The Deck and the combo

So this is my Zombie tribal selfmill deck. The primary win condition of the deck is to selfmill until you can cast Living Death or Zombie Apocalypse and win by the Gray Merchant of Asphodel ETB effect, wich you can copy with Clever Impersonator .

We have several ways to achieve this, my favourite is probably to use Ashnod's Altar to sac three self recuring zombies like Gravecrawler or Prized Amalgam and cast Tunnel Vision on yourself for one blue mana (with one colorless still in the pool) and name Gray Merchant of Asphodel or Living Death (preferably you have the other card in your hand or graveyard). you put the named card on top of your library, now with a BIG graveyard ready for your Living Death since Tunnel Vision fills your graveyard up for you.

The problem now is drawing the named card from the top of your library, hopefully you can just tap your Sensei's Divining Top or equip Skullclamp and sac to draw your Living Death , If you had Living Death in your hand and you tunnel visioned for Gray Merchant of Asphodel tho, you can just selfmill the one card with Duskmantle, House of Shadow or Perpetual Timepiece since you want Gray Merchant of Asphodel in your graveyard when you cast Living Death .

Now that our combo is ready, we just sac one more creature to Ashnod's Altar and with the one leftover colorless mana from before, cast Living Death for two black. Leaving you with plenty of mana to a) counter any counterspells your opponents might have saved for your combo b) Sac everything to Ashnod's Altar and Cast Living Death again with the Snapcaster Mage or Possessed Skaab ETB triggers.

Another cool thing to do if you have a big graveyard (wich you will have with this deck) is to draw an obscene amount of cards with the Corpse Augur trigger pointed at you and just cross your fingers and hope you draw into the combo piece you are missing, or maybe a tutor to go find it. This way is a little more make-or-break but very fun when it works.

If Gray Merchant of Asphodel gets exiled despite our efforts to protect him, we have our 2nd win condition Which is to use Plague Belcher & Diregraf Captain to cause obscene amounts of lifeloss when we sac our zombies, recur them and sac them again. A noteworthy combo here is Gravecrawler + Phyrexian Altar for infinite death triggers as long as you have another zombie on the battlefield.

We achieve our win conditions by building a strong board presence that's hard to remove for good since the deck is filled with creature recursion and Sac outlets to avoid exile. Our commander Gisa and Geralf let's us play one zombie from our graveyard on each of our turns, so the deck is filled with value oriented zombies with strong effects like Fleshbag Marauder and Vindictive Lich to make the most out of Gisa and Geralf .

The deck tries to play into the Mulldrifters vs Baneslayers in deckbuilding thinking by Patrick Chapin. The basic idea is that every minion in your deck should be either a Mulldrifter (a card that provides value whether it dies or not) or a card:Baneslayer (a card that provides no value if killed, but wins the game in short order if it is not). If all of your minions are Mulldrifters your opponent’s removal is poor because you still gained a benefit if your minions are removed.

This deck is leaning heavy into the mulldrifter category. That is why i have removed cards like Sheoldred, Whispering One and im thinking about removing Grave Titan because every time i play him he is like a removal magnet. Since most of my opponents dont want to waste their removal on my other mulldrifter type creatures their removal sits like a dead card in their hand until i play Grave Titan .

This deck isn't designed around combat at all, i have avoided cards like Coat of Arms and even Lightning Greaves since I don't care about protecting my creatures from dying, I can just bring em back.

Other Combos and noteworthy things:

A zombie MVP i want to mention is Gravecrawler , he is just value on a stick as long as you have another zombie on the board. He will never complain when you exploit him with Sidisi, Undead Vizier , never grunt or moan when you abuse Skullclamp with him, drawing two cards for 2 mana as many times as you like. Thats why I almost always use Corpse Connoisseur or Entomb to find him as early as I can.

Another dreamplay is to have Victimize & Buried Alive in your hand, Since you can go find Gravecrawler , Grave Titan and Mikaeus, the Unhallowed . Bring up your gravecrawler and then Victimize him to cheat two of your bombs into play.

Having Mikaeus, the Unhallowed when you cast Living Death can give us double ETB effects If there is a sac outlet available, and there will be.

Speaking of Mikaeus, the Unhallowed , combine him with Glen Elendra Archmage means "Infinite" noncreature counters as long as we have blue mana.

Dimir House Guard is a free sac outlet on a creature wich is great in the deck but he also has transmute for 4, which is great for me since my playgroup still has the tuck-rule so a way to find the commander in the deck is a must-have. If your playgroup play without the tuck-rule you can swap him for something better.


In a combo deck there is always a good idea to have multiple versions of effects, here are some cards that serve as "poor mans version" of the original effect.

Thank you for your attention and feel free to give your opinion in the comments. <3

Cavern of Souls + Ashes of the Fallen + Gisa and Geralf to cast Non-zombie creatures like Solemn Simulacrum from the graveyard - Does Cavern of Souls make the Solemn Simulacrum uncounterable?

yes - even if Solemn Simulacrum isnt a zombie when it leaves the graveyard and goes on the stack. When you announced it as a spell, it was a zombie card in the graveyard, thus you are casting it as a zombie spell.

Ashes of the Fallen + Necromancer's Stockpile Will always give you a zombie token (if you have Ashes of the Fallen on zombie) since it checks creature type on resolution, and discarding it is part of the cost.

Swapped some cards

Elixir of Immortality got changed for Perpetual Timepiece because of the Flexibility it offers. Perpetual Timepiece gives us the ability to selfmill aswell as offer graveyard protection.

Frantic Search got swapped for Windfall . Something im trying out. Works pretty well so far since discarding cards is not so bad in this deck.

I cut Curtains' Call since Attrition does such a good job i didnt feel i need it.

With the spot i put in Mirror-Mad Phantasm after a tip in the comments from msanchez13. I havent tried it out yet but I hope it proves to be an alternate effect of the decks signature card Tunnel Vision and allows me to fill my graveyard up at instant speed and allows for the winning play with Living Death .

Swapped Ancient Excavation for Frantic Search Ancient excavation requires you to have cards in hand to be effective. Im looking for another draw/ discard spell and I think this could fit nicely.

Added Sedraxis Alchemist I already have Compelling Deterrence in the deck to combat things like Leyline of the Void and i think it could be good to have the same effect on a creature aswell.

Added Attrition recurring removal? why not.

Phyrexian Altar Just something i've been meaning to try for a long time. Since ashnods is so good in the deck i figure its time to try this one out aswell.

Removed Lich Lord of Unx . I have tried to focus this beck more and this guy doesnt really cut it anymore.since he was kind of a weak secondary win condition and we rarely need him for that anymore.

Removed Necromancer's Stockpile & Ashes of the Fallen the synergy potential wasnt really worth the trouble.

Update: December 2017

Since i put this up around march I have gone over the deck more than once to try to improve it. Here are my thoughts on the changes.

Removed Removals & Answers

Removed Draw & Discard

  • Pull from Tomorrow - I still think this is a great draw spell for this deck, on paper. In reality tho its very rare that we have enough mana left at the end of turn to make this worthwhile. Rather play Fact or Fiction

Removed goodstuff

  • Death Baron - Good defence but not doing enough. Going for more ETB triggers.
  • Unbreathing Horde - Good defence but not doing enough. Going for more ETB triggers.
  • Relentless Dead - Never really used him. Too expensive to recur creatures with. Rather Have a cheap Sac outlet like Viscera Seer
  • Havengul Lich - replaced by Ashes of the Fallen
  • Altar of Dementia - Going for more creature based sac outlets like Viscera Seer & Nantuko Husk . Since when we go off with Living Death then it's more likely one of those will be brought back with our army of the dead.
  • Panharmonicon - This might come back some day. since we have about 15-17 ETB triggers in the deck. Right now I'm more interested in trying out new stuff.
  • Wake the Dead - Perfect card for the deck really. But i found that most of the time it just sat there uselessly in my hand. Might come back to this.
  • Zombie Master - Swampwalking is cool but we are not looking to attack with our creatures in this deck, we want to maximize our combo. And we don't really care if our zombies die either so regeneration isn't that interesting neither.

Old favorites back for more

I like to try out new cards and update the deck every so often. These are some tried and true cards that we know work well but have been cut out in the past to make room but now they are back.

Sac outlets

Out main sac outlet is still Ashnod's Altar but for those times it's been removed we need alternate ways to kill off our board for the Living Death play. Or refill our graveyard after Living Death for that second Living Death . With Creatures as our sac outlets we are more likely to bring our sac outlet with us when we flip the graveyard with the battlefield. Cards added:

Trial period

Some cards needs to be tested before we know how good they actually are. Here are some cards im mainboarding to see how well they fit.

  • Dig Through Time - Most of the time our graveyard has atleast a few lands and one or two enchantments that are just sitting there without a way for us to bring them back. With Delve we might be able to get some more value out of them.
  • Phyrexian Metamorph - Clever Impersonator has really done some work since I put him in the deck. Let's see if his little brother is just as useful.
  • Rite of Replication - No reason not to try out EDH Staples right? I cant wait to play this on Vindictive Lich
  • Dimir House Guard - I really enjoy transmute, and we have some cool 4 CMC cards. like our commander. In my playgroup we still have the tuck-rule so commanders do get shuffled into decks quite often. This helps us get Gisa and Geralf back.
  • Vindictive Lich - looks like a perfect fit on a first glance. Let's see how he performs.

Update: September 2017

Swapped Cemetery Reaper for Withered Wretch

Since Living Death is our win condition we want to control our opponents graveyards a little bit. Withered Wretch let's us do that at instant speed. And often times we have a lot of colorless mana right before we cast Living Death Thanks to Ashnod's Altar So I think this change is very good.

Swapped Hero's Downfall for Curtains' Call

With three opponents these two cards have the same CMC, so kill two creatures instead of one? The ability to kill planeswalkers is very rarely relevant anyway.

Swapped Perpetual Timepiece for Elixir of Immortality

Honestly this one doesn't really matter but selfmilling little by little is something iv'e tried to move away from.

Crucible of Worlds , Crypt of Agadeem & Forbidden Alchemy . After multiple sessions I realised that it's harder to play if you are selfmilling. Turns out you are just really exposed to things like Bojuka Bog . So rather than mill yourself little by little throughout the game we wanna do one explosive selfmill when we are going for the win. and these cards are more in the line of that little by little mill.
Sheoldred, Whispering One & Geth, Lord of the Vault . It took a while but i finally realized that I cant really afford to play big bombs like Sheoldred, Whispering One since i have no Lightning Greaves or Swiftfoot Boots to protect her. My game plan is more along the lines of letting my creatures die and bring them back with little effort. A big bomb i did decide to keep in the deck is Mikaeus, the Unhallowed since he is a zombie and can therefore be brought back with minor effort and he keeps the rest of your buggers alive and is sooo good when that wipe comes or you want to sac everything for your combo, since we get X2 ETB effects on every non-human creature.

PS.I love zombies, and graveyard manipulation and i love to make wierd things work, if you liked this, you might enjoy my other EDH Dimir deck The Scarab God's infinite zombo combo wich also has zombies, mill and a wierd combo.


Updates Add


Date added 3 years
Last updated 8 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

8 - 0 Mythic Rares

43 - 0 Rares

23 - 0 Uncommons

14 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.24
Tokens 2/2 Zombie, None Copy Clone, 1/1 Bird
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