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CardShark Content - Nathan Gatts (6/14/2005)

In my last article I wrote about my current favorite standard deck, mono-green aggro. This time around I will be discussing 2 different mono-black builds which I have also begun to test for this year’s upcoming Regionals event. Since I began playing magic years and years ago, I have generally been a die hard black player myself. Sometimes it’s very difficult to have a tier 1 or even 2 caliber black deck. But now may be just the right time to dig out all those swamps you’ve been wanting to use for so long. I will go over two decks in this article, Mono Black Control and Mono Black Aggro.

MONO BLACK CONTROL

Creatures (4)
2: 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.

2: Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni

Spells (19)
4: 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
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.)

3: 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.

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

2: 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.

2: Lose Hope
Lose Hope
Lose HopeSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
52
Text:
Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. Scry 2

2: 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.


Enchantments (7)
4: Night of Souls’ 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.

3: 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.


Artifacts (10)
4: Wayfarer’s Bauble
3: 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.

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.


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

1: Miren, the Moaning Well
Miren, the Moaning Well
Miren, the Moaning WellSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Text:
T Add 1 to your mana pool. 3, T, Sacrifice a creature: You gain life equal to the sacrificed creature's toughness.

1: Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
1: Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Boseiju, Who Shelters AllSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Color:
Land
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
273
Artist:
Ralph Horsley
Text:
Boseiju, Who Shelters All comes into play tapped. T, Pay 2 life: Add 1 to your mana pool. If that mana is spent on an instant or sorcery spell, that spell can't be countered by spells or abilities.



Sideboard (15)
4: 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.

4: 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.

2: 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.

2: 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: 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.


Now onto card explanations.

2: 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.

Obviously the best of the Dragon Legends from Champions of Kamigawa, and in my opinion one of the best all around creatures from the whole block. I can’t think of anything wrong with a 5/5 flier who can swing for 5, and when he is destroyed gains you 5 life, while your opponent goes down 5 more. And once coupled with Miren, the Moaning Well
Miren, the Moaning Well
Miren, the Moaning WellSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Text:
T Add 1 to your mana pool. 3, T, Sacrifice a creature: You gain life equal to the sacrificed creature's toughness.
, it just straight out wins you games.

2: Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
Another great black creature from the Kamigawa block. Ink-Eyes has great synergy with all the removal spells, allowing you not only a 5/4 regenerator, but a way to use your opponent’s graveyard against them.

4: 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
The best Shoal printed in Betrayers. It allows you to destroy creatures you may not have normally been able to deal with at the time, as well as being able to be played at almost any time.

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.)

With all the weenie decks running around, 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.)
is a must. This can keep so many decks’ win conditions in check, 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.
, Meloku the Clouded Mirror
Meloku the Clouded Mirror
Meloku the Clouded MirrorSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Moonfolk Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
2
Toughness:
4
Text:
Flying 1, Return a land you control to its owner's hand: Put a 1/1 blue Illusion creature token with flying into play.
, Troll Ascetic
Troll Ascetic
Troll AsceticSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Troll Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
135
Artist:
Puddnhead
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Troll Ascetic can't be the target of spells or abilities your opponents control. 1G: Regenerate Troll Ascetic.
, not to mention how good it is against white weenie.

3: 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.

A converted mana cost of 2, an instant, destroys just about any creature your opponent will play against you. In a deck swarming with removal, it just fits great.

3: 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.

A deck I’ve had problems against is mono red. So 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.
is a great card to have so you can outlive all the direct damage and be able to play your beefy creatures that most red decks can’t handle very well. Not only that, it can ensure that you don’t lose to your own 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.
.

2: 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.

Barter makes the cut for one deck, and one deck only, Tooth and Nail
Tooth and Nail
Tooth and NailSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Choose one - Search your library for up to two creature cards, reveal them, put them into your hand, then shuffle your library; or put up to two creature cards from your hand into play. Entwine 2 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
. Some of their creatures, namely Darksteel Colossus
Darksteel Colossus
Darksteel ColossusSet: Darksteel
Cost:
11
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Rarity:
R
Number:
109
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
11
Toughness:
11
Text:
Trample. Darksteel Colossus is indestructible (Destroy effects and lethal damage don't destroy it.) If Darksteel Colossus would be put into a graveyard from anywhere reveal Darksteel Colossus and shuffle it into its owner's library instead.
, just can’t be dealt with unless you are playing Barter.
2: Lose Hope
Lose Hope
Lose HopeSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
52
Text:
Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. Scry 2

Card drawing has been a problem lately for mono black. So, not only can you take out smaller creatures such as birds, you get to set yourself up for your next draw.

2: 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.

Can you say Eternal Witness
Eternal Witness
Eternal WitnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Eternal Witness comes into play, return target card from your graveayrd to your hand.
? Instead of just killing off a creature that you know is going to come back one way or another, why not just remove all of them from the game, freeing up more removal for other creatures that are troubling you?

4: Night of Souls’ 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.

A lot like 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.)
, this is a great card to have against smaller weenie decks. Again, birds, Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Sakura-Tribe ElderSet: Commander
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Snake Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
169
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Sakura-Tribe Elder: Search your library for a basic land card, put that card onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle your library.
, and white weenie will have fits over this card. Not to mention a great card to toss to 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.
or a 4 point 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.

3: 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.

Since this card was printed it has been a staple in most mono black control decks. One damage to draw an extra card during your upkeep is pretty priceless in black.

4: Wayfarer’s Bauble
Finally, a way for a black mage to enhance their mana pool. Not only that, but thinning out your deck for the much needed removal spell to fit the moment.

3: 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.

Once again, just plain used for mana acceleration. Nothing like being able to out-produce green while playing black.

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.

In my opinion, a key part of this deck. You can wipe the board clean of those problematic enchantments and artifacts that black can’t normally deal with, in many cases winning you the game. Also remember, you can’t live with the Phyrexian arena forever.

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

1: Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
1: Miren, the Moaning Well
Miren, the Moaning Well
Miren, the Moaning WellSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Text:
T Add 1 to your mana pool. 3, T, Sacrifice a creature: You gain life equal to the sacrificed creature's toughness.

1: Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Boseiju, Who Shelters AllSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Color:
Land
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
273
Artist:
Ralph Horsley
Text:
Boseiju, Who Shelters All comes into play tapped. T, Pay 2 life: Add 1 to your mana pool. If that mana is spent on an instant or sorcery spell, that spell can't be countered by spells or abilities.

Shizo is great enough with Kokusho, but even better when you give the ability to Ink-Eyes, assuring your opponent takes the damage and you get one of their creatures to use against them.
Miren is just amazing when used with 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.
. At the pre-release, as soon as I saw this card I just couldn’t imagine playing Kokusho without it.
Boseiju, blue-blue-blue-blue-blue. Although decking them is usually no problem.

Sideboard:

4: 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.

Want to thin your opponent’s deck of all the spells you can’t deal with, or you maybe lose to? Well why not, right? Say bye-bye to those pesky Tooth and Nail
Tooth and Nail
Tooth and NailSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Choose one - Search your library for up to two creature cards, reveal them, put them into your hand, then shuffle your library; or put up to two creature cards from your hand into play. Entwine 2 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
s, 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.
s, and even opposing Extract
Extract
ExtractSet: Odyssey
Cost:
1
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
85
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Search target player's library for a card, and remove that card from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
ions.

4: 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.

A very good card in any situation, but with the amount of mono color decks, and even decks that just splash a color, 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.
can cripple your opponent in just one turn.

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.

The all-star against any decks that include equipment. Since black has no good way to deal with artifacts, this is just a stellar card.

2: 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.

2: 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.

These last 4 spots are very open to change. My thinking here is that, sometimes against, for example, Tooth and Nail
Tooth and Nail
Tooth and NailSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Choose one - Search your library for up to two creature cards, reveal them, put them into your hand, then shuffle your library; or put up to two creature cards from your hand into play. Entwine 2 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
, you can’t have enough 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.
’s in your hand. 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.
can just disable win conditions from a lot of the current meta-game.

Strategy & Sideboarding Tips-

Against Mono Blue Control
I have tested and tested this. Your best bet is - DO NOT PLAY YOUR CREATURES! Let them outdraw you, and make sure to time your removal spells just right so they have no way of defeating you. Deck them, plain and simple.
+4 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.

-2 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.
, -2 Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni.

Against Mono Green Aggro
A very tough match up. Those Trolls get really annoying. But if you play your cards right you can still get around them.
+4 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 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.
, -2 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.
, -2 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.


Against Tooth and Nail
Tooth and Nail
Tooth and NailSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Choose one - Search your library for up to two creature cards, reveal them, put them into your hand, then shuffle your library; or put up to two creature cards from your hand into play. Entwine 2 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)

Another tough match up before sideboard. But not by far as tough as MGA. Post sideboard this shouldn't be tough for you at all.
+4 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.
, +2 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.
, +2 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.

-2 Lose Hope
Lose Hope
Lose HopeSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
52
Text:
Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. Scry 2
, -3 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.
, -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.)


Against Mono Black Control
This match up gets ridiculous. Who can get their creature out and keep it out.
+4 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.
, +4 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.

-2 Lose Hope
Lose Hope
Lose HopeSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
52
Text:
Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. Scry 2
, -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.)
, -3 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.


Against Mono Red Anything
Winnable, but good luck. You'll have to be as quick as possible. Kokusho with Miren and consume spirit will be the all-stars if you win this matchup.
+4 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.

-2 Lose Hope
Lose Hope
Lose HopeSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
52
Text:
Target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. Scry 2
, -2 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.)



MONO BLACK AGGRO -

The next deck is very different in nature, and is a very fast and aggressive deck. In testing online via Apprentice, I have seen this deck become very popular lately. My version is as follows:

Creatures (30)
4: Ravenous Rats
Ravenous Rats
Ravenous RatsSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
68
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Ravenous Rats comes into play, target opponent chooses and discards a card from his or her hand.

4: Chittering Rats
Chittering Rats
Chittering RatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Chittering Rats comes into play target opponent puts a card from his or her hand on top of his or her library.

4: 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.

4: Nezumi Cutthroat
Nezumi Cutthroat
Nezumi CutthroatSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Warrior
Rarity:
C
Number:
128
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Fear Nezumi Cutthroat can't block.

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

3: Skull Collector
Skull Collector
Skull CollectorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, return a black creature you control to its owner's hand. 1B: Regenerate Skull Collector.

3: Throat Slitter
Throat Slitter
Throat SlitterSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Ninja
Rarity:
U
Number:
88
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Ninjutsu 2B (2B, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand Put this card into play from your hand tapped and attacking.) Whenever Throat Slitter deals combat damage to a player, destroy target nonblack creature that player controls.

2: Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
2: Skullsnatcher
Skullsnatcher
SkullsnatcherSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Ninja
Rarity:
C
Number:
84
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Ninjutsu B (B, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand Put this card into play from your hand tapped and attacking.) Whenever Skullsnatcher deals combat damage to a player, remove up to two target cards in that player's graveyard from the game.


Artifacts (8)
4: Aether Vial
Aether Vial
Aether VialSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
91
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
At the begining of your upkeep you may put a charge counter on Aether Vial. T: You may put a creature card with converted mana cost equal to the number of charge counters on Aether Vial from your hand into play.

4: Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's JitteSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Legendary Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage, put two charge counters on Umezawa's Jitte. Remove a charge counter from Umezawa's Jitte Choose one — Equipped creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn; or target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn; or you gain 2 life. Equip 2


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

3: 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.

1: Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Shizo, Death's StorehouseSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Color:
Land
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
283
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool. B, T: Target legendary creature gains fear until end of turn.


Sideboard (15)
4: 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.

4: Pithing Needle
Pithing Needle
Pithing NeedleSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Colorless
Rarity:
R

4: 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.

3: Rend Flesh
Rend Flesh
Rend FleshSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
140
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Destroy target non-Spirit creature.


Now onto card explanations:

4: Ravenous Rats
Ravenous Rats
Ravenous RatsSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
68
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
When Ravenous Rats comes into play, target opponent chooses and discards a card from his or her hand.

4: Chittering Rats
Chittering Rats
Chittering RatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Chittering Rats comes into play target opponent puts a card from his or her hand on top of his or her library.

4: 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.

These creatures are pretty much self explanatory. Making your opponent discard is always good, making them lose life after you empty their hand is golden, and it’s just a great effect to put one card back on top of their library, gaining you card advantage.

4: Nezumi Cutthroat
Nezumi Cutthroat
Nezumi CutthroatSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Warrior
Rarity:
C
Number:
128
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Fear Nezumi Cutthroat can't block.

His fear ability just works wonders in this deck. Whether it be to sneak it that nifty ninja for the perfect effect or just getting the damage through to add counters to your Jitte.

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

A great card, especially coupled with Aether vial, first strike and removal all packed in one.

3: Skull Collector
Skull Collector
Skull CollectorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, return a black creature you control to its owner's hand. 1B: Regenerate Skull Collector.

I'm sure many of you, as I did when I first saw this guy, thought he was kind of crappy. But once you have an Aether vial set to 3 and a Chittering Rats
Chittering Rats
Chittering RatsSet: Darksteel
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat
Rarity:
C
Number:
39
Artist:
Tom Wanerstrand
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Chittering Rats comes into play target opponent puts a card from his or her hand on top of his or her library.
in play, they should never be able to draw another card.

3: Throat Slitter
Throat Slitter
Throat SlitterSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Ninja
Rarity:
U
Number:
88
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Ninjutsu 2B (2B, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand Put this card into play from your hand tapped and attacking.) Whenever Throat Slitter deals combat damage to a player, destroy target nonblack creature that player controls.

Just a great creature. Can sneak in with ninjutsu while destroying a creature at the same time.

2: Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
With all the discard and removal in this deck, by the time you play Ink-Eyes you should be able to finish off your opponent with their own creatures. Not to mention regeneration!

2: Skullsnatcher
Skullsnatcher
SkullsnatcherSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Ninja
Rarity:
C
Number:
84
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Ninjutsu B (B, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand Put this card into play from your hand tapped and attacking.) Whenever Skullsnatcher deals combat damage to a player, remove up to two target cards in that player's graveyard from the game.

Green is running around rampant right now, example - Eternal Witness
Eternal Witness
Eternal WitnessSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
U
Number:
86
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever Eternal Witness comes into play, return target card from your graveayrd to your hand.
, and sometimes you just need to remove those key problem cards from your opponent’s graveyard.

4: Aether Vial
Aether Vial
Aether VialSet: Darksteel
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
U
Number:
91
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
At the begining of your upkeep you may put a charge counter on Aether Vial. T: You may put a creature card with converted mana cost equal to the number of charge counters on Aether Vial from your hand into play.

Just amazing in this deck. Not only are you playing all your key creatures during your upkeep, but if you are short on mana, why not put them into play during your opponent’s turn as well. And the vial is just amazing versus Mono Blue Control.

4: Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's JitteSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Legendary Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage, put two charge counters on Umezawa's Jitte. Remove a charge counter from Umezawa's Jitte Choose one — Equipped creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn; or target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn; or you gain 2 life. Equip 2

Again, with all the discard, removal, and aggressiveness of this deck, the Jitte just makes this deck that much more fun and powerful.

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

3: 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.

1: Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Shizo, Death's Storehouse
Shizo, Death's StorehouseSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Color:
Land
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
283
Artist:
John Matson
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool. B, T: Target legendary creature gains fear until end of turn.

Again pretty much self explanatory. Turn your next into a flier, ninjutsu in the appropriate creature. Shizo and Ink-Eyes together, what else can be said about that.

Sideboard:

4: 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.

If you play black, you should sideboard 4 of these. Just a great card, sometimes you can’t remove everything.

4: Pithing Needle
Pithing Needle
Pithing NeedleSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Colorless
Rarity:
R

I’m still really unsure about this card. But it seems to be really good against most anything that can be played with an activated ability. So 4 are in here.

4: 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.

3: Rend Flesh
Rend Flesh
Rend FleshSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
140
Artist:
Stephen Tappin
Text:
Destroy target non-Spirit creature.

You never know what you might be facing. So I pack removal removal removal.

Strategy & Sideboarding Tips-

Against Mono Blue Control
I haven't gotten to test this very much, but it looks like a pretty good match-up in black's favor. The hand disruption is vital against mono-blue.
+4 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 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.

-2 Skullsnatcher
Skullsnatcher
SkullsnatcherSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Ninja
Rarity:
C
Number:
84
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Ninjutsu B (B, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand Put this card into play from your hand tapped and attacking.) Whenever Skullsnatcher deals combat damage to a player, remove up to two target cards in that player's graveyard from the game.
, -3 Skull Collector
Skull Collector
Skull CollectorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, return a black creature you control to its owner's hand. 1B: Regenerate Skull Collector.
, -2 Ink-Eyes

Against Mono Green Aggro
This is a really up in the air match-up. This is what I have been testing the most, and it’s just wide open.
+3 Pithing Needle
Pithing Needle
Pithing NeedleSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Color:
Colorless
Rarity:
R
(Trolls - Swords - just amazing!)
-3 Throat Slitter
Throat Slitter
Throat SlitterSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Ninja
Rarity:
U
Number:
88
Artist:
Paolo Parente
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Ninjutsu 2B (2B, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand Put this card into play from your hand tapped and attacking.) Whenever Throat Slitter deals combat damage to a player, destroy target nonblack creature that player controls.


Against Tooth and Nail
Tooth and Nail
Tooth and NailSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
7
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
134
Artist:
Greg Hildebrandt
Text:
Choose one - Search your library for up to two creature cards, reveal them, put them into your hand, then shuffle your library; or put up to two creature cards from your hand into play. Entwine 2 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)

Really in your favor. You control their hand and you should be able to outrun them pretty easily.
+4 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.

-2 Skullsnatcher
Skullsnatcher
SkullsnatcherSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Ninja
Rarity:
C
Number:
84
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Ninjutsu B (B, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand Put this card into play from your hand tapped and attacking.) Whenever Skullsnatcher deals combat damage to a player, remove up to two target cards in that player's graveyard from the game.
, -2 Skull Collector
Skull Collector
Skull CollectorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, return a black creature you control to its owner's hand. 1B: Regenerate Skull Collector.


Against Mono Black Control
Watch out of 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.
. Other than that, again you should be able to outrun them.
+4 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.

-2 Skullsnatcher
Skullsnatcher
SkullsnatcherSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Rat Ninja
Rarity:
C
Number:
84
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Ninjutsu B (B, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand Put this card into play from your hand tapped and attacking.) Whenever Skullsnatcher deals combat damage to a player, remove up to two target cards in that player's graveyard from the game.
, -2 Skull Collector
Skull Collector
Skull CollectorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre Warrior
Rarity:
U
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, return a black creature you control to its owner's hand. 1B: Regenerate Skull Collector.


Mono Red Anything
A weird match-up depending on the build and how your opponent chooses to play.
I don't know, if anything, what I would sideboard in this match-up. Just play fast!

All in all I think that Mono-Black could be a force in this year’s upcoming Regionals. If you have any questions or comments about either of these decks, sideboarding, strategy, or anything at all for that matter feel free to contact me via email. Thanks again for reading another of my articles! And good luck at Regionals this year!


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