Well I hate weenies
There's gotta be somebody other than me
Who's ready to kill them off immediately
I'm lookin' for a Massacre Girl
Well I'll know right away by her casting cost
She's only five mana with no tempo loss
And I know when there's somethin' bigger that she
She's got many more triggers
Many more triggers
The Magic community seems pretty stoked about this new black legend from War of the Spark, Massacre Girl, and I'm definitely in that camp both for Standard and of course for Commander. Check it out!
When I first saw Massacre Girl, I assumed the playtest card name inspired by these cards just made it all the way through design:
But keen observers of flavor text would have noticed Massacre Girl mentioned back in Return to Ravnica!
The way this card plays is pretty cool. Assuming there's a one-power creature that dies when Massacre Girl enters the battlefield, there will be a cascade of triggers so long as there are creatures of ascending toughness that the triggers can catch up with. Which means Massacre Girl plays a lot like this old gem:
The problem with Last Laugh is that typically, once the cascading damage happens and there are no creatures left alive, you lose Last Laugh. Having the effect tied to your commander which is actually not affected by the triggers is a heck of a nice upgrade.
The problem, of course, is that the rest of your creatures are not immune to Massacre Girl's triggers. But hey, we can use that as a feature rather than a bug—black has lots of low-toughness creatures that you can get back from the graveyard, so why not play a bunch of those in order to ensure that Massacre Girl's cascading triggers will wreak devastation upon the battlefield, cleaning up all the clutter and leaving a nice, clean path to attack with your menacing Assassin?
Okay, let's get brewing!
First up, fodder to juice Massacre Girl's triggers! I've got the usual suspects like Bloodsoaked Champion and Reassembling Skeleton, but I've also dug into the classic Nether Shadow, Brood of Cockroaches, and Endless Cockroaches. I'm also going to include token-makers like Bitterblossom, and while the tokens will likely die quite often, I think the constant supply of fodder is worth the life loss. I'll be making sure to have plenty of lifegain in the deck to offset that.
Since there will be a lot of creatures dying, we'll want to leverage the death triggers.
Cards like Black Market and Revel in Riches are going to be incredibly powerful. Open the Graves is another token-generating card that will sometimes provide more fodder for Massacre Girl triggers but will sometimes leave a Zombie token or two behind.
Black does a great job of providing nice effects at the cost of life, so I wanted to make sure to include plenty of ways to gain life in this deck. Gray Merchant of Asphodel and Exsanguinate are the heavy hitters here and can sometimes be win conditions.
Drawing cards like a boss! I especially like the death-triggered card draw from Grim Haruspex, Midnight Reaper, and Liliana, Dreadhorde General. Of course, Krav, the Unredeemed is even more awesome than usual in a deck with tons of sacrificial fodder, and it gains you life along the way.
I'm very excited about Bolas's Citadel and hope that I have enough lifegain in the deck to take full advantage of casting spells from my library. Also, with the sacrificial fodder, I can see even activating the ability to dome opponents for ten damage here and there!
As awesome as Massacre Girl is, she's only a 4/4 creature, so I want to play the Swamps-matter Equipment like Lashwrithe so make her much more threatening later in the game. The Equipment can also be used to boost up one of your small sacrificial fodder creatures. Filth in your graveyard and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth on the battlefield combine to make your creatures unblockable.
Outside of Cabal Coffers, we'll want to ensure we have lots of extra mana acceleration and I've got the usual suspects here. Sword of the Animist is particularly nice here since I've got the Swamps-matter cards.
We basically have a more powerful Damnation tied to our commander with Massacre Girl, one that can also kill off indestructible creatures, but that doesn't mean we should slack off on other removal spells. Sudden Spoiling is particularly nice here, since it's a way to bring an opponent's giant creatures small enough to die off to Massacre Girl triggers.
Mono-Black Good Stuff
I've got some ways to accelerate lands onto the battlefield, so that makes Blackblade Reforged quite appealing, especially since I also have Korlash, Heir to Blackblade in the deck. Tree of Perdition is quite a sweet piece of technology here, as its toughness is big enough to survive a lot of Massacre Girl triggers, and if you stack them right, you can activate it when its toughness is one to switch life totals with an opponent to put them at one.
Sweet deck! But wait, there are too many cards. I'll start by looking at our mana curve:
Converted Mana Cost
Number of Cards
7+ / X
70 total cards plus 39 lands equals nine cards too many, so we need to make some cuts! Let's see what we can trim, starting with the top of our curve.
If I had more ways of destroying my own Spine of Ish Sah, I'd find room for it, but it's probably going to just take out one problematic permanent. I like Meteor Golem a bit better, since it leaves behind a body that can feed into Massacre Girl cascading dies triggers. Sepulchral Primordial is a great card, but I feel that odds are good my own Massacre Girl might end up killing off any creatures I get back, and that's a lot of mana to waste if that's the case.
Both of these cards are fine in the deck, but the four-mana spot on my curve is a little high and I like the other cards just a bit more than these. Both are kind of squishy to Massacre Girl triggers.
Whenever I put Oblivion Stone in a deck, I want to be a little careful about adding too many vulnerable permanents in my deck, so I'm trimming these two cards with that in mind.
I've got other ways to search up Swamps, so I don't know that Thaumatic Compass does enough work to warrant a slot. Brood of Cockroaches is probably the least of my fodder cards, the timing of bringing the card back to my hand can be a little awkward. Vampiric Rites is just fine, but I think it's safe as the final cut.
Okay, so here's how the deck ended up:
- 1 Burnished Hart
- 1 Meteor Golem
- 1 Noxious Gearhulk
- 1 Solemn Simulacrum
- 1 Steel Hellkite
- 1 Bloodghast
- 1 Bloodsoaked Champion
- 1 Corpse Augur
- 1 Endless Cockroaches
- 1 Filth
- 1 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
- 1 Grim Haruspex
- 1 Haunted Dead
- 1 Massacre Wurm
- 1 Midnight Reaper
- 1 Nether Shadow
- 1 Nether Traitor
- 1 Pontiff of Blight
- 1 Reassembling Skeleton
- 1 Tree of Perdition
- 1 Ghoulcaller Gisa
- 1 God-Eternal Bontu
- 1 Korlash, Heir to Blackblade
- 1 Krav, the Unredeemed
- 1 Liliana, Heretical Healer
- 1 Basilisk Collar
- 1 Batterskull
- 1 Caged Sun
- 1 Commander's Sphere
- 1 Expedition Map
- 1 Lashwrithe
- 1 Mind Stone
- 1 Nightmare Lash
- 1 Nihil Spellbomb
- 1 Nim Deathmantle
- 1 Oblivion Stone
- 1 Skullclamp
- 1 Sol Ring
- 1 Black Market
- 1 Dreadhorde Invasion
- 1 Open the Graves
- 1 Phyrexian Arena
- 1 Phyrexian Reclamation
- 1 Revel in Riches
- 1 Go for the Throat
- 1 Malicious Affliction
- 1 Sudden Spoiling
- 1 Thrilling Encore
- 1 Tragic Slip
- 1 Undying Evil
- 1 Blackblade Reforged
- 1 Bolas's Citadel
- 1 Sword of the Animist
- 1 Whip of Erebos
- 1 Damnation
- 1 Exsanguinate
- 1 Read the Bones
- 1 Toxic Deluge
- 1 Bitterblossom
What do you think? Are there any other slam-dunk inclusions I've overlooked? And if you see any new cards from War of the Spark that should find a home here, let me know!
Do me a solid and follow me on Twitter! I run polls and get conversations started about Commander all the time, so get in on the fun!
Below I've got links to decks I've written about going back to January 2017. If you want to read the associated article, just put "Bennie Smith" and the commander name into Google and it should pop right up. I've written a lot about Commander — and Magic in general — so if you want to explore further, the Star City Games® article archives have my articles all the way back to January 2000!
Commander Compare & Contrast
War of the Spark
SCG CON Winter 2018
Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow, Grothama, All-Devouring; Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis; Feldon of the Third Path; Ramos, Dragon Engine; Inalla, Archmage Ritualist; Prossh, Skyraider of Kher; Brago, King Eternal
Guilds of Ravnica
Core Set 2019
Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle, Grand Warlord Radha, Arvad the Cursed, Muldrotha, the Grave Tide, Slimefoot, the Stowaway, Yargle, Glutton of Urborg, Squee, the Immortal, Firesong and Sunspeaker, Jodah, Archmage Eternal, Tiana, Ship's Caretaker
Rivals of Ixalan
Other Commander Decks
Thada Adel, Acquisitor, The Ultimate Golgari Deck, Anafenza, the Foremost (shutting down shenanigans), Momir Vig, Simic Visionary (no green creatures), Kytheon, Hero of Akros (Tribal Gideon), Tasigur, the Golden Fang