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Creature — Zombie Wizard
If you would draw a card while you have no cards in hand, instead draw two cards and lose 1 life.
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Blood Scrivener Discussion
1 month ago
For a time i have been toying with a "madness" deck that abused 8x pseudo dark confidant effect - in the person of 4x Asylum Visitor & 4x Blood Scrivener.
And when there are multiples on the field, its just insane.
Of course the problem is you have to empty your hand every turn for them to be active.
But now that Mr. Ruin Raider is able to join Dark Confidant i don't think that its unlikely that a similar archetype could become a powerhouse in modern. (that of course doesn't guarantee anything, but the possibility is there imho)
The goal is to draw so much cards to not have to give a fuck if some of your plays are destroyed by blockers - however this way of play requires lifegain.
(And i think people are much more likely to focus removal on stuff like Tarmogoyf, than Deathgorge Scavenger)
2 months ago
Phyrexian Etchings + Vampire Hexmage works by playing etching and holding onto hexmage, and only playing it when you want etchings gone. (or you play etching and hope to draw hexmage)
If they want to distrupt this they have to counter the activated ability (since if they attempt to kill it as it enters the batlefield you can sac it in respons) (and since sacrificing is part of the cost of the ability, they have nothing to target with a second removal higher on the stack to prevent you from sacrificing hexmage)
The main drawback is frankly that you need to draw it - but that is the same with all unique power cards, stuff like Dark Confidant
Asylum Visitor + Blood Scrivener have a go big or go home type interaction (like all other madness strategies). You have to dedicate the deck to it with spell that allow you to keep empty handed on way or another.
Due to the absence of instant win combos, and the extreme value drawing 4 cards each turn provides i think this is a workable strategy (and if you need instant removal you can always play Sinister Concoction). Of course this goes in face of the general wisdom that originates from the control mentality - bu looking the situation form tempo side its extremely powerful.
Bear in mind that having over 3 such creatures on the field simultaneously is dangerous due the life loss, and slim chances of having mana to spend all cards in hand. (And getting in that situation is not that hard since these creatures easily snowball by the first one helping you draw into its multiples.)
Ratchet Bomb vs. Engineered Explosives is a question of taste and local meta.
However Engineered Explosives can be activated in response to etb, thus negating countermeasures like Ancient Grudge. Not having to sit on the field for 4 turns to hit cmc=3 is also a benefit imho (since in that time you can easily die)
2 months ago
Where you are able to rush, you say. OK. Currently, just over every 4th card is a zombie (16 zombies)and then there's 2 additional creature cards (still under every 3rd card being a creature). Of these, only 4 cards are playable turn 1, another 4 turn 2, while the rest have to wait for 3 mana. And Diregraf Colossus is a real disappointment if you have no zombies in the graveyard, and play it for all your turn 3 mana. Rushing becomes unlikely (not impossible, but you have to draw a lot of your zombies to make up that killer hand of slow-shambling doom).
On the other hand, you have 22 removal cards. Dark Salvation is pretty weak, due to both a low landcount, and few zombies (it counts all the zombies you have in play already, as well as those it makes). Maybe a way to have as much removal as you currently do, is to have less removal, and draw more cards. How about... Blood Scrivener? And to keep the number of zombies up, replace 2 Grasp of Darkness with Fleshbag Marauder.
One of the most fundamental things about tribal decks is that you have to rely a lot on creatures doing the work, with only minimal support from non-tribal cards (merfolk, slivers, elves, and the occassional humans deck does this, all of them with 25 or more creatures, and much of the support being ways to play creatures faster). And you can get removal that's attached to a zombie, carddraw on a zombie, discard on a zombie, and... well... I think that's it. oh, yeah, you can probably also get tokens on a zombie. This may seem a bit cumbersome (Fleshbag Marauder costs one more mana than Diabolic Edict for example), but you get even more out of the synergy between tribal creatures (the slightly higher costed Fleshbag Marauder gets a buff from Lord of the Accursed, and triggers/feeds Diregraf Colossus, and whatever other zombie-specific interactions you can come up with - Diabolic Edict doesn't do any of this). If you hollow out the number of tribal creatures in your deck in favor of utility, you are less likely to draw anything that synergizes.
- 3 Drown in Sorrow (there are matchups where you want it, but mostly it just wrecks your own side of the table - good in sideboard)
- 1 Dark Salvation (a double x-cost card is not a 4-of in modern, as it is useless on your opening hand)
- 3 Disfigure (no. Not in the age of Fatal Push).
- 1 Grasp of Darkness
- 3 Swamp (so you can reliably play 3 cmc cards on turn 3)
- 2 Blood Scrivener
- 2 Fleshbag Marauder
- 1 Cryptbreaker
2 months ago
What the guy said...
You need some way to fight decks that can run you over, Stromkirk Captain is a prime tool for that (First strike chump blockers are a nightmare, not to mention first strike + deathtouch)
Playing more cards every turn with the 8 bobs (in the person of 4x Asylum Visitor + 2-4x Blood Scrivener) also does the trick.
Vampires have Cavern of Souls over other midrange builds. They can have Lord of Lineage Flip over other midrange decks - if that card flips it runs away with the game right there (i have yet to see midrange decks in the format that can deal with a constant stream of 4/4 flyers - hell legacy miracles uses/used such things as win condition via Entreat the Angels.
I would like to add here that Vampire Nocturnus is a finisher for aggro, and Bloodline Keeper Flip is a win con (sadly its only 4 mana, if it would cost 1 more it would be a lot stronger)
Vampire Hexmage + Phyrexian Etchings are pretty nice too - i would like to see which other tribe has such thing!
I see vampire aggro as weak because the tribe lack quality 1 and 2 cmc creatures, so lets make a list:
Shadow Alley Denizen (Best!)
Vampire Cutthroat (its okay, perfect in some matchups, and help to drag out against other aggro decks)
Stromkirk Noble (its either terrible, or ridiclously overpowered)
And then the rest....
Guul Draz Vampire - its a vanilla 1/1 when it would matter. The tribe completely lack ways to shoot face (specially in mono black)
Vampire Lacerator - a Goblin Guide that comes down a turn later, and makes you lose life each turn (abysmal) - Goblin Guide is a waeker Monastery Swiftspear...
Pulse Tracker - how will this thing swing more than once? (Its Geistflame - that is hwy it doesn't see play)
Lets take a look at 2 cmc!
Gifted Aetherborn - great, but its not particularly aggressive
Gatekeeper of Malakir - !that is 3 mana for all intents and purposes!
Ruthless Cullblade - wait what? i am outta here...
How does an aggro deck win that is slower than others, lacks evasion, and its creatures are actively worse (when the opponent is above 10) always, since they can't get in as the enemy just plays bigger ones?
I would suggest to not use narrow hate cards that are really strong against only 1 deck (like damping matrix - which is also very slow). Using stuff that is weaker but that hates on multiple archetypes is way better, because the overlaps you will have more hate for any archetype. And drawing a slightly weaker hate cards is a lot better than not drawing the 1-2 of "game over" hate card.
Add some secondary color, it would allow you to play stuff like Engineered Explosives, Painful Truths - if you go black/red it gives Kolaghan's Command which is good against everything, and Stromkirk Captain - which solves the "they will run ya over with their bigger creatures!" problem.
And splashing a second color can easily be done on budget, you need only 1 red mana on the 3rd turn, instead having all of your mana source being dual colored.
2 months ago
Captivating Vampire is the worst vampire lord that exists - maybe some reds are even worse than him, but no one considers them.
If you want vampire tribal Stromkirk Captain is a must, if you have good amount of tribal support for it the global first strike & +1/+1 it produces is an effect on the power level of Tarmogoyf
Vampires are not a good tribe for a true aggro deck, since they really lack cards that would enable them to race with burn, or affinity - while majority of the tribe lack evasion.
Vampires are at their best in midrange.
Or you could try to build a madness deck with the tribe, since you can have 8x effects that draw if you include Asylum Visitor & Blood Scrivener.
If you have so much draw then you can (and you should) use wasteful black cards that require you to discard.
Since empty hand is a benefit.
Here are some: Soul Spike; Sickening Shoal; Sinister Concoction; Collective Brutality; Call the Bloodline -> this card is much better than what most people paint it to be.
It is able to create a token on your turn, and one on your opponent's turn - and as enchantment most decks have no way to interact with it.
In such a deck every cheap removal/discard is good since, at worst you can make tokens out of them. (or you can clear the way for your lifelinker tokens to swing in)
Madness also gives you the best tutor of the format: Infernal Tutor
2 months ago
i remember i did the same thing when i made a zombie deck (honestly this seems pretty sweet.... simple efficient and yet effective... that 1 drop meneace enchantment looks devestating in this build... like back elves)... anyway but yeah i had a zombie deck awhile ago and i was convinced Liliana Vess had a place in it.... but after a few matches i found that added draw from Blood Scrivener or even Sign in Blood was more useful or even some spot removal like Go for the Throat/Victim of Night was just overall more useful.