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Karador, Ghost Chief: What is Dead May Never Die

Commander / EDH


But Rises Again Harder and Stronger

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Ever since being printed in 2011, Karador, Ghost Chieftain has been the premier commander for graveyard bases strategies. While the deck has gone through many iterations, this current version is far and away the most consistent and powerful deck in my collection. Relying on the the game ending synergy of Boonweaver Giant and Pattern of Rebirth and backed up by a powerful suite of hate cards and tutors, this deck can end games quickly, or slowly depending on the situation.

The primary route to victory for this deck is to put Boonweaver Giant into play with a free, repeatable sac outlet like Viscera Seer, Carrion Feeder or Altar of Dementia. From that point, Boonweaver and Pattern of Rebirth simply win the game by fetching (in order) Karmic Guide, Fiend Hunter (Exiling Guide), Reveillark and finally Blood Artist.* Once you're there, simply look Lark/Guide for the win. If for some reason that loop doesn't work for you, a similar loop can be created using Sun Titan (or Renegade Rallier) and Saffi Eriksdotter.

Alternatively, the deck can simply put Living Plane into play alongside Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite to destroy all lands except yours.

Or sometimes you're just Reanimateing a Sheoldred, Whispering One on turn 2 and then dropping whatever creature you want to bring back with Survival of the Fittest.

Still not working for you? Then just stall the game using the hate bear suite to grind the game to a halt while you find the right pieces. Very few players are going to be able to find a way to win through Gaddock Teeg, Eidolon of Rhetoric and Hushwing Gryff. With the tutor suite in the deck, and the ability to sacrifice creatures essentially on-demand, we can run all sorts of powerful hate cards and simply get rid of them when they'd get in our way.

*The order of this can get... tricky... so... here we go...

Boonweaver Giant, search up Pattern of Rebirth. Sac Boonweaver, Pattern trigger, Tutor for Karmic Guide. Karmic Guide returns Boonweaver, Returns Pattern. Sac Boonweaver, Pattern trigger, Tutor for Fiend Hunter. Fiend Hunter trigger, Exile Guide. Sac Hunter, Returning Guide, Trigger returning Boonweaver, Returning Pattern. Sac Boonweaver, Pattern Trigger, Tutor for Reveillark Sac Reveillark, Returning Guide and Hunter, Guide returns Boonweaver, Hunter exiles Guide, Boonweaver returns Pattern. Sac Boonweaver, Tutor for Blood Artist. Sac Hunter, Return Guide, Guide trigger, Returning Reveillark. Sac Guide, Return Lark, Sac Lark, Return Guide, Rinse and Repeat. It's really pretty simply, but I recommend practicing it a few times so you don't screw it up once you hit game time!


Updates Add

Amonkhet is here with some goodies, but let's talk about the elphant (or beast I guess) first. Protean Hulk is unbanned. Few cards on the banned list would have impacted this deck, but this is a HUGE boon for Karador decks of every type. It's a one card combo (in the same way Boonweaver Giant is), but it also can be played "fair" for incredible, non-infinite combo value. I'm waiting for the price to calm down a bit before I buy one, but it'll be have a home in the deck for sure.

Now on to the Amonkhet cards!

Angel of Sanctions - Our first card is also our first look at Embalm. Flashback for creatures has some uses for us, but less so since we have Karador at the helm. Value orientated versions of the deck could play this and (because of lower CMC) it may be better than Angel of Despair . This card COULD have been a secondary version of Fiend Hunter for us, but it has that tricky "opponents" word on it. Pass here, but playable.

Aven Mindcensor - A reprint that's already in the list. Play it. When the search clause would be a problem for you, sac it. The first level up moment you'll have with this deck is that hate cards like this are great because you can control when they're in play and when they're not. I'll be getting myself a foil (or Invocation) version of this.

Devoted Crop-Mate - Kind of like a little Sun Titan . This might be a good budget card for the deck. You're very likely to find an opponent that you can attack cleanly and you're also likely to be able to find a card to bring back with it.

Forsake the Worldly - No way we have space for this, but I think it's worth mentioning this card. Stapling cycling on a card like this is good. Good enough to warrant play in budget and pauper versions of the deck.

Vizier of Remedies - Well here's your combo card in the set. Doesn't fit in here, but if you're playing Mikaeus, the Unhallowed in your deck this card does a good enough impression of Melira, Sylvok Outcast that it deserves inclusion.

Dusk / Dawn - This brings back a LOT of cards in our deck and is a decent enough board wipe in most metas. I'm not playing it, but don't discount what it can do.

Bontu the Glorified - I'm just here to remind you that a mana cost makes a sac effect unplayable. Don't be tricked here.

Liliana, Death's Majesty - Generates advantage, starts at enough loyalty that it's not dead to just one small flyer and can simply serve as an expensive reanimate effect if that's what you need to win the game. Not good enough for us here, but playable.

Benefaction of Rhonas - These effects are always reasonably good. You're going to hit a creature every time and bin some other goodies. This is the kind of filler that I'm never upset to play if I'm missing a card from the deck. There are better versions of this effect out there, but this is a good place holder.

Champion of Rhonas - Playing big creatures that you want to cheat into play? Is a second Elvish Piper a thing you want? Then this is OK. I'll pass.

Dissenter's Deliverance - Remember what I said about Foresake the Worldly? Well here's another version of it. Being able to knock out an opponents turn one Chrome Mox or Mana Crypt or Sol Ring and cycle away for one if it's not relevant is actually quite good.

Harvest Season - This card is going to lead to some busted starts, but we don't play enough basics to make use of it. This will likely be very playable in creature heavy decks though.

Manglehorn - Here's a new hate bear for the list! This goes on a long list of cards that is great if your meta demands it. Got an artifact deck running amok? Play this. I keep, basically a 5 card sideboard for this deck at all times. Depending on the commanders at the table I'll switch out a bear or two for the games. Don't see a graveyard deck at the table, but there's Breya, Etherium sculpter? Swap Containment Priest for this and be happy!

Prowling Serpopard - Cards like this are kind of a trap in this deck. Very rarely do you care if your creatures are countered. It puts them in your yard to reuse. Most of our game winning cards are actually non-creatures that put creatures in to play. If you feel you NEED this effect fine, but you're better off playing smarter as opposed to wasting slots on this.

Vizier of the Menagerie - Oh my... This is something isn't it? I think it's probably the best EDH card in the set by a reasonable margin and something that warrants testing even in tuned lists. There's a reason Oracle of Mul Daya is considered to be one of the best green cards out there. This does similar work.

Wayward Servant - Well here's a card that can serve as game ender in a Reveillark loop. We really don't need another one of these, but it is an option if that is your preferred route to victory.

Scattered Groves - There's so much to like about fetchable, cycling dual lands. Yes, it always ETBs tapped, but there are times where that's not an issue. With the basic count as low as it is, this is probably better than Canopy Vista and I can only hope we get an enemy set of these soon.

Did I miss something on the list? I don't think anything from Amonkhet gives us anything that's an auto-include, but we do have some new cards worth testing. What are you playing?


Date added 4 years
Last updated 3 years

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

9 - 0 Mythic Rares

54 - 0 Rares

21 - 0 Uncommons

11 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.61
Folders Decks like mine, Others
Ignored suggestions
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