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CardShark Content - Chewie! Slate (5/31/2005)

So here I am again with another article about improving your casual decks. This one might not actually apply to all of you, because there are two fundamental types of casual Magic deck builders. Some of you constantly build decks and take them apart after playing them a few times. My friend Brian is like this. Almost every time he plays with us he’s equipped with a set of new decks. He had a deck built around Darkest Hour
Darkest Hour
Darkest HourSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
128
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
All creatures are black.
, COP: Black, and Glory
Glory
GlorySet: Judgment
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
R
Number:
11
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying 2W: Creatures you control gain protection from the color of your choice until end of turn. Play this ability only if Glory is in your graveyard.
that made us all afraid, and there was much rejoicing when he took it apart. Sadly, this article isn’t really for you guys, since your decks don’t stay together long enough to really want or need improvement.

Then there are those like myself and most of my group of dorks, who build decks to last forever. I only take apart a deck when I find that I haven’t played it in forever and a half or when I’m convinced that it’s just a piece of crap. I had a deck built around Astral Slide
Astral Slide
Astral SlideSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
4
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Whenever a player cycles a card, you may remove target creature from the game. If you do, return that creature to play under its owner's control at end of turn.
(multiplayer, remember), that involved black and white creatures with comes-into-play abilities. Control the board with stuff like Gloomdrifter
Gloomdrifter
GloomdrifterSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
U
Number:
61
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying. Threshold - When Gloomdrifter comes into play, nonblack creatures get -2/-2 until end of turn.
, Nekrataal
Nekrataal
NekrataalSet: Visions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nekrataal
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Adrian Smith
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike When Nekrataal comes into play, bury target nonartifact, nonblack creature.
, Highway Robber
Highway Robber
Highway RobberSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Mercenary
Rarity:
C
Number:
139
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Highway Robber comes into play, you gain 2 life and target opponent loses 2 life.
, Faceless Butcher
Faceless Butcher
Faceless ButcherSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Faceless Butcher comes into play, remove target creature other than Faceless Butcher from the game. When Faceless Butcher leaves play, return the removed card to play under its owner's control.
, and the like while you put a Surestrike Trident
Surestrike Trident
Surestrike TridentSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
U
Number:
147
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
Equipped creature has first strike and T Unattach Surestrike Trident: This creature deals damage equal to its power to target player. Equip 4 (4: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card comes into play unattached and stays in play if the creature leaves play.)
on your Stoic Champion
Stoic Champion
Stoic ChampionSet: Legions
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Soldier
Rarity:
U
Number:
21
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever a player cycles a card, Stoic Champion gets +2/+2 until end of turn.
and pick people off one by one. Fairly solid idea on paper, but in reality, it just sucked. I also had two beast decks. One was beatdown, and it was good at what it did. The other was built around Aether Charge
Aether Charge
Aether ChargeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
184
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
Whenever a Beast comes into play under your control, you may have it deal 4 damage to target opponent.
. I wrote an article about the second one, feel free to check it out, it’s a lot of fun. In fact, it was so much fun, that I NEVER played the other one. So I took it apart. The point here is that some of us just never take apart our casual decks. Oh sure, when a new set comes out or when we get new cards from somewhere, we’ll go through the arduous process of switching out this card for that one to make the deck better, but we just don’t utterly take them apart.

Well sometimes you need to. What makes me say that? Well I will elaborate. Black is my favorite color for multiplayer. I love it. As such, I had several mono-black multiplayer decks, each one with a different theme. When I got a new batch of cards (it might have been my box of either Champions or Betrayers), I decided to add in all the stuff from that set, along with the other cards I had that I’d just never gotten around to adding, to these decks. There were four in particular that I was dealing with. As I flipped through them, I realized that I’m silly. Here’s a quick rundown of the decks to show you why.

Graveyard – use lots of auto-recursion like Nether Shadow
Nether Shadow
Nether ShadowSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shadow
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
If Shadow is in graveyard with any combination of cards above it that includes at least three creatures, it can be returned to play during your upkeep. Shadow can attack on same turn summoned or returned to play.
s and Ashen Ghoul
Ashen Ghoul
Ashen GhoulSet: Ice Age
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ghoul
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Ashen Ghoul can attack the turn it comes into play.B: Return Ashen Ghoul to play under your control. Use this ability only at the end of your upkeep and only if Ashen Ghoul is in your graveyard with at least three creature cards above it.
s along with effects that either clear the board or make me sacrifice my creatures, but not many of that second kind, as you’ll see in about 2 lines.

Creature-Sac – use Breeding Pit
Breeding Pit
Breeding PitSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Adrian Smith
Text:
During your upkeep, pay BB or bury Breeding Pit.At the end of your turn, put a Thrull token into play. Treat this token as a 0/1 black creature.
s, Phyrexian Plaguelord
Phyrexian Plaguelord
Phyrexian PlaguelordSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Carrier
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
tap, Sacrifice Phyrexian Plaguelord: Target creature gets -4/-4 until end of turn.Sacrifice a creature: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.
, Death Bomb
Death Bomb
Death BombSet: Planeshift
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Dan Frazier
Text:
As an additional cost to play Death Bomb, sacrifice a creature. Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated. Its controller loses 2 life.
, Attrition
Attrition
AttritionSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
52
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
B, Sacrifice a creature: Destroy target nonblack creature.
, and anything that makes me sac creatures for a cool effect.

Reanimation – get big creatures into the graveyard quickly and bring them back on the cheap to break faces.

Big Black Nasty – power out black’s flyers and fatties quickly with mana acceleration

Notice a theme? They’re all pretty closely related. And thus, I had several cards in the creature-sac deck that would have worked in the graveyard deck. The reanimation deck had creatures that worked well in the Big Nasty deck. Everything was a big mess. So I did what I never thought I would do. I completely took apart each deck, stacked all card types together in a big pile, and set to work rebuilding each deck to be better than it originally was.

The key here was to realize exactly what I wanted each deck to do. This is how you can improve your casual decks too. If it’s just a big bunch of stuff thrown together, chances are it won’t work quite as well as a deck that’s been planned and examined and thought out. Narrow your ideas down to one key concept, and go from there. The first deck I worked on was also the first deck I ever built, so very long ago. It was also my first article, if you want to check it out. It was called the Graveyard Deck.

I built the Graveyard Deck around the Nether Shadow
Nether Shadow
Nether ShadowSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shadow
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
If Shadow is in graveyard with any combination of cards above it that includes at least three creatures, it can be returned to play during your upkeep. Shadow can attack on same turn summoned or returned to play.
s and Ashen Ghoul
Ashen Ghoul
Ashen GhoulSet: Ice Age
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ghoul
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Ashen Ghoul can attack the turn it comes into play.B: Return Ashen Ghoul to play under your control. Use this ability only at the end of your upkeep and only if Ashen Ghoul is in your graveyard with at least three creature cards above it.
s. I love these guys. Black haste and auto-recursion? Count me in! I wanted them to be useful. Sure they were an attack every turn, but what else could I do with them? They make great food for the Lord of the Pit
Lord of the Pit
Lord of the PitSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
7
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
7
Toughness:
7
Text:
Flying, trample You must sacrifice one of your own creatures during your upkeep or Lord of the Pit does 7 damage to you. You may still attack with Lord of the Pit even if you failed to sacrifice a creature. Lord of the Pit may not be sacrificed to itself.
, making him a viable deck option. They were great for the Phyrexian Plaguelord
Phyrexian Plaguelord
Phyrexian PlaguelordSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Carrier
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
tap, Sacrifice Phyrexian Plaguelord: Target creature gets -4/-4 until end of turn.Sacrifice a creature: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.
. Hell’s Caretaker, Stronghold Assassin
Stronghold Assassin
Stronghold AssassinSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Assassin
Rarity:
R
Number:
21
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
tap, Sacrifice a creature: Destroy target nonblack creature.
, Krovikan Horror
Krovikan Horror
Krovikan HorrorSet: Alliances
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the end of any turn, if Krovikan Horror is in your graveyard with a summon card directly above it, you may put Krovikan Horror into your hand.1: Sacrifice a creature to have Krovikan Horror deal 1 damage to target creature or player.
, Braids, Fallen Angel
Fallen Angel
Fallen AngelSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Sacrifice a creature: +2/+1 until end of turn
, and Delraich
Delraich
DelraichSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
7
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
133
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Trample You may sacrifice three black creatures instead of paying Delraich's mana cost.
could all use them effectively, because they don’t care if they die, they’ll be back in just a second. And since I had cannon fodder that would keep coming back, I could include Attrition
Attrition
AttritionSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
52
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
B, Sacrifice a creature: Destroy target nonblack creature.
to pick off any opposing creature I felt like. There’s Ritual of the Machine
Ritual of the Machine
Ritual of the MachineSet: Alliances
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Text:
Sacrifice a creature to gain control of target non-black, non-artifact creature.
, in case I really wanted to use that big scary thing across the table. See how fast the deck builds itself once you determine your key elements? I started with 8 creatures and built almost an entire deck out of them.

With all these creatures dying, I decided to throw in some Dross Harvester
Dross Harvester
Dross HarvesterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
63
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Protection from white At the end of your turn, you lose 4 life. Whenever a creature is put into a graveyard from play, you gain 2 life.
s too, just to insure that I was staying ahead of the game in life. Sadistic Glee
Sadistic Glee
Sadistic GleeSet: Tempest
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Whenever any creature is put into any graveyard from play, put a +1/+1 counter on enchanted creature.
could keep pumping up one of my creatures while everyone around it dropped like flies. With so many sacrifice effects, I threw in Abyssal Gatekeeper
Abyssal Gatekeeper
Abyssal GatekeeperSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Gatekeeper
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
If Abyssal Gatekeeper is put into any graveyard from play, each player chooses and buries a creature he or she controls.
s to keep the board under control. And since the key of my deck is auto-recursion, I could also wipe the board without fear. Keeping this in mind, Mutilate
Mutilate
MutilateSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Text:
All creatures get -1/-1 until end of turn for each swamp you control.
, SGF2b2MgDemon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying
, and Death Pit Offering
Death Pit Offering
Death Pit OfferingSet: Nemesis
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
56
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
When Death Pit Offering comes into play, sacrifice all creatures you control. Creatures you control get +2/+2.
are awesome additions to the deck. To kick off the auto-recursion sooner, I added a few Buried Alive
Buried Alive
Buried AliveSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Brian Horton
Text:
Search your library for up to three creature cards and put them into your graveyard. Shuffle your library afterwards.
. The Doomed Necromancer
Doomed Necromancer
Doomed NecromancerSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric Mercenary
Rarity:
R
Number:
140
Artist:
Mark Brill
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
B, T, Sacrifice Doomed Necromancer: Return target creature card from your graveyard to play.
is to return one of the big scary guys for a faster finish, or to return a SGF2b2MgDemon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying
to keep the board under control. Balthor the Defiled
Balthor the Defiled
Balthor the DefiledSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Dwarf Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
61
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
All Minions get +1/+1. BBB, Remove Balthor the Defiled from the game: Each player returns all black and all red creature cards from his or her graveyard to play.
gives me an option to “up and win” suddenly. Every single card in the deck works with the overall idea, and that’s the way I like it.

And before anyone points it out, I know freaking Grave Pact
Grave Pact
Grave PactSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
10
Artist:
Scott Kirschner
Text:
Whenever any creature you control is put into any graveyard, each other player sacrifices a creature.
would work fabulously in this deck, but there are some cards that are just so annoying that I refuse to play them. Grave Pact
Grave Pact
Grave PactSet: Stronghold
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
10
Artist:
Scott Kirschner
Text:
Whenever any creature you control is put into any graveyard, each other player sacrifices a creature.
is one of them. So yes, it would be awesome and I would probably win more often, but I just refuse to do that. It makes my fellow dorks hate me and kill me as fast as possible. I won’t build a Sliver deck either. Or use Glory
Glory
GlorySet: Judgment
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
R
Number:
11
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying 2W: Creatures you control gain protection from the color of your choice until end of turn. Play this ability only if Glory is in your graveyard.
. So there.

Quick addition! After hitting the Saviors prerelease, I managed to snag a Kuon, Ogre Ascendant
Kuon, Ogre Ascendant
Kuon, Ogre AscendantSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Monk
Rarity:
R
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
At end of turn, if three or more creatures were put into graveyards from play this turn, flip Kuon, Ogre Ascendant. ----- Kuon's Essence Legendary Enchantment At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player sacrifices a creature.
. With all the creature death going on, flipping into Kuon’s Essence should be absolutely no problem. Once he’s flipped, everyone has to sacrifice a creature during their upkeep. That’s not a problem for me, but everyone else should be losing some board position because of it. Here’s the final decklist, newly christened.


Sometimes They Come Back Again…and Again

Creatures (29)
4: Nether Shadow
Nether Shadow
Nether ShadowSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shadow
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
If Shadow is in graveyard with any combination of cards above it that includes at least three creatures, it can be returned to play during your upkeep. Shadow can attack on same turn summoned or returned to play.

4: Ashen Ghoul
Ashen Ghoul
Ashen GhoulSet: Ice Age
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ghoul
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Ashen Ghoul can attack the turn it comes into play.B: Return Ashen Ghoul to play under your control. Use this ability only at the end of your upkeep and only if Ashen Ghoul is in your graveyard with at least three creature cards above it.

2: Phyrexian Plaguelord
Phyrexian Plaguelord
Phyrexian PlaguelordSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Carrier
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
tap, Sacrifice Phyrexian Plaguelord: Target creature gets -4/-4 until end of turn.Sacrifice a creature: Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.

2: Dross Harvester
Dross Harvester
Dross HarvesterSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
63
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Protection from white At the end of your turn, you lose 4 life. Whenever a creature is put into a graveyard from play, you gain 2 life.

2: Lord of the Pit
Lord of the Pit
Lord of the PitSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
7
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
7
Toughness:
7
Text:
Flying, trample You must sacrifice one of your own creatures during your upkeep or Lord of the Pit does 7 damage to you. You may still attack with Lord of the Pit even if you failed to sacrifice a creature. Lord of the Pit may not be sacrificed to itself.

2: Abyssal Gatekeeper
Abyssal Gatekeeper
Abyssal GatekeeperSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Gatekeeper
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
If Abyssal Gatekeeper is put into any graveyard from play, each player chooses and buries a creature he or she controls.

2: Sengir Autocrat
Sengir Autocrat
Sengir AutocratSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Autocrat
Rarity:
R
Artist:
David A. Cherry
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Sengir Autocrat comes into play, put three Serf tokens into play. Treat these tokens as 0/1 black creatures.If Sengir Autocrat leaves play, bury all Serf tokens.

1: Hell’s Caretaker
1: Doomed Necromancer
Doomed Necromancer
Doomed NecromancerSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric Mercenary
Rarity:
R
Number:
140
Artist:
Mark Brill
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
B, T, Sacrifice Doomed Necromancer: Return target creature card from your graveyard to play.

1: Stronghold Assassin
Stronghold Assassin
Stronghold AssassinSet: Stronghold
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Assassin
Rarity:
R
Number:
21
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
tap, Sacrifice a creature: Destroy target nonblack creature.

1: Krovikan Horror
Krovikan Horror
Krovikan HorrorSet: Alliances
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the end of any turn, if Krovikan Horror is in your graveyard with a summon card directly above it, you may put Krovikan Horror into your hand.1: Sacrifice a creature to have Krovikan Horror deal 1 damage to target creature or player.

1: Braids, Cabal Minion
Braids, Cabal Minion
Braids, Cabal MinionSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
117
Artist:
Eric Peterson
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player sacrifices an artifact, creature, or land.

1: Balthor the Defiled
Balthor the Defiled
Balthor the DefiledSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Dwarf Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
61
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
All Minions get +1/+1. BBB, Remove Balthor the Defiled from the game: Each player returns all black and all red creature cards from his or her graveyard to play.

1: Fallen Angel
Fallen Angel
Fallen AngelSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Angel
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Sacrifice a creature: +2/+1 until end of turn

1: Ascendant Evincar
Ascendant Evincar
Ascendant EvincarSet: Nemesis
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Other black creatures get +1/+1. Nonblack creatures get -1/-1.

1: Delraich
Delraich
DelraichSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
7
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
133
Artist:
Todd Lockwood
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Trample You may sacrifice three black creatures instead of paying Delraich's mana cost.

1: Patron of the Nezumi
Patron of the Nezumi
Patron of the NezumiSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
7
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
77
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Rat offering (You may play this card any time you could play an instant by sacrificing a Rat and paying the difference in mana costs between this and the sacrificed Rat. Mana cost includes color.) Whenever a permanent is put into an opponent's graveyard, that player loses 1 life.

1: SGF2b2MgDemon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying

1: Bringer of the Black Dawn
Bringer of the Black Dawn
Bringer of the Black DawnSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
9
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bringer
Rarity:
R
Number:
43
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
You may pay WUBRG instead of paying Bringer of the Black Dawn's mana cost. Trample. At the beginning of your upkeep you may pay 2 life. If you do, search your library for a card, and shuffle your library and put that card on top of it.

1: Kuon, Ogre Ascendant
Kuon, Ogre Ascendant
Kuon, Ogre AscendantSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Monk
Rarity:
R
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
At end of turn, if three or more creatures were put into graveyards from play this turn, flip Kuon, Ogre Ascendant. ----- Kuon's Essence Legendary Enchantment At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player sacrifices a creature.


Noncreatures (13)
2: Buried Alive
Buried Alive
Buried AliveSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Brian Horton
Text:
Search your library for up to three creature cards and put them into your graveyard. Shuffle your library afterwards.

2: Ritual of the Machine
Ritual of the Machine
Ritual of the MachineSet: Alliances
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Text:
Sacrifice a creature to gain control of target non-black, non-artifact creature.

2: Consume Spirit
Consume Spirit
Consume SpiritSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Text:
Spend only black mana on X. Consume Spirit deals X damage to target creature or player. You gain X life.

2: Attrition
Attrition
AttritionSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
52
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
B, Sacrifice a creature: Destroy target nonblack creature.

2: Sadistic Glee
Sadistic Glee
Sadistic GleeSet: Tempest
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Whenever any creature is put into any graveyard from play, put a +1/+1 counter on enchanted creature.

1: Mutilate
Mutilate
MutilateSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Text:
All creatures get -1/-1 until end of turn for each swamp you control.

1: Death Pit Offering
Death Pit Offering
Death Pit OfferingSet: Nemesis
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
56
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
When Death Pit Offering comes into play, sacrifice all creatures you control. Creatures you control get +2/+2.

1: Demonic Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Demonic TutorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Search your library for one card and take it into your hand. Reshuffle your library afterwards.


Lands (21)
2: Cabal Coffers
Cabal Coffers
Cabal CoffersSet: Torment
Color:
Land
Type:
land
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Text:
2, T: Add B to your mana pool for each swamp you control.

19: Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.



Since I included so much of the original idea, the Creature-Sac deck was officially retired. It was pretty much crap anyway, so it’s no big loss. I next turned my attention to the Reanimation deck. The core idea is returning big scary things from the graveyard fairly quickly and cheaply. Keeping that in mind, I need ways to toss the big scary guys into the graveyard in the first place. Of course, there’s Buried Alive
Buried Alive
Buried AliveSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Brian Horton
Text:
Search your library for up to three creature cards and put them into your graveyard. Shuffle your library afterwards.
. There’s also Body Snatcher
Body Snatcher
Body SnatcherSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
R
Number:
53
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Body Snatcher comes into play, you may choose and discard a creature card from your hand. If you don't, remove Body Snatcher from the game.When Body Snatcher is put into a graveyard from play, remove Body Snatcher from the game and return target creature card from your graveyard to play.
. Why not use the Scion of Darkness
Scion of Darkness
Scion of DarknessSet: Legions
Cost:
8
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Avatar
Rarity:
R
Number:
79
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Whenever Scion of Darkness deals combat damage to a player, you may put
target creature card from that player's graveyard into play under your control.
Cycling 3 (3, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)
’s cycling ability to get him in there? Later in the game, Volrath the Fallen
Volrath the Fallen
Volrath the FallenSet: Nemesis
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
75
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
6
Toughness:
4
Text:
1B, Discard a creature card from your hand: Volrath the Fallen gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is the discarded card's converted mana cost.
can toss a few out and give himself a hefty bonus in the process. The Notorious Assassin
Notorious Assassin
Notorious AssassinSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spellshaper
Rarity:
R
Number:
150
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
2B, tap, Discard a card from your hand: Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated.
can chuck one into the graveyard to off an opposing creature.

The other half of the deal, getting creatures back from the graveyard, is even less of a hassle. There’s Stitch Together
Stitch Together
Stitch TogetherSet: Judgment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
72
Artist:
Arnie Swekel

Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. Threshold - Instead return that card from your graveyard to play.
, Zombify
Zombify
ZombifySet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
171
Artist:
Mark Romanoski
Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to play.
, Victimize
Victimize
VictimizeSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
166
Artist:
Val Mayerik
Text:
Choose two target creature cards in your graveyard. Sacrifice a creature. If you do, put the two chosen creatures into play tapped.
, Body Snatcher
Body Snatcher
Body SnatcherSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
R
Number:
53
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Body Snatcher comes into play, you may choose and discard a creature card from your hand. If you don't, remove Body Snatcher from the game.When Body Snatcher is put into a graveyard from play, remove Body Snatcher from the game and return target creature card from your graveyard to play.
, Doomed Necromancer
Doomed Necromancer
Doomed NecromancerSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric Mercenary
Rarity:
R
Number:
140
Artist:
Mark Brill
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
B, T, Sacrifice Doomed Necromancer: Return target creature card from your graveyard to play.
, and Recurring Nightmare
Recurring Nightmare
Recurring NightmareSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
72
Artist:
Jeff Laubenstein
Text:
Sacrifice a creature, Return Recurring Nightmare to owner's hand: Put target creature card from your graveyard into play. Play this ability as a sorcery.
. Night-Eyes, the Scion of Darkness
Scion of Darkness
Scion of DarknessSet: Legions
Cost:
8
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Avatar
Rarity:
R
Number:
79
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Whenever Scion of Darkness deals combat damage to a player, you may put
target creature card from that player's graveyard into play under your control.
Cycling 3 (3, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)
, Nezumi Graverobber
Nezumi Graverobber
Nezumi GraverobberSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Rogue
Rarity:
U
Number:
129
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
1B: Remove target card in an opponent's graveyard from the game. If no cards are in that graveyard, flip Nezumi Graverobber. ----- Nighteyes the Desecrator Legendary Creature - Rat Wizard 4/2 4B: Put target creature card in a graveyard into play under your control.
(once he’s flipped of course), and Beacon of Unrest
Beacon of Unrest
Beacon of UnrestSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Rarity:
R
Number:
41
Text:
Sorcery. Put target creature or artifact card in a graveyard into play under your control. Shuffle Beacon of Unrest into its owner's library.
let you mess around in everyone else’s graveyard too, giving you the pick of the dead litter.

Since this deck tends to be slower out of the gate than some of the others, I added in a few Fog
Fog
FogSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage or otherwise affect any creature as a result of an attack or block. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is dealt.
IG9mIEduYXRz for early blocking (and Victimize
Victimize
VictimizeSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
166
Artist:
Val Mayerik
Text:
Choose two target creature cards in your graveyard. Sacrifice a creature. If you do, put the two chosen creatures into play tapped.
fodder), another set of Nether Shadow
Nether Shadow
Nether ShadowSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shadow
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
If Shadow is in graveyard with any combination of cards above it that includes at least three creatures, it can be returned to play during your upkeep. Shadow can attack on same turn summoned or returned to play.
s because they’re just so awesome, some control elements with Forced March
Forced March
Forced MarchSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
136
Artist:
Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Text:
Destroy all creatures with converted mana cost X or less.
and Consume Spirit
Consume Spirit
Consume SpiritSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Text:
Spend only black mana on X. Consume Spirit deals X damage to target creature or player. You gain X life.
, and Bubbling Muck
Bubbling Muck
Bubbling MuckSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
54
Artist:
Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Text:
Until end of turn, whenever a player taps a swamp for mana, it produces an additional B.
for a bit of acceleration in the midgame. Where the original build of the Reanimation deck was clunky and kind of stupid, this deck is sleek and usually comes pretty close to winning if it doesn’t actually win. Since it has improved so much, I gave it a name taken from the works of master horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, who would probably really enjoy the idea of big nasty creatures coming back from the grave to kill us all. Here it is:


Herbert West

Creatures
4: Nether Shadow
Nether Shadow
Nether ShadowSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Shadow
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
If Shadow is in graveyard with any combination of cards above it that includes at least three creatures, it can be returned to play during your upkeep. Shadow can attack on same turn summoned or returned to play.

2: Nezumi Graverobber
Nezumi Graverobber
Nezumi GraverobberSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Rogue
Rarity:
U
Number:
129
Artist:
Jim Nelson
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
1B: Remove target card in an opponent's graveyard from the game. If no cards are in that graveyard, flip Nezumi Graverobber. ----- Nighteyes the Desecrator Legendary Creature - Rat Wizard 4/2 4B: Put target creature card in a graveyard into play under your control.

2: Doomed Necromancer
Doomed Necromancer
Doomed NecromancerSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric Mercenary
Rarity:
R
Number:
140
Artist:
Mark Brill
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
B, T, Sacrifice Doomed Necromancer: Return target creature card from your graveyard to play.

2: Body Snatcher
Body Snatcher
Body SnatcherSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Minion
Rarity:
R
Number:
53
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Body Snatcher comes into play, you may choose and discard a creature card from your hand. If you don't, remove Body Snatcher from the game.When Body Snatcher is put into a graveyard from play, remove Body Snatcher from the game and return target creature card from your graveyard to play.

2: Fog
Fog
FogSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Jesper Myrfors
Text:
Creatures attack and block as normal, but none deal any damage or otherwise affect any creature as a result of an attack or block. All attacking creatures are still tapped. Play any time before attack damage is dealt.
IG9mIEduYXRz
1: Bringer of the Black Dawn
Bringer of the Black Dawn
Bringer of the Black DawnSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
9
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bringer
Rarity:
R
Number:
43
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
You may pay WUBRG instead of paying Bringer of the Black Dawn's mana cost. Trample. At the beginning of your upkeep you may pay 2 life. If you do, search your library for a card, and shuffle your library and put that card on top of it.

1: Sol’kanar the Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.
King
1: Spirit of the Night
Spirit of the Night
Spirit of the NightSet: Mirage
Cost:
9
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Cliff Nielsen
Power:
6
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying, trample, protection from blackFirst strike when attackingSpirit of the Night is unaffected by summoning sickness.

1: Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
1: Volrath the Fallen
Volrath the Fallen
Volrath the FallenSet: Nemesis
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
75
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
6
Toughness:
4
Text:
1B, Discard a creature card from your hand: Volrath the Fallen gets +X/+X until end of turn, where X is the discarded card's converted mana cost.

1: Notorious Assassin
Notorious Assassin
Notorious AssassinSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spellshaper
Rarity:
R
Number:
150
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
2B, tap, Discard a card from your hand: Destroy target nonblack creature. It can't be regenerated.

1: Visara the Dreadful
Visara the Dreadful
Visara the DreadfulSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Gorgon Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
179
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying. T: Destroy target creature. It can't be regenerated.

1: Scion of Darkness
Scion of Darkness
Scion of DarknessSet: Legions
Cost:
8
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Avatar
Rarity:
R
Number:
79
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Whenever Scion of Darkness deals combat damage to a player, you may put
target creature card from that player's graveyard into play under your control.
Cycling 3 (3, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)

1: Laquatus’s Champion
1: Balthor the Defiled
Balthor the Defiled
Balthor the DefiledSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Dwarf Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
61
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
All Minions get +1/+1. BBB, Remove Balthor the Defiled from the game: Each player returns all black and all red creature cards from his or her graveyard to play.


Spells
2: Buried Alive
Buried Alive
Buried AliveSet: Weatherlight
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Brian Horton
Text:
Search your library for up to three creature cards and put them into your graveyard. Shuffle your library afterwards.

2: Zombify
Zombify
ZombifySet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
171
Artist:
Mark Romanoski
Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to play.

2: Forced March
Forced March
Forced MarchSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
136
Artist:
Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Text:
Destroy all creatures with converted mana cost X or less.

2: Beacon of Unrest
Beacon of Unrest
Beacon of UnrestSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Rarity:
R
Number:
41
Text:
Sorcery. Put target creature or artifact card in a graveyard into play under your control. Shuffle Beacon of Unrest into its owner's library.

2: Stitch Together
Stitch Together
Stitch TogetherSet: Judgment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
72
Artist:
Arnie Swekel

Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand. Threshold - Instead return that card from your graveyard to play.

2: Victimize
Victimize
VictimizeSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
166
Artist:
Val Mayerik
Text:
Choose two target creature cards in your graveyard. Sacrifice a creature. If you do, put the two chosen creatures into play tapped.

2: Consume Spirit
Consume Spirit
Consume SpiritSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Text:
Spend only black mana on X. Consume Spirit deals X damage to target creature or player. You gain X life.

2: Dragon Shadow
Dragon Shadow
Dragon ShadowSet: Scourge
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
65
Text:
Enchanted creature gets +1/+0 and fear.
When a creature with a converted mana cost of 6 or more comes into play, you may return Dragon Shadow from your graveyard to play enchanting that creature.

2: Bubbling Much
1: Recurring Nightmare
Recurring Nightmare
Recurring NightmareSet: Exodus
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
72
Artist:
Jeff Laubenstein
Text:
Sacrifice a creature, Return Recurring Nightmare to owner's hand: Put target creature card from your graveyard into play. Play this ability as a sorcery.

1: Demonic Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Demonic TutorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Search your library for one card and take it into your hand. Reshuffle your library afterwards.


Lands
22: Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.



I noticed then that I had lots and lots of cards that made me lose life for some cool effect. And I noticed that I had lots of cards that stole life from other players. I thought it would be cool to put all these cards together, since they work so well. With this deck, I would treat life as a resource, much like mana. For life gain, I added Subversion
Subversion
SubversionSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
68
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
During your upkeep, each of your opponents loses 1 life. Gain 1 life for each 1 life lost this way.
(and eventually brought the number up to four), Demon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying
’s Horn, Syphon Soul
Syphon Soul
Syphon SoulSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
159
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Text:
Syphon Soul deals 2 damage to each other player. You gain equal to the damage dealt this way.
, and Consume Spirit
Consume Spirit
Consume SpiritSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Text:
Spend only black mana on X. Consume Spirit deals X damage to target creature or player. You gain X life.
. For life use, I added all kinds of great stuff. The Bringer of the Black Dawn
Bringer of the Black Dawn
Bringer of the Black DawnSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
9
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bringer
Rarity:
R
Number:
43
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
You may pay WUBRG instead of paying Bringer of the Black Dawn's mana cost. Trample. At the beginning of your upkeep you may pay 2 life. If you do, search your library for a card, and shuffle your library and put that card on top of it.
lets me Vampiric Tutor
Vampiric Tutor
Vampiric TutorSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
161
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
Search your library for a card, then shuffle your library and put that card on top of it. You lose 2 life.
every turn. Seizan and the Graveborn Muse
Graveborn Muse
Graveborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw X cards and you lose X life,
where X is the number of Zombies you control.
draw me lots and lots of cards every turn. Night’s Whisper and Promise of Power
Promise of Power
Promise of PowerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose one|You draw five cards and you lose 5 life; or put a black Demon creature token with flying into play with power and toughness each equal to the number of cards in your hand as the token comes into play. Entwine 4 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
draw me lots of cards once, plus the Promise can give me a great big Demon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying
to beat on people with. And there’s Ashes to Ashes
Ashes to Ashes
Ashes to AshesSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Drew Tucker
Text:
Ashes to Ashes removes two target non-artifact creatures from the game and deals 5 damage to you.
, a great removal spell if there ever was one.

The problem with this idea was that most of the time I wasn’t doing anything. So I decided to throw in my vampires, the Baron, and some other useful creatures and wail on people’s faces while I was gathering and spending life like pocket change. Dark Ritual
Dark Ritual
Dark RitualSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Add BBB to your mana pool.
s, Bubbling Muck
Bubbling Muck
Bubbling MuckSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
54
Artist:
Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Text:
Until end of turn, whenever a player taps a swamp for mana, it produces an additional B.
s, and Cabal Coffers
Cabal Coffers
Cabal CoffersSet: Torment
Color:
Land
Type:
land
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Text:
2, T: Add B to your mana pool for each swamp you control.
were thrown in to speed up the deck considerably, and turn 3 Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross VampireSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
R
Number:
53
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying. Each creature you control is a Vampire in addition to other creature types and has ´´Whenever this creature deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on it´´.
s or Visaras aren’t unheard of. Here’s the deck, proven in battle and named accordingly.


A Matter of Life and Death

Creatures
4: Sengir Vampire
Sengir Vampire
Sengir VampireSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Anson Maddocks
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
FlyingVampire gets a +1/+1 counter each time a creature dies during a turn in which Vampire damaged it.

2: Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross Vampire
Mephidross VampireSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
R
Number:
53
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying. Each creature you control is a Vampire in addition to other creature types and has ´´Whenever this creature deals damage to a creature, put a +1/+1 counter on it´´.

3: Soul Collector
Soul Collector
Soul CollectorSet: Scourge
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Vampire
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Artist:
Matthew Wilson
Power:
3
Toughness:
4
Text:
Morph BBB
Flying
Whenever a creature dealt damage by Soul Collector this turn is put into a graveyard, return that card to play under your control.

2: Nekrataal
Nekrataal
NekrataalSet: Visions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nekrataal
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Adrian Smith
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike When Nekrataal comes into play, bury target nonartifact, nonblack creature.

1: Visara the Dreadful
Visara the Dreadful
Visara the DreadfulSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Gorgon Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
179
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying. T: Destroy target creature. It can't be regenerated.

1: Bringer of the Black Dawn
Bringer of the Black Dawn
Bringer of the Black DawnSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
9
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bringer
Rarity:
R
Number:
43
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
You may pay WUBRG instead of paying Bringer of the Black Dawn's mana cost. Trample. At the beginning of your upkeep you may pay 2 life. If you do, search your library for a card, and shuffle your library and put that card on top of it.

1: Seizan, Perverter of Truth
Seizan, Perverter of Truth
Seizan, Perverter of TruthSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Demon Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
143
Artist:
Kev Walker
Power:
6
Toughness:
5
Text:
At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player loses 2 life and draws two cards.

1: Graveborn Muse
Graveborn Muse
Graveborn MuseSet: Legions
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw X cards and you lose X life,
where X is the number of Zombies you control.

1: Reiver Demon
Reiver Demon
Reiver DemonSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
8
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Number:
75
Artist:
Brom
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Flying When Reiver Demon comes into play, if you played it from your hand, destroy all nonartifact, nonblack creatures. They can't be regenerated.

1: Ascendant Evincar
Ascendant Evincar
Ascendant EvincarSet: Nemesis
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
51
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Other black creatures get +1/+1. Nonblack creatures get -1/-1.

1: Baron Sengir
Baron Sengir
Baron SengirSet: Homelands
Cost:
8
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Legend
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Pete Venters
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying Whenever a creature is put into the graveyard the same turn Baron Sengir damaged it, put a +2/+2 counter on Baron Sengir.T: Regenerate target Vampire.


Artifacts & Enchantments
4: Subversion
Subversion
SubversionSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
68
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
During your upkeep, each of your opponents loses 1 life. Gain 1 life for each 1 life lost this way.

2: Demon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying
’s Horn
1: Oversold Cemetery
Oversold Cemetery
Oversold CemeterySet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
160
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if you have four or more creature cards in your graveyard, you may return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.


Spells
3: Dark Ritual
Dark Ritual
Dark RitualSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Add BBB to your mana pool.

3: Bubbling Muck
Bubbling Muck
Bubbling MuckSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
54
Artist:
Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Text:
Until end of turn, whenever a player taps a swamp for mana, it produces an additional B.

1: Demonic Tutor
Demonic Tutor
Demonic TutorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Search your library for one card and take it into your hand. Reshuffle your library afterwards.

2: Syphon Soul
Syphon Soul
Syphon SoulSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
159
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Text:
Syphon Soul deals 2 damage to each other player. You gain equal to the damage dealt this way.

2: Consume Spirit
Consume Spirit
Consume SpiritSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
60
Artist:
Matt Thompson
Text:
Spend only black mana on X. Consume Spirit deals X damage to target creature or player. You gain X life.

2: Night’s Whisper
2: Promise of Power
Promise of Power
Promise of PowerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose one|You draw five cards and you lose 5 life; or put a black Demon creature token with flying into play with power and toughness each equal to the number of cards in your hand as the token comes into play. Entwine 4 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)

1: Ashes to Ashes
Ashes to Ashes
Ashes to AshesSet: Fourth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Drew Tucker
Text:
Ashes to Ashes removes two target non-artifact creatures from the game and deals 5 damage to you.


Lands
2: Cabal Coffers
Cabal Coffers
Cabal CoffersSet: Torment
Color:
Land
Type:
land
Rarity:
U
Number:
139
Text:
2, T: Add B to your mana pool for each swamp you control.

20: Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.



Here’s the point of all this ranting. Casual players that tend to build decks and never take them apart run into a dilution problem sometimes. I had four decent mono-black decks that had been built for quite some time. Since they were all previously established and firmly entrenched in my hierarchy of decks, each one had cards that would have worked better in one of the others. The only way I could have possibly brought each deck to its full potential was by deconstructing each one and starting over. I found that I was spreading myself too thin, and thus two good decks became one great deck, and two other good decks became two great decks.

Most casual players really love their decks. As such, they never take them apart, and the decks suffer for this. If you have anywhere from 10-40 decks built (don’t laugh, I just counted and I have 29 counting the two I built a couple nights ago) then chances are you have decks in this black/red one here that would help out that mono-red one over there. Maybe my Mirrodin Block White Weenie Equipment deck needs to give up some of its better equipment for my blue/green unblockable deck (which it did, by the way). Maybe that Nevinyrral’s Disk would be better suited in this deck with Darksteel Forge
Darksteel Forge
Darksteel ForgeSet: Darksteel
Cost:
9
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
110
Artist:
Martina Pilcenova
Text:
Artifacts you control are indestructible. (Destroy effects and lethal damage don't destroy them.)
(yeah, think about that one for a second) than in this mono-black deck. Running short of Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
s? It’s entirely possible that you can take them out of the mono-green deck and add in Wear Away
Wear Away
Wear AwaySet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
250
Artist:
Tim Hildebrandt
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment. Splice onto Arcane 3G (As you play an Arcane spell, you may reveal this card from your hand and pay its splice cost. If you do, add this card's effects to that spell.)
s since the heavier green mana requirement won’t make a difference and use the Naturalize
Naturalize
NaturalizeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
275
Artist:
Ron Spears
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
s in that red/green deck that’s always getting screwed over by Justice
Justice
JusticeSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Ruth Thompson
Text:
During your upkeep, pay WW or bury Justice.Whenever any red creature or spell assigns damage, Justice deals an equal amount of damage to that creature's or spell's controller.
or Last Laugh
Last Laugh
Last LaughSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
68
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
Whenever a permanent other than Last Laugh is put into graveyard from play, Last Laugh deals 1 damage to each creature and each player. When no creatures are in play, sacrifice Last Laugh.
.

I’m really just trying to help you improve your Casual decks. Casual decks aren’t judged by their win/loss record, especially in multiplayer. They are judged by how much fun they are to play and how effective they are. If I can Fling
Fling
FlingSet: Stronghold
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
82
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Sacrifice a creature: Fling deals damage equal to the sacrificed creature's power to target creature or player.
a 37/37 War Elemental
War Elemental
War ElementalSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
R
Number:
112
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When War Elemental comes into play, sacrifice it unless an opponent was dealt damage this turn. Whenever damage is dealt to an opponent, put that many +1/+1 counters on War Elemental.
at someone with the Chuck Deck, I feel like it’s done well. If I set off the Midsummer Revel
Midsummer Revel
Midsummer RevelSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
268
Artist:
Steve Firchow
Text:
During your upkeep, you may put a verse counter on Midsummer Revel.G, Sacrifice Midsummer Revel: Put X Beast tokens into play, where X is the number of verse counters on Midsummer Revel. Treat these tokens as 3/3 green creatures.
for 8 beast tokens and take out two people with Aether Charge
Aether Charge
Aether ChargeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
184
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
Whenever a Beast comes into play under your control, you may have it deal 4 damage to target opponent.
, I’ve enjoyed playing this game, no matter if I win or lose. Improving your deck makes it run smoother, do what it’s supposed to do better and faster, and thus improve the quality of playing. Join me next time when I…write another article about…something. Any suggestions?


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