You'll have to bear with me, and the incredibly hyperbolic title of this article, because there're exciting things happening underfoot here. It's been less than a month since I last wrote about Zombies but something within the vernacular of this archetype has changed so irrevocably for the better that I just HAD to write on them again. Like most sets before it, Secrets of Eternity is a complete game changer, but this new batch of cards very well may have done more for Zombies than anything else. Ready for another big whack of hyperbole?

Plaguespreader Zombie is now completely obsolete.

Seriously, there isn't much of a reason to run it at this point. Let me offer up my explanation for such a salacious claim: the once and future Zombie-Tuner-King has finally arrived. Secrets of Eternity has brought Unizombie into the fold and with it, Konami has finally modernized this fan favorite strategy.

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Unizombie's a Dark Level 3 Zombie Tuner with 1300 ATK and 0 DEF. It has two effects and both of them are boss. First, you can target one monster on the field, discard a card, and raise its Level by 1. Its second effect, however, is the more groundbreaking of the two. Once per turn you can target a monster on the field, send a Zombie-type monster from your deck to the graveyard, and then increase a monster on the field's Level by 1. The only drawback to this effect is that you can only attack with Zombies for the remainder of the turn. But considered in the grand scheme of this card's implications, forsaking the ability to attack for one turn is hardly a loss.

Make Way For Unizombie…
When you put Unizombie up against Plaguespreader Zombie, there's almost no comparison in my mind. Here's the skinny: Plaugespreader's always a -1 no matter which way you stack it. Sure, you trade a card from your hand to get Plaguespreader onto the field as a sort of 1-for-1 exchange, but then the moment you Synchro Summon with it, Plaguespreader 's banished and the point is completely moot. I mean, what? Are you going to overlay it with, like, another Plaguespreader and go into Gachi Gachi Gantetsu so it returns to your graveyard? Even then you're still taking another sharp -1 to consolidate into the Xyz Summon.

How do you rationalize that sort of thing when you now have Unizombie.

Because let's be honest here: when Plaguespreader Zombie went to Unlimited status, do you know what made it good? Mezuki went to three per deck as well. Plaguespreader Zombie doesn't make Plaguespreader Zombie good… Mezuki does.

Now with Unizombie in the fold, Mezuki finally has a partner that's willing to give just as much as it takes. Since Unizombie grants you the ability to sort of precision-mill your other Zombies to the graveyard, Mezuki's almost always live. Furthermore, the ability to send Mezuki to the graveyard with Unizombie's effect means you can always set yourself up for a play on the following turn. Just as well, Unizombie means that Book of Life – a card that can take some set up before it really gets useful – can be live almost as soon as Turn 2; maybe even Turn 1 depending on your opponent's shenanigans.

For the last nail in Plaguespreader Zombie's coffin, you have to look to Unizombie's stats. It's Dark and Level 4 with 1300 ATK and 0 DEF. It shares three of those four stats with Zombie Master but the only two that matter is the fact that they're both Dark monsters and have 0 DEF. See the picture yet? Finally, finally, finally this deck can put Recurring Nightmare to a killer good use!

If you're a TCGplayer regular, then you already know that Jason is over the moon for this card, and quite frankly, I am too – especially when it presents itself in such an incredibly useful fashion. With only twelve monsters in the Main Deck, you have to have a ton of recursion if you want to stay aggressive, and Recurring Nightmare's now my favorite recursive card. Consider it your mid-to-late game champion: bring back a Zombie Master and Unizombie to your hand; Normal Summon that Zombie Master and use its effect to pitch and revive Unizombie; and then, all of a sudden, you have access to any Level 7 or 8 Synchro Monster in your Extra Deck.

The possibilities that Unizombie brings to the strategy are nearly unprecedented. The only question at this point is how you can be use it?

Building A Better (Uni)Zombie Deck!
As I mentioned, there're only twelve monsters in the build I'm presenting today. If you're familiar with the Zombie theme as a whole, then that number's probably raising a red flag for you because it's considerably lower than any of the standard Zombie decks you might've seen. That said, previous Zombie decks catered to Plaguespreader Zombie and now that it's not as important we can make some big cuts.

First up, Plaguespreader itself is gone. To follow suit, Destiny Hero – Malicious is gone as well. Malicious is just too risky of a card anyway unless you plan on running something like Destiny Draw to mitigate the drawback of, well, drawing Malicious.

All of the cards that were used in an attempt to do what Unizombie does so efficiently now, are also gone. Phoenix Wing Wind Blast is out to pasture now as well as any signs of Lightsworn monsters or Card Trooper; there's no need to blindly mill cards away in this deck anymore. There's only one card in the deck that even comes close to doing something like that here, but the guaranteed payoff it provides is well worth the risk –we'll get to that soon enough. At this point, let's take a look at the build and continue the discussion on the other side.

DECKID=101664Alright, so before we continue the discussion of what's actually here, I want to address some cards that are absent from the deck that I'm sure you're considering to be egregious errors on my part (aside from the whole no Plaguespreader thing, of course). So as for Allure of Darkness and Dragon's Mirror, there're just not enough monsters to justify banishing any of them other than Mezuki.

Speaking of removing from play, despite the fact that the deck is packing triple Hidden Armory, Different Dimension Reincarnation just didn't play out as well in testing as it did in theory. To use Hidden Armory, you're already giving up your Normal Summon – which isn't that big of deal, actually – but then to further ditch another card, which would most likely be a spell or a trap considering the numbers, just to use Reincarnation would be just foolish. The best thing you're getting back is a Mezuki most of the time. Now giving up your Normal Summon in exchange for your opponent's best monster? That's worth the sacrifice.

Finally, where's Beast of the Pharaoh, right? I'm just going to come out and say that, for me, it wasn't as stellar in application as it was in theory. Every monster here has high utility and great effects that all serve a set of common goals. Beast of the Pharaoh's a little prissier than that. It won't work with you, you have to work around it, and it just didn't float my boat. That's where I'm at with those cards. You can take them or leave them.

…What you do have here is a killer refined Zombie deck that does what it does, and does it well. Namely, it's going to shower your opponent with an onslaught of difficult-to-deal-with monsters. Your biggest instigators are hands down, Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons and the-fresh-off-the-printers Yazi, Evil of the Yang Zing. Both are annoying in different but incredibly equal ways. Yazi's a 2600 ATK Level 7 beater that can't be targeted by card effects. Your opponent's just going to have to yard a big man to deal with it. On the other side of that equation is Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons. Beelze just can't die. Your opponent's going to have to struggle to find any way possible to get it off of the field, because they aren't destroying it. Together – and they do often find themselves on the field together – these two Synchros will waste a ton of your opponent's resources before they're removed from the field.

Aside from your two star players, you have an assorted toolbox of Synchro and Xyz monsters that can handle almost anything. The majority of them are Level 8 Synchro Monsters and Rank 4 Xyz, which are both exceptional classes within their respective types. This deck will throw a million different problems at your opponent over and over again until you wear them down to the bone.

Alright, Buck! Where's The Bang!?
I won't lie to you: this one's pushing that $100 budget depending on the week. The deck's jam-packed with incredible cards. However, you have to take into consideration that you're already likely to have a lot of these cards. I'd be shocked if you had to shell out over a hundred bucks to assemble this deck when taking your personal collection into consideration.

But my, oh my, is this deck worth it! It's something fresh and exciting and it's literally as if this old dead wrinkly face was given a lift by, well, TWO old dead wrinkly faces.

You know what I mean, okay. Just check the deck out.

-Zach Buckley
Team Nofatchx