Demonic Tutor

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Cube Masters Series | Building The Cube | Black

  Philosophy of Black
  
Black is a difficult colour to build for cube, as it can go in various directions. It can either go heavy into aggro with cheap 'suicide' creatures, or go midrange/control with removal and amazing finishers.
 
In this cube, aggro gets the majority of its support from white, red and green, so I didn't want to further support it with black. Black takes the role of midrange/control, offering the best removal in the cube, incredible hand disruption spells, powerful reanimation effects and some excellent finishers for control decks.
 
Strengths
Removal
Disruption
Reanimation
 
Weaknesses
Low number of creatures
Expensive creatures
'Damage Self' effects

UPDATED 22 FEBRUARY

Black (47)
0CC
Slaughter Pact
Snuff out

1CC
Thoughtseize
Duress
Inquisition of Kozilek
Vampiric Tutor
Innocent Blood

2CC
Demonic Tutor
Hymn to Tourach
Bitterblossom
Animate Dead
Chainer's Edict
Diabolic Edict
Go For The Throat
Doomblade
Dark Confidant
Nezumi Graverobber
Nezumi Shortfang

3CC
Phyrexian Arena
Recurring Nightmare
Corpse Dance
Stupor
Sudden Death
Vampire Nighthawk
Bone Shredder
Hypnotic Spectre
Bane of the Living

4CC
Damnation
Consuming Vapors
Barter In Blood
Abyssal Persecutor
Graveborn Muse
Skinrender

5CC
Decree of Pain
Beacon of Unrest
Liliana Ves
Puppeteer Clique
Shriekmaw
Ob Nixilis, the Fallen

6CC+
Betrayal of Flesh
Yawgmoth's Bargain
Inkeyes, Servant of Oni
Kokusho, the Evening Star
Grave Titan

CCx
Profane Command
Mindtwist
Black Sun's Zenith

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You have a lot of reanimate affects here in black, but little support for it from other colours. Blue has a total of 4 loot/discard effects (not counting Forbid), and there are no monsters in any colour that are standout reanimation targets.

 

For reanimator to work you need to have creatures that are unfair to bring out on turn 3/4. With a little acceleration all the big guys I've seen so far are castable by any deck running that colour, so there is little incentive to go reanimator over control. 

 

I'll hold off on recommending any actual changes until I've seen all the colours though.

While I agree that 'reanimator' as an archetype is not fully supported in this Cube, I don't agree that the reanimation spells are not good without the archetype existing.

 

The reanimate spells are amazing on their own - even without discard effects! Being able to bring back your best creature after your opponent has spent resources destroying it is still a brutal play in a limited format.

 

Most of the reanimate spells can target your opponent's graveyard as well, increasing the value of your removal spells and sweepers.

 

I think a 360 card cube is just too tight to include 'real' reanimate enablers (like Careful Study, Putrid Imp and Co) because outside of a pure 'Reanimator' deck, they just aren't good enough cards to justify their slots in a 360 cube.

 

I feel that the reanimation spells are powerful enough on their own to be included in black - I'd be interested to know what others think about this?

 


sokeeffe said:

You have a lot of reanimate affects here in black, but little support for it from other colours. Blue has a total of 4 loot/discard effects (not counting Forbid), and there are no monsters in any colour that are standout reanimation targets.

 

For reanimator to work you need to have creatures that are unfair to bring out on turn 3/4. With a little acceleration all the big guys I've seen so far are castable by any deck running that colour, so there is little incentive to go reanimator over control. 

 

I'll hold off on recommending any actual changes until I've seen all the colours though.

I agree with Warren here, this is more of a "limited" format than a larger cube, and powerful reanimation has always stood out in sealed, especially with bomby critters. On individual cards, I'd question Exhume as this is quite a narrow Reanimator card as that strategy seeks to break the symmetry. Also, not sold on Shortfang, maybe go for Ghost Lit Stalker in that slot and replace Exhume with Nezumi Graverobber?
I am not convinced by playing reanimator cards without top quality targets, they just aren't good enough on there own, being able to potentially get your threats out of the bin isn't quite the sauce, the reason reanimator is good is that you bust out the big dawg earlier than your opponent can deal with, if there isn't enough for a theme I would only have recurring nightmare and maybe nezumi graverobber but thats it
sorry forgot no phyrexian areana or dark confidant?
demonic tutor, sorry can only think of awesome cards that aren't on the list
They're there, as is Demonic Tutor - is it broken for you?

Glenn Goldsworthy said:
sorry forgot no phyrexian areana or dark confidant?
Both bob and arena are there Glenn... :)
sorry stupid internet issues

I agree that Nezumi Graverobber should be in there, even at the expense of Shortfang if it has to be. It's just such a good early beater and instant speed reanimation is really strong.

 

Speaking of reanimation, I think it's reasonable to run reanimation spells even for "fair" creatures, as long as you have plenty of CITP effects to reuse. But things like Exhume probably get too symmetrical in that case- I think that could probably go. Also, Corpse Dance is among the best- I'd run it before Beacon of Unrest (especially) and also before Necromancy.

 

I like Nether Void a lot, but I'm not sure about the logic of running it while not supporting aggro in black. Do you see that as being a support card for aggro in other colors?

 

I could see finding room for Nekrataal - can't have too many of those guys - and also Puppeteer Clique. The Clique is fantastic in a cube (as yours looks to be) with a lot of utility creatures. You can do some really unfair things with this card. Oh, and Bone Shredder too- another really interesting card to reuse.

 

Grave Titan should definitely be in- I think it's second only to Kokusho, and even that is close.

Good feedback for black from all - thanks!

 

Not sure why people are so anti-shortfang though - he's completely bonkers in a format where every card in your hand is insane. I think people underestimate the power of discard in Cube. I think I'll keep him in for now unless someone can show me a really good reason not to.

 

Here are my proposed changes:

 

IN

Nezumi Graverobber

Corpse Dance

Bone Shredder

Puppeteer Clique

Grave Titan

 

OUT

Reanimate

Exhume

Tombstalker

Necromancy

Nether Void

 

 

Your black is all over the place. You are not supporting aggro, yet are running things like Oona's prowler. I get that its a discard effect, but you can have enough reanimator support already. I agree with most of the things Thea said; corpse dance is a beating and very underrated. Beacon is too slow. I do like exhume though,a busing cheap symetrical effects is fun and skill testing. Clique is absolutely bonkers and i tried testing gruesome encore because that effect turned out to be so good (although the encore didnt do enough and is getting cut soon). 

Grave titan is the best finisher in black. Kokoshu always gets RFG'd for me. 

 

Ink eyes is a house, and I run it over Ob NIxilis and dont really regret it. Is Massacre wurm good enough? Dont own one so havent ever tried it.

 

I really like the other black 2 mana flip card whose name eludes me right now, either over oona's prowler or diabolical edict, which are somewhat underwhelming. Its ability to disrupt reanimator/beat for 4 on turn 3/be powerful lategame is surprisingly useful.

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