The Rakdos Aggro deck has put up good numbers on Magic Online as a way to increase the number of 1-drops. The problem is that the 1-drops are quite small, and you’re forced to play a higher land count in order to splash cards like Hazoret, and you can’t play Deserts as a late-game mana sink. The question, then, is whether you even need the red at all—can we just play mono-black?
Black has the best 1-drops in the format. While none offer the raw power of an early Bomat Courier and its ability to bring you back into the game, each attacks for 2 points unopposed. Dread Wanderer is the best of the bunch as a 1-drop that doesn’t get blanked easily by removal or blockers. In the late game, you can suicide your Wanderers knowing that you have the mana to bring them back. That’s not as true for Night Market Lookout and Vicious Conquistador. With nothing on the other side of the battlefield, these are excellent threats, but they can be blanked by any blocker. Because of that, you’ll need cards that maximize their potential.
Vehicles are one such way to make sure your tiny creatures aren’t negated too early. Heart of Kiran is the best Vehicle in Standard, as it will close out any game quickly. The high crew cost makes it tough for your 1-power creatures to hop in, but you can team up multiple creatures to connect for 4 in the air when necessary. When 4 Hearts just isn’t enough, you also have Aethersphere Harvester for your 1-drops to crew. The Harvester is great at swinging races and closing out a game in the skies.
Jumping into Vehicles isn’t the only way to make Lookouts and Conquistadors into consistent threats. Black has some great options for cheap removal. Not only can Fatal Push clear the way of anything in the early game to make sure all your creatures are hitting for 2, but you now have Walk the Plank as a sorcery-speed Doom Blade with no Merfolk to be found in the format. All your lands produce black, so its color requirements aren’t a concern.
Another way to push through your cheap creatures and make sure you’re in the red zone over and over again is Supernatural Stamina. The powerful Limited trick actually has great application here. You’re using all of your mana every turn, and a 1-mana trick that both allows you to trade up and keep your guy alive is a massive tempo swing for just 1 mana. This is basically the black Blossoming Defense and it looks perfect in this shell.
If you’re getting aggressive and the top of your curve is just 3 mana, Ruin Raider is a perfect addition. You can use the extra cards and you’re not overly concerned about the life loss. With so many cheap cards to push the tempo, Ruin Raider shines.
Scrapheap Scrounger just continues your aggressive creature pattern. It crews a Heart and uses your cheap creatures to maximize value in the midgame. Gifted Aetherborn is another 2-drop to put you further ahead in a damage race. It also looks real nice with a Supernatural Stamina to gain some extra life.
Bone Picker goes a really long way to setting this deck apart from the field. With so many cheap creatures, things have to die in combat. You can suicide attack, or your opponents will just be forced to kill your creatures. This amounts to a 3/2 flying creature with deathtouch for 1 mana almost all the time. This is an absurdly good rate, a great finisher, and it will even crew a Heart.
Mono-Black Aggro seems like a better shell for the black 1-drops than the red-black build. Bone Picker and Supernatural Stamina are totally awesome here, and the low land count plus Ifnir Deadlands is fantastic for making sure you never flood out!
ISOLATING, 7-1 Standard MOCS