Monoblack commander suggestions

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I'm trying to build a mono-black commander deck. I already got many staples, I like monoblack a lot, thing is, I just can't decide which is the best monoblack commander. I'm mostly looking about raw power, it's gonna be something like a monoblack control, but I'm looking for some combos too (tough for monoblack, I know). So, any suggestions?
The two I've used most successfully have been Geth, Lord of the Vault and Kagemaro, First to Suffer.  Geth is just good as a general utility creature, and with a few good equipments he has a pretty easy time beating for the win.  Kagemaro doubles as a near-permanently accessible killswitch, and his power can get high enough to beat for the win easily with black's absurd old-scool card draw.

I've also seen Korlash, Heir to Blackblade make some strong waves, and Chainer, Dementia Master can get pretty absurd too.

Mono-black has some really great legendary creatures.  Take your pick.

But just remember, no matter what legendary creature happens to be in your command zone, every mono-black EDH deck has the same general.
I've been flipping back and forth between Sheoldred, Whispering One and Maralen of the Mornsong. Marawen is the more volatile of the pair, Sheoldred the steadier (but more expensive) option. Marawen can just plain shut down a card-draw deck, and especially something like Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind. And she also allows me to run with little or no card-draw cards. But she also lets everyone tutor for either their best combo, or an answer to your best combo.

Given the right (aka: Vampire) deck, Anowon, the Ruin Sage can be excellent as well.

Current EDH Decks: Radha Timmy, Oona exile/mill, Edric aggro, Marath tokens, Uril Voltron, Ertai counters, Sek'Kuar sac engines, Ezuri elf tribal, Oloro life gain, Zedruu tokens, White Mikaeus indestructible, Riku allies, Ghave synergy, Momir Vig Simic to a fault, Zur pillow fort/extort, Cromat artifacts, Rafiq aggro, Nekuzar zombies, Prossh creature beats, Roon ETB/bounce, Garza Zol vampires.

 

 

 

Honestly, I've found that Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief and Maga, Traitor to Mortals are among the most powerful mono-black commanders. They can both take advantage of the insane amounts of mana mono-black can generate, can kill out of nowhere, and also don't tend to draw as much hate as something like Sheoldred.  They also have the advantage of not requirig you to significantly build around them.  They are both good in just a standard mono-black goodstuff deck, whereas stuff like sheoldred and Anowon require that you heavilly build around them to get the best effect.  
Most people know -exactly- what Drana does, and will turn on the player using her at the mere suggestion that she might get cast.

We had a player use the Maga deck, and it only works once.  After you've lost the surprise factor of "I float a billion mana, Death Cloud for 39, kill player A with Maga trigger, equip boots, kill player B.  Go?" you generally don't land it ever again.

They are both good, though.  Just be prepared for hate if anyone is the wiser.
Honestly, I've found that Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief and Maga, Traitor to Mortals are among the most powerful mono-black commanders. They can both take advantage of the insane amounts of mana mono-black can generate, can kill out of nowhere, and also don't tend to draw as much hate as something like Sheoldred.  They also have the advantage of not requirig you to significantly build around them.  They are both good in just a standard mono-black goodstuff deck, whereas stuff like sheoldred and Anowon require that you heavilly build around them to get the best effect.  

This x1000.
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Kagemaro, first to suffer is pretty nuts.  Since the deck works best when your running a minimum of creatures and lots of draw, it's also fairly difficult to play which keeps things interesting.  
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Hate? Hah, almost everyone's a spike in my playgroup. Everyone cares about winning, including me, not just having fun. We've got 3 Kaalia decks on the board, Vendilion, Grimgrin, Sharuum, etc. So, in terms of raw power, I think I'll go with Maga or Drana. I don't have Drana, so it's more likely to go with Maga.

So, if I'm guessing right, he's playing some massive mana-ramps and then things like Exsanguinate? I like him. And I'll get to play the Necropotence + Venser's Journal combo at last. Any other suggestions? Mostly combos if possible.
Run all the mana doublers.

Gauntlet of Power, Cabal Coffers, Magus of the Coffers, Extraplanar Lens, Caged Sun, Vesuva, Bubbling Muck, Nirkana Revenant, and so on and so forth.  Also stuff to tutor and get cards back from the graveyard, like Ill-Gotten Gains, Demonic Tutor, Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed, etc.  Then just set up and cast Exsanguinate off of a Boseiju, Who Shelters All, or Death Cloud for just enough to not kill yourself and win.

Maga's pretty brutal.
Mono-black doesn't really "need" combos since it just plays insanely broken cards that kill people on their own.  For example, Contamination is a 3 mana Iona that hits everything that isn't black, especially if you have some way of generating tokens each turn (like Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder or Breeding Pit) or other ways of making sure you always have a creature to feed to it (Bloodghast or Nether Traitor), which is more of a strong synergy than a combo within itself.  
As far as best mono-black, I would have to say Geth, Lord of the Vault takes that prize. At least for my money. One of black's key strengths is graveyard interaction, and with a little ramp, Geth does that wonderfully. I love cards like Sheoldred, the Whispering One and run them in my Geth deck, but it doesn't have the same power that Geth does. Not to mention that his Fear can make hitting the 21 bench mark easy.
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I like the Cabal Coffers + Exsanguinate combo for multiplayer. You can also use Boseiju, Who Shelters All to avoid any surprises and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to turn your nonbasic lands into swamps and kill the whole table in one huge blow


I've been thinking about building a Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon deck. While all commanders have to deal 21 damage points to win, it only have to deal 10 and the others cards in your deck can help with that by proliferating, attacking with other infect creatures, etc.
I second Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon if your after raw power. Infect is just that good. I'd probally run cards like Lashwrithe, Nightmare Lash, and Hatred with Skittles to make killing your oppnents off even faster. With cards like that, skittles can kill a player in one hit, which is pretty high on the raw power scale, if you ask me. Regenration and possible haste are just icing on the cake.

Also, while it may not be AS spiky as you want, Iname, Death Aspect can get retardely ridicilous when pared with cards like Living Death, Living End, Patriarch's Bidding and an all or mostly spirit creature base. Suddenly every creature in your deck is in play, and if using one of the first 2 mass revival engines your opponents are most likely left with nothing in play. The mono-black EDH deck i'm toying around with will use Iname as it's commander and abuse this very strategy.
I second Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon if your after raw power. Infect is just that good. I'd probally run cards like Lashwrithe, Nightmare Lash, and Hatred with Skittles to make killing your oppnents off even faster. With cards like that, skittles can kill a player in one hit, which is pretty high on the raw power scale, if you ask me. Regenration and possible haste are just icing on the cake.

Also, while it may not be AS spiky as you want, Iname, Death Aspect can get retardely ridicilous when pared with cards like Living Death, Living End, Patriarch's Bidding and an all or mostly spirit creature base. Suddenly every creature in your deck is in play, and if using one of the first 2 mass revival engines your opponents are most likely left with nothing in play. The mono-black EDH deck i'm toying around with will use Iname as it's commander and abuse this very strategy.


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Yeah, go on. Tempt me more to build more than one monoblack commander deck. As if Maga wasn't broken enough. Hell, I've tried to build Skithiryx before, initially he was too voltron for me, but then I abused many proliferate and infect cards and that resulted in another broken voltron deck. Iname is combo on the other hand. If I manage to find many black worthy spirits, I'll built him.

Yeah, 3 monoblack commanders on the loose... who cares, haven't got an arrow to the knee yet.
if you like mana sink commanders oona, queen of the fae is a good one
Yeah, go on. Tempt me more to build more than one monoblack commander deck. As if Maga wasn't broken enough. Hell, I've tried to build Skithiryx before, initially he was too voltron for me, but then I abused many proliferate and infect cards and that resulted in another broken voltron deck. Iname is combo on the other hand. If I manage to find many black worthy spirits, I'll built him.

Yeah, 3 monoblack commanders on the loose... who cares, haven't got an arrow to the knee yet.


You don't need many worthwhile spirits. Just as many as you can pack into the deck, with mana accel, and many artifacts to coutner GY hate. Then you win.
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Mirri the Cursed
Infernal Kirin
Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
Marrow-Gnawer
Volrath The Fallen

Those would be interesting, from combo to aggro.


I don't see the point in the first three, sorry:
- Haste is lost on Mirri
- Kirin is too narrow
- Losing the Ninjutsu on Ink-Eyes

Last two seem OK, just need lots of different rats but could work well with discard rats.

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Mirri the Cursed
Infernal Kirin
Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
Marrow-Gnawer
Volrath The Fallen

Those would be interesting, from combo to aggro.


I don't see the point in the first three, sorry:
- Haste is lost on Mirri
- Kirin is too narrow
- Losing the Ninjutsu on Ink-Eyes

Last two seem OK, just need lots of different rats but could work well with discard rats.


Thornbite Staff is what you play the fourth one for.
Real men hold shift. If everyone has their fingers in the pie, then someone is eating fingers.
Mirri the Cursed
Infernal Kirin
Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
Marrow-Gnawer
Volrath The Fallen

Those would be interesting, from combo to aggro.


I don't see the point in the first three, sorry:
- Haste is lost on Mirri
- Kirin is too narrow
- Losing the Ninjutsu on Ink-Eyes

Last two seem OK, just need lots of different rats but could work well with discard rats.


Thornbite Staff is what you play the fourth one for.

Avatar of Woe is much better with the Staff. Umbral Mantle can also power up the Avatar and then she can attack for great amounts of damage.

EDIT: of course, I mean in terms of gameplay. The combo with the rats is obviously better, if I'm not mistaken, it can produce infinite rats, but on the other hand, I wouldn't want a commander that can only become broken with one card + building around him with Rats, which are really weak. That commander would draw too much attention for little things, while the Avatar is way more sneaky. Avatar is not the commander, so it's just gonna be another way to emty the board.
Kirin is perhaps the most powerful in my opinion, besides there are quite a few spirits to build with.  Did you at least try to cockatrice a deck together with kirin?

Ink eyes... well I wouldn't use her with ninjitsu... she's just got a strong ability.

I've thought about Toshiro as well, so has the OP.
Kirin is perhaps the most powerful in my opinion, besides there are quite a few spirits to build with.  Did you at least try to cockatrice a deck together with kirin?

Ink eyes... well I wouldn't use her with ninjitsu... she's just got a strong ability.

I've thought about Toshiro as well, so has the OP.



I'm not entirely convinced about Kirin. It seems weak in my eyes, cannot evade removal, needs to be built around with spirits and arcane spells (which are not really powerful - I mean, I hate Kamigawa and its spirits, the general power level seems so low) and it is not entirely sure that its ability will have legal targets.

Ink-Eyes is easily feared. I would use her as a creature inside my monoblack deck, but not for general.

Toshiro is nice. He seems like a cheap control freak that can become a recurring snapcaster for black. Unfortunately, I'll have to find one first.
Hell, I've tried to build Skithiryx before, initially he was too voltron for me, but then I abused many proliferate and infect cards and that resulted in another broken voltron deck. 




What Voltron cards did you use to make it work nicely?

I've been thinking about:

Loxodon Warhammer
Whispersilk Cloak
Sword of Vengeance
Lashwrithe
Nightmare Lash
Trailblazer's Boots

and also Dauthi Embrace

Anything else to make my creatures unblockable or to give them good evasion and protection?

Hell, I've tried to build Skithiryx before, initially he was too voltron for me, but then I abused many proliferate and infect cards and that resulted in another broken voltron deck. 




What Voltron cards did you use to make it work nicely?

I've been thinking about:

Loxodon Warhammer
Whispersilk Cloak
Sword of Vengeance
Lashwrithe
Nightmare Lash
Trailblazer's Boots

and also Dauthi Embrace

Anything else to make my creatures unblockable or to give them good evasion and protection?




You'd probably want Sword of Fire and Ice, Sword of Feast and Famine, Sword of Body and Mind, Sword of Light and Shadow, Champion's Helm, Strata Scythe, Hatred, Lightning Greaves, Swiftfoot Boots, Mask of Avacyn then, as well as a few others.  Although most of those are somewhat obvious choices.  

I don't have the swords, with few exceptions, but I pretty much used everything else mentioned. Strata Scythe is nuts, as it counts all swamps on the battlefield, not only yours.
Am I missing something? Has no one mentioned Kiku, Night's Flower?

She's great in duels and can make some serious political plays in multiplayer.

Only downside is you probably wouldn't want to win with general damage. Well, that and she's pretty frail. But she has a low cost and you're playing Black sooo...
Am I missing something? Has no one mentioned Kiku, Night's Flower?

She's great in duels and can make some serious political plays in multiplayer.

Only downside is you probably wouldn't want to win with general damage. Well, that and she's pretty frail. But she has a low cost and you're playing Black sooo...



Kiku is fine, but in many cases she's just a cheaper Drana, Kalastria Highborn of Viscera the Dreaful, and when I compare her to those two, the lower cost doesn't really make up for the significantly weaker body/ability.  I'm not saying that you couldn't use her, but realistically speaking 9 times out of 10 either Drana or Viscera is going to do the same job, and more, and do it better.  
Am I missing something? Has no one mentioned Kiku, Night's Flower?

She's great in duels and can make some serious political plays in multiplayer.

Only downside is you probably wouldn't want to win with general damage. Well, that and she's pretty frail. But she has a low cost and you're playing Black sooo...



Kiku is fine, but in many cases she's just a cheaper Drana, Kalastria Highborn of Viscera the Dreaful, and when I compare her to those two, the lower cost doesn't really make up for the significantly weaker body/ability.  I'm not saying that you couldn't use her, but realistically speaking 9 times out of 10 either Drana or Viscera is going to do the same job, and more, and do it better.  

This, all the way. Kiku is fine, but I think her place is inside the library, not as a commander.