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CardShark Content - Michael Webb (10/31/2002)

MBC this, and MBC that. Anyone who's been reading articles about decks for the new standard have heard a lot about MBC because of it's strong showing during OBC, where it came in as the only true control achetype that could consistently slow down flying 6/6 Wurms.

Newsflash: the new standard is not equal to OBC, not even approximately equal. Yes, the Wurm tokens will still be taking flight, but beyond that the format is much deeper, and as such, presents new possiblities *and* problems for established archetypes.

Why did Mono Black Control work/become popular in OBC?

1) Because there was no strong established counter based deck.
2) Because if you killed creatures they generally stayed dead.

While #1 is still going to be true in Standard until someone can piece together a workable U/W Mobilization
Mobilization
MobilizationSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Number:
44
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Attacking doesn't cause Soldiers to tap. 2W: Put a 1/1 white Soldier creature token into play.
deck (and good luck to you all, Wizards hasn't exactly been printing grade A counter-magic lately...) but #2 is no longer true, no longer even vaguely true.

Anyone who toyed with MBC knows that the biggest threat the deck could face was a Black Aggressive deck that was able to use Ichorid
Ichorid
IchoridSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
65
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Haste. At end of turn, sacrifice Ichorid. At the beginning of your upkeep, if Ichorid is in your graveyard, you may remove a black creature card in your graveyard other than Ichorid from the game. If you do, return Ichorid to play.
, a recurring and dangerous threat that couldn't be killed with the sorcery speed removal that MBC was packing. And even though the deck now has the use of instant speed Smother
Smother
SmotherSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
170
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Destroy target creature with converted mana cost 3 or less. It can't be regenerated.
, the number of creatures which can come back to haunt you from the graveyard has also jumped, witness:

- Gigapede
Gigapede
GigapedeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
R
Number:
264
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
6
Toughness:
1
Text:
Gigapede can't be the target of spells or abilities.. At the beginning of your upkeep, if Gigapede is in your graveyard, you may discard a card from your hand. If you do, return Gigapede to your hand.

- Undead Gladiator
Undead Gladiator
Undead GladiatorSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Barbarian
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
1B, Discard a card from your hand: Return Undead Gladiator from your graveyard to your hand. Play this ability only during your upkeep.. Cycling 1B (1B, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)

- 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.
(effectively makes all creatures recursive in mid to late game)

Additionally, the Rotlung Reanimator
Rotlung Reanimator
Rotlung ReanimatorSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Cleric
Rarity:
R
Number:
164
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever Rotlung Reanimator or another Cleric is put into a graveyard from play, put a 2/2 black Zombie creature token into play.
gives fits to the non-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.
removal spells.

What do most of these new threats have in common? Why yes, they're mostly black as well, while the other, Gigapede
Gigapede
GigapedeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
R
Number:
264
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
6
Toughness:
1
Text:
Gigapede can't be the target of spells or abilities.. At the beginning of your upkeep, if Gigapede is in your graveyard, you may discard a card from your hand. If you do, return Gigapede to your hand.
, fits into the sideboard of the current most popular deck, U/G Madness, if it becomes necessary.

What does this mean? I think it means MBC will still be playable, but not in a field that has a decent number of people playing a deck similar to the one I'm lying down here in Mono Black Aggro-Control, or in a field of U/G that's expecting it by packing Gigapede
Gigapede
GigapedeSet: Onslaught
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect
Rarity:
R
Number:
264
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
6
Toughness:
1
Text:
Gigapede can't be the target of spells or abilities.. At the beginning of your upkeep, if Gigapede is in your graveyard, you may discard a card from your hand. If you do, return Gigapede to your hand.
...now I can't speak for the popularity of *this* style of deck, but you can be sure that U/G will be everywhere, and personally, I don't like gambling that the U/G is just going to forget to pack appropriate SB hosers for one of the most ballyhooed archetypes being carried over from OBC.

But I still like killing things, and attacking with big Shades, thus:

Neo-Pirates
4x Nantuko Shade
Nantuko Shade
Nantuko ShadeSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect Shade
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Nantuko Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.

3x Undead Gladiator
Undead Gladiator
Undead GladiatorSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Barbarian
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
1B, Discard a card from your hand: Return Undead Gladiator from your graveyard to your hand. Play this ability only during your upkeep.. Cycling 1B (1B, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)

4x Grinning Demon
Grinning Demon
Grinning DemonSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Number:
153
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
At he beginning of your upkeep, you lose 2 life. Morph 2BB (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)

4x 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.

4x Wretched Anurid
Wretched Anurid
Wretched AnuridSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
183
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever another creature comes into play, you lose 1 life.


4x Chainer's Edict
Chainer's Edict
Chainer's EdictSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Text:
Target player sacrifices a creature. Flashback 5BB

4x Smother
Smother
SmotherSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
170
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Destroy target creature with converted mana cost 3 or less. It can't be regenerated.

4x Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.

3x 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.

2x 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.


2x 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.

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


SB:
3x Eastern Paladin
Eastern Paladin
Eastern PaladinSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Knight
Rarity:
R
Number:
133
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
BB, T: Destroy target green creature.

1x 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.

1x Filth
Filth
FilthSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
U
Number:
66
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa

Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Swampwalk. As long as Filth is in your graveyard and you control a Swamp, creatures you control have Swampwalk.

2x 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.

1x Mind Sludge
Mind Sludge
Mind SludgeSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
70
Text:
Target player discards a card from his or her hand for each swamp you control.

2x 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.

4x Engineered Plague
Engineered Plague
Engineered PlagueSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
51
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
When Engineered Plague comes into play, choose a creature type.All creatures of the chosen type get -1/-1.


The deck is very much a work in progress, but I like the way it's been playing so far. Instead of taking the fragile Corrupt
Corrupt
CorruptSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
124
Artist:
Vincent Evans
Text:
Corrupt deals 1 damage to target creature or player for each swamp you control. When Corrupt successfully deals damage to a creature or player, gain life equal to that damage.
/Nantuko Shade
Nantuko Shade
Nantuko ShadeSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect Shade
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Nantuko Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
path to victory, the deck is able to play a classic black disruption combined with aggro strategy that's very reminiscent of Necro (without the power of the broken skull, alas)

Most of the spells go without much explanation necessary, but here's a breakdown:

Removal:
Smother
Smother
SmotherSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
170
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Destroy target creature with converted mana cost 3 or less. It can't be regenerated.
, Edict, 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.
.

These are pretty standard fare, the Type II environment is very much a creature based one so heavy removal is a good way to avoid being on the receiving end of a serious beating in the early game.

A touch of Control/Late game power: Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.
, 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.


Again, almost without question. You have to have a very good reason to not put 4 Duress
Duress
DuressSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
132
Artist:
Lawrence Snelly
Text:
Look at target opponent's hand and choose a noncreature, nonland card there. That player discards that card.
into any black deck where it's legal, and I don't have that reason, so it's in.

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.
can easily be the basis of an entire deck, but it also has it's place in this design. In the mid to late game it can cause utter havoc with an opponent that doesn't have a way to deal with it.

Critters:
Nantuko Shade
Nantuko Shade
Nantuko ShadeSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect Shade
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Nantuko Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
, Wretched Anurid
Wretched Anurid
Wretched AnuridSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
183
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever another creature comes into play, you lose 1 life.
, Undead Gladiator
Undead Gladiator
Undead GladiatorSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Barbarian
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
1B, Discard a card from your hand: Return Undead Gladiator from your graveyard to your hand. Play this ability only during your upkeep.. Cycling 1B (1B, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)
, Braids, Grinning Demon
Grinning Demon
Grinning DemonSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Number:
153
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
At he beginning of your upkeep, you lose 2 life. Morph 2BB (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)
.

The heart of the deck. The Nantuko Shade
Nantuko Shade
Nantuko ShadeSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Insect Shade
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
B: Nantuko Shade gets +1/+1 until end of turn.
and the Grinning Demon
Grinning Demon
Grinning DemonSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Number:
153
Artist:
Mark Zug
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
At he beginning of your upkeep, you lose 2 life. Morph 2BB (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)
are your most aggressive paths to victory but they also have very worthy friends. The Wretched Anurid
Wretched Anurid
Wretched AnuridSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
183
Artist:
Glen Angus
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever another creature comes into play, you lose 1 life.
does a nice job of shoring up the mana curve while having a very beefy body for it's cost. Undead Gladiator
Undead Gladiator
Undead GladiatorSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Barbarian
Rarity:
R
Number:
178
Artist:
Jeff Easley
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
1B, Discard a card from your hand: Return Undead Gladiator from your graveyard to your hand. Play this ability only during your upkeep.. Cycling 1B (1B, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)
is a nightmare against control and combos nastily with Braids to give her an alternate upkeep of 2BBB, discard a card. This is a great way to lock control, or to win in the mid-late game against aggro strategies. Braids is just another way to make the deck stronger in the later section of the game. Most aggressive decks will run out of gas after the first few turns, but Braids helps insure you've got a way to take control of the later game as well.

As for the sideboard, it's in constant flux, but most of the stuff that's in there now is for obvious reasons.

Eastern Paladin
Eastern Paladin
Eastern PaladinSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Knight
Rarity:
R
Number:
133
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
BB, T: Destroy target green creature.
owns U/G all day long, and then some. I don't know why more people haven't been playing him..

The 4th 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.
is there for when you really need it.

Filth
Filth
FilthSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
U
Number:
66
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa

Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Swampwalk. As long as Filth is in your graveyard and you control a Swamp, creatures you control have Swampwalk.
is a trump card against other Aggressive Mono Black decks.

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.
+ more Oversold Cemeteries is an alternate sideboarding scheme that you'd likely use in tandem with the Mind Sludge
Mind Sludge
Mind SludgeSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
70
Text:
Target player discards a card from his or her hand for each swamp you control.
s against control to try and overwhelm them. This is the most questionable concept in the SB, but I'm trying it out for the time being.

And 4 Engineered Plague
Engineered Plague
Engineered PlagueSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
U
Number:
51
Artist:
Michael Sutfin
Text:
When Engineered Plague comes into play, choose a creature type.All creatures of the chosen type get -1/-1.
is a given in the Goblin Sligh, Wizard, and other tribal based world we'll all be inhabiting.

A couple of cards I've been thinking of haven't made the SB yet, but I'll throw them out here for consideration as well.

- Riptide Replicator
Riptide Replicator
Riptide ReplicatorSet: Onslaught
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
R
Number:
309
Artist:
Doug Chaffee
Text:
As Riptide Replicator comes into play, choose a color and a creature type. Riptide Replicator comes into play with X charge counters on it. 4, T: Put an X/X creature token of the chosen color and type into play, where X is the number of charge counters on Riptide Replicator.
. More at home in Wake or MBC variants, it can still have some force here when fueled by Coffers. It offers a nice way around Circles of Protection and other such annoyances. I initially had it in my MB, but it was horrific drawing into it early. I could still see it in the SB as a way to deal with COPs, but it remains to be seen if they'll even pop up much.

- Death Pulse
Death Pulse
Death PulseSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
137
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Text:
Target creature gets -4/-4 until end of turn. Cycling 1BB (1BB, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.) When you cycle Death Pulse, you may have target creature get -1/-1 until end of turn.
. The anti-Kai card of choice. Turns what some would call the best new counter into maggot food for 1BB, plus you get to draw a card. If Kai starts showing up in numbers I'll start throwing these in and taking advantage.

- Corrupt
Corrupt
CorruptSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
124
Artist:
Vincent Evans
Text:
Corrupt deals 1 damage to target creature or player for each swamp you control. When Corrupt successfully deals damage to a creature or player, gain life equal to that damage.
. Another ex-MB spell, this is a wrecking ball against Sligh just like it used to be in the old Free Spell Necro vs. Sligh in Extended matches, but like the Replicator, it just hurts too much to draw it early.

- Crypt Creeper
Crypt Creeper
Crypt CreeperSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
125
Artist:
John Avon
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Crypt Creeper: Remove target card in a graveyard from the game.
. An obvious solution to Wonder
Wonder
WonderSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
Blue
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Incarnation
Rarity:
U
Number:
54
Artist:
Rebecca Guay

Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying As long as Wonder is in your graveyard and you control an island, creatures you control have flying.
/Roar problems, but it's generally much better in dedicated Cemetery builds that can repeatedly abuse it. That said, you can still make a case for it in the SB because it's power is still decent, and it can at least do some mild beatodwn while it's waiting to lunch on the graveyard, unlike Ghastly Demise
Ghastly Demise
Ghastly DemiseSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
139
Artist:
Gary Ruddell
Text:
Destroy target nonblack creature if its toughness is less than or equal to the number of cards in your graveyard.
. I still like the Eastern Paladin
Eastern Paladin
Eastern PaladinSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Knight
Rarity:
R
Number:
133
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
BB, T: Destroy target green creature.
a lot more.

And that's the deck in a nutshell...as I said, it's very much a work in progress, but there's no doubt in my mind that decks similar to this one are going to have a goodly amount of success in the new type II.

Good luck at States everyone!


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