Crypt Ghast - very effective and cheap mana doubler; lifegain is just an icing on a cake. Unlike Nirkana he flies under radar most of the time.Dimir House Guard - not only finds the most useful 4CMC cards but is free of charge sac outlet, ideal for Living Death loops. Works great with Phyrexian Reclamation as uncounterable and repeatable tutor.Disciple of Bolas - draw with lifegain bonus, great with cards like Clique and Kokusho. Don't be hesistant in saccing Shelly if you need to refill.Erebos, God of the Dead - repeatable and indestructible draw effect but can hurt a lot and 2 mana per card is often too much in tight fights. It blocks our opponents' life gain effects which may turn the tables sometimes though.Gonti, Lord of Luxury - gives repeatable option to use opponent's cards to our advantage - both quality and quantity.Mindslicer - mass discard; losing cards doesn't hurt that much as Dark Mistress gets them back easily. Best cast having 7+ mana next turn and sacrifice outlet on demand.Phyrexian Obliterator - great attack deterrent but doesn't do much else unless paired with Arena. It sure scares a hell out of opponents but is better used in more aggressive decklists.Slum Reaper - who wants opponents to sac two creatures per turn? Sheoldred and this guy make it happen. Its stats are not bad either, at least for reusing for life and cards with Disciple.Solemn Simulacrum - standard goodstuff ramp and draw, easy to abuse with Sheoldred and sac outlet.Vulturous Aven - more draw is always better than less. Better than Disciple if there is nothing else to sac. Best with Mindslicer as you can stack triggers to draw after discard. It's always "draw only 2" though.Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed - recursion for everything black each turn sounds great, even better with Rings of Brighthearth. Late game he enables looping Rise of the Dark Realms, our main wincon.
Dimir House Guard toolbox (all above and...):
Fleshwrither - finding creatures directly into play is really powerful. Add a Skullclamp to the mix and he becomes pure card advantage.Damnation - black's most known mass removal spell, it's a staple anyway.Insidious Dreams - best tool for setting up mass reanimation (Living Death or Realms) but useless without creatures in hand which is not that rare occurence. Fits more reanimation or combo-focused decklists.Silence the Believers - instant exile effect can be very helpful if facing something Lady Sheol + other removal won't take care of. Such situations are rare though and 4-mana removal can be too much in early game. It sure shines with late game mana production (Coffers and the like) but permanently removing creatures we could reanimate later (Rise) is against our gameplan sometimes. It's still viable option though, especially when facing opposing reanimation.Snuff Out - the suprise factor is its greatest strength and life cost can be mitigated later with a help of Kokusho or Merchant. Allows tapping out without risk of being killed by suprice attack or creature-based combo.Eye of Doom - this strange card proved to be very usefull politicaly. It usually cripples the most dangerous opponent and backfires very little if cast when someone else got the upper hand in a game. Remember to announce it with a long "doooooom" when you cast it.Helm of Possession - one of the few answers to indestructible creatures (if sacrifice is not an option) and hate like Iona. With sac outlet acts as removal and can serve as sac outlet itself. Skeleton and Sheoldred's reanimation breaks it in half.Infernal Darkness - another stax element that fits toolbox but not so easy to upkeep like Contamination. It also doesn't hinder the amount of mana produced which can be relevant at times (Gaea's Cradle, opposing Coffers).Liliana of the Dark Realms - ramp, pump and removal; her ultimate can be acchieved quite easily when played early or right after clearing a table.Grave Pact - works great with few sac outlets and self-saccing dudes I run but there's not enough of them to make it valid I think. Need more token-makers for it and Sheoldred does most saccing I need.Nevinyrral's Disk - the fact it enters battlefield tapped gives opponents time to react and destroy it. It's still a good card for less explosive metas though.Thran Dynamo - standard ramp artifact, useful as any other. Better than Basalt Monolith as it untaps and costs only 1 more mana (and fits toolbox).Hedron Archive - gives mana or cards so it's very flexible tool.Trading Post - multipurpose card which supports both reanimation and sacrifice. Requires higher artifact count to be most usefull and can produce fodder for Skullclamp and Contamination.
24 Swamp - produce Dark Power. As a side note Swamp is a most common basic land type for a land-matters effects and there are some here too (Coffers, mana doublers)Ancient Tomb - important land for explosive starts, usually first target for Map.Cabal Coffers - the best ramp at black's disposal, but most effective in a mid-late game. Fetching some Swamps first is a priority.Deserted Temple - serves as Coffers#2, draw engine with Underworld Connections' enchanted land and sac engine with Phyrexian Tower. Part of infinite mana combo if Rings are included.Drownyard Temple - works great with discard engines and mass discard strategy.Myriad Landscape - searches for two Swamps which is enough to be viable. Can be untapped with Temple to work right away.Petrified Field - another Coffers saver but can also bring back other necessary lands.Phyrexian Tower - ramp and sacrifice engine for repeated reanimation as well as creature stealing prevention.Terrain Generator - helps with ramping and does it well especially with all the extra draw and Liliana. Doesn't help with mana screw though.Thespian's Stage - usually copies Coffers for even more mana or any other important land in response to being destroyed. It's kind of wasted slot without Dark Depths though.Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth - transforms our colorless lands into swamps which can be relevant for some B heavy spells like Sorin. It also helps Coffers making more mana (a lot more sometimes), strengthens Liliana's skills and makes Sheoldred unblockable.Bubbling Muck - doubling mana production is good in both early and late game. Sadly it works for a turn only.Mana Crypt/Sol Ring/Mana Vault/Jet Medallion/Mind Stone/Grim Monolith/Basalt Monolith/Worn Powerstone - standard ramp artifacts. This deck can be mana hungry and benefits from explosive starts (for early mass discard).Phyrexian Totem - gives mana and can dish out some damage, especially when table is cleared by Sheoldred's sacrifice ability. Can also serve as the last resort sacrifice fodder for Contamination or Disciple. Multipurpose item.Wayfarer's Bauble - searching for new Swamps and ramping is very important here and this one acts as a colorless Rampant Growth.Dark Ritual - getting turn one Phyrexian Arena or Myojin two turns earlier is often a win. Never underestimate power of the Dark.Soldevi Adnate - this one enables really sick plays as it's not only sac outlet but can produce a lot of Dark Power at the same time. He/she's (there are two art versions) most broken with Mindslicer - declare casting a draw spell, pay mana by saccing 'slicer, everyone discards their hands, you draw cards. It also serves as emergency backup battery when lands get destroyed by an opponent and we're able to cast and use it to battle post MLD threats.Basal Sliver - single-use mana dork. Allows explosive plays next turn and can be reanimated.Burnished Hart - elk is little slow but fetching two Swamps is priceless, especially then Coffers are out. Then do it again next turn with the help of Sheoldred.Unstable Obelisk - does double duty as removal which gives it upper hand over other mana rocks.Cathodion - walking mana-battery. Works best with Soldevi Adnate and Phyrexian Tower.Overeager Apprentice - mana-battery with an option to dump something more suited for reanimation. Best with Living Death as it enables finite loops costing 2 mana per cast and fills grave with more and more creatures to reanimate every time.Nirkana Revenant - she's big removal magnet but mostly of her ability to grow complementing doubling our dark benefits. Late game she can kill in one hit (assuming life totals are little lower) but is kind'a easy to block.
Barren Moor - cycling lands can be good in some scenarios, like when searched for with Expedition Map to draw something tutored right away.Geier Reach Sanitarium - serves similar purpose as the above and can mess up opponent's plans.Skullclamp - clamp is pure card advantage but everyone already knows that. Its best uses are with Mindslicer (we can stack triggers to draw after discard), self-saccing mana batterries (Apprentice, Adnate) and Skeleton which reads 1BB: draw two cards.Sign in Blood - classic cheap card draw. Nothing else to say.Waste Not - works with discard only but there is enough support to varrant running this card. Has great potential.Read the Bones - helps digging for aswers, great card from God-set.Underworld Connections - usually goes under radar as a simple Strip Mine can end its "life" but paired with Deserted Temple suddenly generates enormous card advantage.Phyrexian Arena - kind of staple despite being little slow; can be replaced with Necropotence if there are no Mindslavers around.Necropotence - this is "staple of staples" in MBC. It can be little roadblock here though as we discard a lot and this exiles all discarded stuff. It's also death sentence if someone uses Mindslaver or new Emrakul against us.Memory Jar - allows to dig deep, play stuff and discard the rest for reanimation. Bonkers with Waste Not. Watch out for blue players with open mana though.Moonlight Bargain - instant card draw which can dump creatures for reanimation. May cost a lot of life but it's like a Fact or Fiction in black (only we choose what to discard).Promise of Power - great draw effect even if little slow (sorcery) and quite costly; can produce formitable beater late game.
Strip Mine - staple, not much to say here. Without Azusa-like effects even Crucible won't break it at multiplayer table. Better to keep it for powerful lands like Gaea's Cradle, Winding Canyons or opposing Coffers.Blighted Fen - creature removal on a land is always welcomed even if it costs more than a spell.Arena - repeatable removal in a land spot is good but black usually packs a lot of creature hate already. Works best with Phyrexian Obliterator so it's auto-include if that one goes in too.Tragic Slip - with the amount of sacrifice (self and other's) this is almost always -13/-13 instant for single BGate to Phyrexia - card with unique ability in black which makes it useful even if it requires a whole turn and a creature on the battlefield to kick-start it. Kind of auto-include if we don't use Disk or OStone but unnecessary with them.Go for the Throat - cheap removal that kills almost every creature. It's never dead in multiplayer games.Fleshbag Marauder - Slum Ripper fits into 4CMC toolbox and there is a lot of sacrifice here already but he still fits well, especially in faster environment.Hero's Downfall - unconditional killing spell which sometimes deals with Karn or Ugin dudes. Versatility is the name of it.Oblivion Stone - kills our stuff too but is too powerful and versatile to not to run it. If there is opportunity to put a counter, do it. Opponents will try to force it used sooner or later anyway.Toxic Deluge - the best creature removal ever printed in black. Goes around regeneration, hexproof, indestructibility and Gaddok Teeg at a "small" price in blood.Tooth Collector - repeatable removal for mana dorks and smaller tokens, works like a mini-Sheoldred with delirium.Living Death - staple removal and reanimation in one, working especially well with Xiahou, Apprentice and Bargain. Just make sure opponents won't benefit more from it so clear their graveyards first.Archfiend of Ifnir - backed up with enough cycling and already present discard can level field of dorks every turn. Its cycling makes it easy to reanimate.Massacre Wurm - powerful creature able to hold any creature-based combos at bay (if they involve sacrificing) or even kill a player if he/she overextends.Ascendant Evincar - he shines in competitive metas full of mana-dorks and hatebears as he kills most of them permanently. He also turns Shelly into 3-turn clock.Havoc Demon - kills most creatures in play and leaves Sheoldred unharmed. Needs a sac outlet though.All is Dust - very powerful removal but doesn't hit artifacts and it's a sacrifice effect which can sometimes be liability (Sigarda).Karn Liberated - can win games if protected for long enough but usually serves as single or double exile effect for 7 mana.Decree of Pain - mass removal and fat draw in one, even cycling is handy sometimes. It costs a lot though so it's suited for the late game only.Ugin, the Spirit Dragon - ultimate permanent removal for everything not being artifact which means keeping our own stuff and working below Sheoldred's CMC range. Can serve as a sac outlet in a pinch (already done this with Myr Retriever).
Phyrexian Reclamation - cheap and repeatable recursion expecially good against grave hate and for hating graves with Fearie Macabre as well as repeatable tutoring with DHG.Reanimate - cheap trick to bring back something crucial or steal a bomb if we cannot afford expensive reanimation spell.Animate Dead - staple reanimation enchantment.Myr Retriever - cheap Skullclamp fodder which not only brings back destroyed artifacts but enables some interesting loops with Sheoldred and sac outlet. Imagine Mindslaver or Oblivion Stone every turn and start drooling.Corpse Dance - instant speed makes it great as we can reanimate at the end step or use it as an answer when the top creature card is something like Slum Reaper, but if our most important stuff rots at the bottom of graveyard pile, it's hard to get it sometimes. Having buyback makes it a pure advantage card and is absolutely bonkers with infinite mana and a sac outlet. It is better suited for decks with lower creature count and more ETB effects.Necromancy - instant speed makes it also a grave hate and combat trick, depending on graveyards' contents.Magus of the Will - being Yawgmoth's Will on a stick is enough to run it. May be little sluggish when we need immediate action.Puppeteer Clique - dark faerie proved her usefulness many times already, getting all sorts of creatures from opponents' graveyards. Sakura-Tribe Elder for ramping, Muldrifter for card draw, Primordials for blowouts and even Chancellor of the Spires once, copying itself infinite times with Rite of Replication. She also acts as a gravehate, not only because of exile clause but persisting at instant speed with the help of a sac outlet. It does close to nothing against non-creature strategies though.Sepulchral Primordial - can change the tide of battle or even win a game with its single cast but costs a lot, it doesn't work at instant speed like Necromancy and Clique (with sac outlet) and can easily be used against us (clones, opposing reanimation).Rise of the Dark Realms - ultimate reanimation spell and most powerful wincon available in black. It's like a Tooth and Nail using all libraries and getting two cards from each one. Kind of. It costs a lot and can be useless against non-creature strategies though.
Stax and control:
Blinkmoth Well - can tap mana rocks and works great as anti-stax effect on Winter and Static Orbs.Hope of Ghirapur - Silence which can be reanimated? Count me in. Lethal with Phyrexian Reclamation - for both the user and oponent.Phyrexian Revoker - this little helper lock down abilities of most dangerous or annoying permanent on a table. His low cost makes it useful in hindering fast ramp like Sol Ring and it's ilk. It also helps battling token generals like Ghave or Marath, control/combo ones like Derevi or Oona and annoying non-creature permanents we cannot deal with so easily, like Luminarch Ascension or Birthing Pod.Contamination - stax wincon, easy to upkeep with Sheoldred and Skeleton. It "kills" our Coffers (which I often forget about myself) but mana doublers work under its effect as usual.Oppression - powerful effect against spellslingers and combos. Doesn't hurt us much as Shelly can get our stuff back.Imp's Mischief - helps against point removal, counterspells and targeting reanimation but best used to redirect any targeted draw and Time Warp effects.Withering Boon - answer against powerful ETB creatures (Primordials and such) and no one expects it from someone playing Mono Black. Suprice factor is its greatest strength.Warping Wail - universal spell for solving many problems MBC faces like killing annoying hatebear, making a token for ramp or sac or countering that nasty Jokulhaups.Tangle Wire - classic stax piece, nothing else to say.Myojin of Night's Reach - stripping opponents' hands is a game winning move especially early, no question about it. Sure it costs a whole eight mana but it's worth it as he keeps our stuff intact. He doesn't do much after removing his divinity counter but can serve as a nice sac target for Disciple of Bolas or deal some combat damage.Void Winnower - it can lock opponents' decks entirely or at prevent them from casting their generals at least.
Expedition Map - finds one of special lands. Early game the best search target is Ancient Tomb, later it is Coffers unless we need something tricky like Deserted Temple or Phyrexian Tower.Vampiric Tutor - staple, nuff saidDemonic Tutor - staple #2Praetor's Grasp - usually gets artifact ramp or artifact/colorless creatures or prevents opponent from comboing out.Increasing Ambition - getting three cards instead of one is always a good move. The bad thing is a cost so it's useful late game only.Razaketh's Rite - while it can be used mid-late game, cycling makes it viable early on tooSidisi, Undead Vizier - as she can sacrifice herself with her trigger she works as repeatable tutor with Sheoldred and that's more than enough to be viable.Rune-Scarred Demon - he's just obvious, body and tutor in one. Having enough mana we can search and play Contamination the same turn and Sheoldred the next to return demon and search for more bad stuff. He's also one of the few big bodies here and flying makes it great blocker and oppressor. Just beware of Bribery effects.
Bojuka Bog - staple gravehate for black, not much else to say.High Market - another sac outlet helps with Mindslicer and Clique, provides colorless for Weil as well as gives back some of the lost life (this deck hurts it's owner a lot)Nihil Spellbomb - it's useful not only for battling enemy's reanimation but also for setting up profitable Living Deaths, as we don't want others to benefit too much from them. It signals our intentions though.Sensei's Divining Top - everyone's favourite slow-play enabler. There are no tricks with using it unless Rings of Brighthearth and infinite mana are involved (draw a deck, play everything).Reassembling Skeleton - I play only one self-reccurring creature here as there is little need for more (Sheoldred's reanimation is sufficient) and the Skeleton is the best of all. He's all star with Contamination, Post, Helm and even mana for Phyrexian Tower.Faerie Macabre - uncounterable (most of the time), instant speed gravehate which can be recovered with Reclamation and Confluence or reanimated to slap the face later.Crucible of Worlds – bringing back destroyed Coffers or rebuilding after Armageddon-type effects is very useful but it depends on meta. Still it's very decent card but little too defensive for my taste.Mimic Vat - works great as token generator for sac outlets and can imprint some powerful or useful creatures. It's a hate magnet though and doesn't work with discard, only die triggers.Rings of Brighthearth - great card but useless without abilities to copy which happens quite often. Still, being able to get 2 Swamps out of one fetch or search two creatures with Fleshwrither is very tempting. Not to mention infinite mana with Basalt Monolith or Coffers and Deserted Temple. Sheoldred has no activated abilities, so it’s not a tight fit here.Karn, Silver Golem - paired with lady Sheol, he forces opponents to sacrifice artifacts and can kill some 0 mana rocks but doesn't do much more on its own. Can serve as a backup creature producer for Contamination but fits more artifact oriented builds anyway.Kokusho, the Evening Star - he's powerful but strangely not so broken as he was before, especially in presence of one broken common (Merchant). He flies though and this makes him a beater and good attack deterrent. Best to have a sac outlet ready and Erebos's support if someone clones it.Gray Merchant of Asphodel - he's like a best mono-black common ever printed. Sure it cost five for a 2/4 body but he can easily drain far more life than Kokusho and his ability triggers at ETB so no sac outlet is needed. In fact he's one of the finishers in this deck, especially in Living Death chains.Grave Titan - brings in a lot of power to a table for both beatdown and sacrifice. Braids absence makes it less useful but it's still very decent creature.Sorin Markov - rarely does more than crippling life total (he gets killed instantly) but is a threat allowing to kill or help to kill the most dangerous opponent.Mindslaver - very powerful effect allowing to totally cripple or even kill one player and hurt others as well depending on "taken" opponent's cards.
More Phyrexian flavorMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Instants & Sorceries: 171 Dark Ritual1 Tragic Slip2 Withering Boon2 Imp's Mischief2 Sign in Blood2 Geth's Verdict (P)2 Demonic Tutor3 Praetor's Grasp (P)4 Snuff Out4 Damnation5 Increasing Ambition5 Moonlight Bargain5 Living Death5 Promise of Power7 All is Dust9 Rise of the Dark RealmsArtifacts: 141 Sol Ring1 Wayfarer's Bauble1 Expedition Map1 Nihil Spellbomb1 Skullclamp1 Sensei's Divining Top2 Jet Medallion2 Coldsteel Heart (P)3 Phyrexian Totem (P)3 Phyrexian Altar (P)3 Worn Powerstone4 Helm of Possession4 Phyrexian Processor (P)7 Spine of Ish Sah (P)Enchantments & Planeswalkers: 81 Phyrexian Reclamation (P)2 Gate to Phyrexia (P)3 Necromancy3 Contamination3 Phyrexian Etchings (P)3 Phyrexian Arena (P)4 Liliana of the Dark Realms6 Sorin MarkovCreatures: 232 Phyrexian Revoker (P)2 Reassembling Skeleton2 Soldevi Adnate3 Burnished Hart3 Overeager Apprentice4 Solemn Simulacrum4 Dimir House Guard4 Crypt Ghast4 Braids, Cabal Minion4 Fleshwrither4 Phyrexian Obliterator (P)4 Mindslicer4 Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed4 Disciple of Bolas4 Slum Reaper5 Shriekmaw5 Gray Merchant of Asphodel5 Phyrexian Plaguelord (P)6 Kokusho, the Evening Star6 Phyrexian Gargantua (P)6 Nirkana Revenant7 Rune-Scarred Demon8 Myojin of the Night's ReachLands: 370 Phyrexian Tower (P)0 Ancient Tomb0 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth (P)0 Cabal Coffers0 Bojuka Bog0 Strip Mine0 Terrain Generator0 Deserted Temple0 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx0 Buried Ruin0 Phyrexia's Core (P)0 Arena25 SwampCommander: 11 Sheoldred, Whispering One (P)
Notable new cards and synergies:
Phyrexian Obliterator + Arena - powerful combination forcing opponents to kill creatures and sacrifice permanents in a proces.Spine of Ish Sah + Phyrexia's Core - repeatable destroy effect with minor lifegain. Requires a lot of mana but is an answer to any permanent type.Phyrexian Plaguelord, Phyrexian Altar - more sac outletsPhyrexian Obliterator / Phyrexian Etchings + Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx / Gray Merchant of Asphodel - a lot more devotion to usePhyrexian Processor - makes dudes for Contamination and/or aggro plan
Quote from artaudReaper is better here since I can find him with DHG and Fleshwrither.
Quote from Cz
... if you're already playing the best color then you may as well do the abusive things yourself.
Quote from calderstrakeWith that line of thinking, wouldn't Nekrataal be better than Shriekmaw?
Quote from bankyKind of shocked that Vesuva is not in this list as Coffers #2.
Quote from calderstrakeExsanguinate is good for a finisher.
Quote from scion of horusArmy of the Damned is nice in my Erebos list. I threw it in on a whim but it's an absolute house. 26 power can close games pretty quickly, and if they get wrathed, you can always flash it back.
Quote from artaud
Leyline of the Void - only Karn and OStone can get rid of it, so no crazy graveyard shenanigans until we get one of those.
Quote from VysogotaI would mention Rest in Peace here as well - it hurts you the same as LotV and it's way easier to cast (and thus more playable).
Quote from artaudYea but RiP hurts its owner too while Leyline works only for opponents and I have yet to see competitive deck not using its own graveyard even a little bit. It's a valid hate card though, I'll add it.
Quote from Rumpy5897 »Glad to see you updating your list. How does a typical Eye of Doom scenario play out for you?
Quote from Artaud »On the other side Trading Post does very little in every game I draw it so it'll be first candidate to replace. Seeing card spoiled for BFZ I don't see much viable options yet:
Quote from Vysogota »
Doesn't have to be from BFZ, there are plenty of older cards to choose from. Have you tried Grave Pact or Dictate of Erebos?
Quote from Rumpy5897 »Congrats on the primer. Well deserved! Also, this way I'm not tempted to turn my crummy list into one
I've had a decent degree of success with Dictate of Erebos and Butcher of Malakir, but I tuned my list to be able to deal with massively back-breaking hasted fat appearing out of nowhere (just meta things) and those really help. I don't run Living Death though, whilst it seems to be a vital component of this deck's play style.
If the rumoured enchantment comes to be, I'm totes slotting it into my list, probably in place of Gilded Lotus. What are your thoughts on the new black walker? Probably too slow for you, but I'm quite tempted.