The last few articles were all tournament related so I figured I should do something a bit more casual this time.
Early in my magic youth I was heavily drawn to the color black. I’m not even sure exactly why. I just knew it was color than the other colors. My first deck I actually thought of as decent (by my standards then at least, it looks like a pile now) was a mono black deck. It was an aggro control deck but not because I planned it that way. I really just threw every black card I thought was cool into it and tried to trim it down as much as possible. I don’t remember exactly what was in it card for card but I remember it was 83 cards.
I’m pretty sure it looked at least something like this:
My First “Good” Deck
It changed a little every other day so this isn’t close to an exact list but these are all cards that I was likely to play with at the time. I’m sure Dustin remembers me playing with a few of these cards especially Gravebane Zombie, Disturbed Burial, and possibly Darkling Stalker. Mostly because these were the cards that annoyed him the most. I still have that one Extinction and it has always been my only copy. At the time 1 out of every 3 decks was a Sliver deck so it served me well. Slivers were so rampant I remember playing with Metallic Sliver because it absorbed all their abilities without helping them. We called it Welfare Sliver (and we still do).
Over time this deck got a bit better. The first thing that happened was I finally was able to get it down to 60 cards. Even the first day I started I knew a deck should be 60 cards and I even basically knew why. I just couldn’t for the life of me figure out what to cut. I remember thinking it was really hard to get it down to the 83 that I used. The second thing I did was start buying a few cards on ebay that I really wanted. Naturally among the first cards I went for were Royal Assassins and Nightmares. The deck eventually ended up looking something like this:
My Old Black Deck
This deck is certainly better even if it is still a pile. The Puppet Strings were tech though. Dustin was also known for using Royal Assassin at every point possible. He would use them with Icy Manipulator (which I didn’t have). The Stings would not only let me Royal a creature by tapping it but could also untap the Royal to get a second use out of it. It also trumped Dustin’s Royals. It would put an end to that “I Royal your Royal” nonsense. If he tried to Royal my Royal I could untap it to make his fizzle then Royal his Royal. I only had two Sengir Vampires but honestly didn’t like them much (still don’t really). 20 lands is not enough for this deck but I thought I could count Dark Ritual as land.
Really everything I just went through was just to make this article not be two paragraphs long. When I was looking through the 9th spoiler I noticed that a lot of the old school favorite black cards were back in print. I thought it would be fun to make an “Old School” black deck with cards that I loved back in the day. Just to make it more interesting I made it 9th Ed. only.
Old Skool Black - 9th Ed. Constructed
- 24 Swamp
I wanted to fit both Quicksand and Hell’s caretaker in the deck but the non-basics would mess with both Consume Spirit and Nightmare. Then again a few probably still would be a good idea. There just wasn’t space for the Caretaker. Also it is a 1/1 for 4 mana ad would likely just die before it did anything. I could probably make this deck a bit better by adding more discard like Blackmail but that didn’t feel old school enough. Fellwar Stone is there because there are a lot of expensive spells and no Dark Ritual. A Standard version would run Chrome Mox to try and get Hyppie out as soon as possible. While not of the level of Ritual Hyppie the Mox can let you drop it on turn 2. Still early enough for it to be nuts. The deck also really wants Hymn to Tourach but that isn’t likely to happen. If anything we may eventually get Stupor back. I could live with that. Also I don’t think Mind Rot would be broken costed at BB. Wrench Mind shows they are almost willing for that to happen. Too bad every deck runs 5 million artifacts right now. Stupid Jitte and Top. Distress would likely be there just because there is no Duress.
Old Skool Black - 9th Ed. Standard
- 20 Swamp
I threw this together just to make the article longer. If you cared more about it being good than old school you would drop the Royals, Nightmares, and Icys for cards that are actually good now. Kokusho, the Evening Star and Kagemaro, First to Suffer are just plain better than Nightmare and Sengir Vampire.