Tag: scg-baltimore

Eric Jeffrey Seltzer - January 28, 2014

Champion’s Deck – Mono-Black Devotion by Zach Jesse (1st a...

Mono-Black Devotion
Zach Jesse
1st Place at StarCityGames Standard Open on 1/25/2014
Lands (26)

Creatures (16)

Spells (18)


And so with the final SCG Tournament for Theros Standard we have the usual suspect taking down the tournament with Mono-Black Devotion. This was a forgone conclusion by the end of the semi-final round as the last two wizards left battling were both devotees on The Path of the Pack Rat. And while we wait to see if Born of the Gods will shake up a new Standard format we are left to enjoy what was with this weeks offering.

The core of this deck has remained the same for the time it has enjoyed it’s lions share of the spotlight. As it has been mentioned countlessly an opening sequence of Thoughtseize then Pack Rat is often doom for an opponent who will be left crossing their fingers praying for a lucky topdeck to swing the game back in their favour. Once you are able to start cluttering the board with rats you’ve often pulled so far ahead that victory becomes inevitable. To compliment the Pack Rat you also find in this build four Mutavault which also double as rats themselves pushing the power of your army even further. Then we have the remaining creature suite on curve with Nightveil Specter into Desecration Demon into Gray Merchant of Asphodel. As long as you are able to build a board presence even if you are starting to lag behind the Gray Merchant often will be enough to swing a game back around into your favor. There is the full set of Thoughtseize and an additional singleton of Duress which are all key in assuring that any hard to deal with threat is eliminated before it sees play. Then the requisite set of Underworld Connections not only works to maintain your position in the card advantage game but also provide very important and difficult to remove devotion for your Gray Merchant or Erebos out of the sideboard. The rest of the deck is comprised of a rather robust removal package containing a trio of Hero’s Downfall and a set of Devour Flesh complimented by singletons of Pharika’s Cure and Ratchet Bomb, the latter very adept at removing both Soldier or Elemental tokens very handily.
Given the sheer power level of this deck there’s no doubt in my mind that it will continue to find a place in the new meta moving forward. Of the new cards from Born of the Gods I am certain that Bile Blight is the one that will impact this deck the most. Not only will it certainly occupy some slots in the decks removal package it also needs to be accounted for as an efficient way to clear your Specter and even Pack Rat before they grow too large. Another interesting removal spell is Drown in Sorrow which in a pinch is another great way to clear out an army of tokens and other smaller creatures. I would like to see if Pain Seer is able to break through as a viable draw engine but would have to find a role that is somehow complimentary to Underworld Connections. Finally with the printing of Temple of Malice it will be interesting to see if there is a red splash added to this devotion deck, and if so is Mogis, God of Slaughter one of the cards that will find a way into that build. Well, only time will tell and we have just a couple weeks to go before the new face of Standard starts to reveal.
Eric J Seltzer
@ejseltzer on Twitter