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CardShark Content - John Mourino (4/27/2005)

MBC, also known as Mono-black control, is becoming viable again after the recent change to the standard format. Black’s worse enemy has always been artifacts because black doesn’t have a single spell that effectively removes artifacts. Artifacts are not gone, though, because Umezawa’s Jitte, Goblin Charbelcher
Goblin Charbelcher
Goblin CharbelcherSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
176
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
3, T: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a land card. Goblin Charbelcher deals damage equal to the number of nonland cards revealed this way to target creature or player. If the revealed land card was a Mountain, Goblin Charbelcher deals double that damage instead. Put the revealed cards on the bottom of your library in any order.
, and Vedalken Shackles
Vedalken Shackles
Vedalken ShacklesSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
164
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
You may choose not to untap Vedalken Shackles during your untap step. 2, Tap: Gain control of target creature with power less than or equal to the number of Islands you control as long as Vedalken Shackles remains tapped.
are still out there waiting to reek havoc on the unsuspecting. Still, Mono-Black could make a demonic comeback.

<<Blinkmoth Nexus
Blinkmoth Nexus
Blinkmoth NexusSet: Darksteel
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Artist:
Brian Snöddy
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. 1: Blinkmoth Nexus becomes a 1/1 Blinkmoth artifact creature with flying until end of turn. It's still a land. 1, T: Target Blinkmoth gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
vs. Stalking Stones
Stalking Stones
Stalking StonesSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Stephen Daniele
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.6: Stalking Stones becomes a 3/3 artifact creature permanently. (This creature still counts as a land.)
>>>
-My favorite part of Mono-colored decks is the fact that color-screw is rarely an issue, thus it’s possible to run the man-lands. Wizards of the Coast gave us 2 man-lands to choose from, Stalking Stones
Stalking Stones
Stalking StonesSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Stephen Daniele
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.6: Stalking Stones becomes a 3/3 artifact creature permanently. (This creature still counts as a land.)
and Blinkmoth Nexus
Blinkmoth Nexus
Blinkmoth NexusSet: Darksteel
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Artist:
Brian Snöddy
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. 1: Blinkmoth Nexus becomes a 1/1 Blinkmoth artifact creature with flying until end of turn. It's still a land. 1, T: Target Blinkmoth gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
. Many people run Blinkmoth Nexus
Blinkmoth Nexus
Blinkmoth NexusSet: Darksteel
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Artist:
Brian Snöddy
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. 1: Blinkmoth Nexus becomes a 1/1 Blinkmoth artifact creature with flying until end of turn. It's still a land. 1, T: Target Blinkmoth gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
over Stalking Stones
Stalking Stones
Stalking StonesSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Stephen Daniele
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.6: Stalking Stones becomes a 3/3 artifact creature permanently. (This creature still counts as a land.)
which I found to be a mistake! Don’t be fooled by the value of these 2 cards because Stalking Stones
Stalking Stones
Stalking StonesSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Stephen Daniele
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.6: Stalking Stones becomes a 3/3 artifact creature permanently. (This creature still counts as a land.)
is clearly the better option. Stalking Stones
Stalking Stones
Stalking StonesSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Stephen Daniele
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.6: Stalking Stones becomes a 3/3 artifact creature permanently. (This creature still counts as a land.)
is better when drawn in multiples, it’s a bigger a threat, and the 6 mana can be paid as an instant (which makes it useful beyond words). Although the nexus flies, it will never put as much pressure on the opponent as Stalking Stones
Stalking Stones
Stalking StonesSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Stephen Daniele
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.6: Stalking Stones becomes a 3/3 artifact creature permanently. (This creature still counts as a land.)
does.

<<>>
-Its too bad that MBC does not have any access to good acceleration. However, we can’t afford to have any less than 24 lands. In fact, in my opinion, 25 lands is the perfect number, but 24 or 26 lands are good numbers too. There is also a lot of controversy whether or not to include the Chrome Mox
Chrome Mox
Chrome MoxSet: Mirrodin
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
Donato Giancola
Text:
Imprint - When Chrome Mox comes into play, you may remove a nonartifact, nonland card in your hand from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) T: Add one mana of any of the imprinted card's colors to your mana pool.
. Having 20 lands and 4 moxes doesn’t destroy your mana base, and a turn 3 (or even 2) Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.
is quite lethal. However, the mox has its disadvantages too. Top-decking a mox when a land would’ve been just as good is NOT FUN.

<<>>
When playing MBC, try to stick to what the deck is known for, discarding and spot removal. Dedicating a large amount of spots of your deck to hand disruption and removal is actually a good strategy. You need to gain the early hand advantage and you need to keep the board clean for your win conditions. However, is Kokusho the best finisher for a control deck? Is Death Cloud
Death Cloud
Death CloudSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Each player loses X life then discards X cards from his or her hand then sacrifices X creatures then sacrifices X lands.
a viable finisher as well?


<<>>

1) Which finishers are the best to use?

*Kokusho will always be a viable finisher, but keep in mind that having a 6 casting cost finisher in a deck with little acceleration might work against you sometimes. In fact, MBC’s largest and most efficient finisher for its cost is Yukora, the Prisoner
Yukora, the Prisoner
Yukora, the PrisonerSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Demon Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
90
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
When Yukora, the Prisoner leaves play, sacrifice all non-Ogre creatures you control.
(too bad they didn’t give the darn thing trample…). Greater Harvester
Greater Harvester
Greater HarvesterSet: Darksteel
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
44
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
5
Toughness:
6
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep sacrifice a permanent. Whenever Greater Harvester deals combat damage to a player that player sacrifices two permanents.
is also fine in a tempo style deck where you are looking to press the board advantage by generating a lot of permanents to sacrifice. However, the Yukora, The Prisoner, since it costs 1 less, is probably the better finisher.

2) Should we use Death Cloud
Death Cloud
Death CloudSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Each player loses X life then discards X cards from his or her hand then sacrifices X creatures then sacrifices X lands.
in Mono Black Control?

*This is actually a very important question because including Death Cloud
Death Cloud
Death CloudSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Each player loses X life then discards X cards from his or her hand then sacrifices X creatures then sacrifices X lands.
means you have to include the correct ratio of lands. Mox and Cloud have synergy together, but Death Cloud
Death Cloud
Death CloudSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Each player loses X life then discards X cards from his or her hand then sacrifices X creatures then sacrifices X lands.
doesn't play very well with 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.
. However, it usually isn’t too bad if you play 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.
before Death Cloud
Death Cloud
Death CloudSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Each player loses X life then discards X cards from his or her hand then sacrifices X creatures then sacrifices X lands.
. At the very worst, you will discard 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.
to Death Cloud
Death Cloud
Death CloudSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Each player loses X life then discards X cards from his or her hand then sacrifices X creatures then sacrifices X lands.
.

3) Diabolic tutor and/or Extraplanar Lens
Extraplanar Lens
Extraplanar LensSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
169
Artist:
Lars Grant-West
Text:
Imprint|When Extraplanar Lens comes into play, you may remove target land you control from the game. (The removed card is imprinted on this artifact.) Whenever a land with the same name as the imprinted card is tapped for mana, its controller adds one mana to his or her mana pool of any type that land produced.
. Are these two good choices in the new format?

*The tutor allows for a very stylish deck, with silver bullets in the form of one-ofs. It probably isn’t worth it, though, because Diabolic Tutor
Diabolic Tutor
Diabolic TutorSet: Odyssey
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
129
Artist:
Rick Farrell
Text:
Search your library for a card, and put that card into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
is quite expensive. The lens allows for quick threats and huge consume spirits, but of course it's vulnerable to removal. Artifact hate is still around for Jitte and Vedalken Shackles
Vedalken Shackles
Vedalken ShacklesSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
164
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
You may choose not to untap Vedalken Shackles during your untap step. 2, Tap: Gain control of target creature with power less than or equal to the number of Islands you control as long as Vedalken Shackles remains tapped.
, and the lens is collateral damage.

4) What is the best removal package to use? Some people hate echoing decay, and some swear by it. This is also goes for terror, rend flesh, shoal, laughter, barter, etc.

*If you want to go aggressive discard, and perhaps a bit lighter on creature removal, I would run 4 Yukora, The Prisoner and 2-3 Koshuko, the Evening Star. On the other hand, if you are looking for the war of attrition, you're probably removing everything in sight for the early game. Sometimes, you would be unable to cast Yukora, the Prisoner
Yukora, the Prisoner
Yukora, the PrisonerSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Demon Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
90
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
When Yukora, the Prisoner leaves play, sacrifice all non-Ogre creatures you control.
early because you’re too busy destroying stuff. However, when deciding which removal to use, you usually need to have some cheap removal (like Terror
Terror
TerrorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Buries target creature. Cannot target black creatures or artifact creatures.
or Echoing Decay
Echoing Decay
Echoing DecaySet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target creature and all other creatures with the same name as that creature get -2/-2 until end of turn.
) and you need to have some better/more expensive removal (like Barter in Blood
Barter in Blood
Barter in BloodSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Text:
Each player sacrifices two creatures.
or Hideous Laughter
Hideous Laughter
Hideous LaughterSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
U
Number:
115
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
All creatures get -2/-2 until end of turn. Splice onto Arcane 3BB (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.)
).

**Here is the Mono Black Control build that I use:

Spells (12):
-4 distress
-4 guardian idol
-4 Night’s Whisper

Removal (15):
-3 hideous laughter
-4 terror
-2 eradicate
-3 Death Cloud
Death Cloud
Death CloudSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Each player loses X life then discards X cards from his or her hand then sacrifices X creatures then sacrifices X lands.

-3 consume spirit

Finishers (7):
-4x Yukora, the Prisoner
Yukora, the Prisoner
Yukora, the PrisonerSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Demon Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
90
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
When Yukora, the Prisoner leaves play, sacrifice all non-Ogre creatures you control.

-3x Kokusho, the Evening Star
Kokusho, the Evening Star
Kokusho, the Evening StarSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Dragon Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
122
Artist:
Tsutomu Kawade
Power:
5
Toughness:
5
Text:
Flying When Kokusho, the Evening Star is put into a graveyard from play, each opponent loses 5 life. You gain life equal to the life lost this way.


Land (22 + Mox):
-4x chrome mox
-17 swamps + 1 shizo
-4 stalking stones

*-_-*However, this particular build misses goodies that are certainly viable in mono-black decks such as:

-Oblivion stones
-wrench mind
-persecute
-Night of Soul’s Betrayal
Betrayal
BetrayalSet: Visions
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
Play only on a creature an opponent controls.If enchanted creature becomes tapped, draw a card.


*Anybody who claims that Oblivion-stone is too slow is wrong. Since standard has taken such a controllish turn, Oblivion Stone
Oblivion Stone
Oblivion StoneSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
222
Artist:
Sam Wood
Text:
4, T: Put a fate counter on target permanent. 5, T, Sacrifice Oblivion Stone: Destroy each nonland permanent without a fate counter on it, then remove all fate counters from all permanents.
is actually quite useful at taking care of opponent’s bombs, and the almighty dreaded Karma
Karma
KarmaSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
During a player's upkeep, Karma does 1 point of damage to that player for each swamp he or she has in play.
(At the beginning of a player’s upkeep, he/she loses life equal the number of swamps they control; an unfair hoser if you ask me). The chances of Oblivion Stone
Oblivion Stone
Oblivion StoneSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
222
Artist:
Sam Wood
Text:
4, T: Put a fate counter on target permanent. 5, T, Sacrifice Oblivion Stone: Destroy each nonland permanent without a fate counter on it, then remove all fate counters from all permanents.
being destroyed by artifact destruction has also gone down. Artifact hate is out there, but it isn’t as widespread as it used to be.

*I’ve never been a fan of Wrench Mind
Wrench Mind
Wrench MindSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
84
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Target player discards two cards from his or her hand unless he or she discards an artifact card from his or her hand.
. Hymn to Tourach
Hymn to Tourach
Hymn to TourachSet: Fallen Empires
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
12
Artist:
Susan Van Camp
Text:
Target player discards two cards at random from his or her hand. If target player does not have enough cards, his or her entire hand is discarded.
was a good card, but discarding two cards RANDOMLY was what made it so powerful. I will always favor Distress
Distress
DistressSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
111
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Target player reveals his or her hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card.
over Wrench Mind
Wrench Mind
Wrench MindSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
84
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
Target player discards two cards from his or her hand unless he or she discards an artifact card from his or her hand.
because Distress
Distress
DistressSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
111
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Target player reveals his or her hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card.
has the ability to nab Mono-black hosers like Karma
Karma
KarmaSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Richard Thomas
Text:
During a player's upkeep, Karma does 1 point of damage to that player for each swamp he or she has in play.
, etc.

*Some Mono-black decks have begun to maindeck Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.
, and with good reason too. A resolved Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.
(especially an early one) can easily turn the odds against your opponent. The weakness of this card, though, is late game, where it becomes an over-costed Waking Nightmare
Waking Nightmare
Waking NightmareSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
149
Artist:
Mitch Cotie
Text:
Target player discards two cards.
. However, this card should always be in the sideboard AT THE VERY LEAST.

*Night of Soul’s Betrayal
Betrayal
BetrayalSet: Visions
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
Play only on a creature an opponent controls.If enchanted creature becomes tapped, draw a card.
is also another card that should not be underestimated. It almost acts a little bit like Damping Matrix
Damping Matrix
Damping MatrixSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
161
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Activated abilities of artifacts and creatures can't be played unless they're mana abilities.
, shutting down the various cards that are out there (in this case, x/1 creatures). It can kill the Red Genju, half of White Weenie’s creatures, an unflipped Shortfang, Thieving Magpie
Thieving Magpie
Thieving MagpieSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Bird
Rarity:
U
Number:
49
Artist:
Una Fricker
Power:
1
Toughness:
3
Text:
Flying Whenever Thieving Magpie deals damage to one of your opponents, you draw a card.
(doesn’t kill it, but makes it useless), Nexus, Meloku (5 mana for a 1/3 flyer is terrible!), Beacon of Creation
Beacon of Creation
Beacon of CreationSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
82
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Put a 1/1 green insect creature token into play for each forest you control. Shuffle Beacon of Creation back into its owner's library instead of putting it into its owner's graveyard.
, and many other creatures.

<<>>
-Mono Blue decks generally have only a few threats of their own. They seem to rely on Vedalken Shackles
Vedalken Shackles
Vedalken ShacklesSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
164
Artist:
Mark Zug
Text:
You may choose not to untap Vedalken Shackles during your untap step. 2, Tap: Gain control of target creature with power less than or equal to the number of Islands you control as long as Vedalken Shackles remains tapped.
and Bribery
Bribery
BriberySet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Andrew Robinson
Text:
Search target opponent's library for a creature card and put that card into play under your control. That player then shuffles his or her library.
to get their threats for them, so why not side out your creatures against them game 2? A good friend I know uses this tactic with great effect, taking out his creatures and siding in Mesmeric Orb
Mesmeric Orb
Mesmeric OrbSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
204
Artist:
David Martin
Text:
Whenever a permanent becomes untapped, that permanent's controller puts the top card of his or her library into his or her graveyard.
s and Millstone
Millstone
MillstoneSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Kaja Foglio
Text:
2, T: Take the top two cards from target player's library and put them in target player's graveyard.
s in order to deck his opponent. He also relies on removal like terror and Eradicate
Eradicate
EradicateSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Remove target nonblack creature from the game. Search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of that card and remove them from the game. That player then shuffles his or her library.
as well as discard to keep the opponent’s threats off the table. Then, you can get real mischievous and side your creatures back in after they have taken out their briberies. Don’t forget that Genju of the Fens
Genju of the Fens
Genju of the FensSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Swamp
Rarity:
U
Number:
66
Artist:
Tsutomu Kawade
Text:
2: Until end of turn, enchanted Swamp becomes a 2/2 black Spirit creature with "B: This creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn." It's still a land. When enchanted Swamp is put into a graveyard, you may return Genju of the Fens from your graveyard to your hand.
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.
are viable against Mono-Blue as well.

<<<Damping Matrix
Damping Matrix
Damping MatrixSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
161
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Activated abilities of artifacts and creatures can't be played unless they're mana abilities.
; to use or not to use>>>
-Black has a lot of tools available to neutralize cards in an opponent’s hand or on the board, but Damping Matrix
Damping Matrix
Damping MatrixSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
161
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Activated abilities of artifacts and creatures can't be played unless they're mana abilities.
can affect cards the opponent has yet to draw. There are many, many cards in the format now that use activated abilities, and damping matrix hits them all, and only effects Guardian Idol
Guardian Idol
Guardian IdolSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
128
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
Guardian Idol comes into play tapped. T: Add 1 to your mana pool. 2: Guardian Idol becomes a 2/2 artifact creature until end of turn.
(he can still produce mana, but he can’t change into a 2/2) and Oblivion Stone
Oblivion Stone
Oblivion StoneSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
222
Artist:
Sam Wood
Text:
4, T: Put a fate counter on target permanent. 5, T, Sacrifice Oblivion Stone: Destroy each nonland permanent without a fate counter on it, then remove all fate counters from all permanents.
in our deck. It's also important to realize that a lot of the most prominent artifact removal (Hearth Kami
Hearth Kami
Hearth KamiSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
171
Artist:
Luca Zontini
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
X, Sacrifice Hearth Kami: Destroy target artifact with converted mana cost X.
and Viridian Zealot
Viridian Zealot
Viridian ZealotSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Elf
Rarity:
R
Number:
90
Artist:
Kev Walter
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
1G, Sacrifice Tel-Jilad Zealot: Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
) do not work against the Matrix. It can help against Mono Green Aggro, Mono Blue Control, Cog Control, White Weenie Equip, Ponza, etc.

<<Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian ArenaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
47
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
>>>
-I’ve always favored Night’s whisper over Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian Arena
Phyrexian ArenaSet: Apocalypse
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
47
Artist:
Pete Venters
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
, and here is why. Night’s Whisper is the type of card that you only play if you have NOTHING else to do. However, its main use is helping you not miss land drops. For example, say you kept a 3 land (or even a 2 land) hand and you’ve dropped all your lands, but haven’t drawn any more lands. Missing the 4th or 5th land drop can spell defeat for you, but if you play Night’s Whisper, chances are that you’ll find that needed land. Playing 4 Night’s whisper in a deck will give you some reassurance that you’re not going to miss a land drop.

<<< What about Gods' Eye, Gate to the Reikai
Gods' Eye, Gate to the Reikai
Gods' Eye, Gate to the ReikaiSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Color:
Land
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
164
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
T: Add 1 to your mana pool. When Gods' Eye, Gate to the Reikai is put into a graveyard from play, put a 1/1 colorless Spirit creature token into play.
?>>>
-I’ve found this question after taking the time to look around online for suggestions. Whenever I played with Mono-Black Control, I generally never have gotten mana-screwed from Stalking Stones
Stalking Stones
Stalking StonesSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Stephen Daniele
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.6: Stalking Stones becomes a 3/3 artifact creature permanently. (This creature still counts as a land.)
. However, even running 2 Gods’ Eye, Gate to the Reikai gives the risk of drawing both of them, and could cause you to be mana-screwed. However, I think that running 4 Stalking Stones
Stalking Stones
Stalking StonesSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Stephen Daniele
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.6: Stalking Stones becomes a 3/3 artifact creature permanently. (This creature still counts as a land.)
and 1 Gods’ Eye, Gate to the Reikai will not strain the mana base, and could be useful with a large Death Cloud
Death Cloud
Death CloudSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Each player loses X life then discards X cards from his or her hand then sacrifices X creatures then sacrifices X lands.
.

<<<Sicken
Sicken
SickenSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
156
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -1/-1.Cycling 2 (You may pay 2 and discard this card from your hand to draw a card. Play this ability as an instant.)
aW5nIFNob2Fs vs. Echoing Decay
Echoing Decay
Echoing DecaySet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target creature and all other creatures with the same name as that creature get -2/-2 until end of turn.
>>>
-In my opinion, don’t run Sicken
Sicken
SickenSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
156
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -1/-1.Cycling 2 (You may pay 2 and discard this card from your hand to draw a card. Play this ability as an instant.)
aW5nIFNob2Fs over Echoing Decay
Echoing Decay
Echoing DecaySet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
41
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Target creature and all other creatures with the same name as that creature get -2/-2 until end of turn.
, or even any other removal. We already have enough card disadvantage with the mox, so pitching a card to Sicken
Sicken
SickenSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
156
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -1/-1.Cycling 2 (You may pay 2 and discard this card from your hand to draw a card. Play this ability as an instant.)
aW5nIFNob2Fs is generally not a good choice. Sicken
Sicken
SickenSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
156
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Enchanted creature gets -1/-1.Cycling 2 (You may pay 2 and discard this card from your hand to draw a card. Play this ability as an instant.)
aW5nIFNob2Fs is inefficient for its mana cost, no matter which way you pay for it, so I don’t think this is a good card to run.

<<<Wicked Akuba
Wicked Akuba
Wicked AkubaSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
150
Artist:
Ittoku
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
B: Target player dealt damage by Wicked Akuba this turn loses 1 life.
and Genju of the Fens
Genju of the Fens
Genju of the FensSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Swamp
Rarity:
U
Number:
66
Artist:
Tsutomu Kawade
Text:
2: Until end of turn, enchanted Swamp becomes a 2/2 black Spirit creature with "B: This creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn." It's still a land. When enchanted Swamp is put into a graveyard, you may return Genju of the Fens from your graveyard to your hand.
>>>
-Some Mono Black decks randomly include Wicked Akuba
Wicked Akuba
Wicked AkubaSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
150
Artist:
Ittoku
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
B: Target player dealt damage by Wicked Akuba this turn loses 1 life.
and Genju of the Fens
Genju of the Fens
Genju of the FensSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Swamp
Rarity:
U
Number:
66
Artist:
Tsutomu Kawade
Text:
2: Until end of turn, enchanted Swamp becomes a 2/2 black Spirit creature with "B: This creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn." It's still a land. When enchanted Swamp is put into a graveyard, you may return Genju of the Fens from your graveyard to your hand.
which I feel is a bad decision. I would rather run Nezumi Shortfang
Nezumi Shortfang
Nezumi ShortfangSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Rogue
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
1B, T: Target opponent discards a card. Then if that player has no cards in hand, flip Nezumi Shortfang. ----- Stabwhisker the Odious Legendary Creature - Rat Shaman 3/3 At the beginning of each opponent's upkeep, that player loses 1 life for each card fewer than three in his or her hand.
over Wicked Akuba
Wicked Akuba
Wicked AkubaSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
150
Artist:
Ittoku
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
B: Target player dealt damage by Wicked Akuba this turn loses 1 life.
because Nezumi Shortfang
Nezumi Shortfang
Nezumi ShortfangSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Rogue
Rarity:
R
Number:
131
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
1B, T: Target opponent discards a card. Then if that player has no cards in hand, flip Nezumi Shortfang. ----- Stabwhisker the Odious Legendary Creature - Rat Shaman 3/3 At the beginning of each opponent's upkeep, that player loses 1 life for each card fewer than three in his or her hand.
can hit control decks harder. As for Genju of the Fens
Genju of the Fens
Genju of the FensSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Swamp
Rarity:
U
Number:
66
Artist:
Tsutomu Kawade
Text:
2: Until end of turn, enchanted Swamp becomes a 2/2 black Spirit creature with "B: This creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn." It's still a land. When enchanted Swamp is put into a graveyard, you may return Genju of the Fens from your graveyard to your hand.
, I feel that Guardian Idol
Guardian Idol
Guardian IdolSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
128
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
Guardian Idol comes into play tapped. T: Add 1 to your mana pool. 2: Guardian Idol becomes a 2/2 artifact creature until end of turn.
is almost strictly better than it. However, an unblocked, late Genju can end the game quickly, but its lack of synergy with Death Cloud
Death Cloud
Death CloudSet: Darksteel
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
40
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Each player loses X life then discards X cards from his or her hand then sacrifices X creatures then sacrifices X lands.
is the reason why I don’t like it. However, I will admit that Genju of the Fens
Genju of the Fens
Genju of the FensSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Swamp
Rarity:
U
Number:
66
Artist:
Tsutomu Kawade
Text:
2: Until end of turn, enchanted Swamp becomes a 2/2 black Spirit creature with "B: This creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn." It's still a land. When enchanted Swamp is put into a graveyard, you may return Genju of the Fens from your graveyard to your hand.
can be quite good against Mono-Blue, and has excellent synergy with Night’s of Soul’s Betrayal
Betrayal
BetrayalSet: Visions
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
Play only on a creature an opponent controls.If enchanted creature becomes tapped, draw a card.
.

<<>>
-Don’t forget Boseiju can cause major headaches to decks that rely on counterspells, even if we lack ways to search for the land. It’s certainly a viable decision to stick two of these guys in the sideboard.

**Here is my version of a sideboard for Mono Black Control :

3 Oblivion Stone
Oblivion Stone
Oblivion StoneSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
222
Artist:
Sam Wood
Text:
4, T: Put a fate counter on target permanent. 5, T, Sacrifice Oblivion Stone: Destroy each nonland permanent without a fate counter on it, then remove all fate counters from all permanents.
(if not main-decked)
3 Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.

3 Damping Matrix
Damping Matrix
Damping MatrixSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
161
Artist:
Mike Dringenberg
Text:
Activated abilities of artifacts and creatures can't be played unless they're mana abilities.

3 Cranial Extraction
Cranial Extraction
Cranial ExtractionSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
R
Number:
105
Artist:
Dave Allsop
Text:
Name a nonland card. Search target player's graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with that name and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

3 Night of Soul’s Betrayal
Betrayal
BetrayalSet: Visions
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Gary Leach
Text:
Play only on a creature an opponent controls.If enchanted creature becomes tapped, draw a card.


**Here is another decklist to consider using different card choices:

Removal (17):
-3 Eradicate
Eradicate
EradicateSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
60
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Remove target nonblack creature from the game. Search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for all copies of that card and remove them from the game. That player then shuffles his or her library.

-3 Barter and Blood
-3 cloud
-3 Oblivion Stone
Oblivion Stone
Oblivion StoneSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
222
Artist:
Sam Wood
Text:
4, T: Put a fate counter on target permanent. 5, T, Sacrifice Oblivion Stone: Destroy each nonland permanent without a fate counter on it, then remove all fate counters from all permanents.

-3 Hideous Laughter
Hideous Laughter
Hideous LaughterSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
U
Number:
115
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
All creatures get -2/-2 until end of turn. Splice onto Arcane 3BB (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.)

-2 consume spirit

Spells (10):
-4 Distress
Distress
DistressSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
111
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
Target player reveals his or her hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card.

-2 Persecute
Persecute
PersecuteSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
146
Artist:
D. Alexander Gregory
Text:
Choose a color. Look at target player's hand. That player discards all cards of the chosen color.

-4 Night’s Whisper

Finishers (9):
-3 kokusho
-2 beacon of unrest
-4 Yukora the Prisoner

Lands (20 + Mox):
-4 chrome mox
-16 swamps
-4 Stalking Stones
Stalking Stones
Stalking StonesSet: Tempest
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Stephen Daniele
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.6: Stalking Stones becomes a 3/3 artifact creature permanently. (This creature still counts as a land.)



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