Creature — Zombie
Geralf's Messenger enters the battlefield tapped.
When Geralf's Messenger enters the battlefield, target opponent loses 2 life.
Undying (When this creature dies, if it had no +1/+1 counters on it, return it to the battlefield under its owner's control with a +1/+1 counter on it.)
Combos Browse all
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Geralf's Messenger occurrence in decks from the last year
Latest Decks as Commander
Geralf's Messenger Discussion
1 week ago
ichibancho: Tough question to answer, as the impact of any one card is really dependent on what you're playing against. Suture Priest & War Priest of Thune are both pretty good options from my decklist. A few other options for consideration: Cabal Archon , Disciple of Griselbrand , Leonin Arbiter or Nullpriest of Oblivion . Depends if you want to go the more Staxy route or for more inherent synergies.
I'm sure Geralf's Messenger + Luminous Broodmoth is a pretty fun and convincing way to win a game, but unless you're going to a new tournament with new players every week that shit's gonna get shut down by your playgroup really fast. The same reason I ended up cutting Liliana's Contract + Mirror Entity from this deck. Having Broodmoth out every game would be super! However to build the whole deck with that idea in mind would be foolish. Maybe that's just my own ideology about the game, but I really believe that powerful effects and cards should be nice bonuses when you draw them, not cornerstones to build a deck around. Especially when only one such card (Broodmoth) performs its function, what do you do when it's exiled?
Tutors can mediate a bit of that, but you're playing a Commander that thrives on combining with other 'likeminded' cards. You don't need it to be a Cleric deck to win with Geralf's Messenger and could probably run a different General altogether that would better support your win condition (e.g. Teysa Karlov ).
And you're welcome! Always happy to provide feedback and have a broader discussion! =)
1 week ago
Thanks for the feedback. I think that if I were to add more lands I would follow your advice regarding Night's Whisper and Village Rites and pull those. I went with 3 Midnight Reaper effects, I think that's enough. I originally had Reaper in over Species Specialist but I decided the extra mana cost was worth not losing the life and when Specialist is a creature that's a little bit better Orah death trigger. I kinda pretty much agree with the Daru Spiritualist and Shaman en-Kor analysis, but I'm struggling to not put in any sub-par clerics, and I really didn't want to put in to many clerics with Tap abilities. Geralf's Messenger is actually my primary win condition. There is a way or two to put together infinite death triggers and win through a Zulaport Cutthroat effect; but I decided to skip all that (except for the Cruel Celebrant ) and go with the Geralf's Messenger + Luminous Broodmoth combo, because I already want Broodmoth out every single game. Messenger also combos with Yawgmoth, Thran Physician or Conspiracy + Suncleanser .
Thanks so much for your input!
Of the two drop clerics that are not A-Listers, which have you found to be the most impact-full?
1 week ago
ichibancho: That's a nice looking deck list! The only hangup I have is that you're only running 30 lands. Nothing in your deck is terribly expensive to cast, I think 5 being the highest CMC. You've got some ramp creatures and spells that I think are kind of redundant given the low casting cost of the deck. More often than not I think you'd prefer to draw a land than Priest of Gix . Same goes for Land Tax & Tithe . All great spells in their own right, but generally speaking I think hitting land drops every turn is going to be better for the deck's performance. I'd aim for 34 or 35 lands. =)
There's a few creatures in there I wouldn't bother with. Daru Spiritualist , Shaman en-Kor and Geralf's Messenger are all places I'd be looking to add lands or upgrades. With Conspiracy out Geralf's Messenger is pretty sick value, but to me that's not enough of a reason to keep him. If you're looking for the life-loss I'd suggest Zulaport Cutthroat or Bastion of Remembrance .
I tried to build this deck to function competently without Orah in play. Especially if you're winning the game, your opponents are definitely going to try to keep your Commander off the board. Sometimes I am a bit short on Clerics, but because the deck doesn't hinge on Orah's ability it has never really been a problem. One game in particular I was kind of frustrated that I couldn't hit a 3 drop Cleric for combo chains, but I ended up bleeding my opponents out with Karmic Guide + Reveillark + Zulaport Cutthroat haha, so it really depends on how you play the game out more than the tools you're drawing. =)
2 months ago
In my experience the one mana difference between Doom Blade and Murder absolutely makes a difference. This deck runs only 16 Mana producing lands. I've tried to keep the CMC down very low in this deck. If I cast a Dark Ritual, I want to be able to reach for a big spell early or cast multiple spells off of the mana. Dark Ritual into Doom Blade into an Innocent Blood or Dismember or second Dark Ritual etc. The variety and volume of removal in the rest of the deck tends to make up for the restrictions of each of the others.
2 months ago
I appreciate the feedback, guys. It's good to be going Black again. I took your advice land-wise into consideration and compromised a bit on it. I like the pressure that the Leechridden Swamp allows me to put on people and they are still Swamps, so I'm not hurting for black mana. I actually haven't minded them coming in tapped because I usually seem to be playing one-drops on turn two and, to be honest, their pinging nature as a potential mana-sink have often been the difference between that Gary finishing a foe off or letting them linger. I did drop Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth as superfluous (and expensive), removed one Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and added three additional Swamps. I personally don't love the ratio of 23 lands in a 60 card mono-colored deck but I split the difference by increasing the deck size to 61. 61-card decks have always seemed lucky for me for some reason, don't know why.
I dropped 1x Ayara, First of Locthwain, 1x Erebos, God of the Dead and 1x Gray Merchant of Asphodel, replacing them with an additional Phyrexian Obliterator, Geralf's Messenger and added in 1x Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet. Collectively this increased my Devotion and smoothed out my mana curve to a greater degree.
At the moment I'm pretty happy with the deck, I just have concerns about non-creature removal, particularly artifacts and enchantments that could potentially wreck me - but then, that kinda comes with the Black territory, doesn't it.
2 months ago
Low-mana deathtouch is an easy solve, and you can often get more than just that if you look hard enough.
Vampire of the Dire Moon springs to mind for certain, Knight of the Ebon Legion can be granted Deathtouch off his activated ability (and he's just generally pretty awesome overall for his mana cost), and then there's just general stuff like Typhoid Rats.
I would also trade out your 2x Nightveil Specter for 2 more Geralf's Messenger. Nightveil Specter is cool and all, but it doesn't really help you a ton in a Mono-Color deck where you can only cast Black spells to begin with. I get that you can possibly exile (and then play) opponent's land in order to help work around this, but it seems clunky whereas Geralf's has Undying and can then be combo'd with cards like Bone Splinters and Village Rites to help grant you some much-needed Control and Card Draw (every deck needs a little). Plus his Undying works well with the synergy of the pseudo-boardwipes you're running in Sorcery already.
Wurmcoil Engine is just too clunky here and could easily go. 6-mana cost and no way to reduce it, plus his other ability isn't that great compared to what you could just play with a different card in his slot. Plus you've only got the one so it's very hit or miss now as it stands anyway. You don't even really need his Lifelink since you've already got 4x Vampire Nighthawk in there (always a solid call).
Squelching Leeches isn't that glamorous for its mana cost; even a 4-mana card like Dread Presence would help you a lot more. That, or this could be another good card to drop altogether in favor of something more mana-efficient.
Nyxathid I feel is just too unreliable for his mana cost too. He really needs to be paired into a Deck with Discard mechanics to ensure he's as powerful as possible. Card Draw is a fairly essential mechanic of any reliable deck (as I mentioned already), and so counting on the opponent having a small hand size with no means to ensure it yourself doesn't seem that great here. Also, he doesn't even have trample or lifelink or any other useful abilities to help make up for his unreliable pwr/tgh. (keep in mind his power/toughness updates constantly, so if an opponent can draw up to 8 or more cards, he dies outright - even if they end up having to discard back down to max. hand size after).
I would personally not add Dark Ritual here as it won't help you all that much without some card draw - you're better off just picking at most 2 creatures with 4 or more mana cost and cutting everything else down to 3 or less. For instance, Archfiend of Depravity is a completely solid card, but I'm not sure he's needed when you've already got 3x Phyrexian Obliterator in there with the potential to be even more devastating (and for less mana cost no less). Additionally, the Obliterator cannot make you sacrifice your own creatures, unlike the Archfiend. This adds to the benefit of having multiples in play and restricts your overall build less too.
3 months ago
I love Zombies! Probably one of the first tribes that got me interested in tribal decks, after I saw the power of my friend's Zombie deck. +1 from me just for Zombies!
Question 0: Before we can offer any meaningful help, we need to know if you truly mean this to be a deck for the Modern format? Or will it be casual and you won't care about format that much?
(As an aside, when I first started Magic and joined T/O, I didn't really understand that Modern was a competitive format and I just labeled any deck that could be legal in Modern as Modern. LoL. Pretty sure some of my decks on T/O still mistakenly have Modern set when really they should be Casual!)
I'm going to offer my advice assuming you want it to be Modern, but if you're going more for a casual build, then feel free to ignore some of this.
I would remove the "swamps matter" subtheme, as you don't really have ways to dump extra swamps onto the battlefield nor do you take full advantage of it (where is Defile for example?). Korlash might be worth keeping, since he's a zombie, but get rid of both Nightmare and Squelching Leeches, as they're not even zombies and they're on the higher end of CMC. Personally, I'd get rid of Lashwrithe as well, but if you really love the card and want to keep it, at least you can equip that to a zombie.
Then I would choose between full-on zombie tribal including tokens, or devotion and recursion. Neither of the latter play nicely with tokens, which don't have mana costs for devotion or stay in the graveyard for recursion. A few incidental tokens are fine, but cards like Moan of the Unhallowed and Shamble Back are not synergistic at all with devotion/recursion.
Next, are you more interested in recurring your graveyard or exiling it for tokens? I.e. do you want to do Ghoulraiser, Gravecrawler, Lord of the Undead, etc., or do you want to do Cemetery Reaper, Graveyard Marshal, Tymaret, etc.? You can't do both. Personally, I'd go the recursion route, add more ways to sac your zombies for value, and cycle them in and out of the graveyard at will.
So in summary, I would go with 1) zombie aggro including tokens, or 2) zombie recursion, with a subtheme of devotion for Gray Merchant. Going either route, I'd cut Nightmare, Leeches, Lashwrithe, and Tymaret (he's not a zombie, and provides only inefficient graveyard hate). If you go route 2, I'd also cut the sorceries Moan and Shamble. That's at minimum 8 cards out. What you add depends on which game plan you choose.
You didn't label this deck as "budget", so if you can afford it, Cavern of Souls is a must-include land in any tribal deck.
I don't like Sands of Delirium. It's only function is self-mill and there's more efficient ways to do self-mill. You also currently don't take full advantage of self-mill, with things like Dredge or Flashback-style effects. If you go full force into graveyard synergies, then self-mill is important, but even then, I'd play Stitcher's Supplier over Sands. For 1 mana, you can easily get 6 cards into your graveyard, and you can easily recur him, and he's a zombie that can attack. That would take 9 mana with Sands, which is just a dead artifact.
Lastly, some sacrifice options: Gnawing Zombie isn't amazing, but the effect is relevant. I would replace Sign in Blood with Village Rites — same card draw, but one less mana, instant speed, and no life loss. You also have cards that like to die, like Festering Mummy, Black Cat, Tattered Mummy, and the above-mentioned Stitcher's Supplier.
Sorry for the wall of text. I just love zombies! So I hope at least something in there was useful.
4 months ago
If you actually want to go the recursion route i suggest you play 4x Gravecrawler 4x Carrion Feeder and depending on your money i would cut ayara aswell as the citadel and play atleast 4 Blood Artist maybe also 2 Zulaport Cutthroat. Some nice cards that synergize well with the whole zombie theme would be Geralf's Messenger and Relentless Dead and also Mausoleum Secrets for searching your library for that one creature you might did not draw.
Ive made a Decklist for you you could check that out. Mono black copy