December 7, 2016

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Budget Brews: Zombies

Howdy Budget Brewers! It’s that time of the week for us to take a gander at some of the more budget options we can play at our local FNM’s. While our main goal is ultimately to just have some fun, it’s all gravy if we’re able to win some matches as well. It’s true, janky combo’s are my bread and butter but I’ve been known to sprinkle in a dash of control or a smidgen of aggro. Then, sometimes a smattering of something in between the two. We tackle new and exciting ways to play that’s easy on our wallet, and can have some fun at the local level!

This week, we’re going to look back at the Standard Format. I know, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve done anything with Standard since I did the tribal decks, and then Eggs and Tibalt, well… fear not! Here we are.

There’s one card, that since it’s printing has helped own the Modern Meta-Game and it has some pretty reasonable power in Standard as well. It’s a card I’ve wanted to play with ever since I first saw it, and just haven’t been able to.

3/3 on the board for free is nothing to sneer at, in any format. So, I wanted to take a look at a possible Budget U/B Zombie build where we try to abuse the Graveyard a little to get some value out of Prized Amalgam with some sweet Zombie synergies along the way.

Magic Deck

Lands (25)
Choked Estuary
Island
Sanctum of Ugin
Submerged Boneyard
Sunken Hollow
10 Swamp

Creatures: (17)
Wharf Infiltrator
Haunted Dead
Prized Amalgam
Voldaren Pariah
Relentless Dead

Spells: (10)
Grasp of Darkness
Dark Salvation
Gisa’s Bidding

At first glance, there isn’t much going on in the deck. Just some Zombie’s, appropriate lands and a few spells to help flood the board, and of course a dash of removal.

Under the surface? We have a powerful Zombie engine that promises to annoy our opponent’s and test their removal.

BRAAAAAAAAIINS!


As already mentioned, my whole build around card for this deck was Prized Amalgam. A 3/3 for 3 is already fine enough stats if you play it on curve, but if we’re able to get the Zombie in the Graveyard we can abuse Relentless Dead or Haunted Dead‘s text box in order to get to get the zombie on the field for free.

Relentless Dead by itself already has a pretty sweet text box, and I think it has the highest price tag in the deck (about $4 per, pushing the $5 a card rule). This card can start a whole chain of things to happen though. If you choose to let it go to yard, pay 1 mana to bring back Cryptbreaker, which will trigger the text box on Prized Amalgam.

If we can’t set up this paticuliar chain in a turn, there’s always the fact that we can bounce him to our hand after blocks, before damage, or to just dodge some removal. If all of this wasn’t enough Menace on a 2/2 body might just be able to close out some games on its own.

Haunted Dead is a card I’ve seen some Modern Dredge lists play around with as a 1 of (since it is a 4 drop), but it’s another card that’s able to trigger Prized Amalgam and give us some extra bodies on the board.

MADNESS!

Well, okay, we aren’t actually using very much with the Madness keyword this time around, other than Gisa’s Bidding which can give us some bodies on the field for cheap.

There’s also the house known as Voldaren Pariah who can help us trigger the same things as Relentless Dead later in the game by making us sacrificing some our knuckleheads. She also becomes a helluva beater once we transform her, and helps us clean up the opponent’s board.

Wharf Infiltrator and Cryptbreaker helps us set this all up by giving us discard outlets which can help us trigger madness and also gets us cards like Prized Amalgam and Haunted Dead in the yard to help trigger everything else.

Sideboard Idea’s

As per usual, I’m not going to give you a full Sideboard, since it’s always meta dependent. I will however say that I kind of like the idea of possibly going bigger and throwing in a Distended Mindbender or an Elder Deep-Fiend. I think probably, more the latter to help you push in the last few points of damage you’ll need to close the game out.

For this sort of deck I don’t really like playing blue counter spells, but maybe something like Pick The Brain or Transgress the Mind in order to stop opposing Emrakul’s and pick apart the opponent’s hand.

Removal, probably would also be good. Only having 4 Grasp of Darkness‘s while awesome, might not be good enough sometimes.

The deck, comes in under budget once more sitting around $80 at TCGPlayer Market Price.

The biggest upgrade for the deck would be none other than the necromancer herself: Liliana, the Last Hope who would be nothing short of an all-star in this sort of deck.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Budget Brew. This article is one I’m going to make some video’s about this week to post on YouTube because I’m pretty interested to see how well the deck plays out. It’s also been awhile since I’ve been able to screw around on Xmage, so I’m overdue and this seems like the perfect brew to do such a thing with.

Thanks for joining me while I try to Untap the Multiverse!

Have an idea for something you’d like me to brew up? Give me a shout in the comments!
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Twitter – @maibuddha