Say hello to my attempt at a cEDH-ish, (mostly) pre-Modern Aristocrat-Combo deck..

This seemingly janky, yet brutally synergistic mess of old cards revolves around having the ultimate -Aristocrat in the Command Zone: Yawgmoth, Thran Physician, ie. THE O.G. "Father of Machines"!

By utilizing Yawgmoth's middle ability, one can create a loop— by sacrificing a pair of creatures with Undying with one or more Blood Artist-type effects in play, to neutralize the lifeloss from Yawgmoth's ability, and/or to slowly bleed-out the rest of the table, all the while slowly drawing through your Library... and all at Instant speed!

Thus one has established the "Gravestorm"...

Mix any Undying creature, with any other creature w/ Undying, and bring to a boil with any number of “Artists” present...

The final element of the combo..

Targeted/ Single

non-Targeted/ Group


  • Deathgreeter (Neutralizes the cost of Life while we’re digging through our deck, and/or closing out the game through alternative means)..

Yawgmoth, Thran Physician+Geralf's Messenger+Butcher Ghoul+Zulaport Cutthroat= Gravestorm..

One one hand, it may seem unrealistic to run a 3~4 card combo in EDH, however, these are only two examples. According to my calculations, there are a total of 49 different 3-card combinations in the 99 to establish the Gravestorm with Yawgmoth... and that is before factoring Mikaeus, the Unhallowed into the equation!


The only Mythic Rare in the 99 doesn’t have Undying himself, but is otherwise your very scary “non-Human’ Lord’ and savior. In addition to being an anti-Human No Mercy on beefy-boi Zombie legs, it more importantly gives most of your creatures +1/+1 AND Undying. This of course opens up additional layers of game-winning combo shenanigans by enabling the use of Mishra's Factory, and most of our Artists, to serve double-duty as Undying pieces.

In some cases (Mikey shenanigans aside) establishing the Gravestorm alone may not be enough to outright kill, or otherwise cause the entire table to concede. In these cases there are a number of "pay-off" cards to finish off the rest of the table.

  1. (w/ ) Use Skirge Familiar to basically cast your entire deck..

  2. (w/ ) Gravestorm into a massive Bitter Ordeal (FUN FACT: This is the only card ever printed with the actual keyword)..

  3. When you find yourself holding most of your deck in your hand, but you're ahead on Life and have at least , use Sickening Dreams to just indiscriminately nuke the entire table..

  4. If you have access to at least — use Feldon's Cane to restart the loop after Discard. Some may survive one loop, but no one can survive two..

Generally the best targets to tutor for early-on for establishing the Gravestorm ASAP...

If the first pieces are assembled, then grab the best Artist...

Beyond grabbing a second Artist or finisher, casting any Tutors once the Combo itself is assembled is (usually) rather superfluous...

As a player, I tend towards building decks. Conversely, I also shy away from dedicated Combo decks, and the(ir) heavy use of Tutors..

However, when Yawgmoth, Thran Physician was revealed to the world, I immediately knew what I had to do. I needed to build a combo deck— but not just any combo deck... an evil combo deck... one that was to become arguably the most thematically "" of all of my Mono- decks.

Then came Timespiral: Remastered (TSR), and the "Timeshifted" printing of Yawgmoth, Thran Physician. This inspired me to use as many old-school/pre-modern frames as possible, while still keeping the main combo intact.

Building around this general restriction obviously came with it's share of growing pains. But after zeroing-in on the minimum requirements for the combo to function reliably, I then shifted gears and padded out the rest of the deck with Draw spells and all of the original (unconditional) Tutors. Thus leveling out, if not exceeding, the consistency of a similar deck with no such restriction..

As it stands, 85% of this deck was legitimately printed between Revised (3ED) & Scourge (SCG), plus 3 other "Timeshifted"/Retro Frames, which means there are only a dozen cards in this deck without O.G. "Retro" Frames..

(Section under construction)...

August 5, 1993 = Alpha = 0

October 1993 = Alpha +2 months

December 1993 = Alpha +4 months

(For some reason or another, Revised/ '3rd Edition' is not 93/94 legal)

April 1994 = Alpha +8 months

  1. Animate Dead

  2. Demonic Tutor

  3. Sol Ring

December 1993 = Alpha +4 months

March 1994 = Alpha +7 months

June 1994 = Alpha +10 months

August 1994 = Alpha +1 year

June 1997 = Alpha +3 years, 10 months

June 1998 = Alpha +4 years, 10 months

July 1999 = Alpha +5 years, 11 months

  1. Grim Tutor

In the early years of the game, core sets from 'Unlimited' (2ED) to 'Ninth Edition' (9ED), as well as reprints sets were indicated by a white outer border, as opposed to the typical black border. However, certain non-Standard legal sets at the time also had white borders..

There are currently 7 cards with white borders in this deck. Three from 'Revised' (3ED) and one from 'Fifth Edition' (5ED), and are therefore actual reprints of among the absolute oldest cards in the game. As far as the other three, one came from 'Starter 99' (S99), and two from 'Portal: Three Kingdoms' (PTK).

Alpha/Beta Reprints - These would require me to invest literally thousands of dollars and track down an original Limited Edition 'Alpha' (LEA) or 'Beta' (LEB) printing(s) in order to possess a black bordered version of these ancient, yet rather ubiquitous staples..

non-Standard sets - The one and only pre-(8ED) printing of this trio of cards was with white borders, and therefore are just going to have to stay that way... Permanently!!!

Three otherwise post-Modern cards that got the "Timeshifted"/Retro Frame treatment, and were too high-value to pass up..

  1. Yawgmoth, Thran Physician: The Commander himself, and the very reason for the pre-Modern overhaul..

  2. Zulaport Cutthroat: The only part of the combo that has been "Timeshifted" thus far..

  3. Bolas's Citadel: The greatest draw engine since Necropotence. Combine the two for the ultimate storm engine!

Unfortunately, only one combo piece was actually printed pre-(8ED), and one so far has been "Timeshifted" (TSR).

Cards with the keyword "Undying" were only printed during the 2nd & 3rd sets of the original Innistrad block: Dark Ascension (DKS) & Avacyn Restored (AVR)..

The three Modern "Artists" were originally printed in: Shards of Alara (ALA), Innistrad (ISD), & Avacyn Restored (AVR)..

Unfortunately, there may never be less than 9~12% of this deck be Modern at best..


  1. Lightning Greaves

  2. Swiftfoot Boots

When a degenerate Combo centers completely around it's Commander, sources of Shroud/Hexproof for said Commander is virtually mandatory. Unfortunately there is simply no pre-Modern substitute for what these two do...

And besides... what fun is it to play an evil bastard if you can't break some of the rules along the way?!

April~May 2007 = Alpha +13 years, 8~9 months

  1. Bitter Ordeal

This alt-WinCon has been in the deck since the very beginning..

Besides sporting a rare Future Sight frame, Bitter Ordeal is the one-and-only card ever printed with the keyword: "Gravestorm"..

In fact, it would be fair to say that the entire theme/flavor of this deck has always been built around maxing-out the potential value of this particular card..

This deck originally included several sources of Infect as a flavorful alt-WinCon that also took advantage of Yawgmoth's last ability... because this is the "Father of Machines" after all, and therefore likely the most on-theme Commander for Infect ever..

However, when this deck was turned into a (mostly) pre-Modern deck, all of the relevant sources of Infect were slowly whittled away until removed altogether. I even tried to include the 5 legitimately pre-Modern sources of Poison Counters available to me(4 , 1 ), but they ultimately proved inadequate, and they were eventually cut as well...

While this made me a little sad, I realized that I still had my original (MH1) copy of Yawgmoth, Thran Physician, and I had an idea...

I decided to consolidate all of the -staples & Infect cards that were cut from this particular decklist into a second Yawgmoth deck— this one built specifically to be pure (compleat) Mono- Aggro:

Yawgmoth - mk_II (New Phyrexia)

Commander / EDH Metroid_Hybrid


This deck does lean heavily on the Graveyard & it’s Commander, and therefore could get wrecked by things like Rest in Peace (so what); and the pre-Modern self-restrictions has somewhat limited the absolute ceiling of this deck's potential power level; but due to the sheer redundancy and modularity of all of the moving, interchangeable parts, there’s actually a built-in variety— that reinforces the inevitablity of comboing-off out of nowhere— which makes this build arguably more resilient to disruption than others..


Updates Add


31% Casual

69% Competitive

Revision 114 See all

(1 month ago)

+1 Grim Monolith maybe
Top Ranked
Date added 3 years
Last updated 1 day
Exclude colors WURG

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

2 - 0 Mythic Rares

31 - 0 Rares

26 - 0 Uncommons

13 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.81
Folders Uncategorized, Favs, BLACK DECKS, edh, yawg, Yawgmoth, EDH Decks, Sick Decks, Piliferate, Uncategorized, See all 13
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