With every new set, there’s a large contingent of players eagerly anticipating the return of m ono-black. Any time there’s a card that could plausibly propel the deck back into the spotlight (which lasted from 2002-2003, as far as I can tell) there are a ton of people trying to get it to work. If you are one of those devoted disciples of mono-black, I have good news for you. My preview card today is one of the keys to getting mono-black to work, and looks like it will do a lot of heavy lifting.

Here we have it, Cabal Stronghold!

A mana base composed solely of 3 or 4 Strongholds and 21/22 Swamps sounds very powerful, though I’d have to ask Frank Karsten if you should play 3 or 4 Strongholds (though my guess is 3, as it gives you about a 50% chance of seeing one in your top 13 cards). This ramps you by +1 mana on turn 6, which may not sound insane, but given that it cost you nothing but land drops AND can’t be countered, is quite the boost. Each turn thereafter you are getting +2 mana for every Swamp you play, and soon enough you’ll be able to overpower the opponent with a series of haymakers.

The biggest restriction on Cabal Stronghold is that you really can’t play any non-Swamp lands, or the power level drops drastically. That means that mono-black is more than a suggestion, it’s the rule, as this is wildly unplayable once you start adding random other lands.

Once you do pay the price, however, this fuels your late game very well, while still being a land that enters the battlefield untapped and taps for 1 mana early in the game (unlike its predecessor, Cabal Coffers).

So, what you should be doing with all this black mana? Our friends over at TCGPlayer may have a suggestion