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CardShark Content - Stanley Rutkowski III (4/11/2002)

Here is a deck that I have been working on for sometime now. It seems to handle Tog quite well (I beat two Tog decks at the last GP Trial with the deck). The deck runs quite smoothly and has a twist in the sideboard for the second and third game matchups. The deck can have issues with an extremely fast draw by a “Frog” player, but all in all, the deck has faired nicely and it packs the punch in the sideboard to get around the usual “hosers” for the typical mono-black build. So without further delay, here is a last minute tech deck for Regionals:

4 x Phryxian Arena
4 x Duress
3 x Innocent Blood
2 x Addle
3 x Chainer’s Edict
2 x Mutilate
3 x Soul Burn
4 x Corrupt
1 x Persecute
2 x Mind Sludge
3 x Diabolic Tutor
2 x Caustic Tar
1 x Millstone
1 x Haunting Echoes
3 x Cabal Coffers
22 x Swamp

3 x Disenchant
4 x Chromatic Sphere
1 x Persecute
2 x Life/Death
2 x Rancid Earth
1 x Haunting Echoes
2 x Engineered Plague

Creature Control:

3 x Innocent Blood
You are not running creatures so this card has no drawback against you. For one black mana, you get rid of your opponent’s threat. Don’t be afraid to use them against Birds and elves, if you save them for later they will still sack a bird or an elf. Why give them the luxury of the mana acceleration.

3 x Chainer’s edict (or should I say 6)
With your mana levels, you can reach the flashback cost very easily.

3 x Mutilate
This card is normally a Wrath of God with this deck. With the high land count and the card draw, you should not miss many land drops and can cast this.

The Focused Win Conditions:

3 x Soul Burn
4 x Corrupt
These are you burn/life gain cards that with the coffers can make for brutal life swings early and often in the match. The only real stop to these is COP Black and Aegis of Honor. Occasionally, Worship can be an issue, but with all of the creature control, this normally is not an issue.

Alternate Win Conditions:

1 x Millstone
1 x Haunting Echoes
2 x Caustic Tar
Millstone and echoes are a deadly combination for most decks. Add in the massive discard and you can rid your opponent of their threats quickly and move on to the next game or match. Caustic tar gets around the pesky COP Black and Aegis by loss instead of black damage.

The Card Draw:

4 x Phyrexian Arena
3 x Diabolic Tutor
The arena’s life loss does not hinder the deck much because of the massive life you can gain with soul burn and corrupt. The extra draws ensure you of not missing a land drop. Also you will possess more threats than your opponent can deal with. The tutors allow you to play less than four copies of key cards and allow you to have more answers than questions. The high mana count allows their casting cost of four not to hinder their usage.

The Discard:

2 x Addle
4 x Duress
2 x Mind Sludge
1 x Persecute
The persecute is for the mirror matchup or for mono matchups (you could almost consider Braids/x a mono deck). The tutors allow you to run one copy main to ruin your opponent’s hand quickly. Mind sludge can ruin multicolor decks. If you can get your opponents counter count down in the Tog matchup, this deck becomes a “combo” deck of Mind sludge/Echoes for the victory. Duress and addle rip your opponents hands of their key cards, such as counters, still life, burn or upheaval.

The Lands:

3 x Coffers and 22 Swamps allow a good pattern of not missing land drops. I have considered adding an additional swamp, but can’t find a card to cut for it.

Now to the Twist:

Traditionally this deck has faired well in game one, but then lost to all of the “hosers” in the environment. With that in mind, I added other colors to combat the “hosers”. The trick was not to add any non swamp lands to the deck to dilute the Corrupt/Soul Burn/Mutilate synergy. Chromatic Sphere fills the void in the deck. Not only does it net you a card for it’s activation, but allows you to add in answers instead of questions to cards such as Aegis/COP Black/Compost and the likes.

4 x Chromatic Sphere – The color changer
3 x Disenchant – Three copies and 4 ways to play them with the addition of Tutors and Arenas has proven the right mix
2 x Life/Death – this gives you an additional win condition that provides colorless damage, make sure to rid your opponent on Rout (as an instant) so that you don’t loose all of your lands
Engineered Plague rids you of reoccurring threats such as squirrel tokens, Ichorid and the likes.
Rancid Earth gets rid of Squirrel nest (and the squirrels if at threshold) or an opponent’s coffers in the mirror match.
An extra copy of both Echoes and Persecute are in the board for extra advantage in certain situations.

Test Data:

Vs: R/G
Normally playing sludge is not a great idea in this matchup. Madness spells can come back to haunt you. Normally the creature kill is enough for you to stabilize your board position to come in with massive burn to the dome.

Vs. Tog
This deck has faired very well against the “new” Tog builds. Make sure to rd your opponent of their Upheavals and counters with your discard.

Vs. U/W control
This is where your sideboard “tech” is at it’s best. Previously to the sideboard this was a very bad matchup for the mono black player, but now it can actually work to your advantage. The look on your opponents face is priceless when you use you sphere to disenchant their white enchantment for “protection”.

This deck has given the mono black deck it most troubles. Undermine and monger can bring you to critical life before you can stabilize. Bring in your plagues naming wizard so that Johnny boy does not net them card advantage.

It comes down to playing your main deck persecute game one to net you serious card advantage. Make sure you cast echoes before they do and net you even more advantage. Rancid earth from the board is a must as is chromatic spheres for extra card drawing. You can add the disenchants, but not necessarily a must, the card draw alone can be worth the spheres.

Hopefully this helps in your planning for Regionals.

As always, questions and comments are appreciated.

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