Standard Mono Black deck (relatively low cost) based around skeletons and sac-combos. Looking for help improving the deck for Standard play.

Currently playing with the idea of adding Ritual of Soot however it seems like the risk of both larger creatures not being destroyed with its own self-inflicted creature destruction makes it less good. Opted for using Phyrexian Scriptures as a clear card instead out of my sideboard in most situations when I have needed it, which also gives the added bonus of not wiping a creature, usually a Priest of Forgotten Gods . The only downside is the wipe does not take place until turn 2 which leaves room for opponents to end the game or destroy the Saga. Update: I have switched back and forth between each of these at live standard events and have found each have their benefits but neither has the effectiveness you would get from Damnation .

Also have been considering Spawn of Mayhem as a combo to play for 3 after attacking or using Priest of Forgotten Gods ability. Would give the deck some extra damage and flying but would further tick away suicidal as well with the self damage during upkeep.

I have all cards in physical copy and have been playing in MTG arena with this exact deck as well since the new release showed off Reassembling Skeleton s new friends Gutterbones , and Priest of the Forgotten Gods . Creating the new sacrifice and revive combo which I based this deck around. This combo also works with add-ons of Desecrated Tomb , Open the Graves , Midnight Reaper , and Vindictive Vampire for added effect.

Separately, creatures dying to your opponents, combat, or Phyrexian Scriptures can combo with the above four as well. The deck holds up defensively with plenty of creature destroy, reusable blockers, creatures who can be cast from the graveyard after being countered, etc.

Biggest weakness has been Orzhov decks with a focus around Kaya, Orzhov Usurper . Removal from game from cards like Lava Coil have also acted as a thorn in the side with mono-red burn decks in standard requiring side-boarding to survive against. I am still looking for sideboard additions which could better mitigate the early burn damage from the standard burn or Rakdos decks first few turns. I have found that Duress can nicely remove early combination or removal spells which threaten the deck but cannot mitigate enough damage against burn decks when they have good starting hands.

My greatest struggle with the effectiveness of this deck, is no cards like Damnation or Black Sun's Zenith for same turn mono black board wipe. Even something high cost like Plague Wind in standard would have some added value. I am hoping the new set release in April for Spark of the War will contain a better mono-black clear card.

Removed Phyrexian Scriptures from the sideboard as I found it to be too slow making it easily: countered, destroyed, or bounced in times need. The lack of consistency in a relatively reactive deck wasn't working even for the sideboard. Added three Fountain of Renewal to the sideboard to help against mono-red burn decks and to help offset self damage from Arguel's Blood Fast  , Midnight Reaper , and Spawn of Mayhem . Worked to save me in two out of three matches vs burn on MTG Arena when I otherwise would have lost to burn.


+3 Bloodcrazed Paladin (moved from sideboard)

-3 Death Baron (moved to sideboard)

+2 Duress

-1 Open the Graves (moved to sideboard)

-1 Vraska's Contempt

-2 Phyrexian Scriptures (moved to sideboard)

-1 Vona's Hunger (moved to sideboard)

+2 Arguel's Blood Fast (moved from sideboard)

+1 Rite of Belzenlok (moved from sideboard)

-1 Josu Vess, Lich Knight (moved from sideboard)

-1 Vindictive Vampire

-1 Open the Graves (moved to sideboard)

+2 Spawn of Mayhem

-3 Phyrexian Scriptures (sideboard)

+3 Fountain of Renewal (sideboard)

+1 Ritual of Soot (sideboard)

-1 Josu Vess, Lich Knight (sideboard)


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44% Casual

56% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 6 months
Last updated 5 months

This deck is Standard legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.53
Tokens 1/1 Bat, 1/1 Cleric, 1/1 City's Blessing, 5/5 Demon
Folders Standard
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Revision 4 See all

5 months ago)

-1 Vona's Hunger main
+2 Ritual of Soot main
-1 Duress main
+1 Sorcerous Spyglass side
-1 Ritual of Soot side