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Human Sacrifice

Written by James Heslip on . Posted in Casual Magic

Human Sacrifice

James Heslip

James is a budget Magic connoisseur who values silly strategies and rogue decks. He has been playing Magic since 1998, and competing in Legacy events since 2010. When he is not teaching high school English, he can be found brewing Casual and Legacy decks to play with his students and peers. Always appreciative of feedback, he loves it when people send suggestions and share crazy decks with him!
I don’t know what it is about demons and human sacrifice. Normally, a sacrifice is meant to bring good fortune, or to appease an ornery god. When it comes to demons, though, it seems like the only thing the sacrifice appeases is the demon’s appetite. If that is the case, Magic has a lot of hungry demons ready to eat just as many humans that wouldn’t mind taking one for the team. Add in a necromancer to deal with the leftovers, and you have yourself a neat human sacrifice deck in the works!
The Core

Bloodsoaked Champion is our best option for sacrifices. He can be brought back from the dead every time we attack, which gives us the potential to sacrifice him every turn. His two power is respectable for a one-drop creature, too.

Doomed Dissenter leaves an animated corpse behind after he gives his life, similar to Orzhov Enforcer. Four of each seems like a given to me.

With our offerings established, we can move on to the big guns. Demon of Catastrophes is our first summon. The 6/6 body with both flying and trample is cheap for all that he brings with him. All he asks in return for his services, other than four mana, is a single human soul. Demonlord of Ashmouth is a customer of similar taste. While he is not as powerful, he comes with the incredibly useful Undying ability, which you will find is right at home in this deck.

The Backup

We want to be able to do more than just play some low-cost fatties. Skirsdag Flayer is a removal spell on a stick that lets us abuse our sacrifice victims even more. A four mana activation cost might seem like a lot, but infinite removal spells thanks to Bloodsoaked Champion makes it more than worth it.

Zulaport Cutthroat gives us some reach, burning the opponent and healing us every time one of our creatures is consumed. Multiples copies of him in play makes for some great fun. The same can be said for Xathrid Necromancer, who takes the leftovers from our demon’s meals and turns them into an undead army.

Altar’s Reap and Vampiric Rites act as additional sacrifice outlets, as well as card draw, while Doom Blade serves as generic removal. It kills what we can’t deal with otherwise, and helps add counters to Quest for the Gravelord.

Playing the Deck
  Bloodsoaked Champion is our go-to first play. We want him down before Quest so that he can attack as soon as possible. Quest and Rites should come down soon after. If we can create a board state that allows us to sacrifice Champion every turn, we can abuse the previously mentioned cards to the full extent.

Doomed Dissenter is our best sacrifice outlet (next to Champion) since the zombie that results from his death is both free and more powerful than his former self. Enforcer should only be sacrificed if the others are not available.

Preferable, you want your Cutthroats and Necromancers in play before you start your tributes. This way, you get the most out of the deaths. Luckily, this will usually happen naturally, as the CMC of the sacrifices, boosters, and demons all lead into each other.

In general, don’t hesitate to swing as often as possible. Champion can’t black, and he needs you to attack so that he can come back. Cutthroat and Rites will keep you healthy even if there is a swingback.

Don’t forget that you can get some great mileage out of Ashmouth’s undying ability, too. Rites and Reap both play well with the self-reanimating demon, and he can even feed a Demon of Catastrophes if needed.

Twenty-two mana might seem like a lot for a deck with a large majority of its cards being two-drops, but  Getting to four mana is imperative. Without if, your demons won’t see the light of day. The activated abilities of Bloodsoaked Champion, Orzhov Enforcer, Skirsdag Flayer, and Vampiric Rites will always give you something to spend extra mana on, anyways.

Memorial to Folly and Westvale Abbey both fit thematically as well as mechanically. If included, I would not play more than two of either. Tempo means a lot to this deck, and losing tempo to a land that enters play tapped, or because we don’t have enough black sources, can be detrimental.

Avacyn’s Collar is a card I am strongly considering in place of Quest for the Gravelord. It is thematically relevant, sits neatly in our much-needed one-drop slot, and does everything we want it to do in the deck.

Bone Splinters, Tragic Slip, and Malicious Affliction are all potential removal spells that can replace Doom Blade. Affliction specifically seems powerful in this list, but is a bit more costly monetarily speaking. Splinters and Slip are also on-drops, which is something the deck is lacking.

Baleful Ammit is another demon with potential. His three mana casting cost means we can get him down earlier than the other demons, and the -1/-1 counter he requires can simply force a sacrifice on a creature we were planning on feeding to something anyways. He also plays very well with Ashmouth. If the demon lord dies and gets his +1/+1 counter, we can play Ammit to take the counter away, meaning we can trigger his undying multiple times.

Grim Haruspex, Village Cannibals, and Wake Dancer are all humans that benefit the deck in their own way. Haruspex specifically is another card I am strongly considering for the main deck. He has respectable stats and drawing cards is fun.

Finally, there is Ravenous Demon. You won’t find anything more on theme than him. His casting and upkeep costs (after transformation) kept him from being included, though you may reconsider.


Today’s deck is definitely one of my favorites. It’s not often that you can build a deck to both fit a very specific theme while also staying mechanically synergistic. Plus, sacrificing humans to summon demons is just cool. What do you think? Let me know on my facebook page. Do you have an idea for an inexpensive and fun deck you want me to see? send me an email at Spooky386@gmail.com.



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