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Mono-Black mid-range


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Kytep



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:59 am    Post subject: Mono-Black mid-range Reply with quote

Due to lack of board sweepers, I don't think that MBC is a very viable option in today's T2. However, I've been having some good results with the below list, which I consider to be a "mid-range" deck. The key difference between this and other MBC options I've seen and tested, is that this deck has a few more threats (4 each Bloodwitch AND Ob Nixilis), which makes it possible to race decks like Jund (Bloodwitch is a great blocker, and Ob can end a game rather quickly, especially with a fetch-land or two).

Key Threats (11)
4 Ob Nixilis (he's insane; I think 4 is right; if they don't kill him, I usually win; if they do, I have another. Never unhappy to see a second in my hand.)
4 Malakir Bloodwitch (one of the best creatures in T2 right now; can't be Bolted/Pathed/Bladed; great blocker or flies in for 4 a turn; gains life; even stares down Baneslayers)
3 Consume Spirit

Defense/Control (17)
4 Gatekeeper of Malakir (also acts as bear to punch in early dmg vs. control)
4 Disfigure
4 Doom Blade
4 Tendrils of Corruption
1 Mind Sludge (randomly wins G1's)

Draw (4)
4 Sign in Blood

Land (28 - I need to hit my 5-drops; these are Bolts w/ObNix out; Consumes and Tendrils want to be big too)
20 Swamp
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Marsh Flats

Sideboard
4 Deathmark (vs. Boros, WW, Angels; considering Wretched Banquet instead)
3 Pithing Needle (vs. Planeswalkers mainly)
2 Mind Sludge (vs. control/mid-range)
2 Infest (vs. Boros)
4 Sadistic Sacrament (makes the difference vs. control decks; worth a try if you're not convinced)


General idea is to survive to Turn 5, then start dropping Bloodwitches and ObNix to end the game quickly; Consume to finish if needed (or survive vs. aggro). I drop Swamps first, pop fetches last (I want to maximize ObNix potential, and the thinning effect is not nearly as great as a maxed ObNix). I haven't tested a lot vs. Jund yet, but the few Jund matches I've played, I've won, and this feels like a much better matchup than when I've used MBC or Vamps vs. Jund. Bloodwitch, ObNix, and even Tendrils (so that I can live just long enough for ObNix/Consume to kill) make a huge difference.

Aggro is of course tough, but with 4 Disfigure, 4 Doom Blade, 4 Gatekeeper (even as a 2-mana 2/2 speedbump), and 4 Tendrils, you have a fighting chance to get to 5 mana and turn the game around. I have about a 50/50 record (maybe 45/55) vs. aggro so far. I'm also considering Wretched Banquet in the SB instead of Deathmark.

Sacrament is awesome vs. control; finishes games by itself; removes key threats like Cruel Ultimatum, Iona (Tramp decks), what few win conditions a control deck may have, etc. SO nice to be able to Cap a control deck on Turn 3, then later (if needed) knock out another 15 cards (or even just 3, 6, or 9) for the decking win.

Anyway, I thought I'd share, in case anyone was interested. I'm always interested in mono-Black decks, and I know a lot of others are too. I think this has potential.

Constructive comments welcome.

Thanks,
Kytep
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Spyx



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 1188

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't you want a few more mind sludges main? They snag broodmate dragon which is an annoying card for you.
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Kholdstare42



Joined: 10 Feb 2008
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

28 land sounds like an awful lot to me. in normal more "draw-go"-esque decks this might be closer to a correct number..but id consider dropping down to 25. I would definantly play at least 2 mind sludge main if not more..that card is more bonkers than people think. its also not awful against boros (although id definantly side it out), when they tap out for a ranger..so not only are you nailing two creatures, your also getting whatever land for landfall tehy have and random burn spells.
ive been tinkering around with a lot of mono black builds..and sorin markov seems good. im also trying diabolic tutor with a pretty good result, but it is pretty slow.
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Kytep



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spyx wrote:
Don't you want a few more mind sludges main? They snag broodmate dragon which is an annoying card for you.


I don't think so; I find my more difficult match-ups are aggro, and while I think a singleton is OK for a random Turn 5 hit, I don't want more than that choking up my hand when I'm gettng beaten down by Goblin Guides and the like. It's difficult enough to beat a really fast deck with only 1 Mind Sludge main; I don't want to make it worse out of fear of Broodmates (which, while a bit annoying, aren't all *THAT* difficult to deal with, since they don't come out until Turn 6 at the earliest - more likely Turn 8 or later - and with Bloodwitches block/killing one, Tendrils, ObNix posing a potential "must block" threat, etc.)

While Mind Sludges are great against mid-range and especially control, I think they are already easier matchups than aggro, so I want to be more prepared vs. aggro, even at some expense to control (which I can then correct post-board), rather than the other way around.

Does that make sense?

Thanks,
Kytep
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Kytep



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kholdstare42 wrote:
28 land sounds like an awful lot to me. in normal more "draw-go"-esque decks this might be closer to a correct number..but id consider dropping down to 25.


28 *may* be a bit high (27 seemed decent, although even then I got mana-screwed a few times more than I'd like), but I think 25 is definitely too low. This deck really NEEDS to hit its 5-drops ASAP. 25 just won't cut it, even with 4 Sign in Blood to help draw the lands. Consider that I need 42% of my first 12 cards to be land, not "on average", but MOST of the time. Having only 42% of my deck as lands (25 out of 60) may let me hit 5 by Turn 5 about half the time, but not hitting it around 50% just won't work very well.

Try a few games, or even just do a few "12-draws" and see how many lands you get when you have 25 vs. 28 in the deck. I think you'll agree.

[Edit]: I just had MWS do the math (Tools: Deep Deck Analysis: Probability Analysis, trying 25 - 28 lands and setting my "combo" of drawing 5 of them). Here are the stats:

Probability of drawing 5 lands by Turn 5:

Lands in Deck On Play On Draw
25 52% 62%
26 57% 67%
27 62% 72%
28 66% 76%

Sign in Blood can improve the odds a bit, but I think not more than a percent or two. I can't miss my 5-drops on Turn 5 48% of the time on the play, especially not vs. Aggro. I'd rather hit my "5 by T5" 2/3 of the time instead, by running 28 lands.


Kholdstare42 wrote:
I would definantly play at least 2 mind sludge main if not more..that card is more bonkers than people think.


See above post.

Kholdstare42 wrote:
ive been tinkering around with a lot of mono black builds..and sorin markov seems good. im also trying diabolic tutor with a pretty good result, but it is pretty slow.


Yeah, I think Tutor will be too slow, especially vs. aggro decks (and I need to be stronger vs. them, not weaker). 4 Witch and 4 ObNix (with the aforementioned 28 lands) give me pretty good consistency of dropping a fattie on Turn 5. Sorin is interesting, but is he really better than Bloodwitch or ObNix, especially at 6 mana? BW and ObNix are also great blockers, and I think a much better defense (if I need them to be) than Sorin. And if left unchecked, they win the game as well as Sorin can. What would you take out for Sorin? Definitely not Disfigure, Doom Blade, Gatekeepers, or Tendrils - I NEED those (and would even like more) vs. aggro. I think BW and ObNix are often better than Sorin. So, Consume? MAYbe, but Consume can also defend me vs. aggro in a pinch, so I think the decision is tipped against Sorin, at least in my mind.

But he might be worth a try.

Thanks,
Kytep
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InWaking



Joined: 30 Jun 2009
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I decided to play test your deck and lost horribly to landfall deck. I lost so bad that I decided that I don't want to test it any more. But your idea was appealing to me. I suggest taking out an ob for a sorin. Also maybe some how working duress in there. I also feel like Wall of bone is a good card vs. Jund but I don't actually know that because it's just not really worth trying in my opinion. Though I do feel like it would severely increase your game against any aggro deck.
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Kytep



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

InWaking wrote:
I decided to play test your deck and lost horribly to landfall deck. I lost so bad that I decided that I don't want to test it any more. But your idea was appealing to me. I suggest taking out an ob for a sorin. Also maybe some how working duress in there. I also feel like Wall of bone is a good card vs. Jund but I don't actually know that because it's just not really worth trying in my opinion. Though I do feel like it would severely increase your game against any aggro deck.


Thanks; I appreciate that you took the time to playtest. However, I'm not sure I'd recommend abandoning any deck based soley on its performance vs. a landfall deck; I'm not yet certain of landfall's viability in T2, and I don't see it very much in top deck lists. Not to say it couldn't, but rather, it doesn't seem to be a significant part of the meta at this time.

Wall of Bone is interesting; doesn't die to Bolt alone, and can block Thrinaxes/Bloodbraids all day (although notably not Stag, and it doesn't kill the aforementioned Thri's or BBE's). Is it worth 3 mana, though? Vs., say, Deathmark or something similar? Might be worth testing; thanks.

I'll probably test a Sorin, but I doubt I'll want to take out an Ob for him. Ob can take opponent down to 10 rather quickly himself, and Draining a creature or two for 2...I don't know. Maybe. Ob is just so powerful, maybe I'm not giving Sorin his fair due. I'll have to try.

I don't feel as good about Duress; not good vs. aggro, and I think I like Sadistic Sacrament and Mind Sludge better vs. control (or even Scepter of Fugue). I'm not trying to protect a combo here; I want to wear my control opponents down. So I'm not sure how much a 1-for-1 will do. (Yes, Sacrament doesn't get rid of any cards in hand or table, so in that sense it's a 0-for-1, but taking out 3 win conditions from a deck that doesn't have many, is huge.)

Thanks for the suggestions, and again for playtesting. Good luck!

Kytep
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ik
Level 1 Judge


Joined: 11 Sep 2007
Posts: 335

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ugh i fucked that 1 up Razz

Last edited by ik on Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ik
Level 1 Judge


Joined: 11 Sep 2007
Posts: 335

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kholdstare42 wrote:
..that card is more bonkers than people think.
omg its pat chapin!
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Vedrfolner



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 2325

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't understand why you run the full set of fetches. You WANT to draw land. Reducing the land amount in the deck has no purpose in a deck that grows stronger the more swamps it got on the battlefield. Run 25 swamps instead. Then you free up space for md Infest and Sorin Markov.

I don't like Ob Nixis. It doesn't have evasion or any form of removal protection apart from size, and it needs lands coming into play in order to be good. 25 lands seems to be a good number in my deck, but you need to run 28 in order to keep dropping lands because of the fetchlands that Ob Nixis needs. This means that he takes up 7 slots in your deck, not 4 (or 12, considering the 8 fetches).

Mind Sludge is, along with Consume Spirit and Tendrils of Corruption, the only reasons to play mono black. I didn't have any problems with boros/rdw the last times I played against them. As long as I got mana open, they don't dare to play the Ball Lightnings, and they keep the burn until later. Mind Sludge makes that gameplan a failure, even though a tapout can be bad if you're below 7 life.

One of the most important cards in the deck is Haunting Echoes. It wins games this deck has no business winning.

Where is Duress in your sideboard?

4 Doom Blades main are way too much! They are dead in too many matchups. I have found 2 main to be a good number.

Also, what do you take out for the 4 deathmarks and 2 infests against g/w based aggro?

I think you would have a better total 75 cards if you drop the fetchlands and Ob Nixis. Bloodghast + Sorin will win you way more games than Ob Nixis alone, and 2 md infest would help vs elves, boros, mga and Deft Duelist.
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Vito



Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so maybe it's the old skool player in me but if you're running mono black anything shouldn't duress be in the md? one drop to peek at opp hand and more often than not pull some potential threat? like i said...maybe it's just the old skool in me but every mono black deck i've ever played or seen played has had at least 3 duress md...just an observation tho
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Kytep



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vedrfolner wrote:
I don't understand why you run the full set of fetches. You WANT to draw land. Reducing the land amount in the deck has no purpose in a deck that grows stronger the more swamps it got on the battlefield. Run 25 swamps instead. Then you free up space for md Infest and Sorin Markov.


I run fetches primarily for Ob Nixilis; he is a strong contender for MVP of the deck. When ObNix hits, he usually brings games to a quick close, as each land is a Bolt (fetch-lands are TWO Bolts each), and double-Bolts (fetches quadruple) if he connects even once with an opponent. And, being Black with high toughness (if you play him right), he's difficult to kill, short of Path or Day of Judgment (but he's still likely Bolted you at least once before you kill him). A 9/9 black creature who hits you for 6 more with every fetch-land I draw doesn't HAVE to hit you to kill you, and you'll block him when he attacks. He even makes it possible to race Stags. The small thinning effect of the fetches pales in comparison to taking 3 more life from my opponent and making ObNix +3/+3 larger. Besides, later in the game, deck thinning is actually good; once you hit 10 or so lands and you're in top-deck mode, you do NOT want to draw any more...

Vedrfolner wrote:
I don't like Ob Nixis. It doesn't have evasion or any form of removal protection apart from size, and it needs lands coming into play in order to be good. 25 lands seems to be a good number in my deck, but you need to run 28 in order to keep dropping lands because of the fetchlands that Ob Nixis needs.


I thought you said above that this deck "grows stronger the more swamps it got [sic] on the battlefield"? ObNix is synergistic here - I have other things that want lots of Swamps (Tendrils, Consume, Sludge); if I'm going to run lots of Swamps for those things, why not take advantage of those extra Swamps even more with ObNix?

Vedrfolner wrote:
Mind Sludge is, along with Consume Spirit and Tendrils of Corruption, the only reasons to play mono black. I didn't have any problems with boros/rdw the last times I played against them. As long as I got mana open, they don't dare to play the Ball Lightnings, and they keep the burn until later. Mind Sludge makes that gameplan a failure, even though a tapout can be bad if you're below 7 life.


I agree that Sludge is sub-optimal vs. aggro; that's why there's only 1 maindeck and I have more removal in the SB. But are you suggesting that tapping out for Sludge is *dangerous* vs. aggro? I'd remove whatever threats they had left, leaving them in top-decking mode! Sure, I'd rather have removal instead (thus the first sentence in this paragraph), but if I have the Sludge, there's usually little risk in tapping out to remove their threats (unless of course I'm at 3 life and they have a Hellspark in the grave or something).

Vedrfolner wrote:
One of the most important cards in the deck is Haunting Echoes. It wins games this deck has no business winning.


...such as? If you're talking vs. control, if I'm going to tap 5 mana, I'd rather Sludge them. Plus, I find Sadistic Sacrament even better; I can take out most of their few win conditions before they even play them. I can Sacrament away 3 Cruel Ultimatums on Turn 3. Good luck Echoing away their Cruels after they cast one...(if you're holding back cards, they can hold back and wait until they have 9 mana so they can Negate your Echoes).

Vedrfolner wrote:
Where is Duress in your sideboard?


As stated above, I believe that Sludge and Sacrament are much better vs. control. I'm not trying to protect a combo to "go off"; I'm trying to wear their hand/deck down. 1-for-1 discard isn't going to cut it vs. a control deck packing lots of draw. Even worse against an aggro deck that has lots of creatures. When is Duress better than Sludge? Or even Scepter of Fugue, for that matter?

Vedrfolner wrote:
4 Doom Blades main are way too much! They are dead in too many matchups. I have found 2 main to be a good number.


Yeah, maybe. I miss Nameless Inversion. Perhaps I'll pack a couple Wretched Banquets main and put a couple of Blades in the SB. Thanks.

Vedrfolner wrote:
Also, what do you take out for the 4 deathmarks and 2 infests against g/w based aggro?


Sludge and either Disfigure (if they have some larger creatures) or Blades (if they have all weenies). Trading instant speed to be able to kill anything Green/White for the same 1 mana is sometimes very worth it (and I'm not thinking so much G/W here; I'm thinking more about Jund - Leeches, Thrinaxes, and Broodmate.

Vedrfolner wrote:
2 md infest would help vs elves, boros, mga and Deft Duelist.


Yeah, probably worth trying. Thanks.

Kytep


Last edited by Kytep on Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kytep



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vito wrote:
so maybe it's the old skool player in me but if you're running mono black anything shouldn't duress be in the md? one drop to peek at opp hand and more often than not pull some potential threat? like i said...maybe it's just the old skool in me but every mono black deck i've ever played or seen played has had at least 3 duress md...just an observation tho


If the environment was rife with countermagic, then yes, I'd probably play more Duress, at least in the SB. But as the environment is more defined by powerful spells than card drawing, I like Mind Sludge much better vs. control matchups.

Kytep
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Kytep



Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 187

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Mono-Black mid-range Reply with quote

Knighted wrote:
Kytep wrote:
Due to lack of board sweepers, I don't think that MBC is a very viable option in today's T2.


What about infest?


I find Infest falls far short of mono-Black's need to address many threats which are plentiful in this environment. Jund alone (perhaps the most popular/powerful deck in T2 at the moment) runs Putrid Leech, Sprouting Thrinax, Great Sable Stag, and Broodmate Dragon. Even Bloodbraid Elf can hit me for 3 before I can cast Infest.

Over a longer game (i.e., with a control-style deck), you need to take out those threats before they kill you. That's where this deck is different: It's more mid-range than control, and with Bloodwitch, ObNix, and Consume, I have a chance at racing my opponets, rather than staring at an Infest in my hand and wishing it was a Damnation as a Stag beats me down.

Kytep
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Vedrfolner



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 2325

PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried to say that Mind Sludge is not a waste (for you) even against red burn, since they keep burn and ball lightning in hand. So we agreed there. It is one of the best cards in the deck.

Topdecking a Haunting Echoes against Jund or other decks that plays many spells is practically lethal. The game always goes to topdeck mode, and if you land a Haunting Echoes while both players are hoping to draw threats or answers, the chances of winning are very high.

I was trying to say that your 28 lands, after a couple of fetchlands, gives the same chance of playing another Swamp as my deck running 25 - leaving three slots open for more cards. The question is therefore if Ob Nixis is worth all those cards in a deck. I say no, you say yes Wink

Duress is better vs combo, counterspells, early game stuff that can't enter play and control in general. Mind Sludge + Consume Spirit in one turn is unimpressive. Duress + Consume Spirit is much more lethal.

Here is my current list, btw:

// Deck file for Magic Workstation (http://www.magicworkstation.com)

// Lands
25 [ALA] Swamp (4)

// Creatures
4 [ZEN] Bloodghast
4 [ZEN] Gatekeeper of Malakir
3 [ZEN] Malakir Bloodwitch

// Spells
2 [ZEN] Sorin Markov
3 [ZEN] Disfigure
2 [M10] Doom Blade
2 [ALA] Infest
4 [M10] Tendrils of Corruption
1 [M10] Haunting Echoes
4 [M10] Sign in Blood
1 [M10] Diabolic Tutor
3 [ZEN] Mind Sludge
2 [M10] Consume Spirit

// Sideboard
SB: 1 [ALA] Infest
SB: 1 [M10] Haunting Echoes
SB: 4 [M10] Duress
SB: 3 [ZEN] Sadistic Sacrament
SB: 2 [M10] Pithing Needle
SB: 2 [M10] Deathmark
SB: 2 [ZEN] Vampire Hexmage
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