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B/G Fun with deathtouch (3-1 at FNM)

Standard Aggro BG (Golgari) Competitive



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The original idea of the deck was to use weaker creatures with deathtouch to force opponents to choose whether to attack and lose their creatures to a weenie 1/1 with deathtouch or hold and wait for me to attack. There are many combat effects in the deck (e.g., Blossoming Defense, Larger Than Life) to inflate the power/toughness of my creatures, so the idea of waiting for me to attack wasn't too pleasant either.

That was the original idea, but it has changed...

NOW the idea is similar, but I have really liked using Clear Shot with my deathtouch creatures. I have reworked the deck to make it virtually all deathtouch creatures and to expand the combat effects. I think most people will be quite surprised at this deck and its capabilities.

Clear Shot and Nature's Way (and now Rabid Bite) are amazing to couple with deathtouch. When choosing targets for either spell, pick a creature with deathtouch, preferably Gifted Aetherborn that also has lifelink, and then pick an opponent's creature of any power/toughness that is a legal target. When the spell resolves, my deathtough creature deals damage to my opponent's creature-- my opponent's creature does NOT deal damage to my creature, and because my creature has deathtouch any damage it deals is fatal. Thus, Clear Shot , Nature's Way, and Rabid Bite are removal.

Keep in mind that Clear Shot (CMC = ) is an instant, while Nature's Way and Rabid Bite are sorceries (CMC = ). This means that Clear Shot may be used DURING combat to clear out a creature (or vehicle crewed in response to declared attackers!) you may not want blocking one of your creatures. To further drive this point home, the target creature that I control can be tapped-- neither spell says anything at all about whether a creature is tapped or not, so tapped creatures are legal targets!

Because I get to choose the creature my opponent controls, I may use Clear Shot , Nature's Way, or Rabid Bite to target flying creatures. This more than makes up for the lack of fliers in my deck because I have effectively added 10 cards that can be used as removal against fliers-- all thanks to deathtouch.

This seems like a half-baked combat trick, and maybe it is, but it works and it works well! This has been extremely frustrating to opponents, and this strategy has worked exceedingly well against B/G in the "mirror" matchup. Walking Ballista, Winding Constrictor, Verdurous Gearhulk, etc... have all been targeted by this trick, and it really frustrates opponents. I think this is a combo with a lot of potential.

NOTE: Nearly all of these creatures have deathtouch. This is a direct result of the strategy that I am employing (see Deck Strategy, above).

Aether Poisoner has deathtouch and brings in some energy. Not bad to generate another creature when it attacks. Not the best card in the group, but a solid 1/1 with deathtouch that can bring in a second 1/1 creature. I'll take that.

Bone Picker is a card that I didn't notice at first. Once it was pointed out and I actually read it, I realized that ANY creature that dies allows it to be cast for only , so I could use removal against my opponent and cast this insane 3/2 flying deathtouch for only !!! That's good value.

Drana, Liberator of Malakir is just a great card. It's a good way to get some counters on creatures if I manage to get her to do damage to a player. Otherwise, the first strike flier is pretty good. Drana, Liberator of Malakir seems like one of the cards that doesn't "fit" well in a deck so focused on deathtouch, but it's such a good card, has flying, and is just generally a pain in the butt. Most people have forgotten that she's quite good, and I don't see her in decks very often. This adds an element of surprise as she is, in my opinion, underutilized. In fairness, she is a bit of a lightning rod, so opponent's do try to remove her ASAP. Oh, and the CMC = keeps it out of the way of Fatal Push unless revolt triggers, and it's big enough that Shock won't get it. That's useful.

Gifted Aetherborn is practically the anchor for this deck. It's just so good for because it has deathtouch AND lifelink. That's a lot of value for the CMC. This is the ideal target for Clear Shot or Nature's Way because the deathtouch will kill the opponent's creature and the lifelink will still trigger! Awesome card.

Gnarlwood Dryad is a solid 1/1 for with deathtouch. If I manage to get delirium (and that's not an active goal of this deck, just to be clear), then it becomes a 3/3 with deathtouch. However, I don't play this with the delirium in mind. Rather, I see value in just having a 1/1 with deathtouch for only .

Gonti, Lord of Luxury at is a bit expensive, but the 2/3 with deathtouch and a really cool ability is worth the price, I think. I have taken some pretty good cards from opponents, and they generally dislike this card quite a bit.

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet doesn't have deathtouch and probably seems like a non sequitur for this deck. I don't care. This is an awesomely powerful creature. The lifelink alone has won me games. Getting a 2/2 zombie for each of my opponent's non-token creatures that dies is great, and it really give pause to people who want to sacrifice creatures for whatever reason. Great card.

Narnam Renegade is a great creature in that it is a 1/2 with deathtouch for only . If I manage to get the revolt trigger, it enters as a 2/3 for . Solid value. However, I don't focus on the revolt trigger. I tried that and I ended up just holding it longer than I wanted and it slowed me down. Just playing the card and not worrying too much about revolt is a much smarter strategy.

Blossoming Defense is great and at instant speed. I have used it multiple times to protect creatures, as well as a combat trick to get in extra damage and/or protect my creature when facing a more powerful defender (and therefore allowing my creature to survive).

Clear Shot is probably the best card of all the instants and sorceries. See the above Deck Strategy for more explanation. The instant speed of this card makes it highly versatile in a deck full of deathtouch creatures.

Fatal Push is nice instant speed removal that can target a significant number of creatures in this very aggro Standard format environment. I don't worry too much about trying to trigger revolt, but I do have a couple of Evolving Wilds to help, if necessary. With the shift of this deck to deathtouch + either Clear Shot or Nature's Way, this has become less important. The CMC = is great, though, and I may increase the number mainboard after additional playtesting.

Larger Than Life is a card from the original strategy of this deck-- weenie creatures that get pumped and become formidable. It's a great way to get combat damage through to a player while also preserving the target creature. Good card with nice value for it's CMC.

Nature's Way is a key component of how this deck functions. See the above Deck Strategy for more explanation.

Two main strategies with sideboarding:

  1. When facing decks with a lot of removal, Blossoming Defense and Heroic Intervention should be used, possibly also Wildest Dreams. If it's a deck with a bit fewer creatures, then in place of Rabid Bite and maybe 2x Aether Poisoner . Fatal Push is a good card when facing decks with a lot of smaller creatures.

  2. When facing decks with fewer creatures, put in Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, Blossoming Defense, Heroic Intervention, possibly Natural State , and possibly Wildest Dreams. Because there will be fewer targets for Clear Shot , rabid bit, and Nature's Way, these would be the most likely targets to side out. The strategy here will be to keep the creatures on the board and to buff them so that they can do direct damage, and to do this quickly. Decks with few creatures normally means that they have really big creatures, so don't take out the Clear Shot (instant speed) if this might seem to be the case.


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I was looking at a few of the new cards and I realized that there are a couple that could make this deck a bit stronger. Majestic Myriarch, Driven / Despair, and Ambuscade, quite specifically. I think I'll tinker with the above build and try it at FNM very soon. I think it is again time for this deck to shine.

Note that the cards in the description don't quite match those in the deck-- I'll fix that as I have some time to tinker and get the new build situated.

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rvnender says... #1

Fairly new to this so I got a question.

How does Death Touch work with the instant? I always thought that Death Touch only triggers if the creature itself is doing the attacking, and not from an outside source (IE from the instant).

August 1, 2017 7:44 p.m.

BioProfDude says... #2

rvnender, with Ambuscade, Clear Shot, and Nature's Way (the sorcery version of the first two) it says that the target creature deals damage equal to its power to another target creature. Deathtouch is defined as any damage that the creatures deals is fatal. Thus, using any of those three cards and targeting a deathtouch creature you control to do damage to a target creature your opponent controls will be fatal to the opponent's creature (unless it has indestructible) while your creature will walk away unscathed.

Note that this is different than, say, Prey Upon where the two creatures fight. This would mean that they both get a chance to deal damage to each other. That's why I prefer the more-costly-to-cast cards that I have. My little 1/2 or 1/1 deathtouch creature lives while my opponent's bug 4/4 or whatever dies because of the deathtouch.

Does this clarify the idea for you?

August 1, 2017 7:52 p.m.

rvnender says... #3

It does. Thank you man!

August 1, 2017 8 p.m.

coltmacmtg says... #4

This looks like an awesome deck!

I wonder if you could accelerate its speed with more card drawing beyond Driven / Despair?

August 20, 2017 12:50 a.m.

BioProfDude says... #5

coltmacmtg, I have tried Dissenter's Deliverance main board and used the cycling for card draws. It works okay, but I think there are better strategies. The current version I play takes some of the removal from the sideboard and moves Clear Shot and Ambuscade to the sideboard (though this is still experimenting, so it's not the build you see above).

Your suggestion is worth noting-- any time card draw can be reasonably included, it is beneficial to a deck! Thanks for the suggestion!

August 20, 2017 1:12 a.m.

djnewellmit says... #6

Have you thought about including Pathway Arrows?

August 21, 2017 4:52 p.m.

BioProfDude says... #7

djnewellmit, I have, and it was in the deck for a while. It was just a bit klunky, and in the current meta it's just too slow (pay 2, tap). It doesn't seem like it, but creature removal is quite common at the moment, so having to equip it gets in the way as well. I had better luck without it in the deck.

I'm also playing a slightly different build than I have here-- still testing, though, so I haven't updated. Will probably do that in the next few days.

Thanks for the suggestion!

August 21, 2017 8:26 p.m.

hullos says... #8

Yahenni, Undying Partisan when all of your creatures have death touch blocking gives you +1/+1 and is good against control.

August 31, 2017 12:42 p.m.

BioProfDude says... #9

hullos I have tried Yahenni, Undying Partisan in the deck and it does okay, but it's not great. Drana, Liberator of Malakir has proven to be better. Yahenni, Undying Partisan was actually one of the original cards in the deck that I had started building around (several months ago). It's a good card and with the rotation coming it's worth a new look to see whether it can help the deck survive rotation.

Thanks for the suggestion!

August 31, 2017 3:24 p.m.

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Revision 24 (1 month ago)

-1 Fatal Push side
+1 Grasp of Darkness side
+2 Dead Weight side
-1 Nature's Way side
-1 Blossoming Defense side

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