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CardShark Content - Randy Villarica (1/4/2006)

“They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose,/Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;/It had been strange, even in a dream,/ To have seen those dead men rise.”/ - Samuel Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

Zombies have been with us since the beginning. These shambling shells of undead flesh have been around since the days of Alpha, in fact one such character has graced every single Core Edition from the beginning to the present. The same one that lent its flavor text to the beginning of this article. I thought it only fitting that I write about a deck designed around the creature type of zombie. And how better to take advantage of this deck than to create it around a format known as...

Tribal.

WOTC’s official definition of this unique format is “Tribal Wars needs 1/3 of your deck to be creatures that all share a type. Banned: 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.
, Endemic Plague
Endemic Plague
Endemic PlagueSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
Nelson DeCastro
Text:
As an additional cost to play Endemic Plague, sacrifice a creature. Destroy all creatures that share a creature type with the sacrificed creature. They can't be regenerated.
, Tsabo's Decree
Tsabo's Decree
Tsabo's DecreeSet: Invasion
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
129
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
Choose a creature type. Target player reveals his or her hand and discards all creature cards of that type from it. Then destroy all creatures of that type that player controls. They can't be regenerated.
, Peer Pressure
Peer Pressure
Peer PressureSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
101
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
Choose a creature type. If you control more creatures of that type than any other player, you gain control of all creatures of that type. (This effect doesn't end at end of turn.)
, Unnatural Selection
Unnatural Selection
Unnatural SelectionSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
32
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
1: Choose a creature type other than Wall. Target creature's type becomes that type until end of turn.
, Skullclamp
Skullclamp
SkullclampSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
140
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Text:
Equipped creature gets +1/-1. Whenever equipped creature is put in a graveyard from play, draw two cards. Equip 1 (1: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
and Circle of Solace
Circle of Solace
Circle of SolaceSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
13
Artist:
Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Text:
As Circle of Solace comes into play, choose a creature type. 1W: The next time a creature of the chosen type would deal damage to you this turn, prevent that damage.
. No sideboard allowed. “

While on MTGO I had the dubious honor and distinct pleasure of witnessing a mass of zombies burst out of the graveyard and literally deal 100 points of damage in a single turn. The mad genius who conceived of this deck is known as David Contreras from Bronx, NY. Online he can be found under the guise of “contreras”.

Here David shares his decklist with us:


3 Balthor the Defiled
Balthor the Defiled
Balthor the DefiledSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Dwarf Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
61
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
All Minions get +1/+1. BBB, Remove Balthor the Defiled from the game: Each player returns all black and all red creature cards from his or her graveyard to play.

3 Call to the Grave
Call to the Grave
Call to the GraveSet: Scourge
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
58
Text:
At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player sacrifices a non-Zombie creature. At end of turn, if there are no creatures in play, sacrifice Call to the Grave.

3 Cruel Edict
Cruel Edict
Cruel EdictSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jeffrey R. Busch
Text:
Your opponent chooses one of his or her creatures. Destroy that creature.

3 Echoing Decay
Echoing Decay
Echoing DecaySet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target creature and all other creatures with the same name as that creature get -2/-2 until end of turn.

4 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.

4 Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

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.

3 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 Undead Warchief
Undead Warchief
Undead WarchiefSet: Scourge
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
U
Number:
78
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Zombie spells you play cost 1 less to play. Zombies you control get +2/+1.

4 Vulturous Zombie
Vulturous Zombie
Vulturous ZombieSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Plant Zombie
Rarity:
R
Number:
238
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Whenever a card is put into an opponent’s graveyard from anywhere, put a +1/+1 counter on Vulturous Zombie.

3 Withered Wretch
Withered Wretch
Withered WretchSet: Legions
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Cleric
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
1: Remove target card in a graveyard from the game.


12 Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.
s
3 Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

3 Overgrown Tomb
Overgrown Tomb
Overgrown TombSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Sub Type:
Swamp Forest
Rarity:
R
Number:
279
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
(T: Add B or G to your mana pool.) As Overgrown Tomb comes into play, you may pay 2 life. If you don’t, Overgrown Tomb comes into play tapped instead.

2 Svogthos the Restless Tomb
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.


The synergy is definitely there as each zombie feeds off the other. The 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.
pumps up the other zombies and since the wording change on the Lord’s creature type was changed to Zombie Lord it gets its bonus from another Lord or the Undead Warchief
Undead Warchief
Undead WarchiefSet: Scourge
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
U
Number:
78
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Zombie spells you play cost 1 less to play. Zombies you control get +2/+1.
.

The 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.
gives weenies fits as each zombie you cast depletes their army of blockers. Echoing Decay
Echoing Decay
Echoing DecaySet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target creature and all other creatures with the same name as that creature get -2/-2 until end of turn.
works well with this type of mass removal and Cruel Edict
Cruel Edict
Cruel EdictSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jeffrey R. Busch
Text:
Your opponent chooses one of his or her creatures. Destroy that creature.
is used for those times when creatures are untargetable. Call to the Grave
Call to the Grave
Call to the GraveSet: Scourge
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
58
Text:
At the beginning of each player’s upkeep, that player sacrifices a non-Zombie creature. At end of turn, if there are no creatures in play, sacrifice Call to the Grave.
works as removal as well. Once one of these things hits the playing field you better watch out, death is knocking at your door. Withered Wretch
Withered Wretch
Withered WretchSet: Legions
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Cleric
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
1: Remove target card in a graveyard from the game.
deals with annoying cards that stay in the graveyard like Wonder
Wonder
WonderSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
U
Number:
54
Artist:
Rebecca Guay

Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying As long as Wonder is in your graveyard and you control an island, creatures you control have flying.
and it also cuts down on the recursion as the Eternal Witness
Eternal Witness
Eternal WitnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Eternal Witness comes into play, return target card from your graveayrd to your hand.
suddenly finds her target gone.

Vulturous Zombie
Vulturous Zombie
Vulturous ZombieSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Plant Zombie
Rarity:
R
Number:
238
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Whenever a card is put into an opponent’s graveyard from anywhere, put a +1/+1 counter on Vulturous Zombie.
is the new kid on the block, eager to prove himself in the gang. With a Warchief out he’s a 5/4 flying menace that gets bigger. The 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.
, the avatar of our undead army, just one among many ways to bring on the pain. And who better to lead this undead host than one who can literally break them from the grasp of the graveyard, Balthor the Defiled
Balthor the Defiled
Balthor the DefiledSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Dwarf Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
61
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
All Minions get +1/+1. BBB, Remove Balthor the Defiled from the game: Each player returns all black and all red creature cards from his or her graveyard to play.
.

This deck packs maindeck Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
to deal with any annoying artifacts or enchantments that you’re bound to see. As far as lands, these are as much of a threat as the creatures themselves. Svogthos the Restless Tomb activates its ability and swings and the 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.
brings back key zombie cards literally bringing them back from the grave.

I’ve checked the prices on Cardshark and all of the rares are under a dollar excepting Vulturous Zombie
Vulturous Zombie
Vulturous ZombieSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
5
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Plant Zombie
Rarity:
R
Number:
238
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Whenever a card is put into an opponent’s graveyard from anywhere, put a +1/+1 counter on Vulturous Zombie.
which would run you anywhere from $2 to $2.50 a piece, and the Overgrown Tomb
Overgrown Tomb
Overgrown TombSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Sub Type:
Swamp Forest
Rarity:
R
Number:
279
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
(T: Add B or G to your mana pool.) As Overgrown Tomb comes into play, you may pay 2 life. If you don’t, Overgrown Tomb comes into play tapped instead.
s which you’ll have to fork over some major clams to get a hold of a playset. You can perhaps substitute Llanowar Wastes
Llanowar Wastes
Llanowar WastesSet: Apocalypse
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
141
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
TAP: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool. TAP: Add B or G to your mana pool. Llanowar Wastes deals 1 damage to you.
for the Tombs or even use Golgari Rot Farm
Golgari Rot Farm
Golgari Rot FarmSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Number:
278
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Golgari Rot Farm comes into play tapped. When Golgari Rot Farm comes into play, return a land you control to its owner’s hand. T: Add BG to your mana pool.
. Bear in mind the substitutes will not work as well as the original, it is up to you to decide.

All in all I think this is a very fun deck to play with. Thanks again to David for sharing his twisted creation with us. Let me close with a note of caution. When you hear that otherworldly moan and smell the foul stench of the undead, beware! That call to the grave might just be for you!


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