Black/Green Zombies for Post Return to Ravnica Standard
September 18, 2012 | Posted by Dee
As I write this, there are only eight cards left to spoil in Return to Ravnica because someone spoiled a ton of cards yesterday on MTG Salvation Forums.
Now that we know most of the set, I thought it was a good time to start brewing. The first deck I built was Black/Green (BG), or Golgari, Zombies, because the tribe got some powerful cards in the Golgari guild.
Check out the decklist below.
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The Lol-Troll is the main reason to add green to your Zombie deck. This two-drop is really good because it has three great abilities and a respectable power/toughness.
Trample might not seem that powerful for a 2/1 creature but you can pump it up with Dreg Mangler’s scavenge ability. Also, Lotleth Troll has a buff ability to make itself bigger.
This ability interacts very well with Gravecrawler. You can discard Gravecrawler to give Lotleth Troll a +1/+1 counter. Then, you can cast Gravecrawler from your graveyard because Lotleth Troll is a Zombie.
In situations when you need a big creature, you can discard Dreg Mangler instead of casting it and then activate its scavenge ability to make Lotleth Troll really big. This play adds a total of four +1/+1 counters to Lotleth Troll.
The Zombie makes use of the +4/+4 buff very well with its trample and regeneration abilities.
This is the other green Zombie from Return to Ravnica. It’s not as good as Lotleth Troll but it’s still pretty good.
Haste is one of the best abilities for creatures and 3/3 is a beefy body for three mana. There are many 2/2s and 2/1s in the format so it’s good to have a cheap creature that can beat them up.
With Rancor on Dreg Mangler, you can keep your opponent from chump blocking effectively with smaller creatures because of trample.
Also, Rancor goes well with haste creatures. You can surprise your opponent with five hasty damage by enchanting a freshly cast Dreg Mangler.
And that’s not all. Dreg Mangler gives you something do with your extra mana after it dies. Its scavenge ability can buff a creature, which can very useful since the deck has trample effects with Lotleth Troll and Rancor. Buff and trample work very well together.
Rakdos Cackler gives the deck a third one-drop creature with two power. By adding it to the deck, you increase your chance of having three two-power creatures on the board by turn two.
That’s a really aggressive start. Most decks won’t be able to deal with it.
I originally had Blood Artist at this spot. However, the card is not that good without sacrifice outlets like Falkenrath Aristocrat and Mortarpod. Plus, Rakdos Cackler is much better with Rancor than Blood Artist.
Rancor is one of the best cards for aggro decks so it makes sense to add it to this deck. It gives you explosive starts where you’re attacking for four or even six damage on turn two.
The power bonus from Rancor helps your small creatures trade with bigger ones. For example, your opponent can play a 4/4 to try to stop your assault. You can counter this by just enchanting any of your two-power creatures. They will become big enough to trade with the 4/4.
Rancor gives the deck resiliency. If your opponent kills the enchanted creature, Rancor goes back to your hand ready to buff up another creature. It’s really hard to deal with permanently.
The trample from Rancor makes chump blocking an ineffective strategy for your opponent. For example, Lingering Souls is usually good at slowing down aggro decks. Rancor trumps that strategy because you can run over the Spirit tokens and still deal damage to your opponent.
I went with Garruk Relentless to give the deck a card that can do multiple things. Garruk can function as removal. For example, he can kill annoying creatures like Fiend Hunter.
He gives you a recurring source of 2/2 Wolf tokens. This ability is helpful against boardwipe spells. Also, a steady stream of Wolf tokens ensures you won’t run out of creatures to enchant with Rancor.
If you’re able to transform him, Garruk can win you the game with his -3 Overrun ability. With his -1 sacrifice ability, you can search for the best creature in the deck, Geralf’s Messenger.
The other four-drop is Disciple of Bolas. This creature combos well with Gravecrawler, Geralf’s Messenger, and Rancor. It refills your hand in the mid game so that you can have enough cards to outlast your opponent.
I’m not very happy to play this card because it can slow you down. However, I think you need the extra green mana for Rancor, Garruk Relentless, and Abrupt Decay.
Also, Deathrite Shaman seems like decent sideboard card against other Zombie decks but it requires green mana to be effective.
You don’t want to play Forests over Golgari Guildgate because they don’t help you cast Geralf’s Messenger.
Deathrite Shaman seems good against other Zombie decks because it’s an ongoing source of graveyard hate. It exiles Gravecrawler and Dreg Mangler and it stops the undying shenanigans of Geralf’s Messenger.
Plus, you gain life when it exiles creature cards in the graveyard.
Skirsdag High Priest is there for midrange creature decks. Underworld Connections and Liliana of the Veil come in versus control decks.
Abrupt Decay is good for destroying Intangible Virtue, Oblivion Ring, Detention Sphere, and Ajani, Caller of the Pride. Also, it’s a solid removal spell against decks with a lot of small creatures.
Finally, we have Cower in Fear, which is a decent card versus token cards like Gather the Townsfolk and Lingering Souls. It can wreck your opponent if he’s relying on Avacyn’s Pilgrim and Arbor Elf for mana acceleration. It can also kill Knight of Glory, which can be a problem because it has protection from black.