Welcome back to another week of Mining Modern! Before I go further, I want to take a moment to talk personally, rather than Magic-ally (okay, that wasn't a word, I get it).
Anyway. First things first, I hope everyone had a great holiday. If you celebrate Christmas I hope it was a great one. I enjoyed the time with my family, and as fun and awesome as Magic is it's always a highlight for me when I get to take a step back and enjoy the other aspects of my life.
It's hard not to get a touch reflective, since this is my final article of 2016. I've been producing content for TCGplayer for a little over seven months now, and it's crazy how time has flown since my first article on The Emrakul Deck back in May. 2016 was a lot of ups and downs for me, but it will forever stand out in my mind because of the birth of my son Benjamin just a few days after I published my first article here. I've loved making content for all of you reading or watching along, and it's been a great seven months. I look forward to a long future with TCGplayer and with all of you. I promise it will be filled with more sweet Modern decks.
Speaking of, that's enough reflection. Let's cast some Phyrexian Obliterator.
Mono-Black Devotion was the terror of Standard during its reign, with Pack Rat and Mutavault tearing up the format. Luckily, Modern has proven mostly immune to the deck's old plan, meaning that some experimentation has been necessary to try and bring the deck into Modern. But with the core of Inquisition of Kozilek, Thoughtseize, Collective Brutality and Liliana of the Veil, it turns out there is plenty to work with.
Especially Phyrexian Obliterator.
The phyrexians have always been scary, but none moreso than the Obliterator, which punishes opponents for most removal and any attempt to rumble with it in combat. In a deck that spends its early turns tearing apart an opponent's hand, Obliterator is especially devastating.
The rest of the deck continues with the theme of "value." Hangarback leaves behind friends when it dies – and pressures opponents to burn Path to Exile, clearing the way for Obliterator – Gatekeeper of Malakir ruins creatures while Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet turns them into fodder, Geralf's Messenger is a recursive threat that provides reach, while Relentless Dead ties it all together and provides even more late-game inevitability.
The sole devotion card remaining is Gray Merchant of Asphodel, which is a bit underwhelming on the curve but very good in the right matchups since it can routinely drain for 6-10 life. Really, it encapsulates the entire deck, in that it's very good in certain matchups but horrendous in others. If decks want to play a fair, grindy game with Mono-Black Devotion, the black creatures are going to win. But if the opponent is doing much of anything that's unfair and doesn't fold to a discard spell or two, Mono-Black Devotion struggles because it doesn't present a fast-enough clock to punish opponents for setting up.
Still, if your meta is full of creature decks, Mono-Black Devotion is a powerhouse. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading,
Corbin Hosler@Chosler88 on Twitter