I’m Going Out Looking For A Massacre Girl

She may be trouble, but that’s just what Bennie Smith is looking for! He gets ready to wipe Commander battlefields and take names with Massacre Girl!

(To the tune of “Cynical Girl,” by Marshall Crenshaw.)

Well I’m goin’ out

I’m goin’ out lookin’ for a Massacre Girl

Who’s clearing up a cluttered battlefield

I’m lookin’ for a Massacre Girl

Well I hate weenies

There’s gotta be somebody other than me

Who’s ready to kill them off immediately

I’m lookin’ for a Massacre Girl

Well I’ll know right away by her casting cost

She’s only five mana with no tempo loss

And I know when there’s somethin’ bigger that she

She’s got many more triggers

Many more triggers

I’ll be lost in love

And havin’ some fun with my Massacre Girl

Who’s clearing up a cluttered battlefield

I’m lookin’ for a Massacre Girl

Well I’m goin’ out

I’m goin’ out lookin’ for a Massacre Girl

Who’s clearing up a cluttered battlefield

I’m lookin’ for a Massacre Girl

The Magic community seems pretty stoked about this new black legend from War of the Spark, Massacre Girl, and I’m definitely in that camp both for Standard and of course for Commander. Check it out!

When I first saw Massacre Girl, I assumed the playtest card name inspired by these cards just made it all the way through design:

But keen observers of flavor text would have noticed Massacre Girl mentioned back in Return to Ravnica!

The way this card plays is pretty cool. Assuming there’s a one-power creature that dies when Massacre Girl enters the battlefield, there will be a cascade of triggers so long as there are creatures of ascending toughness that the triggers can catch up with. Which means Massacre Girl plays a lot like this old gem:

The problem with Last Laugh is that typically, once the cascading damage happens and there are no creatures left alive, you lose Last Laugh. Having the effect tied to your commander which is actually not affected by the triggers is a heck of a nice upgrade.

The problem, of course, is that the rest of your creatures are not immune to Massacre Girl’s triggers. But hey, we can use that as a feature rather than a bug—black has lots of low-toughness creatures that you can get back from the graveyard, so why not play a bunch of those in order to ensure that Massacre Girl’s cascading triggers will wreak devastation upon the battlefield, cleaning up all the clutter and leaving a nice, clean path to attack with your menacing Assassin?

Okay, let’s get brewing!


First up, fodder to juice Massacre Girl’s triggers! I’ve got the usual suspects like Bloodsoaked Champion and Reassembling Skeleton, but I’ve also dug into the classic Nether Shadow, Brood of Cockroaches, and Endless Cockroaches. I’m also going to include token-makers like Bitterblossom, and while the tokens will likely die quite often, I think the constant supply of fodder is worth the life loss. I’ll be making sure to have plenty of lifegain in the deck to offset that.

Death Triggers

Since there will be a lot of creatures dying, we’ll want to leverage the death triggers.

Cards like Black Market and Revel in Riches are going to be incredibly powerful. Open the Graves is another token-generating card that will sometimes provide more fodder for Massacre Girl triggers but will sometimes leave a Zombie token or two behind.

Undying Evil and Nim Deathmantle are ways to bring Massacre Girl right back onto the battlefield after being destroyed or killed.

Since we have creatures that we’ll get back from the graveyard, I wanted to take advantage of that for other effects like Skullclamp and Ghoulcaller Gisa.

It’s expensive at five mana plus casting Massacre Girl, but I figure it’s worth finding room for Thrilling Encore for the crazy big swing that would produce.


Black does a great job of providing nice effects at the cost of life, so I wanted to make sure to include plenty of ways to gain life in this deck. Gray Merchant of Asphodel and Exsanguinate are the heavy hitters here and can sometimes be win conditions.

Draw Cards

Drawing cards like a boss! I especially like the death-triggered card draw from Grim Haruspex, Midnight Reaper, and Liliana, Dreadhorde General. Of course, Krav, the Unredeemed is even more awesome than usual in a deck with tons of sacrificial fodder, and it gains you life along the way.

I’m very excited about Bolas’s Citadel and hope that I have enough lifegain in the deck to take full advantage of casting spells from my library. Also, with the sacrificial fodder, I can see even activating the ability to dome opponents for ten damage here and there!

Swamps Matter

As awesome as Massacre Girl is, she’s only a 4/4 creature, so I want to play the Swamps-matter Equipment like Lashwrithe so make her much more threatening later in the game. The Equipment can also be used to boost up one of your small sacrificial fodder creatures. Filth in your graveyard and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth on the battlefield combine to make your creatures unblockable.

Cabal Coffers and Cabal Stronghold provide a huge infusion of mana later in the game and should make recasting Massacre Girl from the command zone not at all problematic.

Mana Ramp

Outside of Cabal Coffers, we’ll want to ensure we have lots of extra mana acceleration and I’ve got the usual suspects here. Sword of the Animist is particularly nice here since I’ve got the Swamps-matter cards.


We basically have a more powerful Damnation tied to our commander with Massacre Girl, one that can also kill off indestructible creatures, but that doesn’t mean we should slack off on other removal spells. Sudden Spoiling is particularly nice here, since it’s a way to bring an opponent’s giant creatures small enough to die off to Massacre Girl triggers.

Mono-Black Good Stuff

I’ve got some ways to accelerate lands onto the battlefield, so that makes Blackblade Reforged quite appealing, especially since I also have Korlash, Heir to Blackblade in the deck. Tree of Perdition is quite a sweet piece of technology here, as its toughness is big enough to survive a lot of Massacre Girl triggers, and if you stack them right, you can activate it when its toughness is one to switch life totals with an opponent to put them at one.

Sweet deck! But wait, there are too many cards. I’ll start by looking at our mana curve:

Converted Mana Cost

Number of Cards













7+ / X


70 total cards plus 39 lands equals nine cards too many, so we need to make some cuts! Let’s see what we can trim, starting with the top of our curve.

If I had more ways of destroying my own Spine of Ish Sah, I’d find room for it, but it’s probably going to just take out one problematic permanent. I like Meteor Golem a bit better, since it leaves behind a body that can feed into Massacre Girl cascading dies triggers. Sepulchral Primordial is a great card, but I feel that odds are good my own Massacre Girl might end up killing off any creatures I get back, and that’s a lot of mana to waste if that’s the case.

Both of these cards are fine in the deck, but the four-mana spot on my curve is a little high and I like the other cards just a bit more than these. Both are kind of squishy to Massacre Girl triggers.

Whenever I put Oblivion Stone in a deck, I want to be a little careful about adding too many vulnerable permanents in my deck, so I’m trimming these two cards with that in mind.

I’ve got other ways to search up Swamps, so I don’t know that Thaumatic Compass does enough work to warrant a slot. Brood of Cockroaches is probably the least of my fodder cards, the timing of bringing the card back to my hand can be a little awkward. Vampiric Rites is just fine, but I think it’s safe as the final cut.

Okay, so here’s how the deck ended up:

What do you think? Are there any other slam-dunk inclusions I’ve overlooked? And if you see any new cards from War of the Spark that should find a home here, let me know!

Do me a solid and follow me on Twitter! I run polls and get conversations started about Commander all the time, so get in on the fun!

Deck Database

Below I’ve got links to decks I’ve written about going back to January 2017. If you want to read the associated article, just put “Bennie Smith” and the commander name into Google and it should pop right up. I’ve written a lot about Commander — and Magic in general — so if you want to explore further, the Star City Games article archives have my articles all the way back to January 2000!

Commander Strategy

Commander Compare & Contrast

Zedruu, the Greathearted with Emma Handy

Nahiri, the Lithomancer with Anthony Alongi

Feldon of the Third Path with The Professor

Commander Strategy

Why You Should Commander Like Me

Let’s Talk About Lands

Who Should I Attack?

Targeted Removal in Commander


War of the Spark

Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion

Ravnica Allegiance

The Haunt of Hightower, Teysa Karlov, Prime Speaker Vannifar, Rakdos, the Showstopper, Nikya of the Old Ways, Lavinia, Azorius Renegade, Judith, the Scourge Diva

SCG CON Winter 2018

Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow, Grothama, All-Devouring; Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis; Feldon of the Third Path; Ramos, Dragon Engine; Inalla, Archmage Ritualist; Prossh, Skyraider of Kher; Brago, King Eternal

Ultimate Masters

Garna, the Bloodflame

Guilds of Ravnica

Niv Mizzet, Parun, Emmara, Soul of the Accord, Lazav, the Multifarious (decklist in the comments), Tajic, Legion’s Edge, Etrata, the Silencer, Izoni, Thousand-Eyed

Commander 2018

Aminatou, the Fateshifter, Xantcha, Sleeper Agent, Lord Windgrace, Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer

Core Set 2019

Sai, Master Thopterist, Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma, Vaevictis Asmadi, the Dire, Chromium, the Mutable


Grothama, All-Devouring


Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle, Grand Warlord Radha, Arvad the Cursed, Muldrotha, the Grave Tide, Slimefoot, the Stowaway, Yargle, Glutton of Urborg, Squee, the Immortal, Firesong and Sunspeaker, Jodah, Archmage Eternal, Tiana, Ship’s Caretaker

Masters 25

Hanna, Ship’s Navigator

Rivals of Ixalan

Azor, the Lawbringer, Etali, Primal Storm, Nezahal, Primal Tide, Zacama, Primal Calamity, Tetzimoc, Primal Death, Zetalpa, Primal Dawn, Ghalta, Primal Hunger


Grusilda, Monster Masher, Dr. Julius Jumblemorph


Vona, Butcher of Magan, Tishana, Voice of Thunder, Admiral Beckett Brass, Gishath, Sun’s Avatar

Commander 2017

Nazahn, Revered Bladesmith, Inalla, Archmage Ritualist, Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist, O-Kagachi, Vengeful Kami, Mairsil, the Pretender, Taigam, Ojutai Master

Hour of Devastation

Razaketh, the Foulblooded, Zur, the Enchanter (Mummy’s Curse), Djeru, With Eyes Open, The Locust God, Karona, False God (All the Deserts), Nicol Bolas, Neheb, the Eternal


Oketra the True, Temmet, Vizier of Naktamun, Atogatog (Cartouches & Trials), Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons, Samut, Voice of Dissent, Rhonas the Indomitable, Hazoret the Fervent

Kaladesh Block

Yahenni, Undying Partisan, Nicol Bolas, Child of Alara (Five-Color Energy), Rishkar, Peema Renegade, Kari Zev, Skyship Raider, Sram, Senior Edificer

Commander 2016

Breya, Etherium Shaper, Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice, Tymna the Weaver // Ravos, Soultender

Other Commander Decks

Thada Adel, Acquisitor, The Ultimate Golgari Deck, Anafenza, the Foremost (shutting down shenanigans), Momir Vig, Simic Visionary (no green creatures), Kytheon, Hero of Akros (Tribal Gideon), Tasigur, the Golden Fang