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LILIANA'S CHILDREN (Mono-black Zombies GRN)

Standard* Aggro Competitive Mono-Black Primer Tribal Zombie

zAzen7977

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Testing GRN Updates - Suggestions are welcome!

Top Rank: #1 on T/O on 7/3 - 7/5 2018 - thanks for reading!!!

GREETINGS!

Welcome to my self-mill Zombie/Skeleton aggro build, featuring new cards from Core 19 and Guilds of Ravnica, including Liliana, Untouched By Death, Stitcher's Supplier, and Doom Whisperer.

OBJECTIVE

Play as many creatures as possible, while self-milling (Liliana, Untouched By Death, Stitcher's Supplier, Barrier of Bones, Doom Whisperer) to utilize graveyard-exile (Graveyard Marshal, Bone Dragon) and return-to-battlefield abilities (Reassembling Skeleton, Liliana, Untouched By Death).

OPTIMAL TURN STRATEGY

(Cards listed in order of priority)

Turn 1 - Play Stitcher's Supplier, Barrier of Bones, or Diregraf Ghoul.

Turn 2 - Play Graveyard Marshal, Reassembling Skeleton, Severed Strands targeting a Supplier, or two 1-drops.

Turn 3 - Play Death Baron, Midnight Reaper, or multiple 1/2-drops.

Turn 4 - Play Liliana, Untouched By Death and use +1 ability, or play Death Baron and 1-drop.

Turn 5 - Play Doom Whisperer, or use Liliana's -3 ability to cast a Death Baron plus more zombies from the grave, or cast as many zombies as you can from your hand, or play Bone Dragon from your hand or graveyard.

Turn 6 and beyond - If you possess 5 or more swamps and Cabal Stronghold, the Stronghold becomes more effective than a swamp. Use the Stronghold with Josu Vess, Lich Knight, Liliana's -3 ability, Graveyard Marshal's zombie token ability, Doom Whisperer, and Bone Dragon. Use Necrotic Wound on high-value targets.

CARD CHOICES

One Mana

Stitcher's Supplier is a zombie which enables self-milling, especially when sac'd by Plaguecrafter or Severed Strands. In this build, the Supplier can provide a graveyard full of zombies for Liliana, Untouched By Death and Graveyard Marshal. If anything else gets discarded, it can be exiled to Bone Dragon.

Barrier of Bones is a new skeleton wall which gains deathtouch with Death Baron. It protects you or your Liliana, Untouched By Death and also helps self-mill with Surveil.

Diregraf Ghoul is a 2/2 for a single mana which serves as good opener or as a cheap reanimation target for Liliana, Untouched By Death.

Necrotic Wound is the best one-cost black removal spell for this build. It grows in strength as you self-mill creatures, regardless of type, and exiles its target if your graveyard is big enough.

Two Mana

Graveyard Marshal is an incredibly cost-effective zombie which allows you to convert discarded creatures into 2/2 zombies. It's ability doesn't tap the Marshal, so you can generate multiple tokens per turn if you have enough mana.

Reassembling Skeleton is a cheap, recurring blocker and becomes really pesky when you control a Death Baron.

Severed Strands is an excellent two-in-one removal spell and self-sacrifice enabler which destroys any creature. You can use it trigger self-mill with Stitcher's Supplier, or you can sacrifice a big creature to gain life in a tight spot.

Three Mana

Death Baron is both a zombie and skeleton lord and bestows your horde with deathtouch. Barons are always your first priority to play and reanimate.

Midnight Reaper is a new zombie which helps you draw cards as your zombies die mid to late game. I'm conflicted between the Reapers and Plaguecrafter, but I'm already running several non-zombies, so I'm sticking with the Reapers for now.

Four Mana

Liliana, Untouched By Death is the self-milling engine for this build. I think this version of Liliana is more efficient than people first realize. Between Liliana and Suppliers, you can self-mill 6+ cards per turn while draining life. Liliana's -2 ability can kill indestructible creatures if you control enough zombies. Her -3 ability allows you to cast as many zombies as possible from the grave, which can be very effective if you control a Cabal Stronghold.

Five Mana

Doom Whisperer is a crazy awesome 6/6 flying trampler with incredible value. It isn't a zombie or skeleton, but its ability to Surveil at will is so strong that it's probably over-powered. Once you get a Whisperer on the battlefield, use it to self-mill as much as your life total allows.

Bone Dragon can be played from the graveyard and devours the cards milled by Liliana and your Suppliers. The dragon is buffed by Death Baron and is a secondary win-con if your zombie horde fails.

Land

Cabal Stronghold is a late-game mana generator and enables you to cast numerous zombies from the graveyard with Liliana, Untouched By Death.

Round 6: 5 swamps + 1 Cabal Stronghold = 7 mana

Round 7: 6 swamps + 1 Cabal Stronghold = 9 mana

Round 8: 7 swamps + 1 Cabal Stronghold = 11 mana

Round 8: 6 swamps + 2 Cabal Stronghold = 12 mana

EXCLUDED CARDS

I purposefully avoided including non-zombies or skeletons to maximize the synergy between Liliana, Untouched By Death, Death Baron, and Stitcher's Supplier. The only creatures I'm willing to make an exception for are Doom Whisperer and Plaguecrafter, because they add so much value to the build.

Josu Vess, Lich Knight is a card I want to like, but I have doubts about its viability. If you cast Josu without the kicker, it's a more expensive Plague Belcher without the -2/-2 effect. The earliest I can play Josu kicked is turn 8, assuming I draw the exact lands I need. It seems like a win-more card.

SPLASH OF GREEN??

I considered running card:Abandoned Tomb and Woodland Cemetery for Assassin's Trophy, but new green zombies Erstwhile Trooper, Underrealm Lich, Rhizome Lurcher, and Molderhulk seem underwhelming to me. The Lich has less value than Doom Whisperer, and the other zombies have conditional abilities which are not guaranteed to work properly. Cabal Stronghold is less efficient if non-swamps are run, which reduces late-game mana potential.

SIDEBOARD

Work in progress!

Suggestions and comments are welcome! Please +1!

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Revision 21 See all

5 hours ago)

-2 Plaguecrafter main
+1 Josu Vess, Lich Knight main
+3 Midnight Reaper main
-1 Doom Whisperer main
-1 Dead Weight main
+2 Plaguecrafter maybe
-1 Josu Vess, Lich Knight maybe