Road to Grand Prix Cleveland: Part 1
Odyssey Block Constructed. Each year around this time, Magic players everywhere are talking about the current block and the best decks they can make out of it. This year is no different, with Pro Tour Houston having the whole block shoved into focus for all those interested in the tourney scene. With that in mind, let me discuss with you what weapons I shall be wielding in the coming month or so.
Mono black control (or MBC) is a very powerful deck within the format, and most agree that there is only one form of the deck with only very few alterations. G/U, on the other hand, has many workable combinations to choose from, and other colors seem to provide more versatility than does black. Black has its bombs, though, and it is these bombs that make mono black such a formidable force.
I have chosen to play a version of MBC, myself, but I have a good few differences than the typical MBC deck you might find (you really didn't expect me to be like everyone else, did you?). I discussed last week some of the card choices black has to choose from. This week I will show you how I have built a deck utilizing these weapons.
After Midnight (MBC) - OBC deck
4x Morbid Hunger
4x Faceless Butcher
3x Cabal Coffers
Now for the card-for-card analysis:
Morbid Hunger: With no other forms of life-stealing available, I am forced to use this for this deck. In all honesty, the huge amounts of mana available to be generated by this deck provides easy accessibility to multiple Hungers and also allows us to Mirari them. A plus is that this hits creatures when needed, too.
Gravestorm: This card is so amazing, I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone else using it. It does a few things that may, or may not, be obvious. Threshold is awfully hard to achieve when this card is active against you. Key cards that you would like to stay in the graveyard are much more precious, and costly, to maintain. Finally, more cards to spend a lot of mana on is very nice for this deck. With no Rancid Earth mainboard, Gravestorm picks up the slack as key card against the mirror. Also, this card gets even more amazing when multiples show up.
Chainer's Edict/Innocent Blood/Mutilate: These are three defining cards of the format, especially the Edict. With creatures running rampant in almost every deck you will face, these buddies are there to clean up the mess. Also nice to Mirari.
Diabolic Tutor: Usually reading as "Get target creature removal from your deck and put it into your hand", DT is a huge must have. Every situation can be made better with the help of a little tutoring. Though there are many times you would like to Tutor for Mirari, there are few times when you can afford to. DTs almost always go for creature removal or other ways of controlling the game.
Mirari: Though I wish I had this out more often, it is not as needed as I would like it to be. It can turn slight advantages into definite wins, but it often doesn't change a losing game into a winning one. This card is there to help seal the deal of most games that you might run out of steam with otherwise.
Mind Sludge: This is the defining card for the mirror match, and thus sees a hearty number in my deck. With MBC decks being present in nearly (if not all) top 8 lists known, it is very expected that they will be well represented. Now, if only I could guarantee getting one before my opponent…
Decompose: This is another of my wacky modifications. The number of these has come down to 2 since the Butchers came into the deck, but still greatly help against Quiet Speculations. Also, they help to get my Gravestorms rolling if things are going slow.
Faceless Butcher: These guys are the latest addition to the deck, pushing several cards aside to make room. I found I just needed more spot removal to be as controlling as I wanted to be. The Butchers ended up being the best call.
Laquatus's Champion: I don't attack with these guys very often, but with only having Morbid Hunger for life stealing, the Champion helps end the misery for my opponent. They give R/G decks fits if the game makes it that long and they can finish games by attacking if needed, too. These are great finishers.
Braids/Rancid Earth: These are here to help out against the mirror. I've taken in knowledge that these help against MBC. Along with Mind Sludge and Gravestorm, the mirror gets pretty interesting after sideboarding.
Coffin Purge: Cutting down the number of Decomposes mainboard has me worried about cards that are meant to work from the graveyard. Quiet Speculation and Glory are the top reasons that more graveyard hate is nice, and they can always help with my Gravestorms.
Grave Consequences: Have you ever seen what happens to a Tog player who casts Upheaval, only to have you float 2 mana and then cast this? It isn't a pleasant sight, but I guarantee you it doesn't provide for a happy Tog player.
Slithery Stalker: Yet a little more creature removal for a deck which already has so much. Tells ya a lot about how many creatures are needed to be killed.
Well, there's the deck. I'll give you more info on it next week, including how it fairs against other decks, key cards for the match-ups, and sideboarding strategies. Until then, please feel free to contact me for the answers to any questions you might have, or just to say hi. Catch me next week for more Rogue Camp action!
Until I Decompose…
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