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CardShark Content - Vincent Lovaglio (12/22/2003)

When Mirrodin became Standard legal there was quite a bit of hype about a new Zombie archetype. However, the deck faded away from the metagame because it had no answer to Karma
Karma
KarmaSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
During a player's upkeep, Karma does 1 point of damage to that player for each swamp he or she has in play.
and because of a poor matchup against Affinity. However, the deck has a lot of potential. It features hand disruption in Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.
, card drawing in Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian ArenaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
47
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
, solid creatures, and acceleration in the form of Chrome Mox
Chrome Mox
Chrome MoxSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Imprint - When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.
.


Such a powerful deck should not be overlooked because of sideboard hate and a poor matchup against another deck. There must be an answer and it lies in blue, which gives us the premiere permission card in Standard, Mana Leak
Mana Leak
Mana LeakSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 3.
. It also allows us to use Mind Bend
Mind Bend
Mind BendSet: Mirage
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Change the text of target permanent by replacing all instances of one color word or basic land type with another. (For example, you may change nonred creature to nongreen creature or plainswalk to swampwalk.)
as an answer to Karma
Karma
KarmaSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
During a player's upkeep, Karma does 1 point of damage to that player for each swamp he or she has in play.
and March of the Machines
March of the Machines
March of the MachinesSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
42
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Each noncreature artifact is an artifact creature with power and toughness each equal to its converted mana cost. (Equipment that's a creature can't equip a creature.)
as an answer to Affinity.


So, here is an explanation of the cards in the deck:


Creatures
3 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.
: A great card drawer in any Zombie deck, the 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.
offers a constant stream of cards that can put you in control of most matchups. Just make sure that you have a healthy life total before using this card.
4 Rotlung Reanimator
Rotlung Reanimator
Rotlung ReanimatorSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Cleric
Rarity:
R
Number:
164
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever Rotlung Reanimator or another Cleric is put into a graveyard from play, put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token into play.
: A very solid creature that has great synergy with 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.
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.
.
4 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.
: An excellent answer to opposing Eternal Dragon
Eternal Dragon
Eternal DragonSet: Scourge
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
12
Artist:
Justin Sweet
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying.
3WW: Return Eternal Dragon from your graveyard to your hand. Play this ability only during your upkeep.
Plainscycling 2
s and another solid creature.
2 Visara the Dreadful
Visara the Dreadful
Visara the DreadfulSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Gorgon Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
179
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying. T: Destroy target creature. It can't be regenerated.
: The deck's main win condition, Visara can dominate any creature deck and fly over for a win.
Spells
4 Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian ArenaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
47
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
: Zombies love card advantage and the Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian ArenaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
47
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
provides a flow of it at the minor cost of one life per card.
4 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.
: 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.
is a great removal option that works well against Affinity.
4 Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.
: I personally love this card. It single-handedly wrecks all of the Control decks in this format.
2 Coercion
Coercion
CoercionSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
119
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a card from it. That player discards that card.
: Although Coercion
Coercion
CoercionSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
119
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a card from it. That player discards that card.
is no Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.
or Cabal Therapy
Cabal Therapy
Cabal TherapySet: Judgment
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
62
Artist:
Ron Spencer

Text:
Name a nonland card. Target player reveals his or her hand and discards from it all cards with that name. Flashback - Sacrifice a creature.
, it can still steal the best card in your opponent's hand.
4 Mana Leak
Mana Leak
Mana LeakSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 3.
: Mana Leak
Mana Leak
Mana LeakSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 3.
is the premiere counterspell in the set and is a reason to splash blue in the deck. It can counter devestating cards such as Wrath of God
Wrath of God
Wrath of GodSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Quinton Hoover
Text:
All creatures in play are buried.
and Patriarch's Bidding
Patriarch's Bidding
Patriarch's BiddingSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
161
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Each player chooses a creature type. Each player returns all creature cards of a type chosen this way from his or her graveyard to play.
.
4 Consume Spirit
Consume Spirit
Consume SpiritSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Text:
Spend only black mana on X. Consume Spirit deals X damage to target creature or player. You gain X life.
: A great finisher in this deck that can also act as removal and as a way to gain lost life from Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian ArenaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
47
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
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.
.
4 Chrome Mox
Chrome Mox
Chrome MoxSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Imprint - When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.
: A good mana accelerator, the Chrome Mox
Chrome Mox
Chrome MoxSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Imprint - When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.
's imprint means almost nothing in a deck that features as much card drawing as this one.
Land
4 Polluted Delta
Polluted Delta
Polluted DeltaSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
321
Artist:
Land
Text:
T, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Polluted Delta: Search your library for an island or swamp card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library. Rob Alexander

3 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.

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

1 Island
Island
IslandSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add U to your mana pool.

Sideboard
4 Mind Bend
Mind Bend
Mind BendSet: Mirage
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Change the text of target permanent by replacing all instances of one color word or basic land type with another. (For example, you may change nonred creature to nongreen creature or plainswalk to swampwalk.)
: The Mind Bend
Mind Bend
Mind BendSet: Mirage
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Change the text of target permanent by replacing all instances of one color word or basic land type with another. (For example, you may change nonred creature to nongreen creature or plainswalk to swampwalk.)
hoses white's hose on you. Mind Bend
Mind Bend
Mind BendSet: Mirage
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Change the text of target permanent by replacing all instances of one color word or basic land type with another. (For example, you may change nonred creature to nongreen creature or plainswalk to swampwalk.)
can single-handedly win games. In fact, I have been at the losing end of games after triumphantly placing Karma
Karma
KarmaSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
During a player's upkeep, Karma does 1 point of damage to that player for each swamp he or she has in play.
on the table only to see it damaging me.
4 March of the Machines
March of the Machines
March of the MachinesSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
42
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Each noncreature artifact is an artifact creature with power and toughness each equal to its converted mana cost. (Equipment that's a creature can't equip a creature.)
: A great sideboard card against Affinity. Usually, decks with mass removal will use this card, while aggressive strategies like Zombies will shy away from its use but with solid creatures and great removal, the March is a must in the sideboard.
3 Cabal Interrogator
Cabal Interrogator
Cabal InterrogatorSet: Scourge
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
XB , T : Target player reveals X cards from his or her hand and you choose one of them. That player discards that card. Play this ability only when you could play a sorcery.
: A great card against control that just tears apart your opponent's hand.
4 Scrabbling Claws
Scrabbling Claws
Scrabbling ClawsSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
237
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
T: Target player removes a card in his or her graveyard from the game. 1, Sacrifice Scrabbling Claws: Remove target card in a graveyard from the game. Draw a card.
: The Claws should go in against Goblin Bidding and G/B Cemetery strategies.



Now I will discuss the matchups and the sideboarding strategies.


Against U/W Control
The first game is about 50/50. Sometimes the U/W player has the counters and deals with all of your threats. Other times you are able to resolve a Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.
and just win.
You should side in 4 Mind Bend
Mind Bend
Mind BendSet: Mirage
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Change the text of target permanent by replacing all instances of one color word or basic land type with another. (For example, you may change nonred creature to nongreen creature or plainswalk to swampwalk.)
s and 3 Cabal Interrogator
Cabal Interrogator
Cabal InterrogatorSet: Scourge
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
XB , T : Target player reveals X cards from his or her hand and you choose one of them. That player discards that card. Play this ability only when you could play a sorcery.
s. You should take out the 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.
s and 3 Mana Leak
Mana Leak
Mana LeakSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
36
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Counter target spell unless its caster pays an additional 3.
s.
The sideboarded games are in your favor. The additional discarding effects work well and the Mind Bend
Mind Bend
Mind BendSet: Mirage
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Change the text of target permanent by replacing all instances of one color word or basic land type with another. (For example, you may change nonred creature to nongreen creature or plainswalk to swampwalk.)
s can be devestating.


Against R/W Slide
You should play as you would against U/W Control. This matchup is in your favor though because your discarding effects will resolve with no threat of a counterspell and tear apart your opponent's hand.


Against Affinity
Affinity is not a good matchup for you pre-sideboarded. Affinity's creatures are superior to yours, they have an equal amount of card drawing, and counterspells that can keep your discarding effects at bay.
You should sideboard out 2 Coercion
Coercion
CoercionSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
119
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a card from it. That player discards that card.
, a 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.
, and a 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.
for 4 March of the Machines
March of the Machines
March of the MachinesSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
42
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Each noncreature artifact is an artifact creature with power and toughness each equal to its converted mana cost. (Equipment that's a creature can't equip a creature.)
.
The March of the Machines
March of the Machines
March of the MachinesSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
42
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Each noncreature artifact is an artifact creature with power and toughness each equal to its converted mana cost. (Equipment that's a creature can't equip a creature.)
improves the Affinity matchup to 50/50. They work very well, leaving your opponent landless.


Against Goblin Bidding
You have an edge in this matchup. The removal that the Zombie deck helps as well as the 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.
that nullifies Patriarch's Bidding
Patriarch's Bidding
Patriarch's BiddingSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
161
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Each player chooses a creature type. Each player returns all creature cards of a type chosen this way from his or her graveyard to play.
.
You should sideboard out 2 Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.
and 2 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.
for 4 Scrabbling Claws
Scrabbling Claws
Scrabbling ClawsSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
237
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
T: Target player removes a card in his or her graveyard from the game. 1, Sacrifice Scrabbling Claws: Remove target card in a graveyard from the game. Draw a card.
.
The Claws work well in nullifying a Bidding if a 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.
can not be found. The Goblin Bidding matchup goes even further into your favor after sideboarding.


I hope that this article shows that Zombies can stand up to the Tier 1 Decks. Until the next time.


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