Jet Black

Back in the mid 90's, monoblack was my favorite archetype. Maybe it was something special with the scary-looking artwork, the flavour of cards like Lord of the Pit and Royal Assassin, or just the fact that my black deck could actually beat most comers during the lunch breaks at school. Back then, Nettling Imp (or Norrit) plus Sorceress Queen and Sengir Vampire was seen as a deadly combination. The old school players of today have optimized the monoblack strategy quite a bit from that.

One route to take is the suicide school, which heavily utilizes Greed to generate card advantage and overwhelm the opponent. A great example of this can be seen in Heiner Litz's tournament report from Eudemonia. Another path is that of monoblack control, which use control cards like Icy Manipulator and use Underworld Dreams as a primary win condition. An extreme example of this is GaJol's Distress deck from BSK 2012, which I unfortunately don't have any pictures of (a later version of the deck splashing red can be seen here though). A more recent version of monoblack control is Danish player Jimmi Kristiansen's sweet deck from n00bcon 6:

Icy Manipulator is probably a better card to use with Royal Assassin than Nettling Imp ;)
Jimmi's deck has som great synergies. Agressive creatures with Icy and Meekstone; Pestilence and Mishras; and Tabernacle backed up by Icy and Sinkhole, to name a few. It does however lack the darkest of all the black creatures...

Expect my visit when the darkness comes,
The night I think is best for hiding all;
If the heavens felt the love I feel for you,
The sun would not shine, nor the moon rise,
Nor the stars travel in their nightly journey.


There's some random trivia for you; the flavour text on Juzam Djinn is actually part of a poem. It was written by an eleventh-century princess of Andalusia, most commonly known as Wallada bint al-Mustakfi. Enough about that though, let's check out the latest and greatest tech in monoblack tempo today; Sehl's finalist deck from Warcon 2014.

The small plastic Tiger was btw found in the second place prize of the tournament; a Kinder Egg :)
Now this is a really cool deck, and one of the best version I've seen on tempo-based monoblack this far. Since n00bcon, Sehl had gotten his hands on a playset of Juzams and a black mox, and he used them to great success. His deck combines the control elements of four Underworld Dreams and no less than three Disks with the explosiveness of a turn 1 Hypnotic or Juzam. I just hope that the hidden card in the sideboard is a Jovial Evil...


  1. Sweet, so very sweet! 8D


  2. Eriks deck is gruesome and really fun to play against. He an opponent not to underestimate too! :)

  3. kudos for random trivia babout Juzam! thanks!


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