RDW vs Zombies

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Ok guys, I've met my match and it's Zombies.

Before I go spend tons of money on cards I don't need, would like to hear your tips (since I'm sure this has all been discussed before already)

My deck:

22 Mountains 

1 Stonewright 
2 Grim Lavamancer
4 Goblin Fireslinger
2 Heirs of Stromkirk
4 Stormblood Berserker
1 Hellrider


4 Galvanic Blast
4 Pillar of Flame
4 Brimstone Volley
2 Devil's Play
1 Act of Treason
2 Arc trail
4 Incinerate

1 Ratchet Bomb
1 Shrine of Burning Rage
1 Nihil Spellbomb
There's an entire thread on RDW in the Tier 1 section which you might find helpful.  It's relatively active at the moment. 

I think Stonewright and Heirs of Stromkirk are pretty awful.  Brimstone Volley is also a hair meh.  I can see like one if you want to try it, but any playset of cards needs to be vital to your gameplan.  A three mana burn spell isn't always so great.

I'd probably run 4 Arc Trail.  A couple Gut Shot wouldn't hurt.  You absolutely HAVE to run 4 Shrines.  You have to.  Galvanic Blast can go for the rest of those.  You can easily cut Spellbomb and Ratchet Bomb also.

I'd replace Devil's Play with Red Sun's Zenith if you're going for fireball effects.  At least it exiles undying guys, and you'll rarely be able to pay relevant flashback on the Devil's Play.

catowner wrote:
Welcome to 2012. Blue has the most efficient creatures, black has the all-in monocolored aggro deck, the most controlling deck in the format is green-red, control decks lose to aggro in attrition wars, and counterspells aren't an answer to fatties.
Islands wrote:
Pack Rat is like Bitterblossom and Tarmogoyf had a black baby.
Thanks for the tips. I didn't know about Red Sun's Zenith, definitely worth getting as a replacement, considering my opponent often plays an instant that makes creature undying until end of turn (this way they exile instead). 
Devil's Play is vastly superior to Zenith. Keep it. However, you do need 4 Shrine, and 2-3 Arc Trail. Two Gut Shot are pretty typical. 4 Stromkirk Noble are absolutely huge for RDW, and are a must-have. As The_Mirror_Owl mentioned, Stonewright and Heirs of Stromkirk are pretty bad - I'd cut the Heirs for Koth, Hero of Oxid Ridge, more Hellrider, or Archwing Dragon. You should definitely have 4 Pillar of Flame - killer against Undying. Also, in the board, Bonfire of the Damned is pretty nice. 

For burn, typically 3 Volt Charge and 2 Brimstone Volley is the way to go. The Charge can pump your Noble, Berserker, Koth or Shrine, while not being bad in itself.

 

Decks
Standard: Mage-Blade EDH: Rafiq of the Many
Does Red have any current enchantment killers? I keep getting hit with a -1/-1 to all my creatures enchantment.
^Alas, no. 

I'm not even that much of a fan of Koth these days.  Spirits can chump a mountain and then fly on over to beat up on Koth.

Respectfully disagree on Zenith vs. Devil's Play.  Twenty two lands is not a lot to pay X + triple red.  I'd still rather exile things, especially since the OP is talking about a Zombies matchup.  Also RG aggro just took the recent SCG Open, for what it's worth.

Also, Archwing Dragon..?  Broken Record Man reiterates that Lingering Souls is a thing.  I could see Hellrider if you want a four drop.

catowner wrote:
Welcome to 2012. Blue has the most efficient creatures, black has the all-in monocolored aggro deck, the most controlling deck in the format is green-red, control decks lose to aggro in attrition wars, and counterspells aren't an answer to fatties.
Islands wrote:
Pack Rat is like Bitterblossom and Tarmogoyf had a black baby.
Could you link to the RG aggro deck? I'm bad at finding these things. I'm gonna go for some Ancient Grudge, Stromkirk nobles, shrine of burning rage, arc trails and then a couple others, see how that goes.
I run a single Naturalize in the board of my RDW list specifically for dealing with annoying enchantments. If you are already splashing green for flashback on Ancient Grudge and Kessig Wolf Run then I would say it is probably worth it.

There are a lot of annoying enchantments out there right now. Honor of the Pure, Intangible Virtue, Curse of Death's Hold, Angelic Destiny, Oblivion Ring.

I expect to see some Favorable Winds showing up in some Delver lists as well.
"I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am a God."
^Alas, no. 

I'm not even that much of a fan of Koth these days.  Spirits can chump a mountain and then fly on over to beat up on Koth.

Respectfully disagree on Zenith vs. Devil's Play.  Twenty two lands is not a lot to pay X + triple red.  I'd still rather exile things, especially since the OP is talking about a Zombies matchup.  Also RG aggro just took the recent SCG Open, for what it's worth.

Also, Archwing Dragon..?  Broken Record Man reiterates that Lingering Souls is a thing.  I could see Hellrider if you want a four drop.



Archwing is the very, very cheap alternative four drop. Koth is still very good, he's just boarded out in matchups with Lingering Souls. While Souls is very good, it isn't in every, or even a majority of decks. Koth is incredibly good in control matchups, and is good versus typical aggro decks. 

You shouldn't be using an X-spell as creature kill, not unless the creature is very large. As I mentioned, Pillar of Flame trounces Gravecrawler and Messenger, which should be all the exiling you need. You can also board in Spellbomb to exile the creature once it hits the graveyard. The X-spell should be a win condition when the board is at a standstill. Devil's Play is better because it has two uses in that case.

Decks
Standard: Mage-Blade EDH: Rafiq of the Many


Archwing is the very, very cheap alternative four drop. Koth is still very good, he's just boarded out in matchups with Lingering Souls. While Souls is very good, it isn't in every, or even a majority of decks. Koth is incredibly good in control matchups, and is good versus typical aggro decks. 

You shouldn't be using an X-spell as creature kill, not unless the creature is very large. As I mentioned, Pillar of Flame trounces Gravecrawler and Messenger, which should be all the exiling you need. You can also board in Spellbomb to exile the creature once it hits the graveyard. The X-spell should be a win condition when the board is at a standstill. Devil's Play is better because it has two uses in that case.


That's a narrow statement.  It's like saying GSZ should never be used to tutor for Birds or Slimes.  Sometimes it's the correct play, and the beauty of the Zeniths is versatility.  If somebody rammed down a Geralf's Messenger and you had RSZ in hand, would you really not cast it? 

They have eight guys that don't die.  You have four exiling spells.  You can't perpetually attack into guys that trade and don't die, and you can't keep spending burn spells on guys that don't die.  Zombies is much more resilient than RDW because half their stuff keeps coming back.  Denying them that by exiling their recurring guys is important.  RSZ is good.  You still get the Fireball kill if you want it, and you can cleanly deal with otherwise gross things.  Versatility.  It wins games.

Archwing is very, very cheap because it's not good.  It's an alternative to Hellrider in about the same way that Wingcrafter is an alternative to Delver.  Also, Hellrider costs like five bucks.  RDW is already budget.

catowner wrote:
Welcome to 2012. Blue has the most efficient creatures, black has the all-in monocolored aggro deck, the most controlling deck in the format is green-red, control decks lose to aggro in attrition wars, and counterspells aren't an answer to fatties.
Islands wrote:
Pack Rat is like Bitterblossom and Tarmogoyf had a black baby.
Versatility is good, but personally, I'd rather be able to cast the spell twice. Even if you DO have to use it on a creature, Devil's Play can still be used twice. 

Archwing was discussed as an ultra-budget alternative. I never said it was good, just that it was a possibility. 

Decks
Standard: Mage-Blade EDH: Rafiq of the Many
How often will you ever get enough mana to flashback Devil's Play though? I can't honestly answer that since I have never tested with it in my build, but I am relatively certain the answer is "almost never"

Devil's Play becomes horribly horribly inefficient once it hits the yard. 4 mana for 1 damage? 5 mana for 2 damage, 6 mana for 3 damage.

Not exactly what a deck running ~22 lands is really looking for. I wont say that it will NEVER be relevant, as I could see it being useful in a very drawn out game against a Control deck or something. I just think the vast majority of the time the flashback aspect can be overlooked in the context of RDW, since they will likely never get enough mana to be able to use the flashback. If they do, they will likely only have the mana to do 2 or 3 damage out of it.

That is not too completely terrible, as damage without spending a card is still damage without spending a card. I still think I prefer the flexibility of Red Sun's Zenith myself though.
"I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night. Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am a God."
In my RDW, I don't run any X-spells. Personally, a lot of small burn (Arc Trail, Pillar of Flame, Grim Lavamancer, Volley and Volt Charge) outclasses the X-spells. However, I have played Devil's Play and Zenith in the past, and at that time, I preferred the Devil's Play. I do see the benefits of Zenith, but I believe being able to cast it twice is better.

It is entirely up to the pilot of the deck. The OP has seen arguments for both Zenith and Devil's Play, so it truly is up to him. 

Decks
Standard: Mage-Blade EDH: Rafiq of the Many