No-Cash Commander – The Gitrog Monster

Hi there – Crazy back with possibly the most ambitious no-cash commander yet.

This one was, as usual, requested in a comment after the release of the previous article – but in terms of how expensive this deck’s staples are I thought this would be one of the more interesting ones to see how it looks without them. The maximum budget was, as usual, $50 – So here at $49.89 we have The Gitrog Monster.

Tappedout list available here

The Plan

Ride the value train FOREVER. We’ve got things that benefit from being put into the graveyard, things that benefit from seeing things go to the graveyard, and we have things that benefit from seeing things currently in the graveyard – This deck is all about the value.

We’ve got two primary win-conditions – One is out-valuing our opponent by just drawing more threats than they can deal with and using our graveyard as a value outlet. The other is a tasty-ass mana generating loop we have in the deck that’s only slightly convoluted. Let’s start with the first one:

Value Bombs

Centaur Vinecrasher – By the time we hit the lategame this guy will be a ridiculous threat that refuses to just go away and die as long as we’ve been diligently filling our graveyard and continue to do so.

Herald of Leshrac – 100% disgusting with the Gitrog, it means we don’t even have to sacrifice our own lands since we’re just stealing our opponent’s – It’s a pretty great way to close the game out when you’re at parity or ahead, doesn’t help so much from behind though. Bear in mind though that sacrificing a stolen land won’t draw us cards and that there actually have to be enough lands to steal.

Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest – Boosts your entire team whenever anyone sacrifices anything. Opponent cracks a fetch? +1/+1 counters. Gitrog around in your upkeep? +1/+1 counters. Someone’s got a Dictate of Erebos? You better believe you’re getting a lot of counters.

Rampaging Baloths – Sometimes we forget that the Gitrog Monster allows us to play more lands as well as sacrificing them. But not us here at Rain of Salt, and not Rampaging Baloths either. 2 4/4s a turn is pretty great.

Titania, Protector of Argoth – So it comes in and gets you a land back from the graveyard which is already great, but if we can hit something like an Evolving Wilds we can start churning value out of this straight away – Because a 5/3 every time we lose a land is nothing to sniff at when our commander can sacrifice those lands for us.

Worm Harvest – So this card is absolutely absurd, if we’ve been filling our graveyard as we should we’ll be getting a good amount of worms per cast – But the fact we can discard a land (Which will draw us a card from the Gitrog) to recast it whenever is horrendously powerful.

Zendikar’s Roil – A fair bit worse than Rampaging Baloths but it’s a similar principle and more difficult to remove.

Swiftfoot Boots – Lets The Gitrog Monster get in on the beatdown fun more efficiently and with better protection.

So we’ve got a reasonable sweet of beatdown bombs – but what if the table doesn’t like us having a board? then we need to get creative and bust out:

The Combo

Setup:

Board – Skirge Familiar, The Gitrog Monster, Elixir of Immortality

Hand – Dakmor Salvage, Exsanguinate (Dakmor Salvage can also start in the graveyard as long as you have another land in hand.)

The combo works by using Skirge Familiar to discard Dakmor Salvage (Or any other land, if Dakmor is in-yard already) to add (B) to our mana pool. This will trigger the Gitrog’s draw ability, which we can replace with the dredge on Dakmor Salvage – Meaning we have an infinite loop of “Mill 2 to add (B) to your mana pool” – We make it last long enough to make the mana we need to kill by cracking the Elixir of Immortality, so now we’re making ~50/60 mana total. Exsanguinate for lethal on table.

So there’s the win-conditions – But any good deck has a support network. Let’s start with:

Landfill

Or “Stuff to fill the graveyard”, but that’s less catchy. To save repeating – Bear in mind whenever a land hits the graveyard with The Gitrog on the field that you also get to draw a card so all of these are quite multifunctional.

Noose Constrictor – Standard discard outlet that turns into a Super-Looter if Gitrog is on the board – This thing can get pretty huge.

Nyx Weaver – A nice consistent source of milling that can also bring us something back – It’s pretty fine here.

Satyr Wayfinder – Builds the yard and lets us keep a land if we were running a bit low. Pretty fine.

Stinkweed Imp – Dat Keyword. Giving up a draw to mill 5 is fine when milling a land means you get that draw anyway – and it sure helps that it blocks like a champ.

Sylvan Safekeeper – Lets us keep our Gitrog safe while doing Gitrog things! Or any of our other creatures for that matter.

Zuran Orb – The card new players look at and say “People play this?”. The answer to that question is “Gitrog players” – Giving us an influx of cards in hand whenever we need it as well as a lot of life and land in the graveyard if needed for something like Centaur Vinecrasher.

Dakmor Salvage – Not just a combo piece – It does still have dredge.

Grapple with the Past, Grisly Salvage, Sudden Reclamation – All perform pretty much the same function, instant-speed yardfill that lets us keep the most valuable card(s) we mill.

Drown in Filth – Mills us and helps us kill a creature, generally great here.

Fork in the Road – Puts a land in the yard and in hand, on a budget it’s perfectly fine.

Jarad’s Orders – See above, replace “Land” with “Creature”. Still perfectly fine.

Mulch – More mulching, nothing wrong with it. Not putting lands in the graveyard is eh but it’s not the only thing we care about putting in the graveyard.

And for all of these cards that put things in the graveyard, we need to be able to pull some things back out:

Recursion

Greenwarden of Murasa – Double Regrowth is a pretty good Regrowth, especially when it has a pretty beefy set of legs.

Groundskeeper – Pulls us a basic back whenever we need one, and with Gitrog letting us play an extra on each turn there shouldn’t be much reason to not pull one back most turns.

Tilling Treefolk – Can get some pretty absurd value if you have Gitrog down and can grab a couple saclands and isn’t terrible even if you don’t.

Creeping Renaissance – Pulls back all of one type of card, twice. Probably creatures or lands. Excellent with a discard outlet down if you need a shot in the arm.

Restore – Pulls a land back to the battlefield for a pretty low cost, it’s fine. but compared to the next card…

Splendid Reclamation – Restore with Overload. Pulls all of your lands back to the battlefield – Tapped, sure, but that’s fine.

Seasons Past – The most value Regrowth in the deck, can potentially pull back 8 cards of different costs.

Victimize – Like magic, turn one creature into two! Tapped though, so don’t try and “Surprise blockers” someone with it.

Now with a commander like the Gitrog monster we need to keep him fed. As such we have a fair bit of…

Ramp

A wide variety of dorks – Arbor Elf, Deathcap Cultivator, Elves of Deep Shadow, Llanowar Elves – A body that comes with a bit of mana – Super fine.

Drumhunter – A dork that also gets us even more cards, it’s a budget staple as far as I’m concerned.

Sakura-Tribe Elder – Gets us a land, which is pretty fine considering the commander.

Yavimaya Elder – Doesn’t give us land straight to battlefield but it does give us 2 land to hand, which is pretty good since Gitrog gives us an extra land drop.

Golgari Signet – The only rock in the deck. It’s pretty good as far as rocks go.

Harrow – Ramps and puts a land in the graveyard for absurd value if the Gitrog is already out.

Sprouting Vines – One of the few storm cards not in Grixis colours, this one will let you capitalise on someone else’s storm count to load up on lands to play later off the Gitrog.

Khalni Heart Expedition – Because even an enchantment can be an Explosive Vegetation if you try hard enough.

Rites of Flourishing – Because having it only affect you costs money. But in the meantime it probably still helps us more than anyone else.

Edge of Autumn – Gonna be honest, I love this card. But aside from being in such a cool design space it’s both a Rampant Growth and (With the Gitrog down) it’s a zero mana divination. Great card.

Explosive Vegetation – Because even a sorcery can be a Khalni Heart Expedition if you try hard enough.

Kodama’s Reach – It grabs some land – Nothing wrong with it.

Nissa’s Pilgrimage – Finds more land than Kodama’s Reach, if with a bit more of a restriction. Still pretty fine though.

Rampant GrowthSakura-Tribe Elder without the legs, pretty fine as a turn 2 play.

Now you might think that this lot plus the Gitrog probably gives us enough card draw right? Wrong.

Card Draw

Soul of the Harvest – Because who says lands are the only things that should draw us cards? Certainly not this guy. And a 6/6 body is nothing to sneeze at either.

Horn of Greed – We are playing more land than most other people and we can’t afford a Nissa, Vital Force to only affect us so here we are.

Seer’s Sundial – Kind of inefficient but it’s perfectly fine to grab us a card every now and then when we have the mana to spare.

Underworld Connections – Budget Phyrexian Arena – Which is great anyway but if you can afford the upgrade I say go for it.

Diabolic Tutor – Not a card draw spell as such but it certainly finds us some answers.

Of course, there’s one thing no Green/Black deck would ever be seen without:

Removal

Acidic Slime – Solves most noncreature problems on entry then blocks and kills a creature problem. Very good card.

Reclamation Sage – Cheap and super efficient naturalize on legs. Very good for it’s price.

Krosan Grip – See above, but trade the legs out for being completely uninterruptible. Hella dope card.

Putrefy – Murder with benefits, it’s pretty great.

Black Sun’s Zenith – Our only boardwipe but it’s a doozy. Kills indestructible things for one, and it’s (Sort of) reusable.

And then we just have the land – Which normally I’d gloss over but this is kind of a land-themed deck…

Land

Budget Fetchlands – Evolving Wilds, Jund Panorama, Terramorphic Expanse, Warped Landscape – Fairly popular cards that are easy for us to get rid of for a cheap draw off the Gitrog and 2 drops for anything that cares about landfall.

Cyclers – Ash Barrens, Barren Moor, Blasted Landscape, Polluted Mire, Slippery Karst, Tranquil Thicket – Pretty good however you look at it, but with the Gitrog out many of these turn into budget Divinations.

Sac-Ability Lands – Blighted Fen, Blighted Woodland, Crystal Vein –  All good abilities on these lands but with the benefit of also putting a land in the graveyard for whatever abilities care about that.

Drownyard Temple – A land you can sacrifice forever seems like a pretty good deal when the Gitrog is around.

Depletion Lands – Hickory Woodlot, Peat Bog – Lands that produce additional mana and then sacrifice themselves is pretty great.

Spawning Pool – Manlands sounded like a good idea to me since I can block and put a land in the graveyard, but this was the only one I could fit in the budget. Still does what was said above though.

And that, as they say, is that. but were we not on a budget? Oh there are so many cards that would be great in The Gitrog Monster – Which you can see in the “Maybeboard” in the Tappedout list. we’ll start with the obvious:

Gitrog StuffCrucible of Worlds, Strip Mine, Dust Bowl, Wasteland

Crucible of Worlds is the ultimate in Gitrog tech, as it singlehandedly insures you against accidentally bombing too many of your own lands. Strip, Wasteland and Dust Bowl all just happen to synergise incredibly well with what Gitrog and Crucible were doing anyway.

The other definitive Gitrog staple Life from the Loam

This is the ultimate one-card engine for the Gitrog Monster. Gets you lands back from the graveyard while also consistently filling your graveyard with even more land via the dredge. You’ll never cast a single spell more than you’ll cast Life from the Loam in a single game with the Gitrog.

More Lands PleaseAzusa, Lost but Seeking, Exploration, Oracle of Mul Daya

Anything that lets us play as many lands as possible synergises amazingly with the Gitrog toad, especially if you put a Crucible in the deck first.

Tutors Demonic Tutor, Vampiric Tutor, Worldly Tutor

In a deck with a commander as unique as the Gitrog there is a lot of relatively unique tech – And you need the best possible ways to find that tech, because you won’t always get a start of Crucible, Grisly Salvage, Life from the Loam and some of the best land.

And there we have it. I’ve enjoyed toying around with this one a lot – Bear in mind the price was at time of writing, with how close the budget was to breaking point I wouldn’t be surprised if it was slightly over by the time you see this. If you have any comments on the deck or if you think I’ve missed something obvious or even if there’s a specific commander you want to see us ruin do on a budget then feel free to either drop a comment below or shoot us a message via our Facebook Page.

This article was suggested by Reddit user /u/MedicatedFox in the comment section of one of our previous articles on /r/edh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *