If you want to play aggro, it’s hard to say no to Mono-Red. With the dominant Hazoret the Fervent and hard-to-handle Rekindling Phoenix and Chandra, Torch of Defiance, the vast majority of aggressive decks are going to be red. That said, black is the color with the best 1-drops, the best removal spells, and some cheap creatures that hit hard and don’t fold to removal.

Dread Wanderer is exactly what a black aggro deck is looking for. A 2-power creature for 1 mana is perfect for applying pressure, and your game plan revolves around emptying your hand to deploy the most threats possible. Traditional removal spells can all handle Dread Wanderer, but few of them can handle it for good. Having a late-game use for your mana that just keeps your creature coming back makes this a premier threat.

Night Market Lookout and Vicious Conquistador are the poor man’s 2-power creature for 1. On an empty board, Night Market Lookout is going better than Savannah Lions. Once the board gets cluttered, however, neither the Lookout nor Conquistador can even trade with 2-toughness creatures. The extra point of toughness is a little nice, but not super relevant, and you’re really looking for that clear board to get in for maximum damage. Luckily, there are plenty of other uses for having creatures on the battlefield, you have lots of removal, and it’s going to be tough for any deck to find blockers for all of your threats.

Heart of Kiran doesn’t have many 3-power creatures to act as crew, but it also doesn’t need them. Using multiple cheap creatures to get a Heart going still generates plenty of damage, and if you use Night Market Lookout, you get some additional value from having them be tapped. A single Aethersphere Harvester gives even more use to your cheap creatures and makes sure that any of your 1-drops that may have been brickwalled by bigger creatures can still do some work.

Scrapheap Scrounger is a good enough aggro card that many decks are willing to splash for it. If your Conquistador can swing in a couple times unopposed and then get eaten, you’re getting 5 damage for 1 mana and can now use it to bring back a Scrounger. A 2-drop that crews Heart and keeps coming back to attack more is just what the (deck) doctor ordered.

Gifted Aetherborn is great because it works on both offense and defense extremely well. It’s almost always trading up thanks to an extra point of toughness and deathtouch, and the lifelink is great for getting in races.

Bone Picker is effectively 1-drop numbers 13-16 in this deck. If you’re flooding the board early with creatures and alpha attacking every turn, things are bound to die. If you’re getting some extra damage with your 1-drop creatures, or even better if something like a Wanderer or Scrounger gets taken down in combat, then Bone Picker will only cost you a single mana for a nice flying threat. Bone Picker is also the perfect card to punish people for using their removal at instant speed.

Ammit Eternal is massive and cheap. Not many decks in the format can play enough cheap spells to shrink the Eternal, and since you’re attacking every turn and have tons of threats, Ammit is likely to grow back as the game goes on. Your removal spells also do a nice job of clearing the path to make sure that you can reset your Eternal eternally.

Fatal Push, Walk the Plank, and Moment of Craving give you lots of cheap interaction to clear the path for your attackers. A playset of Ifnir Deadlands will continue to kill opposing creatures or just shrink potential blockers in the later stages of the game to help safeguard you against flood.

Supernatural Stamina is really sweet. It allows your cheap creatures to keep coming in and often trade 1 mana for much more than your opponent spent on their blocker. Stamina is a great tempo play and the only reason there aren’t more of them is because of space in the deck. You need lots of creatures, you need removal to actually clear the path, and Stamina is just the card .

Mono-Red Aggro is still the top dog when it comes to aggressive decks in Standard, but Mono-Black has all the tools to take down any tournament. Anytime, anywhere.

Mono-Black Aggro

BUSIMTG, 5-0 in an MTGO Competitive League