In this week’s edition of “Look at this really cool deck I just got crushed by on the Arena ladder”, let me show you Daan Pruijt’s Monoblack God Pharaoh’s Gift brew.
Historic Mono-Black Deck List - Daan Pruijt’s
God Pharaoh’s Gift (GPG) has been one of the strongest cards in Standard, where it was resurrecting cards like Angel of Invention on turn 4. Now we have it in Historic and not only do we have Stitcher’s Supplier to fuel it, we also have Phyrexian Tower to go with it.
Phyrexian Tower is another incredibly powerful card from Urza’s Saga that allows you to get ahead on mana by sacrificing a creature, which is usually a downside. Not in this deck though, where you actively want to get more creatures in your graveyard, especially the Suppliers.
This deck works by playing Gate to the Afterlife and activating it to fetch a GPG as soon as you get 6 creatures in your graveyard. GPG lets you exile A creature from your graveyard and turn it into a 4/4 zombie with haste. The “a” here is really important, because it means that it doesn’t target, letting you play a little bit around targeted graveyard removal. Basically, your opponent would have to exile every creature in your graveyard for you not to be able to one back.
Once you let the trigger resolve, the creature will be in play. Another really important thing that I want to point out is that GPG plays around Grafdigger’s Cage by not bringing the creature directly into play, but exiling it and then making a zombie token out of it. This is really important, because I fully expect everyone to have a couple of Grafdigger’s Cages in their sideboard these days because of cards like Collected Company, Muxus and Kroxa.
Once you get Gate to the Afterlife in play, it’s pretty easy to fill your graveyard because you even get the free loot effect once you have a creature die. In the match we played, Daan actually even had cards like Stonecoil Serpent, which can be played for 0 mana, die immediately and still trigger the Gate, possibly putting 2 creatures in the graveyard without having to spend any mana at all.
I’m quite sure this deck has a ton of potential and still can be very much improved. I would probably prefer having access to a few more big creatures, as I can see Massacre Wurm alone sometimes not be enough.
You could easily splash another color, possibly add red for Kroxa, though escaping 5 cards doesn’t work super well with GPG.
I fully expect to see this deck evolve the same way R/B Kroxa went from an “interesting deck” to one of the best and most popular deck in the format right now.