How I won the first Realm Invitational Championship

How I won the first Realm Invitational Championship

As I drove to the tournament, I was relaxed at the prospect of eating pizza and hanging out with friends. I had no expectation of winning and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t run hot. My draft deck (which is below) overperformed above even my wildest dreams for it.

2 Aven Wind Mage
1 Aviation Pioneer
1 Child of Night
1 Cinder Barrens
1 Dismissive Pyromancer
1 Dragon Egg
1 Exclusion Mage
2 Fiery Finish
1 Goblin Instigator
1 Highland Lake
2 Inferno Hellion
5 Island
2 Macabre Waltz
2 Manalith
6 Mountain
1 Nicol Bolas, the Ravager
1 Snapping Drake
3 Sparktongue Dragon
1 Submerged Boneyard
4 Swamp
1 Two-Headed Zombie

I pulled nicol bolas in my first pack and decided I was going to just roll with value creatures and try to out midrange my opponents. In the end this strategy worked well for me as I 3-0’d the draft section.

Moving into the standard portion, I felt alright about my chances to top 8 solely from my draft performance. I went 2-0-1, id’ing the last round before the top 8. I felt the deck did very well, but I do have changes I would make going forward.

Here is the decklist

Maindeck (60)

4 Diregraf Ghoul
3 Dread Wanderer
4 Graveyard Marshal
4 Scrapheap Scrounger
4 Death Baron
4 Lord of the Accursed
3 Fatal Push
1 Cast Down
2 Vraska’s Contempt
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1 Arguel’s Blood Fast
4 Liliana’s Mastery
3 Ifnir Deadlands
2 Memorial to Folly
20 Swamp


Sideboard (15)

2 Gonti, Lord of Luxury
4 Duress
1 Bontu’s Last Reckoning
2 Doomfall
2 Vraska’s Contempt
1 Yahenni’s Expertise
2 Aethersphere Harvester
1 Arguel’s Blood Fast

If I were to play this deck again I would make the following changes to the mainboard

-1 fatal push
+1 cast down
-2 swamp
+2 field of ruin

I feel that the deck struggles with revolt for fatal push and cast down helps get rid of problematic creatures early and often. I would add field of ruin as a way to take out azcanta mainly.

And would change the sideboard like

-2 gonti
-1 duress
+2 doomfall
+1 yahenni’s expertise

Doomfall is an amazing card and going forward I would run 4 of in the sb of decks that don’t run counterspells and can support black. It answers big creatures and helps get rid of problematic cards in the opponent’s hand. I would go up an additional yahenni’s expertise in order to help with go wide strategies and mono green (vine mare is a nightmare).

Overall I had a blast playing and both decks did better than I could have hoped for. I think mono black zombies is a decent deck choice for someone looking to play an aggressive-midrange deck that can grind out some value. The one of arguel’s bloodfast in the main won me more games and dug me out of more holes that I care to admit. I feel that it is strong enough to possible warrant a second copy in the main if control is heavy in your current meta.

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