Falcon Fly By: For the Horde

Hello again everyone!

It’s right after the pro tour and we have a champion! Congratulations to Gerry Thompson for winning and triumphing over or new overlord Aetherworks Marvel! I am really glad that the low-to-the-ground aggro deck did so well this weekend. That’s what I want to talk about, the horde. No, not the one from World of Warcraft, the undead one. ZOMBIES!! This deck has two different versions to look at. I have been playing this deck for a few weeks now and am fully aware of how powerful it is. Right after the SCG open I saw the B/W deck and knew that I wanted to play it. After reading a little bit from other people, and going with a gut feeling, I played the full play set of Dark Salvation and boy was that card a house. Every time I drew it, great things happened, and I was sold. I played the B/W deck at a PPTQ and didn’t fair all that well. I did have a few things go less than stellar for me. Now, I’m not complaining about the variance, but more thriving in the fact that if one more thing went less negatively I would have gotten a top 8 finish and been in a great spot to possibly take down the event. After having swapped to the mono black version I believe it is the better deck, but I cannot deny how good the white sideboard cards are in match ups. Mainly Anguished Unmaking and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, but what you lose in power you make up in brutal consistency.

I love midrange decks. They are my bread and butter. Walking a tight rope with your life total versus aggressive decks. Learning how to tempo out your control opponents’ counter magic and resolving a difficult to beat permanent. Playing all of the sweetest permanents known to your color wheel. I also have a special place in my heart for black aggro decks. The days of Tormented Hero, Spiteful Returned, and Mogis’s Marauder still resonate with me today. Where that deck had a little reach, a great creature land, and a creature that gave your team haste and intimidate. We now have the ability to flood the board with tokens, draw extra cards, and play resilient threats. Simply attacking and blocking are not what aggressive is looking for. There always needs to be something a little extra. Chaining Burning-Tree Emissary, Attacking with Hellrider, flying, haste, evasion, burn spells for reach, Inability to block, or Recursive threats.

What the new zombies decks do are things of beauty. With the new lords we have great boosts of power, and how they dodge the best removal spell against the deck Magma Spray is the best selling point. Lord of the Accursed having three toughness, Metallic Mimic giving permanent +1/+1 counters, and Liliana’s Mastery being an enchantment, dodge some of the best spells against this deck.

Cryptbreaker is a fantastic magic card. It does everything you could ever want from a deck. It’s a black Cursecatcher. A one drop creature with relevant text and creature type. You cannot utilize it as well as Cursecatcher, but there are also times when it is more powerful. Drawing multiple cards per turn rather than countering a single spell. It also makes your dead draws more relevant.

Even though I believe the black deck is better based on power level versus consistency, I am going to advocate that you play a Black White list over mono black to combat the mirror zombie decks that will be coming with the full 4 Liliana’s Mastery. To help fight through all of that, you will want things that can remove any permanent. Anguished Unmaking along with getting rid of Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, Aetherworks Marvel, and Torrential Gearhulk. It also removes Liliana’s Mastery from the table. As you well know the zombie decks are great at amassing a board of X/2 creatures and a few anthem effects. Gideon, Ally of Zendikar out of the sideboard gives you both of these things. So while you are at parody on board, Gideon can slowly help you grow your presence each turn alongside Cryptbreaker and your own copies of Mastery. Wayward Servant is another card that can be very powerful in board stalls. You simply get rewarded for having zombies enter the battlefield. I also don’t believe that Binding Mummy is something we really want to be doing. I resolved the card a few times versus some aggressive opponents and outside of pushing a few extra points of damage the card wasn’t as impressive as I had hoped for.

This is the list I would be piloting going forward at any Standard events.

So nothing really big has changed from this. I simply cut the Binding Mummy for Metallic Mimic. Out classing your opponents blockers is equally as efficient as tapping them down. I also cut down a few copies of cards to make room for Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet. Against any aggressive matchup, if your Kalitas survives the turn, then you are a heavy favorite to win. With so many must answer threats prior to turn four you should then have an easy time navigating through your opponents removal. Then slam Kalitas on to the table and your opponent from the top rope. Also don’t forget how well Kalitas synergizes with zombies! You can sacrifice another zombie to give him two +1/+1 counters! That doesn’t only mean tokens made by him or other effects, that can also mean your Dread Wanderers!

Hopefully you guys enjoyed my little intro into the Zombie Horde. If you guys found any of this helpful please let me know! I am considering heading to Montreal this weekend, and as much as I hyped up this deck, I am still unsure what I will be piloting. I have a few options on my plate currently and I will be taking this week and testing deck, bouncing opinions off of my friends. If any of you want to chime in please do! Currently I am considering the above Black White Zombies list, A Temur Marvel list (preferably with 3-4 copies of Chandra, Flamecaller), or a good old Green Red Electrostatic Pummeler. We shall see what the weekend brings!

As always,
Stay hungry and stay humble

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Josh Peragine

Josh Peragine

Magic grinder. Lover of all things Black, Green, and Red. Together we can stop the menace known as the basic island! MTGO: CaptainSarang
Josh Peragine

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