Standard: Mono Black Midrange Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide
10/19/22 0 comments
Mono Black Midrange was one of Standard's most famous decks, but could it stay competitive without The Meathook Massacre? In today's article, we dissect the post-ban list!Edit Article
besidesattacking, generating 2-for-1 effects and/or forcing the opponent to respond immediately, so they don't get buried in card advantage. Evolved Sleeper and Concealing Curtains are unimpressive one-drops, but they are also two powerful late-game mana sinks. Normally, only two copies of Concealing Curtains are played, but with the addition of Aggro and Mono Black's low flexibility in dealing with varied threats, including a third and perhaps even a fourth copy is a viable option. Tenacious Underdog is a good clock against slower decks and a good blocker against Aggro, as its 3/2 body trades relatively well with creatures of that same turn sequence, delaying the opponent's clock by one turn. Graveyard Trespasser is a headache for archetypes that are interactive and/or rely on a specific element in the graveyard to function. Its incidental graveyard hate becomes even more useful in a format where most other Midranges are resorting to cards like Tenacious Underdog, Malevolent Hermit and Dennick, Pious Apprentice. Finally, Reckoner Bankbuster is an extra value engine that also offers a good clock against Control. It's not the best option against fast archetypes, but very helpful in attrition games.
Mulligan and Postures
MulliganMono Black isn't a difficult deck to pilot, but requires a great deal of prior knowledge of what strategies are succeeding in the format to identify, through the first land drops, the type of posture you need to take in that game. An ideal hand will start with two to three lands, plus early and mid-game play that includes removals and creatures. Usually, your initial plan is to stabilize the game in the early game to bury your opponent in card advantage from turn 4 onwards, and for that, you can count on the topdeck to provide what is needed as the game goes on. It is not recommended to try to hold hands that are too greedy. An Invoke Despair takes five mana to cast, and if you don't have three or more land drops and/or enough initial pressure on the board or interaction, it won't solve all problems on its own. The same can be said of Sheoldred, the Apocalypse, if you don't pressure the opponent in the first few turns, you won't capitalize on top of the removals they spend on other creatures, or the one they're saving to deal with the Phyrexian preator.
PostureUnlike the other Midranges, Mono Black isn't as flexible about how to behave in each matchup. Obviously against Aggro you want to extend the game into later turns where Sheoldred and Invoke Despair will stabilize the game in your favor, and against Control you aim to pressure the opponent with Tenacious Underdog and Graveyard Trespasser to punish them for wasting too many resources holding the game and/or tapping themselves out turn after turn, making it possible to cast Sorin the Mirthless and other bombs. The real challenge is against Midranges. In them, you are severely punished for making the wrong choices because your cards are less flexible than theirs. Therefore, calmly assess whether you really need to remove what is on the board at that moment, or whether your opponent has opened any indication of what they intend to do next turn, and especially if what you plan to cast won't offer a positive Tempo to the other side.
Mono Blue DelverIN:
Mono Red AggroIN: