Tuesday Night Takeover

Loyal Subordinate Zombies Pauper EDH

“My Zombie apocalypse plan is simple but effective; I fully intend to die in the very first wave.”

Art:Loyal Subordinate by Kev Walker

Loyal Subordinate is the perfect general for a PDH zombies deck. This deck has so much support in the PDH format and is an absolute blast to play. We have all the best elements of black on showcase in this deck, including creatures with recursion and discard effects, as well as massive swings of life and removal spells. On top of that, we have a bunch of really awesome zombies that can be strong attackers and blockers and great ways to round out the game.

The Deck:

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Loyal Subordinate Zombies!

Commander (1)
Loyal Subordinate

Creatures (30)
Butcher Ghoul
Null Champion
Putrid Goblin
Shepherd of Rot
Siege Zombie
Wight of Precinct Six
Fleshbag Marauder
Hobbling Zombie
Liliana’s Elite
Severed Legion
Spark Reaper
Diregraf Scavenger
Gavony Unhallowed
Gravebane Zombie
Herald of the Dreadhorde
Infectious Horror
Infernal Caretaker
Jarl of the Forsaken
Lurching Rotbeast
Vengeful Dead
Gray Merchant of Asphodel
Rot-Tide Gargantua
Zombie Boa
Gempalm Polluter
Grixis Slavedriver
Maalfeld Twins
Gurmag Angler
Writhing Necromass

Instants (13)
Cast Down
Cruel Revival
Crypt Incursion
Doom Blade
Go for the Throat
Grasp of Darkness
Raise the Draugr
Rotten Reunion
Snuff Out
Victim of Night

Sorceries (9)
Cemetery Recruitment
Crawl from the Cellar
Dirge of Dread
Feed the Swarm
Ghoulcaller’s Chant
Night’s Whisper
Read the Bones
Sign in Blood

Artifacts (5)
Arcane Signet
Charcoal Diamond
Spare Supplies
Bonder’s Ornament

Enchantments (7)
Endless Scream
Kaya’s Ghostform
Omen of the Dead
Quag Sickness
Shade’s Form
Aspect of Lamprey
Lands (35)
Barren Moor
Bojuka Bog
Command Tower
Desert of the Glorified
Mortuary Mire
Path of Ancestry
Peat Bog
Polluted Mire
25 Swamp
The Dross Pits
Witch’s Cottage

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Why Loyal Subordinate?

Loyal Subordinate is not only a well-stated creature that is a zombie. Since they are a commander, we basically Lightning Bolt our opponents on every one of our combat steps. Having menace can also make our commander harder to deal with in combat. Being only three mana is a big advantage for us since we can cast it early and get that sweet damage from the game’s early goings.

Deck Overview:

This section contains information about cards in the deck and how they function within the deck! As well as highlighting some of my favorite cards in the deck!


We have a ton of zombies! So, let’s talk about some of my favorites. Infernal Caretaker is actually not a zombie, but their effect is so strong for the deck that can recur all of our zombies back to our hands. It is an easy way to recover after our board gets destroyed. Shepherd of Rot and Gray Merchant of Asphodel are both great ways to do mass damage to our opponents. Depending on the stage of the game we are in, we can use Wight of Precinct Six as an absolutely massive attacker. Writhing Necromass is an awesome zombie who is pretty big, and we can almost always pay very little for it. Once we are ahead on board, we can use Gempalm Polluter as an effective way to hurt a specific opponent. Gravebane Zombie is a flavorful card that keeps coming back no matter what you do to it, with the only exception being exile effects. Hobbling Zombie is quite the pile of stats and keywords for only three mana, and getting an extra attacker/blocker is also great, even if it is only temporary.


We have a decent amount of single target removal like Cast Down, Doom Blade, and Grasp of Darkness, which are all cheap and efficient removal spells. Cruel Revival is an expensive removal spell, but since it has zombie recursion, it can be strong in the right situation. Crypt Incursion is a strong card against creature-based / aggressive strategies since we can gain a lot of life from it. Since we have mostly zombies, we can use Raise the Draugr as a two mana way to recur two creatures back. Darkness is a Fog effect for the deck and a great way to protect ourselves from a huge attack.


One of my favorite sorceries is Dirge of Dread, which is a great way to one-shot opponents since it makes our creatures pretty hard to block. We also have PDH staples in the form of Night's Whisper, Read the Bones, and Sign in Blood, which are all cheap and efficient draw spells. Cemetery Recruitment is a piece of recursion that, more often than not, also gives us a card. Unearth is a great piece of reanimation for some of our smaller creatures and can be very strong in the early game. Ghoulcaller's Chant is a crazy card for only one mana, allowing us to recur two zombie creatures. Speaking of strong one mana cards, we also have Crawl from the Cellar, a piece of recursion, and a buff for one of our current creatures.


We have some artifact ramp that helps us get ahead and cast bigger spells and permanents earlier. We of course, have Charcoal Diamond and Arcane Signet, which are staples in Mono-Black. Bonder's Ornament is a really cool PDH staple that gives us mana and some cards. Spare Supplies is another great piece of card draw that can come out early and give us extra card advantage. Campfire is the perfect card against aggressive strategies and a great way to get our commander back to us if they have been killed multiple times.


We have a few pauper staples in our enchantment package, like Oubliette, which is the ultimate PDH removal spell for black. Endless Scream is a great way to buff up one of our bigger or more evasive creatures. Quag Sickness is a cheap removal aura that allows us to kill almost anything our opponents have. Shade's Form can help buff up and save a creature, which is a huge effect for only three mana. Aspect of Lamprey is an absolute bomb against aggressive decks and against almost any strategy who can say no to discard and life.

Land Base:

While in Mono-Black, we have some pretty cool lands that offer card draw and some utility. Mortuary Mire and Witch's Cottage are strong lands that can be great in the mid-late game for recursion. Bojuka Bog is great if we have another opponent who cares about what is in their graveyard. Since we are a deck that cares about creature types Path of Ancestry is a nice way to scry on nearly all of the creature spells we cast. Beyond that, we have some other lands that help us draw cards, like Desert of the Glorified and The Dross Pits. Beyond that, we have a ton of swamps. I have found this land base to be strong and effective throughout testing.

Strengths of the Deck:

  • A ton of payoffs and synergies with the zombies in our deck
  • There is a decent amount of card draw for being in Mono-Black
  • Decent amount of recursion from creatures/spells

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • Weak to creature hate
  • Weak to graveyard hate as we often recur creatures
  • Weak to control strategies/counterspell heavy lists

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

Main Win Conditions:

There are no infinite combos or loops in the deck. We close out games with good old-fashioned combat and swinging. We also have the added benefit of Loyal Subordinate ‘s trigger being a great way to damage our opponents. We also have cards like Gray Merchant of Asphodel, which is another really strong way to deal with mass damage to our opponents and help close out games.


Loyal Subordinate is fun, flavorful, and the perfect commander for a PDH zombies deck! Zombies are one of the oldest creature types in magic and have had a ton of support for a really long time. Even at the PDH level, this deck is strong and fun. While it certainly is not CPDH, it is still a blast to play and one I have been piloting for quite a while. This deck is absolutely perfect for any players who love black or zombies! Thanks for reading to the end, and thanks for all of your support