"Build better rat trap.."

This deck is an assertive Rat deck built around Marrow-Gnawer, who serves as the commander, evasion enabler, and token generator. Rat Colony is the primary creature driver, known for their speed and ability to stay ahead of the game's power curve, if consistently played.

This makes drawing cards is crucial in this deck. Skullclamp and Infiltration Lens excel in this whereas Species Specialist and Grim Haruspex trigger upon your rat's demise. When used with the poisonous ability of Karumonix, the Rat King, a compelling choice arises: take potential lethal damage or supply the opponent with ample cards.

The deck focuses on maintaining a balance of land and Rat Colonys. Meanwhile, Vampiric Tutor and Demonic Tutor, fetch win conditions.

Land-acceleration is facilitated by Sword of the Animist and aided by Crypt Ghast, thereby thinning out the deck and improving top-decking possibilities and interactions with Thrumming Stone.

The strategy transitions towards an aristocrat win condition around turn 5-6 with Zulaport Cutthroat. The combination of Marrow-Gnawer + Thornbite Staff , and any rat provide a fast "combo win" when Cutthroat is in play.

Royal Assassin + Thornbite Staff is a handy trick against decks with fast token production.

Elixir of Immortality recycles your graveyard after board wipes, while Grave Pact and Dictate of Erebos function as wipe deterrents.

Stoneforge Masterwork or Ashcoat of the Shadow Swarm beefs up a rat, which when paired with Whispersilk Cloak, The Black Gate, or Rogue's Passage for evasion-based, lethal strikes.

Alternatively, a multitude of rats with Toxic 1 due to Korumonix, the Rat King can enable a "go-wide" victory. However, my preferred win condition is the integration of Aetherflux Reservoir + Thrumming Stone , or for an explosive finish.

If you're unfamiliar with the card synergy/the deck as a whole by looking at the list, check out the panels below for a more complete rundown of the cards.

Please leave your thoughts or any card suggestions I may have overlooked in the comments!

Equipment artifacts buff your rats so they either offer draw, mana acceleration, or become huge.

Infiltration Lens- Forces the opponent to either take the damage, or allow you to draw off the block.

Lightning Greaves- Shroud and Haste to your most important creatures.

Skullclamp- Attaching to any vanilla Rat Colony or other rat token for a consistent draw engine. Max value with Dictate of Erebos or Ogre Slumlord on the field.

Sword of the Animist- Land acceleration through aggro.

Whispersilk Cloak- Hexproof for your most important creatures, unblockable for your most dangerous creatures.

Non-equipment artifacts give huge boosts to the deck as a whole.

Bontu's Monument- Cost reduction and an auto-extort trigger when casting. Speeds the deck along and makes high-CMC cost creatures a bit easier to get out.

Bolas's Citadel- Topdeck hand extension and life pay for those cards. Great with Aetherflux Reservoir to counteract the life lost this way. Use token rats for its -10 life ability, for a potential finisher after combat damage settles.

Door of Destinies - Tempers your rats and can make all Rats potential player-killers.

Jet Medallion Cost reduction for all black spells.

Nyx Lotus- a major Devotion based mana rock.

Thrumming Stone is special. It gives all your Rat Colonys Ripple 4. Statistically speaking, you should be able to "cast" all of the Rat Colonys remaining in your deck, in one turn.
Giving you (ideally) thirty one, 33/1 Rat Colonys

Aetherflux Reservoir- As your Thrumming Stone ripples out your Rat Colonys, you are technically casting them, gaining you 1+2+3+4... life. Therefore, you can end up (ideally) with over 600 life and be able to do 50 damage to up to 12 targets if all of your rats ripple out. Even if this combo fails, Reservoir is a valuable life gaining tool.

Tips for swarming with Stone

Stoneforge Masterwork- A +1/+1 buff for each other rat you control.

Other creatures in the deck also offer buffs and discourage removal. While most are not rats themselves, I don't believe the deck would have the longevity or answers for a good game without these cards.

Pack Rat- A x/x rat equal to the number of rats you control (also see Swarm of Rats), with the added ability of trimming hand-fat, or discarding larger creatures early for Animate Dead.

Piper of the Swarm- Gives your rats Menace; comes with his own token producing ability, should you find your hand scarce with plays.

Ogre Slumlord- Deathtouch buff and creature replacement.

Graveyard interaction is limited, but used for maximum effect. A wise choice in card return can turn the tables in some very dire situations with this deck.

Animate Dead- Two mana to return a key creature to the battlefield.

Buried Ruin- Land with Artifact recurrence.

Elixir of Immortality- If used wisely, it's extremely hard to get rid of. This gives another shot at a Rat Colony swarmimg wincon with Thrumming Stone.

Fortuitous Find- Returns a valuable creature card to your hand, with the added benefit of getting a useful Artifact back as well.

Grim Discovery- Returns a Land or creature card to your hand.

Ogre Slumlord- Replaces dying Rat Colony with smaller (but only slightly less annoying) regular rats... Or any dying creature with those same rats. Preventing boardwipes from completely rendering you helpless, and very vulnerable.

Swarmyard- Vermin regeneration.

Lands that do stuff are the heartbeat of any commander deck.

Buried Ruin- For (but obviously, not limited to) the recurrence of Thrumming Stone.

Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx Devotion-based mana source.

Rogue's Passage- Unblockable buff.

Swarmyard- Because Regeneration.

Tectonic Edge- Land destruction isn't a bad thing to have handy.

The Black Gate- Black mana and evasion.

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth- All lands become Swamps, so you can produce black mana with your colorless producing lands.

Thanks for reading!

And, as always, if you like the deck, or add it to a folder, please the upvote button!


Updates Add


Revision 21 See all

(8 months ago)

-1 Aether Vial main
+1 Jet Medallion main
Top Ranked
  • Achieved #2 position overall 3 years ago
  • Achieved #1 position in Commander / EDH 3 years ago
Date added 8 years
Last updated 6 months
Key combos

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

2 - 0 Mythic Rares

26 - 0 Rares

13 - 0 Uncommons

32 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.49
Tokens Copy Clone, Morph 2/2 C, Rat 1/1 B
Folders future decks, Commander, Tabletop, Tokens, <3 edh, Others' Decks, EDH, EDH, Mono Black commander, cool
Ignored suggestions
Shared with