1 year ago

I see your Coffers', but 6 mana is still a lot for Modern. Have you ever thought about replacing Grave Titan with Endless Ranks of the Dead?

wallisface on Joe Gusfield (Rowans Deck)

1 year ago

Some thoughts:

  • Sign in Blood is a pretty universally-bad card, especially in decks that are trying to be aggressive - as it means you’re doing nothing to advance your board-state that turn. I would suggest ditching it entirely.

  • I don’t think you want to be running the full playset of Endless Ranks of the Dead… 4 mana is a lot, and drawing a second one of these is usually going to suck. I’d cut the quantity back to 2-3 copies.

  • Infernal Grasp > Go for the Throat.

TheOfficialCreator on Card Analysis #1 - Dreadhorde …

1 year ago

Hello, everyone!

I thought I would try my hand at creating an article series centering around the beauty of different card designs, as each card truly is unique in its own way, and I wanted to make my appreciation of that into a tangible form so that everyone could experience it.

A general outline of how this article series will go is this: a basic introduction (similar to what you’re reading now), cost versus effect, the flavor of the card, how the card interacts with its limited environment, cards that are similar to it and a short little blurb on what makes them different, a custom card inspired by the analyzed card and a short explanation of the process used to create it, the legacy of the card, and finally, a conclusion to round it all out.

That being said, let’s begin!


The card of today’s analysis is Dreadhorde Invasion, a card I chose to kick off the series with not only because War of the Spark is my favorite set, but also because it will give us a good platform to walk through the steps of this article series.

Dreadhorde Invasion is an oft-overlooked card that provides its user with a Zombie Army (a mechanic introduced and incredibly localized to War of the Spark, excluding a few exceptions such as Lazotep Chancellor) at the cost of a single life each turn. Obviously this adds up quickly, and the Army that is produced is rather clunky, as it is easier to remove (a la Fading Hope), non-evasive, and rather small even in its beginning stages. For it gives you a 1/1 creature on turn 3. That’s not a great payoff, especially for more advanced formats.

This is where the second clause comes in. If your Army can make it to six power, then Dreadhorde Invasion rewards you handsomely with an added lifelink, allowing you to gain back all that lost life and quickly breaking symmetry with your life versus your opponents. It’s not incredibly cost-effective (heck, a Forced Adaptation is more cost-effective in general), but it’s very fun to play with and can provide a lot more when juxtaposed with the rest of the game. But we’ll get into that later.


The flavor of Dreadhorde Invasion is perhaps my favorite part of the card. The Eternals are probably one of the most unique MTG villains (I mean, come on, they’re blue metal zombies that can cross between worlds and steal planeswalker sparks), and definitely one of my personal favorites. The idea of Dreadhorde Invasion is that Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker is executing his plan to become Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God, invading the plane of Ravnica with his army of Eternals empowered by The Elderspell in order to steal the sparks of the planeswalkers, trapped there by The Immortal Sun and invited there by the Interplanar Beacon. The invasion is eventually quelled by a joint effort by Liliana, Dreadhorde General, Gideon Blackblade, Ugin, the Ineffable, God-Eternal Oketra, and God-Eternal Bontu, with the defeat of Bolas wrapped up in the brilliant card Despark. Dreadhorde Invasion more than anything flavor-wise represents the whole of War of the Spark, perhaps better than any other individual card in the set (except maybe Enter the God-Eternals). And that is why I love it so much; it is a testament to my favorite set of all time.


As far as Dreadhorde Invasion’s performance in Limited goes, I must say that it has quite an unitive feel to how it operates in multiple deck strategies, similar to how it unites the flavor of the set. It has the keyword amass on it, which is the new ability introduced in the set, and which synergizes well with proliferate. Zombie Armies themselves receive gracious tribal support in the form of Gleaming Overseer, Eternal Skylord, Widespread Brutality, and the like. Beyond this fairly obvious synergy, however, there are many more options for how Dreadhorde Invasion can function in this set. For example, the creation of a creature every turn lends itself very well to sacrifice strategies revolving around Spark Reaper, Ahn-Crop Invader, and Spark Harvest, or even Liliana, Dreadhorde General and God-Eternal Bontu. In addition, the lifelink that can be attained on later turns goes well with Ajani's Pridemate and fits into a subtheme of life gain that the set has.


Dreadhorde Invasion-style effects are somewhat rare, but there is precedence for their existence. The most obvious example is Bitterblossom, an enchantment well-known for its splashes in Modern and which creates small flying threats every turn at the cost of some life. However, there is also Ophiomancer and Endless Ranks of the Dead, or more recently Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia. The thing that sets Dreadhorde Invasion apart from these other cards is its unique combination of losing life and gaining life alongside its ability to make a token larger versus just creating a new token.


Here is a custom card that I made that was inspired by Dreadhorde Invasion.

enter image description here

The process I went through to design this card went something like this.

1) Look at Dreadhorde Invasion and think about what the card is wanting you to do. What's the general theme of the card?

2) Build a general shell around the idea of losing life to gain life, pulling in inspiration from cards like Bloodghast.

3) Adding a tribal element to make it feel like a Dreadhorde card.

4) Adding a fitting name. "Vowmage" gives a feel of some kind of sacrifice to fufill an obligation, especially to a being like Bolas.

5) Adding flavor text that is both quippy and fits the situation. In this case, I chose to show who the Vowmage's vow is to.

6) Finding some art from DeviantArt that fit the theme. This art is from user Ryushadow, and is the only Eternal art I could find.


Dreadhorde Invasion, like most of its amass kin, is largely forgotten especially in competitive play where it is not a contending strategy. Zombie Armies are incredibly weak to removal and usually aren’t very cost-effective, so their weakness of being a single lone creature that just gets bigger and can be chump-blocked can’t really be ignored. War of the Spark as a whole is a largely forgotten story arc, and despite its misgivings it’s still a shame. Dreadhorde Invasion does not truly have a legacy, though it was reprinted in the Midnight Hunt commander set as a part of Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver’s commander deck. Hopefully, one day, we will see Amass return in a future set with greater support so that Dreadhorde Invasion may one day be viable.


Alright, everyone! That is the end of my article for today. Please let me know what worked for you and what didn’t so that I can sculpt this new article series to your feedback!

Speaking of user feedback, I would like to have every tenth card be voted upon by the community. If you want to submit an idea for what card we will go over, just let me know in your comment. The comment with the highest number of upvotes will have their card in the tenth article of the series.

Thank you all for the wonderful community we’ve made together! See you soon.

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