Hello there,

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:

Cryptbreaker

Relentless Dead

Diregraf Colossus

Dark Salvation

 

Most of these have a reasonable replacement on the curve in M19:

Diregraf Ghoul

Graveyard Marshal

Death Baron

Liliana, Untouched by Death

 

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:

 

Zombie Midrange:

4 Dread Wanderer

4 Scrapheap Scrounger

4 Graveyard Marshal

4 Lord of the Accursed

4 Death Baron

 

Artifacts (2)

2 Heart of Kiran

 

Planeswalkers (4)

4 Liliana, Untouched by Death

 

Enchantments (3)

3 Liliana’s Mastery

 

Spells (6)

4 Fatal Push

2 Vraska’s Contempt

 

Lands (25)

22 Swamp

3 Ifnir Deadlands

 

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:

Doomfall

Duress

Arguel’s Bloodfast

Vraska’s Contempt

Essence Extraction

Moment of Craving

Lost Legacy

Never // Return

Deadeye Tracker

Cartouche of Ambition

 

 

Some of you may prefer a more traditional aggressive build of the deck, so here it is:

Aggro Zombies:

Creatures (24)

4 Diregraf Ghoul

4 Dread Wanderer

4 Metallic Mimic

4 Graveyard Marshal

4 Lord of the Accursed

4 Death Baron

 

Planeswalkers (4)

4 Liliana, Untouched by Death

 

Spells (5)

3 Fatal Push

2 Vraska’s Contempt

 

Enchantments (3)

3 Liliana’s Mastery

 

Land (24)

22 Swamp

2 Ifnir Deadlands

 

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.

 

~Sean Armstrong

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.