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Alara Skeletons and Zombies

I was thinking the other day of what a really good card Shards of Alara gave us with Death Baron. This is the nasty fellow which gives all your Skeletons and Zombies +1/+1 and deathtouch ( ! ).

For a few minutes, I let my fevered imagination run willy-nilly thinking about cheap pumped-up Skeleton and Zombie Tokens spreading mayhem, death and destruction.

Death Baron, 1{B}{B}
Creature - Zombie Wizard, Rare Skeleton creatures you control and other Zombie creatures you control get +1/+1 and have deathtouch. 2/2

I followed up on this to see just how easy a Shards of Alara deck could be constructed with Mr. D. Baron. Apparently, not very well. With 13 other supporting cards reviewed, the prognosis was as black and gloomy as the Baron himself. I threw the net further to capture other possible cards in Standard and came up with Cinderbones, Creakwood Ghoul, and Stillmoon Cavalier. Perhaps some grisly salvation in Conflux will present itself . . . we do have confirmation of Zombie Outlander so all is not lost.

Let's have a look at the exercise in futility . . .
You could consider inclusion of Archdemon of Unx to create 2/2 black Zombie critters but with your playing field, you may be hard-pressed to find a non-Zombie creature to sacrifice to create said Zombie.

Corpse Connoisseur, a 3/3 Zombie weighs in at a hefty 5 drop. This fella has unearth and will slide a creature card from your library into the graveyard when he comes into play. Perhaps better in an unearth mechanic deck.

Dreg Reaver is another 5-drop 4/3 Zombie Beast. No special abilities . . . meh (!).

Dregscape Zombie on the otherhand (or other tentacle) is a decent 2/1 Zombie for 1{B} and has unearth. Certainly worthy of inclusion.

Fatestitcher is the only blue Zombie on the radar. He is a 1/2 for 3{U} with unearth. You can also tap him to tap OR untap ( ! ) another target permanent. I'm still thinking about this one for inclusion.

Fleshbag Marauder is a 3/1 Zombie Warrior for 2{B}. He requires some elbow room so each player to sacrifice a critter when he comes into play. Perhaps worth it if you were to let one of your unearth critters take a dirt-nap.

I will not even think of letting Sedris, the Traitor King into the deck party here . . . very nice mythic rare fella but he is just too expensive.

Skeletal Kathari is a 3/2 Bird Skeleton for an unreasonable 4{B}. As he can be regnerated for just {B} and the only flyer in this undead set, I guess we can have him on the team.

Skeletonize is the 4{R} instant which can deal 3 damage and the only card in the set that can generate the 1/1 Skeleton token. Since 96 to 98 of the set's 133 creatures may have a toughness of 3 or under, this is up for consideration.

Tidehollow Sculler is a 2/2 Artifact Zombie for {W}{B} and a reasonable cost. The only drawback is the white in the mana cost.

Undead Leotau is a 3/4 Zombie kitty for 5{B}. Sure it has unearth and an activated power / toughness pump / sap ability but still rather expensive for inclusion.

Viashino Skeleton is a 2/1 Skeleton critter for 3{R}.
You can regenerate this for hefty price of 1{B} and a discard. No thanks.

Viscera Dragger is a 3/3 Zombie Warrior for 3{B} with both cycling and unearth. This undead Ogre is sitting right on the fence for me.

Stay tuned to this channel for more complaining . . .


Anonymous said...

Nice list. This will definitely help those wanting to make a zombie/skeleton deck.

Anonymous said...

you don´t need to sacrifice a non-zombie creature to unx to create a 2/2 zombie. These two action are separate and if you have only zombies on the field and somehow give unx the zombie type, you´ll get a zombie for free each turn...

Anonymous said...

Im building a zombie deck, pure zombies, pure black. No skeletons or red involved. Viscera dragger is amazing! Dregscape also good. Fleshbag goes good with my deck dynamic. Cant forget death barons. And to round this deck out into awesome throw in some still tourney legal tenth cards, lord of the undead, grave pact, and Nantuko husk, enough said with that combo combined with the battering of unearth!

Anonymous said...

I think the key in making a successful zombie deck isn't in making sure everything has regen or unearth, but in giving yourself ample oppurtunities in playing on the fact that your creatures are going to hit the graveyard... alot. So find things that have effects that activate when creatures either come into play or hit the graveyard. P.S. there are lots of other ways to bring things back from the graveyard besides haveing everything regenable. Gravediggers are a good additive