ome six months ago or so, the Standard metagame had a lot of different players in it. For starters, Avacyn Restored had just hit shelves and Magic 2013 had yet to enter anyone's mind. But outside of a core set, the card pool has remained relatively stable, which would lead you to believe the metagame was similar. It wasn't, though. In the natural adaptation of people, certain decks will always rise and fall without any pressure from rotation or bannings. This is the balance that is created with this metagame that we have talked about a few times here on Daily Decks.
One of the solid decks in that metagame was a Black-Red Zombies list using the newly printed Blood Artist in a Zombie shell, with the big addition being Falkenrath Aristocrat. The deck had a flier big enough to take down Restoration Angel and a clock fast enough to race just about anything. As the format shifted, though, and decks like Pod got bigger, there were too many main-deck problems for Zombies and it faded away. Stephen Hink recognized that Pod has dropped off a bit in popularity, though, and decided now would be a good time to unearth the undead.
En route to his victory at the StarCityGames Open in Minneapolis this past weekend, Stephen even got to add a few new additions to the deck. Flames of the Firebrand is the notable one, replacing Arc Trail from before and also moving to the main deck. Stephen's list has an emphasis on one-drops and actually doesn't even play a two-drop with any power. Mortarpod and Blood Artist are both fantastic cards, but hardly the pressure makers on turn two. If Stephen happens to stumble, his late game of Sign in Bloods, Blood Artists, and Falkenrath Aristocrats can still win some games for him, making this a little more robust of an aggro option.
Stephan Hink's Black-Red Zombies
Standard – Winner, StarCityGames Open, Minneapolis