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Mardu Crawler (competitive modern league)

Modern* Aggro Competitive RBW (Mardu) Zombie



This deck achieves card advantage through looting effects and recurrent creatures, then swarms the opponent quickly. It happens to have similarities with the Legacy deck 'Zombie bombardment' or 'Zombardment'

While trying to evolve the discard value theme from my previous deck creation: Grixis Crawler I came up with this Mardu variant which works very well for it's more aggressive nature.

it would be great if somebody picked it up, and helps with the tweaking
any inputs welcome

Card discussion

  • 'Cryptbreaker' both gets the zombie count up and gets bloodghast into the GY. He is great in grindy matchups.

  • The deck often loots most of the lands and the hand is rarely empty. Therefore it wants as few three drops as possible: cutting 'Kolaghans command'. Liliana of the Veil is currently holding the only spot there. ('Lingering souls' is often a two drop.)

  • I am not sure about 'Bloodsoaked Champion' as his reanimation cost hurts and he is strictly worse than 'Gravecrawler' - but i would really like more bodies in the one mana Slot mainboard (over Thoughtseize?)

  • 'Diregraf Ghoul' unfortunately gets into play tapped which is anti synergetical with 'Cryptbreaker' and 'Smuggler's Copter'

  • I think the deck is aggresive enough to justify Lightning Bolt over Fatal Push - or should it be a mix?

  • I would love to play one 'Mutavault', is there a way? I have now recently replaced one 'Cryptbreaker' with a Mutavault as an additional Land.

  • I am currently thinking about putting one Zealous Persecution into the main board as it keeps granting me wins out of nowhere post SB, what to replace? Lili? Path?


Competitive modern league currently 17 wins, 18 losses: Winrate 48.6%, not bad considering the learning curve. In the first rounds i didnt even have a proper sideboard plan.

First competitive modern league went 2-3
Abzan: loss, Grixis delver: loss, Titan-shift: win, Zoo: win, Titan-shift: loss

Second competitive modern league went 3-2 Death shadow: win, Bring to light Scapeshift: loss, Tron: win, Eldrazi: loss but I played very poorly, Tron: win

Third round 1-4 Tron: loss, Tron: loss (Ugin sucks), Death+Taxes: loss (was winning game 3 but time run out), Death Shadow: win, Jund: loss

Fourth round: 3-2 WR Prison: loss (Chalice for 1 on turn 1 is backbreaking), Naya burn: win, Eldrazi Tron: loss, Affinity: win, Death Shadow: win

Fifth round: 2-3Tron: loss, G/B: win ...

Sixth round: 3-2

Seventh round: 3-2boggles: win, Bant Eldrazi: loss, Naya burn: win, Allys: loss, BW Token: win


Gravediggers Cage is fortunately heavily on decline

vs RDW, Zoo, Merfolk The RDW matchup seems favourable with 4 Collective brutalities and Leyline of Sanctity, Merfolk I dont have enough games, but it is probably harder to beat

  • +2 Collective Brutality
  • +2 Fatal Push
  • +2 Zealous Persecution
  • -2 Dark Confidant
  • -2 Thoughtseize
  • -1 Lingering Soul
  • -1 Tidehollow Sculler (MD1)

vs Tron: so far 2-3, I think this matchup is disfavourable as the deck is not quick enough to consistently evade Ugin

  • +1 Thoughtseize
  • +3 Stony Silence
  • -2 Smuggler's Copter
  • -1 Lightning Bolt
  • -1 Cryptbreaker

Combo, vs Ad Nauseam: I think those are very good matchups: Tidehollow rules

  • +2 Collective brutality
  • +1 Thoughtseize
  • +1 Surgical Extraction
  • +1 Leyline of Sanctity
  • -4 Path to exile
  • -1 Lingering souls

vs Jundt: Liliana of the Veil? yes please! dont have enough games yet

  • +2 Fatal Push
  • +1 Leyline of Sanctity
  • -3 Tidehollow Sculler

vs Abzan: I would think this is an even to slightly favourable matchup but I am not sure

  • +1 Leyline of Sanctity
  • +2 Zealous Persecution
  • +2 Fatal Push
  • -1 Liliana of the Veil
  • -4 Tidehollow Sculler

vs Affinity: I think this is a tough matchup

  • +2 Fatal Push
  • +1 Rakdos Charm
  • +2 Zealous Persecution
  • +3 Stony Silence
  • -2 Thoughtseize
  • -2 Dark confidant
  • -2 Smuggler's Copter
  • -1 Tidehollow Sculler
  • -1 Liliana


Comments View Archive

LeaPlath says... #1

There is defo something here, it just needs more refinement.

I really would suggest a manland in the vein of Mutavault. It has synergy with Cryptbreaker and Gravecrawler, as well as being a creature who can keep crewing copter for 2 who doesn't die to sorcery speed removal or decay.

March 9, 2017 12:39 p.m.

easyzivi says... #2

Thanks LeaPlath, the problem with Mutavault is the mana commitment of the deck. I could see one in the deck as an additional land replacing one of the Cryptbreakers or a Lightning Bolt.

March 10, 2017 1:34 a.m.

lagotripha says... #3

Interesting setup. K-command will help with the affinity matchup, but I'm trying to figure out where it'd fit. Personally, I'd swap the scullers for Rotting Rats, freeing up some space with the Faithless Looting self discard for more hand disruption- likely 3 rotting rats, a Nezumi Bone-Reader 2 k-command and 2 thoughtseize in the looting/sculler slots. It might not suit your meta, as you've already cut the higher cost card slots.Eidolon of the Great Revel/Nether Traitor/Shared Animosity/Topplegeist might work more solidly if you're planning on rushing your opponent down before they can react to all the disruption, but its super gimicky and loses out to exile effects.All told, it looks like a really solid attempt at that low cost Dark Confidant/discard aggro archetype, and I can't really suggest any flat upgrades. It feels like it could abuse sacrifice effects, even just to dodge path, but I'm having trouble finding a slot for Greater Gargadon. Really nice setup +1 Keep tinkering.

March 24, 2017 5:53 a.m.

easyzivi says... #4

thanks lagotripha for the Input! You might have a point with the 'Rotting Rats' - even though it's not a particularly good card as such - there is probably too much synergy to ignore. Especially since I have recently reduced both the 'Cryptbreaker' and the 'Smugglers Copter' Count, there are now games when bloodghast Needs to get casted. So more discard outlets are very much wanted.

Something I have learned though: with 4 Bloodghasts and 4 Gravecrawler you need to be as aggressive as possible. Thats why I dont think Nezumi Bone-Reader fits in there, he is not a Zombie and he doesnt help to evade Path to Exile. Early on I have also tested 'Nether Traitor' but he seems overall just too slow. Shared Animosity is a very interesting card, I havent considered it but I might test it.

What do you think of the Sideboard?

March 24, 2017 9:19 a.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 2 months
Last updated 1 day

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 1.62
Tokens 2/2 Zombie, 1/1 Spirit
Based on
Views 1346