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Standard Zombie Zoo

Standard Zombie Zoo
By Matt McGraw
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Introducing Zombie Zoo - an aggro deck I feel is well positioned against the two best performing decks in Standard right now. The deck began as something Jordan Bruno brought to me for advice. His initial list was very close to what I am now playing, but it had only 32 creatures, rather than the full 37 it could run. In fact, the first thing you'll notice about the deck, it runs only creatures in the main deck. By playing only creature spells, we make cards like Varolz as powerful as possible, and give Experiment One the most possibilities to evolve.


This deck has powerful synergies, while maintaining high individual card power:

  • Varolz, the Scar-Striped is basically Yawgmoth's Will in this deck. This little troll gives the deck a powerful late game. He is the best top deck to mitigate mana flooding.
  • Experiment One grows quickly due to the efficiency of the other creatures in the deck. The regeneration ability makes Supreme Verdict a small setback and removal spells awkward.
  • Lotleth Troll provides a resilient threat that is excellent to scavenge onto in the late game. Last Breath and regular removal spells are hard pressed to kill the troll. It often requires a Detention Sphere or a Banishing Light to deal with.
  • Voice of Resurgence gives control decks fits, often requiring a Detention Sphere or Last Breath. The elemental that Voice produces helps our Experiment One evolve immediately after a Supreme Verdict. This card is also powerful against Devour Flesh and Desecration Demon.
  • Dreg Mangler gives the deck a surprise attacker, a necessity against Planeswalkers and racing situations. Scavenge also provides a semblance of card advantage, without having to draw Varolz.
  • Boon Satyr gives the deck something to do at instant speed, as well as being very efficient. Bestowing this on an unblocked creature (or a blocked Lotleth Troll) gives the deck some reach. Additionally, its one of the best ways to answer a Blood Baron, when the majority of the rest of the deck is black or white in color.
  • The rest of the creatures are the most efficient at their representative converted mana costs. Having efficient creatures is important, not only do they present a fast clock, but they evolve Experiment One and are excellent to scavenge with Varolz.


Remembering triggers and correct sequencing are the keys to playing the deck. Minimizing the damage you take from your mana base can be important in some match-ups as well. The deck is strong against UW based control and Mono Black Devotion, weak against Burn and Mono Blue Devotion. The sideboard compensates heavily for these two match-ups.


Sideboard Guide:

Mono Blue Devotion

  • -3 Varolz, the Scar-Striped
  • -3 Voice of Resurgence
  • -3 Dreg Mangler
  • +4 Skylasher
  • +2 Unflinching Courage
  • +1 Doom Blade
  • +2 Golgari Charm

This match is very difficult game one. The goal for game two is to put an Unflinching Courage or Boon Satyr on a Skylasher and win the game. Doom Blade and Golgari Charm answer Master of Waves.

UW Control

  • -4 Loxodon Smiter
  • -2 Polukranos, World Eater
  • -4 Dryad Militant
  • +2 Duress
  • +2 Golgari Charm
  • +1 Keening Apparition
  • +4 Skylasher

This match-up is very easy. Sequence correctly and you will win.

Burn

  • -4 Soldier of the Pantheon
  • -4 Dryad Militant
  • +3 Centaur Healer
  • +2 Unflinching Courage
  • +2 Duress
  • +1 Golgari Charm

The one drops are very bad against Searing Blood. In games two and three, try to gain enough life to race: taking as little damage as possible from your lands is crucial.

Mono Black Devotion

  • -2 Polukranos, World Eater
  • +2 Duress

At any point on the curve, Pack Rat is tiny and our guys are not. Mono Black doesn't play enough removal to deal with the density of our threats. In the event of a Desecration Demon, sacrifice a creature and get in.

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