The Haunt of Hightower! If there was ever a legendary I wanted lore on, it would be this one. From its purple grin to its skeletal appearance, The Haunt of Hightower immediately draws you in.

After the art takes hold of you, its ability begins to sink in. At first glance, the converted mana cost of the card does not seem worth the power and toughness. In mono-black, it can be hard to ramp fast enough to cast a six-mana commander. However, the ability definitely makes up for the CMC/power-toughness ratio. The Haunt of Hightower calls for discard or mill, and mono-black is more than happy to fulfill this need.

Discard Engines

So you want to build discard but don't know where to start. Good thing we're in the perfect color for discard! Black has dozens of sorceries that allow us to discard cards, however, the true power lies in enchantments.

Bottomless Pit and Necrogen Mists both hit every player upon their upkeep, but Creeping Dread stands out among these beautiful discard engines. Creeping Dread triggers on our upkeep and targets every player on the battlefield. However, there is a catch (there's always a catch when we like to play dirty). This enchantment holds the possibility of dealing each opponent 3 damage if their card shares a type with the one we discarded. Isn't it absolutely wonderful to just hold the threat of damage over their heads like a guillotine?

Pings and Punishment

Discarding is always fun (well, it's fun when we don't discard), however, reducing our opponent's hand size can only take us so far. Yes, it will make The Haunt of Hightower bigger, but we will more than likely have made our opponents discard well before The Haunt leaves his tower. We need an edge, a way to help make a slight dent in life totals. Thankfully, this deck has no shortage of discard pingers.

Fell Specter, Bloodchief Ascension, Megrim, Raiders' Wake and Liliana's Caress all do one key thing: 2 damage whenever an opponent discards a card. When looking at this list, it's safe to say a Shock per discard will definitely put a dent in a life total. Redundancy in Commander is never a bad thing.

Pings hurt, but the real pain comes from the punishment. We have no shortage of that in this list. We want to punish our opponents for playing the game (it sounds rude, I know) and this list has just the enchantments needed to do it.

What better way to punish our opponents than by putting a price on casting spells? Oppression and Painful Quandary do exactly that. Every time an opponent casts a spell they have to worry about dwindling down their already small hand size. However, I would be remiss in saying that opponents don't have a choice when it comes to Quandary. They can either discard that card they tutored for or y'know… lose 5 life.

So we've cast our discard engines, punished our opponents with pings for playing the game, but what happens when they run out of cards to discard? You can't take damage if there's no more cards to discard, right?

Wrong. Quest for the Nihil Stone makes sure the pain doesn't stop when our opponents' hands are empty.

Refill Please

Yeah, damage is great and everything but surely empty hands would slow the roll on our master plan of pumping up the Haunt, right? Not necessarily.

Sometimes it's beneficial to help replenish our opponents' hands. This is where we introduce Howling Mine and Dark Deal. Howling Mine helps replenish everyone's hands with an extra card draw each turn, however, Dark Deal is a different breed. This card, while helping out our discard agenda (making The Haunt of Hightower extremely big), can also help replenish our and our opponents' hands (minus one of course...there's always a catch).

Of course, there is always risk when we allow opponents to draw cards. But both of these cards can be excellent bargaining tools early game before our opponents can smell something fishy with our generosity.

X Gonna Give It To Ya

Black has a wonderful selection of X spells. Cards like Exsanguinate and Death Cloud are notorious in Commander for being finishers.

Torment of Hailfire is no exception, especially in this particular brew. Have you ever looked at a card but never truly read it? That was me when it came to Torment of Hailfire. I knew casting it meant tons of damage and eventually death. However, upon further inspection, this card is also a nasty destruction and discard spell. Reading the card explains the card, amiright?

So Torment of Hailfire is a discard spell. We can definitely use this to our advantage, no matter how we spin it. Opponents have cards to discard? Great! Megrim and Liliana's Caress will make sure they won't leave the situation unscathed. No cards to discard? Then it's time to sacrifice or pay up the life. Either way, we are the victor.

Mill or discard, it doesn't make a difference to The Haunt of Hightower. The cards all go to the same place, and that only makes him bigger and much more frightening. What could be scarier than a beefy flying Vampire? A hoard of Zombies!

Enter Dread Summons. This card packs a wallop and only gets better as the pod size increases. Dumping 15 mana into this spell greatly increases our chance at creating an unstoppable Zombie army, or at least a handful of meat shields that can protect us from the backlash discard is so often met with.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Look Ma, No Hands! by Chase Carroll

'Look Ma, No Hands!' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Chase Carroll

Event:

Rank:

Commander

Market Price: $617.29

Cards

Gray Merchant of Asphodel

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206460_200w.jpg

When Gray Merchant of Asphodel enters the battlefield, each opponent loses X life, where X is your devotion to black. You gain life equal to the life lost this way. (Each {B} in the mana costs of permanents you control counts toward your devotion to black.)

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Howltooth Hollow

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/15529_200w.jpg

Hideaway (This land enters the battlefield tapped. When it does, look at the top four cards of your library, exile one face down, then put the rest on the bottom of your library.)
{T}: Add {B}.
{B}, {T}: You may play the exiled card without paying its mana cost if each player has no cards in hand.

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Megrim

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/32667_200w.jpg

Whenever an opponent discards a card, Megrim deals 2 damage to that player.

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Scavenger Grounds

Market Price: $0.91

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212458_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{2}, {T}, Sacrifice a Desert: Exile all cards from all graveyards.

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Jet Medallion

Market Price: $26.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/94132_200w.jpg

Black spells you cast cost {1} less to cast.

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Fraying Omnipotence

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/169232_200w.jpg

Each player loses half their life, then discards half the cards in their hand, then sacrifices half the creatures they control. Round up each time.

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Dauthi Embrace

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5510_200w.jpg

{B}{B}: Target creature gains shadow until end of turn. (It can block or be blocked by only creatures with shadow.)

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Damnation

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $39.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/128220_200w.jpg

Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated.

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Sea Gate Wreckage

Market Price: $0.40

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/110802_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}. ({C} represents colorless mana.)
{2}{C}, {T}: Draw a card. Activate this ability only if you have no cards in hand.

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Geth, Lord of the Vault

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.93

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218859_200w.jpg

Intimidate (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a color with it.)
{X}{B}: Put target artifact or creature card with converted mana cost X from an opponent's graveyard onto the battlefield under your control tapped. Then that player mills X cards.

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Bojuka Bog

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.76

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222444_200w.jpg

Bojuka Bog enters the battlefield tapped.
When Bojuka Bog enters the battlefield, exile all cards from target player's graveyard.
{T}: Add {B}.

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Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

Market Price: $22.36

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222763_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{2}, {T}: Choose a color. Add an amount of mana of that color equal to your devotion to that color. (Your devotion to a color is the number of mana symbols of that color in the mana costs of permanents you control.)

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Dread Presence

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.91

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192519_200w.jpg

Whenever a Swamp enters the battlefield under your control, choose one —
• You draw a card and you lose 1 life.
• Dread Presence deals 2 damage to any target and you gain 2 life.

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Decree of Pain

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $3.62

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/139932_200w.jpg

Destroy all creatures. They can't be regenerated. Draw a card for each creature destroyed this way.
Cycling {3}{B}{B} ({3}{B}{B}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
When you cycle Decree of Pain, all creatures get -2/-2 until end of turn.

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Grisly Spectacle

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145441_200w.jpg

Destroy target nonartifact creature. Its controller mills cards equal to that creature's power.

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Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Market Price: $24.54

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/179536_200w.jpg

Each land is a Swamp in addition to its other land types.

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Sol Ring

Market Price: $2.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227075_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}{C}.

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Exsanguinate

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $4.89

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/36342_200w.jpg

Each opponent loses X life. You gain life equal to the life lost this way.

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Syphon Mind

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166924_200w.jpg

Each other player discards a card. You draw a card for each card discarded this way.

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Archfiend of Depravity

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.74

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132250_200w.jpg

Flying
At the beginning of each opponent's end step, that player chooses up to two creatures they control, then sacrifices the rest.

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Liliana, Waker of the Dead

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $3.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215353_200w.jpg

+1: Each player discards a card. Each opponent who can't loses 3 life.
−3: Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn, where X is the number of cards in your graveyard.
−7: You get an emblem with "At the beginning of combat on your turn, put target creature card from a graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. It gains haste."

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Crypt Ghast

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $6.61

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/94301_200w.jpg

Extort (Whenever you cast a spell, you may pay {W/B}. If you do, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain that much life.)
Whenever you tap a Swamp for mana, add an additional {B}.

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Raiders' Wake

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.51

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145605_200w.jpg

Whenever an opponent discards a card, that player loses 2 life.
Raid — At the beginning of your end step, if you attacked this turn, target opponent discards a card.

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Grim Tutor

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $10.61

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215341_200w.jpg

Search your library for a card, put that card into your hand, then shuffle your library. You lose 3 life.

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Painful Quandary

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $11.71

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/36379_200w.jpg

Whenever an opponent casts a spell, that player loses 5 life unless they discard a card.

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Bottomless Pit

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.57

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5312_200w.jpg

At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player discards a card at random.

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Hypnotic Specter

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.29

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/32639_200w.jpg

Flying
Whenever Hypnotic Specter deals damage to an opponent, that player discards a card at random.

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Corrupting Licid

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5326_200w.jpg

{B}, {T}: Corrupting Licid loses this ability and becomes an Aura enchantment with enchant creature. Attach it to target creature. You may pay {B} to end this effect.
Enchanted creature has fear. (It can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.)

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Bolas's Citadel

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $3.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/187187_200w.jpg

You may look at the top card of your library any time.
You may play lands and cast spells from the top of your library. If you cast a spell this way, pay life equal to its converted mana cost rather than pay its mana cost.
{T}, Sacrifice ten nonland permanents: Each opponent loses 10 life.

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Mikokoro, Center of the Sea

Market Price: $4.84

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/161484_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{2}, {T}: Each player draws a card.

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Dread Summons

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $5.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132020_200w.jpg

Each player mills X cards. For each creature card put into a graveyard this way, you create a tapped 2/2 black Zombie creature token.

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Mesmeric Orb

Market Price: $6.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/219004_200w.jpg

Whenever a permanent becomes untapped, that permanent's controller mills a card.

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Sidisi, Undead Vizier

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $7.96

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/96362_200w.jpg

Deathtouch
Exploit (When this creature enters the battlefield, you may sacrifice a creature.)
When Sidisi, Undead Vizier exploits a creature, you may search your library for a card, put it into your hand, then shuffle your library.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/dragons-of-tarkir/sidisi-undead-vizier

Beseech the Queen

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $4.45

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222434_200w.jpg

({2/B} can be paid with any two mana or with {B}. This card's converted mana cost is 6.)
Search your library for a card with converted mana cost less than or equal to the number of lands you control, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.

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K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $4.55

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196427_200w.jpg

({B/P} can be paid with either {B} or 2 life.)
Lifelink
For each {B} in a cost, you may pay 2 life rather than pay that mana.
Whenever you cast a black spell, put a +1/+1 counter on K'rrik, Son of Yawgmoth.

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Howling Mine

Market Price: $4.54

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/124539_200w.jpg

At the beginning of each player's draw step, if Howling Mine is untapped, that player draws an additional card.

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Trepanation Blade

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145453_200w.jpg

Whenever equipped creature attacks, defending player reveals cards from the top of their library until they reveal a land card. The creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn for each card revealed this way. That player puts the revealed cards into their graveyard.
Equip {2}

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Rankle, Master of Pranks

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $9.89

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198584_200w.jpg

Flying, haste
Whenever Rankle, Master of Pranks deals combat damage to a player, choose any number —
• Each player discards a card.
• Each player loses 1 life and draws a card.
• Each player sacrifices a creature.

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Lake of the Dead

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $67.70

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/4183_200w.jpg

If Lake of the Dead would enter the battlefield, sacrifice a Swamp instead. If you do, put Lake of the Dead onto the battlefield. If you don't, put it into its owner's graveyard.
{T}: Add {B}.
{T}, Sacrifice a Swamp: Add {B}{B}{B}{B}.

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Geier Reach Sanitarium

Market Price: $0.90

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196744_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{2}, {T}: Each player draws a card, then discards a card.

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Sudden Spoiling

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $3.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/94326_200w.jpg

Split second (As long as this spell is on the stack, players can't cast spells or activate abilities that aren't mana abilities.)
Until end of turn, creatures target player controls lose all abilities and have base power and toughness 0/2.

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Geth's Grimoire

Market Price: $2.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/11635_200w.jpg

Whenever an opponent discards a card, you may draw a card.

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Lightning Greaves

Market Price: $2.85

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218837_200w.jpg

Equipped creature has haste and shroud. (It can't be the target of spells or abilities.)
Equip {0}

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Drana, Liberator of Malakir

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $4.63

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216043_200w.jpg

Flying, first strike
Whenever Drana, Liberator of Malakir deals combat damage to a player, put a +1/+1 counter on each attacking creature you control.

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Mind Rake

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/191575_200w.jpg

Target player discards two cards.
Overload {1}{B} (You may cast this spell for its overload cost. If you do, change its text by replacing all instances of "target" with "each.")

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Syr Konrad, the Grim

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222410_200w.jpg

Whenever another creature dies, or a creature card is put into a graveyard from anywhere other than the battlefield, or a creature card leaves your graveyard, Syr Konrad, the Grim deals 1 damage to each opponent.
{1}{B}: Each player mills a card.

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Bloodchief Ascension

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $20.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/33265_200w.jpg

At the beginning of each end step, if an opponent lost 2 or more life this turn, you may put a quest counter on Bloodchief Ascension. (Damage causes loss of life.)
Whenever a card is put into an opponent's graveyard from anywhere, if Bloodchief Ascension has three or more quest counters on it, you may have that player lose 2 life. If you do, you gain 2 life.

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Ill-Gotten Gains

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/83226_200w.jpg

Exile Ill-Gotten Gains. Each player discards their hand, then returns up to three cards from their graveyard to their hand.

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Anvil of Bogardan

Market Price: $28.72

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/5802_200w.jpg

Players have no maximum hand size.
At the beginning of each player's draw step, that player draws an additional card, then discards a card.

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Necrogen Mists

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $8.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/11390_200w.jpg

At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player discards a card.

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Dark Deal

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.45

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/95379_200w.jpg

Each player discards all the cards in their hand, then draws that many cards minus one.

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Liliana's Reaver

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.78

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216439_200w.jpg

Deathtouch
Whenever Liliana's Reaver deals combat damage to a player, that player discards a card and you create a tapped 2/2 black Zombie creature token.

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Scythe Specter

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/168272_200w.jpg

Flying
Whenever Scythe Specter deals combat damage to a player, each opponent discards a card. Each player who discarded a card with the highest converted mana cost among cards discarded this way loses life equal to that converted mana cost.

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Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222820_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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Creeping Dread

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/116223_200w.jpg

At the beginning of your upkeep, each player discards a card. Each opponent who discarded a card that shares a card type with the card you discarded loses 3 life. (Players reveal the discarded cards simultaneously.)

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Black Sun's Zenith

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $5.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/94298_200w.jpg

Put X -1/-1 counters on each creature. Shuffle Black Sun's Zenith into its owner's library.

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Rogue's Passage

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227325_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{4}, {T}: Target creature can't be blocked this turn.

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Deadly Rollick

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $10.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212221_200w.jpg

If you control a commander, you may cast this spell without paying its mana cost.
Exile target creature.

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The Haunt of Hightower

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $4.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182117_200w.jpg

Flying, lifelink
Whenever The Haunt of Hightower attacks, defending player discards a card.
Whenever a card is put into an opponent's graveyard from anywhere, put a +1/+1 counter on The Haunt of Hightower.

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Oppression

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $10.52

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/3014_200w.jpg

Whenever a player casts a spell, that player discards a card.

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Crypt of Agadeem

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $3.51

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/94451_200w.jpg

Crypt of Agadeem enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {B}.
{2}, {T}: Add {B} for each black creature card in your graveyard.

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Massacre Girl

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188199_200w.jpg

Menace
When Massacre Girl enters the battlefield, each other creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn. Whenever a creature dies this turn, each creature other than Massacre Girl gets -1/-1 until end of turn.

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Needle Specter

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $7.60

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/27161_200w.jpg

Flying
Wither (This deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters.)
Whenever Needle Specter deals combat damage to a player, that player discards that many cards.

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Rise of the Dark Realms

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $13.74

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216135_200w.jpg

Put all creature cards from all graveyards onto the battlefield under your control.

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Liliana's Caress

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $4.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/35533_200w.jpg

Whenever an opponent discards a card, that player loses 2 life.

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Waste Not

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $10.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/124680_200w.jpg

Whenever an opponent discards a creature card, create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token.
Whenever an opponent discards a land card, add {B}{B}.
Whenever an opponent discards a noncreature, nonland card, draw a card.

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Mindslicer

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $14.62

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/12740_200w.jpg

When Mindslicer dies, each player discards their hand.

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Torment of Hailfire

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $8.83

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/135074_200w.jpg

Repeat the following process X times. Each opponent loses 3 life unless that player sacrifices a nonland permanent or discards a card.

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Cabal Coffers

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $77.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/37339_200w.jpg

{2}, {T}: Add {B} for each Swamp you control.

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Quest for the Nihil Stone

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $4.76

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/34416_200w.jpg

Whenever an opponent discards a card, you may put a quest counter on Quest for the Nihil Stone.
At the beginning of each opponent's upkeep, if that player has no cards in hand and Quest for the Nihil Stone has two or more quest counters on it, you may have that player lose 5 life.

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Castle Locthwain

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199388_200w.jpg

Castle Locthwain enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Swamp.
{T}: Add {B}.
{1}{B}{B}, {T}: Draw a card, then you lose life equal to the number of cards in your hand.

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Tinybones, Trinket Thief

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $34.93

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215966_200w.jpg

At the beginning of each end step, if an opponent discarded a card this turn, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
{4}{B}{B}: Each opponent with no cards in hand loses 10 life.

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Asylum Visitor

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196732_200w.jpg

At the beginning of each player's upkeep, if that player has no cards in hand, you draw a card and you lose 1 life.
Madness {1}{B} (If you discard this card, discard it into exile. When you do, cast it for its madness cost or put it into your graveyard.)

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Nyx Lotus

Market Price: $2.86

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206648_200w.jpg

Nyx Lotus enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Choose a color. Add an amount of mana of that color equal to your devotion to that color. (Your devotion to a color is the number of mana symbols of that color in the mana costs of permanents you control.)

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Fell Specter

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216199_200w.jpg

Flying
When Fell Specter enters the battlefield, target opponent discards a card.
Whenever an opponent discards a card, that player loses 2 life.

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Beacon of Unrest

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218597_200w.jpg

Put target artifact or creature card from a graveyard onto the battlefield under your control. Shuffle Beacon of Unrest into its owner's library.

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Mindcrank

Market Price: $4.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145438_200w.jpg

Whenever an opponent loses life, that player mills that many cards. (Damage dealt by sources without infect causes loss of life.)

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Shizo, Death's Storehouse

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $11.61

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/12167_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {B}.
{B}, {T}: Target legendary creature gains fear until end of turn. (It can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or black creatures.)

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Liliana of the Dark Realms

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $17.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/69254_200w.jpg

+1: Search your library for a Swamp card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
−3: Target creature gets +X/+X or -X/-X until end of turn, where X is the number of Swamps you control.
−6: You get an emblem with "Swamps you control have '{T}: Add {B}{B}{B}{B}.'"

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The MVP

You have no idea how excited I am to introduce this deck's Most Valuable Player. It is one of Jumpstart's most elusive legendaries and strongest commanders.

Introducing Tinybones, Trinket Thief! I LOVE TINYBONES! While it's incredibly strong on its own, Tinybones helps strengthen this particular iteration of The Haunt of Hightower. Like a Phyrexian Arena in creature form, Tinybones hits during each end step if an opponent discarded a card during their turn. Thanks to our many forms of targeted discard, this will essentially gain us one card during every opponent's turn.

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However, the gas doesn't stop here. Oh no no no no no no no. Tinybones, Trinket Thief' secondary ability is just...chef's kiss. Six mana may seem steep, however, it must be emphasized that this ability targets each opponent rather than a single target. I haven't even stated the best part: this six-mana ability is repeatable. While the caveat for this ability is that opponents have to have no cards in hand, fret not! Consistently making our opponents discard cards will help us reach this devastating secondary ability with ease.

The Secret Spice

The Secret Spice of this particular list also happens to be the closer. In a deck where our commander gets bigger off of cards hitting the yard, we are definitely bound to be the victim to targeted removal and board wipes. While this may be inevitable, it is not something for us to worry about too much. Little do our opponents know that while we are making our The Haunt of Hightower big, we are simultaneously building up our card pool for our secret spice: Rise of the Dark Realms.

Do not shy away from the hefty CMC, because this card is 100% worth that mana price tag. Recently reprinted in the elusive Jumpstart, this sorcery allows us to pull creatures from every graveyard and have them enter the battlefield under our control. Full stop. No catch, zero strings attached. Knowing that we are building a secret army while fueling our The Haunt of Hightower through discard and mill is so dastardly and exciting that I can guarantee an evil giggle upon drawing it late game. This card is a finisher in every sense of the word, and if allowed to resolve, will end the game and friendships alike. Just remember to keep a good poker face.

The Too-Good-Not-To-Run

Too-Good-Not-To-Run has always been code for "Disgusting Cards." Thanks to The Haunt of Hightower's openness in regard to how cards hit the graveyard, a wide variety of abilities and cards can be slotted into this list. This makes some of Magic's most disgusting artifacts useful to us.

One such artifact is Mesmeric Orb. Discarding a card on upkeep is one thing, however, milling a card for each permanent that untaps is another. For two mana, The Haunt of Hightower goes from a 3/3 to a 9/9 based off of our untaps alone (assuming all we have is six lands). The fact that this beauty hits any player means that your Haunt will grow exponentially in just one turn rotation, making this pairing incredibly deadly.

I can already feel your nausea rising upon reading this deck's second key artifact: Mindcrank. It is definitely one of those cards you love to pull off but hate to see others pull off. It is also a card where the rarity, price and CMC shocks me. Like Mesmeric Orb, it makes The Haunt of Hightower exponentially bigger. All you have to do is combat damage. Whether played early on or when Haunt is already large, it helps us mill our opponents out based on how much life is lost. Worried about making contact with your creatures? Worry not. Pair Mindcrank with Gray Merchant of Asphodel or Exsanguinate to boost up Haunt for a future combat step.

The final card I want to highlight is not nearly as disgusting as the previous two. However, it is still incredibly valuable nonetheless.

When I first landed upon discard for the theme of this particular brew, the first card that came to mind was Waste Not. It's token generation, ramp and card draw all in one enchantment. Thanks to our many variations of discard, this card will always pay off, though you never know what you're going to get. Its versatility makes it one of the strongest cards in the deck. If this card just so happens to pop up in our opening hand, I would definitely consider it a snap keep.

Final Thoughts

To be honest, The Haunt of Hightower was always one of those cards I always thought about building but knew I'd never touch. However, thanks to this article and my stream, I've been able to dive into a pool of legendaries I never thought I'd touch.

After adding lands, this deck was at exactly 150 cards before cuts. Black has a plethora of wonderful cards that are perfect for this deck. Finding the balance between good black stuff and on-theme stuff was incredibly difficult. Cards like Pox and Death Cloud were originally added for their strong discard effects, but were ultimately removed because we don't have much in the way of recursion (for both creatures and lands). If I were to create a v2 of Look Ma, No Hands, I would definitely add more recursion and card draw to help us strengthen our defenses and find more answers.