Budget Mono-Black Winners

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Mono-Black Control Budget Brew Off. I received a lot of interesting ideas and submissions from various Magic players in unique positions.

Mono-Black Control is a sweet archetype and it’s refreshing to see that we can get this kind of play experience with all sorts of different cards from even the smallest budgets.

Budgeting 101

I didn’t do the best job of explaining what this series is all about in the last article, so let me clear this up.

The purpose of this brew series is to provide you with the most practical experience possible—it should develop your deckbuilding skills, but in this case it should develop your budgeting skills as well.

To best do that, I want you to put yourself in your own real-life position. What do you already have that you can make use of?

For this reason, everyone’s submission should be different as we are all in different positions with different needs.

I’m not going to lump everyone into the same cookie-cutter situation in this case. I’m not going to ask you to put cards you already own in your budget. I’m not asking you to build a budget deck for anyone else. I’m inviting you to make practical use of what you have as the building blocks for something greater.

So we use what we have and budget $30 for something new. The same $30 budget I used to build tournament decks throughout most of my career.

This way we each get the most specific practical experience for ourselves, and the resulting community submissions are extremely diverse in the choice of cards.

I hope you found this exercise useful in your own specific situation and I want to thank everyone who participated again.

Budget Mono-Black Control Runner-Ups

Mono-Black Control can mean a lot of different things so let’s showcase the variety in submissions—variety in control elements, variety in combinations, and variety in finishers.

I received several Mono-Black Urzatron-powered control decks and this idea was one of my favorites. Something about Mono-Black Urzatron feels so right to me, and black is one of the best colors to exploit bucketloads of mana.

Here’s a from-scratch version:

Steven Michael Varner’s “Dark of the Tron”

Isochron Scepter is always a favorite, and using it in an all black shell is a great idea. Here’s another minimalist version:

Wesley Brewer’s MBC Scepter

The idea of blasting someone to death with Sorin combo tickles my black mage. Here’s a fun version:

Katsumi Michishige’s Budget Modern Mono-Black Sorin Control


2 Smother
3 Sorin’s Vengeance
3 Nezumi Shortfang
3 Virulent Plague”

There were plenty of other sweet ones in there but I found these to be among the most enjoyable.

Budget Mono-Black Control Winner

When selecting a winner I’m looking at a variety of factors: best use of resources, competitive, unique, flavorful. The truth is I’m also thinking about who I want to give the award to based on who might need it the most.

But even among those with very little or starting from scratch I’m still looking for the best brew. I’m looking for something coherent and exciting that uses cards in unexpected and exciting ways.

Given all these considerations I decided to pick my favorite Death Cloud submission, this one on a stringent $16 budget.

Joaquín Ossandon Busch’s “Why 30 Bucks when you can do it for 16?” (a.k.a. Budget Death Cloud)

Main Deck: $15.25 + Phyrexian Arena

“It’s really hard to come up with an original black budget control deck when you have the best black control card (Death Cloud) at 1 dollar. I tried to think about something else, but the card is just too good to let it pass. You have 4 Duress to help your spells resolve through discards and counters. Then, you really hope to cast one of your 8 mana rocks, because of tons of great 4-mana cards.

The combination of a turn 3 Endless Whispers into a turn 4 Mutilate/Barter against a creature deck is a nice combo against most of the format, and it’ll let you take over matches without Cloud. Tendrils of Corruption is there to protect your life total, a must in a deck with Cloud and Arena (plus it’s an instant for flash/Company‘d creatures).

After you Cloud your opponent, you have the Guardians to hit them for the rest of their life. Risen Executioner is alone as the last card in the deck, because you most likely won’t cast it until after a Death Cloud has taken over the game, as a way to accelerate the conclusion.

Phyrexian Arena is not cheap (I acquired mine before EDH was a thing, so they costed me around 3 bucks each…), but I think you could trade them for Sign in Blood if you can’t afford them. There is a 3-mana enchantment Dark Confidant that you could use too.”

Congratulations to Joaquin, whose new Mono-Black Control deck is covered by the $25 ChannelFireball store credit he just won.

Thanks one final time to everyone who participated, and let me know in the comments what you found useful in this exercise, which decks you are excited about, and how you would modify your own decks based on these exciting new submissions!



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