This is my 2nd attempt at making a decent deck with the collection I've built up thus far. Again as before; offer honest criticism please.
There isn't a focus card in the deck really, since it's a spread out play trying to grasp at whatever cards you'll draw. There's a simple philosophy to the deck that plays into Black's playstyle perfectly; chip away at your opponents life and hand, discarding cards as often as possible but with enough creatures to see yourself through. Some might question why only 19 mana? The cards chosen aren't too demanding for mana, so the idea is that if you're frustrated and aren't drawing any lands, just start making decisions that make your opponent discard cards or slowly drip life, this will hopefully annoy/disorientate them enough to get you through any unlucky draws early on.
There are 4 different plays I see unfolding with this deck:
1) You've discarded most of your opponent's good cards, which gives you a good chance in and of itself, but Jace's Phantasm will greatly benefit from this, possibly giving you a lucky edge with next to no mana spent (possible game turner if you aren't drawing lands and opponent is discarding crazy with spells etc.).
2) Overpower early game with exhalted and push through with whatever your fortunate enough to draw (get zombies flushing in, or rely on the vamps).
3) Speaking of Vamps, there's a lot of lifelink in here, and with 'Mark of the Vampire' you can turn other creatures into lifelinks. You can potentially win based on this holding out long enough, where spells, Liliana, and Vampire Nighthawk can wipe the field of creatures, and lifelink will just make sure that you increase the gap between your lifepoints and your opponent's.
4) Diregraf Captain is a sure bet for any Zombie players, but if you're against red or a control/damage spell deck, avoid this play. You're relying too heavily on the Captain going down to buff your zombies, where he only has 2 toughness and can be taken out with most damage spells, or un-summoned/countered by something simple. This has a high payoff if played properly though.
There's vampires for lifelink, exalted creatures for early game pushing and/or defensive lone creature attacks, there's enough cards that will chip away at your opponents cards making them discard at nearly every turn (hopefully removing their key cards at some point). There's the Diregraf Captain to ensure the Zombies get full usage, but the deck doesn't rely on that, but does its best efforts to ensure the potential is given to achieve this play. Otherwise, cards are focused on low cost cards that can be played quickly to make sure that you're taking advantage of the chaos you're hopefully creating.
I won 4 games, and lost 6. My opponent had used 4 different decks to test mine, I won twice against his fire deck (my discarding disrupted his drawing of spells and high attack creatures), I won once against his plains light deck (then lost once as well). I also won once against his tree deck (same problem as fire, he was discarding cards like giant growth etc that he desperately needed), but then lost once against it too. The other 4 were lost against his water deck (we played 4 times in a row and I couldn't get anything done).
So after my first 10 test matches with the deck, it seems it fairs well against fire and grass, as long as you get your opponent to discard cards and hit it lucky, I got some lifelinks in early too with my vamps, in the match I won against his fire deck, there was a point where it was 28 - 7 to me, which shows how well the Vamps did alongside the discarding, I finished him off with my health at 13 because he managed to draw a few lucky searing spears and some other life damaging spells, so he was casting them crazily trying to get anything done having lost hope of putting down any good creatures. Tree deck had the same problem with him.
Water is impossible to beat if it has any type of controlling elements to it. He countered most of my spells (he waited until I used the big ones that he expected me to use after our earlier test matches, would newly acquainted opponents know your playing habit though even after seeing your deck?). In any case, he stopped anything I tried to do spell and enchantment wise, and was constantly tapping and freezing my creatures, and with such low toughness on most, I couldn't get anything done quick enough and kept losing consistently just after turn 10 (lifelink does not help at this point, especially with drake tokens down).
My final thoughts? I'm spread out too thin across different play styles. I'm trying to do lifelink, with exalted, and adding in some hard discarding tactics. Throw in some zombies, and I'm trying to do too much without focus (which is what a Redditor told me, although I'd already built and played this over the last few nights :S).
I'm making some changes, going to get rid of all exalted cards, and focus on vamps for creatures. Look at the recommendations for vamp builds, going to get a lot of buffs, and cards which make opponents discard cards and give me life etc. After I've added a few more vamp cards in and replaced the exalted creatures (and probably zombies too), I'll focus on putting more mana in (another 5 or so swamp mana would have helped greatly, and explore the possibility of removing all of the blue cards from the deck, since they didn't come around often enough to warrant helping. Jace's phantasm was amazing around my 5th turn, having around 3 mana set down and not many creature cards, I had put Jace's Phantasm down as a desperate last line of defense card against a strong creature if it ever came. Thankfully I had lots of discarding spells, so my opponent's graveyard was stacked with 10 cards by my 5th turn, which meant that the phantasm came in 5/5 pretty early which is what I wanted to see happen.
Liliana is a lifesaver, her discard +1 ability is what got me through a lot of the matches, and once the phantasm came in to do direct 5 damage each turn, I started rolling the ball quite well. Necropolis Regent was a bad choice, as by this time in the game, my opponent had already placed more than 1 creature down with a mixture of ground and flying types. This meant that I'd never deal direct damage and I was always caught in defensive standoffs, she went to waste and I placed her down 4/10 of the matches, the only time her ability came in handy was with the Invisible Stalker in one of the matches, where he had 7/7 which eventually won me the match since it's hexproof and is unblockable :) Very hard for that situation to come around though.