Treading the Path of Twilight – Black-White Decks for Modern/Casual and Legacy

Dear readers, it has been quite a while – months indeed – since I last posted ANYTHING on here. Well what can I say. I have been terribly busy with a well paid pixel art job, was on vacation in Ireland for 10 days and took a lengthy break from everything after that. But now I am back in full force and, having built about a dozen new Magic: the Gathering Decks over the past few weeks or so, and am feeling the itch to write about the same now again!

So as the titel suggests, this article will be about decks of one of my favorite color combination: Black-White.

Here’s a sample card that is arguably the best removal card in the whole game and it happens to be Black-White:

Vindicate is simply great – and simply deadly. But more on that highly versatile card later. Let me first showcase a Modern legal deck that is not intended to win me any tournaments, but which I just built for the fun of it – for casual play. Nevertheless I think it turned out quite decent. I had the idea for it when we recently drafted with M14 boosters and I got this Uncommon card here:

But before I go into any detail I will provide you with my full decklist for my Black-White Modern/Casual Deck:

BW Lifegain Beatdown (Modern/Casual Format):

Creatures…24

4 x Nip Gwyllion B/W

4 x Vault Skirge 1B

4 x Ajani’s Pridemate 1W

4 x Tithe Drinker BW

4 x Tidehollow Sculler BW

4 x Vampire Nighthawk 1BB

Instants…4

4 x Mortify 1BW

Sorceries…4

4 x Sign in Blood BB

Enchantments…8

4 x Edge of Divinity B/W

4 x Angelic Accord 3W

Lands…20

4 x Caves of Koilos

8 x Swamp

8 x Plains

About the Deck:

Well this deck has quite some power to offer, featuring cheap and efficinet creatures, most of which (16 out of 24) have Lifelink. Among them are the cheap Nip Gwyllion, which is a 1/1 Black and White Lifelinker for just 1 Mana (Black OR White), the disruptive Tidehollow Sculler which lets you exile any nonland card from an opponent’s hand upon being played and one of my all time favorites, the awesome Vampire Nighthawk:

I mean, what a package… 2/3 flying, deathtouch AND lifelink. What can you do wrong with such a Creature?

Another key-card in this deck is ultra-cheap but in this particular build ultra powerful Edge of Divinity:

This turns a Nip Gwyllion into a 4/4 Lifelinker for a total cost of 2 Mana in any combination of Black and/or White. Tidehollow Sculler would be a 5/5er, Tithe Drinker a formidable 5/4 Lifelinker and even Nighthawk, getting only the black part of Edge would become a 4/4 through this cheap and efficient Aura.

Now 4 is a magical number if you are running Angelic Accord as displayed above. Whenever you gain 4 Life you get a 4/4 Flying Angel Token. That is quite powerful if you look at the stats of our Lifelinkers as mentioned above. Every time a humble Nip Gwyllion with Edge of Divinity for instance attacks, you’ll get an Angel. Same goes for Tithe Drinker and Nighthawk.

Besides efficient removal in the form of Mortify and potent card draw in the form of Sign in Blood, Ajani’s Pridemate deserves an honorable mention. This 2/2 for 1W will easily become 3/3, 4/4 or even much stronger as he gets a +1/+1 counter each time you gain life, which is bound to happen a lot.

Well, bottom line, I think this one will be fun to play as it is, as of now, yet untested. Let’s move on to a more competitive (and at the same time a lot more expensive) deck I constructed recently:

BW Tripple Disruption (Legacy Format):

Creatures…8

4 x Hypnotic Specter 1BB

4 x Abyssal Persecutor 2BB

Instants…8

4 x Dark Ritual B

4 x Swords to Plowshares W

Sorceries…24

4 x Thoughtseize B

4 x Cabal Therapy B

4 x Innocent Blood B

4 x Hymn to Tourach BB

4 x Sinkhole BB

4 x Vindicate 1BW

Lands…20

4 x Wastelands

4 x Marsh Flats

4 x Godless Shrine

8 x Swamp

About the Deck:

Having earned quite the big buck with recent freelance jobs, I decided to invest in a playset of Vindicate, as shown above as well as four of these babies:

It has been a long held dream of mine to own Sinkholes, as destroying any land for just two Mana is simply too awesome – land destruction and resource denial being my favorite strategy in pretty much any game with a resource system. Sinkhole and Vindicate make for a smashing team, the former costing 2 and the latter 3 mana so you can start decimating the opponent Mana base early on.

I entitled this deck “Tripple Disruption” because it efficiently and inexpensively disrupts the opponent’s plans on three levels. First off the land destruction which we already discussed. Land destruction is one of my all-time-favorite strategy because it can foil pretty much any strategy or plan an opponent may have. Along with the Sinkholes and Vindicates, the latter being supreme pinpoint destruction against pretty much anything else besides lands as well, I am also running a playset of Wastelands to add even more resource denial.

Secondly, the deck packs a ton of hand destruction in the form of pinpoint hand card removal (4 copies of Thoughtseize as well as 4 copies of Cabal Therapy, which interact very nicely with each other) as well as random discard in the form of 4 Hymn to Tourach and 4 Hypnotic Specters. The latter are the only cards I am not entirely sure about – but hell, I just love to play a first turn Specter powered out through totally awesome Dark Ritual!

Thirdly and lastly, we got cheap and efficient creature destruction in the form of Innocent Blood, the classic, pinpoint Swords to Plowshares and of course the versatile Vindicate, which does not only destroy lands but ANY permanent – even nasty, evil Planeswalkers.

Thus, the deck can safely be called “Black-White Tripple Disruption” as it basically disrupts the opponent on three levels as discussed above.

Now what is probably most creative about this deck is the quite unorthodox win condition. I haven’t seen it played or on any deck list found on the internet but I am actually using a “crap mythic rare” as the finisher. Take a gander at this dark fellow:

In my eyes, this guy is simply awesome and I can’t quite understand why he goes for about a dollar a piece. I mean a 6/6 flying trampler for just 4 mana. I can’t win the game, eh? Well screw that. The answer to the riddle is Innocent Blood, which forces all players to sacrifice a Creature, being doubly useful, as well as the Flashback cost of Cabal Therapy, which, incidentally, requires you to sacrifice a Creature! So you’d basically bash your opponent with the Persecutor – and to a lesser extent with Hypnotic Specter – and once they are at or under 0 Life you’ll just sacrifice the big, bad demon guy and hey presto – you win!

So far I tested the deck in a mono-black version quite a bit and it was a blast so far. Very rewarding and fun to play for me, highly tedious and frustrating for my opponents which were, more than once, left without any hand cards and/or lands. The new version with a splash of White for Vindicate and, less important, Swords to Plowshares should even improve the deck’s versatility, power and overall fun factor for whoever wields it! I am highly amused!! 😀

Well I hope you enjoyed this new article after such a long spell of silence. I think I will be following up with more Magic: the Gathering deck articles as well as posts on other geeky/game-related topics in the nearer future!

Until then, I wish you all happy gaming!

Yours truly,

Andi

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