Today’s budget deck only requires nine common, 15 uncommon, three rare, and two mythic rare wildcards. This does assume you’ve unlocked the Line of Fire and Back for More starter decks through the new player experience, as this deck is using a few common and uncommon cards from those decks.
The deck is built to leverage the powerful companion Lurrus of the Dream-Den. Only needing to spend a single rare wildcard on a companion that you can potentially play every game is a great way to start a budget deck. The deck can be split into two different categories:On the one hand you have the enchantment subtheme, spearheaded by Hateful Eidolon. This one-drop spirit will draw a card each time you take out an opposing creature with your enchantment removal spells (Dead Weight, Mire’s Grasp, or Mogis’s Favor). This last one might not seem very impressive, but it’s perfectly suited for removing Lotus Cobra or Edgewall Innkeeper, while sometimes enhancing your own creatures. The beauty of these removal spells is that you can also return them from the graveyard with your companion.
Then there’s the sacrifice subtheme, which is highlighted by Archfiend’s Vessel. You can get it in the graveyard by sacrificing it to a Village Rites or Fiend Artisan, or by milling it with your Mire Triton. Once it’s in the graveyard you can return it with Lurrus or a Call of the Death-Dweller, turning Vessel into a 5/5 demon with flying. Serrated Scorpion is another cheap creature that you are actively looking to sacrifice.
Rounding out the deck there’s also a few copies of Heartless Act to deal with larger creatures that might survive enchantments. Malakir Rebirth is also a nice addition from Zendikar Rising that can be used to protect your companion. It even leads to a potential turn two demon token by combining it with Archfiend’s Vessel and Village Rites. The last two rare wildcards are spent on Castle Locthwain, which gives the deck a surge of card advantage in the late game, with plenty of built-in lifegain to offset it.
This deck can usually contain aggro decks and grind out midrange decks. It struggles against ramp decks that can go over the top and control decks that have a lot of exile-based removal. The best tools mono-black has against that removal are discard spells. I recommend multiple copies of Duress and/or Agonizing Remorse for this purpose.
Tymaret, Chosen from Death is another versatile sideboard card, providing a nice blocker with built-in graveyard hate and lifegain. Feed the Swarm gives the deck a unique answer to enchantments, something mono-black decks can struggle with. Skyclave Shade also gives you a tool to beat decks that have a lot of removal, if they don’t exile your creatures. I would also recommend rounding out the main deck with copies of Heartless Act.
There aren’t too many upgrades that can be made to the deck, as the core synergies mainly revolve around commons and uncommons. I suggest adding two more copies of Castle Locthwain to make sure you draw one every game and adding Agadeem’s Awakening // Agadeem, the Undercrypt is good as another useful land that can reanimate your creatures from the graveyard. Aphemia, the Cacophony can also provide an alternate angle of attack, although it does fight over the same resources that are required by other cards.