Modern is a complicated ecosystem. The format always has decks that are at the top of the food chain – Titan, Omanth, Hammer, Murktide, Control – and there are less common decks that are able to thrive in an environment curated by the top decks – Yawgmoth, Living End, Burn, Dredge, Goblins, etc. Then there are decks that are at the bottom of the food chain, either needing a metagame shift, a new card printed for the archetype or a reworking of how these decks are built. Because the format is so large, and has such a rich and long history of obscure decks that have popped up over the years, it can be difficult to predict when a seemingly small innocuous change will enable one of these obscure decks to rise up the food chain. Recently, I’ve been working on one of these obscure decks: a mono-black midrange deck that looks to exploit Cabal Coffers and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to make copious amounts of mana. I began to see a few different versions of these decks being played, mostly pioneered by MTGO user and Twitch streamer Trellon.
I, like most players, initially dismissed the deck as fun but underpowered but then the more I saw the deck in action, the more that I came to the opinion that the archetype was pretty untuned but the core engine was very powerful. I felt there was lots of room for improvement after a lot of playtesting and tuning, and here’s the list I’ve settled on for now. I’ve been really impressed by this deck so far and I’ve found it to have a lot of game versus most decks in the metagame. It’s great against creature decks, control and Murktide and has close matchups versus other big mana decks, but struggles against most cascade variants like Rhinos and Living End.