The Walking Grave

Posted in Feature on June 21, 2013

By Sam Black

Sam Black is a Platinum Pro Player and longtime writer for He is a respected deck builder and took over Daily Decks for the first half of 2013.

I haven't written about Commander in a while, so I decided to build a deck. I started by looking for a relatively recently printed Commander and came to the obvious choice of Varolz, the Scar-Striped. While looking for cards to include in a Varolz, the Scar-Striped deck, I came across Skullbriar, the Walking Grave and realized that card is awesome with Varolz, the Scar-Striped, but works much better as a commander, where it can really take advantage of its ability to keep counters. So I switched commanders.

Skullbriar, the Walking Grave

This deck is still very much built with Varolz, the Scar-Striped in mind, and the plan is to find him as soon as possible to start scavenging onto Skullbriar, but Skullbriar just takes advantage of the Commander rules better.

This deck is designed to be relatively casual, which I believe to be the appropriate power level for most Commander decks. It plays good cards and has a game plan, but the game plan is based around doing what the commander happens to want to do rather than doing one of the things that is most powerful in the format. This isn't ramp and card draw that incidentally wins in a particular way, this deck is, from the ground up, about putting counters on Skullbriar, the Walking Grave, and then hitting opponents with him. It plans to win almost every game by dealing 21 points of general damage.

There are a wide variety of really sweet cards to put +1/+1 counters on things if that's what you're looking to do, and building around them makes Corpsejack Menace and Doubling Season particularly exciting (Doubling Season always seems to be great in this format).


99 Cards

Latest Feature Articles


Know Your Audience by, Gavin Verhey

"Why do you think Magic is so successful?" I get asked this question a lot in interviews. Something I always say is that one of the major reasons for Magic's success is that it isn't rea...

Learn More


Great Designer Search 3 Trials Begin by, Mark Rosewater

Editor's note: If you submitted an entry for the Great Designer Search 3 and did not receive an email on January 16, 2018, pointing you toward the essay questions, you can follow this lin...

Learn More



Feature Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All

We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. By clicking any link on this page or by clicking Yes, you are giving your consent for us to set cookies. (Learn more about cookies)

No, I want to find out more