That is something I never thought I would say, much less believe. My name is Levi Gaines and I am writing today to talk about the deck that I won legitmtg’s own preliminary ptq with on January 10th. The deck is monoblack devotion and before you skip to the decklist and write it off as a fluke, take some time to read my experiences with the deck and how I believe it to be a good answer to the metagame. Also, I’m a foodie and, as such, I’m also going to dedicate a portion at the end for a delicious chili pie recipe because who doesn’t like food and games?
For the past month, I’ve been playing U/W control and didn’t want to play it in a PPTQ. At FNM, the night before, I played this pile of black power while everyone told me I shouldn’t. I took that challenge and brought it to the PPTQ totally expecting to 0-2 drop. Here’s a decklist and summary of my rise to power.
Mono black Devotion
Round One: Josh playing U/W Heroic
Game 1 I was SMASHED by turn 4.
I boarded in 3 Brain Maggot, 2 Feast of Dreams (spice) and 1 Silence the Believers. I took out 1 Read the Bones, 1 Sign in Blood, 2 Erebos, God of the Dead, 2 Squelching Leeches and 1 Herald of Torment.
Game 3 was an opener with double Thoughtseize after he mulliganed to five.
Round 2: Chris with Jeskai Tokens
Game 1 was a drawn out game with both of us drawing a lot of lands. Point removal was close to useless against tokens. Also, Jeskai Ascendancy is a hell of a drug.
Round 3: Spencer with Abzan Whip
Intentional Draw cause we’re best buds. Also because I’m manly and 1-1-1 is where it’s at.
Round 4: Baldy with U/W Heroic (Maindeck Negate)
Game 1: He mulligans to 6 to a hand with no creatures. Turn one Thoughtseize shows me this and the game is over in short order.
Board in the same way as round 1.
Round 5: Austin playing Abzan Midrange
Game 2: I cast Thoughtseize on turn 2 seeing 1 scry land, Abzan Charm, Duneblast, 2 Utter End, Hero’s Downfall and Liliana. My curve was Herald of Torment into Squelching Leeches. He got a little greedy and cast Abzan Charm looking for another land to Hero’s Downfall on the same turn. When he missed the land, he fell too behind. If he had just one for one’d me instead, it would have been much harder to get ahead. Once again, Squelching Leeches > Siege Rhino.
Made it in at 7th seed at 3-1-1.
Quarterfinals: Javier with Mardu Midrange
Game 1: Butcher into Stormbreath into Elspeth was a little too value-tastic.
Game 2: Opponent got me down to 4 but I slowly answered everything with spot removal. There was a big turnaround in the game when I cast Grey Merchant into Whip of Erebos into Doomwake Giant. The large amount of life I gained allowed me to stabilize.
Game 3: Answered all the threats and then leeched him to death.
Semifinals: Chris with Jeskai Tokens
Game 1: Turn one I cast Thoughtseize taking Raise the Alarm. I followed that up with a leeches on turn five. I had to wait because I saw he had a Stoke the Flames. Suited up the leeches with a herald and flew to victory.
Board in: same as round 2.
Game 2: He attempted to Disdainful Stroke my bestowed Herald of Torment. I knew it didn’t work that way, but he was so confident I almost allowed it until I called a judge over to make sure. The game was still close and I was at 4 and he was at 12. I had the bestowed leeches as a 9/9 and he had a Hushwing Gryff, two tokens and a Jeskai Ascendancy with 4 open mana and a Disdainful Stroke that I knew about. His end of turn I Silence the Believers his gryff with BB mana open. He goes in the tank and lets it resolve. Mindblown, I play a swamp, hit him for 10 in the air and Sign in Blood targeting him for the win.
My finals opponent scooped to me with an even prize split, giving me the invite because he couldn’t make it to the ptq.
Mono Black Matchup Analysis
• Good against every green shell because of the cheaper removal and maindeck card draw.
• Good against aggro because of the cheap removal and 3 Whip of Erebos maindeck.
• Bad against U/B control because they do what we do better.
• U/W control is 50/50 based on draws.
Black Bean Chili Pie Time!
Here’s the recipe I recommend.
Given my extensive background in mono black, I substituted black beans for the pinto beans and recommend adding diced jalapenos and cheddar cheese to the cornbread mix before baking.
Mono black is still a thing without Pack Rats. I hope you accept the challenge I was given and squelch your competition. GET SOME!
Trackback from your site.