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Against the Odds: Necroduality (Standard)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 313 of Against the Odds. Innistrad: Crimson Vow is here, which means it's time to kick off our exploration of our new Standard format with a special episode. Which card has the honor of being the first Against the Odds card from the set? Our newest twist on PanharmoniconNecroduality—of course! Our deck today is pretty simple: we're overloaded with Zombies with enters-the-battlefield and dies triggers, which we can double up if we have Necroduality on the battlefield, quickly building an overwhelming board of Zombies and a huge stack of triggers; drawing cards with the Zombie Mulldrifter Fell Stinger; making tokens with Headless Rider and Skull Skaab; killing things with Cemetery Desecrator; and more! How good is Necroduality in Crimson Vow Standard? What crazy shenanigans does the enchantment enable? Let's get to the video and find out in today's Against the Odds; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Against the Odds: Necroduality

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The Deck

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Necroduality is like Panharmonicon on steroids but only for Zombie decks. Once we get the four-mana enchantment on the battlefield, we don't just get an extra enters-the-battlefield trigger from all of our Zombies; we get a full token copy of each one that enters the battlefield, which is pretty insane. The challenge of Necroduality is finding a window to get it onto the battlefield. But once we get it down, the amount of value it offers for simply casting the Zombies that we wanted in our deck anyway quickly becomes insurmountable.

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One of the weird twists of Zombies in Crimson Vow Standard is that many of the best tribe members feature the exploit mechanic, so having some sacrifice fodder is essential. While Necroduality helps with this (getting two Zombies for every Zombie that comes into play gives us plenty of bodies to sacrifice), we have a couple of Zombies that are in our deck primarily to be sacrificed. Shambling Ghast can ramp us into a Necroduality with its Treasure token while also maybe sniping a small creature. Meanwhile, Undead Butler lets us get our best Zombie back from the graveyard when it dies, which opens up some interesting value loops with cards like Fell Stinger.

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We also have a couple of Zombies that reward us for sacrificing our own creatures, with both Skull Skaab and Headless Rider offering us a 2/2 Zombie token when we exploit or sacrifice a non-token Zombie. This allows us to sacrifice non-token Zombies to exploit while still leaving a body behind for our next exploit creature. Skull Skaab is a pretty absurd two-drop. Playing Shambling Ghast on Turn 1 and sacrificing it to Skull Skaab on Turn 2 leaves us with two 2/2 Zombies and a Treasure token to ramp into Necroduality on Turn 3, which is an insane start. Meanwhile, Headless Rider offers some removal and wrath protection while also supporting our exploit plan. Things get pretty crazy once we get a Necroduality or two on the battlefield. With two or three Skull Skaabs or Headless Riders on the battlefield thanks to Necroduality, we can make an absurd amount of Zombie tokens each turn as we cast our exploit creatures and sacrifice random Zombies.

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Fell Stinger is the best Necroduality Zombie in our deck, essentially being a Zombie Mulldrifter by drawing us two cards and losing us two life for just three mana, assuming we can exploit something. With a Necroduality on the battlefield, we can draw four cards with a single Fell Stinger, which is a ton of card advantage on a relatively on-curve body. Toss in Undead Butler and Agadeem's Awakening to get Fell Stinger back from our graveyard, and the three-drop helps ensure that our hand is always full of Zombies to cast and double up with Necroduality.

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At the top end of our curve are a couple of interactive Zombies. Overcharged Amalgam gives us a Zombie counterspell, which is great against Alrund's Epiphany and can also Stifle triggers. It's also a 3/3 flier, making it a fast, flying clock, especially if we get multiples with Necroduality. As for Cemetery Desecrator, it's only a one-of since it's a bit expensive, but it's a great removal spell (and doubly so with Necroduality), killing something when it comes into play and again when it leave the battlefield. If we get two copies with Necroduality and there are enough cards in a graveyard, it can even turn into a Zombie wrath that leaves behind a 4/4 body.

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Last but not least, we have Agadeem's Awakening, which is really strong in our deck because Necroduality triggers whenever a Zombie enters the battlefield, not when it is cast, like with Reflections of Littjara. It allows us to sacrifice Zombies aggressively to exploit in the early game, knowing that we can get them back from the graveyard doubled later once we play a Necroduality, all while being a land that can come into play untapped if we need it to!

The Matchups

Necroduality Zombies is pretty insane in any creature matchup. Necroduality itself allows us to go super far over the top of everything from Mono-White to Mono-Green to Humans. On the other hand, Alrund's Epiphany decks can be a problem. While our clock can be fast if we have the right draw (usually involving multiple Champion of the Perisheds) and we have some main-deck counters and more in the sideboard, our deck is designed more to overwhelm the opponent in the mid- to late game than to pick up aggro wins, which means we can get caught by the extra-turn loops if we don't draw our counters.

The Odds

Record-wise, we went 4-1 with Necroduality, which is great! Our only loss came to Izzet Epiphany, and it was a fairly close match that went to three games. While we did get some Zombie tribal wins that didn't involve Necroduality, our best games came thanks to our namesake enchantment, which did some truly absurd things like making tons of tokens, growing huge Champion of the Perisheds, drawing us bunches of cards with Fell Stinger, and more. We even had one opponent scoop out of boredom because we had so many triggers going on the stack that it was taking forever to finish our turn! The deck was amazingly fun to play and surprisingly competitive. If you like the Zombie tribe or Panharmonicon-style decks, give Necroduality Zombies a shot! It can do some crazy, crazy things and wins way more often than you might expect!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

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Next week it's time for more Crimson Vow Standard! What card should be build around? Click here to vote!.

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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