Death’s Shadow comes in many forms. Yet there’s no denying the power of the strategy and of its namesake card.
Looking at the card Death’s Shadow on its own, you effectively get the biggest possible creature for the lowest possible price. If that isn’t enough, you get to pay life with impunity when it comes to Thoughtseize, Night’s Whisper, Dismember, Infernal Grasp and untapped shocklands. You even get to turn your opponents’ weapons against them when they have to sweat every attack and every Lightning Bolt powering up your strategy.
Death’s Shadow decks contain elements of aggro, midrange and combo all at the same time. You can tailor your deck list to support one of these styles more than the others. However, the real key to the archetype comes in the gameplay, and being able to switch seamlessly between the three play styles as the situation demands. This makes Death’s Shadow challenging and engaging to pilot, while also making it a high-power strategy that’s very difficult to play against.
You can build a Death’s Shadow deck in absolutely any color combination (so long as it involves black), although these days red is also a natural starting place. Grixis Death’s Shadow has probably had the biggest footprint on Modern’s history. Four and five-color versions are also possible, but my personal favorite is Jund.
My suggested deck list and sideboard guide will be for Jund Death’s Shadow. However, most of the discussion you’ll find in this Deck Guide will be applicable to any version of Death’s Shadow. Feel free to branch out and try new things as your mastery increases.