To recap what she does:
Legendary Creature – Human Wizard
B, tap, Sacrifice another creature: Put X 2/2 black Zombie creature tokens onto the battlefield, where X is the sacrificed creature’s power.
I’m also a fan of her flavor text; it’s actually a quote straight from the Uncharted Realms talking about her and her brother.
“Geralf, must you always whine? I agreed to nothing. I’ll raise ghouls anytime I wish.”
It’s pretty obvious that she wants to be surrounded by a horde of zombies – the flavor of throwing a monster to the zombies to call forth more zombies is pretty solid in my books. Mechanically, mono-black doesn’t mind getting a swarm of monsters – black is used to getting tokens at the cost of lives. The only real downside to her ability is having to tap along with having a mana cost. She’s also rather high on the curve at 3BB – meaning she’ll get expensive fast if she gets killed a lot.
As far as mono-black zombies in Commander are concerned, however, Ghoulcaller Gisa is probably going to be our best bet when she comes out. Geth, Lord of the Vault and Mikaeus, the Unhallowed are probably our best bets aside from her – but we’ll be playing them too.
XB: Put target artifact or creature card with converted mana cost X from an opponent’s graveyard onto the battlefield under your control tapped. Then that player puts the top X cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
As Gisa won’t always be in play, we’ll need a way to get cool cards into play. By hitting an opponent to grab something small, we get to start filling up their graveyard for other shenanigans that we’ll be doing soon.
Before that, we need to make our little zombie tokens as strong as possible – and why not play all of the zombie lords?
Between all of these lords and buffs, the 2/2 zombie tokens that Gisa makes get much larger- but how are we going to get those tokens when we have to sacrifice creatures?
Well, Gravecrawler is probably the best possible option.
But what else makes tokens?
As a reminder of cumulative upkeep:
At the beginning of your upkeep, put an age counter on this permanent, then sacrifice it unless you pay its upkeep cost for each age counter on it.
Now, whenever Tombstone Stairwell is destroyed or the turn ends, all the tokens are destroyed and cannot be regenerated. The only real downside is that everyone gets these tokens – but you’re likely going to have a larger graveyard than most of the other players, and your zombies are going to be larger than theirs. One fun trick is that you can also keep the zombies if they’re indestructible – though black doesn’t have much to do so with.
Now, what else does black like doing? Well, encouraging us to play more black!
As Gravecrawler only costs B and can be sacrificed to Phyrexian Altar for B, meaning you can sacrifice it to recast itself as long as you control another zombie, giving you an infinite sacrifice outlet. Meaning, cards like Blood Artist turn into win conditions.
Geth, Lord of the Vault
Lord of the Undead
Mikaeus, the Unhallowed
Liliana of Dark Realms
Army of the Damned
Victim of Night
Dictate of Erebos
Endless Ranks of the Dead
Coat of Arms
Gauntlet of Power
Hall of Triumph
Obelisk of Urd
Whip of Erebos
Cavern of Souls
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
What do you guys anticipate seeing with Gisa? And of course, if I forgot anything, feel free to mention it! I’m always open to ideas.
Until next time,
- SolemnParty (David Rowell)