|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Premium Deck Series: Graveborn (GRV)||Uncommon|
|2012 Core Set (M12)||Uncommon|
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Discard two cards: Put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token into play.
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Zombie Infestation Discussion
3 weeks ago
For me my favorite deck is zombie hunt. Mulligan until you hit a Treasure Hunt, drawing our deck of 52 lands until we hit another Swan hunt or Zombie Infestation. With luck we hit a reliquary tower along the way an make about 6 or 7 zombies, with 12 being a personal record.
3 weeks ago
Ha, hadn't thought of the Fengraf/Witness combo. But that's fantastic if you can get them together.
Definitely agree that retrace feels fantastic when playing against permission.
I admittedly have this love/hate relationship with Zombie Infestation. If I went all-in on it, ran a pile of Squees, Bloodghasts, Vengevines, various madness cards, maybe even a few Hollow Ones, then I'm sure ZI would be stellar.
But I don't; ZI is more of my alt-wincon; it's there to support Gideon & the Souls. Probably because I feel I'm susceptible enough to graveyard hate as-is.
On turn 2, it's as fast as you want it to be. I could pitch my entire hand on turn 2 or 3, & make 3 zombies. I have only ever done this when I can't answer a turn 3 Blood Moon. ZI has kept me in the game in these instances.
If I Inquisition, & see that opponent has a handful of counterspell-type stuff, then I will also dredge Loam to make zombies. 1.5 Zombies per turn becomes 2.5 per turn with Bob... or 1 per turn with Lili. Or 2 per turn with both Bob + Lili.
But dredging or not is kind of a quandry, really. There are plenty of times when I'd really rather topdeck an Abrupt Decay or Gideon. Most Dredge lists I see also run Abrupt Decays, so I imagine they're able to relate.
Oh, & Infect also... I'll happily dredge Loam to make blockers v. Infect.
If I have a decent boardstate; Lili + Bob + either Gideon, plus the cycle land in the yard, for instance... then I will most definitely dredge to make zombies.
Ensnaring Bridge is fantastic if you've a discard outlet. Great synergy with Lingering Souls + Worm Harvest. Kind of a nonbo with Loam, though, without a discard outlet.
Knight of the Reliquary was amazing. I miss her... but between her, Lili, Souls, Pulse, etc. my three-spot was just getting crazy-oversaturated. She would typically hit the field as a 4/4... then grow up to 9/9 or bigger, if left unanswered, usually without once using her activated.
I think creatures + Smallpox is questionable, unless you're running Lingering Souls + Bloodghasts, Dread Wanderers, or anything else with recursion. Sacrificing only a fraction of a card to Smallpox, in the form of a creature token, sure feels great. Other possibilities could be Kitchen Finks or Voice of Resurgence? Either makes for good sacrificing.
Funny you should mention Spirit of the Labyrinth + Grier Reach with Reliquaries. I used to do this too, maybe a year ago. It works. It's great. Blue players play Serum Visions & only get their scry. Hilarious. But, as with all non-Bob creatures, I eveventually trade them out for more interaction. I guess I'm a control player at heart.
4 weeks ago
@Madhava, Gonna respond to your comment in bullet points as it will probably be easier.
I have not gotten to play this list a ton recently. I have all the cards for it, but I try to play a different deck every week at my LGS. Keeps my opponent's sideboards honest, and keeps my experience fresh. Obvious downside is I do not have a ton of reps with any single deck, but I find that it makes me a better player -- knowing the intricacies of so many different deck styles. Last time I played this, I match up against Mono U tron (what I am assuming is a terrible match up), a mardu reanimator deck running Alesha, Who Smiles at Death, Fulminator Mage, and Young Pyromancer (another match up I found to be bad with the land destruction, and the endless stream of tokens), and dredge (which was not bad... but not good either).
It is maybe a tad color greedy. I have not had many issues, but I have also had to fetch shocks pretty aggressively -- which can be taxing on my health pool, and only makes that BloodMoon match up worse. A friend of mine also suggested trimming more of either white or green. I like Garruk Wildspeaker a lot as he makes Smallpox effects even more 1-sided. But I think I have found that it can be difficult to play him on curve when you t2 Smallpox. I like the suggestion of Utopia Sprawl though, as it acts a little like a Flagstones of Trokair with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, allowing me to turn 2 Smallpox and still end the turn with 2 mana. I would cut Gideon of the Trials, but he allows me to be super greedy with deathclouds... although maybe the life gain from Sorin, Solemn Visitor helps with that enough??
The white sources are so I would always have an option to fetch with Flagstones of Trokair. I very well could be a bit overkill though.
Haunted Fengraf has worked beautifully. My only creature is Eternal Witness. It allows me to dredge with impunity and always be able to get my key cards or continually recycle Smallpox for value as it also kills the Eternal Witness to be recureed again and again in a vicious cycle.
Worm Harvest has been great in grindy or control match ups. it can feel bad for control players to counter Life from the Loam or Worm Harvest when they can just as easily be cast again next turn. It adds a lot of inevitability that most decks just cannot deal with.
I get that Zombie Infestation is good. I really liked that inclusion when I first looked at your list. But is that also too slow? How soon do you find yourself getting a critical mass of zombos? It seems like you can really only get 1-2 per cast of Life from the Loam? I also like Call of the Bloodline. I just wish you could use it more than once per turn.
My meta is pretty varied. I go with a friend that is normally on dredge, but after that it changes from week to week, with lots of new faces coming each week. occasionally, there is a kid that will show up playing merfolk or elves. Surprisingly little Death's Shadow or eldrazitron.
What are your thoughts on Ensnaring Bridge? I have also toyed with the idea with trying to utilize Spirit of the Labyrinth in conjunction with Grier Reach Sanitarium. I know you have played with Knight of the Reliquary variants before. How did playing creatures in pox feel? I would maybe want to play KotR in that shell to fetch the sanitarium?
1 month ago
Hart and Sad Robot might be useful, so long as you don't go overboard with critters you can't/don't want to drop with Kaalia. Keeping the total number of cheatable ADD above a minimum of 25 but VERY preferably higher is a good rule of thumb. They would go VERY well with the reanimation, subtheme you've got there, though... especially if you have a good number of sac outlets.
Sword of the Animist is a good addition, as is Phyrexian Arena. I'd also consider Zombie Infestation for this build, in the event that you can't cast Kaalia due to her being a squishy dartboard, but you still wanna cheat some fatties into play. Anguished Unmaking is always good and Condemn would effectively be a third swords in this deck. Those would be the cheapest but still very effective upgrades I'd recommend.
Congregate should be among the first things to go in my opinion.
1 month ago
Hey, man. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. Life was kind of a whirlwind for me, for a bit.
Anyway, I have messed around with this quite a bit, on the playtest feature (prior & latest versions). I'm curious how much playtime you've gotten with it, & what your findings have been.
I'm wondering if you're finding it to be a tad color-greedy, with double/triple black + double green + double white mana costs. I know I definitely had this problem at first. Opening hands without a fetch were usually rough... and I would pretty much fold to Blood Moon.
If you've had the same experience, I'd consider choosing a color to be your spalsh-color... probably white, in your case (I went with green)... then trim back your manabase, & cut the double-cost cards. In your case, looks like Gideon Trials only.
You've got 16 out of 24 potential white sources in your manabase. That's huge... I'd trim some. Maybe try more fetches, more Overgrown Tomb, & some Treetop Village. I'm curious if you find that Haunted Fengraf works well? I think I'd rather another manland, or another basic, in this slot.
Worm Harvest had always looked too slow to me, although admittedly I've never tried it. What do you think of it?
A while back, I found that Life from the Loam really wasn't doing much for me. I would never dredge for it. It was there for land recovery following Smallpox... but I didn't always need that. It was also there to combo with Raven's Crime, or CoBru, or to hold onto something good in my hand whilst Lili was out. Which was okay. I had cut Loams down to two... until I tried Zombie Infestation. This was a game-changer for me. Having an engine for Loam, I went back up to 4. Something to consider, maybe.
I'm considering investing more heavily in the Loam-discard cycle; possibly by adding a 4th Zombie Infestation, a 1-of Call the Bloodline, maybe even a Squee, Goblin Nabob for discarding. I have already tried Peace of Mind x1 mainboard. It's underwhelming, except v. Burn. Then it's gold.
But back to your build: I think Garruk Wildspeaker is fantastic. Have you considered adding Utopia Sprawls, & possibly another Death Cloud or two? Maybe a third Garruk, plus a Kitchen Finks or two to help stabilize? Or, if you'd rather, Wall of Roots or Sakura-Tribe Elder. Drop Loams back down to two. Then try to ramp for big Death Clouds. This is probably the direction I would try to go, if green were my number two + white was my splash.
If you have trouble with fast creature aggro, Bontu's Last Reckoning is fantastic. I've also considered trading out my remaining creatures (Bob) for sweepers. But my meta is just too fond of creature-light control; Snapcasters only, or Snaps/Quellers.
Anyway, there are a few of my thoughts... if you're still playing your AbzPox semi-frequently, I'd love to hear your findings, & hear how it's doing. Good matchups? Bad matchups? I could possibly recommend some silver bullets, if you'd like.
1 month ago
I would say that the rakdos list is somewhat weak Hellhole Flailer & Rakdos Cackler have strictly better versions, if you intend to use them as beaters (like Goblin Guide) - you could of course abuse them with something like Rage Forger, but in the end the deck just doesn't seem to have a clear plan, at least to me.
If you are willing to add some more recursive creatures like Gravecrawler (as black has plenty such options), you could build an aristocrats deck with 4x Viscera Seer + 2x other sacrifice outlet & 4x Blood Artist & 4x Zulaport Cutthroat
And then alter it slowly into the deck that was called "next level abzan".
In the maintime (due to the life leech) you can use spells like Imp's Mischief to protect your stuff - since without single target removal the deck is hard to deal with to say the least.
Maybe some number of Duress to combat both removal and planeswalkers.
...the options are endless.
(and there are nice mass reanimation spells, like Immortal Servitude)
However i would try to stay clear of Smallpox as it works best in WB planeswalker decks - and stuff like Liliana of the Veil is not cheap.
And you definietly should not play Pack Rat in such a build, as both compete for the same resources, cards in your hand.
The rat is best in Life from the Loam + Squee, Goblin Nabob builds - at least in my opinion, where its played alongside stuff like Zombie Infestation & Seismic Assault
2 months ago
I have played loam in a few different forms and love that, Zombie Infestation is amazing