Tuesday Night Takeover

Hancock, Ghoulish Mayor Zombies Brewed EDH

Watch your mouth, friend. It’s getting you in trouble..

Art:Hancock, Ghoulish Mayor by Wonchun Choi

If you are tired of the typical Zombies game plan and are looking for more of a stompy element, then Hancock is certainly the commander for you. There is actually a shocking amount of support for a ton of different counters within mono-black. If you have played zombies in Commander before, you will see that we are running an absolute ton of the same cards that typical zombie decks run, but because of our commander, we are able to be more aggressive and swing much, much harder. Let’s take a trip to Goodneighbor and speak to Hancock about this one. Without further adieu, let’s get it!

The Deck:

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Hancock, Ghoulish Mayor Zombies!

Commander (1)
Hancock, Ghoulish Mayor

Creatures (31)
Champion of the Perished
Butch DeLoria, Tunnel Snake
Relentless Dead
Shepherd of Rot
Termination Facilitator
Undead Augur
Ayara, First of Locthwain
Cemetery Reaper
Diregraf Colossus
Duskfang Mentor
Fain, the Broker
Feral Ghoul
Geralf’s Messenger
Headless Rider
Lord of the Accursed
Murderous Rider
Daring Fiendbonder
Graveborn Muse
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
Undead Warchief
Vengeful Dead
Yawgmoth, Thran Physician
Corpse Harvester
Gray Merchant of Asphodel
Noxious Ghoul
Grave Titan
Gravespawn Sovereign
Necropolis Regent
Scavenged Brawler
Void Beckoner

Instants (9)
Astarion’s Thirst
Blood Curdle
Cast Down
Feign Death
Hero’s Downfall
Undying Evil
Unexpected Fangs
Whisper of the Dross

Sorceries (7)
Drown in Ichor
Essence Infusion
Ghoulcaller’s Chant
Gix’s Command
Grave Strength
Spoils of War
Zombie Apocalypse

Artifacts (7)
Sol Ring
Tarrian’s Soulcleaver
Anduril, Narsil Reforged
Charcoal Diamond
Jet Medallion
Ring of Xathrid
Staff of Compleation

Enchantments (10)
Graf Harvest
Sadistic Glee
Eternal Thirst
Feast on the Fallen
Unspeakable Symbol
Endless Ranks of the Dead
Illicit Masquerade
Open the Graves
Vault 12: The Necropolis
Lands (35)
Cabal Coffers
Captivating Cave
Cave of Temptation
Cavern of Souls
Diamond City
Drannith Ruins
Evolving Wilds
Minas Morgul, Dark Fortress
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
22 Swamp
Terramorphic Expanse
The Monumental Facade
Unholy Grotto
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

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Where does this deck fall on the power scale?

I would say this deck falls around a five or a six. We don’t do a ton of outside of single-target removal to our opponents. While we absolutely can one-shot an opponent in combat, this requires quite a bit of setup and can be pretty easy to stop; this deck isn’t designed to be extremely oppressive. It’s more of a fun take on the popular zombies archetype. This deck is certainly not precon level, but it succeeds pretty well and pairs nicely with other creature-based decks.

Why Hancock, Ghoulish Mayor?

Hancock is a huge part of our deck. They are arguably the most important zombie in our deck since we get a huge buff on all of our creatures, and the buff that Hancock provides is the primary win condition for our deck. Hancock has undying, which is a great way to avoid commander tax, but it does have the downside of losing those counters; when they come back, they do have a +1. Hancock is a huge part of our deck, so it typically draws a ton of removal, which can be bad for the deck.

Deck Overview:

This section contains information about cards in the deck and how they function within the deck! I also highlighted some of my favorite cards in the deck!


A lot of the creatures in our deck are what you would expect from a typical zombie strategy, but keep in mind the Hancock buff, which typically applies to all of our zombies. You absolutely cannot have a zombie deck without featuring the legend himself Gray Merchant of Asphodel, which is a huge damage dealer for the deck and also allows us to swing our life total back, which can be great. Swinging our life total back is quite important, especially with cards like Graveborn Muse which is one of the few sources of supplemental card draw for the deck. Corpse Harvester is another card I love on the deck because it is a sac outlet, as well as a creature and land tutor, which there is not much you can ask this card to do. While it may seem counterintuitive, we typically target Hancock first with Termination Facilitator because more counters give us more buffs. In all of my testing, there is one creature that I have never cast, and that is Void Beckoner, which we always cycle and give the counter to Hancock. While we have a lot of counter payoffs we also have some classic zombie cards like Gravecrawler, Relentless Dead, and Diregraf Colossus which are all great on their own but when they get buffed up they become absolute powerhouses within the deck.


Astarion's Thirst is an insane card in this deck, especially if we hit a big creature from our opponent; this is one of the cards that enables a one-shot or if we are trying to block a big swing can help turn the tides in our favor. Since we are in mono-black, we have some removal like Hero's Downfall, Murder, and Cast Down, which are all great ways to slow down and kill key pieces of our opponent’s board. Unexpected Fangs not only helps us get some life back, but it gives Hancock an additional buff, which is always amazing for the deck.


Zombie Apocalypse is not just a sweet flavor win. It is a great way to recover after a board wipe, and if we are against a human-focused deck, we can absolutely blow them out of the water. Ghoulcaller's Chant is a graveyard recursion for the deck, and since we are heavily focused on zombies, it gives us a two-for-one, which is always good. Grave Strength, Spoils of War, and Essence Infusion are all strong and cheap ways to buff up Hancock and keep the damage coming. Gix's Command is a very strong toolbox card that works well against a ton of strategies, whether big or small, and we can even use Gix’s Command offensively to buff up Hancock, while it is a little pricey at five mana it does a ton of work for the deck.


Most of our cards are decently cheap with a few exceptions, so we are pretty light on mana rocks but I find that the deck still works well; we have Sol Ring and Charcoal Diamond which are nice but don’t affect the gameplan at all if we don’t get them out. We do have some extremely strong artifacts within the deck and one of my favorites is Staff of Compleation, which we typically use to proliferate, but this thing has a ton of great options and is just a strong toolbox card for the deck. Ring of Xathrid is quite strong, and honestly, before this deck, I had never seen or seen anyone play with this one, but in this deck, it is a bomb. Being able to regenerate Hancock, as well as getting a passive buff, increases our damage turn after turn. Tarrian's Soulcleaver and Andúril, Narsil Reforged are both great pieces of equipment that provide buffs and help us swing harder and harder.


Since we are focused on buffing up Hancock, we have quite a few ways to do it through our enchantments like Eternal Thirst and Necrosynthesis are both great cards, which makes all of our creatures bigger and better as opponents creatures die. Illicit Masquerade is a very interesting card that gives us an additional counter on Hancock and provides some strong recursion for the deck; this card is interesting. Unspeakable Symbol is one of the best cards in the deck since it is an at-will buff on our commander, which can be a great way to buff up and one-shot an opponent. This card is extremely strong, and I expect a lot of attention to come to you when you drop this bomb. Endless Ranks of the Dead is a great way to make more and more creatures, which can be great when we have big buffs on Hancock.

Land Base:

We have an absolute ton of awesome lands in the deck; one of my favorites is Cavern of Souls, which is a great way to fight through opponents who are playing counterspell-heavy strategies. Unholy Grotto is arguably one of the strongest lands in the deck since it is a great piece of recursion for our zombies, this is a card that is pretty much always good. Since we are in mono-black, you know we had to include Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, which can be a huge mana producer for the deck, especially because we have a decent amount of double-black devotion cards within the deck. We also have quite a few lands that provide counters onto Hancock, like Diamond City, Captivating Cave, and Minas Morgul, Dark Fortress, which are all great ways to buff up all of our zombies through Hancock. I like this landbase and think it’s strong and efficient and gets the job done. We have some more expensive cards within the deck, and I think that thirty-five is a great number for the deck.

Strengths of the Deck:

  • Our commander positions us to be extremely strong in combat, and we can easily one-shot an opponent with straight-up combat damage.
  • We have a decent amount of removal, and our creatures can help as well, like Noxious Ghoul.
  • Many of the creatures in our deck create more tokens, give us cards or provide some sort of benefit, having this flexibility allows us to do a lot whether we are getting heavily targeted or left alone.

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • We do have some, but we don’t have a ton of supplemental card draw within the deck.
  • We can certainly function without Hancock but our deck is certainly slower and weaker without them.
  • We are generally weak to creature hate; even though we are in mono-black, we don’t have a ton of recursion. Some cards do, but it is not the primary focus of the deck.

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

Main Win Conditions:

There are no infinite combos or loops within the deck. We are a combat deck in every way; we get a ton of help from Hancock, who provides quite a big anthem effect for the deck. We are primarily built around getting a ton of counters in various different ways onto Hancock to buff up all of our creatures within the deck. We are pretty strong in combat not only because of Hancock but also because we have quite a few other payoffs like Undead Warchief and Necropolis Regent, which both allow us to get out of hand pretty quickly.


I hope you all enjoyed this one; Hancock is a ton of fun, and mono-black counters is certainly an interesting take on Zombies. I have been having a blast with this one, and it has been a fan-favorite among my playgroup as well and many people have wanted to play it. Whether you are a fan of Fallout or not, I hope you enjoyed this one. Thanks for reading to the end and for all of your support!