Building on a Budget: Zombie World


Zombie Horde was a great structure deck because of how fun the mirror match was. After all, the entire deck's strategy was interacting with the opponent's cards, and playing Zombie World in Constructed lets you do just that. Since it's a structure-based strategy, it also won't break the bank.

zombie world

The Cornerstone

Most people refer through one of its signature cards, Zombie World. Its first effect prevents players from tribute summoning anything that's not a zombie, which means that Qliphort and True Draco players are kindly requested to leave and Monarch players will have to dig for their Erebus the Underworld Monarch to remove it from the field.

That effect is rarely relevant these days. It's a nice bonus, but the real effect is that all monsters on the field become zombies! This already has plenty of positive aspects to it. Dragon Link players need their dragon typing to go into Hieratic Seal of the Heavenly Spheres, Striker Dragon, or Dragunity Knight - Romulus. Noble Knight players need warriors on board to summon Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights and Salamangreat players have a similar issue for going into Salamangreat Balelynx.

Zombie World
One of the most beloved field spells, after Mystic Mine

Besides the passive aspect, there are also active ways to abuse this powerful field spell. Rivalry of Warlords lost me a game fast when I played against Zombie World at a regional for the first time. Rivalry makes it so that players can only have one type of monster on board, and it prohibits the summoning of a type different to the one they already have. If you turn their first and only monster into a zombie, they'll be locked into that type. Rivalry on its own is already pretty good versus a lot of popular decks such as certain Shaddoll Invoked variants or Prank Kids, so even without Zombie World on board you should be able to ward off the opponent with this card.

There's plenty of cards that lets you abuse Zombie World. Ice Dragon's Prison is a great one, but off-limits for our low-budget version of the deck, sitting at €30 apiece. Super Polymerization is fair game, however. With 9 prints to choose from and almost all of them available under €1, there's no reason not to play this.

Dragonecro Nethersoul Dragon is a fusion that requires any two zombies, and Super Polymerization lets you use the opponent's monsters.

Rivalry of Warlords Super Polymerization
Life is tough for the dead

Access to Zombie World might seem like an issue at first, with Terraforming and Metaverse being limited to one copy per deck. Necroworld Banshee mitigates this problem, by letting you activate Zombie World from your deck by banishing itself from the field or graveyard. And since we're playing zombies, you'll be sure to find ways to get the banshee into the graveyard.

The King and His Minions

We've already outlined the raw strength of abusing Zombie World, and haven't even touched on some the new support we mentioned earlier in the article. Doomking Balerdroch is notorious for being one of the coolest structure deck boss monsters and having a name that cannot be pronounced correctly. It is apparently derived from Gaelic "Drochshúil" meaning "evil eye," but I don't think the doom king is related to Serziel, Watcher of the Evil Eye.

Doomking Balerdroch Necroworld Banshee Glow-Up Bloom
The undead trinity

All jokes aside, Balerdroch was designed specifically to work in tandem with Zombie World. Firstly, if there is any field spell on board during the standby phase, you can special summon it from the graveyard. This works when the opponent has a field spell as well! Secondly, whenever another zombie activates their effect, Balerdroch can use one of two powerful abilities. Each of these can be used once during that turn. You can choose to either banish any monster from the field or graveyards, or negate the monster that activated its effect. You won't want to negate your own effects very often, but keep in mind that your opponent's monsters become zombies as well, and thus blindly serve their new king. You can trigger Balerdroch during the opponent's turn with any quick effect. Not only "real" zombies like Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring or Necroworld Banshee, but also your "new" zombies that have quick effects, like Linkuriboh and Crystron Halqifibrax.

The synergy between Balerdroch and Zombie World becomes even more apparent though Glow-Up Bloom. This little guy has an effect that triggers when it hits the graveyard. When that happens, you can banish it to add a high-level zombie to your hand, or choose to special summon it if Zombie World is on the field. That means you can tutor Balerdroch, the nifty Jack-o-Bolan or even an Eldlich the Golden Lord if you're looking to build the deck without worrying about your wallet too much. Eldlich Zombie World is an amazingly cool strategy that makes me regret selling my Eldlich cards a while back!

Bloom is a tuner as well, meaning that you can bring it out with Halqifibrax, and then link it off for Linkuriboh to trigger its effect. If Halqifibrax were a dark monster, you'd follow that up with some Phantom Knight plays, but alas. Bringing out Halqifibrax is easy as well thanks to Uni-Zombie, who lets you send a zombie from hand and deck to the graveyard. Shiranui Solitaire lets you bring out the Uni-Zombie, and from there on you're only one extender away from a great board to pass on.

Without Ash Blossom, this would be the best level three zombie tuner

Filling Up the Deck

Monster-wise, there's not a whole lot that I'd really want to add. The brothers Mezuki and Gozuki work naturally well in a deck like this. Mezuki can bring back cards you normally wouldn't be able to bring back thanks to Zombie World. Reviving Artifact Lancea to lock out Dino players multiple turns in a row is great fun. As a bonus, you can banish Lancea from your field to trigger Balerdroch, letting you banish an opponent's monster from the field or graveyard!

PSY-Framegear Gamma helps protect weak points in the combo: when you tribute Shiranui Solitaire to activate its effect, you're vulnerable to Ash Blossom, but Gamma makes sure that resolves. It also helps you out a bit when going second. Aside from some generically good spells and traps we can close the deck off with the limited Danger! monsters, who are great at providing an extra body on board as well as ditching dead—no pun intended—cards from your hand.

As for the extra deck, there's a few cards I think are must-plays. Halqifibrax not only sets up your plays on your turn, on the opponent's turn it can tag out into Formula Synchron, triggering Balerdroch to let you banish a card. Then, you can use Formula's effect to summon Shiranui Sunsaga for additional interruption. Alternatively, Halqifibrax can tag out into Shooting Riser Dragon to send extra resources to the graveyard.

Crystron Halqifibrax Formula Synchron Shiranui Sunsaga
Summon multiple synchro monsters during the opponent's turn

This decklist flirts dangerously close to the €100 budget we usually try to work with, and if you were to try using the Shopping Wizard you might hit above that. While the deck core itself is cheap I really wanted to include a few cards on the pricier side, like Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring. Overall, this list is not too far off from the list I used to win a local a few weeks back. If you already own other cards on the higher side of the price spectrum, you can of course throw them in, but this list should perform pretty well for any duelist looking to play around with something new without breaking the bank.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.


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Yurra(29.04.2021 22:48)

This is a damn good article. What are some of the non-budget upgrades you would suggest?

RyanAtlus(30.04.2021 12:59)

@Yurra: The pure deck doesn't need much more than this, besides things like the third Ash Blossom and a few Extra Deck staples like Accesscode, but an Eldlich version of the deck would be more competitive.

Yu-Gi-Lars(29.04.2021 11:24)

How would you summon Cosmic Blazar Dragon in this deck?
The levels don't add up, and Halq can only summon synchro TUNER monsters, and there is no level manipulation ( except for uni-zombie, which only adds, which would still wouldn't make the levels add up )

RyanAtlus(29.04.2021 11:32)

@Yu-Gi-Lars: Hi, thanks for pointing that out! It should be Shooting Riser Dragon indeed. We'll be fixing the error in the article as soon as possible!

Sinco(29.04.2021 08:11)

"One of the most beloved field spells, after Mystic Mine".
Define "beloved", lol.

ShikanRaider(29.04.2021 00:44)

"Alternatively, Halqifibrax can tag out into Cosmic Blazar Dragon to send extra resources to the graveyard."

Shouldn't that be Shooting Riser Dragon? (in the deck list as well).

Plod97(29.04.2021 02:12)(Edited: 29.04.2021 02:14)

ShikanRaider i was sitting here thinking " how is he getting that out when there isn't enough materials in the extra deck."

Additionally, the deck should contain Yuki-Onna, the Absolute Zero Mayakashi as it is an underrated zombie card. Also can people stop cutting jack-o-bolan to one, its a three of because if you get hand trapped when you summon gozuki, uni-zombie or solitaire you cant usually get into zombie world, usually ending the turn, however, jack o-bolan can choose to discard the necroworld banshee or the mezuki(if you need to bring the uni-zombie back) and let you continue your plays, and hopefully get into crystron halq and then get the big bad negate zombie. Also Jack-o-bolan is just a good card when its on the field,, interrupting your opponents graveyard or using it to bring back doomking if they stop his summon during the standby phase.

DanideRais(29.04.2021 09:50)

Plod97 Jenes, Jack-O-Bolan ist nach dem Structure Deck der beste Support, den Zombies bekommen haben. Fantastische Karte. Und mit Level sieben kann man in super strangen Szenarien mit nem Uni-Zombie oder ner Bloom noch Synchros machen.

RyanAtlus(29.04.2021 11:30)

@ShikanRaider: Hi, thanks for pointing that out! It should be Shooting Riser Dragon indeed. We'll be fixing the error in the article as soon as possible!