Power From the Grave: Standard

The following information comes from the graveyard ghoul, BDC!

There’s not much decks I like better than a good graveyard deck. It goes back to Yugio. Sorry, but it’s true. I had a machine that just couldn’t…no, wouldn’t…die. Then, there was my favorite Mankind deck from the game Raw Deal. It was built just like the wrestler; tough and, although it took a lot of licks, just kept coming. Basically, it was a graveyard deck that kept feeding its library.

I didn’t get deep into Magic the Gathering until about five years ago. And, even then, I didn’t invest a lot of time and money into it. Then, Steps, Panda and myself began to do this seriously. Not competitively, mind you. We could, but we didn’t really want to pour so much money into one or two decks, when we could brew many decks. That’s what I am, a brewer. I just love testing the waters of Standard.

So in every rotation that allows me, I build graveyard decks.

Now, I will also be dropping an article on my Commander deck headed by Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord. Check it out. It was a hoot!

But, in Standard, as always, we are limited by a few sets. But the sets available so far this rotation (Innistrad Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow, Kamigawa, Neon Dynasty, New Cappena and Dominaria United) still allow for some fun graveyard interaction.

This article I want to focus on only black and green, the strongest cards in this concept. The other focus are cards that power up to size of your graveyard.

Check out the deck in action!


The newest bastions of the graveyard deck for Standard are Old Stickfingers and Urborg Lhurgoyf. Both get bigger equal to the number of creature cards in your graveyard. And, to their credit, they both help in the self mill area; which is a must in these types of decks (more later).

Runners up are Reclusive Taxidermist, Writhing Necromass and Consuming Blob. They’re runner ups because they are not quite as powerful as Stickfingers and the ole Lhurgoyf. But the Reclusive Taxidermist will still trigger if you have enough self mill (I said more later! Be patient!) I mean, if the afore mentioned big hitters get big enough, it stands to reason that the Taxidermist will get its +3/+2, Writhing Necromass will cost little of nothing and Consuming Blob will max out and pump out little max out blob babies.


See, I told you we’d get there!

I mean, none of the cards we’ve seen so far will work without us milling our own cards and getting those creatures put safely in the graveyard.

The Innistrad sets really help this out with Tapping at the Window, Eccentric Farmer, Crawling Infestation, Deathbonnet Sprout and Undead Butler. Now, each does its fair share of self mill. But each brings its own bonus triggers. Undead Butler trades places with another, more useful creature (probably one from above) from the graveyard. Deathbonnet Sprout transforms rather early; only needing three creature cards in the graveyard. From there the Hulk can exile creature cards from other graveyards and gain +1/+1 counters. Others pull either a creature or land from the mill. And Crawling Infestation is good for protection as well as the self mill. Unfortunately, the tokens it makes doesn’t help much in the long run since they never go to the graveyard.

Angel of Suffering from New Capenna is an optional card in this type of deck, but it DOES protect you, but, if not used wisely, could mill you out. So play it wisely.

Another great card from New Capenna that aids in the milling greatly is Cemetery Tampering.

It has Hideaway5, so you have 5 chances at socking away one of the big boys from the first section of this article for a nice surprise. Now, you need 20 cards in your graveyard to trigger this, so you may want to plan to back off the self mill (Yes, it IS a choice) unless you need to further pump those big boys up!


If you get the wrong cards stuck in the graveyard, it might be no fun for you. To keep that from happening, you might want to pack some return cards to pull Old Stickfingers, Urborg Lhurgoyf or anything useful.

Don’t forget to bring some removal as always and watch that mana base! I’ve kept most of the cards that actually exile cards from the graveyard since that is counterproductive.

What are some ways you are janking with this kind of graveyard deck? Tell us below or check us out on facebook and twitter!

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