The War Report: Commander Zombies

The routine has been pretty regular as of late, the boys and I have gotten together about once a week to get in some Commander games and we have been honing our decks to the point that they are vicious. I started off with a Commander 2015 premade deck, and then picked up one of the 2016 premade decks as well. I made a few purchases of singles and also picked up a few packs of Modern Masters 2017, which are cards designed for the Modern format (which goes back about 15 years or so) and are usually reprints of useful cards for that particular set up. However, with Commander being all encompassing, you can definitely use some of the power cards out of them. Recently, I decided that I really wanted to expand the usefulness of one of my standard decks and turn it into a commander deck instead. Having honed and played with two different decks I’ve come to realize all that needs to go into a good commander deck, and I felt that I already had a big chunk of the puzzle put together. Here’s a partial deck list of what I had to start with:

x1 Jace, Unraveler of Secrets (Planeswalker)
x1 Geralf’s Masterpiece
x1 Relentless Dead
x1 Gisa and Geralf
x1 Noosegraf Mob
x1 Diregraf Colossus
x1 Galvony Unhallowed
x1 Voracious Null
x1 Ghoulsteed

Some of these I had used more than one copy of, but the highlander rule of there can be only one applies in this format, so I only took singles of the above creatures, along with scouring through my black and blue cards to pick out plenty of card draw, creature removal and counter spells. Gisa and Geralf were the obvious choice for commander, and you’ll see why:

There are several cards in the deck that will mill my deck and put cards into the graveyard. Having a ton of zombies in the deck means I can play them from the graveyard as long as my commander is on the battlefield. It’s awesome too that it’s a 4/4 body, because it won’t succumb to most cheap removal spells unlike most 2/2 commanders. The synergy with the rest of the deck is too good to pass up. I’ve made a purchase of singles to beef up the remainder of the deck, and I wanted to go over those now:

I took the liberty of picking up more counter spell options, just so that I can pick and choose the best of them. It’s also cool to be able to pick up old ass cards from back in the day, like this Ice Age counter spell, printed way back in the 90’s.

I also picked up older card draw options, which allows me to churn through my deck for the best cards. Having the right card when you need it is a matter of life and death sometimes.

I thought it was a good idea to include a couple of artifacts that get rid of my max hand size, so I don’t have to discard if I manage to draw a bunch of cards.

It’s also prudent to have some board clear, and I already had a Deadly Tempest in one of my other commander decks so I picked up another, along with finding another with the added benefit of cycling. Artifact hate is also something necessary to have on hand, for meekstones, puzzleboxes, disks and other pesky artifacts people might pull out.

Of course, there is also the need for mana fixing, and these are some decent staples, though I did pick up several other dual land options. And then, there’s some of the kick-ass zombies and other synergistic creatures:

Nice way to clean out some of your opponents’ land and a big body to boot.

Fitting for a Zombie deck, but also has the added benefit of allowing spells to be played from the graveyard. He does have a steep downside but that utility is phenomenal.

A simple pumper that will likely die off quickly. But the amount of zombie tokens I can make can speed up his immediate impact.

Despite being a Kraken, this just feels like a great card for the color scheme. Being able to steal spells is nice too.

Cheap, big body. But it does have the downside of being attached to the artifact, so if it goes so does he.

This guy is vicious, especially when he’s in the graveyard.

Another awesome power card, that will ultimately be a big hit but requires tokens to sacrifice to be useable.

Another pumper with an added bonus.

This guy is great to mill myself or someone else, and he comes back to life stronger at least once.

A tricky bastard, this one. Being able to copy whatever big bads hit graveyards is nice. Also a commander option.

A cheap planeswalker addition, this guy has some nifty tricks.

I ordered two of this guy, because he’ll fit right into my B/W Enchantment Commander deck, but also into this zombie deck. Exiling cards from graveyards so they can’t be played again is nice.

You had me at Zombie Dragon… he can also come back out from the graveyard, so bonus. This helps with the lack of flying creatures I had when the deck was standard legal.

I’ve got a couple other Eldrazi in my commander decks for shits and giggles. This is more of the same, keeping with the themes of the deck with some card drawn and counters built into a big body. Takes a bit to cast, but he’s a big bad.

Another flyer to add to the ranks, this one has the ability to come back to life as well, which is nice.

All in all, I think these additions synergize well, and having already play tested the deck lacking these cards, it was holding its own already. This deck is going to be a monster in a few days.

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