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  • posted a message on [Primer] B/x Devotion
    Quote from Friday
    This thread-primer is devided and conflicted Smile we need unity and understanding that we all want the same,e thing. Mono blAck co tro,l. Post mono black lists with sideboard options . Stop derailing the thread with splash debate. Its good as long as we respect the other decent decks A d build accordingly .

    4 seize. 4 downfall is the core.

    Quote from Uncle Isty
    I would love to play MBC. .. and the card pool is almost there but not quite. ... So I would agree, discussing splashing (as OP also suggested) is not just warranted, but prudent. Each color offers unique options.

    Meanwhile I'm just chillin' on my lonesome over here with my aggro devotion list... Sad Cool

    Keep in mind, some of you, this is not Mono-Black Control. This is Black Devotion. If you're dedicating to putting black mana on the battlefield and throwing down Merchants, maybe with a little Nykthos on the side, your list belongs here. It doesn't matter whether they're splashing colors or I'm curving out Turns 1-3 with dudes. Some others have already picked up on this, good for them.

    Scrylands should be a very minor consideration for our splashes. We have the best draw power in the format, scrying for card quality is simply less useful to us than other decks. Sure, better than guildgates but that doesn't matter if the actual spells aren't worth splashing for. I'm not splashing White instead of Green just because the former gets Scry 1 attached to its taplands. My list of notables includes Slaughter Games, Golgari Charm, Fade into Antiquity, which are incidentally the two combos without scrylands. I don't like Abrupt Decay, yeah it doubles as cheap creature removal but it doesn't hit Assemble the Legion which is probably the single best card against mono- lists.
    Posted in: Mono Black Devotion
  • posted a message on mono black devotion dying?
    If you want to beat RDW as Black Devotion, you could always run an aggro variant. ;[ When you're putting down Tormented Heroes and Thrill-Kill Assassins in kind with their own 1-2 drops, they have no way to push enough damage through before you start dropping Merchants on their head. Much better than... Wring Flesh? That's really the issue I find with control lists against RDW's blazing speed. No good 1cc removal and even all the two-drops are conditional besides Pharika's Cure, which is too situational (1-2 toughness) to maindeck. Can't Doom Blade -or- Ultimate Price a Cackler. Rolleyes So, well, might as well drop dudes in their way.

    As a bonus, you aren't packing a ton of dead removal against control decks and have more devotion in general due to playing more permanents. Pack Rat does alleviate that somewhat, though.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer]White Weenie

    That's how I started my list, as a White Nykthos deck basically before realizing "man this is a WW deck." First, yes you want more land. 21 is appropriate for burn decks, swarm aggro but that many three-drops demands more. Elspeth will usually ask for 4-5 land assuming one is a Nykthos, Heliod can serve as a mana dump if he's on the field.

    My only other major suggestion, and really it applies to any WW list featuring Nykthos or not, is Ajani. Two devotion for a three-drop is good and he's very easy to protect and ride to victory with a deck that otherwise clogs the board with cheap bodies he can grow to profitably block for himself. Big Reckoners are awesome, big First Strikers are awesome, big Soldier of the Pantheon against any multi-colored deck is awesome. Couldn't hurt to side the other two Banisher Priest and maybe an Angel of Serenity or two as alternate-Elspeth against big-creature decks.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] B/x Devotion
    Splashing makes answering certain problem cards easier but mono has all the required tools to do it slightly less efficiently, with said efficiency arguably more than made up for by the more consistent manabase. The only thing we can't answer is gods that aren't animated; Liliana can remove them if they are. Ratchet Bomb and Pithing Needle are pretty good catch-all answers otherwise, if you can't just nip the problem cards in the bud with discard.

    If you want to shake things up to stay ahead of the curve or whatever, you can always play my aggro list. :p World of difference between playing control and aggro even in the same color, surely more than splashing for a few marginally better answer cards. Rolleyes
    Posted in: Mono Black Devotion
  • posted a message on What is the most effective and efficient Standard deck as of right now?
    Black Devotion doesn't exactly need Illness to deal with Master of Waves, seeing as how it's vulnerable to every targetted removal spell Black can throw at it already. You have to remove them anyway if they drop MoV in multiples. Illness is only particularly useful against Assemble the Legion. I suppose it does provide devotion.

    I still think Black Devotion is better served by playing aggro but it's not like I have time between playing so many other games more important to me than Magic to put my money where my mouth is. Rolleyes Creatures provide devotion, Instants and Sorceries do not. The swarm of cheap creatures also enables Dark Prophecy, itself the best devotion enabler in the format (a noncreature permanent with no colorless cost!), and clogs up the board too quickly for RDW and other aggro decks to goldfish quick wins against them.

    At any rate, the point is Mono-Black can itself adapt if the players are willing. It may be the deck to beat but it isn't Affinity, Caw-Blade-level oppressive enough for the overall metagame to become "MBD vs. anti-MBD" yet it's strong and versatile enough to remain a major player for whatever hate persists against it in sideboards and whatnot. The aggro devotion I speak of, for example, is worlds different from the more popular control-based devotion lists. Gray Merchant is really good, who knew. ;/
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer]White Weenie
    Depending on the player's particular list, Electrickery can be anywhere from very worthwhile to a simple trade. But for the most part one-toughness dudes aren't worrisome in the mirror anyway, as First Strikers and Reckoner dominate combat, and Electrickery has few other applications. You might as well use Glare of Heresy, which at least removes the better creatures.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] B/x Devotion
    Re-entering discussion some.

    Quote from Thoras
    My opinion on Mono-Black Aggro is very uninformed, I'll admit. I just feel like the deck is outclassed by the traditional RDW style decks out there. I mean, Fanatic of Mogis is an aggressively costed Gray Merchant that can close games out very fast. RDW can already do 4+ damage on turn 2.

    The reason "doing 4 damage turn 2" is a "bad thing" for this deck (Mono-Black Devotion) is it takes away a lot of the game plan that this deck revolves around. We don't need to end games fast. We have a very tuned list that can deal with almost every deck in the meta. An aggro version is pretty much an entirely different deck at this point, because the amount of development and discussion that has gone into this list has made it very solid.

    Quote from Coucho Marx
    [RDW godhand > all]

    RDW has tons of haste creatures, can spew out several creatures on T2 with Burning-Tree Emissary which also makes it harder to slow down, has reach in the form of burn, and can bring back Chandra's Phoenix over and over again with that burn (or Chandra, Pyromaster). What can you do that RDW can't? Given an exact same situation, where do you succeed where RDW fails?

    I'm not going to in-depth rehash my older posts but yes, my Aggro-Devotion list is somewhat of a ghetto RDW in terms of raw aggression. RDW also doesn't have the best draw engines in the format. It's a calculated trade-off, not a cheap imitation. It is indeed a much different direction than the more controlling route this topic primarily discusses but I legitimately think it's a better direction to take for a number of reasons (probably all of which I've rattled off earlier at least once).

    What can I do that RDW doesn't? The opponent casts T3 Anger of the Gods to interrupt the Fanatic god-hand. Red Devotion has virtually lost the game at this point, with the opponent just eating your entire board and still at double-digit life. On the other hand, my T3 Connections puts me back ahead on cards in a couple turns and is +2 devotion that persists through the sweeper. Selesnya's bevy of 3/3 bodies for :2mana:, Witchstalker, any green fat accelerated out by mana dorks give RDW some trouble. I care less because I can chump block ad nauseam and still maintain high devotion for the eventual Gary burn-out (and the drain aspect buys me more time if the first trigger doesn't kill). Boros Reckoner isn't an auto 2-for-1 against me because my removal doesn't trigger its ability, if I don't flat-out prevent it from dropping via Thoughtseize/Zombie disruption.

    My biggest problem with this "aggro" list of yours is that you're playing two 3CMC do-nothing enchantment on the most vital turn.
    I'd argue the first two turns are a lot more important to aggro. You ever seen an aggro list with no one-drops or two-drops? :p Besides, there are aggressive options on that area of the curve. Zombie and Marauder are both plenty aggro. You can start amassing a Pack Rat army against opponents low on removal. And Prophecy is not quite a do-nothing, it dissuades the opponent from blocking in combat and also "beats" most follow-up Sorcery removal (sadly not Anger).

    That said, our draw engines are perfect in the three spot. You should have two bodies down at that point. That's the exact number you want against control to balance pressure vs. overextension. On the play against aggro, you'll be ahead in the damage race and can afford to start gathering CA to win the midgame. On the draw against aggro, you already have two potential blockers down to preserve your life total and let your CA reverse the momentum.

    I prefer the consistency myself and I feel the enchants add an extra dimension to the deck. The CA distinguishes us from other aggro decks and they're much more resilient sources of devotion for blow-out Gary drops, giving much more capable reach than anyone is giving us credit. Alternatives are available, though.
    Quote from Jabberwocky1989
    Also, with respect to the Bg deck and BBDs deck, do we really need the Nykthos in Bg? BBD seemed to have done well without it and the more I see the deck play I really don't see it getting restricted on mana. Besides Pack Rat, where else would we really have a mana sink? And the deck really isn't going to be super explosive early in the game like monoblue. I guess I could see Nykthos being useful more if we SB some of the Mistcutter Hydras?

    I think of it as more an either-or thing, though it's probably not quite that simple. Splashing will impact your tempo via taplands and Nykthos/Muta will occasionally colorscrew. You can use a few without much of an impact but once you get greedy and try to take advantage of both, the more your manabase will fail you early and lead to cheap losses.

    Quote from redtwister
    On Fade into Antiquity vs. Golgari Charm, I think I agree with you. Charm has more versatility and usually the problem with the Gods are their turning on as creatures. Better to leave them as enchantments on the board in most cases than side a sub-optimal card to exile them.

    I can't agree with that at all, it's the "enchant" effects that make any God a pain. I mean yeah they're all undercosted, indestructible beaters when turned on but that's not why I hate facing them. Erebos turns Gary into a bad Fanatic of Mogis and nulls Whip's lifelink, Thassa is a consistent source of card quality advantage. I want those gone and only Fade does the job. Plus if they're animated, Liliana can answer them without having to splash. Golgari Charm is still a perfectly good card though, better maindeck too because of its versatility and cost/speed. Fade is a specialized answer for one specific set of threats.
    Posted in: Mono Black Devotion
  • posted a message on [Primer] B/x Devotion
    I haven't tried it but I've also given consideration to Prophetic Prism. I don't think it's very necessary for casting Specter itself -- since dropping to three Nykthos I've had no problem hitting T3 :symb::symb::symb: and I'm also running Dark Prophecy -- but it would be nice for casting off-color cards a swinging Specter grabs. Relying on hitting enemy lands to do that doesn't work very well, I've found.

    Quote from LewisCBR
    I keep hearing that we are favored vs control, but i would majorly disagree. Why do some of you think that we are? Every card in esper is either a direct counter to our threats or a threat we need to kill. They play 6+ planes walkers, so we cant kill them all, and easily remove/counter all our creatures. I can hardly get any permanents on the board because our decks run slow enough for them to completely set up. I barely won a game the other day even after 2 Thoughtseizes and 2 Duresses, he still had plenty of chances to top deck answers while i prayed he didnt.

    I think esper is my toughest matchup.

    I feel like UWR/BWR put up some sort of fight against me, UW and UWB (Esper) are jokes. Our decks are different though and UB(W) is traditionally top dog when it comes to control mirrors, so understandable if you're playing a slower list. But Black has the CA engine(s) (Connections, Prophecy for me) to keep up with the draw power in blue-based control. Discard effectively allows you to force a threat through counters or take out their answer to whatever it is. It should at least be even-ish.
    Posted in: Mono Black Devotion
  • posted a message on [Primer] B/x Devotion
    I'll check out more later but hey work calls.

    Quote from TBuzzsaw
    I give up. When you're talking about Marauder being used as a defensive card, there's no reason for this debate to continue.

    The simple fact is you're not going to outrace absolutely everybody all the time. RDW is generally faster because it has burn for reach. Sometimes Green will stick a couple early mana dorks and drop fat T3-T5, White will splooge one-drops and swing at you with 3/3 Boros Elites on T3. In such cases you have to assume the role of the "control" player and slow the game down, especially on the draw because an aggro opponent on the play, with a decent hand, will always be faster.
    Posted in: Mono Black Devotion
  • posted a message on [Primer] B/x Devotion
    Green splash versus mono-black, frankly I'd consider the mono deck to be at the advantage. So the former answers enchants, whoop-de-doo. One enchant > one answer. Unless you get blown out by a GoG 4-for-1 or something, Golgari Charm or whatever trading with a Connections is value-neutral except the latter is good by itself and the former only an an answer to it. Mono will thus have better draw and more devotion, probably the biggest difference-maker in the matchup.

    Fade into Antiquity is my splash card of choice if you feel the need to go green. The Enchants you want to answer most, Gods, don't die to the other enchant removal spells. Especially relevant for Erebos in mirrors. :p 3cc Sorcery is kinda lame but hey, nothing else can do what it does. Suck it up. There are still other relevant non-indestructible enchants, so you can still pack Golgari Charms and stuff if you want too, but Fade should probably be present in some capacity. Not a fan of Gaze, being symmetrical and thus destroying our own devotion in addition to being too slow as a solution to aggro.

    DRS, Serj? Good call. Nodding the Affirmative I still wish its ramping capabilities weren't a Modern-only thing but oh well. Frown I don't think Guildgates are that big a deal if you want to splash green/red, though, considering our superior card draw capability mitigates the usefulness of scrying.

    Quote from quizzlemanizzle
    I am sorry but can we finally stop discussing mono black aggro decks here?

    Dark Prophecy is an absoltely fringe card in black devotion and at best a 1of. Even in aggro it is pretty ****ty and questionable because it can't give you cards when you need it. The only reason Dark Prophecy would be played is because it offers 3 devotion.

    Stop derailing this thread with black aggro discussions there is another thread for this http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=540172&page=5

    I am sorry but can we finally stop discussing mono black control decks here? Because I'm pretty sure jamming 10+ removal spells that provide zero devotion because they aren't permanents makes you less devoted than aggro lists. Rolleyes

    Quote from TBuzzsaw
    I'm just not going to get the point of putting SEVEN draw cards in an aggro deck. Maybe you're right, maybe you're wrong, but I'm still for putting a creature that gets your creatures through or another kill spell. I'd rather kill now than to kill later and risk losing earlier against other aggro.
    Quote from BMillz1341
    If you're running Prophecy, why do you need Connections? Even in the control variants I run, I only use 3 connections (+1 Erebos), and I've never felt the need to go to 4. The idea that you need to run 7 draw variants (including a very slow one) in an aggressive deck is odd. Those extra slots would likely be better served either as removal or disruption. It sounds like you are "forcing" devotion enablers simply to power 4 Merchants.
    *shrug* Maybe I'm too much of a control freak to grab my CA wherever I can. I still think you're selling especially Prophecy short, though. Since TBuzzsaw seems hellbent on comparing it to Marauder, it's not so dissimilar as an aggro play. While Marauder lets you swing in safely, Prophecy lets you swing in because you don't actually care if your creatures die -- they replace themselves. But where Marauder is a one-devotion Gray Ogre after that, Prophecy is a three-devotion noncreature permanent. Where Marauder only triggers once upon ETB, Prophecy continues to work every turn it's still on the field. Where Marauder is a weak defensive play, albeit can itself block unlike Prophecy, Prophecy makes all your other blockers replace themselves for the modest price of 1 life. Marauder is also worthless against control decks in general and other black decks.

    You don't force as much immediate damage through, sure, but our long game is much better than any other aggro deck out there. It's not a big deal if you can't swing past that T2 Ash Zealot because if me and my RDW opponent just have a staring contest for a while, unable to swing into each other's board, I'm probably going to win it. I'll put more bodies down faster than they will with my CA. Gary "trades" favorably with Fanatic if we both have 'em, I'm more likely to see mine due to my draw engines, and I'm more devoted to my color. I will chump Polukranos all day and night until Green is forced to stop swinging and start blocking or I can burn 'em out, etc.

    I don't think our removal or our disruption right now is in a good enough spot to warrant taking away space from other cards. Hell, I already have Lifebane Zombie and Thoughtseize in my 75, what else is even playable on the "disruption" front? (Don't you dare say Disciple of Phenax.) Removal being weak is precisely the reason in the first place I chose an aggro route for my devotion list, because where our removal is weak you can never go wrong with just throwing bodies onto the battlefield to trade in combat.

    Maybe you're both right, I'm leaning too heavily on the CA engines. I just don't think there's much better playable as far as pushing the aggro envelope is concerned. I'm already playing both 2-power one-drops available and the two most aggressive two-drops, the most important parts of the curve for aggro. The choice between Marauder or Prophecy in the three spot (though I maintain these two cards are not competing for slots against each other) is relatively unimportant as far as determining the speed of the deck. Plus, the devotion aspect of this deck is still very much important and the Enchants are obviously superior providers to everything in that regard. Devotion powers more than Gary.
    Quote from redtwister
    I'm thinking of going down to 3 Mutavault, 1 Nykthos. 5 is pretty darn greedy.

    I have twice as many triple-black cards and even four is borderline playable for me. You should easily be able to get away with five, with only Specter in your list, but your mileage may vary.
    Posted in: Mono Black Devotion
  • posted a message on Playing control without White in the current meta
    Quote from HammerAndSickled
    This statement is pretty questionable. Anger doesn't kill a huge amount of relevant, played creatures in the format. And currently no deck outside of a BTE god draw is killing you before verdict is live. Not to mention that Rev is significantly better than any other CA engine because unlike the black CA, it gains you life instead of costing it (important in a format with so much incidental damage) and the format is slow enough to be able to reliably Revelation for tons and chain them together. Read the bones and Underworld Connections are certainly good cards, but they're a faraway second tier to Jace and Rev.

    Anger coming down a turn sooner potentially saves you a ton of life, more than a T6-ish Sphinx's Rev will gain you back that's for certain. It doesn't kill everything but that's not really its job, nor is it Verdict's. I mean sure, Verdict can trade 1-for-1 with Desecration Demon and Anger can't. Having the option is better than not but it isn't a major reason to run Verdict. Its primary job it to 2-for-1, 3-for-1 early swarms to preserve life. Anger does that for less. It also exiles, which shuts down Chandra's Phoenix, Voice of Resurgence, Xathrid Necromancer and the utilities of various other cards: DRS, Scooze, Varolz or anything with Scavenge, Dark Prophecy.

    Rev is a good card but I just don't rate it as highly as most people seem to do. X-based draw spells have always been fairly niche cards and I'm not convinced putting a second color on it to tack on lifegain suddenly makes one eminently playable anymore than, say, Rakdos' Return is better than Blightning (because it isn't). It's more Standard having a relatively weak pool of CA engines, of which Rev is one of the best, than Rev being particularly good in a vacuum. But I could be wrong. *shrug*

    Detention Sphere is pretty nice at least. Still, every color has a desirable card or two for any purpose one desires.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] B/x Devotion
    The two enchants are both our best sources of card advantage (repeatable card draw, unlike Read the Bones for example) and best devotion enablers (noncreature, nonlegendary permanents with multiple colored symbols). There's no question you should be running both, the question is merely how many. (I say it's in the 5-7 range.) Marauder does not compete with them for slots, it competes with everything else.

    Of course, ye playing slower lists may as well just jam four Connections. Prophecy needs dudes to fuel it, it's not worth running just as a +3 devotion card.
    Posted in: Mono Black Devotion
  • posted a message on Playing control without White in the current meta
    I feel Anger is better positioned than Verdict right now and Rev isn't all that much better than black's CA engines, even Opportunity, Jace, Steam Augury none of which require White. So while I still think White-based control decks have the most game right now, UWR or BWR (the red is important!), I wouldn't say it's a necessity.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] B/x Devotion
    Yeah I don't disagree Profani but I think my list fits the criteria for both Black Aggro and Black Devotion -- my maindeck has three nonpermanents. Aggro or not, my list goes harder on devotion than every control-based deck posted here. Plus, this thread is much more active and I've posted in both anyway. :p

    Blah blah splash, blue sounds halfway decent for Rift (Nykthos can power the overload) and you can actually go a little harder on it if you want (not too hard though or you kill your devotion potential) because Specter can be cast off blue mana. The scrylands aren't worth much more than guildgates considering our potential raw card advantage, I just think it's a matter we don't have any big enough weaknesses to require a splash. Pithing Needle, Ratchet Bomb, Devour Flesh, Liliana are all potential ways to deal with our biggest "hosers" without leaving colors (and Liliana in particular wants Swamps), if not hit by Thoughtseize or Zombie. Probably lose more games not being able to play Merchant on curve or Shocking myself than I would having a slightly inferior answer to [God] or whatever. :/

    Hide tags for long post.

    Quote from TBuzzsaw
    It's just that you have a deck that's an aggro shell. A card that gives them all haste and intimidate is better than an enchantment that does nothing when you play it and waits around for a creature to die or Gary to drop. I'm not sure how the card is good against aggro when it's forcing you to lose life.

    Quote from Profani
    @the aggro list: Mogis Marauder breaks or makes that deck. I play that deck with a red splash, and the Marauder is the card that wins you games. Seriously, without it, you are basically playing a deck that is weaker than the mono-red version on every front. Your 2 drops are less aggressive, your 3 drops are less aggressive, and you play no 4 drop at al...

    Lifebane Zombie and Mogis's Marauder are the cards that allow you to do things that RDW cannot do. You are using Gary as if he's a Fanatic of Mogis, except he costs one more and does less damage on the attack...

    If you're chump blocking, losing 1 life is better than losing 2+ letting the attacker swing through. The lifeloss basically pays for itself over a few turns by giving you a replacement blocker to continue chumping. If you're trading, both offensively or defensively, eventually you take control of the board because the opponent can't replace their creatures as quickly. Hell, you can swarm through midrange creatures and not give a damn because whichever one dude they profitably block gets replaced and you're still squeezing damage through with two/three other guys. Dark Prophecy dominates combat.

    Marauder? It lets you swing through once, when it ETB. (And not against Desecration Demon and friends at all.) Then it's just a Gray Ogre. Prophecy is working every turn and, just as importantly, it's providing triple the devotion.

    That's not to say Marauder isn't worth trying out, indeed it's on my to-do list (I'm just not playing much now) and others already seem to like it a lot. Great! I just suggest you guys replace something other than Prophecy. Some tweaks I'd consider:
    Shred-Freak is the weakest card in my list, as far as I'm concerned. You may prefer fewer Whips, after all they are Legendary and high on the curve. You could drop one or two CA engines (3/3 or 2/3 split, in either direction).

    Yes, I'm not quite as aggressive as RDW but I'm still faster than every other deck and RDW doesn't have multiple card advantage engines. Once RDW is out of gas, they lose. I don't run out of gas.
    Gary's upside over Fanatic is totally worth it, a drain is double the life swing of mere burn. The difference is backbreaking against other aggro decks. It's also semi-necessary against control to avoid killing yourself on your own CA engines (plus Thoughtseize). And I have way more devotion than Red can ever dream. Rolleyes
    Quote from Stroggoii
    I ran a list similar to Mr. E's some weeks ago (-4 Tormented Hero, -4 Thrill-Kill, -2 Dark Prophesy, +3 Deathcult Rogue, +4 Mogis's Marauder, +3 Civic Saber), it didn't work. It folded hard to american superfriends, Selesnya and big red. Granted, those decks aren't around anymore and this build may be very good at racing MUD, but I rather prefer the removal suite's stability of being able to play control or aggro without loosing the reins instead of trying to race the racers.

    Well yeah, you dropped a one-drop and two-drop for multiple three-drops. The equipment is cute but ultimately just not very strong on its own and again slows down the much quicker clock I have.

    It's not about "racing the racers" though, it's about devotion. Dark Prophecy is the best devotion enabler in the format, a noncreature permanent with no colorless mana cost, but it's not worth playing a do-nothing card solely for devotion. Not only does the cheap creature suite enable Prophecy but on their own provide a faster source of added devotion. Nonpermanents don't add to devotion. The current removal we have available is slow against aggro? No problem, I got blockers for days. Excess removal is dead against control? Efficient beaters are always relevant.
    Quote from emuhell
    hey. I like the idea of a more aggressive B devotion deck. I especially like the Thrill-Kill Assassin as it comes with a built in aggro/defense mode.

    My two cents:
    - Where is the Demon? You curve up to Gary but you omit Desecration Demon. Although more and more decks can handle him now, I think he's a must.
    - 3 Nykthos? You can't really abuse Nykthos. Best case is you have a high devotion count and a lot cards to play - why? With Dark Prophecy your hand is full after a Supreme Verdict, but your devotion is on 3. You also play 8 cards that cost BBB - making colorless lands a liability.
    - Mutavault? Although colorless lands are a liability, Mutavault is big. You should have a few in your 60. Play them as spells.
    - 4 Dark Prophecy and 3 Underworld Connections seem harsh. I think in this kind of deck, Dark Prophecy is strictly better. Especially if you manage to further increase the creature count. You could add Connections to the SB against control, but then again - prophecy should be enough.
    - 3 Whips could be right... you have to cope with your lifeloss.
    - No Erebos, God of the Dead? You are aggressive, you don't like your enemy to gain life. I think 1 is the right number here. With 8 BBB spells and Shred Freak etc. he should also make a good beater.

    Demon is just a bit high on the curve for my liking. I already have Whip and Merchant up there plus the three-spot full with my devotion-enabling CA engines. Too many more high-cost cards will clog up hands early, diminishing the aggro gameplan and all of the previous cards mentioned are more important. That said, I'm not entirely opposed to it.

    Even 3 Nykthos is merely a concession to occasionally being unable to put out T3 Specters and Prophecies with four copies. ;[ Keep in mind I have seven noncreature permanents that provide devotion. Nykthos is what allows me to quickly repopulate the battlefield after sweeper and make blowout Merchant plays. Nykthos is far stronger than Mutavault's... being a bear. A bear you don't even want to swing with early because it turns removal and combat trades into cheap LD. Rolleyes You could add a couple and consider them spells, sure, but they add no devotion. Might as well play more removal at that point.

    At least you acknowledge Dark Prophecy's power here but Underworld Connections is still important. It's a second source of noncreature devotion, i.e. it's difficult to remove, and effectively extra copies of Prophecy as far as a card advantage engine is concerned. I want more than four CA engines, I feel like 5-7 is the best number to shoot for. And they should be split between the two cards, as UC is more reliable against Anger of the Gods (exile != dies) and can be "turned off" if conserving life becomes a concern.

    Erebos really isn't that good, that said one and only one copy is probably worth sticking in the 75 somewhere for the anti-lifegain utility. It's really only useful against other black decks to win Merchant wars (you still get burned out if you don't draw any though) and shut off Whip's lifelink. The only other notable source of lifegain in the format, Sphinx's Revelation, is not worth worrying about and Erebos is a worse source of CA (and devotion!) than both enchants.
    Posted in: Mono Black Devotion
  • posted a message on Start your crying, Black Devo is here to stay
    I, for one, am a fan of an aggro-based black devotion list. Tormented Hero + Cackler like every Red deck provides plenty of speed and playing cheap beats makes good on Dark Prophecy, which is otherwise the best devotion enabler in the format (a noncreature permanent with no colorless cost). You're not left with a bunch of dead cards in hand against control and can clog the board too quickly for other aggro decks to swarm -- hell, you're the aggressor on the play.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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