Since I’ve reached Ultimate League awhile ago, I want to share my Super Brainz deck that got me there – Giftymas.
4x Headstone Carver
4x Fire Rooster
4x Lurch for Lunch
4x Regifting Zombie
4x Backyard Bounce
4x Brain Vendor
4x Line Dancing Zombie
4x Pogo Bouncer
4x Mixed-Up Gravedigger
Before I get started, I want to give a big shout-out to TryHard who came up with the deck I based this one off of found here. I knew that Regifting Zombie had a lot of potential, but was struggling to put it work, and TryHard figured it out first. You should go read that guide, because it covers a lot of the basics in excellent ways and there’s no sense in re-inventing the wheel here. Instead, I’m going to talk about my changes, both in playstyle and in cards.
A flaw I found in the original deck is that it doesn’t commit well to a strategy, and instead straddles the line awkwardly between aggro and tempo. This deck runs out of gas too easily to be an effective tempo deck. Another issue I ran into is that while the max hand-size gimmick was great at lower levels, once I crossed 40ish it stopped working basically ever. It also got run over hard by mushroom decks and struggled with tempo decks (especially Grass Knuckles). At the time, however, TryHard was running 4x Headstone Carver, which they have since dropped for 4x Fire Rooster. I kept both cards.
I shifted the deck towards an aggro-mindset and found my win-rate and reliability raise dramatically. This came from both how I was playing the deck and card selection. Your ideal turn-order is going to go something like this:
- Headstone Carver
- Regifting Zombie (Fire Rooster if they play a 1-health plant on Turn 1)
- Electrician (Preferable that you still have one of your 3 strength zombies alive for the bonus attack)
- Pogo Zombie (Pogo zombie MUST live, and ideally you’ve kept 1 other zombie alive)
- Brain Vendor -> Mixed-Up Gravedigger -> Backyard Bounce / Lurch for Lunch
You are playing an aggro deck, and should push to have a hand as close to the above as possible. If you’re playing against an opponent that runs mushrooms, cycle for a Fire Rooster (preferable) or a Line Dancing Zombie. When playing against Rose, replace the Headstone Carver (but play it if you get it), and focus instead on making sure that your T4 and T5 plays are as close to perfect as possible. If your hand is bad, keep Regifting Zombies in the hope that you draw better cards.
Make sure your Pogo Bouncers survive. Getting a second use out of them from the Mixed-Up Gravedigger is a huge swing in the game. They are the best zombie to re-activate with the Gravedigger. Do it every time you can.
A lot of your games will end on turn 5 or 6, thanks to the above rush being incredibly difficult to answer. Bouncing a plant on turn 4 & 5 and spending 8 Brains on turn 5 is such a huge boost that most other decks won’t be able to recover, let alone stabilize. If your opponent is still somehow in the game, you have exceptional finishing power. Look to use some combination of Strikethrough (Line Dancing Zombie), bonus attacks (Lurch for Lunch and Electrician), and bounce (Pogo Zombie and Backyard Bounce).
Now with those basics in mind, let’s go over the card changes I’ve made. As a nice bonus, my changes remove 4 Super Rares and 2 Rares, replacing them with 6 Commons. This converts the deck into an excellent new player-friendly deck.
This is going to be the most controversial change, so I’ll address it first. Simply put, this card has no place in this deck. Which is strange, of course, as Teleport is one of the best cards in the game. More often than not, I would find myself cycling away the Teleports for the card draw and tried to figure out why that was.
For me, it often came down to one of two problems:
1) Teleport is not a card in your ideal hand, nor does it help you with any of your weaknesses. You want to be playing on-curve (in other words, using all your Brains) every turn, especially against your weaker match-ups, and Teleport slows that down.
2) Teleport does not play well with Mixed-Up Gravedigger. Teleport is used to get zombies on the board without the Plant player being able to respond, but the Gravedigger does that automatically anyways and doesn’t trigger anti-Trick effects.
Often times I would run into problems where I’d have every lane filled and wishing it was a Lurch or a Backyard Bounce to go for a kill. Another issue is that you just don’t really have anything scary to teleport in – almost all of your zombies are Gravestones. This gives your opponent an extra turn to block them, which is never good for aggro. Your toughest zombie, Gravedigger, you would rather play normally so your opponent can’t use tricks on your zombies.
-4 Swashbuckler Zombie
I’m sorry, but as much as I love pirate zombies, this guy just doesn’t cut it. He’s too slow to really be an effective aggro card, and is anti-synergistic with the Gravedigger. He trades exceptionally poorly, and is a dead-drop outside the early turns. Leaving him in over-burdens your 2-drops as well.
-2 Zombot Stomp
Almost every time I played this card, another Backyard Bounce would have been just as effective. Furthermore, a 7-cost card in an aggro deck should do a lot more than this.
+4 Headstone Carver
These are kept in to preserve a semblance of a Brains curve. If you’re reading this in the future, this is one of the first cards you should replace, but it should be replaced with another 1-drop. Frankly it only keeps its spot because there isn’t a better 1-drop available, and you have too many 2-drops already. For some reason he draws a lot of removal (more than he should, imo). This opens up the chances of your Electricians and Pogo Bouncers surviving, which is exactly what you want.
+2 Lurch for Lunch
I found this cards was winning me an absurd amount of games (or closing games out a turn or two early, potentially winning me many more). I asked myself why I didn’t play 4 of it instead, and when I couldn’t come up with an answer, fixed it. In an ideal hand, this allows you to make three attacks with the Mixed-Up Gravedigger on Turn 5 (Lurch, Electrician, normal), which is a nice 15 damage burst.
I was desperate at first to find another mid-range drop for this deck that worked well with Gravedigger, and added this one with a bit of reluctance (I actually tried Tomb Raiser and Mad Chemist first). Don’t make that same mistake. Electrician is absurdly excellent in this deck. Not only is it a solid drop by itself (4 damage for 3 brains trades with a lot of threats), but it synergizes excellently with the number of high-power zombies you have, and fires off again when buried by the Gravedigger.
TryHard mentioned that you should play Brain Vendor pretty much whenever you can. I strongly disagree – instead, pair the Vendor with the Gravedigger whenever you can, and never play the Vendor otherwise unless you’re nearing death.
Keep Pogo Bouncers alive. It’s worth mentioning twice.
Whenever you have all of your lanes filled with zombies, consider letting one of them die. Opening up a lane to drop a Mixed-Up Gravedigger on the next turn is almost always worth it.
Taking damage is great, because it gives you more cards to win with, and with your Fire Rooster & Line Dancing Zombie, it is rare that a plant hero can effectively rush you down.
And that wraps up my Super Brainz deck, Giftymas. What did you think? Are there cards are should run instead? Have you tried something similar?