Tuesday Night Takeover

Brewed EDH: Skullbriar +1/+1’s

Buffs, Buffs and More Buffs!

Art: Skullbriar, the Walking Grave by Nils Hamm

Welcome to another installment of Brewed EDH:

Skullbriar is a very early commander but he is still really fun to pilot and smack some opponents with. Skullbriar was a very strong commander at the start of the format, while he has taken a back seat he is still a ton of fun to play and there is more support than ever! The amount of counters that add deathtouch or lifelink or flying as well as +1/+1’s make Skullbriar stronger than he ever was. Skullbriar is the most popular Golgari +1/+1’s commander and has been for quite a while he is a house! With Skullbriar on the field everyone basically has 21 health as he is a cheap commander damage machine!

The Deck:

Skullbriar Counters!

Commander (1)
Skullbriar, the Walking Grave

Creatures (32)
Elves of Deep Shadow
Elvish Mystic
Ulvenwald Tracker
Winding Constrictor
Champion of Lambholt
Drana, Liberator of Malakir
Duskfang Mentor
Grakmaw, Skyclave Ravager
Guardian Augmenter
Hornbash Mentor
Kami of Whispered Hopes
Kodama of the West Tree
Oran-Rief Ooze
Pir, Imaginative Rascal
Rishkar, Peema Renegade
Corpsejack Menace
Daring Fiendbonder
Forgotten Ancient
Slippery Bogbonder
Defiler of Vigor
Kalonian Hydra
Loyal Guardian
Verdurous Gearhulk
Necropolis Regent
Scavenged Brawler
Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider
Zopandrel, Hunger Dominus
Void Beckoner
Titanoth Rex

Spells (23)
Undying Malice
Worldly Tutor
Assassin’s Trophy
Heroic Intervention
Rush of Vitality
Solidarity of Heroes
Unexpected Fangs
Beast Within
Call of the Death-Dweller
Fully Grown
Inspiring Call
Invigorating Surge
Kodama’s Reach
Obscuring Haze
Visions of Dominance
Astarion’s Thirst
Deadly Rollick
Ruinous Intrusion

Artifacts (4)
The Ozolith
Ozolith, the Shattered Spire
Ring of Kalonia
Mask of Griselbrand

Enchantments (6)
Hardened Scales
Predatory Hunger
Agent of the Shadow Thieves
Ordeal of Nylea
Hydra’s Growth
Doubling Season
Lands (34)
Blighted Woodland
Blooming Marsh
Command Tower
Darkbore Pathway
Deathcap Glade
Exotic Orchard
Foul Orchard
Golgari Guildgate
Haunted Mire
Jungle Hollow
Llanowar Wastes
Necroblossom Snarl
Nurturing Peatland
Overgrown Tomb
Tainted Wood
Temple of Malady
Twilight Mire
Undergrowth Stadium
Verdant Catacombs
Woodland Cemetery
Woodland Chasm

Why Skullbriar, the Walking Grave?

There are many golgari +1/+1’s commanders in the space such as Grakmaw, Skyclave Ravager and Polukranos, Unchained while these are fine options Skullbriar is the best option in my opinion. Skullbriar is the most popular Golgari +1/+1 counters commander and that is for a very good reason. Skullbriar is an easy to cast hasty commander that can get big and stay big no matter where he goes. Skullbriar may not have built in protection but since he doesn’t lose any counters he has recasting him a bunch is not a big deal. The best reason to choose Skullbriar over other Golgari Commanders is that he can come out early and often and make an impact quickly. Even though Skullbriar is Golgari he has a bunch of combo potential and a great high end curve to pump him and all of our creatures.

Deck Overview:

The main goal of our deck is killing our opponents with Skullbriar, we can accomplish this very early, we have many ways to make Skullbriar big. We have +1/+1 counter staples like Hardened Scales and Doubling Season and Winding Constrictor which when combined with Skullbriar and our +1/+1 cards can get out of hand quickly. Our main way to make Skullbriar big is through our creatures and spells like Visions of Dominance and Invigorating Surge if we already have counters on Skullbriar this can get out of hand quickly. Since Skullbriar does not lose counters as he moves between zones we can utilize cards like Hornbash Mentor to give Skullbriar trample and Void Beckoner who we will almost never cast but we can cycle to give him deathtouch. We have cards to give Skullbriar nearly every type of base ability on Skullbriar. Skullbriar’s cheap mana cost makes it so even if he is getting killed regularly we can almost always cast him again and if he has been buffed continue the beatdown! The Ozolith is a great way to move counters from creatures that die onto Skullbriar. Ring of Kalonia is also a great way too buff up skullbriar and the has the added benefit of buffing him every turn because he is green! We are also packing some infinite combos like Vigor + Walking Ballista + Hardened Scales this will give us infinite damage. The whole point of our deck is to make skullbriar as big as possible and swing at our opponents. Since we can efficiently pump up skullbriar in many ways games with him are 21 health game because we can easily finish people off with commander damage. Overall our main gameplan is to buff Skullbriar as much as possible and swing for the fences!

Strengths of the Deck:

  • We have cards that can win games without Skullbriar
  • Commander damage kills are very easy
  • Can combo off and end games

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • Weak against creature hate
  • Weak against effects that remove counters
  • Weak against aggressive strategies

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

Main Win Conditions:

Our main win con is through commander damage / combat with Skullbriar but we are also packing some infinite combos

Vigor + Walking Ballista + Hardened Scales = infinite damage

Rite of Passage + Walking Ballista + Hardened Scales = infinite damage

Rite of Passage + Walking Ballista + Corpsejack Menace = infinite damage

While our of combos are infinite damage and involve a lot of the same cards it is nice to be able to execute an infinite damage combo in multiple ways!


In Conclusion, I think Skullbriar is a very forgotten about commander and doesnt see much action these days but is still a well-positioned and very fun commander with a lot of potential. Skullbriar has gained a lot more support in recent years and is just a ton of fun to play

Thanks for reading to the end!