Zombie Aristocrats

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The letter I!'ve been getting some requests lately for more Varolz, the Scar-Striped decks, which is fair, since I did say it was the card I was most excited to build with from Dragon's Maze, and today I've decided to share a deck of my own.

I've been playing a lot with Junk (BGW) "aristocrats," which breaks up the aristocratic pair of Cartel Aristocrat and Falkenrath Aristocrat and replaces Falkenrath Aristocrat with Varolz, the Scar-Striped.

Well, I thought, if the idea is that I need seven or eight creatures that let me sacrifice others, what happens if I keep Falkenrath Aristocrat and cut Cartel Aristocrat, while adding Varolz, the Scar-Striped? After all, most of the creatures I want to sacrifice are cheap, so the curve could work better if my expensive cards are the ones I'm sacrificing my cheap cards to.

I lose Lingering Souls if I cut white but, lately, I haven't been that attached to it anyway. Losing Doomed Traveler hurts, but it's still worth considering.

I started with Arbor Elf, Young Wolf, and Strangleroot Geist as my core cheap creatures, but I wanted another cheap creature I'd like to sacrifice, which brought me to Gravecrawler, which brought me to wanting more Zombies, which brought me to Geralf's Messenger, and without Twilight Mire, I really couldn't play Arbor Elf, Strangleroot Geist, and Geralf's Messenger comfortably.

The final product ended up with a conservative splash of a single Thrull Parasite, a card that could easily overperform, since its remove-counter ability works with both Young Wolf and Geralf's Messenger. Originally, I skimped on Blood Artist, but with sacrifice outlets and Gravecrawler, I just had to max out on it.

I expect this alternative to BGW to fare far better against control and far worse against aggro, so it's really a metagame call, but there could easily be a time and a place for this direction, and the sideboard offers a lot of cheap removal for opposing aggressive strategies.

Sam Black
Sam Black
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Sam Black is a Platinum Pro Player and longtime writer for StarCityGames.com. He is a respected deck builder and took over Daily Decks for the first half of 2013. If you have an original deck you'd like to see featured, email him with the link above.

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