Tantarus: It didn't make the gaka greifer level, so it should be fine
Quote from sjd0020this general seems top tier to me, was wondering why there weren't many decent decklists for him. thanks! Ring of Kalonia I d work in somewhere, its pretty boss for this guy. Also Pernicious Deed seems relevant.
Quote from sjd0020also u might check out canopy cover
Quote from sjd0020after second thoughts, only real suggestion i have is elvish spirit guide reflecting pool and possibly sarcomancy > young wolf
Quote from ZephynoirWhy is it only 98 cards?
Quote from foiljunkyI actually have been very happy with mutavault graveborn muse and bloodgift demon. The muse can draw an absurd number of cards, mutavault is a zombie which can cast gravecrawler every turn and the demon is an evasive arena. And wickerbough elder is pretty sweet too
Quote from BbearZ »You know what has a lot of potential? Mike123 playing a meta deck
Quote from mikel123I never like cards like Night's Whisper in a deck like this. Would rather keep trying to lay threats.
Also, Flesh Reaver may be worth considering. Could hurt your ability to race Geist, and certainly is annoying with Sylvan Library, but the damage output is greater than even Tarmogoyf can provide when dropped on turn 2.
Quote from EmetherHi Gaka,
Glad you are pushing this deck. Having faced it six games in a row (last round played + top8) at French nationals, I have been impressed how good this aggressive deck is. Here are my thoughts about your version.
1 - Eternal Witness. Is it really good ? A weak 2/1 body for a Regrowth effect doesn't look like a very good tempo. On a French forum, there has been a great debate about tutor effects, and the original Skullbriar player went to say that he even hesitated about playing Demonic Tutor, because it is a loss of tempo and no card is truly essential in the deck (see one of my last posts on my Doran topic about that). Eternal Witness has the nice fact of being a creature, but is it enough ? I know it is in the original decklist, but I wonder if it is that good.
Quote from Emether
2 - Basking Rootwalla. I see you cut this card. And I think this is a great mistake, but I would probably have done the same mistake if I hadn't seen the deck performing against me. Basking Rootwalla played an essential role. Basking Rootwalla is a creature you can cast when activating Survival of the Fittest, and that changes everything. My opponent, playing this deck, has played Survival of the Fittest and had only Skullbriar on the battlefield. At the end of my turn, he put Vengevine and Gravecrawler into his graveyard, searching for Basking Rootwalla. On his turn, he discarded Basking Rootwalla to get Bloodghast, discarded to get Thrun, the Last Troll. He cast Basking Rootwalla with madness and, Skullbriar being a zombie, he also cast Gravecrawler from the graveyard, which triggered Vengevine. He played a land and got Bloodghast too. From a board state of Skullbriar, the Walking Grave + Survival of the Fittest, he went to Skullbriar, the Walking Grave + Gravecrawler + Basking Rootwalla + Vengevine + Bloodghast + Survival of the Fittest. On his turn, he only tapped three mana to do that (third mana even being optional as it only adds a little Bloodghast). I was impressed on how he went from an almost-empty board (with only one card in hand) to a huge army in a few seconds. You'll tell me : "what is Basking Rootwalla's role here ?" Basking Rootwalla, unlike Bloodghast, can be cast with Survival of the Fittest, which triggers Vengevine without having to search for a random 1 mana creature to do it (indeed it directly searches for Thrun, the Last Troll if you fear a Wrath of God or Dreg Mangler if you wanna add a hasty threat this turn). It perfectly fits the curve of Survival of the Fittest and remains a very decent threat by itself.
Quote from Emether
3 - Carrion Feeder. I have had a great discussion after the top 8 with the Skullbriar player, and he told me he would really have liked having a Carrion Feeder in the deck. That was his greatest regrets. It is a very fast threat, it can grow huge with Gravecrawler and Bloodghast, it prevents Skullbriar from being bounced, it prevents all your creatures from being exiled... For one mana only, the power/cost ratio is huge. Even late game it is still good if you have Gravecrawler waiting in the graveyard.
Quote from Emether
4 - Elvish Spirit Guide. As it has been said above, it is missing. It's even better than Lotus Petal because in late game you can use it with Survival of the Fittest and Fauna Shaman.
Quote from Emether
5 - Mutavault. I also agree on this one deserving a try.
Quote from Emether
6 - Reanimate & Unearth. I see you also cut these. They look like good choices for this deck, aren't they ? Getting Tarmogoyf or Skullbriar back looks nice a nice tempo ? Bonus, if you discard a big threat turn one you can get it back on turn two with Reanimate. It also pairs well with Survival of the Fittest (discard Thrun and reanimate it).
Quote from Emether
7 - Liliana of the Veil. Extremely powerful against Zur the Enchanter, Grand Arbiter Augustin IV and Geist of Saint Traft. These are the current top three decks to beat (at least in France). Even in other matchups, it remains an extremely powerful card (the best planeswalker after Jace, the Mindsculptor IMO). Nice synergy with Gravecrawler, Vengevine, Basking Rootwalla and Bloodghast.
My two cents,
Quote from Kuma91I played a lot of games this week with Skullbriar and I'm not really happy actually. It's a funny deck to play, no doubt, but it's really powerful only against very slow decks like wanderer for exemple. Against green or red based deck is simply horribile, if I'm on the draw and my opponen has played a llanowar elf or anything like that I'm not really happy to trade my guy... I think this deck is really powerful in french national's metagame where most of the deck simply plays a land or a mana stone for the first 3-4 turns and you have time to grow your little zombie with no hurry. Like I said, as I tested, is poweful against Wanderer, GAA4, Zur (sometimes), mono U, mono B and so on...
There is also a big problem: 30 HP instead of 20. Sometimes you think to have started very well and, instead, your opponent is still around 15-17... It's not like standard magic where your opponent start to worry when you manage to deal about 15 damages in 3-4 turns. With 15 Hp your opponent can keep paying for its confident, sylvan library or phyrexian mana spells; things that are unthinkable when you are at 5 and you are fighting to survive. Aggro decks in EDH have a really tough life.
These are just my impression after a week of intensive testing. Maybe I'm wrong and the online metagame is very different from the RL one... I really hope so, this is a pretty funny deck.
Quote from capitacomI have tested with Skullbriar as well, although with a list more focused on skullbriar itself and I'd say the problem is that although the resiliency of skullbriar as a threat is good against control decks, he is also easy to keep under control. An early removal spell so that he remains a 1/1 until the recast means your damage output is very low, as most of the other creatures are pretty low power as well (with some exceptions). The same goes for an early creature which you have to spend a turn removing. Getting skullbriar really costs you a lot of tempo as well. Obviously if your opponent durdles with ramp a bit (like Wanderer) this is fine, but then wanderer starts going over the top and you can do little against that as well. Combo also seems problematic as you are not fast enough to outrace them and have very little disruption as well.
I think you should include some survival combo, as this is probably your best way to beat ramp and combo. Maybe include some additional tutors such as Tainted Pact to grab Skullclamp or Winter Orb as well. Unanswered Skullbriar followed by Winter Orb makes it difficult to catch up for your opponent.
Quote from capitacomOn that note, Putrid Leech is also missing from the decklist.
Quote from 3drinksGaka;
Is Harmonize a little too steep on the curve? Seems a classic three-for-one to help refuel.
Is there a reason why you aren't playing Tombstalker? It's no problem to exile some dead critters or spent removal spells to play a two cmc 5/5 flyer.
Miscalcul8ed Risk has an awesome Skullbriar list (for duel-commander) on these forums. Might be a bit dated as I believe SOM was the most recent block at the time, but it would still be a great reference point.
Other than that, <3 the deck. <3 the concept. My kind of style.
Quote from sjd0020as i mentioned, thanks for this top tier list!
in my experience i believe emether has the right ideas. i d cut some lesser dorks in favor of a reanimation package, reanimate life // death, and animate dead are fine choices. i m still finding it hard to believe canopy cover too slow but in an all out aggro i suppose it is possible.
in regards to ESG, i find a turn one skullbriar to be the pinnacle of the deck, maximizing this occurrence should be priority, that being said, i'd like to reiterate this is a fine list!
Quote from Sheldon »Paradox Engine is a more defensive card.
Quote from EmetherPox looks like a very nice idea, indeed. However, I wouldn't call it "massive burn spell" : by the time you cast it you are supposed to have seriously lowered your opponent's life total. But I think this great card might deserve a try. If it is successful, Smallpox might be good too. But beware : the mana count would be seriously shifting towards black, which would probably require some changes with the lands.
Quote from d0suI believe we are fast approaching the day when colored mana requirements will not mean much anymore. If we are not there yet, I understand. It may be worth tweaking the manabase to accomodate, like Emether said.
But on a similar note, would you consider playing Geralf's Messenger? It also seems like a perfect fit.
Quote from Emether101 cards.
Quote from Jester831Sarcomancy
Skyshroud War Beast
Overrun // Overwhelming Stampede
Price of Power