Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver

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Legality

Format Legality
1v1 Commander Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Commander: Rule 0 Legal
Custom Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Highlander Legal
Legacy Legal
Leviathan Legal
Limited Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Vintage Legal

Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver

Legendary Creature — Zombie Warrior

Whenever another Zombie you control dies (is put into the graveyard from the battlefield), if it didn't have decayed, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token with decayed. (It can't block. When it attacks, sacrifice it at the end of combat.)

At the beginning of your end step, you may sacrifice a Zombie. If you do, draw a card.

Orlenius on Pride, Prejudice & Zombies

1 month ago

TheOfficialCreator I do like those two cards but haven't yet looked into them much as they're fairly new and I haven't had much chance to play this year yet.

I definitely like Necroduality but as for Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver I feel like I have enough card draw from Varina, Lich Queen and I'm unsure if him also being a 4CMC would clog that space in the deck for Varina alongside Necroduality being 4CMC as well. I'm also not a fan of Decay but maybe I'm missing something that some playtesting will shine a light on.

Will definitely give them a try as proxies for the time being and see how I feel. Thank you for the recommends!

TheOfficialCreator on Card Analysis #1 - Dreadhorde …

2 months 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.

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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.

sdtech58 on The Scarab God Zombie Tribal

2 months ago

Gray Merchant of Asphodel - life drain/gain. Bounce him a few times for maximum benefit

Havengul Lich - reanimation source. Has underperformed in games for me. Borderline

Headless Rider - tokens

Midnight Reaper - card draw

Murderous Rider - spot removal if needed. Versatile

Noxious Ghoul - one-sided board wipe potential

Plague Belcher - potential sac outlet, death trigger payoff

Relentless Dead - recurrence, reanimate

Shepherd of Rot - life drain. ALL players. Don't kill yourself...

Sidisi, Undead Vizier - tutor, sac outlet and big body

Undead Augur - card draw

Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver - alternate commander. Tokens and sac outlet

Zombie Master - reanimation, swampwalk. Nice when Urborg is on the field!!

Mr-White on Zombie help

3 months ago

I need help with my Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver deck I'm gonna cleave you. I was trying a to take advantage of a mill subtheme and then cast Rise of the Dark Realms as a wincon but I can never get anything going, I never get any kind of board presence and I always run out of gas by turn 4-5.

Can anyone help me tune it up a bit (I'd like to keep it at a casual power level nothing to powerful and the mill theme can go idc).

Thanks.

Zarthalius on Zombo-Combo

3 months ago

I love zombie decks! It’s one of my favorite themes but I stayed mono-black with mine. But I know there are good black/blue zombie cards like one that will give all zombie tokens Hexproof I believe or another that gives them flying. Just use an Advanced Search on Scryfall.com to find them. When it comes to non-mono black, I just don’t prefer the “mill” theme that comes with blue; I love the reanimated swarm theme black focuses on. Anyways, here is the "zombie" I know:

For added consistency with Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver, you could consider Diregraf Colossus and Headless Rider. I know they don’t work nicely with the Death Tyrant + Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver combo but here is how all 3 of them are really nice:

As a Rooftop Storm backup, you may want to consider Liliana, Untouched By Death (-3 ability). Her with Shambling Ghast (Search the Body) plus a sac outlet; or, Her with Phyrexian Altar and any 1 drop zombie make a 1 turn infinite cycle fueling any ETB and death triggers. Liliana, Untouched By Death's -3 ability effectively turns any 1 drop zombie like Shambling Ghast, Carrion Feeder, Champion of the Perished, and Cryptbreaker -into- Gravecrawlers for 1 turn. Basically, she'll increase your consistency getting your combos rolling.

  • Champion of the Perished is really good when your constantly making zombies ETB.
  • Consider using Blasting Station as a sac outlet too. For example, any time you sac with the station during a combo, the combo will also do 1-dmg per cycle. And, if the combo is making zombies, the station will untap too.
  • Black Market can also get out of hand when doing sac combos. It can really help when the combo is not infinite. It also makes people think harder about the cost of boardwiping.

Anyways cool seeing the Death Tyrant + Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver combo; I hadn’t seen that one yet!

Albe8899 on Elves lovers...HELP!

3 months ago

Hello guys, i'm here to look for help in order to improve my Lathril, Blade of the Elves commander deck. I usually play always with my friends, which use Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver zombie tribal, Millicent, Restless Revenant spirit tribal, Captain N'ghathrod horror tribal. The hardest for me is the spirit tribal ones, probably because flying. I think my win conditions should be mass elves+power up or tap/untap with lathril, and i focused the deck on these strategies. However, i improve the precon randomly, choosing cards just looking to other decks on the web. However, i think there is much to improve in this deck, but, looking around, i really don't know in which cards invest. I would like to make it more solid and fluid, because sometimes i just do not enter in play because of horrible hands. I ask your help to improve this decklist! thank you https://www.moxfield.com/decks/OqxsnwVoREKHMGZwxglJkA

PS: we do NOT use the rule of 21 commander dmg as win con.

x12721 on Looking for a casual but …

8 months ago

I've been enjoying Feather, the Redeemed recently, as I usually focus more on graveyard decks. If you do want to play around in the yard, both Meren of Clan Nel Toth and Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver can get you some serious value pretty quickly

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