“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides with the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon those with great vengeance and with furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know that my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”
-Samuel L. Jackson, as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction
Update: On the Magic Online Trading League site, I received some praise for this deck: “the fun (or cool) factor of this deck is off the charts” and that it is “the very essence of what a black deck is meant to be.” Awesome!
When Death’s Shadow was first spoiled, I almost soiled my pants. I like cards that have a cool factor to them, and frankly the double 13s and the single mana casting cost definitely were cool to me. Sure, it has a draw back that you have to be low in life for those 13s, or anything high number, to actually be in effect, but it’s Black. Isn’t that what Black is about?
This deck was simply super fun to play at my last get together of casual players. It definitely came out of left field and made a statement. It does not work so well in multiplayer, but one on one it can hold its own. I doubt it’s competitiveness in Vintage tournament play, but, I thought I’d throw it out there for you.
Any suggestions for some really cool, but especially really FUN, things to add to this, let me know in the comments. For instance, I’d like to add Hall of the Bandit Lord, just for kicks, but I need a way to filter the colorless mana into Black mana, perhaps some Initiates (Bog or Ebon Hand), . Or perhaps a Tomb of Urami, without running any ogres.
- 4 Dark Ritual
- 4 Lurking Evil
- 2 Infernal Contract
- 1 Necropotence
- 2 Pain’s Reward
- 1 Plunge Into Darkness
- 3 Sign in Blood
- 2 Dash Hopes
- 1 Doomsday
- 1 Ad Nauseam
- 2 Snuff Out
- 1 Death Wish
- 1 Demonic Tutor
- 1 Mind Twist
- 1 Yawgmoth’s Will
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” – Psalm 23
You can’t be afraid when playing this deck. Go for it, take the “plunge.” It’s a bit of a rush to first turn drop a Swamp, two Dark Rituals, a Lurking Horror, sacrifice it so you’re down to 10, then drop two Death’s Shadows on the table. Sure, they’re only 3/3 at that point, but when your next turn is Swamp and Plunge into Darkness? “I pay 9 life, get a card, swing for 28. Yeah, there’s a Horror flying at you too, you know, just because.” Bammo.
Some of the cards are truly unneccesary. You don’t really need Platinum Angel or Lich’s Tomb, but if for some strange reason you haven’t won or lost by your third turn, they can be crazy fun to have in play so that your Death’s Shadows become HUGE. Death Wish is another just silly fun card, though I have no idea what I would ever search for with it. Sometimes when you’re running a suicide mission, there just aren’t many options out there to save you.
I keep considering adding Pestilence to this deck, because it hurts your opponent (and importantly you) and clears other creatures off the board while your Death’s Shadows get bigger. We’ll see.
One of the cool thing about several of the cards in the deck are their ability to drop your life total into 13/13 Death’s Shadow range and also let you search for the beast. Infernal Contract and Plunge Into Darkness, for example. If I owned any Vampiric Tutors, Cruel Tutors, or Cruel Bargains, they would all definitely be in there, and this is what they would do:
“I want you to go in that bag and find my wallet.”
“Which one is it?”
“It’s the one that says Bad Motherfucker.”