Friday, October 14, 2011

BW Zombies in Innistrad Standard

I spent much of my time thinking of new ways to get more value out of Unburial Rites.  This card is so amazing that it much have uses outside of the typical Solar Flare decks that have been going around lately.  In my mind there are two legit targets in this format for complete blow outs - The Titans and The Preators.  Each one of these cards have an almost instantaneous effect on the field and is a force to be reckoned with if not dealt with.  Out of the titans at the moments, two stand out - Grave Titan and Sun Titan.  Grave Titan is Doom Blade immune, which seems to be the removal of choice.  If any other targeted removal is used, he still had value by making tokens.  Sun Titan may not be as resilient, but he does get a 3 cmc guy from the grave.  Out of the Preators you have: Jin-Gitaxias who has just a game ending effect, Sheoldred who can seriously punish any mid-ranged deck, and Elesh Norn who makes weenie decks unplayable when she is on the field.  What do a majority of these cards have in common?  They contain the colors of Unburial Rites.  I knew after that, I had a mission to make a BW Aggo mid range deck together.  So here it is:

13x Swamp
4x Inkmoth Nexus
4x Isolated Chapel
3x Plains

4x Cemetery Reaper
4x Phyrexian Crusader
2x Phyrexian Metamorph
2x Vengeful Pharaoh
2x Grave Titan
1x Unbreathing Horde

1x Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
1x Sheoldred, Whispering One
1x Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur

4x Altar's Reap
3x Doom Blade
1x Dismember
4x Unburial Rites
2x Dead Weight

3x Zombie Infestation
1x Endless Ranks of the Dead

First off, for this deck to be successful the you must approach this as an aggressive deck with combo finishes.  The goal is to put your opponent on the defensive and the blow them out with a big finish.  You want to put them in position early on where everything you bring out with an Unburial Rites requires an answer or you just win.  Let me explain a few of my card choices as on paper this looks worse then it actually is.

Zombie Infestation
I thought the only deck I would ever put this in included 4x Treasure Hunt and 52 land. At first the deck design revolved around WB Tokens with Intangible Virtue and Zombie Infestation with a multitude of other token producers.  While playing these matches I found a lot of value of discarding a Grave Titan and an Unburial Rites on turn 3 only to play them on turn 4. Most of the time it was a blow out as they had just recently used their Day of Judgment on my other critters or were tapped out to deal with something else.  While I lost most games that I wasn't able to turn 4 a titan, this looked very promising as a strategy. 

Phyrexian Crusader
This guy is a house at the moment as he is almost impossible to deal with.  Gerry Thompson brought this up during this weeks Magic Show and I think we were on the same page.  Mono Red has to burn shrines on this guy, Solar Flare has to hope they main decked their Dismember, and RG Kessig decks need to chump.  The infect plan isn't 100% in this deck but I found that Inkmoth Nexus's seem to end games against Solar Flare as their answers are not always prevalent.  In my view, Phyrexian Crusaders will hit the field, get atleast 4 poison on them while demanding answers and you will be able to finish them off with an Inkmoth or two.

Phyrexian Metamorph
A true answer to Thrun and all other BS legendary you might be dealing with, beyond that he is your 5th and 6th Cemetary Reaper or Phyrexian Crusader.

So far I have just ran this through the gauntlet a few times, but it still needs some refinement.  As far as using this in States this weekend, I am still on the fence.  While I may get a lot of surprise factor, I doubt it will hold up super well to the meta without a bit more work. 

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