Black/Red Zombies Top Eights a Grand Prix with 1,100 Players
June 20, 2012 | Posted by Dee
Blue/Black (UB) was the more successful color combination for Zombie decks in Dark Ascension Standard. But with the addition of Avacyn Restored, many players switched to Black/Red (BR).
Avacyn Restored gave Zombie decks a new angle of attack with the card, Blood Artist, and red seems to have better cards to go with this 0/1 Vampire.
Red has Falkenrath Aristocrat, one of the best sacrifice outlets for Blood Artist because it costs zero mana to sac a creature. Red also has Brimstone Volley, a powerful burn spell that fits the deck perfectly because it has many ways to achieve morbid. With the life loss from Blood Artist, it’s not too hard to burn your opponent for lethal damage with Brimstone Volley.
Jacklord Nerez played the following Black/Red Zombies decklist and made top eight at Grand Prix Manila this past weekend. The tournament was huge with over 1,100 players in attendance.
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One of the benefits of playing an aggressive Zombie deck like this one is having a decent matchup against the most popular deck in Standard, Blue/White (UW) Delver.
Zombies can keep up with UW Delver because it has eight two-power one-drops and a three-drop that laughs at Vapor Snag and Dismember, Geralf’s Messenger. Also, it has efficient ways to kill Restoration Angel (Tragic Slip and Go for the Throat) and it can neutralize the power of Mana Leak with Cavern of Souls.
Fume Spitter is a very solid role player. It kills Delver and mana dorks on turn one. It kills Blade Splicer, which is very important since flickering Splicer with Restoration Angel has become much more common. And Fume Spitter just combos very well with Blood Artist and the morbid cards (Tragic Slip and Brimstone Volley).
Porcelain Legionnaire is an interesting card for the two-drop spot. I think you could go with Highborn Ghoul instead if you think the life loss from Legionnaire is significant. But Legionnaire does hit harder and first strike allows it to win more combat battles. Plus, it gives you an extra card that can kill Mirran Crusader and it survives Whipflare.
Phyrexian Metamorph is just a flexible card. Its main use is copying undying creatures especially your own Geralf’s Messengers. But it can also kill legendary creatures like Geist of Saint Traft, copy Swords and Birthing Pods, copy Blood Artist for double life gain and life loss, and copy Falkenrath Aristocrat to give you a lot of damage through the air.
You want to see a Brimstone Volley in just about every matchup so there are four copies. The rest of the removal spells are good in different matchups and situations. That’s why Jacklord only played two copies of each.
I like the one Killing Wave because it interacts very well with Blood Artist.