pie chart

pie chart FoDV2 (1st place four times)




1: Introduction

This deck was created in response to the current meta. Aggro is the most common deck type, with control slowly fizzling away, but still showing up every now and then. So, I tried to build a deck that can beat or stall aggro decks but still handle itself against control. So, basically, I tried to build the perfect deck. Didn't succeed, but I made this, and it works pretty damn well. I played it at two tournament with minimal playtesting and took first at both. One was a FNM and the other was a Monday night tournament with a small showing of around 20 people. Again, that was without any major playtesting. This deck can only get better with help, comments, and suggestions. Praise is okay too, since I have an ego that doesn't mind inflation.

2: The Goal

The goal of this deck is to cause your opponent to lose life. Pretty obvious, right? I mean, that's what most decks try to do. Well, the thing is, this deck does it in less obvious ways. Sure, I can play a Gravecrawler turn 1 and then two Diregraf Ghoul s turn 2 and out aggro the opponent. Or, you can be more crafty, and drop a Mortarpod and a Blood Artist, and shoot their small creatures, hurting their ramp or shrinking their army, while you gain life and their's withers away. Don't think of this as pure beatdown aggro, as it isn't. Usually, it is. I have won a lot of my games by swarming with zombies. But I've also waited it out, keeping a hand of a mortarpod, land, blood artist, Tragic Slip and Brimstone Volley.

3: The Deck

Let's look at the CMC of the deck:

14x CMC 1 cards

7x CMC 2 cards

9x CMC 3 cards (Including Phyrexian Metamorph)

4x CMC 4 cards

4x "x" spells

As you can see, this deck can play like a RDWs, letting you keep one and two land hands. I have kept one land hands, and I win with them, even missing a land drop or two.

The main beater is the deck's combination of 4 Gravecrawlers and 4 Diregraf Ghoul s. You reliably get 2 power on the field t1 and sometimes 4-6 power on the field t2. This is the aggro portion of the deck, and usually gets in a good 6-10 damage in on the opponent in the early game.

This meta sees a lot of early game critters, with Birds of Paradise, Avacyn's Pilgrim, Delver of Secrets  Flip, and Champion of the Parish showing up in most decks. This is where you shine. You have 2 Fume Spitter s, 4 Tragic Slips, and 3 Mortarpod s. Your opponent will be lucky if he can match your early game power, or drop a t2 Silverblade Paladin or t3-t4 Wolfir Silverheart .

The next trick up your sleeve is usually to drop a Blood Artist to make blocking painful and hurt your opponent's chances at stabilizing, or you could go balls deep in the aggro and drop a Geralf's Messenger.

You'll find that at that point your opponent is beginning to build a more stable army, usually getting his cmc 3 or 4 permanents out and trying to gain back control of the board. This is when you hit hard. Killing Wave with a Blood Artist is wicked. Well, Killing Wave is wicked. Remember when I pointed out that you have 8 t1 2 power creatures in your deck and 9 cards that remove t1-2 plays for your opponent? You'll have full or near full life. Your opponent won't. One sided wipe, every time. Sometimes I play it for 0 as a finisher, just because I have a set up with Blood Artist that will deal lethal if everything I control dies.

Your other late game punch can either be Brimstone Volley for 1/4 of their life total or a Falkenrath Aristocrat (sometimes I get 2 out). Falkenrath Aristocrat is the greatest thing in your deck. It has flying. It has haste. It is a sac. outlet. It is INDESTRUCTIBLE. You know what has flying in this meta? Birds of Paradise, spirits, Insectile Aberration  Flip , and Restoration Angel. Most of those chumpers are killed long before your vampire hits the field, and the angel will die without harming it. Usually this is 4 damage, guaranteed, which, when you can get an opponent to 12 so easily by turns 4-5, hurts. A LOT.

The final superstar I feel like pointing out is the marvelous Tragic Slip. It is the only card in your deck that is traditional removal, meaning only 4 non-land cards in your deck can't be used to deal damage to your opponent directly. Tragic Slip is perfect because it can remove anything that doesn't have hexproof, when you need it to be removed. Can be used against a t1 Delver, or a t6 Primeval Titan. All you gotta do with the fatties is trigger morbid. Which, assuming blockers wouldn't already do that, Falkenrath Aristocrat, Fume Spitter , and Mortarpod all come with instant morbid built in. One mana, kill anything. Pretty good deal to me.

4: The Meta

DELVER: Laugh. Seriously, look them in the eyes and laugh if you see a delver. A freaking Mortarpod can wreck that deck. No t-any 1/1 Delver of Secrets  Flip and no real use for Vapor Snag. Delver will be struggling to deal with your cmc1 zombies while you remove any creature you see. Easy win.

GR AGGRO: Remove the early ramp, and try to get some Gravecrawler swings in. Tragic Slip and Blood Artist should keep you alive until you see a Falkenrath Aristocrat, who will glide past any blockers he might be saving. If you see a lot of Huntmaster of the Fells, Bonfire of the Damned or Killing Wave will handle the swarm. Side in your Despise s if you sense a Vorapede or Zealous Conscripts problem.

KESSIG: Slagstorm never was much use against zombies. Blood Artist and Geralf's Messenger makes burn-wipe counter productive. By the time a titan sees play, a Falkenrath Aristocrat should finish your opponent off. Or you can Phyrexian Metamorph the titan. Inferno Titan for 3 mana and two life is pretty okay with me.

BIRTHING POD: This kid is doing all the work for you. Blood Artist and Brimstone Volley become huge issues for your opponent while your weanie ramp answers keep the deck running slowly. Phyrexian Metamorph comes in handy, and a side boarded Despise and Torch Fiend will come in handy as well.

5: The Side Board

Pretty basic. Nihil Spellbomb for Runechanter's Pike and rouge solar flare-type decks. Cemetery Reaper against control, or the mirror match (gives your zombies the extra umph while making more). Torch Fiend for any annoying artifacts. I prefer my removal to also be a body with 2 power to it in addition to the morbid trigger. Pillar of Flame for mirror match mostly, or in case you have a personal vendetta against strangleroot giest Despise for anything that might run Wurmcoil Engine, 'cause fuck that card.

Thanks for reading this far. Hopefully if you are that interested you'll leave a comment and give me a plus 1 so I may have bragging rights to all my friends. I'd say the level of joy in receiving a comment or a plus one is equivalent to the moment when you wake up and think to yourself "Today is Saturday."


1st place out of 22, only lost one game out of 4 rounds.


Witteee says... #1

Very well built deck, I like it a lot. Thanks for taking the time to check out my standard deck at the moment, and I like the criticism. I'll certainly add timely's into the sideboard, and I'll attempt to figure out what to take out for the Doomed Traveler .

Onto your deck though. It seems like you have anticipated every deck list and I have played against a few variants of this deck, mostly the U/B one with images. I do have to say that I like the way this one plays. Falkenrath Aristocrat seems cool in my book because its likely they will do whatever they need to in order to block the 4 coming in, you sac a creature making it indestructable, and you now dealt them at least 2 life lost from Blood Artist . This build is very balanced, however I can't be sure how much I really like the Diregraf Ghoul . It has been played against me so many times, and I never see it as a threat, more of a turn 1 Gravecrawler pylon. This deck seems like you need to use the bandaid strategy in regards to Blood Artist , rip it off as quick as possible, and it might hurt initially but in the long run its wayyy less painful than drawing it out as long as possible and just get it over with lol. Its the same with card:Geralf's Messenger, once you come to the realization it is going to do this much damage to me regardless, its better to have 5 life lost now than after two turns of it swinging as a 3/2 and scrambling to figure out what to do with it. +1 from me, and good luck!

July 6, 2012 5:46 a.m.

CakeConspiracy says... #2

July 9, 2012 5:47 p.m.

Because Falkenrath Aristocrat does the same thing, only she does it better.

July 11, 2012 2:07 a.m.

HoneyBadger says... #4

I'd highly suggest adding either Distress (or Duress when m13 comes out) as it is pretty much the only way Rakdos can effectively deal with enchantments, some of which can be a real pain, such as Oblivion Ring , Intangible Virtue , card:Curse of Death's Hold (and if you are my deck, card:Druids' Repository).

Torch Fiend while fitting in your deck given blood artist, torch fiend can be a risk as it's ability can be responded to at instant speed with a Gut Shot , Tragic Slip , etc. Given the fact that it is sideboarded, you are only going to make room for it in your 60 if you really need it, to perhaps stop Sword of War and Peace going on a Invisible Stalker or a Lashwrithe going on a Phyrexian Obliterator . Distress in duress would help here too, but perhaps Manic Vandal would be a better way to go (unless you are randomly facing Torpor Orb ). Manic vandal doesn't work with blood artist as well I suppose, but being human, it actually would make your falkenrath aristocrat bigger.

A card that would be extremely fun for the sideboard: Act of Aggression . Unlike most "gain control of target creature" sources, this one operates at instant speed, so you can steal that Phyrexian Obliterator and use it as a blocker, then just sack it with falkenwrath aristocrat, that's pretty much an auto scoop from any opponent haha! Or go ahead and steal that elesh norn that has put a stop to your fun, attack with it, then equip mortarpod and sac it.

It really wouldn't hurt to put some form of hard removal like Doom Blade for safety purposes. Thankfully tragic slip has a much higher chance of killing big creatures in this deck than others, but even still... it makes me feel vulnerable playing black without one or two guaranteed kill spells.

On the off chance you aren't aware of the interaction between phyrexian metamorph and geralf's messenger. When The metamorph copies an undying creature and subsequently dies, it comes back with a +1/+1 counter but it is no longer the undying creature, so you can copy whatever is on the board now. Which means it's ok to copy the messenger in the early game, then when something more juicy comes out, simply sac it and copy the new thing

July 11, 2012 5:29 a.m.

Azathoth81 says... #5

I like the deck a lot

I play 4 color pod and i think it would be an interresting match up because i have lots of answers and acces to some life gain.. i d be interrested to build a deck like yours but wonder how it would do against other pods... we are 3 pod player out of 15 person... 2 friends are also playing miracle deck with terminus... that could also be problematic depending on the draw... zombies are faster in this case and they don t gain life so i guess it s quite possible to win often...

How does the deck go against those

Speaking of pods... do u think this deck is better than the zombie pod list floating around... i m also considering this one but it would feel less original and i m trying to get away from my pod obsession

July 11, 2012 8:48 a.m.

CrimsonKing says... #6

What about card:Geth's Verdict? It's very good against saint of asshole in Delver decks. Especially with a tragic slip combo.

July 14, 2012 11:49 a.m.

I considered it, but it's not worth the spot. I'm not always going to corner the one creature I need it to kill and Geist of Saint Traft never scared me. He is too slow, and it means delver tapped out, giving me a chance to cast spells freely, which will cost them.

July 14, 2012 8:34 p.m.

@ Honey Badger:

1) Duress isn't in there because there aren't any enchantments that scare me. Even card:Curse of Death's Hold doesn't phase me, seeing as at that point the control player's life total should be within card:Geralf's Messenger/Brimstone Volley range. Distress costs too much. I don't want to waste a turn casting it (I play Despise turns 2-4) Wurmcoil Engine and Vorapede are the two cards I am the most afraid of.

2) I agree and disagree about Torch Fiend . He is an experiment. Like I said, I want to lower my opponent's life total as quickly and effectively as possible. A hand full of Smelt doesn't do that. With the fiend I can get two power if I need it, or a morbid trigger, OR an artifact killspell. The double red for play-sac is annoying though, and it may not pull through when I need it. I might try Manic Vandal , as that does have a little synergy with the Falkenrath Aristocrat s.

3) I have copied a card:Geralf's Messenger with Phyrexian Metamorph , sacrificed it with Killing Wave , and copied an opponent's Wurmcoil Engine . So yeah, I'm aware :P

4) I already added Act of Aggression x2 to my physical deck's SB, and updated this list. I noticed how cute that card was too.

5) I have never had a problem with the morbid trigger from Tragic Slip, and this deck has seen 4 20-or-so person local tournaments.

July 14, 2012 8:43 p.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 5 years
Last updated 5 years

This deck is not Standard legal.

Highlight illegal cards
Illegal cards Mortarpod , Phyrexian Metamorph , Blackcleave Cliffs , Fume Spitter
Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.03
Tokens 0/0 Germ
Folders Tier 1, Me Likee, Favorites
Top rank #13 on 2012-07-11
Views 913