Hi guys, I haven't posted in the forums for a while but still brewing as usual. Lately I've been toying with Bone Picker from Amonket and thought I'd start some discussion. First I want to point out that I've always felt mono black aggro has been extremely underrated and also noticed it's reappearance on MTG Top 8 piloted by Davide Foglia, you can check it here. His list is certainly not SUI Black but it got my gears turning and helped me escape some of mono black's tunnel vision due to the deck The Gate. Anyhow, my latest brew has had some incredible goldfishing results. I haven't gotten around to testing it yet but it appears to be ferocious in theory. Right now I'm splashing green for Abrupt Decay, Deathrite Shaman and sideboard options but other than that the deck is mono black. There are a bunch of synergies here but the main idea is that of a basic tempo strategy, first disrupt your opponent's hand and mana base with discard spells and Wasteland followed along with a ton of removal and heavy beats. Here's a basic list of card choices and syngeries.
Lots and lots of removal. After putting your opponent into top deck mode with discard spells, removal is key to take out any remaining threats. Just as in Pox builds with twelve main deck removal spells your Delver match ups should be extremely favorable.
Abrupt Decay is important and one of the main reasons to splash green. With the extremely low mana curve a Chalice set for 1 would single handedly wreck any of our strategies.
Fatal Push can take out almost all of our problem creatures from Delvers to Anglers. It is here not only for removal but it's cheap to cast allowing you to cast it and Bone Picker the same turn.
Dismember and Snuff Out are here for the same reason but also can lower your life total beefing up Death's Shadow.
All are self explanatory however Thoughtseize nabs any card all the while beefing Death's Shadow and Cabal Therapy synergies nicely with Fatal Push and Bone Picker's requirements. Plus it's especially nice in conjunction with Bloodghast or for killing off a Bob when your life is dangerously low.
Bone Picker is nuts so far in goldfishing. He's essentially mono black's Delver of Secrets but also boasts the added ability of Deathtouch. His cheap mana requirement is super easy to meet. You don't really even have to build the deck around him, he's effortlessly easy to cast. First you have Cabal Therapy and tons of removal spells to meet his requirement, but you can also cast him early by dropping a Death's Shadow while your life total is above 13 effectively turning your DS into a Dark Ritual.
Death's Shadow fits here nicely as cards such as Dark Confidant, Snuff Out, Dismember and Thoughtseize will suicide you to some extremely cheap heavy beat sticks for smashing face.
Deathrite Shaman does so much. He keeps graveyard based decks in check, fixes and ramps your mana, adds to the beat down but also helps you manage your life total in the event you get too low.
Dark Confidant synergizes nicely with all of your discard disruption giving you a large card advantage and the over all mana curve of the deck is low enough that he won't hurt you too much but high enough to manage with DRS for maximizing your Death's Shadows. You can always kill him off with Therapy or any of the many removal spells if you get too dangerously low on life. Plus he beats for two.
Bloodghast is awesome for applying pressure but also nice with early Cabal Therapys and opponents board wipes and removal spells.
Sideboard and cards to consider. I've toyed around with Vampire Nighthawk, Gatekeeper of Malakir, Liliana of Veil, etc.. but these are better suited for mid range aggro/control strategies as they would drastically increase the mana curve. Other cards to consider: Umezawa's Jitte, Cursed Scroll, Zuran Orb, Sinkhole, Plunge into Darkness, Infernal Contract, Rite of Consumption etc.. Feel free to discuss these and add any other suggestions. You can test the deck here. Comments and critiques welcome! Thanks in advance!
That looks like a decent budget build, but of course spending the extra bucks for Thoughtseize, Bloodghast, Bob etc.. would really make this deck shine. I also feel like Dark Ritual is unnecessary in this deck. Back in the day it was an auto include but because the meta is so competitive it is really just sub par outside of combo as it results in card disadvantage. (Edit:). Also you are running an intense amount of mana. 20 main deck Swamps plus 4 Dark Rituals and 4 DRS is way over the top. Remember that most of the deck is one drops for tempo. Cut some land and add more disruption and removal. This is also why Wasteland is important to keep you ahead of your opponent. You should be casting 2 to 3 spells a turn with Bob refilling your hand. You really only need 18 land. 4 of which should be Wasteland. For budget purposes perhaps Sinkhole could suffice.
I'm in the middle of a move right now so I've had limited time but I'll test my build in the next few days against BUG Delver (which I think should be an easy matchup), BR Reanimator (which should also be fairly easy especially with sb) and then Eldrazi (which should be it's worst) and post results.
Are there any matchups you guys would like to see?? Also any more recommendations? How viable do any of you feel this deck is in the current meta? What is the level of overall interest in the development of this deck??
The only problem I see here is that Snuff Out and Bone Picker don't really play well with Dark Confidant. (Dismember is the same problem, but to a lesser extent). It's like the same reason why no one plays Dark Confidant alongside Tasigur in Modern. It's nice those cards have their costs reduced so low so easily, but Bob still smacks you for 4 when they flip. Maybe something like this:
Interesting deck. I'll have to give it a shot and see how it plays. Black has always held a special place in my dark and scarred heart. Unfortunately I have no Black deck I play right now. I miss it.
What's nice is the price entry isn't bonkers crazy. A quick peek at TCGP for prices shows the cost of this deck is cheaper than ONE of the cards in my current Legacy deck. And I hate to say it, I'm a little tired of walking on eggshells every time I bring it out.
Hey guys, this deck is actually quite competitive. I just haven't had a ton of time to test it thoroughly. Lately I've been busy working on a new build of Winter Maze. However, FuneralofGod your build looks impressive and I like the Depths combo. I've tried to steer away from Plunge into Darkness but here it has two uses: pump and find Death's Shadow or assemble your Depths combo. Vampire Hexmage for Depths but he is great for pumping out an early Bone Picker too. Also, Postmortem Lunge looks interesting here. I might pick this deck back up though and give you guys some testing results. I'd love to see other people working on the deck as well. Any testing results would be very welcome.
Xoddy, that's great! I really like FuneralofGod's list. Post Mortem Lunge looks to be a hilarious finisher. Perhaps we should cut one though to make room for an additional Plunge into Darkness. Plunge helps not only to grab your Death's Shadow but also helps assemble the Marit Lage combo. I'd love to see more testing results, please post them if you get the chance.
The depth combo main isn't always necessary but gets you those 'easy' wins or can turn the game around (against maverick, blindly therapy'ing the STP's out of his hand).
Sounds like the deck is working nicely! I wonder if deck runs better without Marit Lage combo though, which still seems like a random encounter. Cutting the Marit Lage combo opens up going back to the consistency plan of card advantage with Confidant, mana denial/tempo plan with Wasteland and a few other flex slots for brewing.
-4 Hexmage +4 Confidant
-3 Depths -Land of choice +4 Wasteland
-2 Postmortem Lunge +2 Rite of Consumption or some other tech in the flex slot.
Berserk seems really good here. Rite of Consumption also looks good. Flinging a Death's Shadow or Goyf at an opponent as a finisher seems not $h!tty and/or a versatile way to gain life in a pinch. Even Rancor in this slot would be nuts. No seriously. Giving Goyf, Shadow or Bone Picker +2/0 and trample is really good. Also Apostle's Blessing could possibly fit, perhaps by effectively countering an opponent's removal or giving your dude evasion for that alpha strike.
EDIT: Hymn to Tourach in the flex slot seems like a no brainer.
Not of this World is my new Favorite tech. It's been such a house with Death's Shadow. I almost want to run 4. Theoretically Tarmogoyf could turn it on also but that hasn't happened for me yet. Traverse the Ulvenwald is something I stole from Modern Shadow builds. It grabs either piece of the Depths combo or just grabs another threat.
I like your new build Funeral. It's looking more and more like a combo deck but I like it. How well is Traverse the Ulvenwald working for you? Are the Street Wraiths to burn through the deck instead of Probes main to help activate Ulvenwald's delirium requirement? Thoughts on Living Wish in the Ulvenwald slot? Or is that too slow. It does get around CotV and you could grab either Hexmage, Depths or Death's Shadow from a toolbox sideboard to assemble your combos.
Btw, I do still like the consistency of my aggro list above. Perhaps IoKs could/should be more Thoughtseizes. My thoughts on that were that I didn't want to kill myself by running too many suicide cards.
I would say the same of pairing Dark Confidant with Bone Picker is more dangerous than a few extra Thoughtseize. A turn 1 Thoughtseize is back breaking, and usually worth the extra two life. In theory, it's allowing you to actually have better control over your life total, since you get to see their hand, take a threat, and otherwise play around their game plan.
Traverse has been great, and yes the Wraith is specifically to turn on Delirium. Otherwise Probe would be strictly better. Living wish could work but I think I like that it only costs 1 Mana. I think my deck would have a hard time against turn 1 Chalice either way. Though I haven't faced it yet. Maybe 4x Abrupt decay in the main deck is the right call