Sunday, 23 August 2015

Survival of the Undead

For a long time, I’d been trying to find a home for Ichorid in Ancient. There’s no denying the card’s awesome, but it’s one of those build-around-me types of awesome that require a lot of synergy built around it. Because Ichorid has a fairly unique ability, it took some time figure out a way to get it right. So how did I finally do it? If you must know, I suggest you continue reading about today’s list: Survival of the Undead.

To the surprise of no one, a deck with Ichorid in it must have (at least) some focus on the graveyard. Despite its unique recursion ability, Ichorid is not the only creature that is able to rise from the grave. As such, I focused on finding other creatures that don’t mind being dead (both for offense and to ensure Ichorid can reliably come into play from the ‘yard). With that problem solved, I shifted my attention to the next challenge of the deck: in a game where you normally want to keep your creatures in play, how do you get them into the graveyard in a way that benefits you and not your opponent?

As I seem to be pointing out obviously awesome build-around-me cards today, allow me to talk about another one: Survival of the Fittest. While the first thing the deck needed was a bunch of creatures with graveyard recursion, the next thing was a reliable way to get them there. SotF is perfect for this, as it actually generates a sort of card advantage when combined with the aforementioned creatures. I felt that the deck wanted another option as well however, to help ensure more reliable opening hands. The solution to this problem was to add a Bottomless Pit to the list. Originally there were more than one, but I decided to lower the number of them because you mostly want to cast it once you are both in top deck mode.

Despite not being a land destruction deck, Survival of the Undead does contain several ways to stifle an opponent’s land count and slow them down. Hymn to Tourach, Pox and Wasteland all act as ways you can [potentially] attack an opponent’s mana resources. Two of them even allow you to do so if their mana comes from a creature, such as Birds of Paradise. Doing so not only gives you more time to grow your graveyard, but it also ensures Bottomless Pit remains relevant throughout the game.

I believe the deck to be pretty self-explanatory, but I want to mention a couple of cards I’d considered that didn’t make the cut. The Abyss is an excellent enchantment, but I thought it to be unnecessary with all of the other ways the deck has to deal with creatures. Strongarm Tactics was another consideration (go ahead, google it), but decided against it as it essentially gives you a 1-for-1 exchange at best. Of the two, The Abyss might well be worth it, and I definitely encourage others to try it out and let me know what you think. Happy Brewing!

Survival of the Undead


8 Swamp
1 Forest
4 Fetchlands
4 Bayou
4 Wasteland

Total: 21


4 Ichorid
4 Ashen Ghoul
4 Nether Shadow
1 Nether Spirit
2 Mindslicer
4 Krovikan Horror

Total: 19


4 Survival of the Fittest
1 Bottomless Pit
3 Pox
4 Innocent Blood
4 Duress
4 Hymn to Tourach

Total: 20


4 Tormod’s Crypt
4 Naturalize
4 Pernicious Deed
3 Ostracize

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