Mono-Black Graveyard Burn

We mill ourselves & our opponents, and cause general death & destruction while Mr. Twitty is onstage to repeatedly inflict various amounts of damage to our opponents until they are dead..

Yes, this is a Burn deck in Mono-, and in possibly the most in-color way possible: Burn via Graveyard manipulation..

The way that Syr Konrad, the Grim is worded is effectively: If any (other) Creature touches any Graveyard for any reason, OR if a Creature leaves my Graveyard (for any reason), Konrad pings everyone(else) for one..

That means that weird jank like Tortured Existence magically become ridiculous fountains of value (read as ": Konrad Shocks each opponent")..

Mesmeric Orb & Mindcrank are absolute all-stars in how they passively generate chaotic, and often silly amounts of game-ending value with Konrad. Either are great by themselves, but to resolve both usually results a beautiful, burning avalanche of salt-inducing PAIN (Did I mention that Bloodchief Ascension is in here too?).

Coming back to the topic of obscure janky goodness. The most explosive Wincon here is Morality Shift. To resolve this with Syr Konrad, the Grim on the field and either Eldrazi Titan still in the Library, results in smashing every opponent in the face for up to 52 damage. Which in most cases would effectively spell: Game Over..

Speaking of which— because of the way Konrad functions, and the presence of the Annhilator Titans in the 99, means that any number of other Mill and/or other Graveyard-based shenanigans our opponents may be running can also unwittingly hand us the game.. (example: Any Phenax, God of Deception players at the table will effectively be your accomplice whether they like it or not)

On top of all of that, because the last two lines of Konrad's triggered ability reads "Syr Konrad, the Grim deals 1 damage to each opponent", our Commander is actually dealing damage to each individual opponent with each & every single trigger. Therefore, any early source of Lifelink quickly puts the deck into "Archenemy" territory. Naturally, I sought to double-down on this synergy, which eventually led to me sloting-in the infamous Exquisite Blood + Sanguine Bond combo that I had laying around (as this was the first deck I built where both cards provide value on their own)..

Finally, we've learned about how terrifying Syr Konrad, the Grim can be on his own, but what about if you were able to generate multiple copies? Helm of the Host says "Hi"..

Because Syr Konrad, the Grim can be built in many different directions, it is important to understand how this seemingly random list of cards evolved into what it currently is. So the first thing to ask is, 'where was this deck's starting point'?

This list was originally inspired by an early (budget) decktech from The Commander's Quarters. However, over time I have more & more moved away from that towards a more general, high value-based strategy. This particular list currently shares a total of 18 cards (<1/5) with the 'upgraded' CQ's list

As mentioned previously, because of the wording of his (activated AND triggered) abilities, there are several different directions that Konrad can be legitimately built. Here are some of the major ones (and why I didn't take that path):

Although it started out as such, I am just not a fan of that particular gameplay style. It always felt like a hindrance unless I was already set up, and therefore just felt janky AF..

TL;DR: No sir, I don't like it

I already have a strong & flavorful Mono-Black Aristocrat/Combo deck built around Yawgmoth, Thran Physician...

My first (functional) brew in the format is/was such a deck headed by Liliana, Heretical Healer  /Liliana, Defiant Necromancer.

I don't need to have two MBC decks..

Syr Konrad, the Grim is one of the few Mono-Black Commanders that can win with Infinite Mana alone (Mill everyone out with his activated ability, and then if there are any survivors, pass the turn...). However this points to another type of deck that I try to avoid building for two general reasons:

  1. (Preference) It would invariably lead to more & more predictable games, leading to both— becoming easier to time interaction against and more boring to pilot overall..

  2. (Financial) This leads down the path of buying buying the more expensive Artifacts (like Grim Monolith et al.), and trying to stuff ¡ALL THE TUTORS! into a single deck (thus reinforcing point #1)..

Opposition Agent appears out in the wild as well..

I didn't like the self-sabotage of self-Mill, or being dependent on what happens to hit an opponent's Graveyard, like a Reanimator deck tends to. I also didn't want to build a dedicated Combo either.

The result is a strange, multi-angled Chimera of sorts.

Once Konrad is out, the general strategy centers around manipulating Graveyards by various means. Therefore without any major linchpins to be targeted (outside of Konrad, and the Graveyard itself), most of the time your opponents will have a hard time knowing what to spend their Counterspells and other interaction on, and what to save for the rest of the table. The strange mixture thus allows the semi-passive, non-targeted, and extremely incremental damage from Konrad to build up over time, often resulting in a classic "Frog boil" scenario.

Because sometimes, you have to just "nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure"...

Any one of these turns up the heat immensely with this deck. Put them together to end the game

...and Boom goes the dynamite...


Updates Add

Ironically, I decided to drop Infect in favor of more protection..

Tainted Strike —> Magus of the Will

Phyresis —> Lightning Greaves

Grafted Exoskeleton —> Darksteel Plate

The change was motivated by a game that I would have been able to win, had I not used Phyresis.


Top Ranked
Date added 2 years
Last updated 2 months
Exclude colors WURG
Key combos

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

8 - 0 Mythic Rares

34 - 0 Rares

24 - 0 Uncommons

10 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.14
Tokens Copy Clone, Emblem Liliana of the Dark Realms, Marit Lage, Zombie 2/2 B
Folders Uncategorized, Mill Deck, commanders, commander, edh folder, probable decks, Inspiration, (Mono) Black love, Syr Grim, Favorite Builds, See all 17
Ignored suggestions
Shared with

Revision 36 See all

2 months ago)

+1 Angel of Suffering main
-1 Drift of the Dead main