If you haven't seen this deck yet, you're in for a treat.

If not the newest hotness in Standard it certainly qualifies as under-represented and substantially underplayed. Because it has many cards in common with some other archetypes it can be easily mistaken for more popular decks, and because a great many players have no idea how to play against a Pain Seer - and might not take seriously a Thrill-Kill Assassin at all - all of that adds up to extra edge in Standard.

I had heard about the archetype from several different sources in the weeks coming up.

- Underrated deck designer Larry Swasey.
- On a visit to Seattle my friend Thea Steele and onetime Number One Apprentice Joshua Ravitz had been riding a 9-1 in MTGO queues.
- Grand Prix standout Eric Phillipps had just made Top 8 of a PTQ with it.
- The very next day? Gabe Carleton-Barnes racked up yet another PTQ win.

...with Monoblack Aggro.

DECKID=1191014

Monoblack Aggro has a ton of aggressive one-drops and can establish good presence with its two-drops. It has some of the removal (and the ability to fall back on the size of Desecration Demon) to stabilize a board as well as some interesting routes to card advantage.

And really?

Who is going to try to block your Thrill-Kill Assassin?

So if you hadn't seen it before this is a very good strategy that can end games aggressively and will catch many unawares.

It is also the subject of this week's Make the Play Monday.

You are playing Monoblack Aggro against an unknown opponent in game one. You keep this hand on the draw:

Lifebane Zombie
Herald of Torment
Thrill-Kill Assassin
Ultimate Price
Swamp
Swamp
Mutavault

Your opponent plays Mutavault and passes.
You draw: Ultimate Price.

So your hand is now:

Lifebane Zombie
Herald of Torment
Thrill-Kill Assassin
Ultimate Price
Ultimate Price
Swamp
Swamp
Mutavault

You play Mutavault right back as you have zero cards that cost BB on turn two and you can play any necessary BB1 cards on turn three with your land you already have.

Your opponent draws for his turn, plays a Swamp, and lays down a Pack Rat.

You draw: your one Pack Rat.

Your hand is now:

Lifebane Zombie
Herald of Torment
Thrill-Kill Assassin
Ultimate Price
Ultimate Price
Pack Rat
Swamp
Swamp

Play your second turn.

LOVE
MIKE