Standard Dimir Zombies Deck Guide: A New Flavor of Aggro

Necroduality Art by Billy Christian
Necroduality Art by Billy Christian

Today, I’ll be going over Standard’s latest viable tribe, Dimir Zombies! Arguably the deck that gained the most from vampire-centric Innistrad: Crimson Vow, Zombies can play a powerful early and late-game thanks to some help from its new additions.

dimir zombies
36.7% global win rate
0.28% metagame share
Powered by
worst against
vs izzet turns
44.4% win rate
9 tracked matches
vs izzet dragons ️
33.3% win rate
9 tracked matches
vs mono-green aggro
8.3% win rate
12 tracked matches
Dimir Zombies by Omrithopter
by DoggertQBones
Standard
Tribal
best of 3
2 mythic
36 rare
18 uncommon
4 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (2)
2
Malakir Rebirth
$4.58
Sorceries (1)
Enchantments (1)
1
Necroduality
$25.99
Lands (22)
5
Island
$1.25
5
Swamp
$1.25
4
Shipwreck Marsh
$47.96
60 Cards
$204.36
Sideboard
2
Negate
$3.58
2
Infernal Grasp
$3.58
3
Duress
$0.75
3
Crippling Fear
$3.87
1
Necroduality
$25.99
15 Cards
$108.75

The core of the deck is centered around exploit, a mechanic that lets you sacrifice creatures for extra value. This is perfect for a deck like this, which is chock full of cheap creatures, tokens, and death triggers. The core of this package is comprised of Skull Skaab, Fell Stinger, and Overcharged Amalgam, with Shambling Ghast, Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia, and Malakir Rebirth ensuring you never run out of fodder.

Skull Skaab is a big payoff for running exploit. With multiples out, you can really go crazy pumping out zombie tokens, and turn one Shambling Ghast two Skull Skaab is one of the strongest starts this deck can have. Keep in mind that you can sacrifice exploit creatures to themselves. This is generally more useful with some of the other exploit creatures in this deck, but if you need an extra counter on your Champion of the Parish, or have other payoffs in play, it can most certainly be worth it to sacrifice your Skull Skaab to itself.

Fell Stinger is another new card from Innistrad: Crimson Vow and provides this deck with a very helpful source of card advantage. With Fell Stinger alone, you get to choose between a Divination or a 3/2 deathtouch, neither of which are bad, and the ceiling is much higher. Fell Stinger combined with Malakir Rebirth can be a four mana draw four, as Fell Stinger can sacrifice itself for Malakir Rebirth, although at the heavy additional cost of six life.

Overcharged Amalgam is the third and last exploit creature in this deck, and doubles as the deck’s top end and interaction. Overcharged Amalgam shines when you’re ahead, and dropping one on turn four or five to counter a wrath often just ends the game.

Every aristocrats package needs some good death triggers, and Headless Rider and Archghoul of Thraben provide exactly that. One or two of these on the battlefield make combat a nightmare for the opponent, and they give this deck an incredible resilience to wraths. Additionally, both trigger off themselves dying, so they are resilient to single-target removal as well.

The rest of the deck is composed of zombies-matter cards, pure and simple. Bladestitched Skaab and Champion of the Perished (RIP Champion of the Parish) both provide a big bang for their buck and the fun-of Necroduality can lead to some really explosive turns in the late game.

SIDEBOARD

  • Duress + Negate: Counterplay against control, and extra insurance against wraths or extra turns

MATCHUPS AND SIDEBOARDING

Overcharged Amalgam Art by Mike Jordana

Disclaimer: While sideboard guides are useful, make sure not to just follow them blindly. Your exact sideboarding should change based on whether you’re on the play or draw, your opponent’s specific list (or your best guess at it), and in game 3, what sideboard cards you’ve seen them bring in.

Mono Green

INOUT
+2 Bloodchief's Thirst-1 Overcharged Amalgam
+2 Infernal Grasp-2 Dungeon Crawler
+2 Crippling Fear-2 Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia
+1 The Meathook Massacre-2 Fell Stinger
+1 Grafted Identity-1 Necroduality

This matchup can be a bit of a struggle, as an early start from a Mono Green opponent can sometimes lead to getting run over. An early Champion of the Perished is a great way to stonewall some big creatures, so try to get it out of range of a fight spell, as that is one of the few ways Mono Green can deal with it.

Mono White

INOUT
+2 Bloodchief's Thirst-1 Overcharged Amalgam
+2 Infernal Grasp-2 Dungeon Crawler
+3 Crippling Fear-2 Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia
+1 The Meathook Massacre-2 Fell Stinger
-1 Necroduality

This matchup is better than Mono Green because board stalls happen more often which this deck often has the upper hand with and wraths out of the sideboard are very high leverage. Keep in mind this deck doesn’t have many answers to fliers, especially in the main deck. and don’t go overboard with self-damage effects. In this matchup, you can often find yourself playing more of a control role, but make sure to keep reevaluating your specific game plan, as this deck can shift gears to become the beatdown very quickly. 

Izzet Turns

INOUT
+3 Duress-1 Necroduality
+2 Negate-2 Shambling Ghast
-2 Fell Stinger

One of the better matchups for this deck, Overcharged Amalgam really pulls its weight here, often countering a key spell and helping deal lethal damage the next turn. A fast clock is very important in this matchup, and post-board keep in mind that foretelling Alrund’s Epiphany is a great way to get around hand-hate, so consider casting your Duresses early. 

Orzhov Value

INOUT
+1 Duress-2 Dungeon Crawler
+2 Negate-2 Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia
+1 Necroduality

Depending on your opponent’s specific list, this matchup can range from not great to above average. Try to avoid letting your Champion of the Perished die to a Shambling Ghast trigger, and make sure to play around Blood on the Snow. Finally, while this deck can grind well into the late game, so can Orzhov, so don’t play too passively. 

Temur Aggro

INOUT
+2 Bloodchief's Thirst-2 Dungeon Crawler
+2 Infernal Grasp-2 Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia
+2 Crippling Fear-3 Fell Stinger
+1 The Meathook Massacre-1 Necroduality
+1 Grafted Identity

Zombies really suffers against an early Goldspan Dragon or Esika's Chariot and this matchup often becomes a straight-up race. Post-board, try to leverage your removal for as much tempo as possible, and especially when on the play, Overcharged Amalgam can be the perfect answer to a tricky permanent, so keep it up whenever possible, but if your opponent doesn’t play anything, don’t be afraid to jam it just as a 3/3 flier, because spending as much mana as possible every turn is especially key against other aggro decks.


TIPS AND TRICKS

Headless Rider Art by E. M. Gist
  • Exploit creatures can sacrifice themselves. I’ve already said this once, but it bears repeating.
  • Keep in mind what triggers off of non-token zombies, and what triggers off tokens too. Archghoul of Thraben will give you a look at the top card off of a decayed zombie dying, but Headless Rider won’t give you a 2/2, and sacrificing a token to exploit, while often a great value play, won’t trigger Skull Skaab.
  • Malakir Rebirth and exploit work together really well, letting you reuse enter the battlefield triggers and death triggers.
  • Keep an eye on your life total, between Malakir Rebirth and Fell Stinger, this deck can sometimes burn itself out, especially if the two are combined.

CONCLUSION

While maybe not quite on the level of Mono White or Izzet Turns in terms of power level, Dimir Zombies still packs quite a punch, and can certainly compete with the top decks.

You can find more of me on Twitter, and on the MTG Arena ladder. That’s it from me, thank you so much for reading, and I wish you nothing but the best Necroduality turns.