This week, for you and due to popular demand, I played a few games online with Blue-Red Zombies, the deck I played at Pro Tour Kaladesh. You'll find most of the explanations behind the cards in the article I wrote about it here.

Since I wrote the article, I made a couple of changes:

The mana base:

Geier Reach Sanitarium looked good on paper. It allowed you to loot when you had nothing going on and find your missing pieces. Over the course of 10 rounds of constructed in Hawaii, plus all the games I played afterwards, I barely ever looted. But I have been missing blue mana and I wanted to have an extra source of blue, so I switched it for an Island.

There's another card that didn't quite convince me 100%: Wretched Gryff. Its main purposes are to use Kozilek's Return from the graveyard and activate a Sanctum of Ugin to fetch an Elder Deep-Fiend. However, having too many Eldrazi in your starting hand was crippling. I wanted to have at least one to have options when I sacrificed a Sanctum and also have a fifth Eldrazi in the deck, but three Gryffs was too many, so I cut down to one.

Against aggressive decks like Red-White Vehicles, drawing and playing a Kozilek's Return buys you enough time to find an Elder Deep-Fiend. There's no need to rush to "flash it back," and that's why the number of Eldrazi was so high in the first place. Since the format isn't aggro only, it's even less necessary to base your whole strategy around Kozilek's Return.

To replace them, and since I wanted the deck to work as smoothly as possible, I added a fourth copy of Tormented Voice and a fourth copy of Fiery Temper.

As for the sideboard, we believed Nahiri's Wrath was a hit card. It's been disappointing at best. I've been trying Ghirapur Orerry that I've seen in Autumn Burchett's sideboard. She used the deck on the Sunday following the PT to Top 8 a Mega Grand Prix Trial. I played it once against Grixis and it was fine, but it doesn't replace the Fevered Visions that are totally busted against control decks.

The deck is hard to play and even though I've played with it more than most, I still make mistakes. The sequencing is very tricky between when to play your Deep-Fiend (upkeep, attack step, end of turn) and when to bring back the Stitches (Stitchwing Skaab or Advanced Stitchwing). Every single land drop is relevant as you need a certain amount of mana (of each color) to do what everything you want to do, but you also need the right number of cards in hand to sequence the reanimation right.

I recorded three of the matches I played in a league which were quite representative of the format: one against Black-Green Delirium, one against Jeskai and one against Red-White Vehicles. As I mentioned in my article, there's no unwinnable matchup and it really depends on your draw and your opponent's draw as you're going to see in the videos.

I'm thinking my games out loud and it might sound confusing at times, especially with a deck with so many little things to think of. I hope you enjoy the videos!

Raph

@hahamoud