Black Magic Woman
Recently the Cube community has realized that black in cube is pretty much rubbish. I and several others like me have started fiddling around with black to make it less rubbish and more awesome. Some have cut black aggro, turning it into a control and midrange color exclusively. Some, like me, went to ValueTown, running only cards that 2 for 1- Skinrender, Nekrataal, Shriekmaw etc. Unfortunately, one can only run so many Flame Tongue Kavus before the Cube gets clogged with value.
Then I realized something interesting about black. This MIGHT be a shocker, but black has a theme about life payment. Now, Vampire Nighthawk has been a Cube staple for a long time, because he is efficient, trades up, evasive, and flies. So I started testing out another flying black vampire that gains life- Sangromancer. She rewards the Black Mage for doing what he loves to do- death and discard. She really performed, and I was very pleasantly surprised, because everyone knows that lifegain is a casual mechanic- but lifegain suddenly becomes a lot more important when you are trading away your life for victory- Phyrexian Arena, Dark Confidant, Bitterblossom, etc. Wizards even noticed it when they created the “ultimate” life payment card.
So, we have established that lifegain is good in black, black loves killing things, and forcing discard, and generally sowing discord. This brings me to what some famous cube personalities were doing: Pox, accompanied by Smallpox and Contamination. These three cards attack a player’s hand, life total, and general ability to play the game, with the pretense they they are mirrored effects and totally reasonable. These were of course made entirely one sided and unreasonable by including cards like: Bitterblossom, Bloodghast and Gravecrawler, and to a lesser extent: Crucible of Worlds, all of which I already had in my Cube- I also grabbed a Squee, Goblin Nabob, and I was off to the races.
I drafted Mono-Black last night and was not disappointed. I had this archetype sold as “the most fun anyone has ever had drafting black,” and oh man. It was.
Here is the beauty that has seduced me, my Black Magic Woman.
Liliana of Dark Realms
Squee, Goblin Nabob
Go for the Throat
Disciple of Bolas (Another Black Lifegain card)
Hymn to Tourach
I piloted this deck to a disappointing 1-2 finish. The games that I won were not close. As amazing as this deck was, it still could not handle artifacts or enchantments, but that is an article for another day; Smokestack and Braids are in the mail.