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Creatures - 20
4 Pharika's Chosen
3 Giant Scorpion
4 Liliana's Specter
2 Phyrexian Rager
2 Graveborn Muse
2 Indulgent Tormenter
2 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Griselbrand

Other Spells - 16
3 Ulcerate
4 Vicious Hunger
4 Mind Rot
2 Flesh to Dust
3 Tribute to Hunger

Land - 24
20 Swamp
4 Radiant Fountain


This play like a classic mono-black control. Discard your opponent’s hand with Mind Rot and Liliana’s Specter, then drop big demons to seal the game in your favor. Play removal as needed. Graveborn Muse serves to fill the role of card draw in the deck, akin to what Phyrexian Arena does. Pharika’s Chosen and Giant Scorpion can trade with so many creatures and the deathtouch can really deter your opponent from attacking. Don’t feel bad about trading your Liliana’s Specter in combat, because by doing so, you gain card advantage. Your opponent loses one card when you play the Specter, then another one when Specter destroys something in combat. Meanwhile you only lost your Specter. Vicious Hunger, Tribute to Hunger, and Radiant Fountain help offset life loss from the Muses, Ragers, and Ulcerates, and any early damage your opponent manages to get in.


Now I’d like to discuss a few cards that didn’t quite make the cut, but are still viable cards.

Dead Weight - It’s a fair replacement for Ulcerate or Vicious Hunger. There’s lots of things it can remove, but I do like the instant speed of Ulcerate, and the life boost from Hunger I’m not willing to part with.

Assassinate - 3 mana targeted removal with the downside that the creature needs to be tapped first. Not terrible, but not all that great.

Dead Reckoning - There’s not a lot of creatures with high power for you to make a good use of this in the early game. Yeah, it can be cool to bring back a Rune Scared Demon that your opponent removed, but you’re going to want to be able to remove creatures before your graveyard is filled with big demons.

Agent of the Fates - It does have deathtouch. However, there’s not a lot of ways to activate his effect, and the options in the deck (Ulcerate, Vicious Hunger...) will only kill our own Agent in the process. As a result, Giant Scorpion gets the nod here over the Agent, as it can survive a lot more with his 3 toughness than the Agent can with 2.

Nightmare - If feel the need for another big flying beatstick, Nightmare is it. I prefer the finishers that have other effects to go with their power/toughness. Another advantage for Nightmare is that it can take on Baneslayer Angel, whereas Rune Scared Demon and Griselbrand can’t touch it.

Galvanic Juggernaut - It’s cheap for a 5/5 body, and with the removal in this deck it’s not difficult to untap him every turn. With the instant speed removal, he can even be a surprise blocker at times. It’s a usable alternative beatstick.