Standard Brew: Zombies

Joshua Vanderwall | 7 Mar 2012 16:00
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Zombies are one of my all-time favorite tribes in Magic and with Dark Ascension in full swing they currently have a formidable presence in Standard. I'm not convinced that they're going to be a stand-out competitive force, but I think they have a lot of appeal to the more casual environments, and can still be pretty powerful. The intriguing part of this deck is not so much the Zombies, given that it is a Zombie deck, but rather the inclusion of White. Yes, this is a Zombie deck splashing White.

Before I get to the decklist, I'd like to discuss why I think White serves a solid purpose in this build. There are three things that Black Zombies have trouble with in general in my experience. These are fliers, Artifacts, and Enchantments. Zombies tend to favor a ground-based assault, with only seventeen of two-hundred and sixty eight Zombies printed having flying, and most of those being very conditional flight. See Bladewing's Thrall or Putrid Imp. As such, having some way to swing in the air, or at least block fliers once you've run out of kill spells is going to be key. Delver of Secrets and Inkmoth Nexus are both real threats which must be taken seriously. Enter Lingering Souls. The splash of White gives access to one of my favorite spells in Dark Ascension and, given that we're already in the Flashback color, it will often be generating four Spirits almost immediately.

When it comes to Artifact and Enchantment removal, Black leaves something to be desired. To deal with Artifacts, Black has historically had to sacrifice creatures a la Gate to Phyrexia and Phyrexian Tribute. Suffice to say this is less than ideal. That's not to even mention that the current Standard card pool lacks any way to meaningfully interact with Artifacts in Black, and no mono-Black spells have ever actually dealt with Enchantments. White gives access to the catch-all removal Oblivion Ring to deal with pesky Artifacts and Enchantments like Sword of War and Peace and Honor of the Pure, as well as opposing Oblivion Rings. Finally, we have Vault of the Archangel. I've been trying to put this to good use since I saw it spoiled, and I think this is a great home for it. Giving your creatures Lifelink can create massive life swings in the late game, and the Deathtouch will make your Spirit tokens something to be reckoned with in the air.

Without further ado, you can check out the decklist here.

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