This is a grindy deck that focuses on killing your opponent's creatures with deathtouch creatures equipped with bows or staffs. It slows your opponent down to a crawl and wins with ping damage. It's great against aggro and because of the low mana curve it can survive fairly well against control decks as well. Even with sweepers an intelligent strategy can be devastating, it only takes one or two creatures to completely shut down any creature strategy ( and for hexproof Glaring Spotlight, I just don't play against enough of it to run that card main board). Thornbite Staff + Vampire Nighthawk is a great combo, as it'll equip to the nighthawk as he enters play for free and it'll untap the nighthawk every time he activates the ability to tap and kill creatures. Gifted Aetherborn + Pathway Arrows is the cheaper way to the same combo, it cab be played over two turns and not interrupt your game flow very much at all. The ultimate combo is Thornbite Staff + Vampire Nighthawk + Viridian Longbow now this is significantly better because you can now tap your nighthawk to kill a creature and gain a life for free and untap him each time, allowing you to kill all of your opponent's creatures each turn and still be able to attack; pair this with eternal thirst for a vicious win. Deathtouch is a great ability, it makes your opponent think twice before attacking or blocking, and can translate to unlockable when you need to get the damage through. This deck will be lethal at FNM in modern. As always even though this is a budget deck I am more than willing to hear any good combos in missing; this is a great cheap deck but it has a lot of room for improvement, and suggestions.


Bone Picker one of the most powerful creatures in the deck, truly a card you'll want to draw any turn of the game. At 4 cost for a 3/2 with deathtouch it's not terrible, but if you kill a creature first it becomes one of the best 1 cost creatures in the game. Can be equipped to kill creatures by tapping, but it's better just enchanted with eternal thirst and attacking because your opponent usually doesn't have too many answers.

Ruthless Ripper yet another 1 cost creature but this one has a twist, if you cast her for 3 instead she is face down as a 2/2 and can be turned face up just by revealing a black card in your hand, then it causes an opponent to lose 2 life, which is a nice consistent damage source. Face up she can be equipped to kill creatures by tapping

Vampire of the Dire Moon an excellent 1 drop creature that has both lifelink and deathtouch. Her 1/1 body isn't very impressive, but equipped with a bow she'll deal damage and gain you life as well as killing creatures.

Gifted Aetherborn this is a pretty great creature, it has decent stats (a 2/3 is solid for 2 mana in mono black), plus deathtouch and lifelink, all for 2 mana. Equip this creature with a bow or staff, he will destroy creatures and you'll gain life from it.

Vampire Nighthawk one of the greatest uncommons in the game. The unholy Trinity of abilities: deathtouch, flying, and lifelink. Great stats, and it only costs 3. The best play in the deck is Thornbite staff turn 2 and nighthawk turn 3, the staff can attach for free and allow you to kill 2 creatures on turn 4, and be able to attack the same turn.

Isareth the Awakener an interesting new addition to my arsenal. Her stats are impressive, 3/3 for 3 and deathtouch is hard to ignore, but her second ability actually changes the entire feel of the deck. With creature control at a maximum, she will ruthlessly rain down on opponents and is great in any game when you've had to trade good creatures as blockers. With the low mana curve this creature has great potential

The non-creatures

Thoughtseize a great card for missy matchups. I run a couple to deal with certain problem cards that the deck can go up against. In General this is a great card, the creatures deal with other creatures, and this card gives valuable information about the opponents hand like counters and board wipes.

Sign in Blood a great card that helps speed up the process for this deck on both ends. At first it's a good card for getting more cards in your hand and getting to the core combo cards and honestly the 2 life is manageable. Late game when your combo is set up this card will punish opponents possibly getting to deliver the final blow. ((This card is in beta, it is not necessary for any of the core combos))

Pathway Arrows equip to give a creature the ability to pay 2 to tap and deal 1 damage to target creature or player. If you equip a deathtouch creature (literally all of them) the creature can Tap to kill other creatures. It's also really good against colorless, it can immobilize indestructible.

Viridian Longbow similar to pathway arrows in many ways, but this card offers much greater potential. Its equip cost is 1 higher, at 3, but the tap ability to deal 1 damage is free. Thornbite Staff + Viridian Longbow is a great equip combo, because the staff lets your creature untap when it kills a creature and the longbow makes the ability free.

Eternal Thirst mainly used to compliment agent of fates, and vampire nighthawk when he gets the equip combo.this card can give any creature lifelink and they get a +1/+1 counter when a creature dies, which is often

Thornbite Staff a powerful card that has an added advantage over the bows. You pay 2 to tap it and deal 1 damage to creature or player, but if a creature dies then you get to untap the equipped creature again. As a happy side note, when vampire nighthawk comes into play, the staff can equip to him for free immediately.

Shadow Slice the finisher for this deck. With creature control at a maximum this card gives this deck the added damage needed to win games earlier. Encode it to an attacker, like vampire nighthawk, bone picker, or agent of the fates and in 1 or 2 turns you'll deal between 10-15 damage minimum ((card was relocated to the side board, it just costs too much to be desirable, but in certain matchups it's still a bomb))

Side board

Glaring Spotlight used to get around hexproof. I found in trial runs that this deck had a lot of trouble getting around it. It's also very useful against spot removal in a pinch.

Tragic Slip a great addition to my side board, this card gets around indestructible. Adding into the theme of my side board geared against a certain enemy

Illusionist's Bracers a really good card for slower battles, where you know you'll need the boost. When you combine Illusionist's Bracers + Thornbite Staff and Illusionist's Bracers + Viridian Longbow accelerate your killing power so you can keep up in turns 6-10. ((Removed for now for being too slow))

Gonti, Lord of Luxury high costed but very efficient creature for the right matchup. Gonti is a good swap in against counters, as he can swipe a counter from an opponent. I don't always want my opponents cards, but when I do I use this guy.

This is stage 4 for this deck, I welcome all comments and suggestions, and as always an upvote for my deck gets you one back, as well as any comments or suggestions. If you want the budget version of this deck you just need to take out the thoughtseize which forms over 130$ of the budget, meaning the rest is just 30-40$ most of that is in the shaman staff, but that's a key card this deck really needs Thanks guys


Updates Add

I've slimmed the deck down again and added a couple of new cards. I decided to add Thoughtseize because even though it's far from budget, there is never a game I don't need it. I also adjusted my numbers and added a new 1 mana deathtouch creature that has lifelink. Fixed the side board so it's 15 cards I can actually use. Overall the deck is shaping up nicely and I hope you all will give it a looking over and let me know your thoughts.


Revision 3 See all

2 months ago)

-4 Agent of the Fates side
-1 Eternal Thirst main
+1 Gonti, Lord of Luxury side
-4 Illusionist's Bracers side
+1 Pestilent Spirit side
-1 Ruthless Ripper main
-2 Shadow Slice main
-1 Sign in Blood main
-2 Swamp main
+4 Thoughtseize main
+3 Vampire of the Dire Moon main