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- SkinrenderNekrataalShriekmaw 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 ArenaDark ConfidantBitterblossom, 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: BitterblossomBloodghast 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
Diabolic Edict
Go for the Throat
Dark Confidant
Disciple of Bolas (Another Black Lifegain card)
Phyrexian Revoker
Massacre Wurm
Loxodon Warhammer
Diregraf Ghoul
Pack Rat
Cursed Scroll
Okiba-Gang Shinobi
Wurmcoil Engine
Profane Command
Blood Artist
Hymn to Tourach
Inkmoth Nexus
Barren Moor
Mishra’s Factory
14x Swamp

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.


~ by Andrew Couture on October 8, 2012.

2 Responses to “Black Magic Woman”

  1. Oh man, if you enjoyed that and haven’t played Smokestack or Braids yet… 😀

  2. I thought the Black (with a touch of Red) Aggro I drafted a while ago was a much more stable Cube deck.

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