I’m fairly up for playing most decks in Magic: combo, control, aggro, or any sort of hybrid mix of such archetypes. As far as the colors in the game, Vegas rules; “Always bet on black!”
I’ve been a devoted black mage since was beat down by a Sengir Vampire playing one of my very first games and cast Spirit of the Night for the first time. I’ve even gone so far as to get the original art for Dark Ritual tattooed on my left arm with a black mana symbol above it to cast it.
So, yes, I’m a hardcore black planeswalker. If it plays black and is doing well, even if it’s not that well, I’m on board. I played Mono-Black Control in the Odyssey Standard days, brewed my own mono-black control to crush Affinity when it was king, and most other variations of mono-black since. This is all why I’m really enjoying a tier-2 Modern deck greatly right now.
8 Rack, or as some like to call it, Hate Rack, is my current mono-Swamp mana producing weapon of choice in Modern. My friend gave me his list and I’ve been rocking it for about a month and a half now. It is as follows.
Eight Rack by Ernest Turck
At first glance this deck isn’t out to make friends. In all fairness, you’ll probably be a fairly disliked player at the event you pilot it at.
It’s fairly straightforward. Make them discard their hands with your Wrench Minds, Thoughtseizes and company, stick The Rack and/or Shrieking Affliction and keep their hands empty. Dark Confidant helps you draw out of situations and will never hit you for more than three life.
It’s easy to hide under the Ensnaring Bridge, like the troll you’ll be while playing this deck, to keep the aggro off of you. Liliana of the Veil keeps both players’ hands empty and if need be you can always target yourself with hand hate.
From a format prospective, I feel like this deck is a card or two off from being a top tier contender. It has a good match up again most of the field and can easily stabilize and turn the game into a win rather than a loss. The hardest matchup, by far, is Burn. There’s no life gain and your Thoughtseizes are counterproductive, only saving you a point or two of damage.
The Pack Rat is tech against anyone who has boarded out creature removal for the total blowout against this deck, Leyline of Sanctity. If you even think this card will be making an appearance postboard, you need to have the Pack Rats. In conjunction with Dark Confidant and Mutavault, you can become a beatdown deck to the unsuspecting opponent post-sideboard.
From a budget standpoint this isn’t the most expensive deck to build in the format by far, but it can keep pace with higher dollar cards. Ensnaring Bridge is currently fluctuating around the 18 to 20$ range, the commons and uncommons aren’t bank breaking either with Wrench Mind coming in around a dollar in most online outlets, Inquisition of Kozilek 7-9$. Dark Confidant has seen two reprints now and is settling under the 40$ mark it seems.
The real bank-breaker here is Liliana of the Veil–she has only seen one reprint as a promo and her value continues to rise since we won’t see her in a Modern Masters set for at least two more years. Currently sitting around 90$+ for the non-foil/non-promo, I’d not be surprised to see her crack the 120$ mark, if not more, before a reprint hits.
With the versions of cards in my deck, the total comes in around $960 TCGPlayer mid. For Modern, since it doesn’t run fetches, Tarmogoyfs or Snapcaster Mages, the deck isn’t crazy expensive and eight of your big dollar cards are used in multiple other decks and formats.
Once again please leave any comments or questions about my article and list. I’m always looking to hear from y’all.
Julian Biondillo x