Format Legality
Pre-release Legal
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

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Set Rarity
Time Spiral "Timeshifted" Rare
Promo Set Rare

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, : Tap target creature you control and target creature of an opponent's choice he or she controls. Those creatures fight each other. (Each deals damage equal to its power to the other.)

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Arena Discussion

ZtheGreat on Death and Death: The Cycle of Horobi

1 month ago


Mystifying Maze


Ice Floe

Rath's Edge

are all repeatable effects that kill when Horobi is on the board, and they're all lands.

In Garruk's Wake

Decree of Pain

Life's Finale

Black Sun's Zenith


These are all under $3 and can help with token struggles.

Scour from Existence hits enchantments.

StoryArcher on Backer in Blacker

1 month ago


Thanks again for lending your expertise to my ongoing efforts to 'catch up' with Modern Magic.

The primary appeal of Arena was, of course, to have a little fun with Phyrexian Obliterator, which was why I made it the 61st card in the deck. I've bounced it back to the 'maybe' board for optimization purposes. I've also replaced Go for the Throat with Hero's Downfall... I was wondering why Dismember would be recommended ahead of it = is it because of the -5/-5 affect being able to overcome the Indestructible trait?

The intent behind Surgical Extraction was less going after redundancy in a deck, or even lands for that matter, and more about using in conjunction with an early Inquisition of Kozilek or Thoughtseize to cripple combo decks or ferret out sideboard options. Is that really not a good main-decking strategy?

Your suggestion regarding fetch lands got me to thinking - if I'm going to have them in there anyway, this deck seems woefully short on its ability to deal with non-creature artifacts, and I find the versatility and potency of Kolaghan's Command to intriguing to ignore. Obviously its inclusion would disavow my mono-black purity, but that's life, eh? Just not entirely sure where to slip it on, and whether or not the additional commitment of resources necessary to dip red would be worthwhile.

It seems after a cursory glance that there is some very strong, very commonly used anti-graveyard sideboard cards today, so one of the things I was considering doing (something from my old side-boarding days) would be to include enough cards of a certain type to shift my deck away from that theme... effectively countering what I anticipated their initial sideboard to be. That may be overthinking it in the modern era but it won me quite a few games back in the day. What are you thoughts on that?

Planeswalkers are something that I have zero familiarity with - they were included in my 'maybe' board as a reminder to look into them. Your recommendation Liliana, the Last Hope seems ideal in that regard, though again I'm not sure where I'd put her.

Its funny you mention the old-school mono-black, as that was absolutely my wheelhouse. I was the first in my local environment to find and make use of the value of Necropotence (along with Lake of the Dead when it followed), and even before that it was Dark Ritual, Hymn to Tourach and Hypnotic Specter all day. The only deck I ever had as much success with was a Land Destruction theme I put together who's unconventional (at the time) backbone was using Millstone and Orcish Spy to filter land out of the opponent's draw.

At any rate, I appreciate your continued insights and hope - perhaps foolishly - to return the favor at some point.

lithium142 on Backer in Blacker

1 month ago

alright, so i'm not greatly familiar with creature based mono-black decks in modern. There's a good handful of black control strategies out there. most of them either use The Rack and Shrieking Affliction alongside a heavy dose of discard spells like Raven's Crime, Liliana of the Veil, Smallpox. What you're trying to do with this is interesting, but actually pretty darn good.

I can only think to make some tweaks to it since you already have most of the essentials. Idk if you're aware, but modern is packed to the brim with combo decks ever since blue control fell even further out of favor last year, so i'm pretty happy to see you already have Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize.

anyway, tweaks. I think your creature choice is spot on. I might consider Vampire Nighthawk, and even Gravecrawler could be good. Decks where things just dont want to die can be very frustrating to deal with, so the combination of Gravecrawler, Bloodghast, and Geralf's Messenger could be very potent.

on the flip side, i love your idea of using Relentless Dead for recursion. same idea as using Gravecrawler, but it could bring back any of your threats, including (as you said) a way to drain twice with gary.

your removal could use some upgrades. Fatal Push is excellent. Go for the Throat is a good budget kill spell, but affinity decks are likely something you'll end up facing. it's pretty awkward staring down an Ornithopter with lethal sized Cranial Plating, and all you have is a Go for the Throat to defend yourself. that said, Dismember kills just about everything in modern. look at your deck for example. see anything that survives? =P lastly, Surgical Extraction. Honestly one of my favorite cards. it can rip lands right out of somebody's hand if they have 2 of the same fetchland in their opening hand. it can cripple combo decks into conceding games, and take the foot off the gas of just about any graveyard strategy. that said, unless you're playing a dedicated mill deck, it should realistically be in your sideboard. most decks dont care about their graveyards, and pulling some redundancy from somebody's deck doesn't make the card worth having over another threat or removal spell.

now for lands. Arena is interesting, but i cant say im a fan. personally not something i would run. i'd rather just have a swamp and guarantee ill have mana. Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth can make up for Arena's shortcoming, but it wont happen consistently. it also covers nykthos. the key change here would be to add some fetchlands. I'd say around 8 fetchlands that go into black would be plenty to help filter your deck. this really isn't a big deal, and honestly you could save the money and run 20 swamps. I think the deck is consistent enough that it wouldn't even be an issue, but if you want to make the upgrades, i think a few fetches are ideal.

As some other ideas for you to consider: Dark Confidant is an option in place of Phyrexian Arena, although i actually like the arena since it wont get killed as easily. however, bob also acts as another threat. it's a tricky choice. I saw in your maybeboard you were considering Liliana of the Veil and Liliana of the Dark Realms. Liliana of the Veil is arguably the most powerful planeswalker in the game. right up there with Jace, the Mind Sculptor, she can win games all by herself. 2 or 3 copies will cost you a kidney and your firstborn child, but i promise you'll see some success with her. dark realms i wouldn't recommend. she doesn't synergize with your deck very well. another that might interest you instead is Liliana, the Last Hope. she acts as removal, psuedo-draw, and recursion. 3 things your deck already does, and would be happy to have more of. Also, she's rotating out of standard at the end of September, so her price is sure to drop when that happens.

Well, i hope that helps. I actually had to do a little research for you, but this deck has a lot of potential. even if you played it as it sits right now, i think you'd be pleased with its performance. I really like this deck. it's super old-school, and reminds me of the older black control decks with Hymn to Tourach, Necropotence, Drain Life. you've got a lot of very similar cards in here, and it's pretty sweet!

anyway, let me know what you think, and if you need help with sideboarding

Moonbar on Abzan Death's Obliterator

2 months ago

Arena? It forces your opponents to sac permanents by running their stuff into Phyrexian Obliterators, and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth allows it to produce mana.

FamSlayer on One Punch Man - Fight Tribal

2 months ago

Thanks! I'm still working on getting the list to 100 :) Also whoa Lure is a card? Gonna put that one in immediately... My issue with Arena is that the opponent gets to chose what creature fights, which makes it way worse against token decks and decks with lots of dudebros, which my friends tend to run.

lexleningrad on One Punch Man - Fight Tribal

2 months ago

Great deck idea. You need an Arena to fight in. Also Lure some people into fights.

Rzepkanut on Hapatra -1/-1 semi-control

2 months ago

Dark Prophecy for card draw. Nissa, Voice of Zendikar can make tokens or remove -1/-1 from your creatures by putting +1/+1 counters on them. Ulvenwald Tracker, Setessan Tactics, and Arena for deathtouch token fighting. Devoted Druid makes infinite snakes with Quillspike and Hapatra. Happy gathering!

Sckeetch on Hapatra, Withering Vizier

3 months ago

WB_ControlPlayerIncoming, Arena is a super interesting suggestion. I am not sure if I like the opponent choosing what I get to fight at 3 mana, but the investment of Arena is so low as a land that it might be worth play-testing. Thanks!

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