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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oh Captain, My Captain!!!

Brain Salad!

Welcome one and all!  This is Captain Red Zone, coming to you with the next Dual Color deck in my series for your viewing delight.  This week we’re wrapping up Black with our Black/Green deck, but before we go too far in, I want to take a moment to let you all know something… I got a letter today and it… it… just read for yourself.

Dear Captain,

We have been spending a lot of time together in recent weeks.  I have been having a blast with you, but I have to say this.  I am tired.  I know I know, I was talking about how we don’t see each other nearly as much but let’s face the facts.  You’re getting old.  You can’t give as much to me as you were able to once.  I still love you, and we still have some really good times ahead of us, but I figured I should let you know I’m leaving you for a while.  It’s not me, it’s you.  You’re just not able to handle all of this the way you used to. Maybe we’ll see each other at the Prerelease this weekend, depending on how I’m feeling.  Don’t worry, I’m not going away forever.  Just for a while.  I need to spread out for awhile, and I can’t do that sitting here, waiting for you to finish your little series.  When you have some free time, or when your get your energy back, call me.  You know the number.

Your Soul’s Keeper (Because you signed that contract),


I found this letter on my stairs today…  

No... literally ON my stairs...

I didn’t even get to say good bye…  And I think my bank account is a few hundred short…

But  before I was left broke, in heart and in pocket, Black did one last deck, and I have to say I like this one. This week’s deck is a theme that was inspired by two things - one is a card I saw in Innistrad that I had to laugh at, and the other is a game that came out in recently.  So what is it based on?

For those of you that don’t know, Plants vs. Zombies is a game where your house is under attack by hordes of brain hungry zombies.  The only way they can get to you is by crossing your yard.  Your only line of defense?  Your Garden of Plants!  But these aren’t just any plants, these things are full of anti-zombie effects.  Some spit peas that kill zombies, some explode, some freeze zombies making them move slower so the “Pea-Shooters” can have more time to kill larger groups, etc.  

If you have a computer, PS3, or even an X-Box 360, you should get this game.  It’s so fun and I can’t say enough good things about it.So today we’re going to build a Green/Black Plant vs. Zombies theme deck.

Garden of Evil!

If we’re going to do this we need some ground rules.

1.       This deck will have as many plants and zombies as we can get.
2.       We will try to keep the non-theme things to a minimum.
3.       We will use the graveyard as well, but not so much that this turns into just another graveyard deck.

First things first, I want to point out that most plants are walls and in this case, boring.  I’m expanding the “plants” by including : Plants, Fungus, and Elements that are plants, make plants, or pumps plants.  Saproling tokens are cool here but we’re not going Treefolk.

So with that I think the only Commander we could use has to be…

Sure he’s an Elf Druid, but his ability buffs up our Fungus creatures for every spore counter  they get. Since most fungus creature gains a spore counter at the beginning of the turn, this could get out of hand quick for the other players.  So let’s get to the veggies of this deck.

Sporoloth Ancient, Vitaspore Thallid, Utopia Mycon, Sporesower Thallid, Thallid Shell-Dweller, Mycoloth, Thallid Germinator, and Thallid: The fungus in this group were picked because they all have an ability to pump out Saproling tokens.  They also have the usual fungus ability of “At the beginning of your upkeep, put a spore counter on _____”.  The bad news is it takes forever to get the three counters on them to make the tokens.  That’s where Thelon comes in, by making those spore counters into pump counters… in a way. This Commander turns this negative into all up side.

Mold Adder, Mold Shambler, Fungusaur, Fungus Elemental, and Fungal Behemoth: Here we have some fungus creatures that don’t make tokens, but are still really good.  Mold Shambler does its thing by making non-creature problems go Boom. The main thing here is, other then Mold Shambler and Fungal Elemental, all of these guys get a +1/+1 counter for fighting off of a smaller creature.

Plant Elemental, Avenger of Zendikar, Carnivorous Plant, and Wall of Blossoms: Here are our plant lovers. Wall of Blossoms replaces itself with a draw and makes for a good blocker and it also goes our plant/pick section later, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  Carnivorous Plant is a nice wall that will keep the smaller creatures from attacking you. Plant Elemental is a 3/4 for 1G. Yes it cost us a land but we can deal with that.  Avenger of Zendikar is a bomb - it’s worth playing in any format.

They’re Coming!

With the plants section out the way, we now need to start building our hordes.

Cackling Fiend, Famished Ghoul, Gravedigger, Shepherd of Rot, Withered Wretch, Phyrexian Crusader, Grave Titan, Skirk Ridge Exhumer, Cemetery Reaper,  Lord of the Undead, Plaguebearer, Zombie Master, and Zombie Trailblazer: Nothing too fancy here.  Just a stock list of my favorite brain eaters.  Cemetery Reaper, Lord of the Undead, Zombie Master, and Zombie Trailblazer are here for their lord abilities, and certain ones like Reaper and Lord of the Undead have a way to keep zombies coming back.  Plaguebearer, Famished Ghoul, and Withered Wretch are here for their removal abilities.  Grave Titan and Skirk Ridge Exhumer can flood the field with zombies, but you’re going to need two different tokens for these guys. The Shepherd of Rot is great for group games while Phyrexian Crusader is a card I like to keep in as an alternate win condition.  You never know when poisoning a player is going to be your only chance to win. Cackling Ghoul has as great comes into play ability that we’ll get to abuse.  How?  We’ll get there soon.

Creakwood Ghoul, Putrid Leech, Vulturous Zombie, Woodwraith Strangler, and Deathspore Thallid: These are our cross breeders.  It just doesn’t feel right to not use plant zombies in a Plant vs Zombies theme. Creakwood Ghoul (combined with Famished Ghoul and Withered Wretch) gives this deck a easy small sub theme of graveyard hate. This is becoming a huge thing to include in recent days due to The Mimeoplasm being printed.  Vulturous Zombie gets bigger with every death, while Woodwraith Strangler and Deathspore Thallid are here because they’re plants and zombies.  Putrid Leech may not be a plant, but I like the idea of a zombie slug in a garden where zombies and plants do battle.

Where the Line is Drawn!

So far, so good.  Everything here is Plant/Zombie related.  Now, we will go into one of the things Green and Black has in common.  Their love to plant seeds and watch them grow.  Sure, with Green it’s usually plant seeds and Black it’s usually human seeds, but hey, it’s all the same right?  So let’s get to planting.

Regrowth, Recollect, Elven Cache, Tortured Existence, Phyrexian Reclamation, Necromantic Thirst, Reaping the Graves, Cruel Revival, Recover, Raise Dead, Rofellos's Gift, Nature's Spiral, and Grim Discovery: Here is the way we use this package.  First, we play creatures and let them die in battle - to removal, board sweeps, etc.  Then, we use our Regrowth effects to select the best cards for the time, and pick them out of the grave to be used again.  Just like Gardeners… or Necromancers.

Soul Exchange, Diabolic Servitude, Dawn of the Dead, Makeshift Mannequin, Betrayal of Flesh, Zombify, Unearth, and Vigor Mortis: This package is here to be used like our Regrowth one, but the key difference here is that this will bring back your creatures straight to the field.  This is for the early game when mana is low, and we can’t cast a Regrowth and a dude on the same turn.  But they can be great late game as well, because your graveyard options only get better the longer the game goes.

Now, with most of the deck on theme, I’m going to use this time to put in the the last few cards that may not be on theme, but are good for this deck.

Eternal Witness, Life from the Loam, Reins of the Vinesteed, Life // Death, Strength of Night, and Khalni Garden: Witness is not a plant or a zombie but she is a Regrowth on a stick so she gets a buy.  Life from the Loam is great because it can return lands that you have discarded with your other creatures.  It also has Dredge, so you can use it to fill your grave with more creatures, then use it to pick out any land you need. Reins is one of the better Auras I’ve seen for a deck full of creatures that share a type. Life//Death can return a creature from your grave to the field, but it’s really here for a last chance to kill players out of nowhere when you turn you lands into 1/1’s and attack with a surprise army.  Strength of Night and a good pump for all of our creatures and in the late game can make our zombies even more scary at instant speed no less! Khalni Garden is here because…. It makes a plant token, and that’s good enough for me.

Vhati il-Dal: This guy has nothing to do with this deck.  He’s not a plant, a zombie, and he has nothing to do with the grave.  But I like him.  He can shrink bigger guys, say like a Darksteel Colossus, attacks  and  make it easy to block, or he can turn the defense of a Titan to one and make a Saproling token/Titan trade possible... and funny.  I like him and I say he gets a pass here for coolness.

Time to go Cry!

With 18 Swamps and 18 Forests, we can put Black behind us for awhile.  As always, my mana base here is just a starting point.  At the bottom, you can check out the deck list.  Next week, we get to start the grieving process and go to a deck without Swamps.  As always, thanks for the read, and I will see you next week for another article!

Hope you had fun and please leave any comments or suggestions.  Until next time,

This is your Captain speaking… We’re heading into the Red Zone!!!

1 Sprouting Phytohydra
1 Carnivorous Plant
1 Wall of Blossoms
1 Creakwood Ghoul
1 Vulturous Zombie
1 Woodwraith Strangler
1 Cackling Fiend
1 Famished Ghoul
1 Gravedigger
1 Shepherd of Rot
1 Withered Wretch
1 Deathspore Thallid
1 Phyrexian Crusader
1 Putrid Leech
1 Regrowth
1 Eternal Witness
1 Recollect
1 Elven Cache
1 Tortured Existence
1 Phyrexian Reclamation
1 Necromantic Thirst
1 Reaping the Graves
1 Cruel Revival
1 Recover
1 Raise Dead
1 Rofellos's Gift
1 Nature's Spiral
1 Life from the Loam
1 Grim Discovery
1 Diabolic Servitude
1 Dawn of the Dead
1 Reins of the Vinesteed
1 Makeshift Mannequin
1 Betrayal of Flesh
1 Zombify
1 Soul Exchange
1 Life // Death
1 Vigor Mortis
1 Unearth
18 Forest
18 Swamp
1 Thelon of Havenwood
1 Vhati il-Dal
1 Sporoloth Ancient
1 Vitaspore Thallid
1 Utopia Mycon
1 Fungal Behemoth
1 Sporesower Thallid
1 Thallid Shell-Dweller
1 Mycoloth
1 Thallid Germinator
1 Thallid
1 Mold Shambler
1 Fungus Elemental
1 Fungusaur
1 Mold Adder
1 Plant Elemental
1 Avenger of Zendikar
1 Khalni Garden
1 Grave Titan
1 Cemetery Reaper
1 Lord of the Undead
1 Plaguebearer
1 Zombie Master
1 Zombie Trailblazer
1 Skirk Ridge Exhumer

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