Bug Out with Insect Tribal with Grist! – EDH Showcase

Insect tribal decks get to play one of the strangest commanders in the format: Grist, the Hunger Tide, who is a creature everywhere except on the battlefield. As you’d expect of any self-respecting Insect general, Grist enables a three-pronged strategy: first, making a bunch of 1/1 Insect tokens; second, using the graveyard for fun and profit; third, sacrificing creatures for extra value. Grist’s abilities show us exactly what sort of thing his decks should try to do, clearly signposting how to build a deck around it. 

And one such Grist deck was made by jordanos, who put together a list that goes hard in generating a bunch of 1/1s while also doing the traditional Golgari thing of filling up the graveyard and making use of cards again and again and again through sacrifice and recursion. Like a flood of skittering cockroaches that just won’t die, this deck can flood the board and recur cards almost endlessly. Let’s take a closer look!




Insect Tribal Commander by jordanos

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There are plenty of cards that can create little 1/1 Insects, occupying spots all across the curve. From the two-drop Broodhatch Nantuko all the way to the eight-drop Living Hive, this deck is filled with cards that will fill the battlefield with endless swarms of 1/1s. Ant Queen can churn ’em out for two mana apiece, while Hornet Queen’s Insects take to the skies and have deathtouch to boot. 

Crawling InfestationCrawling SensationMesmeric OrbGolgari Grave-Troll

Some token producers even synergize with the other half of the deck: Crawling Infestation and Crawling Sensation both fuel the graveyard and make Insects, which is exactly what this deck wants. There are other ways besides to make sure your ‘yard is fully stocked, with options like Mesmeric Orb and a whole stack of dredge cards such as Stinkweed Imp and Golgari Grave-Troll

Carrion GrubMoldgraf MillipedeIzoni, Thousand-EyedMortal Combat

But what to do with a full graveyard? Power up other Insect-based cards! Carrion Grub and Moldgraf Millipede become enormous (even if millipedes aren’t technically Insects), while Izoni, Thousand-Eyed will create a ton of tokens with her undergrowth ability. And, if you’ve had enough of the game and want it to end, there’s always Mortal Combat!

Nantuko HuskMazirek, Kraul Death PriestSyr Konrad, the GrimSwarm of Bloodflies

Finally, this deck also looks to sacrifice or discard creatures for value. There are plenty of outlets, with cards like Nantuko Husk, Devouring Swarm and Skirge Familiar, and there are also plenty of payoffs, too. Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest will swiftly cause your team of small 1/1s to grow to colossal proportions, Syr Konrad can burn out your opponents and Swarm of Bloodflies gets very big, very quickly. 

Insects are a pretty niche tribe but they’ve taken these mechanics and made them their own, and have a sweet planeswalker commander that really ties the strategy together magnificently. I love getting across tribal decks like these – if you’ve got one of your own, please send it in! A Twitter DM is always the best way to get at me. 


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