Raise Your Standards – Fun Mono-Black Zombie Tribal Deck

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Raise Your Standards.  This week I’m back taking a look at another fun tribal deck that you can play for the last few remaining weeks of Magic 2019 Standard.  The deck I have for you is Mono-Black Zombies.  Let’s take a look at the deck.

The Deck

Mono-Black Zombies - (by NICOLASBELAND)

Main Deck Sideboard
4 x Death Baron
4 x Diregraf Ghoul
4 x Dread Wanderer
4 x Graveyard Marshal
4 x Lord of the Accursed
4 x Scrapheap Scrounger

2 x Cast Down
3 x Fatal Push
3 x Vraska's Contempt
4 x Liliana's Mastery

2 x Desert of the Glorified
4 x Ifnir Deadlands
18 x Swamp
2 x Aethersphere Harvester
1 x Cast Down
2 x Doomfall
4 x Duress
1 x Fatal Push
3 x Lost Legacy
1 x Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1 x Vraska's Contempt

The Breakdown

Death Baron – This is the card that brought the Zombie deck back to life.  Not only does it provide a +1/+1 bonus to all of your other Zombies, but it also gives them deathtouch.  That’s what helps the Zombie deck stay alive in games against huge, Green dinosaurs that would otherwise obliterate it.  Once rotation happens, this will be the only Zombie ‘lord’, which might not be enough to allow this archetype to continue.

Diregraf Ghoul – A passable zombie for 1 CMC (converted mana cost), but hardly exciting.  This card does survive rotation, so there will be at least one turn 1 zombie play, even if it’s not great.

Dread Wanderer – Here’s a 1-drop zombie that rotates out in a few weeks.  Right now, it’s a good way to guarantee that you’ll always be able to make sure you have an endless supply of chump blockers, but it’s still not that exciting.

Death Baron   Diregraf Ghoul   Dread Wanderer

Graveyard Marshal – Speaking of exciting, here’s a card that fits that moniker.  Being able to get additional value out of creatures that have already given their life to your cause once is great.  And since this deck has multiple ‘lord’ effects, those little 2/2’s he creates could potentially be much larger and formidable.

Lord of the Accursed – Speaking of ‘lords’, Lord of the Accursed is great at providing a +1/+1 bonus to all of your other zombies.  However, the ability to grant them menace should definitely be forgotten.  Many games can be stolen if you remember this ability before attacking, as your opponent might be able to block some of your zombies, but not all of them.  And when they have deathtouch thanks to Death Baron, you can quickly decimate an opponent’s forces.

Scrapheap Scrounger – Here’s your only non-zombie creature in the deck, but it does serve a purpose.  In the event that you’re not able to find a Graveyard Marshal, you can continue returning Scrapheap Scrounger to the battlefield as long as you have other graveyard fodder to get rid of.  It also makes a good target to make a Zombie token out of with Graveyard Marshal once you do find one.

Graveyard Marshal   Lord of the Accursed   Scrapheap Scrounger

Cast DownCast Down is good for what it is, but my advice is to use it whenever you’re able to.  Don’t hold it waiting for some bigger target, since many of the bigger targets are legendary.  Alternatively, you can always use this on one of your own zombies if it were going to die, allowing it to be targeted by Graveyard Marshal later on.

Fatal Push – Everything I said about Cast Out applies here.  Sometimes if your opponent has a legendary creature with a CMC of 3 or 4, you’ll want to cast Cast Down on your own zombie in order to trigger the revolt ability so you can destroy their legendary.

Vraska’s ContemptVraska’s Contempt is your premier removal spell in the deck.  As you can see, you have ways that you can dominate the battlefield on the ground, but you’re weak to flying creatures.  That’s where you’ll get the most value out of Vraska’s Contempt.

Cast Down   Fatal Push   Vraska's Contempt

Liliana’s Mastery – 5 mana to create 6/6 worth of stats spread out over two bodies.  The best part is that this is an enchantment, so it’s generally harder for your opponent to get rid of this ‘lord’ effect.

Desert of the Glorified – Nothing special here.  Generally, unless you’re very light on starting lands, you’ll usually want to play this as one of your last land drops, as it can often be better to cycle it away for a different card.  It does work nicely with our next card, however.

Ifnir Deadlands – Being able to permanently shrink an opponent’s creature can be just what the doctor ordered.  Use this ability wisely and try to target those pesky flyers whenever possible.

Liliana's Mastery   Desert of the Glorified   Ifnir Deadlands

Wrapping Up

I’ll be surprised if a Zombie deck survives rotation in a few weeks, as I’m doubtful that the Golgari Guild will bring us enough playable zombies.  If that happens though, the cards in this deck that are still Standard legal will likely form the skeleton of the deck.  What are your thoughts?  Do you think Zombies will be able to survive rotation?  Let me know by leaving a comment.  Or you can reply to me directly on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg), or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com.  And, don’t forget to like our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MTGDeckTechs/) to be sure to be notified when a new article is posted.

Also, be sure to check out my articles every week on CoolStuffInc.com.  I have a new article there every Friday as well.  If you like the innovative decks I write about here each week, you’ll want to check out my articles there as well.

Be sure to join me back here next week for another installment of Raise Your Standards.  I’ll see you then!

— Mike Likes


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Mike Likes

Mike Likes

Mike started playing Magic back in 1994, but gave it up at the end of 1995. He came back to the game during the Lorwyn block and has been playing ever since. Around this time, he opened and ran his own comic & game store, while also raising his newborn daughter. After 8 years, he sold his business and moved to Wisconsin with his wife and daughter. With the debut of Kaladesh, his entire family became regular Magic players. He now has hopes of competing alongside his wife and daughter at a Grand Prix or similar event in the future. #MTGDad

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