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Best Zombie Lords Mtg

author
Ava Flores
• Thursday, 03 December, 2020
• 7 min read

Between their synergies with the graveyard and others within their ranks, it's not hard to see why Zombies are one of the most popular tribes in Magic: The Gathering. The two things that many tribal players want to do the most is buff up their creatures and reduce their costs, and Undead War chief covers both of these bases.

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Contents

Living Death is a card that takes your graveyard strategies and turns them up to eleven. This means that like many of your other zombies, she can be sacrificed and reanimated, allowing you to reap repeated benefits from her tutoring ability.

For eight manas, Army of the Damned is a sorcery that creates thirteen zombie tokens! As if that wasn't enough, Army of the damned possesses flashback, meaning it can be cast again from your graveyard, creating yet another thirteen zombie tokens.

Entomb and Buried Alive are two cards with similar abilities that a zombie deck would not want to be without. Luckily, zombie decks have a reputation for graveyard abilities, meaning that these tutored cards often might as well be in your hand.

While not all zombie decks possess blue, those that do have the benefit of being able to include the enchantment Rooftop Storm. It is not uncommon for a zombie -tribal player to win a given game within a turn or two of playing a Rooftop Storm, so be prepared to have a target painted on your back as soon as you cast it, as the other players will likely band together to try to stop your ensuing zombie onslaught.

With the ability to sacrifice creatures at any time to create two colorless manas, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more efficient way of generating massive amounts of value in a zombie tribal deck. Packed with three potent abilities, The Scarab God does everything that you'd want in a zombie tribal deck.

By simply controlling zombies, The Scarab God whittles down your opponent's life total while stacking your deck for the coming turns! And the vast majority of Liliana's synergize in fantastic fashion with zombie tribal decks.

In similar synergistic fashion, Liliana, untouched by death allows for zombies to be cast from your graveyard, and Liliana, Dread hoard General's ability to draw you cards whenever creatures die pairs well with nearly any Zombie Strategy. About The Author Paul Salvo (119 Articles Published) Staff Writer, Paul Salvo is a writer, comic creator, animation lover, and game design enthusiast currently residing in Boston, Massachusetts.

Fittingly scattered into the deathly and decaying black faction, Magic's zombie creatures reward players for stocking their graveyard with unearth abilities, reviving your defeated warriors. They also quickly stock your discard pile by milling cards, and several gain strength based on the number of zombies you control.

With swarming, token generation, life drain, and other tricks up their rotten sleeves, zombies make for entertaining decks that occasionally dip into colors beyond black. Plus, his ability immediately destroys any human that inflicts damage to you (whether combat or effect), punishing one of the largest subtypes in the game.

Basically, Piraeus is a bulky but powerful, hard to block tank who grants your non-humans a free revival, and his legendary status makes him available as a monoblack commander in EDS. Noxious Ghoul's 3/3 stats are disappointing for his hefty chunk of five manas, but when he or another zombie enters the field, non-zombies get -1/-1 for the rest of the turn.

Diagram's downside is that she enters the field tapped, but without haste, creatures won't be able to attack on their summoning turn anyway, making Ghoul an excellent first-turn play. Admittedly, minions are a fairly rare type; as of this writing, there's only about 40 in the entire game, but it's still a helpful boost since most belong to the black faction.

If you're unlucky, this might grant your opponent some free units too, but either way, you should come out ahead if you've been tending your graveyard with proper zombie supports. 2/4 isn't great on a five-cost creature, but at least his toughness can survive a Lightning Bolt, ” and Asphodel wields an excellent entrance effect: when he joins the battle, you take life from each opponent (and add it to your own) equal to your devotion to black.

Devotion is measured by adding the number of black symbols in MANA costs of permanents you control; counting Asphodel's, you'll bear at least two, but with your other units, can easily exceed seven or more. Cranking out that much damage while recovering health can really turn the tide of a match, especially in multiplayer, where you'll sap life from every opponent.

3/2 is decent for his cost, and although Messenger enters the field tapped, he makes a target opponent lose two life. Crypt breaker bears the typically low 1/1 stats of a single cost creature, but his MANA ability does exactly what you need zombies to do: stock your graveyard and swarm.

Normally, discarding is a disadvantage, but it's a quick way for zombies to fill your graveyard, and the token creature will stave off attacks in the meantime. Crypt breaker also lets you tap three of your untapped zombies and lose a life to draw a card, adeptly replenishing your depleted hand.

The first product I ever got was a Legions' starter deck featuring these lovable dead. After a long time of being out of Magic, I learned how non-Standard formats work and zombies have been the one tribe I’ve wanted to see be good at the highest levels.

While most of the list comes on with some newer additions, I think I’ve learned that Zombies are extraordinarily difficult to pilot well. A lot of the newer additions have opened up lines that make zombies much more than slam and spam.

While I normally try to stay mono color for budget, zombie support outside of black is fairly lackluster and scattershot, so zombies naturally work best for me at mono black (I’m not the type to make color splashes exclusively for sideboard cards). We also open up some tricks we’ll hit on when we get to the relevant cards.

Smuggler's Copter for quickly board rebuilding and evasion. There’s a ton of small interplay between our cards that can make or break games.

And while it doesn’t enable what Carrion Feeder does, it is still absolutely bonkers value availed to a one drop. But when we get into stall positions, or we can’t push past big dork, we can tap our crew to dig for removal or whatever else we may be in need of.

But Diagram Colossus and Undead Augur go bananas with this combo out, making a token and/or drawing a card respectively for one black MANA. God forbid they ever print a black color shifted Kirk Prospector.

Feeder also give us instant speed death triggers on Relentless Dead meaning instant speed reanimating if you manage your MANA appropriately. While it isn’t an exactly color shift of Arc bound Ravager you can still do tricks combat stuff where you sacrifice all your block guys that would die anyway into the Feeder to take down whatever is in front of it.

Feeder + Relentless Dead is this deck’s version of the Falkenrath Gorge + Stroking Condemned combo in that this is how you play around traditional creature casts. Later Reader looks dumb but there is actually a lot of value in splitting the body.

The last ability is absolute gas, especially with Carrion Feeder giving it instant speed. Maybe you want to sacrifice the Dead to Feeder to get a Death Baron and smoke your opponent’s team.

A common question I get is whether we risk killing ourselves with the combined life loss of Augur, fetches, Crypt breaker, and Castle Boatswain. Augur on the other hand can give us lots of cards, but can cut into your life a bit.

Not terrible at stretching our presence against opposing aggro starts. I simply find Reaper’s activation cost to be a bit pricey.

Considering we have Vial and a relatively low curve as it is, I would prefer getting our stuff back rather than exile it for generic tokens for board presence. While we could go basic and slam another lord in these slots, I wanted to go in a more creative route.

We want to get to more of a mid-game state where we can make him a big boy. But most importantly, it gives insane value to the Grave crawler + Carrion Feeder combo, spitting out a 2/2 for each black MANA spent.

Death Baron is our primary lord and absolutely hoses opposing aggro starts. I don’t really care to review how I have the current sideboard set up so much as talk the various options that can be accommodated by the build for various metal.

Damping Sphere is an easy choice for Tron and Amulet style decks that can build their MANA quickly. Full sets of Nurturing Peatland and Silent Clearing.

Undead Augur compliments those Canopy lands to offer massive draw potential. That they gave Modern zombies this on top of Carrion Feeder to trigger it blows my mind.

Control opponents with cast wrath through gritted teeth as you refill you hand. Regardless of my opinion on Modern Horizons as a set, Zombies may have gotten a bigger push than any other existing deck.

A free sacrifice outlet at the one MANA slot to finally give zombies an efficient way to enable all their value chains. The perfect compliment to a sacrifice outlet as well as fantastic wrath insurance.

And a cycle of lands that gives zombies the means to really play a long game, something they already are known for. I don’t believe zombies will be some new monster to the format, but I think they have the pieces to make a competitive presence.

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