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Pre-Constructed Deck Review 

Zombies Unleashed
Rating: 5 out of 5

Now THIS is a deck!!  When I started researching this pre-con, I had no idea what was in it. I have to say, I was really surprised!  Wizards has actually put together a very well-balanced deck. Good creatures, excellent removal, decent tempo. In all honesty, this is probably the best pre-constructed deck I've seen to date.  I haven't reviewed the Sliver deck yet, but I think it will be hard pressed to compete with this well-focused Zombies Unleashed deck.

Let me give you the deck listing, and then we'll go over some of the cards:

# Name Rarity Cost
1 Festering Goblin* C Black Mana
1 Boneknitter* U 1 ManaBlack Mana
2 Shepherd of Rot* C 1 ManaBlack Mana
4 Skinthinner C 1 ManaBlack Mana
2 Withered Wretch U Black ManaBlack Mana
1 Aphetto Exterminator U 2 ManaBlack Mana
2 Embalmed Brawler C 2 ManaBlack Mana
2 Frightshroud Courier* U 2 ManaBlack Mana
3 Smokespew Invoker C 2 ManaBlack Mana
1 Ghastly Remains R Black ManaBlack ManaBlack Mana
2 Deathmark Prelate U 3 ManaBlack Mana
2 Infernal Caretaker C 3 ManaBlack Mana
1 Soulless One* U 3 ManaBlack Mana
1 Graveborn Muse R 2 ManaBlack ManaBlack Mana
2 Corpse Harvester U 3 ManaBlack ManaBlack Mana
1 Noxious Ghoul U 3 ManaBlack ManaBlack Mana
2 Gempalm Polluter C 5 ManaBlack Mana
2 Dripping Dead C 4 ManaBlack ManaBlack Mana
1 Dirge of Dread* C 2 ManaBlack Mana
1 Feeding Frenzy* U 2 ManaBlack Mana
1 Cruel Revival* C 4 ManaBlack Mana
23 Swamp L  
2 Barren Moor* C

Yeah... I really like this deck!  It has excellent focus.  It's myriad of removal really balances it out, too. Let's go over some of the better cards here:

Bone Knitter will give your Zombies regeneration, and since you're running a ton of them, very nice. I might consider adding one or more of these to the deck if you feel you'll be running into fatties or other creatures you deck won't be able to handle otherwise. Also will get you to the late game, where you can use Gempalm Polluter, Dirge of Dread and Smokespew Invoker to help you finish your opponent off.

Shepherd of Rot can really work to your advantage if you can get your opponent's life total lower than yours, and you feel you have board control. Keep pinging him with it, or send a final blow to their life total.

Skinthinner is non-black creature removal - nice. He's a morph, so he can hit the board early as a 2/2. A bit expensive to flip, but worth it if you can off a nasty creature when you do.

Smokespew Invoker is great if you make it to the late game, or if you end up in a standoff of creatures. If you find that happening, this guy can pick off your opponent's board until you have enough to break through for a big onslaught.

Ghastly Remains in and of itself is nothing great, but has very good synergy in this deck. Coupled with Corpse Harvester and Infernal Caretaker, this guy can be pretty huge.

Deathmark Prelate is pretty nice here. Throw one of your weenie Zombies at something and kill it. Decently costed.

Soulless One is just too good in this deck. I highly suggest you beg, borrow or trade to put more of these into this deck.  This avatar has the distinct advantage over the other color avatars in that it also counts the Creatures in the grave for it's P/T. Niiiiice.

Corpse Harvester works really well here. Block, then sac your blocker to go get another Zombie and a Swamp.... nice!!!

Noxious Ghoul - Even more removal. Bring multiple Zombies into play to eliminate bigger threats.

Gempalm Polluter can be a great finisher!  Cycle it for BB, and your opponent loses life (better than damage), and it's not counterable since it's a cycling ability. Or, you can hard cast it as a 4/3. Great card in this deck! You may want to consider adding more.

Dirge of Dread - Dirge gives all of your creatures fear, which means they can only be blocked by Black or Artifact creatures. This card can end games. It can also cycle if you need to draw or see it early and need the cards.

Cruel Revival - This is really nice removal, as well as a way of getting something back from the grave.  Consider adding a couple more to the deck.

Cards that can be cut:

Embalmed Brawler - crap.
Dripping Dread - Expensive crap.
Withered Wretch - In most cases useless. Play it in your side board.

Zombies Unleashed has a great advantage over most other pre-cons in that it is already very solid in it's build.  Just a few minor changes, and you have a super-tuned pre-con that can win you games.

Important!  Be sure to keep your deck right at 60 cards. When you add a card, remove a less useful one from your deck. The smaller your deck, the more it increases your odds of drawing a good card.

Compared to other Precons, I'd rate this one a 5 out of 5 as is, and 5 when modified.

Remember that you can also go outside of the cards used here by Wizards. You can use the Pre-cons as a base for a deck, and then add some of your favorite stronger cards that you feel will be helpful. Remember not to stray too far away from the focus or theme of a deck, as that will generally weaken it.

Most of all, have fun with it!  Be constantly on the lookout for cards that you can add to your deck to make it better. If you are a good trader, you should be able to do it all for a small investment, and eventually have a much improved deck!

For those of you that are interested in the list of Precons, you can check them out here: www.ShuffleAndCutGames.com. That will give you an idea of the different decks available and their pricing. I'll review a new deck again soon, so...


Until next time...

 ~ Christine






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