Decks to Beat - Tournament Winning Decks!

Card of the Day - A single card reviewed by several members of our crew.  Updated 5 days per week!

Message Board 

Card Price Guide

Featured Writers  
Judge Bill
DeQuan Watson
Ray Powers - Monk's Corner
Jeff Zandi
Jonathan Pechon
Jason Chapman - on Peasant Magic

Deck Garage
Jason's Deck Garage

MTG Fan Articles
Deck Tips & Strategies
Peasant Magic
Tourney Reports 
Featured Articles  
Single Card Strategy

Magic Quizzes & Polls

Magic League

Contact Us

Pojo's Book Reviews




Hey all, and welcome back to the MtG Deck Garage! I donít think I have anything to cover as far as introductions go this week, so Iíll just jump right in. Hereís the e-mail for the weekÖ

Dear Hagan:

My name is Kyle and been playing Magic for 1 1/2 years, anyway I am building a mono-black zombie deck. Right now it is just a blueprint but I have been working for over a month on it and I am open to an expert opinion before I start building, budget is somewhat of an obstacle, but not completely, here is the blueprints

18 swamps
2 lakes of the dead
1 call to the grave
1 grave pact
2 lethal vapors
2 oversold cemeteries
2 clutches of undeath
2 howls from beyond
3 death pulses
3 dirges of dread
4 cruel revivals

1 gravespawn sovereign
2 vengeful dead
2 twisted abominations
2 corps harvesters
2 gempalm polluters
2 noxious ghouls
2 soulless ones
3 zombie boa's
4 unworthy dead-yes, unworthy dead is not a zombie but it is better than other zombies in terms of cost efficiency and can be reused as a chump blocker.

I am looking forward for your opinion on this

p.s for the love of god,

Looking over Kyleís deck, the first thing that really jumped out at me was that, for being a zombie deck, Kyle was lacking Undead Warchief. For four mana, the Warchief allows Kyle to pump out zombies faster *and* he makes those zombies in play bigger by +2/+1. To make some room, Iím going to pull the Lethal Vapors and Howl From Beyond. Vapors is an interesting card, but seems out of place in the deck, while Howl From Beyond is a simple pump spell with a single target, as opposed to the pump for all of Kyleís creatures that Undead Warchief brings to the board.

-2 Howl From Beyond
-2 Lethal Vapors
+4 Undead Warchief

Iím not so sure I like Zombie Boa here. It eats up mana for an ability that Kyleís opponent gets to decide whether or not it will be effective, and it costs five mana for a 3/3. Instead, Putrid Raptor might be a better call. Kyle will have to lose a zombie from his hand to morph the Raptor, but it can be a 4/4 blocker on Turn 3 and it can be swinging on Turn 4. Iíd like to run a full set of Putrid Raptor here, so I need to clear out one more card to make room. Grave Pact seems like the best target, since it really doesnít go along that well with the theme of the deck.

-1 Grave Pact
-3 Zombie Boa
+4 Putrid Raptor

If you look at the center section of creatures in Kyleís deck, youíll see that he has a lot of good zombies times two. Iíd like to up the count on a lot of these, including Gempalm Polluters, Noxious Ghouls, Twisted Abominations, and Vengeful Dead. Iím going to pull the non-zombie still hanging out, Unworthy Dead, as well as Cruel Revival. The Unworthy Undead are aptly named; as they are not zombies, they are not worthy for this deck. The Cruel Revivals departure is a bit difficult to do, but there are just better cards for both removal and returning creatures, as yíall will see shortly.

-4 Cruel Revival
-4 Unworthy Dead
+1 Gempalm Polluter
+1 Noxious Ghoul
+2 Twisted Abomination
+1 Vengeful Dead

The last change I would like to make to creatures is the addition of Carnophage and Withered Wretch. The lower part of the mana curve on Kyleís deck is almost non-existent, and these two creatures will help smooth that problem out. To clear room, why donít we pull Corpse Harvester, Dirge of Dread, and Death Pulse. The Harvester just helps contribute to the high mana curve for not enough effect. Dirge of Dread is decent, but not necessary with the hordes that Kyle will be producing, and Death Pulse just doesnít come off as that great of a card to me. If you play discard, use stuff like Duress, Cabal Therapy, or even Addle before Death Pulse.

-2 Corpse Harvester
-3 Death Pulse
-3 Dirge of Dread
+4 Carnophage
+4 Withered Wretch

As odd as it sounds, I donít think Iíve ever had much use for Call to the Grave. Whenever it hits, Iíve had maybe one-in-five games where it makes a huge difference. If that is the case, then it probably doesnít need to be in the deck, for it isnít contributing enough. Likewise on its way out is Clutch of Undeath. Iím not a huge fan of any form of creature enchantment unless it is over-the-top amazing (see: Rancor). In their place, Iím going to sneak in Patriachís Bidding, which is there for the sole purpose of naming zombie. As long as Kyle has a Noxious Ghoul hanging out either in play or in his graveyard, it shouldnít matter what his opponent calls, as all of their creatures will be getting ĖX/-X, where X is the number of zombies that just hit the board.

-1 Call to the Grave
-2 Clutch of Undeath
+3 Patriachís Bidding

When counting up the remaining slots in the deck, I see that I have four empty. As noted earlier, Kyle has quite a few creatures that sit high on the mana curve. If that is the case, why not go with the old fallback for any deck that wants quick mana?

+4 Dark Ritual

As the last change to the deck, Iím pulling Oversold Cemetary. Why, you ask? Because their ability is decent, but doesnít go active until Kyle would have four creatures in his graveyard. This just doesnít seem acceptable to me, as Kyle wants to have all of his creatures on the table. In their place, as well as in the place of Lake of the Dead, Iím putting in Unholy Grotto. The card can be simply abusive, and it allows Kyle to get back any creature that he sees as truly important.

-2 Lake of the Dead
-2 Oversold Cemetary
+4 Unholy Grotto

That should wrap up work on Kyleís deck; letís see how it turned outÖ

4 Carnophage
3 Gempalm Polluter
1 Gravespawn Sovereign
3 Noxious Ghoul
4 Putrid Raptor
4 Twisted Abomination
4 Undead Warchief
3 Vengeful Dead
2 Soulless One
4 Withered Wretch

4 Dark Ritual
3 Patriarchís Bidding

LAND (22):
18 Swamp
4 Unholy Grotto

I hope that helps, Kyle, and good luck! Iíll see yíall next week.

-Paul Hagan



Sponsors & Polls  



  Paul Hagan's Deck Garage

Copyright 1998-2005

Magic the Gathering is a Registered Trademark of Wizards of the Coast.
This site is not affiliated with Wizards of the Coast and is not an Official Site.