Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What I'm Playing: Dimir Zombies

Today I am delighted to submit another edition of Standard Pauper "What I'm Playing." As the name would suggest, this series is a simple discussion of the decklist I am currently testing and playing in the format. Unlike a more formal "deck-tech," these will be a more informal look at my latest list and why I believe it shows potential or currently holds my interest.

For several months now, I have been testing and tweaking Zombie-themed decks for Standard Pauper, making use of the excellent range of Zombies found in the current Standard Pauper cardpool, especially since the release of Innistrad. Of these, both Stitched Drake, Ghoulraiser, and Highborn Ghoul have seen quite a bit of play in different decks, with less attention paid to other decent cards like Dead Reveler, Scrapskin Drake, or Butcher Ghoul. Here's what my list looks like currently:

Here's why I designed the deck the way I did:
  1. While Ghoulraiser is no Gravedigger, in a list that only includes Zombies, it's almost as good.
  2. I used the card-draw and removal suite from pk23's excellent Esper Control list, which enables the deck to survive against early aggression and continue to draw well into the late game.
  3. With the exception of the Dead Reveler and Ghoulraiser, all the creatures have Evasion, and all give good value for their casting cost. This allows the deck to hit hard and fast.
  4. While my previous versions have included Red for burn/removal, I wanted to see if I could streamline the mana by removing the third color and discover if the deck still had enough reach.
For the Sideboard, I intentionally focused on improving the matchup against Hexproof, since the deck lacks access to any way of dealing with Enchantments. Essence Scatter, Devour Flesh, and Psychic Strike are all useful in that matchup. Butcher Ghoul helps against Aggro, Stab Wound against Control, and Vile Rebirth helps control against Graveyard Recursion (and creates more zombies too!).

I decided to record my matches for the event, so here is my match from Round 1 for your viewed pleasure. I was paired up against Gordani, who was running an Esper Control list:

Unfortunately, the rest of the event was not kind to me. I had to mulligan almost every game, and got stuck at 2 mana on multiple occasions. I stuck it out through Round 4, but was overall pretty disappointed with the matches and thus will not include them here. I ended up dropping out at 2-2.

So what do you think of this list? Would it be better to bring Red back into the equation? Is it time for me to finally shelve this Zombie concept, or is it worth pursuing? Love to hear your opinion on the matter. Thanks for reading!

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