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Meren goes to school! Some wild nights with a bunch of knights ensue, and before you know it, she's falling behind... So she gets a bunch of tutors to make up for the lost study time, but she can't afford the 'best', so she's at community college! That's the deck, in a nutshell! This deck is generally a toolbox oriented deck, often tutoring for a repeatable tutor, and then either removing problematic cards or winning. The ideal scenario for this deck is to have a Steve, enough mana to play it, and for that to get us to casting Meren, allowing her to recur our Steve for use next turn potentially. Recurring Steves can actually make Meren quite rampy, easily making up for a lower land count while simultaneously adding XP. The Magic Numbers for Meren's XP are 3 and 5 generally, with 3 letting me reanimate a Merciless Executioner or any Steve, while 5 lets me reanimate Sidisi, Undead Vizier the turn I cast her, which should be enough to put me in very good shape, while also getting me to 7 XP which will allow me to bring back Protean Hulk to win off of.

Meren is fairly control heavy, excelling at keeping the board clear or having the best creatures out. This deck is not very fast at winning via creature damage, but the deck does have access to infinite tokens. It prefers to win via aristocrat pay offs, as this tends to be faster and harder to interfere with. The deck has some resiliency due to Meren reanimating/recurring stuff, but things go badly if we lose Meren somehow, if not completely grinding to a halt (and we generally lose then). There is a reasonable amount of backup reanimation in here, with Demon of Dark Schemes being a nice new addition that has big synergy with our combo pieces (and also with Mitotic Slime naturally), but Sheoldred, Whispering One and Hell's Caretaker complete my back up suite. Haakon, Stromgald Scourge is another recursion option, but it's low versatility limits it to combo shenanigans most of the time. Gravecrawler is a huge spike in power level when combined with Hulk, letting me generate infinite sacrifices from one Hulk pile, with easy access to the 2nd usually. Coffin Queen is a weird card that can reanimate stuff, but I prefer to use it vs opponent's creatures, since it will exile them if they die, so she can hate on a graveyard.

The deck can set up infinite mana combos, but I'm usually going for infinite life loss, but if anyone can think of a good way to use infinite mana (probably black), feel free. I also am not quite sure if I have enough life pay offs for creature sacs, but the high density of tutors makes me worry less. Demon of Dark Schemes is a super-handy addition to my combo pieces, being able to use various deaths to reanimate any creature, which is a very strong ability to get access to incidentally.

Gradually working on trying to get alternate art for female cards, or for cards where it looks way better. Feel free to make suggestions!

This deck struggles if it truly needs a wipe, but it can usually pressure the board very hard with it's various forced sac sources, even if the deck has skimped on the budget here, running neither Grave Pact nor Dictate of Erebos, just Savra, Queen of the Golgari and creatures that force sacs on ETB. The deck has 2 wipes for smaller things, but can struggle vs a deck that has to be wiped.

For non-creature permanents I run Caustic Caterpillar and Foundation Breaker as low to the ground options. Vampire Hexmage is a nice answer to anything counter-driven, and I have 2 cards that can force a Planeswalker sacrifice. I run Visara the Dreadful because I often found myself in need of some targeted removal that didn't eat up my reanimation slot for the turn, and figured the good ol' Gorgon could do me a solid, and so far I've not been disappointed. It's very much 'what's on the tin', but that happens to be a very good label. Card draw is a tad low I think, but the deck's easy use of the graveyard gives it the feel of having a much larger hand, though there can be card quality concerns if you draw poorly (no tutors or card draw). The deck does feature 2 repeatable fogs, one that doesn't even use reanimation (but enables it via discard) in Spore Frog and Dawnstrider, an underplayed gem in a Meren deck for sure (especially if you expect you might need to fog an aggro player most games, as you can make their life difficult with forced sacs). The deck rarely feels hopeless, but it tends to have only a couple solutions to a given problem, leaning hard on recursion to get by.

This deck does not like Rest in Peace at all, or similar effects, but it can win through losing it's yard a time or two (depending on what was in it). The deck doesn't only win via Knight Combo, but it can be a bit of a slog if I have to use creature damage without Haakon's shenanigans to help out. This deck's idea of a 'big beater' is a 6/6, but if the board is clear of enemy creatures, it doesn't matter how big mine are.

Working on custom headings to help clean up the gigantic pile of creatures. It's fine and good to know there are 53 creatures, but when there are that many doing so many different things, it's helpful to just sort them.


Updates Add

Well, added a creature! Woo! I re-added Zulaport Cutthroat, replacing Tendrils of Agony, which seems like a good move as the deck is now fairly Hulk-centric, that's usually how we win, either Hulk or Razaketh, and Zulaport is much better with Hulk, and a bit better with Razaketh as ongoing life gain. I also upgraded the 7th edition Llanowar Elves for a fancy Mystic, hooray, and took out the two random Eldraine forests for SLD ones. Most importantly, I pulled out Burning-Rune Demon for Defiler of Flesh, Burning-Rune was good but was easily my worst tutoring option, and I never dig for it unless I'm already screwed, whereas Defiler is a great combo piece, filling in for Pitiless Plunderer, and it works fine with Protean Hulk's 2nd pull, first pull gets either Plunderer or Defiler and Gravecrawler and Carrion Feeder to generate any needed XP to hit 8 to reanimate Protean Hulk at the end step with Meren, thus the 2nd pile mostly needed payoffs, meaning I needed Zulaport over Tendrils.

Activated Sleeper is almost certainly going to end up in here at some point, in many games it'll be enough to turn my one Hulk pile into 1.5 Hulk piles, which should win on the spot. Not sure if I'll add Pawn of Ulamog, but it's not exactly bad with Bog Initiate, and as long as I've already got either Feeder or Crawler on the table that will still work for a first pile.

Edit: So, Life / Death really does seem good in here, it can reanimate a big important creature like Protean Hulk or Razaketh, the Foulblooded, or in a pinch something else useful, but it can also be used to turn a heap of lands into sac fodder to push through a win, possibly so Razaketh can dig out a win con, and the lands can generate mana via sacrifice. Normally this wouldn't be a relevant thing, but this deck ramps very hard sometimes, and it's usually land ramp. I'll have to take another look at some Razaketh lines from more competitive lists, I'm pretty sure I mostly want Life/Death, not sure if I really need anything else. I'm also going to try to fit in Activated Sleeper to win off of one Hulk pile more easily, as is I often lean on Meren to eek out a second Hulk to actually win, which feels pretty awful sometimes as it's during the End Step. Anyways, with Activated Sleeper I could dig out Activated Sleeper + Carrion Feeder/Viscera Seer + Universal Automaton + Disciple of the Vault (do I need a Dryad Arbor in this deck?) in the first pile, and the second pile can be Haakon, Stromgald Scourge and Pawn of Ulamog, that would be infinite in one and a half piles. I don't think there is a substitute for any of the 1 drops in that pile other than Feeder/Seer, but I can still dig out Feeder + Gravecrawler + Sleeper, with pile two finding Blood Artist/Zulaport and either Pitiless Plunderer or Defiler of Flesh, again, not sure if I'd have enough redundancy, but this also wouldn't be all of the options the deck can dig out. Just had a thought, if I dig out Pitiless Plunderer I can dig out Disciple of the Vault as the infinite combo payoff via the treasure tokens. That actually sounds like a good upside, if awkward to ever draw into (at least it's a 1 drop?).

Now, the question is what to pull! The obvious thing might be to take out the artifacts, because Pawn of Ulamog offers most of what I want from Ashnods (just not the free sac outlet), but importantly I can dig out Pawn with Protean Hulk and can't dig out any of my artifacts especially easily (I have a few restrictive tutors, and I can't recur those artifacts very effectively, so maybe all but Clamp can go?? Scary. Another option might be to pull some of my redundant stuff, maybe Sheoldred, a card that is good but not consistent without additional removal supporting it, I also want to add a Llanowar Elves, and maybe a Burnished Hart, might pull a worse Steve for Hart.

So, just checked, I run 4 Artifacts, and I think I could afford to switch out (at least temporarily) Ashnods -> Pawn, Helm -> Life/Death, Bontu's -> Disciple, probably Sheoldred -> Activated Sleeper. Maybe a Forest -> Dryad Arbor? Visara -> Collector Ouphe, which would leave me soildly down on removal, but with some dangerous early games where Ouphe comes out early. Those tweaks would probably lower the price of the deck a bit too, which is always an asset in my eyes, but it would make the deck more combo dependent (note, I almost never attack with this deck as is), but it would make it more consistent/powerful and arguably less Commander dependent (and have less of that whole 'Just you wait! Next turn I'm gonna GETCHA!'), but if I'm honest I almost never want to see most of the cards I'd be pulling, and this would make my random Lurking Predators even better, with 3 fewer misses.

Edit: Well, tossed a few new cards in, namely Activated Sleeper and Life \ Death, and I pulled Ritual of the Machine and Helm of Possession, both are pretty niche cards that often did good things, but these two cards are really good shenanigan enablers. I'm looking at more ramp I can dig out with Razaketh, since I'm not going to have LED, I might try Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, Mobilize and maybe Benefactor's Draught, the idea for the untappers is to first use Life to turn my lands into creatures, then Mobilize to untap them all. Benefactor's Draught might be useful if I need a second copy of the card for some reason, possibly redundancy, but tbh that's 11 mana if I cast Razaketh, Life, and Draught, that seems like a lot I guess? This deck can hit that ~ turns 6/7 pretty readily, so that's probably early enough that it's plausible to hardcast Razaketh and still go off. Technically I guess if I have Lotus Petal in the deck I only need 10 mana, and if I still have Mobilize I could get by with only 9, which seems reasonable. At that point I'd have enough mana to dig out a combo probably and just win on the spot. Fortunately hardcasting Razakteth is not a thing we expect to have to do, we usually reanimate him, which makes me wonder a bit about Reanimate, but I do have a smattering of ways to get him back already, and I technically have Death as an 'on the spot' reanimator Raz can find. Anyways, reasonably happy with these tweaks, but I obviously need to fiddle a bit more to make these lines work their best. I probably will have to pull one of my weaker lines, which is probably Haakon, since he's can get stuck in my hand and uses up a few card slots? If I do that I might sneak in a Llanowar Elves, hopefully I'd have enough space.

Huh, totally forgot about Vitalize, which is G and an instant. Not entirely sure Instant will matter, but it's almost never a drawback.

Edit: After flooding ONE MORE MOTHER****ING TIME, I have decided to cut 2 lands for ramp, I added Llanowar Elves and Dark Ritual over the lackluster Guildless Commons (this is supposed to be a fairly fast deck, this no longer fits), as well as Detection Tower, because it rarely mattered, if I need to clear the board I can edict a bunch of times, short of running Damnation or similar edict dorks are better than targeted removal, and I don't run very much targeted removal anyways, so it's gone. I had long ago switched out Jungle Basin, not sure why I didn't change the list. It's a Forest, but I'd like to sneak in a Dryad Arbor, because who knows?


39% Casual

61% Competitive

Date added 3 years
Last updated 2 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

7 - 0 Mythic Rares

40 - 0 Rares

18 - 0 Uncommons

12 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.08
Tokens Emblem Vraska, Golgari Queen, Experience Token, Morph 2/2 C, Ooze 1/1 G, Ooze 2/2 G for Mitotic Ooze, Pest 1/1 BG, Treasure, Zombie 2/2 B
Folders EDH Deck Templates, Uncategorized, X - EDH Inspiration - GOLGARI GRAVEYARDS, Possible Builds, decks, Follow
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