Last updated on February 17, 2023
Toxrill, the Corrosive | Illustration by Simon Dominic
When Innistrad: Crimson Vow was coming out, Commander players were excited about the prospect of a new Edgar Markov card. Edgar, Charmed Groom unfortunately failed to live up to expectations, but this set had a Commander sleeper hit crawling out of Innistrad’s swamp.
Toxrill, the Corrosive is the type of legendary creature that was made to be a commander. It has built-in card draw, removal, and token generation. It can be a one-slug army in the 99, but it’s better leading your deck.
There are a lot of ways to build a Toxrill, the Corrosive deck. You can lean into the tokens and tribal support, and shapeshifters are another option. But if you’re like me, you’ll want a very aggressive (possibly mean) deck.
Ready to take a look? Let’s get into it!
Underground Sea | Illustration by Rob Alexander
Tezzeret, Artifice Master
Tezzeret the Seeker
Hand of the Praetors
Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon
Yawgmoth, Thran Physician
Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
Sheoldred, Whispering One
Urza, Lord High Artificer
Reaper of Sheoldred
Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant
Fuel for the Cause
Spread the Sickness
Feed the Swarm
The Meathook Massacre
Bastion of Remembrance
Sword of Truth and Justice
Throne of Geth
Temple of the False God
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
A great way to make Toxrill, the Corrosive’s debuff a bit more dangerous is by pairing it with some proliferate effects. Do you know what else goes well with proliferate effects? Infect.
This deck looks to drop some poison counters on your opponents and then proliferate them all until you’re the last player standing. Toxrill doesn’t directly support infect, but it does weaken and remove blockers. That’s a great help when your strategy revolves around doing combat damage.
Some Commander decks revolve around having their commander on the field. Things are definitely easier for you with Toxrill, the Corrosive on the board, but this deck actually operates pretty well with or without it in play.
Toxrill slowly weakens your opponents’ creatures until they die. It’s a great commander to run against token decks that generate a lot of weaker creatures since you’re easily able to wipe the board and create an army of your own tokens in the process.
Toxrill weakens creatures even more effectively thanks to your proliferate cards. Pair that with the -1/-1 counters you create with your infect creatures and your opponents will have a hard time keeping creatures on the board.
Using Toxrill’s activated ability is a great way to guarantee that you’re keeping your hand full of threats. This can help keep you in the game even if your very expensive commander gets removed.
If you want to infect your opponents, you’re going to need a lot of creatures that can do it.
Blighted Agent is a great early card to play since it can sneak past blockers and start handing out poison counters.
Ichor Rats is also a great way to infect opponents with a lot of blockers because it just infects all the players in the game regardless.
Hand of the Praetors is an especially powerful card in this deck. It buffs a lot of the creatures, but it can also give out poison counters directly somewhat regularly with the number of infect creatures you’re running.
Of course, any infect deck wants to run a big bad Blightsteel Colossus. It’s hard to remove, hard to block, and can’t be countered or milled out of the game. It can also immediately remove a player from the game if it’s given evasion or swings at a player without blockers.
For the creatures in your deck that don’t already have infect, Grafted Exoskeleton and Phyresis can turn them into more poison counter distributors. Glistening Oil can also double as a type of removal, but you run the risk of letting your opponent hit you with some infect damage first.
Proliferate pulls double duty in this deck as creature and player removal. Artifacts like Contagion Clasp and Throne of Geth are great to have around because they can proliferate at instant speed, giving you power over your opponents. Contagion Engine is extra deadly because it gives out two poison counters per activation.
Creatures like Thrummingbird and Viral Drake have their own proliferate abilities to make them even deadlier than typical infect creatures. And while it doesn’t have infect itself, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician’s ability to proliferate at instant speed makes it another great way to close out the game. It can also draw you cards and help remove creatures like Toxrill.
Karn's Bastion is a great utility land for infect decks since it can proliferate at instant speed and is more difficult to remove than one of your proliferating artifacts.
While a card named Sword of Truth and Justice might not fit this deck flavor-wise, it does a lot of work towards poisoning your opponents. It helps you to proliferate more and can also grant your creatures some evasion, not to mention buffing one of your infect creatures.
Inexorable Tide is a very dangerous enchantment in infect decks and accelerates games a lot once it’s on the field. Pair it with some cheap spells and creatures and you can proliferate multiple times each turn.
Drawing cards is an essential way for any deck to stay in the game by keeping your hand full of threats and responses. Card draw spells like Steady Progress and Contentious Plan also play into your strategy by allowing you to proliferate. Tezzeret's Gambit allows you to cast at a flexible price thanks to its Phyrexian mana.
Kindred Discovery is a card draw enchantment usually seen in tribal decks. Since Toxrill, the Corrosive can spit out a lot of Slugs, it can help you draw a lot as well.
In decks that don’t run green, Solemn Simulacrum is a bit of a staple way to ramp. It’s also great in decks that benefit from sacrificing their own cards because it draws you one when it dies. It’s an easy choice to sacrifice to Throne of Geth or Yawgmoth, Thran Physician.
Tezzeret, Artifice Master can be a great way to draw cards each turn it’s on the battlefield since you run a lot of artifacts in this deck.
Counterspells like Swan Song are a great way to protect yourself and your board.
Disallow is great for its versatility because it can protect you from dangerous or even game-ending abilities that your opponents control.
Fuel for the Cause is a no-brainer of a counterspell in this deck since it also allows you to proliferate when you cast it.
Dimir () isn’t the greatest color combination for mana ramp. Mana Drain is one of the most powerful counterspells in Magic because it allows you to both counter something and ramp, potentially a whole lot.
It can be helpful to have ways to sneak past blockers since a lot of infect creatures are weaker. One of the easiest ways is with flying infect creatures like Flesh-Eater Imp or Plague Stinger. Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon is another powerful flying infect creature that can also hit fast and protect itself with its abilities.
Making a creature unblockable is a good way to drive in the last few poison counters you need. You can do that by equipping a creature with Whispersilk Cloak or targeting it with Rogue's Passage’s ability.
Damage and Lifegain
You may not need to use infect to take out opponents since you aren’t the only player in the game. A few Blood Artist triggers to whittle away at your opponents’ life totals may be all it takes if enough damage is being dealt around the board.
Cards like Bastion of Remembrance can also help discourage your opponents from targeting your creatures or wiping the board since it costs them life.
Both of these cards also gain you some life and help to keep you in the game a little longer.
Targeted removal spells like Hero's Downfall are great ways to keep yourself in the game or get rid of a pesky blocker that’s stopping you from poisoning an opponent.
Feed the Swarm can be especially helpful because Dimir decks struggle to remove enchantments.
You may need a board wipe to start things over if you’re starting to fall behind. They aren’t too devastating since you only need one or two infect creatures to close the game out in your favor. Damnation is a straightforward board wipe at a reasonable mana cost.
Cyclonic Rift doesn’t destroy anything but it can clear out your opponents’ boards and make way for a devastating attack.
The Meathook Massacre is good on its own, but you can easily wipe the board without hitting any of your more powerful creatures if your opponents’ creatures are weakened by Toxrill, the Corrosive and -1/-1 counters.
Deepglow Skate is an unorthodox removal card, but it can double up sludge or -1/-1 counters on all your opponents’ creatures. This can severely weaken or destroy a lot of creatures all at once. It can also double up loyalty counters if you have either of your planeswalkers on the field, allowing you to get off some powerful ultimate abilities.
A lot of your stronger cards are artifacts so you’ll want a few ways to grab when you need them. Fabricate lets you bring an artifact from your deck to your hand.
Tezzeret the Seeker can do one better by allowing you to fetch an artifact up to four mana directly onto the field on it’s first turn out.
If you’re lucky enough to activate Tezzeret, Artifice Master’s ultimate ability you can tutor up any permanent from your deck directly to the field each turn.
The Mana Base
This deck doesn’t run too many cards that require more than two pips of the same mana color. Mana rocks like Sol Ring and Mana Crypt are good ways to get to your high-cost cards quicker. Plague Myr can also help with colorless ramp, or deal some infect damage if needed.
This deck also runs a few rocks that generate colored mana. Arcane Signet can help you with mana fixing.
Jeweled Lotus can help you get your commander out quicker, or pay for its increased price after being destroyed.
This deck can be a quick threat since you only need to deal out 10 infect damage to take out a player, but this probably makes you a big target. While you could try to spread the poison around the table and then proliferate all your opponents at once, it also gives them more time to build their boards and team up on you. You’re better served by trying to quickly remove players one at a time.
Keeping threats off your opponents’ boards is going to be an important part of your strategy since it helps you get your damage through. Toxrill, the Corrosive can help with this by continuously weakening your opponents’ creatures. Proliferating the number of sludge counters on your opponents’ creatures can help you take them out and keep the board clear.
Toxrill also helps to keep you in the game. The more creatures you take out from your opponents’ boards the more Slugs you make. They can make good chump blockers and can also take out creatures that were weakened with sludge and -1/-1 counters.
You want to keep a hand with some early infect creatures so you can start working on taking players out. The best-case scenario is if you can get on the board and start swinging before opponents can get blockers down.
You might not have a choice of which players to take out, but you want to go for decks that get better in late game if you do. Control decks and decks that build towards big creatures are good early take out targets since you can keep pace with other aggro decks.
You won’t be the table’s favorite player, but that doesn’t matter if you can take them out before they can do anything about it.
Combos and Interactions
This deck is straightforward and doesn’t run any infinite combos. But there are some powerful interactions in it that will help you out.
Tezzeret the Seeker can help you untap your proliferating artifacts like Throne of Geth and Contagion Engine to allow you multiple activations a turn. This can really speed up the process of taking out your opponents. And all your weak artifact infect creatures like Plague Myr suddenly become huge threats if you’re lucky enough to activate its ultimate ability.
Effects like Blood Artist, Bastion of Remembrance, and The Meathook Massacre are good for gaining bits of life over the course of the game and dealing out some damage. If you combine them with Toxrill, the Corrosive’s ability to weaken your opponents’ creatures all at once you can gain a lot of life and do a lot of damage when you wipe out your enemies’ boards. This is especially effective against token decks since a lot of tokens like elves, soldiers, and squirrels start at 1/1.
Rule 0 Violations Check
It’s no big secret that some players aren’t a fan of infect since most Commander decks are built with the assumption it’ll take 40 damage rather than 10. It might be worth checking with your playgroup to make sure it isn’t overly aggressive if you’re interested in playing this deck.
An easy way to make this deck cheaper is to cut Underground Sea for one of the many more affordable dual lands like Temple of Deceit. It slows the deck down a little bit but almost cuts the cost in half. While you’re cutting lands, replace Polluted Delta with a cheaper option like Fabled Passage.
Lifegain isn’t a huge part of this deck’s strategy, so Toxic Deluge is a good budget option to replace The Meathook Massacre.
Urza, Lord High Artificer is great overall, especially in decks with a good number of artifacts. But it doesn’t play directly into the strategy of this deck so you can easily replace it with another form of ramp like Replicating Ring or Gilded Lotus.
If infect feels a little too competitive for your playgroup, you can tweak this deck by swapping out infect cards for ones that give -1/-1 counters like Banewhip Punisher, or any creature with wither. There’s plenty of support for -1/-1 counters like Crumbling Ashes and Blowfly Infestation.
Another way to win is with cards that help you take creatures from your opponents’ control for yourself, like Gisa, Glorious Resurrector or Necroskitter. You can also build in more Blood Artist type effects to deal damage, and Syr Konrad, the Grim would be good in this kind of deck.
Transformation cards like Polymorph's Jest can become quick removal spells for creatures with sludge and -1/-1 counters, and Mass Diminish becomes a single player board wipe in the right circumstances.
The Meathook Massacre | Illustration by Chris Seaman
If you’re looking to build a dangerous infect deck that can take players out quickly, Toxrill, the Corrosive is a great commander for you. You can also easily turn this into a budget-friendly deck, making it a good one to test out if you want to see how it works before putting in too much money.
I want to hear from the rest of you slug fans out there! Is this how you’d build Toxrill? Has anyone tried slug tribal? What infect commanders do you use? Let me know in the comments below or over on the Draftsim Twitter.
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This is only 99 cards
Yep, we were just missing a 1 in front of Sludge Monster. Fixed!