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CardShark Content - Brian Baker (9/21/2005)

The conversion of decks is always an interesting topic. Regular readers here at Cardshark have seen multiple articles where the author takes a duel deck and adapts it to multiplayer play, or where a casual deck is refitted for the tournament scene. Taking a popular tournament deck, such as Tooth and Nail
Tooth and Nail
Tooth and NailSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Choose one - Search your library for up to two creature cards, reveal them, put them into your hand, then shuffle your library; or put up to two creature cards from your hand into play. Entwine 2 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
or the Rock, and turning it into something more casual is not something usually discussed for two major reasons. First, if the deck already works consistently, then changing it for casual play is not usually bothered with. Secondly, casual decks are so diverse that any change would be highly individualistic and probably only pertain to that particular player.

Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar is probably my favorite writer on www.magicthegathering.com, in both writing style and content. His style of experimental deckbuilding (buying a preconstructed deck and tweaking it into an individualized, highly playable finished product) is very interesting to me because it highlights all of the most important concepts when building decks. Understanding a deck begins with the deck's inspiration and construction and ends with the actual playing experience, not the other way around.

Today's article illustrates a conversion from a casual deck to a competitive one, and then back again. While the deck that this article discusses is no longer Standard legal (and I'd have a pretty hard time endorsing it for Extended play), I still think that it's useful to observe how the deck has changed over time to serve various purposes. It's important to remember that changing a deck may not make it stronger for all intents and purposes, but instead should let it fit the occasion.

Anyone who has been playing for a few years should remember Onslaught
Onslaught
OnslaughtSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Whenever you successfully cast a creature spell, tap target creature.
block. This was the block that gave the game to creatures and their various tribes. A great deal of fuss was made over the power that was goblins, but not everyone noticed how truly damaging the black faction could be. Onslaught
Onslaught
OnslaughtSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
92
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Whenever you successfully cast a creature spell, tap target creature.
gave zombies several offensive weapons in every mana cost slot, from festering goblin to Soulless One
Soulless One
Soulless OneSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Avatar
Rarity:
U
Number:
171
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Soulless One's power and toughness are each equal to the number of Zombies in play plus the number of Zombie cards in all graveyards.
, while providing duel removal and return in Cruel Revival
Cruel Revival
Cruel RevivalSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
135
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Destroy target non-Zombie creature. It can't be regenerated. Return up to one target Zombie card from your graveyard to your hand.
. The lingering presence of 7th edition and Odyssey block contributed tools like Gravedigger
Gravedigger
GravediggerSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
134
Artist:
Dermot Power
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Gravedigger comes into play, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
and Engineered Plague
Engineered Plague
Engineered PlagueSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
51
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
When Engineered Plague comes into play, choose a creature type.All creatures of the chosen type get -1/-1.
. I built a zombie deck, played with it a little, and was reasonably satisfied. It didn't immediately jump to mind when thinking of competition, however.

Then Legions came. If you don't think that Legions did anything for the creature-type theme, you never saw a black card in that set. Legions gave the promising zombie deck two of the most grossly powerful tribal effect cards: Gempalm Polluter
Gempalm Polluter
Gempalm PolluterSet: Legions
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
Cycling BB (BB, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.) When you cycle Gempalm Polluter, you may have target player lose 1 life for
each Zombie in play.
and Noxious Ghoul
Noxious Ghoul
Noxious GhoulSet: Legions
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
U
Number:
77
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever Noxious Ghoul or another Zombie comes into play, all non-Zombie
creatures get -1/-1 until end of turn.
. The Ghoul, if resolved, made playing opposing creatures nigh worthless while its controller had zombies to play. The Polluter never hit play, but a card that reads ´´BB, Discard this card: opponent loses between 3 and 6 life and you draw a card´´ and is easily returnable is quite difficult to deal with. Bane of the Living
Bane of the Living
Bane of the LivingSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
R
Number:
60
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
Morph XBB (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.) When Bane of the Living is turned face up, all creatures get -X/-X until end of turn.
, while not a zombie, certainly didn't hurt either.

At this point, the casual zombie deck got a facelift. After a bit of testing, I brought the following deck to a local Friday Night Magic.

Zombies.dec (60 cards)

Creatures (30):
4:Festering Goblin
Festering Goblin
Festering GoblinSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
148
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Festering Goblin is put into a graveyard from play, target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.

2:Entrails Feaster
Entrails Feaster
Entrails FeasterSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Cat
Rarity:
R
Number:
143
Artist:
John Matson
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may remove a creature card in a graveyard from the game. If you do, put a +1/+1 counter on Entrails Feaster. If you don't, tap Entrails Feaster.

4:Boneknitter
Boneknitter
BoneknitterSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Cleric
Rarity:
U
Number:
128
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
1B: Regenerate target Zombie. Morph 2B (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)

4:Shepherd of Rot
Shepherd of Rot
Shepherd of RotSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
168
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Each player loses 1 life for each Zombie in play.

4:Gempalm Polluter
Gempalm Polluter
Gempalm PolluterSet: Legions
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
Cycling BB (BB, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.) When you cycle Gempalm Polluter, you may have target player lose 1 life for
each Zombie in play.

4:Soulless One
Soulless One
Soulless OneSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Avatar
Rarity:
U
Number:
171
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Soulless One's power and toughness are each equal to the number of Zombies in play plus the number of Zombie cards in all graveyards.

4:Gravedigger
Gravedigger
GravediggerSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
134
Artist:
Dermot Power
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Gravedigger comes into play, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.

4:Noxious Ghoul
Noxious Ghoul
Noxious GhoulSet: Legions
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
U
Number:
77
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever Noxious Ghoul or another Zombie comes into play, all non-Zombie
creatures get -1/-1 until end of turn.


Non-Creature Spells (8):
2:Oversold Cemetery
Oversold Cemetery
Oversold CemeterySet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
160
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have four or more creature cards in your graveyard, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.

2:Mutilate
Mutilate
MutilateSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Text:
All creatures get -1/-1 until end of turn for each swamp you control.

4:Cruel Revival
Cruel Revival
Cruel RevivalSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
135
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Destroy target non-Zombie creature. It can't be regenerated. Return up to one target Zombie card from your graveyard to your hand.


Land (22):
18:Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.

2:Barren Moor
Barren Moor
Barren MoorSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
312
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Barren Moor comes into play tapped. T: Add B to your mana pool. Cycling B (B, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)

2:Unholy Grotto
Unholy Grotto
Unholy GrottoSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
327
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. B, T: Put target Zombie card from your graveyard on top of your library.


It's a bit top-heavy on creatures, sure, but that's actually exactly how this deck got by the permission decks that were running rampant at the time. This deck won the tournament, getting by Goblins, Astral Slide
Astral Slide
Astral SlideSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Whenever a player cycles a card, you may remove target creature from the game. If you do, return that creature to play under its owner's control at end of turn.
, and a Psychatog
Psychatog
PsychatogSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Atog
Rarity:
U
Number:
292
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
Discard a card from your hand: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn. Remove two cards in your graveyard from the game: Psychatog gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
deck that was considered nearly unbeatable. The question you might ask is how, and the answer is amazing synergy and consistency.

The mana curve tops out at 5 (again, the polluter isn't to be played). The creatures are aggressive, but have control elements in Boneknitter
Boneknitter
BoneknitterSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Cleric
Rarity:
U
Number:
128
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
1B: Regenerate target Zombie. Morph 2B (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)
and Noxious Ghoul
Noxious Ghoul
Noxious GhoulSet: Legions
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
U
Number:
77
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever Noxious Ghoul or another Zombie comes into play, all non-Zombie
creatures get -1/-1 until end of turn.
that make dealing with them much harder. Finally, it's hard to keep a good zombie down with Gravedigger
Gravedigger
GravediggerSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
134
Artist:
Dermot Power
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Gravedigger comes into play, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
, Unholy Grotto
Unholy Grotto
Unholy GrottoSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
327
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. B, T: Put target Zombie card from your graveyard on top of your library.
, and the fabulous Oversold Cemetery
Oversold Cemetery
Oversold CemeterySet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
160
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have four or more creature cards in your graveyard, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
working to keep the graveyard clean (not that Soulless One
Soulless One
Soulless OneSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Avatar
Rarity:
U
Number:
171
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Soulless One's power and toughness are each equal to the number of Zombies in play plus the number of Zombie cards in all graveyards.
minded). Gempalm Polluter
Gempalm Polluter
Gempalm PolluterSet: Legions
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
Cycling BB (BB, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.) When you cycle Gempalm Polluter, you may have target player lose 1 life for
each Zombie in play.
was the finisher more often than not, which I don't really find surprising.

I was a bit bewildered when Zombies didn't take off more than they did during that Standard season, but once Scour
Scour
ScourSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
18
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Text:
Remove target enchantment from the game. Search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of that card and remove them from the game. That player then shuffles his or her library.
ge arrived, it was all over. The addition of Zombie Warchief couldn't counter the influence of Goblin Warchief
Goblin Warchief
Goblin WarchiefSet: Scourge
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
U
Number:
97
Artist:
Tim Hildebrandt
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Goblin spells you play cost 1 less to play.
Goblins you control have haste.
and Siege-Gang Commander, and Goblins were officially the king of at least two formats. I congratulated myself in seeing the deck's potential, then I put it aside. I tend to build and take apart decks frequently anyway.

A little while ago, I was looking for deck inspiration. Specifically, I was trying to build a deck for casual play with my regular group. We have a fairly loose ´´anything goes´´ format that roughly follows Vintage restrictions. I say roughly because I've seen people play decks with 4 Balance
Balance
BalanceSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Whichever player has more lands in play must discard enough lands of his or her choice to equalize the number of lands both players have in play. Next, equalize the cards in hand and then creatures in play the same way. Creatures lost in this manner are considered buried.
in them, but I don't want to give you the wrong impression. The average game has at least 4 players, and 1st turn kills are not appreciated. I was having trouble coming up with a deck that would be interesting, but I wasn't having much success. It finally occurred to me that I could take a deck I used to play and unearth it for a reunion tour, with some modifications.

Zombies were born again (again?).

NeoZombies.dec (60 cards)

Creatures (30):
4:Festering Goblin
Festering Goblin
Festering GoblinSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
148
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Festering Goblin is put into a graveyard from play, target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.

4:Skinthinner
Skinthinner
SkinthinnerSet: Legions
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Morph 3BB (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it
face up any time for its morph cost.)
When Skinthinner is turned face up, destroy target nonblack creature. It
can't be regenerated.

2:Smokespew Invoker
Smokespew Invoker
Smokespew InvokerSet: Legions
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Mutant
Rarity:
C
Number:
81
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
7B: Target creature gets -3/-3 until end of turn.

2:Lord of the Undead
Lord of the Undead
Lord of the UndeadSet: Planeshift
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Lord
Rarity:
R
Number:
44
Artist:
Brom
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
All Zombies get +1/+1. 1B, T: Return target Zombie card from your graveyard to your hand.

2:Nantuko Husk
Nantuko Husk
Nantuko HuskSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Insect
Rarity:
C
Number:
159
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Sacrifice a creature: Nantuko Husk gets +2/+2 until end of turn.

2:Infernal Caretaker
Infernal Caretaker
Infernal CaretakerSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
76
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Morph 3B (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face
up any time for its morph cost.) When Infernal Caretaker is turned face up, return all Zombie cards from all
graveyards to their owners’ hands.

1:Graveborn Muse
Graveborn Muse
Graveborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw X cards and you lose X life,
where X is the number of Zombies you control.

4:Gravedigger
Gravedigger
GravediggerSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
134
Artist:
Dermot Power
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Gravedigger comes into play, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.

2:Cackling Fiend
Cackling Fiend
Cackling FiendSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
121
Artist:
Brian Despain
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Cackling Fiend comes into play, each of your opponents chooses and discards a card.

4:Gempalm Polluter
Gempalm Polluter
Gempalm PolluterSet: Legions
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
70
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
Cycling BB (BB, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.) When you cycle Gempalm Polluter, you may have target player lose 1 life for
each Zombie in play.

2:Twisted Abomination
Twisted Abomination
Twisted AbominationSet: Scourge
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Mutant
Rarity:
C
Number:
76
Artist:
Darren Bader
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
Text:
B : Regenerate Twisted Abomination
Swampcycling

1:Gravespawn Sovereign
Gravespawn Sovereign
Gravespawn SovereignSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Lord
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Tap five untapped Zombies you control: Put target creature card from a graveyard into play under your control.


Non-Creature Spells (10):
2:Dark Banishing
Dark Banishing
Dark BanishingSet: Ice Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Drew Tucker
Text:
Bury target non-black creature.

2:Death Pit Offering
Death Pit Offering
Death Pit OfferingSet: Nemesis
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
56
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
When Death Pit Offering comes into play, sacrifice all creatures you control. Creatures you control get +2/+2.

2:Clutch of Undeath
Clutch of Undeath
Clutch of UndeathSet: Scourge
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
61
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
If enchanted creature is a Zombie, it gets +3/+3. Otherwise, it gets -3/-3.

4:Cruel Revival
Cruel Revival
Cruel RevivalSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
135
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Destroy target non-Zombie creature. It can't be regenerated. Return up to one target Zombie card from your graveyard to your hand.


Lands:
18:Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.

2:Unholy Grotto
Unholy Grotto
Unholy GrottoSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
327
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. B, T: Put target Zombie card from your graveyard on top of your library.


This is a perfect example of how a similar deck theme can go in a completely different idea. Losing the tournament perspective and the restraints of the Standard card pool, I emphasized the recursion abilities of the tribe through Gravedigger
Gravedigger
GravediggerSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
134
Artist:
Dermot Power
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Gravedigger comes into play, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
, Infernal Caretaker
Infernal Caretaker
Infernal CaretakerSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
76
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Morph 3B (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face
up any time for its morph cost.) When Infernal Caretaker is turned face up, return all Zombie cards from all
graveyards to their owners’ hands.
, Gravespawn Sovereign
Gravespawn Sovereign
Gravespawn SovereignSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Lord
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Tap five untapped Zombies you control: Put target creature card from a graveyard into play under your control.
, Cruel Revival
Cruel Revival
Cruel RevivalSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
135
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Destroy target non-Zombie creature. It can't be regenerated. Return up to one target Zombie card from your graveyard to your hand.
, and Unholy Grotto
Unholy Grotto
Unholy GrottoSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
327
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. B, T: Put target Zombie card from your graveyard on top of your library.
in order to fully maximize the power of Polluter. This also allowed for the exploration of new themes in Cackling Fiend
Cackling Fiend
Cackling FiendSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
121
Artist:
Brian Despain
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Cackling Fiend comes into play, each of your opponents chooses and discards a card.
's comes-into-play ability and Skinthinner
Skinthinner
SkinthinnerSet: Legions
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Morph 3BB (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it
face up any time for its morph cost.)
When Skinthinner is turned face up, destroy target nonblack creature. It
can't be regenerated.
's flipping ability. Smokespew Invoker
Smokespew Invoker
Smokespew InvokerSet: Legions
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Mutant
Rarity:
C
Number:
81
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
7B: Target creature gets -3/-3 until end of turn.
takes the place of the far more efficient Noxious Ghoul
Noxious Ghoul
Noxious GhoulSet: Legions
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
U
Number:
77
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever Noxious Ghoul or another Zombie comes into play, all non-Zombie
creatures get -1/-1 until end of turn.
because I really didn't want this deck to play like the last. While it may not make sense to lessen the power level of the deck in this way, it also helps stabilize the mana curve.

Gravespawn Sovereign
Gravespawn Sovereign
Gravespawn SovereignSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Lord
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Adam Rex
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Tap five untapped Zombies you control: Put target creature card from a graveyard into play under your control.
and Graveborn Muse
Graveborn Muse
Graveborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw X cards and you lose X life,
where X is the number of Zombies you control.
open up new possibilities for the late game, and Nantuko Husk
Nantuko Husk
Nantuko HuskSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Insect
Rarity:
C
Number:
159
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Sacrifice a creature: Nantuko Husk gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
pulls double duty keeping your Muse in check and making difficult blocking decisions for opponents. Death Pit Offering
Death Pit Offering
Death Pit OfferingSet: Nemesis
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
56
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
When Death Pit Offering comes into play, sacrifice all creatures you control. Creatures you control get +2/+2.
works well with the amount of recursion this deck carries. Finally, Clutch of Undeath
Clutch of Undeath
Clutch of UndeathSet: Scourge
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
61
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
If enchanted creature is a Zombie, it gets +3/+3. Otherwise, it gets -3/-3.
is more or less experimental, and may not stay in the deck if it doesn't pull its weight.

Early testing hasn't been kind to this deck for one reason or another, but it's still very interesting to play. I've had some amusing plays with the Sovereign bringing back a Gravedigger
Gravedigger
GravediggerSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
134
Artist:
Dermot Power
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Gravedigger comes into play, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
bringing back a Twisted Abomination
Twisted Abomination
Twisted AbominationSet: Scourge
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Mutant
Rarity:
C
Number:
76
Artist:
Darren Bader
Power:
5
Toughness:
3
Text:
B : Regenerate Twisted Abomination
Swampcycling
, among others.

I think that conversion of a deck isn't really ever complete, since new cards will always allow for new inspiration, but also because a deck doesn't have to be tournament-only or casual-only. Just remember also that new decks don't always have to be completely new. When was the last time you played your Saproling
Saproling
SaprolingSet: Phyrexia vs. The Coalition
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Saproling
Rarity:
C
Number:
3
Artist:
Warren Mahy
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Deck? (I hear that the Saps are getting some new coverage in Ravnica for the first time in years). Until next time, enjoy doing the old in a new and different way.


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