Zombie Aristocrats

Posted in Feature on June 3, 2013

By Sam Black

Sam Black is a Platinum Pro Player and longtime writer for StarCityGames.com. He is a respected deck builder and took over Daily Decks for the first half of 2013.

I've been getting some requests lately for more Varolz, the Scar-Striped decks, which is fair, since I did say it was the card I was most excited to build with from Dragon's Maze, and today I've decided to share a deck of my own.

Varolz, the Scar-Striped

I've been playing a lot with Junk (BGW) "aristocrats," which breaks up the aristocratic pair of Cartel Aristocrat and Falkenrath Aristocrat and replaces Falkenrath Aristocrat with Varolz, the Scar-Striped.

Well, I thought, if the idea is that I need seven or eight creatures that let me sacrifice others, what happens if I keep Falkenrath Aristocrat and cut Cartel Aristocrat, while adding Varolz, the Scar-Striped? After all, most of the creatures I want to sacrifice are cheap, so the curve could work better if my expensive cards are the ones I'm sacrificing my cheap cards to.

I lose Lingering Souls if I cut white but, lately, I haven't been that attached to it anyway. Losing Doomed Traveler hurts, but it's still worth considering.

I started with Arbor Elf, Young Wolf, and Strangleroot Geist as my core cheap creatures, but I wanted another cheap creature I'd like to sacrifice, which brought me to Gravecrawler, which brought me to wanting more Zombies, which brought me to Geralf's Messenger, and without Twilight Mire, I really couldn't play Arbor Elf, Strangleroot Geist, and Geralf's Messenger comfortably.

The final product ended up with a conservative splash of a single Thrull Parasite, a card that could easily overperform, since its remove-counter ability works with both Young Wolf and Geralf's Messenger. Originally, I skimped on Blood Artist, but with sacrifice outlets and Gravecrawler, I just had to max out on it.

I expect this alternative to BGW to fare far better against control and far worse against aggro, so it's really a metagame call, but there could easily be a time and a place for this direction, and the sideboard offers a lot of cheap removal for opposing aggressive strategies.

Jund Zombie Aristocrats

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