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BR Zombies for PTQ

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Joined: 11 Jul 2005
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:19 am    Post subject: BR Zombies for PTQ Reply with quote

Iím making an appearance at PTQ Return to Ravnica this weekend and Iíve decided to play BR Zombies. I like the consistence of most builds and the power/speed of the deck in general, but having some trouble tweaking for the event and figuring out all my matchups. Iíve played a lot with deck the past week but not really against anything specific (mostly random MWS games) and I also need to 100% my sideboard. As a starting point I took Han Kyuís list from his first place finish at SCO-Las Vagas on 7/21. The only current difference is I took out his singleton bonfire for a 4th blood artist because I thought it would make the deck more consistent and I felt most games I drop an artist my chances of winning increased.

BR Zombies
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
4 Dragonskull Summit
3 Cavern of Souls
12 Swamp

4 Blood Artist
4 Diregraf Ghoul
3 Falkenrath Aristocrat
2 Fume Spitter
4 Geralfís Messenger
4 Gravecrawler
4 Highborn Ghoul
1 Phyrexian Metamorph

4 Brimstone Volley
1 Dismember
1 Doomblade
3 Tragic Slip
2 Mortar Pod

3 Surgical Extraction
2 Smelt
2 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Liliana of the Veil
1 Go For the Throat
2 Gethís Verdict
2 Duress
2 Combust

I consider the metagame in general to be Delver Variants, Naya Pod/Variants, RG Aggro, Solar Flare, Zombies and maybe random reanimator. My friends are running Naya Pod and Delver both of which I seem to do well against pre-board; post board depends on how many celestial purges they have in board. Unfortunately I tested against another friend with the most recent naya pod SCG win and he crushed me 6-0 (3 with 3 without board). I only came close to winning twice when I got him down to 1 however I did mull 4 games (once to 5) so that makes me think I donít know my match ups as well as I think. Hence the purpose of this (for lack of a better term) article.

Side board plan as of now:
VS. Delver - +2 combust +2 duress +1 surgical +2 verdict, - 2 artist -1 dismember -1 doomblade -2 Volley -1 metamorph
VS. Pod - +2 smelt +1 GFT , - 1 Volly -1 Pod -1 Slip
VS. RG Aggro - +2 smelt +1 GFT +1 Surgical, -1 dismember - 1 metamorph Ė 2 pod
VS. Flare + 3 Surgical +2 Spellbomb +1 Liliana (on play), - 1 Volly(on play),-1 dismember,- 2 pod, -2 fume spitter
VS Reanimator Ė same as flare

Some of the changes I am considering for MD/SB(based on other variants Iíve seen):
-1 Volly Ė 1 Highborn Ė 1 metamorph; +3 Bonfire of the damned
Bonfire seems to just win games when you miracle it and with 4 blood artist it really does work. Im not a fan of metamorph in general, some version Iíve seen run a total of 3 between sideboard and MD but if someone has solid explanation of why this is good idea like to hear it.
-4 Highborn Ghoul- 1 Doom Blade Ė 1 Slip Ė 1 dismember; + 1 metamorph +2 verdict +2 bonfire +2 GFT
This version seems to rely on having blood artist more than my build (these changes are from a recent 1st place at a platinum event at kirwans Games stonre 8/4). Again im not a fan of the of the metamorphs but im looking for someone to correct me. Bonfire same as above, verdict MD seems like he was expecting lots of dungrove/GST but if I MD them Id have to add 2 pillar to sb instead of the 3-4 verdict. I like the -1 attacked but with so many mana dorks I never seem to get what I need. I hate the battle btw doom blade and GFT right now. I want to run GFt because I believe black is becoming more prominent but it doesnít kill nexus or golem tokens from splicer and not even solemn if I want to for damage against ramp decks.

SB: some newer versions Iíve seen of this deck have been running Bloodline Keeper over liliana in sideboard. I tend to lean more toward liliana because she doesnít get killed by spot removal. As Stated above Iíd like to put some pillars SB against mirror and RG Aggro(pesky giest) but canít seem to find room without the verdicts being MD. I am also worried about those midrange RGW Pod decks with angel/thragtusk/huntmaster seeing as my friend crushed me so bad. I was thinking torpor orb SB to handle that but again I need to make space, maybe Ė 1 sugical -1 combustÖ.not sure. If anyone has any input/experience on torpor orb vs ETB deck id be glad to hear comments.

Those are my thoughts Iím hoping to get some valuable input. Iíll be checking frequently to see comments and reply so check back for those.
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Joined: 04 Apr 2010
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as a delver player who has played versus zombies many, many times:

subtracting dismember and doom blade versus delver for 2 combust is absolutely ridiculous. it's pretty likely the delver player has even boarded out their leaks, and even if they keep leak, dismember/doom blade is still likely better because you will often not have red mana.

further, removing metamorph versus delver is also silly because delver's best card against zombies is geist, and metamorph is an answer for that, while also being a very solid card in general. for the same reason, i'd add that liliana in your sideboard.

last, i wouldn't add cards like duress/surgical against delver. for one, this just isn't a very good plan against delver. these cards are really only good versus celestial purge and timely reinforcements (purge/reinforcements + snapcaster). delver, however, has been cutting both of these cards and adding knight of glory. while every delver deck will not have done this, it is not worth the risk of adding these mediocre cards being made much worse.

while the adoption of knight of glory is an argument for combusts replacing black removal, combust still isn't worth it because, again, you aren't sure what your delver opponent is going to be doing with their sideboarding. keeping in the brimstone volleys is a solid hedge against delver sideboard strategies because volley can kill the knight while also just being good if they don't bring in the knights. as a delver player, volley has been one of the most important cards of the RB zombies matchup, and it seems like the game often hinges on that card. i wouldn't cut it.

since the combusts are now useless in your sideboard, you have extra slots in your board. do whatever you want with that.

versus RG, i can't imagine it's worth it to board in smelt. sword of feast and famine isn't even that good against you out of that deck. also, why are you bringing in GFT/surgical? surgical, really?? and you aren't going to lose to RG because of lack of spot removal.

versus pod, i wouldn't remove volley (i wouldn't remove volley EVER versus anything), and i wouldn't remove either the pod or the slip. killing their one drop seems really important. i'd probably keep in mortarpod because burning out pod decks during a board stall seems pretty likely. i wouldn't bring in gft because, like versus RG, you aren't going to lose because of lack of spot removal. that's just not how the matchup works.

if you are so worried about pod, then i guess that torpor orb is something to consider in the board, especially because you should have empty slots.

you have way too much stuff against decks that are a tiny fraction of the metagame (flare, reanimator). you don't need to sideboard out mortarpods against decks like that. while it isn't amazing, it's still fine, and you really don't need to worry about having a mediocre card against a matchup that: A) is already quite good and B) is a tiny fraction of the meta.

with freed up slots, i'd add cards for the mirror/pod (if you really believe pod is such a bad matchup).
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