Mulitplayer Wither

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I've started putting together a multiplayer wither deck and would love some comments or suggestions. I play in a playgroup of around 8 people and we use an Attack Left, Defend Right format. Here's the decklist i've come up with so far:


4 x Necroskitter  (obvious staple to any -1/-1 counter deck)


4 x Corrosive Mentor (all black creatures I control gain wither? I'll take it)


4 x Murderous Redcap (does damage to crea/play equal to it's power upon entering the batllefield, it has persist and it will have wither from Mentor, synergy is too good to pass up)


4 x Soul Snuffers (amazing for multiplayer, all creatures get a -1/-1 counter when it comes into play)


2 x Kulrath Knight (combined with Soul snuffers this thing is a win condition on it's own, too good to pass up in multiplayer)


2x Midnight Banshee (5/5 wither, puts a -1/-1 counter on each nonblack creature each upkeep)


20 Creatures


 


4 x Blowfly Infestation or Crumbling Ashes (not sure which one would be better for this format, input more than welcome)


4 x Scar


4x Incremental Blight (A huge under appreciated card, can usually kill two creatures and cripple a third)


4 x Beesech the Queen (deck searching for 3 mana)


16 Spells


 


24 x Swamp


 


This is what I'm planning to run for our next "season". The only concern I have is that the mana curve is fairly high and that I may get crushed early before I can get rolling. Anyone have any suggestions on changes that could be made? Thanks in Advace.


- Xav

The first (and arguably best) deck I ever made was a mono black wither deck.  Here's what mine looks like:


 


4 Oona's Gatewarden


4 Dusk Urchins


4 Necroskitter


4 Soul Snuffers


4 Kulrath Knight


3 Midnight Banshee


 


4 Blowfly Infestation


 


4 Dark Ritual


 


4 Demonic Tutor


2 Scarscale Ritual


1 Damnation


2 Incremental Blight


 


4 Barren Moor


17 Swamp


 


 


This deck is absolutely ridiculous.  Oona's Gatewarden supplies the much-needed deterrent froom attacking early on.  Dusk Urchins / Scarscale Ritual / Barren Moor (when cycled) give you unprecedented draw capabilities (I once drew 19 cards from a single Dusk Urchins).  Demonic Tutor fetches exactly what you need.  Kulrath Knight / Soul Snuffers / Midnight Banshee locks everybody else down from attacking or blocking.  Damnation / Incremental Blight / Blowfly Infestaion nuke the field.  Necroskitter steals everything in sight.  Dark Ritual accelerates into what you need (I once got a turn 2 Midnight Banshee out.  Turn 4 Banshees are not uncommon.  Turn 1 Dusk Urchins really sets you up nicely, too).


 


Unless I have three + people simultaneously gang up on me, I usually win (one time in particular it took four people, 2 Mindslavers, 4 Oblivion Stones, a random hasted creature and a Might of Oaks to actually kill me... and that was with an older version of this deck).


 


For your crumbling ashes / Blowfly Infestation debate, I'd say that Blowfly Infestation wins out every time.  It's essentially a 1-sided Wrath of God (especially with multiples out, with a little careful math on your part).


 


I hope that this helps.

"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
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Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

Thanks a lot for your informative post Cath! I thought about adding the draw capabilites of Dusk Urchins and Scarscale originally but didn't think I could find the space. I love the Barren Moors, i'll be putting 4 in for sure.


I also had a long debate between Oona's Gatewarden and Sickle Ripper. The Oona's has defender but it does offer flying defence early on. I think it will be enough to hold me from getting slammed before I can get rolling.


I'm also thinking about maybe cutting down on the 4-of's. As much as i'd like to run Demonic Tutor I don't really wanna dish out $5, or more, a card. I had Beesech the Queen for the same reason, it's one more mana and you have to reveal but that's all I can do I guess! Maybe I'll look into Diabolic Tutor or even Liliana, I have 4 of those lying around. The bottom line is, I don't think I need so many 4-ofs since I can search for the ones I need.


I'm still on the fence over Blowfly vs. Ashes but I think i'm gonna run the Blowflys first. They have a "chain-reaction" capability just waiting to be abused! Combined with Necroskitter, things get messy for everyone else.


One last thing Cath. How did you manage to draw 19 cards from a DU? A lot of creatures with counters died and you splashed them all on your DU? Clever! Anyways thanks again. Any other suggestions are appreciated as always!


Yeah.  I was playing against a white flying deck, an elf token deck and a modular/burn deck.  I had 2 blowflies in play and began pinging the 1-toughness guys, then the two (taking care of the pumping elves first), then so on and so on.  I finally loaded down all of the remaining counters onto the dusk Urchin, then put the two left over from that on a Midnight Banshee (sad thing to do, but as I was the only one with any creatures out, it worked out well enough).  After that I was able to play down a lot of the cards in my hand (including another Dusk Urchins) to the point where I only had to discard a couple of cards (specifically, all of my lands).  Granted, that game was unusally good for the deck, but 3-4 cards off of a Dusk Urchins is pretty common.  Both it and Scarscale Ritual (which I tend to target Oona's Gatewarden in these situations) can set off a Blowfly chain.  I won a few otherwise unwinnable games off of Oona's Gatewarden + Scarscale Ritual.


 


Yeah, the demonic tutors can be pricy.  I got mine from Divine v Demonic and trades with friends who did the same (there's not a high degree of black-centrism around here).  Beseech the Queen should be able to fetch you what you need well enough, though, especially later-game.


 


One card choice that you might want to consider is Corrupt.  I've noticed that a wither deck paints an enormous bull's eye on your forehead, especially when people still have creatures that can attack.  I initially ran 2-3 Corrupt for the targeted damage and the life-gain, but have since weened those out as I focussed the deck more tightly on the Kulrath-lock.  Depending on what kind of opposition you're facing, the Corrupts might be a good choice.


"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
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Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.



Yeah.  I was playing against a white flying deck, an elf token deck and a modular/burn deck.  I had 2 blowflies in play and began pinging the 1-toughness guys, then the two (taking care of the pumping elves first), then so on and so on.  I finally loaded down all of the remaining counters onto the dusk Urchin, then put the two left over from that on a Midnight Banshee (sad thing to do, but as I was the only one with any creatures out, it worked out well enough).  After that I was able to play down a lot of the cards in my hand (including another Dusk Urchins) to the point where I only had to discard a couple of cards (specifically, all of my lands).  Granted, that game was unusally good for the deck, but 3-4 cards off of a Dusk Urchins is pretty common.  Both it and Scarscale Ritual (which I tend to target Oona's Gatewarden in these situations) can set off a Blowfly chain.  I won a few otherwise unwinnable games off of Oona's Gatewarden + Scarscale Ritual.


Apparently you don't realize that you can't do this. There's no way to stack more then 3 -1/-1 counters on a single Dusk Urchins unless they are put onto it by the same effect. You wouldn't be able to 'load down all of the remaining counters' at once, because the Urchins would die as soon as its toughness dropped below 0. The rest of the effects would be countered by lack of target.


Anyway, as for the deck: I've found that Wither decks tend to draw a lot of attention. I have yet to see one that could keep up with the pressure they get after they drop a Necroskitter or play a Blowfly Infestation. Now, this will depend upon your metagame, but if a Wither deck can survive the onslaught of 3-4 decks at once, something is wrong. Wither is an interesting deck, but it just is not that strong. It's not like monoblack control, where once you get going, you can dominate an entire table. Cards like Soul Snuffers just, in general (though not in all playgroups) attract far more attention then they are worth. Similar cards like Syphon Soul and Syphon Mind which hurt everyone are often used in Monoblack Control, but MBC has the power to back those effects up, while Wither-based decks simply do not have that power unless for some strange reason your opponents just let you steal their creatures with Necroskitter.


Basically, Wither is a decent deck, but I wouldn't suggest whipping it out every time your group sets up to play Multiplayer. It just sets you up as an annoying target that, if you don't take him out early, will just shrink all your creatures and try to steal them, and lock them down...etc. Just have some other, less annoying, decks ready to use.


Here's an easy way to "keep up" with the hate:


 


Turn 1: Swamp, Dark Ritual, Dusk Urchins.


Turn 2: Swamp.  Attack with Dusk Urchins, play Scarscale Ritual (draw 2 cards).


Turn 3: Swamp.  Necroskitter.  Attack with Dusk Urchins (draw 3 cards).


Turn 4: Swamp.  Soul Snuffers.


Turn 5: Swamp.  Kulrath Knight.


Turn 6: Swamp.  Midnight Banshee.


 


That's not even accounting for more common, more explosive starts... such as


 


Turn 1: Swamp.  Oona's Gatewarden.


Turn 2: Swamp.  Demonic Tutor.


Turn 3: Swamp.  Necroskitter.


Turn 4: Swamp.  Dark Ritual, Midnight Banshee.


Turn 5: Kulrath Knight.


 


This is a very common chain of events.  I can get the lock out early, then set up my blowflies and nuke the field when the time comes.  I imagine that bad wither decks can't make the grade, but this one's consistantly dominated for about 2 years, and my playgroup's not taken this deck lying down.  Yesterday this one guy in our playgroup (new as of this year) who'd yet to win a game borrowed the deck.  It was him (with my deck), me (red/black madness), modular/burn, white flying, and Esper Control.  He won for the first time, despite the fact that the deck had a monstrous target on it (as well as him naturally having one, for God knows what reason).


 


So yes, it draws a ridiculous amount of attention, but any wither deck worth its salt won't fold due simply to being hated out by disgruntled players.

"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
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Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

Our play group plays an attack left, defend right format. Meaning you only attack to your left. However, instants/sorcerys/abilties/etc can be played anywhere. This works in my favour for a wither deck. Only one person will be directly attacking me and I don't believe others will waste the cards or resources nuking my stuff from across the table. On the oher hand, I can steal creatures from across the table!

In attack left/defend right, decks like this do have an advantage. I'm not as familiar with the format as I'd like to be, so I'll restrain from commenting further then that on that situation.


As to Wither decks being able to handle a full-table onslaught; look, I have never seen it happen. There's certainly potential for that...if your table is relatively removal and/or sweeper free, which means the metagame is open for more serious manipulation. Wither just does not have the power to back up its threat; nor does it have any way to stop anyone else from just taking out their key threats or simply wiping the board.


Let me give you a more likely scenario of what would happen in any competant metagame:

Turn 1: You Dark Ritual into Dusk Urchins. Everyone starts looking at you suspiciously; very few people like to see a turn-1 Ritual.


This is then followed up by the logical Lightning Bolt killing your Urchins. I've even seen turn-1 Specters Path to Exiled or Swords to Plowshares before they even attacked just so they wouldn't have to be dealt with. Although I would expect the canny white players would wait to see if you attacked them, I have no doubts that any competent player wouldn't bother taking the 3 damage and would Path or Swords the Urchins if they had it.


Turn 2: Assuming the Urchins is still alive, you play the Scarscale Ritual. Even assuming it doesn't get countered (being that turn 2 is generally the turn people hold mana open for Counterspell to nail a turbo-combo), this will draw some hate. Not nearly as much as a turn-1 Urchins, but cheap synergistic card drawing is not something seen as friendly for everyone else. Competent players realize the advantage of card advantage.


Turn 3: You play Necroskitter. By now you've likely taken some small hits from small creatures, and playing Necroskitter will draw everyone to paint the walls with your blood. Necroskitter should not survive till your next upkeep, and if it does, again, something is seriously wrong with your metagame or you are extremely lucky.


And so on. I'm not even going to both going through the rest of the turns, but I'm sure you get the idea. I just do not believe that Wither will ever do nearly as well as you say in any kind of healthy FFA metagame.

Trust me, my metagame very competant.  I have a friend who loves nothing more than to Wrath the field (either with Wrath of God or the equivalent), especially in her signature Leyline of the Void control deck.  I have another friend who'll lie in wait with one kind of mass removal or another, springing it on us when most strategically sound to blow up the world.  The friend of mine who won with the wither deck last night is notorious for whipping everybody into a frenzy against the player with the largest tactical advantage, and another friend who'll target me specifically regardless of any kind of advantage or circumstance.  One friend of mine players highly-tuned sliver decks that I quite honestly can't wither down fast enough (too much pump and flash).  The friend with the modular/burn deck has enough targetted and mass removal to nuke the world ten times over (or target troublesme threats with the same consistancy).  Another friend of mine has a black discard deck that's packed with ridiculous amounts of creature removal, while another has a black graveyard-control deck that's likewise removal-heavy.


 


The point is this: my deck is resiliant enough to survive the hate, the removal, the sweeping.  My deck generates enough card and creature advantage where it's incredibly difficult to break through my defenses.  My deck is able to lock the game down in terms of creatures, and allow me to beat through to victory, and, if not, to utterly nuke the field and start all over again (with the added advantage of their creatures fighting for me).  Just because you've only seen lackluster versions that can't hold their own in a game doesn't mean that mine numbers among them.


 


And as for sweeping, that ends in my favor, always and every time.  I direct you to rule 603.6d:


"Normally, objects that exist immediately after an event are checked to see if the event matched
any trigger conditions. Continuous effects that exist at that time are used to determine what the
 trigger conditions are and what the objects involved in the event look like. However, some
 triggered abilities must be treated specially because the object with the ability may no longer be
 on the battlefield, may have moved to a hand or library, or may no longer be controlled by the
 appropriate player. The game has to "look back in time" to determine if these abilities trigger.
 Leaves-the-battlefield abilities, abilities that trigger when a permanent phases out, abilities that
 trigger when an object that all players can see is put into a hand or library, abilities that trigger
 specifically when an object becomes unattached, abilities that trigger when a player loses control
 of an object, and abilities that trigger when a player planeswalks away from a plane will trigger
 based on their existence, and the appearance of objects, prior to the event rather than afterward.


Example: Two creatures are on the battlefield along with an artifact that has the ability
 "Whenever a creature is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, you gain 1 life." Someone plays
 a spell that destroys all artifacts, creatures, and enchantments. The artifact's ability triggers twice,
 even though the artifact goes to its owner's graveyard at the same time as the creatures."
"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
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Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

So Cath, from that rule quote:


You have a necroskitter out, someone plays Wrath of God. All creatures are destroyed, but the ones with counters on them come back under your control because the Necroskitter's ability still triggered correct?


If that is the case, sweeping the board is a bad idea.....

Correct.  That's the exact reason why I have the Damnation in the deck.  This is why my Wrath-happy friend (and sweeper happy friends in general) have little overall impact on what I'm doing.  I might lose some stuff on my part, but I usually make back 3-4 times what I actually lost.  Even then, I almost always hold back extra Kulrath Knights and Necroskitters for that inevitable Wrath, after which I simply replay it and the cycle starts all over again.

"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
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Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
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Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

Regardless of that, here is a fact you cannot ignore:

If your Necroskitter is living for more than a turn in most circumstances, your metagame is not competant. You may deny this as you wish, but it does not make it any less true. Necroskitter should not live for that long. Anything that vulnerable with that kind of threat level - examples of this are Urborg Syphon-Mage, Glarecaster, Goblin Tinkerer, etc. - should not live very long due to their power level and ability to be killed easily. If your metagame is constantly letting your Necroskitter hang around, they are not competant. Most targeted removal that good multiplayer players use - Flame Javelin, Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares, Sudden Death, Terminate, Vindicate, Maelstrom Pulse, Aftershock, etc., will all eliminate Necroskitter without difficulty. If your playgroup isn't playing those cards, they are not competant.

Yes, many players will use Terror-style effects that can't hit black creatures and some players will use burn, which would necessitate the use of two spells to take out the Necroskitter. But regardless, the vast majority of good removal in multiplayer hits and kills Necroskitter easily. It does not have Shroud. It has protection from nothing. Its toughness, while respectable, is not exceptional. It is just a walking target.

You also claim that your deck is so much better than all versions of the deck I've seen. I would argue that a version my friend piloted, which was very similar to the deck you've posted (no Dark Rituals, as they draw a huge amount of hate from our table - and most others as well, and only one Midnight Banshee. He also ran 1 Vampiric Tutor in addition to 4 Demonic Tutor), was the best I've ever seen. How did that deck fare in multiplayer?

We murdered him the first time he played the deck. He dropped a turn 3 Necroskitter, which I promptly Repulsed at the end of his turn and then hit with a Lobotomy on my turn (yes, I did that. And I'm not ashamed.) After that, his deck just collapsed; without the threat of Necroskitter dropping on the field, we could basically treat him as a weak creature deck with weird removal and the ability to draw cards off Dusk Urchins. In the following games he used the deck, all that had to be done was the removal of Necroskitter and the deck was rendered without a superior advantage. Without Necroskitter, the deck is still okay; but it's basically just an inferior black creature deck without the ability to steal creatures. Yeah, there is Blowfly Infestation, but considering that that enchantment gets blanked every time the board is wiped, it's not a big threat without Necroskitter.

Basically, the deck's only trump card is a massive target that has no way to protect itself. And none of the rest of the deck is able to protect that single card either. There is, therefore, no reason the creature should survive to do its job any more than once in a rare, rare time. Sometimes, there will be times when everyone's removal is exhausted and you can safely drop a Necroskitter when there are other, bigger threats on the table. But in that case, those bigger threats are also a big threat to you (at least in most situations), and therefore any freshly drawn removal, being that it would normally hit the more dangerous targets, won't necessarily help you.

Are the Corrosive Mentors really doing much for you? You have very few creatures that don't already have Wither. I'd suggest the oft-forgotten Serrated Biskelion instead.

You say that your friend's version was so much better than mine.  Why then, may I ask, when a single creature of his was taken out of the picture, did his deck utterly collapse?  I've had games where my necroskitters are killed, removed and otherwise dealt with.  My deck didn't lose; in fact, more often than not it still went on to win.  I conservatively cast my necroskitters, so that I never have multiple on the field at the same time (proactive protection against sweeping).  And, even then, Necroskitter is not my only, or even primary, means of winning.  It's absolutely ridiculous, and it ties the deck together extremely nicely, but if it's dealt with I still have other ways of winning the game.  The Kulrath Knight lock is the main focus of the deck, so they're more likely to target the Kulrath Knight (which, unlike Necroskitter, is in Lightning Bolt range) so they can at least make use of their creatures, or the Midnight Banshee so their creatures stop being slowly withered away (you've never seen anything sadder than a Darksteel Colossus unable to do anything as it gradually shrinks down to nothing and get reshuffled into its controller's library).


 


You yourself have admitted that its toughness almost always necesitates the use of two burn spells, and being black means that mono-black has very little ways of dealing with it.  I they decide to sweep the board, than they either kill everything (which hurts everybody else more than me, typically) or simply swap control of creatures from them to me.


 


Are there ways to kill it?  Of course.


Does it draw more than its fair share of hatred from everybody else?  Yes, obviously.


Can and do they kill it?  When they can.


Does losing it make my deck unplayable, or so severely set me back that I'm at a loss at rebounding from it?  No.


 


So, yes, they can Pulse, Path, Terminate, Reap, Wrath, double Bolt, Corrupt, Blaze, Condemn, Unmake, Swords to Plowshare, etc... my Necroskitter.  They can very simply bash into me until I block with it.  I make no delusions about that.  It's a creature, pure and simple, and can be dealt with in most of the usual ways. 


 


It, my deck, and myself all have massive targets on ourselves.  However, I am a good enough player, and my deck well constructed enough, that my victory doesn't hinge on the survival of a single card, and our play group is both diverse and strong enough that the Necroskitter isn't always the biggest and most immediate threat (on turn 3 or otherwise).


 


Just because your play group isn't competent enough to make a functional, resiliant wither deck doesn't mean that I'm not.

"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
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Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
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I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

I did not say that my friend's wither deck was better than yours. Rather, I said that it was very similar; it's quite possible your version is better. However, it's rather irrelevant; the difference in cards is slight, as there's not a lot of room for variation off of the standard monoblack wither deck.

Let me try to explain this to you again: Outside of Necroskitter and sometimes Blowfly Infestation (and you could argue the case for Kulrath Knight as well), this deck has nothing that makes it any better then a standard black deck with regular black creatures and regular black removal. And so on. Even saying that Kulrath Knight and Blowfly Infestation are good enough to make the deck above standard - which in my opinion, is not always true, but let's assume it is in this scenario - you still have to look at it like this:

Necroskitter, Kulrath Knight, and Blowfly Infestation set this deck apart. However, all three draw huge amounts of hate. Necroskitter is vulnerable to most removal. Kulrath Knight is vulnerable to almost all removal, being that it is inside of Bolt range.

Let's look at it like this: Necroskitter has x impact upon the board, and it takes y effort to remove it. The x is pretty big...if Necroskitter can live to see you untap and cast something, or your upkeep if you already have out a Midnight Banshee. As for y? In most cases, it is low. Black decks that aren't running something without color restrictions (I almost always run Sudden Death in monoblack, mostly for instances like this) will have to resort to attacking you in an attempt to stop Necroskitter. Red decks generally have two options, assuming that they have both creatures and burn (and assuming they aren't playing Aftershock or any similar shenanigens): they can either burn a high-class burn spell on the Necroskitter, like Flame Javelin, or, in most cases, they can burn two spells on it or simply attack you. Many do both. To get back to the original equation, x:y, x is much larger than y. In all cases, this means that if people can get rid of it, they will, because the x is high. Because the y is low, they almost always will be able to remove it. The x is a slight bit lower for Kulrath Knight, but the y is lower as well. Blowfly Infestation's y is higher, being an enchantment, but the x is also lower due to the lessened impact it has upon the board.

Now, mathematical conjecture aside, those three cards are undeniably what sets the Wither deck apart from a standard black deck. I'm sure we can all agree upon that, seeing as other black decks can make use of Midnight Banshee and Soul Snuffers.

Necroskitter simply does not have the punch to back up its power. Here is the reason why the hate it draws is proportionally far more than its power:

Necroskitter does not effect the board by itself; like Megrim, it relies on other cards to actually do something. This considerably weakens its actual power; although its percieved power is high because of what it can do, it will rarely if ever be able to do it the turn it comes into play. (If you have the mana to cast an Incremental Blight and Necroskitter, that's awesome, but unless everyone's tapped out (which is unlikely), you still take the risk of getting nailed with a counterspell or having the Necroskitter killed in response).
Necroskitter has no inherent protection. It does have four toughness, but it doesn't really have anything else besides its black color to protect it. Necroskitter is completely at the mercy of anyone playing white or blue, and red players can remove it with some effort (in most situations). There's a reason creatures like Darksteel Colossus and Akroma are kings of multiplayer; they are hard to kill and they have a huge impact on the board. Perhaps a better example of this would be Pristine Angel; I don't know if it sees play amongst many playgroups, but it sees a lot in mine. Why? Because it is extraordinarily hard to kill. Short of a sweeper - and many of us play things like Rescue to save it even in that situation - so long as the controller has an instant, it's nearly invulnerable. Necroskitter is not like that. It has power, but it cannot defend itself.

Wither is just not strong enough to handle the hate it draws. With Necroskitter gone (as it nearly always will be), Kulrath Knight is more of an annoyance and not a threat. Yes, it stops things from attacking and blocking, but the global effect is certain to draw incidental hate. From a Wish counter on a Djinn of Wishes to the +1/+1 counters on a Phantom Nishoba, there will always be counters laying around for the Kulrath Knight to pick up on. You may think this is a good thing. It isn't. It basically means that you can't pick and choose your targets, meaning that you will always draw hate by playing it that you cannot control.
Is Kulrath Knight a powerful card? Yes. But like Necroskitter, it has no inherent protection and draws far more hate then it can handle.

To sum it up in one sentence: Wither is a powerful deck, but the cards which set it apart from other black creature decks draw massive amounts of hate and are easily removed, meaning that it will rarely if ever make use of them, setting it back to a regular black creature deck that will, once every so often, get lucky and be able to blow everyone else out.

Is it possible to splash a second color to protect our key cards? Maybe blue for some Counterspells or Unsummons?


Or maybe even find an additional win condition so it doesn't rely so heavily on the Necroskitter? 


 


How about running a couple of Everlasting Torments? Then every creature has wither and other players are helping load the board with -1/-1 counters. It's an enchantment so it has a little more resilience than a creature.

Well, in attack left, you won't have as much of a problem with the massive board hate. You can't really be dogpiled like you can in FFA.

As for splashing a second color? I suppose it could be done. I'm not really sure how well it would work - it'd decrease the critical mass of wither-based cards.

Everlasting Torment could be used. It'd make the deck into even more of a win-big-or-go-home deck, and would draw even more hate, but it would probably improve the deck's overall power. Certainly you could experiment with that; I expect it would make a decent addition.

"You also claim that your deck is so much better than all versions of the deck I've seen. I would argue that a version my friend piloted, which was very similar to the deck you've posted [...], was the best I've ever seen. How did that deck fare in multiplayer?

We murdered him the first time he played the deck."


 


You're right.  You didn't actually say that his was better than mine.  Your statement, though, was strongly implicitive of it, and thus my response.


 


"Let me try to explain this to you again: Outside of Necroskitter and sometimes Blowfly Infestation (and you could argue the case for Kulrath Knight as well), this deck has nothing that makes it any better then a standard black deck with regular black creatures and regular black removal."


 


Midnight Banshee as a big, honkin', withering creature that wittle away at your opponents creatures.  Dusk Urchins is there for significant card advantage.  Not to mention that creatures with Wither are as effective as creatures with deathtouch for deterring early attacks, and even better at deterring them with a blowfly out.


 


You keep talking about how incredibly easy Necroskitter is to remove.  Yes, he's a creature and yes, he doesn't have shroud.  But his toughness is significant enough to make burn typically require multiple spells and its color removes it from the vast majority of black targetted removal.  Sweeping with him out invariably ends in my favor.  I'm not saying that he's immune to being killed, or that he is so significantly beyond every other creature that he has little to nothing to worry about.  My point is simply that he's resistant to two common colors of removal (note: resistant) and the deck is designed to weather the hate (or maybe your friend simply couldn't handle the hate due to his inability to successfully pilot the deck).


 


When you give your argument about how Necroskitter should never live to see my next turn, you fail to factor in what everybody else is bringing to the table, and what other threats there are to deal with.  I have a friend who's always the threat early game (putters out quickly enough, but he can kill a person or two if he's allowed to).  If he plays, then he's the target early game and I can build up.  If he doesn't play (since he goes to another college, he's currently out of the picture) there are other people with other threats that are far more immediate than mine, and thus warrant more immediate attention.


 


Also, you discount the following possibilities that might deter them from targetting it (especially if I drop it early):


 


1)  Building up their own board position (to set up what their decks want to do, to deter early attackers, to bring their own creatures out to be offensive with)


 


2)  Whether they're willing to use removal (especially multiple instances of red removal) to get rid of a creature that comes out that early, that's not an immediate threat, and not even the main threat of the deck (as opposed to storing up their removal for the Kulrath Knight, or for the Midnight Banshee, which the deck is built to work around).


 


3)  What other people are doing (or are likely to do).  (What they have out, what we all know is coming from that deck, who's attacking or planning on attacking them specifically.  Do you waste that Path to Exile on a 3rd turn Necroskitter when I can ramp into a 4th turn Midnight Banshee?  Or, even then, which is the worst threat, a turn 3 Necroskitter, a turn 4 Elvish Piper that can become a turn 5 Darksteel Colossus, or a turn 3/4 Sliver Legion?  All of these are common enough plays by various members of our play group.  You can't just remove the first thing you see that threatens you, you have to wait and see what everybody else is doing and what is threatening you most immediately.)


 


 


You mention and give praise to Akroma and Darksteel Colossus as the kings of multiplayer.  I love both of these cards and use them both to varying degrees, but your own argument about how easy Necroskitter is to remove applies to them as well.  Bring our Darksteel Colossus, and if I can I'll cast Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares, Condemn, Oblivion Ring, Journey to Nowhere, Pacify, Unmake, Prison Term, Pillory of the Sleepless, Hallowed Burial, Final Judgment, Furnace Dragon, etc...


 


Play Akroma and I'll follow it up with any of the above (minus Furnace Dragon), plus the more usual contenders (Wrath of God, Plague Wind, Martial Coup, etc...).


 


The point is that nothing's immune to removal.  Things with Shroud can be taken care of indirectly, things with Protection can be taken care of in ways circumventing that protection, things that are indestructible can be exiled or otherwise indirectly taken care of.  Any variant of exiling and pacifying works on Darksteel Colossus.  The same goes for Akroma, but add in sweeping as well.  Does this make Akroma and Darksteel Colossus any less of a powerhouse?  No, of course not.  But the point is that they can be dealt with just the same as a Necroskitter is most instances.


 


Besides, if it's drawing hate from all sides, then you're obviously doing something right (especially if you're a competant enough player, and your deck competantly-enough made, to weather that hate).  Everything dies to one kind of removal or another, so the same old "Just Terror It" argument holds absolutely no water when discussing creatures.  Its resiliance to removal might be important, but the fact that it dies to it is old news and nonproductive.  The point is that Necroskitter is resistant to two common kinds of removal (black and red).  Is it immune to them?  No, of course not.  But its resiliance to them is a feature worth noting, not the simple fact that they can be killed off in one way or another.  It's at the mercy of white and blue, but so are Akroma and Darksteel Colossus.


 


In both of my play groups, I'm recognized as the best player.  In both groups, my wither deck is considered quite universally as a powerhouse deck that's almost impossible to beat.  Even when a wrath-happy friend plays her Leyline of the Void deck (nuetering Necroskitter's ability to steal creatures), even when I have a table of 4-5 other people gang up on me, I can still pull a victory out from the deck.  If they just continually target the Necroskitter, they do me a favor, because that means that they'll run out of removal by the time my threats that are actually important come around.

"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
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Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

Xavarirx, you can splash other colors for it, but I've tried multiple versions of wither, and mono-black, is quite simply the best.  (I started black/red, went mono-black, went blue/black, then went back to mono-black.)  If you want more protection for it, though, you could try experimenting with on-color protection (Dash Hopes, Muck Drubb and Kor Dirge immediately come to mind).  I think that the deck would function better using those than it would splashing for another color to do so.

"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

I'm quite tired of arguing this out. Basically, no matter what, not all of what you say can be true. Your playgroup cannot be competent and also let this happen:


In both of my play groups, I'm recognized as the best player.  In both groups, my wither deck is considered quite universally as a powerhouse deck that's almost impossible to beat.  Even when a wrath-happy friend plays her Leyline of the Void deck (nuetering Necroskitter's ability to steal creatures), even when I have a table of 4-5 other people gang up on me, I can still pull a victory out from the deck.  If they just continually target the Necroskitter, they do me a favor, because that means that they'll run out of removal by the time my threats that are actually important come around.





Look. I do not care if you have the best Wither-based deck in all of Magic. This just cannot happen if your group(s) are remotely competent. Even monoblack control, the powerhouse of multiplayer, cannot handle this many players when under a significant detriment to their strategy (such as Karma).

Again: Necroskitter is the only creature in this deck that is a powerhouse. You consistently overestimate Midnight Banshee. It shrinks some of your opponents' creatures, sure, but it's just a 5/5 that doesn't really do anything else. It's a decent creature, but like many other creatures, it draws more hate then it is worth. Black players can simply ignore it and other players won't like seeing their creatures shrunk. So they'll just attack you.

The Wither deck has no way to gain life whatsoever, a key element of all good multiplayer decks. Similarly, it has no way to recurse threats from the graveyard of its own - sure, you can steal other threats with Necroskitter, but that isn't really the same thing.

I won't bother going into more detail, since you seem absolutely determined that Wither is the greatest deck ever. It isn't a bad deck, but it is not nearly as strong as you say it is. You have also either completely lied about these situations, or, perhaps, highly overestimated the competency of your playgroup. Either way, you have proved yourself an unreliable source of information, solid Wither deck or no.


Regardless of that, here is a fact you cannot ignore:

If your Necroskitter is living for more than a turn in most circumstances, your metagame is not competant. You may deny this as you wish, but it does not make it any less true. Necroskitter should not live for that long. Anything that vulnerable with that kind of threat level - examples of this are Urborg Syphon-Mage, Glarecaster, Goblin Tinkerer, etc. - should not live very long due to their power level and ability to be killed easily. If your metagame is constantly letting your Necroskitter hang around, they are not competant. Most targeted removal that good multiplayer players use - Flame Javelin, Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares, Sudden Death, Terminate, Vindicate, Maelstrom Pulse, Aftershock, etc., will all eliminate Necroskitter without difficulty. If your playgroup isn't playing those cards, they are not competant.




 


 


Hi. I’m in Cathaldus' play group.  In fact I’m his "Wrath happy friend.”  You are out of line by calling us incompetent.  We each have our own unique style of playing, and we admittedly have to adapt them to withstand others' decks, but everybody plays to their own strengths.  I don't usually waste my Wrath of God, nor any other removal (targeted or otherwise) on his Necroskitters. Yes, the thing can be annoying as hell, but I’ve gotten to know his wither deck intimately and know by now that I should wait until he has something more annoying on the field, like Midnight Banshee or Kulrath Knight.  It’s both ignorant and unwarranted of you to claim that we are not competent, especially when you know nothing about our decks.  I will, however, end with this: you have no idea how devastating Cathaldus' wither deck can be, nor how much fun it is to play against it.

If his Wither deck is so devastating, why do you not immediately kill his Necroskitters when he plays them? Therein lies the secret of competency; you recognize threats and eliminate them. If you are not doing this, then you are not competent.

Your claim does not make sense. If he is consistently winning with the Wither deck, and yet you do not kill his Necroskitters - which are, the vast majority of the time, a much bigger threat then Midnight Banshee or Kulrath Knight, then you are not recognizing the pattern in front of your face.

Basically: If one deck is able to win every single game - or even just 80% or more of its games - the metagame is either incompetent or simply unable to keep up with the quality of cards (for instance, if one player was playing tuned Vintage decks and the other players were not willing to spend much money). It is obviously not the latter situation, so the only remaining option is that the metagame is incompetent or some lying is involved here.

"Again: Necroskitter is the only creature in this deck that is a powerhouse. You consistently overestimate Midnight Banshee. It shrinks some of your opponents' creatures, sure, but it's just a 5/5 that doesn't really do anything else. It's a decent creature, but like many other creatures, it draws more hate then it is worth. Black players can simply ignore it and other players won't like seeing their creatures shrunk. So they'll just attack you."


 


So you say that Midnight Banshee simultaneously draws unwarranted hate and doesn't cause players using black to bat an eye?


 


The fact of the matter is, with a Kulrath Knight out, they can't even attack with their creatures.  And if I don't have the Knight out?  Their creatures are constantly shrinking while mine do not, and if they attack into me, theirs will usually either die outright from the growing size difference, or be withered by an additional 5 from the Midnight Banshee (assuming that I don't block with another creature with wither, such as Oona's Gatewarden).  And if they attack me and their creature dies, that'll set off a Blowfly chain, nuking the field.  Also do keep in mind that turn 4 Midnight Banshees are fairly common from this deck, and that's typically before anything is out that can compete with it for creature quality, especially after its upkeep trigger.  And a turn 4 Midnight Banshee sets up nicely for a turn 5 Kulrath Knight.


 


Are they all excellent targets for removal?  Yes.


Does the deck bounce back from the removal easily?  Yes.


 


If anything, you are clearly underestimating the strength of the other creatures in this deck (especially in a black-light meta).  They compete with other players' creatures for removal attention (at least the removal that can affect them.  Let's face it, Midnight Banshee's equally as resiliant to black removal as Necroskitter is while being even more resiliant to burn than Necroskitter.  It'll take, in the vast majority of cases, 2, if not 3, burn spells to get rid of it.).


 


 


"The Wither deck has no way to gain life whatsoever, a key element of all good multiplayer decks. Similarly, it has no way to recurse threats from the graveyard of its own - sure, you can steal other threats with Necroskitter, but that isn't really the same thing."


 


 


You're right, there's no way for this deck to inherently gain life.  But you're gravely mistaken that life-gain is "a key element of all good multiplayer decks."  It definitely adds resiliancy to the deck, but it's far from mandatory, let alone mandatory for it to be a "good" deck.  If my opponents can't attack me, than what need do I have for excess life?  I only need 1 life to win, and I usually do so with even more than that.  The Kulrath lock is enough.  Necroskitter's icing on the cake.  I did use Corrupts and Consume Spirits initially, but I learned through constant testing that these not only were unecessary in the deck, but actually detracted from it.  It took up slots that were better devoted to other threats and other cards.  To blanketly assume that in order to be good a multiplayer deck needs life-gain is foolish.


 


Does it usually help?  Yes.


Is it absolutely necesary?  Not if your deck is good enough on its own, or you're a competant enough player.


 


 


I'd also like to point out that I never said that wither was "the greatest deck ever."  It's certainly powerful and easily one of my best decks, but that doesn't mean that there aren't decks that are better, nor decks that can't beat it.  Its record over the course of the last two years sets it out from other decks though, and it has proven itself time and time again.


 


Just because your playgroup isn't competant enough to effectively pilot a wither deck doesn't mean that I've lied about anything, nor that I'm unreliable.  If anything, it shows your unreliability on the subject and your incompetancy at discussing both the mechanic and the decks built around it.

"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.


If his Wither deck is so devastating, why do you not immediately kill his Necroskitters when he plays them? Therein lies the secret of competency; you recognize threats and eliminate them. If you are not doing this, then you are not competent.

Your claim does not make sense. If he is consistently winning with the Wither deck, and yet you do not kill his Necroskitters - which are, the vast majority of the time, a much bigger threat then Midnight Banshee or Kulrath Knight, then you are not recognizing the pattern in front of your face.

Basically: If one deck is able to win every single game - or even just 80% or more of its games - the metagame is either incompetent or simply unable to keep up with the quality of cards (for instance, if one player was playing tuned Vintage decks and the other players were not willing to spend much money). It is obviously not the latter situation, so the only remaining option is that the metagame is incompetent or some lying is involved here.




 


Now you're just being rude. Cathaldus plays to have fun, not just to win.  He switches out decks frequently due to this, but whenever he plays his wither deck, he dominates the game, but not to the extent you seem to think that he does.


 


Now this may come as a shock to you, but Neckroskitters are not the biggest threat in his deck (as has been said on multiple occassions), nor is it even a threat until much later in the game. How can you, who have never played against this deck, nor in our group, say that I don't recognize "the pattern in front of my face?"  The pattern ladening everybody's creatures down with counters, then pacifying them with Kulrath Knight.  I'll save my removal for Midnight Banshee and Kulrath Knight instead of mostly insignificant non-threats.


 


It's painfully evident that you have neither the compelling arguments nor the factual evidence to back up your your misguided claims if instead of presenting a case for yourself you resort to personal attacks and libels.  He and I have presented both (factual evidence and compelling arguments) based on actual gameplay. The fact that you have gone out of your way to ignore this only tells me that you are not seeing how this deck actually opperates nor how other play groups function outside of how yours seems to.


 


As a side note, life gain can be quite marvelous; however, it is not key to playing nor winning in the multiplayer realm. It really doesn't matter how much life you gain if others find ways around them such as alternate win cards, keeping your creatures from preventing damage, or take care of how you are gaining life. In our group, life gain is not the central point of any of our decks just a nice side effect.

Very well. I grow tired of keeping this argument; I am sure whether someone on an internet forum thinks that your metgame is incompetent is of utmost importance to you, but I do not feel like devoting more time and energy to this. Perhaps the Wither deck is particularly good in your metagame, but even so, I do not believe that any deck can have a success rate as high as you say in a competent metagame.

Be that as it may, this topic is about Multiplayer Wither decks and perhaps how we could build a better one. We should be looking at that rather than you trying to refute me while I try to prove your metagame is incompetent.

To get back on topic:

Has anyone actually tried Everlasting Torment in a Wither deck similar to this? I can only have nightmares about the kind of hate it would draw from players with lifegain in their decks, but I can see it being a worthy addition if you don't think the additional hate would matter in your group. I can recall Everlasting Torment making a decent splash in my group when Shadowmoor first came out; the anti-lifegain clause is fairly powerful, and a Wither deck would be able to take real advantage from the other ability. Still, the colors the Torment most hoses (white and green, for lifegain) are also, unfortunately, the best colors at taking out enchantments. So while it may fare better than most creatures, it still carries that stigma.

But, regardless of my speculations, I'd rather hear an actual report than just conjecture. If no one has tried it, I'll see if I can scrounge up a Wither deck and put a playset of the Torment in there for Tuesday's games. I know I have the Torments, but I'm not sure how much of the Wither deck I have. We'll see...hopefully it won't come to that.

I did have a playset of Everlasting torment in my wither deck for a while.  It hated life-gain out of our group for almost a year.  A friend of mine (who ran a mono white deck that used to be particularly good at gaining life) spent all of his enchantment hate (Return to Dust, Disenchant, Fracturing Gust) trying to get rid of it, but he never seemed to have enough for the torments (or, when he did have enough, he ended up with uselessly redundant enchantment destruction spells that did very little for everybody else).


 


One game seriously went Everlasting Torment (disenchant), Everlasting Torment (Return to Dust), Everlasting Torment (Fracturing Gust), Everlasting Torment.  In the process of me playing nothing but Everlasting Torments and him doing nothing but destroying them, I ended up killing him.  It's a powerful distraction from the actual threats (especially if you can recur or replay them), and devastatingly hoses life-gain (which is much more prevalent in multiplayer).  Most groups will have to spend slots devoted to destroying it rather than spending slots devoted to actual threats, or make the lifegain in their hands useless.


 


In terms of pairing it with the blowfly infestations, it's generally not that fantastic, typically being a more-or-less redudant trigger for nuking the field.  It makes it easier, but it doesn't enable anything that wouldn't have happened anyway.  Also, giving wither to my opponent's creatures was generally a head-ache I wasn't a fan of.  However, I'm interested how the deck would work by replacing the Blowfly Infestations with the Everlasting Torments (especially with a Necroskitter out).  With the Blowfly Infestations, though, it ends up being little more than life-gain hosing.

"Do not concern yourself with my origin, my race, or my ancestry. Seek my record in the pits, and then make your wager." --Arcanis the Omnipotent
Who Am I?
I am Blue/Black
I am Blue/Black
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both selfish and rational. I'm scheming, secretive and manipulative; I use knowledge as a tool for personal gain, and in turn obtaining more knowledge. At best, I am mysterious and stealthy; at worst, I am distrustful and opportunistic.
IMAGE(http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com/images/2/23/Phyrexian_Loyalty.png)
Before they banned the format out of existence, I was a proud supporter of Modern.

I have to admit my interest is piqued. I think I'll try this out myself; I'll have to borrow some cards, but I can definitely put together a decent monoblack Wither deck. It makes me sad to take the Dusk Urchins out of my monoblack critters deck, but whatever, I'll put them back in afterwards.

My group's next meeting is Tuesday, so I'll see how it goes.

Also: has anyone tried using Needlebite Trap in a Wither deck? It seems like it'd be a good, cheap way to gain life in most multiplayer games, although admittedly at odds with Neverending Torment if you're playing it. I'll probably swap out the Torments for the Needlebite during the second game and see how it does.

I think I'll run some Everlasting Torments, but I think i'll try them along side the Blowflys. There are gonna be so many more counters floating around if ET stays on the field, offering lots of momentum to Blowfly and Necro.


My playgroup meets this tuesday as well so I'll let you guys know how it plays out and I'd love for you do the same if you're gonna try the wither deck.

It looks like it could do fine against creature decks, but its too linear and focused on creature control. Board wipes and creature shutdown are very common to multiplayer decks, and you have no answer to them other than starting from scratch. Additionally I see no answer for non-creature threats, and there will be many.

Hello.  I'm Cathaldus' Sliver friend and I play with him over the summer.  I've read up through the first few posts on page three and I just wanted to throw this in. (having the group being called stupid is laughable)
What's a bigger threat? A Necroskitter turn three, or my turn three 9/9 sliver legion with flanking and mana production? The next turn it'll have provoke and trample, as an 11/11.  Go ahead, pick your target of destruction.  If you pick Necroskitter, kiss your ass goodbye.  It might take your creatures.  I, however will trample over anything you have and punch you in the face.


Again, wrathing the field isn't a good option (yet).  Spend your four mana and hope it doesn't get countered to get rid of two threats.  Kulrath night which will stop all of your creatures, or Midnight Banshee which will cripple them are bigger threats than Necroskitter.  I am proud to admit that I have almost, if not never had any of my slivers stolen by Necroskitter, because it is not a threat to creatures that give each other +1/+1 every other turn.  Kulrath Knight on the other hand will break me.  They just need one little -1/-1 counter and Sliver Legion is an 8+/8+ and unable to move.  Midnight Banshee will give that out, or else a puncture bolt, blowfly on your own creature, etc.  Wither, if done right is a hiddiously powerful deck and unless you are the weakest link, is able to weather the hatred.  If nobody else can get out a threat by turn three, how competitive are those decks?  Anyway, I'm back to read the rest of this page, thanks for reading!

Sorry about the double message thing, but I'm here to finish with what I've read.
Earlier there was a question, Blowfly Infestation vs. Crumbling Ashes.  Crumbling Ashes is my personal choice, but it's too slow to replace Blowfly.


Deck Suggestions: Only two cards really stand out to me as a possible help to you.  Put 2 in your deck if you want to use it, but they might not help as much.
1) Plague Wind.  It'll kill everything they have.  If they had -1/-1 counters, you get them!  The only problem is it's a little pricy at (7)(B)(B).
2) Mourning Thrull.  A 1/1 with flying and lifelink turn one.  It can give a slight chance at defense while being able to fly over a few creatures and as a 1/1, it's a sleeper.  People rarely waste a burn on a 1/1, just due to... it's wasting a burn on a 1/1.


Also, I remember Cathaldus' wither deck as black/red, and blue/black and it has always been a threat.  It's a much more aggressive deck then it was back when he first made it and for a long time, it dominated without the Necroskitters (due to none of our group having any).  x2 Kulrath is enough to make it dangerous.  Wither is a great set to do battle against to test the value of your deck.  In a burn deck, it's better to throw at the face, since you'll only have a few little blockers that will hardly help them if they do steal them.  In a lifegain deck (I have two), it's a race to the finish.  Lifegain keeps you in the game, but you have few creatures, while wither keeps chopping you down.  Your best defense is tokens, which they can not steal and with elves, can easilly gain you a ton of life.  A big green stompy deck is easilly crushed by wither, since they will loose the ability to use their big creatures and then have them whittled away at and taken.  Blue has simmilar problems to life gain.  You can get rid of your threats, but if that's how you spend all of your mana, you won't have anything to attack with.


In multiplayer, a wither deck is toned down, since you have other threats as well.  Wither, Blinding Angel, Darksteel Collosus and Sliver Legion all out on the table at the same time makes for a scary match up.


The point of this novel I'm writing here: there appeared to be an arguement which has since tonned down to inspiration.  I'm tyring to stop chances of future arguements of each type of deck vs. wither.

Unfortunately it looks like I'm going to have to pack Oblivion Stone in any version of Wither I build and take to my main group. There's just no way for Wither to handle the type of threats to it that my table usually brings - color hosers are seen often, and Karma is one of the most common ones; as well as things like Magus of the Tabernacle,  Moat, Ghostly Prison/Propaganda, etc.

Wither doesn't have the ability to take those out. I'll just have to hope I get lucky and nobody is playing Karma or something else I can't deal with.

Fortunately my friend with a playset of the Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale won't be there, or I would be afraid to play a deck like this at all.


The point of this novel I'm writing here: there appeared to be an arguement which has since tonned down to inspiration.  I'm tyring to stop chances of future arguements of each type of deck vs. wither.




As I mentioned before, the weakness of this deck is that it's very linear. Not even Drain Life as a reach out and touch effect. Quite frankly, this is the type of deck that anything in my multiplayer group is designed to stop or survive, because if you cant handle creature beats then its just not a valid deck; again, atleast for our multiplayer group. If the deck could handle artifacts, enchantments, or combo decks then my perspective would be a little different. If your group subsists of creature decks then you are good to go.


To deal with artifacts and enchantments I might recomend Nevinyrral's Disk, Powder Keg, or Ward of Bones. Its a short list but mono black just doesn't have much for these cards.


Reya is pretty much correct; although Reya sums up the overall criticism of the deck better than I do, that's the gist of what my argument is.

But no matter! I'm going to see if I can't make into more than just a dumb creature deck. I'll be packing Oblivion Stones to deal with artifacts and/or enchantments, and I'm considering using Extirpate to deal with combo decks.

Other cards I'm currently considering:
Cabal Coffers: Big mana, and not too much extra hate at my board; they're used to seeing me whip out the Coffers in a monoblack deck of any kind (including my lame monoblack decks like I Can't Block and All Black Lifegain).
Consume Spirit: Works well with the Coffers, and provides a way to gain life. Can't play it if I'm using Neverending Torment.
Syphon Soul: Obviously, it's just stupidly good lifegain. Draws a lot of hate, though.

This makes me want to re-look over my wither deck.  Only played it once, and that was before I bought extra copies of some cards.  Though interesting things brought up here I would want to try.  Still want to try and at least splash in red as the Blood Cultist seems so good when you give all all your plack creatures wither.  I have other red creatures in there currently which made me worry about "all non-black creatures get a counter" creature.  Though can see if I can look into subbing those out with black creatures or black/red creatures.


Reya is pretty much correct; although Reya sums up the overall criticism of the deck better than I do, that's the gist of what my argument is.

But no matter! I'm going to see if I can't make into more than just a dumb creature deck. I'll be packing Oblivion Stones to deal with artifacts and/or enchantments, and I'm considering using Extirpate to deal with combo decks.

Other cards I'm currently considering:
Cabal Coffers: Big mana, and not too much extra hate at my board; they're used to seeing me whip out the Coffers in a monoblack deck of any kind (including my lame monoblack decks like I Can't Block and All Black Lifegain).
Consume Spirit: Works well with the Coffers, and provides a way to gain life. Can't play it if I'm using Neverending Torment.
Syphon Soul: Obviously, it's just stupidly good lifegain. Draws a lot of hate, though.




I think it all depends on the group.  Doesn't make one group  better than the other.  You could very well take your groups best deck by far, bring it to their group and just get womped and he bring his deck to yours and it get whomped.  Then it proves nothing.  Just depends on the tendencies of people you play with.


Though I really don't see the point of leaving out dark ritual from your group.  If its an offensive deck then you want to get things going faster.  Wither I would think is probably more so a defensive thing so then yes you want to keep low and not draw attention until you have your stuff set up.


They could also say your group is lame where a necro skitter is by far the best target and everyone you play with has to jump on it as soon as it comes out.  In his deck it seems the necro is just something nice to have, but with putting counters on all non-black creatures if nobody else plays black then it becomes rather worthless due to whatever he would get will die quickly.  It is a cool creature but really there should be other things out or getting ready to come out people should worry about more.  Sounds like your group might be kind of light on creatures and focus more on instants, enchantments, sorceries, and artifacts?

Yeah, creature decks don't get very far in my group. We all pack plenty of removal, and first-turn Swords or Paths are not uncommon. There are plenty of sweepers to be had; hence the popularity of Pristine Angel and other hard-to-kill creatures.

On the other hand, most of us pack artifact/enchantment removal at all times. So non-creature based decks aren't always at an advantage. Counterspells, too, see a lot of play. Because of this metagame, it's been a long time since I last saw a game where someone wasn't playing Krosan Grip. It's a damn fine card, though.

Sounds like your group might be kind of light on creatures and focus more on instants, enchantments, sorceries, and artifacts?



Mine group is a mix of creature [swarm, big beats, recycler, tribal, etc], combo, theme, and chaotic [out to be random and make a mess, and not to win]. We frequently loan decks to each other for a match, and no deck is allowed to be played in a game if it won the previous match.


I personally have a variety of decks; goblin, faerie, angel, mill, underworld dreams/pestilence, all enchantment,  grave pact/helm of possession sac deck, and my tim deck. Another guy has a burn deck, token generator, elf deck, boomerang deck, chrona-stasis, blue artifact, white weenie.


Im not putting this out to brag or diparage, but to give context to my comments.


Yeah, creature decks don't get very far in my group. We all pack plenty of removal, and first-turn Swords or Paths are not uncommon. There are plenty of sweepers to be had; hence the popularity of Pristine Angel and other hard-to-kill creatures.

On the other hand, most of us pack artifact/enchantment removal at all times. So non-creature based decks aren't always at an advantage. Counterspells, too, see a lot of play. Because of this metagame, it's been a long time since I last saw a game where someone wasn't playing Krosan Grip. It's a damn fine card, though.




So for your group, you would want to run B/U or B/W or B/U/W Wither.  Because the one card that would completely hose your group up is DoveScape.  Turn 4, Dark Ritual into DoveScape, then it would get to pretty much game over. Especially if you can play a silence before it to keep anybody from countering it.  Start laying out your wither creatures then and you don't care how many tokens they get as you can take care of them quickly.


Could also make a sliver deck that would take out your group pretty good as well.  They can't be countered, now they can't be targets, oh now they have protection from white,......

I doubt Dovescape would fly very well in my group, especially in a Wither deck. Plenty of us pack 187 creatures (they're efficient, y'know); especially in the wake of Zendikar, Kor Sanctifiers has been popular. Indrik Stomphowler is also a regular.


I doubt Dovescape would fly very well in my group, especially in a Wither deck. Plenty of us pack 187 creatures (they're efficient, y'know); especially in the wake of Zendikar, Kor Sanctifiers has been popular. Indrik Stomphowler is also a regular.




Are you saying it would help them, or are you saying they would hate it?  Because it sounds like your group uses heavy non-creature spells.  So unless they have a pridemage I would think Dovescape would shut everyone else complately down.  If you are saying it wouldn't fly because they would hate it, then that is the purpose.  Not sure why you would be worried about playing a card everyone would hate (like you talked about dark ritual).  People I play with hate subversion but it sure is nice to go swamp, dark ritual, dark ritual, subversion on first turn.  Sure I am a major target, but everyone else better get going fast as they are on a timer.  If they can't beat me by turn 6 or 7 then The Evening Star comes out and its game.