Oh boy friends, Nethroi, Apex of Death has been spoiled and can I just say, this cards looks awesome. It's like Karador, Ghost Chieftain except infinitely more interesting (at least, in my mind) and far more powerful if built correctly. This deck is built on a $35 budget, excluding the commander at the moment until the price drops when Ikoria releases, so please keep that in mind when making suggestions.

Breakdown by Category

The ramp in this deck is somewhat unique. While we are running a few of the classic green staples for ramp - Rampant Growth, Explosive Vegetation, Harrow, etc., most of our ramp comes from small creatures with ETBs or that sacrifice themselves to go grab basics. This way, when we get Nethroi's mutate trigger, we can return all of them if they were milled, thrown away as fodder for blocking, or sacrificed, and get additional value. In addition, they are all relatively effective as ramp spells on their own, so they serve double duty.
This category is just about filling up our graveyard as much as possible. All of these cards do that in some way, and many also allow us to return some powerful cards that we don't want milled, or save our entire yard from grave-hate (Perpetual Timepiece is quite good at that). Overall, not too interesting. A notable thing here is that most of these our small creatures, which means we can spend a few of our 10 points of power with Nethroi to put more fuel into the graveyard for the next time we mutate.
A decent portion of our card advantage just comes from cantrips like Read the Bones and Abzan Charm. Obviously, this isn't the most powerful form of card advantage but it helps us dig into our better sources, like Soul of the Harvest, Guardian Project, and/or Seasons Past. These cards will all net us massive gains when we mutate Nethroi and get 5+ cards back from our graveyard. In addition, there are cards like Mentor of the Meek and Moldervine Reclamation, which can seem sort of out of place, but do make sense. Mentor of the Meek works well enough that I thought it warranted an include, considering that there are 25 power 2 or less creatures in the deck, which makes it likely that when we mutate Nethroi, we'll get 1 or 2 creatures back that we can turn into cards with Mentor of the Meek. Moldervine Reclamation falls into a series of cards including itself, Vindictive Vampire, and Cruel Celebrant, which are used mainly in aristocrat style decks. While this isn't an aristocrats deck, we do want to fill up our graveyard, and if cards are going to be dying, these cards are worth something, even if they don't synergize as well as they would in a true aristocrats build.
Like with the ramp package, our removal package primarily focuses on small creatures that sacrifice themselves or have valuable ETBs. That way, we can use them, put them back in the graveyard, and get them right back. We're running A LOT of removal, but that fits with the game plan of controlling the board until we can slowly drain our opponents. Either way, we want to be resilient and adaptable to the board state, and that means running a healthy removal package.
According to the Wizards of the Coast page covering the Ikora: Lair of Behemoths mechanics (https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/ikoria-lair-behemoths-mechanics-2020-04-02)

"When a mutating creature spell resolves, all triggered abilities the resulting creature has with that trigger condition will trigger. It doesn't matter if the ability is on the existing creature (before it mutated) or on the new piece (the resolving mutating creature spell). They all trigger, and they can be put on the stack in any order."

This means that we want to run a few cards with mutate - that way, we can cast (or mutate onto another creature) Nethroi, and then mutate another card on top of or below Nethroi, so that we get the mutate trigger on both creatures all over again. All of these cards with mutate have some sort of triggered ability, so that when the creature we're constructing mutates, we get all of the valuable triggered abilities, not just Nethroi's.

There are a few ways in the deck to recur cards - Necropanther and Boneyard Lurker are obviously good because they synergize with our commander's mutate ability, but Seasons Past can be a 6 mana draw 6 card in the right circumstances, and Nyx Weaver and Acolyte of Affliction can both get back noncreature stuff, so all 5 of these card are each really valuable in their own right.

Death's Oasis is a somewhat recent addition to the deck that I'm somewhat unsure about, however, it feels good. I don't know if I want to be returning stuff to my hand, but I can get things back in the graveyard with relative ease, so...

We're only running three tutors. They can be used for really whatever, since they're all pretty versatile (Jarad's Orders is less so but it's still fine, and Buried Alive is somewhat restrictive that it can only grab creatures, but for 3 mana it's still really good).
Like mentioned above in the Card Advantage section, this deck isn't a full aristocrat deck. However, it does make sense to run at least a few sac outlets so that we can put creatures back in the graveyard when we want them there. The two we are running are Carrion Feeder (can be returned with Nethroi's triggered ability) and Altar of Dementia (can be used to self-mill to get more cards in the graveyard). Both are cheap and effective, and that's really all we need.
We are running 3 board wipes, all of which accomplish something different and are flexible to our game plan.

  • Divine Reckoning - probably the weakest board wipe here, since our opponents get to pick stuff that they keep. Regardless, it's still powerful since it keeps our mutated Nethroi stack alive, and can be flashed back from the graveyard if it gets milled (which is likely).

  • Gaze of Granite - the middle board wipe, it represents a decent amount of flexibility, but it's not as powerful as the final board wipe. However, it's still nice to have around, and if necessary, we can just pump a bunch of mana into it and completely wipe the board.

  • Duneblast - the best board wipe, and one of my favorites of all time. It costs a ton, but it's insanely powerful, and the lore and art are really enjoyable. It's crazy expensive, but it keeps our mutated Nethroi stack alive, while putting everything else, ours and our opponents, in our graveyard.

Lands - most of these are pretty boring, since there's no room in the budget for better colored lands, or any utility lands. The big 3 here are the manlands - Shambling Vent, Hissing Quagmire, and Stirring Wildwood which (in a pinch) we can mutate onto after a board wipe.
  • Vindictive Vampire, Zulaport Cutthroat, and Cruel Celebrant - 3 aristocrat cards in a deck that's not really aristocrats. However, we will still sacrifice stuff and we want stuff to die, so they're good, but not as good as they would be in a true aristocrat deck.

  • Corpse Knight - A better version of the 3 cards above, it does exactly what we want - it slowly drains our opponents whenever we mutate Nethroi, which is exactly what we want to do and will be doing anyway. Very powerful, very slow, and goes very unnoticed until it's done a bunch of damage.

  • Syr Konrad, the Grim - Who on earth greenlit this card?? It is SO GOOD. It triggers whenever we do basically anything, and can create really interesting positions where a board wipe from either side will make us win the game, which is great. This card is amazing, and of all 5 draining/pinging cards listed here, it is by far the best.

  • Eerie Ultimatum - Ahhh, what a good, non-busted card for EDH. Yep, a 7-mana card that wins the game is nice but the fact that it's spittakes $0.85! This card is so good and can totally win us the game out of no where if we have lost the ability to cast our commander (either through something like Drannith Magistrate or just because it's so expensive), or if we just have a massive graveyard and some non-creature permanents in there we'd like to get back.

  • Lumberknot - Is this really a wincon? It depends - if you mutate Nethroi onto it and find a way to mutate something else with trample underneath it, you probably knock out at least one person through commander damage, at least. It's not really a win condition, but it can knock at least one person out so that's fun.

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    91% Casual

    Competitive

    Top Ranked
    Date added 1 year
    Last updated 1 year
    Legality

    This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

    Rarity (main - side)

    2 - 0 Mythic Rares

    18 - 0 Rares

    34 - 0 Uncommons

    22 - 0 Commons

    Cards 100
    Avg. CMC 3.52
    Tokens 3/3 Beast
    Folders Uncategorized, Other Decks, commander decks that I didn't build, Budget EDH, Saved Decks, EDH, To buy/ starting point, Ikoria, Nethroi Ideas, ref deck
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