Hey there! I'm TheShadowNite, and this is my take on a graveyard/reanimator deck, using Nethroi, Apex of Death as the commander. This is still a definite work in progress, so any tips/suggestions would be appreciated. I'm not the most creative at making deck names, so if you have any better ideas for one, shoot! :)
Note: I put custom categories for some of the cards, so to view that, up at the top of the decklist, click on "Type", then scroll down and select "Custom".

My Background

I started playing Magic the Gathering back when Guilds of Ravnica was released. I bought 2 fat packs, and promptly built a Dimir surveil "standard" deck that was a steaming pile of hot poo. I then tried to "fix" it by adding in green, making it a sultai deck. This did nothing. However, ever since then, graveyard decks as well as the colors Black/Green/X have always had a special place in my heart. While I was assessing my commander decks, I realized I had never built a deck revolving around the graveyard, and I knew what I had to do.

Building the Deck

To the Interwebs! I rushed to the computer to look on EDHRec to see what graveyard commanders there were. I already had a decent idea of what I was searching for. I had heard of Muldrotha, the Gravetide , Meren of Clan Nel Toth , as well as Karador, Ghost Chieftain , but none of these seemed to speak to me. Going strictly Golgari seemed limiting, as there were many cards I wanted to play in blue. However, when I add blue to my decks, I always somehow turn it into a control deck, and I wanted this to be fun for the whole table. So, that idea sadly had to be thrown in the trash. I looked back over my options, and realized that I liked the idea of Karador, Ghost Chieftain , I just didn't like how it limited you to one card per turn from the graveyard. So, I looked more into the Abzan colors, and found Nethroi, Apex of Death . It was exactly what I was looking for.

In regards to budget, I'm trying to only buy <$100 worth of cards. I already own most of the cards in the deck, but any I don't I have put in the acquire section.

The Gameplan

With Nethroi, Apex of Death , I would be able to fill my graveyard to my heart's content, then at the opportune moment cast my commander, reanimating most of my graveyard and turning the tide of the game. Ideally, I would win on the spot once I cast my commander, but since that is not always guaranteed, I added in some "stax" (not sure if that is the right word). Essentially just cards that would slow down my opponents until I can fill up my graveyard with the combo, then reanimate it again with Nethroi.

Winning the Game

The main way this deck wins is through a combo involving Reveillark , Karmic Guide , a sac outlet such as Viscera Seer , and a pinger, such as Blood Artist . Assuming all the pieces are on the battlefield, you can sacrifice the Karmic Guide to the sac outlet. Now, there is a Reveillark , Viscera Seer , and a Blood Artist on the battlefield, with a Karmic Guide in the graveyard. Then, you can sacrifice the Reveillark to the Viscera Seer to bring back the Karmic Guide . When the Karmic Guide enters the battlefield, it's ability will trigger, allowing you to bring back the Reveillark , so you can repeat the process as many times as you need, until every opponent dies from Blood Artist triggers.

While this deck may win through a combo, I don't want it to be as competitive as possible, as most of my playgroup is limited to a tight budget (College will do that to ya).

Strengths, Weaknesses, and Help Needed

A few things I've noticed when I goldfished a couple hands with this deck is that it's very mana hungry, and its early game presence is quite lackluster. I tried cutting cards to add in more ramp, but it's to the point where I love every card in the deck, and I can't bring myself to cut more (it was originally a quite hefty 148 card deck when I first drew up a rough draft). What do you think I could cut/replace to keep the core idea of the deck, while getting it down to 100 cards? It seems to be a little all over the place, and I keep noticing I don't have the right cards I need in my hand at the right time. Since this is my first Commander/EDH graveyard focused deck, what are your thoughts? What are things I can improve (besides the atrocious mana curve)?

This section will eventually explain the thought process behind most, if not all cards in the deck. It is split into the same sections as the deck itself (sorted by "custom") to make it easier to read.

Cards in Consideration and Upgrades

This is a list of potential upgrades for down the road, as they're too expensive for the deck at the moment:
Hermit Druid
Birds of Paradise
Protean Hulk
Fauna Shaman
Fiend Artisan

This is the list of cards I'm considering putting in the deck:
Ancient Craving
Dakmor Salvage
Drownyard Temple
Night's Whisper
Painful Truths
Plumb the Forbidden
Sign in Blood
Village Rites
Brainspoil (can grab Karmic Guide or Reveillark )
Lurrus of the Dream-Den
Eerie Ultimatum
Living Death
Utter End
Culling Ritual
Sun Titan While it was previously cut for it's high cmc, I have since learned that it combos with Leonin Relic-Warder , so it's back into consideration
Elixir of Immortality

This is just a spot for me to know what I took out for what, in the case that some cards I add underperform, or some are overperformers :)

- Fiend Hunter OUT for Leonin Relic-Warder . While Relic-Warder does not target creatures, it combos with Animate Dead and a Blood Artist effect.
- Morality Shift OUT for Skullclamp . Mortality Shift's 7 cmc is pretty high, and by the time I can cast it there are probably better things to do. Skullclamp allows me to draw cards, one thing that this deck is lacking, for a very low cost.
- Drannith Magistrate and Sun Titan are OUT. Magistrate was only in as a friend has several scary Golos, Tireless Pilgrim decks, and it shuts him down until he removes it. I'm still on the fence about Sun Titan. It IS a nice effect, but I'm struggling to justify the mana cost, and if I decide to reanimate it, there are generally better targets to reanimate. (I have since learned that Sun Titan can combo with Leonin Relic-Warder , so it's back into consideration).
- Fertilid OUT for Cultivate . While Fertilid is a pretty fun target for Nethroi's reanimate ability, I've found I'm struggling to cast Nethroi in the first place.
-Plaugecrafter OUT. This card is certainly powerful if you are able to recur it repeatedly, but this deck wants to make one, big, giant reanimation at once, rather than a bunch of little ones.
- Necropanther and Boneyard Lurker are OUT. As stated before, I'm trying to make one big play to recur everything in the graveyard, and these two cards are more focused towards getting incremental value from mutating (which I would only do once with my commander).
- Gemrazer and Migratory Greathorn are OUT. Since I ended up cutting the other two mutate creatures, these are not nearly as strong. They would be a one-use thing, and wouldn't come up every game.
Hermit Druid , Fiend Artisan , and Fecundity are IN. Druid is amazing for filling up the yard, and I think that can justify it's high price point. Artisan is much cheaper than I remembered, and it's another tutor that could also be a beater if there are enough creatures in the graveyard. I was looking through my collection and found Fecundity, and realized it would work really nicely with this deck, it acts as card draw when we passively put cards in the yard.
Fertile Ground OUT FOR Kodama's Reach .

There are some cards I'm not entirely sure about including this deck after playtesting. I would love your thoughts on it!
Mausoleum Secrets . I found that when I wanted to use this, I wouldn't have enough cards in the bin for it to work well, or when I DID have enough cards, I would already have the combo set up.
The Gitrog Monster . I'm torn, as I love the card, the concept, everything about it! But, I don't think I have enough lands in the deck to justify it, I found that I would sac a land, then wouldn't draw into another land to be net positive on mana.


Updates Add


44% Casual

56% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 2 months
Last updated 1 month

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

8 - 0 Mythic Rares

37 - 0 Rares

23 - 0 Uncommons

14 - 0 Commons

Cards 103
Avg. CMC 2.85
Tokens 3/3 G Token Creature Beast, 3/3 G Token Creature Elephant
Folders Uncategorized, EDH INSPIRATION
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