4 thoughts on “Mono Black Control?

  1. A comment on your use of Lashwrithe: You didn't really have the support for it. Yes, Lashwrithe on an Obliterator is kind of overkill, but Lashwrithe on a Nighthawk or Inkmoth Nexus is a huge, huge deal. On the Nighthawk it can pull you back insanely quickly from an early few hits, and on the Nexus, it can win games out of nowhere. Keep in mind that the equip cost can be essentially free, making it a much easier option to equip on cards that aren't always creatures, like Nexus, Mass, and Glint Hawk Idol (were you ever crazy enough to include it.)

    The Nighthawk is also a terrific early-game play that hinders opposing Hawks, less so through blocking, as SoFaF kills that, but more on offense, making the race a lot harder to win, and, once an Obliterator hits, forcing them back on their heels. Not to mention that a Lashwrithe hitting a Nighthawk is a good way to make Cawblade stop attacking you.

    Another terrific Phy Mana card that you missed is Metamorph, which is far more insane than anyone gives it credit for. I beat a Soul Sisters deck the other day by copying their Soul's Attendant with a Shrine of Loyal Legions with 7 counters. When he went to pop the Shrine, I killed the Attendant, and rode the lifegain to the win. The amount of options you get with it, even with your own deck, is incredible, from copying Lashwrithe and Obliterator (multiples of either are backbreaking for most decks), to copying opposing swords, to even copying an Inkmoth for acceleration. Winning a game via 5 Inkmoth Nexuses is pretty funny.

    I don't like Consume the Meek, save as a sideboard card, potentially, against Cawblade. Even then, BSZ is just as good, since you still kill their board for the same mana. You do get the advantage of Instant speed if they tap out hoping to untap with SoFaF, but it's up to individual metagames as to whether or not that's worthwhile. I'd also recommend a one-of Life's Finale, since quite a few decks right now rely upon a single creature as a keystone to the deck. While it's worthless against Cawblade, it's pretty brutal against Twin and Soul Sisters, and can even wreck most opposing control decks that are running few threats. I'd end up going with one-ofs of it at Consume the Meek, and swapping them around between maindeck and sideboard depending on metagame and match up.

    I didn't like Grave Titan in my MBC, though I did have the hilarity of copying one twice with Metamorph. The deck needs less big fatty swarm, and more disruption, which is why Sheoldred is more of a beast. If you're not keen on Obliterator, and I can see why people might not be, then Grave Titan's as good an option as you can get, though I might still lean more toward Persecutor. But also, I don't run acceleration in my version, so your mileage likely varies there.

    I hadn't given Liliana's Specter a long, hard look, and likely will now. The possibilities there seem good to me. My vision of current MBC is to ride midrange threats, since black's midrange threats are so strong, in Lashwrithe, Persecutor, and Obliterator. Having fliers to swap the Lashwrithe onto increases its power phenominally (especially with Metamorph, leading to an occasional T5 equip two Lashwrithes to Nighthawk and swing play), and Liliana's Specter seems as good, at least, as Nighthawk.

    At any rate, it's a deck that requires a very strong commitment to your own metagame, and therefore, isn't really a netdeckable option. In a Cawblade flooded environment, you'll want much more spot removal, Consume the Meek, and some colorless options like Wurmcoil or even Steel Hellkite. In a combo flooded environment, you have lots of discard, Memoricide, and the normal tricks like Spellskite. In an aggro environment, you can even look toward Marsh Casualties to go along with BSZ, in addition to strong anti-aggro creatures like Gatekeeper and Nighthawk.

    I can see a lot of people being frustrated with MBC when they take a list from online, and run it at their local FNM or Game Day, and find out that it just falls flat due to their metagame. You have to know what your opponents are likely to run to make MBC work well. It might not have the power level to compete with Cawblade on a pro scale, because the metagame there is much more expansive, but if you're looking to stomp your local tournaments, just tune the deck around what you want to beat. The only required cards for the deck are some number of Dismember, Go for the Throat and Inquisition. That leaves you with almost 30 cards that you can use to metagame with.

  2. Hey,

    first off. the article is amazing. i've been working on an MBC control deck for a while now (especially one that includes obliterators, because i absolutely love them) but i really feel what Brian was saying at the end of his article about it being difficult to netdeck this type of deck because of variances in peoples' metagames.

    where i play, i see a lot of cawblade, twin, and valakut decks. i feel pretty confident about handling cawblade and twin but i was wondering what suggestions you might have about ways to deal with valakut.

    thanks a bunch.

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