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BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
Discard control deck
04.17.06

It's a common problem in groups of friends who play Magic-- one deck that nobody can seem to beat.  And the common solution to this problem?  Build your deck with that specific deck in mind.  What sort of strategy can exploit the weaknesses of their strategy?  Can you stop them from playing their bomb card?  Can you recover once it's been played?  Do you simply try to win before that happens?  All good questions to ask yourself.  And if you can't answer yourself, maybe I can.
Hi, I started out in Magic a year ago and I've loved the game ever since. I
am really fascinated in pure common/uncommon decks in all of the card games
I've played, and in Magic, it's no different.

Recently, I've been getting destroyed by my friend's pure black deck using Corrupt and Consuming Spirit and I've been looking for ways to counter it ever since. At first, I turned to a mono-blue deck and try to counter all of them, but seeing as I can't seem to get my hands on any Counterspells, I gave on that idea. So now I've decided to make a pure black deck. The aim of this deck is to discard his hand early and hopefully, from his lack of resources, my creatures will beat him up.

His deck has 2 parts to it: the draining part with Corrupt and Consuming
Spirit and a recursive part using Gravedigger and Disturbed Burial to create a wall of creatures. To counter the draining part, I plan on using discard,
and to counter the recursive part, I use Shred Memory.

Although I want to counter his deck, I also want to have it survive against
other decks. That's why I use Dark Banishing. The Hideous Laughter is for a
Sproling deck I occasionally face.

This deck is for casual, so any card can go in as long as it's not rare.

Creatures: 20
[4] Festering Goblin
[4] Gravedigger
[3] Chittering Rats
[3] Plagued Rasulka
[2] Dross Golem
[2] Ebon Drake
[2] Woebearer

Sorceries and Instants: 19
[4] Skull Tap
[3] Shred Memory
[2] Cry of Contrition
[2] Dark Banishing
[2] Last Gasps
[2] Mind Rot
[2] Wrench Mind
[1] Hideous Laughter
[1] Hymn to Torach

Artifacts: 3
[2] Specter's Shroud
[1] Banshee's Blade

Land: 21
[21] Swamps

Total: 63 Cards

Thanks for your help
Well, the idea behind the deck is pretty straightforward, but lacking in execution.  Your purpose is twofold: discard and graveyard destruction.  But in each case, you're using sub-optimal cards.  For discard, you've got Wrench Mind, Hymn to Tourach, Mind Rot, Cry of Contrition, and Specter's Shroud.  And for graveyard tricks, all you have is Shred Memory.  There are better options out there for you, and they're not that hard to come by.
 
First, your discard spells.  Hymn to Tourach and Banshee's Blade are both good, simply because of the amount of cards they can make your opponent discard versus the cost.  But the problem with all your other discard spells is that your opponent gets to choose what he/she discards.  If you're using discard to get rid of life drain cards, for example, your opponent will just discard something else.  Letting your opponent make decisions is always worse than making them yourself.  Or having it be made at random.  Ideally you need a discard spell that lets you look at your opponent's hand and choose a card for them to discard.  Try Distress, Nightmare Void, or Coercion.  Random discard is nice too.  If you can get anymore Hymns to Tourach, great.  Hypnotic Specter is nice as well, although it is a rare.
 
Next, your graveyard disruption.  Shred memory is probably the worst card you could have picked for this, unless you're Transmuting it a lot.  Better options include:
 
Nezumi Graverobber-- once you consume the entire graveyard, you can start reanimating things.
 
Junktroller-- Your opponent can't get stuff back from the bottom of his own library.  Plus the 0/6 body helps hold off attacks.
 
Leyline of the Void-- The ultimate stop to opponents' graveyard tricks.  Of course, this makes your own Gravediggers obsolete, but it may be worth it.
 
Personally, my favorite is Junktroller.  I'd say replace the 4 Shred memory with 4 Junktroller and see how it works for you.
 
That should do it for discard and graveyard tricks, but there are still a few more changes I'd like to see.  First off, Skulltap isn't as good as Night's Whisper.  Second, Ebon Drake is also a bit underwhelming; it'd be much better as Hypnotic Specter or Foul Imp.  And finally, the Chittering Rats would be better as Ravenous Rats.
 
So, to sum up:
-- To stop an opponent's strategy by making them discard it, you can't just have him discard extra lands and superfluous cards.  You need to force his bomb card out of his hand, either through "your choice" discard, or so much discard that your opponent has no hand left.  Repeatable discard effects, like Specter's Shroud or Hypnotic Specter, are good too. 
-- Getting rid of cards in a graveyard isn't worth spending a card to do unless that card can do other things.  Junktroller can block a lot of stuff, and can prevent you from decking yourself.  Shred Memory can search for a card with converted mana cost of 2, but since you needed to play it to stop reanimator decks, there are better cards for doing that job.
 
Keep these lessons in mind, and you too can have a powerful black control deck.  good luck!


 

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