As per WUBRG order, I’ll be talking about Stitcher Geralf before talking about Ghoulcaller Gisa – but before I get to that, I need to apologize about this article, as Stitcher Geralf is kinda lame as a mono-blue Commander. But anyway, moving on.
I’ll go over him once over just for recollection’s sake.
For this deck, our Commander is a 5 drop – 3UU for a 3/4 Legendary Human Wizard. Not fantastic stats, but not bad either. His ability reads as follows:
2U, tap: Each play puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.Exile up to two creature cards put into graveyards this way. Put an X/X blue zombie creature token onto the battlefield, where X is the total power of the cards exiled this way.
As I said before, having the effect of hitting all players gives him a lot more versatility than Ambassador Laquatus, though one thing I forgot to mention is that Laquatus has more range than Geralf does due to the fact that Ambassador Laquatus doesn’t have to tap for his ability.
As far as his ability is concerned, he fits flavorfully with the rest of his Skaabs from Innistrad – putting your deck in the graveyard to feed your other Skaabs, Essentially the same as his mono-blue creations, which all either mill you to make it easier to cast some of your other Skaabs, or they require creatures to be exiled from your graveyard as additional casting costs.
Based on flavor reasons, the blue Zombies in Innistrad block have to interact with your graveyard, which does conflict with our new Geralf – but that was probably due to Limited reasons that would have pushed a different archetype in draft. These creatures are well costed, especially for mono-blue not caring about that double blue cost all that much. I think the flying is really important, especially with Skaab Ruinator being recastable out of the graveyard as a 5/6 flyer for 1UU.
As for self-mill, the lower costed 1/4 for 2U on Armored Skaab for self-mill 4 is solid. and Geralf’s Mindcrusher is a 5/5 for 4UU that mills target player 5, and has undying so he can do twice. The self-mill is generally just to cast the above creatures.
The main problem with creating a Geralf deck is that it’s very difficult to build it as zombie tribal – there’s very few in just blue.
Undead Alchemist is probably one of the best of these mono-Blue zombies for this deck. At 3U for a 4/2 zombie, he’s well costed for his 4/2 stats, and his ability is impressive. Any time one of your Zombies would deal combat damage to a player, that player mills that many cards from the top of their library instead. In addition, any time a creature is put into an opponent’s graveyard from anywhere, you get a 2/2 black Zombie creature token onto the battlefield. It synergizes well with other mill that you’ll be doing, giving you more Zombies to do more damage with. It also turns the zombies made by Stitcher Geralf into gigantic milling machines if your opponents don’t have anything to block with.
These are more are what I recommend for the list, and I’ll post the rest of my recommendations in the Skeleton List below.
[column width=”200px” padding=”10px”]Commander:
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Blue Sun’s Zenith
Spin into Myth
Elixir of Immortality
Gauntlet of Power
Sensei’s Divining Top
Jace, Memory Adept
Jace, the Living Guildpact
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
Cavern of Souls
Nythos, Shrine to Nyx
The majority of this list is flavorful, but focuses on a few combos. As a Johnny, I have no choice but to play mono-blue with a few combos that I just can’t help but love. The main problem I had in building this deck was trying to find a niche for him that I liked – he doesn’t do a whole lot as a commander, and he is a terrible Zombie commander due to the fact that there are very few mono-blue zombies. Most of the good blue Zombies are black and blue. We’ll get to a list for that soon, though.
Stitcher Geralf is the center of the deck. His abilities are what the deck is mostly built around, from both a flavor and mechanic point of view. His army of skaabs are built from the corpses he can rummage together – stitched together to create monstrosities. The ones he makes on his own card, however, is from any graveyard, when things are being exiled from the top of all player’s libraries. The skeleton list I have here doesn’t play a lot of creatures – mainly because it’s a skeleton list. The “big stuff” that you would play is up to you, whether it be eldrazi or krakens.
The main combo for this deck is Palinchron with any of the mana doublers in the deck, or Peregrine Drake with Deadeye Navigator, to get infinite mana. You can find these combos here, as it’s a very common combo in Commander.
This combo enables us to use Deadeye Navigator with any of our zombies that make us mill cards from the top of our library to completely empty our decks.
Then, we win the game by attempting to draw a card with an empty library with Laboratory Maniac in play. Laboratory Maniac replaces the state-based action of losing with winning, instead – which is always fun, and it’s difficult to prevent without killing Laboratory Maniac. You can help prevent that by playing Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir to prevent your opponent from interfering during your turn., or to play Laboratory Maniac at instant speed to help sneak him in.
Aside from the combo, having infinite mana lets you play every card in your deck regardless and find a way to win that way.
With infinite mana and Intruder Alarm in play, we can continuously make zombies with Geralf’s ability, as long as we hit at least one creature per mill from Geralf. As a creature enters off of Geralf’s ability, the Intruder Alarm will trigger and untap all creatures in play. Fatestitcher with this combo also lets you tap every permanent your opponent’s control, which is always a good option. The rest of the time, Fatestitcher gives you the ability to untap Stitcher Geralf, or to tap down an opposing blocker for any reason.
The next article will be much easier to write, seeing as black has much, much better Zombie support, and Gisa will be a lot of fun to mess around with.
Until next time.