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Tribal Decks for Fun and Profit


Hello everyone. As a player who bounces between being a competitive player and a more casual player, I waiver back and forth between looking for the best decks in the format and just looking for some fun decks to play. This week I have a few tribal decks that you can play, which can also be both competitive and casual. Let's get started.

Dimir Zombies

We get started with a deck featuring Zombies. This deck is great for beginning players or players on a limited budget, as it features no rare cards. Let's take a look at the deck.

Narfi, Betrayer King
Since every creature in this deck is a Zombie (or in the case of Doomed Dissenter, will become a Zombie), it should come as no surprise that this deck has many ways to increase the power and toughness of your other Zombie creatures. First, you have a playset of Bladestitched Skaab. This Zombie Soldier will boost the power of all of your other Zombies by one. Next, we have Narfi, Betrayer King. With him on the battlefield, your other Zombies will get a +1/+1 bonus. Finally, Crawl from the Cellar give you the means to return creatures from your graveyard to your hand, plus it will put a +1/+1 counter on a Zombie you have in play. It also has flashback, allowing you to play it again from your graveyard.

In order to take advantage of all of these bonuses, you'll want to make sure you have a battlefield full of Zombie creatures. The majority of the creatures in this deck have a mana value of two or less, which allows you to cast multiple creatures each turn. You also have Skull Skaab who creates a 2/2 Zombie creature token whenever a creature you control exploits a nontoken creature. Since both Skull Skaab and Fell Stinger have exploit abilities, you can potentially create a fair amount of Zombie tokens. Doing this with a copy of Ghoulish Procession on the battlefield will help you create even more 2/2 Zombie tokens, but the ones created by Ghoulish Procession will have decayed, making them unable to block.

You can also create a 2/2 Zombie token with decayed when you attempt to counter an opponent's spell with Flip the Switch. You'll get the Zombie token regardless of whether your opponent pays the extra four mana or not, so consider this a Zombie creating spell first, and a counterspell as a bonus effect. Eaten Alive is the final card I want to look at, because it is a terrific removal spell, able to exile a creature or planeswalker. To do this, you'll need to sacrifice a creature or pay additional mana. This offers you another chance to utilize the Zombie-creating ability of Ghoulish Procession.

Mardu Vampires

Next, we have a Mardu deck featuring the Vampire tribe. Let's see if this deck sucks, or if it can take a bite out of our opponent.

Edgar, Charmed Groom // Edgar Markov's Coffin

Once again, this tribal deck only includes creatures that are Vampires. In this deck, there a few ways to pump up your creatures. The most obvious is by having a copy of Edgar, Charmed Groom // Edgar Markov's Coffin on the battlefield. This will give a +1/+1 bonus to each of your other Vampires. You can also give a +1/+0 bonus to most of your creatures with the activated ability of Henrika Domnathi // Henrika, Infernal Seer. Finally, Westgate Regent is able to grow stronger with every point of combat damage he inflicts directly to your opponent. By growing your creatures bigger with these abilities, you'll be able to prevail over your opponents.

However, there will be times that your opponent is able to outlast you. You might find a number of your Vampires have been defeated and are residing in your graveyard. Fear not, because you can send those Vampires on a Haunting Voyage, returning all of them from your graveyard back to the battlefield. Doing this will take some time and preparation; you'll have to be patient as you exile Haunting Voyage so that it can be cast on a future turn with its foretell cost. But the payoff for doing this should be worth it, giving you a full battlefield of Vampires that you can send in for a massive alpha strike.

Alternatively, you might want to try beating your opponent with their own cards. You can do this with the help of Evelyn, the Covetous. Evelyn will allow you to exile the top card of your opponent's library when she enters play. You will also do this when other Vampires enter the battlefield while Evelyn is in play. Then, once each turn, you can play one of those exiled cards by spending mana of any color to cast it. Your opponents will know the fear of being beaten by their own creature, or having their spell countered by their own counterspell. Beating your opponent with their own deck makes for a sweet victory.

Rakdos Demons

The final deck I have for you this week features Demons, a tribe that is not one of the usual tribes built in Standard. Let's check it out.

Orcus, Prince of Undeath
This deck doesn't play like your usual tribal deck. For one thing, there's no 'lord' that will pump up your other Demons. This deck also doesn't have a ton of synergy when there are multiple Demons in play. Each Demon will do its own thing, regardless of what the other Demons are doing. But that's exactly what I would expect from a Demon. Demons aren't going to be team players. They each have their own agenda, and will do what they feel needs to be done in order to finish the job. That's what makes this tribal deck so unique.

Even though they don't offer a ton of synergy, there is some amount of cooperation happening with these Demons. Dream Devourer, for example, has an ability that allows you to foretell each nonland card in your hand. Doing this provides a +2/+0 bonus to Dream Devourer for the turn, plus it reduces the cost of the card that was foretold by 2 mana, making it easier to cast your Demon spells. You can also use Burning-Rune Demon to search out other Demons to put into your hand or graveyard.

Orcus, Prince of Undeath offers you a way of returning creatures from your graveyard back to the battlefield. Since most of the Demons in this deck are a little costly, you're more likely to bring back some of the supporting members of the team (Shambling Ghast or Kalain, Reclusive Painter), but it is possible to return a Demon with Orcus's ability. Kardur's Vicious Return provides you with an additional way to return any creature from your graveyard to the battlefield with a bonus +1/+1 counter on it. Both of these cards give you a bit of unpredictability, making it difficult for your opponent to remove your threats permanently.

Wrapping Up

Tribal decks can be both fun and competitive. They're some of my favorite decks to play because they can fit into both casual and competitive scenes.

What do you think of these decks? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Also, feel free to share this article with your friends anywhere on social media. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in Standard. I'll see you then!

-Mike Likes

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