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Mazirek Sac-Storm: The *Primer* of Life & Death

Commander / EDH BG (Golgari) Combo Counters Pox Storm Tokens



Self-Sacrifice At Its Best

This deck is fun, powerful, interactive, and deceptively complicated to pilot. Between all the tutors and the different kinds of tokens, the various triggered abilities that are always going off, and then theres the fact that Mazirek is basically a reverse Cathars' Crusade on a stick. Which as you probably already know, Cathars' Crusade is one of the most powerful but also most annoying cards to deal with actually using in real life out of all Magic: the Gathering.

A big thanks to everyone who upvoted and shared this deck for making it so popular!! Its become the 2nd highest rated Mazirek deck on tapped out, and its even made it all the way up to the #8 decklist of the whole site before!!

  • We are still technically second place to a Mazirek page that has not been updated in years. This page is clearly more relevant for people building Mazirek. So let the world know you agree with a quick upvote :) thanks!!

This deck plays out like a metaphor for the circle of life, translated into Magic: the Gathering.

There is usually at least one turn the deck seems to "go off" (and often win) and its not hard to accumulate upwards of a dozen sacrifice effects to pump the team with Mazirek in one turn. Sometimes way more, like 50 or 60 or even infinite!!! How can this happen you may be wondering??

Mass sacrifice effects like Pox , Eldrazi tokens and treasure tokens which all sac for mana, many lands can sac for mana, cheap sacrifice outlets, all being fueled by creatures that replace themselves, mass resurrection spells to reload the board along with tons of triggered abilities continuously crapping out tokens and cards for free, can all add up to make huge freaking turns!

I've started to use a D20 to count up all the sacrifice effects during my big turns instead of updating each creature's counters after each one to save time. Its the "Sac-Storm" counter. The difference is after the big turn I have to update all the dice on everything I still have in play with that number, compared to a normal storm counter which resets to 0 each turn. Although with this deck (and even more so with storm decks) you want to just win the game during your big turn anyway.

Its also possible to create an infinite loop using a creature with persist ( Putrid Goblin ) a zero mana sacrifice outlet ( Viscera Seer ) and the commander, Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest to put an unlimited number of +1/+1 counters on your creatures. With all the tutors in the deck, this is quite easy to achieve if it's your goal.

Because you like winning in big dramatic attacks while playing a difficult to stop strategy.

Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest is such a unique card. The next most similar cards are either Mortician Beetle or Cathars' Crusade ...and Mazirek is like a weird combination of those two cards, but with flying. Black + green decks have many good options for commanders but none can be swapped in for Mazirek in this deck if you want it to function optimally. Because of his unusual ability he is not necessarily the best Commander for a generic "goodstuff" Golgari deck either.

Mazirek is not a traditional aggro deck, although it is a creature based deck. Nor is it a traditional reanimator deck, although it does plan on reanimating creatures. It has the feel of a combo deck to play during the game, but it still wins the old fashioned way by turning guys sideways (...most of the time at least...it can technically win without attacking because of Zulaport Cutthroat triggers so whatever).

This version isn't trying to be a tier-1 competitive style EDH deck. It's designed to compete against battlecruiser style multiplayer EDH decks. Also this could possibly be considered a "budgetish" build of Mazirek compared to a potentially more competitive version. For example, if I could afford to buy all the cards in the maybeboard right now I think all of them would be in the deck. Would that make it a better option for cEDH than other, more well known cEDH commanders? No, probably not. But it would be closer.

All the cards that I actually tried out in games and the reasons they were ultimately cut. Mostly presented in chronological order.

Ulvenwald Mysteries was just too slow since it needs the clues to be cashed in to make the tokens, even though it was pretty cool to investigate :)

Qarsi High Priest can upgrade tokens into manifests, but it was too unimpactful in play for me. Golgari Germination was also too do nothing.

Animation Module + Ashnod's Altar + Mazirek = infinite +1/+1 counters and colorless mana, but the module did nothing most of the time. In the end cards that only care about +1/+1 counters were just not good enough. Its not that they were not good at making me win, it was just a case of win-more. Reyhan, Last of the Abzan , Hardened Scales , Winding Constrictor and Corpsejack Menace all are examples of cards that didn't help the game until I was about to win anyways. Mazirek gets a big target on him if your opponents know whats going to happen. The way this deck plays out most optimally is keeping Mazirek safe in the command zone until it will be able to at least generate some value (and hopefully just win) when its cast. So even though those cards could help add counters on the big turn, every other turn before that they did nothing. Primal Vigor was the only one to survive the cuts because it also doubles tokens and is INSANE! If you have that card out in this deck everything gets exponential real fast.

Greater Good wasn't very good because I never want to sacrifice a creature bigger than 1/1 or 2/2.

Genesis Chamber although it was very effective in making lots of tokens for me it also made my edict effects less effective.

Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder was great but too slow and no synergy with reanimation.

Carrion Feeder was a fine sac outlet, but boring.

Wave of Vitriol was just a little bit too slow to be useful.

Sadistic Hypnotist & Mind Slash were cut for different sac outlets. The effects are extremely powerful but not technically game ending. I'm not trying to make this into a control deck, and they seemed unnecessary for my primary plans.

Deathreap Ritual too slow and not explosive enough... waiting until end of turn and only getting one card per turn is too slow for this 4 mana do nothing enchantment. Seemed ok... but not good enough for this deck.

Sakura-Tribe Elder was turned into Farhaven Elf because it can be sacrificed to stuff.

Fecundity was great fun but we don't need to be filling out opponent's hands when we use removal on their threats.

Blighted Fen was too mana intensive.

Creakwood Liege kinda slow, needs to be in play for a whole turn for value.

Whisperwood Elemental truly a great card for this deck, but cuts had to be made... and fodder is already quite abundant even without the manifest machine.

Caustic Caterpillar dinky card..too low impact not good fodder.

Brindle Shoat , Doomed Dissenter , Dire Fleet Hoarder , Dripping-Tongue Zubera , Myr Sire , Solemn Simulacrum , Pilgrim's Eye , Sylvan Ranger , Gatecreeper Vine , and Epochrasite removed for different fodder options.

Pitiless Plunderer could occasionally be super cool, but treasures are not creatures. It was not as useful as I was hoping for in the end.

Emrakul's Evangel was not good enough in practice.

Shriekmaw , Garza's Assassin replaced with better removal.

Spawning Bed too slow, too many colorless sources in the deck.

Phyrexian Delver is a bit on the high CMC end but extremely close to good enough...it still might go back in. Resurrecting a key creature can be game ending, and having that ability on stapled onto a creature was great.

Twilight's Call cut for a Diabolic Tutor because it can go get Rise of the Dark Realms or Living Death or anything else.

Butcher of Malakir and Slum Reaper cost too much mana for their effects.

The single persist creature in the deck Rendclaw Trow , became Puppeteer Clique because its better when its not comboing off.

Archfiend of Depravity is too easy to play around to rely on for removal, even though it was pretty cool sometimes.

Ruthless Knave is actually a great card for this deck. For some builds it can be amazing, but cuts had to be made somewhere. It has helped fuel game wins for sure, its not a bad card for the deck at all.

Merciless Executioner & Fleshbag Marauder got cut after Plaguecrafter came out.

Journey to Eternity   is cool but the payoff of paying 5 mana to resurrect fodder is meh.

Diabolic Tutor upgraded into Diabolic Intent .

Liliana, Heretical Healer   was too low impact.

Reprocess was turned into a permanent sac outlet.

Barter in Blood is a great spell but cuts had to be made.

Growth Spasm is a great and synergistic ramp spell. Eldrazi tokens are great. But still you gotta make room.

Cryptolith Rite was not always that great, we don't always have that many critters to tap.

Vampiric Rites has replaced with Priest of Forgotten Gods , seemed like a direct upgrade.

Dimir House Guard 's synergy with this deck is through the roof, but I still wanted something more interesting.

Grim Backwoods costs too much to activate to be that useful.

Hell's Caretaker is a great effect that is a little too inconvenient and fragile to really take advantage of reliably.

Dark Prophecy was good, but it was replaced with a more versatile card, Rankle, Master of Pranks .

Whisper, Blood Liturgist is only good when you have lots of stuff going on since you have to sac 2 creatures and have a juicy target in the yard for it to be worth it. Just killing fodder to move around fodder can be a card advantage engine but it's not usually going to be that impactful, and even when it works out it still relies on other cards in play to be really good.

  • Key Rules Interaction When Casting Living Death or With Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest Already In Play: The creatures that come back from (or are created as a result of) casting Living Death will get a Mazirek pump for everything that got sacrificed along with and including Mazirek. Its because his triggered effect (along with any other triggers caused by everything getting sacrificed) go on the stack and won't resolve until after Living Death is done resolving. Then any creatures that just came into play with ETB abilities will also get stacked along with the Mazirek triggers in whatever order you want to put them on the stack. It's game ending. Syphon Flesh and Westvale Abbey   do something similar.

  • All of the creatures provide value on ETB or death so sac outlets can do a lot of work even without Mazirek in play. We are using many 1 and 2 cmc "fodder" creatures in this deck, so there can be one in play very early to start doing sacrificial stuff with right away. Use them to gain card advantage as fast as possible, and don't try to hoard them since more will appear anyways.

  • The Pox type effects trigger Mazirek big time and they should be saved until he's in play so they can act like overruns not just removal.

  • Creatures with Persist like Puppeteer Clique combined with the right kind of sac outlet like Viscera Seer and Mazirek can create an infinite amount of sacrifice triggers. The -1/-1 counter from the persist trigger is removed when the +1/+1 counter from Mazirek lands on it, making it ready to die and come back again. It's kinda cheesy to rely on infinite combos but its good to include them because sometimes you need one if you want to win.

  • Sylvan Safekeeper can come down early and protect the team, then out of nowhere allow you to sacrifice all your lands and alpha strike.

  • Primal Vigor and Doubling Season are 2 of the MVPs of the deck. They make Hooded Hydra and Hangarback Walker specifically go insane with Mazirek out, and just power up everything the deck is doing in general.

  • The mass resurrection spells Rise of the Dark Realms & Living Death will create a bonkers amount of value, easily fueling a game winning sequence.

  • Manifest creatures count as non-tokens, which makes them much better than tokens. Many effects in the deck only trigger from non-token creatures entering play or dying. Not much manifesting going on in this deck anymore, but it's still noteworthy.

  • Ravenous Chupacabra is great but the deck has so much removal already that it was cut.

  • Phyrexian Arena was cut for the crime of being a generic, non-synergistic power card. Any deck with swamps could run the card, and there are many other more interesting draw engines still here.

  • Protean Hulk line for comboing off with Mazirek in play: Viscera Seer , Putrid Goblin , Zulaport Cutthroat , & Sylvan Safekeeper

The deck is somewhat reliant on Mazirek to win... but not entirely. It's just way, way easier to win with it in play. So getting our commander shut out is definitely something we want to avoid. I don't cast Mazirek until I can for sure get some value from it or win immediately.

I attempted to incorporate sacrificing effects everywhere that was possible so that there isn't even always a need for a real sac outlet to be able to win the game out of nowhere just by casting Mazirek. Also it makes us harder to stop when the sacrifices are coming from everywhere instead of one spell or permanent. We can usually generate at least five or six sacrifice triggers by the time we can afford to cast Mazirek. Those self-sacrifice effects are all so easily overlooked and forgotten about, that opponents don't think of them as pump spells. Winning with commander damage (often in one swing) is always an option too since it has flying and pumps itself.

The redundant card abilities make the combos practically assemble themselves. Drawing a couple cards and/or getting a couple tokens from a creature dying, especially one thats already getting sacrificed for some other additional value is where we gain our card advantage. Most of the "fodder" creatures are 1 or 2 CMC and they all replace themselves with a token. That means if we can curve out with some combo enablers and mana ramp then by the time we have 4 or 5 mana we can cast multiple spells per turn and start doing some cool stuff. Like drawing a bunch of cards and building up an army and killing things.

Having the thought "wow, Blisterpod is an amazing topdeck" can happen with this deck ...as bizarre as that sounds. However, even though this deck is capable of assembling very powerful combos and synergies, it can also draw into some very underwhelming topdecks. One weakness with heavy card synergy decks like this is that sometimes the combos don't find themselves in time or in order. Blisterpod is inherently a weak card alone. If you have some cool ways to utilize it in play already it can be very impactful when topdecked, but if not its going to be a real bummer to draw it. Thats why there are so many things to do with our "fodder". This deck tends to use up its "fodder" creatures as the game progresses, and it gets way more value out of killing non-token creatures so mass graveyard resurrection spells are very important for the late game. Even if it's just to get back a bunch of little dorky "fodder" dudes. Don't let your preconceived notions about these "fodder" cards fool you, there is an explosiveness hidden in the synergies here that may not be apparent from looking at this list.

This deck can definitely be disrupted, but not by just killing all the creatures in play. This deck can handle board wipes pretty well, they usually refill my hand and leave tokens behind. Even land destruction isn't too bad since it has such a low mana curve. The worst thing that can happen is someone destroying or worse exiling "all artifacts, enchantments, and creatures" and then exiling my graveyard in one turn. But isn't that like the worst thing that can happen to pretty much any deck?

Important Permanents and Effects in Play:

Cast a Carrier Thrall ...

Sacrifice the Carrier Thrall to Viscera Seer ...

Thats 2x cards drawn, 1 life lost, 4x Edlrazi Scion Tokens, 4x Myr Tokens, 1x Manifest creature, 2x +1/+1 counters on everything, and then scry 1...just from casting and saccing a single Carrier Thrall to Viscera Seer . If I was trying to build up a board for next turn (instead of continuing to grind up everything and attack for the win immediately) that sequence added 8x 3/3 tokens and a 4/4 manifest to the board.

This is not a magical Christmas land scenario (although admittedly that was an awesome game). That sequence is from a real game that I played, and whether I win or lose most games really end like some version of this. Since there are multiple redundant copies of all the different effects along with so much graveyard recursion, the end game is usually about the same. Its likely a similar board state is instantly assembled as soon as we can resolve a good recursion spell or two. Imagine how the above board state explodes if the Carrier Thrall entered play along with a bunch of other creatures from casting a Rise of the Dark Realms .

And in case you were wondering there are multiple different ways in the deck to keep the Dark Prophecy from killing us from damage or decking us while we combo off. Also Whisperwood Elemental has since been cut from the deck.

Liliana, Dreadhorde General was basically designed for this deck, so I will get one eventually.

I already have quite a few other cards in mind try out in the maybeboard, but most of them are far too expensive for me to buy as singles.

I'd love to hear your ideas!

Any budget friendly suggestions are much appreciated! Thanks.

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Updates Add

This deck has been improving all the time with every set. Priest of Forgotten Gods is the best card from the newest release, with Orzhov Enforcer making an appearance as well. I finally got to trade for a Doubling Season at MagicFest Cleveland too. The deck is still a blast to pilot, and it normally gets the win too which is a nice bonus.



86% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 2 years
Last updated 2 minutes
Exclude colors WUR

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.16
Tokens 0/1 Insect, 3/3 Beast, None Copy Clone, 0/1 Plant, 2/2 Zombie, 1/1 Snake, 1/1 Saproling, 1/1 Thopter, 1/1 Spirit, 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn, 1/1 Human Cleric, 2/2 Morph, 1/1 Eldrazi Scion, None Vraska, 1/1 City's Blessing, 2/2 Manifest
Folders Budget Golgari EDH, Commander, Funny, Interesantes, Stuff i wanna try, To buy, Interesting Commander Decks, the dreams, Deck Inspiration, Budget, See all 56
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Revision 63 See all

3 hours ago)

+1 Putrid Goblin main
-1 Brindle Shoat main
-1 Puppeteer Clique main
+1 Puppeteer Clique main