Today we are going to look at what I think will be one of the best “new” (and probably most obvious) decks to be added to standard thanks to M19.
The new zombie cards from M19 fill the spots on the curve that we were missing since the last rotation. The key cards we lost after rotation were:
Most of these have a reasonable replacement on the curve in M19:
Swapping out those 4 cards and the old removal spells for some newer ones would give you a reasonable deck list already, but with these newer cards you are much better at playing a longer, grindy game. The older cards have also gotten a lot better as well. Heart of Kiran has become a solid addition with the inclusion of a planeswalker and a 3/2 for 2 mana in Graveyard Marshal. This deck can play a game very similar to the red black midrange deck that is currently in standard. A combination of Lord of the Accursed giving menace and Death Baron giving deathtouch makes it very difficult for your opponent to block profitably in the late game, which allows you to punch for damage profitably if needed. Deathtouch makes your zombies a lot better on defense as well, especially Dread Wanderer. The deck lost some recursion compared with the older lists due to the loss of Relentless Dead, but they have gained some of that back with Liliana, Untouched by Death. Scrapheap Scrounger also allows you to be more resilient against one-for-one removal from decks like blue black midrange and red black Midrange. Here is an example of a decklist I would play:
While your game 1 vs control may suffer by going for a more midrange deck, Black has some of the best sideboard options in the format to deal with control, and the best removal to deal with aggressive decks. Here are a few of the available sideboard options:
Some of you may prefer a more traditional aggressive build of the deck, so here it is:
The midrange version is what I will be trying to play for the start of this standard season. If you enjoy zombies, now is a great time to put a deck together.
Editor’s Note: And you can get all these cards at Gameology! We’re taking in-store prepays for singles (while supplies last) and we’ll have a TON available on release day! 🙂 see you for draft weekend.