Building My Own Cube, pt. 15 – Black

Black currently has 24 creatures and the curve is a bit awkward. However, fixing it might be hard, because there are creatures with Delve in the cube. Black’s thing is removal, so the cube probably needs some of that. Probably some that can deal with gods as well as cheaper, easier to use stuff.

Creatures

The current curve is as follows: 10 / 2 / 6 / 2 / 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1, that nine being Necropolis Fiend, so its more like a five- or six-drop.

The curve right now is very strongly centered on one-drops, which is a bit of a problem. I was hoping for a bit smoother curve at this point. On the other hand, many of those one-drops are more about a longer game than initial aggression. Here’s the list:

Bloodsoaked ChampionCarrion FeederCruel SadistDrainpipe VerminGnarled Scarhide
Mardu ShadowspearPharika’s ChosenRuthless RipperTyphoid RatsVampire Lacerator

Sure, some are very aggressive, but others have a completely different roles as removal, sac outlets and discard. You can still utilize these in an extremely aggressive deck, though, even if they are inferior to white and red alternatives.

Supposing I want to put in eight more creatures (making the total 32), I’d want to put in five or so two-drops, two four-drops and one five-drop. That would leave me with the curve of 10 / 7 / 6 / 4 / 3 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 1. Sounds about right.

Do I dare put in Blood Artist? I think not, so I’ll skip for now.

Blood Scrivener isn’t as good, but the card advantage can do some work for you.

Carrier Thrall can be some good value, as can Sultai Emissary.

Despoiler of Souls is a good addition, if you want to play the more aggressive build of black.

I’ve enjoyed Gatekeeper of Malakir in Modern, so I guess its fine here.

Finally, Mardu Skullhunter is good value, I’ve played somewhat in Standard.

Do I want Desecration Demon in the cube? I’ll try it.

I’ll put in Disciple of Bolas. The body isn’t great, but its a good addition the cube, since its effect can vary a lot.

Finally, Gilt-Leaf Winnower. I haven’t checked the number of creatures it hits, but a quick glance tells me it mostly gets rid of fairly small creatures, so its not going to be an absolute bomb. Just a bomb.

Removal

Well, its black. These shouldn’t be hard to find.

First, Go for the Throat is great piece of removal. It hits pretty much anything. Well, not the gods, but everything else. Doom Blade, Terror and Ultimate Price are kind of from the same family, but in this environment they are worse.

Consuming Vapors is a nice edict. Its pretty expensive, but the incidental lifegain might matter, depending on what you are playing against.

Gild works nicely in this environment, as does Silence the Believers.

Another killer of gods is Tragic Slip. Got to love that one.

Despise isn’t removal, but does the same thing.

… and we need a sweeper. Damnation is out of the question, Crux of Fate doesn’t seem very good in an environment with a limited number of dragons. I guess Life’s Finale? We’ll go with that, although there are might be better options. It is sort of an answer to gods.

Others

Sadly, that leaves room for just one more card. After going through some cards and not coming up with anything interesting, I think I’d like Unnatural Endurance. Its a very good trick and obviously pushed, so it should fit in a cube.

Blood ScrivenerCarrier ThrallDespoiler of SoulsGatekeeper of MalakirMardu Skullhunter
Desecration DemonDisciple of BolasGilt-Leaf WinnowerGo for the ThroatDoom Blade
TerrorUltimate PriceConsuming VaporsGildSilence the Believers
Tragic SlipDespiseLife’s FinaleUnnatural Endurance

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