Skip to content

September 5, 2011

43

Whispers of the Muse: Tegan D’s ‘Unnatural Schemes’ (Alara Reborn)

by Dredd77

Welcome once again to another edition of Whispers of the Muse, our occasional deckbuilding advice column! Unlike many advice columns, this one isn’t just a two-way conversation between reader and author, but rather gives all of our Ertai’s Lament readers the opportunity to offer their sage wisdom and experienced counsel on how to improve a deck.

Today’s deck was submitted by Tegan D, and takes us back to Alara Reborn.

Tegan had a lot on his mind surround this deck, and here’s what he had to say:

I’m new to Magic the Gathering (the only experience I have is playing Duels of the Planeswalkers on PS3). I decided to go with Unnatural Schemes as my first deck for a few reasons. First, because it seems like a pretty solid control type deck, which was fun to play in DotP. Second, unlike all of the decks in DotP, which all focus on dealing massive amounts of damage, Unnatural Schemes has the option of winning by forcing the opponent’s library into the grave yard. That appeals to me because the regular beat down strategy is a little bit boring. Third, because out of the box Unnatural Schemes comes with only 41 cards, which means there is some leeway to augment the deck without altering the overall strategy.

Tegan went on to add:

For the most part I want to make it so that the deck focuses more on the deck drain strategy but without sacrificing its beat down potential, all the while remaining a control type. Off the bat the first thing I’d like to do is add some mana so that I can maintain a good mana curve. I’d also like to make it so that the deck only has zombies, artifact creatures and horrors, which means getting rid of Architects of Will, Phantom Warrior and probably the Nantuko Husk since I’d rather not sacrifice any of my creatures. I’d like to add some Silver and Leaden Myr to help put mana on the field, as well as a couple Gravediggers to help keep the Nemesis of Reason in play and augment Lich Lord of Unx’s special ability. I also want to add some Metathran Zombies so that I can have at least a few blocker zombies that have a good chance of staying on the battle field, I’ll also be adding another Lich Lord of Unx. A sorcery that I’d like to add is Traumatize to help with the deck drain strategy. I’d like to have some enchantments, artifacts or sorceries that make it easier to keep as many creatures, particularly the Nemesis but at least zombies, in play, but I don’t know what they would be. The only big creature in the deck is the Grixis Slavedriver, which I don’t really think is enough. I also need more fliers. I was thinking of Thrummingbirds but I don’t think they’d be helpful in this deck. What i’d definitely like to do is add one or two more horrors. I have Nether Horror but it’s lack of special effects is off putting. I’m thinking of adding an Infectious Horror and Murkfiend Liege but the latter would only be half as useful as it would be in a U/G deck. I’d like to keep this a U/B deck though.

As a side note, it would be nice if I could add one or two instant win strategies but I don’t want to over extend my deck and make it useless.

A few days later, Tegan followed up with some more revisions- this was a deck in progress!

Since I emailed you last I’ve been mulling over ways to improve my deck. 

Great! That’s what we like to see. Tegan removed the following cards:

And these were added:

  • 4 Islands
  • 4 Swamps
Explained Tegan:

The cards I removed don’t really seem conducive to what I’m trying to do with the deck, so they’re out.

I don’t have a whole lot of money to spend on MTG, so this will probably be the only deck I have for a while. That being said, I really have no idea what legal standard, extended, legacy etc., are. Ideally, I’d be able to play this deck in as many venues as possible, or at least the most popular venue.

I have a list of cards that are candidates for my deck, but I don’t have them yet. As I said I don’t have a lot of cash to spend, so it might take a while to put my deck together. I’ll give you a list of cards I have and cards in my wish list that I think would be good for my deck.

Tegan then enclosed one last list.

Cards already owned:

A whishlist:

Tegan stressed that these were just ideas, possible ways the deck could go. Some final thoughts on the deck…

One of the aspects I think is essential to add to my deck is acceleration, since most of the spells and creatures I want to play a fairly expensive. I’m not entirely sure how I should handle that though. Should I have a pair of Leaden and Silver Myrs in addition to a couple of Mistvein Borderposts or should I have a playset of Mistvein Borderposts and a Reliquary Tower? Or something else altogether?

Another thing I’m concerned about is my mana curve. A lot of the creatures I want to use, such as Dralnu, the Metathrans, Grixis Slavedriver, Etherium Abomination and the Lich Lord of Unx require mana to activate the special abilities, It seems like I’d be paying more to activate these abilities than I would to play new creatures or spells.

Very detailed, thanks Tegan! We’ll enclose a list of the stock deck to see what we’re all working with.

Now who has some suggestions for Tegan’s “Unnatural Schemes?”

Advertisements
43 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sep 5 2011

    Let me get the gist… A U/B Zombies deck with a larger-than normal mill subtheme? Check me in!

    Looking at the stock decklist, I suggest you take away anything that doesn’t fit the theme of the deck. In fact, I’d suggest you rebuild the entire deck together. But for now, I would take away:

    2x Architects of Will
    1x Phantom Warrior
    2x Tidehollow Strix
    All noncreature spells other than Agony Warp

    Right now, you have

    1 Fatestitcher
    2 Grixis Slavedriver
    2 Jhessian Zombies
    1 Lich Lord of Unx
    2 Nantuko Husk
    1 Nemesis of Reason
    1 Vedalken Ghoul
    2 Agony Warp

    I would add:

    Mistvein Borderpost
    Lich Lord of Unx
    Traumatize

    So it looks something like this:

    1 Fatestitcher
    2 Grixis Slavedriver
    2 Jhessian Zombies
    2 Lich Lord of Unx
    2 Nantuko Husk
    1 Nemesis of Reason
    1 Vedalken Ghoul
    2 Agony Warp
    1 Mistvein Borderpost
    1 Traumatize
    2 Terramorphix Expanse
    Some Islands
    Some Swamps

    cont. on next post..

    Reply
    • Sep 5 2011

      This gives us a suitable skeleton to improve the deck. I would actually recommend keeping the deck size to 40 cards as you don’t have enough cards to make it 60.

      Oh, I just read the part where you took cards out. Keep the Agony Warps in – they’re plenty strong. Also keep the Nantuko Husks in – they’re zombies.

      Now that the framework is done, you can play with it casually if you’ve got friends (don’t expect it to take it to a tournament) until you’ve got some more money to improve the deck.

      To begin with, the deck is Legacy legal and Modern legal (where there are cards that cost more than $80) and your deck is very very cheap – I’d say less than $5 dollars. So don’t play it in tournaments. This deck is also not standard legal, so you can’t play it in FNMs and stuff like that. I’d expect this deck to be only played in casual formats (at the kitchen table, for example).

      cont. on next post..

      Reply
  2. Sep 5 2011

    If you have the money (I’d say probably $50 to start) to start making high-quality changes to the deck, I’d start by removing EVERYTHING except the Lich Lords. We start…

    4x Lich Lord of Unx

    These cards form the core of the whole deck. Lets start by building from the ground low…

    [SPOILER WARNING]

    I would start by adding 4x Diregraf Ghoul. It’s a 1 mana zombie that’s 2/2 that enters the battlefield tapped. It lets you start the beats early. If you can’t find it, that’s because it’s a yet-unreleased card from the new set Innistrad.

    If you don’t want to wait a few weeks, then I would consider Carnophage. It’s the same thing, but pings you every turn instead of entering the battlefield tapped.

    4x Lich Lord of Unx
    4x Diregraf Ghoul

    Erm, that’s it – I’ll try to help you later when you give me more information – I cant really build a deck unless you give me the amount of money you’re willing to blow and whatnot. Give me a shout on Duels of the Planeswalkers (the original or 2012?) I’m Prophylaxis there.

    Reply
  3. Szadek
    Sep 5 2011

    Milling happens to be my favourite way to go, so.. (who needs brute force, anyway? I’ve made U/B and U/W mill decks, and I’m just about to make a Szadek EDH/Commander deck)

    If you’re looking to promote a control element, then I should think that x4 Mana Leaks will work well, especially in the early game when you’re trying to prevent potential threats from surfacing.

    Mind Funeral is definitely a good card (of which I have four), and Archive Trap is usually an effective way of milling the opponent out (particularly when your opponent searches because of something you do), and.. perhaps you could get Sadistic Sacrament, from Zendikar.

    It may be too Black-focused, but if you can get around that, the kicker is definitely a bonus. I would also recommend getting Ponders/Preordains, as they can really help.

    Maybe even Ancestral Visions – I think it shouldn’t be too hard getting twenty cards in the graveyard. If you’d like, you can message me on email, something like that. I’d be happy to help you out if you’d like me to.

    Reply
    • Szadek
      Sep 5 2011

      When I said Ancestral VIsions, I meant Visions of Beyond. *facepalm* T.T

      Reply
  4. Tegan D
    Sep 6 2011

    Hi Prophylaxis

    Thanks for the suggestions. The Diregraf Ghoul looks like a really good idea, I’ll try to get my hands on 4 of them. I haven’t had the time to look through Innistrad yet but it looks like it might be really useful for augmenting my deck. There are some Innistrad cards available on Amazon.

    Regarding the Nantuko Husk, the reason I wanted to take it out is because it’s ability was dependent on sacrificing another creature. Since most of my creatures will be zombies geared towards powering my Lich Lord’s milling ability I thought it would be counterproductive to have the Husks in my deck. Do you think the they would still be a good addition regardless?

    You’re right about the Agony Warp. I can’t remember why I took it out. But why should I take out the other spells? Countersquall seems particularly useful since I’d like to keep my creatures protected long enough to do some serious milling.

    Since I want milling to be the main way to win I was thinking protecting my creatures, especially the Lich Lord and Nemisis, would be really important. I was thinking of adding a couple Whispersilk Cloaks to that effect.

    Monetarily, I’m not doing so well. In fact I recently had to sell my ps3 to pay for a couple course books. So, I’m sorry, but it looks like I wont be able to play DotP with you.

    The Diregraf Ghouls I found on Amazon are under $3, so I should be able to afford them as well as a couple extra Lich Lords. Honestly I’m not willing to pay more than $3 per card at this point in time, which blows because the Glimpse the Unthinkable card I had my eye on milled ten cards for 2 mana, but it costs $11 on Amazon. I have around $30, to spend.

    Reply
    • Sep 6 2011

      Diregraf Ghouls aren’t supposed to be $2.99. That’s ripping you off. Untapped Games (a great place that sells the cheapest cards you can get) has them at $0.50. Look for all the cards you need there.

      Good point regarding the Husks. I think they would still be a good idea because they’re still zombies, and you barely have enough cards to make a 40-card deck. You should use the sacrifice ability only in dire situations, though.

      I actually don’t know why I lost the Countersqualls. Put ’em back in. Sorry ’bout that.

      The big problem with the Lich Lord is that the life loss is going to kill your opponent faster than milling. I think you should just rely on zombie beatdown first and mill second. Go ahead and add the Cloaks if you already have them – good, solid casual equipment.

      Glimpse the Unthinkable shocked me too. I feel your pain. That is the sound of casual players loving their mill decks. I would recommend (as Szadek said) to find Archive Traps, Mind Funerals, Ancestral Visions, and Tome Scours. Check the site I mentioned; good prices.

      As for your budget limit I would recommend using the new spoiled zombie cards. Army of the Damned is a fantastic finisher.

      Reply
      • Szadek
        Sep 6 2011

        At least you could get a Glimpse if you had enough money.. There aren’t any where I live.

        Army of the Damned really is a great finisher. Maybe Cemetary Reaper could work, too. Zombie Lord, all that. I think Negate or Mana Leak would be better than Countersquall IMO – Not so colour intensive. But if you’re willing to go with it, keep them in.

        PS – It’s Visions of Beyond that I was trying to remember. I keep associating it with Ancestral Recall and Ancestral Visions..

        Reply
  5. Tegan D
    Sep 6 2011

    Thanks guys, these are some great ideas. Untapped Games is awesome, thanks.

    You’re right about the Husks, I’ll keep them. They might even have some synergy with the Grixis Slavedriver.

    I’m having some doubts about putting 4 Lich Lords in the deck though. Its ability, especially its milling ability, cost a lot of mana, so if I get too many of them out they would, theoretically, cripple my ability to play more cards, which i think would slow down my game. Instead I was thinking of adding three more Fatestitchers, to help keep my opponent’s creatures at bay, as well as four Metathran Zombies, which I could use as immortal chump blockers. I was also thinking of getting four Stitched Drakes to help with flying defense.

    I’ll get a couple Archive Traps and 4 Tome Scours. I’m going to save Visions of Beyond for later though, since it’s a little too expensive for me right now. Mind Funeral also costs a little too much.

    I’d like to run an idea I had by you guys. I’ve been thinking that if I manage to mill a lot of my opponent’s deck into the graveyard and I accidentally mill Kozilek or Ulamag, or my opponent uses a spell that reshuffles his or her deck and graveyard, or something similar to that happens, then my milling basically becomes useless. It may be possible to defeat my opponent outright before I’m able to mill him into submission but I plan on having a lot of spells that amplify my milling power. So, I had an idea to add Ley Line of the Void, at least two of them, so that when my milling gets going hopefully I’ll have one of them on the field and instead of milling into the graveyard I’ll be milling their cards into exile, which would make reshuffling the the deck impossible for my opponent to do.

    If i go for the above strategy, though, I think it might make my Cemetery Reaper and Geth, Lord of the Vault (I plan on getting him) less effective if not useless. Do you guys think that my strategy is excessive or just plain unnecessary?

    Also, I was thinking of adding another traumatize, would that be too much?

    What is Army of the Dead? I haven’t been able to find it anywhere, even on the MtG: Gatherer search engine.

    Reply
    • Szadek
      Sep 6 2011

      Army of the Damned – It’s a newly spoiled card from Innistrad – It costs 5BBB and you get thirteen 2/2 zombies on your side tapped. It’s strange how Mind Funerals cost so much, they’re about $2 over here.
      I’d put Leylines in the Sideboard, if you’re planning to use it, as it’s a bit more conditional and graveyard milling works most of the time. If you consider the sideboard, you take out Geth and add in the Leylines (maybe three would do – one in the main deck, two in the sideboard).

      Cemetery Reaper should have a couple of creatures in either graveyard, as its ability doesn’t specify whose graveyard.. So if you’ve got a zombie which isn’t going to come back, you can remove that for your Reaper.

      Two Traumatizes in a 40-card deck would probably be too much; I’d put two in a 60-card deck for more consistency with drawing it. But you need to have as many cards in your opponent’s deck to be the most effective, so I’d say 1 will do for now.

      Reply
      • Szadek
        Sep 6 2011

        And, Army of the Damned has Flashback 7BBB.

        Reply
  6. Tegan D
    Sep 6 2011

    I’m actually trying to build a 60 card deck. I’m sorry if I led you to believe I was going for a 40.

    I’ll leave the Ley Lines out.

    The deck I have on paper right now looks like this

    Lands
    11 Swamps
    10 Islands

    Creatures
    2 Lich Lord of Unx
    4 Diregraf Ghoul
    4 Stitched Drake
    2 Fatestitcher
    2 Cemetery Reaper
    1 Geth, Lord of the Vault
    2 Grixis Slavedriver
    1 Vedalked Ghoul
    2 Nantuko Husk
    1 Nemesis of Reason
    1 Undead Warchief

    Spells
    1 Soul Manipulation
    2 Agony Warp
    1 Traumatize
    2 Countersquall
    2 Archive Trap
    4 Tome Scour

    Artifacts
    4 Mistvein Borderpost
    2 Whispersilk Cloak

    I’ve found all of the cards I need for sale online. Altogether it’ll cost $28.87, which is great.

    Is there anything you guys would change? I’m a little worried that I might not have enough mana.

    Reply
    • Szadek
      Sep 6 2011

      I’m slightly worried that you’ve only got two counters in the form of Countersquall. The Leylines can go in the sideboard if you’ve got any – good against Vengevine if you happen to play it, Vampires (Bloodghast) or Eldrazi. Your deck seems quite heavy on the Black from a glance.. Maybe a couple more Swamps might work – though playtesting will reveal more than anyone else could. I’d suggest Preordains or Ponders, along with some other form of countering – Mana Leak might be good, if you can afford it. It’s just a great card.

      PS – My EDH involves Hinder, and Tunnel Vision. It’ll be hard to get them together, but.. =)

      Reply
      • Tegan D
        Sep 6 2011

        I just looked up Hinder and Tunnel Vision. Damn, that would be the ultimate mill combo.

        Reply
        • Szadek
          Sep 6 2011

          In Commander/EDH, if you get them both., It is. Telemin Performance, while not strictly in your zombie theme, is still pretty good. I wouldn’t recommend Sanity Grinding unless you were playing a lot more U and a little less B. But, I love theme too, so I’d understand if you wanted to keep it more Black.

          Reply
  7. Sep 7 2011

    OMG, I found the most perfect addition to your deck. Wizards has answered your prayers. Ta-da!

    http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=354012

    Undead Alchemist
    3U
    Creature – Zombie (R)
    If a Zombie you control would deal combat damage to a player, instead that player puts the that many cards from the top of his or her library into his or her graveyard.

    Whenever a creature card would be put from an opponent’s graveyard from his or her library, exile that card and put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token onto the battlefield
    4/2

    The best! Instant 4-of in this deck. Also solves the Eldrazi problem, as it will be happily exiled and made into a 2/2 zombie.

    Lets check out your deck. cont. on next post..

    Reply
    • Tegan D
      Sep 7 2011

      Sweet Zombie Jesus! That’s a great card, definitely going in my wish list.

      Reply
  8. Sep 7 2011

    I would actually put Ravenous Trap and Trapmaker’s Snare in, because if you see Eldrazi, then you can pay 1U to search up Ravenous Trap and exile their graveyard.

    Reply
  9. Icehawk
    Sep 7 2011

    If you haven’t, MTG Sal has primers for various decks. it wouldn’t hurt to check out the zombie one. I know there is one in the casual area.

    Reply
    • Tegan D
      Sep 7 2011

      Thanks for the tip. I’ll read through that.

      Reply
  10. Tegan D
    Sep 7 2011

    Ok, so based on everyone’s suggestions and advice as well as a few of my own ideas, my deck looks like this.

    Lands
    11 Swamps
    10 Islands

    Creatures
    2 Lich Lord of Unx
    4 Diregraf Ghoul
    4 Stitched Drake
    2 Fatestitcher
    2 Cemetery Reaper
    1 Geth, Lord of the Vault
    2 Grixis Slavedriver
    1 Vedalked Ghoul
    2 Nantuko Husk
    1 Nemesis of Reason
    1 Undead Warchief

    Spells
    1 Soul Manipulation
    2 Trapmaker’s Snare
    2 Ravenous Trap
    1 Traumatize
    2 Countersquall
    2 Archive Trap
    4 Tome Scour

    Artifacts
    2 Mistvein Borderpost
    2 Whispersilk Cloak

    Total 61 cards

    Since Trapmaker’s Snare, Ravenous Trap and Archive Trap all look like they might work well together I took out a couple Mistvein Borderposts to make room. I also took out the two Agony Warps since I want to keep this as close to the 60 card minimum as possible. Since Soul Manipulation is a counter spell I think I can use that and my two Countersqualls to cover myself.

    With all of the zombies to power my Lich Lord’s mill ability, not to mention the zombie tokens, as well as the Nemesis, I think I have a lot of milling power in my creatures alone. Do you guys think that I should take out the milling sorceries and add more counter spells? I really like my mill spells though. If I replace anything it would probably be the Trapmaker’s Snare, Ravenous Trap and Archive trap so I can keep my Traumatize and Tome Scour.

    Reply
  11. Szadek
    Sep 7 2011

    The milling sorceries are fine.. maybe take out the vedalken ghoul? Personally, I’d also take out a Slavedriver.. Though it combos well with Nantuko Husk. Add Mana Leak or Negate.

    Reply
    • Tegan D
      Sep 7 2011

      Yeah, I’ll remove the Vedalken Ghoul, as well as the last two Mistvein Borderposts, since they look less and less useful the more I look at them. And I’ll add 3 Mana Leaks.

      Reply
      • Sep 7 2011

        Careful, mate. With those Mistveins getting pitched, that 21-land manabase is beginning to look a bit thin. 21 lands is fine for mono-Red aggro, but you’re not going to want to risk too many slow starts. I’d suggest tightening it back up to 24.

        Reply
        • Szadek
          Sep 7 2011

          Perhaps Jwar Isle Refuge would be reasonable? I think it’s more effective than a Borderpost in some ways, and the comes-into-play tapped rule/clause is no issue, as it would do that anyway. The life gain might well help with survival as the game drags on. I don’t know about a full 24 land, but maybe 23 would suffice. 22 at a stretch.

          Reply
          • Tegan D
            Sep 8 2011

            The thing about Jwar Isle Refuge and Mistvein Borderpost is that they only let me play lands that are already in my hand. At least that’s the way I interpret the text. I honestly hadn’t realized that when I picked out those cards. I was thinking they worked more like Terramorphic Expanse. This is all a huge mistake on my part. Researching all the different cards has made me realize that.

            I think I would be better off putting a play set of terramorphic expanse as well as maybe one other type of “fetch land” card.

            As for putting in more lands, I think I’m going to replace my Nantuko Husks and Grixis Slavedrivers since I think my three Cemetary Reapers and two Lich Lords can cover all of my token generation needs. I can get a couple more lands in that
            way.

            Reply
            • Tegan D
              Sep 8 2011

              I’m looking at either Grixis Panorama or Evolving Wilds. Grixis Panorama has the “Add 1 to your mana pool” ability for free, which is great, but the fact that I have to pay for the search ability just doesn’t seem worth it. Evolving Wilds is basically a copy of Terramorphic Expanse.

              Alternatively I could just put the two Jhessian Zombies back in since they have Island/Swamp cycling but it’s pretty expensive.

              Reply
  12. Szadek
    Sep 8 2011

    Will you still use Mana Leaks, or do you think you need to augment your deck with fetchlands? Personally, I don’t enjoy relying on fetchlands when I can get two colours of mana from one card. Two Leaks at least, should be sufficient.

    Reply
    • Icehawk
      Sep 8 2011

      For me, it normally has to be 3 or more colors deck before I use fetchlands. I’d prefer to just toss in more basic lands or use what non-basic lands I have. For example since I play casual: Boros Garrison in my Boros deck.

      I normally find I’d prefer to draw any land over a fetchland more often than not.

      Reply
      • Tegan D
        Sep 8 2011

        Yes, I’ll be adding two Mana Leaks.

        I think removing the Vedalken Ghoul, Nantuko Husk and Grixis Slavedrivers is the only way to balance out this deck.

        So it’ll look something like this:

        Lands
        12 Swamps
        12 Islands

        Creatures
        2 Lich Lord of Unx
        4 Diregraf Ghoul
        4 Stitched Drake
        2 Fatestitcher
        2 Cemetery Reaper
        1 Geth, Lord of the Vault
        1 Nemesis of Reason
        1 Undead Warchief

        Spells
        2 Mana Leak
        1 Soul Manipulation
        2 Trapmaker’s Snare
        2 Ravenous Trap
        1 Traumatize
        2 Countersquall
        2 Archive Trap
        4 Tome Scour

        Artifacts
        2 Mistvein Borderpost
        2 Whispersilk Cloak

        Total 61 cards

        Let me just ask, do you guys think Mistvein Borderpost will work well in this deck? It’s the only card I’m not sure is a solid addition. I really think that two Terramorphic Expanses would work better since it not only costs nothing but it also thins out my library, making it more likely I’ll draw a creature, spell or artifact.

        Reply
        • Icehawk
          Sep 9 2011

          The Terramorphic thinning isn’t really worth it. It’s so minor in the long run, but going for it slows you down a turn. Depending on how aggressive you want to be, that may be a deal breaker. In decks with 3+ colors, the ability to get that last color you need outweighs the slow down.

          The borderposts I don’t care for. Try it out. See how it goes. 1 mana + 1 land bounced to your hand is a fine deal. My brain is dead at the moment, but if you can tap a land then bounce it, then you break even. If not, more reason to shy away from it.

          From the curve I see you posted below, you don’t need terramorphics or borderposts. 24 lands, either basic or not, is more than enough mana for that curve. It’s quite aggressive. Might be able to try running 22, but I’d go with 24 for now.

          Running blue and black, there are better ways to thin your deck through say drawing cards.

          Reply
  13. Szadek
    Sep 8 2011

    Out of curiosity, I’d like to ask why you’re using Whispersilk Cloak. I’d also say that I’m surprised you’re including them with 24 basic lands; I don’t think you’ll need any more.

    Reply
    • Szadek
      Sep 8 2011

      “them” being borderposts or fetchlands.

      Reply
  14. Tegan D
    Sep 9 2011

    The Whispersilk Cloaks are for protecting my Nemesis of Reason, so that he isn’t destroyed by a gang block or spell. Attacking with him continuously could mill for a ton. I suppose they could also be used to protect whichever creature I need to keep on the field though, like my Undead Warchief or Geth.

    So with 24 mana I won’t need anything like Mistvein Borderpost or Terramorphic Expanse?

    The latest deck I’ve listed above has a mana curve that looks like this:

    Creatures
    1 2 3 4 5+
    4 0 8 3 2

    Sorcery
    1 2 3 4 5+
    4 6 1 2 3

    Artifacts
    1 2 3 4 5
    0 0 4 0 0

    Not sure if that’s good or not. Doesn’t look like it to me.

    If the Mistveins are unnecessary I’ll just replace them with two more Mana Leaks.

    Reply
    • Icehawk
      Sep 9 2011

      Like I said above, with that curve, nope. Don’t need either.

      Reply
      • Szadek
        Sep 9 2011

        Yeah, I think you’re fine as is. Too many mana sources doesn’t help with early starts much either. So, looks good, I think. You don’t have TOO many 5+ CMC cards, and you’ve got Creatures at 3, and sorceries at 2. It seems good enough to me, so perhaps try it out.

        Reply
  15. Sep 9 2011

    Do you need anything like Rooftop Storm? I think another good addition to your deck is Endless Ranks of the Dead. That can get pretty insane pretty fast.

    Reply
    • Tegan D
      Sep 9 2011

      Both of those cards look pretty good but I don’t think I’ll need them. Besides, I’m completely tapped out of cash to spend on this deck. They’re in my wish list though.

      Reply
  16. Tegan D
    Sep 9 2011

    I’ll keep the Borderposts in for now, and when I find someone to play with I’ll see how they work out.

    Thanks a lot guys. You’ve all been really helpful. This deck looks like it’ll be fun to play.

    Reply
    • Szadek
      Sep 9 2011

      Mill is always fun to play for me. 😉

      Reply
  17. Phyrexian_Kitsune
    Sep 11 2011

    Honestly, I would wait until Innistrad is out. Why? Because zombie mill will get some major support, especially due to Undead Alchemist, who has an effect that allows all your zombies to mill instead of deal damage while he’s out. Undead Alchemist + Lich Lord would make an excelent core to a zombie mill theme, and after that I would look into standard mill support as well as other powerful zombies that will be able to hit the opponent and mill off of alchemist’s effect.

    Some good cards for your deck other then the Lich Lord himself, of which you should definitely have multiple copies….

    Death Barron- Probably the best of the zombie lords, at least in my book, and one you should look into getting your hands on. He gives +1/+1 to all your zombies and also gives them deathouch. The latter is massive as it allows your zombies to go “block me at your own risk” to your opponent. This pares especially will with another card I mentioned before…

    Undead Alchemist- This card is not in print yet as it is in Innistrad, but when it comes out it will be not only good for this deck, but become an absolute stable and pretty much the core of your strategy. Why? Because it turns your zombie’s damage into mill. As long as this sucker is out, any zombie that manages to damage your opponent mills them for the damage that would be delt instead. Even further..whenever your opponent gets milled, the cards they would send to the graveyard are removed instead and you get a 2/2 zombie token. Simply put, this card will become the core of your deck and the key card to your victory. Get a playset when innistrad comes out ASAP.

    Undead Warchief- A classic zombie staple and one you should not overlook. He both reduces your zombies’ mana costs AND gives them a rather sizable +2/+1 boost. Both these effects are highly useful, especially if building around alchemist. Lich lord and Death Barron of Unix now comes down for two mana. Alchemist comes down for 3. Also, +2/+1 is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, it’s a pretty monstrous boost, in the scheme of things. Tempered steel gives +2/+2 to all artifact creatures and is the centerpiece of a powerful standard tourny deck….so +2/+1 to all zombies is not to far behind that and if your building around alchemist it’s especially good because the more power your zombies have when they hit, the more cards you mill and the more tokens you get….the latter coming into play as 4/3s when warchief is out.

    Jace, Memory Adapt- Expensive as all ****, but golden in a casual mill deck. It may not be a tourny card now, but if you have the money I’d have a few of him. Planeswalkers are the ultimate broken cards in this game and almost always make your deck stronger. If you can afford him, consider him. If you can’t don’t worry because he’s not 100% nessicary to the strategy.

    Glimpse the Unthinkable- It’s perhaps the most powerful mill effect in proportion to it’s mana cost in the game. 2 mana to mill 10 cards from your opponent’s deck. Powerful? Heck yes. Expensive as all ****? Sadly, yes, since it’s a rare from the old Ravnica set. If you can afford some it’s totally worth it, but if not then don’t bother…there are other mill cards that are cheaper and still effective.

    Psychic Drain- It’s a consume spirit effect that can be payed with any color mana and mills instead of inflicting life loss. It’s an uncommon from Ravnica, so not to hard to get. It’s not as great as stuff like Glimpse the Unthinkable, but if you have enough mana to sink into it it can be downright deadly. The life gain also is VERY helpful for saving your *** in a pinch.

    Traumatize- Five mana for half your enemy’s deck. Yes, I did just say half their deck. Almost a staple in mill decks and you really should not be without it. Unlike Glimpse it’s not uber expensive and you can pick it up for cheaper then you would think. If you can get a playset, do. If not, you should still have a few floating around in your list.

    Rise from the Grave- What am I saying? This card mills nothing and isn’t a zombie! Yeah, that’s true, but it is getting a mention because it’s totally perfect for your deck’s tactics. Why? Two reasons. A) it lets you snatch a monster from your OPPONENT’S graveyard(or yours, if you want) and use it as your own. If your milling your opponent and they happen to be playing a deck with uber creatures such as Titans, dragons ect..you will be stacking their graveyard with all manner of monsters that you can now use against them. B) It makes the reanimated creature a zombie. No big deal? VERY big deal in your deck, since that means your reanimated beast can now benifit from all your cards that help zombies.

    Dralnu, Lich Lord- He may be hard to get, but you don’t really need him for the deck. However, if you can get him, he is certainly a powerful edition. Want to Traumatize your opponent again? Dralnu will let you do that. Want to Glimpse your opponent again? Dralnu’s your man for the job. Need to kill something in a pinch? Dralnu will get back that Agony Warp tempting you from the grave. Again, he’s not central to this kind of deck but is nice to have since in a mill strategy there will always be cards you wish had flashback.

    Of course, there are plenty of other good cards you can use, but I just thought I would throw these out there for you.

    Reply
    • Szadek
      Sep 12 2011

      We’ve discussed some of these already. Just so you know..

      Reply
  18. Tegan D
    Sep 14 2011

    Phyrexian_Kitsune, thanks for replying but I’m already done building the deck. I don’t really have anymore money to spend on it anyway.

    Thanks, for pointing out the Rise from the Grave card, I hadn’t seen that one before.

    I’ve ruled out the Death Baron and Dralnu because the former only has the +1/+1 and the latter has a “sacrifice permanents” clause that would severely weaken my Lich Lord, who is the centerpiece of my deck. I decided to go with Geth, Lord of the Vault because he has an ability that is basically a combination of Rise from the Dead and milling. Undead Warchief is also already in my deck.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

%d bloggers like this: