The release of the Amonkhet set is now imminent, the spoilers are out in the wild already meaning it’s time to start thinking builds and combos based on the new cards. Whilst it can be a little daunting to build a deck without it being live, there can be no interplay with others for minor tweaking or evaluation of the new meta, some pre-release build ideas and combos are ideal for building excitement and bedding in the new keywords.
As always these are just some of the ideas I feel work best or adaptations found by other users suited more to my play style, feel free to leave any comments you feel would improve these. Do remember these are first drafts to just get a feel for the new cards.
New Cards, New Style!
With the introduction of this new set is a whole host of keyword abilities that work around the theme of Gods, the living and the dead. The dead are breathed new life (excuse the pun) in Amonkeht with Embalm, an ability which is activated when the card is in the graveyard which will bring them back to life as a zombie.
Looking at the living, we have Exert, where the card makes full use of being alive. Exert allows your creature to put in that extra bit of effort for an extra bonus, the downside being that the card won’t untap on your next turn, extra effort is tiring after all!
Finally, Aftermath brings back the fantastic split cards, with a whole new twist. The card is effectively two in one, which lets instants and sorceries in on the graveyard party with a new twist on split cards. For instance, here you play Destined and it resolves in the usual way and ends in the graveyard like any other instant.
Then, from the graveyard you can play Lead, which again resolves in the usual way and becomes exiled. What’s useful is you can play both the same turn, or space them out depending on how you want to play it. What I particualrly like is the 90 degree orientation, which means that you can have the castable half poking out waiting for you to play it.
With the introduction of Amonkhet it looks like a mono-black zombie deck may be creeping its way back into play, it will likely be something seen more frequently in standard play going forward.
- 4 Cryptbreaker
- 4 Diregraf Colossus
- 4 Doomed Dissenter
- 4 Dread Wanderer
- 4 Fatal Push
- 4 Grasp of Darkness
- 1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
- 4 Lord of the Accursed
- 4 Metallic Mimic
- 4 Relentless Dead
- 23 Swamp
Now, I appreciate there’s nothing particularly jaw-droppingly amazing about the above deck but it’s a solid curve, with some removal and a good build of power. Cryptbreaker is discarding your cards and filling the graveyard with Zombies, Diregraf Colossus then feeds on these to buff it up and then to buff your ranks you can return Dread Wanderer to the game, even if Cryptbreaker sent him to the graveyard, finally Lord of The Accursed is there to buff any Zombies you own in play.
If Mono-Black is not your thing, it’s easy to move from this deck to a more uB (Minor Blue-Black) Zombies deck, swapping out the Doomed Dissenter for Prized Amalgram and Gisa and Geralf for example.
With Amonkhet there’s now potential for some great pure beat down decks with some aggressive haste creatures and vicious curve without worrying about having to build a multi-colour mana base.
- 4 Bomat Courier
- 4 Flameblade Adept
- 4 Furyblade Vampire
- 3 Hazoret the Fervent
- 4 Incorrigible Youths
- 4 Insolent Neonate
- 2 Ravenous Bloodseeker
- 2 Stromkirk Occultist
- 2 Avacyn’s Judgment
- 4 Fiery Temper
- 2 Incendiary Flow
- 2 Lightning Axe
- 3 Looming Spires
- 20 Mountain
This deck tries to play on existing red synergy cards with a couple of new cards from Amonkhet that work well here. Hazoret is going to be at its best in a deck that can dump its hand quickly, and landing the god as a creature on turn four is pretty great. Beyond that, Hazoret the Fervent is a way to deal those last couple points of damage. It is going to be crazy good in this type of deck, so players will have to try to play more removal that exiles creatures. Gods have a high ceiling, because they take a little work to turn into a creature, but the indestructibility makes them difficult to remove from play. A four-mana, five-power creature with haste and indestructibility is a force to be reckoned with. This is the type of card that works well with cheap spells. You you can cast them early and play Hazoret the Fervent at the top of the curve when your hand doesn’t have much left in it. Hazoret also works well as a way to discard cards at will to make sure your hand size is low.
The other new card here is Flameblade Adept, which also happens to work great alongside discard cards! This creature can be pumped up a significant amount in a single turn alongside a card like Ravenous Bloodseeker. The other factor is that Flameblade Adept is a one-mana spell, which works alongside the concept of having lots of cheap spells with Hazoret as a top end. It is possible you could add some of the cycle lands, like Smoldering Crater to this deck as another way to pump Flameblade Adept.
This is just a brief look at a few potential decks using the new cards from Amonkhet. What did you think of these decks and what are you excited to be building over the next few weeks?