Every once in a while I'm just so excited about a deck that I don't know where to begin with explanations. Today's one of those times, featuring what appears to be a regular Rank 4 Zombie build with a few techs. In reality though, the Necroface Zone strategy plays unlike anything else: it streamlines Rank 4's with looping potential, gets a free Monster Reborn from the removed zone every turn, and it's ridiculously consistent.

I've wanted to play this deck ever since I saw it at the Garden City Regional a month ago, and I'm proud to say I've finally recreated it and – I feel – exceeded the expectations of the original. Let's check it out:

DECKID=100168Nope, you're not reading that wrong: there's definitely three Lavalval Chains and three Number 101: Silent Honor ARKs here. One of my favorite aspects of the Zombie type is how easily Zombies loop Xyz Monsters. What do I mean by loop?

Well, you can make Lavalval Chain to pitch either a Mezuki or Blue-Blooded Oni to the graveyard (whichever one isn't in there already), and then just revive the Blue-Blooded Oni with Mezuki. From there you can detach Lavalval Chain's second material, bringing it back to the field and making another Rank 4. You can kind of just do that indefinitely, or at least as many times as you have Mezukis. The best part? You can totally loop ARK, too, ripping through entire fields of Special Summoned monsters.

They Just Won't Stay Dead
All of your basic Zombies do one of two things: replace themselves when destroyed or revive other Zombies. Goblin Zombie and Pyramid Turtle replace themselves. Goblin Zombie has easier requirements, only needing to be destroyed but not necessarily destroyed by battle, while Pyramid Turtle's more specific but searches a wide range of monsters. From the revival category, Zombie Master brings back anything from your graveyard as long as you discard another monster, and Mezuki brings stuff back after it's dead and buried.

…but you probably knew all that. Zombies have been around for a while now, and several writers here on TCGPlayer have profiled different decks featuring a suite of undead minions. But there are a couple cards here that are going to drastically swerve how this version plays as opposed to more conventional regular builds – namely Necroface, Chaos Zone, and Shutendoji.

There weren't many changes on the latest Forbidden and Limited List, but one of the smaller edits was the shifting of Necroface to Semi-Limited. Most people glazed over that – myself included – but it was a blessing in disguise because that single change made this entire deck possible. Necroface has two effects, one which banishes cards and one which, uh, un-banishes cards. Whenever Necroface is banished you're forced to remove the top five cards of both players' decks from the game. That's actually what got Necroface Limited in the first place: if you got multiple Necrofaces going you could continually banish cards and, among many other things, you could gain a near-infinite number of Life Points with Soul Absorption.

Shutendoji's your main Necroface banish outlet. You simply remove any two Zombies from your graveyard to draw a card, and afterwards five cards will be banished from both players' decks. We're running a full set of Shutendoji because you really want to hit your combos sooner rather than later. Goblin Zombie doesn't directly search for Necroface, so you often have to grab Pyramid Turtle or a Zombie Master to go into Lavalval Chain. With most of your efforts focused on getting to Necroface it just makes sense to run three of your main banish outlet.

You might be asking yourself how banishing Necroface is useful. Sure, it totally annoys your opponent, and, yes, you technically can backwards topdeck banished cards with Shutendoji, but neither of those abilities are worth forming a strategy around. The kicker?

Freaking Chaos Zone, the forgotten Field Spell from two years ago.

In The Zone
Chaos Zone isn't technically the main focus of the deck, but you can think of it as the oil between the gears. It doesn't directly fuel combos, but it extends them and makes a lot of what you'd regularly be doing much, much more valuable. It has a lot of text, but in short all it does is get a counter every time a monster's banished. Even if you banish five monsters at the same time you'll get a counter for every one individually. From there, once per turn you can remove enough counters equal to the Level of a banished monster to immediately Special Summon it.

Wow.

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Basically, resolve a Shutendoji and Necroface combo while Chaos Zone's face-up and you have at least two free Monster Reborns from the removed zone. Shutendoji meets half the counters for Level 4's, meaning you only have to hit two monsters with Necroface's effect. To be completely honest, it's almost impossible not to get Chaos Zone up to a ridiculous number of counters. You already had looping capability with your regular lineup of Zombies, and throwing Chaos Zone in the mix only makes things even crazier.

For example, you can banish Mezuki to revive something, and then bring back the Mezuki with Chaos Zone. After you make a Rank 4 you can banish the same Mezuki a second time and go into another Rank 4 with Zombie Master. That essentially means that if you have one monster card in hand with Zombie Master and Mezuki in the graveyard you can churn out two Rank 4's every freaking turn.

Of course, Necroface isn't the only way to build up counters. Allure of Darkness, Mezuki, Book of Life, Bottomless Trap Hole, and Gold Sarcophagus all banish stuff. That last one – Gold Sarcophagus – can actually banish Necroface straight from your deck, often leading to OTK's earlier than expected and with very little setup. The first four won't necessarily put four counters on Chaos Zone, but they're good ways of stockpiling counters while you wait to trigger a Necroface or two.

As for the late game, sometimes you'll need to refill you graveyard. That's where Burial from a Different Dimension and Miracle Dig – aka knock-off Burial from a Different Dimension – really come in handy. Both of them recharge your graveyard with Mezukis and Zombie Masters galore. Miracle Dig's hefty prerequisite of five banished monsters would be a problem in other strategies, but it really doesn't matter here considering the sheer volume of cards this strategy banishes. Both spells can result in potential late game blowouts, something a lot of your opponent's won't see coming.

There's been a lot of Zombie decks lately on TCGplayer. Both Zach Buckley and I wrote about Dragonecro Nethersoul Dragon, a brand new Dragon-type that brings about a ton of new Zombie variants. Do you like today's deck? Do you have an undying hatred towards it that you want to release? Do you think Necroface is the most beautiful creature you've ever laid eyes on? Let me know in the Comment section below!

-Doug Zeeff

Article Aftermath #47