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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Creature — Zombie Warlock
When this enters the battlefield, search your library for a card, put that card into your graveyard, then shuffle your library.
1 week ago
Hello fellow necromancer!
I always love thinking of fun creatures to reanimate, black is tricky because you lose a couple in other colors, but I got a few!
I think a couple more reanimating spells wouldn’t hurt in the main board. Living Death is a thematic board wipe that I personally cram in any black decks that can utilize it to its full potential! Unmarked Grave, Vile Entomber, and Tortured Existence all help bin creatures in hand or from the deck. Dark Deal is a nice wheel effect in black!
Hope this helps!
1 month ago
Id suggest switching out Relic of Progenitus with either Unlicensed Hearse or Scrabbling Claws. Poxwalkers, Prized Amalgam, and Master of Death are also cards that have proven to be super good in my Tormod deck although I also have Intuition, Entomb, Traumatize, Unmarked Grave, Altar of Dementia, Oriq Loremage and Vile Entomber in mine. Some dredge cards might help filling your grave. If you ever add fetchlands then I would also add Hostile Desert and Crucible of Worlds. Phyrexian Tower, High Market and Unholy Grotto/Volrath's Stronghold are some other good lands. Tortured Existence is also a must. 1 black mana per 2/2 zombie as much as you want is hard to beat.
1 month ago
Hey, thank you so much for commenting and taking the time to read through the deck description!
While this is intended to be a budget deck, I personally just really like foils and original printings of cards. The versions of each card listed in the deck here are what I actually have for it in paper.
Activated Sleeper is a card I have been looking at and considering adding to the deck, but it seems highly conditional given that it can only copy a creature that left the battlefield the same turn. I agree it can go infinite with Karmic Guide and Karmic Guide even helps set it up given that Echo would often force you to sacrifice it on your upkeep anyway. That said, I'm a bit worried about how effective the card is when you DON'T have access to Karmic Guide. I guess depending on the pod it could still be quite good at stealing an opponent's creature. I will have to test it a bit and see how it performs in practice.
Kaya's Ghostform is a card I've considered as well but what concerns me with it is the Sorcery speed nature of it and that it is a bit more telegraphed what the intention is. That said, the ability to bring back the creature even if it gets targeted with something like Swords to Plowshares is very cool! In the pods I've played this deck and where people have gotten to learn more or less how it works, they tend to try and remove Liesa, Forgotten Archangel very quickly, so I've found cards like Undying Evil to be essential for keeping Liesa in play. I've found the instant speed to be extremely relevant in many situations as well. That said, Legion's Landing Flip is a particularly weak card in the deck and I could definitely see cutting that for testing Kaya's Ghostform.
Thran Vigil is a cool new card that I must have missed in the BRO spoilers. However, this deck isn't really all in on persist type effects. Twilight Shepherd is pretty much the only card it would strongly interact with. I would say it's pretty rare for this deck to win through combat and as such the value of the +1/+1 counters in it (even an arbitrarily large number of them) is a bit questionable. If the deck has assembled one of the infinite death engines, then it should be winning outright without the need to even go to combat. I like the interaction with Tortured Existence but it's such a shame that it only works on your turn! If you could suddenly pump up Liesa on an opponent's turn after they've already declared attackers at you, then that would make it a lot better.
Profane Tutor is a great budget tutor, but having to wait two entire turns is a major detriment to how useful of a card it is, especially as a mid to late game draw. The decks I've seen take the biggest advantage of Profane Tutor are the ones that somehow exile and cast a copy from exile or copy it from graveyard and cast the copy immediately, rather than having to wait the two turns. Mid to late game I would much rather pay a little extra mana to guarantee getting a card immediately rather than having to wait. If you get Profane Tutor in the early game, then yes it's definitely better than Diabolic Tutor or Mastermind's Acquisition for the lower mana cost. If I had a means of cheating on the suspend part of the card in Orzhov then it would warrant an inclusion over one of the other tutors in my opinion.
Vile Entomber is another card I considered and even in an earlier iteration of the deck I ran for a while. The issue I often found with it was that it only grabbed ONE card to put to the graveyard. Burning-Rune Demon and Final Parting are in the deck because they find TWO cards. With Vile Entomber I could find Karmic Guide but not another card to combo with it. With Burning-Rune Demon I can find Karmic Guide and another card to combo with it and often times whichever piece the opponent gives me is irrelevant. Blinking or reanimating Burning-Rune Demon is also significantly more value and helps assemble combos much faster than Vile Entomber can.
Bolas's Citadel is extremely powerful, but it is at least right now (12/17/2022) more than $5 which is where the line in the sand has been drawn for whether or not a card can be added to the deck. That said, even if it was a bit cheaper Bolas's Citadel would require leaning much harder into a life gain theme. While life gain is another very popular and powerful strategy, I feel it is a bit orthogonal to the direction of this deck which is more heavily focused on creature ETB/LTB triggers and the graveyard.
I've been working on a Liesa, Shroud of Dusk deck which leans very heavily into life gain/life loss shenanigans and in that deck I do run stuff like Children of Korlis. That's not to say that Children of Korlis isn't a good card in Liesa, Forgotten Archangel, but I feel like you have to already be on the life gain game plan to get the most out of it.
Plumb the Forbidden is a great card, but you need sufficiently many throw away bodies and a sufficiently high life total to manage it. Without sufficient life gain or creature token generators it runs the risk of being a dead draw. Body Count can also be a completely dead draw at times, but it has a much higher ceiling in this deck specifically than Plumb the Forbidden does. Body Count can literally draw the entire deck for 1 black mana with a death engine assembled. Plumb the Forbidden could never draw more than the greatest number of creatures in play at one moment and I must have the life available to pay for it plus 2 mana. If the deck was more of an aristocrats style build spewing creature tokens left and right and running things like Soul Warden then Plumb the Forbidden would be a much more natural inclusion I feel.
Fanatical Devotion is a really cool sacrifice outlet that can do relevant things like protect Liesa which is very important. That said, thanks to BRO another arguably much better sacrifice outlet just became budget (<$5). And that's Ashnod's Altar. I will be adding this to the deck shortly as a third sacrifice outlet.
Thanks again for reading the long description and commenting!
1 month ago
Hey, this is one of the better budget Commander decks I've seen and great description. Really good job with the card choices keeping within the price restriction. If you're on card price restriction, why all foils and alternative card arts?
Activated Sleeper and Kaya's Ghostform are good budget cards when you want your creatures to die. Sleeper is another creature who infinite die combos with Karmic Guide and Ghostform infinite die combos with Sun Titan.
Thran Vigil is the new budget infinite persist enabler, it infinite combos with Twilight Shepherd or another persist creature such as Lesser Masticore. If a creature dies on your turn and you control Liesa then Vigil will trigger to put a counter on a creature for each creature who died. Tortured Existence interacts with Vigil if you activate it on your turn equal to the amount of black mana you have available as long as you have a creature in your graveyard and a creature in your hand to repeatedly swap them. Put the counters from Vigil on Liesa making her huge to threaten lethal Commander damage.
Profane Tutor is the budget lesser Demonic, it's still powerful for it's price. Because you have lots of reanimation and recursion than Vile Entomber can be great support especially to get and bin Leonin Relic-Warder. Entomber getting any card of your choice is nice with Sun Titan.
Bolas's Citadel, is less than $6, the card is amazing when your Commander can gain life, you have a lower avg. CMC and even if you don't have top of library manipulation. Children of Korlis goes well with Citadel, to sac to gain all the life back you lost casting spells. Greed interacts well with Citadel and Children, it's budget repeatable draw when you can gain life. It can help to draw land that's revealed on top of your library so that you can keep Citadel going.
Plumb the Forbidden can instant sac all creatures you control to draw for each one for 2 mana. I'm a big fan of Fanatical Devotion for a budget sac outlet that can protect your Commander from many types of removal and also protect creatures in combo while being the sac outlet in the combo.
Some changes to consider:
- Activated Sleeper --> Priest of Ancient Lore
- Kaya's Ghostform --> Undying Evil
- Thran Vigil --> Legion's Landing
- Profane Tutor --> Mastermind's Acquisition
- Vile Entomber --> Burning-Rune Demon
- Bolas's Citadel --> Thaumatic Compass
- Children of Korlis --> Ephemerate
- Greed --> Ghostly Prison
- Plumb the Forbidden --> Body Count
- Fanatical Devotion --> Mortify
Good luck with your deck.
2 months ago
Self-mill yes, opponent mill no. You'll want plenty of self-mill to fuel Nethroi along with lots of ramp since Nethroi is 7 mana to mutate.
Culling Ritual is a powerful card in multiplayer Commander that also provides ramp for Nethroi. Songs of the Damned goes well with self-mill + lots of creatures for ramp especially since Nethroi has 6 black mana in it's mutate cost.
Body Launderer and Karmic Guide are two good creatures with self-mill and they combo with a sac outlet such as Viscera Seer for infinite scry/loot. Activated Sleeper is an underrated 0/0 creature who also combos with Karmic. Braids, Arisen Nightmare is powerful draw in multiplayer Commander when sacing your own creatures helps you.
2 months ago
If you're big on creatures, Sedris, the Traitor King can reanimate them for you. Any discard/mill effects become quite a bit better in such a deck. Stuff like Buried Alive, Entomb and Final Parting all become much better in Sedris, as do stuff like Vile Entomber or Oriq Loremage, even Dreamscape Artist becomes really interesting. Self-mill is much better too, as long as you're not on a combo. Sedris is great with a higher MV deck, since you can reanimate big creatures to swing the one time, and stuff like Court of Cunning can resupply you with creatures as needed, and there are lots of cards that care about a higher MV (Protection Racket is incredible if you aren't on a combo and you just want people to either take damage or give you tons of cards, it's hilarious with Esquisite Blood as you gain what they lose) as I already mentioned. With Sedris I feel like you'd want to look for creatures that have good ETB effects, and build less around combo and more around either attacking with Unearthed bodies or using ETBs like Callous Bloodmage to generate value.
Thraximundar is also a reasonably interesting choice if you want an older Commander and don't mind being slower, and Sol'kanar the Swamp King is great if you run lots of black spells and everyone you play against runs black, Swampwalk and lifegain are small but neat abilities to have. Keep in mind I tend to skew older when I look for Commanders, and like less heavily played ones, but the new Xander is very strong (might attract a lot of attention), Crosis is strong without attracting as much attention right away, Bolas is always a good pick if you like the character, Garza Zol, Plague Queen can get bigger and draws the odd card, it's a bit harder to find good Commanders for creature driven decks in Grixis, most of the Commanders care about instants/sorceries/artifacts, hopefully some of these will be helpful.
2 months ago
Hey, you're welcome.
You're right, a high avg. CMC hurting gameplay can be deceiving if you have reanimation. To help reanimation be more of a factor consider adding some cards that can search for and put card(s) of your choice from your library into your graveyard?
Unmarked Grave is two mana to tutor for and put Wurmcoil Engine or Triplicate Titan into your graveyard, Buried Alive can get both of them, that's better than potentially drawing them especially Triplicate. Or get Razorlash Transmogrant to get this guy going. A reason to play Vile Entomber is Biotransference making it a potentially repeatable effect that can get any card. Entomber can get Bolas's Citadel.
- Cast Retriever, trigger Mirrorworks to copy Retriever.
- In response to Mirrorworks trigger sac Retriever with Altar.
- Resolve Retriever die trigger returning any artifact to hand and trigger Imotekh.
- Resolve Mirrorworks trigger, pay floating from Altar, creating a Retriever copy.
- Sac Retriever copy with Altar, returning Retriever to your hand and trigger Imotekh.
- Sac Retriever with Altar, recur an artifact and trigger Imotekh.
- Sac Trawler, recur Retriever and trigger Imotekh.
- Sac a Necron, cast Retriever, sac Retriever, recur Trawler and trigger Imotekh.
- Cast Trawler and repeat.
This combo you need to make it infinite, for Retriever and for Trawler to repeatedly cast them from your hand. By sacing one Necron each iteration of the combo makes an extra , making for infinite Necrons also makes infinite colorless mana. Workshop Assistant and Junk Diver are other artifact Retrievers who can replace Trawler in the combo.
You still have four cards to cut, consider these four? A direction to consider for cuts is further reduce the mana curve? Traxos, Scourge of Kroog is just a beater, all the other 4 drop artifact creatures here do something else as well as being a beater because of menace. Ghouls' Night Out, you don't need this effect with a 5 mana spell that isn't an artifact.
Batterskull is just a beater and it has a very high equip cost which you can't reduce to use it after the Gem is removed. The life gain from Batterskull could be helpful especially with Bolas's Citadel and Anrakyr the Traveller, but I wouldn't play a 5 drop to get life gain when you can gain life from other much lower mana cost sources. Resurrection Orb is another source of lifelink that also has a high equip cost, but Orb is much better for overall strategy here than Batterskull.
Sceptre of Eternal Glory and The Golden Throne are better ramp than Solemn Simulacrum. A reason to cut Solemn is having lots of four drop ramp is not where you want to be with ramp, 0-2 CMC, some 3 CMC ramp is better for gameplay. Mind's Eye is better 5 drop than Ghouls' Night Out and Batterskull, but Eye could also be cut for lower mana cost draw.
Overwhelming Remorse could be cut for Canoptek Tomb Sentinel? The cost reduction of Remorse can be good, but very situational. The potential repeatability of Canoptek since it's an artifact creature to reanimate is better and Canoptek can exile any nonland permanent which is very helpful effect to have in mono black.
4 months ago
Thanks for the upvote. I find that creature tutors and entomb effects are good enough since all the combos here only require creatures not a noncreature card. Having tutors that put creatures directly into graveyard not hand is also helpful. Diabolic Tutor would be worth paying 4 mana if I needed an artifact or enchantment to combo, but that's not the case here. Good instinct to cut Diabolic.
Karmic Guide + Reveillark + Viscera Seer is the classic creature reanimation combo that's been around for years and honestly it's perfect with Nethroi since it's an all creature combo. What's nice about Lark with all creature combos is you can include in the combo a 2 power or less creature such as Vile Entomber to setup the rest of the combo for a wincon.
Karmic + Lark + Seer + Entomber you tutor/put into graveyard Blood Artist then Lark reanimates it to give the combo a wincon. Any other creature with 2 power or less who self-mill could replace Entomber to do the same thing just puts more cards into your graveyard such as Satyr Wayfinder.
Karmic Guide + Body Launderer + Viscera Seer is the new excellent combo for all creatures combos because it too can setup the rest of the combo by looting until you get Reveillark and Blood Artist into graveyard. Then Karmic + Launderer stops reanimating each other and instead one of them reanimates Lark who then reanimates Artist for the wincon.
In multiplayer Culling Ritual wrecks and it can make enough mana including a green mana that's needed to mutate Nethroi plus more. If you're using a combo that requires attacking with Nethroi or another creature then consider adding Culling since it can clear the battlefield of all tokens who could be blockers. Culling also destroys many of the best opponent graveyard hate cards Rest in Peace, Ground Seal, Scavenging Ooze, Grafdigger's Cage, Weathered Runestone, etc.
Speaking of graveyard hate that exiles that's why I'm playing Riftsweeper. It has a unique ETB trigger that lets me remove an exiled card putting back into my library. That's also why I'm playing Elixir of Immortality to combat against exiling of my entire graveyard since in response I can shuffle my graveyard back into my library. This is mostly to combat Bojuka Bog and Scavenger Grounds, the most played graveyard hate in Commander.