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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'

If you are looking for a deck with an exellent winrate against death shadow aggro and good winrates against combo and control decks then this might be for you. The harder matchups are Affinity, Tron and Eldrazi decks as well as any meta with heavy Graveyard hate.

I'd love to get more feedback and advice on the Deck and the Sideboard!

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.)

  • The deck needs to be as aggressive as possible for all the creatures in the deck that can't block. Therefore I would really like more bodies in the one mana Slot but I am not sure about 'Bloodsoaked Champion' as he is strictly worse than 'Gravecrawler'

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

  • Due to input from reader LeaPlath I have now recently replaced one 'Cryptbreaker' with a Mutavault as an additional Land and have never looked back.

  • Due to input from reader 'Lagotripha' I am thinking about replacing some Tidehollow Sculler with Rotting Rats because the meta is so spot removal heavy. The Rats serve as discard outlets, come back from the GY and still keep the Zombie count up. They might help with the overall consistency of the deck.


Competitive modern league: current Winrate is above 50%, not bad considering there is still a learning curve.

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, Tron: win

Third round 1-4 Tron: loss, Tron: loss (Ugin sucks), Death+Taxes: loss, Death Shadow: win, Jund: loss

Fourth round: 3-2 WR Prison: loss, 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

Round 8 3-2Storm: loss, Storm: win, Death Shadow: win, Death Shadow: win, Bant Eldrazi

round 9 4-1tron eldrazi: loss, grixis delver: win, grixis control: win, Jeskai combo: win, UW-control: win

round 10 2-3Death shadow aggro: win, R/B Dragons: loss, Grixis control: loss, Zoo: win, Eldrazi taxes: loss

round 11 1-2 RDW: loss, 5-colour creatures: win, Esper control: loss, League finished

round 12 3-2Abzan Death shadow: win, Jundt Death shadow: win, i love this matchup!, Elves: win, G/W Chord: loss, Boggles: loss

round 13 2-3Burn: loss, Burn: win, Valakut breach: win, Dredge: loss, Druid combo: loss


Gravediggers Cage was almost nonexistant for a while, now its a bit more prevalent again

vs RDW The matchup feels favourable with 4 Collective brutalities and a Leyline of Sanctity

  • +2 Collective Brutality
  • +1 Leyline of Sanctity
  • +1 Fatal push
  • -2 Dark Confidant
  • -1 Thoughtseize
  • -1 Liliana of the Veil

vs Tron: I think this matchup is disfavourable as the deck is not quick enough to consistently evade Ugin

  • +3 Stony Silence
  • +2 Fulminator Mage
  • -2 Smuggler's Copter (gets shut down by Stony Silence)
  • -2 Cryptbreaker
  • -1 Lingering Souls

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

  • +2 Collective brutality
  • +1 Leyline of Sanctity
  • +1 Leyline of the Void (Storm)
  • +2 Nihil Spellbomb (Storm)
  • +3 stony silence (nauseam)
  • -2 Path to Exile
  • -2 Fatal Push
  • -3 Lingering souls (storm)
  • -2 smugglers copter (nauseam)

vs Jundt: Liliana of the Veil? I couldn't care less

  • +1 Big game hunter
  • +1 Fatal push
  • +1 Leyline of Sanctity
  • -2 Tidehollow Sculler
  • -1 Collective Brutality

vs Death Shadow: I have a fantastic win rate here. (currently 8-0!)By the time they are below 10 life I usually have enough board presence and can - sometimes backed with a bolt - finish the job in one or two turns. The Lingering Souls can jump block the Shadows forever. Their only real chance at winning is 'Temur battle rage'.

  • +1 Leyline of Sanctity
  • +1 Leyline of the Void
  • +1 Big game hunter
  • +1 Fatal push
  • +2 Nihil spellbomb
  • -3 Tidehollow Sculler
  • -2 Collective Brutality
  • -1 Gravecrawler

vs Abzan: I would think this is probably an even matchup

  • +1 Leyline of Sanctity
  • +1 Zealous Persecution
  • +1 Big game hunter
  • +1 Leyline of the Void
  • -1 Liliana of the Veil
  • -3 Tidehollow Sculler

vs Affinity: I think this is a tough matchup, after sideboard it gets much better though

  • +1 Fatal Push
  • +1 By Force
  • +1 Zealous Persecution
  • +3 Stony Silence
  • -1 Thoughtseize
  • -2 Dark confidant
  • -2 Smuggler's Copter
  • -1 Liliana

vs Eldrazi Tron: this matchup is tough

  • +1 Big game hunter
  • +3 Stony Silence
  • +2 Fulminator Mage
  • +1 Fatal push
  • -1 Collective brutality
  • -3 Lingering Souls
  • -2 Smugglers copter
  • -1 Cryptbreaker

vs Bant eldrazi: this is a very tough matchup too

  • +2 Fulminator Mage
  • +1 Fatal push
  • +1 Big game hunter
  • +1 Zealous Persecution
  • -4 Lingering Souls
  • -1 Cryptbreaker


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.

Stephencliffe says... #5

Prized Amalgam and more Liliana seems good. Cool deck!

April 21, 2017 2:54 a.m.

easyzivi says... #6

Thanks Stephen, I have been brewing with 'Prized Amalgam' back and forth. The fact that he can't be cast with this manabase IS a problem even with that many discard outlets. A second 'Liliana' might indeed be worth an inclusion- probably over a 'Tidehollow Sculler'?

April 22, 2017 11:41 a.m.

Alexasmaoao says... #7

This type of deck can make very good use of Smallpox. Could be something worth trying out (maybe that's not the direction you want to take the deck idk.)

August 3, 2017 4:37 p.m.

bigshocka says... #8

Great looking deck, nice results, too.

October 18, 2017 4:16 p.m.

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87% Casual


Compare to inventory
Date added 8 months
Last updated 3 weeks

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 1.64
Tokens 2/2 Zombie, 1/1 Spirit
Folders Inspired, Mardu (Modern/Standard)
Based on
Views 3935