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CardShark Content - Dennis N Santana (5/31/2005)

Welcome to the third installment of my budget deck building series. Nothing too fancy here, I already laid down tips on stuff I won’t be showing off in this series, so we can get right into the deck. Today’s deck is a black deck, which might be hard. Darkness is an expensive civilization to play because its creatures are under the power curve unless they have a drawback. You might not want those. What you will probably be drawn to are the guys with the low power and the smart abilities. But whatever you want, it’ll probably get through no matter the cost, since Black is the best civilization at clearing away any creature, no matter the cost. Black doesn't mess around. If something's in the way, it goes. Not to the hand, or the mana zone. And it certainly isn't going to get off being turned sideways. Black's no pansy. Those creatures will die, with no chance for painless recast the next turn.

The rules:

I will be on a budget of 20 dollars, not counting alternate versions of cards or shipping.
I will focus on one color.
I will not break your bank on singletons.
If a card cannot be currently found on cardshark I will take my best guess on its price, based on similar cards.

I’ve got a really dumb name in the back of my mind, so let’s use it! Here comes the deck!

Cruel Psychology

Creatures (24)

4: Bloody Squito (20-50 cents each)
4: Gregorian Worm (25 cents each)
4: Horrid Worm (40-50 cents each)
4: Shadow Moon, Cursed Shade (25 cents each)
4: Tentacle Worm (25 cents each)
4: Chaos Worm (15-50 cents each)

Spells (16)

4: Terror Pit (50-1.00 each)
4: Dark Reversal (25-65 cents each)
4: Snake Attack (10-25 cents each)
4: Proclamation of Death (25-50 cents each)

At worst, it’s about 18 dollars. At best, about 14 dollars.

What does this deck do? It kills things. It kills your opponent’s creatures. It has 12 cards that do this. That makes 12 creatures get out of the way. Between rounds of destroying things, you attack. Here’s the card choice rundown.

Bloody Squito: A blocker body for the early game. Make sure to trade with something important, since he will die no matter how the battle turns out.

Gregorian Worm: An evo fodder shield trigger worm. Nothing special.

Horrid Worm: This wormy offers hand disruption as well as a cheap body for evolution. Good all around package, and probably the worm you will most often be evolving unless you trigger a Gregorian Worm.

Shadow Moon, Cursed Shade: Gives all your darkness creatures 2000 more power so they can keep up with the power curve. Play a bunch and watch the opposition squirm. No more than two at a time though, just in case something goes wrong.

Tentacle Worm: Evo fodder. 1000 power below cost. Nothing special, again.

Chaos Worm: The “finisher”. Well, not really. This deck really has no finisher. It does, however, have ways of going around that. By destroying all the creatures in place, you negate the need of a stand-up creature to lead your army. Because an army with nothing to fight against doesn’t need a leader. This guy does that. Against guys that like to hide behind blockers, punish them with the 2 for 1. You lose a creature, they lose it too. Then swing with your 5000 power worm. With their big blocker gone, they either take it or chump. They lose either way.

Terror Pit: Black’s notable trigger card. Every color has one of those. Black’s is pretty good too, killing whatever you want either at 6 mana or off the trigger. Aim it at those stupid Light “untaps at the end of the turn” cards then laugh at your opponent.

Dark Reversal: I wasn’t sure about this pick at first. Death Smoke and Critical Blade are redundant and the rest of the cards seemed very expensive or not very game breaking when what we want is to put bodies in the way and blow things up. So I decided to add this to get back those fragile early game beats and Squito. If you want, you can look here for slots to add the redundant killers if you think you can make better use of them than you could this card.

Snake Attack: Although we don’t have a finisher creature, we have this. It turns your entire army into finisher creatures. Use with 2 or 3 creatures in the endgame for a sweep victory. Don’t use more than one though, nor one with only one creature. It costs a shield, which is a harsh price to pay.

Proclamation of Death: I call it the Shield Trigger Smoke. It does basically the same. It kills something. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter what it kills. The fact that it kills is good enough for the deck. The fact that it’s triggered puts it high up as well. You can add Death Smoke here if you want. There’s times where it’s more relevant. But I love the possibility of a free kill and this costs the same as Death Smoke.

How to make it cheaper? Drop the worm theme and go all out random. This will be bad though. Or drop the pits and add cheap Smokes. This will also make it a little more sluggish, but it’s worth mentioning if those 4 bucks mean something to you.

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