Hey has anyone tried a renovator version of this deck it seems really cool to reanimate a Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur on turn 2 or a primeval titan or even a grislebrand. Through them in turn one with entomb
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Edric Spy and die
Azami the lady of the draw
sharuum the hegemond
Mono black control
If only I could reanimate Primeval or Griselbrand, though I like the autocorrect to "renovator" instead of reanimator...makes me think of Eldrazi swinging and going "this is going over there!"
Mine is more of a Four Horseman style edh, with Goryo's Vengeance, Shallow Grave, and Corpse Dance to bring Kozilek or Ulamog out with the graveyard trigger on the stack for a quick swing. But full on reanimator I haven't tried with this deck.
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EDH UBX - Milling Zombie Horde (now with spliced mana!)
Reanimation is a route I had tried with the deck. However, I have been going about it with permanents instead of spells. The thing is, building Sidisi, Brood Tyrant has proven to be very difficult. On the one hand, you want to take advantage of her token production, so you want to chock as many creatures as possibles. However, there is a graveyard theme so you also want to take advantage of the graveyard. Reanimation is one way to go, however, if you're self-milling you may end up milling the very spells you need to use to reanimate - which was a total pain. If you want to make the graveyard very efficient, I think that you should draw a lot and then discard. At least by discarding you control what goes to the graveyard and then are able to reanimate later. This is a totally viable strategy as well.
You can tutor if you want, but you drop so many cards in the graveyard that whatever you're tutoring for is bound to end up there anyways. So reanimation is a better route - for me at least. This deck is very graveyard dependent. I feel that's the point of Sidisi, Brood Tyrant; the fact that milling creatures nabs you zombies.
I was looking through a dollar bin and found a Tainted Pact. This card works so well in this deck. Find the missing half of your combo. Or if your brave, Pact down to the bottom of your library drop a Laboratory Maniac and loot for the win. What do you think?
Tainted Pact + Laboratory Maniac is a good combo. However, I find that with BUG you have access to a plethora of counterspells to protect such combos. However, to avoid exiling your entire deck, I recommend using Hermit Druid instead and not running any basic lands. Hermit Druid + Laboratory Maniac - any basic lands + counters to protect the combo = win. This is very doable in this kind of deck. Even more so since you can bury them from the deck, reanimate, then protect.
Yeah, if you're gonna mill yourself for the win with Laboratory Maniac you're gonna have to take out Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre and Gaea's Blessing. The other alternative being to make sure they're in your hand before you pull off the combo (tutoring for them, drawing, etc.). Another thing to do is to draw your entire library using Enter the Infinite. Then draw two cards. There are many ways of pulling off a Laboratory Maniac win with BUG so don't get too worried about removing cards that will save yourself from decking yourself.
The only reason I don't use Laboratory Maniac for the win in this deck is because I already use it as an alternate win condition in a different deck.
Yes! This card definitely tickled my fancy! It's just like all of the other spells that self-mill but have a positive effect when doing so. Good eye! I still have to see what to change for it and to test it.
I haven't found any cards (so far) in Dragons of Tarkir that I may want to include. It's been a while since I played with Sidisi, Brood Tyrant because I've been working on other things. But so far the deck has been working great. What I'm dying to test is the new Liliana (Liliana, Heretical Healer) because it's so easy to transform her and Liliana, Defiant Necromancer's emblem would be so brutal in this deck. So many creatures means ways to defend her until she gives me the emblem.
I'm a bit busy at the moment but I will soon post some changes that I made in the deck and how it was working before I gave it a bit of a break.
This deck has seen some major changes since the OP. There's less drawing and land acceleration; it's more dependent on the graveyard as a second hand. This made it more efficient and faster because certain cards would make the graveyard a second hand (like Havengul Lich, Champion of Stray Souls, etc.) and the Zombie token route is much more in depth with a lot of zombie generals giving boons and what-not. There's a lot of cards that send things to the graveyard which is what one would want - trigger Sidisi and then eventually cheat stuff into play. So, therein lies the only real threat to the deck: graveyard hate. Fingers crossed, you can get rid of that player before any real damage is done.
So, how to pilot this latest version? Amass an army while cheating most creatures to play. Also, constantly recycling your graveyard back into your deck in order to not deck yourself, protect your graveyard, and continue spamming Sidisi's zombie making mechanic. This deck has the added bonus of milling certain opponents thanks to Altar of Dementia and Undead Alchemist.
There are many great cards to include - they just make the deck too slow to be functional (in my opinion) and also a lot of cards that are just win-more. Villainous Wealth is an amazing card that can only really fit in with other decks (like Damia, Sage of Stone). Both zombie maker siblings Stitcher Geralf and Ghoulcaller Gisa want to be here but alas, they are too slow. Their fatness doesn't matter because they can just be cheated into play. But their abilities are too slow for the efficiency that this deck wants.
I think his alternate cost my be too exorbitant in this build, but Risen Executioner might be interesting here as a unique Zombie Lord.
Can you explain Seeker of Skybreak & Teferi, Temporal Archmage? They seem like odd inclusions. I get that Teferi's +1 is generically useful, but it wont trigger Sidisi? While untapping is a generally useful ability, doesn't seem to get too much use out of here. What am I missing?
Dowsing Shaman and Hell's Caretaker are extremely broken here! Plus, they have the added bonus of being creatures - which could trigger Sidisi! I'll have to try and see what to take out at least in order to test them. Thanks for the recommendation!
Hell's Caretaker has been incredibly broken when combined with Mortuary. I can cheat a creature into play from the graveyard and at the same time I can topdeck a creature I just sacrificed in order to be milled to activate Sidisi.
The deck doesn't run as many enchantments to merit including Dowsing Shaman. I thought it would be better but most of the time it underperformed.
Another card I want to test is Thunderfoot Baloth. With Sidisi out, my creatures get a serious boon (the baloth included) and they get trample - just in case the Filth + Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth strategy gets disrupted. Plus, it has the added bonus of being a creature. Some testing still needs to be made.
As for testing, Cockatrice has proven an excellent resource. I've won almost all games played in triple-threat matches and most of the games played in fatal-4-ways. The thing is, no one sees Sidisi as a real threat until you've already got most of your pieces in play. By then, it's usually either too late or some of the more menacing players are on the ropes and you're able to at least finish them off and take the game from under their feet. The deck is super fun to pilot because it can be a bit overwhelming to keep track of everything that's happening (like remembering when Genesis and Vengeful Pharaoh are in the graveyard) so it's not anywhere close to being an easy deck to pilot. Milling things and playing with the graveyard is not an easy feat. Milling lands early on can hinder your mana base and milling important spells can be hard to recover later on. But, with enough practice and mastery (and some luck, of course) you can manage to secure the win and get what you need to happen happen.
So far, all the wins have been devastating. The Mesmeric Orb interaction hardly ever happens but when it does, it's an instantaneous win. The deck wins by the Filth + Urbog combo, hands down. The second that happens you better win because you become the immediate target. Fortunately, though, people forget that Filth is in the graveyard and once you declare attack with everything, it's usually over. Sure, cards like Cyclonic Rift set us back but I've also used it when my horde is blockable. So I just bounce everything out of the way. Most of the times, it's not even the number of zombies but the quality. The zombie generals that give boons have been indescribably paramount in securing so many wins. Death Baron and Undead Warchief have been broken to no end. Getting Craterhoof Behemoth into play is also nothing to scoff at. Once I had the mother of all hordes and someone cast a boardwipe. Luckily I was able to respond by putting Diregraf Captain into play from the graveyard into a GG.
All in all I love how this deck has turned out. Thanks to everyone for their contributions. I've been able to iron out almost all of the kinks in the deck and there have been few cards I've wanted to take out. Sometimes a card is a dead draw in one game and then become the all star in the other. So I just have to remember that in the end this is just a card game and susceptible to the rules and laws of probability - as much as I try to stack the odds in my favor with so much deck and graveyard manipulation. I'm very content with the deck and I'm dying to see what sort of goodies arrive in Origins that might make the deck even more brutal.
I've just recently built this deck, and I must say he's good clean fun. At first I tried to go for full-on zombie tribal, but there just aren't enough problems you can solve with a zombie. So I made it a more graveyard-goodstuff deck. It still has some scaled-back zombie tribal elements, Diregraf Captain and Obelisk of Urd and the like, but it's just there for a side option.
My only problem is getting enough mana. Holy pigpen, is this deck ever a mana hog! naturally, I could add mana rocks, but that waters down the deck's strategy too much. Krosan Restorer and Far Wanderings are outstanding here, because Sidisi makes it stupid-easy to get threshold, but I'm still straining resources to the max every turn.
If you're having trouble with the mana, the previous incarnation of this deck ran things like Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Oracle of Mul Daya, Crucible of Worlds, Burgeoning, Exploration, and the like to be able to play as many lands as possible. That made the deck run super fast. However, I needed a lot of drawing engines in order to make use of the land acceleration. So in essence, it ran like a totally different deck (it also made me an immediate target from the beginning of the game).
As for recommening Ruthless Deathfang it just instantaneously replaced Grave Pact. Although at a higher CMC, it's still easier to cast than a 1BBB casting cost and it's a creature. Meaning that it triggers Sidisi when milled and is a 4/4 flyer to boot. Awesome suggestion!
Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord would seem like a good inclusion because it provides a solid sac outlet that is able to hurt all opponents as opposed to just one plus he can get very fat very fast. That, and he's a zombie which means he gets all the boons. The same goes for Grimgrin, Corpse-Born. Plus, Grimgrin snipes creatures just for attacking. I've also considered adding Sidisi, Undead Vizier being as it's a Diabolic Tutor with a body so milling her triggers Sidisi, Brood Tyrant plus it gets the boons of being a zombie and having to sacrifice a creature to the exploit ability means I can trigger some deaths as well. These are 3 cards that I would like to find space for at least to test out because they seem like they'd find a real good home here. As for Varolz, the Scar-Striped, the last thing I want to do is exile anything from my graveyard, so I'm pretty sure I won't add it to the deck at any point.
Some other things that I didn't mention in my previous post is that although this deck has some alternate win-cons, I either haven't had to use them or simply haven't been able to set them up. One of them being the Mind Over Matter + Temple Bell combo. The second these two cards are in play it's basically game over. This win-con is more or less for those seemingly stalemate games when you can't attack all out or something's got you stuck (like stax, tax, or control opponents). However, given the types of opponents I usually wait for the aggro players to take care of the control players first. Aggro knows that if control is left unchecked for too long it's gonna be a long and slow victory for the control guy. Being midrange gives me the flexibility of possibly surviving in an aggro environment or pulling the win out of nowhere in a control environment. However, since the win-con rarely ever occurs (not for lack of trying but simply because it doesn't happen that often, given the odds of 2/99 cards in the deck) I may test including Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord and Grimgrin, Corpse-Born in lieu of Mind Over Matter and Temple Bell. Though Mind Over Matter is a pain to cast, it does provide a discard outlet while providing a tap or untap action all in one motion. This is extremely useful in this deck. I'll ponder this further...
I also wanted to discuss an alternate win-con that I had forgotten that I have procured a lot of wins with: Gempalm Polluter. When I'm able to get a ridiculous amount of zombies in play - even if I can't attack, I can just cycle Gempalm Polluter and return it to my hand with Phyrexian Reclamation and do it again. This card has been able to help me pull the win out from seemingly out of nowhere many times over.
Oh, I've been running Sidisi UV in the 99 and he's good indeed. Great sac-and-recur target.
You'd think Varolz would be contrary to the purpose, but I find in practice that I'm milling far more dudes into the graveyard than I can reanimate, so being able to get a second use some of the utility chaff creatures from early game is a plus. Let's face it, re-animating a 2-drop mill dork isn't going to change anything on turn 15 anyway, but an extra +1 counter on Sidisi means I can keep attacking with him.
I still haven't acquired Life From the Loam but it's on my buy list. In the meantime, I'm sticking with "creatures good" so I'm running Tilling Treefolk - Another zombie token from a Sidisi flop and almost as easy to recur as LftL. Also run Burnished Hart for yet another zombie-generating body that can be sacced and recurred to grab more land.
Currently, my build runs 40 land and 36 creatures, and I still end up milling everything but creatures with Sidisi. I'm thinking of running Crystal Ball just for some topdeck fixing before swinging Sidisi.
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