Zombie tribal deck

Zombie tribal deck DEFAULT

MTG

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"Feeding a normal army is a problem of logisitcs. With zombies, it is an asset. Feeding is why they fight. Feeding is why they are feared."

-Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia

Night of the Living Dead

Zombies are rather quite a common thing in the current modern days where zombie movies are quite a staple. Generally described as shambling brain eaters to fast intelligent frankenstein monsters, in the world of MTG, these guys pose a threat as big as the zombie apocalypse we usually use in most movies. First introduced even at the beginning of Magic in a set called, Limited Edition Alpha, they are rather weak before they introduced innistrad and a whole new roster of zombies. With the ever growing zombie roster, they get far more dangerous and more versitile. Most zombie decks comprise of either reanimation or swarm the board with zombie tokens.

Like in the real world, a lone zombie isnt much of a threat itself on the board but when swarms of them come, it can get out if hand and pribably create yr own personnal zombie apocalypse right on yr table. Your opponents may underestimate these slow shambling zombies but in the late game, they will soon regret it. Ever since their first debut into the game, their mechanics have been expanding expotentially and a large number at that. From the simplest mechanic of Unearth to Reanimation then Delirium, the zombies have become a powerful force in the field if not dealt with quickly.

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Prime Mechanics of the Zombies

"Death is no excuse to stop working"

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Before we start building a deck and unleashing all hell on our opponents with our brain gnawing, flesh decaying, mindless tribal zombies, we must first understand what makes them tick with their mechanics. These mechanics aint to be underestimated as if provided the right circumstances, they can be game-changing all together. Although the mechanics are rather long for every new zombie mechanic that gets printed whenever a new set is released, they are quite useful in helping yr zombie tribal.

Afflict

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First seen and only seen in one of the more latest sets, that being the great Hour of Devastation, we were introduced a new tyoe of zombie. Its not yr everyday rotting shambling brain eating zombies, but rather a zombie that can still do the things as it did when it was alive. They were the Eternals and they come with a special mechanic which is Afflict. This mechanic rather allows you to still do damage as if its trample but the damage or life loss, should say, afflict does is dependant on the number. So an afflict 3 creature when its blocked, your opponent will lose 3 life. So far the only afflict creature that has the highest number is 4 which only appears on Wildfire Eternal. Its either your opponent blocks it and still suffer the life loss or they can let it through and bare the full brunt of the creature. Either way, this mechanic can set up a rather aggressive strategy for zombies.

Undying

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Somehow just like in the real world, this mechanic does show that zombies dont even stay dead for long. They will just keep getting back up for their only objectuve of feasting on the living of their endless hunger but this mechanic does this only once before they go permanently to the graveyard, and that mechanic is Undying. Not only it revives yr zombie after it dies, it somehow makes them angrier and gives them a +1/+1 counter upon reentering the battlefield. Though this can only be done once, if you can find a way to remove the +1/+1 counter, your undying zombie is truely undying as it just makes itself bigger while at the same time removing that "anger" and make them come back from the dead once more.

Self-Mill

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Its a common thing for zombies though. Most of the time, this ability is usually a etb trigger where it self mills your library into the graveyard. Sort of like entomb but you wont be knowing what card you will be putting in yr graveyard. Sometimes inflicting self mill on yrself can have advantages and disadvantages when using it in certain decks. The advantagous side is mostly for graveyard decks where your constantly reanimating while relying on yr graveyard as a resource to cast bombs like Liliana's Elite. Most of the time it can hurt you if u self mill yrself and you dont get any creatures out of the mill. But in overall, this mechanic is 60% more helpful than hurt.

Hand/Battlefield Reanimation

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Reanimation is kinda of the zombies thing. Its quite common to see zombies reanimating other zombies back from the dead to serve you again. Very few has the battlefield reanimation where you can directly reanimate something and place it on the battlefield ready to feast. Some examples of battlefield reanimation may actually not come from zombies themselves but they are a great help like Sheoldred, Whispering One and Phyrexian Delver. Though hand reanimation is much more common than battlefield reanimation. Justt like battlefield reanimation, this one just simply puts yhe card back into your hand. If its a bomb that recently died or even a combo piece, this kind of reanimation can serve you well when yr opponent manages to either board wipe with either destroy, lethal damage or single targetted removal.

Unearth

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First introduced as long as when the set Alara reborned was released, this mechanic has its rather intrigueing uses. Sort of like undying but instead of staying on the battlefield, it would be exiled and never to return. Of course they are only very few ways you can get back cards from exile. Also unlike undying, Unearth has a cost to be paid. Most of the time this cost is lower than the card's CMC and very few times its cost is higher than the card's CMC. But it can be a useful mechanic both has a last ditch attack or defense against any incoming threats that might stop you. If you can afford the cost and losing the zombie forever in exile, then go ahead, it can save u in certain situations but not all. Though it does go against a zombie's weakness which are exile effects.

2/2 Spawners

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Though zombies on their own can be weak, there are some cards that can help you grow yr army without the need for other regular zombies like Diregraf Ghoul. 2/2s can do their job just fine and there are cards that spawn them to make yr army grow. They are simple to buff and easy to handle. The more lords equals much more dangerous 2/2s with significant buffs. 2/2s may not be a threat early or late game when theres just one or two of them but combine it with an entire swarm of them and your opponent might not be able to block them all. Heck, if you have a very large creature, why not combine green into the mix and slam Overwhelming Stampede to make yr zombies off the charts of the danger index. And as an extra note, there are also other 2/2 spawners that allows you to discard a card in exchange for a 2/2.

Self-Reanimation

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Apparently zombies dont need other zombies to reanimate, especially some that are capable of reanimating themselves on the board of course for a price. Gravecrawler is one famous example and quite commonly used in zombie combo decks that usually has this in it. There are other examples of zombies that apparently can reanimate themselves such as Risen Executioner, Scourge of Nel Toth, Skaab Ruinator or even Haakon, Stromgald Scourge. But even self reaanimating has their own costs. Gravecrawler demands you must have a zombie out on the board, Risen Executioner can be casted from yr graveyard but {1} more for each other creature card in your graveyard and Scourge of Nel Toth by paying 2 black mana and saccing 2 cretures to it though you can cast it for its CMC. Sadly, this mechanic is only possible at sorcery speed but you can make it instant speed with just a simple artifact of Vedalken Orrery.

Sacrificial Feeding

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This is quite common amongst most zombies. This mechanic rather also needs no introduction in the world of zombies. Just simply sac or should is say feed them a creature you dont use and you reap the benefits out of them. Most benefits you get from feeding these kinds of zombies is usually a buff to their P/T. There is a similar mechanic to this which is Exploit but Exploit is just a one time use while this mechanic can be used over and over again. Other benefits you get from saccing like destroying cards with Stronghold Assasin's nonblack removal, Quagmire Druid's enchantment removal or even Corpse Harvester's zombie and swamp tutor. Its a good thing these kinds of zonbies dont mind what they eat cos it doesnt specify if it has to be a nontoken or not so if u can find a token generator, sac those tokens away to get their maximum potential.

Corpse Build

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This is not rly a real mechanic that is named the rulings of Magic but its just generally what an ability does. In this case, this ability usually appears on blue zombies and it generally either by exiling a creature card from your graveyard as an additional cost or discarding cards to return the blue zombies back into the graveyard. Discarding is not such a bad thing if you have a good draw engine on the board and you can abuse Madness to cheat cards in while yr discarding. But exiling a creature card from yr graveyard can be a disadvantage as a zombies main weakness is exile and they aint coming back. But you do get a great P/T and some abilities for that deal. Usually just use zombies that already died as fodder for these kinds of cards.

Embalm/Eternalize Reanimation

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Although not technically a part of zombie mechanics, it is reanimation if you can afford it. Introduced in both sets of Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation, Embalm and Eternalize are 2 rather different mechanics. Though both do the same thing of exiling yr creature then turning it into a token that's a copy of it. Embalm and Eternalize costs are usually higher than the cards original CMC but both produces two different tokens. Embalm makes a token copy but its a white zombie, while Eternalize makes a token cooy but instead of no nerf or buffs to the P/T of the original creature, it turns it into a 4/4 black zombie. They are relatively good if you want to take back yr creature from the dead. And if you dont have any reanimation cards in yr hand, this is usually a last ditch reanimation.

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Ideal and Potential Generals Options

"The soul sheds light and death is its shadow. Once the light dims, life and death embrace.

-Nantuko Teaching

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If you want suitable generals for zombies, there a lot and i mean seriously a lot of potential generals. From unconventional generals like Thraximundar to the weird stitcher himself, Geralf, the options for zombie generals are quite versitile in their own perspective and the right card and deck they are in. So why not lets dig into my top 5 non/zombie generals and lead with them with an endless swarm of brain-eating, flesh-decaying, mindless-killing zombies.

Gisa and Geralf

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Up first is actually a general that i use for the time before i upgrade to something better but this general is still capable of being a zombie commander if you need something easy to master. Gisa and Geralf will show you the ways of Necromancy with brother and sister.

4 Mana in Dimir, P/T of 4/4

Overall, strangely most of the generals here do not have static abilities which is a bummer sometimes. A 4 mana for a P/T of 4/4 is just decent. If it had more static abilities, it would be cool for Gisa and Geralf but sadly no static abilities to help them out. But who needs static abilities when zombie generals are meant to be versitile.

When Gisa and Geralf enters the battlefield, put the top four cards of your library into the graveyard

A classic mechanic found in a lot of zombies, that being self-milling. You may think self milling might do more harm than good but unless yr deck is super heavy on creatures, this milling is beneficial in reanimating yr stuff and thats when Gisa and Geralfs next ability comes in.

During each of your turns, you may cast a Zombie creature card from your graveyard

Yup, self reanimation granted for all zombies. Its like gravecrawler's self reanimation ability but no restriction, though the only technical restriction for Gisa and Geralf is you can only cast one zomboe card per turn. One zombie per turn might sound a bit pathetic but your opponents should be paying attention which cards are being reanimated or they are in big trouble.

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Ghoulcaller Gisa/Stitcher Geralf

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But if you do prefer the twins seperately, they too offer different playstyles for zombies. One generates more for each time you sac and one makes a monster out of 2 stuff just like Corpse build. I would prefer gisa over geralf but of course, its up to you which twin you choose to lead a zombie armada.

Ghoulcaller Gisa:

5 mana in Mono-black, P/T of 3/4

For a wizard or should say, Necromancer, Gisa does seem to fall under the lower P/T than its CMC for having 5 mana in mono black with a P/T of 3/4, it can withstand a lightning bolt and benefit you. Well the only good thing for her P/T that her toughness isnt anywhere near the insta 3 lethal damage spells though she would be surviving at just 1 so any stray damage will kill her instantly

{B}, {T}: Sacrifice another creature. Put X 2/2 black zombie creature tokens onto the battlefield, where X is the sacrificed creature's power.

This ability definitely has versitility in it. For just one black mana, you can sac anything and turns into 2/2 zombies. Since it doesnt specify on the type of creature, you can just sac a 2/2 zombie and make two 2/2s for the price of one. This also serves as an emergency swarm strat if you have a big creature that you dont use often, go ahead and sac it to potentially double its power in seperate bodies of 2/2 zombies.

Stitcher Geralf:

5 mana in Mono-blue, P/T of 3/4

For strange reasons, Stitcher geralf suffers the same fate as her sister by having 5 mana but this time in mono blue and having the same exact P/T as her sister at 3/4 with no static abilities at all. But mostly, both gisa and geralf are most likely to be the enchantment kind of general where it does not attack and relies instead on its abilities to do its dirty work. Either way, it is rather decent to hold its own.

{2}{U}, {T}: Each player puts the top three cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard. Exile up to two creature cards put into graveyards this way. Put an X/X blue Zombie creature token onto the battlefield, where X is the total power of cards exiled this way.

Ok this is a rather long text so lemme break it down for you so its easier to read and analyse. For paying 3 mana and tapping Geralf, you mill everyones libraries for three, including yrs. Then for each card milled this way, exile 2 creature cards from the selection of 12 cards milled. Then you get a X/X blue zombie creature token where X is the total power of creatures that you exiled. This can be a good ability as you can set up a counterattack when yr opponent leasts expect. Best case scenario is you mill their largest things and you make something far larger than theirs. And being a zombie, it can be easily buff by stuff like Graf Harvest or Death Baron.

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The Scarab God

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Ever since its first known to the public when Hour of Devastation was released, it somehow already immediately caught the attention of many as being one of the best zombies generals to date in zombie tribal edh decks and it still reigns supreme. For that much versitility on one god, the scarb god isnt messing around when it comes to zombie tribal.

5 mana in Dimir, P/T of 5/5

I hate generals tat dont have static abilities to acocmpany their P/T for that mana costs but usually those are the better generals as they prefer to use their abilities than all out attacking. A 5 mana for 5/5 though is quite decent on its own. Its disheartening to see not having static abilities but who needs static abilities whem you have crazy abilities to replace them.

At the beginning of your upkeep, each opponent loses X life and you scry X, where X is the number of zombies you control.

This is why scarab god is regard as the king of zombies. Because of this very ability that will win games on the spot by rewarding you with limitless scry and having each opponent to suffer when they ignore your ever-growing army. Since it doesnt specify tokens or nontokens, abuse this to the max with those easy to get 2/2s, and you have a instant execution ability right on yr general itself.

{2}{U}{B}: Exile target creature card from a graveyard. Create a token that's a copy of it, except it's a 4/4 black Zombie

This ability pretty much dodges all eternalizes cost for just 4 mana to turn them into a 4/4. It can be both a buff and nerf sometimes. A buff is usully if you eternalize something that has rather weak P/T like 1/1s or 2/2s but a nerf is when you have huge things and you eternalize them but you end up getting just a 4/4. Though its not just a simple 4/4, its a copy of yr card so all abilities is transferred onto yr 4/4 token upon eternalizing. Well this is to give them one extra life but this can be game breaking especially if you have doubling seaosn so you can prctically dodge the singleton rule almost entirely by having 2 copies of a card in 4/4 token form.

When The Scarab God dies, return it to its owner's hand at the beginning of the next end step

Like the 3 gods from Hour of Devastation, the scarb god also recieves the resurrection ability. Well not only having this ability around, if your god does die, dont send it to the command zone as this ability has the thing that it comes to yr hand and dodges commander tax which is a good thing since you dont want to be paying extra for such a versitile general.

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Sidisi, Brood Tyrant

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Its had to decide on which general is best to fit in sultai but i eventually put in Sidisi mostly cos in sultai, tokems can get ouf control real fast. Probably a 2/2 token sac deck fitted just for this version of sidisi. Time to get close and personnal with the righthand naga of silumgar.k

4 Mana in Sultai, P/T of 3/3

Another thing with generals not having static abilities to accompany its P/T of 3/3 for just 4 mana. Wellnits the same case for most generals in edh. If u dont have static abilities to accompany their P/T, its usually their other abilities that make up for it. Though a 3/3 can be easily taken out with a simple lightning bolt, if you have Mazirek which actually works with sidisi, you can potentially pump him to undying toughness

Whenever Sidisi, Brood Tyrant enters the battlefield or attacks, put the top three cards of your library into your graveyard

You can say this ability is like Gisa and Geralf V2.0. Not only just an etb trigger, its also an attack trigger to kill the top three cards of yr library. Though it may be one card weaker than Gisa and Geralf, this general is rather aggressive on its toes. It might inflict you minor harm from the self killing but here is where his second ability comes in

Whenever one or more creature cards are put into your graveyard from your library, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token

For every creature card milled, you geta 2/2. Ok not exactly but if your lucky, you get a 6/6 in bodies of three 2/2s. Well better yet to zombies, a graveyard is justba resting point and a valuable resource. More creatures in yr graveyard can actually pump bombs like Liliana's Elite or Soulless One. Better yet, you can just reanimate yr hards either to the field or yr hand so yr graveyard is pretty much another hand that you need mana to retrieve yr stuff.

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Liliana, Heretical Healer// Liliana, Defiant Necromancer

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It is a good thing some pws can be used as generals like the C15 or C14 i believe precon but there are special ones which the pw is both a legendary and a pw. And liliana is no joke when it comes to pure zombie tribal. One of the most popular generals aside form the Scarab God, she aint messing around with her great necromancy powers.

Liliana, Heretical Healer:

3 mana in Mono-black, P/T of 2/3 with Lifelink

Finally a general with a static ability buts its rather underwhelming. A 3 mana with a P/T of 2/3 is decent. Adding lifelink to it is just ok though. So u just gain 2 life for each block or attack? Eh its not rly that bad considering most generls rely on other abilities more than static abilities.

Whenever another nontoken creature you control dies, exile Liliana, Heretical Healer, then return her to the battlefield transformed under her owner's control. If you do, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token.

Idk who created this card but it is as essy to achieve as Journey to Eternity card from RIX and just wow. Apparently any nontoken creature you have dies, you can exile her first then return to transform liliana. And better yet you get a 2/2 out of it. Its not so bad. Though its quite easy to get if you have a sac outlet like Ashnod's Altar.

Liliana, Defiant Necromancer:

+2: Each player discards a card

Uhm so +2 and 'EACH' player discards a card? It may be good since its +2 rather than the old +1 abilities but having to discard a card for every player including yrself. Im not so sure about that. Sure you can synergise the discard to cheat cards in with the mechanic "Madness" but it can help you in a few ways when yr opponent is running low on cards and if you know that last card they holding is a removal, board ipe or bomb, might as well make them discard before they play it.

P-X: Return target nonlegendary creature card with converted mana cost X from your graveyard to the battlefield

Oh this is interesting. Well at the moment you start of with 3 loyalty counters so you can only return stuff CMC 3 exactly from yr graveyard. Though the actual benefit is the reanimation is to the battlefield so you can plan wisely and get the etb triggers underway to make a perfect combo like "Gary" or some other cards that execute when they etb. The sad thing is having to +2 to discard but if you have tons of cards in yr hand and have a good draw engine, the discard wont be so much of a probpem then you can reanimate bigger stuff from your graveyard.

-8: You get an emblem with "Whenever a creature dies, return it to the battlefield under your control at the beginning of the next end step"

Well idk which came first. This or grave betrayal but it seems this is a devolved version of Grave Betrayal. Though the good thing is if you can board wipe, remove it through destroy or lethal damage, or best yet, male yr opponents sac their stuff, it becomes yrs to keep. This is also a good counter against other zombie reanimation decks as if you can board wipe their stuff, you get all their stuff next turn and they hve nothing left to reanimate, making them rather powerless, since most zombie decks require graveyards as their main resource for reanimation.

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Great Zombie Lieutenants

"Improvement is a consequence of practice."

-Geralf

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Almost every tribe has their lieutenants aka lords that support yr tribes in various ways. Well for zombies, those lords are quite abundant and when it comes to buffs to yr zombie army, they aint messing around. Time to recruit these lieutenants under our ranks and they will serve well with ever so good buffs to our zombies.

Mikaeus the Unhallowed

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This guy definitely has potential in a lot of nonhuman decks but it shines brightly in zombie decks. If you need something that can make yr zombies angrier hem they die, just look to Mikaeus and he will guide you. Not only it gives undying to all non-humans, they also get a +1/+1 buff to when they die, they literally get a +2/+2 buff to their P/T. Doing this on 2/2s can make them pretty much plain eternalize zombies at 4/4 and can be upgraded with other lords. But if you are fighting any human deck though quite situational, just let their humans hit you cos they wont live long anyway. And combo this liliana's emblem and you get a growing army by the second

Death Baron

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If you prefer evergreen abilities over P/T buffs, then go find Death Baron. He is perfect for a token swark deck as yr opponent doesnt want to risk losing their stuff to a whole army of deathtouchers which is what death baron gives to your zombies, Deathtouch. It also does give a +1/+1 buff too like Mikaeus. Well the skeleton part is rather pointless when yr building zombie tribal but deathtouch? Heck imma recruit him into my army cos it just makes my zombies nearly unblockable.

Graf Harvest

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Though not technically a lieutenant, its a great card to have early game as yr opponent wont have much creatures on the field to block yr stuff. Well menace is quite a good ability if your opponent is more of a spellslinger based deck where they dont have many creatures to block yr zombies. Well at least it does come with a neat mana sink ability of 4 mana to exile something form yr graveyard and turning it into a 2/2 zombie token. Have useless creatures you wanna get rid of or just have too much mana at yr disposal? Go ahead and make yr army.

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The Executioners of Death

"Because the dead have no will to resist."

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There are few zombie cards that can execute yr opponents but those few are the ones yr opponent wants to see or die to cos these guys are as powerful as they come. They even get their own nicknames cos of their sheer value and versitility. Time to meet our very own executioners.

Gray Merchant of Asphodel

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More commonly and popularly known by the Magic community as the famous "Gary", this card is a big staple in a lot of zombie decks, especially the mono-black ones. Apparently a etb trigger to you can abuse battlefield reanimation, you basically make each opponent lose X life where X is yr devotion to black. If your unsure on what devotion is, it is a mechanic that counts the number of a certain color symbol you have on each card you have on the battlefield. And not only that, in multiplayer games, gary can get seriously abusive cos you gain 3 times the life lost whem gary etbs. Tjis card can practically win you gmes on its own for either the insane lifegain or simply draining yr opponent to death

Lich Lord of Unx

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If lifegain is not yr style and prefer a rather unconventional method in edh, take Lich Lord of Unx into yr ranks and he will do you well. Though you do have to pay a cost to get Lich Lord's execution ability, it actually executes yr opponents in two different but popular ways. For only a 2 blue and 2 black, costing a total of 4 mana, you can make target player lose X life and mills X where X is the number of zombies you control. Well meet Scarab god's apprentice. Since it doesnt require tapping, you can endlessly drain yr opponents to death or completely mill them and use their own graveyard against them with cards like Wight of Percint Six. It is unconventional but somewhat on par with gary since its ability can be used multiple times unlike a etb trigger.

Unbreathing Horde

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If you want the type of execution where you whack yr opponent to death with creatures, there is one certain card that is guranteed to completely drain yr opponents brains yo nothing but dust and that is unbreathing horde. Well for only 3 mana, it gets +1/+1 counters that is equal to each other zombie you control and each zonbie creature vlcard in your graveyard. Token and graveyard decks, meet your new boss. Cos this thing late game is seriously op. Why op you may ask, because of its second ability. For whenever it takes damage, you can negate the damage and remove a +1/+1 counter from it. Being one of the only few creatures to even withstand a 20 damage star od extinction, this zombie aint yr average everyday zombie.

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Conclusion

Mastering the art of zombie edh is a tough job but there are many win cons for zombies. Coming from simple Life drain like Gary, to milling yr opponents decks down with Lich Lord of Unx, or to simply getting a huge army very fast with Endless Ranks of the Dead, zombies are a great race to play with. The 2/2s might seem weal but having a whole swarm and you get yr own apocalypse that is bound to be unstoppable. Ideal colors most likely for zombies is either just Mono-black, Dimir, Sultai or Grixis but these are just me opinions on what colors should be ideal for most decls though i recommend using Sultai as it gives you acces to great cards like Doubling Season to make more 2/2s, Mazirek a great sac value card if you have a sac outlet or even the good old Meren to reanimate yr stuff endlessly.

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Sours: https://aminoapps.com/c/mtg/page/item/edh-deck-tribal-archetype-zombie/BQai_mIJWMGRlDKE1vrv7LmjXrWjaBv

The best Zombie-tribal Commanders

Some great tribes have come and gone throughout Magic's history. Soldiers, squirrels, homunculi... you name it, we've seen it.

Starting with this article I'll look at the best commanders for the EDH tribes we know and love. Starting with the blackest of the black tribes, the walking dead... ZOMBIES!

Gisa and Geralf

If you're not looking for an actual zombie to head up your zombie-themed deck, Gisa and Geralf are a solid two colour option that basically extend your hand right into your graveyard.

Recursion and graveyard synergies are obviously what Zombie decks want to do and Ma and Pa zombie allow that to work in spades. Having access to blue certainly helps the Commander game with self mill in addition to protection with counterspells after you're all set up. Could they be the best zombie commanders? It's possible but let's... “dig” a little deeper.

Ghoulcaller Gisa

Of all the colours in Magic to go all in on, Black may just have the biggest payoffs and Zombie Tribal is certainly one of them. If your zombie strategy involves dumping as many tokens on the board as possible, it's hard to imagine a better commander than Ghoulcaller Gisa. As one half of the aforementioned Gisa and Geralf, Gisa is arguably a more effective commander on her own when it comes to filling up your board with the undead and having an on-board way to sacrifice creatures is always a welcome ability.

All in all, a mono-black zombie deck is definitely a viable strategy in EDH. While you may sacrifice the utility of a two colour deck, you gain a lot of consistency and a lot of value from the myriad of Swamps-matters cards black has to offer.

Stitcher Geralf

I've personally never seen a Stitcher Geralf deck, but I'm a big fan of the possibilities this card has to offer.

Feeling less like a zombie-tribal deck and more like a giant token build, I think your average Geralf deck probably benefits from some unblockable synergies with cards like Thassa, God of the Sea or Deepchannel Mentor. Also, make sure to stack your deck with massive-powered creatures since Geralf mills ALL players when looking for the ingredients for his masterpieces. So while your deck might not look like mono-blue zombies, the results once Geralf gets going say otherwise.

Sidisi, Brood Tyrant

Another not-zombie-zombie-commander is the first version of Sidisi from Khans of Tarkir. To be honest, despite the excellent three colour combo Sultai gives you, Sidisi's on board ability of milling and making a 2/2 zombie isn't super spectacular. What Sidisi does give you is a reliable way to fill your graveyard and access to an awesome three-colour wedge, with some incidental zombie synergy. Even so, I still think that the mild zombie synergy is enough that, if you were to pick a Sultai zombie commander, Sidisi should be near the top of your list.

The Scarab God

You could make a pretty strong argument that The Scarab God is an even better commander than Gisa and Geralf for Dimir Zombies.

I know I started off saying how great the zombie parents are but really, The Scarab God is right up there. One of the main reasons is simple; the Commander tax hardly ever applies to this guy. You can cast The Scarab God all game long for the regular five-mana which, let's be honest, is way too cheap for a card with this power level. Oh yeah, it also Eternalizes any creature in a graveyard then does a weird drain-scry to all your opponents.

Grimgrin, Corpse-Born

There was once a time way back in the day when the only good zombie commander was a zombie himself!

I feel like since Gisa and Geralf and The Scarab God have invaded the tribal scene, Grimgrin, Corpse-Born doesn't get quite as much love as he used to. Fair enough, as those other commanders are almost certainly better, but don't count Grimgrin out just yet. Being a sac outlet on legs that gets bigger the number of creatures you sacrifice, PLUS having spot removal built right in makes Grimgrin a formidable zombie tribal leader still. He sort of functions as a more combo-centric general looking for infinite combos like Gravecrawler plus Rooftop Storm but then again all these decks are looking for Rooftop Storm.

The big issue with Big Grim is that he tends to get dealt with, and once he does his cost isn't super cheap meaning he can get hated out of the game. With that in mind, I'd argue he is a bit fragile, but still a force to be reckoned with.

Mikaeus, the Unhallowed

Speaking of combo decks, Mikaeus, the Unhallowed can definitely be at the helm of a mean mono-black zombie deck. Honestly though, he's spending so much time trying for turn three combo kills that I don't know if anyone is actually wasting their time with 2/2 zombie tokens and killing attacking humans. A very powerful commander, perhaps even the best mono-black commander out there, Mikaeus can pump your zombies and make it basically impossible to remove any of them. I just think Mikaeus players have better things to do.

Sedris, the Traitor King

Grixis is the home of zombies that have red mana in their casting costs. While that may seem, weird Sedris is a great commander for those guys and brings a lot of value to the table.

Easily one of the most underrated generals in EDH, Sedris, The Traitor King has great synergy with zombies, whether through graveyard unearthing or combo enabling. The reason he's underrated is probably the fact that unearth isn't a real sought after ability in Commander. The fact that you have to exile the creature is definitely not attractive to commander players who like to squeeze every last bit of value from every card in every zone. But that downside is easily mitigated by the value and advantage Sedris gives you.

Trust me, Unearth is WAY better than it looks and if you don't mind exiling a few zombies, it'll steal you games you never thought you could win.

Lim-Dul the Necromancer

Lim-Dul the Necromancer costs way too much and I only included him here because he happens to be a great zombie tribal card, but certainly not a commander. I mean you CAN run him, but his ability to steal dying creatures makes him a massive lightning rod. Plus, while regenerating zombies is great, he does cost seven mana the FIRST time you cast him. Personally, I think zombies deserve a little better.

Are there any other great zombie tribal commanders out there? Did I forget a key one? Let me know in the comments! Also post your zombie tribal lists here and talk about why you're running the general you are. Until next time! EAT BRAINS.

Sours: https://www.wizardtower.com/blog/commander/best-zombie-tribal-commanders/
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One thing Kaldheim has brought us is a chance to make any tribal deck work better through the wonderful influx of shapeshifters. I’ve been having so much fun brewing decks with Orvar, the All-Form. He makes so many things possible. One of the tribals that this set has also given us some rather good cards in is Zombie.

I’ll save Orvar for an article of his own soon. So, let’s talk about Kaldheim and zombies.

Draugr, as they are called in the ‘Cold Home’, are undead from the frozen tundra of Karfell. They bring with them a real ‘Game of Thrones’ ascetic that is both a credit to the genre and completely haunting. But the best thing is what the new Draugr/Zombie cards bring to the game and how well they interact with Orvar.

First of all, the line up.

There are others that we will show below, but three of the best performers for this deck are Draugr Necromancer, Grim Draugr and Priest of the Haunted Edge. Each has it’s own special something to ‘bring to the table’. The Priest of the Haunted Edge is great removal. You’ll have to remember to use snow lands, but the Priest can obliterate anything equal to the number of them you have in play. The Grim Draugr rams to snow lands too and gets menace which makes him a problem on the battlefield. But my real favorite of the new zombies is Draugr Necromancer.

The Necromancer makes use of all of your opponent’s dead nontoken creatures. Instead of them hitting the graveyard, they are exiled with an ‘ice counter’. You can cast these spells using the mana you have. It’s oddly satisfying to use your opponents dead creatures against them. It’s all very fitting. When battling zombies, what makes better sense than to have your dead creatures come back to haunt and hunt you? It reminds me of Athreos, Shroud-Veiled and you might be able to build these together but not in this deck. And it’s possible that they would work against each other in the long run.

Of course, let’s not forget Narfi, Betrayer King. Like the Night King of GOT, he leads the Draugr Horde. So, obviously, he’s here to ramp your zombies. And you can forget about getting rid of him. As long as you have snow lands, three will bring him from graveyard to battlefield tapped.

In Standard, there are a few zombies we’re used to playing already that work nicely in this deck. The Foulmire Knight is always a favorite of mine for deathtouch and card draw. The Murderous Rider is strong in the current meta for removal. And Gary is just great for a surprise bomb.

This brings us to Orvar. Sweet Orvar.

This card brings new life to so many tribals. And it’s no different for zombies. It works with all of your creature cards except legendaries, of course. And, if done correctly, your deck becomes a token factory. And there’s so many ways to work its magic.

First task is finding cards that we can ‘target’ to our advantage. We’re going to only talk about those in blue and black right now, for obvious reasons. Now, most of the blue ‘target cards’ are counter cards and those in black have a lot that return cards from the dead or damage or kill off only opponents. But what’s left may be quite useful.

There are actually several instants that add either power or toughness or both to a creature. They also come with extras like counters, hexproof, deathtouch, indestructible, or lifelink. Not only do you aid your creatures in either attack or defense, but Orvar will make a copy of one.

Another nice trick is to use cards that return target creatures back to your hand. Not only can you save your creatures from death, but Orvar will make a handy copy of said creature.

An extra copy card that will help you get those zombies out is Reflections of Littjara. Chose ‘Zombie’ and every nonlegendary you play will doubled.

Another great card for any tribal deck is Bloodline Pretender. It too carries that handy ‘changeling’ ability and ramps to ANY tribal. It works with Mystic Reflections as whatever you call for.

I enjoy this deck immensely and have a decent win-rate with it. And I have lots a plans for Orvar in so many tribal situations. What would you do? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on social media. Check out our facebook giveaway. Once we hit 700, we will be awarding more packs. Till then, keep raisin’ those axes and brewin’ those decks!

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Sours: https://themagictavern.org/2021/02/07/zombie-tribal-in-standard-back-from-the-dead/
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