Modern Black-Green Death Cloud

Posted in Daily Deck on December 7, 2015

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

Today we'll be featuring a Modern deck built around one of the most punishing cards recently printed. Death Cloud has a pretty brutal effect on the game. It forces all players (including you) to sacrifice lands and creatures, discard cards, and lose life. However, the caster of the Death Cloud has a lot of power in what the card actually does. Today's list was piloted by Osmanozguney to a 5-0 finish in the last Magic Online Modern League.

One of the reasons why Death Cloud is not very popular in competitive tournaments is that it's a very symmetrical effect. When most symmetrical effects are cast, the caster is the one who loses out on the deal, as they had to use a card in their hand to play the spell in the first place. When building Death Cloud decks, you have to consider how to make the Death Cloud have as little symmetry as possible so that you, the caster of the Death Cloud, come out ahead every time.

The best way to do this is to play permanents that you don't have to sacrifice to your own Death Cloud. Obviously planeswalkers will do the trick here, but another important card that accomplishes this goal in this list is Utopia Sprawl. Many players think of Birds of Paradise or Farseek when deciding what mana ramp to play in their decks, but Utopia Sprawl is a spell that accelerates you at the same rate.

Another way to maximize the value received from Death Cloud is to play creatures or spells that give you card advantage. Most Death Cloud decks that I've seen have played Life from the Loam and Raven's Crime. This is a great way of stripping your opponent's hand at a very low cost. However, this Death Cloud deck is doing things a little differently. Most of the creatures gain you an advantage in some way, such as Eternal Witness or Kitchen Finks. You don't mind losing these creatures to Death Cloud, as they have already done their jobs.

Overall, the Death Cloud strategy is very resilient and plays some of the strongest cards in Modern. I'm glad it achieved a 5-0 finish in the League and I look forward to seeing more of it.

Osmanozguney's Black-Green Death Cloud

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