This is a deck about absolution; absolute destruction, absolute control, and absolute advantage. The basic strategy behind the deck is to keep your opponents suppressed while keeping yourself ahead through consistent card draw and big mana, all while etching out value through various three for ones or simply Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet himself. Speaking of the main man, let's get into detail as to why he works so well in this deck.

Why Kalitas?

To be honest, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet was not the original commander for this deck. That honor goes to the now dethroned Lim-Dul the Necromancer . After playing this deck many, many times, I found that while the deck could definitely afford to cast Lim-Dul and get his effect off, it often didn't feel like the strongest thing I could do. The deck also felt a very real need for more lifegain and a lower curve, so having a commander that functions almost identically to Lim-Dul (gains creatures on death triggers) while also being lower on the curve and filling in a lifegain position the deck wanted helps the deck not only curve out, but stay in the game in regards to both life and relevancy in the particularly grindy matches. That said, Kalitas allows us to push mono-black cruel control to the extreme by turning every killspell into a Ravenous Chupacabra at no cost, all while giving himself fuel to both keep us alive and kill our opponents with commander damage if needed. This lets us play a few less big threats, increasing the consistency of our removal and draw power.

The Big Mana

Firstly, let's look at all of the big mana production methods available in the deck.

These sources of massive amounts of mana allow the deck to keep up the constant removal while also allowing you to both further your board and continue to set yourself up. Notably, each of these cards can make large amounts of mana immediately upon entering play, provided you meet the requirements. This allows the deck to play meekly when it needs to go under the radar, then come out of nowhere to surprise the table with explosive turns. Also, three of these cards are lands, meaning they will be rarely removed in playgroups that look down on land destruction. All of these cards can make five mana, ten mana, twenty mana, or more with little difficulty. Liliana of the Dark Realms can also serve as a great source of big mana if you are able to reach her ultimate. This ties into one of the alternate win conditions the deck employs: Torment of Hailfire . Many games have ended with a Torment of Hailfire being cast where X is approximately fifty.

Big Life for Suicide Black

One issue the deck ran into in the past was running low on life due to it's own card draw slowly dragging it down. This problem is alleviated through the use of incidental life gain and a few cards meant to gain large amounts of life while taking up as few card slots in the deck as possible. The lifegain included is as follows:


These smaller bits of lifegain do an help to both supplement the larger pieces of lifegain and help you last until you are able to reach one of those larger pieces. Each one is a card that you would already be playing in the deck regardless or is a very small downgrade, meaning the deck loses next to nothing by playing them.


All of these cards can gain you a massive amount of life with little effort put into making them work. Think of them as a "play it and forget it" kind of piece to the puzzle; they will almost always be powerful when played. Gray Merchant of Asphodel can easily gain thirty life for you when played. Whip of Erebos is a two pronged spear, not only netting you life in the same way as Exquisite Blood , but also giving you access to repeatable recursion in a deck rife with powerful ETB effects. We've already talked about our commander, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet who can easily become a 7/8 or larger. These factors combined give the deck a lifegain package that more than offsets the bleeding caused by your card draw.

The Card Draw

This deck relies heavily on card draw in order to keep it's stranglehold on the board. Thankfully, you should always have access to several (usually) repeatable sources of card draw, including:

There are additional sources of card advantage in the deck of course, but when it comes strictly to draw, these are the cards you'll be relying on. Most of these cards give you draw power until dealt with, and with how much draw power the deck has, you'll usually have come across another piece of card draw by the time the table has dealt with whatever piece you have on board, if they bother to get rid of it at all. I want to draw specific attention to Arch of Orazca . This card is criminally underrated, giving you card draw at almost zero opportunity cost, though expensive. It has won many games for me with many decks simply because my opponents had to rely on their topdeck and I could still draw one more card to dig for an answer or a win condition.

Well, that about sums it up! The removal should be self explanatory, as should the tech cards included, but if you have any questions or comments, please, I encourage you to let me know! This deck is a blast to play, and I am always looking to improve it in whatever way I can.


Updates Add


33% Casual

67% Competitive

Date added 1 year
Last updated 3 weeks

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.81
Tokens 2/2 Zombie, Liliana, 1/1 City's Blessing
Folders EDH, Good decks, Competitivo, want, Current EDH Decks
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