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Leveling Up Sphinx’s Tutelage and Mono Black Devotion

Hey everyone! My name is Josh Kreiter, I’m new to RogueDeckBuilder.com. Like Christian, I am from Boise, ID and play on WizardDen.com’s team RogueT3ch. I look forward to getting to know a lot of the RogueDeckBuilder.com followers and providing you all with some awesome content via articles, YouTube, and coming very soon a Twitch channel. Enough about me though, let’s dive into a few new decks for Origins!

I want to start off by talking about a deck that popped up on a deck tech at this weekends Star City Open in Chicago, Sphinx’s Tutelage. The goal of the deck is very obvious as there isn’t a creature to be found in the main deck. Mill your opponent. In the case of this list, it is a very slow and painful process as Day’s Undoing will shuffle your opponents graveyard back in, literally, undoing all of the hard work you have put in up to that point. Before I go into more detail on the deck and ways it can be improved, here is the list for reference.

 

While this deck seems pretty good already, I firmly believe there are improvements that can be made to make sure the deck doesn’t fall off in day 2.

Sphinx's t

I previously mentioned the shortcomings of Day’s Undoing in this deck, though it can be a needed evil as can be seen by the one of in the list below. Having your opponent shuffle their graveyard back into their library is almost the equivalent of a red burn deck playing a card that says: Deal 10 damage to your opponent, your opponent gains 20 life. Granted, your opponent has to play lands to win and the more lands that hit the battlefield the higher percentage we’ll have at a repeat mill two when Tutelage triggers , since your opponent will likely play some of the lands that get shuffled back in, I still don’t think this is reason enough to go with Day’s Undoing in the deck.

How We Can Improve

The mana in standard is really good right now. So much so, that we can change this from a two color deck to a four color deck with a lot more game, and a way to just one shot our opponent. I am 100% percent behind keeping this a turbo-fog style deck as it will make sure we have time to get to our powerful late game. One card that fits the bill perfectly for this strategy is Congregate. In conjunction with Alhammarret’s Archive, we gain a whopping four life per creature in play, which is pretty big game. We’re fogging consistently, meaning we will get to keep a lot of the life we gain off of this combination, but what to do with all of this life? How about we one shot our opponent either by milling or damage? Damnable Pact is a very powerful card that hasn’t had a home… Until now. Before I go into more detail on the deck, here’s the list.

 

I want to start by saying the mana in this deck may need a little more situating to be at it’s prime. Regardless, this deck has a lot of game. Adding Black and White to the deck gives us a few helpful goodies such as: End Hostilities, Congregate, and Damnable Pact. We have a few additional fog style effects to make sure we live to our powerful late game and Kruphix, God of Horizons to make sure we will have enough mana to finish the job when we draw Damnable Pact. The incremental mill provided by Sphinx’s Tutelage means we don’t even necessarily need to draw any of our powerful one of cards to win a game. I really like this list going forward, if you look at the top eight decks of Chicago, we are pretty well favored against them all. We have a lot of irrelevant cards in the main deck against control, but our sideboard definitely makes sure that we have the advantage after sideboarding.

Kruphix

If you are someone who enjoys drawing cards and watching your opponent frown for 50 minutes, this is probably the deck for you. I look forward to testing this a little more in the coming weeks and I would love to hear about any improvements you can think of as well as how the deck performs for you!!

Looking at Mono Black Devotion

Now I’d like to bring this article a little closer to my heart, by talking about Mono Black Devotion. It had a bit of a poor showing in last weekends event, but I believe this to be more that people haven’t thought to pick the deck back up. I didn’t see a single article on any site saying, “Hey, there are these cards that fit really well in a mono black shell and I think the deck is good.” I’m here to change all of that.

Pack Rat

 

Being new to this site I don’t expect a lot of people to remember what I was doing last season in standard. To make a long story short, it was Mono Black Devotion, and a lot of it. I was pitching anything that came off the top of my library to Pack Rat and laughing all the way to the bank while doing it. I think that time can come again. While there is no Pack Rat to be a one card win condition, there is Erebos’s Titan, which provides a pretty hefty amount of devotion for my old friend Gary. We have an abundance of removal spells that are playable as well as a number of powerful cards that happen to all provide a minimum of two devotion for the travelling insurance salesman. Here’s the list I have sleeved up for reference.

 

This deck is designed to produce a ton of devotion for Gray Merchant and to win by Gray Merchant. We can tutor him up via Sidisi, Undead Vizier, which conveniently also adds two devotion for Gary and can help us flip Liliana, Heretical Healer. We have excellent removal for the aggressive and midrange decks and don’t even need to play Languish or Crux of Fate in the main deck to do so. I believe that this deck has just as much game as last seasons MBD deck and will definitely be my number one choice of a standard deck going forward.

Titan

I will admit I have some concerns with this deck. Underworld Connections was a huge contributor to the decks success last season and is something I definitely miss when playing this iteration of the deck. We also don’t have Pack Rat to make the power of our draws irrelevant. We make up for this with Erebos, God of the Dead which is a very powerful one of in this deck. Generally, he will be  creature the turn he is played and if not will definitely be getting some damage in on the following turn as every permanent except for Erebos produces double devotion. He is great at drawing us extra cards and making sure we have what we need to close out a game. Erebos’s Titan is another welcomed addition to the deck as it will produce triple devotion for Erebos and Gray Merchant of Asphodel. I have to say that suiting him up with a Herald of Torment on turn five is pretty satisfying as well, and will generally win you the game if you can pair it with a few removal spells in your hand. I look forward to showing this deck off in my upcoming Youtube videos as well as my Twitch stream that will be getting off the ground in early August.

Gary

I hope this article helps turn your attention to a few off the grid decks with a lot of potential in the format. It is rare we have this many powerful options when standard is in full swing and I look forward to seeing what other wonky brews pop in the coming weeks leading up to Battle for Zendikar. I’d love to hear any comments or critiques on these decks so, please, drop a comment and let me know what you think!

Thanks for the read!

Josh Kreiter

 

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