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The Icy Black Hand of Death - Phil Bohn (6/13/2009)

With my purchase of the Black half of Duel Decks: Divine vs. Demon
Demon
DemonSet: Divine vs Demonic
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
C
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying
ic, I immediately became intrigued with mono-black decks again. I thought to myself, “I remember when I used to have one of those. It was awesome.” So with that in mind (plus with an awesome arsenal of new black cards to throw in) I set out on a mission. Rummaging through my entire collection of cards, I found some fun black things to put into one of the most fun decks I’ve ever built for myself. I call it, “The Icy Black Hand of Death
Hand of Death
Hand of DeathSet: Portal Second Age
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Text:
Destroy any one creature that isn't black.
” (yes, obvious Calvin and Hobbes reference).

Land: 25
2 TGVlY2hyaWRkZW4gSwamp
Swamp
SwampSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add B to your mana pool.

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


Creatures: 12
2 Grotesque Hybrid
Grotesque Hybrid
Grotesque HybridSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
U
Number:
63
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever Grotesque Hybrid deals combat damage to a creature, destroy that creature. It can't be regenerated. Discard a card from your hand: Grotesque Hybrid gains flying and protection from green and from white until end of turn.

2 Magus of the Coffers
Magus of the Coffers
Magus of the CoffersSet: Planar Chaos
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
2, T Add B to your mana pool for each Swamp you control.

2 Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic SpecterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying An opponent damaged by Specter must discard a card at random from his or her hand. Ignore this effect if opponent has no cards left in hand.

1 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.

1 Shimian Specter
Shimian Specter
Shimian SpecterSet: Future Sight
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
R
Number:
76
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
Whenever Shimian Specter deals combat damage to a player, that player reveals his or her hand. Choose a nonland card from it. Search that player's graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with the same name as that card and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.

1 Dusk Urchins
Dusk Urchins
Dusk UrchinsSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ouphe
Rarity:
R
Number:
65
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever Dusk Urchins attacks or blocks, put a -1/-1 counter on it. When Dusk Urchins is put into a graveyard from play, draw a card for each -1/-1 counter on it.

1 Puppeteer Clique
Puppeteer Clique
Puppeteer CliqueSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Faerie Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
75
Artist:
Daren Bader
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying When Puppeteer Clique comes into play, put target creature card in an opponent's graveyard into play under your control. It has haste. At the end of your turn, remove it from the game. Persist (When this creature is put into a graveyard from play, if it had no -1/-1 counters on it, return it to play under its owner's control with a -1/-1 counter on it.)

1 Nightshade Assassin
Nightshade Assassin
Nightshade AssassinSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Assassin
Rarity:
U
Number:
121
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike When Nightshade Assassin comes into play, you may reveal X black cards in your hand. If you do, target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn. Madness 1B (If you discard this card, you may play it for its madness cost instead of putting it into your graveyard.)

1 Reiver Demon
Reiver Demon
Reiver DemonSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
8
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Number:
75
Artist:
Brom
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Flying When Reiver Demon comes into play, if you played it from your hand, destroy all nonartifact, nonblack creatures. They can't be regenerated.


Other Spells: 23
1 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.

1 Promise of Power
Promise of Power
Promise of PowerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose one|You draw five cards and you lose 5 life; or put a black Demon creature token with flying into play with power and toughness each equal to the number of cards in your hand as the token comes into play. Entwine 4 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)

1 Morality Shift
Morality Shift
Morality ShiftSet: Judgment
Cost:
7
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
70
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli

Text:
Exchange your graveyard and your library. Then shuffle your library.

2 Dark Ritual
Dark Ritual
Dark RitualSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Add BBB to your mana pool.

2 Recover
Recover
RecoverSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
122
Artist:
Nelson DeCastro
Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.Draw a card.

2 Curse of the Cabal
Curse of the Cabal
Curse of the CabalSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
10
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
99
Artist:
John Avon
Text:
Target player sacrifices half the permanents he or she controls, rounded down. Suspend 2-2BB At the beginning of each player's upkeep, if Curse of the Cabal is suspended, that player may sacrifice a permanent. If he or she does, put two time counters on Curse of the Cabal.

2 Call to the Netherworld
Call to the Netherworld
Call to the NetherworldSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
97
Artist:
Vance Kovacs
Text:
Return target black creature card from your graveyard to your hand. Madness 0 (If you discard this card, you may play it for its madness cost instead of putting it into your graveyard.)

2 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 Beseech the Queen
Beseech the Queen
Beseech the QueenSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Jason Chan
Text:
(o(2/b) can be paid with any two mana or with B. This card's converted mana cost is 6.) Search your library for a card with converted mana cost less than or equal to the number of Ls you control, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

2 Nightmare
Nightmare
NightmareSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying Nightmare's power and toughness both equal the number of swamps its controller has in play.
IEluY3Vyc2lvbg==
2 Makeshift Mannequin
Makeshift Mannequin
Makeshift MannequinSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
124
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to play with a mannequin counter on it. As long as that creature has a mannequin counter on it, it has "When this creature becomes the target of a spell or ability, sacrifice it." 0

2 Beacon of Unrest
Beacon of Unrest
Beacon of UnrestSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Rarity:
R
Number:
41
Text:
Sorcery. Put target creature or artifact card in a graveyard into play under your control. Shuffle Beacon of Unrest into its owner's library.

2 Liliana Vess
Liliana Vess
Liliana VessSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Liliana
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
+1: Target player discards a card. -2: Search your library for a card, then shuffle your library and put that card on top of it. -8: Put all creature cards in all graveyards into play under your control.


Alright. This deck is basically centered around getting creatures back from the graveyard to the hand relatively cheaply. However, something may have caught your eye pretty quickly: It’s very mana-intensive. I will admit, it’s a pretty slow deck. However, with the Dark Ritual
Dark Ritual
Dark RitualSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Add BBB to your mana pool.
s and the Magus of the Coffers
Magus of the Coffers
Magus of the CoffersSet: Planar Chaos
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
2, T Add B to your mana pool for each Swamp you control.
, it’s quite easier to ramp into some bigger spells than one might think.

However, from the ashes of mana-screw and things of that nature rises the phoenix of the “ideal early game” for this deck. Usually, I keep a hand if it has some of the following: 3-4 lands, a Dark Ritual
Dark Ritual
Dark RitualSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Sandra Everingham
Text:
Add BBB to your mana pool.
, a Beseech the Queen
Beseech the Queen
Beseech the QueenSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Jason Chan
Text:
(o(2/b) can be paid with any two mana or with B. This card's converted mana cost is 6.) Search your library for a card with converted mana cost less than or equal to the number of Ls you control, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
, Dusk Urchins
Dusk Urchins
Dusk UrchinsSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ouphe
Rarity:
R
Number:
65
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever Dusk Urchins attacks or blocks, put a -1/-1 counter on it. When Dusk Urchins is put into a graveyard from play, draw a card for each -1/-1 counter on it.
, Hypnotic or Shimian Specter
Shimian Specter
Shimian SpecterSet: Future Sight
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
R
Number:
76
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
Whenever Shimian Specter deals combat damage to a player, that player reveals his or her hand. Choose a nonland card from it. Search that player's graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with the same name as that card and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
, and Call to the Netherworld
Call to the Netherworld
Call to the NetherworldSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
97
Artist:
Vance Kovacs
Text:
Return target black creature card from your graveyard to your hand. Madness 0 (If you discard this card, you may play it for its madness cost instead of putting it into your graveyard.)
. Ramping into a turn one Dusk Urchins
Dusk Urchins
Dusk UrchinsSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ouphe
Rarity:
R
Number:
65
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Power:
4
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever Dusk Urchins attacks or blocks, put a -1/-1 counter on it. When Dusk Urchins is put into a graveyard from play, draw a card for each -1/-1 counter on it.
or Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic Specter
Hypnotic SpecterSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying An opponent damaged by Specter must discard a card at random from his or her hand. Ignore this effect if opponent has no cards left in hand.
allows me to start the beats early and with the Urchins’ help, draw some cards when it inevitably dies (freeing me to bring it back to my hand with the Call and play it again to speed up my deck a little more). About turn 5 or 6 is when I actually get a Magus out and then I can just play out my hand. More often than not, accelerating into a fully-entwined Promise of Power
Promise of Power
Promise of PowerSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
74
Artist:
Kev Walker
Text:
Choose one|You draw five cards and you lose 5 life; or put a black Demon creature token with flying into play with power and toughness each equal to the number of cards in your hand as the token comes into play. Entwine 4 (Choose both if you pay the entwine cost.)
is the way to go, getting an awesome threat and a full hand of resources.

But how do I make sure that I can get all these resources when I want them? Shouldn’t having so many one-ofs in there make it tough to work? Thankfully, I thought of that. The Beseech the Queen
Beseech the Queen
Beseech the QueenSet: Shadowmoor
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Number:
57
Artist:
Jason Chan
Text:
(o(2/b) can be paid with any two mana or with B. This card's converted mana cost is 6.) Search your library for a card with converted mana cost less than or equal to the number of Ls you control, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
s and Liliana Vess
Liliana Vess
Liliana VessSet: Lorwyn
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Planeswalker
Sub Type:
Liliana
Rarity:
R
Number:
121
Artist:
Aleksi Briclot
Text:
+1: Target player discards a card. -2: Search your library for a card, then shuffle your library and put that card on top of it. -8: Put all creature cards in all graveyards into play under your control.
’s make sure that I can get into my hand the things I want to be there when I want them to be there. Want to clear the board? Go fetch a Reiver Demon
Reiver Demon
Reiver DemonSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
8
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Demon
Rarity:
R
Number:
75
Artist:
Brom
Power:
6
Toughness:
6
Text:
Flying When Reiver Demon comes into play, if you played it from your hand, destroy all nonartifact, nonblack creatures. They can't be regenerated.
. Gain some life? Grab your 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 come out swingin’. Need a creature back? Go get your Recover
Recover
RecoverSet: Invasion
Cost:
3
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
122
Artist:
Nelson DeCastro
Text:
Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.Draw a card.
and draw an extra card off of it. Money in the bank.

Yes, the early game may need some work. But the late game is definitely where this deck shines. Throwing down two Magus of the Coffers
Magus of the Coffers
Magus of the CoffersSet: Planar Chaos
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Wizard
Rarity:
R
Number:
73
Artist:
Don Hazeltine
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
2, T Add B to your mana pool for each Swamp you control.
can really speed up the game a lot, making it tough for your opponent to keep up with the slew of spells you’re playing. Smacking someone with a 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.
and Shimian Specter
Shimian Specter
Shimian SpecterSet: Future Sight
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Specter
Rarity:
R
Number:
76
Artist:
Anthony S. Waters
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Flying
Whenever Shimian Specter deals combat damage to a player, that player reveals his or her hand. Choose a nonland card from it. Search that player's graveyard, hand, and library for all cards with the same name as that card and remove them from the game. Then that player shuffles his or her library.
really hurts people, especially in tandem with Nightmare
Nightmare
NightmareSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
6
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nightmare
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Power:
*
Toughness:
*
Text:
Flying Nightmare's power and toughness both equal the number of swamps its controller has in play.
IEluY3Vyc2lvbg==, which will help you A: get rid of their deck’s win conditions and B: give yourself an alternate win (MILLING!!!). Play out your Grotesque Hybrid
Grotesque Hybrid
Grotesque HybridSet: Torment
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Zombie
Rarity:
U
Number:
63
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever Grotesque Hybrid deals combat damage to a creature, destroy that creature. It can't be regenerated. Discard a card from your hand: Grotesque Hybrid gains flying and protection from green and from white until end of turn.
s to take care of the big threats (those pesky 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.
’s enchanted with Serra
Serra
SerraSet: Vanguard
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
4
Artist:
Matthew D. Wilson
Power:
+1
Toughness:
+1
Text:
All creatures you control get +0/+2.
’s Embrace will never know what hit them) and use its ability to fuel some madness shenanigans either with Call to the Netherworld
Call to the Netherworld
Call to the NetherworldSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
1
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
97
Artist:
Vance Kovacs
Text:
Return target black creature card from your graveyard to your hand. Madness 0 (If you discard this card, you may play it for its madness cost instead of putting it into your graveyard.)
(which has a madness cost of 0) or Nightshade Assassin
Nightshade Assassin
Nightshade AssassinSet: Time Spiral
Cost:
4
Color:
Black
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Assassin
Rarity:
U
Number:
121
Artist:
Alan Pollack
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
First strike When Nightshade Assassin comes into play, you may reveal X black cards in your hand. If you do, target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn. Madness 1B (If you discard this card, you may play it for its madness cost instead of putting it into your graveyard.)
to kill something off. Also, for a quick reset, play the Morality Shift
Morality Shift
Morality ShiftSet: Judgment
Cost:
7
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
70
Artist:
Jerry Tiritilli

Text:
Exchange your graveyard and your library. Then shuffle your library.
to basically start the game over again!!

The deck is a blast to play and can hold its own in either duel or multiplayer and has always made for some interesting plays. It’s a powerhouse in an unsuspecting skin. It’s the shadow that follows you at night. It’s…

THE ICY BLACK HAND OF DEATH! Mwahahahahaha!


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