Mono-Black Aggro at GP Miami

Posted in Daily Deck on March 19, 2015

By Shuhei Nakamura

Shuhei Nakamura is a member of the Pro Tour Hall of Fame, former Player of the Year, and is one of just six players with more than 400 lifetime pro points.

Mono-Red is not the only single-colored deck in Standard. Tomoharu Saito used Mono-Black at Grand Prix Memphis and brought his updated version to the Grand Prix in Miami.

The deck was sharpened during the two weeks by removing Mogis's Marauder and Obelisk of Urd. Mogis's Marauder is a win condition but weak as a creature, and Obelisk of Urd is too big of a swing. The deck's new plan is to go wide with 2-power creatures.

Ruthless Ripper is replaced by Gnarled Scarhide now that the deck isn't restricted to Humans. Scarhide simply hits harder and is more flexible in that it can be bestowed either to enlarge your creatures or on opposing creatures to apply the unblockable status in the late game.

I'm interested in the contrast of Thoughtseize. Abzan Aggro removed Thoughtseize from its main deck, but Saito has gone the opposite direction and moved it from the sideboard to the main. Originally, Abzan aggro used Thoughtseize on turn one to trip up the opponent in the early turns. However, now that the format has sped up, all this does to Saito's list is remove a 2/1. On the other hand, Saito plays a creature turn one. Turn two, he fires off Thoughtseize alongside an additional creature. This way, he can remove Abzan Aggro's two-drop on turn two and take hold of the game.

This is a good example of how a card's value can differ depending on how fast you plan to play the game. Keep in mind that against faster Mono-Red decks, these quickly change into Pharika's Cures.

Tomoharu Saito's Mono-Black Aggro—GP Miami

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