Home > Decklists, Spreading Cheese > Spreading Cheese — MoNO Black (& my Archenemy (& Parentheses))

Spreading Cheese — MoNO Black (& my Archenemy (& Parentheses))

Hello again, everyone. Before we start, let me look at what I’ve said I’ll do this week (you probably should too, I refer to that article a lot during this one).

  • Tempo
  • A U/W Deck
  • Whatever comes to mind during the week.

About the U/W deck, I haven’t been able to test it enough due to STILL not having enough copies of a certain planeswalker (everyone seems to be hoarding their own copies). I do proxy, but the introduction of a new game-changing deck by Patrick Chapin every week is throwing off my deckbuilding lately. I’ve been viewing him as my arch-enemy lately (even though he probably has no idea about my existence. In my defense, I have mentioned him in a few tweets (I’m @nayon7 on Twitter, follow me!), but he probably gets mentioned around a million times per day, so he wouldn’t get to me), because every deck he builds lately I face off and lose to at least twice per FNM.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect him immensely (more than most, at least) and am an avid follower of his articles. BUT HIS DECKS ARE SO GOOD! And they always seem to be especially good against decks I build. I was going to debut my awesome U/W deck this week, but I have no idea how I can beat his Pyromancer Ascension list mentioned in Yo! MTG Taps! Episode 42 and his SCG column. Yes, it is also Mike Flores’ list too, but Flores’s lists haven’t been consistently trumping mine for a few weeks now. Long story short, until I tune my U/W secret hidden awesome tech (that people around me already know about, and my dedicated readers should know that it is a slight modification of a deck I’ve been playing earlier this year, hint hint) to beat anything Patrick Chapin ever proposes, I won’t post it.

That brings me to whatever comes to mind during the week. Beating Patrick Chapin decks is what comes to my mind every weekday. Seriously, I’ve been having nightmares involving losing to Chapin decks lately, I’m that scared. And we all know, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to playing black decks. Considering one of my favorite cards of all time is Dark Ritual, you can say that black decks have a special place in my heart. So I’ll talk about a black deck this week.

But before that, I want to make an addendum to previous week’s article. Voltaic Key. How I forgot to add that card, I do not know. But it is awesome. Lux Cannon goes into overdrive with that card. Definitely run at least 2-3 of that card in your Lux Cannon deck. Also, on the same train of thought, I’ve been trying to break Mindslaver all week to no avail. It’s not bad, I can pull off pretty insane moves with the deck, but it is not Patrick Chapin Good. So I’m also going to hold back on talking about that one, until it is worthy. While trying to break Mindslaver (I was trying Mono-Blue because of Jace2 and Grand Architect (Architect didn’t really make it)), I realized fusing blue into my colorless control deck last week might stand a chance against Patrick Chapin Decks (bear in mind that the Pyromancer Ascension deck wasn’t out yet when I made this deck). I took the deck apart after playing against PyroAsc, so I don’t remember the exact numbers, but it was a pretty good deck other than that, because the only things that could beat it were PyroAsc and Devastating RDW (and Devastating RDW was a pretty close matchup).

Here’s what the list looked like:
3x Jace2
4x Preordain (guess who else loves this card)
3x Lux Cannon
3x Voltaic Key
4x Mana Leak
3-4x Stoic Rebuttal
3x Contagion Clasp
4x Everflowing Chalice
3x Wurmcoil Engine
3x All is Dust (might want to play 4)
4x Eldrazi Temple
19x Islands

I also recall playing Mox Opal in the main, a lot of Volition Reins in the board, and 3x Platinum Emperion in the board as a miser’s tech (as I said last week, my metagame is weird). There seems to be one other card that I played, but it escapes me.

Cards I DID NOT run (and recommend that you don’t run either):

  • Throne of Geth – It works well with Koth and cards that do things when they die, but it doesn’t really work well in this deck.
  • Steady Progress – Many people told me to run/asked if i was running this card, but NO. I’m not saying it is a bad card, but this just isn’t the right deck for it. For card draw, use Preordain and Jace2. For proliferation, use either Clasps, or just untap your cannons with your Voltaic Keys.

Anyway, as I predicted last week, Lux Cannon was INSANELY good. Especially when I have a key or two on the board, destroying a bomby creature of my opponent or a critical land each turn wins the game really fast. Destroying lands also makes your late game Mana leaks useful. Lux Cannon is rising really quickly to my ‘Favorite card in Scars’ slot. Expect to hear more about this card in the following weeks.

As I mentioned earlier, Devastating RDW devastated (not really, just barely beat) this deck. Wurmcoil Engine really wins the game against them, but Clasps are good too, and Mana Leak and Lux Cannon take care of their creatures. I lost my matches against this deck mostly due to play errors.

Contrast this to Pyromancer Ascension. That deck just out-card-advantages, out-counters and out-wins this deck in general. I don’t recall resolving a single relevant spell against this deck (that lasted on the board for more than one turn), and post-board they can just side in even more counters and card advantage to just beat us. You win this one, my archenemy (And also Mike Flores).

So, black. I really like playing Mono Black, maybe because of its evil connotations, its high risk high reward cards, the way the card frames look, or simply because I like death metal (I highly recommend listening to music when making decks, it seems to improve my deckbuilding immensely (For death metal fans, I’ve been listening to Behemoth while writing this article)). Whatever the reason, black has always been my favorite color (even though it has been quite weak lately). So let’s take a look at my pre-rotation black list that was mentioned in a previous episode of YMTGT and in my previous article. I don’t really remember the details of the list, but I’ll put down the most important parts and what I can recall:

  • 4x Sadistic Sacrament – Running this card 4-of maindeck has really helped me against tough matchups, especially against narrow decks, resolving this turn 3 insures you will win.
  • 3-4x Duress – One of the best discard spells ever, and also awesome against planeswalkers.
  • 3-4x Vampire Hexmage – The bane of Control and RDW.
  • 3-4x Dark Tutelage

Tutelage is my favorite card in M11, hands down. Most have spoken strongly against it, but it has worked wonders for me. Note that you just don’t slap this card into your deck, you must build with it in mind. For the naysayers, I have taken note of every game I resolved a Tutelage. I have resolved Tutelage in 72 games, 61 of which I won. I have lost a single game due to Tutelage, but that was due to my bad deck design (at that time) and resolving Tutelage in a desperate situation where I was already losing and I just resolved Tutelage as a last ditch in order to fish for a Consuming Vapors against my opponent’s Ulamog. I have lost 4 games in which I resolved Tutelage to a single-turn Conscription win. 4 games I lost due to drawing land for 4-5 turns straight, even with Tutelage out. 1 I lost due to not finding an out for Abyssal Persecutor in time, and 1 game I just lost, fair and square. So yes, Dark Tutelage is a really good card by my standard. I also had a few ways to make it even better, which I will discuss below.

  • 3x Consuming Vapors – Since you kill off the small creatures through other means, you just drop this on their bombs and profit. Also gains life for Tutelage.
  • 4x Abyssal Persecutor – This card is really aggressive and cheap, but you need an out to him. Consuming Vapors also helps here.
  • 3x Brittle Effigy – At that time, there weren’t any decks in the metagame that didn’t run any creatures. It also got rid of my Persecutor in the really off chance I faced something without many creatures.
  • 3-4x Basilisk Collar – Not only does this make Persecutor a total monster, it also allows you to play two Tutelages and still survive, gaining you immense card advantage. It also enables…
  • 4x Phylactery Lich – This card puts the pressure on your opponents like nothing else. It can also chump block everything. I’m sure some people will yell “But you can get two-for-oned”, but remember that nobody ran artifact removal back then, and if they wanted to waste a Ring or Pulse on something that’s not Tutelage or Persecutor, that’s totally fine by me. You think I don’t run enough artifacts? That’s because you don’t know that I also run:
  • 3x Crystal Ball – This card makes Tutelage so good that it’s not even funny. Yes, blue has Jace2 which is clearly better, but you can do this at instant speed and you can also run cards that cost BBB.

There was more, but that’s all I can remember. Why am I talking about a pre-rotation deck? Look back. Which of these cards rotated away? If you said “none”, you’re right. I’m not advocating that you should play this deck right now (though you can totally play it if your metagame doesn’t have any PyroAsc or ramp), but it was quite good back then, I consistently went undefeated.

Now, with so many artifacts running around, people have started to play artifact hate, so counting on Phylactery Lich isn’t as good an idea as it used to be. Also, Crystal Ball is a bit slow, and Dark Tutelage stops you from playing huge bomby spells (which define the format), so the whole Collar/Lich/Ball/Tutelage package has to go. In place of Tutelage, running 4x Sign in Blood is absolutely essential.

Before we proceed further, I want to point out that Mono Black is very meta-dependent, so take the numbers I will give you with a grain of salt, and adjust accordingly.

Readers of my previous article should recall “The Deckspace”. I mentioned how bomby spells restrict the playable subset of the Deckspace to be small. We will take advantage of that. Many decks rely heavily on bombs and ignore midrange strategies. That is very good for us, because we can snatch their bombs right out of their hands with our spells. That is the ultimate power of black. First, run Duress, because EVERY deck in the format runs non-creature spells. Also, run Inquisition of Kozilek, because every good deck runs spells that are costed under 3. In addition to that, run Sadistic Sacrament, because it allows you to look at their library, take out whatever seems scary, and then, next turn, cast a spell that will really wreck them.

The spell I’m talking about is the new gem provided by Scars of Mirrodin: Memoricide. Many people underestimate this card, but it is a total buzzkill against decks that rely on bombs, ergo every single deck in the format (except for PyroAsc, but our sacraments and discard should help there). Sacrament and Memoricide also deal with threats that can come back from the graveyard. Now, if you are in an aggro heavy format, you want less Duress and more Inquisition.

Here’s what I would run in my own meta:

4x Sign in Blood
3x Duress
3x Inquisition of Kozilek
3x Sadistic Sacrament
2x Memoricide

Now, let’s throw in some tricks. Unless you have been unaware, Mimic Vat is insanely good. Creatures that have “Enters the battlefield” or sacrifice effects really shine with it, but you can just kill your opponent’s bombs and have fun with them all day. Make sure you read up on the rules though, because there are a few subtle interactions in there. Now, let’s try to find some creatures that would be good in the vat. Vampire Hexmage is an obvious player, taking care of not only planeswalkers, but also PyroAsc too! Putting one on a Vat ensures that your opponent will never have a planeswalker that lives more than a single turn for the rest of the game.

Remember how I said discard was good? Well, I didn’t explicitly say that but the previous paragraph in denial should have given you that idea (oh how I love denial). Liliana’s Specter on a vat is basically denial on a stick, you can even deny your opponents the cards they draw before their main phase! Speaking of discard, Mind Sludge is good again, so you should definitely give that a try. If you hate creatures, a Skinrender is bound to share your feelings. So is Doom Blade (hilariously on Twitter), since no one runs black anyway.

Finally, big dudes on a vat are never bad, so you can either run Wurmcoil Engine (my preference because of the lifegain) or a Grave Titan. Either one of those on a Vat is pretty devastating.

4x Sign in Blood
4x Doom Blade
3x Duress
3x Inquisition of Kozilek
3x Sadistic Sacrament
3x Mimic Vat
3x Vampire Hexmage
3x Skinrender
3x Wurmcoil Engine
3x Mind Sludge
2x Memoricide
2x Liliana’s Specter
20x Swamp
4x Tectonic Edge

The Tectonic Edges are obviously there because we all love mana denial.

For the sideboard, there are various meta-dependant choices, like Brittle Effigy, Consuming Vapors, Consume the Meek, Grasp of Darkness, and various other copies of the main deck hate cards. Again, the numbers in the deck and board are very tentative, so adjust according to your own metagame.

I like this deck, because it has a shot at beating PyroAsc and control in general. I call this MoNO Black, because of saying “NO” to anything before it’s even played. Imagine playing against a normal control deck:

You: “I want to play Lorthos.”
Control Player: “No.”
Y: “Can I cast a creature?”
CP: “No.”
Y: “Can I just go home now?”
CP: “No.”

Now, think of this deck:

You: “Can I pla-”
MoNo: “NO!”
Y: “Then can-”
MN: “NO!”
Y: “But I-”
MN: “NO!”
Y: *cries*

Yes, I want to make my opponent cry. I want all those Pyromancer decks to cry. Today I am evil. Until next week, may you be evil too.

P.S: Next week, I will talk about tempo. Seriously though, I have no idea what to talk about. We’ll see what happens this week.

(P.P.S: Wow, there are so many parenthesized statements this week! I warned you on my first column, my articles are very train-of-thought (and my trains of thought tend to go on long tangents and connect them back together all the time)).


Like This!

  1. mistikl
    October 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    You have good taste in music.

  1. October 26, 2010 at 9:05 am
  2. November 2, 2010 at 9:07 am

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