Thursday, March 10, 2016

"Relentless Dead: Relentlessly Relentless"

"Relentless Dead: Relentlessly Relentless"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. 

The art in Relentless Dead shows the church of Avacyn being breached by an army of undead. The stained glass window depicting the archangel is a silent witness as the holy place is desecrated. That is a visual nod to the card Endless Ranks of the Dead where the scene indicates that it is only a matter of seconds before the dead burst through.

Relentless Dead has lead the way in and is the focus of todays article. This is really the start of another Innistrad Zombie infestation. This particular zombie has several things going for it that would make it a part of a dedicated zombie strategy. 

The flavor for this card is that when this particular ghoul dies it raises another ghoul in its stead or comes back again and again if you have enough mana to fuel it. So that when it reanimates another corpse it seems to have a never ending effect.

A 2/2 creature with menace(cant be blocked except by 2 or more creatures) it could thrive in the early game while your opponent is developing a board presence. So you could attack for a turn or two of uncontested damage and even if this creature is blocked and dies all you need to do is pay 1 black mana to return it to your hand. You could recast it on the same turn as when you attacked.  Your opponent just lost a guy or a couple of guys and here is your Relentless Dead still standing and ready to defend. Unlike other self- reanimation (an ability that raises it from the graveyard) creatures like the Mardu's Blood Soaked Champion this creature could actually block and live again. Just always be ready with 3 black mana and you ought to be good.Very good for those weenie battles of Attrition that you always find yourself into.Simply chip away at their creatures until nothing is left.

And the key here is that the Relentless Dead does want to die again and again. As the game progresses and you have more zombies in your graveyard you could have great High Value targets for its Reanimator abilities. For example Geralfs Masterpiece is a mere 5 mana of any color using the Relentless Deads ability. There might be more zombies coming out of the woodwork but sometimes the best cheap target is the 2 to cast Relentless Dead itself to continue renewing the fear that it strikes in your opponents hearts.