It’s been a while since I updated The Wizard’s Tower. The holidays have been over for a couple weeks now but I ended up being pretty busy with all sorts of odds and ends. Though I was too busy to update the blog, I wasn’t too busy to get out to Granfanally’s and play some Old School the other night. This post will be about two things: mono black decks and a way to show off my new wide-angle camera lens that I got for Christmas.
When I first got into Old School Magic I had this idea that I thought was brilliant at the time: make a mono-colored deck for each color. They all were terrible but I barely understood how to play the game at the time. The green deck was the worst of the five but the black ended up being better than the rest but still not good. I had four Will-o-the-wisps, four Stone-Throwing Devils, and four Fallen Angels. I was under the impression that Fallen Angel was a super powerful creature. It’s not really a bad creature, there are just better options.
Anyways, I eventually deconstructed all the decks besides the black. There was a short time where I turned it into a Dead Guy Ale with no Scrublands and only one City of Brass. I never seemed to draw the mana I needed. Right before the Old School meet up down in Providence near the GP, I knew I had to figure something out for a deck to use. With no duals I couldn’t do the Dead Guy Ale and feel confident. I had seen a mono black deck a bunch of times on the Swedish Old School blog that seemed to do pretty well at tournaments. I figured I’d just copy that deck as close as I could.
The deck I’m referring to is Erland’s mono black which has a playset of Su-Chis in place of Juzams. Personally, I’d feel pretty awesome to come in second or third place with a mono black that has no Juzams. That’s pretty badass. I’ve spent way too much money on Juzams, however, to leave them out of my deck. After the meet up at GP Providence I realized what cards were most important. Underworld Dreams, Hypnotic Specter, and Sinkhole. I didn’t have a Mind Twist at the time but if I did, it would also be listed here because Mind Twist is totally nuts. I did the Royal Assassin and Icy Manipulator combo as well but I found that more often than not, I couldn’t get both of them on the table.
Playing at that meet up taught me one important lesson that I hadn’t previously learned. I learned that some of the best cards aren’t creatures. The one card that exceeded my expectations was Sinkhole. There were so many times where destroying just one of my opponent’s lands prevented them from playing some crazy combo. At that time I only had three Sinkholes. As soon as the tournament was done, I went right over to the GP to find a fourth. Alpha of course. I was able to find one for a decent price so I bought it. Eventually, after playing the deck a lot, it morphed into this:
I have a playset of Terrors which I don’t see very often in other decks. Black struggles with creature removal so I put them in. Terror buries creatures from four out of the six colors. I say six because Su-Chi, Juggernaut, and Triskelion are so commonly played. In other words, Terror buries the majority of creatures in Old School. Since I’ve put them in it’s worked out well. They can always be sideboarded out.
At the most recent meet up I actually had planned on playing a mono green artifact deck that I’ve been tinkering around with. It had been so long that I’ve played this black deck that I ended up playing it instead of the green. I also hadn’t played it since I got the second Juzam.
Juzams are great and all but the strongest cards in the deck are usually the Sinkholes, Mind Twist, Hymn to Tourach, and very often Underworld Dreams can win games as well. My Juzams always seem to get taken out by Swords to Plowshares before I can do much with them. Underworld Dreams is a great way to negate or at least make your opponent pay for things like Sylvan Library, Library of Alexandria, Ancestrall Recall, Wheel of Fortune, Braingeyser, etc… Mind Twist and Sinkholes deplete your opponent of his or her resources (mana and cards in hand) which is key especially early in the game. I always feel sort of bad playing those cards though. But I do it anyway.
There are a bunch of variants of mono black online all the time. What I have here has worked the best for me. Sometimes I switch out the Royal Assassins for Su-Chis for a while and then switch them back. Personally I’ve found that the deck works better without Icy Manipulators but many other people would probably disagree. Another card which occasionally shines big time is Drain Life. It acts as creature removal or to just end a game. Also, you get free life from it which is awesome.
Ok that’s it for mono black but I’ll post the rest of the pictures I got from the other night. The wide angle lens works pretty great. It’s much easier to get the tables of cards and the players in the picture.
I’ll finish with this Chaos Orb picture. From this angle it looks like it’s touching but we all inspected it closely and judged that it was not. Pretty much as close as you can get without touching. If I remember correctly, I think the upside down card in the purple sleeve was Jared’s Chaos Orb which he was trying to take out Chris’s Chaos Orb in the red sleeve.