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Innistrad Zombies

Happy Tuesday MTG peeps,

We hope all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day here in Canada-land or Columbus Day for our cousins south of the border. Perhaps you had an opportunity to get in a few games and sling some Magic the Gathering cards. We attended the FNM event at our local store OMG! Games here in Barrie and our Tempered Steel deck did not perform as well as it usually does which means it's time to tweak it a bit to challenge the emerging decks in our meta-game.

Instead, we spent time over the long weekend getting some play testing done with some of the new options presented with the latest set release Innistrad. We hatched out some ideas for an Innistrad mono-black zombie deck. Why? There happens to be quite a lot of solid support for a Zombie build in standard at the moment. There appeared to be a good number of blue-black builds out there at the moment but we decided on a mono-black build - especially given that good synergistic cards such as Cemetery Reaper, Endless Ranks of the Dead, Ghoulcaller's Chant, Ghoulraiser, and Unbreathing Horde are available.

One challenge we did have during play testing was the limit of only Diregraf Ghoul and Walking Corpse as one or two-drop zombies. To this end, we brought in Thyphoid Rats which provided much needed breathing room to stall the opponent during the first two turns in order to construct our army of the undead. Anywhoos - let's look at what we thought was a good start . . .

Cemetery Reaper is a must have in this build to not only pump your other brain-eaters but also to produce those 2/2 zombie tokens. Unbreathing Horde may or may not be a good choice for the moment but we could always move it over to the side board. Skinrender provides decent spot removal or at the very least cripples a fatty they may have.

A double dip into your grave yard to bring back zombies is great with Ghoulcaller's Chant. Altar's Reap gives two additional cards to your hand - hopefully you can sac a zombie token - if not, the Chant can place that sacrificed card straight back into your hand again. Distress may be critical as it could remove a powerful card from your opponent's hand. Victim of Night and Distress gives some decent spot removal and Endless Ranks of the Dead may hopefully provide you with a Zombie rave party within a few turns.

Some cards to consider for a sideboard may be found with additional removal with Doom Blade, Go for the Throat, and Tribute to Hunger. A griefer for an opponent playing red or white may be our fav Mirrodin Besieged zombie card Phyrexian Crusader. Ghoulraiser may be a better choice than the mainboard Unbreathing Horde. Call to the Grave may be a smart choice in this sideboard against those pesky hexproof critters.

Some other cards we were contemplating but did not quite make the cut in the play testing we did over the weekend are above. These may still make its way into the final zombie build given futher game results at the kitchen table and Friday Night Magic.

That's it for now - What is your standard take on zombies ? Use the comment thingy to get your opinion heard.


The folks over at MTG Mint Card is having another great give-away contest on their FaceBook page.

This event closes on 12th October - (that's tomorrow !) so make tracks sooner than latter.



Unknown said...

4 Liliana of the Veil

4 Diregraf Ghoul
3 Walking Corpse
4 Ghoulraiser
4 Cemetery Reaper
3 Unbreathing Horde
2 Grave Digger

4 Altar Reap
3 Dismember
3 Geth's Verdict
3 Distress

3 Ghost Quarter
20 Swamps

Here's my build. The idea is to use the zombies as expendable (but reusable) resources. Cast the smaller cc zombies, use them as blockers (or attackers) and fodder for Altar Reap / Liliana's +1 ability. Get them back using Ghoulcaller & Grave Digger.

Kill the Hexproof dudes using Geth's Verdict and Liliana's -2 ability, the rest with Dismember. Distress to pick off the dangerous stuff in their hand.

CopySix said...

Very nice build Marvel - I like it.

MTG_head said...

Abattoir Ghoul x4
Cemetery Reaper x4
Call to the Grave x4
Vengeful Pharaoh x2
Grave Titan x4
Nested Ghoul x4
Royal Assassin x4
Army of the Damned x2
Helldozer x4
Endless Ranks of the Dead x4
Unbreathing Horde x4
Diregraf Ghoul x4
Swamp x20

I cant decide what to take out as its a bit over probably Helldozer though and a few more. Opinions?

Anonymous said...

This assumes having Dark Ascension resources handy:

3 Cemetery Reaper
3 Diregraf Captain
4 Diregraf Ghoul
4 Gravecrawler
2 Skinrender
2 Unbreathing Horde

2 Army of the Damned
2 Dismember
2 Distress
4 Endless Ranks of the Dead
2 Geth's Verdict
4 Ghoulcaller's Chant
2 Go for the Throat

Aggressive, and able to make up the difference fairly quickly I feel.
Sideboard would probably want more U spells, such as Undead Alchemist, and artifacts such as Cellar Door to encourage more control elements.