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CardShark Content - Michael Webb (11/11/2002)

Last week I laid out a basic deck concept for a Mono Black Aggro-Control strategy that I dubbed Neo-Pirates, to refresh your memories here's that list:

Neo-Pirates 1.0

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.


Since I wrote that article I've had a chance to playtest the deck more extensively, and I discovered some issues that need to be fixed for the deck to be more competitive.

Namely:

- Braids is sub-optimal, she was never playable early because I didn't have enough permanents to sack and she needs to be taken out of the deck.

- Phantom Centaur
Phantom Centaur
Phantom CentaurSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Centaur Spirit
Rarity:
U
Number:
127
Artist:
Carl Critchlow

Power:
2
Toughness:
0
Text:
Protection from Black. Phantom Centaur comes into play with three +1/+1 counters on it. If damage would be dealt to Phantom Centaur, prevent that damage. Remove a +1/+1 counter from Phantom Centaur.
. A serious problem for the deck, and it alone seriously necessitates 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.
hitting the MB, I took several losses from simply not having a 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.
in hand when I needed it since good players will be able to protect it from the Edict. I underestimated how popular this creature is going to be in the new metagame, and took some losses because of it.

- The Anurid/Demon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying
tandem has been very painful, not a serious liability, but still, painful...

- Evasion, no creatures with it. I either need to fill in a few evasion critters, or put a couple of 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.
s back in to punch through the last damage, speaking of which:

- 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.
was magnificent from the SB, and I might want to put two back in MB.

- COP is going to be an issue after all, need to SB Replicators, or some other way around it like Caustic Tar
Caustic Tar
Caustic TarSet: Odyssey
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
122
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Enchanted land has ``Tap: Target player loses 3 life.``
.

But what to replace Braids with?

Clear
Clear
ClearSet: Urza's Saga
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
7
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Text:
Destroy target enchantment.Cycling 2 (You may pay 2 and discard this card from your hand to draw a card. Play this ability as an instant.)
ly, as I said above, 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 very necessary. Additionally, two 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.
s fit back in as well. That leaves us with one open slot in the current build in which I'd lean toward filling with a decent aggro creature (a 4th Gladiator?) or something which enables beatdown like Dirge of Dread
Dirge of Dread
Dirge of DreadSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
138
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
All creatures gain fear until end of turn. (They can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.) Cycling 1B (1B, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.) When you cycle Dirge of Dread, you may have target creature gain fear until end of turn.
.

Thus, my first inclination is to go with something like this:

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 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.

4x 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 Dirge of Dread
Dirge of Dread
Dirge of DreadSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
138
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
All creatures gain fear until end of turn. (They can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.) Cycling 1B (1B, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.) When you cycle Dirge of Dread, you may have target creature gain fear until end of turn.

2x 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.

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.


The problem I can see right off the bat with this version of the deck is that the 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.
is almost certainly a wasted cause. Braids was a card that'd put the graveyard over the top and enable the use of it, without enough creatures or spells like 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.
to enable the cemetery it probably would be best replaced by something else.

An interesting option for a creature heavy metagame is to simply take the original list, replace 3 Braids with 3 Shambling Swarm
Shambling Swarm
Shambling SwarmSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
82
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Shambling Swarm is put into a graveyard from play, distribute three -1/-1 counters among one, two, or three target creatures. Remove those counters at end of turn.
s, replace the final Braids with a 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.
, and remove 1 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.)
for a second 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.
.

This'd give you a list that looks something like this:

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.)

3x Shambling Swarm
Shambling Swarm
Shambling SwarmSet: Torment
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
82
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Shambling Swarm is put into a graveyard from play, distribute three -1/-1 counters among one, two, or three target creatures. Remove those counters at end of turn.

3x 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 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 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.

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.


I don't think creatures will be faring too well against a build like that :-)

Again, you don't have a ton of creatures to fuel the Cemetery, but I feel much more comfortable with 17 as opposed to 15 with the first rebuild.

In any case, here's how this last version of the deck has been matching up against other popular builds:

- Mono Black Control. This match can really go either way, if you can force out an early Cemetery and start abusing it you can press your advantage into a win, as long as you can keep Haunting Echoes
Haunting Echoes
Haunting EchoesSet: Odyssey
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
142
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Text:
Remove all cards in target player's graveyard other than basic land cards from the game. Search that player's library for all cards with the same name as cards removed this way, and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
from resolving that is. 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 your iron man here, as they *have* to remove it from the game somehow.

There really isn't a lot you can pull out of your sideboard to affect this match. 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.
is a good fighting tactic, but other than that you have to depend on your Cemetery and Gladiators to carry the day.

- U/G Beats. Depends heavily on the type of draw you each get. Sometimes you get removal matched perfectly to what they draw (i.e.: 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.
your Looter, Edict your Roar token, 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.
your Centaur, etc.) and sometimes you just sit there looking stupid as Wurm tokens take flight.

After sideboarding the match turns decidedly in your favour though, with 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.
in the sideboard U/G usually has no solution to the constant Royal Assassin
Royal Assassin
Royal AssassinSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Assassin
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Tom Wänerstrand
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
T: Destroy any tapped creature.
effect, though the damnable Centaur can still ruin your day.

- R/G. A lot like U/G, but decidedly harder to finish if they use Baloths. If you can survive to get off a 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.
you've usually won the match, but this is a difficult opponent because their creatures are just as high quality as yours are, and they carry burn to boot.

Sideboarding again gives you the option of some good weapons though, 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.
is a great way to fight off Blistering Firecat
Blistering Firecat
Blistering FirecatSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
R
Number:
189
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
7
Toughness:
1
Text:
Trample, haste. At end of turn, sacrifice Blistering Firecat.. Morph RR (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face. up any time for its morph cost.)
, and 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.
is again effective. Still, even with sideboarding this match is a toss-up.

- Sligh. This is all about early game removal, if you can match their creature drops with drops of your own that can trade, or with removal you're going to be able to take control in the mid-game as your large threats in 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.)
and 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.
take over, and 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.
erases burn-out danger.

Sideboarding makes the match easier with 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.
coming in again for more early game power, and 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.
s can kill off most of their gobbos.

Regretfully I haven't had a chance to test against Astro Glide or Wake yet.

I'm willing to bet that Astro Glide will be a horrific match though because of the plethora of creature removal and tricks that they can pull. I'd assume that the only hope you have is if you can 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.
away the Slide early, and try to finish them off before they can set up the numerous combinations, with Starstorm
Starstorm
StarstormSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
238
Artist:
David Martin
Text:
Starstorm deals X damage to each creature. Cycling 3 (3, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)
and Wrath it's difficult to imagine that you'll be able to keep more than 1 creature on the table at a time though.

Wake (assuming Kibler here) is tricky as well, if they can set themselves up with numerous early game Moment's Peace
Moment's Peace
Moment's PeaceSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
251
Artist:
Rebecca Guay
Text:
Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn. Flashback 2G (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)
it'll be ugly, but if you can keep up the pressure with 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.
leading the way, you should have a decent shot at beating them before they can get a Wake out.

As I said though, I haven't played either of those matches, so it's difficult to say, Astro Glide certainly has all the makings of a bad (if not the worst) match-up though because of their combination of removal, life gain, and a good evasion creature to finish you off.

Of all the States listings that have come back, a Mono Black Aggro-Control deck has made only one showing, in the 5-8 slot in Missouri, that listing is as follows:

4 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.

4 Festering Goblin
Festering Goblin
Festering GoblinSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
148
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Festering Goblin is put into a graveyard from play, target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.

4 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.)

2 Laquatus's Champion
Laquatus's Champion
Laquatus's ChampionSet: Torment
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare Horror
Rarity:
R
Number:
67
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
6
Toughness:
3
Text:
When Laquatus's Champion comes into play, target player loses 6 life. When Laquatus's Champion leaves play, that player gains 6 life. B: Regenerate Laquatus's Champion.

2 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 Severed Legion
Severed Legion
Severed LegionSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
C
Number:
166
Artist:
Dany Orizio
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Fear (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.)

2 Silent Specter
Silent Specter
Silent SpecterSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
R
Number:
169
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying. Whenever Silent Specter deals combat damage to a player, that player discards two cards from his or her hand.. Morph 3BB (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face up any time for its morph cost.)

2 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.)

2 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.


4 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

4 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.

2 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.

2 Infest
Infest
InfestSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
157
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
All creatures get -2/-2 until end of turn.

2 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.


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.


I really have to wonder what this guy was facing throughout the rounds...the 1 drop Festering Goblin
Festering Goblin
Festering GoblinSet: Onslaught
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
148
Artist:
Thomas M. Baxa
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Festering Goblin is put into a graveyard from play, target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn.
has been making appearances in several aggro decks that use black, but the top of the mana curve seems really, really heavy, especially when he's only running 22 lands, 2 of which are useless until you have 3 Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.
s to go with them.

Just look at the top of the curve:

- 12 cards that cost 4 (though GD has morph)
- 2 that cost 5
- 10 that cost *6* (though the 2 Specters have morph)

To me, this indicates that the person playing this deck was the beneficiery of some savage top decking all day, because otherwise it seems as though this deck would get trapped on 3 mana a little more often that it did.

If anything, I'd be willing to bet that the power of 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.
is what resulted in wins more often than not. As anyone who's played with the spell can tell you, 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.
ing for 6 is usually the beginning of the end for an opponent, unless their board position is *vastly* superior to your own.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that Mono Black as an Aggro-Control deck has *some* hope, but it's not tier one by any stretch, at least not any version that I've played. If you're good enough you should be able to pilot it to a .500 record through sheer skill, but anything beyond that is probably stretching things.

However, looking over the States results, and reading some of the reports and commentaries from across the net, I've found an interesting deck that incorporates Black, and seems like it has some more potential...

4 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.)

2 Jeska, Warrior Adept
Jeska, Warrior Adept
Jeska, Warrior AdeptSet: Judgment
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Warrior Legend
Rarity:
R
Number:
93
Artist:
rk post

Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
First Strike, Haste. T: Jeska, Warrior Adept deals 1 damage to target creature or player.

4 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.


2 Browbeat
Browbeat
BrowbeatSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
82
Artist:
Mark Tedin

Text:
Unless a player has Browbeat deal 5 damage to him or her, target player draws three cards.

4 Burning Wish
Burning Wish
Burning WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
83
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer

Text:
Choose a sorcery you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Burning Wish from the game.

3 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

4 Firebolt
Firebolt
FireboltSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
193
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Firebolt deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Flashback 4R (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)

4 Flame Burst
Flame Burst
Flame BurstSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
194
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Flame Burst deals X damage to target creature or player, where X is 2 plus the number of Flame Burst cards in all graveyards.

3 Lightning Surge
Lightning Surge
Lightning SurgeSet: Judgment
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
96
Artist:
Ron Spears

Text:
Lightning Surge deals 4 damage to target creature of player. Threshold - Instead Lightning Surge deals 6 damage to that creature or player and the damage can't be prevented. Flashback 5RR.

4 Shock
Shock
ShockSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
206
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Shock deals 2 damage to target creature or player.

4 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.


4 Bloodstained Mire
Bloodstained Mire
Bloodstained MireSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
313
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
T, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Bloodstained Mire: Search your library for a swamp or mountain card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.

7 Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.

4 Sulfurous Springs
Sulfurous Springs
Sulfurous SpringsSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Add B or R to your mana pool. Sulfurous Springs deals 1 damage to you.

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


SB:
1 Blaze
Blaze
BlazeSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
168
Artist:
Gerry Grace
Text:
Blaze deals X damage to target creature or player.

1 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

1 Decompose
Decompose
DecomposeSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
128
Artist:
Tony Szczudlo
Text:
Remove up to three target cards in a single graveyard from the game.

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.

3 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.

1 Flash of Defiance
Flash of Defiance
Flash of DefianceSet: Torment
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
99
Text:
Players can't block with green and/or white creatures this turn. Flashback - 1R, Pay 3 life.

1 Infest
Infest
InfestSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
157
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
All creatures get -2/-2 until end of turn.

1 Pillage
Pillage
PillageSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
198
Artist:
Richard Kane Ferguson
Text:
Destroy target artifact or land. It can't be regenerated.

1 Slice and Dice
Slice and Dice
Slice and DiceSet: Onslaught
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
232
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
Slice and Dice deals 4 damage to each creature. Cycling 2R (2R, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)
When you cycle Slice and Dice you may have it deal 1 damage to each creature.

1 Threaten
Threaten
ThreatenSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
241
Artist:
Mark Brill
Text:
Untap target creature and gain control of it until end of turn. That creature gains haste until end of turn.


I ran across this as in another article, and though the author vehemently defended his use of some of the stranger cards such as Jeska, I thought the deck, with a little tweaking, could be turned into a serious house. Just look at the mana base for instance, we've got a lot of red, but why aren't we taking advantage of some of red's new bomb cards?

I really like what Red in general adds too...Browbeat
Browbeat
BrowbeatSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
82
Artist:
Mark Tedin

Text:
Unless a player has Browbeat deal 5 damage to him or her, target player draws three cards.
is downright nasty in a deck that can threaten burning out at any point, (i.e.: Take 5 now, or let me draw 3 cheap burn spells, and do even *more* damage) the cheap burn is great as spot removal, or as direct damage in the late game, while Burning Wish
Burning Wish
Burning WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
83
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer

Text:
Choose a sorcery you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Burning Wish from the game.
offers a lot of utility cards.

Still, some of the cards strike me as very suboptimal, Jeska is alright, but why not play Blistering Firecat
Blistering Firecat
Blistering FirecatSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
R
Number:
189
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
7
Toughness:
1
Text:
Trample, haste. At end of turn, sacrifice Blistering Firecat.. Morph RR (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face. up any time for its morph cost.)
(one of the aforementioned red bomb cards) and be able to play guessing games with our opponents.

Think about it, the way you'd block a 7/1 trampler is significantly different than the way you'd block a vanilla 6/6. Adding the Firecat adds to the wham potential of the deck, and allows you to force your opponent to make uninformed combat decisions.

Additionally, Lightning Surge
Lightning Surge
Lightning SurgeSet: Judgment
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
96
Artist:
Ron Spears

Text:
Lightning Surge deals 4 damage to target creature of player. Threshold - Instead Lightning Surge deals 6 damage to that creature or player and the damage can't be prevented. Flashback 5RR.
, while a great finisher, doesn't do much in the early, or even the mid game. You can't run 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.
because of the lack of Swamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.
s, but I'm thinking a Starstorm
Starstorm
StarstormSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
238
Artist:
David Martin
Text:
Starstorm deals X damage to each creature. Cycling 3 (3, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)
or two would at least be worth a whirl.

In games where you can't use it, or don't need it you can always cycle it away. In matches where you do, it'll be extremely useful, especially since it's an instant. You could, for one instance, declare an attack with your Demon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying
against a U/G deck with Squirrel Nest
Squirrel Nest
Squirrel NestSet: Odyssey
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Enchant Land
Rarity:
U
Number:
274
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Text:
Card Text: Enchanted land has ``Tap: Put a 1/1 green Squirrel creature token into play.``
out, they make a token to block, and you can Starstorm
Starstorm
StarstormSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
238
Artist:
David Martin
Text:
Starstorm deals X damage to each creature. Cycling 3 (3, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)
in response, and still get through.

Of course, this only works in a limited way, as they could always make more tokens after Starstorm
Starstorm
StarstormSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
238
Artist:
David Martin
Text:
Starstorm deals X damage to each creature. Cycling 3 (3, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)
resolves, (assuming enough mana for another 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.
activation, or another Nest, of course) but it's just a neat little trick that can win you a game here or there if your opponent isn't careful.

The main point of a card like Starstorm
Starstorm
StarstormSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
238
Artist:
David Martin
Text:
Starstorm deals X damage to each creature. Cycling 3 (3, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)
is the tried and true one, to sweep the board if you need to, anything else is just icing.

Finally, I'd at least consider taking out the Flame Burst
Flame Burst
Flame BurstSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
194
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Flame Burst deals X damage to target creature or player, where X is 2 plus the number of Flame Burst cards in all graveyards.
s for Volcanic Hammer
Volcanic Hammer
Volcanic HammerSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
Volcanic Hammer deals 3 damage to any one creature or player.
s. Instant speed is great if you're in a cheap beats metagame (i.e.: Sligh is everywhere) but the speed of this deck means you won't usually get to more than 2 Bursts, so Hammer is a more solid choice in that regard, not to say that one is flat out better than the other, but it certainly deserves some testing.

Thus, if I was going to play the deck, I'd likely go with something more like this:

3 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.)

4 Blistering Firecat
Blistering Firecat
Blistering FirecatSet: Onslaught
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cat
Rarity:
R
Number:
189
Artist:
Arnie Swekel
Power:
7
Toughness:
1
Text:
Trample, haste. At end of turn, sacrifice Blistering Firecat.. Morph RR (You may play this face down as a 2/2 creature for 3. Turn it face. up any time for its morph cost.)

4 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.


2 Browbeat
Browbeat
BrowbeatSet: Judgment
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
82
Artist:
Mark Tedin

Text:
Unless a player has Browbeat deal 5 damage to him or her, target player draws three cards.

4 Burning Wish
Burning Wish
Burning WishSet: Judgment
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
83
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer

Text:
Choose a sorcery you own from outside the game, reveal that card, and put it into your hand. Remove Burning Wish from the game.

3 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

4 Firebolt
Firebolt
FireboltSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
193
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Firebolt deals 2 damage to target creature or player. Flashback 4R (You may play this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then remove it from the game.)

4 Flame Burst
Flame Burst
Flame BurstSet: Odyssey
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
194
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Flame Burst deals X damage to target creature or player, where X is 2 plus the number of Flame Burst cards in all graveyards.
/Volcanic Hammer
Volcanic Hammer
Volcanic HammerSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Edward P. Beard, Jr.
Text:
Volcanic Hammer deals 3 damage to any one creature or player.

2 Starstorm
Starstorm
StarstormSet: Onslaught
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
238
Artist:
David Martin
Text:
Starstorm deals X damage to each creature. Cycling 3 (3, Discard this card from your hand: Draw a card.)

4 Shock
Shock
ShockSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
206
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Shock deals 2 damage to target creature or player.

4 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.


4 Bloodstained Mire
Bloodstained Mire
Bloodstained MireSet: Onslaught
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
313
Artist:
Rob Alexander
Text:
T, Pay 1 life, Sacrifice Bloodstained Mire: Search your library for a swamp or mountain card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.

7 Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.

4 Sulfurous Springs
Sulfurous Springs
Sulfurous SpringsSet: Fifth Edition
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Jeff Miracola
Text:
T: Add one colorless mana to your mana pool.T: Add B or R to your mana pool. Sulfurous Springs deals 1 damage to you.

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


This deck is untested, but it certainly seems like an improvement on the initial build. I'll likely put this variant together sometime in the next couple of weeks and give a more in-depth analysis after that point.


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