Primer Decks: Discard

  • #1

    This thread will focus on the less popular but still potent archetype, Discard. We will analyze card selection, objectives, and generally how to play these very fun decks.

    IMPORTANT: Before I even begin, it is essential you read this article written by Magic great, Brian Wiseman, regarding Card Advantage written in 1996. I don't care if you are a novice or a veteran at Magic, this is a great article that no magic player should miss out on. It has everything to do with our topic.

    Part I
    The Archetype

    The first thing you have to do when playing discard is to understand what your goals are. The purpose of a discard deck is to disrupt your opponent and limit his or her resources as quickly as possible. Combo decks need cards, and more importantly specific cards to combo out. Discard stops this from ever happening. Control decks also need to keep their hands full as much and for as long as possible. Discard's ability to negate this makes life very rough on a control player, and the match up fun and interesting. One of the Control's biggest threats is a turn one Hypnotic Specter. Even WotC acknowledges this in it's Xth edition core set Player's Guide where they write, "Once this flying terror starts randomly ripping apart your opponent's hand, the game is practically over." Agro decks, on the other hand, don't have a lot to fear from discard decks. This is because their goal is to empty their own hand as quickly as possible and burn you away before you can stabilize. Agro, by it's very nature, packs a lot of removal and burn spells that are designed to kill your creatures. This typically means that utility creatures like Hypnotic specter, Dark Confidant, and others have a short life expectancy. Most agro match ups that discard will face are usually won in games two and three after side boarding. In casual though, players typically don't side board. Also, many casual player prefer to run agro decks. This is why discard is a less popular and less powerful casual deck in my opinion.

    Discarding your opponents cards, however, is not the only thing a discard deck needs to do to assure victory. Disruption is the name of the game when playing discard, and in this vein, we tend to look to land destruction. Many people have argued that Black should never have even gotten LD. That Land Destruction doesn't fit the theme of the color. I disagree. Black is the color of death and even in the fiction of Magic the Gathering, Black is the color of true evil power. While Red will destroy land in it's chaotic rampage, Black destroys land methodically in a much more cold and calculated manner.

    In summary, discard's ideal match ups are combo first and control second. The weakness of a discard deck is agro.

    Part II
    The Cards

    Here I will discuss the lands typically found in discard builds.

    Strip Mine - LD is a tool for discard to disrupt their opponents and Strip mine is the best LD card ever printed. It is restricted, but it is also cheep to buy. Get yourself a copy when you get the chance. Even if you don't play discard a lot, you'll be putting this card to good use for years to come. EDH anyone?

    Wasteland - Just a smidgen below the power level of Strip Mine, but still a great card. These are more expensive though and you can live with out them if you are on a budget. The only downside of this card is it produces colorless. I have a personal history of having 2 or 3 wasteland opening hands as my only mana source. If you have them, use them, if you can afford them, buy them. They are another great staple in most any collection.

    There are not a whole lot of lands that discard plays. If you are going with a Red/Black build or a Black/White build you should play with mana fixers such as duals and fetches, but I recommend staying away from two or more color discard decks. A strength of mono black discard actually is it's basic land base. People who run Lake of the Dead or Cabal Coffers actually run the risk of getting targeted with a Wasteland. Having tried two color discard in competitive and casual formats, I have to say from my experience the advantage they give you does not out weigh the risks you take.
    Discard Cards: The meat of a discard deck. I know i'll forget stuff so please help add to this list.


    Duress is the grand daddy of discard spells. It can't hit creatures like Thoughtseize, it can't hit many cards like Mind Twist, but at one mana to see their entire hand and force them to discard the best non-creature spell, this card is arguably the best discard spell in your deck. it is with out a doubt the best one drop discard spell. Also, because it is a common, you should have ZERO problem finding these somewhere.

    Thoughtseize A great card that many will tell me is better than Duress I am sure. Having played both cards though, I hardly find myself discarding a creature with it anyway. There are few creatures I care about at all that I am willing to spend the two life on. Morphling and Psychatog come to mind, but that is about it. On the other hand, when you see a hand with only creatures and land it is nice i can get something. When that happens though, it usually means I am winning any way. Noncreature spells are normally the game winners in magic anyway. I am not going to say this card is bad, it's amazing, but I just think it is overpriced and wouldn't recommend you buy them to play in a casual deck.

    Cabal Therapy This is more of a niche card. It is a great card that has found a home on a lot of decks over the years. Vintage Ichorid decks use it to pull double duty as a means of fishing out Force of Wills and a sacrifice outlet for Bridge From Below. Cabal Therapy can also be a lot of good with cards like Ravenous Rats. I'll get more into the Rats later, but I am sure you can already understand why these two cards like each other. The real way to play this card is after a Duress, or with a creature in play to sacrifice. When you have both, you can really go to town on your opponent. In the end though this card isn't cheep to buy, so unless you plan on using it in a constructed deck too, don't worry about it.

    Blackmail is a card that is fun to play with, but just lacks the power needed to be a staple card. I will say this again and again, there is no reason you shouldn't be playing Duress in 4 copies unless you are playing singleton. In that case you shouldn't be playing discard, but instead use discard as a form of support. To be fair, I did play blackmail in Ravnica/Timespiral standard because it was in 9th edition, but that is the only reason. It still lets you see three cards and you can choose any one of them, so you can get land this way.

    Funeral Charm this card is a lot of fun to play with, it has many uses, and is one of the only two instant speed discard spells I know of. I would put this in a discard deck, but I would put it in a casual deck as a support card. I have for visions ones that took me a while to find so I could play them in standard after it was reprinted in Timespiral, but that is the only time I ever used it or saw it used by anyone else.

    Mind Peel This card looks nice, and it is the opposite to Whispers of the Muse, however, it is not nearly as good as the blue card because it is a sorcery that requires a heavy mana investment. I would rather play with Scepter of Fugue which I will talk about later.

    Raven's Crime isn't terrible. Okay, it is, but at least it is a nice draft card. In limited, turning needless land into discard spells isn't bad.

    Skull Fracture The flashback makes this card worth mentioning, but that's it. Basically a two for one, but delayed. Not really worth deck space in my opinion, but fun to put into singleton. I guess the argument of "budget" falls on def ears for me because Duress and Hymn to Tourach are so cheap to purchase and are possibly the best discard spells ever printed. After all, part of the appeal to discard for a lot of people is how cheap it is to build a deck.


    Hymn to Tourach I sometimes feel that this is even better than Duress, but it costs double black and Duress is so versatile at one black that it can fit in a ton of decks. Hymn gets my vote as the 2ed best discard spell in the game and just like with Duress [or even you Thoughseize fans] this is another must have for anyone playing casual discard. Hymn is very cheep [under $2 each on average, and on ebay you cand find "buy it now" for around $3 for a set of four plus shipping] and has 4 different back border pictures to choose from. I prefer the wolf picture, but it doesn't really matter. I have 4 of each picture anyway. Beware of the Misdirection. That card will do to you what Rick James did to Charlie Murphy's couch. I know. I've been there, in a vintage tournament no less.

    Scepter of Fugue is a card that is growing on me. A 2cc version of Disrupting Scepter that is faster to activate as well. I haven't built a discard deck with this in it yet, but that is because both of my copies are in EDH decks right now. Any time you can get "free discard" it is worth it. Yes it costs mana, but you are not expending your cards to get rid of theirs. I would make this at least a two of in a discard deck, though the more I think of it, activating one than one a turn isn't a bad idea either. Tell me what you all think.

    Ravenous Rats Another staple of classic discard decks. While not a super strong creature or anything, the rats are simple and to the point. Play a guy, force the opponent to discard a card, and now you have a warm body to sacrifice to an effect or act as a chump blocker. When the rats come into play they have done their job, anything beyond that [such as sacrifice effects] and they become a bargain. I have played with and against decks that have equipped Umezawas Jitte to the rats or even used the ninjitsu mechanic ala Okiba-Gang Shinobi and Throat Slitter to further break them off.

    Augur of Skulls is a really, really good creature for discard decks. This guy plays double duty in a discard deck because of his regenerate effect. While his discard effect is slow, it is worth it. 2 for 1s are always good. I'll repeat that for magic players out there who are new to the game or have been living under a rock all these years. 2 for 1s are ALWAYS good. If you don't know what 2 for 1 means, look it up.

    Dimir Guildmage While a lot better as a support card in a multicolor deck, this creature isn't too bad. It is basically a [card]Disrupting Scepter[cad] with a 2/2 body. I like this card and use them in EDH, but the 2/2 body is also it's weakness. Agaisnt agro this guy is bound to die. However, against Combo and Control which is what you want to play against, this guy can be a game winner beating in for two and forcing discard whether you attack or not.

    Distress WotC wanted you to play this card for a few years, even reprinting it in 10th edition. Thank goodness they finally broke down and just reprinted Duress in 2010. 2 mana Thoughtseize with out the life loss. Let's put it this way, there is a reason why no one played with Distress and why Thoughtseize is a $20 card. [whispers: It's the converted mana cost] Why spend 2 mana on Duress when you could get Hymn's ability for the same price?

    Headhunter This card is fun in a morph deck and would be bad if you are going for a morph theme. Against combo and control he also works as a simple 2 drop as well. When making cuts though, I don't see myself keeping him in a deck. Honestly, how often will he get through after the first attack?

    Hypnotic Cloud Simply put this card isn't worth playing at only 2 mana, and at 6 mana Mind Twist, Haunting Hymn and many others are far better. Thumbs down outside of limited.

    Rotting Rats Much better in multiplayer, this card is another example of a strictly worse. The only time i want to self discard is if I want to play madness or reanimate, in which case Small Pox is so much better.

    Small Pox One of the best disruption spells I have ever played with. A friend of mine is playing a casual deck that uses Grim Discovery and Eternal Witness to go nuts. Small pox is also abused in two well known decks "Pox," which gets it's name from the card Pox, and the old type two deck Solar pox that abused Haakon, Stromgald Scourge. In a discard deck, Small Pox can also shine as a form of heavy disruption. This is more recommended for an agro meta to get the full effect, you obviously play it early before you play a creature, or later on when you have a ravenous rats or something to throw away.

    Nezumi Shortfang is a nice creature with a cheap activation cost. Unlike Dimir Guildmage though, you have to choose between attacking or using it's ability. Still, it is a good card and worth exploring if you already have some. I just wouldn't go out and buy them for this deck yet.

    Wrench Mind Now this card isn't too bad. I don't know if I would play it over anything in a tight build, but the ability to hit two cards or someone's artifact is a good ability. Mono-Black cannot deal with artifacts and getting rid of them via discard can be strong. This, however, is another example of why Hymn is so good just by comparing it to other cards of similar costs or abilities. Everything else pales in comparison.


    Mind RotA poor man's Hymn to Tourach. A really, really poor man. Like a guy so poor he cant afford Hymn to Tourachs. Unless you are playing standard, which makes me ask why you are here in the casual forum, you shouldn't be playing Mind Rot. At one more mana and not being able to hit cards at random, Mind Rot is a perfect example of strictly worse magic cards. Okay, to be fair it only requires one black, but seriously... play Blightning or Gerrard's Verdict if color matters to you. At least those two cards are good.

    There are a lot of cards you can find in gatherer similar to Mind Rot when you search for black cards that have the text "//[discard">+[two]+[cards]&color=+@%28%29"]Discard two cards." The same breakdown works for them as well. You will also notice that with the exception of Hymn and Auger of Skulls, cards that force two cards to be discarded for one mana cost a lot of mana.

    Now please note that while I said that 2 for 1s are ALWAYS good, this still applies to Mind Rot. Mind Rot's effect is good and that is why I am talking about it here, however, when there are better options out there and ones that cost less mana, you should ignore worse cards like this one and those like it.

    Hypnotic Specter The greatest discard creature ever printed. Not much needs to be said about this guy that hasn't already been said before. I own 9 foils, 4 10th edition and 5 DCI promos [1 for an EDH deck] and 4 revised and 2 10th edition non foils myself and use every one of them. They are that good. Buy at least 4 of them and thank yourself for it every time you attack. If you can't afford them, save your money instead of buying cheaper replacements. They are legal in every format and there area lot of them about. They used to be an uncommon. Turn one Dark Ritual into a Hypnotic Specter is one of the best turn one plays you will make playing Magic. I'm not saying it is the best play, but it is among them. It is also a play that has been made since Magic was first printed, as both cards could be found in Alpha.

    Delirium Skeins Now, I like this card in multiplayer, however, unless you are abusing Geth's Grimoire, losing 3 cards yourself makes this card difficult to justify casting.

    4cc and above

    Persecute Another one of the best discard spells ever printed. Even when your opponent is playing multicolor decks, the fact that multicolor cards share colors, you have a good chance of forcing them to discard almost their entire hand upon resolution. Not much more needs to be said about this card, however, when I am tight for deck space, I can't really justify keeping this card in over Mind Sludge or Mind Twist. I know people will disagree with me, but both of the other two cards I mentioned normally force the entire hand to go away while Persecute can't guarantee that. I have played with Persecute and love it, but it isn't in my top 5 favorite discard spell list.

    Mind Twist My third favorite discard spell, resolving a mind twist almost always means GG. The only draw back to mind twist isn't really a draw back at all. In order to crank off a mind twist you have to use mana accelerators like Sol Ring, mana Vault or mana crypt. Yeah, that's right, in order to make Mind twist broken, you should use broken cards. What ever am I to do?!? Oh, if you twist my arm, I guess I'll use a bunch of broken fun cards to break off Mind twist and win the game. [/dry sarcasm]

    Mind Shatter One more mana for a Mind twist. Did you know Mind twist was unrestricted a year or so ago? Did you know Mind twist is only like $5 for a revised copy? If you have Mind Shatters laying around, they are good enough, but if you are going to spend money, just buy the Mind Twists. Just like Strip Mine and other staple discard spells, you will be using them a lot more than Mind Shatters IMO. After all, you are in the casual forums.

    Mind Sludge We can debate if Persecute or Mind Sludge is better until we are blue in the face, the real difference is that Persecute is great in any deck and Mind Sludge costs one more and requires swamps. However, since Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth has been printed, that isn't much of an argument. I like Mind Sludge because it pretty much always discards their entire hand upon resolution in mono black with out playing the guessing game. In the end tough, Mind sludge is at best a 2 of and played in MBC more than discard.

    Okiba-Gang Shinobi This card is a lot of fun to play with and works great with Ravenous Rats and other comes into play abilities. Combine this with Throat Slitter or Nekrataal that kill creatures your opponents play to keep the path clear and Okiba-Gang can double as a win condition much like Hypnotic Specter.

    I am sure there are a lot of cards I am missing, and if you want my opinion on them, or you feel they should be in this list, let me know.

    Multicolor Options

    I will start off by saying that I recommend staying away from a multicolor discard theme for a few reasons. Firstly is the mana base. The objective is to force your opponent to discard their hand as quickly as possible and keep it that way for as long as possible. There are very few multicolor cards or off color cards that really help you do that. the other big reason is that you can play discard cards in multicolor decks, you just won't be playing a discard deck. You would just be using discard as an additional tool to hinder your opponent.

    Esper Charm This is a great example of using discard as an additional tool in your UWB deck. Instant sped discard is nice. "EOT, you discard 2?"

    Gerrard's Verdict This is a really fun card. It is a appropriately priced at two mana to force two cards to be discarded. the life gain effect is just in there for kicks and makes your opponent think about what they want to to pitch.

    Castigate Now I love this card. We have two nicknames for this card at our shop and among our friends. The first is obvious, Castrate because this is what you are doing to their hand of cards, and the second is because of the picture and color "Infernal Nuggy/or Nuggy of the Damned." This card may appear similar to Distress, however, removing the chosen card from the game makes it worth it. Gerrard's Verdict and Castigate should find a home in B/W discard, possibly the only multicolor discard deck I would have you make.

    Shrieking Grotesque Read Ravenous Rats and add the word flying. See how much better it gets? This is also the final piece I am aware of for BW discard.

    Blightning A great card, but I wouldn't shift over to red just to play with it. This is a great card if you are building a red/black deck already. Too often I see casual players say things like "Oh, if I add in this color I can play Xxxx." This isn't always bad thinking, as sometimes making a color shift/addition will improve a casual deck, doing this with discard is a bad idea. Once you add red you are really making a new deck altogether.

    : Discard is already a form of disruption, but not the only way a Discard decks gets the job done. This is a list of the other support cards Discard uses to lock in a game.

    Leyline of the Void is possibly the best RFG card printed. When you play discard, you should be aware of your opponent abuseing their graveyard and actually thanking you for the work you are doing. Leyline stops them from thanking you, and in some match ups, they will just scoop. See Ichorid decks. This card has become expensive and not an auto include though, so if you don't own them, you don't have to play with them. This was main board for me in my vintage deck back before Flash just to deal with Yawgwin combo. I ended up giving it the nickname Mainline of the Void because at the time I was the only non-ichorid player running it in the main and people were shocked to see it game one. "I'll start the game with Mainline of the Void in play."

    Planer Void The original Leyline of the Void. this card is not a replacement effect, however that rarely matters. the only real down side to Leyline or Planer Void is after the first one is in play you don't really need another. One way to look at it though is as fodder to a Small Pox forced discard or something.

    Cremate A personal favorite of mien for casual. Removing a card in a grave yard and drawing a card is nice when you expect grave yard shenanigans which you should in casual games. Not really an auto include either though.

    Withered Wretch In regards to creatures, this is one of the best graveyard hate cards you'll ever see. Obvious weakness to agro, but against agro you shouldn't really need him. Against agro you'll just have a warm body for 2 mana.

    Nezumi Graverobber I would argue that this guy is even better than Withered Wretch, however, WW only costs one colorless to activate. The flip ability is what really puts the Graverobber over the top, literally.

    Null Rod More of a legacy and vintage card than a casual card, it is still amazing. Note that if you play with Null rod, don't play with Scepter of Fugue or risk getting slapped upside the head through the internet.

    Crucible of Worlds Just a great card. the real use of this card is to abuse Strip Mine and/or Wasteland to lock your opponent out of the game. this isn't cheep either and also not a mandatory card for discard decks.

    Sinkhole Expensive to purchase but amazing. As I said earlier, LD is a tool of disruption for discard and combined with Strip Mine, Wasteland, and the possibility of hitting lands with Hypnotic Specter and Hymn to Tourach, Sinkhole can be back breaking.

    Rain of Tears Budget Sinkhole. Good enough to play with still. I don't know if i would use this along with Small pox, but it is worth a try.

    Dark Confidant A bit more expensive card, and it depends on what kind of curve you are playing with, but Dark Confidant is one of the best card draw support cards along with Necropotence and Phyrexian Arena.

    Graveborn Muse Not as good as Dark Confidant, but still a nice budget card.

    Necropotence The best card draw spell not named Ancestral recall ever printed. Restricted for obvious reasons. You don't have to play with this card, but I recommend it with out hesitation. Card draw is as important to a discard deck as the discard spells them selves. Think of it this way, why are you playing discard? Losing cards is bad for your opponent, so then, in turn, drawing cards must be good for you.

    Phyrexian Arena Little Necropotence. Less broken, more balanced, REALLY good. If you can't afford 4, that's okay, but try and get them at some point.

    Sign in Blood he polar opposite of Hymn to Tourach, just not as good. Really good, don't get me wrong, but there are a lot better card draw spells out there. If you are on a budget though, these aren't bad.

    Skeletal Scrying A nice card draw card for mid or late game. Doesn't work with Yawgmoth's Will, but if you are laying on a budget you likely aren't playing with with Yawgwin anyway. Good 2 of.

    Promise of Power Cheep rare that is very good. 5 mana, 5 life, draw 5 cards. That's a solid deal to replenish your hand. Kick it over by paying the entwine cost and get yourself a 5/5 or larger flying creature. Another 2 of.

    Dark Ritual You play with four of these Wink Buy them. Buy 4 of them. Buy four Tempest ones because they have the best art and flavor text. I have like 8 or 12 tempest ones, I can't remember which. I know I have like over 20 of these though from various sets. That's a lot of decks...

    Drudge Skeletons One of the things discard needs is some form of defense and Drudge Skeletons is a classic blocker in Black. Drudge Skeletons also help to give Discard game against agro decks. Putting a wall of two or three Drudge skeletons can be agonizing for your opponent to get through.

    Royal Assassin Another classic support card for discard, Royal assassin does a number against agro decks. Expect this guy to be the target of removal early and often.

    Geth's Grimoire An amazing card for a discard deck. It isn't one of he better card draw sources in magic, but it is amazing in a discard deck. Use this card with Words of Waste and or Scepter of Fugue and you have a nasty combination. This is one of those cards that rewards you for playing your deck.

    Liliana Vess Pretty self explanatory. Force discard every turn, tutor up what you need, like The Rack, and even a built in win condition of her own.

    Honden of Night's reach A shrine. Not a great card by itself, but it is cheep to purchase and does force a card every turn to be discarded, so even alone it is a nice card to have in play. Another card that when played with Geth's Grimoire can get silly fast.

    Other support ideas are welcome. Support and disruption cards shouldn't make up more than 12 cards in a 60 card discard deck though. I recommend you run some sort of grave yard hate because you should be filling it up and don't want that to be your downfall. After that it really depends on what your meta looks like.

    Win Conditions:
    Self explanatory.

    There are a lot of win-cons that Discard decks can use. Classics like Ihsan's Shade to more modern ones like Kokusho, the Evening Star. Not all win-cons in discard have to be creatures though.

    The Rack is possibly the best win-con discard has. They are very cheep to purchase and cast. As a one drop you can go turn one swamp, ritual, Hymn, the Rack. What is really funny about the rack is how it makes people play against discard. Often times the idea is to just empty their hand as soon as possible with the idea that they are going to lose it anyway. With the Rack in play you not only punish that thought process [which also hurts Megrim. Hard to make them discard and lose two life if they have no had] because no they are taking 3 or more a turn, but they actually change it up and try to keep 3 or more cards in hand instead of playing stuff. This keeps your discard spells relative over the long haul. If you want to play discard, buck up and spend the $8 to buy 4 of these.

    Phyrexian Negator A meta game card if there ever was one. Primarily a Vintage only card, this fatty's sole purpose is to hit the board fast and strike hard while you are spending the next four turns finishing the job of disruption. Only recommended for a creatureless "combo" heavy meta, you know, like Vintage used to be.

    Nyxathid A really cool looking creature and great against an agro deck. My only real problem with this creature is that when you are not winning, he wont do anything to help turn the game back in your favor. The obvious plus side is that he will help you close a game quickly giving your opponent a short clock to deal with him. The idea here si to force hard discard and strike quickly before they can recover.

    Ideas for great win-cons welcome. I will always recommend Kokusho because he is not just a bomb, he's a freaking NUKE! When it comes to discard, you typically win but obliterating your opponents ability to do anything and then the rest becomes a formality rather than some epic conclusion. In Vintage, for example, my goal was to have Leyline out to prevent graveyard shenanigans; Null Rod out to stop moxen and other broken stuff; and hate on their land with Sinkhole, Wasteland, and Strip Mine while Phyrexian Negator, Hypnotic Specter and Dark Confidant beat in.
    Part III


    Generic DiscardMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Mana Sources
    20 Swamp
    4 Dark Ritual

    4 Duress
    4 Hymn to Tourach
    4 Doom Blade

    4 Ravenous Rats
    4 Hypnotic Specter
    4 Auger of Skulls
    4 Nyxathid

    4 The Rack
    2 Scepter of Fugue
    2 Geth's Grimoire

    This is a simple build I just came up with off of the top of my head. As Halted Asylum said, with a low curve you only ned 20 land to go with the 4 Dark Rituals. In regards to mulligans, you typically want a hand that starts with either a Duress or a Ritual, or both. When playing Ritual-Duress-Hymn, be sure to do it in that order. I am serious when I say I have had people claim they should play hymn first because they can hit two strong cards at random and then duress what is left... Excuse me? You Duress first to know everything they are holding and force them to discard their strongest non-land non-creature card them hymn the rest away and take note what they lost so you know what is left in their hand.

    From there on it is pretty straight forward. You just keep hammering away at thier hand until it is empty, remove a nasty threat with the Doom Blade and try to beat face with Nyxathid or stall with the rack in play. Scepter of Fugue will give you consistent discard even with a dead Hippie.

    Duals of the Planewalkers - ModifiedMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    24 Swamp

    4 Mind Rot
    4 Terror

    4 The Rack

    4 Ravenous Rats
    4 Drudge Skeletons
    4 Severed Legion
    4 Abyssal Specter
    1 Sengir Vampire
    1 Nightmare
    1 Royal Assassin
    1 Ascendant Evincar

    The Duals of the Planeswalkers for the XBox 360 is a fun game for beginners or as a way to pass the time online. The basic black deck they give you is actually quite powerful in the meta that is the game. It does have some pretty awful cards in the list you are not allowed to take out. Unlike a regular magic deck, you can only add cards you unlock and the game adds in land to help keep the deck rolling. Some of the cards I removed are 2 Megrim, 2 Dusk Imp, some 5 mana version of Infest that is a joke from Lorwyn block, and added a few other cards that you "unlock" or increased the count [such as 2 the rack up to 4] of cards in the standard build as if I were to make this in real life to play casual with.

    It is more or less just a mono black build, but the use of Ravenous Rats, Mind Rot, and Abyssal Specter gives this deck a discard theme. The use of Rats as a chump blocker to keep some damage of of your face is nice, Drudge Skeletons is a long term blocker and this deck typically win by stalling out the board and letting The Rack take care of the long term damage.

    -More Budget decks will be posted here as this thread moves along-
    Casual: These decks don't care about budget so much as they care about card interactions and the "casual" meta game.

    While I am not a fan of Multicolor discard decks, here is a Black and White build I have played with in some form or another since Guildpact came out. It has seen many changes and trial cards, but here is a solid build I curently use.
    BW DiscardMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    4 Terramorphic Expanse
    10 Swamp
    10 Plains

    4 Ravenous Rats
    4 Shrieking Grotesque
    4 Blind Hunter
    4 Throat Slitter
    4 Okiba-Gang Shinobi

    4 The Rack

    4 Faith's Fetters
    4 Pillory of the Sleepless

    Other Spells
    4 Castigate

    With this build I wanted to make an anti-agro build with a discard theme. The Ravenous Rats and the Shrieking Grotesque provide early discard along with the Castigate while the Faith's Fetters and the Pillory of the Sleepless are fun casual answers to creatures. While I could play with cards like Doom Blade and Swords to Plowshares, the Faith's Fetters are great for dealing with anything from creatures to Planeswalkers, from artifacts to enchantments with activated abilities like Survival of the Fittest and Glare of Subdual. The Pillory of the Sleepless is just a lot of fun to place on creatures because of the bleed mechanic. Not only have I neutralized a threat, but now that very creature is hurting it's owner. Okay, the enchantment is, but casual players hardly ever run artifact or enchantment removal, so they often use a kill spell on their own guy just to stop the bleeding which in itself is a two for one. Finally, the Throat Slitter and Okiba-gang Shinobi have great interaction with the other 12 creatures in the deck and their comes into play abilities. you likely won't be attacking much with a Ravenous rats, but with 8 flying creatures, you should get in unblocked from time to time. Also, with Throat Slitter and the 8 enchantments, the road should be clear to get some unblocked Okiba-Gang Shinobi damage in.

    The Gerrard's Verdict is in the sideboard to help deal with control decks while the Mortify and Disenchants are there to deal with decks that abuse enchantments and artifacts and lastly the Cremate is in there to help stop grave yard combo decks.

    -I will post more Casual builds here in time.-

    I'll start things of with my Vintage deck that has given me a few top 4s and even a Mox Ruby in the past.
    Drain Life's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    1 Strip Mine
    4 Wasteland
    14 Swamp
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Lotus Petal
    4 Dark Ritual

    4 Dark Confidant
    4 Hypnotic Specter
    4 Phyrexian Negator

    4 Duress
    4 Hymn to Tourach
    4 Sinkhole
    4 Leyline of the Void
    2 Null Rod
    1 Helm of Obedience
    1 Demonic Tutor
    1 Demonic Consultation

    The game plan was pretty simple. Leyline was there to stop graveyard shenanigans such as Ichorid and Yawgmoth's Will combo. Mean Deck Gifts was one of the best decks at the time. Later Flash became huge and there was no reason to change. Leyline also helped me in my Stax match up and against Fish's Jotun Grunt. Lastly, in the Fish match up Leyline also served as a simple permanent to sac to Phyrexian Negator. Also, Leylien combos with Helm of Obedience, so I can just suddenly "go broken" and win. Null Rod turns artifacts off which kills Moxen, Goblin Charbelcher, Time Vault and many many other broken things Vintage likes to do. I cannot count how many times I have hear something along the lines of "I would have won if it weren't for that stupid Null Rod." Uh, yeah, that's why it's in there. Also, if the try to bounce/kill my Null Rod, I can just activate the Helm and exile their library. The use of heavy discard along with LD pretty much keeps the other guy from winning and you finish them off with Hippie and Negator beats while Dark Confidant "Bob" draws you cards.

    The sideboard choices are fairly obvious as well. Fish, GobLINES [Goblins with Leyline of the Void and other black stuff created by team ICBM (I Can Beat Mean Deck)] and other creature based decks are a bad match up for this deck so game one is typically lost. In games two and thre you just move out the Null rods, Phyrexian Negators at the least to make room for Masticore and something else like Edict. The Dystopia were there to fight Fish which ran a heavy W or UW creature base. Kataki, Meddling Mage, Jotun Grunt, Savahna Lions, Isumaro and Aven Mind Censor are all white and die to Dystopia. you also use Dystopia against Oath to deal with both of it's Angles and the Dragon and the Oath itself. Lastly you used Dystopia to fight GaT which relied not on the Tog anymore, but rather the Dryad. Plague was in the deck to deal with goblins and to name "Wizard" agaisnt fish builds. Even today Fish uses almost a 100% wizard build. You lose your Dark Confidants, but it is worth it because everything other than Meddling mage on their side dies to Plague. Currently they are running Dark Confidant, Aven Mind Censor, Meddling Mage, and Vadilion Clique or what ever it is called, all creatures who are Wizards and have 1 toughness [again, except Meddling Mage.]

    -If anyone has other competitive discard lists they would like to share, I will post them here. I have a few other old standard builds I have played with in the past that took me to top 8 and or top 4 but that is all. I'll post them later as well.-
    Last edited by Drain Life: 6/14/2014 2:23:12 PM
    "Whatever style you wish to play, be it fast and frenzied or slow and tactical, the surest way to defeat your opponent consistently is by dominating him or her in the war of card advantage." - Brian Wiseman, April 1996
  • #2
    If you'd like a banner, High~Light Studios can do it for you:

    The kamigawa card that works like withered wretch is Nezumi Graverobber.
  • #3
    Nice primer, good text, really nice formatting (should try to do something similar into Zombies), congratulations!

    About suggestions, i think you can add: Chittering Rats (discard to the topdeck, which is awsome if the foe is expecting something, he loses CA and will draw the same card next turn)

    Wincon: Nyxathid and Tombstalker, Nezumi Shortfang can be listed as wincon too cause it's rack effects.

    On the deck, the mana curve is really low, you can drop down to 20, 20 lands + DRtiual is enough. and another card that bothers me is Faerie Macabre, i can't see a reason for gravehate MD. with 8 slots open you can fit some alternate wincon in case foe deals with Rack (can't really think on anything budget right now), and maybe more discard creatures lik Ravenous Rats (not sure, just ideas).

    I think you can share some more 2 or 3 decks,
    1) A beatdown with Nyxathid or Tombstalker (+Hyppie + Augur/Ravenous),
    2) A competitive one (like you previously posted on the original thread)
    3) A tribal one like Rack Rats

    Then you can deliver multiples solid possibilities to readers (control budget, control competitive, control tribal, and a beatdown). What you think?

    Nice job, i'll think over the deck and try to contribute more later if it's possible, but it'll be hard since you really delieverd the meat Grin
    "Now i lay you, down to rest, you'll never be more than second best" (Megadeth)
  • #4
    Guiltfeeder is another (rather under the radar..and yeah, little janky) wincon. Can be downright brutal. Even better in Mill decks.

    I find Tombstalker's inclusion in win-cons a little soft. I'd much rather see him in a Pox or Dredge deck than here.

    Debtor's Knell, Ashen Powder, Body Double & Dimir Doppelganger ain't bad here either. Steal their stuff. Whole different way to go.

    (My biggest praise here is you wrote the whole thing without mentioning (OK, I saw it once) the Elephant in the corner. Without some crazy combo involved, it never delivers like you think it will & takes up spots you could be using for better cards. Most players eventually figure this out, but it's worth discussing. I think you could dedicate a paragraph about why not to run it in most builds.)
    Last edited by Morphling: 10/30/2009 7:39:06 AM
    Juggs W/U mana U/R mana R/G mana G/U mana U/B mana B/G mana W/G mana W/B mana B/R mana R/W mana Juggs
    Nude Eternal Witness?
    Wouldn't they have to edit that for the Chinese markets?
    Only if she had skulls for nipples.

    Quote from Mike Flores »
    Absolutely nothing but boom booms in this deck.

    Blue Deck
    Black Deck
    Red Deck
    Green Deck
  • #5
    I disagree with your analysis of Duress vs. Blackmail and Hymn of Tourach vs. Duress. I prefer Blackmail over Duress for a few reasons.

    1 - Blackmail will never fail to make the opponent discard a card. I've seen plenty of dead Duress'.

    2 - Duress is also very weak after the 5th or 6th turn, as you are more and more likely to have a dead Duress. As long as the opponent has a card in hand, Blackmail will always get atleast one card. Later in the game, if the opponent is holding cards, then it only makes Blackmail more powerful, as they will not likely have more than 3 cards against your discard deck, and thus you will be taking a card that they most likely *really* wanted to keep. Otherwise they would have played it already.

    As far as Hymn to Tourach goes...

    1 - The cost of BB versus B is of little importance. BB is extremely affordable.

    2 - Hymn will, again, always net atleast one card. Duress will not.

    3 - Hymn is pure card advantage. For one Hymn, you will more than likely net two cards out of the opponent's hand. Duress has the possibility, if you play it early enough in the game, to get one.

    This is not to say that Duress is bad. It's just that Hymn is decidedly better, and I prefer Blackmail in my Pox deck rather than Duress (although I play neither; I use Thoughtseize).

    I also disagree with your opinion about Raven's Crime. I've found that Raven's Crime is an excellent card. In my Pox deck I found that getting land flooded will most likely result in a loss. I needed to find a way to take advantage of lands that would otherwise be useless, especially seeing as I rarely if ever put more than 3 lands into play at a time (the highest casting cost card in my Pox deck is Pox). Unless you have some use for lands that ensures that being land flooded won't result in a loss, Raven's Crime is a great option.
  • #6
    Good analysis and I am glad to read a new opinion. I agree with the late game idea of Blackmail over Duress, however, Duress offers up so much more from the start of the game. In high levels of competitive play this becomes key. Knowing everything in their hand is vital in your plans moving forward. You also don't just throw a Duress at someone holding a single card or two. I was really hopping to get the point across why I like Duress better than Hymn and that is because Duress is more versatile in the decks it can fit in. Hymn is likely the better card in a discard deck, but Duress is the better Magic card.

    Regarding Blackmail in you Pox deck, I agree with you, but that is a Pox deck rather than a discard deck. There is a reason Vintage never ran Blackmail, and the only reason they replaced Duress with Thoughtsize was because they don't care about life totals and forcing your opponent to discard a win-con creature is strong. The same is true for Raven's Crime. We really are talking two different decks. I have not played a lot of Pox decks, but when I do build them I know what you mean. They are just a whole different kind of animal and deserve their own Primer honestly.
    Last edited by Drain Life: 10/31/2009 12:52:19 AM
    "Whatever style you wish to play, be it fast and frenzied or slow and tactical, the surest way to defeat your opponent consistently is by dominating him or her in the war of card advantage." - Brian Wiseman, April 1996
  • #7
    I was actually going to suggest you write a note about why Megrim is such a bad card. If it's coupled with Howling Mine and/or Underworld Dreams or something to ensure they have cards in hand, it's useable, but even then, why spend all your time and cards on making them discard, just to let them draw more cards?

    How does black discard match up against blue control? With as many counters and card draw they have, can discard really disrupt them enough to be able to win the game?

    Also, should Damnnation, Mutilate, and Infest be mentioned in support? If you don't discard all their creatures in time, you'll get beat down w/o creature kill. Or is this just assumed in discard decks, and the fact that black has so many kill cards that it wouldn't be worth it. Maybe just mentioning a few of them?

    How about Ostracize? You mentioned noncreature threats are the ones that win games, but it just seems like a worthy mention. Especially in casual, creatures are a big threat.
    L1 Judge

    Currently Playing:
    • Standard - Jund Midrange, UWr Geist
    • Modern - UWr Delver
    • Legacy - Mono Red Burn
    • EDH - Sharuum
  • #8
    I will address those issues later in another update. Thank you for asking. Short answer: Against blue, a turn one hippie can win the game, but bounce will slow you down. The real key against blue is to keep the pressure up and try and bait a counterspell with one card and follow up with a Hymn to Tourach, not the other way around. The control match up is a long game to play, but quite winnable.

    Removal is pretty much assumed and I will have to post that in the Support section later.

    Finally, in casual, you really have to understand your meta and like I wrote, because agro and creatures are popular in casual, you almost have to go in a different direction than where Discard wants to go. You just about have to reverse the sideboard and main board. Discard is intended for a combo and control heavy meta and casual is mostly an agro and combo format.

    Lastly, I did do an update and I likely won't be doing another one until Sunday. I have things to do tonight [Friday] and tomorrow [Halloween] I have work in the morning and a party to go to at night.

    Take care everyone!
    Last edited by Drain Life: 10/31/2009 12:54:15 AM
    "Whatever style you wish to play, be it fast and frenzied or slow and tactical, the surest way to defeat your opponent consistently is by dominating him or her in the war of card advantage." - Brian Wiseman, April 1996
  • #9
    @meteorainer: I agree with you about Megrim, although there is a casual deck that could be built with it. I suppose it depends on your definition of casual. I consider casual as something that is not tier 1, 2, or 3. I used to have a casual Megrim deck that ran your typical discard spells along with Anvil of Bogardan and Chains of Mephistopheles. Those two cards together ensure Megrim damage and also combo to creatue a hand lock.

    @Drain Life: I like your reasoning. Even though I still disagree with you (such is life) I like how you respectfully state your opinions rather than simply flame. I'm looking forward to more of your work.
  • #10
    Quote from thnkr
    @meteorainer: I agree with you about Megrim, although there is a casual deck that could be built with it. I suppose it depends on your definition of casual. I consider casual as something that is not tier 1, 2, or 3. I used to have a casual Megrim deck that ran your typical discard spells along with Anvil of Bogardan and Chains of Mephistopheles. Those two cards together ensure Megrim damage and also combo to creatue a hand lock.

    Guess the fact that despite the board level, Megrim is a deck that hardly can grab a win, just because it needs opponent having CA to discard, and it becomes a crap card, no matter what, once opponent is on topdeck mode (even if you improve his CA, giving card advantage to opponent is never a wise idea).

    I like the idea of not offering Megrim as a suggestion on his primer, just because building a Megrim deck won't be solid enough to provide fun, so logically, wins.

    Finally i want to state that i agree with every point Drain Life stated over the cards. Duress is a superior card, no matter what, despite arguments, you can even realize that taking a look into any topdeck into any format where Blackmail and Duress are at disposal, i can just ask yourself why top players choose Duress over Blackmail, every single little time. (now thoughtseize will take the spot).

    In fact i agree with every aspect described on his primer.

    I agree with Meteorainer about mentioning some needed support like Mass Removal. and the inclusion of Ostracize (solid card in certain enviroments like Tribal).

    Still agreing with Meteorainer, I believe multicolor can also have some mentioning like Dimir Cutpurse, Hag Hedge-Mage, Hellhole Rats, Jagged Poppet...

    LOl...i know alot of suggestions coming, and alot of stuff to work around, but you're doing a great job, so keep your pace and it going to be wonderful.
    "Now i lay you, down to rest, you'll never be more than second best" (Megadeth)
  • #11
    I tried to edit the OP and at least on my computer the format got all screwed up and there are TONS of double and triple spaces. I think I fixd it, but please let me know if the format is all messed up on your screens like mine or not. There were tons of bold, center aligned, and all sorts of problems. I did get a banner up though.
    "Whatever style you wish to play, be it fast and frenzied or slow and tactical, the surest way to defeat your opponent consistently is by dominating him or her in the war of card advantage." - Brian Wiseman, April 1996
  • #12
    It's not necro if the last post in the thread is only three days old, amirite?

    Anyway, I'm suprised no one has mentioned Guul Draz Specter yet. His cost is one more than Hypnotic, and his discard effect isn't random, but he has great synergy with every other discard card ever. When your opponent has an empty hand, he gets his very own Giant Growth. I'd think he deserves a spot in a casual discard deck. (He works really well with The Rack after all-no cards in hand means an automatic 8 damage every turn)

    EDIT: Also, how about Skullcage? While it may seem like The Rack's lesser cousin, it actually works quite well with The Rack and discard in general.
    Last edited by Hat@Clogs: 11/6/2009 4:43:38 PM
  • #13
    Guul Draz Specter costs too much, he can't even be cast through D. Ritual, but maybe a choice for budget pockets.
    "Now i lay you, down to rest, you'll never be more than second best" (Megadeth)
  • #15
    I have no idea why this primer fell back so much. It's extremely informing and very well written. I went through my friend's old stack of cards and found a playset of Revised Hippie and Two Hymn to Tourachs (among other goodies like Sol Ring, Mana Vault, Counterspell, Mishra's Factory, Bad Moon, etc :D). Discard looks like a fun deck to run and something I'd go for.

    I have two decks I'm thinking of right now. A mono black, near carbon copy of the budget deck posted and a B/W one of my own creation. Decklist is:

    Powerslave995's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    11 Swamps
    7 Plains
    4 Tainted Field

    Mana Ramp:4
    4 Dark Ritual

    4 Mortify
    3 Unmake

    4 The Rack

    Other Spells:12
    4 Gerrard's Verdict
    4 Hymn to Tourach
    4 Castigate

    4 Hypnotic Specter
    4 Tidehollow Sculler
    4 Augur of Skulls
    3 Nyxathid

    Is it worth running over mono-black? My playgroup runs creature heavy decks, and BW has better removal options IMO.
    Last edited by Powerslave995: 11/29/2009 2:25:05 PM
  • #16
    ok, last month i've been improving my black discard deck and now it's running very good, with 5 friends yesterday for example i won 10 and lost only 2...

    but i think i could improve it more !

    what do u think?

    new_draks's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    4 hypnotic specter
    4 Guul Draz Specter
    4 ravenous rats
    3 chittering rats
    2 nezume shortfang
    2 nyxathid

    4 the rack
    2 Scepter of Fugue
    3 disfigure
    3 duress
    1 ostrasize
    1 unmask
    4 hymn to tourach
    1 stupor
    3 ghastly demise

    1 liliana vess

    20 swamps
    1 swarmyard

    some help please?
    double post merged and warned for spam/doublepost.
    Last edited by Blutsau: 1/26/2010 6:18:02 AM
  • #17
    You're at 63 cards if I count that right, now Guul Draz Specter isn't that great, I'd cut it and and the three Chittering Rats for 4x Dark Ritual to speed up your game a bit.
    the one-offs Stupor and Ostracize look a bit random, but whatever.
    else this looks quite good. ^^ Thumbs Up
    Each reality is but the dream of another, and each sleeper a god unknowing.
    We define the boundaries of reality; they don't define us.
    Illus. Goomi.
  • #18
    Good primer, and I feel it needs to be bumped for WW inclusion, as there are a few cards that I think could be staples for discard.

    Quest for the Nihil Stone can work great until they draw an answer for it. Pretty cheap to boot as well. Even after they disenchant this, you will probably still have a Rack out. Good for early game, will be a dead draw later though unless they are keeping cards in hand due to the rack.


    Bojuka Bog I think should be run two of in any discard deck. More if you know they are running they graveyard stuff.
  • #19
    yes i'll add 4 dark rituals, and maybe 2 nyxathid and 3 sign in blood what do u think?

    then it will be 72 cards, so for quit 12, maybe the guuls and the chitering rats?
  • #20
    Quote from Soulnan

    Quest for the Nihil Stone can work great until they draw an answer for it. Pretty cheap to boot as well. Even after they disenchant this, you will probably still have a Rack out. Good for early game, will be a dead draw later though unless they are keeping cards in hand due to the rack.

    Bojuka Bog I think should be run two of in any discard deck. More if you know they are running they graveyard stuff.

    Quest for the Nihil Stone is also better than the Rack for multiplayer since it is not targeted.
  • #21
    any thoughts on abyssal nocturnus?
    friend runs one in his B/R blightning inquiry deck, and it is very often hitting for a solid 8 damage.
  • #22
    My U/B discard. [/control]

    Toruk Macto's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    4 Sphinx of Jwar Isle

    4 Innocent Blood
    4 Recoil
    4 Propaganda

    4 Duress
    4 Hymn to Tourach
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Extirpate

    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder

    6 Swamp
    6 Island
    4 Tainted Isle
    4 Jwar Isle Refuge

    Thank you very much DarkNightCavalier for the signature. Visit them at Heroes of the Plane Studios
  • #23
    Working on building this Mono Black Discard

    Leonopteryx's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    4 Carnophage
    4 Nantuko Shade

    4 Duress
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Hymn to Tourach
    4 Extirpate
    4 Consume Spirit
    4 Innocent Blood
    4 Dark Ritual

    4 Planar Void

    4 Cabal Coffers
    16 Swamp

  • #24
    Quote from Leonopteryx
    Working on building this Mono Black Discard

    Fio's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    4 Carnophage
    4 Nantuko Shade

    4 Duress
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Hymn to Tourach
    4 Extirpate
    4 Consume Spirit
    4 Innocent Blood
    4 Dark Ritual

    4 Planar Void

    4 Cabal Coffers
    16 Swamp

    Extirpate doesn't work well Planar Void. Since opponents have no GY you cannot remove anything.

    Hypnotic Specters can fit well in this deck. I don't like Carnophage here.
  • #25
    I didn't even catch that, thanks Fio!
  • #27
    I have been away for a while. My wireless internet card is broken, so I only get online at a friend's house or at the library right now. Prioities. Anyway, nice posts, and interesting new deck ideas and card ideas from the new set(s). Lasty, I am happy to see this was stickied. When I get my internet up and running and I have the time to work on this again I will be back.

    Question, when you play casual, are you running into a lot more creature based decks than you are combo and control?

    Something I have been having fun with is Vampire Nighthawk. With lifelink and flying they have to kill it or it will keep you alive a lot longer than they want you to, and with death touch it can simple trade with a big nasty. I have also been tinkering with two copies of Grim harvest because i have a bit more creatures than normal in my discard deck. It is nice to recover my fallen creatures. Grim Harvest has the "recover" ability, it is also a form of card advantage. In a long game, they have to deal with grim harvest or lose in most cases. Creature beat down isn't really what discard is all about, but I am just loving the nighthawk so much because of how strong it is at such a low casting cost.
    "Whatever style you wish to play, be it fast and frenzied or slow and tactical, the surest way to defeat your opponent consistently is by dominating him or her in the war of card advantage." - Brian Wiseman, April 1996
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