Wayward Servant

Wayward Servant

Creature — Zombie

Whenever another Zombie enters the battlefield under your control, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.

Wayward Servant Discussion

awatts30 on Varina

1 month ago

Thanks, Guerric! There’s a lot to parse here, so I may take it in parts.

Firstly, the extra lands are temporary. My target is 36, but I had 13 extra spells, so I added 7 basics (35% rate) to be able to goldfish effectively. Sometimes I can learn a bit more about the deck and make changes that way. As I pare down spells, I’ll take out lands too. I thought about Crucible of Worlds, but opted against it because it would change my play style, but without tutors or duplicate effects it’s too high-variance.

The Stifle is mostly there to stop graveyard hate, which tends to be one-off abilities (Bojuka Bog, Scavenger Grounds, Tormod's Crypt, Relic of Progenitus) and which could really mess up my plans. That’s a good point on Dovin's Veto; maybe I’ll swap it for a Negate.

I really like Reconnaissance because it not only allows me to attack into unfavorable board states but also gives pseudo-vigilance, allowing me to commit all my zombies without worrying about the crack back. Anything to maximize those Varina triggers! Flawless Maneuver might need to come out, though.

I’ve used Plumb the Forbidden to great effect in my Mazirek deck. Since it’s instant speed, it’s really good at turning creatures that would die to unfavorable combat or a board wipe into card advantage, and since it’s 2 CMC I can always just put the mana into Varina if I don’t wind up needing it. I had Kindred Discovery in there originally, but in a deck that’s both ETBing and swinging this much it seemed like overkill (plus it’s crazy expensive). A lot of my perspective on card draw may need to change, too. Like I said, I’m not used to using my graveyard, and while Varina let’s me look at a lot, I’m still uncomfortable throwing cards away. After all, they’re all in there because I want to cast them! I need to get better at choosing what to pitch (which is kind of the whole point of making this deck), but corollary to that is figuring out how much draw-to-hand I need and how much I can lean on my ‘yard.

A lot of the deck techs I’ve looked at leaned into Varina’s activated ability. I didn’t much like that because (1) it makes her into a glorified token factory, (2) I want to push myself to use the cards in my graveyard, and (3) why would I want to spend 2 mana and two cards for a vanilla zombie when I can spend 2 mana and one card for a Corpse Knight, a Wayward Servant, or 3 mana for a Diregraf Captain. In the little bit of goldfishing I’ve done, though, she’s dumping cards so fast that exiling two of them isn’t even a problem. I had originally taken Tormod, the Desecrator out, but wound up putting him back in because of the number of cards I was exiling. I’d like to bring it back toward a reanimator strategy, and I think Syr Konrad, the Grim would be a good payoff for that.

You have a ton of good suggestions, including Crashing Drawbridge, Dusk / Dawn, Necromancy et al. (I knew there were others, I just couldn’t remember them!), Living Death/Rise of the Dark Realms, Haunting Voyage/Patriarch's Bidding, and the talismans, but I still need to cut 13 spells to even get down to 100 cards, and then more to make room for any of them. This is my problem!

KingKaz on Orzhov Gravecrawler/ Zombie Sacrifice

7 months ago

Boogsbay Thank you for such a thorough comment and suggestions! You've confirmed my suspitions that this deck is too slow.

I was tempted to take out Cryptbreaker for Undead Augur but was being stubborn since I spent the money on Cryptbreaker already lol. But it makes sense to take them out. No use if I need to tap three zombies and the point of this deck is to constantly be sacrificing them.

Carrion Feeder was on my radar but I figured I already had enough avenues for sacrifice, but it wouldnt hurt to add more. Plus he gets bigger and can become a threat if not dealt with.

I would love some fetch lands, but my budget doesn't right now haha. But I can add it to the deck so that it is fully optimized. Good point with the Godless Shrine with the Castle Locthwain play. I didn't even consider that.

In my mind Geralf's Messenger and Gravecrawler are the ultimate zombie cards and represent everything that a zombiue deck should be. I also wanted some of him, but my budget also doesn't allow it unfortunately.

I liked the life gain that Wayward Servant provided, but I see Corpse Knight would be better. Not only would it enable triggers from Zulaport Cutthroat but also Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia. That's a potential 6 more triggers.

I will gladly replace Blasting Station with Unearth, my budget thanks you for this one haha.

You've got me thinking with Ghoulish Procession oppposed to Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia. I'll need to think on that one.

Again, I really appreciate such great feedback!

Boogsbay on Orzhov Gravecrawler/ Zombie Sacrifice

7 months ago

The deck looks good but seems somewhat slow. Some suggestions IMO would be:

Some considerations:

  • Corpse Knight over Wayward Servant to include Zulaport Cutthroat for ETB triggers.

  • Unearth over Blasting Station if you already swapped out some land for Geralf's Messenger. These two, at the very least, makes the opponent lose 8 life; more with Cutthroat and Knight on the field. Reanimating other creatures is also another viable strategy to get out of a tight situation.

  • Ghoulish Procession over Jadar since it's a nonlegendary permanent that can potentially make more zombies to fuel an aristocrats strategy and trigger ETB and death triggers.

For sideboard:

dadezio on Tormod and Ravos Raise Again

7 months ago

Combos These are just a few of the combos that I Can see with this deck.

R492 on Zombies in your mocha star

10 months ago

Hey, I'm here from my warrior deck as you've requested. Since I'm unsure of the format I'll presume this to be a casual build, if this is more of a competitive modern or other format of deck then my knowledge is definitely too limited to be of assistance here. As it is I used to have a lot of fun with casual zombies when I first got into MTG and Diregraf Captain was one of my favourite cards. I think zombies have always been at their best in either mono B or Dimir so my first suggestion would be to remove white from the build. Wayward Servant is a neat idea but I just don't see enough recursion here to fully utilize it unless the plan is getting 2 relentless dead and using them to recur each other on death but that seems a bit risky without some tutors. I really liked Gravedigger myself, he's a simple creature but that's kinda what zombies are, and getting a chain of gravediggers fishing each other out of the yard continuously while offering protection to anything else on your board that might be targeted is surprisingly powerful.

Likewise Time to Reflect is thematically cool but slightly narrow in scope for removal, and Mortify has been upgraded even in standard. Murderous Rider is not only great removal but also a zombie after, which means it also absorbs the bonuses you have littered throughout this deck to become a massive healing machine, and if you specifically want removal that can target enchantments Feed the Swarm does it for cheaper while even having a name that loosely matches the deck!

Next I'm noticing an Evolving Wilds in the mana base when Fabled Passage exists as a direct upgrade to it. Then again leaving white behind would mean you probably don't need either of them, which means there may be better options to streamline your mana base. I also notice a lot of colourless mana, which is perfectly good so long as you aren't hurting for your black and blue sources. I would tend to run a couple more swamps and islands myself just to make sure a T1 Choked Estuary has a target and perhaps replacing the white sources and Rogue's Passage with some more basics could work. Rogue's passage is nice moreso if you have large creatures that can get through for significant damage, generally as a zombie player you'll want to just have enough board advantage to simply swing in and spending 4 mana to sneak a single one of them through winds up being too expensive.

Here are a few other cards for your consideration:
- Endless Ranks of the Dead
- Field of the Dead
- Open the Graves
- From Under the Floorboards to synergise with Cryptbreaker
- Dreadhorde Invasion

Hopefully this gives you some ideas, make sure to mark down what format you're playing in and give your deck tags to help people find it easier! Good luck, I'll be around if you need and if you're on the Discord server feel free to @ me with anything else that comes to mind

lagotripha on Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny

11 months ago

I feel like leaning far harder into 1 and 2 drops would make the pyre/Vial/Crawler setup a lot stronger. Just 'fetch a zombie from your deck each turn' is pretty strong.

Undead Augur Draws cards, likes sacrifice, on type&theme, cmc right for gravecrawler.

Cryptbreaker ditto, but also a 1 drop.

Worth considering;

Black Cat / Miasmic Mummy / Rotting Rats Forces a discard and sets up for a 'go to 3 mana' turn. Amazing for getting grindy.

Dreadhorde Arcanist strongest zombie and recurring thoughtsieze is good- plays into a spells matter theme with Unearth

Corpse Knight / Wayward Servant for gravecrawler drain if the deck shifts towards W/B, with vial/pyre easing the splash.

Tidehollow Sculler Hand disruption is goood

multimedia on Varina

1 year ago

Hey, have more confidence in your deck building because this is a fine start on a low budget if it's your second deck.

You already have Wonder which is good since it's the card I suggest the most that players add with Varina. My advice is focus more on Zombies and cards that can support Zombie tribal. More Zombies, less nonZombie creatures.

Budget cards all less than $1 each to consider adding:

Amass is an effect that creates a Zombie token.

Consider more cards that require you use life because Varina is a life gaining engine with Zombies.


Next step is to add 35 more lands to have a manabase to playtest. Get a temporary manabase in place with basic lands to see how many spots you have left to fill with nonland cards or how many nonland cards to cut. Make sure that basic Swamps are the most lands because you need black mana the most with Zombies.

Some budget lands $1-$2 or less each to consider adding:

Good luck with your deck.

Load more