You Can’t Kill a Zubera

One of my favorite cycles in all of Magic is the Zubera cycle from Champions of Kamigawa. I’ve played these creatures in all manner of formats alongside cards like Patriarch’s Bidding, Second Sunrise, and Faith’s Reward, usually with something like Phyrexian Altar as a sacrifice outlet. I’ve always wanted to see a format where Zuberas were a reasonable thing to be doing, so imagine my excitement when I saw this Pauper deck:

This deck does all kinds of cool things. The idea here is that you have lots of creatures that want to die, lots of ways to make them die, and all kinds of cool ways to take advantage of that. The real engine is Undying Evil and Supernatural Stamina, though Unearth helps with cheaper creatures like Zuberas. Your goal is to pair Undying Evil and Supernatural Stamina with cards like Mulldrifter and Crypt Rats to consistently end up ahead on cards and on the board.

Then there’s the Zubera engine. You want to combine these with Carrion Feeder or Viscera Seer, though Plagued Rusalka will do in aggressive matchups. Zuberas are weird little creatures with a couple of cool tricks. Their death triggers care about how many Zuberas have died cumulatively in that turn, but don’t check that number until resolution. This means that you can kill and reanimate multiple Zuberas in response to triggers to get exponentially more powerful resolutions.

For example, if your opponent draws to four cards in their draw step, you can, at instant speed, Undying Evil an Ashen-Skin Zubera, sacrifice it to Carrion Feeder, and respond to its death trigger by sacrificing it again. Both triggers will see that two Zuberas have died this turn, and your opponent will discard their hand. Add in a single Floating-Dream Zubera into the mix and you can make your opponent discard six cards while you draw three. It’s a cumbersome engine, but it’s powerful and gets out of hand very quickly.

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