Deck of the Day: Grixis Scarab God

Standard has so many ways to utilize the graveyard for your benefit right now. You have God-Pharaoh’s Gift decks, Prized Amalgam decks, and now a huge uptick in Scarab God decks. With these powerful ways to bring creatures back from the graveyard, you can see different incarnations of high power, high synergy decks.

The Scarab God doesn’t mess around. A 5/5 for 5 is a solid rate on its own, but all of the abilities can be backbreaking. The main attraction is being able to eternalize a creature from any graveyard. That means anything that has been killed, milled, or discarded on your side, or on your opponent’s side, can come back as a 4/4 creature. In addition, you’re going to get all those sweet enters-the-battlefield triggers while gaining insurmountable card advantage.

Those eternalized tokens are Zombies, so even if you didn’t have any to begin with, you’ll be able to trigger the upkeep ability. Scrying helps make sure you’re always drawing action, and the life loss is a nice bonus.

Finally, The Scarab God comes back from the graveyard if it’s killed. While it’s already immune to cards like Fatal Push and Grasp of Darkness, it’s nice to know that it’s going to take something more than lethal damage or a simple kill spell to get rid of the God.

Liliana, Death’s Majesty gives you another way to get creatures back from the graveyard. She gives you multiple ways to add Zombies, and can fuel your reanimation by milling. If you’re able to eternalize some creatures and maybe make some tokens, the ultimate can be a one-sided Wrath, and you would even get The Scarab God back from the graveyard.

This strategy encourages you to play lots of value creatures to get the most out of both casting them and bringing them back from the graveyard. Champion of Wits is the single best option. It’s a creature that digs you deeper while putting cards in the graveyard. It’s a mana sink late in the game when you can eternalize it yourself. And bringing it back from the graveyard can give you additional looks at finding key cards and getting rid of those you don’t need.

Goblin Dark-Dwellers and Gonti, Lord of Luxury both offer you an additional card. Dark-Dwellers allows you to get an additional use out of spells you’ve already cast, discarded, or milled. Gonti will trade up with any creature on the ground while also offering you some nice card advantage and selection from the opponent’s deck.

Noxious Gearhulk is the big removal spell creature that you can easily cast from your hand and are happy to bring back from the graveyard as many times as possible. It’s large, it has menace, and it gains you some life while removing a problematic opposing creature.

Gifted Aetherborn is the one non-God creature without an enters-the-battlefield trigger, but lifelink and deathtouch are incredibly useful abilities in the early game. You can trade up and make sure you stay alive to enact your powerful late game, and eternalizing an Aetherborn into a 4/4 lifelink is going to be a real threat.

Strategic Planning will ensure you have what you need and gives you a chance to put cards into your graveyard for value. This deck already likes the selection aspect of a card like Anticipate, but putting cards into the graveyard where you can use them later is key.


The rest of the deck consists of the most efficient removal in the format. You have the full playset of Magma Spray and Grasp of Darkness to efficiently kill creatures in the early stages of the game. There’s a pair of Fatal Pushes to trade up on tempo, while Essence Extraction can kill mid-sized creatures or early drops and keep your life total high. A single Doomfall gives you some flexibility in an Edict and discard spell that you can still use again with Dark-Dwellers.

Grixis Scarab God combines lots of early removal and interaction with a powerful graveyard-based late game that’s going to be tough to beat!

Grixis Scarab God

JMNK, 5-0 in an MTGO Competitive League


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