pie chart

Ifnir Black -- budget mono-Black Aggro

Standard Aggro Budget Mono-Black



Artifact (1)

Because why should mono-Red have all the aggro fun?

This deck is a take off the Ramunap Red model: low-to-the-ground aggro with places to put our mana later in the game, neat little synergies hidden all over, and a bit of card advantage stuck in for good measure.

The Crew

Let's start with the creatures, most of which can be cast for 1 or 2 mana and all of which are highly efficient for their cost. Vicious Conquistador is pretty great for its cost, hitting for 2 early and even forcing through a bit of damage late. Dread Wanderer naturally deserves a 4-of spot since it's really aggressive and also gives us something to do with our mana later on in the game. Bone Picker is technically 4-CMC but it usually costs us just 1 mana to cast, and what more could you ask from 1 mana than a 3/2 flying deathtoucher? Gifted Aetherborn and Scrapheap Scrounger are the obvious 2-drops: the former gives us play against aggro decks while the latter is really tough for Control to deal with (just three copies since we rarely have enough creatures in our graveyard to support recurring multiple Scroungers at a time). Glint-Sleeve Siphoner is our "Bad Bob," but a 2/1 Menace for 2 isn't half-bad on its own either. She gives us better ways to grind against Midrange decks. Finally, Ammit Eternal is our top-end, the big daddy, a 5/5 for 3 that dares our opponent to deal with it or die.

The Kill

Next, removal: Fatal Push and Walk the Plank. Fatal Push is the most expensive card in the deck by far but efficient removal is crucial for getting the cost reduction on Bone Picker as early as possible so I feel it's a necessary expense; at least you can use it in basically any other Black deck in virtually every format! Walk the Plank is here to help kill bigger threats; the Sorcery speed really, really hurts, but it's the best we've got at the moment. If there's one card I want to upgrade more than any other, it's Walk the Plank.

The Connections

"I am confident that all our enterprises can benefit from this little revolution."

Our last spell is Gonti's Machinations and it looks really janky, I know, but it's been the real deal in testing. Think of it kinda like a Lava Spike in Black that can also bank Energy for Bob. We have plenty of ways of incidentally dealing damage to ourselves on our turn, plus it triggers Revolt for Fatal Push at Instant Speed, plus it gives us the kind of reach we need. All in all, it's an overperformer with lots of synergy.

The Base of Operations

Finally, lands, and there's actually a couple of really interesting tricks here even though we're mono-colored. Ifnir Deadlands is the deck's signature card and it does some serious work for us. The damage procs help feed Gonti's Machinations and the ability to kill a cheap chump-blocker comes in extremely handy. Desert of the Glorified helps protect us from flood (the bane of aggro decks), and a few basic Swamps round us out.

The Backup Plans

The sideboard is tuned to deal with specific threats. Duress helps pick apart combo and control decks, Lost Legacy is specifically for screwing-over Approach of the Second Sun but should have play in other matchups as well, Crook of Condemnation give us an edge against graveyard strategies that want to grind, and Never / Return is a last-ditch catch-all for creatures and Planeswalkers that our other removal misses. Finally, Make Obsolete is a little speculative but it helps us deal with go-wide token decks that our spot removal otherwise struggles to deal with. I'd like to fit Dispossess in here since Black is notoriously bad about dealing with Artifacts, but the only artifacts relevant right now that this deck has trouble with are God-Pharaoh's Gift and Oketra's Monument, and we can use Crook to fight the first one and Make Obsolete for the second one when it really matters.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The deck feels really solid so far but it could certainly use further fine-tuning.


Updates Add

We just got to see the full Ixalan set and the most straightforward changes after rotation are:

Vampire Cutthroat --> Vicious Conquistador

I really like Night Market Lookout for this slot, but I'd need to work in some way to tap it without attacking (namely Aethersphere Harvester) and that seems like a different deck. Deadeye Tracker is interesting but probably too slow. Blight Keeper is almost good enough, but something has gone terribly wrong if we ever get to 8 mana and Blight Keeper isn't going to be enough to dig us out of that hole. That leaves us with Vicious Conquistador, which is sorta a 2/2 for (B) -- not too shabby. It probably won't do much more than chip in a few times before being eaten by a bigger creature, but that should be fine as long as we've gone wide enough. Still, I'm gonna keep an eye out for a better 1-drop.

For other creatures, Fathom Fleet Captain is cool, but our current 2-drops are better. Kitesail Freebooter is great for more controlling decks but isn't aggressive enough for us here. I love Wanted Scoundrels but ramping our opponent by 2 is a terrible idea. All said, I'm inclined to stick with the current roster, other than Vampire Cutthroat.

Grasp of Darkness --> Walk the Plank

Obvious change. Losing instant speed and the ability to kill Hazoret really hurts but there's nothing for it.

Lay Bare the Heart --> Duress

This is another easy change. We're pretty well set up to deal with creature decks already and the cost reduction will really help us stay streamlined.

That's all the changes I'm sure about. I'm also considering trying out Sentinel Totem in Crook of Condemnation's sideboard spot. Crook is a better card overall since careful use can stop a graveyard strategy from getting off the ground if cast early and prevent it from ever rebuilding, but Sentinel Totem is much cheaper to fire off, which might matter.

Comments View Archive

Compare to inventory

Revision 5 See all

10 months ago)

-3 Walk the Plank main
-4 Gonti's Machinations main
-4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner main
-4 Vicious Conquistador main
+4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner main
+4 Gonti's Machinations main
+3 Scrapheap Scrounger main
-4 Gifted Aetherborn main
+4 Gifted Aetherborn main
-4 Ammit Eternal main
+4 Bone Picker main
-4 Ifnir Deadlands main
+4 Ammit Eternal main
-4 Bone Picker main
+3 Walk the Plank main
-4 Dread Wanderer main
+4 Ifnir Deadlands main
+4 Dread Wanderer main
-4 Desert of the Glorified main
+4 Desert of the Glorified main
and 34 other change(s)