This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series The Power of the Dark Side

By Phil, AKA BeltFed Weapon

 

 

Mono-Black is known for a lot of things: the best tutors, board wipes, trading life for other resources, sacrifice effects, graveyard hate, reanimation, and a weakness to enchantments and artifacts.  It should be known for mass discard as well.

 

It has other tricks, but mass discard is a core function of every good Mono-Black deck that is very much underplayed out of either ignorance or for social reasons.  I’m here to educate & banish the ignorance, while also making a strong case for how such a strategy still functions within the social contract.

 

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This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series The Power of the Dark Side

By Phil, AKA BeltFed Weapon

 

Build up your weaknesses until they become your strengths

–Knute Rockne

 

As nice as this adage is, it does not really apply to Magic.  You cannot print your own cards or alter the rules – you are constrained to the rules that Commander and Wizards imposes upon you.  What you can do however, is to recognize those shortcomings and shore them up as best as possible, hopefully with some synergy and being on-theme to with your deck.  Because Black can do so much and there is nearly 25 years of cardboard at this point, some creativity is all that is needed to largely overcome these weaknesses.  You will find that your biggest constraint will invariably be the 99 cards that make up your deck as you want to do more but only have so many slots.  With that said, let us continue…

 

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This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series The Power of the Dark Side

By Phil, AKA BeltFed Weapon

 

Now that I’ve walked through Black’s strengths for three articles, it is time we review the color’s primary weaknesses.  To quote Sun Tzu:

 

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.  If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. – Sun Tzu

 

Black, for all its merits, still has some serious holes in its arsenal.  Instead of a long introduction, I want to jump right past the upfront theory and embed it in each section.  

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This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series The Power of the Dark Side

By Phil, AKA BeltFed Weapon

 

This week I’ll continue my examination of Black’s strengths and how capitalize on them.. Let’s get to it.

 

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This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series The Power of the Dark Side

By Phil, AKA BeltFed Weapon

 

I found that I liked starting with a flavor text quote after the first two articles, so I should not have a problem finding something applicable for every article in the 20+ years of Magic.  I was looking through one of my decks when I found an applicable quote from a Black board wipe that is a pet card of mine.  Not using magiccards.info, can you name the card?

 

The feeble resistance of the flesh is over.  Phyrexia spreads its shadow over all.

 

When I’m playing one of my Black decks and it is humming along, I certainly feel this way.  There are generally two strategies I employ when playing a mono-Black deck in Commander.  Both are controlling, but one I call “boots-on-necks” and the other I call the “rope-a-dope.”

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This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series The Power of the Dark Side

By Phil, AKA BeltFed Weapon

 

 

The flavor text on Juzam Djinn is one of the more fitting summations for Black’s place in the color pie:

“Expect my visit when the darkness comes.  The night I think is best for hiding all.”       

 

This quote evokes a certain amount of menace regarding an unbridled power that does not play fairly and comes with a price once summoned.  It’s part of the reason Juzam was the best creature in the game for a long time, as his CMC was so good for a beefy 5/5 body with such a small additional cost in life each turn.  It also sums up Black as a color in the game of Magic.  

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