[Aiming for competitive - Gitaxian Zombies]

  • #1
    Since before rotation I've wanted to build something to take advantage of Zombie Infestation to create a huge board presence. The problem has been finding a decent and resilient card drawing engine to feed the hungry undeads.

    I tried a few different variations with [cardMind Unbound[/card] but since this was before rotation, it was of course way too slow. And now that we have a new standard, I think I found what feels like a much better engine; the guy who's name refuses to be spelled correctly - Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur, coupled with the always so charming Unburial Rites.

    So when getting to build the deck I had a few staple cards to start from:

    3 Zombie Infestation
    4 Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
    3 Unburial Rites

    Adding to that, I wanted more ways (more than just the Unburial Rites) to dump Jinny into the graveyard. I also want early defense against aggro, and Armored Skaab has actually tested fine for the purpose. His main purpose is of course graveyard feeding, but being a 1/4 body certainly doesn't hurt. I also noted that the deck prefers to operate quickly and on 5-ish lands (it's perfectly viable to dump the rest into zombies if you need to) so I don't want too many Forbidden Alchemy. I've added just one here, bringing me up to 8 cards to dump things into the yard.

    4 Armored Skaab
    1 Forbidden Alchemy

    For permission, I'm opting for a nice round 4 Mana Leaks. Don't want too much, but it's also very nice to have the permission package while being able to summon zombies at instant speed, end of their turn.

    4 Mana Leaks

    Removal then. I felt that a good package of spot removal (currently I'm testing Doom Blade coupled with Victim of Night), possibly supplemented with a couple sweepers would be good, considering it's quite easy to get to the point where you load up your hand with 7 new cards every turn. Sweepers do kill our zombies, but they're invaluable against hexproof monsters, as well as against aggro strategies. If not needed, they can always be turned into zombies. Since we're splashing white for the flashback cost of Unburial Rites, I also decided to add in some Oblivion Rings. They have proved themselves a lot so far, taking out permanents that black and blue normally have big problems with. Three seems about right, considering white mana is a little scarcer in the deck.

    Other than that, I decided to include Vengeful Pharaoh, since he serves as both offense and defense. He is also very happy to be discarded into the graveyard. I noticed that often enough, opponents forget that he's there, hidden among all the other rabble I've discarded. Also note that Pharaoh's ability fizzles when targetting Phantasmal Images, meaning he kills them while staying himself in the graveyard. Very handy.


    4 Doom Blade
    2 Victim of Night
    2 Black Sun's Zenith
    3 Oblivion Ring
    3 Vengeful Pharaoh

    Finally, and this is only because I've been afraid of decking myself with Jinny; I added one Elixir of Immortality. It hasn't yet come to a point where I actually risked decking myself, and I think that may have to with the fact that with Jinny out, you generally win within a couple turns. Thus, I may remove the Elixir after some further testing, but for now it's in there.

    1 Elixir of Immortality

    Gitaxian ZombiesMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Creatures
    4 Armored Skaab
    4 Gin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
    3 Vengeful Pharaoh

    Spells
    3 Zombie Infestation
    3 Unburial Rights
    1 Forbidden Alchemy

    4 Mana Leak

    4 Doom Blade
    2 Victim of Night
    2 Black Sun's Zenith
    3 Oblivion Ring

    1 Elixir of Immortality

    Lands
    4 Darkslick Shores
    4 Drowned Catacombs
    4 Isolated Chapel
    6 Swamp
    6 Island
    4 Plains



    I won't add a sideboard here, as that will always vary, but one card I've tested succesfully is Mind Control. I think this card deserves some attention in this metagame, and so far I love stealing their unburied fatties. Last game I played against Solar Flare was real tight. I had Jinny in play, opponent was at 2 life but he had a horde of titan zombie tokens in play. I was able to Victim his Grave Titan, steal his Sun Titan, attack with it to return my discarded Zombie Infestation (I had discarded it earlier, after which he o-ringed the one I had in play), allowing me to finally refill on fresh zombies after the attack.

    So yeah, sometimes Mind Control just gets you out of some real sticky situations and turns them into wins.

    Other than that white has good sideboard options, especially Timely Reinforcements, Celestial Purge and Revoke Existance. I currently also stick a couple Negates in there to reinforce the control matchup. Liliana could also come out of the board, I think, but I prefer not to have her maindeck simply because I feel like she's win more sometimes, and sometimes I'd just wish she was a 1/4 blocker.

    So anyways, there you have it. Rip it apart guys, and let me know what you think. So far this has tested really well on MTGO, and my opponents have been quite curious, wondering if this is my own brew and how it's worked so far, etc. Now I'll have this thread to point them to! Smile

    EDIT: Latest version of the deck:


    Gitaxian Zombies/Solar ZombiesMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Land
    4 Darkslick Shores
    4 Drowned Catacomb
    4 Isolated Chapel
    4 Seachrome Coast
    5 Swamp
    3 Plains
    2 Island

    Spells
    4 Zombie Infestation
    3 Oblivion Ring

    4 Mana Leak
    4 Unburial Rites
    3 Forbidden Alchemy
    1 Think Twice

    2 Day of Judgment
    2 Doom Blade
    2 Tribute to Hunger
    2 Dismember
    1 Victim of Night

    Creatures
    4 Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
    1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
    1 Grave Titan

    Last edited by MTG_Gothyc: 10/21/2011 7:45:32 AM
  • #2
    I'm actually a huge fan of this idea, but one thing I think that should be changed is the number of Jin-Gitaxias. 4 is incredibly excessive for a legendary that you will only be getting out from the graveyard. Maybe cut it down to 2-3 and add in Laboratory Maniac for a backup plan. But I really, REALLY like the idea, the cards work very well together.

    Also, I would cut the 2 victim of night and 1 doomblade just to bump up the forbidden alchemy count to 4.
    Last edited by UberGoose: 10/16/2011 12:47:44 PM
    Thanks to Argetlam from Hakai Studios for the awesome sig.
  • #3
    Thank you, Ubergoose! Smile

    Laboratory Maniac instead of the Elixir? That's an interesting idea! The Elixir does semi-protect the graveyard from spellbombs too, but the Maniac sounds like something fun to experiment with.

    About having 4 Jin-Gitaxias, I really do like having the full set in there. The card is so central to the strategy. And it since basically plays like a 4-5 drop with rites, I'm always delighted to see him on the starting hand. The fact that he's legendary is alright, since the deck thrives on redundancy and unneeded cards are chucked and turned into zombies. I just really want one Jinny into the graveyard as soon as ever possible, which is why I run four. Smile

    I do agree that more Forbidden Alchemy would be good. I'm thinking the Elixir could be turned into one, and maybe I can drop one of the removal cards into a third. Will test around a bit with that.

    By the way, in the choice between Doom Blade, GftT and Victim of Night, I really like VoN. It hits all titans including Wurmcoils, which has proven really valuable especially vs. Solar Flare decks.
  • #4
    Quote from MTG_Gothyc
    Thank you, Ubergoose! Smile

    Laboratory Maniac instead of the Elixir? That's an interesting idea! The Elixir does semi-protect the graveyard from spellbombs too, but the Maniac sounds like something fun to experiment with.

    About having 4 Jin-Gitaxias, I really do like having the full set in there. The card is so central to the strategy. And it since basically plays like a 4-5 drop with rites, I'm always delighted to see him on the starting hand. The fact that he's legendary is alright, since the deck thrives on redundancy and unneeded cards are chucked and turned into zombies. I just really want one Jinny into the graveyard as soon as ever possible, which is why I run four. Smile

    I do agree that more Forbidden Alchemy would be good. I'm thinking the Elixir could be turned into one, and maybe I can drop one of the removal cards into a third. Will test around a bit with that.

    By the way, in the choice between Doom Blade, GftT and Victim of Night, I really like VoN. It hits all titans including Wurmcoils, which has proven really valuable especially vs. Solar Flare decks.


    While I agree with you that Victim is a great card due to the wide variety of creatures that it kills, it costs BB, rather than 1B. It makes it a very hard turn 2 cast (which is generally a good time to cast it, so you don't die to aggro). Not to mention it doesn't hit the best 1-drop in the format: Stromkirk Noble.

    Also, I understand that you want Jin in the graveyard early, but this should be easy enough to accomplish if you run 3. Especially because of Alchemy and the Skaab. 1 more card to consider for the whole "self-mill" portion would be Jace's Archivist, he is also great against a control deck since it makes them drop the cards they've been holding onto AND it can also allow you to dump your hand twice for the infestation (if the opponent has a good amount of cards in hand).
    Thanks to Argetlam from Hakai Studios for the awesome sig.
  • #5
    Some good insights there for sure. Actually, it might be doable to run just 3 Jinnys by upping the Forbidden Alchemy count too, so that's a change that makes a lot of sense to test out. Smile

    And yeah, definately agree with the awkwardness of double black mana for the victim. I think running them as a two of is just fine though.

    Jace's Archivist sounds very good against control decks! Great idea! Thanks a bunch for your insights, Ubergoose! Looking forward to test and tweak around some more. Smile
  • #6
    No problem, I wish you the best in your brewing adventures. I'll be sure to stop by now and then to see how this deck is going, I'm really intrigued by the idea. Smile
    Thanks to Argetlam from Hakai Studios for the awesome sig.
  • #7
    Latest iteration on MTGO:

    Gitaxian ZombiesMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Land
    4 Darkslick Shores
    4 Drowned Catacomb
    4 Isolated Chapel
    5 Swamp
    5 Island
    4 Plains

    Creatures
    4 Armored Skaab
    4 Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
    2 Vengeful Pharaoh

    Spells
    4 Mana Leak

    3 Unburial Rites
    3 Forbidden Alchemy
    3 Zombie Infestation

    4 Doom Blade
    3 Oblivion Ring
    2 Victim of Night
    2 Black Sun's Zenith



    Overall I'm very happy with this version. The inclusion of more Forbidden Alchemy was just what the doctor ordered, and I feel like I might want to drop something for the 4th copy.

    I often feel like I wish I had a 4th Zombie Infestation as well, so I might just drop two of the Skaabs for these two cards. On the other hand, the Skaab have been champs against 3/3 beasts, Porcelain Legionaires, etc etc. Aggro decks do need respect so I'm still loathe to bring out the Skaabs. Any suggestions on what else to cut would be greatly appreciated. And yes, I do want all four Jinnys in there - especially if i up the Infestation count to 4. Smile

    As for the sideboard, I found that Mind Control is a much better card against Solar Flare/Control-ish decks than trying to fiddle with their graveyards. I'd rather steal their titans/sphinxes with one card than first try to kill them and then also make sure they stay dead, using several cards for that.

    The Archivist won me one game so far in testing, and the ultimate time to bring him in is vs control decks that run Surgical Extraction. One guy I played against ran them maindeck, removing all my copies of Jinny. I still won by zombie beatdown, but I do like the backup plan to refill my hands using Archivists in case something happens to the big guy.

    Divine Offering has proven useful against Inkmoths and Swords alike. Originally they were Revoke Existances, but I have 4 O-Rings in my 75 for whatever I'd need to exile instead of just kill.

    Overall it feels like I'm down to finetuning now, and the deck is suprisingly resilient against people trying to disrupt it before it gets going. It's also a blast to play - there's nothing quite like cheating out a Jinny on turn four with an Infestation on the field. Smile

    EDIT: Just crushed a mono-red goblins deck (grenades, etc), so that doesn't seem to be a bad matchup either. Smile
    Last edited by MTG_Gothyc: 10/17/2011 10:00:39 AM
  • #8
    What's your general sideboard strategy? What to pull and what to put in versus various tier 1s?
  • #9
    A card not to overlook is Dream Twist. I recommend it for any type of blue self-mill deck. I think it could do very well here, compared to Armored Skaab. For example, you can pitch it and another card to Zombie Infestation and still be able to flash it back to help you find a Jin-Gitaxias. Other benefits are that it is a one-drop and you can use it at the beginning of your turn to get a Vengeful Pharoh off the top of your library.

    So, I would run Dream Twist over Armored Skaab and I would try to knock your Forbidden Alchemy up to 4. I understand what you are saying about Jin, but I think you'll be fine with 3, especially if you have 4x Forbidden Alchemy and 4x Dream Twist. For another card to drop, I would cut some Doom Blade; between O-ring, DB, Victim of the Night, and BSZ, you should be fine with 2x DB. You also have the Mana Leaks to help you out.

    To make this deck work, flashback spells can really help you out. I would test out Think Twice; I don't know how it would do, so I'm not necessarily recommending it. I just think that it is a card with flashback, and therefore worth testing.
    Current Standard Decks

    under construction...
  • #10
    Sanddemon, sideboarding would look something like this:

    RDW Stromkirk Version: -4 Mana Leak, -2 Victim of Night, -1 Vengeful Pharaoh, -1 BSZ, +4 Timely, +2 Divine Offering, +2 Celestial Purge
    Solar Flare: -2 BSZ, -4 Armored Skaab, +2 Jace's Archivist, +2 Negate, +2 Mind Control
    Hawkward: -4 Mana Leak, +2 Divine Offering, +2 Timely Reinforcements
    Wolf Run Ramp (w/o Dungroves): -2 Black Sun's Zenith, +2 Divine Offering
    W/U Aggro: Difficult to say, depending on their setup. Might not need a lot of sideboarding.
    W/X Tokens: -1 Jinny, -2 Skaab, +1 O-ring, +2 Mind Control (target Hero or Wurmcoil)

    RealOG47, I've been thinking along those lines as well - I just haven't been brave enough to let go of my Skaab. They've kept me safe in those aggro matchups, but it IS true that sometimes I cast one and he just goes ahead and mills my Zombie Infestation, which is not cool! I'm thinking though, perhaps if I cut 1-2 Skaab, 1 Jinny and 1 Doom Blade, I can fit in +1 Alchemy and 3-4 Dream Twists.

    I really agree that more flashback spells would be good here, it's just hard to fit them all. I also keep thinking if i should drop the Pharaoh's, but everytime I do, they keep making their point in the next game by destroying an attacking creature for absolutely free. They are also not bad to hardcast in some situations to bring down the beats.
  • #11
    Thought any aboutUnbreathing Horde? Dump your hand to create zombies plus what you might already have in the graveyard...nice 4/4, 5/5 critter on the board?

    I dig the idea though. Very good interatcion with Jin and the enchanment.
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." Frederic Bastiat
  • #12
    Quote from rustheman
    Thought any aboutUnbreathing Horde? Dump your hand to create zombies plus what you might already have in the graveyard...nice 4/4, 5/5 critter on the board?

    I dig the idea though. Very good interatcion with Jin and the enchanment.


    Thanks for the encouraging words!

    Unfortunately, Unbreathing Horde doesn't really do anything other than being a vanilla creature. Also, he pretty much depends on the engine having gotten off already, in which case he just wins the game more. It's a fun and neat card, but sadly I don't think he's for this deck.
  • #13
    I'm assuming Call to the Grave would be a bad option if you removed the Blue Zombies but it could be a possibility. Even one/two would be nice since it's mass removal of a sense. Zenith can wipe a board but if someone is constantly making a token/creature a turn this can shut them down. Maybe a sideboard?

    How has this done versus Solar Flare or Wolf Infect Ramp? I'm real interested in putting this together (mostly since I'm struggling to make my own land destruction viable) since it's relatively on the cheap side. You think it has a serious shot? If you do, I'll put it together and give it a try at our weekly constructed tourneys here locally and see how it goes.

    One thing I've been debating on as a possibility is somehow working in green for Mulch since it is the best way to mill yourself in this deck besides Forgotten Alchemy but not seeing an easy way to make it work since it's already three colors.
  • #14
    Oh and lastly, Spellskite has been great against Wolf Run Ramp decks - consider it for your sideboard. Moving the effect from their Inkmouth to your Spellskite is awesome.

    Also protects your Core Augur.
  • #15
    Sanddemon, those are all some good ideas. I want to work Spellskite into the SB just for the reasons you state - it's good vs Wolf Run specifically, and it doesn't hurt that it protects Jinny either.

    Call to the Grave is another control card that could work in place of the Zeniths, it just needs testing and comparing. If you want to give this deck a shot - proxy it up and try out the ideas you have! The current version of the deck seems to have a decent to favourable matchup to anything I've thrown it against, including Solar Flare and Wolf Ramp, but I feel there is still room for tuning.

    Today, I'm going to test a more direct approach with less cards like the Skaab and the Pharaohs, and I'm going to stick some Archivists main deck as well as up the Forbidden Alchemy and Unburial Rites count up to four. Yesterday I got a "nuts" hand with a turn four Jinny with the Zombie Infestation in play, and I want to maximize the chances of that happening. I'll have to sacrifice some control elements for it, but if we can win quicker that might not matter. I'll write more with results when I got them. Smile
  • #16
    Alright, did lots more testing since yesterday, and made several changes - some more of a "duh-how did I miss that card?" thing than others.

    • Added Seachrome Coasts. Duh!
    • Swapped Pharaoh for Elesh Norn. Duh 2!
    • Upped Unburial count to 4. They are essential to the deck and I'm NEVER sad to see one!
    • Removed all the Armored Skaab. While he could be a champ, he very often annoyed me by milling away my Zombie Infestations.
    • Included a single Grave Titan to diversify the threats and because nobody runs Go for the Throat anymore.
    • Some changes to the sideboard, most notable 2 Archivist that go in as staples against control decks. They've won several games by themselves! Spellskite as suggested has also proven quite good, especially vs. Kessig ramp decks where it both protects our lands, enchantments and steals their kessig-pump ability like a boss.
    • Added one Think Twice, after tweaking it between 1-2 in numbers. I found myself very often sideboarding one out, so I cut it down to a single copy. Still comes up quite often, and it sort of compliments the Forbidden Alchemy count to a total of four card draw, which feels perfect.
    • Tweaked the removal suite, diversifying it some more. BSZ was swapped for the more powerful Day of Judgment, which is easily cast now that I finally fixed my mana base. Victim of Night has been an all-star killing anything from Inkmoths to Titans (any titan), Wurmcoils, Sheoldred, etc, etc. Only sideboarded out against vampire/zombie decks. Also, Tribute to Hunger has been amazing. There are so many Hexproof critters out there, it's very common that it's the only creature they have on board. Also, the life gain off of a Titan or Kessig pumped Inkmoth is lovely.


    Gitaxian Zombies/Solar ZombiesMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Land
    4 Darkslick Shores
    4 Drowned Catacomb
    4 Isolated Chapel
    4 Seachrome Coast
    5 Swamp
    3 Plains
    2 Island

    Spells
    4 Zombie Infestation
    3 Oblivion Ring

    4 Mana Leak
    4 Unburial Rites
    3 Forbidden Alchemy
    1 Think Twice

    2 Day of Judgment
    2 Doom Blade
    2 Tribute to Hunger
    2 Dismember
    1 Victim of Night

    Creatures
    4 Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur
    1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
    1 Grave Titan

  • #17
    Curious why you choose to ditch the Pharoah for Elesh Norn. I've found he's been quite useful....

    Why the dismembers over victim of the night?
    Last edited by sanddemon: 10/19/2011 3:29:03 PM
  • #18
    Pharaoh is good, but Elesh Norn is simply better. I found that the deck has a weak matchup vs. mass tokens, and Elesh Norn simply obliterates them. She single handedly shuts down so many games, which can not be said about Vengeful Pharaoh - who was great once I already got started with the card drawing engine, and sometimes good to cast. Elesh Norn on the other hand not only helps so much against mass weenies, she also makes my own zombies 4/4's which lets me win with half the amount of zombies.

    The Dismembers are to ease the mana requirements a bit. Victim is great for sure, but I see the single copy often enough with all the card draw, and I often find myself having to discard a removal spell or two (turning them into zombies) at end of my turn. So each turn is a sort of refining of my hand, and at that point having several different removal spells to chose from is great, while also being able to keep up counter mana.

    Example: you have 14 life, 6 untapped lands. Opponent has two untapped mana and you are about to flashback your unburial. On your hand is Mana Leak, Dismember, Victim, 2x Jinny. You dump the Jinnies into the GY, tap four mana for the flashback. Now, you can either leave up double black mana, or you can leave up black+blue mana. In that case, I'd leave up black+blue and at the end of turn if i was forced to dump a removal spell into Infestation I'd dump the Victim and keep the Dismember to leave me the option to either Mana Leak or Dismember until I get to untap again.

    Reversedly, if i know he plays Wurmcoils and Titans, I'd keep the Victim and dump the Dismember since it'd probably be useless against his deck anyways.

    I hope that made some sort of sense. Smile
  • #19
    I like where this deck is going, but I feel like it starts out too slow and will get punched about by aggro. Might I suggest Delver of Secrets? Plenty of non-creatures in the deck to flip him, and he is a turn 1 play, which this deck is lacking.
    Thanks to Argetlam from Hakai Studios for the awesome sig.
  • #20
    Ubergoose, have you tried the deck and still feel like it's coming out too slow?

    In my experience, it doesn't get punched by aggro as much as you'd think. Between the massive amounts of 1 for 1 removals, Days, and the ability to pump out 2/2s of our own by dumping stuff we want in the graveyard anyway, this deck is much better at surviving the early threats than, say, a normal Solar Flare deck would be. The Infestations are like faster Lilianas that allow you to fill your graveyard, while also providing you guys to attack or block with. I do love Delver of Secrets, but I think Delver is best as a 4 of, and the list is so tight now that it would be really hard to remove anything for them.

    I've tested this thing online for 3-4 days straight now while I've been home sick with a cold, so I'd say I have at least some 40 hours of testing done against the metagame online. It really does hold its own quite well, and I've had RDW pilots scoop and concede the entire match when facing a turn 4 fattie accompanied by a horde of zombies. It's really quite fun. Smile

    In my last game tonight, I was able to outrace an Elspeth token deck by making my own tokens, dropping Ginny, and then just 1 for 1 remove all of his guys. Second game he won due to me drawing extremely badly, and last game was a tight race until I dropped a Massacre Wurm which he had to chump block, still losing life, and then I did the last 4 damage with Wurm+Day on his Hero and last surviving token. Smile

    Just to not come off like a total boast, I should also mention that I lost against another RDW because the deck faltered a bit, but I still feel that matchup is at least 50/50 and that's good enough for me considering the online meta is mostly Kessig and tokens. If RDW gets really popular there's always room for adjustment in the sideboard.
  • #21
    Quote from MTG_Gothyc
    Ubergoose, have you tried the deck and still feel like it's coming out too slow?

    In my experience, it doesn't get punched by aggro as much as you'd think. Between the massive amounts of 1 for 1 removals, Days, and the ability to pump out 2/2s of our own by dumping stuff we want in the graveyard anyway, this deck is much better at surviving the early threats than, say, a normal Solar Flare deck would be. The Infestations are like faster Lilianas that allow you to fill your graveyard, while also providing you guys to attack or block with. I do love Delver of Secrets, but I think Delver is best as a 4 of, and the list is so tight now that it would be really hard to remove anything for them.

    I've tested this thing online for 3-4 days straight now while I've been home sick with a cold, so I'd say I have at least some 40 hours of testing done against the metagame online. It really does hold its own quite well, and I've had RDW pilots scoop and concede the entire match when facing a turn 4 fattie accompanied by a horde of zombies. It's really quite fun. Smile

    In my last game tonight, I was able to outrace an Elspeth token deck by making my own tokens, dropping Ginny, and then just 1 for 1 remove all of his guys. Second game he won due to me drawing extremely badly, and last game was a tight race until I dropped a Massacre Wurm which he had to chump block, still losing life, and then I did the last 4 damage with Wurm+Day on his Hero and last surviving token. Smile

    Just to not come off like a total boast, I should also mention that I lost against another RDW because the deck faltered a bit, but I still feel that matchup is at least 50/50 and that's good enough for me considering the online meta is mostly Kessig and tokens. If RDW gets really popular there's always room for adjustment in the sideboard.


    I haven't actually gotten around to testing it yet. I've been busy working on my own brew of a Necrotic Ooze combo deck. I was just going off of personal experience with slow(er) decks. If it's going well as is, that's great. But I assumed aggro would pretty much just beat it up and steal it's lunch money simply due to the nature of a solar flare-ish deck.

    That's good to hear though, I'm surprised you've been getting as many wins as you have against RDW. But even so, I think Delver is a great card for this deck. If you draw it late it can turn into a zombie, and early it's a very strong creature.
    Thanks to Argetlam from Hakai Studios for the awesome sig.
  • #22
    How'd your sideboard choices change? Putting together a version similar to yours (just missing some duals) and going to give it a whirl
  • #23
    @Ubergoose - Sounds like an interesting deck you're working on, I'll come join the discussion on it if I may. Smile And thanks for the support!

    @Sanddemon - yes I did make a couple changes to the sideboard since the last list.

    -1 Divine Offering
    -1 Wurmcoil Engine
    -1 Timely Reinforcements
    +1 Paraselene
    +1 Massacre Wurm
    +1 Day of Judgment

    I'm testing Paralesene against the township token decks, as they usually run between 10-12 enchantments that either boost their guys or remove ours (O-ring). I just wish it was an instant, for combat shenanigans. Smile No verdict yet on it since it's just a one of, and I never drew it in the one match I had against tokens since the change.

    An extra Day in the sideboard replaces the 3rd Timely Reinforcement. Seems stronger against pumped up tokens and is always good against Hexproofs, Pod decks (they still exist!), etc.

    Massacre Wurm came in vs. the token deck yesterday and boy was he good! I wouldn't have won the third game without him. I wanted some redundancy with Elesh Norn, and felt this was better than adding a second Elesh.

    Good luck with the deck, and if you have any great revelations or ideas on how to improve the main list or the sideboard, please post them! Also be careful with the sideboard. Do respect those red decks if they're plentyful where you are - I'm cutting it quite close now by removing both Wurmcoil and a Timely from my sideboard.
  • #24
    Oh wow, I had this exact deck in mind, almost card-per-card. Now I really feel unoriginal. :p

    I really wish Sheoldred, the Whispering One's first ability wasn't mandatory. I was going to try her as a one-of in the deck, but she could really screw you over if you end up with double legends in the yard.

    What worries me about this deck is that it's so easily hated against. A single Surgical Extraction on Jin seems like it would pretty much wreck the deck. Jin's very scary, but he doesn't really win the game by himself, so I guess my question is, do you think you have enough wincons here? The problem is, as awesome as your reanimation targets are, none of them dodge removal at all and the only counter backup you have is 4x Mana Leak mainboard.

    (And on a random note, I thought Massacre Wurm was my secret tech. Darn it! Wink :p


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  • #25
    Hey ShadowFenril, great minds think alike and all that! Wink

    Haha, yeah I had a brief flirt with Sheoldred too, but she wasn't really what we wanted indeed, so out she went. Too bad, I agree!

    About Surgical Extraction, the Bane of Jin-Gitaxias (tm).

    After adapting the deck, I've actually won more games than I've lost after they cast that spell. It means they're taking out other cards for it, which means less threats against us.

    If they extract Jinny, we have Jace's Archivist, as backup for the zombie production plan, but if that too fails, we can still rely on a zombie or two, plus the other fatties. Even if they extract the Unburial Rites, we can hardcast our bombs after stalling with zombies. It really does work, and it pleases me greatly. Smile It actually happened once or twice that they removed my rites, and I ended up getting up to 10 mana and flashing in Jinny!

    We're slowed down, but so are they if they start their hand with a Surgical Extraction or two. Sometimes it's worth it to take the plunge and dump four cards into four power on the board, while they sit on their graveyard removal and counterspells. Reading your opponent becomes very important, of course, but a great strength of the deck is flexibility. You can go with the long-haul card-advantage game, or you can dump cards to go zombie aggro from the start.
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