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MTG: Death is Temporary – Top 5 Zombie Commanders

3 Minute Read
Jan 27 2024

The dead sleep fitfully in the Realms, and you won’t have a shotgun to protect you against these nasty generals.

Welcome Planeswalkers and Praetors to our ongoing series about the best casual experience in Magic: Commander. For the uninitiated, Commander is a semi-casual format for Magic: the Gathering. You use a deck of 100 cards led by a legendary creature, aka, your Commander.

Aside from basic lands, you are only allowed one copy of each card in the deck. Moreover, you can only include cards in your Commander’s “color identity” or artifacts. Each color and color combo has a unique playstyle and a wealth of mighty generals to lead your deck to victory. is an excellent source for Commander info and can give you ideas to build your next Commander deck or tune an existing one.

Like Elves, Zombies have been a popular creature type since Commander’s inception. They have a habit of not staying dead, which makes sense, and stealing your opponent’s cards. Whether it’s through discard, graveyard theft, or life transference, Zombies are the go-to type for the discerning Dimir player.


Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver

Starting off strong is the Night King of Innistrad, Wilhelt. He combines the two things Dimir loves best; card advantage and creature recursion. Fueling his own ability anytime a Zombie creature dies, Wilhelt can lead a cyclical army of deadly warriors and keep his army fueled at the same time. This is one Commander you don’t want to underestimate.

The Scarab God

One of the first Commanders I ever played, The Scarab God is a nasty critter to deal with. He drains your opponents, gives you deck fixing, and can steal your opponents’ best creatures. Best of all, if your opponent DOES deal with him, he pops right back to your hand. The only way to deal with him permanently is exile, and even that just sends him to the zone. I’m honestly surprised he didn’t beat out Wilhelt for the top spot.

Varina, Lich Queen

Adding a bit of White for flavor, Varina is more of a lifegain Commander, though she also fills your graveyard with discard. She makes tokens, but she is a bit slow compared to other Zombie Commanders. However, if you’re playing Thoracle or Lab Man decks, she can drain your deck with speed.

Gisa and Geralf

The lovable siblings from Innistrad, Gisa and Geralf are the perfect recursion Commander. They allow you to cast Zombies from your graveyard, giving you a twisted version of card advantage. There are tons of ways to throw things directly into your graveyard so you can get the creatures you need right when you need them. Just watch out for Bojuka Bog.

Ghoulcaller Gisa

Now, THIS is a Zombie commander! Gisa is happy to kill your creatures, fueling your death triggers and giving you Zombies in the process. Slap a Thornbite Staff on her, and your field will grow from a pair to an army in no time.


What do you think of these Commanders?

Author: Clint Lienau
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