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BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
Box of Flesh Deck Help
June 1, 2010

Hi Bmoor! 
I'm a casual player and I've been playing for a while. I'm also a big fan of your articles and have read most of them, which has helped me to improve my game. Currently, I'm working on a Fleshwrither toolbox deck, but I haven't had much success. Here are the decklist and explanation:
A Box of Flesh
19 Creatures
4 Fleshwrither
2 Cadaver Imp
4 Hypnotic Specter
2 Howling Banshee
2 Keening Banshee
2 Shimian Specter
2 Nekrataal
1 Thought Gorger
18 Other Spells
4 Dark Ritual
4 Sign in Blood
2 Aphetto Dredging
2 Smother
2 Doom Blade
2 Mind Sludge
2 Tendrils of Corruption
23 Lands
23 Swamps
            The deck uses Fleshwrither to search out the most useful creature at that moment. Four copies of Fleshwrither are run, obviously, as it is the key card here. Cadaver Imp helps recover used Fleshwrithers, and Hypnotic Specter is an early drop with a powerful effect. The rest of the creatures are the "tools" which can be searched out by Fleshwrither. Nekrataal and Keening Banshee are for removal, and Shimian Specter provides effective disruption. Howling Banshee can finish off the opponent when his life total is low.

I use Thought Gorger as a finisher, but it's not that effective. I can accelerate my mana quickly with Dark Ritual, and Aphetto Dredging gets back Fleshwrithers. Sign in Blood provides draw power. The rest of the spells are creature destruction/discard.

            The main problems are that Fleshwrither is a bit too slow, and I lack the firepower to win long games, in particular, I need an effective finisher. Please help me improve this deck! I'm a casual player, so you can include cards from anywhere, but try please keep them in more recent sets, as it is hard for me to get very old cards. I don't mind spending up to a couple of bucks per card, and maybe a bit more if the card is necessary to the strategy. You can do anything you want with the deck, but please keep it mainly black and focus on Fleshwrither. Thanks in advance!


It's good to see cards from older sets still in use. Fleshwrither is definitely a tricky card to use-- meaning it's capable of pulling quite a few tricks. I certainly like your current plan, of fetching various Banshees and Specters, but perhaps there's mroe you could go and get. After all, usually when one talks about a "toolbox" deck, they mean a deck that tutors for any of a variety of "silver bullet" cards-- cards that might not merit a full four of, but are very useful in certain situations.

To that end, a search on various Magic card databases for black or colorless creatures with converted mana cost equal to 4 led me to a cornucopia of options for Fleshwrither to twist and contort its monstrous body into. At least, that's what I imagine Fleshwrither does when you transfigure it. Judging by the artwork, it couldn't really be anything pleasant, could it? Anyway, on to the cards.

Abyssal Persecutor-- For when you need a 6/6 flying trample and don't care if you can't actually win with it in play.

Balduvian Fallen-- If you can't get you hands on a Persecutor, the Fallen will be swinging for six after a mere two turns in play, and more if you can pay the cumulative upkeep for long enough. It also has the benefit of the look on opponents' faces when you drop it.

Creakwood Liege-- All your black creatures get +1/+1, and you get a Worm token each upkeep. A 3/3 Worm, as long as the Liege remains in play.

Desecrator Hag-- For recursive purposes. It's possible that you'll sacrifice a Fleshwrither to tutor for this, then immediately return said Fleshwrither to your hand to get another creature.

Escaped Null-- Once this hits the table, you're quite likely to gain 6 life fairly soon. You'll mostly want to use it as a blocker, or to scare creatures off attacking.

Final-Sting Faerie-- This one is quite useful when you can tutor for it after having gotten into combat and failed to kill something.

Graveborn Muse-- For drawing cards and not minding if you lose life doing so.

Junktroller-- Excellent blocker, and excellent recursion, especially in a deck where you can search your library for a given card.

Locust Miser-- For when your opponent draws lots of cards and keeps a full hand.

Marsh Flitter-- Notable both for having flying (and potentially being a 3/3 flyer) and for providing multiple creatures in one card.

Mirri the Cursed-- A 3/2 flier with more combat ability than your average Sliver.

Needlebug-- Needlebug's one real claim to fame is having protection from artifacts. Might be useful if you play against artifacts decks.

Silent Arbiter-- For swarm decks and token generators, to slow them down.

Solemn Simulacrum-- This card has been a staple for long enough that I shouldn't have to describe why it's good.

Those are most of the best creatures I could find for you to tutor up. As for the rest of your deck, I don't see any real issues save Aphetto Dredging. Do you have that many creatures that share a creature type? Fleshwrither's type is Horror; do you have any other Horrors? Frankly, I would recommend replacing the Dredging with Beacon of Unrest. For one more mana, you can put the card directly back into play. If it's Fleshwrither, that means that the Beacon can practically act as a tutor. And it puts itself back in your deck for reuse, which is significant given that you already have ways of getting other cards out of your library. The kicker is that it can target artifacts, and that it isn't limited to cards in your graveyard.

Good luck!



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