Revisiting Zombies in Hour of Devastation

Posted in How to Build on July 18, 2017

By Gaby Spartz

By night, Gaby streams Magic on Twitch. By day, she's co-founder and VP of Content at Dose, the Chicago-based media company behind Dose.com and OMGFacts.com.

Skillfully piloted by Gerry Thompson, Mono-Black Zombies took down Pro Tour Amonkhet and made a big splash in Standard. With the release of Hour of Devastation, some new Zombie friends have arrived for us to experiment with. With Standard Showdown beginning this weekend, it's time to revisit how to build Zombie decks in Standard.

Exciting New Cards

Disregard the false advertising—Ammit Eternal isn't gonna last you forever, but its stats are impressive. This creature is massive, especially at the low cost of three mana. Ammit demands an answer quickly, and by the time your opponent has cast enough spells to shrink it, you can send it into a chump attack to deal 3 final points of damage with afflict. It's possible that Ammit could come to replace Lord of the Accursed since they currently occupy the same spot on the curve.

Not the most exciting card, but Mono-Black Zombies could be interested in him. It's a two-drop with fine stats, and afflict 1 means it'll manage to get a point of damage in even in the late game.

Playing with Wretched Camel in your deck means you're locking yourself into playing with Deserts in your mana base, but Mono-Black Zombies can afford to do so. This is a good value two-drop that can chip in for some damage and eventually trade for a card in your opponent's hand.

This land could be great in Mono-Black Zombies. It enables Wretched Camel, alongside Desert of the Glorified and possibly Hostile Desert. The opportunity cost on this land is low, and being able to cash in extra lands as a removal spell is a very powerful ability. Of note, you can sac other Deserts to Ifnir Deadland's ability, so your less valuable Deserts can be put to good use.

One of the benefits of playing a monocolored deck is having flexibility with your mana base to include colorless and creature lands. Desert of the Glorified has the downside of entering the battlefield tapped, but being able to cycle a land away when you're flooding is big game.

Hostile Desert enables Wretched Camel, and uses your cycled Deserts and Ifnir Deadlands to chip in for some damage in the late game. It's nice protection against wraths as well.

In White-Black Zombies, Mummy Paramount is often a 3/3 or 4/4 attacker. That's sweet for the low price of two mana. Definitely worth giving it a chance to prove itself.

Being able to gain some life to swing the race in your favor is a nice ability. Giving deathtouch to Zombies that might otherwise be chump attacking can help push damage through. Unraveling Mummy is not insane, but definitely worth testing in White-Black Zombies.

New Sideboard Options

Doomfall is a little on the expensive side, but I like it for its flexibility. If timed properly, you might be able to snipe their only blocker and bash in with the squad. Being able to Thoughtseize and not worry about eternalize or embalm cards is also nice upside.

Cheap and efficient sideboard card. Loving Liliana's Defeat.

This is pretty marginal, but it might have some utility as a way to punish X/1s. Worse comes to worse, you can Dust their creatures, though it takes quite a bit of mana to do so.

Decklists

Mono-Black Zombos

Download Arena Decklist

This is a pretty standard Mono-Black Zombies list with Ammit Eternals. It's not the most ambitious brew, but it's a very safe place to start.


Hump Day

Download Arena Decklist

This is a little more spicy. This deck gets to play an extra land because of cycling and Deserts. We also have a guest appearance by Wretched Camel, which is easily enabled here. This list is more grindy than our previous mono-black decklist and also has more card advantage engines.


White-Black Zombies

Download Arena Decklist

This deck is more aggressive than the two previous decks and is evenly split between both white and black. It takes advantage of Mummy Paramount and Wayward Servant to pressure the opponent. Binding Mummy gets rid of a blocker in a pinch, and Lord of the Accursed can often deliver the final blow by giving the team menace.


Hour of Devastation has brought some nice Zombies, Deserts, and spells to give Zombie decks an extra push. Have you brewed any decks with Zombies yet? Which cards are you most excited to try out in Zombies? You can let me know on Twitter @gabyspartz, or on my stream at twitch.tv/gabyspartz. And don't forget to head to your local store this weekend to put your Zombies to work against all comers in the Standard Showdown!

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