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Pojo's Magic: The Gathering TCG Tips,
Strategies, Rants, Thoughts & Fun Stuff from Fans.

Jake's Dark Helix - A fun twist on Mono Black Control
January 8, 2009

Note: the first version (pre-rotation) can be found in BeJose's Deck Garage,
thanks to him for all his help!

  This deck started out as an idea of abusing Raven's Crime and it's retrace
mechanic.  Since retrace allows you to replay spells while they're in your
graveyard by discarding a land and paying it's other costs I wanted to find
cards that either like repeatable sorceries or discarding in general.  Then
I stumbled upon Spellweaver Helix which is an artifact costing 3 colorless that

Imprint - When Spellweaver Helix comes
into play, you may remove two target
sorcery cards in a single graveyard from the

Whenever a card is played, if it has the same
name as one of the imprinted sorcery cards,
you may copy the other.  If you do, you may play the
copy without paying its mana cost.  

Basically if you imprint Sorcery X and a sorcery with retrace onto the helix
AND have a copy in your graveyard of the retrace sorcery you may copy
Sorcery X for the mere cost of discarding a land and paying the cost for the retrace
sorcery in our case, Raven's Crime.  

So what huge sorcery would you play for the mere cost of B, Discard a land?
My thoughts were

Plague Wind
Decree of Pain
Cruel Ultimatum!

How can you pass up the best sorcery in Shards?  I sure couldn't, so without further
ado, the decklist

Lands: 25
24 Swamps

1  Dakmor Salvage

Creatures: 9
2  Kokusho, the Evening Star
4  Korlash, Heir to Blackblade
3  Oona's Prowler

Other Spells: 26
3  Spellweaver Helix
1  Liliana Vess
4  Diabolic Tutor
4  Raven's Crime
4  Phyrexian Arena
2  Damnation
4  Mind Stone
1  Tendrils of Corruption
2  Cruel Ultimatum
1  Darkblast

Some Card choices explained:

Darkblast:  This card is my pick for most underused card in Extended right now.  It
kills Bob, Sakura-Tribe Elder, Trinket Mage, ELVES!, and many other */1 utility creatures.  
I went with one because I can tutor for it and dredge it from then on.

Tendrils of Corruption:  Kind of a placeholder, but it kills a creature and gains me
at the least 4 life.  It can also hit black creatures which is nice.

Oona's Prowler: Lets me discard whatever I need, or makes the opponent discard.  

Diabolic Tutor:  I picked this over Beseech the Queen and Demonic Collusion.  While
I'm tempted to try Demonic Collusion(tutor up a helix, buyback discard a crime and cruel)
it's mana cost has kept me away.  Beseech can't find Cruel which is a must.  

Tips for playing this deck:  It's much more competitive i've found to splash white for Sideboard
like Oblivion Ring, Kataki, and other answers to the metagame.  

My current Sideboard:(for next to no affinity meta)

2 Cranial Extraction for combo
3 Oblivion Ring for planeswalkers/enchantment removal
3 Dunerider Outlaw for the Rock variants/aggro
1 Plow Under for killing control decks
4 Cruel Edict for killing control/reanimation
2 Duress(or thoughtseize) for killing control/combo

You could add in Wrath of God as well if you have more aggro in your meta.  Another
idea would be to take it to more of a Rack variant if you're facing a lot of control with
stuff like stupor, thoughtseize, and smallpox.  I've even toyed with rain of tears versus
tron variants.  

That's my deck and thanks for reading if you have any questions, please contact me at my e-mail below!

Jacob Hughes,




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