Sacrificing for the Greater Good

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Credit to weedmansenior @ deviantart

Meren watched the shaman's approach, taking a step back while wiping the blood from her bone blade with a finger. She quickly drew a glyph on the wrist holding the knife, finishing just as the thornlings leapt at her. With a quick flick of her hands, the two elementals burst aflame with green fire then disappeared into fine ash, blowing away on the wind.

The charging shaman cried out in anguish but didn't slow, drawing back her staff, fire sparking around the teeth and bone jangling wildly on the endwhen a charred hand reached up and grasped her ankle. She fell hard, staff flying out of her hands, hitting the ground with a crunch, her wrist snapping under the sudden impact.

The shaman looked back in horror at the immolated, blank eyes of the dead warrior staring lifelessly at her, glowing the same putrid green as the fires that consumed her elementals. The warrior's other arm reached out and grasped the shaman's leg, the bone of fingers poking through where flesh had melted away, digging in and piercing skin, eliciting a horrified scream.

Through all of this, Meren stepped closer, watching the panicked, struggling shaman with cold contempt. Another sickening crunch rang out as she stomped down hard on the shaman's injured hand. The shaman howled in pain, writhing to free herself, until the bone blade flicked against her jugular.

"Where are they?"

The shaman looked up into cold grey eyes, blank of emotion. "Abomination!" she hissed. "What foul magic do you"


Meren's ability allows you to reanimate any creature back to the play if it's at least equal in cmc as the experience counter or otherwise put it into your hand. This is pure value and is what makes Meren a great value reanimator commander. The strategy of this deck is as simple as "all path leads to Rome". Every piece of the deck is working towards finishing the game with assembling any one of our combos in as efficient of a manner as possible while disrupting our opponents' game plan. With the unbanning of Protean Hulk, Meren can finally compete with the likes of Karador in terms of explosiveness. The following are lines of play with and without a sacrifice outlet:

  1. With sac outlet = fetch Mikaeus, the Unhallowed + Walking Ballista to win (this is the most common hulk line)

  2. Without sac outlet = when Protean Hulk dies (via Necromancy for example), fetch Phyrexian Delver + Carrion Feeder/Viscera Seer which will reanimate Protean Hulk on ETB. Sac Protean Hulk to fetch Mikaeus, the Unhallowed + Walking Ballista to win

This deck is also capable of a turn 2 win:

  1. (T1) Play swamp and use it for for Sol Ring
  2. (T2) Play another swamp and wait till before your opponent's end step and use to cast Entomb for Protean Hulk. Use the remaining for Necromancy to reanimate Protean Hulk. The hulk will die due to necromancy's instant speed clause (see above for whole hulk chain to win)

Our secondary strategy is simply to out-value our opponents as the game prolongs. Ending the game using by stripping their hands with Mindslicer and creatures with Fleshbag Marauder while locking them out using Sheoldred, Whispering One/Void Winnower isn't uncommon.


The following is the main combo I use to win most of the time:

How the combo work is that Walking Ballista will come in at 1/1 thanks to Mikaeus, the Unhallowed's buff. Sac ballista to Carrion Feeder or any other sac outlets which will trigger undying for it to return with a +1/+1 counter. Remove the counter to deal 1 damage to a player. Repeat ad infinitum to kill the entire table. I've also included a Necrotic Ooze combo package for my alternatic win condition:

The last infinite combo involves having devoted druid using its -1/-1 ability to kill itself and have Mikaeus bring it back infinite times. Blood artist can be replaced with Altar of Dementia for infinite mill:

Another combo that I love is a self-replenishing Meren protection with the following:

With Meren on the battle field, she can just return Dryad Arbor to play for every targeted creature removal every round. A way to lock out opponents that don't play black is the following:

The following are other notable combos that not included in my deck but for your reference if you are interested in including it in your build:


This is by no means a competitive build and is made with a more casual to 75% meta in mind. In a more competitive meta, it is recommended to go towards a more stax direction. I do have a more competitive Karador that I can convert this Meren into if for some reason my meta turned full cutthroat competitive.


"You should have died, Meren." - Kael (Master)


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Top Ranked
  • Achieved #8 position overall 3 years ago
Date added 3 years
Last updated 3 years
Key combos

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

8 - 0 Mythic Rares

45 - 0 Rares

25 - 0 Uncommons

11 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.60
Tokens 1/1 Human Cleric, 4/4 Beast, Experience
Folders My EDH Brews, Cool Ideas, Primers, EDH, actually good decks, EDH, EDH, [7] Player Decks - (Not mine), Cool, Retired: Meren's merry graveyard, See all 17
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Revision 8 See all

3 years ago)

+1 Geier Reach Sanitarium main
+1 Go for the Throat main
-1 Hissing Quagmire main
-1 Imperial Seal maybe
+1 Lightning Greaves main
-1 Mana Crypt main
-2 Phyrexian Altar main
+1 Phyrexian Arena main
-1 Phyrexian Revoker maybe
-1 Scavenging Ooze maybe
+1 Swamp main
-1 Temple of Malady main
-1 Triskelion main
-1 Uncage the Menagerie maybe
-1 Woodfall Primus main