I started Old-School at the end of 2016, early 2017 and as everyone who starts playing ’93/94, I was wondering : what deck am I going to play ?
There is 2 types of people : the first one owns a large collection of cards, the second one starts fresh.
For the first type, the answer is quite simple : you just browse a few blogs and find a deck that fits your mood < repeat every week >.
As for the second group, like myself, it’s a little bit more difficult, knowing that this year has been agitated with price spikes….
I’ve always had an attraction for the “dark side”, or black side in MTG. The only Deck I knew in the format was THE DECK… and played it during few years in T1 – vintage, and didn’t want to play it again (that’s what my subconscious-wallet told me, truth is it’s f*cking expensive).
One of my first deck was mono-black, with French-Tourach-Rules, so Fallen Empire is IN. I didn’t have any goal in mind, except being annoying to my opponent.
I had fun playing this, first turns being swamp-darkritual-specter/sinkhole/tourach 🙂 Fast, simple, no mana problems, and could easily start playing with it.
I think it was missing Underworld Dreams :
This card allowed me to win so many games after changing my deck (see below), that’s insane !
I’ve never played it, but maybe skull of orm would be an interesting card to add, allowing to recast your Dreams (being disenchant) or Blight
So, if I had to build this deck again (with budget in mind), I would :
- Cut tourach to make it swedish legal
- Keep only 1 or 2 disrupting scepter
- Add 1 or 2 icy manipulator
- Add 4 underworld dreams (instead of tourach)
- Add 2 skull of orm (instead of kormus bell)
- Add 1 pestilence
- Side : 2 oubliette, 2 terror, 2 disk, 4 gloom…
Few months after this first deck, I was convinced to drop the tourach (because most of the times I wouldn’t be able to play them), along with attempts to make a land destruction deck… I wanted to try what a “almost-conventional” monoblack deck has to offer :
This one worked quite well, underworld dreams doing a very good job, dark knight sometimes doing 20 damage by himself because opponent couldn’t manage it properly, Su-chi resisting The Abyss, and drain life doing either creature removal, or great finisher.
I wasn’t convinced with Greed at first, but when your deck runs out of fuel, you need a drawing engine, and it works great with Drain life !
Best Friends ever
But I was missing few control cards, most of them being creature removal, because I don’t remember exactly, but my sideboard wasn’t so great.
I would now do something like this for the sideboard :
- 2 oubliette
- 2 imprison
- 2 terror
- 2 pestilence
- 4 gloom
- 2 disk
After talking with the French crew, I decided to add a second color, I had choice between white, red and blue :
- Blue will cost me lots of money and I wanted to have more cards – less expensive so I can build more different decks
- White was the easy way in my head : like 4 swords, 4 disenchant : that’s too easy control, that’s not the spirit !
- Red : well, let’s find out.
I did some research and I felt on a post about some kind of black/red prison : void of the underworld
Decks runs around land destruction, lock with nethervoid/bloodmoon, go read the full story on the blog ! 🙂
Deck was nice, but did some changes and I wasn’t fully happy with it, mostly because I didn’t know how to play it well and didn’t know old-school meta . It’s also very meta-dependant, because centering your deck around BloodMoon is risky…
I decided to go back to a more “simple” deck, still with Black and Red.
So I took back my mono-black and put some red cards, like : badlands, lightning bolt, shatter, sedge troll and blood moon
=> Looks like we got a disco troll !
Below is the deck I played at Fishliver 2017, finished 18th / 3rd unpowered
The deck runs fine :
- fireball did a great job (creature removal & finisher) better than expected !
- I win some rounds with underworlds / wheel of fortune (fast enough to make my opponent think I was a Trick Deck)
- Sedge troll is really a pain for the opponent
It was also refreshing to have more choice of cards when trying to find solutions 🙂
But I could have done much better, n00b mistake : manabase. Not enough red mana, I should drop one (all?) mishra, and put 1 more city of brass, and maybe one more moutain : that makes 3 more red mana source, because half my deck (even more after the side) is red. This mana base mistakes cost me at least 1 decisive round, maybe 2.
First thing peoples ask me when seeing this : why 2 dreams & 1 blood moon in main deck ? you’re going nowhere, well, not exactly, you’re going everywhere. So for the next event, I changed few things, trying to follow a guideline.
And yes… I did some upgrades….[end of budget post]
So, one month after, during november, the French Tournament took place in Paris. I was willing to start from the fishliver deck, but did some changes :
- Remove the underworld main deck, put 4 in side only
- Remove the blood moon main deck, put 3 in side only
- Remove 3 fireball : replace by 4 chain lightning
- Only 2 disks in main deck, 1 in side
- Add few upgrades : Juzam, Moxes, Library
This deck was looking almost like this (side was like the fishliver cup) (a proxy was inserted, could you spot it ?)
What a pleasure to finally have some moxes and reliably cast Juzam on turn 1… 😀
Switching 1 Shatter for a Detonate was a great idea ! I didn’t received in time my Shatterstorms to put in sideboard unfortunately…
I think Fireballs were more useful to me during the Fishliver than Chain Lightning, even if they did a better job VS land destruction 😀
I miss my Underworld…. so much useful
Unfortunately, even if I had so much fun & talk during the tournament, I couldn’t make it to top8, maybe with a little more luck I could have done better 🙂
Right now… I’m keeping this “black base” and try to change few things here and there. I also try to learn from my mistakes and play slower 🙂
For more “standard” mono black decks, you could find what you’re looking for over there :