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How The Devil Plays MTG: The Mono-Black Primer

Modern Budget Competitive Control Midrange Mono-Black Primer



Hello! Welcome to my Primer for Mono Black Aggro/Midrange/Control. This is my first primer in a series of primers I'm creating for the Modern format. I've done what I can to condense many of the primers that have been made online with my own personal experiences playing Mono-black decks. Within the primer I've made as many listings as I can for what I have seen or played, as many primers skip over viable options or possibilities for certain metas. The decklist that I currently have is one that I play personally.

Mono-black Aggro/midrange/control has been a competitive deck for quite some time, as the deck is very meta adaptable and budget friendly due to the manabase that it plays, since the majority of Modern decks have most of their price in their mana base. We also have access to cheap and efficient removal that deals with many decks in the format.

The other main reason why Mono-black is so viable in the modern format is because it has access to almost everything you need to survive, which is, threats, removal, and card draw. This is the reason why many people have chosen to play this deck.

This primer is a tool that I've made for people to try out this deck. When looking to build this deck, you should try to figure out the types of matchups you will be facing in your local meta, and figure out a way to make your deck have good matchups against the majority of decks in that meta. Obviously, you will likely have a few bad matchups, but that is the nature of Modern, as it is a rock, paper, scissors format, and there is an answer to every deck.

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When building your deck, one thing you need to be aware of is the curve of your deck, as there are plenty of decks in the format like Elves and Affinity that like to have their entire hand on the board by around turn 3-4, decks like Death's Shadow Aggro, Infect, and Ad Nausseum would like to kill you around turn 3-4 and you have to be prepared for that. This is why the Midrange and control variants are the most popular in mono black, as the aggro meta often forces people to play a more reactive deck.

Finding the right mix of cards to achieve deck adaptability can be difficult, which is why I've put in cards that are extremely popular in mono-black, as well as the cards that see fringe play, as metas and decks are constantly changing.

It should be known that when playing Mono-black (as with any mono-colored deck) you won't have answers to everything, you may find it hard to interact with combo decks that play cards like Leyline of Scanctity, or interact with decks like Tron that simply ramp their way into bigger and badder things then you could ever play. However you make this trade in interaction for pure consistency, as any land you draw should be able to help you cast your spells, it also allows colorless lands to not be as painful to you when playing.

The primary way that many mono-black players pilot their way to victory is not by pressuring their opponent with high power creatures like Elves or Zoo, but rather by removing their hand, and their board, and then moving in with your own spells once the field is in your favor.

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Tormod's Crypt: Crypt is one of the cheapest ways to exile an opponent's graveyard, it also doesn't cost any mana to use or play, definitely the most budget friendly graveyard hate around.

Slaughter Pact: It is not uncommon to see this card as a one-of in the main or sideboard of a Mono-black deck, as the ability to fake not having removal mana up can be relevant against certain decks.

Ravenous Trap: A dredge hoser that is used when we want to exile an opponent's graveyard on the spot from our hand, instead of having it be weak to removal like Leyline of the Void, it also lets us hose a graveyard if it's not in our opener.

Leyline of the Void: Very prevalent due to the graveyard based strategies in the format, a lot of the time playing this turn 0 wins games in certain matchups. Typically seen as a 3-4 of if relevant.

Tectonic Edge/Ghost Quarter: Gives you the ability to destroy manlands, Tron lands, and other troublesome cards. But if you plan on casting a lot of spells that are only black mana symbols, you may want to consider not playing these, even if you have an Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth or two.

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth: This land gives you color fixing as you don't want to get stuck with colorless sources, or lands that don't generate mana at all like Arena. Usually played as 1-2 of if used.

Cavern of Souls: A must-have for any tribal build, as it decreases your weaknesses to control and tempo decks.

Inkmoth Nexus: Only relevant in mono-black infect builds some 8-rack lists, Inkmoth Nexus can act as finishers in these builds.

Mutavault: Only really sees play in 8-rack and tribal builds.

Marsh Flats, Polluted Delta, Verdant Catacombs, Bloodstained Mire: If you are in mono-black, fetchlands should only be used if you are running Fatal Push or Bloodghast, and even then they still make you weaker to burn. However, if you are splashing another color, obviously your mana base will change with that.

Arena: A fringe piece. This card is usually ran as a one-of with Phyrexian Obliterator as a way to force your opponent's hand if played. Arena can also come up in various matchups as a way to get free wins, because lets say an opponent has something big like an Inferno Titan, if that it the only creature they have, you can tap it down and get in a free hit. The main issue with this card is that while it is a land, it generates no mana without uroborg, tomb of yawgmoth, and is often seen as being too slow for modern.

Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx: A staple in all devotion builds, running this card allows you to make huge plays in the lategame with cards like Phyrexian Arena. Be mindful though, because a colorless manasource can be a problem in some decks.

Dakmor Salvage: This card is often played in builds that abuse Smallpox as well as some 8-rack builds.

Bojuka Bog: Do you need Gravehate but don't want to devote sideboard slots for it? Bog is usually alright as a 1-2 of in graveyard heavy metas.

Miren, the Moaning Well: This land can work well as a 1-2 in lists that want to run big body cards with drawbacks like Abyssal Persecutor.

Crypt of Agadeem: While this card only sees fringe play due to it's usage, in certain builds this card be a huge boon for the deck.

Swamp: Not all builds need the other lands mentioned here, 22-24 lands is almost always a must.

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Thoughtseize/Inquisition of Kozilek: These two cards are modern staples for a good reason, as they enable you to tear apart your opponent's hand before their cards become relevant. It is not uncommon to see a many copies of both of these cards in some decks.

Blackmail: A budget alternative to Thoughtseize, one nice feature about this card is that it can hit lands, but it's limitations make it pretty unfavorable.

Bloodsoaked Champion: A 'Bad Bloodghast', Champion sees some play in Mono-black aggro, and has seen some play in fringe Mono-black midrange builds.

Basilisk Collar: Sees fringe play in mono-black aggro and some midrange lists, typically ones that play cards like Reality Smasher.

Surgical Extraction/Extirpate: These cards are a great way to tear apart a combo deck that you are facing, as Surgical can be a free spell, and Extirpate can't be stopped, not uncommon to see them in the sideboard of mono-black decks.

Death's Shadow: Only really played in decks like Suicide Black in Mono-black, Death's Shadow is a boogeyman within the modern format, and is only really playable in a few decks with black as the only color.

Indulgent Aristocrat: A one-drop that has been seen in certain mono-black vampire decks to pump up your creatures if they are getting hit by Path to Exile, or you just want to grow the board.

Vampire Lacerator: Another one-drop commonly seen in mono-black vampires, Lacerator is an aggressive creature that works for the vampire decks it gets played in.

Disfigure: Cheap removal against decks like Elves and Infect, not uncommon to see in the 75, has become pretty much replaced by Fatal Push.

Fatal Push: A new format staple, Fatal Push by itself is like an upgraded version of Disfigure, however with Revolt and ways to trigger it, (such as fetchlands) this card can be very good at killing most of the threats you need it to.

Pithing Needle: Mono-black sometimes needs answers to certain abilities, pithing needle works for everything from planeswalkers like Gideon Jura to Thopter Foundry.

Funeral Charm: Discard at instant speed, can also be a sneaky hit with a creature if you play Urborg, usually sees play in 8-rack lists.

Elixir of Immortality: A budget sideboard card that's great against decks like mill and burn.

Bloodchief Ascension: While typically used in Red-Black shells, ascension has been seen in lists that are very aggressive as a way to turn it on. Also has an infinite combo with Mindcrank when turned on.

Tragic Slip: This card has seen play in some builds that rely on creatures dying and returning.

Illness in the Ranks: An excellent cheap sideboard against token builds, Illness can shut down decks like Thopter Foundry, as they'll usually need enchantment removal to win the game.

Bump in the Night: Mono-black's Lava Spike, seen in a notorious "mono-black burn" deck.

Duress: Great budget discard, usually in the sideboard for control/combo matchups.

Harsh Scrutiny/Despise: Seen in budget builds that contain creature heavy metas.

The Rack & Shrieking Affliction: The key pieces to the established 8-rack deck.

Cryptbreaker: Outstanding for discard heavy builds, and pairs well in a zombie deck.

Gravecrawler: Played in decks with a high zombie concentration.

Nihil Spellbomb/Relic of Progenitus: Spellbomb is a cantrip for opposing graveyard hate and relic is superb against dredge as you can be annoying and being able to blow it up for a cantrip at any time.

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Bloodghast: A resilient 2/1 that can keep on coming back from the dead, works very well with Lashwrithe, and is a staple within Mono-black Devotion lists. However against a very aggressive meta it might be better to pick a creature that can actually block.

Vampire Hexmage: Effective for removing opposing planeswalkers, but not much else. Hexmage is almost always a sideboard card if used at all since Dark Depths is banned in modern.

Altar's Reap: Sees extreme fringe play in decks that are sacrifice based.

Heartless Summoning: This card has some ups and downs, you could build around this card, and have tons of success, as this card allows some combos, such as an infinite loop combo with 2 Myr Retriever and Altar of the Brood, as well as just playing cards like Myr Superion and Spellskite for free. Heartless also allows you to take advantage of high CMC cards like Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, Abyssal Persecutor, and Gray Merchant of Asphodel. My only issue with this card is that a deck that runs with it would be fine, but it suits a combo build that would splash other colors to be more successful.

Spellskite: Spellskite is an infect hoser that thanks to WOTC can be played in all colors, this card works well against decks that would rather like to hose you like Bogles or Shadow Zoo, but doesn't see any real play in mono black.

Despoiler of Souls: Another "Bad bloodghast" but very budget friendly.

Guardian Idol & Mind Stone: These cards only see play in lists that abuse Death Cloud.

Bitterblossom: This card has variable play. Sometimes seen as a 1-of in some builds, Bitterblossom gives you a bunch of tokens that are great for cards like Lashwrithe. However, after investigating this card further, Bitterblossom can actually be played as a 3-4 of if used in combination with cards like Sword of Light and Shadow and shines well against decks that want to break your board using cards like Smallpox or Lilliana of the Veil.

Dragon's Claw: Only even decent against burn, but in reality cards like Gifted Aetherborn are far more effective.

Kalastria Highborn: Commonly seen in Mono-black Vampires, Highborn turns your vampires into little Syphon Lifes when they die and you have open mana.

Stromkirk Condemned: another card seen in Mono-Black Vampires, Condemned is great at acting like a pseudo-lord for vampires since you can pitch a swamp to pump your team.

Zombie Infestation/Call the Bloodline: Great for lists that want to throw away their hand.

Hand of Cruelty/Black Knight/Stromgald Crusader: These two drops are strong enough to hold off a few of the fast creatures in the format, crusader can be more effective in the late game with Lashwrithe. Hand of Cruelty is the strongest tempo card as it is basically a 3/3 when attacking or blocking.

Rite of Consumption: A card that can provide decent lifegain against decks like burn, as well as being able to kill your own Abyssal Persecutor when you need to, since even if your opponent were to counter your spell. your creature is dead anyway.

Gifted Aetherborn: A Vampire Nighthawk that had it's mana cost cut by 1 in return for clipping it's wings, Gifted has an impact on how many players choose to attack, as deathtouch and lifelink are always relevant abilities.

Dark Confidant: Dark Confidant sees play in midrange and aggro builds with a low cmc concentration to allow feverous card draw on a 2/1 body.

Devour Flesh: This spell allows you to get rid of creatures when an opponent might want to kill them, when your opponent would wrath away a creature like the Lashwrithe Germ token, or maybe you need to get rid of an opposing bogle, it does have some variance, and sees play in the sideboard of some builds.

Asylum Visitor/Blood Scrivener/Other bad bobs: These cards are usually favorable on a budget, and in some builds they function like Phyrexian Arena.

Sangrophage: The black version of Kalonian Tusker, Sangrophage is played primarily in Suicide black decks as an aggressive early game threat.

Wrench Mind: The modern version of Hymn to Tourach, sees play in discard heavy lists.

Distress: A Thoughtseize played on turn 2, often seen in budget lists.

Relentless Dead: Another 2 drop that can recur, Relentless Dead can also bring back other zombies if you have untapped mana.

Treacherous Pit-Dweller: Played in some suicide black lists, Pit dweller can be an outstanding threat, but the problem is that of course it can become a threat for an opponent as well.

Nantuko Shade: A fringe piece. shade can be a mana sink that's great when you aren't doing anything, although if your deck isn't doing anything, you probably aren't getting ahead.

Waste Not: Often a sideboard card in decks like 8-rack, Waste not can function as a multipurpose tool to help you in a variety of situations.

Dash Hopes: While I feel that this card should not be played in mono black, it does see play in some lists. But my reasoning against it is simple, since it's a 2 mana spell, you didn't play ANY of the 2 drops in this list, and if you think this'll beat combo reliably, you'd be wrong, because unless they are at 5 life or below, they'll pay for it, because usually they can just win anyways. In my opinion discard is far better at achieving what this card is trying to do, and is far better in the maindeck. That being said, if you play this in a deck like RB aggro or something, there is a possibility for it.

Hunted Horror: A secret weapon to be used against decks that use Leyline of Sanctity, since they can't be the target of spells or abilities, you can't give them their precious centaurs they deserve. How Sad :) This card also works with decks that abuse Torpor Orb.

Ratchet Bomb: One of the few ways mono-black can deal with non-creature heavy decks, it is rather slow but it can be effective in the sideboard.

Go for the Throat, Victim of Night, Doom Blade: go for the throat is bad against affinity and tron, but works against most other decks. Victim of Night is the least conditional removal spell in the format for mono-black, as besides Kalitas and Gurmag Angler, they are no other real vampires/zombies/werewolves in the format. Doom Blade is a classic removal spell that has shrunk in play because plenty of decks run black these days.

Bile Blight: An outstanding card against decks that play Lingering Souls, also works against decks like burn and whatnot as a way to deal with decks that play lots of the same creature.

Geth's Verdict: Good against decks like Bogles and Infect, decks that run a small amount of creatures.

Sign in Blood, Night's Whisper: Fringe pieces. Okay card draw, seen in some control builds.

Collective Brutality: This card is exceptionally good, as it supplies all kinds of advantages while only costing you 2 mana, well worth running at least a few.

Pack Rat: This card can take over the game very quickly, as besides a wrath, not many cards have an answer besides tons of removal spells if it lives for one turn.

Smother: Kills a large amount of creatures in the format, but has been basically replaced with Fatal Push and Victim of Night.

Mortarpod: Sees fringe play in mono-black midrange, usually seen in decks that run Abyssal Persecutor as a way to end the game once you have it.

Shred Memory: A fringe peice. A slight ammount of gravehate, but almost always used for it's transmute effect to tutor for combo pieces. Dimir House Guard and Dimir Machinations function similarly.

Augur of Skulls: Played in some variants of 8-rack, and fringe play in other mono-black decks.

Smallpox: Gives the deck a "Pox" feel, Smallpox is probably one of the best cards you can use turn 2 on the play.

Nameless Inversion: Combos with Haakon, Stromgald Scourge, Nameless inversion also works well in any deck trying to achieve delirium.

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Phyrexian Arena: You'll be using this or Confidant in a lot of builds. 2 is usually a good number.

Diregraf Colossus: An excellent beatstick for mono black Zombies.

Cemetery Reaper, Death Baron, Lord of the Undead, Lord of the Accursed: All great lords for a zombie deck.

Liliana of the Veil: Played in almost every mono-black deck, Lilli can win games by herself, as she supplies hand disruption, creature removal and the destruction of annoying card on the opposing side.

Liliana, the Last Hope: She's very good given the current aggro meta, and she can dig for cards like Bloodghast and Fulminator Mage. She is usually run as a 1 or 2 of alongside 2 to 3 Liliana of the Veil.

Lost Legacy: A more on-curve version of Memoricide, the downside is that it doesnt hit everything and it can't hit any full artifact based combos, and it can draw cards for your opponent.

Bontu's Last Reckoning: A 3 mana Damnation that basically time walks you, Reckoning could possibly see play in metas that are extremely aggressive, but I'm unsure if it will replace Damnation in most lists.

Gatekeeper of Malakir: Although technically a 2-drop, Gatekeeper is almost always played as a 3 drop, as removal on a body is always good. This card is very meta dependent.

Phyrexian Metamorph: While the cmc of this card may be 4, you'll never be paying the mana cost for it. This card has seen fringe play in some Mono-black midrange decks.

Vampire Nighthawk: More useful in aggro heavy metas. Nighthawk is kind of a roadblock against certain decks as they often don't have much of a response.

Crucible of Worlds: Combos with Ghost Quarter and Tectonic Edge to make sure your opponent is seriously screwed. Also allows you to keep playing fetches to make sure you land every land drop.

Virulent Plague: Illness in the Ranks's big brother. Good against any token strategy.

Necrogen Mists: Played in some budget brew sideboards as a 'budget' Lilliana of the Veil.

Haakon, Stromgald Scourge: Haakon has some interesting synergies, such as with Nameless Inversion, allowing you to kill creatures consistently. Haakon also functions well in knight based decks, and while the deck was/is far more potent in legacy, it is still buildable for modern.

Pitiless Horde: Played in mono-black aggro, could be played in some midrange builds for fast pressure.

Nyxathid: Amazing is discard heavy lists like 8-rack.

Plague Belcher: Similar to Pitiless Horde Belcher is good in mono-black aggro, as you can easily kill something like Gravecrawler, and then you have a 5/4 menace for 3.

Liliana's Specter/Hypnotic Specter: These cards aren't that spectacular by themselves, as specter is the only real playable one. I think there are better options for 3 drops, but on a super-tight budget I could possibly see them getting used.

Herald of Torment & Master of the Feast: Mostly for budget, these creatures are decently powerful, and their drawbacks aren't the worst, but they can see play.

Drown in Sorrow/Flaying Tendrils: These are the best small sweepers in mono-black. Depending on what you play, one may be better than the other, as Drown works if you have graveyard plans yourself, but Tendrils can deal with cards like Voice of Resurgence, Kitchen Finks, and opposing Bloodghasts.

Lifebane Zombie: This card is able to get cards like Siege Rhino, it also has what is essentially Fear, and can close the game quickly if unhindered.

Sadistic Sacrament: This card is very good against combo/control decks, and if you ever have enough mana, you could pay the kicker and exile most of your opponent's deck

Delirium Skeins: Delirium Skeins is mostly seen in some 8-rack lists, but has managed to see fringe play in other lists due to it's ability to destroy combo decks that use cards like Leyline of Sanctity to protect themselves from discard.

Hero's Downfall, Never One of the few ways Black can kill planeswalkers already in play. Since it can kill creatures too it is worth some consideration, 3 mana is a lot in modern though.

Oblivion Stone: An old fringe piece. Destroys things Black has trouble with such as enchantments and artifacts. Can be a consideration.

Nantuko Husk: Sees fringe play in Zombie builds that abuse creature recursion.

Ensnaring Bridge: Played mostly in 8-rack, bridge is an excellent way to slow down aggro decks.

Fulminator Mage: Extra hate against non-basic lands. The 2/2 body is also nice when you need to block, or attack when there's no lands to destroy.

Everlasting Torment: Great sideboard tech against decks like Soul Sisters.

Mimic Vat: A fringe piece. While I consider this card a bit slow for modern, Vat can get around cards like Wurmcoil Engine.

Rain of Tears: More budget friendly land destruction.

Dismember: Another solid removal option. Dismember kills virtually everything in the format and be a spell cast from turn 1 onward.

Syphon Life: This card is very meta and deck dependent, as it usually hit or miss, but the recurring draining does have it's uses.

Phyrexian Crusader: A roadblock against many decks in the format, it's not uncommon to see 2-4 in the 75.

Geralf's Messenger: This 3/2 effectively Shocks your opponent when it enters, and comes back after a wrath.

Crypt Incursion: Graveyard hate with bonus lifegain.

Captivating Vampire: The 3 cmc lord for Vampire Decks, Captivating Vampire is also known to steal away opposing threats should the game go long.

Sword of Light and Shadow & Other Swords: Swords are inherently powerful cards, and in decks like knights and other creature heavy builds, they can be very destructive.

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Korlash, Heir to Blackblade/Squelching Leeches: These creatures work with your manabase to become powerful in the mid-late game, Korlash has the benefit of ramping if you draw another, as well as being regenerateable. In my opinion Lashwrithe is far better since everything you play becomes a threat.

Liliana of the Dark Realms: This fringe card is only really reliable in mono-black control, as the ability to fetch for swamps to power finishers can be a force to be reckoned with, it is however 4 cmc.

Solemn Simulacrum: This card sees some extrmemly fringe play in Mono-black control as a ramp card with added card draw, although I think it's likely too slow in the current meta.

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet: Kalitas is extremely good as it can deal with graveyard strategies, give you life, and can grow bigger with time. Not uncommon to see 1-2 in the 75.

Phyrexian Obliterator: A 5/5 for 4 beater that supplies tons of Devotion while being incredibly good against aggro.

Abyssal Persecutor: As long as you run plenty of removal, this 6/6 flying Trample for 4 will close games very quickly.

Night of Souls' Betrayal/Curse of Death's Hold: These cards are great against decks like Affinity and Elves.

Endless Whispers: This card is a build-around that can easily produce a nasty deck in a mono-black control list, however the deck would obviously be very meta dependent, but nonetheless, budget friendly.

Desecration Demon: Not exactly the most powerful finisher, but it is a 6/6 that grows, this card is extremely meta dependent.

Vampire Nocturnus: The top of the curve for any vampire deck, Nocturnus makes Vampire decks worth playing since so little decks in the format can actually hand a massive flying board of vampires.

Erebos, God of the Dead: Great with some devotion decks, Erebos can act as card advantage and a finisher.

Erebos's Titan: A 'budget' form of Phyrexian Obliterator, Titan can be very good against boardwipe heavy decks as Indestructible can very hard to get rid of.

Whip of Erebos: Lifelink on everything is huge with so many beaters. You can also get recurring value out of cards like Obliterator and Gary. Not uncommon to see as a 1-2 of in the 75.

Lashwrithe: Makes cards like Bloodghast and Bitterblossom tokens far more threatening. In addition to this, Lashwrithe can be a huge boon if you put it on a creature like Vampire Nighthawk. It also supplies a body when it enters play, it can definitely be worth running 1-2.

Damnation: The planar chaos Wrath of God, it can deal with a board full of elves, or force the hand of an affinity player, well worth seeing in the 75.

Mutilate/Languish: These are the best Budget options for Damnation. If you are splashing another color, and are not playing shocklands, I'd recommend languish. If you are running an all swamp manabase (shocks and/or basics), then Mutilate is the way to go. These cards are also good if aggro decks using Selfless Spirit are relevant in your meta.

Sangromancer: Excellent in discard builds, but doesn't see any real play.

Risen Executioner: Run as a finisher in some super budget mono-black control lists since you can just cast it from the graveyard over and over if you only have 1-2 of them in the deck, but the game plan doesn't work too well against Path to Exile.

Grave Pact: This card can be a powerhouse in decks that focus on sacrificing their own creatures. Works well with Nantuko Husk.

Cranial Extraction/Memoricide: These cards allows you to search for any problem in an opponent's deck. These card are primarily for combo, as they aren't very good against anything else.

Phyrexian Vatmother: A staple of the mono-black infect builds.

Memory Plunder: Fringe piece. While this card has potential to be outstanding against decks like Lving End and Control, I think that discard and gravehate would be more effective against more decks and be more versatile.

Undead Warchief: Fringe piece. The Mega lord for a zombie deck.

Panharmonicon: After SaffronOlive showcased this card in a mono-black deck on MTGGoldfish, it becomes clear that this enables some insane play, such as turning cards like Ravenous Rats into actual cards, but it also turns Gray Merchant of Asphodel into a monster when it enters play.

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Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon: Often seen as a one-of in mono black infect.

Batterskull: A reccurring 4/4 with Lifelink and Vigilance can be very grindy and give us games in some matchups.

Liliana, Death's Majesty: While I don't see her tearing up the metagame, she has a lot of resilience since she can protect herself very easily, the issue is do you play this over Gray Merchant of Asphodel in most decks.

Demigod of Revenge: Bloodghast isn't the only creature that can return from the grave! Demigod can pull out quick wins if you get them in your graveyard with cards like Collective Brutality and Lilliana of the Veil. This card is usually run in a playset to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Gray Merchant of Asphodel: The 'big daddy' of mono-black, Gary makes all the cards you play give you a huge benefit, and allows wins out of nowhere in some situations. Also, since it doesn't "target" you can get around card like Leyline of Sanctity for a quick win.

Shriekmaw: It's decent, and can see some play, works very well in decks that can recur it.

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Grave Titan & Wurmcoil Engine: Other possible finishers although I don't think they will be needed.

Corrupt: Sees extreme fringe play in some budget control builds.

Tasigur, the Golden Fang: Played in some lists that are heavy with discard, Tasigur can be favorable if you are going to move into GB rock as a one-of, and is also on a decent body, especially with fetches.

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Gurmag Angler: While I can't say I run it over Tombstalker, this card has seen some play in some Mono-black Builds.

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Tombstalker: Very good in decks abusing Smallpox, and can even be used in regular versions of the deck. This will usually be a 5/5 for only . 2-3 copies should be run, if you're using it.

Distended Mindbender: A card that can see play as a one-of in some builds, Mindbender is a great way to screw over control decks since even if they counter the cast trigger occurs. The cost for this card is usually pretty low, as you normally only pay 3-4 mana to get it out.

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Black Sun's Zenith: This card is only somewhat reliable in mono black control since it is so overcosted.

Killing Wave & Profane Command: See extreme fringe play in mono-black control.

Death Cloud: A build-around card, cloud can sometimes win games by making an opponent sacrificing their entire board and hand to this card, this card is only really viable in a mono-black control deck that supports it.

Hangarback Walker: While it may not contribute to devotion, hangarback gets better as the game goes on, and it drops thopters when it dies. This card is often played as a 2-drop to soak up some damage while you build up your board, but can get big in the late game.

Chalice of the Void: Chalice has seen play in some of the Mono-black Death Cloud control lists that use this card along with Simian Spirit Guide to completely stop certain decks.

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GOOD MATCHUPS: Any deck that relies on creatures, such as aggro and Midrange decks.

FAIR MATCHUPS:Combo decks and Some midrange decks fall into this category, as well as some control builds.

POOR MATCHUPS: Tron, Lantern Control, Scapeshift/titanshift some of the UWx builds. Also, any graveyard build you can't interact with.

The reality is that creature based strategies are easy to get through since mono-black has so much interaction with them. However, most black decks besides Suicide Black have a hard time beating decks like control because Mono-black usually doesn't punish decks for setting up.

It should be noted that these matchups are based on my experiances playing Mono-black midrange and control decks, it is certainly possible to change how the matchups look in your deckbuilding, which is why you must be so mindful about what you will face when building your deck.

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Going Black-Green gives you access to cards like Tarmogoyf, Grim Flayer, Abrupt Decay, Maelstrom Pulse, Kitchen Finks, Collected Company and other cards that fix mono black's weakness to noncreature based combo decks that it sometimes can't race like Ad Nausseum, as well as burn.

Going Black-Red gives you a more aggressive approach, allowing you to play cards like Kolaghan's Command, Terminate, Lightning Bolt, and Blood Moon.

Going Black-White gives you access to more removal and more versatile protection, such as cards like Tidehollow Sculler, Blood Baron of Vizkopa, Path to Exile, Disenchant, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, and Sorin, Solemn Visitor

Going Blue-black usually means that you will be creating some form of a Zombie deck that plays cards like Diregraf Captain, Thought Scour, and Prized Amalgam. Or you will be playing a mill deck, in my personal experience, mill is far more competitive, but due to it being an archetype already well made and thought out, I have chosen to not cover it in this primer.

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If you have suggestions or like this primer, PLEASE give it an upvote and/or leave a comment! I always like hearing constructive feedback on deckbuilding. This deck went for -40 to where it is now thanks to people like you!

If you want to look at the other primers in this series, make sure to check out my profile @Sargeras for a collection of brews and builds!

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Date added 1 year
Last updated 3 days

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.61
Tokens 0/0 Germ, 2/2 Zombie
Folders possible deck creations, Favoritter, Mono Black, Staples, God Squad, Deck idea, 2meirl4m3irl, Obliterator!, sweet sweet primers, Ideas, See all 25
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