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Thrasios Buried Alive | A Competitive Primer

Commander / EDH* Competitive Primer Reanimator


This is the old list for Thrasios Buried Alive. You will notice the main list has now changed to Hulk. Due to Hulk's unbanning, the list has evolved past the requirement for Buried Alive or Angel of Glory's Rise. You can find the legacy Buried Alive list Walking Ball | Thrasios Ballista.

A player's guide to destroying your opponents. Fast combo or death is plan A.

Use Buried Alive to dump Angel of Glory's Rise, Auriok Salvagers, and Trinket Mage into your graveyard. Use Reanimate targeting Angel of Glory's Rise to bring back Auriok Salvagers and Trinket Mage. Trinket Mage tutors for Lion's Eye Diamond, which gives you infinite mana when paired with Auriok Salvagers. Put that mana into Thrasios, Triton Hero and draw your deck, cast Laboratory Maniac and then draw another card!

A competitive look at the new four colour commanders.

My buddy and partner Chemtails and I have been brewing this deck in tandem. See his list here: Hermit Druid Angel combo

As featured on the Competitive EDH Tier List & the [List - Multiplayer] EDH Generals by Tier list.

A competitive look at the new four colour commanders.

Our choice of Commanders is limited in four colours. Either we run Atraxa, Praetors' Voice, or some combination of the Partner creatures. I opted for Partners, as Atraxa, Praetors' Voice doesn't assist our game-plan very much.

  • Thrasios, Triton Hero was chosen for his adaptability with our list. He costs only , has a decent body for blocking at 1/3, and most importantly of all acts as a 'draw-your-deck' line for our main combos.

  • Tymna the Weaver was chosen for her ability to draw cards and her potential for Lifelink when the constant Fetches, Shocks, Pains, and Tarnished Citadel become too much to handle. This deck's land base packs a punch, but it shouldn't be too much of a problem. She's a 2/2 body which is nice for taking out blocking dorks and gaining us the life we need to pay to draw cards from her second ability.

If Wizards of the Coast ever decide to print more Legendary Creatures with Partner, I would consider alternatives to Tymna, however I'm currently stuck for options outside of switching to BUG+R with Vial Smasher the Fierce. Other currently available Partners do not provide us with decent enough mana costs or abilities to be considered, with the exception of Ravos, Soultender for a bit of extra recursion in our upkeep.

To understand why we are choosing white over red for our four colour combo deck we must first evaluate what each colour brings to us.


With we get straight up better tutors. When heading directly for Hermit Druid, Gamble is straight up better than Eladamri's Call. We get access to Wheel of Fortune effects, as well as the other red draw spells Faithless Looting and Cathartic Reunion, which are good for ditching our combo pieces.

Most importantly, above all else, the ability to combo with only Buried Alive is huge. You cast it and put Morselhoarder, Devoted Druid, and Necrotic Ooze into the graveyard. After you have reanimated your Necrotic Ooze, you can have infinite mana of any colour at instant speed, at which point you dump it all into Thrasios, Triton Hero and win.


With we get straight up better removal and disruption. This is key to having our combo resolve. Remember, a combo doesn't mean anything if it doesn't resolve. Playing in white grants us access to better creature removal, allowing us to deal with pesky creature based stax.

We also have access to Pull from Eternity, which is S T R I C T L Y B E T T E R than Riftsweeper, both costing less and putting the exiled card back into our graveyard. Playing in white grants us access to better dorks, adding Avacyn's Pilgrim and Noble Hierarch to our list.

Like red, playing white also has a big plus. Running Auriok Salvagers with Lion's Eye Diamond gives us a solid backup reanimation plan with Buried Alive. The plan is similar to the Necrotic Ooze plan outlined above, except we reanimate Angel of Glory's Rise instead.


In conclusion, both colour combinations have a similar plan. Both look to reanimate a single creature after a successful Buried Alive resolution. Red provides us with better tutor support, and white provides us with better protection and removal support.

If you would like to see a Thrasios, Triton Hero & Vial Smasher the Fierce deck, please check out the /r/CompetitiveEDH brewsday list here: 4c Necrotic Ooze brewsday 11/22/16

The strategy of this deck is to out-race your opponents in the early game. Your main objective should be to either relentlessly tutor for Hermit Druid and activate him as soon as possible, or to tutor for Buried Alive if you have a reanimation card in hand.

Our ideal hand should consist of the following:

  • 1-2 Land (Maybe 3 if Mox Diamond is present)
  • 1-2 Mana Accelerators (Dorks and Rocks)
  • 1-2 Tutors (Instant speed top-deck tutors, or creature-to-battlefield tutors)
  • 1-2 Other (Draw, recursion, Hermit Druid or Buried Alive)
In short, the combo reanimates Angel of Glory's Rise with Dread Return. This returns Hapless Researcher & Laboratory Maniac to the battlefield with Grand Abolisher. Sacrifice Hapless Researcher to win with no interaction from your opponents.

Our colour combination offers us the resiliency of Grand Abolisher, so no opponents can interact with us or our combo after the Angel of Glory's Rise trigger resolves.

  1. Activate Hermit Druid to mill you library
  2. Doing so will net you Narcomoeba. Tap a source and Unearth Fatestitcher.
  3. We now have the three creatures required to cast Dread Return from our graveyard.
  4. Choose Angel of Glory's Rise as your target for Dread Return.
  5. Angel of Glory's Rise enters the battlefield and triggers, wiping the board of any nasty Zombies, and returns all our Humans from our graveyard.
  6. Laboratory Maniac, Hapless Researcher, and Grand Abolisher each return to the battlefield.
  7. At this stage, your opponents cannot interact with you thanks to Grand Abolisher, so go ahead and sacrifice Hapless Researcher to win.

This is the base combo. Of course games do not always go to plan, so we have an array of other recursion & reanimation spells in case our Dread Return gets countered.

Buried Alive is our next combo. The less risky of the two main combos, as this one doesn't mill your entire deck before attempting to win.

  1. Cast Buried Alive, putting Angel of Glory's Rise, Auriok Salvagers, and Trinket Mage into the graveyard.
  2. Cast a reanimation spell from your hand and target Angel of Glory's Rise.
  3. Angel of Glory's Rise' ability will trigger. Once resolved this will put Auriok Salvagers and Trinket Mage onto the battlefield. Trinket Mage will trigger.
  4. Find Lion's Eye Diamond with Trinket Mage's ability and cast it.
  5. You can loop cast Lion's Eye Diamond with Auriok Salvagers, netting infinite coloured mana.
  6. Cast Thrasios, Triton Hero from your command zone and draw your deck.
  7. Cast Grand Abolisher first, then Laboratory Maniac and a draw spell to win the game.

If pushed to choose, I would say go for the Buried Alive combo first. It doesn't mill us to death and if interrupted we can go for Hermit Druid

The deck runs as many tutors to get Hermit Druid as possible. Since we're not in Red, we're not able to run Gamble or Imperial Recruiter, but gain Eladamri's Call instead. We run as much tutor as possible.

Our mana ramp/acceleration package is filled with dorks and rocks which tap for colours, with the exception of Mana Crypt and Sol Ring. Dropping these guys early game gives us outlets for Dread Return.




The land base for the deck is relatively straight forward. We are unable to run any basic lands, as Hermit Druid is one of our main win-cons. We run a total of 29 lands, consisting of duals, shocks, fetches, and lands which tap for any colour.

Dual lands

As the deck is mainly , we run the three dual lands required for efficient colour fixing via our fetch lands. We could run a Savannah instead of our Temple Garden, but I have been looking to keep the total cost of the deck down.

Shock lands

We run all of the dual lands we can in our four colour deck.

Fetch lands

Each of these fetches gets us any colour we need through our variety of duals and shocks. Fairly straight forward stuff. These are also handy for shuffling away unwanted cards from Brainstorm.

5c lands

Ah yes, the bread and butter of this deck's land base. We run nine different lands which tap for one mana of any colour. City of Brass, Mana Confluence, and Tarnished Citadel could be considered pain lands for their damage-per-tap, but they generate any colour we need so it is a small price to pay.

Other lands

We run Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to help us cast Buried Alive or Ad Nauseam easier.

There's not a great deal to talk about here. Brainstorm, Ponder, and Preordain are all pretty standard in any deck with . We are running Windfall to disrupt our opponents' hands early game, and to stuff our graveyard with goodies! Necropotence allows us to draw a lot of cards and choose our winning seven! (just make sure you keep that Nature's Claim!) Hapless Researcher can also be used in a pinch to draw us a card.
Our recursion/reanimation package consists of all converted mana cost two or less spells, with the exception of Eternal Witness. These can be used to reanimate Angel of Glory's Rise if our Dread Return is countered or uncastable.

Reanimate, Shallow Grave, and Animate Dead provide nice second and third choices for our Intuition for Hermit Druid or Buried Alive, too.

We are mainly running artifact and enchantment removal in our Removal slots due to the effectiveness of Pithing Needle and Phyrexian Revoker against our deck. These are also tuned to deal with Rest in Peace-like effects. We have running a Swords to Plowshares to deal with pesky creatures with (s)taxing effects.
Our Disruption cards have been chosen for their alternative casting costs. Paying mana for spells is a pain, as we want to be running close to the edge in the very early game where not a lot of mana is available. In addition to these, we are running a few one mana counterspells such as Swan Song and Flusterstorm (especially good vs. storm decks), as well as the very good two mana Delay.

Additionally, we are running Silence to shut our opponents down on their combo turn or ours.

This section is mainly here for cards I couldn't find a category for.

I would like to take a moment to discuss the choice of Phantasmagorian in this list. Many times during testing both this deck and it's previous iteration Hermit Brood, we had no way to bin combo cards which were either in our opening hands or were unfortunately drawn. With Phantasmagorian we can bin any combo pieces in our hand in multiples of three. Phantasmagorian is a card from my early days of Magic, and it has served me well in testing in both paper and online tests.

Memory's Journey and Pull from Eternity can be looped each turn to ensure we don't draw out if somebody exiles Laboratory Maniac from our graveyard in response to the reanimation of Angel of Glory's Rise. It is a last resort.


These five cards were cut due to them being unuseful in most situations. Songs of the Damned generated a boat load of mana post-combo, but there isn't particularly anything to do with it. Deep Analysis was cut for a similar reason. Our post-combo board state gives us four Wizards minimum to tap down with Azami, Lady of Scrolls to win. Paying mana to draw cards for the win is reminiscent of my old Sidisi, Brood Tyrant deck and is not needed.

Twilight Mire & Flooded Grove were the two weakest lands in the deck by not being fetchable, and both not being in optimal colours for reanimation or tutoring. Sunken Ruins is staying for now, as access to is useful for our reanimation and removal spells.

Finally, Yawgmoth's Will is an interesting card, but never really has its time to shine with our list. Casting it pre-combo is somewhat fruitless, as our cards will be exiled once we combo. Additionally, we don't really have the time or mana to cast it post-combo. Perhaps if it were an Instant...


Going into the five available slots we have some cards which provide us with an emergency reset button, more tutors, and an alternative milling solution. Cephalid Illusionist combine with Lightning Greaves and another dork or our Commanders nets us a free and each-to-use mass-self-mill engine. Unlike other mill engines such as Mesmeric Orb, we can tutor easily for both of these combo pieces as they're 50% Creature and are both converted mana cost 2. In range of our Transmute cards!

Next up we have our additional tutor for the list. Enlightened Tutor helps us get that Lightning Greaves, as well as some mana rocks if we need them. This card will especially shine when we get out hands on a Survival of the Fittest!

Lastly we have our emergency reset button. Tutorable with the above Enlightened Tutor we have Feldon's Cane, a converted mana cost 1 (you'll see why that is important in a moment) Artifact which lets us shuffle our graveyard into our library at instant speed for no activation cost! Feldon's Cane is especially nice in our list, as it is part of a return-to-battlefield chain with Renegade Rallier & Angel of Glory's Rise.


These three cards are really fantastic for the list, but their effectiveness only comes into play post-combo once we already have a win condition in play. When summarising the effect these cards have for the list, Dosan the Falling Leaf or Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir do a better job at keeping my opponent's answers at bay. These three slots are yet to be decided, but I would like the list to have a little more disruption and protection pre-combo. Card effects Duress are looking good right now to target any players playing counterspells.

Unsubstantiate has not been very good so far, as it doesn't help at all against Force of Will or Pact of Negation, which are very common in my meta. It's out.

Cavern of Souls is, most of the time, an unreliable mana source for things like Disruption and Removal. I have removed it for this reason and replaced it with Undiscovered Paradise. We will see how this performs, as having to re-drop the land every turn doesn't sound like much of a downside with our list.


The deck needed more protection and resiliency pre-combo, so I mixed more counterspells into the mixture. We are now running Delay, Dispel, and Spell Pierce (the latter in lieu of the Unsubstantiated garbage). We are also now running Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  , as his recursion for Instant and Sorcery cards in our GY at any stage in the game is a welcome effect!



This brings out fetch count to 10! We're going full fetch, boys!

I'm not made of money so the following budget options have been made for myself in paper:

last updated: 11/02/2017


Updates Add


Date added 3 years
Last updated 3 years

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

6 - 0 Mythic Rares

55 - 0 Rares

26 - 0 Uncommons

13 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 1.79
Tokens 2/2 Bird, 1/1 Spirit
Folders Competitive EDH, EDH decks, Elvis's Commanders (Maybe), EDH, Want to Build (EDH), Stuff that i want to look at later, Cool!, CEDH Concept Decks, edh idears, EDH, See all 11
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Revision 1 See all

3 years ago)

+1 Abrupt Decay main
+1 Angel of Glory's Rise main
+1 Animate Dead main
+1 Arid Mesa main
+1 Auriok Salvagers main
+1 Avacyn's Pilgrim main
+1 Bayou main
+1 Birds of Paradise main
+1 Bloodstained Mire main
+1 Brainstorm main
+1 Breeding Pool main
+1 Buried Alive main
+1 Carpet of Flowers main
+1 Chain of Vapor main
+1 Chrome Mox main
+1 City of Brass main
+1 Command Tower main
+1 Cyclonic Rift main
+1 Dark Ritual main
+1 Deathrite Shaman main
and 99 other change(s)