Griselbrand EDH

52 posts / 0 new
Last post
I recently started playing EDH a lot more frequently and wanted to put together a deck that I would enjoy to play, wouldn't just make everyone mad (see my Gaddock Teeg deck that was very good at doing just that), and wasn't being played in my group by somebody else (Sen Triplets, Doran, Niv Mizzet, Sliver Overlord, Mayael, and Olivia are played) so I decided on a mono-black deck with Griselbrand at the lead. Deck is as follows:

General: 1
Ob Nixilis, the Fallen

Lands: 36
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Cabal Coffers
Reliquary Tower
Bojuka Bog
Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Crypt of Agadeem
Verdant Catacombs
Marsh Flats
Mystifying Maze
Bloodstained Mire
Volrath's Stronghold
Strip Mine
Swamp x 24

Artifacts: 18
Sensei's Divining Top
Batterskull
Sol Ring
Crucible of Worlds
Caged Sun
Mindcrank
Mind's Eye
Lightning Greaves
Oblivion Stone
Gauntlet of Power
Whispersilk Cloak
Lashwrithe
Doubling Cube
Mimic Vat
Champion's Helm
Jet Medallion
Darksteel Ingot
Armillary Sphere

Instants/Sorceries: 16
Beseech the Queen
Profane Command
Damnation
Entomb
Killing Wave
All Is Dust
Demonic Tutor
Beacon of Unrest
Sadistic Sacrament
Exsanguinate
Vampiric Tutor
Black Sun's Zenith
Mutilate
Increasing Ambition
Diabolic Revelation
Sever the Bloodline

Planeswalkers: 3
Karn Liberated
Liliana of the Dark Realms
Liliana Vess

Enchantments: 9
Grave Betrayal
Leyline of the Void
Black Market
Grave Pact
Phyrexian Arena
Sanguine Bond
Exquisite Blood
Bloodchief Ascension
Necropotence

Creatures: 17
Disciple of Bolas
Steel Hellkite
Sheoldred, Whispering One
Massacre Wurm
Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
Nirkana Revenant
Grave Titan
Filth
Wurmcoil Engine
Rune-Scarred Demon
Phyrexian Obliterator
Bloodgift Demon
It That Betrays
Geth, Lord of the Vault
Solemn Simulacrum
Dark Impostor
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

This deck is capable of making stupidly large amounts of mana, draw a ton of cards, and gaining a ton of life. There are a few cutesy combos in there like the Sanguine Bond + Exquisite Blood kill comboand Bloodchief Ascension + Mindcrank. They're all potent, but I'm not sure any of them are that over-powered or unfair and I'm not looking to use them as my main win-con, just a back-up plan.

Any questions, comments, criticisms, or advice is appreciated. I have a significantly easier time getting cards from standard than older stuff.
You lands are way way way way to low for edh. I really didn't see any mana rocks or ways for searching for lands so you should run at least 6-9 more lands.
Also extraplanar lens is another mana doubling effect.

The OP has been edited to reflect the current decklist after the following changes:

- Out -

Reiver Demon
Bloodghast
Blade of the Bloodchief
Sorin's Vengeance
Reaper from the Abyss
Hex Parasite
Victim of Night

- In -

Reliquary Tower
Filth
Black Market
Bojuka Bog
3 Swamp

If you run extraplanar lens switch all the swamps to snow-covered swamps

Why run Dark Depths with no hex parasite? Also vampire hexmage 

I have Hexmage in the list and Dark Depths is a swamp with Urborg out. I also generate enough mana that I can remove counters that way too. Don't think I will run the lens because I'm already being nice enough to opponents with Gauntlet and I don't have one/snow-covered lands. They would also weaken Strata Scythe for me.
You need to hit closer to 38 lands or you're gonna be tutoring for land drops at awkward times.

Also, use Armillary Sphere. It's a good one for mono black edh.

Jet Medallion

Strata Scythe is kind of yuck. You're looking for Nightmare Lash.

Gravepurge -> Living Death.

I die on the inside when I see Painful Quandry. A card that has surprising weight in EDH to disrupt and stop combo -> Underworld Dreams.

Other cards that have power you might want to consider:
No Mercy
Leyline of the Void (combos well with Helm of Obedience)

A favorite combo:
Krovikan Horror + Tortured Existence. This lets you buy a lot of value out of the same creature over and over again.

Finally consider Hecatomb. It's a blowout.

Have fun.

P.S. You need a Spine of Ish Sah and a way to eat it over and over again. Like Claws of Gix which isn't very good but simply meant to stimulate your thought process. 

IMAGE(http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g424/syreal94/SIGNichecopy.png)

Fix your Forum Experience here: http://community.wizards.com/forum/new-site-feedback/threads/3925861

Boasts?

2011 States Top 4
Multiple 2013 IQ Top 4/8 Finishes
Designer of Top 8 States finishing MBC decks in 2011, 2010, and 2009 
Standard Forum - Iron Deck Builder Season One Champ

Favorite Quotes

"Against logic there is no armor like ignorance." - Laurence J. Peter 
"It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Venser's Journal seems like it would go well with Griselbrand.
Thanks for the replies. As for Venser's Journal, I have Reliquary Tower for the no maximum hand size and my life total is usually in the 80s to 100s, even when I am paying for Griselbrand. I didn't even know Jet Medallion was a card, but I will definitely have to get one. I like Underworld Dreams, but I think it'll draw me even more hate so I'll probably wait a bit more on that. I like Gravepurge because I can also use it to refill my library if the game goes long and my Elixir gets exiled. I don't know if I have enough creatures to use Hetacomb, but I definitely like the idea of Swamp Koth. Painful Quandry has worked well for me with cards like Mindcrank, Bloodchief Ascension, and Exquisite Blood.
Changes I am making/will make once I get Jet Medallion and Infernal Tribute:
 - Kormus Bell (cute, but usually worthless)
 - Captivating Vampire (doesn't do enough in a non-tribal deck)
 -Strata Scythe (not as good as I thought since it doesn't combo with Urborg)
 -Whispersilk Cloak (Filth handles unblockable and I have enough shroud equipment)
 -Howling Mine (I draw enough cards so this really just helps my opponents)
 -Bad Moon (win-more I think)
 +Spine of Ish Ash (screw Aura Shards)
 +Traveler's Amulet
 + 2 Swamp
 + Infernal Tribute (Spine recursion and lets me get rid of other stuff I don't need to draw cards while in a pinch)
 + Jet Medallion (Awesome card. Wish I knew about it sooner)

How does that look?
That's a series of good changes.

Traveler's Amulet is weird, find the Armillary Sphere. 

IMAGE(http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g424/syreal94/SIGNichecopy.png)

Fix your Forum Experience here: http://community.wizards.com/forum/new-site-feedback/threads/3925861

Boasts?

2011 States Top 4
Multiple 2013 IQ Top 4/8 Finishes
Designer of Top 8 States finishing MBC decks in 2011, 2010, and 2009 
Standard Forum - Iron Deck Builder Season One Champ

Favorite Quotes

"Against logic there is no armor like ignorance." - Laurence J. Peter 
"It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Alright, I'll try to find one at FNM this week and replace the Traveler's Amulet with it.
Have you considered the following demons?

Stronghold Overseer (almost sure to connect every time)
Demon of Death's Gate (flying & trample FTW)
Spirit of the Night (first strike & trample)
Abyssal Persecutor  (flying & trample)
Ob Nixilis, the Fallen (this just gets silly real fast)
Pit Spawn (as does this)
Havoc Demon (this will most often connect)
Harvester of Souls (everyone loves card advantage)
Reaper from the Abyss (this is just cruel, but that's what demons do best, right?)
Gisela WORLDFIREGisela W/r HUMANS
Tariel (Innistrad VAMPIRES)
Krond the Dawn-Clad
"There is neither Jew nor Greek,
there is neither bond nor free,
there is neither male nor female:
for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." -Galatians 3:28
In my original list I had Reaper from the Abyss and Harvester of Soul in there, but I get enough card advantage with Necropotence, Phyrexian Arena, and Griselbrand. This isn't a tribal deck, it's more revolving around life gain and loss.
In my original list I had Reaper from the Abyss and Harvester of Soul in there, but I get enough card advantage with Necropotence, Phyrexian Arena, and Griselbrand. This isn't a tribal deck, it's more revolving around life gain and loss.


Oh, I see. Then how about Blood Tribute and Consuming Vapors?
Gisela WORLDFIREGisela W/r HUMANS
Tariel (Innistrad VAMPIRES)
Krond the Dawn-Clad
"There is neither Jew nor Greek,
there is neither bond nor free,
there is neither male nor female:
for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." -Galatians 3:28
They both seem interesting. I also realized that I missed the losing 3 life part of Ob Nixilis on top of his +1/+1 counters. I may have to look into getting him after all. What would I cut for them though if they go in?
They both seem interesting. I also realized that I missed the losing 3 life part of Ob Nixilis on top of his +1/+1 counters. I may have to look into getting him after all. What would I cut for them though if they go in?


Howling Mine
Traveler's Amulet
Bad Moon
Champion's Helm==>Whispersilk Cloak

Gisela WORLDFIREGisela W/r HUMANS
Tariel (Innistrad VAMPIRES)
Krond the Dawn-Clad
"There is neither Jew nor Greek,
there is neither bond nor free,
there is neither male nor female:
for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." -Galatians 3:28
Traveler's Amulet is going to become Armillary Sphere, Bad Moon is going to become Jet Medallion, and Howling Mine is going to become Infernal Tribute. I'm just waitong on those cards to come in. I used to have both the cloak and the Helm in, but Hexproof is so much better for Griselbrand than shroud because I can also equip him with the other stuff like Batterskull and the lifelink happens even if they block. Was thinking about dropping one of the creatures to fit Ob Nixilis in, if I can find one. Maybe Falkenrath Noble?
Traveler's Amulet is going to become Armillary Sphere, Bad Moon is going to become Jet Medallion, and Howling Mine is going to become Infernal Tribute. I'm just waitong on those cards to come in. I used to have both the cloak and the Helm in, but Hexproof is so much better for Griselbrand than shroud because I can also equip him with the other stuff like Batterskull and the lifelink happens even if they block. Was thinking about dropping one of the creatures to fit Ob Nixilis in, if I can find one. Maybe Falkenrath Noble?


You could drop Filth for Ob Nixilis, the Fallen

Infernal Tribute for Promise of Power

Champion's Helm for Swiftfoot Boots
Gisela WORLDFIREGisela W/r HUMANS
Tariel (Innistrad VAMPIRES)
Krond the Dawn-Clad
"There is neither Jew nor Greek,
there is neither bond nor free,
there is neither male nor female:
for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." -Galatians 3:28
I appreciate the suggestion, but I don't think I'll make any of those. Filth is just too good with Urborg, Infernal Tribute is pretty much required with me playing Spine of Ish Sah, and I think I'd rather have the Helm than Boots because the haste only helps for 1 turn where as the Helm helps each turn. I'm most interested in giving the hexproof to my legendaries.
Made some more changes.

In:
Sword of Body and Mind
Sword of Feast and Famine
Jet Medallion
Infernal Tribute
Underworld Dreams

Out:
Bad Moon
Kalastria Highborn
Death Wind
Necrotic Ooze
Liliana of the Veil
Will update the OP later, but Falkenrath Noble and Bloodline Keeper are coming out for Psychosis Crawler and Ob Nixilis. 2 swamps are coming out for an evolving wilds and teramorphic expanse.

I don't think u have enough mana or combo to pull of dark depths nor spine of ish sah. Your chance of drawing both it and vampire hexmage is about 1 in 10,000. Even after several draws it isn't going to happen without a lot of tutors.  And it's 1 less mana.


I only see a couple low cost mana generating artifacts, plus multiple high cost ones. You need a bare minimum of 10 low cost mana generators, if not 15 if you plan on spending a lot of mana. I can see how this deck would explode with mana later, but I don't see how it gets started all that fast.


Here's a quick list of ideas for low cost mana generation that I quickly yanked from an e-mail. A lot of them are lousy and I think I accidentally included a couple high cost ones.  But I think there a few ideas in there and then you can look around and find some more.




I'd recommend strongly against evolving wilds and terramorphic expanse in a mono-colored deck because they come in tapped.  Yes, they thin your deck, but the 1 mana you didn't get right away for a 1% increase in deck reliability isn't even close to worth it.  Spend your mana on tutors instead if you want to actually get the cards you want.   Likewise be careful of non-mana lands or other come in tapped lands; make sure your deck is set up to exploit them so it's worth the lost mana.  Mana is what makes everything else happen; otherwise it's just hopes and dreams about what you wish would happen.  That's why black lotus is one of the most powerful cards even though it doesn't do anything by itself.  You might consider running 40 lands too, though if you get a lot of low cost mana generators you can go slightly under that.

Besides that I see a lot of good cards but I'm not sure what you're goal is (excuse me if I skimmed the rest of the thread too quickly). I'm guessing life gain/stealing and mana is a goal due to the general. In that case more life gain cards might be nice so you have a better chance of drawing them, like loxodon warhammer, or some tutors so you can find life gain or the other half of a combo or whatever else you need at the moment. 
Thanks for the reply. The main goal is indeed life gain/loss. The fetches are there for Ob Nixilis and deck thinning. I'm going to try to trade for a Marsh Flats and Verdant Catacombs this week to replace the fetches. Of the list you gave that isn't already in the deck I only have Darksteel Ingot. Probably cut SoBaM for it.
If you've got the money or the card i would suggest these things to get grisley out earlier
lotus bloom
lotus petal
dark ritual
and lion's eye diamond
Updated the OP to reflect the most recent decklist.
Notable changes include:
Out
- Lashwrithe
- Dark Depths
- Traveler's Amulet
- Plague Wind
- 4 Swamps
- Howling Mine
- Pestilence Demon
- Queitus Spike
- Grave Purge
- Sorin Markov
- Pithing Needle
In
- Verdant Catacombs
- Mystifying Maze
- Marsh Flats
- Demonic Tutor
- All Is Dust
- Doubling Cube
- Geth, Lord of the Vault
- Bloodstained Mire
- Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
- Mind's Eye
- Aether Vial
- Damnation
- Volrath's Stronghold
- Oblivion Stone

Still looking to get a Polluted Delta to replace a swamp.
All this talk of Griselbrand getting banned has gotten me thinking about what my plan is for the deck if it happens. If he is banned outright I will make Ob Nixilis the general and put Whispersilk Cloak in his spot. Crucible + Ob Nixilis + Fetchlands is ridiculously awesome and fun. Ob Nixilis gets dumb fast.
So I went ahead and made Ob Nixilis the Commander for the deck. I cut Aether Vial, Blood Artist, and Basilisk Collar for Whispersilk Cloak, Darksteel Plate, and Entomb. I can use Entomb to pitch Filth, Griselbrand, or, in a pinch, Ulamog into the graveyard. I'm not going to put any of the broken reanimation spells in for Griselbrand, but I feel Sheoldred and Beacon of Unrest are fair game. I'm still having a lot of fun with this deck. Mono-black is awesome.
I honestly think that griselbrand is better in your 99 than as your general.
Honestly I think that a black deck needs more than 2 pieces of creature recusion., maybe some more 4 mana recursion diabolic servitude zombify etc.
Also I would suggest you run kozilek over ulamog if you're just running him for GY shuffling, since if someone bribery(briberies?) your deck its better for them to get a 12/12 annhilator 4 than a 10/10 annhilator 4 thats indestructable.
Thanks for the response. I thought about Kozilek for a while, but ultimately I decided Ulamog was right for me. The graveyard recursion is great, but I value permanent destruction higher than drawing 4 cards for my deck since I have a lot of ways to draw cards, but not many ways of dealing with troublesome non-creature permanents. Ulamog was also a lot easier to get. I could see Bribery being an issue, but right now I think the risk is worth the reward.
If you choose Griselbrand as your Commander, I would use Platinum Emperor. Also, maybe the new Liliana?
Ob Nixilis is the general to stay at this point. I've had a lot more success like this, although I do miss always having Griselbrand handy to draw cards. New Liliana is DEFINITELY going in. She isn't out yet so I don't have her yet so I haven't put her in my deck yet. I'll change the list once I get my hands on her though.
Psychosis Crawler combos well with Griselbrand, and Necrologia. If you have Psychosis Crawler I'd probably cut necropotence, for Necrologia. The key difference is the draw vs put into hand. Whatever you choose, Necrologia, seems like an obvious include in this deck.
Also, where is Lashwrithe?
Another awesome combo would be including Flesh Allergy. You either need an indestructible creature, or undying creature, and you can play this after a board wipe to just destroy a player. It is more of a combo this deck doesn't exactly support, but it can come out of nowhere to take some one out. This works really well with Killing Wave and/or Blood Artist.

Also, Wumcoil Engine is in the artifacts section, judging that Psychosis Crawler is in with creatures, the Wurmcoil should be there too.
Official archnemesis of magicpablo666 Host of Reactionary Proud owner of "The Terrible Cube" The altimis Archive I'm baking lands!!! Beginner of GROMA
Notable Quotables:
58060728 wrote:
I carefully examine the walls of the room in a determined effort to not follow the GMs plot.
Psychosis Crawler combos well with Griselbrand, and Necrologia. If you have Psychosis Crawler I'd probably cut necropotence, for Necrologia. The key difference is the draw vs put into hand. Whatever you choose, Necrologia, seems like an obvious include in this deck.
Also, where is Lashwrithe?
Another awesome combo would be including Flesh Allergy. You either need an indestructible creature, or undying creature, and you can play this after a board wipe to just destroy a player. It is more of a combo this deck doesn't exactly support, but it can come out of nowhere to take some one out. This works really well with Killing Wave and/or Blood Artist.

Also, Wumcoil Engine is in the artifacts section, judging that Psychosis Crawler is in with creatures, the Wurmcoil should be there too.



I had never heard of Necrologia, I might have to look into getting that. Lashwrithe used to be in there, but I ended up cutting it because I had too many equipments already. Flesh Allergy seems cool, but really situational. I don't think it would pull its weight outside of the post-boardwipe scenario. Yeah, I know I botched the Wurmcoil/Psychosis Crawler placement. I was just too lazy to fix that. I'll update the OP with that change now though. Thanks for the response!
I just realized this, but why not replace Spine of Ish Sah, with Altar of Shadows. I understand that AoS doesn't hit all permanents, but it mana ramps for you, and more often than not you will be destroying creatures, I think. Especially, considering the lack of artifact hate in black.
Official archnemesis of magicpablo666 Host of Reactionary Proud owner of "The Terrible Cube" The altimis Archive I'm baking lands!!! Beginner of GROMA
Notable Quotables:
58060728 wrote:
I carefully examine the walls of the room in a determined effort to not follow the GMs plot.
I just realized this, but why not replace Spine of Ish Sah, with Altar of Shadows. I understand that AoS doesn't hit all permanents, but it mana ramps for you, and more often than not you will be destroying creatures, I think. Especially, considering the lack of artifact hate in black.



The lack of artifact/enchantment hate is exactly why I need Spine of Ish Sah. I have several ways of dealing with creatures and few ways of dealing with other oppresive permanents. Spine is also recursible with Infernal Tribute and I rarely have mana issues with Black Market, Sol Ring, Doubling Cube, Cabal Coffers, Nirkana Revenant, Sad Robot, Darksteel Ingot, and the like. Spine is the biggest middle finger I can give to Aura Shards, which has a tendency to mess me up, so it's staying in.
Well, since Griselbrand got banned he has been removed from my list for Sorin Markov. Also, in the event there is somebody playing Blue at the table Ulamog becomes Steel Hellkite in the list. Bribery can eat my shorts.
Well, since Griselbrand got banned he has been removed from my list for Sorin Markov. Also, in the event there is somebody playing Blue at the table Ulamog becomes Steel Hellkite in the list. Bribery can eat my shorts.


Play Homeward Path and tutor it up.
Grissy isn't an unfair commander so long as you don't play obnoxious combos. As part of the 99 he's too easily tutored and reanimated leading to crape games.

3DH4LIF3

I agree, but banned is banned so he is out. I know the list is just a suggestion in this format, but there are a few people in my playgroup that are degenerate enough to put Emakrul under a Mosswort bridge and just go to town on people turn 3 or 4 so we follow it strictly.
Updated the OP to update the current decklist. Following changes were made:
Cut Sorin Markov for Diabolic Revelation
Cut Go For the Throat for Murder
Griselbrand was banned in the updated banned list for edh.
This thread was made way before he was banned an he was taken out when he was banned. I don't know how to change thread title, but it's Ob Nixilis EDH now.