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Apocalypse of the Dead (old standard)

Modern* BG (Golgari) Lifegain Ramp Tokens Zombie



The outbreak explained

(In 4 easy steps)

1- Find a beautiful and peaceful place

(Rampant Growth, Viridian Emissary )

2- Kill the living

(Go for the Throat, Beast Within , Tribute to Hunger and Black Sun's Zenith)

3- Raise the dead

(Moan of the Unhallowed, Cemetery Reaper, Grave Titan and Endless Ranks of the Dead)

4- Feed on the survivors

(Vault of the Archangel)

The apocalypse narrated

When life looks peaceful on the Forest and the Plains, the Viridian Emissary will be peacefully walking on the Rampant Growth. But the Swamp and the Woodland Cemetery will be holding an evil force not yet known. The Evolving Wilds will grant no place to hide from what it is to come.One day, and it might be sooner then it seems, the Black Sun's Zenith will rise and all living souls will fall.Then, will come the Grave Titan and the Cemetery Reaper to terrorize your neighborhood. The dead will raise. An unnatural silence will cover the lands only broken from time to time by winds and the Moan of the Unhallowed.Walking from all across the lands, an Endless Ranks of the Dead will come and take what once was the cities of the livings. Resistance will be futile against this Undying Evil .Shelters will fall one by one for there will always be a Beast Within . The dead will keep coming back and Go for the Throat, the brain and the heart. It will be a feast of flesh and blood, an insatiable and unstoppable Tribute to Hunger .And if by any means a ray of light or a living resistance seems to overcome the legions of the dead, it will only be for the Black Sun's Zenith to come back even darker and stronger then before, follow by the horde again.The Gods will leave the holy places. The Vault of the Archangel will become one of many new home for the dead to kill... and feed... for eternity...

Origines of the living dead

I am a huge fan of Romero's zombie films and when I saw Endless Ranks of the Dead, I knew I had to make a deck out of this bad card. It was not an easy task since it's very slow and situational. I had to make a lot of test and tried a lot of cards combinations and synergy before I got to that point. I have tried aggro with Gravecrawler and Diregraf Ghoul but the deck was always better without the ranks with wasn't what I wanted. I have tried mid range with cards like Skinrender and Unbreathing Horde but it was not fast enough to win early and not strong enough to win later. I even tried to reraise my zombies with Ghoulraiser and Ghoulcaller's Chant but this version was just the worst.This version is, from what I have seen in the 2012 standard time, the best way to use Endless Ranks of the Dead.

The end

I've been working on this deck since October 2011 (release of Inistrad) and I don't think that I will make a lot more modifications. It's not a tournament deck, even tough I went to tournament with it when it was standard and I have won some games.This deck have been made when Magic 2012, Scars of Mirrodin's block and Innistrad's block where standard and I would like to keep it that way. It's what I call "Old Standard".Thanks you in advance for the comments and the +1 : )


Updates Add

Nim Deathmantle gives me a hard time... I can't stop adding it and removing it. Sometimes it's a game changer, sometimes it's too slow and becomes a dead card. It's definitely in the deck, but I just don't know if it'll stay on the main or go back in the sideboard...


Then how about running 1 or 2 Army of the Damned

May 25, 2012 2:08 p.m.

I tried it and felt like there is no better card to put a lot of zombie on the board, but I finally put them out because I almost always get kill the turn after I can cast it (Army of the Damned ), since they all come into play tapped. I decided to use 4 Grave Titan instead.

Thanks for the suggestion : )

May 25, 2012 2:22 p.m.

What about cheap zombie production like Vile Rebirth . Also Gravecrawler in general works so so well in zombie decks and has great synergy with a lot of your cards. You could destroy one and then gain a 3/3 token and then play it again from the graveyard.

December 14, 2012 3:50 p.m.

I have tested Gravecrawler for some times but it slow down the ramp up a the beginning and is not as useful as he seems in the late game. And since Vile Rebirth is just worst then the crawler, I won't use it ether. All of my zombie cards can trigger Endless Ranks of the Dead by there own, witch is vital to the survival of the deck.

Thanks for your comment. : )

December 14, 2012 5:18 p.m.

Have you found card:Black Sun's Zenith to be useful? I mean, your main win condition is your creature so surely you want to avoid cards that indiscriminately clear the board? It is definitely good but seems a bit risky.

December 14, 2012 6:11 p.m.

I have made a lot of tests with and without card:Black Sun's Zenith, and as risky as it is, I always get better result with it.

First of all, it takes a long time before I start pumping creatures. So I often start with a black sun, and then I put my creatures on the battlefield. Also, If I lose control of the battlefield, the black sun can reset it and with Undying Evil on a Grave Titan , I can restart the zombie production pretty fast. Or I can just make a black sun of 4 or 5. It often kills all creatures but my titan. Then I attack the empty battlefield with my 1/1 or 2/2 titan to put again 2 zombies on the board right away. If I don't have a titan. The flash back of Moan of the Unhallowed can do the job.

But most of the time, since all of my creature cards can trigger Endless Ranks of the Dead by there own, I use as few cards as necessary. So I always get a back up plan on my hand if I must wipe the board.

December 15, 2012 2:24 p.m.

And I forgot to say that when I clear the battlefield with black sun before pumping my zombies, it can also kills my Viridian Emissary . I might look cruel, but I like to see him dying... lol

December 15, 2012 2:52 p.m.

I really like it :) this has inspired me to do B/G ramp. +1 man way to be unique

February 5, 2013 4:33 a.m.

Thank you james_w_whitcomb ! : )

This is what I love about magic; creating something unique, even if it's not tournament level.

February 6, 2013 10:53 a.m.

so the 1 plains is there for flavor?

February 6, 2013 10:59 a.m.

No, the Plains is there for Vault of the Archangel witch saved my life many times. And with Rampant Growth , Viridian Emissary and Evolving Wilds , it's not hard to get.

February 6, 2013 11:08 a.m.

oh, i totally didnt see it, cool.

I would recommend you remove Evolving Wilds because its so slow, and add better dual lands like temple garden, overgrown tomb, etc.

You play some decent ramp, but then you'll need a way to stay alive against faster decks in the format. If you play ranks of the dead, you'll need some time to build up a board presence. I would take out some of the slower cards you have, like Moan of the Unhallowed and add Gravecrawler , card:Geralf's Messenger, and even Liliana of the Veil if you think it will work. Undying Evil is also not great in a deck which specializes in tokens. YOu could use Lotleth Troll or Dreg Mangler if you wished, to get more aggressive. Diregraf Ghoul starts you off faster with some blockers.

This is a good deck, though.

February 6, 2013 11:34 a.m.


I have tough a lot about what you said, but since I have been testing this deck since Innistrad, there is many of those suggestions that I have already tried. I still took the time to look at your suggestions in case I missed something, and I'm always happy to get some input . So thanks a lot and here is my tough about your suggestions:

"I would recommend you remove Evolving Wilds because its so slow..."

Evolving Wilds is really important for making sure I've got the exact combination of lands needed. It often gives me the second swamp needed for my zombie cards or the plans needed to trigger Vault of the Archangel . And since I have no 1cmc card, I absolutely don't mind putting a tapped land on the first turn. Secondly, using an Evolving Wilds reduce the probability of drawing lands later, as much of using Rampant Growth and Viridian Emissary .

"You play some decent ramp"

Thank you, it took me a lot of time and test to get to this apreciable point ! : )

"you'll need a way to stay alive against faster decks"

That is why I use that much kill spells, card:Black Sun's Zenith and Vault of the Archangel to gain my life back. My friends don't play a lot of aggro decks, so it's hard for me to test against this kind of deck. It might be a hard counter to my deck.

"I would take out some of the slower cards you have, like Moan of the Unhallowed and add Gravecrawler , card:Geralf's Messenger, and even Liliana of the Veil "

I also think that Moan of the Unhallowed is not a good card, but I have failed to find another card that can trigger Endless Ranks of the Dead on it's own beside Cemetery Reaper and Grave Titan that I am already using. If I use card:Geralf's Messenger instead, it will cost less cmc, but I will need twice that many cards to put as many zombies on the battlefiel. Gravecrawler on the other hand might be an option since its only cost 1cmc, but if I don't have 1 or maybe 3 zombies in play, it definitely won't be a game changer. For Liliana of the Veil , it's just not an option. It will make me discard my high cmc cards witch are the core of the deck.

"Undying Evil is also not great in a deck which specializes in tokens"

You might be right, but since I have failed to find other good cards like Cemetery Reaper and Grave Titan , I am doing everything possible to keep them on the battlefield. And having Grave Titan coming back to add another two zombies in play is always fun. Maybe 4 Undying Evil is too much. I will try with 3 or maybe even 2.

Thank you very much for your appreciation and your suggestions ! : D

February 11, 2013 1:21 p.m.

Love the story!!! +1

March 31, 2013 2:29 a.m.

this deck is sick man! i love decks that fit a theme like this. i am a huge fan of george a romero too. im gonna have to see if i can make a deck similar to this. really would love to play against it.

February 6, 2016 12:40 p.m.

Compare to inventory
Date added 5 years
Last updated 4 years

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 3.09
Tokens 3/3 Beast, 2/2 Zombie
Folders Joker, Mixed Decks, 50 Shades of Golgari, Zombies
Top rank #87 on 2012-12-30
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4 years ago)