I'm going to be honest with you: I wasn't sure where to go with this Kaya. It seemed like a lot of her identity already got explored with Kaya, Orzhov Usurper.

The more I thought more about it, though, I realized that her previous deck really only explored her relationship with Teysa and the Orzhov Clan. 

This time, I wanted to involve more of Kaya directly; as many cards as I could find that involved Kaya, art that pictured her, or spirit-related shenanigans in general. 

Let's get spooky:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Kaya, Bane of the Dead by Andy Hurst

'Kaya, Bane of the Dead' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Andy Hurst

Event:

Rank: 0-0

Freeform (Casual)

Market Price: $16.66

Cards

Kaya's Ghostform

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.40

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/187181_200w.jpg

Enchant creature or planeswalker you control
When enchanted permanent dies or is put into exile, return that card to the battlefield under your control.

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Knights of the Black Rose

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.38

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/121430_200w.jpg

When Knights of the Black Rose enters the battlefield, you become the monarch.
Whenever an opponent becomes the monarch, if you were the monarch as the turn began, that player loses 2 life and you gain 2 life.

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Angel of Despair

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $1.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180835_200w.jpg

Flying
When Angel of Despair enters the battlefield, destroy target permanent.

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Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/242995_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Sin Collector

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/128937_200w.jpg

When Sin Collector enters the battlefield, target opponent reveals their hand. You choose an instant or sorcery card from it and exile that card.

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Obzedat, Ghost Council

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $1.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/128908_200w.jpg

When Obzedat, Ghost Council enters the battlefield, target opponent loses 2 life and you gain 2 life.
At the beginning of your end step, you may exile Obzedat. If you do, return it to the battlefield under its owner's control at the beginning of your next upkeep. It gains haste.

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Crush Contraband

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254160_200w.jpg

Choose one or both —
• Exile target artifact.
• Exile target enchantment.

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Warden of the Beyond

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/91031_200w.jpg

Vigilance (Attacking doesn't cause this creature to tap.)
Warden of the Beyond gets +2/+2 as long as an opponent owns a card in exile.

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Souls of the Faultless

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.46

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/13784_200w.jpg

Defender (This creature can't attack.)
Whenever Souls of the Faultless is dealt combat damage, you gain that much life and attacking player loses that much life.

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Kingpin's Pet

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/67566_200w.jpg

Flying
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.)

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Circle of Affliction

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/14699_200w.jpg

As Circle of Affliction enters the battlefield, choose a color.
Whenever a source of the chosen color deals damage to you, you may pay {1}. If you do, target player loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.

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Harvest Gwyllion

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/27130_200w.jpg

Wither (This deals damage to creatures in the form of -1/-1 counters.)

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Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235544_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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Kaya, Bane of the Dead

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/187180_200w.jpg

Your opponents and permanents your opponents control with hexproof can be the targets of spells and abilities you control as though they didn't have hexproof.
−3: Exile target creature.

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Unmake

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.75

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/67825_200w.jpg

Exile target creature.

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Unburial Rites

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243977_200w.jpg

Return target creature card from your graveyard to the battlefield.
Flashback {3}{W} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Mourning Thrull

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/13734_200w.jpg

({W/B} can be paid with either {W} or {B}.)
Flying
Whenever Mourning Thrull deals damage, you gain that much life.

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Oath of Kaya

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188651_200w.jpg

When Oath of Kaya enters the battlefield, it deals 3 damage to any target and you gain 3 life.
Whenever an opponent attacks a planeswalker you control with one or more creatures, Oath of Kaya deals 2 damage to that player and you gain 2 life.

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Dark Bargain

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212712_200w.jpg

Look at the top three cards of your library. Put two of them into your hand and the other into your graveyard. Dark Bargain deals 2 damage to you.

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Castigate

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/13664_200w.jpg

Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it and exile that card.

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Big Game Hunter

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233883_200w.jpg

When Big Game Hunter enters the battlefield, destroy target creature with power 4 or greater. It can't be regenerated.
Madness {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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Basilica Bell-Haunt

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/183035_200w.jpg

When Basilica Bell-Haunt enters the battlefield, each opponent discards a card and you gain 3 life.

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Kaya's Guile

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $3.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/191070_200w.jpg

Choose two —
• Each opponent sacrifices a creature.
• Exile all opponents' graveyards.
• Create a 1/1 white and black Spirit creature token with flying.
• You gain 4 life.
Entwine {3} (Choose all if you pay the entwine cost.)

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Resolute Rider

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199416_200w.jpg

{W/B}{W/B}: Resolute Rider gains lifelink until end of turn.
{W/B}{W/B}{W/B}: Resolute Rider gains indestructible until end of turn. (Damage and effects that say "destroy" don't destroy it.)

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Kaya's Wrath

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $1.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/183178_200w.jpg

Destroy all creatures. You gain life equal to the number of creatures you controlled that were destroyed this way.

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Despark

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243983_200w.jpg

Exile target permanent with mana value 4 or greater.

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Nightsky Mimic

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/27164_200w.jpg

Whenever you cast a spell that's both white and black, Nightsky Mimic has base power and toughness 4/4 until end of turn and gains flying until end of turn.

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Assassinate

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233854_200w.jpg

Destroy target tapped creature.

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Grateful Apparition

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188169_200w.jpg

Flying
Whenever Grateful Apparition deals combat damage to a player or planeswalker, proliferate. (Choose any number of permanents and/or players, then give each another counter of each kind already there.)

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Ghostly Prison

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254218_200w.jpg

Creatures can't attack you unless their controller pays {2} for each creature they control that's attacking you.

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Lingering Souls

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/128649_200w.jpg

Create two 1/1 white Spirit creature tokens with flying.
Flashback {1}{B} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Consecrate // Consume

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/183063_200w.jpg

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Scoured Barrens

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215899_200w.jpg

Scoured Barrens enters the battlefield tapped.
When Scoured Barrens enters the battlefield, you gain 1 life.
{T}: Add {W} or {B}.

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Tainted Field

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236449_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}: Add {W} or {B}. Activate only if you control a Swamp.

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Windborn Muse

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254044_200w.jpg

Flying
Creatures can't attack you unless their controller pays {2} for each creature they control that's attacking you.

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Syndicate Guildmage

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/183197_200w.jpg

{1}{W}, {T}: Tap target creature with power 4 or greater.
{4}{B}, {T}: Syndicate Guildmage deals 2 damage to target opponent or planeswalker.

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Grasping Thrull

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/183084_200w.jpg

Flying
When Grasping Thrull enters the battlefield, it deals 2 damage to each opponent and you gain 2 life.

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Mistveil Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $1.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180847_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)
Mistveil Plains enters the battlefield tapped.
{W}, {T}: Put target card from your graveyard on the bottom of your library. Activate only if you control two or more white permanents.

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Aid the Fallen

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188304_200w.jpg

Choose one or both —
• Return target creature card from your graveyard to your hand.
• Return target planeswalker card from your graveyard to your hand.

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The Game Plan

Let's attrition out our opponent, and win with our big scary Rare or some dinky flyers. It'll be hard to get through for damage — Souls of the Faultless is one of the better blockers of any creature in this entire pool. Sin Collector doesn't mind dying for the cause, and gets in some disruption in the meantime. Mourning Thrull and Kingpin's Pet can provide the smallest of life buffers while annoying the opponent in the meantime. 

Going higher up the curve, the creatures are no less bothersome. Basilica Bell-Haunt is a fantastic speed bump. Harvest Gwyllion's Wither and 4-toughness mean that attacking comes at a steep price. Resolute Rider can get Indestructible. Grasping Thrull and Knights of the Black Rose aren't the best creatures, but they are pains in the butt. Angel of Despair is a massive heavy hitter, and the extra Vindicate ability is worth the hefty price tag. Keep in mind that we can run the old Solar Flare play from 2006: get the Angel of Despair into the graveyard with a card advantage spell, and then Zombify it — except that in this version, Dark Bargain is filling in for Compulsive Research and Unburial Rites is taking over for Zombify

The removal here is solid and plentiful, as one might expect for a Black/White deck. Big Game Hunter and Assassinate are nods to Kaya's profession as an elite assassin, while Despark and Unmake provide some excellent catchalls. Although Kaya herself has some limited uses due to not having a Plus Ability, the pair of Grateful Apparitions might be able to proliferate Kaya into another shot or two. 

The Rares

Remember, because the Planeswalker is Uncommon we get Five Rares instead of the usual Four.

The Muse might not hit very hard, but it's still an evasive flyer that isn't hard to cast and protects us very well. Any Ghostly Prison effect can be backbreaking against some of the more aggressive decks in this pool, and ours also attacks and blocks. I'd consider this the strongest creature in our deck — well, except for…

Sure, okay, Kaya manages to get rid of these menaces. But she's probably the only one who coulda done it. Thanks to Modern Masters 2017, Obzedat is eligible for this deck, and is probably one of the Top 5 most powerful Rares in this whole cardpool for this format. Sure, the cost is prohibitive. But we're a Black/White deck, so we're well suited to a Black/White powerhouse. If the opponent doesn't have an unbeatable board state or instant speed removal, they're screwed. It hits hard, drains some life, and vanishes from the scene when we need to protect it. Obzedat is going to contribute to a lot of our wins. 

Not the most powerful spell, but it's the flexibility we're looking out for here, and because of that we get a pretty attractive package. Most likely, we'll be choosing to give ourselves a Spirit token and our opponents a Diabolic Edict. But every once in a while, the Graveyard removal effect comes up clutch, and the lifegain can matter, too. If we can entwine it, we should get a nice little spell — along with a reminder that sometimes, flexibility trumps power. 

The Oath is a fine removal spell, as the lifegain will help us shrug off some early hits. Also, unlike some of the other Oaths, this one keeps an effect going as long as we also have Kaya, and it can bite hard. 

It's nice to have a reset button, especially when we have cards like Unburial Rites, Kaya's Ghostform, and Lingering Souls to help offset the damage of a ruined board. The lifegain will help us here too; if we need to cast the Wrath, we are probably taking some beatings. 

Unsung Hero

I mentioned it earlier, but the Angel is a welcome downgrade (thank you Ultimate Masters!) that provides a phenomenal threat with an excellent trigger. We can recur it with Unburial Rites, and we'd love to enchant it with Kaya's Ghostform. If we can get this into play once, we'll be in great shape; any more, and losing is a difficult proposition. Can't ask for much more than that out of our high end threats.