Creature — Zombie
Zombie spells you cast cost (1) less to cast.
Zombie creatures you control get +2/+1.
Combos Browse all
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Undead Warchief occurrence in decks from the last year
Undead Warchief Discussion
1 month ago
3 months ago
I love Zombies! Probably one of the first tribes that got me interested in tribal decks, after I saw the power of my friend's Zombie deck. +1 from me just for Zombies!
Question 0: Before we can offer any meaningful help, we need to know if you truly mean this to be a deck for the Modern format? Or will it be casual and you won't care about format that much?
(As an aside, when I first started Magic and joined T/O, I didn't really understand that Modern was a competitive format and I just labeled any deck that could be legal in Modern as Modern. LoL. Pretty sure some of my decks on T/O still mistakenly have Modern set when really they should be Casual!)
I'm going to offer my advice assuming you want it to be Modern, but if you're going more for a casual build, then feel free to ignore some of this.
I would remove the "swamps matter" subtheme, as you don't really have ways to dump extra swamps onto the battlefield nor do you take full advantage of it (where is Defile for example?). Korlash might be worth keeping, since he's a zombie, but get rid of both Nightmare and Squelching Leeches, as they're not even zombies and they're on the higher end of CMC. Personally, I'd get rid of Lashwrithe as well, but if you really love the card and want to keep it, at least you can equip that to a zombie.
Then I would choose between full-on zombie tribal including tokens, or devotion and recursion. Neither of the latter play nicely with tokens, which don't have mana costs for devotion or stay in the graveyard for recursion. A few incidental tokens are fine, but cards like Moan of the Unhallowed and Shamble Back are not synergistic at all with devotion/recursion.
Next, are you more interested in recurring your graveyard or exiling it for tokens? I.e. do you want to do Ghoulraiser, Gravecrawler, Lord of the Undead, etc., or do you want to do Cemetery Reaper, Graveyard Marshal, Tymaret, etc.? You can't do both. Personally, I'd go the recursion route, add more ways to sac your zombies for value, and cycle them in and out of the graveyard at will.
So in summary, I would go with 1) zombie aggro including tokens, or 2) zombie recursion, with a subtheme of devotion for Gray Merchant. Going either route, I'd cut Nightmare, Leeches, Lashwrithe, and Tymaret (he's not a zombie, and provides only inefficient graveyard hate). If you go route 2, I'd also cut the sorceries Moan and Shamble. That's at minimum 8 cards out. What you add depends on which game plan you choose.
You didn't label this deck as "budget", so if you can afford it, Cavern of Souls is a must-include land in any tribal deck.
I don't like Sands of Delirium. It's only function is self-mill and there's more efficient ways to do self-mill. You also currently don't take full advantage of self-mill, with things like Dredge or Flashback-style effects. If you go full force into graveyard synergies, then self-mill is important, but even then, I'd play Stitcher's Supplier over Sands. For 1 mana, you can easily get 6 cards into your graveyard, and you can easily recur him, and he's a zombie that can attack. That would take 9 mana with Sands, which is just a dead artifact.
Lastly, some sacrifice options: Gnawing Zombie isn't amazing, but the effect is relevant. I would replace Sign in Blood with Village Rites — same card draw, but one less mana, instant speed, and no life loss. You also have cards that like to die, like Festering Mummy, Black Cat, Tattered Mummy, and the above-mentioned Stitcher's Supplier.
Sorry for the wall of text. I just love zombies! So I hope at least something in there was useful.
6 months ago
- cut Doomed Dissenter since it can't be recast with your commander, and there are plenty of 2/2 zombies for 2 which can
- cut Festering Mummy because in commander, most creatures will not die with a couple of -1/-1 counters. Consider keeping it if your opponents play lots of mana dorks such as Llanowar Elves
- cut Ghoulraiser, your commander casts a zombie of your choice from the graveyard anyway
- cut Liliana's Steward, targeted discard is bad in commander. You and the targeted opponent lose a card, but your other two opponents don't.
- cut Increasing Ambition, it simply costs too much mana for the effect in my opinion
- cut Sealed Fate, it's pretty bad unless your opponent just used a Worldly Tutor or something
- cut Shamble Back, you don't want to exile your own creatures, and it's a pretty poor form of graveyard hate.
- cut Remove Soul, if you're paying 2 mana for a counterspell, you want it to hit more than just creatures
- cut Spell Snuff, 3 mana counterspells are too expensive
- cut Vile Rebirth for the same reason as Shamble Back
- cut Manalith and Nyx Lotus. When you're in 2 colours, you generally don't want to pay more than 2 mana to ramp. Plus if you ramp on turn 2, you'll have 4 mana on turn 3, allowing you to cast your commander early
- cut Telepathy, it's not worth using a card to see your opponents hand unless you're playing something specific like maybe Sen Triplets.
- For semi-budget 2-colour deck, your mana base looks pretty good. I would just cut Skyline Cascade, having it come in tapped isn't worth it for it's effect in commander. You can probably just play a basic island in its place.
If you want to upgrade your mana base, avoid lands that come in tapped like Dimir Guildgate. A few suggestions would be Command Tower, Choked Estuary, Darkwater Catacombs, Drowned Catacomb, Tainted Isle, Underground River, Watery Grave.
I hope that was helpful! Here's a link to my The Scarab God commander deck which has a pretty similar zombie tribal theme to what you have. Take a look through it and maybe you'll find more cards that I forgot to mention. If you have any questions don't be afraid to ask!
7 months ago
Hello, TypicalTimmy. I don't really mean to necro this, but I somehow missed your post back when you made it. I would like to address it now, though.
I agree with you on how powerful the Army of the Damned and 2x Undead Warchief are in the deck. They got added by design and are actually in the deck to created blowouts for the Horde! Same with some of the other cards in the deck.
I do like the idea of adding The Scarab God for flavor and to put a clock on the Survivors. But, I am worried about the activated ability. Since the Horde has infinite mana, it would immediately activate it's ability on all available targets every turn it is in play. This may make it impossible to beat for the Survivors. I am going to add it and see how it plays out. But it might be way too far up the power scale for this. And the Horde does have a hand, can draw cards, and can hold cards in it. It just usually empties it's hand in the pre-combat main phase if it has anything in it. Or post-combat main phase if stuff got bounced during combat.
I won't be adding Liliana, Untouched By Death mostly for flavor and because the Horde is not supposed to use decision-making cards and planeswalkers have situational abilities so this would seem pushing against one of the core rules. Also, it's more a horde of mindless zombies than a concerted military effort and her presence on the battlefield would seem a little too intentional. I know I have some lords here to buff the horde, but I pretend they are only a tiny bit more self-willed than the zombies around them.
Thank you very much for providing insight and suggestions to the deck! I appreciate the help!
8 months ago
In my opinion, Undead Warchief is better than Cemetery Reaper. Costs one more to cast, but speeds up the rest of the game, and grants one more power boost. The Reaper's activated ability is slow, and exiling stuff from your graveyard is not ideal in reanimator.
9 months ago
This deck definitely deserves an upvote for its name (are you a fan of Iron Maiden?), but I do have several suggestions: first, I would swap Adaptive Automaton and Metallic Mimic for Lord of the Undead, Cemetery Reaper, and/or Undead Warchief, all of whom shall provide the same benefits, and much more.
10 months ago
dbsharkeyjacoby: The reason for the zombie lords isn't for the zombie tribal theme, but the buff they offer. Death Baron gives us the ability for our zombies to have Deathtouch, so unless we're getting swung with flyers, our opponents will think twice about swinging towards us. Lord of the Undead gives us the ability to recur a vast majority of our creatures, which are zombies. Undead Warchief reduces the cost of our zombies. Out of the 20 creatures in the deck, 50% of them are zombies.
Due to these effects, you'll see why I'm not running Lord of the Accursed, all it does is give our zombie duders menace, which would require us to need to swing more. If our game gets to that point where we need to turn sideways, I'd rather use Liliana, Defiant Necromancer and/or Geth, Lord of the Vault to steal creatures, and any of our other beefy boys and swing with.
Cryptbreaker was in the deck originally, but was cut due to not having enough utility. You need to tap three zombies to draw a card? Okay, that's three creatures less we have to defend with, and defend our Lili's with. The discard outlet is fine, but unless Ensnaring Bridge is out, we don't wanna be dumping cards from OUR hand, we wanna be dumping cards from either everyones hand or our opponents hand.
Ruthless Sniper costs mana for it's give -1/-1, not really ideal. Bone Miser is a fine card, but it's very costly. Archfiend of Ifnir is a good card, and I'll consider it, if I find myself in games coming across a common dead card in hand, to swap it out with.
As for the Lili's, Liliana, Dreadhorde General has been considered, however her cmc is way higher and will destabilize the curve more, as well as she runs more in Zombie Tribal. The only value I feel I'd get out of her is killing my creatures to draw a card, which may work, but I fear it'll be way too situational. Liliana, Death's Majesty runs best in a more zombie tribal theme.
The biggest thing to keep in mind with some of these higher cost suggestions is that we are running mono-black. We don't have access to ramp outside artifact ramp, and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx.