Historic Zombies by Eliott_dragon
Mono-Black Zombies was one of my all-time favorite tribal decks back when it was Standard legal in the days of Shadows over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon. I’ve long wanted to revisit it in Historic, and there’s never been a better time than now. This is a Historic Zombies deck list from early September from streamer Eliott_dragon. Let’s use it as a template to walk through some of the card choices, and possible changes.
For my money, Dark Salvation is the single biggest appeal of the Zombie tribe. This card represents a threat, a removal spell, card advantage and tempo advantage all rolled into one. You can cast it for three or five mana to make tokens and kill an opposing creature. Alternatively, you can cast it for one mana on a key turn where you need to double-spell in order to catch up or press an advantage.
Dark Salvation only became available with Jumpstart: Historic Horizons, and was a key piece that Zombies had been missing.
In case you’ve never seen the Zombie deck in action, Cryptbreaker, Diregraf Colossus and Liliana’s Mastery are among the key cards. Colossus and Mastery add a massive amount of power and toughness to the battlefield, while Cryptbreaker provides valuable card advantage and consistency to the archetype.
Even more recently, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt brought new weapons for Mono-Black Zombies. I think Champion of the Perished is a slam-dunk four-of, while Tainted Adversary is also a highly appealing option.
Circling back to Eliott_dragon’s original deck list, he had built in a small sacrifice theme including three copies of Phyrexian Tower and cards like Shambling Ghast. While I think this was genius deckbuilding at the time, I think it’s now possible to cut into this package in favor of some raw power level upgrades like Champion of the Perished.
I’m a big fan of creaturelands and generating value from a mana base, so I’d also be looking at swapping the third Phyrexian Tower for a fourth copy of Hive of the Eye Tyrant. It also wouldn’t cost much to swap in Snow-Covered Swamps and play some number of Faceless Havens (perhaps not the full four, since the colored mana requirements are pretty steep). Even going up to 26 lands could be an option.
All told, I think Zombies is a very strong tribe for Historic, and has picked up major upgrades over the last few months. I’m excited to see what it can do.