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Ultra-budget: Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Modern Aggro Artifact Budget Casual Midrange Mono-Black




(Hi everyone!! I'm trying to get back into deck building again with a brand new entry to my old Ultra-Budget series! If you'd like to help me get this new build off the ground, head over to Ultra-Budget: Dunwich Horror (And Friends!), check it out, and shoot me a comment with your suggestions!)

If you like this deck and want to check out the rest of the ever-expanding Ultra-Budget series, you can view them all in this folder here!

If you like them, please give them a +1!

Yet another entry in my ultra-budget series currently comprised of Ultra-budget: Baby's First Burning Legion, Ultra-budget: Jedi Training Camp, Ultra-budget: Midnight Onslaught, and Ultra-budget: Wrath of the Witch-King (which is now one of the highest rated decks on the site! What?!?!).

enter image description here(Pictured: A few Vampire Nighthawks (who said they ALL have to be dudes??) getting ready to make this the best worst, nope yeah definitely WORST night of your life! Not Pictured: You totally not caring.)

This simple deck was originally designed as a slightly more expensive variant to Ultra-budget: Midnight Onslaught - this one coming in right around $20 US. Like all my ultra-budget decks, it's centered more around fun with friends and being beginner friendly rather than being super competitive. It is still Modern legal if you want to slap it together for cheap and take it to your local game store for Modern night.

To make it very accessible to newer players (as a sort of alternative to starter or event decks) it was built around a simple Rule-of-9 concept designed to have a nice, smooth curve into some serious pain on turns 4, 5, and 6 where it looks to close things out with a bit more oomph than its predecessor. Also unlike its predecessor, it runs a bit more utility to maneuver around some tougher decks.

Deck Breakdown

All of the creatures in this deck are flyers, with the exception of Lashwrithe which is much happier being attached to Vampire Nighthawk than it is attacking on its own anyway - bonus, you can equip it for free and the next attack will get all that life back and then some. Use that evasion to your advantage.

  • Vault Skirge can be subbed out for any number of one drops really. I included him because Flying and Lifelink are excellent with the deck's auras and equipment. Drop him turn 1 and get that life back pretty quickly.

  • Tormented Soul is a cheap way to keep a constant stream of damage up on your opponent early. And if he gets his hands on a Lashwrithe or Wargear later in the game, he can spell certain doom for your opponent very quickly!

  • Gurmag Swiftwing's First Strike makes it a menace when equipped, and the fact that it has flying and haste means it can bring some impressive early game pressure. He's easy to underestimate and quick to teach you why that's a bad idea.

  • Vampire Nighthawk makes yet another appearance in one of my decks. It should be pretty obvious by now why. He just packs incredible bang for the buck. In this deck he really wants to pick up Lashwrithe on turn 4 to start swinging (and healing you!) for 6.

  • Abyssal Persecutor is a beast for the cost, but he can be a little scary. Fortunately I've built in some excellent fail-safes to make sure he doesn't cause you too much trouble. Grafted Wargear will allow you pump him up for maximum face-shredding then kill him anytime you want. We also have Rite of Consumption as a sac outlet that also heals us. And if worse comes to worse, you can hit him with Go for the Throat or Geth's Verdict to secure your victory.

  • Go for the Throat is of course also great for taking out your opponent's creatures. And unlike Doomblade, you can use it to kill your Persecutor if you have to.

  • Rite of Consumption functions as removal for the Persecutor that also does direct damage and lets us heal ourselves and trigger Tragic Slip all at once. That's kind of amazing!

  • Grafted Wargear is more than just a tool to kill the Persecutor, it's also an incredible buff that makes any creature in the deck a serious threat - 4/3 flying and lifelink on your 1 drop, 4/4 flying and first striking on your 2, 5/5 flying, deathtouch, and lifelink on your 3, and 9/8 flying and trample on your 4. Those are some seriously threatening numbers for something that equips for free.

  • Lashwrithe, as I said, is ideally used turn 4 curving onto Vampire Nighthawk for free where it will provide tons of extra damage and healing the turn it comes down. If need be, it can stay on the field on its Germ and slug it out as a creature that only gets stronger as the game progresses.

  • Geth's Verdict helps keep your opponent's board clear and the extra damage they take is gravy in an aggro deck. But again, you have synergy with the Persecutor in case you need to nuke him late game for the win.

That's it! It isn't a complicated deck with lots of super-complex interactions. It's just a solid beatdown deck with a smooth curve and a cool, evilly theme.

Hope you like it!


Comments View Archive

Hilo says... #1

Isn't Rite of Consumption strictly better than Devour Flesh? The only thing is the instant speed on Devour Flesh perhaps. It also serves as a win-con to just fling off Abyssal Persecutor.

May 9, 2015 10:52 p.m.

Sagarys says... #2

I wouldn't call it strictly better as it can't function as removal for your opponent's creatures. But it is definitely awesome, and I forgot it existed or I would have included it. I'm gonna sub it in! Thanks!

May 9, 2015 11:41 p.m.

Hilo says... #3

Yeah sorry, I misspoke when saying 'strictly better' but I was thinking in terms of this deck as for how it functions.

May 9, 2015 11:43 p.m.

Sagarys says... #4

Yeah for what this deck wants to do, it's definitely better.

May 9, 2015 11:54 p.m.

toxicliam says... #5

I second the addition of Vault Skirge in for Prickly Boggart, he is going to cost you because with lifelink and equipment, you're going to pay back that measly 2 life fast.

May 10, 2015 1:31 p.m.

ManicMayhem says... #6

Ever thought about using Desecration Demon instead now that his price had dropped.

May 10, 2015 1:53 p.m.

Sagarys says... #7

Went ahead and added Vault Skirge. I agree, he brings more to the table here.

May 10, 2015 3:22 p.m.

Sagarys says... #8

ManicMayhem, I have. I just greatly prefer the Persecutor's evasion and the fact that he can't be tapped out by tokens.

May 10, 2015 3:25 p.m.

I would like to see grafted exoskeleton come in for predators gambit. Grafted exoskeleton allows not only for a sack outlet, but also for infect damage to be pushed through.

May 10, 2015 4:45 p.m.

Grafted Exoskeleton isn't very good here.

Maybe try Tainted Strike instead.

May 10, 2015 4:47 p.m.

Sagarys says... #11

That's because this is Grafted Wargear. And it is good because it helps kill the Persecutor.

May 10, 2015 5:32 p.m.

I was responding to simondiamond2012

May 10, 2015 6:05 p.m.

Sagarys says... #13

Oh whoops my bad! I didn't see his response. Sorry dude! You're right.

May 10, 2015 6:16 p.m.

Seriously though, Tainted Strike?

May 10, 2015 6:44 p.m.

Sagarys says... #15

No I'm only a fan of infect when the deck is built around it. If it's just thrown in, half the time it's wasted.

May 10, 2015 6:53 p.m.

ok, fine... geth's verdict then? target yourself? =P

May 10, 2015 8:09 p.m.

Kolanskyman says... #17

Very well put together.

May 10, 2015 8:26 p.m.

simondiamond2012, Geth's Verdict vs. Rite of Consumption?

I'd go with the rite. As best I can tell, it's here as a fling effect for Abyssal Persecutor. Verdict isn't bad for a sideboard card though; if you find yourself needing to be the control deck, swapping it for Predator's Gambit could be a great move.

May 10, 2015 8:29 p.m.

I'd say swapping in Geth's Verdict for Predator's Gambit in mainboard is a good strategic move overall.

May 11, 2015 3:50 p.m.

Sagarys says... #20

I can see Geth's Verdict working in the right meta. For my local playgroup, there's enough tokens and mana dorks to make it largely useless offensively. And I think there's enough outlets to dump the Persecutor as is. But if your group doesn't run a lot of weenies, tokens, or dorks, go for it!

May 11, 2015 4:14 p.m.

gabmousa says... #21

These decks are really good! Don't stop making them. In fact, Would you consider a more expensive version of one of these decks? Thanks, +1 from me!

May 12, 2015 10:02 a.m.

Sagarys says... #22

I could do a more expensive version, but to be honest, it wouldn't be anything you haven't already seen. When budget isn't an issue anymore, then you just go with the best cards. So my black decks would be full of Thoughtsieze and Inquisition of Kozilek, and probably Wurmcoil Engine. Red would have Lightning Bolts and dragons and Goblin Rabblemaster and Goblin Guide. The Jedi deck would just become a Brimaz, King of Oreskos token deck with Path to Exile. And they'd all have planeswalkers sprinkled in. The reason these decks are so cool is that the budget constraint allows me to do things that you'd never do in a competitive deck.

May 12, 2015 11:11 a.m.

Sagarys says... #23

Oh and the Jedi deck, if it didn't just go white weenie, would definitely run Daybreak Coronet and Hero of Iroas.

May 12, 2015 11:21 a.m.

Sicohippy says... #24

Really cool deck, very fun and inexpensive, and it would be really fun to buy and then improve upon as you find more cool cards to trade for, definitely a +1.

The ONLY thing I would change would be swapping out all 4 Abyssal Persecutors for 4 Desecration Demons, the only problem with the persecutors is that they are going to be a little tricky to get rid of in this deck...

Some Other cool demons that are inexpensive alternatives to add would be Archfiend of Depravity, Bloodgift Demon, Indulgent Tormentor, Demonlord of Ashmouth, Grinning Demon, or Master of the Feast

I'd personally go with the Desecration Demons, Bloodgift Demons, or Archfiend of Depravitys, or you can put 2 different demon creatures in and only put 2 of each in your deck. In anycase, I only prefer Abyssal Persecutor in certain circumstances such as sacrificing him in commander games to recieve a reward for his power of toughness, such as with Ghoulcaller Gisa.

Again, great deck, just my two cents.

May 14, 2015 10:03 p.m.

Sagarys says... #26

The reason I've never liked Desecration Demon is that your opponent can stall him until they have an answer for him.

In this deck Rite of Consumption allows you to kill the Abyssal Persecutor while healing yourself AND damaging your opponent.

I tried adding the Archfiend of Depravity because I've always liked that card. The problem was, there's too much other stuff you want to do with your mana on the turn he's supposed to come down. So really, he just gets in the way.

Thanks for the suggestions though!

May 15, 2015 12:19 p.m.

Sagarys says... #27

After some playtesting, I subbed Gurmag Swiftwing in at the 2 drop slot for Vampire Hexmage. He speeds things up and makes it so your whole field flies aside from Lashwrithe which should be equipped to your Vampire Nighthawk anyway.

May 15, 2015 12:44 p.m.

Jaruun says... #28

I might have to just impulse buy this right now. Great deck +1

May 15, 2015 2:07 p.m.

Sagarys says... #29

It's pretty fun!

May 15, 2015 2:14 p.m.

Sagarys says... #30

Just took down a green/artifact infect deck 2/1 with it.

May 15, 2015 2:29 p.m.

Jaruun says... #31

wow. That's sick. i really do think i have to buy this though. nice build

May 15, 2015 2:32 p.m.

Sagarys says... #32

For the price, you won't regret it.

May 15, 2015 2:36 p.m.

McSween7 says... #33

I thought that the Hexmage was a great addition

May 16, 2015 5:15 a.m.

Sagarys says... #34

The deck still functions well with her in there. I've just found more success with the bat.

May 16, 2015 10:03 a.m.

i really dig this deck. i just might have to try it

+1 for sure

May 16, 2015 10:26 a.m.

At the one drop, May I suggest Vampire Bats, will-o-the-wisp, or tormented soul?

May 16, 2015 5:29 p.m.

Sagarys says... #37

You may. But slap Lashwrithe on the Skirge on turn 4 and heal for 5 and you might change your mind.

May 16, 2015 9:49 p.m.

cyberdisc says... #38

I needed a cheap decent deck so I had a companion for my blue affinity in case somebody wanted to play modern but didn't own a deck.

I just purchased this deck for 20$ between an ebay trollandtoad cart and a coolstuffinc cart. Thank you very much for sharing sir.

May 17, 2015 4:33 p.m.

What about Master of the Feast? It's kind of cheap, and very effective. I would also suggest Phyrexian Obliterator but it's rather expensive.

May 17, 2015 11:19 p.m.

Sagarys says... #40

You could buy this whole deck 5 times for the cost of a playset of Obliteraters. So that's definitely out. As for the Master, eh he's ok. I'd still take the Nighthawk over him at the 3 slot.

May 17, 2015 11:33 p.m.

Sagarys says... #41

cyberdisc I'm glad you like it. Let me know how it goes once you start playing it!

May 17, 2015 11:34 p.m.

riku2231 says... #42

Love this deck, good starter deck, played some proxy's before I bought it, and it is amazing, would adding Liliana Vess planeswalker be a good addition to this deck? I only ask because I picked one up the other day when I traded a few uncommons for her.

May 19, 2015 2:52 p.m.

Sagarys says... #43

It couldn't hurt if you already have it. She's super strong.

May 19, 2015 2:57 p.m.

Needle Specter and Herald of Torment deserve some consideration, if you're willing to cut back on a couple of lands or remove Predator's Gambit. Since the curve out is at the 4 cmc spot, and the average CMC is 2.44, you could feasibly get rid of Predator's Gambit in favor for either of these 2 creatures.

May 19, 2015 6:02 p.m.

riku2231 says... #45

just realized that sanguine blood would just add insult to injury in this deck, so much life link would deal double damage

May 20, 2015 1:38 p.m.

Sagarys says... #46

It certainly would, though it would require some ramp (which sadly this deck doesn't have) to make it effective.

May 20, 2015 1:40 p.m.

Flyers167 says... #47

Desecration Demon would be insane in this deck

May 21, 2015 9:54 a.m.

Sagarys says... #48

The final demon slot is sort of open for interpretation. Archfiend of Depravity has been suggested as well.

May 21, 2015 10:01 a.m.

Flyers167 says... #49

This is an aggro deck and you need to sacrifice creatures too so it kind of disadvantages you sometimes more than the opponent

May 21, 2015 10:04 a.m.

Sagarys says... #50

Nope Archfiend is only opponents.

May 21, 2015 10:17 a.m.

cliffsides says... #51

Read through this one a week ago and couldn't resist, bought all the cards on TCG and they all just arrived. Cannot wait to take this one for a test drive. Tragic slip is the cherry on top for me, so looking forward to dropping those.

May 23, 2015 10:39 a.m.

Sagarys says... #52

It's a very fun deck to play and quite a bit stronger than it lets on. Flinging a creature late game with Rite of Consumption while Lashwrithe is attached is brutal. The double combo of attacking, dealing combat damage, then Flinging for the win is super satisfying.

May 23, 2015 10:44 a.m.

riku2231 says... #53

Used this in my first FNM casual tournament last night and went 2 and 2, and the matches I lost I gave them a run for their money. It was awesome, one of the decks I went against used a platinum angel and one more turn and I would of destroyed it! Still really fun though.

June 6, 2015 1:40 p.m.

Sagarys says... #54

That's amazing, congrats! 2 and 2 for $20 is hard to beat! I bet some of those guys didn't expect that kind of result from such a cheap deck. Glad you saw some success with it! If you build upon it at all and improve it, let me know how it goes then too!

June 6, 2015 4:36 p.m.

Carljr97 says... #55

really like your deck builds and this is one of my favorites.bought all the cards just have to wait for them to arrive.really excited to use this in casual play.

June 19, 2015 1:11 a.m.

Sagarys says... #56

Enjoy! It's a fun deck to play. Stronger than it seems.

June 19, 2015 11 a.m.

mccarthyism says... #57

just built this, my EDH group is getting into modern so i thought i would dip my toes in. seems really fun, thanks for the decklist!

July 2, 2015 11:59 a.m.

Sagarys says... #58

Enjoy! It's effective enough for how cheap it is. If your group doesn't all invest in T1/T2 decks right away, this will hang with them for quite some time. Check out the rest of my ultra-budget decks for that level of play if you want to mix it up.

July 2, 2015 12:28 p.m.

Selptcher says... #59

What about Nightmare instead of Abyssal Persecutor?

August 9, 2015 6:53 p.m.

Got these cards in yesterday. Very fun. Thank you!

August 25, 2015 7:38 a.m.

Sagarys says... #61

You're welcome, enjoy!

August 25, 2015 2:16 p.m.

Frostknife says... #62

Would you say this deck is more or less competitive than your Witch King deck?

November 14, 2015 4:33 p.m.

Raz0r_ says... #63

Bone Splinters would help you with removal, also, even though, arguably, it is sorcery speed it will help you sac your Abyssal Persecutor after his time on the battlefield is finished.

December 22, 2015 3:42 p.m.

lil_cheez says... #64

I was thinking that Wargear could be replaced with Nightmare Lash but then I saw Persecutor haha love the deck

January 26, 2016 7:56 p.m.

MMylly says... #65

I bought this deck also. it's really fun :) I copied it for myself but i left shout-out to you!

July 13, 2016 7:14 a.m.

Kinge says... #66

Dauthi Slayer instead of Gurmag Swiftwing might work well. Dauthi is unblockable and you can attach a Grafted Wargear on turn 3 to really smack them in the face.

November 21, 2016 5:24 p.m.

Rhyno52 says... #67

Is there a way to make an upgraded version maybe with splashing blue? I think its a solid deck but lacks evasion somehow. I want to get into competetive gaming with it.

January 4, 2017 3:13 a.m.

mccarthyism says... #68

I played a version of this for awhile (with IoKs that I had in my collection) and it was super fun and I beat a lot of decks that I had no business beating. Great fun while I was building up something a little more competitive.

January 18, 2017 8:11 p.m.

Sagarys says... #69

Man, I can't believe these decks are still getting traction! Thanks for the kind words mccarthyism.

Apologies everyone for going dark for so long. All of my decks were in a single bag and it was stolen... So that kind of knocked the wind out of me. But I'm super glad that everyone has been enjoying my builds. They were simple and goofy and just meant for a good time. So it's awesome that they accomplished that!

January 25, 2017 1:30 p.m.

Rhyno52 says... #70

That kinda sucks sorry man.Just keep it up and buy some new cards. ;)

January 26, 2017 3:44 a.m.

Chino90 says... #71

Really nice deck. I would add some card draw, like Sign in Blood. add 2 and take 2x Predator's Gambit, maybe?

Altar's Reap could be good to get rid of Abyssal Persecutor, and the card is kinda flavorful, but it is situational.

January 26, 2017 1:33 p.m.

mccarthyism says... #72

That sucks man!!! Hope you get back in!

February 8, 2017 4:13 p.m.

Love this deck, bought it a few weeks ago and have enjoyed beating much more expensive decks with it. Thanks for sharing it.

What do you think of swapping Vault Skirge for Gifted Aetherborn?

February 25, 2017 11:45 p.m.

http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/are-you-afraid-of-the-dark-revision/ what do you think about my twist on your deck? same flavor, but i think this might work better.

February 26, 2017 9:34 p.m.

Sagarys says... #75

Dangerwillrobinson79 I do really like the Gifted Aetherborn swap. The original concept of the deck was to have every single creature be a flyer to maintain evasion at every point of the curve to maximize the impact of the equipment. Tormented Soul is an exception, as his unblockability allows him to carry your equipment straight through enemy lines unhindered. I still think evasion is important, but Aetherborn is so good, he would definitely be worth the swap if you wanted. I would probably swap him in for the Tormented Soul if I wanted to make the deck slightly more defensive, maybe against another aggro or stompy deck, where having an extra blocker with deathtouch would make a bigger impact than an unblockable that can't block.

Also, unrelated to that suggestion, just a general note: since swapping in Geth's Verdict and changing Doomblade to Go for the Throat, this deck plays a much stronger midrange game and can hold up against more deliberate tempo/control-y decks (unless they're creatureless, then you just need to go aggro and pray for a good curve). So, in those situations, don't be afraid to save mana for your control cards instead of throwing down more creatures and equipment. Gurmag Swiftwing can wait to get his Grafted Wargear next turn!

October 11, 2017 6:54 p.m.

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Date added 2 years
Last updated 2 months

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.42
Tokens 0/0 Germ
Folders Favorite Decks, Modern 2015, Soon TM, Super Budget, Decks off internet, Ideas, cool decks, Favorite, Mutha'Frikkin'Modern..... bitch, sappy's Stuff, See all 191
Top rank #1 on 2015-05-16
Views 26514

Revision 8 See all

2 months ago)

-1 Go for the Throat maybe