Thursday 16 May 2013
Bg Zombie Bidding
This is rather a fun deck and while not even what I would describe as tier two it is capable of giving you some good cube games. It most resembles a bad block constructed deck from a bad block although it may be tailored to cope better with various match ups in cube. The list below is a fairly pure one that plays weak synergy cards over strong isolated cards however throwing in cards like Pernicious Deed would work wonders for a number of your games and so it is a judgement call on how much you need to meta to have a chance of even getting a game and how much you can throw into having lots of fun with zombies.
As a tribal archetype zombies has come a long way in the past few sets affording you a lot more scope in how you go about building a zombies deck. Zombies have lots of lords but beyond that very little abusable synergy compared to tribes like Goblins and Elves, what they do have going for them is that they are black and can make use of one of the more powerful tribal spells - Patriarchs Bidding (although not technically a tribal subtype card...). A surprising number of good zombies are green so coupled with the perks Survival of the Fittest effects from green offer it seems like the best way to go for a zombie bidding deck. Another perk of having access to the green zombies is that they give you a good selection of powerful two drops which black has been very thin on historically. As such this deck is an agro deck aiming to curve out with powerful dorks while being able to over extend and recover with top end mass recursion effects.
Skulkbriar, the Walking Grave
Survival of the Fittest
Liliana of the Veil
Lord of the Undead
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Golgari Rot Farm
Other interesting cards:
I am of the opinion you lose credibility on calling a deck tribal if you have more than one creature outside of the tribe within the build. Fauna Shaman is the Clickslither / Stoneforge Mystic / Craterhoof Behemoth / Trinket Mage / Ranger of Eos / Snapcaster Mage etc that finds herself as the exception within this list. She wasn't even that good in the deck working very badly as either Survival or as a beater but the deck doesn't really have the card advantage to support discard outlets like Zombie Infestation and so could only really replace the Shaman with a tutor effect. In hindsight that would probably have been a better call. The Abrupt Decay is the other main card deviating from the purity of the zombie theme and although I would far prefer it to be a funky card like a Gempalm Polluter with no acceleration and basically no disruption till about turn five you need something. A bit of targetted discard is a strong contender in this role of helping the deck be competitive in a cube meta.
The three lords in the list give you a really terrifying curve if not disrupted and give you some pretty serious board position. Lord of the Undead gives you some lategame control options as well as his boost to zombies but is the weakest of the lords to curve out with. The deathtouch from Death Baron makes combat really unfavourable for your opponent even if they have some crazy ramp or reanimator deck however it is the good old Undead Warcheif that really makes an impact. People who play with Tempered Steel know how vast a +2 power bump is and he reduces costs as well which is not insignificant at all in the deck. If you make a zombie every turn then flop out a Warcheif you generally just turn things sideways and win. Cemetery Reaper didn't make the cut as the list was bloated on the 3 slot and he has bad synergy with recursion effects.
Withered Wretch is pretty good in cube anyway even if it hasn't been in the A cube for a while and is a little over shadowed by Deathrite Shaman and Scavenging Ooze. An awful lot of powerful cards in cube use graveyards, some decks like Life from the Loam and Reanimator rely on them and now a good chunk of dorks have persist or undying all of which the Wretch is fantastic against. He also helps clear things out of the way for when you want to bring everything back to life. The Carrion Feeder on the otherhand allows you to put everything in the graveyard just before you bring everything back. He has some cute uses beyond that but is primarily a tutorable sac outlet. Because of the single specific dorks required to successfully return all your dorks and not theirs the Survival effects are very important if you are heading towards a Bidding style win. Nantuko Husk is the backup for Carrion Feeder but is a bit pricey and is perhaps cuttable.
Ghoultree is a funny card I wanted to test more than anything else, this is about the best deck for it and I was happy enough with it to play it again in a deck as suitable as this. 10/10 is really big and even without any abilities at all it gives you a lot of board control. It is highly cuttable but if fun is what you are after then this is a must include! Noxious Ghoul despite his horrific cost is really good and not at all just for fun (although he still is), when you Bidding him back in he is a one sided Wrath and when you are just playing him normally he keeps all the chaff dorks well under control. He is your main creature removal and one of the few good zombie synergies this deck really gets to abuse.
The real reason this deck is not going to be a top flight cube performer is that in order to get a sufficient zombie count to make the synergy cards worth it you have no room for cheap disruption or ramp, both of which the deck sorely needs to compete in various match ups. Llanowar Dead might help but it is really not close to the power level of this deck let alone the cube. The more you succumb to a desire for more powerful cards the more the deck just turns into some kind of rock deck and not a classy tribal deck. If doing this deck again I would change the following few cards about:
(some red dual lands)