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Much Abrew: Champion of the Perished Zombies (Historic)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Champion of the Perished is one of the most exciting cards from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt for non-Standard formats, giving Zombie tribal decks their very own version of Champion of the Parish (literally). Does the addition of an incredibly strong one-drop mean it's finally time for the Zombie apocalypse to come to older formats? Let's give Historic Zombies a try and find out on this week's Much Abrew About Nothing

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Much Abrew: Historic Zombies

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Discussion

  • Record-wise, we ended up going 4-1 with Zombies, at low mythic on Arena, which is a pretty solid record. We got absolutely destroyed by Izzet Phoenix (even with a Leyline of the Void on the battlefield for game two), but otherwise, we managed to fight through both aggro and control decks. 
  • Champion of the Perished was as good as advertised. The only problem with the one-drop is that we didn't draw it often enough. The games where we start with a Champion of the Perished on Turn 1 (and it lives) tend to go really well. We saw an example of the Zombie's power in our second match, where we started with three in our opening hand—before long, they were 7/7s that took over the game. Even without some of the synergies available in Modern, like repeatedly sacrificing and recasting Gravecrawler (don't worry, we'll play Modern Zombies soon), Champion of the Perished was one of the best cards in our deck.
  • One of the biggest upsides of Zombie Tribal is that it has a ton of card advantage. Some aggro decks, like Elves or Merfolk, are really good at spewing their hand onto the battlefield but have a hard time recovering from sweepers or fighting through bad draws. Zombie Tribal is the opposite. Thanks to Cryptbreaker, Undead Augur, and Castle Locthwain, the deck draws a ton of cards and does a pretty good job of playing the long game, if necessary.
  • The one part of the deck I'm not completely sure about is the removal. Liliana, Untouched by Death, Dark Salvation, and Murderous Rider all offer a lot of upside with our Zombie theme, but they can also be pretty slow, especially against aggro. It could be worth considering trimming back on some of these cards for Thoughtseize, Fatal Push, or Infernal Grasp in the main deck. I wouldn't want to cut them altogether—when the game goes long, Dark Salvation and Liliana, Untouched by Death are quite powerful—but there's probably a way to sneak a couple of cheaper removal spells into the main without losing too much late-game power.
  • So, should you play Zombies in Historic? I think the answer is yes, assuming you like the play style. Thanks to Champion of the Perished, the tribe now feels pretty competitive. It might not be a tier one deck, but it seems like it should at least be a solid second- or third-tier option that can win a lot of games in the format. Plus, it will probably get even better in a couple of months once Innistrad: Crimson Vow is released and likely brings with it even more Zombies! 

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. 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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