I have been focusing on Modern for some time now. Wanting to get my feet wet without spending a tremendous amount of money, I built budget decks and have have found one I’ve had success with.
Mono Black Infect has received both criticism and praise over the years but I love this deck and how it interacts against opponents especially in today’s metagame. At first glance this deck looks like a joke of a discard deck with not enough creatures but I assure you, when played properly can defeat most of the top decks in Modern today. After a few events my local scene, fearful players were forced to sideboard against this cheap and efficient budget deck.
Mono Black Infect plays in two parts. The first stage is discarding and and playing creature removal, preparing the board for our creatures and eventual win.
The discard is the true power of this deck.Typically, I force my opponent to discard their whole hand before I do anything else with my creatures.Forcing a player to discard is disrupting to combo decks as well as forces opponents to pitch creature removal which is necessary for stage two of our plan. Inquisition of Kozilek removes nearly every card you will typically find in Modern, without the self inflicted life loss of casting Thoughtseize.
Once you reach five lands the deck can run without more needed land. Raven’s Crime ensures that you keep your opponent’s hand empty late game by discarding unneeded lands.
Wrench Mind is a great card and buys you two for one trades. This card works well against everything but Affinity decks. You won’t find a better two card discarding spell in Modern.
Funeral Charm is a real Swiss Army knife of a card. This spell can force a player to discard at instant speed. It can be cast at the end of a player’s draw step, rendering anything that needs to be cast during a main step ineffective. Not only does this spell discard, it also gives a creature +2/-1 which can boost an unblocked creature but can kill a one toughness creature. If that wasn’t enough, it can also give a creature you control Swampwalk, which could possibly win a game or two.
Removing all creature threats and potential blockers is needed for this deck. In order to win, your creatures need to go unblocked and score vital infect damage.
Disfigure is a cheap and effective spell that kills most utility creatures you will find in Modern. It can also be used to lower the attack power of an attacker or blocker, giving you an unfair advantage in combat. Because this spell does not damage, targeted creatures cannot be regenerated or have similar effects used on them to keep them alive.
Dismember is one of the best removal cards in the game, giving creatures -5/-5. It can be cast as long as you keep one land open. Like it’s weaker cousin Disfigure, this spell cannot be regenerated.
Doom Blade and Go for the Throat are instant killers for two mana. Unfortunately, these spells rely on a creature being specific colors and should be sideboarded out if your opponent is playing creatures of one of the colors you cannot target.
These two creatures are built for survival and brutal offense. They deal damage in the form of infect damage as well as permanent -1/-1 counters to creatures that dare to stand against them.
Phyrexian Crusader has First Strike as well as Protection from White and Red. This not only makes him unblockable to creatures of those colors but also cannot be targeted by Modern staple removal spells like Path to Exile or Lightning Bolt. For only three mana, this creature is a bargain.
Phyrexian Vatmother is a beast. It’s five defense is too large for Lighting Bolt and most other burn spells but because of the untargetabilty of Phyrexian Crusader, the Vatmother will get plenty of Path to Exile hate. It hits hard and it harder to kill.
Inkmoth Nexus assists in sneaking infect counters on a player with evasive attacking due to it’s flying ability. It’s also a bit harder to kill due to it only turning into a creature upon activation.
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is a sneaky way to deal swampwalker damage with Funeral Charm as well as ensure your Inkmoth Nexus offer you black mana. Consider not playing this land if your opponent isn’t drawing needed Swamps and seems to be in mana trouble.
A real surprise card in this deck is Runechanter’s Pike. After dropping a hail of discard and creature removal cards upon your opponent, your graveyard will be full of sorcery and instant spells. Runechanter’s Pike uses those used spells into increased damage for your equipped creatures. At times, this artifact can increase damage by five or more.
In it’s current form and at the time of this writing, this deck can be built for just over $100 and can go toe to toe with most of the top tier decks of Modern.
*edit* As of September 1st, 2016, this deck is currently around the $200 mark thanks to Inkmoth Nexus success in competitive Affinity decks. Still a very cheap Modern deck considering current deck pricing.
The worst matchup I have found for this deck is against Hexproof Boggles. Boggles gets it’s creatures into play turn one or two, well before discard can force them out of the opponent’s hand. At best you can snag a few Aura enchantments but by then a hexproof creature is wailing on you. Creature removal is a wasted draw and your creatures are few and far between to be ample blockers. Sideboard appropriately for this matchup. The full decklist can be found on this link.
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